NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, june 19, 2000

I. United States


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I. United States


1. US Sanctions on DPRK

The Associated Press (George Gedda, "U.S. EASES NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS," Washington, 6/19/00) reported that an announcement in the US Federal Register on Monday said that the US formally eased economic sanctions against the DPRK such that most items subject to government export regulations may be exported or re-exported to the DPRK without a license, and US companies may invest in agriculture, mining and other sectors. The measures do not affect curbs relating the US nonproliferation objectives or to the DPRK's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, which bars US non-humanitarian assistance and support in international lending institutions.

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2. US Troops in ROK

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "N. KOREA: US RAISES MILITARY TENSION," Seoul, 6/19/00) and The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "AMBIGUITY MAY SLOW KOREAN SUMMIT," Seoul, 6/17/00) reported that the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency carried a report by the Rodong Sinmun, a newspaper for the ruling DPRK's Korean Workers' Party, which criticized US policy toward the Korean Peninsula. The article stated, "The U.S. imperialists pretend to be interested in peace and detente in the Korean peninsula. However, all their acts only result in increasing the danger of war and escalating the tensions. The withdrawal of the U.S. forces from South Korea should be the first step to be taken by the U.S. to help the Koreans achieve the reunification of Korea." A White House official responded Sunday in Washington, saying, "In terms of reducing the number of troops in South Korea or pulling them out altogether - these are notions that we are nowhere near ready to address. So the fact that they remain does not mean that we prefer war." Victor Cha, a Korea expert at Georgetown University, said "Once you get past the toasts and salutations that we saw in Pyongyang, you still have the (militarized) border, you still have missiles, you still have nuclear weapons, potentially."

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "PRESS: SEOUL PROPOSES RED CROSS TALKS," Seoul, 6/19/00, and Yoo Jae-suk, "SOUTH KOREAN VILLAGERS CLASH WITH POLICE NEAR U.S. BOMBING RANGE," Maehyang-ri, 6/17/00) reported that, over the weekend and continuing Monday, villagers and activists clashing with police near Maehyang-Ri were joined by workers and students. They demanded the closure of the US Air Force Koon-Ni bombing range. Suh Kyung-won, a former opposition legislator, stated, "What is the good of war exercises when the leaders of South and North Korea agree on peace and unification?"

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3. DPRK-Japan Talks

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "PRESS SEOUL PROPOSES RED CROSS TALKS," Seoul, 6/19/00) and Reuters ("N. KOREA SAYS DOOR OPEN FOR TALKS WITH JAPAN," Tokyo, 6/19/00) reported that the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency called for the resumption of Japan-DPRK talks. The report stated, "The DPRK has maintained a sincere approach to the talks with Japan from the view that the improvement of the DPRK-Japan relations is in full line with the interests of the two peoples and the need of the times and this stand and attitude remain unchanged. Therefore, Japan should not detour but is only requested to appear in the talks, if Japan is truly willing to shift the inglorious relations between the two countries to good neighborly ties." A Japanese government official said, "It is good that the North Korean side is willing to continue the talks. We will respond to North Korea after discussions with people concerned."

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4. US Views of ROK-DPRK Summit

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State ("REPRESENTATIVE TONY HALL JUNE 15 REMARKS ON KOREAN SUMMIT," 6/16/00) reported that US Representative Tony Hall, Democrat-Ohio, said that the recent summit meeting between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il should lead to more ROK aid. Hall stated, "I hope that President Kim will be generous in providing the tangible necessities -- food, fertilizer, medicines -- that will help so many people in the north." Hall said the US "has an important role to play in supporting this extraordinary peace initiative," and should lift economic sanctions against the DPRK.

The Associated Press (George Gedda, "N. KOREA LEADER MOTIVES ANALYZED," Washington, 6/17/00) reported that former US Representative Stephen Solarz said that the inter-Korean summit was an extraordinary development. He added, however, "There is ample reason to be very cautious about the lions having laid down with the lambs." The article argued that Korea watchers in the US are hopeful, but also skeptical, about recent changes in DPRK behavior. Alluding to the US$450 million the ROK has budgeted this year for assistance to the DPRK, Solarz said, "A shaky North Korean system has just negotiated a huge infusion of foreign aid without making any concessions on nuclear issues."

The Los Angeles Times (Donald P. Gregg, "GOLDEN SUMMIT FOR TWO KOREAS," New York, 6/18/00) carried an editorial by Donald P. Gregg, Chairman of the Korea Society, who served as US Ambassador to the ROK From 1989 to 1993. Gregg argued that the recent inter-Korean summit "appears to have opened the way to a new era of reconciliation between North and South Korea, and gives hope to millions of Koreans that they may be able to see long-lost relatives cut off for a half-century." He said that the summit resulted from efforts by the ROK, the confluence of factors in the DPRK, and "rested on a solid foundation of regional approval; the positive post-summit comments from Beijing, Moscow and Tokyo are clear proof of this." He further argued that the US "has an opportunity to act constructively in the wake of the meeting by lifting economic sanctions against North Korea." The fact that during the inter-Korean summit "there was no mention in the accord of North Korean missiles, nuclear issues or the stationing of U.S. troops in Korea...(this) gives the parties maximum flexibility in the future. The central fact is, the issues that make the Korean Peninsula one of the world's most dangerous flash points are now being discussed by the people who can solve them: the Koreans."

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5. ROK-DPRK Red Cross Talks

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "PRESS: SEOUL PROPOSES RED CROSS TALKS," Seoul, 6/19/00) reported that the ROK's National Red Cross sent a telephone message to its DPRK counterpart proposing that a meeting be held at the border village of Panmunjom on Friday. An ROK Red Cross official said that they expected the DPRK to accept the proposal.

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6. Papal Visit to DPRK

Reuters ("SOUTH KOREA ENVOY, VATICAN DISCUSS POPE TRIP TO NORTH," Rome, 6/17/00) reported that ROK Ambassador to the Vatican Bae Yang-il said that he discussed the possibility of the Pope visiting the DPRK. Bae stated, "Kim Jong-il has accepted the possibility of the Pope going to North Korea, but only verbally. It is not an official invitation." When Kim Dae-jung mentioned the idea of a papal visit to the DPRK during a papal audience in March, the Pope was reported to have said, "It would be a miracle if I ever visit the North."

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7. Albright's Visit to Asia

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State ("STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2000," 6/16/00) reported that US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will travel to PRC and the ROK June 20-25, but the itinerary is not completed. He said the PRC trip will be Albright's first since the vote on Permanent Normal Trade Relations and will include talks to expand strategic dialogue, to discuss recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and in cross-Strait relations, nonproliferation issues, bilateral economic issues, including the recent passage by the US House of Representatives of PNTR status and human rights issues. In the ROK, she will discuss the inter-Korean summit with the ROK. Hwang Won-tak, President Kim Dae-jung's national security advisor, was to arrive in Washington on June 16 to meet at the US State Department with Albright and with the DPRK policy team, including Counselor Wendy Sherman, Assistant Secretary Stanley Roth and Special Envoy Ambassador Charles Kartman.

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8. US-PRC Countertrafficking Cooperation

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "U.S. AND CHINA AGREE ON MEASURES TO FIGHT ILLEGAL DRUGS," Beijing, 6/19/00) reported that former US Army General Barry R. McCaffrey, who directs the White House office of national drug control policy, announced that the US and the PRC signed their first legal agreement to share information and evidence related to drug smuggling. He said that such collaboration was vital to combating global heroin trafficking and the fast-rising abuse of methamphetamine. According to General McCaffrey's office, factories in the PRC's southeast are producers of methamphetamine. Yang Fengrui, director of drugs at the PRC Ministry of Public Security, said, "A hundred years ago in the Opium Wars, China was victimized and we can never forget that pain." He said the PRC was ready to exchange more information to solve drug cases, to exchange samples from drug seizures and to work together in controlling precursor chemicals.


9. Death of Japanese Empress Dowager

The Associated Press (Mari Yamaguchi, "JAPANESE MOURN EMPRESS DOWAGER," Tokyo, 6/17/00; and Kozo Mizoguchi, "FORMER JAPAN PM TAKESHITA DIES," Tokyo, 6/18/00) reported that the Japanese Empress Dowager Nagako, the widow of Emperor Hirohito, died June 16 after suffering breathing problems and falling into a coma at the age of 97. The Japanese Imperial Household Agency also announced that a state banquet for leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations set for July 20 was canceled, which could affect some top-level bilateral meetings planned in Tokyo, including talks between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and US President Clinton. Former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita also died on Sunday after an extended illness.

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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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