NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, july 25, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Missile Program

Aerospace Daily ("COHEN SEEKS CLARIFICATION OF NORTH KOREAN SPACE LAUNCH INITIATIVE," 7/25/00) reported that US Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said he needs more information about the DPRK's plan to seek assistance for peaceful space research from other countries in lieu of continuing its own missile technology development. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il had agreed on a proposal that the country would abandon its missile program if given technology from other nations for satellite launches. Cohen said, "It is unclear to me exactly what the offer is. It is still fairly ambiguous in terms of the scope of the proposal and would require a great deal of more clarification." In other comments, Cohen said he plans to make his recommendation to President Clinton on deployment of a national missile defense system "in about three or four weeks." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 25, 2000.]

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2. US-DPRK Talks

The Associated Press ("U.S. DIPLOMAT ARRIVES AT ASEAN; DIRECT TALKS WITH NKOREA UNCLEAR," Bangkok, 7/25/00) reported that a top US diplomat said that plans for a first-ever meeting between US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her DPRK counterpart Paek Nam Sun were unclear Tuesday because Albright remains enmeshed in the Middle East peace summit. Paek had agreed to meet Albright for direct talks, the highest-level talks between US and DPRK officials in a half-century. However, it looks increasingly likely that US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott will stand in for Albright at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum. Talbott said upon arrival on July 24 that it was not certain if a US-DPRK meeting would take place without Albright.

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3. DPRK Participation at ARF

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREANS TO BASK DIPLOMATIC LIMELIGHT AT ASEAN MEET," Bangkok, 7/25/00) and the London Daily Telegraph (Christopher Lockwood "NORTH KOREA JOINS MAIN ASIAN SECURITY GROUP," 7/25/00) reported that a DPRK delegation will participate in a number of bilateral meetings after it arrives in Bangkok late Tuesday for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF). An ROK foreign affairs ministry official said, "North Korea's diplomatic activities have been so far, in general, confined to the United Nations and the non-aligned countries.... ARF will provide it with chances for bilateral meetings with the United States and others." DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun will also have his first meeting with his ROK counterpart, Lee Joung-binn. Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan said last week that the two Korean foreign ministers were expected to break ground on several topics this week. Thailand's Director General for Economic Affairs Kobsak Chutikul said that DPRK envoy Jo In-chol told him that the DPRK was interested in learning more about the forums, with a view to applying for membership. Kobsak said that Jo asked him to lead a delegation to Pyongyang within the next month or two to brief officials there. Jo mentioned the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), ASEAN plus three (which includes the ROK, Japan, and the PRC), and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Kobsak said, "North Korea is interested in broader economic cooperation." [Ed. note: The London Daily Telegraph article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 25, 2000.]

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4. US-Japan Alliance

The US Department of State's Office of International Information Programs ("WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET ON U.S.-JAPAN BILATERAL ISSUES," 7/24/00) reported that the US White House released a fact sheet on US-Japan bilateral issues. The paper said: "The close and cooperative relationship with Japan is the cornerstone of US policy in the Asia-Pacific region and forms the basis for a strong, productive partnership in addressing global and regional issues. The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance lies at the core of stability and prosperity in the Pacific region. The 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security provides the basis for a close relationship between American and Japanese civilian governments and defense establishments. The Japanese government's recent action on the Defense Guidelines and joint Theater Missile Defense research has served to make this security alliance as strong as ever. U.S. bases in Japan remain the foundation of American strategic presence in Asia, contributing to the defense of Japan and the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, as defined in the security treaty. Forty-seven thousand of the approximately 100,000 U.S. military personnel deployed in the Pacific region are in Japan, including 28,000 in Okinawa. The U.S. and Japan cooperate on a host of regional and international issues. Both countries have worked closely to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and democratic transition in Indonesia."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL SENDS PYONGYANG LIST OF DELEGATES FOR MINISTERIAL TALKS," Seoul, 07/25/00), Joongang Ilbo (Choi Hoon, "SOUTH-NORTH MINISTER-LEVEL TALKS ON JULY 29~31 IN SEOUL," Seoul, 07/25/00) and The Korea Times (Kim Yong-bom, "SOUTH-NORTH MINISTERIAL TALKS TO PUT MILITARY HOTLINE ON AGENDA," Seoul, 07/24/00) reported that the ROK on July 24 sent the DPRK its list of delegates for the three-day inter-Korean ministerial talks that will open on July 29 to discuss implementing the June summit accord. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu will lead the ROK's five-member delegation, which includes Vice Minister of Finance and Economy Uhm Rak-yong and Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Kim Soon-kyu, Kim Jong-hwan, policy advisor to the Defense Minister, and Seo Young-kyo, a director general at the Unification Ministry. In a letter signed by Prime Minister Lee Han-dong, the ROK also accepted the DPRK's counterproposal to hold the first round of ministerial talks July 29-31. The DPRK has yet to announce its own list of five delegates. Officials and analysts said that the DRPK delegation would be led by either Kim Yong-sun, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, or Song Ho-gyong, the committee's vice chairman. The talks are aimed at laying the groundwork for both sides to implement the ROK-DPRK Joint Declaration, which was signed by ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il during their June summit. Topping the agenda is how to build mutual trust and ease military tension by reopening liaison offices and boosting economic cooperation and social and cultural exchanges. Official said that the two sides will also discuss launching a series of working-level officials' meetings for different areas of exchange.

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "KOREAS TO HOLD MINISTERIAL TALKS IN SEOUL JULY 29-31," Seoul, 07/24/00) reported that beginning with the Seoul talks, ministers from the two Koreas will continue meeting alternately in the ROK and the DRPK. Each delegation will be comprised of five delegates, including a minister-level chief delegate, five assistants, 10 journalists and 15 supporting personnel.

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2. ASEAN Regional Forum

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "BANGKOK REGIONAL FORUM OFFERS N.K. FOREIGN MINISTER OPPORTUNITY TO MEET COUNTERPARTS," Seoul, 07/25/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "NK TO HOLD SERIAL TALKS WITH ARF MEMBERS IN BANGKOK," Seoul, 07/24/00) reported that ROK officials and analysts said on July 24 that the upcoming regional security dialogue in Bangkok is a crucial opportunity to expand peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. The DPRK is set to take the diplomatic stage at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which opens a two-day conference on July 27 with foreign ministers from 22 countries. ROK Vice Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said that the ARF will announce its approval of the DPRK's membership status during the session. Other ministry officials said that the DPRK's formal entry into the multilateral dialogue organization dealing with security issues shows its determination to end decades of self-imposed diplomatic isolation. On the eve of the ARF meeting, the DPRK is also scheduled to hold a series of bilateral talks with foreign ministers from the ROK, the US and Japan.

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3. ROK-DPRK Exchanges

Joongang Ilbo (Park So-young, "SOUTH KOREAN CHIEF JOURNALISTS WILL VISIT NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 07/24/00) reported that the Korean Newspaper Association and the Korean Broadcasters' Association selected 50 executives from various press organizations to visit the DPRK on August 5. The list of executives was submitted to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on July 24. The ROK visitors will visit the DPRK from August 5 to 12; they will tour DPRK broadcasting companies and Mount Paektu during their stay.

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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

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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