NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, february 9, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

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I. United States

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1. US-DPRK Talks

Agence France-Presse ("PYONGYANG'S WEAPONS PLANS DROPPED, SAYS SEOUL," Seoul, 2/9/00) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn said on February 8 that the DPRK accepted US proposals to stop developing missiles and nuclear weapons and renounce terrorism in return for better ties with the West. Lee said that the DPRK has accepted recommendations by former US secretary of defense William Perry to abandon the threat of weapons of mass destruction and normalize ties with the US in return for increased assistance. Lee told the Munhwa Ilbo that the US, Japan and the DPRK were upbeat about the US-DPRK dialogue, but said that the DPRK had set tough conditions on its cooperation. Lee also said that the removal of the DPRK from the US list of states that sponsor terrorism and the provision of direct US food aid were hot issues at the last session of US-DPRK talks in Berlin in January. He said that the DPRK had demanded that the US shift from indirect donations through the World Food Program to direct aid. The US had, in turn, requested a written guarantee from the DPRK that it had given up terrorist acts and for evidence that it had not engaged in any terrorist act in the past six months. [Ed. note: Under US law the President must certify to Congress that a country has met these two criteria before it can be removed from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism.] Lee added that the US also called for the DPRK to join international accords against terrorism. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 9, 2000.]

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2. Russia-DPRK Treaty

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREA AND RUSSIA END COLD WAR ALLIANCE WITH NEW PACT," Seoul, 2/9/00) reported that the DPRK said on Wednesday that it has signed a treaty with Russia which deleted Russia's obligation to send troops to the DPRK in case of war. The treaty was signed by visiting Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and his DPRK counterpart Paek Nam-sun on the opening day of the first visit to DPRK by a top Russian official in 10 years. In a joint statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Russia and the DPRK said, "the conclusion of the treaty indicates a start of new stage in the development of mutual relations. Both sides will strive to further expand and develop the mutual relations of friendship and cooperation in various fields in conformity with the requirements stipulated in the treaty." The statement said that the treaty obliges both states "not to conclude any treaty or agreement with a third country nor join in its action or step, if they stand against sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of any of the parties." The DPRK and Russia also pledged to strengthen friendship and increase cooperation to ensure regional and global peace while not infringing on their new relationships with other countries. ROK officials said that the signing symbolically ended the 50-year-old ideological alliance between the former communist comrades and paved the way for the two to forge peaceful new ties. The officials also said that the treaty was "greatly significant" because it will use the DPRK-Russia relationship to ensure peace and security in Northeast Asia. A senior ROK foreign ministry official said that the ROK welcomed the pact. He also said the treaty "has laid out a foundation for the two states to develop their relationship as normal neighboring countries."

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3. DPRK Missile Sales

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "N. KOREA SELLS IRAN MISSILE ENGINES," 2/9/00) reported that according to a US Defense Department intelligence report, the DPRK supplied 12 medium-range ballistic missile engines to an Iranian government agency involved in missile production in November 1999. US officials familiar with the classified report said that the engines arrived in Iran on November 21 after they were spotted being loaded aboard an Iran Air Boeing 747 cargo jet that left Sunan International Airfield, about 12 miles north of the DPRK capital of Pyongyang. US intelligence officials said that the missile engines are the same as those used in Nodong medium-range missiles, which have a range of about 620 miles. US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon declined to comment on the transfer, citing a policy of not discussing intelligence matters, but said, "we obviously worry about proliferation by anybody and North Korea is one of those that we are particularly worried about." The CIA stated, "exports of ballistic missiles and related technology are one of the North's major sources of hard currency." [Ed. note: This article was included as one of the Top Stories of the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 9, 2000.]

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4. Use of Defoliants in ROK

The Associated Press ("AGENT ORANGE VICTIMS REGISTER," Seoul, 2/9/00) reported that the ROK Association of Vietnam War Veterans Suffering from Exposure to Agent Orange said that 1,890 former ROK soldiers and farmers have registered as victims of Agent Orange. The victims said that the toxic chemical sprayed along the ROK- DPRK border 30 years ago sickened them. Among the victims were 150 disfigured children born to the former soldiers and border-town farmers. The association is waging a legal battle to seek US$4.3 billion from two US Agent Orange manufacturers, Dow Chemical and Monsanto, and US$1 billion from the US government. Association officials said that the victims of the border spraying will form a separate group to battle for compensation.

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5. PRC Naval Purchases

The New York Times (Craig S. Smith, "NEW CHINESE GUIDED-MISSILE SHIP HEIGHTENS TENSION," 2/9/00) reported that the PRC's first Russian-built Sovremenny-class guided-missile destroyer is expected to arrive in the East China Sea as early as this week. Within weeks of the destroyer's arrival, Russia is expected to deliver Sunburn antiship missiles that can carry nuclear or conventional warheads and are specifically designed to penetrate US carrier battle group defenses. It is unlikely that the missiles will be delivered with nuclear warheads. The ship is expected to join the PRC's East Sea Fleet based in Ningbo. Military analysts said that even with conventional warheads, the PRC's new missile-armed destroyer, together with four recently purchased Kilo-class submarines from Russia, will raise the threshold for any future US intervention in the region. Eric McVadon, a retired rear admiral who was a defense and naval attache in the PRC and now a consultant on East Asian security affairs, said, "these two systems, in particular, are ones that give us pause and make us realize that we are in fact going in harm's way. That's something the Chinese didn't possess before." James Lilley, a former US ambassador to the PRC and now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, said, "this is a generational leap for China into a much more advanced type of surface weaponry." A US Defense Department spokesman, Lieutenant Commander Terry Southerland, said, "the U.S. military is adequately prepared" to deal with any threat posed by the destroyers. Southerland also said there has been no decision on Taiwan's request to buy US Aegis destroyers to counter the PRC purchases. Military analysts said it could take the PRC years of training before its navy can handle such a sophisticated ship in an actual conflict. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 9, 2000.]

The Associated Press (Annie Huang, "CHINA DESTROYERS WORRY TAIWAN," Taipei, 2/9/00) reported that a Taiwanese defense expert said Wednesday that the delivery of the PRC's first Russian-built Sovremenny-class destroyer could pose a threat to US ships that have protected Taiwan. Local newspapers have reported that the warship could be delivered this month, but Taiwan's military would not comment on the ship's arrival date. Lin Cheng-yi, a researcher at the state-run Academia Sinica research center in Taipei, said that the 8,000-ton destroyer would be a definite threat to US and Taiwanese ships. Lin said that with the destroyer's deployment, "there will be fewer and fewer U.S. carriers sailing near the Taiwan Strait." The ship, piloted by Chinese sailors, left a Russian port in St. Petersburg on January 3 and Russian officials said it would take three weeks to reach the PRC. Officials said that the destroyer was expected to stop along the way to perform tests. The warship was one of two that the PRC ordered from Russia in 1997 for US$1 billion. Russian officials said that the second ship will be delivered later this year.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-Russia Relations

The Korea Times ("IVANOV TO FOCUS ON REGIONAL SECURITY ISSUES IN PYONGYANG," Seoul, 02/08/00) reported that the Voice of Russia (VOR) said on February 7 that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will focus on security issues in Northeast Asia during his visit to the DPRK which started on Wednesday. The VOR said that Ivanov's trip to the DPRK, Japan and Vietnam would start with his meeting with DPRK leaders on the prospects of bilateral ties and the security situations on the Korean peninsula and surrounding areas. The report said, "(Ivanov) will focus on discussing regional security issues because the bilateral relationship has become a major factor in maintaining stability in Northeast Asia." Russian officials have said that the new treaty, which Ivanov was to sign while in the DPRK, would not include the military involvement clause in the previous treaty.

The Korea Times ("RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA FRIENDSHIP NO THREAT TO OTHERS: MOSCOW," Seoul, 02/08/00) reported that the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin saying that a friendship pact to be signed between Russia and the DPRK on Wednesday does not pose any danger to other countries. Karasin said, "the document, which will regulate relations between Russia and the DPRK for at least the next quarter century, has been drawn up according to principles laid down in UN statutes and international law." Karasin also stated that the accord would contain none of the propaganda common in such documents during the Cold War.

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2. DPRK-US Talks on War Remains

The Korea Times ("US, N.KOREA CONSIDER NEW TALKS ON WAR REMAINS," Seoul, 02/08/00) reported that officials from the DPRK and the US on February 7 indicated progress towards talks on a joint recovery operation to find more US soldiers killed during the Korean War. The DPRK, after initially reporting it had discovered the remains of 415 Americans, now says it has found only "four or five." US officials said that they believe the DPRK has only accounted for two soldiers in the latest discoveries during bulldozing operations at a reclamation project near Unsan. A US Defense Department statement said that US officials are proposing a resumption of talks with the DPRK. Ambassador Li Gun, a DPRK UN envoy, said on February 8 that he could make no announcement, but that resumed talks are the subject of discussions in the DPRK. Li said that there were some "technical mistakes" in the original report of 415 bodies.

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3. ROK-DPRK Exchanges

The Korea Herald ("KIM JONG-IL SENDS BIRTHDAY GIFT TO REV. MOON," Seoul, 02/09/00) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has sent a birthday gift to the Unification Church's Reverend Moon Sun-myung, who is also president of the Federation of World Peace. Moon will turn 80 on February 11. Park Chung-il of the Mount Kumgang International Group said on February 7 that the group's chairman, Park Bo-hee, had returned from his five-day visit to the DPRK last week to attend a ground-breaking ceremony for an inter-Korean joint venture auto plant in Nampo. Park bore Kim's birthday gift and Asia-Pacific Peach Committee Chairman Kim Yong-sun's congratulatory message to Moon. It is rare for the DPRK leader to give a gift to an ROK citizen, and the birthday gift seems to be a symbol of the unique relationship between the DPRK and Moon's institute. Park, whose Mount Kumgang International Group is also affiliated with Moon's Unification Church, did not say what the gift was.

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4. ROK Foreign Policy Goals

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "END TO COLD WAR' TOPS DIPLOMATIC GOAL," Seoul, 02/08/00) reported that ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn on February 7 put forward the ROK's four diplomatic goals for the year 2000, including one for an end to the Cold War rivalry on the Korean peninsula. Lee said that the other three goals are the continuous implementation of liberal economic policies, regional cooperation, and the pursuit of democracy and human rights. Lee said, "by maintaining the principles of the engagement policy, we will strengthen our diplomatic efforts to promote inter-Korean dialogue and expand exchanges and cooperation." The minister also noted the signs of change in US-DPRK and Japan-DPRK relations and said that the ROK will endeavor to make the improved relations between ROK's allies and the DPRK ultimately lead to an inter-Korean rapprochement.

III. Russian Federation

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1. RF-DPRK Treaty

Dipkouryer published a commentary by Yury Alekseyev, Russian Information Agency correspondent, ("NORTH KOREA STARTS EMERGING FROM ISOLATION," Moscow, 2, 02/03/00) which said that ROK diplomats in Moscow consider the reduction of anti-ROK propaganda in the DPRK media "a good sign from the North" and another proof that the DPRK is trying gradually to come out of its isolation. Alekseyev said that the security and stability on the Korean Peninsula is a priority of the RF's foreign policy. RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was to go to the DPRK to sign the RF-DPRK Treaty on friendship, good neighborliness, and cooperation. Alekseyev noted that by late 1998, the RF and the DPRK had agreed that the treaty should not include a clause about mutual military assistance in case of outside aggression. Ivanov plans to put a special emphasis on security issues in the region during his stay in the DPRK. Alekseyev said that bilateral economic relations will also be discussed. During a recent press conference, DPRK Ambassador to Moscow Park Y Chung voiced the first ever DPRK official reaction to the appointment of Vladimir Putin as the acting RF President. Park said, "it will be possible to talk about the policy of Vladimir Putin as the head of state after he becomes Russia's President. Time will show." Alekseyev concluded, "Russian democratic circles hope very much that the Russian Foreign Minister's visit to the DPRK will facilitate not only political and economic cooperation between the two countries, but also a gradual rapprochement of the views on the problems of genuine, not showy democracy, as well as progressive movement of North Koreans along the democratic development path."

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2. DPRK Defectors

Izvestia ("NORTH KOREAN DEFECTORS SENT TO CHINA," Moscow, 4, 02/03/00) reported that seven DPRK citizens apprehended by the RF border guards in the RF Far East were deported to the PRC from where entered the RF. According to RF border guards, the defectors looked tired and exhausted and said it was "impossible to live [in the DPRK], as there is famine and no money." The defectors had hoped the RF authorities would send them to the ROK or let them stay in the RF.

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3. Koreans in RF Far East

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Aleksey Chichkin, "COLONISTS ALSO CAN BE ALLIES," Moscow, 4, 02/01/00) reported that the DPRK and the ROK have joined together to oppose the PRC's "aspirations" to expand into the RF. This January an agreement was signed between the Primorskiy Area of the RF Administration and the Korean Agrarian Association of the ROK for the ROK to rent almost 7,000 hectares of agricultural land in the Primorskiy Area for 50 years. The DPRK is involved in the building of over a thousand houses for ROK agriculturists and ethnic Koreans from Uzbekistan. The report said that it seems that "both in Seoul and Pyongyang are aware that 'Chinization' of Primoriye might forever isolate the all-Korean economy from that area and in parallel increase the geopolitical role of the PRC in Northeast Asia. Therefore both Korean capitals decided to join efforts." The authors noted that ongoing RF consultations about oil and gas exploration on the DPRK sea shelf and showing the South Kurils and all RF territories adjacent to the PRC as belonging to the RF in ROK maps, could be seen as an indirect proof of "both Koreas' intention jointly with Russia to oppose territorial 'aspirations' of certain Chinese circles."

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4. PRC Military Budget

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (L.G., "CHINA INCREASES ITS ARMS EXPENDITURE," Moscow, 3, 02/04-10/00, #4, P.177) reported that the PRC plans to increase the budget of its armed forces by 15-19 percent in 2000, making it about US$15 billion. Western analysts, however, believe the actual allocation will be US$40-70 billion. The US military budget is US$250 billion and Japan is US$45 billion. According to the PRC national development plan for 2001-2005, the spending on the PRC's People's Liberation Army will increase twice in the next five years. The PRC will start building its first middle-class aircraft carrier and its first nuclear submarine later this year. Presently the PRC Navy consists of approximately 1100 ships, three times more than the US Navy.

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5. US Military Assessment of the PRC

Segodnya's Oleg Odnokolenko ("PENTAGON MARKED THE HEAVENLY EMPIRE AS ITS 'MAIN ENEMY',," Moscow, 3, 02/03/00) reported that the Analysis Division of US Defense Department published "a sensational report" claiming that the PRC was preparing for war against the US. The report said that the "PRC's strategic goal is to defeat the enemy with the use of both military means and propaganda, secret activities and dissemination of false information." The report is based on the analysis of 600 written sources authored by PRC political and military leaders. The report said the war could be caused by the conflict with Taiwan, but according to US Defense Department, the PRC is likely to avoid confrontation till 2030. The PRC Embassy Defense Attache Office in Moscow called the report "rubbish." The PRC office said the report could be seen as published with "the corporate purpose" of influencing the fate of legislation on increased US-Taiwan defense cooperation already passed by the US House of Representatives."

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6. PRC-US Military Links

Izvestia ("CHINA AND U.S.A. RESUMED MILITARY CONTACTS," Moscow, 4, 01/26/00) and Nezavisimaia Gazeta ("CHINA RESUMED ITS COOPERATION WITH PENTAGON," Moscow, 6, 01/26/00) reported that PRC- US military links, severed after the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade, were resumed. A PRC military delegation headed by Sun Guankai, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, People's Liberation Army, arrived in the US to meet with top officials from the US Defense and State Departments.

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7. PRC Human Rights

Izvestia ("VATICAN ACCUSES CHINESE AUTHORITIES OF PERSECUTION OF CATHOLICS," Moscow, 8, 02/01/00) reported that the Fides news agency said that tens of Catholic priests were recently persecuted by PRC authorities. The report said that the PRC police have detained six priests in the last three years who have all "disappeared without a trace." The PRC authorities have forbade local Catholics to consider the Pope their spiritual leader.

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8. RF-Japanese Relations

Dipkouryer [Diplomatic Courier - a new monthly supplement of the Nezavisimaia Gazeta published since January 2000] carried a commentary by Dmitry Kosyrev ("TOKYO IS THE DESTINATION," Moscow, 2, 02/03/00) which said that RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's forthcoming visit to Japan will not bring new revelations to their relationship. Kosyrev said "no sensations" should be expected because the RF's relations with Japan "have finally fell out of the list of political bestsellers. That's an achievement.... Establishment of normal businesslike relations with Japan is the major area where the Russian President not just retained, but also increased Mikhail Gorbachev's heritage. [While] relations with India and China under Yeltsin were being shaped with many adventures ... with Japan everything went one way--up and up again.... Yet, that was more due to Ryutaro Hashimoto's efforts, rather than Yeltsin's." Kosyrev also said that the "mutual understanding of Moscow with Tokyo is better than with any other European or American capital. Japan has become our first and closest partner in 'the West', having outstripped even France and Germany. A no-return point is behind and the territorial problem does not block the whole set of relations anymore. [However,] in Hokkaido they say in low-voice that Tokyo officials have sold the Kurils to Russians in exchange for geopolitical benefits." Kosyrev concluded that RF-Japan relations have become more sure and predictable and in 20-40 years, it will be possible to say that the trend has prevailed.

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9. Japanese Radiation Victims

Izvestia ("TOKYO COUNTS RADIATION VICTIMS," Moscow, 4, 02/02/00) reported that the most recent official data showed that 439 persons, not 90, were affected by radiation during the September 1999 incident at a nuclear power station in Tokaimura. Only three of those were seriously affected. The report said that the radiation affected station employees and people from a neighboring village. Experts said there is no longer any hazard.

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10. RF Armaments Expenditure

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (Sergey Sokut and Igor Korotchenko, "INCOMES OF DEFENSE INDUSTRY WILL GROW IN 2000," Moscow, 1, 02/04-10/00, #4, P.177) reported that RF government approved the state defense budget for the year 2000 on January 27. Compared to the 1999 defense budget, expenditure on defense research and development, arms purchase and repair and equipment utilization increased 1.5 times, with the first two items accounting for 80 percent of the funds allocated. Acting RF President Vladimir Putin commented that the increase is not connected with operations in Chechnya, but is "the first step to solve the chronic ailment of underfinancing of the army." Putin also believes that the military-industrial complex may become "a locomotive of economic development." Although the RF made a commitment to provide information on its military expenditure to the UN, the volume of the state defense order has been secret since 1999. The latest estimate as of January 14 is 62 billion rubles, which is roughly equal to US$2 billion. Item-by-item estimation of the budget is impossible, but top-ranking RF officials have been talking about the necessity to increase expenditure on the general purpose forces including the Navy, with a special emphasis on smart weapons, communications and intelligence means, while retaining the attention paid to the strategic nuclear forces. Officials also said that the armaments program for the period till 2015 will be adopted this year.

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Timothy L. Savage:
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Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
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Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
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Leanne Paton:
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