NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, october 30, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

Agence France Presse ("US AND NORTH KOREA TO OPEN MISSILE TALKS WEDNESDAY IN KUALA LUMPUR," Washington, 10/30/00) reported that the White House said that missile talks between the US and the DPRK will start on November 1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. White House spokesman Jake Siewert said that an announcement on whether US President Bill Clinton would make a visit to the DPRK was unlikely until the talks concluded. He said that the talks would be an "important follow-up" to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's trip to the DPRK last week, and that they would assess whether a trip by the president "is useful to ensure the reducing of tensions and the dangers of proliferation on the peninsula." He also said that Clinton was due to meet his national security advisors Monday morning to assess progress made during Albright's trip. A US State Department official said that it was not yet known how long the talks in Kuala Lumpur would last. Earlier Monday, Albright said that a Clinton visit to the DPRK would depend on progress made in the missile talks. Albright told ABC television's "Good Morning America" program, "We have to see what more can come out of the discussions that I had in North Korea about limiting their missiles which, obviously, are of great concern to us. The president and I are talking about whether he should go." Albright added that Kim was not the "peculiar person" some made him out to be, "he is somebody that I had quite a logical and pragmatic discussion with. But we have to test what his intentions are and I think it's worth doing."

The Washington Post published a commentary by Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center in Washington, ("THIS IS NO WAY TO CURB THE NORTH KOREAN THREAT," 10/29/00) which said that a US trade of satellite launches for a DPRK moratorium on missile tests is "almost certain" to lead to a transfer of missile technology to the DPRK. The author argued that, together with the 1994 Agreed Framework, a satellite launching deal "could help North Korea perfect a large nuclear rocket force that could reach the United States." He maintained that under the Agreed Framework, "South Korea must train roughly 1,000 North Korean nuclear technicians, which represents a vast increase in the number of people versed in nuclear operations. The framework also would, when fully implemented, result in a massive expansion of North Korea's nuclear materials production base." He added, "And the one thing that North Korean military planners lack to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile--a workable third or upper stage--is precisely the technology the satellite deal would be primed to provide. That's because any effort to launch a satellite intrinsically involves sharing information about how to launch it." He warned, "Just as the United States could not prevent China from gaining such information from U.S. space contractors and Russia could not live up to its pledges to block such technology from going to India, the prospects of keeping North Korea from securing such knowledge are slight." Noting that the DPRK's electrical grid is too small to handle the output from the light-water reactors, Sokolski argued that it would make more sense to make at least the first of the power stations non- nuclear. He added that if the DPRK refused such an offer, it would "at least indicate what Pyongyang's true intentions are about whether it will dismantle its nuclear plants." He also added that instead of space launch services, the US and its allies could offer the DPRK imagery and communications, which would be cheaper and would allow the US to make sure that the DPRK was not using them for military purposes. He concluded, "One thing is clear. It makes no more sense for the United States or its allies to help Pyongyang make more nuclear weapons material than it does for them to help Pyongyang perfect its long-range missiles. If the White House offers to pay contractors to loft North Korean satellites and doesn't substitute non-nuclear plants for the promised reactors, though, we may well end up doing both."

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2. Japan-DPRK Normalization Talks

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN AND NORTH KOREA HOLD TALKS AMID ANGRY RHETORIC," Beijing, 10/30/00) and Reuters ("JAPAN, NORTH KOREA TRY TO NORMALIZE RELATIONS IN BEIJING," Beijing, 10/30/00) reported that Japan and the DPRK held the 11th round of normalization talks between the two countries in Beijing on Monday. A diplomat said that Japan's chief negotiator Kojiro Takano met for three hours with his DPRK counterpart Jong Thae-hwa at the Japanese Embassy before a brief break and new talks in the afternoon. Before the talks, Tokano was quoted by the Jiji Press as saying, "I understand that this negotiation should be a meeting aimed at launching our concrete work.... I earnestly hope our two countries will come closer to each other." However, the DPRK's state-run Minjun Joson daily on October 29 accused Japan of harboring ambitions to once again become a military power. Commenting on plans for joint Japanese-US military drills next month, it said: "This clearly proves that Japan is more hell-bent on the moves to turn it into a military power and prepare for re-invasion, backed by the US, behind the curtain of 'dialogue' and 'improvement of ties.'" A decision on whether to hold a second day of discussions on October 31 at the DPRK embassy was only due to be taken at the end of Monday's talks.

The Associated Press ("REPORT: JAPAN TO OFFER N. KOREA AID," Japan, 10/29/00) reported that Japan's national Yomiuri newspaper on October 29 cited unidentified officials as saying that Japan will propose a donation of US$300 million and US$200 million in loans during a new round of talks this week. Japanese Foreign Ministry officials were unavailable on October 29 to comment on the report. The paper said that the loans will have an interest rate of 3.5 percent and be payable in 20 years, while the donations will consist of manufactured goods and services.

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3. Japanese View of DPRK-EU Relations

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN WELCOMES GERMANY'S NEW TIES WITH NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 10/30/00) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on Monday welcomed Germany's decision to establish diplomatic ties with the DPRK. A Japanese foreign ministry official said that Kono commented on the rapprochement when he met German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer who arrived earlier Monday for a two-day visit. However, Fischer said, "There still remain very serious problems in relations with North Korea." He pointed to the DPRK's suspected missile development program and nuclear weapons, as well as the alleged abductions of Japanese by DPRK agents since the 1960s. However, Fischer said, it was "more important to approach the North and deepen mutual understanding." Kono told Fischer that it was "very important that North Korea have diplomatic relations with Britain, Germany and other countries. Outside wind will blow into North Korea and various kinds of information will come out from North Korea."

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4. UNC Incursion into DPRK Airspace

The Associated Press ("U.N. COMMAND APOLOGIZES TO NORTH KOREA FOR ACCIDENTAL INCURSION," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that the US-led UN Command (UNC) apologized to the DPRK on October 28 for a brief accidental incursion of two US military jets into the country's airspace. When US and DPRK military officers met at Panmunjom for half an hour on October 28, the UN command reiterated that the aircraft crossed the border inadvertently and were immediately brought back by emergency radio calls to the pilots. A news release from the command said, "The U.N. Command informed the Korean People's Army that they regretted the incident and that an investigation is ongoing." The command offered a joint investigation and proposed establishing a military hotline to improve communications and reduce tension along the Demilitarized Zone. The command said that the DPRK did not respond to the proposals. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 30, 2000.]

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5. US View of ROK-DPRK Relations

The US Department of State's Office of International Information Programs ("ALBRIGHT SEES COMPLICATED PYONGYANG-SEOUL RELATIONSHIP," 10/27/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeline Albright offered her impressions of the different circumstances surrounding possible reconciliation between the ROK and the DPRK while en route to the US on October 26. Albright compared the possible reconciliation with the task of reuniting Germany at the end of the Cold War. She said, "From my own perspective, I'd say that the differences between East and West Berlin were much less than between Pyongyang and Seoul. The Germans had never fought each other. So this is a very different issue and I think it's going to be a very interesting unfolding story." She also praised ROK President Kim Dae-jung's role in the Korean reconciliation process, saying, "It's his doing and he should have the credit and we can build on what he's done. The Trilateral aspect of this is very important and all of us have to do things in parallel."

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6. US Troops in ROK

The International Herald Tribune (Don Kirk, "SOUTH KOREA AND U.S. SHOW DIFFERENCES ON DEFENSE POLICY," Seoul, 10/28-29/00) reported that differences between US and ROK defense officials on the role of US troops in Korea emerged at a conference attended by ROK defense minister Cho Seong-tae and US Forces in Korea Commander General Thomas Schwartz. Cho reportedly alarmed US military officials with a soft-line approach that jibed with the policy of reconciliation espoused by ROK president Kim Dae-jung. Cho said that while the alliance between the US and the ROK remained "the core of stability on the Korean Peninsula, there are some difficult issues." By contrast, Schwartz spoke of the need for an alliance that he believed would grow stronger amid moves toward a permanent peace on the peninsula. US ambassador to the ROK Stephen Bosworth, in a policy talk, emphasized the importance of not just the US-ROK alliance but also the trilateral relationship between the US, the ROK and Japan. He said that coordination among them remained "the essential core of U.S. policy toward Pyongyang." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 30, 2000.]

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7. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters ("CHINA SHOWS FLEXIBILITY ON TAIWAN, WESTERN DIPLOMAT SAYS," Beijing, 10/30/00) reported that a senior Western diplomat said on Monday that PRC leaders have indicated a slight relaxation in their stance on Taiwan. The anonymous diplomat said, "I would say they were inching toward a situation which could incorporate cross-strait dialogue." He added that in meetings with US officials, PRC leaders had shown more flexibility in the PRC's definition of its "one China" policy and clarified earlier declarations on the use of force against Taiwan. The diplomat described the latest shifts as small but significant in the possibility of getting the PRC and Taiwan back to the negotiating table. The diplomat said that the PRC had changed its definition of "one China" to include the PRC and Taiwan, instead of labeling Taiwan as a renegade province. He stated, "There is more room in the definition of 'one China', which used to be one China is the PRC, and Taiwan was referred to as either a renegade province or a province of China. Now the articulation from China is that there is one China, it is not the PRC, but Taiwan and the mainland are both a part of one China. I think there is a little more wiggle room for discussion in that second definition than there is in the first." The diplomat said that the US should seek to create an environment which would foster talks while weighing arms sales to Taiwan against the possibility that they might make the situation worse.

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8. Taiwan Impeachment Move

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN'S KUOMINTANG BEGINS IMPEACHMENT MOVE ON PRESIDENT," Taipei, 10/30/00) reported that Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang party (KMT) on Monday began a push to impeach Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian after his government cancelled construction of a US$5.6 billion nuclear power plant. The KMT caucus approved a recommendation to recall Chen and Vice President Annette Lu from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) back to parliament where they would face impeachment motions. A recall would result in the sacking of Chen and Lu and force a nationwide election. The decision has also been endorsed by the KMT Secretary- general Lin Feng-cheng, and was expected to be backed by the People First Party (PFP) and the right-wing New Party (NP). The recall requires an endorsement by 25 percent of parliament and then an approval by 66 percent of Taiwan's lawmakers, and Chen and Lu would be ousted if half of the eligible voters supported the move.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-US Missile Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "U.S., N.K. TO HOLD MISSILE TALKS IN KUALA LUMPUR," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that an ROK diplomatic source said Sunday that the US and the DPRK have agreed to hold talks on the DPRK's missile program in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. The missile talks will likely be represented by Jang Chang-chon, director-general for American affairs at the DPRK's Foreign Ministry, and Robert Einhorn, US assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation, the source said. ROK Foreign Ministry officials declined to confirm the agreement, saying that the US would announce the schedule of the missile talks as early as Monday. Officials and analysts said that chances are high that the US and the DPRK will find a solution to the DPRK's missile issue at the coming talks, as US President Bill Clinton's possible visit to the DPRK hinges on its outcome.

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2. DPRK-Japan Relations

The Korea Herald (Sohn Suk-joo, "JAPAN LIKELY TO APOLOGIZE TO N. KOREA FOR WAR CRIME," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that the Japanese government decided to apologize to the DPRK for the 35-year-long colonial rule on the Korean peninsula. NHK, the Japanese public broadcasting station, said on Saturday that the new decision was made in consideration of the DPRK's consistent demand for sufficient apology for the past colonial rule. While the Japanese government is about to embark on substantive meetings centered around apology and reparations for the past colonial rule, it will not suggest specific amounts of compensation for fear that the DPRK may not actively engage in negotiations for repatriating Japanese citizens kidnapped and held by the DPRK, NHK said.

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH, JAPAN TO RESUME TALKS," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that the 11th round of talks between the DPRK and Japan on normalizing the two countries' diplomatic relations would be held Monday and Tuesday in Beijing. "Improvement in our relations depends on the Japanese government's proposal," said Chung Tae- hwa, chief of the DPRK delegation.

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3. DPRK Foreign Relations

The Korea Times ("AUSSIE FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT NK NEXT MONTH," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that an ROK government source said Saturday that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will visit the DPRK late next month to hold talks with his counterpart Paek Nam-sun on enhancing bilateral ties. During the talks, Downer will reportedly stress the DPRK's need to reduce threats arising from its development of weapons of mass destruction, and make efforts to improve its human rights record. The Australian foreign minister, however, is unlikely to suggest the exchange of embassies.

The Korea Herald (Kil Byung-ok, "GERMANY, AUSTRALIA QUICKEN STEPS IN RAPPROCHEMENT WITH N.K.," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry officials said Sunday that Germany and Australia will likely quicken their diplomatic pace with the DPRK in the coming weeks. "Brisk efforts for diplomatic rapprochement with Pyongyang by these countries will serve as a role model for other Western nations to have progressive and constructive relations with North Korea," said an official, who asked not to be named. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was to visit Seoul Tuesday to discuss the country's policy toward the DPRK, officials said.

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4. Reunion of Separated Families

Chosun Ilbo ("RED CROSS LOCATES 161 DISPLACED FAMILY MEMBERS," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that as of Sunday, the ROK government and National Red Cross (KNRC) has confirmed the whereabouts of 161 separated displaced family members on a list of 200 sent by the DPRK Red Cross for the second round of exchange visits. The KNRC will get information on people on the list for 2-3 more days and complete its work by November 2 at the earliest using the database of residents of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs (MOGAHA). An official from the KNRC said "we plan to exchange the final result of the whereabouts of displaced family members requested by our North Korean counterpart on November 10 based on the agreement stipulating that it will be informed 20 days ahead of the planned visit. Afterwards, we will open the selection committee to decide members who will be reunited in the North with their families."

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5. DPRK Economic Reform

Chosun Ilbo (Yoon Jong-ho, "KIM JONG IL REJECTS FOREIGN CAPITAL," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that DPRK's leader Kim Jong Il maintained Sunday that he would carry out reform of the country's economy without the introduction of foreign capital, according to a broadcast by the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The agency said that Kim stated that the country had the base of its own self-reliant and supporting economy provided by its leader and so should not "dance to the tune of others." KCNA noted that Kim stressed that the introduction of foreign capital would lead to bankruptcy, collapse and the eventual destruction of the country.

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6. UNC Incursion into DPRK Airspace

The Korea Times (Sah Dong-seok, "UNC REGRETS FIGHTER JETS' INCURSION INTO NK," Seoul, 10/30/00) reported that the United Nations Command (UNC) during its talks at Panmunjom with the DPRK on Saturday expressed regrets over the accidental incursion of two US military aircraft into the DPRK's airspace. During the talks, military officers at the UNC explained to their DPRK counterparts that the aircraft crossed the Military Demarcation Line inadvertently, and were immediately turned back by emergency radio calls to the pilots. "The UNC informed the North Korean People's Army that they regretted the incident and that an investigation is ongoing," said a UNC news release. The UNC offered a joint investigation into the incident and proposed establishing a military hotline to improve communications and reduce tension along the Demilitarized Zone, but the DPRK reportedly did not respond to the proposals. The two F-18 fighters, which are believed to have taken off from the Kitty Hawk, a US aircraft carrier, mistakenly flew into DPRK airspace across the western sector of its border on Thursday. They were participating in a 10-day annual joint exercise, known as Foal Eagle, which began on Wednesday.

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7. US-ROK Missile Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "U.S. INVOLVEMENT IN SEOUL'S MISSILES PANNED," 10/30/00) reported that criticism is mounting in the ROK over the reported US attempt to put the ROK's test-firing of missiles under its supervision. Paek Jong-chon, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute, said, "The U.S. supervision of our missile test- firing can be regarded as an act to restrict our right to develop missiles." Other experts said that it is not right for the US to intervene in the ROK's test-firing of such short-range missiles. The criticism came as the ROK and the US reached an agreement where the ROK will be under US supervision, from the 11th round of test-firing onward, of missiles with a maximum range of 300 km. The agreement was reportedly made during the latest talks between the two sides in Washington a couple of weeks ago. ROK government sources said that the ROK had called for US supervision after 15 rounds of test-firing, whereas the US had insisted on five. The two compromised on 10 test- firings. The sources also said the ROK will be able to secure a considerable amount of technology from the US if it conducts 10 test-firings, but military experts countered the claims, saying that the ROK has no choice but to rely on the US for a long time in developing key missile parts. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 30, 2000.]

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Timothy L. Savage:
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Gee Gee Wong:
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Robert Brown:
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Kim Hee-sun:
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Hiroyasu Akutsu:
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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
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Clayton, Australia

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