The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Tuesday, June 10, 1997, from Berkeley, California, USA

NOTE: This week the Daily Report is on an abbreviated schedule. It was not published June 9 and will not be published June 11. The regular schedule will resume June 12.

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In today's Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Japan-US defense agreement

The Wall Street Journal (Eduardo Lachica, "U.S., JAPAN AGREE TO GUIDELINES OUTLINING `DEFENSE COOPERATION," Washington, 6/9/97) and Reuters ("US, JAPAN CLOSE TO NEW MILITARY ROLE FOR TOKYO," Honolulu, 6/8/97) reported that the US and Japan released new guidelines for a new defense arrangement between the two countries on Saturday. These guidelines are part of an interim report developed by a bilateral panel which is following up on initiatives announced during the Clinton-Hashimoto summit in April 1996. The guidelines include a broader range of logistical and noncombatant support role for Japan in the event of an emergency situation in the areas "surrounding" Japan, including use of Japanese airfields, Japanese involvement in minesweeping and enhanced intelligence gathering. These new roles represent a departure from the existing "Guidelines for Defense Cooperation" drafted in 1978 under which only an armed invasion of Japan would warrant joint US-Japanese military operations. The new guidelines recognize that hostilities directed at Japan will be in the form of missile strikes rather than amphibious landings. The guidelines do not require either country to change their laws of appropriate additional financial support.

The Washington Times (Willis Witter, "JAPAN, U.S. PLAN TO EXPAND MILITARY PRESENCE," Tokyo, 6/9/97) and The Associated Press ("JAPAN EXPLAINS US DEFENSE PLAN," Tokyo, 6/8/97) reported that the US and Japan are planning a "diplomatic offensive" to convince China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region to accept an expanded military role for Japan. The final report is expected in November and will more carefully spell out specific roles for Japan. The AP reports that Japan is expecting criticism from China over a possible role for Japan in helping US forces in a conflict over Taiwan.

2. US-Japan-ROK Talks on DPRK

Reuters ("US, JAPAN,S. KOREA HOLD TALKS ON N. KOREA," Seoul, 6/9/97) reported that the US, Japan and ROK held a one-day discussion to review food shortages in the DPRK and possible steps to bring the DPRK to peace talks. Charles Kartman, US deputy assistant secretary of State, Yu Myung-hwan, a director- general at the ROK Foreign Ministry, and Ryozo Kato from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in the talks. The report quotes a Korean official as saying that although there have been no breakthroughs in recent weeks, there are signs that the DPRK is moving to accepting the proposal for peace talks.

3. DPRK Food Assessment

The Associated Press (George Gedda, "N. KOREA ADULTS, CHILDREN SUFFER," Washington, 6/8/97) reported that Andrew Natsios, an American humanitarian relief expert returned from a five day trip to the DPRK with reports that adults over 50 and children under 5 are suffering most from food shortages. Natsios is currently a vice president for World Vision, a US relief and development organization. Natsios said that he saw few vehicles on the road, reflecting an acute gasoline shortage, and few animals suggesting widespread slaughter for human consumption. Natsios recommended a "massive infusion of additional food aid immediately."

4. Report of DPRK Missile

United Press International ("N. KOREA AIMS MISSILES AT TOKYO: DEFECTOR," Seoul, 6/9/97) reported that Kim Dae-ho, who worked for the DPRK atomic energy ministry in the late 1980's claims that the DPRK has a missiles pointed at Japan from a base in north Hamkyong Province. Kim also claims the DPRK, using smuggled red mercury from Russia, created enough plutonium to produce two nuclear warheads in 1992. Kim defected to the ROK in April 1994.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Discrepancies on DPRK Food Assessment

Discrepancies in the assessment of the DPRK's food situation have arisen with the US and U.N. agencies, on one side, and the ROK, Japan and the PRC on the other. All parties share the view that the DPRK has suffered from food shortages, but differ over whether grain aid from the outside world is enough to head off a famine this summer. The US, citing reports by the World Food Program, believes that the DPRK still requires large-scale grain aid to overcome the current food shortages. However, the ROK National Unification Ministry believes that the more than one million tons of grain scheduled to be shipped to the DPRK by the end of August by foreign governments, U.N. agencies and non- governmental organizations will be enough to prevent famine. A PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman also said that the DPRK had averted a major food crisis. In response, the US State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns said on Friday only that the US puts faith in the WFP's assessment, indirectly questioning the objectivity of the ROK government. "They (WFP) have a great track record. They know what they are doing. We know from first-hand accounts of American congressmen who have been in North Korea, from other international visitors, objective people, that there is a great deal of privation in North Korea, severe food shortages, and that particularly little kids under the age of five and six are severely malnourished," Burns said. On June 4, the WFP issued a report noting that the DPRK's food crisis is worsening rapidly, and that the last available government ration will run out by June 20. Citing the results of a joint site survey by the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the report said that the rationing system is now on the verge of collapse with no alternative mechanism available. The WFP's assessment downplays the significance of grain aid from the international community. However, officials here observe that the DPRK obtains more than 500,000 tons of grain from the PRC annually and will receive more than 600,000 tons of grain aid from foreign governments, U.N. agencies and others by October, a volume which is enough to feed 23 million North Koreans until the autumn harvest, if combined with the North's domestic production of over 3.5 million tons. Seoul, Tokyo and Washington are expected to hold three-way talks Monday to assess the North's food situation, discuss ways to coax the DPRK into the four-party talks and exchange views on the revision of US-Japan defense guidelines. "We want to make sure that we are totally in agreement with them. I think they will discuss the food situation, the status of the four-party talks proposal, and implementation of the agreed framework," State Department spokesman Burns said Friday. However, it is still in question whether the three countries could reach a consensus on the assessment of the DPRK's food situation through the forthcoming three-way talks. (Korea Times, "DISCREPANCY ARISES BETWEEN ALLIES ON NORTH KOREAN FOOD ASSESSMENT," 06/08/97)

2. KEDO Returns to ROK

The second mission of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), which has been in the DPRK since May 31 to negotiate the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors in Simpo returned to the ROK yesterday. The mission has virtually reached an agreement with the North Koreans on 25 items, including mail and telecommunication services, medical measures for emergency cases, use of DPRK labor and materials and transportation routes and services, a government official said. Under the agreement, the ROK, the US and Japan, the three key KEDO members, will soon start to prepare site-leveling work on the reactor construction project, he said. KEDO will open its office in Simpo as early as next month, along with the opening of telephone service between Simpo and the ROK. (Korea Times, "2ND KEDO MISSION RETURNS TO SOUTH," 06/08/97)

3. ROK President Call for Defense Preparedness

ROK President Kim Young-sam yesterday instructed the military leaders to increase its water-tight defense preparedness to deter any military provocation from the DPRK. In a meeting with key military leaders, including ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong- jin, the Chief Executive pointed out that there is high possibility that the Pyongyang regime might resort to military aggression in a desperate attempt to tide over its internal crisis. Defense Minister Kim agreed that the military should carefully monitor the DPRK military movement to counter any aggression. President Kim called upon the military leaders "to maintain unswerving defense posture without being swayed under whatever circumstances." (Korea Times, "PRESIDENT KIM CALLS FOR WATERTIGHT DEFENSE PREPAREDNESS," 06/08/97)

Following a meeting of senior military officials, the ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-jin ordered a thorough check of the country's military preparedness. The meeting was attended by Gen. Yoon Yong-nam, chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, chiefs of the three armed services and commanders of corps level units and higher. This meeting, scheduled since last month, came on the heels of the exchange of gunfire between naval vessels of the two Koreas in ROK waters in the West Sea Thursday, a rare event that, in hindsight, could push the two foes to the brink of a war, according to some military experts. During the meeting, it was decided to ensure the South's armed forces are ready to deal with widely anticipated moves by the North to mount small-scale provocations, and, based on this assumption, to develop countermeasures by the ROK-US combined command against such possible actions. In preparation against a war started by the North, the participants in the meeting concurred on the need to develop a comprehensive defense posture incorporating the military, civilian and government sectors. The ROK military officials agreed that Kim Jong-il is in full control in the DPRK, and continues to promote a military-first policy in order to keep the DPRK populace on its toes and to strengthen the country's hands in negotiations with foreign powers. One interpretation of this stance is that the North still has unfailing faith in its military as the sole means to realize its ambition to communize the South. In a letter sent to commanders of regiments and higher units, Minister Kim ordered readiness heightened against all military provocations, observing that the North is still sparing no expense on military preparedness despite the country being in dire straits. He warned against a sympathetic atmosphere for the North in the South resulting from reports of a massive famine facing the entire country. (Korea Times, "NORTH KOREA KEEN ON MILITARY DRILLS DESPITE FOOD SHORTAGES," 06/08/97)

4. Taiwan Cancels N-Waste Shipment

Taiwan scrapped plans to ship its nuclear waste to the DPRK and is now looking for another country who will accept it, US Representative Jay Kim said Thursday. Kim, a Korean-American Congressman, said he was told by an official at the Taiwan representative office of the change in Taipei's plan. The Taiwanese official was quoted as saying that he had consulted with his home government and had concluded that the transfer of nuclear waste to the DPRK was realistically too difficult to undertake. Kim said he was told Taiwan had decided to seek another country and is soliciting other governments, including Micronesia, with the hope that they will accept its nuclear material. Kim said Taiwan's change of mind is apparently a result of the strong pressure and opposition shown by the US Congress and the international community. The government has not yet received any notification from the Taiwanese government about the reported cancellation of projected shipments of nuclear waste, a Foreign Ministry official said yesterday. The state-run Taiwan Power Company signed a deal in January with its DPRK counterpart on the shipment of 60,000 tons of nuclear waste, including gloves and clothing contaminated by radiation. When US House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan early this year, Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui hinted at the possibility that it might reconsider the plan if the shipment might cause environmental threats to the region. Meanwhile, the Korean official confirmed that the US Congress passed a bill calling on Taiwan to reconsider its plan to ship radioactive waste to the DPRK. The bill notes that the DPRK had not yet revealed to the international community the potential site for the storage of the nuclear waste, and had dodged international monitoring. It also pointed out the possibility that the potential transfer of nuclear waste might threat the safety of 37,000 US servicemen stationed in the ROK, as well as all Koreans. (Korea Times, "TAIWAN CANCELS N-WASTE SHIPMENT TO NK," 06/07/97)

5. US Withholds Reaction on DPRK Nuke Test Attempt

The US State Department withheld reaction to reports that the DPRK has nuclear weapons and that it even planned to undertake an underground test, saying the source of the reports is yet unclear. The State Department instead recalled the DPRK's obligations under the Geneva Agreement, in which the Communist state agreed to suspend its nuclear program. The Washington Times reported that the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) prepared a secret report based on revelations put forth by former North Korean official Hwang Jang-yop, who defected to the South in February. The report said the DPRK already had nuclear weapons and tried to test them underground. "I cannot confirm that Hwang actually said that or if he is in a position to know," Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said in his noon briefing. "He was an ideology theoretician in North Korea, I am not aware that he was responsible for North Korea's nuclear program," he said. Burns emphasized that the Geneva Agreement had halted the DPRK's nuclear program, and that the US is monitoring the DPRK's facilities under the agreement. (Korea Times, "US WITHHELD REACTION TO REPORTS OF NK NUKE TEST ATTEMPT," 06/07/97)


The DPRK, in a show of audacity, boldly denounced the gunboat standoff following a DPRK patrol boat's incursion across the truce line in the West Sea on Thursday as "an armed provocation perpetrated by the South," the Naewoe Press, the official DPRK observer here, said yesterday. Naewoe made the report, saying that the DPRK Central Broadcasting Station accused the ROK side of having attempted to kidnap DPRK fishing boats. The DPRK broadcast passed the buck to the ROK, arguing that the incident was a deliberate ROK maneuver aimed at finding a way out of its pending crisis by resorting to North-South confrontation a intensified tensions, according to Naewoe. It was referring to a Thursday afternoon incident in which a DPRK patrol boat escorting a fishing fleet crossed the border line and held out against challenges by ROK naval ships for about 50 minutes before returning to the North. (Korea Times, "NORTH KOREA BLASTS S. KOREA OVER MARITIME SHOOTING INCIDENT," 06/07/97)

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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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