NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, april 20, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. Korean War Massacre

The Associated Press (Sang-hun Choe, "DOCUMENTS: S. KOREANS SHOT 2,000," Dokchon, 04/20/00) reported that, according to declassified US military documents and witnesses, ROK soldiers and police executed more than 2,000 political prisoners without trial in the early weeks of the Korean War. A retired ROK admiral said that 200 people were taken offshore to be shot and dumped into the sea. Villagers in the Dokchon area recalled that truckloads of civilians, tied together, were brought to the hills and executed by ROK military police. A US Army account of those killings reached US General Douglas MacArthur, who referred the report to US diplomats "for consideration" and "such action as you deem appropriate." US ambassador John Muccio later wrote that he urged ROK President Syngman Rhee and Defense Minister Shin Sung-mo "to see that the Korean Army, Police and Youth Groups carry out executions of captured members of the enemy forces, including guerrillas, only after due process of law has been observed and that when carried out they should be in a humane manner." Retired ROK Rear Admiral Nam Sang-hui stated, "There was no time for trials for them. Communists were streaming down. It (summary execution) was a common practice at that time." Nam said that in July 1950 he authorized three ships to carry 200 people out to sea off Pohang, where they were shot by police and their bodies were thrown into the sea, weighted with stones. He added, "It happened during a critical situation for South Korea. We should not judge these incidents through the standards of peacetime." Lee Do-young, and ROK researcher who found the documents detailing the killings, stated, "The Americans cannot escape the charge that they condoned, if not supported, the massacres. After all, those soldiers killed these people with rifles and bullets the Americans gave them, while American officers stood behind their backs taking pictures."

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2. PRC View of US-Taiwan Relations

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "CHINESE OFFICIAL WARNS CLOSER U.S.-TAIWAN MILITARY TIES WILL ANGER BEIJING," Beijing 4/19/00) reported that Xu Shiquan, president of the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the leading government-run PRC research group on Taiwan affairs, warned Thursday that the US adoption of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act would have a "disastrous" effect on Sino-US relations. Xu said, "this would be an openly hostile act by the United States toward China. Sino-American relations would plunge again to the bottom and American interests would be seriously damaged." Also during the interview, Xu described the PRC's response to last month's presidential elections in Taiwan as "cool and restrained," but held out little hope of an easing of tensions unless Taiwan's president-elect, Chen Shui-bian, made a basic change in policy and embraced the principle of "One China." Xu dismissed Chen's offers of dialogue and expressed pessimism about the chances of negotiations between the PRC and Taiwan in the next year or two. Xu said of Chen, "I don't think he is any closer to the one-China principle. He still insists that Taiwan is an independent and sovereign state and that one China is not a principle, but an issue to talk about." He continued, "if it's a question of opening internal links within one country, then we welcome it. If it's 'state-to-state' links, then that's a provocation and we cannot accept it." Xu also said that the PRC's attacks on Chen's vice president, Annette Lu, were intended as a "warning to the extremist elements. The aim is to deter the extremists from doing reckless things. By criticizing Annette Lu, the mainland is actually helping Chen Shui-bian" by discouraging words or deeds that could cause a crisis in relations. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 20, 2000.]

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3. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Christian Science Monitor (Justin Brown, "PENTAGON'S COMPROMISE KEEPS THE PEACE IN TAIWAN STRAIT," Washington, 4/20/00) reported that the compromise decision to sell long-range radar enhancements to Taiwan but not the US-made Aegis destroyers helped the US Clinton administration to stay on course to establish normal trade relations with the PRC while increasing security across the Taiwan Strait. Luke Warren, an arms-control expert at the Council for a Livable World Education Fund in Washington said, "the administration took a good, middle- of-the-road line on this." Analysts said that by doling out the weaponry in moderation, the US will not anger the PRC. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 20, 2000.]

The New York Times published an opinion article by Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution ("TAIWAN'S REAL BIND," 4/20/00) which said that US Congressional Republicans are correct in saying that the US Clinton administration's new arms-sales package for Taiwan denies the island weapons it needs. However, O'Hanlon said, "what Congress proposes would go too far in the other direction without addressing Taiwan's real military shortcomings." O'Hanlon said that the plan to sell Aegis cruisers to Taiwan is problematic because the Aegis technology is unproven and even if Taiwan had the ships and the antimissile systems worked perfectly, the PRC has so many missiles it could always overwhelm them with a large attack. He also wrote, "China isn't really capable of invading Taiwan. In the event of hostilities, Taiwan's real worry should be a 'leaky blockade' by China. Beijing could send out its attack submarines, many of which are reasonably modern, and declare a quarantine around the island, threatening to sink any ships within a couple of hundred miles of its shores." Therefore, O'Hanlon continues, Aegis destroyers, designed for air defense, would be no antidote to a blockade. He noted that what Taiwan really needed were the tools of antisubmarine warfare that the administration has "pointedly left off " its sales list. So, O'Hanlon concluded, the US Congress "has made the Aegis systems, unnecessary as they are, the symbol of solidarity with Taiwan. Why not drop the symbols and push the administration to help Taiwan's defenses against the real threat?" [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 20, 2000.]

The Asian Wall Street Journal published an editorial ("MIXED MESSAGES ON TAIWAN," 4/20/00) which said that the US decision not to sell Taiwan several Aegis destroyers could turn out to be a bad strategic decision. The reason is that "it raises doubts about American willingness to take even mild risks to defend a young democracy. This will hurt morale in Taipei and increase the chances of miscalculation in Beijing." The report said that experts agree that Taiwan still has a technological edge over the PRC militarily, but within ten years that edge will be gone unless US policy changes now. In order for the US to prevent the risk of war from rising, the article said, it needs to address the dangers of a missile attack or a naval blockade. That means "committing to sell the latest Patriot missile, the PAC-3, when it is introduced. It also means providing the tools of antisubmarine warfare like the P-3 Orion plane and persuading other countries to sell diesel submarines to Taiwan. The most important material and psychological measure, however, will be ending the isolation of the Taiwanese military." The biggest problem, the article argued, is the lack of a political will to help Taiwan. The article stated, "Chinese threats and missile deployments are provocative, [so] countering them with defensive weaponry is the only response that Beijing will respect. To act otherwise is to allow the risk of war to gradually increase." [Ed. note: This editorial was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 20, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-Japan

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "KOREA, JAPAN REAFFIRM CLOSE COOPERATION IN NORTH KOREA TALKS," Seoul, 04/20/00) reported that the ROK and Japan reaffirmed on Wednesday that they would maintain close cooperation in preparing for rapprochement talks between Japan and the DPRK in late May and the inter-Korean summit scheduled for June. Kojiro Takano, Japan's chief delegate to the normalization talks with the DPRK, arrived in Seoul on April 18 for a two-day visit. He met ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn and ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu consecutively to confirm the two nations' bilateral cooperation.

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2. DPRK-ROK Summit

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "NORTH KOREA ACCEPTS PROPOSAL FOR APRIL 22 PRELIMINARY MEETING," Seoul, 04/19/00) and Chosun Ilbo ("NK ACCEPTS PRELIMINARY MEETING AT PANMUNJOM," Seoul, 04/19/00) reported that the DPRK on Wednesday accepted a preliminary meeting with ROK officials at Panmunjom on Saturday morning as proposed by the ROK government. Chang Jae-on, head of the DPRK Red Cross, sent a telephone message to his ROK counterpart, Chung Won-shik, confirming that vice ministerial level officers of both sides should head the delegations. Chang also said that the delegations should be made up of a total of three representatives accompanied by three secretaries, instead of the five representatives proposed by the ROK.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. ROK-DPRK Summit

China Daily ("PYONGYANG AGREES TO TALKS ON INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT," Seoul, 4/20/00, P11) reported that the DPRK on April 19 agreed to a request from the ROK for a border meeting this weekend to discuss preparations for a June summit. The DPRK's Red Cross head, Jang Jae-un, said in a message telephoned to the ROK, "we agree to have the preparatory contact on Saturday at Panmunjom to discuss details for the historic summit in Pyongyang." The message was released to the press by the ROK Unification Ministry in Seoul.

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2. PRC-DPRK Relations

People's Daily ("CHINA PRESENTS METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATION EQUIPMENT TO DPRK," 4/20/00, P6) reported that to help the DPRK develop its meteorological and hydrological studies, the PRC presented the DPRK with a batch of equipment for meteorological observation on April 19. A DPRK official in charge of meteorological and hydrological studies expressed thanks to the PRC and believed that the two countries will continue to expand exchange and cooperation on meteorological work.

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3. PRC-US Relations

Wen Hui Daily (Song Zheng, "WANG DAOHAN MEETS WITH US AMBASSADOR TO CHINA," 4/20/00, P1) reported that Wang Daohan, President of the Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, met with US Ambassador to the PRC Joseph Prueher in Shanghai on April 18. They exchanged their views on the PRC's access to the World Trade Organization, relations across the Taiwan Straits, and other issues of common interest. Regarding the Taiwan issue, Wang emphasized that "our policy is to listen to what the new leader in Taiwan says and watch what he does." Wang also said that under the prerequisite of the "one China" principle, the PRC is prepared to talk with Taiwan on any topic.

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, "NATION URGES HALT TO WEAPONS SALES," 4/19/00, P1) reported that the PRC on April 18 again urged the US to honor previous, signed commitments and phase out weapons sales to Taiwan. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said, "the Chinese Government demands that the US Government strictly observe principles of the three Sino-US joint communiques and stop all sales of advanced weapons, including the long- range radar and Aegis naval destroyers, to Taiwan." He also said that only when the US observes its arms-sales commitments can Sino-US relations develop smoothly and tensions ease across the Taiwan Straits. According to Xinhua News Agency, US President Bill Clinton decided on April 17 against the sale of four Aegis destroyers to Taiwan but approved the sale of long-range radar designed to detect missile launches.

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4. PRC's Access to WTO

China Daily (Zhang Yan, "CHINA, EU TO RESUME WTO TALKS VERY SOON," 4/19/00, P1) reported that Endymion Wilkinson, head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to the PRC, said on April 18 that the PRC and the EU will "very shortly" resume their talks on the PRC's accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). Wilkinson said, "we are winding down to what we think will be the final session." He also said he was confident that a deal will be reached with some flexibility on both sides.

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5. PRC View on Arms Control

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, "US NUKE ACTION CONCERNS CHINA," 4/14/00, P1) reported that a senior PRC disarmament official said that the PRC will not sit back and watch its legitimate security interests undermined without taking countermeasures. Ambassador Sha Zukang, director-general of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament at the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the US development of the National Missile Defense system and its proliferation of an advanced theater missile defense system in Northeast Asia and Taiwan "may force China to review its policies on a wide range of arms control and nonproliferation issues." Sha said that the PRC's participation in arms control negotiations, particularly regarding nuclear weapons, was based on two conditions. One, he said, "these negotiations and the treaties or agreements resulted from these negotiations must not undermine the global strategic balance and stability." And, two, "China's important strategic security interests" must also be protected. Sha criticized "a certain superpower" for advancing its overwhelming first-strike capability while quickly developing a National Missile Defense system capable of neutralizing any possible counter-strike from a smaller nuclear-capable state. Sha urged nuclear-capable nations to explicitly renounce nuclear deterrent policies that would allow them to make the first strike.

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6. Russian Ratification of START II

People's Daily ("RUSSIAN HOUSE APPROVES TREATY," Moscow, 4/20/00, P6) reported that Russia's upper house of parliament on April 19 ratified the START II nuclear arms reduction treaty. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US that he would abandon START II and all nuclear arms control treaties if the US breaks the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile treaty.

China Daily ("DUMA VOTE RE-LAUNCHES ARMS CONTROL," London, 4/17/00, P4) reported that the Russian parliament's ratification of the START II nuclear arms reduction treaty will re-launch stalled big power disarmament negotiations and put the onus on the US to offer concessions. The article said that the sweeping vote gives Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin a political advantage over US President Bill Clinton in the run-up to a key UN review conference this month on halting the spread of nuclear weapons. The Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament also gave Putin leverage in the fight to prevent the US from deploying a defensive anti-missile shield by saying that the strategic arms reduction pact should be torn up if the US violates the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The National Missile Defense (NMD) issue is likely to play a major role in Putin's visit to Britain on April 16 and 17. Despite Moscow's fierce public opposition to any ABM changes, there are some signs it may be preparing to compromise. A British source said that Putin would try to enlist British Prime Minister Tony Blair to help get favorable terms from Clinton, particularly on technology sharing, in return for agreeing to modify the ABM Treaty. Jonathan Eyal, director of studies at London's Royal United Services Institute defense think-tank, said, "it's clear Putin is going to use this visit to send a message to the Americans on NMD. Britain is happy to be the messenger but we will not take the same position as Russia despite our own misgivings about NMD."

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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
Monash Asia 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

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

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