NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, july 11, 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. US-DPRK Talks

The Washington Times (Ben Barber, "CHINA'S MILITARY BUILDUP WORRIES US," 7/11/01) reported that a senior US official said Tuesday that the DPRK has not yet responded to a US invitation to resume talks on missiles, conventional forces and the 1994 Agreed Framework. He noted that the freeze on US-DPRK talks since the Bush administration came into office is paralleled by a "hiatus" in talks between the ROK and the DPRK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 11, 2001.]

USA Today (Barbara Slavin, "HEAT IS ON TO CHECK N. KOREA'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM," Washington, 7/11/01) reported that the official DPRK newspaper Rodong Sinmun rejected US President George W. Bush's offer on June 6 to hold talks with an emphasis on verification. The paper said that the DPRK "has no intention to respond to the U.S. proposal for the resumption of dialogue while allowing its sovereignty to be infringed upon." David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said that tests run by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 1993 suggested that the DPRK had separated more plutonium from spent reactor fuel than it admitted and may have also removed evidence of plutonium metal used in nuclear weapons. Joseph Bermudez, a military intelligence expert who writes for Jane's defense publications, posited that the DPRK had stockpiled enough material for up to 12 nuclear weapons and aimed to build 30 bombs by 2015. He speculated that the DPRK had mastered a technique, electro-magnetic isotope separation, for uranium enrichment. Bermudez stated, "We know that the North Koreans pursue redundancy and that nuclear weapons have a high priority. It's not that I firmly believe what I wrote. I was just trying to think outside the box." Charles Kartman, head of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), says that contractors have prepared the light-water reactor site by literally moving a mountain and putting in roads and other infrastructure. In a few months, he says, they will be ready to begin excavation and next year, to pour concrete. Kartman added, "The sequence is that at some point prior to delivering key components, North Korea will have to have satisfied the IAEA." Mohamed el Baradei, IAEA director general, said that it could take three to four years to uncover the DPRK's nuclear history by testing soil samples and examining reactor logs and other documents. Joel Wit, a former US official who helped implement the Agreed Framework, said, "Warming relations is only possible through senior level contacts like what the Clinton administration tried to do. Otherwise, these technical issues will just bog everything down." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 11, 2001.]

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2. DPRK Visit to Vietnam

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREAN NUMBER TWO WOOS VIETNAM IN RARE FOREIGN VISIT," Hanoi, 7/11/01) reported that the DPRK's titular head of state, Kim Yong-Nam, arrived in Vietnam Wednesday on the first such visit in four decades. Kim was due to hold talks with top Vietnamese leaders to consolidate a mounting rapprochement between the two countries. At a welcoming ceremony hosted by Vietnam President Tran Duc Luong, Kim glossed over the long-running rift between the one-time allies, saying instead, "We can say the two countries' friendship has not been affected by the changes to the world situation. The relationship has steadily developed and progressed." Vietnam has pledged to use its position as host of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) later this month to promote contacts between the DPRK and all "concerned countries." Vietnamese foreign ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh said Vietnam would "do its utmost to contribute to the promotion and reinforcement of peace, stability and cooperation within the Korean peninsula." After talks with Vietnamese leader Nong Duc Manh Saturday, Kim is due to travel to Laos, before heading on to Cambodia.

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3. US View of PRC Military

The Washington Times (Ben Barber, "CHINA'S MILITARY BUILDUP WORRIES US," 7/11/01) reported that a senior US official said Tuesday that the US does not view the PRC as a military threat at present but is concerned about its military buildup. The official said, "Is there a threat of war between the United States and China? No. Not now. But right now doesn't mean forever. China is modernizing its ballistic missiles, short- and long-range." Regarding reports from recent visitors to the PRC that military leaders there do not believe the US would risk defending Taiwan, the official said, "This administration has been extremely clear that we would take our responsibility under the Taiwan Relations Act seriously but not support an independent Taiwan." The official said that the US hoped to get past recent problems in the US-PRC relationship. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 11, 2001.]

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4. PRC-US Trade Relations

The US Department of State's Office of International Information Programs ("BUSH ADMINISTRATION BACKS NORMAL TRADE RELATIONS WITH CHINA," 7/11/01) reported that in prepared testimony July 10 before the US House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, Jeffrey Bader, the assistant US Trade Representative (USTR) for the PRC, Hong Kong, Mongolia and Taiwan, presented the case for renewing the PRC's Normal Trade Relations status for another year. Bader said that NTR status "has wider implications than merely the US-China trade relationship, as important as that is." Bader told the panel that granting NTR status "is in the broad US national interest," affecting issues ranging from global and regional security concerns, human rights, and religious freedom in the PRC. He also laid out the economic benefits the US receives from economic engagement with the PRC. He added that the US fully expects the World Trade Organization (WTO) to approve Taiwan's accession "in the same time frame as China's." Bader stated, "as a major player in international trade and a new and thriving democracy, [Taiwan] deserves membership and a larger role in the international community. We have discussed our expectations on Taiwan's accession thoroughly with all the concerned parties and are confident there is a consensus on this."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US-DPRK Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "WASHINGTON STILL AWAITS PYONGYANG RESPONSE," Seoul, 07/10/01) reported that the US State Department spokesman Richard Baucher in Monday's briefing session, referring to the DPRK's state-run Rodong Sinmun's rejection of negotiations, said that US tries not to be carried away by specific DPRK media reports and is still awaiting a proper response from the DPRK. He said that gaining the DPRK's reaction on the proposal for negotiations to resolve pending military issues is the primary step which the US has to tackle first. The DPRK's official Rodong Sinmun said earlier on July 9 that the US demand for negotiations on armaments is impermissible. "The national defense industry is our very survival line and putting priority on self-defense is our own unique policy," the commentary said. "Thus we cannot accept the U.S. demand for missile verification, nuclear inspection and reduction of conventional weapons." The paper instead proposed that the agenda focus on the US giving up its hostile policy toward the DPRK and the issue of electricity compensation. "Washington and Pyongyang are checking out the waters before fully engaging with each other, " Brent Choi of the Unification Research Institute in Seoul said. "There may be underwater contacts going on next to the official ones."

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "NORTH KOREA-US MAY HOLD TALKS IN HANOI," Seoul, 07/09/01) reported that although there's been no word of confirmation, chances appear high for a high-level meeting between US Secretary of State Colin and DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. Later this month in Hanoi, Vietnam both Powell and Paek will be taking part in the official Asia-Pacific forum, but it is yet undecided whether they will hold a bilateral meeting. Observers said that the high-profile meeting, if it takes place, would greatly influence future relations between the US and the DPRK. They also predicted that the DPRK would not want to miss the opportunity of holding casual one-on- one talks during the gathering of international leaders.

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2. Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Soo-Jeong, "IMF READY TO ASSIST N.K. VIA INTER-KOREAN DIALOGUE," Seoul, 07/10/01) reported that Stanley Fisher, the first deputy director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said Monday that the organization is ready to assist the DPRK as soon as a certain level of agreement is reached between the two Koreas. Fisher in his talks with ROK President Kim Dae-jung revealed the IMF's intention to help the DPRK economically while exchanging opinions on the ROK's financial status and its corporate reform process, spokesman Park Joon-young said. Once the two Koreas reopen the dialogue, a joint international investigation team could be dispatched into the DPRK for an accurate survey of its economic situation prior to extending aid.

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3. DPRK Hosting of Non-Aligned Movement

Joongang Ilbo (Brent Choi, "PYONGYANG IS BIDDING TO HOST THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM) CONFERENCE FOR THE YEAR 2003," Seoul, 07/09/01) reported that a source in Seoul said, "North Korea is using all its diplomatic channels in the third world to chair the future NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) meeting." Analysts said that the DPRK's nominal leader Kim Yong-nam's busy diplomatic schedules reflects the DPRK's desire to host NAM. Kim was slated to visit Vietnam's capital city Hanoi from July 11-14 under the invitation of Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong. He plans to further visit Laos and Cambodia accompanied by Foreign Trade Minister Li Kwang-geun, Culture Minister Kang Neung-soo and other 40-or-more top state-executives from the DPRK.

III. Russian Federation

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1. RF Pacific Fleet Will Get Its New Commander

Izvestia ("GENNADIY SUCHKOV MAY BECOME A NEW COMMANDER OF THE PACIFIC FLEET," Moscow, 3, 07/09/01) reported that according to Press-Tsentr news agency, Vice Admiral Gennadiy Suchkov, presently the Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, RF Navy, would become the new Commander of the Pacific Fleet. The appointment might be related to the fact that RF Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov on his inspection trip gave the Black Sea Fleet the highest appraisal. Suchkov, 54, graduated from Frunze Higher Naval School and the Naval Academy. He served as a torpedo team commander at a big nuclear submarine and a submarine squadron commander at the Northern Fleet and was awarded with the Red Star Order and the Order "For service to Motherland in the RF Armed Forces," 3rd grade.

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2. RF Role in EP-3 Transfer

Dmitriy Safonov of Izvestia ("A CHINESE DOCUMENT," Moscow, 3, 07/11/01) reported that "the Chinese party awarded Russian carriers with a special award for helping to transfer out the American spy plane. A congratulation on behalf of American Lockheed Martin company was printed on a white paper sheet by means of a color printer: Below a ten Chinese yuan banknote was enclosed." Anatoliy Karpov, Director General of "Polyot" company who did the job, said that PRC authorities emphatically refused to assist US experts and did not even provide a site to disassemble the EP-3. Using RF Ruslan transportation aircraft became the only compromise possible. Yet Karpov admitted that RF experts encountered rather strict conditions, as PRC authorities demanded documents testifying that the paint covering the body of the RF aircraft had no toxic components and that the wood inside was not contaminated with wood-eating bugs. The take-off distance allocated was rather short and afterwards PRC experts checked whether the RF aircraft damaged the concrete runway. Only 3 companies in the world can carry out such air transportation, 2 of those being in the RF and 1 in Ukraine.

IV. Announcements

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1. Conference on Korean Reconciliation and Reunification

On August 13-14, 2000, the Committee on Korean Reconciliation and Reunification for Global Peace will hold a conference on "Korean Reconciliation and Reunification for Global Peace: The People's Agenda." Representatives of selected civil society organizations from all over the world have been invited to the event, which is jointly sponsored by all the Korean coalitions supporting reconciliation and several non-Korean civil society organizations. For more information, please visit the conference homepage.

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2. Special Journal on PRC Economics and Security

Pacifica Review released a special issue on "The Interplay of Economics and Security in China's External Relations." The issue includes articles on "China and the Pursuit of State Interests in a Globalising World," by Stuart Harris; "A Testing Ground for China's Power, Prosperity and Preferences: China's Post-Cold-War Relations with the Korean Peninsula," by Taeho Kim; "China, Taiwan and the United States," by Gary Klintworth; "China's Relations with ASEAN: Partners in the 21st Century?" by Lee Lai To; "South Asia in China's Foreign Relations," by J. Mohan Malik; "From Horse to Horsepower: Energy in China's Relations with Central Asia," by Yitzhak Shichor; "The Quadrilateral Relationship between China, the United States, Russia and Japan at the Turn of the Century - A View from Beijing," by Jiemian Yang; and "The Role of History in China's View of the World Today," by Thomas Bartlett. For ordering information, please contact

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
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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