NAPSNet Daily Report
august 16, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. DPRK-ROK Relations

Agence France Presse (Zeno Park, "NORTH KOREA REALLY WANTS RECONCILIATION THIS TIME: SOUTH," Seoul, 8/15/00) reported that officials and analysts in the ROK said the DPRK appears to be a genuine partner in peace and determined to honor the joint agreement on reconciliation reached at the historic inter-Korean summit in June. ROK Culture-Tourism Minister Park Jie-Won, who led a delegation of media executives to the DPRK last week, said he felt seismic shifts were taking place in the DPRK. Park said, "I felt drastic changes were taking place in the North in the aftermath of the summit." Analysts in the ROK said the DPRK appeared to have taken a policy shift on the issue of relatives separated for decades because of the Cold War division of Korea. Lee Jong-Seok of the private Sejong Institute said, "For North Korea, allowing home visits amounts to a revolutionary change."

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2. Repatriation of DPRK Prisoners

Reuters ("N.KOREA OPEN TO PRISONERS' FAMILIES IN SOUTH-KCNA," Seoul, 8/16/00) reported that the DPRK's official the Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday that the DPRK is willing to allow dozens of former prisoners in the ROK to bring their families with them when they are repatriated to the DPRK. KCNA said, "Some of them wish to come to the North together with their families, if possible. It is only too natural for them to express such a wish. The number of those who have requested their repatriation reached over 60 in early August." It said some of the former prisoners, jailed for decades after refusing to denounce the DPRK's communist ideology, have parents, wives and children in the ROK. The prisoners, due to be repatriated next month, are expected to receive a hero's welcome in the DPRK for remaining loyal for decades. The report said, "We will warmly receive unconverted long-term prisoners whether they come here together with their families or alone." The issue of the prisoners drew sharp criticism in the ROK as ROK agreed to return DPRK prisoners without winning a similar promise from the DPRK. An official at the Red Cross in Seoul said he was unaware of any deal covering the return of families with former prisoners. Kim Seok-woo, spokesman for the ROK National Red Cross said, "This is news to me. There's a meeting between the two sides set for early September regarding long-term prisoners. Timing and other details will be discussed then."

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3. ROK-Japan Talks

Agence France Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT JAPAN SEPTEMBER 22-24," Tokyo, 8/16/00) reported that an ROK spokesman said Wednesday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will visit Japan from September 22 to 24 for talks focused on a peace drive with the DPRK. The official said, "The president will visit Japan between September 22 and 24, but the place of the meeting has not yet been decided." He said Kim was expected to brief Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori on the rapprochement efforts with the DPRK, which have raised hopes that the Cold War division of the peninsula could be nearing an end.

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4. PRC View on US Missile Defense

Reuters ("CHINA PLA THINK-TANK SLAMS U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE," Beijing, 8/16/00) reported that a panel of authorities at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Science warned the US that building a missile defense shield would inflict tremendous political costs on the US and spark a Sino-American conflict over Taiwan. The panel said placing Taiwan under the missile umbrella would create a US military alliance with the island. The official China Daily quoted Luo Yuan, a senior strategist at the PLA academy, who said the deployment of the proposed US National Missile Defense (NMD) and Theatre Missile Defense (TMD) systems would have a "tremendous" political cost for the US. In a report published on Wednesday, Luo said in the five years it took to deploy the system, concerned states would build even more offensive weapons and leave the US no safer. He also said shielding Taiwan with the TMD would create a "de facto military alliance" between Taiwan and the US that would upset Sino-US relations. He added, "There is no reason for military conflict between China and the U.S. except on the question of Taiwan." Luo and other PLA experts dismissed US assertions that the goal of the two programs was to protect the US and its troops and allies in Asia from missiles launched by hostile states such as Iran, Iraq and the DPRK. Luo said, "Such excuses do not hold water." Instead, he said the proposed shield "principally targets containing Russia and China. The U.S. global strategy in Europe is to contain Russia's revival and in Asia to contain China's growth, and is to preserve U.S. hegemony in the world."

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5. PRC Missile Threat

Agence France Presse ("CHINA'S SHORT-RANGE MISSILES POSE MAIN THREAT TO TAIWAN: OFFICIAL," Lungtan, 8/16/00) reported that top military officials in Taiwan on August 15 warned that the PRC's huge stockpile of M class short-range missiles would be the most likely weapon used against Taiwan in the event of an attack. Officials said Taiwan would be virtually powerless in the face of such a saturation offensive, but urged the public not to panic. Navy captain Chang Ching, an instructor at the National Defense University, said theoretically the PRC's ballistic missiles, including the continental DF-31s now in service, could threaten the island. However, he said, "it would be too costly to attack Taiwan using long-range missiles. Most likely the Chinese communists could use M class missiles carrying traditional warheads to strike at cities, military establishments and airports here." It was not clear about the exact size of the M class stockpiles, but military analysts in Taiwan estimated the People's Liberation Army has up to 400 of the missiles. The firing ranges of improved M-9s and M-11s may run up to 600 kilometers (360 miles) and 480 kilometers respectively. Taiwanese military experts estimate Beijing may increase the number of M-class missiles to around 650 in five years.

Reuters ("TAIWAN EXPERTS WANT BIGGER ANTI-MISSILE BUDGET," Taoyuan, 8/16/00) reported that navy captain Chang Ching said on August 15 that Taiwan needs a bigger defense budget to beef up its anti-missile defense to counter moves by the PRC to upgrade its ballistic missile technology. Chang said, "M-class missiles pose the greatest threat to Taiwan as they are the most cost-effective way of launching strikes against our major cities, military bases, infrastructure and airports. Because of the proximity between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, we are in a less favorable position in terms of anti-defense." Although Taiwan has nearly completed deployment of its US-made Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC) and indigenous Sky Bow II anti-missile systems, Chang said Taiwan would need to spend more to strengthen its defenses. He added, "The PAC-2 and Sky Bow II systems can only provide single layer anti-missile protection. We need to upgrade our system. We need a bigger budget to accomplish that." Chang said the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles in Dong Feng-31s and Dong Feng-41s would greatly boost the PRC's nuclear warfare capability.

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6. US-Japan Military Relations

Reuters ("OKINAWA DEMANDS REVIEW OF U.S.-JAPAN MILITARY PACT," Tokyo, 8/16/00) reported that the government of Okinawa, the southern Japanese island that hosts the bulk of US military forces in Japan, called on Wednesday for a review of a key military pact that defines the status of US forces in Japan. The Kyodo news agency said officials held a special meeting where the Okinawan government endorsed an 11-point proposal calling for revision of the Japan-US Status-of-Forces Agreement. In particular, the proposal calls for a revision of the criminal court procedure for US military personnel so that US forces must hand over all personnel who commit crimes in Japan, no matter how serious, to Japanese authorities before indictment if so requested. The Okinawan government intends to forward the proposal, which also includes points dealing with environmental pollution within the bases, to the Japanese central government and the US embassy in Tokyo by late August.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong,"KOREAN RELATIVES MEET IN TEARFUL REUNIONS; DISPLACED FAMILIES VISIT SEOUL, PYONGYANG," Seoul, 08/16/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK family members who had been separated for half a century met in tearful reunions in Seoul and Pyongyang on August 15. The 100 ROK citizens who flew into Seoul met their ROK relatives in the afternoon at a huge conference room at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul. The same number of DPRK citizens met their families from the ROK at the Koryo Hotel in central Pyongyang almost simultaneously. The meeting places in the two capitals were transformed into seas of delight, grief and catharsis as the families found their long-lost loved ones, burst into tears, hugged each other and exchanged greetings and news of their relatives between sobs. In addition to the "group meetings" on August 15, the visitors will have at least four more family-by-family private meetings Wednesday and Thursday, this time at the Sheraton-Walker Hill Hotel in Seoul and Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang, where the visitors are staying during their four-day trip.

The Korea Herald (Shin Hye-son, "NORTH KOREAN LEADER'S REMARKS GIVE DIVIDED FAMILIES NEW HOPE," Seoul, 08/15/00) reported that several million separated ROK family members on Tuesday expressed renewed optimism due to recent remarks made by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, who reportedly hinted at continuing and expanding family reunions. It is estimated that there are about 10 million people in the ROK who were separated from their family members during or after the 1950-1953 Korean War. Most of them are over 60 years of age. Kim, chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, remarked on further family reunions on August 12 at a luncheon meeting with a group of ROK media chiefs visiting Pyongyang. At the meeting, he proposed to stage two more family exchange visits in September and October in addition to the one slated for August 15-18. He also offered to let separated family members visit each others' homes by next year. Kim also accepted the media executives' proposal that the ROK send a group of 100 tourists to Mount Paektu, DPRK and the DPRK send a like number of its travelers to Mount Halla, ROK.

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2. Inter-Korean Olympic Team

The Korea Herald ("2 KOREAS LIKELY TO FIELD COMMON FLAG IN SYDNEY OLYMPIC GAMES," Seoul, 08/16/00) reported that in a bid to show the world that they are essentially one country, the ROK and the DPRK are likely to use a "Korean Peninsula Flag" instead of their separate national flags in the upcoming Sydney Olympics. ROK Culture and Tourism Minister Park Jie-won told reporters on August 14 that he proposed to DPRK IOC representative Jang Woong that athletes from the ROK and the DPRK enter the opening ceremony simultaneously, wearing the same uniforms and sporting a flag representing the Korean peninsula. According to Park, Jang responded positively to the proposal, saying that carrying two flags into the Sydney arena would unduly emphasize the division of Korea and that he would notify him of DPRK's stand soon. Park also indicated the proposed joint-entry into the Olympic Games is likely to be discussed in detail among the National Olympic Committees of the two states.

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3. Liaison Offices

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "LIAISON OFFICES BRING TWO KOREAS CLOSER; AFTER FOUR-YEAR HIATUS, TWO GOVERNMENTS SEND REPRESENTATIVES TO PANMUNJOM," Seoul, 08/15/00) reported that in another small but symbolic step toward rapprochement, the ROK and the DPRK on August 14 reactivated their liaison offices at the border village of Panmunjom after a four-year hiatus. By reconnecting two telephone lines across the border, the ROK and the DPRK reopened a dialogue channel that had been shut down since November 1996. ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said, "The reopening of liaison offices demonstrates, both here and abroad, the strong will of both the South and the North to promote peace, reconciliation, cooperation and unification." Park said the two sides will likely use the offices for general communications, consultations on follow-up steps to major agreements and to arrange bilateral exchanges and contacts.

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4. DPRK Leader

The Korea Times ("NK LEADER SHATTERS CONVENTIONAL WISDOM," Seoul, 08/14/00) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il surprised everyone by commented on the policies of his late father Kim Il-sung. Kim said, "Things have changed a lot since the June 15 Joint Declaration, which was made possible with President Kim Dae-jung's resolution," hinting at the possibility that he and President Kim would approach unification issues in a different way. Many political analysts believed that the late DPRK leader, who had witnessed Soviet leaders' rampant criticism against previous governments, had chosen to groom his son to become his successor out of fear that his decades-long personality cult and policy mistakes might become the target of criticism after his death. However, the reported noted that Kim Il-sung's preparations failed because Kim Jong-il by admitted to his father's policy mistakes and has partly shed the legacies of his father's administration, while vowing to independently pursue his own policies on unification.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. Reopening of Inter-Korean Liaison Office

People's Daily (Gao Haorong, "ROK, DPRK RESTORE THE PANMUNJOM LIAISON OFFICE," Seoul, 08/15/00, P6) reported that on Sunday ROK and DPRK officially restored the Panmunjom Liaison Office which has been closed for 4 years. ROK Minister of Reunification said that the office will not only undertake the various liaison responsibilities, but also serve as a juncture for the future contacts and exchange programs.

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2. Reunion of Separated Families

China Daily ("REUNIONS BREAK COLD WAR ICE," Seoul, 08/16/00, P1) reported that an airliner from the DPRK landed in ROK on August 15 bringing 100 elderly Koreans from DPRK for emotional reunion with relatives they have not seen during the past half- century of Cold-War hostility. The Koryo airline then returned to Pyongyang bringing 100 Koreans from the ROK. The DPRK Nationals, all over the age of 60, grinned and waved happily at the throng of ROK residents who cheered their arrival in Seoul. The exchanges of reunions were agreed between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il at their landmark June summit in Pyongyang. The 100 residents of ROK chosen to visit Pyongyang were selected on the basis of age in a lottery. Kim Jong-il hinted to the visiting ROK media last weekend that more reunions would be held.

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3. ROK Media Executives in DPRK

Wenhui Daily ("KIM JONG-I1: NORTH-SOUTH RELATIONS GO SMOOTHLY," Pyongyang, 08/14/00, P7) and China Daily ("MEDIA TO END WAR OF WORDS," Seoul, 08/14/00, P11) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il urged ROK media representatives in a rare meeting to promote the common interests of both sides and help develop their relations on a new basis. The ROK delegation said in a statement on August 12 that "both sides agreed to stop slander, which hurts national reconciliation and unity. According to ROK Yonhap News Agency, the talks were held in a "warm, cordial atmosphere." It quoted DPRK Korean Central News Agency as saying that Kim told the delegation that it was important to solve "historic tasks before the Korean nation in keeping with the needs of the new millennium, promoting the common interests of the nation and developing DPRK-ROK relations on a new basis." 4. ROK View of ROK-DPRK Relations

People's Daily (Gao Haorong, "KIM DAE-JUNG: ROK-DPRK COOPERATION IS BENEFICIAL TO BOTH," Seoul, 08/15/00, P6) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on August 13 that the ROK and the DPRK should join hands to strengthen cooperation, which is beneficial to both sides. In the dinner reception for the ROK delegation of separated families who will visit Pyongyang, Kim said that the exchange visits of the delegations initiate the practice of the June summit meeting. He said it symbolizes that the ROK- DPRK relations have entered a new stage and the ROK government will continue to make efforts to reunite those separated families and ensure their free choice of living in either sides. Kim expressed his optimism in the upcoming ministerial-level meeting of the two sides in late August.

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5. Russian-Japanese Relations

People's Liberation Army Daily (Zhang Huanli, "TERRITORIAL DISPUTES FIRST, TREATY SECOND," Tokyo, 08/10/00, P5) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said, in a press conference in Nagasaki on Wednesday, that the Japanese government will stick to its long-standing policy on territorial disputes with Russia. Mori said that the settlement of territorial disputes should be the precondition of bilateral peace treaty. The Japanese government will hold candid dialogue with the Russian President Vladimir Putin who will be visiting in September. On August 8, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono expressed in the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors that the two countries had once agreed to settle the northern territorial disputes and conclude peace treaty in 2000.

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6. US-Japanese Relations

World Economics and Politics (Jin Xide, "THE REDEFINATION OF JAPAN-US ALLIANCE AND ITS FUTURE TREND," No. 7, 2000, P13-18) carried an article on the future trend of Japan-US Alliance. The writer divided his paper into three parts: the background of Alliance redefinition, the redefinition process and the future trend of the Alliance. Regarding the motives of US and Japan, Jin said the US was driven by the "enemy seeking" mentality, the need to establish US-dominated hegemonic system in East Asia, and the need to strengthen the multiple functions of US-Japan Alliance. For Japan, he said, the motives lie in the maintenance of good US-Japan relations, keeping strategic advantage over PRC and increasing its security coefficient. Predicting the future trend of US-Japan Alliance, Jin said it depended on both sides' strategic adjustment under the new internal and external situations. After presenting different ideas and proposals on the issue, he concluded in his article that the bilateral alliance will continue to be maintained in the predictable long period, which will even be strengthened in the near and mid term. During this period, he pointed out, the "US dominates, Japan follows" model is still the fundamental framework in US- Japanese relations.

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7. Taiwan Question

People's Daily (Zhang Jing, "JIANG ZEMIN MEETS U.S. CONGRESSMAN," 08/15/00, P1) and China Daily ("PRESIDENT: PEACEFUL REUNIFICATION POLICY UNCHANGED," Hebei, 08/15/00, P1) reported that on August 14 in a meeting with Bill Archer, US House of Representatives member and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, PRC President Jiang Zemin said that the policy of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" remains unchanged. However, he said, the one-China principle is the prerequisite and basis for resuming cross-straits dialogue and negotiations. Jiang said that as long as the Taiwan authorities recognize the one-China principle, cross-straits dialogue can be resumed, and everything can be discussed. He added that the PRC hopes that the US Government will take practical actions to fulfill its commitments to its policy of recognizing the one-China principle.

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8. PRC View of US National Missile Defense

Xinmin Evening News published an article by Shen Dingli, Deputy Director of the Center for American Studies of Fudan University ("NMD: A DIFFICULT DICISION," 08/12/00, P15) in which he analyzed the criteria of the changing international security situation and their effects on the US decision-making process for the deployment of its National Missile Defense (NMD). Shen wrote that concerning financial affordability, the US is able to prop up the currently-planned system because the US$60 billion amounts to 1 to 2 per cent of US military spending over more than 10 years. However, he wrote, this is only a static evaluation, the dynamic investment is in fact unpredictable. As to the missile "threat", Shen said, since the capability design of the NMD is most suitable against the PRC, it is not hard to infer that PRC is the main target. He is also noted that the DPRK has signaled its stance to settle its missile question politically, but the US would not change its policy, especially in the election year. Regarding technology feasibility, the writer said that although modern technology has ensured the NMD a higher possibility of success compared with SDI, the tests conducted have disclosed that there still exists vital technology shortcomings in the existing system. The author assumed that 7 MRVs (each with 10 warheads/decoys) or 17 MRVs (each with 4 warheads/decoys) could completely break NMD. Finally, regarding impact on arms control, the US deployment would force Russia and medium nuclear powers to strengthen their penetration capability of strategic weapons, and affect their participation in FMCT negotiation.

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "EXPERTS: U.S. PLAN COULD START NEW ARMS RACE," 08/16/00, P1) reported that according to PRC military experts, US plans for a NMD system, a move aimed to preserve its dominant position, is bound to disrupt global strategic balance and lead to a new arms race. They said the US defense plan "principally targets containing Russia and China." Luo Yuan, Director of the Second Office of the Department of Strategy Studies under the Academy of Military Science, said that "the US global strategy in Europe is to contain Russia's revival and in Asia to contain China's growth, and is to preserve US hegemony in the world." Luo described the NMD defense plans for 2005 as "high risk," calling NMD a "hangover" from the Cold War. Luo also said the political cost of its deployment will be "tremendous for the United States." He warned that pushing ahead with the plan will give rise to most serious negative consequence on the security of not only Russia, the PRC and other countries, but also on the US itself and the world as a whole. Luo added that one problem is that it takes more time to develop defensive weaponry than offensive arms.

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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

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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