NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, june 29, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Reunions of Separated Families

Reuters ("TWO KOREAS CLOSE TO DEAL ON PRISONERS, FAMILIES," Seoul, 6/29/00) and the Associated Press (Jae-suk Yoo, "KOREAN RED CROSS DISCUSSES REUNIONS," Seoul, 6/29/00) reported that the official DPRK Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that the ROK and DPRK appeared close to an agreement after the DPRK Red Cross agreed to hold family reunions in August and the ROK agreed to repatriate former DPRK prisoners in September. The DPRK proposal reported by the KCNA appeared similar to one suggested by Park Ki-ryun, head of the ROK delegation. ROK state Yonhap news agency quoted Park as saying that on Thursday, "both sides brought revised proposals and narrowed differences."

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2. US-DPRK Missile Talks

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State ("STATE DEPARTMENT JUNE 28 STATEMENT ON US-NORTH KOREA TALKS," Jerusalem, 6/28/00) and Reuters ("US-N. KOREAN MISSILE TALKS SET FOR JULY 10," Jerusalem, 6/28/00) reported that US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that the US and DPRK will hold missile talks on July 10-12, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The US team will be led by Robert Einhorn, Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, while the DPRK delegation will be led by Jang Chang-chon, Director General for US Affairs at the DPRK's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The talks will address the development, deployment, testing and export of DPRK missiles.

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3. US Policy toward DPRK

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State ("CLINTON PRESS CONFERENCE, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28, 2000," 6/28/00) reported that, in a formal White House Press Conference, US President Bill Clinton said that the inter-Korean summit it was an important development and that the results "justified the American policy, which is that we would never allow ourselves to be put in the middle between the two Koreas, that we wanted them to meet and work together. I'm also encouraged by the moratorium that the North Koreans have on testing. But they still have a missile program, and so it's still something that the United States has to be mindful of and to prepare to deal with and to keep up with. And, of course, I hope it will go away as a problem. I hope it for the people of North Korea, too."

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4. ROK-DPRK Energy Cooperation

Dow Jones Newswires (Soozhana Choi, "S KOREA MAY INVITE N KOREA TO JOIN GAS PIPELINE PROJECT," 6/29/00) reported that an ROK Energy Ministry official reported that the ROK may invite the DPRK to participate in a natural gas pipeline that would connect Northeast Asian countries to Russia's natural gas reserves. The official stated, "There is no agreement. We are just considering this as a possible long-term project for the two Koreas." An official from the ROK Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said that this is just one of many possible projects to develop and nurture cooperation between the DPRK and ROK. Lee Tai-hwan, an energy specialist with the Sejong Institute in Seoul, said that construction of the pipeline would also eliminate the ROK's need to secure a strategic natural gas reserve. Lee also said, "This pipeline was suggested a long time ago, but it wasn't implemented, because there was no trust and no money. But now, oil prices are going higher and higher, and many countries are thinking about natural gas as an alternative; this makes the pipeline a more attractive project."

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5. US Troops in ROK

The Washington Times (James Morrison, "EMBASSY ROW: DEFENDING THE TROOPS," 6/28/00) reported that Hong Choo-hyun, a former ROK ambassador to the United States, told the Japanese Kyodo News Service that ROK President Kim Dae-jung defended the presence of US troops in his country at the inter-Korean summit with the DPRK, saying their deployment prevents regional domination by the PRC or Japan. He said that the DPRK's Kim Jong-il "showed understanding" toward Kim Dae-jung's explanation. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 28, 2000.]

The Los Angeles Times (Valerie Reitman, "U.S. IN ONGOING BATTLE OVER S. KOREAN BOMBING RANGE," Maehyang Ri, 06/29/00, 1) reported villagers in Maehyang-ri, ROK, near the US Air Force Koon Ni bombing range, said that over the years nine deaths and at least a dozen injuries have occurred due to US military exercises at the range. The villagers added that the noise from the range results in miscarriages, hearing and mental health problems, frightened animals and children who scream at night. One of the villager, Chu Young-bae, stated, "The summit was peaceful and there's been rapprochement, so what's the point of practicing?" Kim Il-hyun, a Seoul businessman, stated, "U.S. troops are getting morally careless and taking advantage of the SOFA [Status of Forces Agreement] agreement." Scott Snyder, the Asia Foundation's Korea representative, stated, "These issues are coming at a time when most observers say the U.S.-South Korea relationship is at one of its high points. There is a risk that if it blows up into something bigger, the anti-military sentiment could be translated into broader anti-American feelings." Brigadier General Jeff Kohler, the vice commander of the US 7th Air Force, said that the field is safe for civilians as well as essential for pilot training and war readiness. Kohler stated, "The key element is that our units are ready to fight tonight. In order to be ready tonight, we have to practice." He added, "We've discussed either moving the range or moving the residences. But there's virtually no chance of finding an alternative location." He stated that there has been just one casualty, a woman who was hit by a piece of bomb shrapnel while walking on the beach, adding that it was before 1978, when the US stopped using live explosives. A spokesman for the ROK Defense Ministry said that the agency is "studying ways of relocating people" and that 80 percent of the people in the areas closest to the base are willing to move if they receive compensation."

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6. ROK-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press ("PUTIN ACCEPTS INVITATION TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA THIS YEAR," Moscow, 6/29/00) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov reported that a DPRK delegation briefly visited Moscow on Tuesday. He said that Putin's future visit to the DPRK is intended to "strengthen security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and the Pacific region as a whole." He did not comment on whether Putin would try to discourage the DPRK from developing long-range missiles.

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7. Aid for DPRK

The Associated Press ("GIVEN AID, GOOD WEATHER, N KOREA MAY FEED ITSELF -UN," Beijing, 6/28/00) and Reuters (Paul Eckert, "N.KOREA'S DIPLOMACY SEEN HELPING FOOD AID CAUSE," Beijing, 6/28/00) reported that David Morton, who coordinates UN assistance to the DPRK, said that the worst of a five-year famine over and the DPRK foresees feeding itself in two years' time if it has good weather and is given US$250 million in aid. The DPRK said that under the three-year plan its goal is to achieve food self-sufficiency by producing 5.5 million tons of cereal by 2002. The UN has said the last harvest was equivalent to 4.2 million tons of unmilled grain and the DPRK received 800,000 tons of foreign grain, still 500,000 tons short of the total needed for its 22.5 million people. Morton said that target meant "rock-bottom self sufficiency," and would depend on good weather and adequate fertilizer supplies. [Ed. Note: See also "DPRK Famine" in the Daily Report for 6/21/00].

The Financial Times (John Owen-Davies, "SAY IT WITH FLOWERS," 6/24/00) carried an article by John Owen- Davies, a former Reuters foreign correspondent and bureau chief in Asia and Africa, who visited the DPRK to attend an aid workers' conference as part of a nine-person team from Britain. He said that while the guide was pleasant, a visit to several hospitals underlined the decline of DPRK public health services as equipment was inadequate, supplies of antibiotics and anesthetics were low, sanitation and heating were poor, and there were many broken windows. One hospital doctor in Anju, when asked for his equipment wish-list, quickly replied, "Operating equipment, diagnostic equipment, X-ray machines, ECG equipment, ambulance, transport for staff." Another team member said, "The people are seeing foreigners from an array of countries. People know (aid workers) are here and trying to assist them. In 1997, they ran away." The author said that while the first impression of the DPRK is conformity, occasionally a DPRK person will exchange nods with a foreigner, and the odd baseball caps and designer clothes can be seen. A South American aid worker stated, "It is very hard and challenging here. But there have been changes since 1995. There are more cars, especially Mercedes and BMWs, in the city and more foreigners. There is also more tolerance of outsiders."

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8. Role of Espionage in Korean War

The Baltimore Sun (Laura Sullivan, "SPY'S ROLE LINKED TO US FAILURE ON KOREA," 6/29/00) reported that a report newly declassified by the US National Security Agency (NSA) shows that William Weisband alerted the Soviets to extensive US eavesdropping in 1948, resulting in a complete blackout of information from the communist bloc for more than two years. This crippled the NSA's intelligence gathering efforts in the late 1940s and begins to explain why the US was caught unprepared for the DPRK's 1950 invasion of the ROK. NSA historian David A. Hatch, who authored the report, said, "This report answers several significant questions. Up until now, there has been a great lack of knowledge surrounding some of these events ... and this should help sharpen [the public's] understanding." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29, 2000.]

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9. Cross-Straits Relations

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "TAIWANESE LEADER HEDGES AN OVERTURE TO CHINA," Beijing, 6/29/00), the Los Angeles Times (Henry Chu, "STANCE ON CHINA DEAL NOT A CONCESSION, TAIWAN SAYS," Hong Kong, 6/29/00) and the Associated Press ("BEIJING REPEATS 'ONE CHINA' DEMANDS," Beijing, 6/29/00) reported that Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian said that the new government if Taiwan is willing to accept a consensus that there is one China, but that each side could have its own interpretation of what that means. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Thursday repeated the PRC's demand that rival Taiwan accept that it is part of the PRC. Zhu accused Chen of trying to distort the 1992 PRC-Taiwan agreement by saying that the two sides agreed in 1992 to "adhere to the one China principle orally in their own way." Lin Chong-pin, vice chairman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, was quoted as saying in the China Times, "This is the new government's most authoritative, sincere and goodwill policy statement." Tsai Ing-wen, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, said that Chen's "position has always been consistent. The two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait have never reached a consensus on the one-China principle."

The Associated Press ("CHINA DERIDES US PROLIFERATION PLAN," Beijing, 6/29/00), the Jerusalem Post (Arieh O'Sullivan and Nina Gilbert, "SNEH TO VISIT US OVER PHALCON DEAL," Jerusalem, 6/29/00, 1) and Dow Jones Newswires ("CHINA:US SHOULD NOT BLOCK SALE OF ISRAELI RADAR SYSTEM," Beijing, 6/29/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao urged the US not to interfere in the sale of an advanced radar system by Israel to the PRC military. Zhu said, "No country has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and make wanton remarks on the development of normal relations between China and other countries." Israeli Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh is to head to Washington next week to "straighten things out" with the American administration over the planned sale of Phalcon airborne radar system to China. Sneh said, "I am sure that we will find a solution through dialogue with the [US] administration. We have the full sensitivity and understanding for the concerns of our friends. We can't ignore it, and we should consider it seriously." At a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy said, "Just the fact that there is a feeling Israel could do something that would hurt the security of the United States is serious and this is what we want to remove." US Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat, also in Jerusalem, said, "As the secretary of state said earlier this week, we don't think that linking our assistance to Israel is an appropriate way to address the issue." [Ed. note: The Jerusalem Post article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29, 2000.]

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10. Pending Congressional Legislation on PRC

The Associated Press ("CHINA DERIDES US PROLIFERATION PLAN," Beijing, 6/29/00) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao urged the US Senate on Thursday to forgo legislation that would punish the PRC for weapons proliferation, and said backers of the measure were bent on undermining improving Sino-US ties. Zhu said that the proposal by US Senator Fred Thompson contains "wanton accusations and vilification against China" and interferes in the PRC's affairs.

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11. US-PRC Talks

The Far Eastern Economic Review ("US DEFENCE SECRETARY TO VISIT BEIJING," 6/6/00) reported that US Defense Secretary William Cohen will make a visit to the PRC from July 11-15. The agenda will include discussions of the extension of Permanent Normal Trade Relations to the PRC and the PRC's alleged continued assistance to missile programs in Iran and Pakistan. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29, 2000.]

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12. US Missile Defense

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "40 US CHINA EXPERTS URGE DELAY ON ANTIMISSILE PLAN," Beijing, 6/29/00) reported that a group of more than 40 US China scholars and former diplomats urged US President Bill Clinton to delay a decision on whether to build a national missile defense system. In a letter with signatures gathered by the Council for a Livable World, a private group in Washington DC that lobbies for nuclear disarmament, the group said, "We are concerned that a precipitous decision to deploy would adversely affect US relations with China by unnecessarily increasing tensions between the two countries and provoking a series of negative steps by China that would undermine American security." Arthur W. Hummel Jr., US ambassador to the PRC from 1981-1985 who signed the letter, said, "I'm concerned that the plan will raise the stakes in the arms race by stimulating the Chinese and others to make more missiles. Second, I have grave doubts about whether it will work." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29, 2000.]

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13. PRC Political Situation

The Asian Wall Street Journal ("JIANG ZEMIN'S REPRESENTATIVES," 6/29/00) argued that that PRC leader Jiang Zemin is due to step down as head of the Communist Party at the PRC's next big congress in 2002, and he will give up the presidency of the country the following year, creating a potential power vacuum since the next generation of leaders he has groomed do not yet have the stature or patronage networks to stand on their own. The article said that "three representatives" campaign in the PRC media should be seen as an effort to cast Jiang as a Marxist theoretician so that he can remain influential even without official posts. The "three representatives" are that the Party must always represent the foremost production forces, the most advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the people. The author argued that the three representatives are a reminder that, despite the changes that have occurred in social and economic life in the PRC, the political system remains "dangerously backward." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29, 2000.]

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14. US Forces in Japan

The Pacific Stars and Stripes (Richard Roesler, "FOLEY SAYS SUPPORT FOR US FORCES IN JAPAN AT HIGHEST LEVEL," Tokyo, 6/29/00) reported that US Ambassador Thomas Foley said Tuesday that Japanese support for the two nations' security alliance is at its highest level ever. He said, "The overall security relationship is supported by a higher percentage of the Japanese public than I think we've ever seen before. Just as a reality, there's no political party except the Communist Party of Japan that opposes the security treaty." A May poll, conducted by the US State Department with 1,005 Japanese adults, found that 80 percent have a favorable opinion of the United States, results which the pollsters noted were "some of the best readings in 20 years of these polls." About 71 percent favored maintaining the security alliance with the US, and 59 percent thought that US bases in Japan are needed for regional security. Nonetheless, most (64 percent) would like to see US bases in Japan further reduced. Foley added, "Overall, the reason for the presence of the US forces is as absolutely relevant today as it was before the [ROK-DPRK] summit. And although the summit offers the promise changed conditions on the peninsula, no forces have been reduced there by North Korea or South Korea." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US Forces in ROK

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "U.S. CAN DISCUSS TROOP STATUS IF THREAT REDUCES, ENVOY SAYS," Seoul, 06/29/00) reported that US Ambassador to the ROK Stephen Bosworth said on Wednesday that the US would be willing to discuss altering the status of the US troops stationed in the ROK if the DPRK were no longer perceived as a military threat. Speaking at a lecture organized by the Korea Press Foundation, stated, "any future changes in the role and the mission of the U.S. Forces in Korea, if this threat diminishes or hopefully disappears, will obviously be a subject of discussion between the United States and Korea." On the possibility of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il visiting the US, he said that he would not rule this out if inter-Korean relations and US-DPRK relations continued to progress. He also said that the US is prepared for further discussions with the DPRK that could lead to the easing of additional sanctions.

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2. Family Reunion Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SOUTH, NORTH RED CROSS OFFICIALS SEEK COMPROMISE ON FAMILY REUNION ISSUES," Seoul, 06/29/00) and The Korea Times (Lee Soo-jeong, "REPATRIATION OF NK PRISONERS EMERGES AS MAIN OBSTACLE," Seoul, 06/29/00) reported that Red Cross officials from the ROK and the DPRK held unofficial talks at Kumgang Mountain resort on the DPRK's east coast on Wednesday aimed at reuniting separated families. The DPRK demanded that the ROK return DPRK spies held in the ROK in early August, before the mutual visits by separated family members took place. The ROK, on the other hand, called for the visits to be realized prior to the repatriations, officials said. Observers said that the two sides' adherence to their own priorities is aimed at justifying their acts to their respective peoples, particularly groups in both countries that oppose any major concessions for the sake of reconciliation. The ROK is hesitant to first resolve the unconverted spies issue as it might lose key leverage in future negotiations with the DPRK aimed at making the family reunions a regular event, observers said. Although the two Koreas agreed on only one set of visits, the ROK government has pledged to make the reunions a regular occurrence by allowing divided family members to confirm the whereabouts of their kin, correspond with them and meet them at designated stations.

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, "FORMER NK PRISONERS TO BE RETURNED IN SEPTEMBER," Seoul, 06/28/00) reported that it was learned Wednesday that the ROK government is studying a plan to return released DPRK prisoners to the DPRK in September after the August 15 meeting of displaced families.

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Hoon, "OUTLINE FOR EXCHANGE VISITS OF SEPARATED FAMILIES," Seoul, 06/28/00) reported that it looks like the size of the group at the family reunions on August 15 will be 151 members, including 100 members of separated families. The ROK had proposed a group composed of 161 visitors, with a leader, 30 support staff members, and 30 reporters, while the DPRK had almost the same proposal except for only 20 reporters. The August 15 exchange visits will be made based on the exchange visits made in September, 1985. For that visit, the host visiting group was composed of 151 members including 50 separated family members, 50 artistic performance members, 30 reporters, and 20 support staff members. Each visiting group was led by their respective president of the ROK and the DPRK Red Cross Societies. The visitors' group this time will follow the precedent, where the 20 support staff members were made up of medical team members and meeting officials.

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3. ROK-Russia Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "KOREAN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET TODAY ON POST- SUMMIT SITUATION," Seoul, 06/29/00) reported that a ROK official said here on Wednesday that ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn was to hold talks with his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, Thursday in Moscow on a wide range of mutual concerns, including the post-summit situation on the Korean Peninsula. "The two ministers will evaluate the outcome of the historic inter-Korean summit and discuss bilateral cooperation for progress in inter-Korean relations," said an ROK Foreign Ministry official. Lee and Ivanov will also discuss the details of Putin's planned visit to the ROK, which is expected to take place in August. Putin is also scheduled to visit the DPRK next month, becoming the first Russian president to tour the DPRK.

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4. ROK-DPRK Cultural Exchange

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "PRESIDENT KIM PREDICTS SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS IN INTER- KOREAN CULTURAL, SPORTS EXCHANGES," Seoul, 06/29/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung predicted on Wednesday that the ROK and the DPRK would actively engage in cultural and sports exchanges in the near future. "Discussions with North Korea will begin in July on areas for initial cooperation," Kim said in a conference on public restructuring at Chong Wa Dae. "There will be significant outcomes in the cultural and sports areas," the President said. He added that the two Koreas would launch discussions on economic cooperation next month. In the Chong Wa Dae conference, however, Kim said that the two Koreas should place greater priority on ways to ease military tensions and expand economic cooperation. Kim said that while cultural and sports exchanges are important, they can also be easily suspended. In contrast, economic cooperation would have lasting effects on inter- Korean relations because projects like the improvement of the DPRK's infrastructure would take a long period of time.

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5. Railway between ROK-DPRK-Russia

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "RUSSIA HOPES FOR S-N RAILROAD LINKING _ MOSCOW UNLIKELY TO OFFER MILITARY AID TO NK," Seoul, 06/28/00) reported that Grigory Bezyuk, Russian trade representative to the ROK, said that he is optimistic over the possibility of linking the railroad systems between the two Koreas and then connecting them with the trans-Siberian railroad. Bezyuk also said that, in spite of President Vladimir Putin's forthcoming trip to the DPRK, Russia is unlikely to offer military aid packages to the DPRK. "Taking into consideration recent efforts by President Kim Dae-jung for the Korean unification, the economic situation, [and] the international support of this railroad project, I am sure it will have a positive result," he said. "The Russian trade representation thinks one of the most important ways to develop our cooperation is to support the projects of cooperation between the Korean National Railroad and the Russian Ministry of Railroad on the inter-Korean railway system," he added. If this project succeeds, Bezyuk said, then the linked railroad system would be able to transport cargoes from the ROK to Russia via the DPRK at a very low cost.

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