NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, august 25, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Announcements

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I. United States

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1. US-Russian Talks on DPRK

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, released a Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman for the US Department of State ("AMBASSADOR SHERMAN'S TRAVEL TO MOSCOW AND SEOUL," 8/24/00) which said that US Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman will lead a small delegation to Russia August 28-29 for consultations with senior Russian officials on a range of DPRK issues. The statement said, "Ambassador Sherman will then travel to Seoul to lead a U.S. delegation participating in trilateral consultations with the Republic of Korea and Japan on September 1."

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2. DPRK Famine

The Associated Press ("UN OFFICIAL - N KOREA STILL IN NEED OF OUTSIDE FOOD AID," Seoul, 8/25/00) and Reuters ("NORTH KOREA FACING FOOD CRISIS, NEEDS AID -UNESCO," Seoul, 8/25/00) reported that Koichiro Matsuura, director-general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said on Friday that a lack of rain will hurt the DPRK's crops this year, forcing the country to continue to depend on outside aid to feed its people. Matsuura said, "North Korea will continue to need large-scale international food aid." Matsuura met ROK President Kim Dae-jung and ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn on Friday to discuss his findings in the DPRK. Matsuura said the UN World Food Program will soon issue a new appeal for international aid for the DPRK. Citing UN officials working in the DPRK, he said that the DPRK's crop harvest this year might be lower than last year, but it is not as bad as the worst period in the mid-1990s. He added, "As a whole, North Korea's economy is recovering."

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3. PRC-Japan Maritime Dispute

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN TO URGE CHINA TO CURB SHIP OPERATIONS IN ITS WATERS," Tokyo, 8/25/00) reported that Japan's Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said on Friday that he would urge the PRC to curb ship operations in his country's exclusive economic zone when he visits Beijing next week. Kono said, "I would like to seek self-restraint on the activities of Chinese vessels and consider some kind of measures." The Japanese government said on August 24 that it was postponing the delivery of a major loan to the PRC owing to vocal opposition from lawmakers over the activities of vessels, including suspected spy ships, roaming near Japanese waters. The two countries have yet to sign a treaty delimiting their exclusive economic waters due to disputes over establishment of a demarcation line, but Japan has been alarmed by increasing research activities and warship operations in what it regards as its own exclusive economic zone.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "N.K.- JAPAN TALKS END WITH SOME PROGRESS," Seoul, 08/25/00) reported that an ROK diplomatic source said that the DPRK and Japan made some headway in the three-day 10th round of normalization talks that ended in Tokyo on Thursday. In the negotiations, the two sides were set to agree on setting up two panels on the return of Korea's cultural treasures and improving the legal status of Koreans living in Japan, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The two issues were part of preconditions the DPRK attached to agreeing on the establishment of diplomatic relations with Japan. The two sides however failed to iron out their differences over some key issues such as Japan's apology and compensation for its colonial rule and the DPRK's alleged kidnapping of some Japanese. Chief negotiators for these talks were Jong Tae-hwa and Kojiro Takano, ambassadors-at-large of the Foreign Ministries from the DPRK and Japan, respectively.

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2. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM CALLS FOR MEASURES TO EASE MILITARY TENSIONS ON PENINSULA," Seoul, 08/25/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on Thursday that efforts to ease military tension on the Korean Peninsula must go hand in hand with the promotion of economic cooperation and cultural exchange programs between the two Koreas. Kim also said that a new Korean peace regime must be established at the four-party talks that also involve the US and the PRC. "We should seek a balanced development of inter-Korean ties in the military, economic and social and cultural fields," Kim said in a meeting of security and foreign policy-related ministers. The President said that despite recent positive developments in inter-Korean relations, the Koreas are still in a "state of military confrontation," and that a peace mechanism has yet to be established. "Therefore, we should not slacken our security awareness and assume and become too optimistic," Kim said. The President particularly emphasized the need to maintain a solid security posture in alliance with the US. The President called on the ministers to promote exchanges of military personnel and information between the Koreas so that they can build up trust. "We should make sure soldiers do not think of war," he said. The President said that the two Koreas must seek to establish a completely new peace mechanism on the peninsula in the four-way talks.

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3. UN Session

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "SOUTH KOREA MAY NOT RAISE HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES," Seoul, 08/25/00) reported that in an apparent attempt to keep the current atmosphere of inter-Korean reconciliation from freezing over again, the ROK will likely break from its tradition of touching on human rights conditions in the DPRK during the upcoming UN session in New York. "It would be difficult (for the government) to raise such an issue at this session given the current inter-Korean cooperative and reconciliatory mood," a government source said on Thursday. Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung-binn is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the 55th session of the UN General Assembly in mid-September. The source said that Minister Lee would instead focus on the importance of the June inter-Korean summit and the recent developments on the peninsula.

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4. US Military Dumping

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "PROSECUTION'S PROBE INTO U.S. MILITARY DUMPING CASE MAKES LITTLE PROGRESS," 8/25/00) reported that the ROK officials said the Seoul District Prosecutors' investigation into US Forces Korea's (USFK) illegal dumping of toxic chemicals into the Han River is proceeding much slower than expected, mainly because of the US military's lack of cooperation. An anonymous source said that prosecutors intended to call in a US civilian employee involved in the dumping case for questioning by August 18, but failed to do so in the face of USFK's refusal to send the suspect. USFK asked for Kim's questioning to be delayed, notifying the prosecution that it would send Kim after it completes its own probe into the dumping case. The prosecution's attitude toward the investigation and USFK's reluctance to cooperate has angered local ROK civic groups, including Green Korea United (GKU), which demanded the early summons of US employees involved in the dumping. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 25, 2000.]

III. Announcements

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1. TMD Website Launched

The Nautilus Institute launched a new web page detailing the "East Asian Regional Security Futures: Theater Missile Defense Implications" workshop co-sponsored by the Nautilus Institute and the United Nations University and held in Tokyo, Japan, June 24-25. The meeting brought together a small group of specialists for an open exchange of views on the implications of TMD development and deployment. Topics included diplomatic, military and technical dimensions of current TMD proposals, and the relationship of TMD to U.S. national missile defense (NMD) proposals. The workshop culminates the first phase of the Missile Defense Initiative, a project examining the role of TMD in the long-term evolution of East Asian regional security. The Missile Defense Initiative is a current focus of the Nautilus Institute's ongoing Nuclear Policy Project, and is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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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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