NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, february 3, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

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I. United States

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1. Light-Water Reactor Project

Associated Press ("N.KOREA DEMANDS NUKE COMPENSATION," Seoul, 2/2/00) reported that the DPRK on Thursday blamed the US for an unexpected delay in building two nuclear power plants and demanded compensation. Officials of Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) have unofficially said that "several years of delay" will be inevitable. DPRK Vice Premier Jo Chang-dok said in a report released by the DPRK foreign news outlet, Korean Central News Agency, that his country had faithfully fulfilled its end of the 1994 accord and frozen its nuclear program. However, the report quoted Jo as saying, the United States failed to hold up its end of the accord, causing a long delay in building the reactors and in turn an acute power shortage in the DPRK. Jo claimed in the report that if his country had built a Soviet-designed graphite-moderated reactor as scheduled, its power problem would not be as serious as it is now. Jo said, "the U.S. should own responsibility for having caused such acute shortage of electricity in the DPRK."

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2. DPRK-Australia Talks

Agence France Presse ("AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION TO TRAVEL TO NORTH KOREA LATER THIS MONTH," Sydney, 2/3/00) reported that a spokeswoman for Australia's foreign affairs department confirmed Thursday that Australia will send a senior delegation to the DPRK this month. The spokeswoman said that the makeup of the delegation had not yet been decided but was likely to be made up of senior diplomats. The visit, the first since the two countries severed diplomatic relations in 1975, was expected to cover bilateral ties, Australian aid to the DPRK, and the DPRK's participation in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. So Chung-on, an unofficial DPRK representative in Japan, said that the DPRK foreign ministry officials had been very active in seeking to improve relations with Australia. So stated, "Australia is a country located in the Pacific, and among the Western countries Australia is the nearest country to Asia. Good relations between North Korea and Australia will give a good influence on the United States and especially Japan because both countries are located in the Asia-Pacific region."

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3. Korean War Massacre

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, "ARMY SAYS PROSECUTIONS COULD BE JUSTIFIED IN ALLEGED S. KOREA KILLINGS," Washington, 02/03/00) reported that US Army Secretary Louis Caldera said Wednesday that the Army has not ruled out criminal prosecutions as a result of its investigation of the alleged mass killing of ROK civilians at No Gun Ri during the Korean War. Referring to the war crimes trials after World War II, Caldera stated, "We don't want to set a double standard." He added, however, that it is too early to conclude that actions at No Gun Ri by US troops rose to the level of war crimes. Caldera said that Army investigators so far have questioned a few dozen US veterans from units that were in the area at the time of the alleged massacre but have not talked to those who told admitted to participating in the event. He stated, "It makes sense from an investigative perspective to begin your investigation with those who may have knowledge of the actions of others, that can shed light on the actions of others, before moving up to those who may themselves have participated. If you go directly to the person involved, that person is going to be represented by counsel, and the first thing they're going to do is ask for immunity from any prosecution." He added that at some point, the Army will have to decide whether to grant some witnesses limited immunity that would bar prosecutors from using their testimony against them, but that would not prevent them from being prosecuted for crimes they testify about. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 3.]

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4. Taiwan Straits Security

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CIA HEAD WARNS OF TAIWAN 'FLARE-UP'," 2/3/00) reported that US Central Intelligence Agency Director George J. Tenet told the US Congress on February 2 that growing tensions between the PRC and Taiwan could lead to a regional military "flare-up" in the coming months. As part of the US intelligence community's annual assessment of threats to the US, Tenet said in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, "although Beijing today still lacks the air- and sea-lift capability to invade Taiwan, China has been increasing the size and sophistication of its forces arrayed along the strait, most notably by deploying short- range ballistic missiles. Chinese leaders act as if they believe at a minimum a show of force is required if they are to preserve any hope of reunification. Because of this, we see a high potential for yet another military flare-up across the Taiwan Strait this year." Tenet stated that the PRC could use Taiwan's presidential elections in March as a "catalyst for these tensions."

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5. US Views of Missile Threats

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CIA HEAD WARNS OF TAIWAN 'FLARE-UP'," 2/3/00) reported that US Central Intelligence Agency Director George J. Tenet and two other intelligence officials testified to the the US Congress on February 2 that the threat of long-range missile attack against the US was "steadily emerging." Tenet said that Russia and the PRC continue to have capabilities to "strike at military and civilian targets throughout the United States." The officials also said that new missile threats are posed by the DPRK, and continuing problems in the DPRK could lead to a "sudden radical and possibly dangerous change" at any time. Tenet said, "[DPRK leader] Kim Jong-Il does not appear to have an effective long-term strategy for reversing his country's economic fortunes. His inability to meet the basic needs of his people and reliance on coercion makes his regime more brittle because even minor instances of defiance have greater potential to snowball into wider anti-regime actions." Tenet also said that although the PRC put on a "massive display" of military power during a parade marking its 50th anniversary, PRC leaders see a growing technological gap with the West. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 3.]

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6. Spratly Islands Dispute

Agence France Presse ("PHILIPPINES ASKS CHINA TO PUNISH FISHERMEN FOR DESTROYING CORALS," Manila, 2/3/00) reported that the Philippine Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado on Thursday called on the PRC to punish Chinese fishermen Manila has accused of dynamiting coral formations at the disputed Scarborough Shoal. Mercado told a news conference at which he displayed pictures of the confiscated materials, "it is very clear that from these photos, the Chinese were using blasting caps, dynamite and were gathering corals, which is prohibited under Philippine and international laws. They should punish their fishermen." Mercado said the PRC had signed the UN Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species and should enforce it against its fishermen.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K. REQUESTS STATE-TO-STATE FOOD AID FROM U.S. AT BERLIN TALKS," Seoul, 02/02/00) and The Korea Times ("US READY TO TALK WITH N.KOREA ABOUT REMOVAL FROM TERRORISM LIST," Seoul, 02/02/00) reported that ROK officials said here on Tuesday that the DPRK called for the US to provide food aid on a direct, governmental basis instead of using intermediaries such as international aid agencies during their rapprochement talks in Berlin last week. The US official cited three types of food aid available under US law. For instance, he said, the United States could, as Pyongyang requested, send aid state-to-state and as soft loans. It also can entrust it to international organizations. The third method is to provide aid unconditionally, as it has traditionally done for the poorest countries. "While the United States has so far helped North Korea by donating food to international groups, the North has insisted on the first method," the official said. "This is because the state-to- state donation not only enables a large amount of aid, but also carries a symbolic significance as a governmental deal. However, the North Koreans appear to be unaware that the method entails very complicated procedures, and, consequently, takes a lot of time." He noted that the US first has to exclude the DPRK from its list of "terrorism- sponsoring countries" and secure the agreement of Congress before implementing such a method. [Ed. note: A US Treasury Department fact sheet details US sanctions on the DPRK as a terrorist state and the method for removing those sanctions.]

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2. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Korea Herald ("HYUNDAI'S CHUNG PROMOTING INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT," Seoul, 02/03/00) reported that Hyundai Group founder and honorary chairman Chung Ju-yung is playing a key role in the promotion of an inter- Korean summit between President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. A Hyundai official said, "Chung will thoroughly prepare for the upcoming meeting with Kim Jong-il while he rests at his home for about a week." Although the nominal purpose of their meeting is to discuss the progress of the planned industrial complex on the DPRK's west coast, some analysts predict that the two will touch on the inter-Korean summit. The Hyundai official said, "the government is evidently pushing for the summit in various ways."

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3. DPRK Propaganda

The Korea Herald ("PYONGYANG SEEN TO STEP UP PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE," Seoul, 02/03/00) reported that analysts said that the DPRK is expected to intensify its psychological warfare campaign against the ROK this year as part of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's efforts to tighten his grip on power and consolidate his regime. The DPRK has already strengthened its propaganda activities against the ROK over the past month, apparently affected by recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the PRC defense minister's visit to Seoul. Many DPRK experts here forecast that Pyongyang will even further escalate its war of words this year, citing as reasons April's parliamentary elections in the ROK and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War.

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4. ROK-US Missile Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL, WASHINGTON TO RESUME TALKS ON NEW MISSILES IN HAWAII NEXT WEEK," Seoul, 02/03/00) and The Korea Times ("KOREA, US TO HOLD MISSILE TALKS IN HAWAII ON FEB. 8-9," Seoul, 02/02/00) reported that ROK officials on February 2 said that the ROK and the US will resume their intermittent talks next week on the ROK's bid to extend its missile range to 500 kilometers. Song Bong-heon, director of the third North American Division at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said that the two-day bilateral talks, which will open in Hawaii next on February 8, will focus on whether to allow the ROK to develop missiles with the ranges required to assure the nation's security. Song said, "at the upcoming meetings in Honolulu, the two sides will resume discussions about the technical matters related to such test-firings." Song Min-sun, director general at the ministry's North American Affairs Bureau, will head the ROK delegation to next week's negotiations. The US team will be led by Robert Einhorn, assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 3.]

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5. DPRK Food Shortage Expected

Chosun Ilbo (Jang Won-jun, "NK HEADING FOR ANOTHER FOOD SHORTAGE," Seoul, 02/02/00) reported that the ROK's Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) announced on February 2 that the DPRK is headed for yet another food shortage this year. KREI said that the estimated food requirement for the year 2000 is 6.31 million tons, but food production last year is estimated to be about 3.32 million tons, resulting in a shortage of 2.99 million tons. Of the needed food, 1.16 million tons are expected to be supplied by international aid organizations - still leaving 1.83 million tons short. KREI said that according to the calculation, the DPRK's food shortage last year stood at 3.17 million tons.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia

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