NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, july 18, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. US-DPRK Talks

The Associated Press ("ALBRIGHT HOPES TO MEET NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER," Thurmont, 7/17/00) reported that a US State Department official said on July 16 that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright is making plans to meet with DPRK foreign minister Paek Nam-sun while she is in Thailand for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 18, 2000.]

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2. DPRK Missiles

The US Department of State, Office of International Information Programs ("GILMAN BILL WOULD SANCTION NORTH KOREA FOR PROLIFERATION," 7/17/00) reported that US House of Representative Benjamin Gilman, chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, said on July 14 that he and three fellow lawmakers have introduced legislation to re-impose economic sanctions on the DPRK if that nation "tests or proliferates missiles or missile technology." Gilman said, "This bill tells the North Koreans that they cannot continue to proliferate dangerous weapons technologies to the world's most odious governments without paying a price in their relationship with the United States. Despite the recent summit with South Korea, North Korea continues to use missiles and weapons of mass destruction to blackmail our nation. As long as the administration continues to engage the North Korean regime in these dangerous games of threats and blackmail, Congress must act to protect American national security interests." The North Korea Nonproliferation Act does not reverse the administration's decision to end sanctions, but it would require reimposition of sanctions if the DPRK violates the missile testing moratorium, or if it proliferates to a state sponsor of terrorism or to a country that has tested long-range missiles built with DPRK goods or technology.

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3. DPRK-Japan Talks

Reuters ("JAPAN, N.KOREA MINISTERS TO MEET IN BANGKOK," Tokyo, 7/18/00) reported that Japan and the DPRK agreed on Tuesday that their foreign ministers would meet for the first time and that stalled talks on normalizing diplomatic relations should reopen. Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono told reporters that he would meet his DPRK counterpart Paek Nam-sun on July 26 on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum meeting to be held in Bangkok.

Agence France Presse ("LITTLE CONCRETE EXPECTED FROM SYMBOLIC JAPAN-NORTH KOREA MEET," Tokyo, 7/18/00) reported that analysts said that there is little hope of any big breakthrough when Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun meet for the first time this month, but the encounter may prove to be an important symbolic step on the path towards opening diplomatic relations. National Institute for Defence Studies professor Hideshi Takesada said, "North Korea apparently believes it has scored a point in the inter- Korean summit and it may want to explore how much the feat has influenced Japan's stance. There is little possibility that North Korea will make a surprise proposal to Japan. I don't basically expect any major move. It will be a symbolic meeting and be used to pave the way for a full round of talks on diplomatic relations expected to be held in August." Pyon Jin-il, publisher of a Tokyo newsletter, the Korea Report, said, "The meeting will be in keeping with Japan's cooperation with the United States and South Korea, which also plan to hold counterpart talks with Paek. Kono and Paek are expected to agree on the resumption of talks on establishing diplomatic ties. But the big question will be whether Kono will bring up the sticking issues of missiles and abductions." Satoshi Morimoto, professor at Tokyo's Takushoku University, said that the content of the planned Japan-DPRK foreign ministers' meeting was still up in the air. Morimoto said, "There has been not even a meeting at deputy minister level. So no optimism is warranted. Japan's public opinion cannot accept any compromise without solving the kidnapping issue. Therefore, it is hard to expect the foreign ministers' meeting to give added momentum to Japan-North Korea relations."

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4. Alleged PRC Missile Proliferation

Agence France Presse ("CHINA DENIES HELPING IRAN DEVELOP MISSILE TECHNOLOGY," Beijing, 7/18/00) reported that the PRC on Tuesday denied it helped Iran develop missile technology, dismissing reports on the issue as "baseless." PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, "This report is baseless. We hope the Middle East and the Gulf will maintain peace and stability."

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5. PRC-Russian Talks

The London Times (Giles Whittell, "CHINA'S PACT WITH RUSSIA 'NO THREAT'," 7/18/00) reported that the PRC sought to allay fears last night that its "strategic alliance" with Russia could upset global stability. As Russian President Vladimir Putin flew in on his first official visit to Beijing, a senior PRC official emphasized that Russia's partnership with PRC was "non-aligned, non-confrontational and non-threatening to any third party." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 18, 2000.]

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6. PRC-Russian Reaction to US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, "U.S. MISSILE SHIELD PLANS DENOUNCED," Beijing, 7/18/00) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday denounced US plans to build an anti-missile shield and agreed to closer cooperation on international affairs. Among the five documents they and their aides signed, two concerned the US and the proposed national missile defense system (NMD). In a joint statement, the PRC and Russia accused the US of using the system "to seek unilateral military and security advantages that will pose the most grave, adverse consequences" to the PRC, Russia and the US itself. Putin and Jiang, in their statement, said "the pretext of a missile threat is totally unjustified." They also issued a separate statement committing the PRC and Russia to "work together in the international arena to promote peace and stability in the world." After the meeting, Putin invited Jiang to visit Moscow next year.

Agence France Presse ("PUTIN SAYS MOSCOW AND BEIJING WILL ANSWER US MISSILE DEFENSE," Beijing, 7/18/00) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday that Russia and the PRC will respond if the US deploys an anti-missile system. Putin told a news conference that any violation of the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Missile treaty would "destroy the world strategic balance, which would provoke a response" from Russia and the PRC. Putin added, "We will try to do something to maintain this balance."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. UNESCO Head to Visit DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-soo, "UNESCO HEAD TO VISIT N. KOREA," Seoul, 07/18/00) reported that the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will visit the DPRK for the first time in eight years. The ROK Education Ministry and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO said on Monday that Secretary-General Koichiro Matsuura would visit Pyongyang August 19-22 to hold talks with DPRK leader Kim Jong- il and the head of its National Commission for UNESCO. In his talks with DPRK authorities, Matsuura will discuss placing the ancient tomb murals of the Koguryo Kingdom (37 B.C.-A.D. 668) on the UNESCO World Heritage List. He will also visit the tombs and attend a photo exhibition of the tomb murals.

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2. DPRK-ROK Assembly Talks

The Korea Herald (Lee Joon-seung, "SPEAKER LEE PROPOSES S-N PARLIAMENTARY TALKS; ASSEMBLY URGED TO LEAD INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS," Seoul, 07/18/00) reported that ROK National Assembly Speaker Lee Man-sup on July 17 formally proposed to hold inter-Korean parliamentary talks to enhance ties between the legislative branches of the two Koreas. Lee said that it was time for the parliaments to bridge the gap between the two nations. He then proposed establishing a special National Assembly panel on inter-Korean relations, in which lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties could exchange ideas on ROK-DPRK cooperation. Lee also called for setting up a preparatory working level committee and a special planning board to help realize the parliamentary exchanges.

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3. ROK Policy towards DPRK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM SEES NO CHANGE IN N. KOREA POLICY AFTER HE LEAVES OFFICE," Seoul, 07/18/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said that he believes that the current engagement policy toward the DPRK will not change even if more conservative governments take power in the ROK and the US. Kim made the statement in an interview published by the Financial Times on Monday. Kim said last week that he heard that the DPRK is concerned about a possible change in his successor's approach toward Pyongyang. The next ROK presidential election is scheduled for December 2002, and the opposition's potential candidate, Lee Hoi- chang, has often criticized Kim's attitude toward the DPRK. "The reconciliation and cooperation between the two Koreas will allow 70 million people to live peacefully and to prosper, which will be beneficial to both Koreas," Kim said. "That is the reason why the 'sunshine' policy will remain intact regardless of what government takes over the leadership (in the ROK)," Kim said.

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4. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "S. KOREANS RUSH TO SEEK LONG-LOST KIN IN NORTH," Seoul, 07/17/00) reported that ROK officials said on July 16 that more than 118 ROK citizens have tracked down their DPRK kin in the midst of a scramble to confirm whether relatives in the DPRK have applied for mid-August reunions. The ROK will inform the DPRK on June 26 of the whereabouts of the family members of 200 DPRK citizens who applied for the August 15-18 reunions. The short lists from the two sides will then be whittled down to 100 after confirmation procedures. Hong Yang-ho, director-general for the Unification Ministry's Humanitarian Affairs Bureau said, "When we hand over the results of confirmation to the North July 26, we will rank the priority of North Korean applicants for reunions based on our criteria."

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5. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SENIOR U.S., N.K. OFFICIALS TO MEET TO PREPARE FOREIGN MINISTERS' TALKS," Seoul, 07/17/00) and The Korea Times ("US, NK PREPARE FOR ALBRIGHT-PAEK TALKS JULY 27," Seoul, 07/17/00) reported that ROK officials said on July 16 that senior officials from the US and the DPRK will meet in Berlin on July 19 to prepare for an unprecedented meeting of their foreign ministers later this month. The talks, to be led by DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan and US special envoy on Korean affairs, Charles Kartman, were originally supposed to deal with the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs. An anonymous ROK Foreign Ministry official said, "If the negotiations proceed well, the two sides will likely try to lay the foundation for the first ever encounter between U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam- sun."

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

Robert Brown:
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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