NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, june 8, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. US Sanctions on DPRK

USA Today (Barbara Slavin, "SANCTIONS AGAINST N. KOREA WILL BE EASED," Washington, 6/8/00, P. 14) and Reuters ("U.S. SAYS LIKELY TO EASE N. KOREA SANCTIONS SOON," Tokyo, 6/8/00) reported that the US will ease trade sanctions against the DPRK after the summit between the ROK and DPRK next week. That decision was announced last September, but US officials said on June 7 that regulations implementing it will be published in the Federal Register after the summit. US exports and investment in nonmilitary sectors of the DPRK's economy will be allowed, as well as money transfers from Korean-Americans to DPRK relatives. Direct travel between the nations also will be allowed. Experts said that the easing of sanctions is an important symbolic gesture for the DPRK. Gordon Flake, executive director of the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs, said, "This is a very positive move by the United States - one that it should have taken place a long time ago." Regarding the ROK's goals for the inter-Korean summit, Kenneth Quinones, a former US State Department expert on the DPRK who now directs the Northeast Asia project for Mercy Corps, said, "Family reunification is the priority. If Kim Dae-jung goes home empty-handed on this, the (ROK) political opposition will eat him alive." [Ed. note: The USA Today article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 8, 2000.]

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2. DPRK Famine

Agence France Presse ("RELAXATION OF SANCTIONS TO IMPROVE N.KOREAN FOOD SHORTAGE: UN," Rome 6/7/00) reported that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on June 7 that a relaxation of the sanctions imposed on the DPRK could reduce the country's isolation and head off new food shortages. An FAO communique said that the DPRK's agriculture was devastated by years of floods and poor centralized management and in the short term the country will continue to rely on humanitarian aid. However, it added, " in the longer term, economic recovery and a stronger trading position in the world will be essential to improving food security, both by improving the country's capacity to increase food production and to cover any shortfalls through commercial imports." The agency said there were "glimmers of hope that a relaxation of sanctions and the peace talks will reduce the country's isolation and its future susceptibility to food emergencies." The FAO communique said that much will depend on the inter-Korean summit talks because they could "significantly improve the overall environment for investment, economic recovery and, hence, food security in the country."

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3. Japan-PRC Views of Inter-Korean Summit

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN, CHINA AGREE TO BACK HISTORIC KOREAN SUMMIT," Tokyo, 6/8/00) reported that a Japanese foreign ministry official said that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and PRC Deputy Premier Qian Qichen agreed on June 7 to back the June 12-14 inter-Korean summit. The official said that Qian told Mori, "China is supporting the South-North summit. We cannot predict the result, but carrying out the dialogue can lead to a positive image. We hope they will head in a better direction." Mori replied, "We have a great interest in the situation in north-east Asia, and we are closely watching the dialogue between the South and North Korean leaders, [but] China's back-up is necessary for a successful result from the dialogue."

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4. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan

The Washington Post ("U.S. TO SELL WEAPONS TO TAIWAN," 6/8/00, P. 13) reported that the US Defense Department announced sales of two weapons systems to Taiwan designed to improve the defensive and navigation capabilities of its F-16 fighters. Taiwan will pay US$122 million for 48 electronic countermeasures pods, which are designed for use on F-16s to jam or interfere with enemy antiaircraft radar signals. Taiwan also will pay US$234 million for 39 sets of Pathfinder/Sharpshooter pods, which provide low-altitude navigation and defensive capability. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 8, 2000.]

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5. US View of Cross-Straits Issues

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State ("SHIRK ON U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS ON 'DIALOGUE' JUNE 5," 6/7/00) reported that Dr. Susan Shirk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, US Department of State, spoke on the US State Department's June 5 interactive television program "Dialogue." Asked whether US arms sales to Taiwan could facilitate a military balance across the Taiwan Straits, Shirk said that arms sales could be a source of future instability. She said, "There is a possibility - and we see it today - of a developing arms race across the Taiwan Straits. China is building and deploying a lot more equipment, especially missiles, right opposite Taiwan. Taiwan feels the need to defend itself. The United States feels an obligation -- and we have a legal obligation to help Taiwan defend itself. We are very careful in our arms sales to Taiwan. They are always purely defensive. And we also would like to see military confidence-building measures across the straits, and eventually a reduction of arms on both sides." Regarding the US stance on PRC-Taiwan unification, she said, "If you mean that the United States does not support reunification, actually that is not quite accurate. The United States would welcome any arrangement between the two sides, between the PRC and Taiwan that the people of the two sides can agree upon. If that is reunification, we would enthusiastically welcome it. The key is that it can't be imposed by one side on the other. It can't be done through force or intimidation. It has to be freely and voluntarily agreed to by the two sides."

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6. US-PRC Arms Talks

The Associated Press ("CHINA, U.S. TO HOLD ARMS TALKS," Beijing, 6/8/00), Agence France Presse ("CHINA CONFIRMS NON-PROLIFERATION TALKS TO RESUME IN JULY," Beijing, 6/8/00), and Reuters ("CHINA SAYS TO RESUME DISARMAMENT TALKS WITH US," Beijing, 6/8/00) reported that PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on Thursday confirmed a statement by a senior US State Department official this week that disarmament talks would be held next month. Zhang said, "I can confirm that China and the United States have reached principled agreement on the conducting of disarmament consultations in July. I think to conduct an exchange of views on this particular issue is useful." Zhang said the two sides were still discussing the timing and agenda of the talks.

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7. PRC-Russia Talks

Agence France Presse ("CHINESE, RUSSIAN PRESIDENTS CONFER OVER PHONE," Beijing, 6/8/00) and the Associated Press ("PUTIN, JIANG DISCUSS WORLD SECURITY," Moscow, 6/8/00) reported that the PRC's official Xinhua news agency reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Thursday in a telephone conversation to promote the development of a cooperative partnership in the new century. Putin said, "Russia is willing to strengthen the coordination and cooperation with China on the important issues relevant to international strategic stability and international security." Putin's foreign affairs adviser Sergei Prikhodko said that Putin and Jiang also spoke about cooperation in international organizations and bilateral ties. Putin is scheduled to visit the PRC in mid-July. Jiang said Thursday, "The mutual trust and close cooperation between the two countries are in the fundamental interest of the two countries and conducive to world peace and stability." They decided to hold a bilateral meeting at the fifth summit of the Shanghai-5 group of three former Soviet Central Asian republics, the PRC, and Russia, which is scheduled to take place in July in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Times (Lee Soo-jeong, "3 ROUNDS OF SUMMIT SCHEDULED IN PYONGYANG," Seoul, 06/07/00) and the Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "TWO LEADERS TO HOLD EXPANDED MEETING ACCOMPANIED BY AIDES," Seoul, 06/08/00) reported that ROK Unification Ministry official director general Seo Young-kyo, ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il will hold an expanded meeting attended by their aides during the inter-Korean summit. Seo said, "The two leaders will hold two rounds of exclusive talks on the first two days of the visit, and another in the presence of 10 official delegates."

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2. Four Powers' Views of Inter-Korean Summit

The Korea Times (Kim Kwang-tae, "FOUR SUPERPOWERS BACK INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT," Seoul, 06/07/00) reported that the ROK's ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) recently dispatched Representative Yoo Jay-kun and standing advisor Cho Se-hyung to the US, Japan, Russia and the DPRK. According to Yoo and Cho, the four countries support the forthcoming inter-Korean summit and ROK President Kim Dae-jung's "sunshine" policy of engagement with the DPRK. Cho said that the PRC experts on DPRK affairs predicted that the summit would be a major turning point for the DPRK. Cho also said that he received positive responses regarding the summit during his visit to Russia. He said, "Russia, however, remains wary of the current framework of four-way peace talks and expressed concerns of their being excluded from Korean affairs. In that context, Russia made its case on the necessity of six-way talks which would allow Russia and Japan to attend the talks aimed at bringing peace to Korea."

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3. UN View of Inter-Korean Summit

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Chul-min, "UN SECRETARY GENERAL SUPPORTS COMING SUMMIT," Seoul, 06/07/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Shin Jung-don, "SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM UN SECRETARY-GENERAL," Seoul, 06/07/00) reported that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced his support for the upcoming inter-Korean summit. In a special letter to ROK news agencies and the DPRK delegation to the UN, Annan said that the UN had an obligation to support the positive dynamics on the Korean peninsula, and that he hoped the year 2000 would see progress between the divided nations. Annan also expressed his desire that the two Korean leaders would participate in the UN Millennium Summit. He added that immense difficulties lay ahead for the divided peninsula and that regular meetings between the two leaders would be needed until reunification. Annan attributed the breakthrough summit to the vision of ROK President Kim Dae-jung's Sunshine Policy and his patience and wisdom in deciding to overcome mutual distrust.

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4. ROK-US Meeting

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, "KIM, CLINTON TO DISCUSS S-N SUMMIT," Seoul, 06/07/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and US President Bill Clinton on Thursday while in Tokyo for the funeral of Japanese prime minister Keizo Obuchi. According to Hwang Won-tak, senior presidential secretary for diplomacy and national security, Kim is expected to explain the ROK's position on the forthcoming inter-Korean summit in his separate meeting with Mori and Clinton. Hwang said that Kim would express his appreciation of the support that the US has shown toward his engagement policy toward the DPRK, which he said was crucial in the materialization of the inter-Korean summit. Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young said that Clinton would brief Kim on the results of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow as well as his telephone conversations with PRC President Jiang Zemin. Park added that that Kim and Clinton would exchange views on recent developments in Northeast Asia.

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5. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

The Korea Times ("INTER-KOREAN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS TO COST W10 TRILLION," Seoul, 06/07/00) reported that, according to Samsung Economic Research Institute's report on June 6, infrastructure projects in the DPRK will cost an estimated 10 trillion won (US$8.93 billion) in inter-Korean economic cooperation. Samsung stated that three major railroads linking Nampo and Sinuiju in the DPRK would first have to be either built or expanded to nudge economic cooperation projects into full swing. These railroads would link Munsan in the ROK to Kaesong- Pyongyang-Sinuiju in the DPRK. The report said that building and expanding the railroads would require around 4.9 trillion won, adding that an inter-Korean railroad would cut transportation costs considerably for goods shipped to Europe, the PRC and Russia from the ROK. The report also stated it would need around 2.2 trillion won to build roads linking industrial complexes and ports, two trillion won for power generation facilities and 700 billion won for communication facilities, bringing total expenses to about 9.8 trillion won.

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6. DPRK Circus Troupe's Visit to ROK

The Korea Times ("N.KOREAN CIRCUS NEARLY CANCELLED," Seoul, 06/07/00) reported that an anonymous ROK Unification Ministry official said that performances by the visiting DPRK circus troupe ran the risk of being canceled. According to the official, the DPRK troupe has expressed concerns about media reports on DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and also particularly on a local newspaper caption which noted that officials of the circus troupe inspecting Chamsil Gymnasium were watching the opposition Grand National Party's national convention on May 31. The official said, "The North is very sensitive about the South's coverage of its dear leader. It does not matter whether they portray Kim Jong-il in a bad light or good light. They just don't like the fact he is in the newspapers." However, another ministry official said that it was an exaggeration to say that the performance was nearly canceled.

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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

Leanne Payton:
Clayton, Australia

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