NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, november 14, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. Clinton's Visit to DPRK

Washington Post (Steven Mufson, "PULLING BACK ON A CLINTON TRIP TO N. KOREA," 11/14/00) reported that enthusiasm for a trip by US President Bill Clinton to the DPRK has waned. Michel Oksenberg, the National Security Council's Asia director during the Carter administration and now teaches at Stanford University, opposed Clinton's trip. Oksenberg wrote letters to US Secretary of State Madeline Albright and US National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger, arguing that Clinton should not go to the DPRK to negotiate a deal over security issues and the DPRK missile proliferation because the deal should be done in advance. Otherwise, he said, Clinton would be bestowing the prestige of a US presidential visit on Kim before getting anything in return, and Clinton would be unable to mobilize the congressional support needed to make a deal stick on the US side. Oksenberg said in an interview last week that Albright needed to send a signal that "we have a bottom line, and we don't talk about further trips unless we know what we're going to get." He said one illustration of the need for careful planning was the unexpected invitation Kim extended to Albright to attend a mass rally. Oksenberg said, "You should go over what's going to happen on a trip like this hour by hour. The picture that should have appeared on front pages was not this bizarre picture [of Albright and Kim at the rally]... but one of the two of them seated at a table working things out." Kenneth Lieberthal, who just completed a stint as director of Asian affairs at the US National Security Council, said that it would be important for a presidential visit to produce benefits for the ROK and Japan, and especially to bolster the position of ROK leader Kim Dae-jung. Lieberthal said US priorities also should include trilateral measures to ease military tensions at the border between the DPRK and the ROK. Albright had gathered several foreign policy experts at her home after she returned from the DPRK to discuss what moves should come next and asked them what would justify a presidential trip. They included former US ambassadors to the ROK William Gleysteen and Donald Gregg, Reagan NSC adviser Richard Allen, Bush senior State Department official Arnold Kantor, journalist Sig Harrison and former Representative Lee Hamilton, among others. Most of the dinner guests advised caution. ROK analysts, however, warned that the administration might miss an opportunity with Kim. One Korean expert said that in a system dominated by one individual, negotiations must engage the person at the top. Some analysts said that engaging Kim could start a political dynamic in the DPRK that might get long-term change moving and might be more important than any agreement. Lieberthal said, "There is an argument for dealing directly with Kim Jong-il. The conundrum is simple: There is the possibility that Kim Jong-il is ready to make some major steps to change the situation on the peninsula. And he may feel he can do this with Clinton because he's been studying him for years. There may be an opportunity here that is historic. Then again, there may not be."

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2. Internal ROK Politics

BBC News (Caroline Gluck, "S.KOREAN ASSEMBLY IN UPROAR," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that the ROK national assembly has been suspended as politicians clashed over the government's rapprochement policy towards the DPRK. There were angry scenes after Grand National Party MP Kim Yong-kap accused ROK President Kim Dae-jung's ruling party of acting like a subsidiary of the DPRK's Communist Workers' Party. He said he opposed ROK government plans to amend the National Security Law, which he said was part of the DPRK's strategy to place the ROK society under DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's control. Kim Yong-kap's comments and his refusal to retract them created uproar in the assembly, which has now been suspended. Many in the ROK are criticizing the extent of the government's economic aid to the DPRK, which is expected to reach approximately US$560 million this year. The opposition has increased its criticism as newspapers in the ROK are full of economic gloom.

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3. PRC View of US-Russia Nuclear Relations

Agence France Presse ("CHINA VOICES AGREEMENT OVER US-RUSSIA NUCLEAR MISSILE REDUCTIONS," Beijing, 11/14/00) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi expressed support on Tuesday for a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin to cut Russian and US nuclear stockpiles, but indicated opposition to Putin's overture to discuss the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with the US. Putin's proposal, posted on the Russian government website on November 13, called for slashing Russian and US nuclear arsenals to less than 1,500 warheads each, while also expressing a willingness to discuss amendments to the ABM Treaty. Sun said, "China welcomes the United States and Russia to continue to irreversibly reduce by a large amount their nuclear arsenals. China hopes that Russia and the United States can ratify immediately and implement the agreements they have reached, while quickly restarting nuclear reduction talks. As far as the US National Missile Defense is concerned, if we are to protect stability of the global strategic balance, then this system shouldn't be built." US State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said on November 13 that the US had read "with interest" Putin's statement, but declined to give a specific response or comment on whether the US would be willing to engage Russia on the specific ideas proposed. Sun also refused to comment on the ongoing talks in Beijing between deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Army, General Victor Manilov, and his PRC counterparts. Russian sources in Beijing said that in talks with PRC military leaders, Manilov exchanged views on the proposed US NMD system.

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4. PRC-India Border Talks

PTI News Agency ("INDIA, CHINA CONCLUDE LATEST ROUND OF BOUNDARY TALKS," Beijing, 11/14/00) reported that official sources said Tuesday that India and the PRC have concluded the eighth round of Expert Group (EG) talks after both sides exchanged for the first time, maps of the middle sector of the disputed border. The EG talks, which ended on November 13, follows the agreement earlier this year between the two countries to accelerate the talks on the clarification of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on their disputed border. During a meeting between India's External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan in New Delhi in July, both sides had decided to delineate first the less disputed middle sector. It is believed that the clarification of the LAC is the first key step towards a resolution of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute which has impaired bilateral relations to a large extent. An official source said, "The early clarification of the LAC will allow the two nations to implement the agreements of 1993 and 1996 to maintain peace and tranquility along the India-China border."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-EU Relations

The Korea Herald (Kil Byung-ok, "EU-N.K. DIALOGUE IN P'YANG TO CEMENT DIPLOMATIC TIES," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that ROK officials said on Monday that a group of European Union (EU) representatives will make their first official visit to the DPRK on November 25 to attend the third EU-DPRK political dialogue and establish diplomatic ties. "Another important purpose of the EU officials' visit is to grasp the contents and issues of the inter-Korean reconciliation and help promote the South-North engagement for regional peace and stability," said an ROK official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The EU also plans to discuss specific measures for economic assistance to the DPRK, such as importing its fisheries products, the official added. The upcoming political dialogue will facilitate the normalization process between the EU nations and the DPRK.

The Korea Herald ("SEOUL DIPLOMATS IN EUROPE BACK EU OPENING TIES WITH N. KOREA," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that ROK diplomatic chiefs stationed in Europe pledged to support the ongoing moves by some European Union (EU) member countries to establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK during their annual gathering in Madrid over the weekend. "The mission chiefs expressed hope that recent announcements by some EU member countries to improve relations with North Korea will contribute to bringing about peace on the Korean Peninsula," said a statement released by the ROK Foreign Ministry.

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2. Inter-Korean Defense Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Jung-wook, "DEFENSE TALKS REMAIN IN LIMBO," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that officials of the ROK Ministry of Defense said Monday that the DPRK and the ROK have yet to set a date to continue talks aimed at easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. "More talks mean more commitments for both sides, and the North does not seem ready to make any more commitments for now," an ROK government source said.

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3. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, "SOUTH KOREA PICKS 100 FOR FAMILY REUNIONS," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that the ROK's Korea National Red Cross (KNRC) on Monday finalized the list of 100 separated family members who will visit Pyongyang for the second round of inter-Korean family reunions from November 30-December 2. "At the screening committee meeting held today, we chose the final 100 from the 124 whose kin were confirmed to be alive in North Korea," said a KNRC spokesman. All 99 candidates who have direct family members such as spouses or children in the DPRK have been chosen. The list of 100 also breaks down to 26 women and 74 men, with an average age of 78. All but one are over 69.

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4. Inter-Korean Exchange

The Korea Herald (Son Key-young, "CHIEF OF SECURITY DIALOGUE HOPES TO VISIT NK," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that an ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official said on Monday that the chairperson of the semi- official Northeast Asia Security Dialogue revealed her plan to visit the DPRK along with scholars of the member states. Professor Susan Shirk of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) at the University of California in San Diego made the remarks during the 10th Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD) held November 9- 10 in Seoul.

The Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, "S-N LABOR GROUPS TO HOLD TALKS ON DEC.," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that for the first time, workers of the ROK and the DPRK will hold a discussion forum on unification in December, the ROK's Korean Confederation of Trade Union announced on Sunday. "The Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU) and the (ROK) Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) will accept the (DPRK) General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea's offer on October 29 for an inter-Korea forum," said Park Sok-min, a KCTU official. The forum, slated for December 11- 14, will take place in the DPRK's Mt. Kumgang. Discussions will concern the role of workers after the June inter-Korea summit and the exchange of ROK-DPRK workers.

III. Russian Federation

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1. RF-Asian Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta ("RUSSIA: NEW EASTERN PROSPECTS," Moscow, 1, 6, 11/14/00) published "the full text" of an article by RF President Vladimir Putin written on the eve of his participation in the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Brunei on November 14-15. Putin wrote that "today a whole range of opportunities is open to us: from cooperation in energy, ecology issues, sea-shelf exploitation to development of transportation links and realization of specific economic and investment projects." He described the raw material resources of Siberia and some examples of RF cooperation with East Asian countries in their development and use, as well as industrial and technology cooperation. He noted that in February of 2000 an Indonesian "Garuda-1" satellite was launched into space orbit by an RF carrier missile, and offered Asian-Pacific countries RF satellites for various purposes. Putin stressed the RF's initiative at the UN Millennium Summit in New York and capacities concerning development of safe nuclear energy production and use of radioactive waste, which he also linked with the problems of nuclear weapons proliferation. He pointed out that there was a lot of "fuel" for regional conflicts and that terrorism, religious extremism and separatism had found rich soil for growth in the Asian Pacific region (APR). He said that "in recent years a determined turn toward the APR has taken pace in the Russian foreign policy. The continuation of that line will be preserved." Having briefly described relations with particular countries, he said that "we look into the future with optimism and are sure that the next millennium is the time of new opportunities for the APR. And new Eastern prospects are opening for Russia, which we will surely develop, and we will actively participate in the process of turning that region into our 'common home'."

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2. DPRK-US Talks in Kuala Lumpur

Nezavisimaya gazeta's E.Sh. ("THE QUESTION OF CLINTON'S VISIT TO D.P.R.K. STILL UNSOLVED," Moscow, 6, 11/02/00) reported that DPRK-US talks on the DPRK missile program had resumed in Kuala Lumpur. They were initiated during US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's visit to Pyongyang. The delegations are headed by respective high- ranking diplomats. The talks were expected to play an important role in determining whether US President Bill Clinton will go to the DPRK.

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3. DPRK Invites US Teachers of English

The Izvestia (Vladimir Natalyin, "TEACHERS FOR THE LEADER," Moscow, 4, 10/28/00) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il asked the US to sent English Language teachers to his country, because English lessons would help his compatriots to better communicate with the rest of the world, especially with the US.

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4. RF-PRC Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta ("KASYANOV LEFT FOR CHINA," Moscow, 1, 11/03/00) reported that the RF Premier left for PRC on a official two- day visit. The intergovernmental talks in Beijing are expected to yield more than 10 documents on bilateral cooperation.

The Izvestia (Alan Kachmazov, "RUSSIAN-CHINESE 'AWACS'," Moscow, 4, 11/01/00) reported that RF Premier Mikhail Kasyanov on an official visit to the PRC on November 3-4 was to discuss the possibilities of RF-PRC joint use of the RF's "GLONASS" space navigation system, which is similar to the US Global Positioning System, and PRC purchase of RF-made early warning and control planes similar to US AWACS planes.

The Izvestia (Elena Korop, "AN EASTERN PREMIER," Moscow, 4, 11/03/00) reported that RF Premier Mikhail Kasyanov was expected to meet on November 3-4 with PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin and PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. 14 agreements and protocol were expected to be signed, in particular concerning bilateral economic relations and trade. RF deliveries of natural gas and electricity to PRC are to be discussed with relevant documents signed.

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (Igor Korotchenko, "MOSCOW AND BEIJING ARE BUILDING UP THEIR STRATEGIC TIES," Moscow, 1, 11/10- 16/00, #42(215)) reported that the RF-made Il-76 planes could help the PRC Air Force to dominate the skies in the Straits of Taiwan in case of a possible armed conflict there, "even if US aircraft-carriers are sent to help Taiwanese separatists." Also the PRC military displayed noticeable interest in obtaining large shipments of "Shmel" infantry jet fire- thrower, "Nona-SVK" 120 mm self-propelled artillery pieces, "BMP-3" infantry fighting vehicles, "Smerch" 300 mm missile salvo- fire systems, "Msta" self-propelled howitzers, various types of 3- coordinate radar systems, "Shtil" ship- based anti-aircraft missile complexes, reconnaissance radio-electronic warfare complexes, Ka-27 and Ka-28 helicopters and other armaments, as well as in buying licenses for production of some weapon types. The RF has already sold the PRC 48 Su- 27 fighters, eight battalions of S-300PMU1 anti-aircraft missile systems, 14 "Tor-M1" anti-aircraft missile complexes, submarines of 877EKM and 636 projects, and 956E-project destroyer. The RF Premier also confirmed the RF's position on Taiwan and signed a joint communique with PRC Premier Zhu Rongji reading that "PRC Government is the sole lawful Government of China, and Taiwan is an unalienable part of the territory of China." The article stated, "Anyway, even today some very influential representatives of military political leadership of the RF stand in favor of a situation when in case of any possible conflict between the PRC and Taiwan the People's Liberation Army has a capacity that could seriously threaten any US aircraft-carrier groups attempting to support Taiwanese separatists. China could also hope for Russia's positive decision on the issue of providing satellite intelligence information concerning strategic facilities in Taiwan."

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5. RF-Japan Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta's M.O. ("JAPAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER ARRIVED IN MOSCOW," Moscow, 1, 11/02/00) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono came to Moscow on a two-day visit to meet with RF President Vladimir Putin, to take part in RF-Japanese intergovernmental commission on trade and economic issues as its co-chairman, and to have talks with RF Foreign Minister Sergey Ivanov concerning an acceleration of peace treaty negotiation process.

Segodnya (Aleksandr Chudodeyev, "JAPANESE GUARDS HAS GROWN TIRED," Moscow, 1, 3, 11/03/00) interviewed Yasuhita Kawamura, a Department Director of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, concerning Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono's visit to the RF. Kawamura said that Kono would discuss issues concerning bilateral peace treaty negotiations, RF-Japan economic relations and the two countries' regional and strategic cooperation. Kawamura pointed out that Japan was not dividing the territorial issue into the "small" islands and the "big" ones; it rather perceived the issue in a complex way. He said that Japan had done much for RF already, including over US$6 billion in loans and investments, and was ready to continue, "but now it seems to me that Russia's turn has come to demonstrate its sincerity in practice.... So far our relations are characterized by one word - 'stagnation', not only as regards the territorial issue, but the economic field as well." At the same time he said "we should not focus our attention on pessimistic moments." Asked what was Japan's "patience resource," he answered that as the relations had reached a high level "our patience resource has become more stable. Nevertheless, we took obligations to conclude a peace treaty by the end of the year."

Segodnya (Aleksandr Chudodeyev, "TOKYO UNDERSTOOD YELTSIN LITERALLY ," Moscow, 3, 11/03/00) reported that sources close to the Japanese delegation said that bilateral RF- Japanese relations caused Japan "big concern," chiefly because the RF has failed to carry out the obligations it took 3 years ago during RF President Boris Yeltsin's informal meeting with Japanese Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto in Krasnoyarsk. Japanese sources said that if the RF did not change its tough position and did not agree to territorial delimitation, then it would be "difficult" for the Japanese Government to explain to taxpayers where US$6.3 billion Japan provided in various forms to RF in 10 years had gone. In Kawana, Japan had proposed drawing a state border between the islands of Iturup and Urup, leaving the Northern Territories returned to Japan under RF administration for a rather long period of time. At the same time, Japan believes that a peace treaty cannot be signed on the basis of return of just two small isles. The future of the two larger islands of Kunashir and Iturup is essential. At the APEC Summit in Brunei RF President Vladimir Putin will try to reach a next compromise with Japanese Premier Yoshiro Mori.

Sovietskaya Rossia (Vasiliy Safronchuk, "IN EASTERN LATITUDES," Moscow, 1, 11/14/00) commented on current RF foreign policy activities in Asia. In particular, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on his recent visit to RF "persistently urged" RF leaders "to tell Russian people as often as possible that in recent time Tokyo had given Moscow US$6 billion as loans and investment. Kono signed with [RF Deputy Premier] V. Khristenko an agreement to provide Russia with an additional US$200 million to implement joint projects to utilize nuclear plutonium and nuclear submarines. The Japanese Minister seemingly forgot that economic cooperation with Russia is as beneficial or maybe more beneficial for Japan than for Russia. He was politely made to understand that Russia doe not sell its indigenous lands for dollars. Moreover, immediately after Kono's departure from Moscow, the Russian government adopted a special federal program for the socio-economic development of the Kurils ... thus again confirming the unchanging nature of Moscow's position.... Let's hope Vladimir Putin will again explain that position to Yoshiro Mori in Brunei."

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6. RF Missile Force Developments

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("NO THREAT TO S.P.M.F. SO FAR," Moscow, 1, 11/10-16/00, #42(215)) reported that Sergey Ivanov, RF Security Council Secretary, said that the question of a possible change of the status of the RF Strategic Purpose Missile Force (SPMF) was to be considered only after 2006. Till then, the SPMF will exist as an independent force of the RF Armed Forces, though within one 1 to 1.5 years the Missile Space Defense will be attached to the RF Air Force instead.

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF 'STILET'," Moscow, 1, 11/10-16/00, #42(215)) reported that RF Strategic Purpose Missile Force on November 1 made a successful launch of the RS-18 (SS-19 "Stilet" ["Stiletto"] as classified by NATO) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which has been on combat duty for 25 years. The launch will allow to make a decision to prolong the service of that type of ICBM for another year. Presently the SPMF has got 168 such MIRV-type missiles. According to General Vladimir Yakovlev, Commander-in-Chief of the SPMF, under the START-2 treaty the RF is entitled to have 105 such missiles with single warheads. The RS-18 to be decommissioned under the Treaty, and can be used as a converted carrier missile of the "Rokot" light class.

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7. RF Armed Forces

The Izvestia (Dmitriy Koptev, "BACK TO CIVIL LIFE," Moscow, 3, 11/10/00) reported that on November 9 a session of RF Security Council was held dedicated to reduction of the Armed Forces, especially those paramilitary units not subordinated to the RF Defense Ministry. Vladimir Potapov, Deputy Secretary of the RF Security Council, reported that the decision to reduce the RF Armed Forces by 365,000 by 2005 was taken as early as last August. The total number of enlisted men to be sent back to civilian life is to be 600,000.

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("EVERYBODY IS TO BE REDUCED ," Moscow, 1, 11/03-09/00) reported that the RF planned to reduce the number of generals in its Armed Forces by 380 in 2001-2003, with the total number of servicemen to be reduced by 365,000. 240,000 officer- level positions are to be eliminated, and 30 percent of those will be majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels. Sergey Ivanov, RF Security Council Secretary, said that the numbers of servicemen will be reduced in all 11 force institutions of the RF, including its Defense Ministry.

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8. RF Public Opinion Polls on Military and Strategic Matters

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("MILITARY WAGES ARE AT POVERTY LEVEL," Moscow, 8, 11/10-16/00, #42(215)) reported according to the result of a poll, 14.8 percent of Russians thought that the creation of a US national missile defense system would return the world to the Cold War. 44.4 percent thought that the global arms race will increase, while 14.8 percent said that arms reduction and elimination treaties will be nullified, 7.4 percent said that the number of nuclear-armed countries will increase, and 18.5 percent said that the danger of a new world war will increase. Regarding the type of wars the RF Armed Forces should be ready for in the future, 22.6 percent of respondents said large-scale ones with nuclear weapons, 17.2 percent said large-scale ones without nuclear weapons, 45.25 percent said regional ones to thwart foreign states' aggression, and 14.9 percent internal ones to restore constitutional order.

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (Natalia Laidinen, "EACH FIFTH RUSSIAN WOULD PUSH THE BUTTON," Moscow, 8, 11/10-16/00) reported that ROMIR independent research center of RF carried out a public opinion poll concerning nuclear weapons and covering 2000 respondents in 115 cities and towns in July. The results showed that 22.7 percent of respondents believed that countries with nuclear weapons had the right to use them to protect their interests, while 71.8 percent thought that inadmissible and 4.8 percent had no answer. In case of a danger to the RF, 21.2 percent would personally "push the button," 69 percent would not and 9.8 percent were uncertain. 45.7 percent thought that nuclear weapons should be banned, 47.5 percent believed they should be kept as a deterrent and 6.8 percent were uncertain. 40.3 percent believed that the RF was still a superpower, 41.7 percent disagreed, while 17.9 percent had no answer. 12.2 percent agreed that the RF Armed Forces had the ability to protect the RF from external threats, 28.9 percent somewhat agreed, 11.3 percent totally disagreed, 24.2 percent somewhat disagreed and 23.4 percent did not know. 19 percent think that the RF Armed Forces were inferior to those of NATO, 26.3 percent somewhat agreed, 8.7 percent totally disagreed, 21.6 percent somewhat disagreed and 24.4 percent were undecided. A September poll held by ROMIR among 500 representatives of governmental, business and academic elite in 10 large cities showed that 23.4 percent of the respondent thought that military power was the main factor shaping the international relations, while 74.5 percent believed that a state's economic capacity was the most important one.

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9. RF Air Force Reconnaissance

The Izvestia (Evgeny Krutikov, "A PROPOSAL DIFFICULT TO REJECT," Moscow, 1, 11/14/00) reported that two RF reconnaissance planes detected a US aircraft-carrying a multipurpose strike group led by USS "Kitty Hawk" aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan. They managed to avoid US radar to fly directly over the aircraft carrier and take photographs of it. " The "Kitty Hawk" is taking part in joint naval exercises with 15 Japanese ships and a number of US ones till November 15. Izvestia's author argued that while such reconnaissance was justified during the Cold War, now "there was no practical sense," as the planes could have been simply shot down. RF Navy Main Headquarters and Far Eastern headquarters refused to comment on the case.

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10. RF Development of Kuril Islands

The Izvestia (Elena Korop, "WITHOUT THE RIGHT TO TRANSFER," Moscow, 2, 11/10/00) reported that the RF Government decided to adopt a special federal program for socio-economic development of the Kuril Islands for 2001-2005. According to RF Premier Mikhail Kasyanov, development was necessary in order get the local population there rid of a feeling that they were "underprivileged as compared with the population of the whole of Russia." Izvestia's author believed that "the very fact of such a program being prepared testifies that at least in the next few years there will be no talking about a transfer of the islands to Japan." Kasyanov said that the "Kurils are of a great importance for Russia from strategic and economic points of view." According to the RF Economic Development Ministry, which is to present the draft program in the second quarter of 2001, the area of Kurils account for 20 percent of the fish resources of the whole RF Far East. Defense- wise the islands provide safe routes of supply to military bases in Kamchatka Peninsula and control the Sea of Okhotsk and the Western part of the Pacific Ocean. Life in the Kurils is based on fisheries, but the local produce is not competitive due to high production costs. The Ministry believes that the situation can be changed if instead of coal and diesel fuel brought there from elsewhere the islands started using non-conventional energy resources such as geothermal power and that of wind power and small local rivers. Next year money will be allocated from the federal budget to that end. Also the RF Government recommended using part of money obtained from the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects for the same purpose. Most important, however, the consideration of the issue once again stressed the unchanging nature of the Government's position as regards the territorial dispute with Japan. Despite Japan's persistent attempt to obtain at least the informal consent of the RF to transfer the islands in the long run, "for itself Russia considers this question a closed one."

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11. RF-Mongolia Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta (Dmitriy Kosyrev, "RUSSIAN-MONGOLIAN RELATIONS," Ulan Baatar, 1, 6, 11/11/00) interviewed Mongolia's Foreign Minister Luvsangiyn Erdenechuluun. Asked "how Mongolia sees our common response to the new build-up of missile armaments by the United States of America," Erdenechuluun replied that the ABM Treaty of 1972 "is a fundamental document to provide for strategic security.... Violation of that Treaty ... might result in a beginning of a new upturn in the arms race. That is why we welcome US decision to suspend creation and deployment of the national anti-missile defense system." As for the US, "Mongolia does not believe they seriously intend to tailor the world.... Therefore we are far from a thought to oppose the United States in the sense of a direct confrontation in cooperation or alliance with other states.... There is no return to the Cold War and it is undesirable. At the same time we indeed are concerned with the question how to find an optimal option for participation in globalization. And in that case we will be ready to cooperate with all states in order to oppose all the consequences undesirable to Mongolia." The Izvestia ("THERE ARE NO UNRESOLVED POLITICAL PROBLEMS BETWEEN OUR COUNTRIES," Moscow, 3, 11/13/00) published an interview with Mongolian President Natsagiyn Bagabandi, who said "it is necessary to stress that mutual relations with Russia are a priority direction for Mongolia's foreign policy." Asked if Mongolia was planning to join the Shanghai Five group uniting the RF, the PRC, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzia, he replied that "the processes within the Shanghai Five group have their own prehistory inherited from the times of the Soviet Union. Mongolia at that time had no direct relationship to that problem." He added that the RF made it known that if Mongolia wanted to have its observer at the meetings of law-enforcement chiefs of the group, then RF would support such application. "The idea is worthy of an interested discussion," Mongolian President said, because "all parties should join their efforts combating international terrorism, organized crime and drug traffic."

Nezavisimaya gazeta (Pyotr Marinin, "R.F. PRESIDENT ARRIVED IN MONGOLIA," Moscow, 1, 6, 11/14/00) reported that RF President Vladimir Putin came to Mongolia on an official visit. In October, 2000 Anatoliy Kvashnin, Chief, General Staff, RF Armed Forces visited Mongolia and a plan of military cooperation between the respective armed forces for 2001 and a memorandum of the respective defense ministries' intent to develop cooperation were signed. The work started in 1987 by a joint RF-Mongolian commission to check the 3,500 kilometers long border line is almost completed by now.

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12. Indian Nuclear Submarines

Segodnya ("INDIA INTENDS TO BUILD ITS OWN NUCLEAR SUBS," Moscow, 4, 11/10/00) reported that Sushil Kumar, Commander-in-Chief, Indian Navy, said that India had human and technological capacities to create its own nuclear submarine fleet following the RF, US, Britain, France and the PRC. That was the first official admission of the existence since 1976 of an Indian national program to create its own missile-carrying nuclear-propelled submarine.

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Berkeley, California, United States

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Berkeley, California, United States

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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

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Moscow, Russian Federation

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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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Leanne Payton:
Clayton, Australia

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