The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Friday, April 25, 1997, from Berkeley, California, USA

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In today's Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. DPRK Proposes Normalization with US

The Washington Post (Andrew Browne, "N. KOREA DETAILS CONDITIONS FOR FOUR PARTY TALKS," The Washington Post, 4/25/97) reported that the DPRK has publicly announced three conditions to be met before it will proceed with four-party talks. The DPRK wants U.S. diplomatic relations, additional food aid and a lifting of U.S. trade sanctions. The DPRK is also reported to be encouraging the PRC to drop out of the four-party talks until its conditions are met. Clinton has reportedly asked visiting Prime Minister Hashimoto for Japan's support in persuading the DPRK to proceed in the talks without conditions.

United Press International ("S.KOREA: NORTH'S PROPOSAL 'NONSENSE'," Seoul, 4/24/97) reported that ROK Foreign Ministry Director General Yoo Myung-hwan called the DPRK proposal for peace talks "nonsense," saying that the DPRK is trying to "put an end to the issue of rice provision . . . and the lifting of U.S. sanctions against it." (DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan had said earlier that the DPRK proposed a 'three-plus-one idea , excluding China until US negotiators build "confidence" with the DPRK.)

The news release issued by the DPRK follows:

Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Permanent Mission to the United Nations

(New York, April 22, 1997)

In the meeting with the U.S. and south sides between April 16 and
22, 1997 in New York, the DPRK delegation announced its position
to agree on the four party peace talks.

Stemming from this position, we also put forward a proposal for
realizing the talks.

In other words, we proposed a "three plus one (3 + 1)" formula of
holding tripartite talks in advance of the four party talks so as
to make it more substantial and productive one.

In light with all issues raised in the course of the joint
briefing and response meeting, we believe that the proposal we
presented this time is realistic, reasonable and productive.

To this extend [sic], we are prepared to continue to have
necessary contacts.


2. US View of Peace Talks Status

United Press International ("U.S. - N. KOREA TALKS, RELATIONS ON ICE," Washington, 4/22/97) reported that the US is unwilling to make any further movement towards normalizing relations with the DPRK until its leaders engage in peace negotiations with the ROK. The US has rejected linking food aid to the talks; however, has hinted heavily that future appeals from the UN World Food Program "would not go unanswered." Although low level talks between the US and DPRK will continue, the article quoted State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns as saying, "our relationship with North Korea will be severely circumscribed until North Korea goes forward with the talks." . [Ed. note: Excerpts from Burns' comments on DPRK- related issues at this briefing will be distributed in a separate posting.]

3. US Response to Hwang's Statements and DPRK Threat

United Press International ("PENTAGON: NORTH KOREA 'STILL A THREAT'", Washington DC, 4/22/97) reported that US Defense Department spokesman Ken Bacon said that the US believes that the DPRK "could have generated enough plutonium to make at least one nuclear weapon" before the Agreed Framework was signed in 1994. However, Bacon said Washington believes that the DPRK nuclear program is frozen. Bacon also stated that the US considers the DPRK military capability to be "troubling," but that the US troops in the ROK are adequate to maintain peace in the region. [Ed. note: Excerpts from Bacon's comments on DPRK- related issues at this briefing will be distributed in a separate posting.]

The Associated Press ("N.KOREA CALLS DEFECTOR DERANGED," Seoul, 4/23/97) reported that the US Presidential spokesman Mike McCurry said Wednesday that the US knows "a great deal" about the DPRK weapons status, but declined to say whether of not the US agrees with Hwang's report. [Ed. note: Excerpts from McCurry's comments on DPRK- related issues at this briefing will be distributed in a separate posting.]

4. DPRK Response to Hwang Statements

The Associated Press ("N.KOREA CALLS DEFECTOR DERANGED," Seoul, 4/23/97) reported that the DPRK "warned of war" if the ROK continues to use Hwang Jang Yop to defame the DPRK. The article reported that the Korea Central News Agency called Hwang's statement "nothing but the outcry of a crazy man sick with paranoia, eccentricity and mental derangement". KCNA attributed the quote to a spokesman for the National Democratic Front of South Korea, which the DPRK says is an indigenous dissident organization inside the ROK. ROK officials say it is a fictitious organization used by the DPRK for propaganda.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK Hunts Pro-North Koreans

A top ROK government official gave strong indication yesterday that the government will launch a crackdown on pro-DPRK figures with the aid of DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop. "We don't know yet whether he had access to such information (when he was in the North), but I expect that relevant authorities will look into the matter," the official said. However, he quickly added that if Hwang's allegations of many pro-Pyongyang figures operating in the ROK turn out to be true, they will have to be ferreted out. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, made the remarks in response to the latest allegation by Hwang that pro- DPRK figures have been planted among the ROK's military, police and other public agencies. Hwang, the highest-ever DPRK official to defect to the ROK, said in a report published yesterday that the DPRK has long tried to nurture "underground organizations" in the ROK. The Chosun Ilbo, a Korean daily newspaper said Hwang, wrote the report in August when he was preparing to defect to the ROK. Similar reports came out of Beijing when the former DPRK Workers Party secretary was holed up at the ROK Embassy in the PRC capital. It has raised the specter of a "McCarthyist" purge of leftist and pro-DPRK figures in the ROK and has quickly become a hot political issue in the ROK which is to hold a presidential election in about eight months. In the generally conservative and anti-Communist ROK, ties to the DPRK and leftist groups can be a fatal blow to any presidential hopeful and political party. (Korea Herald, "HWANG EXPECTED TO FACILITATE HUNT FOR PRO-NORTH KOREAN FIGURES," Chon Shi-young, 04/23/97)

2. Four Party Peace Talks

ROK Deputy Prime Minister Kwon O-kie reaffirmed yesterday before the National Assembly's Unification Committee that the ROK is not considering additional food aid to the DPRK on a government level unless the DPRK comes to the proposed four-way peace talks. Kwon also made it clear that private-level food assistance to Pyongyang will be made through the single channel of the Korean National Red Cross (KNRC), while regretting that some civic groups had made moves to convey grain to the DPRK directly. Regarding private food aid, Kwon said that, "Such moves may send a wrong signal to the North." Kwon's remarks coincided with the breakdown of the talks held in New York to persuade the DPRK to join the peace negotiations with the ROK, the US, and the PRC. The KNRC last week proposed to its northern counterpart that the two sides meet at the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss food aid to the DPRK. In a surprisingly quick response, the DPRK counter proposed that the meeting be held in Beijing. "We will soon answer the North's proposal. But I still believe Beijing is not an appropriate place for the Red Cross talks," Kwon told the committee. (Korea Herald, "SOUTH LINKS NORTH KOREAN FOOD AID TO FOUR-WAY PEACE TALKS," 04/23/97)

A senior ROK official said yesterday that there still seemed to be discord in the DPRK leadership over its entry into the four- way peace talks proposed by the ROK and the US. The three sides have agreed on the draft text of a joint statement containing the schedule for peace talks but the DPRK delegation changed their attitude after receiving instructions from Pyongyang, which caused the briefing to end inconclusively on Monday, he said. The official said the DPRK delegates, while demanding massive food aid as a precondition for participation in peace talks, also mentioned worries in Pyongyang over outside pressure to force a change of its regime. He predicted the DPRK would return to the negotiation table with the ROK and the US, giving no specific time. Some analysts here believe that the DPRK's refusal to set- up the peace talks, may have been affected by top DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop's hard-toned arrival statement. The analysts also suggest that it is possible that the DPRK believes the upcoming shipment of international humanitarian food aid will enable it to buy more time to draw more concessions from the ROK and the US. However, following the end of the New York talks with no result, the ROK has shown a reserved stance on inter-Korean Red Cross talks on food aid to the North. (Korea Herald, "NORTH KOREAN LEADERSHIP STILL SPLIT ON 4-WAY TALKS," 04/23/97)

3. DPRK Nuclear Build Up

An essay written by Hwang Jang-yop Aug. 23 last year while preparing for his defection was carried in a Korean vernacular yesterday. The paper, dubbed "On the Problem of Choson," deals with such issues as how to counter the DPRK military threat and what should be done for a peaceful unification of the two Koreas as well as Hwang's description of leader Kim Jong-il. The paper puts flesh on the skeleton of rumors and speculations that Hwang's defection has produced. In reference to a much denied list of pro-DPRK forces in the ROK, the so-called "Hwang's List," he writes that "the enemy within is more malign than the enemy without." Hwang writes that the two Koreas should cooperate to unify, but Seoul needs to initiate this. He says that "only the fool of fools would think that the North is sincere about peaceful unification in word and deed." In February, Hwang wrote that before the two can unify, the economic gap between the ROK and the DPRK should be like the difference between heaven and earth, saying that "The South should leave the North to maintain to its militaristic line, and let its economy dwindle rather than forcing it to open and reform." Also, Hwang notes, the ROK should not fool themselves into thinking that they can deter the North's military threat, but instead should work closely with the US and Japan. In describing the de-facto leader Kim Jong-il, Hwang writes that Kim idolizes Hitler, and has a keen political and artistic sense, punctuated by fits of jealousy and anger. (Korea Herald, "NORTH KOREA RELENTLESSLY BUILDING UP NUKE, CHEMICAL WAR CAPABILITY," 04/23/97)

4. DPRK Remains a "Real Threat"

In a speech given to members of the Korea America Friendship Society, Gen. John Tilelli, commander in chief of the US Forces Korea (USFK), stressed the importance of continuing a firm Korea- US military alliance as the DPRK still poses a "real threat" despite its "economic collapse." The US general, also commander of the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command, stated that "We and the ROK government are absolutely unified in our policy toward North Korea." He added that, "The Korean peninsula remains an uncertain and unpredictable place and therefore the threat to peace and stability is real and dangerous." (Korea Times, "NK REMAINS 'REAL THREAT' DESPITE PROSPECTS OF MASS HUNGER: TILELLI," 04/23/97)

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Wade Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Choi Chung-moon:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

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