NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, may 16, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Implementation of Agreed Framework

The House International Relations Committee issues a press release ("HOUSE PASSES GILMAN-MARKEY NORTH KOREA OVERSIGHT BILL," 5/16/00) which said that the US House of Representatives on May 15 by a vote of 374-6 passed the "Congressional Oversight of Nuclear Transfers to North Korea Act of 2000," HR 4251. The bill ensures that no nuclear equipment or technology is transferred to the DPRK without US Congressional review and approval. HR 4251 amends the North Korea Threat Reduction Act to require that US Congress concur in any certification submitted by the US President pursuant to that Act before a nuclear cooperation agreement between the US and DPRK can enter into effect.

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2. ROK-DPRK Summit

Reuters ("KOREAS TO RESUME PRE-SUMMIT TALKS ON THURSDAY," Seoul, 5/16/00) reported that the DPRK and the ROK have agreed to resume vice-ministerial talks on May 18 aimed at laying the groundwork for the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang from June 12-14. The ROK Unification Ministry said on Tuesday that the two sides would meet at Panmunjom. Issues to be resolved include press coverage for the summit. A working-level meeting is scheduled for May 17.

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3. Korean War Massacre

The New York Times (Felicity Barringer, "A.P. RELEASES FILES IN DEBATE OVER MASSACRE IN KOREAN WAR," 5/16/00) and the Washington Post (Howard Kurtz, "AT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, A DRAWN-OUT BATTLE OVER KOREAN WAR STORY," 5/16/00) reported that the Associated Press (AP) released detailed evidence on May 15 to rebut critics of its report that US soldiers, acting under orders, killed hundreds of ROK civilians in July 1950. Among the evidence was a document that cast doubt on part of a critical article by US News and World Report which said that records showed that one witness had been evacuated a full day before the shootings began. An editor for the magazine said that the document was not included in its report through "an oversight." In addition, AP released full-length quotations from two former servicemen who said in the US News report that AP had misquoted them. In both cases, the full quotations tended to refute that claim. [Ed. note: Both articles were included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 16, 2000.]

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4. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters ("TAIWAN'S CHEN PREDICTS CHINA TENSION TO EASE," Taipei, 5/16/00) reported that Taiwan President-elect Chen Shui-bian on Tuesday assured Taiwanese that his inaugural speech on May 20 would ease tensions with the PRC, not aggravate them. Chen said, "Improving relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait may look like it's at a dead end where the mountains and the rivers end. But after one speech by A-Bian (Chen's nickname) on May 20, I can assure you that there will be another village behind the willows and flowers." Chen did not say how his speech would ease tension with the PRC, but said that it would satisfy Taiwan compatriots, be "acceptable" to the US, and be "affirmed" by the international community. Chen said, "most important of all, the other side of the Taiwan Strait will not be able to find any excuse" to make any move against Taiwan. He continued, "we will show our sincerity and goodwill. We hope the two sides of the Taiwan Strait could slowly improve relations after May 20. Seeking eternal peace in the Taiwan Strait is our rational and highest goal. It is also the moral obligation of the nation's leaders." Meanwhile, a commentary by the PRC's official Xinhua news agency warned of "disastrous results" if Taiwan failed to accept that it was part of the PRC. The commentary said that the PRC had already made "great concessions" to Taiwan, but its bottom line was that Taiwan must accept the principle of "one China" if relations were to improve.

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5. US Role in Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN SEEKS ALTERNATIVE DIALOGUE WITH CHINA AFTER US ROLE REJECTED," Taipei, 5/16/00) reported that Taiwan on Tuesday said that it would push on with attempts to engage the PRC in dialogue after the US rejected Taiwan's appeal for US mediation in the cross-strait sovereignty dispute. Tien Hung-mao, Taiwan's foreign minister-designate, said that he hoped cross-strait ties would be eased through unofficial channels facilitated by the US, otherwise known as "track II" dialogue. Tien said, "regarding the stalled cross-strait ties, I personally favor the role of the US or other countries in reopening the rapprochement negotiations. Not only the people here but the international community would like to see the two sides of the Taiwan Strait engage in peace dialogue." Tien acknowledged the US's rejection on Monday of Taiwan's appeal for the US and Japan to mediate in the dispute. Tien said, "there is not any sign suggesting the US would act as a mediator in the foreseeable future." US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday, "the United States government is not mediating and does not seek to mediate between the two sides. I think it's important to make clear, as we have before, that these are matters for people on both sides of the strait to resolve."

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6. PRC Military Exercises

Agence France Presse ("CHINA'S MILITARY DRILLS AFFECT FLIGHTS AMID TAIWAN TENSIONS," Hong Kong, 5/16/00) reported that the Chinese-language Tin Tin Daily News said on Tuesday that the PRC is persisting with military drills in coastal Fujian province, affecting some regional air routes. At an aviation forum in Xiamen on May 15, PRC deputy director of Civil Aviation Administration, Yang Yuanyuan, was cited as saying that in the past two years several flights have "intermittently been disrupted" because of the military drills in Fujian, off the Taiwan Strait. Yang said that several flights linked Xiamen and that the drills have affected Guangzhou and Hong Kong, but there were no "serious delays" due to rerouting. Yang reportedly said that if war were to break out between the PRC and Taiwan, the PRC's Civil Aviation Administration has "back up measures" planned.

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7. US Policy toward PRC, Russia

Agence France Presse ("RUSSIA, CHINA, FOREIGN POLICY CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE," Washington, 5/16/00) reported that US Secretary of Defense William Cohen said on May 15 that the major foreign policy issues of the future would be Russia and the PRC. Cohen told a conference on Globalization, "two of the major challenges that we have are Russia and China. We have to try and determine whether Russia is going to follow the path of reform and cooperation with the west, or will it become more nationalistic? Whether or not it can be fully integrated into the international community, and what path it chooses to reform, will have profound impacts on global security." Cohen warned of a Russian brain drain to the highest bidder and stressed the importance of maintaining tight cooperation with Russia on a wide range of issues, from nuclear to economic. Regarding the PRC, he said that the question was, "can it open its doors to these hurricane winds of change that it finds beneficial while at the same time trying to slam the doors on issues involving human rights and religious expression?" Cohen discussed the PRC's bid for Permanent Normal Trade Relations, saying, "trying to contain China would be an act of folly." He stated, "The international community has an opportunity to help shape its future in ways that will be beneficial to peace and stability. From a strategic point of view, for us to reject PNTR seems to me would say to the Chinese that we are treating you as an adversary."

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8. Spratly Islands

Agence France Presse ("CHINA AND THE PHILIPPINES AGREE TO MITIGATE TENSIONS OVER SPRATLYS," Beijing, 5/16/00) reported that the PRC's official Xinhua news agency said that the PRC and the Philippines on Tuesday signed a joint statement in which they agreed to work out disputes over the Spratly Islands through friendly consultations and to avoid actions that might complicate matters or escalate tensions. Philippine President Joseph Estrada is in the PRC for a five-day visit, his first since taking office. The visit is aimed at patching up ties strained by territorial disputes and boosting trade and investment. Estrada held talks with PRC President Jiang Zemin on Tuesday and witnessed the signing of five agreements aimed at strengthening political ties and enhancing cooperation in the areas of trade and economic development, science and technology, culture and agriculture. Xinhua said, "the two sides will establish a long-term and stable relationship on the basis of good neighborliness, cooperation and mutual trust and benefit. They reaffirm their adherence to the 1995 joint statement between the two countries on the South China Sea and agree not to take actions that might complicate or escalate the situation. They reiterate that they will contribute positively toward the formulation and adoption of the regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea." The two sides also agreed to increase military and defense exchanges and cooperation and enhance cooperation between their strategic and security research institutes.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM CALLS ON INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO PROVIDE ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO N.K.," Seoul, 05/16/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung appealed on May 15 for the international community to assist the ROK in its efforts to achieve reconciliation with the DPRK and help its economy. Kim said in a keynote speech to an international forum that opened in Washington, "I believe it is time for the global community and international organizations to participate in efforts to provide North Korea with economic assistance if the North requests it." Kim said that international support and cooperation were "absolutely necessary" to ensure the success of the inter-Korean summit.

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2. Inter-Korean Summit

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "INTER-KOREAN SECURITY OFFICIALS MEETING SLATED MAY 16," Seoul, 05/15/00) reported that the first meeting between security officials from ROK's Presidential Security Service and DPRK's General Guards Department will take place on May 16 at Panmunjom. The working-level contact about protocol and escort duties will take place at the Reunification Pavilion on the DPRK side. The two sides plan to negotiate such issues as the range of weapons that can be carried by ROK security personnel and other protocol procedures. It is of interest to see if the DPRK will again accept the carrying of handguns by two ROK security guards into the room where the summit talks are to take place, which was accepted in 1994 before the failed summit. On May 15, the DPRK notified the ROK that it would send three security personnel, including Kim Yong-chol, head of the DPRK's General Guards Department, and officials from the DPRK Committee for the peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the organization specializing in ROK affairs, and officials from the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, the DPRK parliament. The DPRK General Guards Department, under the DPRK Ministry of People's Armed Forces, is an organization specializing in bodyguard duties for DPRK Leader Kim Jong-il. From the ROK, the attending officials will be Ku Yong-tae, deputy director of the Presidential Security Service, three security service personnel, Presidential Protocol Bureau Chief Yang Bong- ryol, and Paek Yong-sun, the protocol oversight official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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3. DPRK Membership in ARF

The Korea Herald ("N.K.'S ENTRY INTO ARF TO EMERGE AS MAJOR ISSUE AT BANGKOK MEET," Seoul, 05/16/00) and Chosun Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA APPLIES FOR ARF MEMBERSHIP," Seoul, 05/15/00) reported that the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on May 15 that the DPRK's entry into the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) will be a major issue at the ARF senior officials' meeting (SOM) on May 17 and 18 in Bangkok. An ROK ministry official said, "the government will dispatch a delegation led by Choi Young-jin, deputy minister for the policy planning and international organizations department, to support the North's entry into ARF." The DPRK's bid to join will likely be approved by the SOM, because most ARF members, including the US, are backing it. If the entry is endorsed at the SOM, the DPRK will become the 23rd official member of ARF after a final evaluation July 27 in Bangkok.

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4. PRC Chairman's Visit to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Choi Byong-mook, "CHINA'S CHAIRMAN'S VISIT TO NK POSTPONED," Seoul, 05/15/00) reported that the visit to the DPRK by Li Peng, the Chairman of the People's Congress in the PRC, scheduled for the end of May has been canceled. An ROK government official said that the PRC and the DPRK recently worked on setting Li's itinerary, but the visit was canceled when the DPRK stated that "the timing was not suitable" in May. However, the official added that it was not clear whether the DPRK rejected Li's visit or postponed it.

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5. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Ham Young-joon, "CHINA LAUNCHES MASSIVE ROUNDUP OF NK REFUGEES," Beijing, 05/15/00) reported that the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said on May 13 that PRC authorities and DPRK agents are carrying out a massive roundup of DPRK refugees before the upcoming visit by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il scheduled for this summer. The report cited underground assistance organizations as saying that the crackdown began on March 15, and that six missionary workers helping the refugees have been either detained or expelled. Others are reportedly missing and may have been taken by DPRK agents.

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6. Korean War Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Youh Tae-jong, "NOGEUN-RI VICTIMS ANGERED BY COUNTER CLAIM," Seoul, 05/15/00) reported that the No Gun Ri Massacre Incident Committee (NMIC) reacted angrily on May 14 to a report on the electronic news site for veterans,, refuting its allegations of a deliberate massacre of Korean civilians by US troops. The committee said that it will collect further evidence to counter the report and called on the US government to speed up the release of results of its investigation. Chung Eun-yong, head of NMIC, said that the original Associate Press (AP) report quoting veterans Edward Daily and Delos Flint was truthful and that the US government should not cover this up. He added that the US was deliberately delaying issuing the results as a means to absolve itself of any blame. Chung will attend a citizen's forum to be held by the Asian Social Science Institute at the Seoul Press Center and will testify on the No Gun Ri incident. The NMIC will also hold a press conference calling on the US to make an announcement before June 25, and a mourning ceremony from July 26 to 28.

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

Leanne Payton:
Clayton, Australia

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