NAPSNet Daily Report
august 14, 2000

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. US-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (Kyong Hwa Seok, "N. KOREA ISSUES NEW OFFER FOR U.S. RELATIONS," Seoul, 8/13/00) and Agence France Presse ("US COOL ON NORTH KOREAN OFFER TO RESUME DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS," Pasadena, 8/14/00) reported that ROK's state run Yonhap news service said DPRK leader Kim Jong-il told ROK media executives at a meeting in Pyongyang last week that he would seek to establish ties with the US immediately if his country were removed from a US list of terrorism-sponsoring nations. Kim said, "The U.S. is putting a cap of a terrorist nation on us. As soon as they remove it, we would open ties with the U.S.--even tomorrow." Yonhap also quoted Kim as saying that the DPRK will continue to develop what it calls scientific satellites for peaceful purposes. Meanwhile, the US reacted coolly to the DPRK offer, saying the DPRK would have to take action before any such move would be contemplated. A senior US official said, "They can continue to send all the messages and hints they want - that they want to be taken off the list. But they have to actually take the steps before we will consider it. It is very clear what steps they have to take." [Ed. note: The Associated Press article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 14, 2000.]

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2. DPRK Missile Program

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "N.KOREA ADMITS MISSILE SALES," Seoul, 8/14/00) reported that according to ROK newspaper reports Monday, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il admitted that his country has been selling missiles to Iran and Syria. Kim reportedly said his country has to develop missiles to earn foreign currency, and that he was not serious when he told Russian President Vladimir Putin about a possible deal to stop his country's missile development. In a meeting on August 12 with 46 ROK media executives, Kim said he made the remarks quoted by Putin as "a passing, laughing matter." The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper on Monday quoted Kim as saying, "I told Putin that $200 million to $300 million is needed to launch a rocket and that if the U.S. launches our satellites into orbit instead, we'll stop developing them. I made this and other remarks regarding scientific technology research of rockets as a passing, laughing matter. Putin did not respond at that time but he later seized on it firmly and things happened like that." Kim made it clear that the DPRK would not stop its missile development unless it is paid for an expected financial loss. He was quoted by ROK newspapers as saying, "Developing a rocket generates hundreds of millions of dollars. How could you stop it? Let's assume we develop the rockets, produce inter-continental ballistic missiles and fire two or three at the United States. Would we be able to win? And yet, the United States makes issue with this."

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREA DEMANDS US COMPENSATION TO END MISSILE PROGRAM," Seoul, 8/13/00) reported that a statement released on August 13 by a delegation of ROK media executives who met with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il on August 12, said Kim said the US must pay compensation if it wants DPRK's missile program closed down. The delegation quoted Kim as saying, "I think the United States is now in trouble because they don't want to give us money but they want to stop our scientific research. It might be a big headache for them." Kim said DPRK's rocket program could bring their nation "billions of dollars." The report said he also urged the US to respond to the offer he made through Russian President Vladimir Putin to close down the program in return for US funding of satellite launches.

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3. DPRK-ROK Talks

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREAN LEADER REACHES OUT TO SOUTH FOR RECONCILIATION WEEK," Seoul, 8/13/00) reported that the official DPRK Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on August 13 that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il hailed the new spirit of reconciliation on the divided peninsula and offered to meet ROK's conservative opposition. Kim made the remarks during his August 12 meeting with ROK media executives in Pyongyang. KCNA said Kim noted "with satisfaction that the overall relations between the North and the South have developed in favor of national reconciliation, unity and reunification since the publication of the June 15 joint declaration." KCNA said the meeting proceeded "in an amicable atmosphere overflowing with compatriotic feelings." It quoted Kim as saying he would "join hands with whoever supports and welcomes the joint declaration and takes part in the work to achieve the cause of reunification irrespective of whether it is a ruling party or an opposition party and leaving not only one's misstatement in the past but that made yesterday unnoticed."

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4. DPRK Reaction to US-Japan Military Drills

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA SLAMS U.S.-JAPAN MILITARY DRILL PLAN," Tokyo, 8/14/00) reported that the DPRK on Monday criticized joint military exercises planned by Japan and the US, saying they could threaten diplomatic talks with Japan scheduled to start next week. The DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, "There is no guarantee that the joint military exercise will not have a negative influence on the DPRK (North Korea)-U.S. and the DPRK-Japan talks." The exercises will involve around 20,000 soldiers from both countries and take place at land facilities run by Japan's Self-Defense Forces, as well as in Japanese territorial waters and airspace. KCNA criticized the plan for joint exercises, saying: "This cannot but arouse high vigilance of the people and the people's army of Korea as it is a very dangerous development which may vitiate the hard-won atmosphere of detente and create tensions on the Korean peninsula. Negotiations and confrontation are incompatible. The DPRK is prepared for both negotiations and confrontation."

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5. ROK-DPRK Liaison Office

The Associated Press ("KOREAS REOPEN BORDER LIAISONS," Panmunjom, 8/13/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK reopened border liaison offices Monday, four years after they were closed. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said at the border village of Panmunjom, "This shows that the will of South and North Korea to faithfully implement their summit agreement is firm." Two telephone hotlines link the two liaison offices. The ROK Unification Ministry said eight officials from each side will relay messages and conduct other work in their office for nine hours a day.

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6. Japanese Food Aid to DPRK

Japan Economic Newswire ("N. KOREA SAID ALLOCATING JAPANESE RICE THROUGHOUT POPULATION," Beijing, 8/12/00) reported that Masaharu Kono, deputy director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Bureau, said on August 12 after a trip to the DPRK that he believes that the DPRK is distributing Japanese rice aid to all sections of the population. Kono said they inspected households, warehouses, kindergartens and food-distribution points in the provinces of North and South Pyongang and North Hwanghae from August 9-11. Kono said Japanese rice aid in particular was reaching children, old people, orphans and pregnant women. He noted that the Rome-based World Food Program has issued a similar assessment of DPRK's distribution of Japanese rice aid on the basis of a total of 197 inspections. Kono said a senior DPRK official expressed appreciation for Japan's rice aid and told the three-member Japanese mission that Pyongyang would not forget the help it received at a time of trouble. He quoted a DPRK official dealing with damage caused by floods as telling the mission that the drought that began in May has severely hit the country's food production. Kono said he was told that food production would be reduced by some 1 million tons from the initial target.

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7. Taiwan President's US Visit

The Associated Press ("TAIWAN LEADER STOPS IN LOS ANGELES," Los Angeles, 8/13/00) reported that Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian arrived on August 13 in Los Angeles for a quiet overnight visit, his first venture abroad as president. Chen declined the invitation of US Representative Sam Gejdenson (Connecticut), the ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee, who had invited about a dozen Democratic and Republican committee members and others to meet with Chen at a private residence in Santa Monica, California. While officials in Taiwan played down the cancellation, Gejdenson complained that the US State Department and White House had "pressured [him] to refrain from meeting with Congress during his visit" and keep a low profile. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 14, 2000.]

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8. Taiwan Military Policy Toward PRC

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN WILL NOT FIRE FIRST AGAINST CHINA," Taipei, 8/14/00) reported that Taiwan's military said on August 13 that it would not incite tensions with the PRC in the wake of a report of a near confrontation last month between their air forces. Commenting on an August 12 report in the PRC's Liberation Army Daily that several Taiwanese fighters crossed the middle of the Taiwan Strait in mid-July, defense ministry spokesman Kung Fan-ding said, "Our rules for the first-line naval and air force staff are strict. In a word we are prepared to fight but will by no means seek to fire the first shot. We'll never be provocative, nor will we move to escalate tensions." The paper said the Taiwanese fighters nearly clashed with a fleet of PRC J-8 and Sukho 27 fighters.

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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

Yunxia Cao:
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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