The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Friday, March 27, 1997, from Berkeley, California, USA

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In today's Report:

I. Republic of Korea

II. Japan

I. Republic of Korea

1. ROK, UN Opposition of Taiwan's Nuclear Waste Disposal Plans

The ROK's endeavors to stop Taiwan from exporting nuclear waste to the DPRK received an international boost Wednesday when the UN General Assembly agreed to include a related clause in the closing document of its special session. ROK Foreign Minister Yoo Chong-ha said that participating countries in the Earth Summit agreed to stipulate opposition to "transboundary" transportation of radioactive waste. According to a relevant part of the document draft released by ROK officials, the UN urges countries to store radioactive waste within their respective territories. "...It is best for radioactive waste to be disposed of in the state in which it was generated as far as is compatible with the safety of the management of such material," the draft read. "Governments should finalize this text and are urged to ratify and implement it as soon as possible so as to further improve practice and strengthen safety in this area... The issue of potential transboundary environmental effects of activities related to the management of radioactive waste and the question of prior notification, relevant information and consultation with states that could potentially be affected by such effects, should be further addressed within the appropriate forums," the draft document added. ROK President Kim Young-sam, in a keynote speech to the UN conference Monday, appealed to all countries to pay heed to ROK's concerns and pressure the Taiwanese government. (Korea Herald, Chon Shi-yong, "UN OPPOSES TAIWAN'S NUCLEAR WASTE SHIPMENT TO DPRK; MINISTER YOO SAYS FOLLOWING SPECIAL SESSION," New York, 06/27/97)

2. President Kim's Speech on DPRK Policies

On Wednesday, the 47th commemoration of the DPRK's invasion, ROK President Kim Young-sam said that Pyongyang has not changed its policy of spreading Communism on the Korean peninsula by military force. "Even though the Cold War era has ended and the rest of the world is brimming with reconciliation and cooperation, a tense military confrontation still persists on the Korean Peninsula," Kim said in a speech at a meeting held by the Korea Society. Headed by former US ambassador to the ROK Donald P. Gregg, the Korea Society was established in 1978 with the aim of promoting economic, political, informational, educational and cultural ties between the ROK and the US. "The very survival of our compatriots in the North is being threatened because of a serious food shortage. And yet, DPRK's policy of communizing the South by military force has not changed at all," Kim said. (Korea Times, Lee Chang-sup, "NK STILL SEEKS TO COMMUNIZE SOUTH BY FORCE NEW YORK," 06/27/97)

3. Speech on Collapse of DPRK

A high ranking US military official stationed in the ROK said that economic crimes and regional bureaucrats' discontent is rising in the DPRK, pushing the nation into the third stage of disintegration. In his speech entitled "DPRK's Dilemma: A Combat Commanders Opinion," delivered at Maryland University yesterday, the official described the fall of the DPRK regime in seven stages. (Hankyoreh Shinmun, Jung Yeon-ju, "A US MILITARY OFFICIAL IN THE ROK ANALYSES SITUATION IN THE DPRK," Washington DC, 06/27/97)

II. Japan

1. Japan-Russia Defense Relations

The Sankei Shimbun ("RUSSIAN PRESIDENT REVEALS THAT RUSSIA'S NUCLEAR MISSILE PROGRAM WILL DETARGET JAPAN," Denver, 1, 06/21/97) reported that during talks between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Yeltsin revealed Russia's plans for its nuclear ballistic missiles to de-target Japan.

The Asahi Shimbun ("RUSSIA COMPLETES DETARGETING JAPAN," 2, 06/27/97) and the Nikkei Shimbun ("RUSSIA COMPLETES NUCLEAR MISSILE DETARGETING OF JAPAN," 8, 06/27/97) reported that on June 26, the Russian Presidential Spokesman announced that Russia's Defense Department had completed de- targeting Japan. The report pointed out that this will help promote Japan-Russia confidence-building measures that were agreed upon by Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto and Russian President Yeltsin at the Denver summit.

2. Review of Japan-US Defense Cooperation Guidelines

The Nikkei Shimbun ("LDP SECURITY RESEARCH GROUP COMPLETES PROPOSAL ON EMERGENCY LEGISLATION," 2, 06/27/97) reported that on June 26, an LDP security research group completed its proposal on emergency legislation. The proposal, which will officially be announced in early July, gives priority to legislation in events of emergency in the regions surrounding Japan, including the Korean Peninsula, rather than to legislation in events of emergency in the Japanese territories. Among the proposed legislative steps are transportation of Japanese nationals outside of Japan, patrol of important facilities, measures for a mass of refugees, implementation of United Nations economic sanctions and other forms of international cooperation, and assistance to US forces.

Representatives from the three ruling parties--the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and the News Party Sakigake--discussed several issues at the June 26 inter-ruling consultation on the review of Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines, reported the Nikkei Shimbun ("RULING PARTIES MAY DISAGREE ON EMERGENCY LEGISLATION," 2, 06/27/97). Among the topics that were discussed, legislators agreed that the reviewed guidelines should not exceed the framework of the Japanese constitution, but could not come to a conclusion on emergency legislation. Commenting on the LDP's desire to discuss the emergency legislation and the SDP's desire to avoid the matter, LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Taku Yamazaki stated, "As soon as all of us agree to emergency legislation, I will take some action to draw from the PRC and the ROK their understanding of emergency legislation." The article noted that Yamazaki's statement indicates that the ruling parties all agree to strike out a coordinated policy with respect to emergency legislation but, given the SDP's resistance to revision of the Self- Defense Law, it will probably be difficult for the LDP to persuade the SDP into emergency legislation.

3. Japan's Food Policy Towards DPRK

The Nikkei Shimbun ("LDP LEADERS PROPOSE LOWER HOUSE DIET MEMBER DELEGATE TO DPRK," 2, 6/27/97) reported that LDP executive members proposed a delegation to the DPRK, headed by LDP Lower House member Masahiko Murakami, who has been cautious about food aid to the DPRK. The report suggested that the LDP executive members selected Murakami as head of the delegation to reduce opposition to food aid to the DPRK among the LDP. The report added that the LDP will formally ask Murakami to head the delegate upon agreement from LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Taku Yamazaki and Director General Koichi Kato, but that it is unclear whether the DPRK will approve the visit.

4. Status of Food Transport to DPRK

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("FOOD TRANSPORTATION BY TRAIN IN TROUBLE," 6, Seoul, 6/27/97) reported that, on June 26, an ROK Red Cross official told the newspaper that food being delivered by train to the DPRK is being delayed due to insufficient transportation facilities in the DPRK. Among the numerous logistical problems is the outdated rail system; the official said that food aid often arrives behind schedule, inefficient manpower has to be mobilized to transport food aid, and that there has even been a train derailment in the eastern part of a PRC-DPRK border area. The Red Cross official added that the DPRK recognizes the problem and that another North-South Red Cross meeting will be held in late July, when the first food aid program ends.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

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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