NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, april 27, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. ROK-DPRK Summit

Agence France Presse ("TWO KOREAS CLOSE TO AGREEING ON AGENDA FOR SUMMIT," Panmunjom, 4/27/00) and the Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, "S. KOREA CITES SUMMIT PROGRESS," Panmunjom, 4/27/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK, during a second round of preparatory talks at Panmunjom on Thursday, made rapid progress towards agreeing on an agenda and procedure for the inter-Korean summit in June. The DPRK's chief delegate, Kim Ryung-sung, said in a statement, "the meeting went well, with progress made on a slew of issues. Both sides agreed to complete a discussion on procedural issues next time." Kim added that they would meet again on May 3 in Panmunjom. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu was also confident of success, saying that the border meeting was "successful, making 80 miles of the 100 mile distance. Both sides had a full discussion on all issues, including the agenda. We will try to announce an agreement at the next meeting." The DPRK presented its agenda at Thursday's meeting, but both sides declined to give details.

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2. DPRK Energy Supplies

Kyodo News ("U.S. TO ASK CHINA TO SUPPLY N. KOREA WITH FUEL OIL," New York, 4/27/00) reported that US special envoy for peace on the Korean Peninsula, Charles Kartman, said on April 26 that he will visit the PRC shortly to ask the PRC government to supply fuel oil to the DPRK through the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). Kartman spoke at a meeting in New York of the four-member executive board of KEDO. Sources at KEDO said that Kartman's move is aimed at easing the burden on the DPRK in the face of the rising prices of crude oil. The meeting was the first to be attended by Kojiro Takano, Japan's newly appointed ambassador to KEDO and commissioner general for negotiations on normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the DPRK. Others present were the respective representatives from the ROK and the European Union, and KEDO Executive Director Desaix Anderson.

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3. US-DPRK Relations

The Los Angeles Times published an opinion article by former US secretary of defense William Perry, ("THE DANGER IN ASIA: AN ARMS RACE," 4/27/00), which said that the most dangerous case of proliferation in Asia was the DPRK. Perry stated, "the policy review committee on North Korea that I head for President Clinton has recommended that America's allies in the region adopt two alternative strategies. If North Korea is willing to forgo its long-range missile program as well as its nuclear weapons program, we should be willing to move in a step-by-step path to a comprehensive normalization of relations. Alternatively, if North Korea does not demonstrate by its actions that it is willing to remove the threat, we must take actions to contain the threat. Threat containment is expensive and dangerous, so obviously I prefer the first strategy. But the United States cannot unilaterally enforce the first strategy since its viability depends on cooperation from North Korea." Perry continued that in light of the recent DPRK decision to hold an inter-Korean summit and its agreement to restart missile discussions, he has told Clinton to pursue talks with the DPRK seriously and creatively, but to make no reductions in military deployments or readiness during the talks. [Ed. note: This opinion article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 27, 2000.]

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4. Taiwan Security Enhancement Act

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson and Helen Dewar, "TAIWAN BILL TABLED AS ISLAND'S LEADERS URGE DELAY," 4/27/00) reported that US Senate Republican leaders decided to put off consideration of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act (TSEA). US Senator Frank H. Murkowski (R-Alaska), who visited Taiwan last week, said that President-elect Chen Shui-bian and several other leading Taiwanese politicians urged the US Senate to wait until after Chen is inaugurated on May 20 and has set up his administration before voting on the TSEA. Murkowski said, "there was a general feeling that ... it would be more helpful if consideration came at a later date. There was a realization that the timing of this, while they're establishing a new cabinet, may not be the best time for an event that would get the PRC to react." Murkowski said that appeals for a delay were made in private meetings not only by Chen, but also by rival presidential candidate James Soong, outgoing President Lee Teng-hui, the incoming Taiwanese foreign minister, and Chen's party chairman. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 27, 2000.]

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5. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse ("TOP CHINA OFFICIAL THREATENS TAIWAN WITH WAR," Beijing, 4/27/00) reported that the PRC's vice-chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, Tang Shubei, threatened Taiwan with war Thursday if it did not agree to the PRC's "one China principle." Tang said, "there are people in Taiwan who have said mitigating words such as peace, good will and harmony. But if they don't accept the one China principle and that Taiwan is a part of China, then the result will not be peace, but war; not harmony but confrontation; not harmony but enmity." His comments mark the first mention of "war" by a high PRC official since the election in Taiwan of Chen Shui-bian.

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6. Asian Arms Race

The Los Angeles Times published an opinion article by former US secretary of defense William Perry, ("THE DANGER IN ASIA: AN ARMS RACE," 4/27/00) which credited US security strategy with maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific region for the past two decades. However, Perry wrote, "profound events - many of which are not under the control of the United States - are undermining that strategy today." Perry noted that the unforeseeable actions of the PRC against the Taiwanese government could undermine the strategic stability of the region. He stated, "I share the Chinese concern over the deleterious effect of an arms race in the region, but I believe that if an arms race does get underway it will have been stimulated by the extensive deployment of missiles, not the deployment of missile defenses. I have suggested to the Chinese that the best way to avoid such an arms race is for them to declare a moratorium on the further deployments of missiles that target Taiwan. However, it is clear that they are not taking this advice and are accelerating deployment, which in turn adds to the pressure in the U.S. to supply missile defenses to Taiwan." Perry also wrote that another major concern is that the nuclear calculus has undergone a change and the acquisition of nuclear capabilities by India and Pakistan greatly increased the danger that they will be used.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-ROK Summit

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "PYONGYANG LIKELY TO DELIVER ITS PLANS FOR SUMMIT AT PANMUNJOM TODAY," Seoul, 04/27/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "SOUTH AND NORTH KOREAN DELEGATIONS TO MEET AS SCHEDULED," Seoul, 04/26/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK were to resume their preparatory talks Thursday for the inter-Korean summit in June. The DPRK was expected to reveal its positions on the ROK's proposals in such areas as agenda, protocols, security and communications for the summit. The ROK proposed making talks on inter-Korean economic cooperation and the reunion of separated families the summit's top priority. It also proposed separate, working-level dialogue channels for discussing economic cooperation and procedural issues such as protocol and security during ROK President Kim Dae-jung's stay in Pyongyang. Officials and analysts, however, did not rule out the possibility that the DPRK would stop short of putting forth its own set of agenda and calling for discussing issues concerning the principle of unification, given the opening remarks by DPRK's chief delegate, Kim Ryong-sung, at last week's talks. In his keynote speech, Kim said, "the North and South should first resolve 'basic issues' to smoothly settle many other pending issues." The officers were referring to the DPRK's calls for the abolition of the National Security Law, withdrawal of US forces from the ROK, and permission for ROK citizens to conduct pro-DPRK activities. The ROK delegation, led by Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-shik, is expected to reiterate its call for discussing the four main points of the inter-Korean relationship.

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2. DPRK Economic Development

Joongnang Ilbo (Jung Chang-hyun, "AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION IN NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 04/26/00) reported that in the past few years the DPRK has exhibited a more flexible agricultural policy. Farmers now have the right to choose which crops to plant while respecting the slogan of "a right place and a right time to plant." The DPRK's emphasis on corn farming, which accounted for a third of the nation's crops, has weakened. The importance of potato farming has recently been emphasized. Kim Hak-chul, the DPRK consul at Sunyang, PRC, confirmed in an interview with a newspaper in Jilin, China, on April 21 that "the government revised the system to distribute the surplus agricultural products voluntarily within the work squad." The main agricultural focus in the DPRK is now potato farming and double-cropping. The DPRK government is trying to develop fertilizers that use microorganisms in order to resolve the shortage of chemical fertilizers. In addition, 324 fish farms were constructed to provide a sufficient amount of protein to DPRK residents. The large-scale re-arrangement of farmland is one of the most important aspects of the ongoing agricultural reformation.

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3. DPRK-ROK Religious Exchange

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Kyung-chul, "NORTH KOREAN PROTESTANTS TO VISIT SEOUL," Seoul, 04/26/00) reported that representatives of DPRK Protestants will visit Seoul for the first time since the Korean War. Shin Hyun-kyoon, the ROK leader of the Great Jubilee's Unification Movement, recently attended Easter service in the DPRK and met with leaders of the Protestant Church in the DPRK. Shin's visit has been tentatively scheduled for June, following the inter-Korean summit.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese-DPRK Relations

The Daily Yomiuri ("TRANSPORT MINISTRY OK'S N. KOREAN CHARTER FLIGHTS," 04/27/2000) reported that the Japan Transport Ministry on April 26 authorized charter flights between Nagoya and Pyongyang from April 29, responding to an application from a DPRK airline. The report said that according to Transport Ministry officials, three round-trip flights between the cities are scheduled from April 29 to May 7. The report also said that the flights would mostly carry tourists, but that cargo flights carrying foods from the DPRK such as matsutake and shiitake mushrooms also would be authorized following a request by the airline. The report added that the Japanese government suspended charter flights between Japan and the DPRK due to the DPRK's alleged launch of a Taepodong missile in September 1998, which jeopardized the safety of flights operated by private Japanese airlines.

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2. Japanese Security Policy

The Sankei Shimbun ("MORI IS FORWARD-LOOKING ABOUT CONTINGENCY LEGISLATION," 04/26/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori emphasized his forward-looking stance on contingency legislation for the Japanese armed forces at the Upper House Budget Committee on April 25. Mori said, "(Contingency legislation) is necessary for the Self-Defense Forces to secure the security of the Japanese state and people under civilian control. I will consider how to deal with the legislation by referring to the requests from the ruling parties."

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3. Russian Security Policy

The Sankei Shimbun (Keiichi Takagi, "RUSSIAN LOWER HOUSE AIMS TO PROPOSE SECURITY MEETING AMONG JAPAN, US, PRC, AND RUSSIA," Moscow, 04/25/2000) reported that the head of the Committee on International Affairs of the Russian Duma told the Sankei Shimbun on April 24 that Russia would propose a security meeting among Japan, the US, the PRC, and Russia to discuss security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. Mr. Rogojin, the head of the committee according to the report, stated, "The committee already decided to propose a security meeting among representatives from Japanese, US, PRC and Russian policy-makers to deal with security policy in the Asia-Pacific. As for the venue, I would like to propose some far-eastern Russian cities, but I will also respect what the other three countries would say." The report also said that according to the initial plan for the meeting, the meeting would mainly discuss security issues on the Korean Peninsula, and Japan, the US, the PRC and Russia would issue a joint statement for security cooperation among them. The report added that Russia already conveyed the plan to the US and would invite Japan and the PRC soon.

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4. Japanese Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy

The Asahi Shimbun ("JAPAN PROPOSES THAT NUCLEAR WEAPONS STATES FURTEHR REDUCE THEIR WEAPONS," 04/25/200) reported that Ichita Yamamoto, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister, proposed eight items for nuclear disarmament at the conference on the review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) on April 24. Yamamoto, according to the report, proposed that START 2 be fully implemented and that nuclear disarmament beyond START 3 be negotiated; that the International Atomic Energy Agency's toughened inspections of many countries be accepted; that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty be swiftly ratified while a moratorium is established in the meantime; that negotiations for the Cutoff Treary on nuclear fissile material be concluded by 2005 at the latest; that negotiations for the Central Asian Nuclear Free Zone be swiftly concluded; that all nuclear weapons states strive for unilateral reduction of their nuclear weapons; and that surplus nuclear fissile material produced as the result of nuclear disarmament be treated under the international safeguard system. Yamamoto said to reporters, "the situation surrounding nuclear issues is difficult. Only Japan can bridge nuclear weapons states and the federation of the new agenda, a group calling for the total reduction of nuclear weapons by nuclear weapons states. I want to win a fruitful agreement."

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5. Japanese-US Defense Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (Akinori Uchida, "JAPAN, US AT IMPASSE ON EVACUATION TREATY," Washington, 04/24/2000) reported that negotiations on noncombatants evacuation operations (NEO) based on the New Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation in 1997 deadlocked over Japan's refusal to accede to the US demand that the details of the NEO cooperation treaty be kept secret. NEO, according to the report, are operations in which Japanese and US nationals in third countries are evacuated to safety on Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and US military ships and planes in situations in areas surrounding Japan. However, Japan has to rely mostly on US transport for the evacuation of its citizens because, under the present laws, it is extremely difficult for the SDF to enter areas of conflict, said the report. The report continued that even so, the US benefits greatly from the arrangement because US citizens living on the Korean Peninsula and in other countries near Japan can be temporarily evacuated to Japan. However, the Japanese government reportedly rejected the draft treaty as unworkable on the grounds that keeping the treaty, which requires Diet approval, completely secret was impossible. Since the US has already signed secret NEO treaties with some former Western-bloc nations, the US is insisting on a secret treaty and is showing no signs of willingness to compromise, said the report. The report concluded that because the two governments are so far apart on the matter, there is concern that NEO planning and preparation may run into further delays.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
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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