The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Thursday, June 12, 1997, from Berkeley, California, USA

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In today's Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Missile Talks

The Associated Press (Robert Reid, "U.S., NORTH KOREA IN MISSILE TALKS," New York, 6/11/97) and United Press International ("US, NORTH KOREA MEET ON MISSILES," New York, 6/11/97) reported that the US and DPRK are began three-day talks aimed at halting DPRK production of Rodong I missiles. These ballistic missiles may be capable of hitting Japan and the ROK. In addition, the talks will cover concerns that the DPRK has sold long-range Scud missiles to Iran and Syria. Robert Einhorn is leading the US delegation and Li Hyun-chul, director of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, is heading the DPRK delegation.

2. Cargill-DPRK Grain Deal

Reuters ("CARGILL DEAL FAILS ON N. KOREA ZINC SALE TO SEOUL," Seoul, 6/11/97) reported that metal traders in Seoul purchased approximately 4,500 tons of zinc from the DPRK in the weeks prior to the DPRK's cancellation of its US$4 million "grain for zinc" deal with Cargill, Inc. According to traders in Seoul, the price for zinc on the London Metal Exchange recently rose to $1,360 per ton, compared with prices of about $1,260 per ton in early April when the Cargill deal was reached. The DPRK was to exchange 4,000 tons of zinc for 20,000 tons of wheat from Cargill, but canceled the deal last week. Some reports suggested that the DPRK canceled the deal because it could not supply the agreed quantity of metal.

3. DPRK Famine Situation

The Los Angeles Times (Teresa Watanabe, Hyungwon Kang, "IN N. KOREA, RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF FAMINE," Unpa County, DPRK, 6/8/97) provided a first-hand account of the food situation in the DPRK following a visit to the country by the reporters. The reporters described the situation as one "of self-control and stoic struggle, of single-minded focus on creative ways to survive a looming disaster," with "an entire nation mobilized for survival." People are finding creative ways of stretching limited rations by gathering wild vegetables and seaweed, using private reserves, and selling household items to buy food in the new private markets which officials seem to be tolerating. The article stated that DPRK officials acknowledge "scattered cases of starvation deaths among the elderly" and spreading malnutrition among children. According to Tun Myat, a representative of the UN World Food Program (WFP), the resilience of the DPRK people to develop innovative coping mechanisms has saved the country from more widespread "megadeaths" from starvation. The WFP estimates that 1.3 million tons of food aid are necessary to void catastrophe and that food stocks in the 5 of 10 public distribution centers will be gone by June 20. In contrast, the ROK government estimates that the DPRK can get by on summer crops, basing its calculations on an estimated minimum daily grain requirement of 150 grams per person. The WFP uses 450 grams per person for its calculations. According to US Agriculture Department specialist John Dyck, limited arable land and a harsh climate make it virtually impossible for the DPRK to attain self-sufficiency in feeding itself, noting that the DPRK has been dependent on food imports since the mid 1980s. The authors also quoted Selig Harrison of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as saying that the lack of fertilizer, fuel and workable farm machinery continues to hinder food production. The fuel shortage appears to be one of the largest obstacles to distribution of what grain is contributed, with reports of train cars of grain left on the Chinese side of the border waiting for DPRK fuel to transport them. The article also cited DPRK officials as acknowledging that the military receives food from a separate distribution system, and calling the size of military rice reserves a "national secret."

The New York Times (Barbara Crossette, "HUNGER IN NORTH KOREA: A RELIEF AIDE'S STARK REPORT," United Nations, 6/11/97) reported on statements by Andrew Natsios, a former director of foreign disaster assistance for the US government and now of World Vision, a private organization. Natsios, returning from a week-long visit to the DPRK, reported that malnourishment is most pronounced among the children and elderly. The report stated that donor governments and relief agencies are beginning to believe that DPRK agricultural policies have done more damage than the floods, and quoted Natsios as saying that floods account for only about 15 percent of food deficits. Natsios also reported seeing army troops planting rice and said that DPRK officials who approved his visit were "more willing to admit they needed international help." Natsios played a major role in drawing worldwide attention to the starvation in Somalia in the early 1990's, and hopes to do the same for the DPRK. The article also quoted Bill Richardson, US representative to the UN, as saying, "The big concern we have is whether some of the food assistance that we are giving is reaching the average person." Park Soo-gil, ROK representative to the UN, was quoted as stating that the DPRK military could release some of its supplies for public welfare, and that its failure to do so indicates that the military is saving its resources for other purposes.

4. US-PRC Supercomputer Deal

The New York Times (Jeff Gerth, "CHINA BUYING U.S. COMPUTERS, RAISING ARMS FEARS," Washington, 6/10/97) reported that US officials disagree regarding the significance of the PRC purchase of 46 US-made supercomputers since 1995. Some officials suspect the computers are being used for weapons development while others in the Clinton Administration believe that civilian purchasers in the PRC are not diverting the equipment for military uses. The article stated that the disclosure earlier this year that US companies had sold supercomputers to two Russian nuclear facilities prompted Congress to study how many had been sold to other countries. In 1995, President Clinton eliminated the need for licenses on most computer exports, "shifting some national security responsibilities - avoiding the misuse of sensitive technology - from the Government to the computer industry."

The Associated Press ("U.S. FEARS SUPERCOMPUTERS WENT TO CHINESE MILITARY," 6/11/97) reported that the US government confirmed that it is investigating the sale of some supercomputers that might be in use by the PRC military. The article reported that the Export-Import Bank suspended a loan to a US company doing business with a PRC corporation facing US sanctions for contributing to Iran's nuclear and chemical weapons program. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, said that the US government is working with private companies to better identify PRC companies that might be handing the computers over for military use or re-exporting them.

US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns ("STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING," USIA Transcript, 6/11/97), commenting on the June 10 New York Times article, stated that licenses are still necessary for computers in the 2,000 through 7,000 MTOPS (millions of theoretical operations per second) range, but that most supercomputers used in the US government have MTOPS of over 100,000. Burns said that the State Department disagrees with the contention made by the government official in the article who said that the supercomputers sold to the PRC would allow them to significantly improve their weapons. Burns added that the US government will make additional efforts to make US exporters aware of PRC companies that may be prone to divert purchases for military use.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Health System

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies issued a statement Monday that the DPRK is threatened with a collapse of its health care system. According to the statement, consultations in health clinics and hospitals in the DPRK has dropped by 75 percent, and medical establishments are providing few services and have no food for patients. A federation team that visited the DPRK last week reported that the main diseases were diarrhea, infections and malnutrition-related illnesses. "Many of these diseases are almost harmless if you have the necessary medicine and equipment, but if you cannot treat them, they can cause serious health problems," said Michael Tailhades, a federation doctor. The federation has planned three-year program designed to assist the DPRK Red Cross to combat the effects of future floods. The federation also announced a program to provide basic medicines to around 2.5 million people in 19 countries in an expansion of its activities. (Korea Times, "N. KOREAN HEALTH SYSTEM FACES FAILURE: RED CROSS," 06/11/97)

2. DPRK Denounces Japanese Peace Talk Interference

The DPRK accused Japan's "right-wing reactionaries" Monday of meddling with peace talks on the Korean peninsula. The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Japan had no place in the so-called "four-way talks" involving the two Koreas, the US and the PRC, intended to begin a peace mechanism for the divided peninsula. In official contacts in Beijing last month in an effort to break the deadlock over beginning the talks, Tokyo pressed Pyongyang to heed a call from the ROK and the US to start the four-way talks. The KCNA statement Monday also denounced the allegations that the DPRK was responsible for the disappearance of a Japanese schoolgirl 20 years ago, calling them a "sinister political plot" of the ROK and a joint "smear campaign" by the ROK and Japan. "They intend to hurt the image of the DPRK in the international community, fan up antagonism against the DPRK among the Japanese people," the statement said. It warned that "the consequences will be irrevocable" if Japan escalates the campaign about the "fictitious, groundless incident." (Korea Times, "N. KOREA ACCUSES JAPAN OF INTERFERING IN 4-WAY TALKS," 06/11/97)

3. ROK, US Reaffirm Aid Views

Seoul and Washington yesterday reiterated that it is not desirable to offer government-level grain aid to the DPRK before the country participates in the four-party peace talks. Visiting US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman met Yu Myung-hwan, director general of the Foreign Ministry's North American Affairs Bureau, to exchange views on the results of Monday's three-way talks with the DPRK in New York. An ROK Foreign Ministry official said that DPRK Ambassador Li Gun maintained a stiffened position, calling for advance rice aid before the proposed preliminary meeting for the four-party talks. In New York, the ROK, the DPRK and the US, in a working-level meeting, discussed when and where to hold preliminary talks and who will attend. At the meeting, the DPRK consented to holding a preliminary meeting on a permanent peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula, but an accord on its timing has yet to be reached. A diplomatic source in New York said since the DPRK agreed to preliminary talks, the working-level meeting has centered its discussions on the format of the talks. The top question at the moment is when to hold the preliminary meeting, the source said, adding that the three countries concurred on meeting again in New York at an early date to discuss the matter further, based on instructions from their home governments. Chances are that the working-level meeting will reconvene within the week. The ROK and the US have reportedly proposed that the preliminary meeting take place in New York or Geneva, and that assistant minister-level officials attend it. The DPRK prefers New York as the venue of the meeting and has raised no concerns over the level of officials attending it. (Korea Times, "SEOUL, WASHINGTON REAFFIRM PRINCIPLE OF 'NO ADVANCE AID'," 06/11/97)

4. POW Repatriation

Suh Joo-suk, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, called for a three-party consultative body involving the DPRK, the ROK and the US to deal with the repatriation of prisoners of war (POWs) and remains of those killed in action in the DPRK during the Korean War. The comments were made at a "Korean War and POWs" symposium held at the War Memorial Museum in Seoul. The military expert claimed that there are thousands of ROK and US soldiers still unaccounted for. Since the mid-1980s, Washington and Pyongyang have been talking about repatriation of remains of US soldiers, and Suh believes a new joint effort is needed for the ROK to actively seek repatriation of POWs in the North, noting that the ROK has more POWs and remains of soldiers that have yet to be returned than the US. DPRK defectors recently testified that they had witnessed ROK POWs working at coal mines or farms. (Korea Herald, "THREE WAY EFFORT NEEDED FOR POW REPATRIATION," 06/11/97)

5. Russia Encourages Peace on Korean Peninsula

Russia, welcoming all steps taken to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula, hopes the four-party talks will be held, a spokesman for the ROK Foreign Ministry said Monday. So far, Moscow has shown a lukewarm attitude to the four-party talks because it proposed a different format of dialogue, which it termed an "international conference" involving all parties concerned. The Russian spokesman also supported the resumption of inter-Korean Red Cross talks on humanitarian grain aid, noting that all Korean issues should be settled between the two countries. (Korea Times, "RUSSIA WELCOMES ALL STEPS TO ENSURE PEACE, SECURITY ON KOREA," 06/10/97)

6. ROK Red Cross Leaves for DPRK

Nine ROK Red Cross officials left for Beijing on Monday en route to the DPRK to deliver 11,200 tons of corn and corn powder. It is the first time that officials from the ROK National Red Cross will visit the DPRK to supervise the distribution of aid. This is the first batch of what will be 50,000 tons of grain aid. The Red Cross officials will be in the DPRK June 12-19. Their visit was realized after Pyongyang accepted Seoul's offer to dispatch three ROK Red Cross officials each to the DPRK ports of Sinuiju, Manpo and Namyang. A ROK Red Cross spokesman said that the Red Cross officials would receive entry visas at the DPRK mission in Beijing before traveling on to the ports to supervise distribution of the grain aid with their DPRK counterparts. Earlier, Li Song-ho, acting president of the DPRK Red Cross society, called his ROK counterpart Kang Young-hoon, saying his group will send Red Cross officials to the three ports. Citing the ports' unloading capacities, Li said that the DPRK would received 1,000 tons of grain at the Sinuiju and Namyang ports every two days and 800 tons of grain at Manpo port every two days. The ROK Red Cross officials received written guarantees on their safety during a meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom yesterday. (Korea Times, "9 RED CROSS STAFFERS LEAVE FOR NK ON FOOD AID MISSION," 06/10/97)

7. KEDO-DPRK Direct Communications Agreement

The DPRK and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) have agreed in principle to establish a direct communications system before groundbreaking for the two light-water nuclear reactors, officials in the ROK said yesterday. But differences over the timing of the groundbreaking and terms of employment of DPRK unskilled labor still persist, they said. In the working-level negotiations held May 31-June 7 in the DPRK, 44 officials from KEDO, the ROK, the US and Japan met with 32 officials from the DPRK Department of Nuclear Energy. During the negotiations, the North requested that groundbreaking begin before the monsoon season starts. KEDO officials have maintained that with mid-July as the target date, certain conditions must be met before groundbreaking. The conditions include establishment of functioning communications systems, construction and improvement of roads linking ports and Sinpo, the site of the nuclear reactors, designating medical facilities, and setting of wages for DPRK unskilled labor. (Korea Herald, "KEDO AND NORTH KOREA AGREE ON DIRECT COMMUNICATIONS," 06/10/97)

8. ROK Student Activism

Senior prosecutor Ko Yong-ju, responsible for public-security affairs at the ROK Prosecutor General's Office, branded Hanchongnyon, the National Federation of Student Councils, as pro-DPRK and warned its members to cease involvement in the group or face criminal punishment beginning August 1. Ko said Hanchongnyon demands in the 12-day violent protest at Yonsei University last August echo those of the DPRK. "The legal action, however, will affect only the radicals who joined Hanchongnyon's central apparatus, not member student council participants," Ko said. Thousands of militant students belonging to Hanchongnyon clashed with riot police in Seoul for four days last week in protests over ROK political leadership scandals. The protests left two people dead and many others injured. According to police investigations, one man was beaten to death by a group of Hanchongnyon who believed he was a police informant. After this death, Hanchongnyon radicals halted demonstrations. Approximately 40 university student councils, a quarter of the 156 total, pulled out of Hanchngnyon's umbrella group recently. The deserting student councils are poised to set up another umbrella group replacing Hanchongnyon, calling for moderate student activism, observers said. (Korea Herald, "HANCHONGNYON OUTLAWED AS 'PRO-NORTH' GROUP; GOVERNMENT ORDERS THOUSANDS OF ITS MEMBERS TO QUIT BY END OF JULY OR FACE PRISON TERMS," Jun Kwan-woo, 06/11/97)

III. Russian Federation

1. RF Armed Forces Reform

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Sergey Orlov ("CONFERENCE AT THE DEFENSE MINISTRY," Moscow, 1, 6/7/97) reported that a working conference was held yesterday at the RF Defense Ministry at which the newly-appointed Defense Minister Gen. Igor Sergeyev put forward his ideas on Armed Forces reform. In his opinion, under the present conditions of severe economic crisis, the RF should focus its attention on relatively cheap strategic nuclear forces and mobile troops. Acting Chief of RF Armed Forces General Staff Gen. Anatoliy Kvashnin argued that the RF in the future would be threatened most by local strife of the type that emerged in the last 2-3 years in the Northern Caucasus. In First Deputy Defense Minister Andrey Kokoshin's opinion, even under the present severe budget restraints the continuation of troops training and modernization of weapons and equipment is still possible.

Segodnya's Evgeniy Krutikov ("COUNTRY VILLAS ARE THE MAIN RESERVE OF THE HIGH COMMAND IN THE STRUGGLE FOR THE ARMY," Moscow, 3, 6/10/97) reported the Commission on Military Structuring created on 6/6/97 under the auspices of RF Defense Council and headed by RF Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin is to submit a new concept of military reform to RF President Boris Yeltsin before 6/25/97. The Segodnya author claimed to have been able to learn some major positions of the draft document of the reform. The concept in particular envisages RF Ground Forces reduction by 300 thousand men who are to be transformed into "mobile forces" consisting of "immediate response forces" and "rapid deployment forces" roughly equal in size. Their creation is to be initiated in Volga, Ural and North Caucasus military districts. Another plan is to unify Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Defense Force into a single Air Defense Force, as Ukraine already has done. In the Segodnya author's opinion, the majority of those positions are so at odds with each other that their implementation might bring about a serious discord among RF military elite and a consequent continuation of the "kompromat" mutual defamation campaign among generals.

2. RF Strategic Air Forces In Crisis

Segodnya ("RUSSIA LOST A HALF OF ITS STRATEGIC AVIATION," Moscow, 1, 6/10/97) reported that according to an "expert at Russian Defense Ministry" RF strategic air forces "are in crisis" with only a half of its aircraft being combat-ready. Seventy percent of strategic Tu-160 missile carrier airplanes are in need of repair, as are many Tu-95Ms. In three years the RF Air Force hasn't bought a single new strategic bomber.

3. RF Armed Forces Financial Plight

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Andrey Korbut ("TENSION IN TROOPS IS GROWING," Moscow, 2, 6/4/97) reported that the RF Armed Forces' various debts of 40 trillion rubles is roughly equal to the 1996 defense budget. In a majority of military districts the servicemen have just been paid their wages for January. In a number of garrisons in the Far East, Siberia, Transcaucasus and the Northern Fleet, servicemen's wives stood in pickets and servicemen trade unions put forward political demands. Meanwhile Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin signed a decision to substantially cut down the RF 1997 budget including its defense budget. According to it the defense will get only 83.17 trillion rubles instead of 104.3 trillion rubles initially allocated. The Armed Forces are to suffer from the cuts, although the military pensioners and RF Atomic Energy Ministry are to retain their respective 13.9 trillion rubles and 2.1 trillion rubles. Expenditure on arms procurements and defense research and development are to be cut down by 30 percent even compared with the initial highly inadequate budget. President Boris Yeltsin ordered the Armed Forces to be reduced by 200 thousand, but the measure might fail due to financial shortages. And if the "reduced" servicemen are retired without the financial and other compensations as prescribed by law, a "social explosion" in some garrisons might become a reality. "Meanwhile the tension in the troops grows with each day passing," the author concluded.

4. RF-PRC Discuss Iraq, Afghanistan

Segodnya's Aleksandr Chudodeyev ("MOSCOW AND BEIJING DIVIDE THE OIL OF 'UNCLEARED IRAQ,'" Moscow, 2, 6/9/97) reported that RF Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Posuvalyuk, who is known at his Ministry as a "specialist on delicate issues," while on his way to Pakistan made an "unexpected" stop in Beijing. RF Foreign Ministry officials declined to comment on the visit because of their "lack of any information." In the Segodnya author's view, however, such RF-PRC talks couldn't but be expected in view of the recent events in Afghanistan and increased PRC diplomatic activities in the Middle East. In his interview after the consultations in Beijing, Posuvalyuk said the two countries' agreed concerning the "multipolar structure of the world and the inadmissibility of a monopolization by some power of command positions at the global level or at the level of regional events." The Segodnya author deduced from the interview that the Iraqi issue received more attention than the Afghani one. Both countries seem at agreement concerning the need to eliminate all anti-Iraqi trade arrangements. It was by joint RF-PRC "lobby efforts" that UN Security Council alleviated recently the sanctions against Iraq. Presently both countries seem to avoid the danger of their interests conflicting in future highly profitable deals with Iraq, which otherwise might jeopardize the emerging "Moscow-Baghdad-Beijing" triangle possibly to be joined by Iran. As for the issues of Afghanistan, while the PRC is balancing between its fear of the impact that the Taliban might have on its Moslem-populated border regions and its long-standing friendship with Pakistan, the RF Deputy Foreign Minister in Beijing said clearly that "human rights violation and drug business flourishing in the territories under their control do not give reasons to the international community to agree to a recognition of Taliban administration."

5. PRC-Belarus Armaments Links

Segodnya's Sergey Anisko ("MINSK, BORISOV, BARANOVICHI ARE CHINA'S SPECIAL INTERESTS ZONE," Moscow, 4, 6/4/97) reported on a two-day official visit to the Republic of Belarus by PRC Defense Minister Col. Gen. Chi Haotian, who visited some mechanized infantry units, an aircraft repair plant and the Belarus Military Academy. His talks with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko focused on "the NATO East-bound movement and a dramatic change of the balance of forces in Europe in favor of the North Atlantic Alliance." His talks with Belarus Premier Sergey Ling focused on economic cooperation, while his Belarus counterpart Defense Minister Aleksandr Chumakov "was more concerned with military technical cooperation issues and partially with selling excess weapons across the Great Wall of China." It's no secret that in the past Belarus was a kind of an "assembly shop" for the military industrial complex of the former USSR. Despite the general economic stagnation for the past six years, Belarus defense industries managed to avoid a collapse and their production is cheaper than that of their RF partners. For five years the defense industry contacts were rather passive, the PRC preferring to make single contracts to buy Belarus-made "Igla" anti-aircraft missiles and some other items. The links became stronger after the 1996 agreement on military technical cooperation program implementation and especially after Belarus President's recent visit to Beijing. A more active cooperation is expected, including a wider range of arms, equipment and spare parts. Closer links with the PRC are seen in Belarus as a means of both to overcome the crisis and to get investments for a creation of its own industrial research basis with a consequent "breakthrough" to the world armament market.

6. RF First Deputy Premier Visits Japan

Segodnya's Aleksandr Bekker ("NEMTSOV'S TELEPHONE NUMBER CAN BE LEARNED ON A LOAN BASIS FOR US$100," Moscow, 1, 6, 6/10/97), Kommersant-Daily's Konstantin Levin ("NEMTSOV LEFT HIS TELEPHONE NUMBER TO THE JAPANESE," Moscow, 1, 6/10/97), Nezavisimaia gazeta ('NEMTSOV IN JAPAN," Moscow, 2, 6/10/97) and Sovetskaya Rossia ("THESE DAYS .... TOKYO," Moscow, 3, 6/10/97) reported that on 6/9/97 RF First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov and Japanese Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda signed an agreement under which Japan is to give loans to three investment projects in the RF totaling about US$100 million. Boris Nemtsov, presently on a "business-oriented" visit to Japan, also received a document containing Japan's approach to the issue of future Japanese investments in the RF. Presently Japan holds the 13th place among RF top investors. RF debts to Japan, including those made by the former USSR, exceed US$1 billion. Sovetskaya Rossia also reported that RF First Deputy Premier and Japanese Foreign Minister agreed that both counties will hold consultations together with the PRC on the issue of using RF technologies for elimination of huge quantities of poison gas stockpiled by Japanese Imperial Army in China during the Second World War.

7. RF-Mongolia Military Cooperation

Sovetskaya Rossia ("THESE DAYS .... ULAN BATAAR," Moscow, 7, 6/5/97) reported that the visiting Deputy Secretary of the RF Security Council Leonid Mayorov and Mongolia's Defense Minister Dambiyn Dorligzhav in Ulan Bator jointly stated the readiness for closer RF-Mongolia military cooperation in various fields. They stressed the special importance of developing those relations on the regional level and their belief that it has adequate legal basis and good prospects.

8. DPRK-ROK Naval Gunfight

Aleksandr Platkovskiy in Izvestia ("INTER-KOREAN SHOOT-OUT AT SEA," Moscow, 3, 6/7/97) and Nezavisimaia gazeta ("IN BRIEF .... INTER-KOREAN SHOOT-OUT," Moscow, 4, 6/6/97) reported that a DPRK patrol boat fired at a ROK naval guard ship, which reciprocated. The shoot-out lasted for an hour. No casualties were reported. The DPRK patrol boat accompanied nine DPRK schooners fishing in the Yellow Sea allegedly to the South of the DPRK-ROK border line.

9. ROK Domestic Turmoil

Yuriy Savenkov in Izvestia ("SEOUL STREETS SINKING INTO CHAOS," Moscow, 3, 6/4/97) reported that a Seoul policeman died from wounds inflicted by a piece of a steel pipe, thus becoming the first fatal casualty of the hot clashes between 7 thousand policemen and 10 thousand radical students of Seoul. The riots have been going on for 5 days already. Students from other parts of the ROK keep arriving in Seoul creating huge traffic jams. Several policemen have been taken hostage. The students answered police tear gas with rocks and Molotov cocktails. There are many wounded on both sides. The riots started after the police blocked a meeting of the anti-governmental Alliance of Student Councils suspected of pro-DPRK inclinations. The demonstrators demand that ROK President Kim Young-sam retire and that the "real" amounts of the 1992 Presidential election campaign spending be revealed. Opposition parties press the same demand and allege that the legal limit was exceeded by 20 times. There are allegations that President Kim Young-sam got a total of US$337 million for election purposes from his predecessor, President Roh Tae-woo, presently imprisoned on corruption charges. The ROK President in a TV appeal admitted that a political "transparency" reform is needed.

Pravda-5's Andrey Krushinskiy ("HOW THE 'CROWN PRINCE' WAS ARRESTED," Moscow, 3, 6/4/97) reported on the details of the 5/17/97 arrest of ROK President Kim Young-sam's son. Stressing that the investigation is still underway, the author said "there are thunder clouds hanging" over the future of the ROK President's son and the ROK president himself.

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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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