NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, april 19, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation IV. Announcements

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I. United States

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1. DPRK View of US Policy

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREA USES US SPY SHIP TO FIRE PROPAGANDA MISSILES," Pyongyang, 4/19/01) reported that the DPRK state media said that growing numbers of DPRK people go to visit the USS Pueblo, which was attacked and captured by the DPRK on January 23 1968 and is now moored on the Taedong River in Pyongyang. Reports said that people are visiting the ship to express their anger at the new hard-line being taken by the US administration of President George W. Bush. According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), an education center dedicated to highlighting "crimes" committed by the US has also been opened at the People's Palace of Culture in Pyongyang. On Thursday, the DPRK's ruling party newspaper said that any new war on the Korean peninsula would be the "most merciless and destructive" in history.

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2. ROK-Japan Military Exchanges

Agence France Presse ("BOOK DISPUTE CLOUDS SOUTH KOREA-JAPAN MILITARY TIES," Seoul, 4/19/01) reported that ROK officials said Thursday that the ROK may suspend military exchanges with Japan because of a dispute over school history books. ROK officials said that a joint naval drill scheduled to be conducted off the island of Cheju in June and visits to the ROK by top Japanese defense officials in July could be postponed. ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-Shin, "Those are among various options we can take in protest." Kim also vowed during a parliamentary meeting to take a "circumspect" stance in military exchanges with Japan because of the textbook dispute. In Seoul, a special ROK government task force met for the second time to discuss new measures to oppose the textbooks. The team said that it will have finished a first review of the Japanese textbooks by Friday before handing it over to the ROK history book screening commission for a second review. An official close to the team said, "The government's stance, including a call for revising some 'distorted' parts, will be sent to Tokyo early next month."

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3. US-PRC Talks

Reuters ("SPY PLANE TALKS END ON A POSITIVE NOTE," Beijing, 4/19/01) reported that US-PRC talks on the spy plane row ended on Thursday with the US side calling them "very productive." Acting US Defense Undersecretary for Policy Peter Verga, the chief US negotiator, said that the PRC had finally allowed discussion of the US demand for the return of its EP-3 surveillance plane. Verga stated, "We covered all the items on the agenda and I found today's session to be very productive." However, the PRC made it clear that there was no agreement over the cause of the collision. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue described the talks as "very frank." In Washington, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer called the session "businesslike." He added, "We will continue to have discussions. The United States position is unchanged. We still want the plane." At a news conference, Zhang showed video footage and photographs that she called "very convincing" proof that the US spy plane was responsible. Zhang said, "China has large quantities of evidence, of which this is just a small portion." Zhang also indicated that there would be a second round of talks. She said, "The two sides agreed to continue discussions and stay in touch and finalize the future meeting through diplomatic channels." Fleischer said, "We have agreed to discuss how to avoid future incidents at the next meeting of the military maritime consultative agreement."

The Washington Post (Clay Chandler, "US, CHINA RESUME TALKS ON AIR CRASH," Beijing, 4/19/01) reported that US and PRC officials resumed talks late Thursday morning after US negotiators threatened to pull out of the talks in the face of PRC unwillingness to discuss proposals for return of a US surveillance plane held on Hainan Island. Peter F. Verga, a US deputy undersecretary of defense who is leading the eight-member delegation to Beijing, said in a statement that his team had decided to return to the bargaining table after receiving assurances that the PRC negotiators were ready to talk specifically about terms for the release of the EP-3E Aries II surveillance plane. In his statement, Verga said the US had "decided to go ahead and continue the meetings" based "on our understanding that we will be allowed to complete all of the items on the agenda," including "the development of a plan for the prompt recovery of our EP-3 aircraft." PRC state television reported that PRC negotiators flatly rejected recent US assertions that the PRC fighter pilot was reckless and caused the collision. PRC media also reported that PRC diplomats repeated their demand that the US stop all surveillance flights within the "vicinity" of the PRC, a demand ruled out by US President George W. Bush before the US team departed for Beijing.

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4. Return of US Spy Plane

Agence France Presse ("US, CHINA DELAY MILITARY TALKS, MULLING OVER IDEAS FOR SPY PLANE RETURN," Washington, 4/19/01) reported that US officials said Thursday that the US and the PRC delayed talks scheduled for next week while the PRC considers US proposals for the return of a downed spy plane. The working group of the US-PRC Military Maritime Advisory Commission (MMAC) had, in December, scheduled meetings for April 23 in San Francisco but the two sides decided to indefinitely postpone the session after talks earlier Thursday in Beijing. At Thursday's talks, described by a senior State Department official as "businesslike and straightforward," the US delegation presented a step-by-step outline of how Washington would like to see its EP-3 surveillance plane returned. The official said, "We made suggestions about how we could go to China, repair the plane and then help repatriate it. They said they would get back to us on that." Other officials said that the outline suggested that the US could dispatch a team of aviation technicians to assess the damage and determine whether to repair the plane in place on Hainan Island or transport it elsewhere for repairs before returning it to the US. There was still no agreement between the two sides on what had caused the collision.

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5. US Reconnaissance Flights

The Washington Post (Thomas E. Ricks, "CHINA FLIGHTS MAY GET ESCORTS," 4/19/01) reported that a senior US Defense Department official said Wednesday that the US Defense Department has prepared detailed plans that call for fighter jets to escort military reconnaissance aircraft through international airspace. The official said that the plans have been sent to the White House, but US President George W. Bush has yet to decide whether to implement them. The official said, "My guess is that within the next 24 to 48 hours, some serious decisions are going to be made." Another US Defense Department official said that an intense behind-the-scenes debate is still simmering among Bush advisers about whether sending up US fighter jets would be too confrontational. He added that even some of the administration's hard-liners worry that adding US fighter planes could be taken as a sign of weakness, because past reconnaissance flights flew without armed escorts and adding them now could make it look as if the US had grown more worried about whether it would be able to continue the missions. However, other officials said that they think it likely that F-15s will be used as part of a "phased resumption" of US reconnaissance flights off the PRC coast that could begin as early as this weekend.

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6. PRC Reconnaissance

The Christian Science Monitor (Ann Scott Tyson, "DESPITE PROTESTS, CHINA TOO SPIES OVER ASIA," Washington, 4/19/01) reported that according to US and European intelligence experts, the PRC knows that the US has no intention of halting surveillance flights in the wake of the April 1 mid-air collision. Experts are skeptical of PRC complaints and point out that the PRC uses the same eavesdropping tactics to track the US military in Asia, with older technology but growing intrusiveness. Ronald Montaperto, dean of the US Defense Department-funded Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, said, "It's absolutely understood--we are doing things that nations do. There is a little bit of Kabuki in this, it's a bit of deliberate drama." The PRC is said to mount electronic intelligence-gathering equipment on everything from aircraft to rocky reefs, and from warships to fishing trawlers. Jeffrey Richelson, a senior fellow at the National Security Archive in Washington, said, "Their primary concern is in the region, gathering intelligence against US ships and military facilities and monitoring some US naval exercises." The PRC has widened the reach of its electronic surveillance in recent years. Paul Beaver of the London-based Jane's Information Group, which publishes Jane's Defence Weekly, said that the listening technology in the PRC, although still "a generation behind the United States'," is "catching up." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 19, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL MULLING NEW FERTILIZER AID TO N.K.," Seoul, 04/19/01) reported that the ROK plans to provide the DPRK with about 200,000 tons of chemical fertilizer next month to help boost food production in the DPRK, ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won said Wednesday. "It seems that (the ROK) should send fertilizer to the North again as its seed planting period peaks in May," Lim said in a meeting with Lee Hoi-chang, president of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP). In a recent report made by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the DPRK appealed to the international community for 350,000 tons of fertilizer this year. "In the case that North Korea fails to secure this amount of fertilizer, it will lead to a serious result in the food situation there," said the report released Tuesday. Lim sought Lee's support for the humanitarian aid, which will cost more than 64 billion won (US$48 million), according to ministry officials.

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2. Inter-Korean Maritime Trade

The Korea Times ("INTER-KOREAN MARITIME TRADE TO BE NORMALIZED," Seoul, 04/18/01) and Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-jin, "OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR TRADERS IN NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 04/19/01) reported that after six months of turbulence due to unreliable shipping routes, ROK-DPRK maritime trade is finally set for smoother sailing as the ROK government granted a regular shipping license to a second company on Wednesday. The Unification Ministry granted the license to Kook Yang Shipping Co. Ltd., enabling the company's freighter M/V MINUSINSK to run the Inchon-Nampo route at least three times a month for six months. Shipping between the ROK and the DPRK has seen stalled since last November after the DPRK denied entry of ships from Hansung Shipping Co. to its harbor, citing their high costs. Hansung until now has been the only company that had the license to run the route on a regular basis.

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3. DPRK Missile Development

Chosun Ilbo (Joo Yong-joong, "USFK WARNS ON INCREASE OF NK MISSILES," Seoul, 04/18/01) reported that Jerry Humble, the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Forces in Korea, said Tuesday that the DPRK has increased its stock of long-range missiles by 25 percent over the past two years, adding that it would take only 14 minutes to launch these missiles and they would hit Seoul within 110 seconds after launching. While attending a seminar held at Texas A&M University, Humble said that the total number of missiles has risen to 600 and those that the military deployed near the DMZ accounted for 70 percent, up from 65 percent.

Joongang Ilbo ("N. KOREAN NUKES LIKELY, OFFICIAL SAYS," Washington, 04/19/01) reported that the DPRK probably has one or two nuclear bombs and may also have biological and chemical weapons, Deputy US Central Intelligence Agency Director John McLaughlin says. While activities at the DPRK's nuclear plant Yongbyon has been frozen by a 1994 accord known as the "agreed framework," McLaughlin said, "we still cannot account for all of North Korea's plutonium. And, with an opaque regime in which the practice of denial and deception is embedded in national strategy, we still cannot say for sure that nuclear weapons-related work is not going on somewhere else," he said in a speech given at a conference at Texas A&M University late Tuesday and released in Washington on Wednesday.

III. Russian Federation

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1. RF Outer Space Defense Satellites

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("MORE SATELLITES," Moscow, 6, 04/13-19/01, #13(235)) reported that an RF governmental commission on military industrial issues decided to increase the satellite group of the RF. Presently there are altogether about 110 outer space objects of civilian and military purposes, with about 60 belonging to the RF Defense Ministry.

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2. RF Navy C-in-C Called for Increased Naval Budget

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("A QUARTER OF DEFENSE MINISTRY BUDGET TO THE NAVY?," Moscow, 1, 04/13-19/01, #13(235)) reported that Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, Commander-in-Chief, RF Navy, on a visit to the "Zvezda" ship repair enterprise in Severodvinsk, called for both building of new ships and allocation of funds for maintenance and repair of the existing ones. In his opinion, the RF needed 12-15 modern strategic submarines and 50 multi-purpose nuclear submarines. In order to build them, the share of the Navy in the RF Defense Ministry budget should be increased up to 25 percent. Presently it is 11-12 percent.

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3. RF-PRC Arms Trade

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("CHINESE 'URAN'," Moscow, 6, 04/13-19/01, #13(235)) reported that the PRC intended to purchase H-35 anti-ship missiles from the RF. The contract is to be signed. Presumably the missiles will be used to arm Su-30MMK fighters.

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("PROSPECTS FOR A.N.-70," Moscow, 6, 04/13-19/01, #13(235)) reported that the PRC was interested in the RF-made An-70 military transportation plane. Talks on the issue, which were postponed after an accident with one of those planes and appointment of a new RF Defense Minister, are to be resumed.

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4. RF Is Going to Host Dalai Lama

Izvestia ("DALAI LAMA WILL COME TO US," Moscow, 10, 04/11/01) reported that Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama had plans to visit the RF this August. Besides Moscow, he is to visit Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tyva, traditionally Buddhist regions of the RF. Previously the Dalai Lama visited the USSR in 1991 not long before its collapse.

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5. RF-Japan Military Contacts

Izvestia's Vasiliy Golovin ("THEY PROMISED NOT TO MAKE A NEW TSUSHIMA," Tokyo, 4, 04/18/01) reported that Vladimir Kuroyedov, C-in-C, RF Navy, was to arrive in Japan Wednesday on the first ever official visit in the history of RF-Japanese naval relations. Admiral Kuroyedov is to have talks with Tositsugu Saito, Chief, Defense Agency of Japan, and Tory Ishikawa, Chief of Staff, Japanese Navy. Naval ships of the two countries have been making reciprocal visits for five years already. Moderate- scale joint search and rescue exercises have been held as well. Recently Yury Bukreyev, Chief, Main Directorate, RF Ground Forces, visited Japan, and this fall Anatoly Kornukov, Commander-in-Chief, RF Air Force, is expected to come there. The latter visit is of special interest to Japan in view of Japanese allegations that RF planes intrude in Japan's air space. According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, four Tu-22 bombers intruded into Japan's airspace near Rebun Island in February, then Su-24 fighters of the RF Air Force intruded into Japan's air space twice on May 11 in the area of Rebun Island and Northern- most Honshu Island. The RF Armed Forces press service claims there were no intrusions. Admitting a possibility of no malign intent, Tositsugu Saito speculated that a decline in the technical capacities of the RF Air Force might have created plane positioning problems.

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6. RF-DPRK Relations

Segodnya ("D.P.R.K. LEADER'S VISIT TO RUSSIA IS PROBABLY POSTPONED," Moscow, 4, 04/12/01) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's visit to the RF, planned for May 17-18, was probably postponed, according to diplomatic sources in Moscow. Yet, the arrangements for the visit stay valid and the preparations continue.

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7. PRC-Japan-Taiwan Relations

Izvestia ("AN ALMOST HUMANITARIAN SCANDAL," Moscow, 10, 04/18/01) reported that Lee Tenghui, former President of Taiwan, asked Japan for an entry visa in order to undergo treatment in a Tokyo hospital. The PRC already expressed displeasure with the prospect of the ex-leader of a "separatist state" coming to Japan. Yohei Kono, Japanese Foreign Minister, stated that Japan's relations with the PRC were "central" and he was not prepared to aggravate them. The actual pause made by Japan on that issue made Lee accuse Japan of "excessive concessions" to the PRC.

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8. PRC-USA Controversy over US Plane

Segodnya's Aleksandr Chudodeyev ("TO REGRET DOES NOT MEAN TO APOLOGIZE," Moscow, 3, 04/13/01) reported that the 24 crewmembers of an EP-3 reconnaissance plane that collided with a PRC fighter and had to land on Hainan Island on April 1 were sent to Hawaii, but the plane itself is still in the PRC. Describing the linguistic subtleties associated with the PRC demands for an apology and US regrets, Segodnya's author believed that the parties reached a compromise in that respect, but with the advantage being on the side of PRC, which was satisfied enough with the US wording to return the crew, but not enough to return the plane. The PRC is expected to demand cessation of all US reconnaissance flights near its borders, limitation of US arms deliveries to Taiwan, and US criticism of the human rights situation in the PRC.

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Dmitriy Kosyrev ("AND STILL WASHINGTON MADE APOLOGIES," Moscow, 1, 04/12/01) commented on the US message to the PRC resulting in the release of 24 crewmembers of the US EP-3 reconnaissance plane. The US made apologies despite the initial statements that those should not be expected. "Obviously for the Bush administration it would have been much more frightening to get involved in a crisis with 'hostages' demonstrating its powerlessness before China to the American public, than to lose a reconnaissance plane. The young administration of George Bush managed to learn in an intensive lesson the important realities of today's configuration of power in the world. On the other hand, the Republican Party's confidential analysis papers have already rather clearly stated that the US is not the 'only' superpower and that the PRC is obvious power number two."

Izvestia's Aleksandr Ivanov ("THE BARGAINING STARTED," Moscow, 10, 04/18/01) reported that a US delegation arrived in Beijing on Tuesday to negotiate return of US reconnaissance plane that landed on Hainan Island in early April. PRC officials made no definite promises, saying, "China has the right to carry out complete investigation, after which it will decide what to do with the plane." The PRC is expected "to sell" the plane at a highest possible "price," including cessation of US air reconnaissance missions in the South China Sea and US concessions on such issues as forthcoming US arms deliveries to Taiwan, alleviation of the trade regime, and prevention of US voting in favor of UN resolutions on human rights in PRC.

Izvestia's Vasiliy Golovin ("THEY PROMISED NOT TO MAKE A NEW TSUSHIMA," Tokyo, 4, 04/18/01) reported that, while Vladimir Kuroyedov, Commander-in-Chief, RF Navy, was coming on a visit to Japan, the US-PRC controversy over the aircraft incident in South China Sea continued. The US plans to resume its reconnaissance flights close to PRC shores despite PRC protests. Reportedly US President George W. Bush does not exclude an option of using US fighters to guarantee the safety of US reconnaissance planes. The "Kitty Hawk" aircraft carrier recently left its base in Japan and moved past the Philippines toward Guam Island.

Izvestia ("IN HONOR OF THE FALLEN HERO," Moscow, 10, 04/18/01) reported that the PRC officially awarded its pilot Wang Wei, presumed dead after his fighter collided with a US reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea, with the honorary title of "Fallen Hero." PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin signed a decree to erect a monument to the pilot in his native city. Also a special Internet site devoted to him has been opened, wherein the visitors may express their condolences and light virtual candles.

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9. RF Media on PRC-USA Aircraft Incident

Zavtra ("LESSONS OF CHINESE," Moscow, 5, #15(384), 2001) published excerpts from PRC official statements and PRC media concerning the incident with the EP-3 reconnaissance plane in the South China Sea, as well as comments by RF correspondents and experts. In particular, Vladislav Shurygin in an article titled "They Have Been Let Down" recalled the incident in 1972 when Captain Belenko defected to Japan with the newest Soviet MiG-25 fighter. As a result, the US obtained Soviet friend-or-foe identification codes and equipment, forcing the USSR to rapidly change the whole system. The cost amounted to 2 billion Soviet rubles. At that time the cost of building a Soviet nuclear submarine was 200 million rubles. Allegedly, the defection postponed the Soviet program of building strike aircraft- carriers for seven years. In most recent estimates, the US will need 3-7 years and US$10-13 billion to neutralize the damage from the EP-3 incident. That is the cost of at least three Nimitz- class aircraft-carriers. "Of course, upon their return to the US the pilots will be proclaimed heroes: Of course, it will be said they managed 'while risking their lives' to destroy all computers and stations. Of course, it will be said that the Chinese failed to obtain anything. It will be just propaganda. The reality is a genuine nightmare to the US. In truth, the damage to the prestige of the US as a superpower is impossible to calculate. Actually we have witnessed the coming to the world arena of a new superpower--China, which casually made a loud slap on America's face and the latter stayed silently humble."

IV. Announcements

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1. Panel on US Policy toward Korea

The Pacific Forum CSIS is holding a panel session on "Reviewing US Korea Policy" that is open to the public free of charge on Tuesday, May 8, 2001 from 2:30-4:30 PM at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, 1800 K Street, NW, Room B-1B, Washington, DC, 20006. Panelists will include: Dr. Kim Tae-hyo, Chief, Foreign Policy and Security Studies Section, New Asia Research Institute, Seoul, Korea; Professor Victor Cha, Assistant Professor, Department of Government and School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; and Admiral Michael McDevitt, Rear Admiral, US Navy (Retired), Director, Center for Strategic Studies, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria, VA. Moderated by Ralph A. Cossa, President of Pacific Forum CSIS, Honolulu, HI. Please RSVP to Pacific Forum CSIS via email or fax at: or (808) 599-8690 with your complete name, title, affiliation, and contact number.

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2. DPRK Agricultural Delegation to US

American Friends Service Committee ("NORTH KOREAN AGRICULTURAL DELEGATION VISITS U.S.," Philadelphia, 04/16/01) reported that a five-person delegation returned to the DPRK after a 50 day agricultural study tour of US agricultural universities and farms. The delegation was sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), an international social justice and humanitarian organization based on Quaker religious principles. The study tour began on February 26 and traveled to Iowa State University, University of Missouri at Columbia, Washington State University and the headquarters of Heifer Project International (HPI) in Little Rock, Arkansas. During their stay the delegation met with faculty and researchers specializing in all aspects of poultry and swine production and with veterinarians, extension agents, farmers, farm managers, commercial feed producers and government officials. The delegation included officials from the North Korean Ministry of Agriculture, the Poultry and Veterinary Institutes of the Korean Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the manager of a large swine farm, and a representative of the Korean Committee for Solidarity with Worlds Peoples. For more information ,contact: Janis Shields, (215) 241-7060,, John W. Haigis (215) 241-7056, or see the website at

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