NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, may 12, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. US-ROK-Japan Policy Coordination

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, US GRAB FOR PEACE IN NORTH KOREA TALKS," Tokyo, 5/12/00) reported that US, ROK, and Japanese officials said on Friday at a meeting in Tokyo to coordinate policy towards the DPRK that the DPRK's decision to open diplomatic channels to the outside world offers the best chance yet for stability in Northeast Asia. The officials welcomed the DPRK's decision to hold separate talks with the US, Japan, and the ROK. A joint statement issued by officials from the three nations said that the DPRK maneuvers "represented an unprecedented opportunity to enhance peace and stability in Northeast Asia. Accordingly, they reiterated their continuing commitment to consult closely and to coordinate their respective policies towards the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)." The statement said that the US and Japanese delegations conveyed "unqualified support" for the summit to their colleagues from the ROK. It added, "the delegations expressed their confidence that the summit will advance inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, peace on the Korean peninsula, and the shared interests of all three countries. Reaffirming their belief that South-North dialogue is central to peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula, the delegations also voiced the hope that this landmark summit will mark the process of regular dialogue" between both sides. The statement said that senior officials hoped that Japan-DPRK relations would improve following talks later this month in Tokyo. They discussed US-DPRK talks to be held in Rome from May 24 on the 1994 Agreed Framework and "reaffirmed their commitment to implementation of the 1994 Agreed Framework, which continues to be essential to the peace and security of the Korean peninsula." Officials said that the one-day meeting was held at the residence of the US ambassador in Tokyo. Japan was represented by Yukio Takeuchi, deputy vice foreign minister for foreign policy. The US side was headed by Wendy Sherman, counselor of the US State Department, and the ROK team by ROK Deputy Foreign and Trade Minister Jang Jai-Ryong.

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2. ROK-DPRK Summit

The Washington Times (James Morrison, "LOWER EXPECTATIONS," 5/12/00) reported that ROK Ambassador to the US Lee Hong-koo cautioned against optimism over June's inter-Korean summit. Speaking at Johns Hopkins University on May 9, Lee said that the DPRK government makes any talks on reunification of the Korean peninsula difficult. He said, "generally, when North Korea makes one step forward, the past record is they take two steps back. We hope that a very positive atmosphere will be created in that meeting, so that in subsequent meetings we can make major progress, but excessive optimism is something we should refrain from." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 12, 2000.]

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3. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, "N. KOREA TO RESUME TALKS ON WAR DEAD," Washington, 5/12/00) reported that a US official said on Friday that the DPRK has agreed to resume talks on excavating an area in the DPRK where US officials believe they could unearth the remains of several hundred US soldiers killed in the Korean War. Robert Jones, head of the US Defense Department in charge of POW and missing-in-action issues, said, "before the end of June we should be back to the table" to negotiate details of the arrangement. Jones said that the DPRK officials want to hold the talks in Thailand and the US Department of Defense is not opposed to that. The area targeted for US recovery operations is near Unsan, a site of major battles between elements of the US Army's 8th Cavalry Regiment and Chinese troops. The US Department of Defense believes more than 500 sets of remains could be recovered in this area. Jones said that he hopes an agreement to conduct a recovery operation in the Unsan area could lead to similar operations later this year in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, where many US Marines were lost in late 1950. Jones said that the US Department of Defense also will seek DPRK agreement to excavate in areas on the DPRK side of the Yalu River where many prisoner-of-war camps were established and hundreds of US soldiers are known to have died.

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4. PRC-Taiwan Balance of Power

The Wall Street Journal (Neil King Jr., "ACTIVISTS USE SATELLITE TO CHALLENGE VIEW THAT CHINA'S AIR FORCE MENACES TAIWAN," Washington, 5/12/00) reported that the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) unveiled sophisticated satellite photos on Friday challenging claims that the PRC enjoys overwhelming air superiority over Taiwan. John Pike, Director of the Space Policy Project at FAS, said that assertions by some in the US Congress and within the intelligence community that the PRC enjoys a 10-to-1 ratio of air superiority over Taiwan "are simply misleading at best." Pike noted that Taiwan's smaller air force is newer and of far higher quality than the PRC's. Pike added, "it would seem that Taiwan has much less to fear than many in Washington would like to think." Pike and collegue Tim Brown's analysis of the satellite photos were criticized by supporters of national missile defense (NMD). Officials in the US intelligence community are also skeptical. One intelligence official asked, "our concern is, do they really know what they're seeing and what the bigger trends are? Do they have any feel for what is happening on the ground?" [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 12, 2000.]

Agence France Presse ("US SCIENTISTS DOWNGRADE CHINA'S AIR POWER CAPABILITY VERSUS TAIWAN," Washington, 5/12/00) and the Associated Press (Tom Raum, "NEW IMAGES QUESTION CHINESE THREAT," Washington, 5/12/00) reported that Charles Ferguson, director of the Nuclear Policy Project at the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists (FAS), concluded Friday from photos from space imaging that the PRC's airpower advantage over Taiwan is a lot less than previously thought. FAS and Center for Defense Information (CDI) analysts concluded that the PRC was unlikely to successfully achieve air superiority over Taiwan given the inferior quality of the PRC's aircraft versus Taiwan's. CDI analyst and retired Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll said that in a worst-case scenario with the PRC launching a full-scale assault on Taiwan using missiles, air power and seaborne assault forces, only the air power would be effective. Carroll said, "the PRC does enjoy a massive numerical advantage over Taiwan ... (but) the numbers are on the decline (and) the modernization process is so slow that by the year 2005 the Chinese air force will only have about 10 percent of their aircraft with late Cold War capabilities. By contrast, the Taiwanese aircraft are much more capable, the pilots better trained and with superior logistic support." He added that given the probable high attrition of their attacking aircraft, the PRC's air force attacks would not last longer than two weeks, and any plan to launch an amphibious attack would be abandoned. However, CDI senior analyst Nicholas Berry said, "there should be no mistake that Beijing will absolutely use armed force if Taiwan" provokes it by officially declaring independence, accommodates foreign troops or refuses to negotiate a return to the mainland. Berry said that in order to compel Taiwan's renunciation of independence, the PRC is more likely to impose a limited blockade leading to a more crippling full blockade of the island, or even invade the smaller island of Quemoy. He added, "the message to Taiwan would be: we don't have the capability of invading you now, but don't force us to develop it. Negotiate." Berry said the lessons for US policy toward the region were not to overreact and challenge the PRC by signing the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act (TSEA), keep arms sales to Taiwan on a defensive nature, and encourage negotiations between the two sides of the Strait. Berry concluded, "the dispute across the Taiwan Strait is potentially explosive, but it is also highly manageable in preventing such an explosion."

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4. US Policy toward Taiwan

The Associated Press (William Foreman, "US URGED IN TAIWAN, CHINA RIVALRY," Taipei, 5/12/00) reported that Tsai Ing-wen, who next week will take over as chairwoman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said on Friday that Taiwan's new government hopes that the US will play a more active role in helping the PRC and Taiwan improve relations. While speaking to the Taipei Foreign Correspondents Club, Tsai said that a lack of trust between the PRC and Taiwan is the biggest obstacle to improving relations. She said, "we need somebody to help build the bridge. It could be the United States or some others interested in this region." Tsai declined to suggest what kind of help the US or other nations could provide, saying "it would require some creativity" from those who wanted to help.

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5. PRC View of Missile Defense

The New York Times (Jane Perlez, "CHINA LIKELY TO MODERNIZE NUCLEAR ARMS, U.S. BELIEVES," Washington, 5/12/00) reported that a senior US administration official who briefed reporters on arms control at the US State Department on Friday responded to a detailed public warning by the PRC against the proposed US national missile defenses (NMD). The official said, "whether or not we proceed with national missile defense, China's nuclear forces would expand in a way that would make this system less threatening to China." He added that while the US administration had explained to the PRC that the proposed system was designed to defend against rogue states like the DPRK and not against the PRC, there had been insufficient discussion with the PRC. He continued, "we haven't had the kind of deep national security or international security dialogue with China that we would like to have for the last couple of years because of the continuing fallout from the embassy bombing." The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms, questioned how the PRC could criticize the program. Helms said, "after issuing nuclear threat after nuclear threat, China now has the nerve to complain that a U.S. missile defense is a threat to their security? To the contrary, leaving the American people vulnerable to Beijing's nuclear blackmail is a threat to U.S. national security." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 12, 2000.]

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6. US Military in Japan

Agence France Presse ("JAPANESE PROTESTERS DEMAND REMOVAL OF US MILITARY BASES," Tokyo, 5/12/00) reported that hundreds of Japanese protesters on Friday marched in the southern island of Okinawa to demand the removal of US bases housing nearly 25,000 troops. Yoshikazu Nakasone, secretary- general of the organization Okinawa Peace Action Center, said, "we ask the Japanese government and the US government to remove all US military bases from Okinawa. Despite the fact that Okinawa was returned to Japan 28 years ago, Okinawa still houses 75 percent of the US military based in Japan and this is an aberrant situation for us." The protesters held banners reading, "US military get out!" and "Protect our life and peace!"

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-US-Japan Policy Coordination

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "3-WAY MEETING OPENS TODAY TO COORDINATE NORTH KOREA POLICY," Seoul, 05/12/00) and The Korea Herald (Shin Yong- bae, "SHERMAN HINTS AT SEOUL RAISING N.K.'S NUCLEAR, MISSILE ISSUES AT S- N SUMMIT," Seoul, 05/11/00) reported that the ROK, the US and Japan opened a consultative meeting in Tokyo on Friday to coordinate their strategies toward the DPRK. The three nations were expected to discuss the June inter-Korean summit, the US-DPRK talks scheduled to open in Rome on May 24, and the Japan-DPRK normalization talks slated for May 22-26, ROK officials said. "Despite their concerted effort to engage the Communist North, the three nations have shown somewhat different stances in dealing with Pyongyang. Coordination of their positions will therefore be the main topic of the three-way meeting," a diplomatic source said. US State Department Counselor Wendy Sherman indicated that ROK officials assured the US that the DPRK's weapons programs would be discussed during the inter-Korean summit. Sherman was to represent the US in the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) conference. ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai-ryong and the Japanese director- general for foreign policy, Yukio Takeuchi, were to represent the ROK and Japan, respectively.

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2. Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SIZE OF PRESS CORPS SAID ONLY OBSTACLE IN PRE-SUMMIT TALKS," Seoul, 05/12/00), The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL TO SEEK KIM JONG-IL RETURN VISIT, UNIFICATION MINISTER PARK SAYS," Seoul, 05/11/00), Chosun Ilbo ("AGENDA FOR PYONGYANG MEETING STILL CLOUDED," Seoul, 05/11/00) and The Korea Times (Lee Soo-jeong, "GOV'T SEEKS TO INVITE KIM JONG-IL TO SEOUL," Seoul, 05/10/00) reported that ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said on Wednesday that the ROK and the DPRK have virtually agreed on all of the 16 procedural items for the June inter-Korean summit, with the exception of the size of the press corps. Touching on the differences over the agenda for the summit, Park said that the DPRK had called for the July 4, 1972 Joint Communique to be included, while the ROK did not want to address it at the talks. "But this is not a big problem," he quickly added. Discussing the possibility of a return visit to Seoul by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, Minister Park was quoted as saying, "We have raised the issue at the preparatory talks, but it will likely be settled at the summit meeting in the form of a direct invitation by President Kim Dae-jung." "The two sides are ironing out their differences through telephone contacts at the truce village of Panmunjom and will hold a fifth round of talks to sign the accord," Minister Park was quoted as saying. "A 30-member advance contingent will then be dispatched to Pyongyang to check on security and communications."

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3. DPRK Participation in ARF

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTERS COULD MEET WHEN N.K. ADMITTED TO ARF IN JULY," Seoul, 05/12/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "NK TO STEP UP PRESENCE IN INT'L BODY," Seoul, 05/11/00) reported that the DPRK will likely become a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in July. "North Korea has just formally applied to join the ARF, and chances are quite high that it will be approved by the other members," said Choi Young-jin, deputy minister for policy planning and international organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. If the ARF accepts the DPRK's bid at its foreign ministers meeting in Bangkok in July, it would become the 23rd member of the regional security forum. The DPRK's admission is scheduled to be discussed first at the ARF Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), which will take place in Bangkok May 17-19. The possibility of two Koreas holding foreign ministers' talks on the sidelines of the 7th ARF ministerial meeting was raised.

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4. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

The Korea Times ("KITA TO PUSH FOR S-N TRADE WINDOW AT PANMUNJOM," Seoul, 05/10/00) reported that the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) is considering proposing to the DPRK the establishment of a window for inter-Korean trade at the truce village of Panmunjom. KITA's plan depends on the outcome of the summit in June, an ROK spokesman said on Tuesday. KITA will also hold a meeting for ROK firms and DPRK economic cooperation organizations in the PRC during the second half of the year to discuss the matters related to processing-on-commission (POC) trade. It will draw up the framework for its economic support plan for the DPRK based on the results of these events and meet with authorities to firm up the plan. The trade organization is especially concerned over ROK firms having to go through third countries such as the PRC and Japan to contact DPRK companies regarding POC projects, resulting in a waste of time and money.

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5. ROK Aid to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Ginko, "NK RED CROSS READY FOR FERTILIZER," Seoul, 05/11/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Lee Yong-jong, "NORTH KOREA WELCOMES FERTILIZER FROM THE SOUTH," Seoul, 05/11/00) reported that the DPRK's Red Cross Society telephoned the Republic of Korea Red Cross on Thursday with instructions on how and where it would like 200,000 tons of fertilizer aid delivered. It also made assurances regarding the safety and convenience of Red Cross officials and the ships used to transport the fertilizer. DPRK Red Cross Chairman Jang Jae-on was quoted by the ROK side as having said that the DPRK "considers the position of seeking to send 200,000 tons of fertilizer as an expression of love for Korean brethren and of humanitarianism," and that "it will contribute to the understanding and cooperation between both sides." Jang expressed the DPRK Red Cross' willingness to meet "at a date and time" chosen by the ROK in Panmunjom and exchange a written assurance for the safety of personnel involved in transporting the fertilizer, which the DPRK has asked be delivered to five ports: Nampo, Haeju, Wonsan, Heungnam, and Cheongjin.

III. Japan

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1. US-ROK-Japan Policy Coordination

The Nikkei Shimbun ("JAPAN, US, AND ROK STARTED HIGH-LEVEL TALKS," 05/12/2000) reported that Japan, the US, and the ROK held a meeting at the US embassy in Tokyo on May 12 to discuss and coordinate policy toward the DPRK among their high-level officials. The report said that the participants included Yukio Takeuchi, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Comprehensive Diplomatic Policy, Wendy Sherman, US State Department advisor, and Chang Je-yong, ROK Foreign and Trade Ministry deputy assistant secretary. The report also said that at the meeting, Japan would emphasize its policy to continue with the solution to the DPRK's abduction issue, that the ROK would report on the ongoing preparatory talks for the coming inter-Korean summit talks, and that the US would stress the priority of solving the DPRK's missile and nuclear issues.

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2. DRPK-Australian Normalization

The Asahi Shimbun ("CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY AOKI WELCOMES RESTORATION OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS," 05/08/2000) reported that Mikio Aoki, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, on May 8 responded to the Korean Central News Agency's report that the DPRK and Australia agreed to resume diplomatic relations. Aoki stated, "I think (the agreement) is very worth welcoming.... It will pose a positive effect on Japanese-DPRK relations."

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3. Japanese-ROK Relations

The Asahi Shimbun ("MORI TO VISIT ROK ON MAY 29 TO MEET WITH KIM DAE-JUNG BEFORE INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT MEETING," 05/09/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori would pay a one-day visit to the ROK to meet with ROK President Kim Dae-jung on May 29. The report said that Mori would report to Kim on the outcome of Japanese-DPRK normalization talks, slated for May 22-25, and exchange views with Kim on policy toward the DPRK.

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4. Japanese-PRC Talks

The Nikkei Shimbun ("PRC FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS DIALOGUE IS POSSIBLE ONLY IF TAIWAN ACCEPTS ONE CHINA PRINCIPLE," 05/11/2000) reported that during his meeting with PRC Foreign Minister Tang Shubei on May 11, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said, "We fully understand and support the PRC's stance that Taiwan is part of the PRC that cannot be separated from the PRC.... We hope both sides of the Strait will swiftly and peacefully solve (their) problem." Mori was responding to Tang's statements that "dialogue with Taiwan is possible only when Taiwan accepts the one China principle" and "the PRC is paying careful and special attention to the Mori Cabinet, which is observing the one china principle."

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5. DPRK Membership in ADB

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Masanobu Takagi, "FINANCE MINISTER ANNOUNCES THAT JAPAN WOULD CONTRIBUTE 10 BILLION YEN TO REDUCE POVERTY IN ASIA," Chenmai, 5/07/2000) reported that Japanese Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa spoke to reporters after he gave a speech at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) General Meeting on May 7 regarding the ROK's request to that the ADB admit the DPRK. Miyazawa stated, "Japanese Foreign Affairs authorities' stance is that we should very carefully discuss the DPRK's membership in ADB, and I agree to this policy direction." He added, "I heard that ADB also responded negatively to the ROK's request."

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6. Japanese Intelligence Satellites

The Daily Yomiuri ("SATELLITE STATIONS PLANNED FOR HOKKAIDO, KYUSHU," 05/07/2000) reported that the Japanese government decided to construct two stations to receive image data from intelligence-gathering satellites, scheduled to be launched in fiscal 2002. The report also said that the most likely sites for the reception stations are Tomakomai, Hokkaido, and an unspecified site in Kyushu's Kumamoto Prefecture. The nerve center, which handles operations, control, and image-data analysis for the satellites, would be built on a government-owned lot in Ichigaya, Tokyo and a subcenter to back up the main control center would be built on a prefectural government lot in Kitauramachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, said the report. The report pointed out that as the intelligence-gathering satellites would have reconnaissance functions to monitor military facilities of other nations, the ground facilities would have the characteristics of military-related facilities. The report also pointed out that the military nature of the facilities may therefore make it difficult to obtain the cooperation of the people of Okinawa Prefecture and that for this reason, the government gave up the idea of building facilities in Okinawa Prefecture.

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Timothy L. Savage:
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Gee Gee Wong:
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Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
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Peter Razvin:
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Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
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