NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, february 16, 2000

I. United States

II. Russian Federation

Week in Review

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

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I. United States

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1. US-DPRK Relations

Agence France-Presse ("INTERNAL STRUGGLE UNDERWAY IN NORTH KOREA: US OFFICIAL," Washington, 02/09/00) reported that former US defense secretary William Perry said on February 8 that he believes that DPRK leaders are having an internal disagreement about what approach they should adopt toward the US. Perry stated, "There is a struggle going on within the North Korea government between those who see the benefit of normalizing diplomatic and economic relations with the US ... and those who see the hazard of doing that." Perry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the DPRK is "totally isolated and its people is [sic] separated from the rest of the world." He added, "I believe many people ... fear this opening would undermine the regime."

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2. DPRK Foreign Minister's Russian Visit

Agence France-Presse (N.KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT RUSSIA," Seoul, 02/14/00) reported that an anonymous ROK official said Monday that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun has accepted an invitation to visit Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov "invited Paek to visit Russia, and Paek agreed to the offer" during Ivanov's visit to Pyongyang last week. The ROK's Yonhap News Agency said that the visit will likely take place in the latter half of this year, and would mark the first by a DPRK foreign minister to Russia in 13 years

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3. Japan-DPRK Talks

Agence France Presse ("US, JAPAN DISCUSS EFFORTS TO ENGAGE NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 2/15/00) reported that a Japanese foreign ministry official said that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott was briefed on the Japan-DPRK dialogue in a one-hour meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono. The ministry official said that Kono told Talbott that Japan cannot ignore its suspicions that DPRK agents kidnapped about 10 Japanese citizens in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. Kono said, "speaking of North Korea-Japan relations we have the so-called kidnap issue which is extraordinary. When we discuss Japan-North Korea relations we cannot avoid this issue." Regarding Japan-DPRK relations, Kono said, "given that it has been more than 50 years since the end of World War II, I am extremely aware of the importance of normalizing relations. From this viewpoint, Japan hopes to continue talks for possible normalization of ties with North Korea." Kono also said that he hoped US-DPRK negotiations would lead the DPRK to set up diplomatic relations with more countries.

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4. US-Japan Military Exercises

Associated Press ("US AND TOKYO HOLD VIRTUAL MILITARY EXERCISES," Tokyo, 2/16/00) reported that US and Japanese forces on Wednesday began a week of computer-simulated military exercises, dubbed "Keen Edge 00," as part of an annual series that alternates with field training exercises. The exercises will involve 5,000 Japanese military personnel and 1,350 US troops. The exercises will last until February 24. Tatsuhiko Fukui, a spokesman for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, said the exercises will include training on Japanese logistical support and backup of US forces for the first time because of the new guidelines passed last year. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 16, 2000.]

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5. US-Japan Consultations

Agence France Presse ("US VOWS CLOSE LINKS WITH JAPAN IN ASIA POLICY," Tokyo, 2/16/00) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott met with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss Asia-Pacific policies ranging from engagement with the PRC to nuclear proliferation in South Asia. A Japanese foreign ministry official said that James Steinberg, deputy national security advisor to US President Bill Clinton, told Obuchi that the US would consult Japan after an upcoming trip of US officials to the PRC "from the standpoint of policy coordination." The official said the US would also maintain close contact on key issues such as nuclear proliferation in Southwest Asia and political uncertainty in Russia. Both sides agreed that the US-Japan defense alliance is critical to security in Asia. Talbott told Obuchi, "we want to have a frank exchange of views with China over various problems concerning China." PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on February 15 that it would discuss with the US, "the global and regional security situation, ballistic missile defense and the sales of weapons by the US to Taiwan."

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6. US-PRC Talks

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin ("U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING," 2/15/00) said that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott is leading a delegation to the PRC and Japan on February 14-18 that includes Under Secretary of Defense Walt Slocombe, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Ralston, and Deputy National Security Advisor Jim Steinberg. Rubin stated, "Obviously, with respect to China, they will be discussing a number of issues that we hope to improve our dialogue with China on, including military-to-military ties, including nonproliferation. I think there will be a special emphasis on the National Missile Defense program that we have developed and they will be pursuing information about the threat that has emerged from countries around the world and the nature of our program to combat that threat and the reasons why we think it can be pursued while maintaining the fundamental principles of the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] Treaty." He added, "The trip will also include an elaboration and a continuation of our strategic dialogue with China that the Secretary [of State Madeleine Albright] has been holding with both Foreign Minister Tang [Jiaxuan] and ... Vice Premiere Qian Qichen ... for some time about a wide range of interests that we both have in subjects like North Korea, the India-Pakistan question, proliferation on the subcontinent, a wide range of strategic issues that we have engaged in."

Agence France Presse ("CHINA, US TO DISCUSS MISSILE DEFENSE, TAIWAN," Beijing, 02/15/00) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said Tuesday that the PRC and the US will hold two days of vice ministerial talks in Beijing beginning February 17. Zhu said that US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott "will lead the delegation and during consultations the two sides will exchange views on the global and regional security situation, ballistic missile defense and the sales of weapons by the US to Taiwan." Zhu did not say who will participate from the PRC side, but western diplomats in Beijing said that Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was expected to head the PRC delegation, which would include deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army Xiong Guangkai.

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7. PRC-Russian Military Cooperation

Agence France Presse ("CHINA DEFENDS SINO-RUSSIAN MILITARY COOPERATION," Beijing, 2/15/00) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on February 15 that the PRC has the right to enhance its defenses through strengthened military cooperation with Russia. Zhu said, "China and Russia indeed have some cooperation in the military field with the purpose of increasing one's own national defense and to safeguard one's own territorial integrity. As the two largest neighbors in the world, to develop friendly relations in all fields, including the military field, not only serves the interest of the two countries but is also conducive to stability, peace and development in the region." Zhu also defended the PRC and Russia's joint stance against the development of outer space weapons and warned that the development of space-based weapons would lead to a new arms race. Zhu said, "it is noteworthy that some individual countries ... in pursuit of military advantages and strategic advantages have all along been planning and attempting actions to control outer space. If we don't stop them from doing so in the near future it is possible that outer space will be weaponized and even lead to an arms race in outer space."

II. Russian Federation

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1. RF Foreign Minister's DPRK Visit

Nezavisimaia Gazeta's Dmitry Skosyrev ("MOSCOW HAS RENOVATED ITS TREATY WITH PYONGYANG," Moscow, Tokyo 1, 02/10/00) reported that RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's official visit to the DPRK in Pyongyang started with "down-loading of 10 tons of food aid and was crowned with the signing of the RF-DPRK Treaty on friendship, good-neighborhood and cooperation. Unlike the previous Treaty that expired in 1995, there is no article about military assistance to the DPRK. It is noteworthy that no RF foreign ministers had visited the DPRK previously. Eduard Shevardnadze, USSR Foreign Minister, was there in 1990 and the atmosphere of his visit "was not very friendly." Unfortunately, Dmitry Skosyrev himself, Nezavisimaia Gazeta's international department chief, who accompanied Igor Ivanov on the trip to the DPRK, Japan and Vietnam, was banned by DPRK authorities "to step upon the North Korean soil ... with no reasons explained." Therefore the coverage had to be made from Tokyo.

Segodnya's Aleksandr Chudodeyev ("RUSSIA DOES NOT HAVE TO FIGHT FOR THE D.P.R.K.," Moscow, 3, 02/10/00) reported that RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov came on an official visit to the DPRK in order "to somewhat reanimate" the bilateral relations in view of the fact that the US has managed to build bridges to the "North Korean fortress of socialism." Immediately upon his arrival, Igor Ivanov visited "the ceremony sacred to every DPRK citizen"; that is, laying wreaths to the 30-meter high statue of Kim Il-sung. He also brought acting RF President Vladimir Putin's personal message to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, but it was conveyed through DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. Instead of "the scandalously known old treaty" that "theoretically could involve Moscow in a military adventure," the new RF-DPRK Treaty was signed in Pyongyang after 5 years of drafting.

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2. RF Foreign Minister's Japan Visit

Segodnya's Aleksandr Chudodeyev ("IVANOV CORRECTED THE EX- PRESIDENT," Moscow, 4, 02/11/00) reported that RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov came to Japan on February 10 on an official visit and had a meeting with Japanese Premier Keizo Obuchi. The visit is to pave the way for RF-Japanese summit to be held "as soon as possible," yet "not earlier than the RF presidential elections this March," although before the G8 Summit in Okinawa to open on July 21. On the eve of his visit, Igor Ivanov "literally shocked" Japanese politicians and diplomats by his interview to Japanese mass media, in which he spoke against defining a "specific time" for the signing of an RF-Japanese peace treaty. According to Japanese mentality, a retreat from former RF President Boris Yeltsin's promises might throw bilateral relations back to the days of mistrust. Besides, among Obuchi's associates there are some who advocate building those relations anew without taking into account Yeltsin-Hashimoto agreements. Obviously, the era of "tieless meetings" is coming to an end, Segodnya's author concluded.

Nezavisimaia Gazeta's Andrey Ilyashenko and Dmitry Kosyrev ("TOKYO WILL ALLOCATE 140 MILLION DOLLARS TO US," Tokyo, 6, 02/12/00) reported that during RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's official visit to Japan and his meetings with Japanese Premier Keizo Obuchi and Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, the RF party said that Vladimir Putin, acting RF President, accepted the invitation to visit Japan, but the time would be decided after the RF presidential elections on March 26. The agenda depends on that. If the two counties' leaders meet at the Group of 8 (G8) Summit in Okinawa, they might be too busy discussing general global problems, with no time left for bilateral issues, whereas "a separate visit to Tokyo unequivocally would mean talks on bilateral relations including peace treaty and territorial issue." While in Tokyo, Igor Ivanov noted "a growing similarity" of the two countries' positions on international issues, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Also, it was announced that the RF Defense Minister would visit Japan. Japan meets with understanding the anti-terrorist operation of the RF in Chechnya, and "Japanese public opinion ... draws parallels between Chechens and Aum Sinrikyo poisoners." Igor Ivanov mentioned "illusions" harbored by the Japanese about the prospects for signing a bilateral peace treaty in 2000, but "an informed Japanese political scientist said there are no illusions here, all Japanese have long since understood that nothing will be done within 2000 and possibly will not be done further." Any "rough moves" might eliminate that which has already been achieved. Actually four bilateral summits are possible this year: the RF President's visit itself, another one at the G8 Summit, then at the APEC Summit in Brunei, and then the Japanese Premier's reciprocal visit to Moscow this fall.

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3. RF Foreign Policy toward Asia

Nezavisimaia Gazeta's Dmitry Skosyrev ('TERRITORIAL ISSUE POSTPONED," Tokyo, 6, 02/11/00) commented on RF diplomatic relations in the context of RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's visit to East Asia. In his opinion, "the last 100 percent Communist regime" became "a neuralgic knot," which has become especially noticeable since the DPRK rocket flew over Japan in 1998. The DPRK has become "an unpredictable country reaching the threshold of possessing nuclear weapons and its delivery means maybe able to reach the US coasts." "A 'dangerous' North Korea to some extent is a needed fact to those in Japan who'd like to find a good-looking pretext to consolidate the military might of Japan facing China as its main regional rival. The same pretext serves as a basis for the foreign and partially internal policies of Seoul. But if the threat become more serious and real, the role of the US in Asia would become disproportionate, and neither Tokyo, nor Beijing need that.... China is the only country that still has a mutual military aid treaty with Pyongyang in case the DPRK is attacked. That fact alone made China an important actor in the game. Russia, having lost ties with Pyongyang, was totally out of the game. That is why both Japanese and South Koreans hoped for a normalization of relations between the two former allies, because such situation provides them with flexibility in Korean Peninsula talks and decreases their dependence on the US." As concerns RF-Japanese relations in the context of Igor Ivanov's visit to Japan, Nezavisimaya Gazeta's author thinks that the RF position in a nutshell is that first "Moscow would like to sign not just a peace treaty, but a peace, good-neighborhood and cooperation treaty which would not imply the final resolution of 'the territorial issue', and then to sign a separate treaty on border delimitation."

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4. PRC-South African Relations

Izvestia ("P.R.C. CHAIRMAN GETS READY TO VISIT R.A.S.," Moscow, 6, 02/9/00) reported that PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin planned to pay an official visit to the Republic of South Africa. That would be the first ever PRC-RAS summit. Nkosazana Zuma, RAS Foreign Minister, said creation of "a unified front of developing countries" would be a purpose of the visit. PRC-RAS diplomatic relations were established only in 1998, after the RAS severed its relations with PRC's "rebellious province" of Taiwan.

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5. RF-US Nuclear Cooperation

Segodnya ("RUSSIAN NUCLEAR POWERPLANT FUEL NOT TO BE USED FOR PLUTONIUM PRODUCTION," Moscow, 4, 02/09/00) reported that the US reached an agreement with the RF to the effect that the fuel of the RF nuclear power plants would not be used to produce weapon- grade plutonium, according to US Energy Minister Bill Richardson. The agreement might influence other nuclear powers such as Japan, Great Britain and France to follow suit. In Richardson's words, his Ministry's budget for 2001 allocates US$100 million to fund the joint US-RF initiative providing for the RF to stop reprocessing the fuel of its 29 nuclear reactors to get plutonium that can be used to make nuclear weapons.

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6. RF Military Doctrine on Nuclear Weapon Use

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye's A.Sh. ("MILITARY DOCTRINE ADOPTED," Moscow, 1, 02/11-17/00, #5(178)) reported that an enlarged session of the RF Security Council on February 4 adopted a draft military doctrine for the RF. It is to come into force in March after it has been amended and approved by an RF Presidential decree. Some paragraphs of the document provide for the possibility of the RF using its nuclear weapons not only in response to a hostile nuclear attack, but also "in response to a large-scale aggression with conventional weapons used in a situation critical to national security of the Russian Federation and its allies."

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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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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