NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, december 20, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. Nogunri Incident

The Associated Press ("NO GUN RI SURVIVORS CRITICIZE TOP ARMY OFFICIAL," Washington, 12/20/00) reported that Chung Koo-do, spokesman for a committee representing survivors and victims' families from the Nogunri massacre, criticized US Army Secretary Louis Caldera on December 19 for questioning their stories. He also said that they could not "accept his statement" last week in which he said that the victims he has met were sincere in their statements but may have produced a "corporate," or collective, account of what happened at Nogunri. In remarks translated by attorney Michael Choi, Chung said: "How could it be a collective recollection when they have independent memories and views?" He said that the survivors resent Caldera's comment as well as the secretary's assertion that there is no evidence that US soldiers had orders to fire.

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2. US Policy toward Taiwan

Taipei Times (Charles Snyder, "US SUFFERS MILITARY INTELLIGENCE 'GAPS'," Washington, 12/20/00) and Agence France Presse ("PENTAGON UNSURE OF IMPACT OF A TAIWAN CONFLICT," Washington, 12/20/00) reported that the US Defense Department conceded in a declassified summary that the existence of several "gaps" in its understanding of Taiwan's and the PRC's military capacities and needs, which could affect the ability of the US to comply with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The report covered a review of how the US Defense Department has implemented the TRA, a 1979 law that requires the US to supply Taiwan with sufficient defensive weaponry, plus an assessment of "all gaps in relative knowledge" about the PRC's "capacities and intentions" as they might affect the cross-strait military balance. The summary identified three main knowledge gaps. It stated, "First, we need to know more about how the authorities in the PRC and Taiwan view their military and political situation in order to identify the most important conflict scenarios and hence the capabilities central to them." The report said that such an evaluation would also understand whether "the balance of forces adequately deters Chinese attack and reassures Taiwan and helps to figure out how both sides' calculation of priority, risk, and military capability would shape the course and outcome of a conflict." The US Defense Department also conceded a lack of understanding of how emerging warfare methods such as missiles and information warfare will develop on either side of the Taiwan Strait, and how either side will develop measures and countermeasures to deal with them. The report said, "The overarching US goal is to avoid any use or threat of force to resolve differences in the Taiwan Strait. The PRC [must] be persuaded against or deterred from attacking or threatening attack," and if the attack comes, it must be "unsuccessful."

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3. Alleged US-Japan Nuclear Agreement

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN HAD SECRET DEAL WITH US TO HOST NUCLEAR BOMBS: REPORT," Tokyo, 12/20/00) reported that the Asahi Shimbun said Wednesday that newly declassified papers showed that former prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone gave the go-ahead in 1970 for the US to bring nuclear arms into Japan. The report said, "It is already known from US documents that Nakasone agreed during a September 1970 meeting with US officials that Japan would allow nuclear weapons in times of emergency. But this is the first time official documents from both sides have come to light." The documents report a meeting between Nakasone, then the cabinet-level chief of the Japanese Defense Agency under Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, and US Defense Secretary Melvin Laird. Nakasone told the Asahi Shimbun that he "may have made such a statement during my meeting with Laird." The newspaper wrote, "The Japanese records show that Nakasone told Laird that Japan would not need to develop its own nuclear weapons as long as the US nuclear deterrence was in place. The US side said it would deploy all types of weapons to help defend Japan in accordance with the Japan-US Security Treaty."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US President's Visit to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("CLINTON'S NORTH TRIP DECISION IMMINENT," Seoul, 12/20/00) reported that the White House said Tuesday that US President Bill Clinton would decide this week whether to visit the DPRK before his term ends in January. "We will make an assessment whether or not to travel to North Korea before the holdiay, sometime before the Christmas holiday," said Jake Siewert, the presidential spokesman. "The President will make that decision based on national interests and his assessment of the usefulness of such a trip."

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2. Inter-Korean Boxing Match

The Korea Times ("SCHEDULED BOXING MATCH IN P'YANG TO BE DELAYED," Seoul, 12/20/00) reported that the title bout that an ROK boxing champion planned to have in Pyongyang will not be held this year, a sports promotion agency said Tuesday. An official of Viva Promotions, which represents World Boxing Council (WBC) light flyweight titleholder Choi Yo-sam, said, "We planned for Choi to defend his title on December 24 in Pyongyang, but some differences arose during final negotiations with North Korean officials." He declined to comment further. The official said that the agency is continuing negotiations with Pyongyang but the match is not likely to materialize this year.

III. Russian Federation

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1. RF-DPRK Consular Relations

Dipkirier's Tatiana Sitnikova ("D.P.R.K. CONSULATE GENERAL TO GO TO VLADIVOSTOK", Vladivostok, 15, 12/07/00, #19(19)) reported that DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister Li In-gu visited Vladivostok to meet with Primorskiy Krai Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko in order to implement some of the agreements made by RF President Vladimir Putin earlier this year. In particular they discussed the issue of transferring the DPRK Consulate General from Nakhodka to Vladivostok.

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2. DPRK-UK Normalization

Nezavisimaya gazeta's V.L. ("GREAT BRITAIN ESTABLISHED DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH D.P.R.K.", Moscow, 6, 12/14/00) reported that the United Kingdom (UK) and the DPRK established diplomatic relations, which became possible, the UK Foreign Office said, after the historical DPRK-ROK summit and consultations with the governments of Europe, the US, and Japan. The first UK ambassador is to go to DPRK in the first half of 2001.

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3. ROK President's Nobel Peace Prize

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Pyotr Chernyakov ("'NOBEL' WENT TO SOUTH KOREA", Moscow, 2, 12/14/00) reported that a ceremony awarding ROK President Kim Dae-jung with the Nobel Peace Prize of 2000 was held last Sunday in the Oslo City Hall. Nobel Committee Chairman Gunnar Berge said "the purpose of this prize is to render a moral support on the long road to reconciliation" between the ROK and the DPRK. Kim Dae-jung, 75, said in reply, "I will make all efforts till the end of my life for the sake of human rights and strengthening of peace in my country and the world, as well as establishment of cooperation to reunify my people.... I don't think my aspirations will be fulfilled in the near future while I hold the presidency. The whole process will take 15 to 20 years.... All steps should be on an equal and fair basis and it would be inadmissible for the rich South to swallow the poor North. The process should go on in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and tranquillity."

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4. Korean War Massacre

Nezavisimaya gazeta's V.S. ("AMERICANS ADMITTED SHOOTING DOWN OF REFUGEES", Moscow, 6, 12/07/00) reported that an investigation was completed a few days ago concerning the shooting down of refugees in the ROK village of Nogunri by soldiers of the US Army 7th Cavalry Division at the start of the Korean War. The investigation began in 1999 after a Pulitzer-winning article was published. It has been established that the soldiers panicked and shot down more than 150 refugees.

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5. RF-Japanese Fishing Agreement

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Nils Iogansen ("KURIL PACT", Moscow, 5, 12/16/00) reported that a session of the RF- Japanese joint commission on fisheries ended on December 15 in Tokyo. Two weeks of deliberations produced a number of intergovernmental agreements. One of those established quotas of fish catch and marine food amounting approximately to 100,000 tons in the respective economic zones. On December 18-19 the two countries' delegations were to have talks in Moscow to arrange joint fishing activities in the South Kurils area.

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6. PRC-Taliban Rapprochement

Nezavisimaya gazeta's M.O. ("CHINA HOLDS TALKS WITH TALIBS", Moscow, 6, 12/14/00) reported that the PRC had entered into direct talks with Talibs in Afghanistan right on the eve of the UN Security Council's consideration of strengthening sanctions against Taliban movement, which controls 96 percent of the country. Talibs urged the PRC to block a relevant UN Security Council resolution from being adopted.

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7. RF-US Consultations on Arms Trade

Nezavisimaya gazeta ("U.S., RUSSIA OPENED CONSULTATIONS ON ARMS TRADE", Moscow, 1, 12/07/00) reported that a working meeting of US and RF experts on arms trade opened in Moscow on December 6. John Barker, US Deputy State Secretary responsible for non- proliferation, came to Moscow the day before. The meeting was arranged by RF Foreign Minister Sergey Ivanov and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at a recent meeting of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe in Vienna. The consultations had been initiated by the US following the RF decision to withdraw from the confidential RF-US "Gore- Chernomyrdin" memorandum of 1995.

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8. RF Air Force Training in Far East

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye's Mikhail Khodaryonok ("'RUSSIANS ARE COMING!'", Moscow, 12/08-14/00, 346(219)) reported that in late November two RF strategic Tu-95MS bombers flew to advanced based airfields in Anadyr in Chukotka and three more flew to airfields in Tiksi on the shore of the Sea of Laptevs. Also two Tu-95 landed in Vorkuta. Missile-carrying planes were re-fueled in the air by four Il-78 fuel tanker planes. "That routine planned combat training action ... caused a totally inappropriate reaction of the American party," the article said. Kenneth Bacon, a US Defense Department spokesman, said that the US command expected RF planes soon to fly to the area of the Bering Straits and Alaska. In that connection, the US and Canada started deploying additional combat planes, and US command transfered its E-3 AWACS planes and re-fueling tanker planes to Alaska. Yet the US itself practices that kind of training regularly, the most recent example being the Polo Hat exercises. Also, the relevant US officers are well aware that TU-95MS with its up to ten long-range (2500 kilometers) H-55 cruise missiles is designed solely to use nuclear weapons to hit the most important targets deep in the rear of the enemy. Moreover, the missiles are to be carried both in the planes' cargo compartment and under the wings, but under US-RF strategic agreements all Tu-95MS bombers presently carry their missiles in their cargo compartments only. "Russia obviously is not going to violate the US air borders and moreover declare a nuclear war against its strategic partner in early December of 2000," the article noted.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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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

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