The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Tuesday, July 15, 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. New US Food Aid to DPRK

The Washington Post (R. Jeffrey Smith, "U.S. SAYS IT WILL DOUBLE FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA," Washington, 7/15/97, A15) reported Monday's US announcement that the US will provide 100,000 metric tons of grain valued at US$27 million to help feed children and the elderly in the DPRK in response to the July 9 request by the UN World Food Program (WFP). The report noted that the US decision comes three weeks before the crucial four-party peace talks preliminary meeting in New York. Although US officials publicly denied any connection between the aid and forthcoming talks, the report said that officials have said privately that past US assistance has improved substantially the political climate for the negotiations. The new donation amounts to slightly more than half the $45.6 million sought by the WFP, and brings the total US food aid contribution for 1997 to US$52 million. However, the report quoted Andrew S. Natsios, formerly at the US Agency for International Development and now at World Vision, as noting that the US contributions to the DPRK to date amount to roughly 10 percent of the shortfall, considerably less than the 25 to 35 percent the US typically provides to alleviate foreign famines. Natsios added his opinion that the US administration's response to the DPRK famine crisis has been too restrained because of opposition from some US lawmakers and pressure from the ROK, which he said "has consistently and openly opposed any significant food aid to their adversaries in the North."

2. DPRK-ROK Food Aid Talks

The Associated Press ("NORTH KOREA OKS NEW FOOD AID TALKS," Seoul, 7/15/97) and Reuters ("N.KOREA WANTS FOOD TALKS IN BEIJING," Seoul, 7/15/97) reported that the DPRK Red Cross on Tuesday agreed to hold talks with the ROK Red Cross to discuss additional food aid, but insisted the meeting be held in Beijing, rather than the border crossing of Panmunjom, and be held on July 23 rather than July 22. A ROK Red Cross spokesman said it would consider the DPRK offer. Later this month, the ROK is due to complete shipments of 50,000 tons of food following an agreement reached in May in Beijing, the first between the two sides for almost five years. The ROK has also contributed US$16 million in response to an aid appeal by the UN World Food Program earlier this year. The ROK Red Cross said that if officials meet again, it will demand that the DPRK allow reunions for millions of families separated by the Korean conflict.

3. Japanese Defense White Paper

Reuters ("JAPAN DEFENSE PAPER URGES WATCH ON CHINA," Tokyo, 7/15/97) reported that Japan's Defense Ministry said in its annual Defense White Paper, issued Tuesday, that the PRC needs to be more open about its military strength and spending and that Beijing's military modernization program needed close watching. "The pace of China's military modernization is expected to be gradual, but we must continue to pay attention to the modernization of its air force, navy and nuclear arms, the expansion of its maritime activity and the situation on the Taiwan Strait," the report said. The report also cautioned that "the figure of defense spending made public by China is only a fraction of the actual amount." The White Paper also reiterated Japan's "grave concern" over the DPRK's missile program and urged Pyongyang to adhere to its agreement to dismantle its nuclear program. "We must continue to keep a high degree of caution because North Korea maintains a very closed system and its moves are by no means clear," the report said. For the first time, the report highlighted the importance of advanced military technology, saying that a "revolution" was now under way and that Japan needed new defense-related laws to prepare for regional contingencies as part of the expanded security role Japan is assuming as part of a major post-Cold War review of the US-Japan military alliance. "The Defense Agency maintains that it is desirable that these emergency laws should be enacted, but these laws require a high degree of political decision and we must pay attention to parliament and public opinion," the report said.

4. RF-ROK Relations

The AP-Dow Jones News Service ("RUSSIA FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT S. KOREA FOR OFFICIAL TALKS," Seoul, 7/15/97) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov will visit the ROK later this month on a visit ROK officials hope will strengthen relations between the two countries. ROK Foreign Ministry officials said Tuesday that, in a four-day visit beginning July 23, Primakov will meet with ROK President Kim Young-sam and Foreign Minister Yoo Chong-ha. During Primakov's visit, Russia and the ROK will agree to open a presidential hot-line and sign an accord to exchange land for new embassies in each other's capitals, the Foreign Ministry officials said. The Seoul government also will ask Russia to reinvestigate the October 1996 killing of Choi Duk-kun, an ROK diplomat assigned to the consulate in Vladivostok, who died of head injuries and two puncture wounds in his body in his apartment building. ROK officials suspect that the killing was the work of DPRK agents. Primakov's trip comes two weeks after a Russian government delegation visited Seoul and agreed to improve technology exchanges and push the joint construction of an industrial complex in the Nakhodka Free Economic Zone, near Russia's border with North Korea on the Sea of Japan. The Russian delegation also assured Seoul officials that Moscow will continue to repay its US$1.8 billion debt to South Korea with arms, steel and other industrial goods. [Ed. note: See "RF To Pay ROK Debt in Enriched Uranium" in the Russian Federation section below, and "Russia Plans Arms for ROK Debt Payment" in the US section of the July 11 Daily Report.]

5. Indonesian Nuclear Development

The Associated Press ("INDONESIA PLANS NUKE PLANT BY 2005," Jakarta, 7/15/97) reported that Iyos Subki, director-general of Indonesia's National Atomic Energy Board, said Tuesday that by early next century Indonesia will have a nuclear power plant to meet growing energy demands. "We will have a nuclear power plant by the year 2003 or 2005 depending on the agreement between the parliament and the government," the official Antara news agency quoted Subki as saying. Indonesia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and is the world's fourth most populous country. Subki said Indonesia must consider nuclear energy because its population is expected to expand from about 200 million now to 270 million by 2020. Subki rejected criticism that nuclear power is dangerous, saying all energy forms, especially fossil fuels, posed risks to the environment. The government is considering a proposal to build at least 12 nuclear power plants. The first is planned for the foothills of a dormant volcano in Central Java, 400 kilometers east of Jakarta.

II. Republic of Korea

1. KEDO Project Proceedings

The ROK's Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), the prime contractor for the nuclear reactors to be built in the DPRK, has outsourced a US$450,000 project to the DPRK government. The agreement, signed by Lee Yong-il of KEPCO and Choi In-hwa, his DPRK counterpart, it is the first commercial deal between a ROK corporation and the DPRK government within the framework of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). Under this subcontract, the DPRK is to lay a road between the port of Sinpo and Kumpo, the site of the reactors. It was finalized in New York earlier this month when KEDO and the DPRK also signed an agreement on services for the nuclear reactor project. KEPCO has already deposited US$50,000 for the work and dispatched two of its managers to oversee the process last week. (Korea Herald, "KEPCO SIGNS CONTRACT WITH DPRK," 07/15/97) [Ed. note: See also "Start of KEDO Reactor Construction" in the July 14 Daily Report.]

2. ROK National Assembly Assesses Hwang Statements

The ROK National Assembly yesterday convened ten standing committees to investigate the details of the so-called "Hwang Jang-yop file" controversy, in addition to looking into expanded food aid to the DPRK and problems with the nation's high-speed railway project. At the Intelligence Committee meeting, Representatives Park Sang-chun, Chun Yong-taek, and Han Young-soo urged the disclosure of the truth behind Hwang's warnings of the DPRK's war preparations at his recent press conference. They also wanted to know whether the list Hwang claimed to have containing the names of ROK activists he met in Pyongyang and abroad actually exists. In response to Japan's request to question Hwang, Kwon Young-hae, director of the Agency for National Security Planning (NSP), said, "If the nation's allies seek the permission to question Hwang, we could consider it on a level similar to the request we honored from the United States." (Joong-ang Ilbo, "INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CALLS FOR PUBLIC REVELATION OF 'HWANG JANG-YOP FILE'," 07/15/97)

3. ROK-Japan Relations

About one thousand ROK fishermen rallied in downtown Seoul yesterday to protest Japan's recent seizure of four ROK fishing boats in its unilaterally expanded territorial waters. The disputed area, located near Japan's western shores, has been shared by both nations since the 1965 ROK-Japan fisheries accord. Japan now claims the waters should under its own sovereignty, and would like the 1965 agreement to be amended to conform to that claim. The ROK's National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives (NFFC), the rally organizer, said that Japan's expansionism violated the 32-year-old accord. A federation of sailors' trade unions, under the ROK's Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) also held a separate protest rally in central Seoul near Chonggak. The FKTU issued a statement representing 70,000 union members, arguing that the Japanese government's seizure of ROK fishing boats is illegal. The statement was also sent to the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, denouncing the alleged physical assaults against the ROK sailors detained in Japan. (Korea Herald, "JAPAN DENOUNCED OVER FISHING DISPUTE," 07/15/97)

ROK Foreign Minister Yoo Jong-ha said at a Monday press conference that the ROK will not accept Japan's unilateral imposition of its maritime economic exclusion zone (EEZ), and also will not resume fishing negotiations until Japanese authorities revoke their earlier decision. Yoo stated that according to UN conventions regarding the sea, negotiations regarding EEZs and fishing rights should be conducted simultaneously. Japan is calling for the temporary recognition of its declared EEZ while fishing discussions are underway, and also wants access to Tokto Island for its trawling fleets until the question of sovereignty of the island is finally decided. The ROK's position is to reject any claims on Tokto Island and the proposed temporary EEZ until the maritime matters are finalized in bi-lateral talks. Yoo concluded by saying that because the ROK government does not recognize Japan's EEZ, it cannot order ROK fishermen not to enter Japan's claimed territorial waters. (Chosun Ilbo, "MINISTER YOO REJECTS JAPAN'S DEMANDS ON EEZ," 07/15/97)

III. Russian Federation

1. RF Armed Forces' Financial Woes

Segodnya ("THE ARMY'S GOT ITS OWN ARITHMETICS", Moscow, 2, 7/14/97) reported that there is a discrepancy concerning the amount of money that the RF Government owes its Armed Forces in delayed wage funds. While the Government claims it owes 5.3 trillion rubles, General Georgiy Oleinik, Chief of the Main Financial Directorate, insists that it is 8.1 trillion rubles [US$1.42 billion - PR]. To a large extent, the disagreement is caused by confusion over the actual number of people serving in the RF Armed Forces. According to unofficial data, 2.7-2.8 million persons get their wages through the RF Defense Ministry. Statistics provided by the Defense Ministry, however, maintain that the official number of enlisted men is 1.7 million. A high ranking source at the Defense Ministry stated that last year "the control over financial flows within RF Defense Ministry was lost and hasn't been restored since then." He said, the conclusion is that "for too long the chiefs fed disinformation both to each other and to the society and finally got confused themselves", not knowing how many soldiers there actually are.

An Izvestia interview with Viktor Ishayev, the governor of the Khabarovsk region ("WHAT KIND OF AN ARMY IT IS, IF ITS OFFICERS EARN EXTRA MONEY AT TIMBER-SAWING FACTORIES?", Moscow, 1, 5, 7/9/97), primarily dwelled on social and economic problems of the RF Armed Forces. In particular, he said that military debts constitute most of the 3 trillion rubles the RF Government owes because the military often does not pay for the energy, food, water and services the Khabarovsk Area provides to military units stationed there. Ishayev described numerous cases of servicemen not getting their wages on time, and thus are forced to work at extra jobs outside of their units. The Khabarovsk Area governor argued in favor of re-allocating all military assets not in use now to interested private or public entities. In his opinion there ought to be just one Military Area, one central body subordinate to RF Internal Affairs Ministry, and one Border Guard Area in the RF Far East.

2. RF ICBM Test

Segodnya ("21ST CENTURY WEAPON UNDERGONE TEST", Moscow, 1, 7/9/97) reported that the new RF "Topol-M" intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was successfully launched from the Plesetsk testing site. According to Ilshat Baichurin, a spokesman for the RF Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), the ICBM test launch was the last before serial production begins for the "21st century nuclear missile weapon". Vladimir Yakovlev, Commander-in-Chief of the SMF, remarked, "It can be said nowadays that Russia in the 21st century will remain among the leading nuclear states, thus maintaining the strategic stability worldwide."

3. RF-US Conflict on Proliferation

Segodnya ("RUSSIA GETS RID OF FALSE ACCUSATIONS", Moscow, 4, 7/11/97) reported that Gennadiy Tarasov, Director of the Information and Press Department, rejected allegations that the RF assisted in the implementation of programs to create mass destruction weapons in some countries. Those accusations have been put forward by US CIA in its special report to US Congress. Tarasov stressed that the RF export control system meets international standards, and that in the nuclear field, RF cooperation with Iran and India is aimed at developing those countries' nuclear energy sector and technology capacity. All relevant RF exports to those nations are being carried out under strict IAEA controls, and there are no nuclear exports from the RF to Pakistan.

4. RF-US Conflict on Dual-Purpose Trade

Segodnya ("RUSSIA IS READY 'TO ACT ON A RECIPROCAL BASIS'", Moscow, 4, 7/9/97) and Nezavisimaia gazeta ("RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY SHARPLY CRITICIZES WASHINGTON", Moscow, 1, 7/9/97) reported that, according to a RF Foreign Ministry statement issued on July 8, the US decision to more strictly regulate dual-purpose goods exported to some foreign entities including the RF Atomic Energy Ministry and RF nuclear centers, cast doubts on US-RF bilateral economic relations. The act, the statement said, "is discouraging and deplorable", being an echo of "the old thinking from the time of the Cold War and the dead CoCom". The statement indicated that the RF "cannot but take this decision into account when defining its own position," and its export control policy will "act on a reciprocal basis."

Finansoviye Izvestia ("USA DECIDED NOT TO INTRODUCE LIMITATIONS ON POWERFUL COMPUTERS EXPORTS TO RUSSIA", Moscow, I, 7/15/97) reported that the US Senate voted against a bill that would have made exports of medium and high-speed computers to the RF, the PRC, Israel and 47 countries stricter because of suspicions they could use them for military purposes. The Clinton administration and leading US computer manufacturers spoke against the bill. As before, the exporting companies will carry the bulk of responsibility for a possible misuse of their computers overseas, with the maximum sanctions being a 20 year ban on export operations, a 10 year prison term, and a US$5,000 fine per violation.

5. RF-PRC Discussions

Segodnya ("EXCHANGE OF OPINIONS SHOWED A 'VERY LARGE SIMILARITY OF VIEWS'", Moscow, 4, 7/11/97) reported that the RF parliamentary delegation headed by Vladimir Lukin, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, during its week-long visit to the PRC had a meeting with PRC Foreign Minister Quian Quichen and other PRC parliamentarians. Among the main topics of discussions were NATO expansion to the East and enlargement of the geographic area covered by the US- Japan security treaty. Lukin said, "The Chinese counterparts quite naturally expressed concerns about the enlargement of the sphere of application of Japanese-American security treaty." He implied that the RF delegation agreed with the PRC concerns; in his words, the talks in Beijing revealed a "very large similarity of views of the RF and the PRC on international issues."

6. RF-Japan Relations

An Izvestia (JAPANESE PREMIER READY TO MEET WITH BORIS YELTSIN WITHOUT A TIE ON", Moscow, 3, 7/12/97) report said that a Japanese delegation headed by Keijo Obuti, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party parliamentary faction, visited the RF. The group, consisting of parliamentarians, businessmen and scholars, is seen as preparatory for Japan's Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto's future visit to the RF. A number of meeting and discussions were held with RF politicians and scholars including Anatoly Chubais, RF First Deputy Premier and Vladimir Lukin, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

According to a Japanese newspaper, RF-Japan bilateral consultations are to be held this fall in order to discuss a joint venture to combat illegal seafood transactions in the Far East presently carried on a large scale by organized crime of both countries, reported Segodnya ("MOSCOW AND TOKYO READY TO FIGHT PROFITEERS", Moscow, 4, 7/12/97). A typical smuggling scheme usually involves a Japanese-owned vessel under a RF flag fishing in RF waters near the Southern Kurils, then taking its catch directly to a Hokkaido seaport.

7. Former Soviet Defense Minister Visit to DPRK

Sovetskaya Rossia ("MARSHAL YAZOV GOES TO PYONGYANG", Moscow, 7, 7/10/97) reported that during Dmitriy Yazov's private visit to the DPRK, the last Defense Minister of the former USSR "might [be] the first foreigner with whom the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Korean People's Army Marshal Kim Jong-il will meet after the end of the three years of mourning after his late father, DPRK President, Generalissimo Kim Il-Sung." Yazov, together with former Soviet KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov, and other former officials visited the DPRK Embassy in Moscow on July 8 to take part in a memorial ceremony held there.

8. RF To Pay ROK Debt in Enriched Uranium

Segodnya ("DEBT PAYMENTS WILL INCLUDE ENRICHED URANIUM", Moscow, 4, 7/9/97) reported that ROK Economy and Finance Minister Kang Gen-sik said the ROK agreed to changes in RF payments of its US$120 million debt. The changes include a partial replacement of RF exports of black metals with those of enriched uranium, aluminum, copper, in addition to helicopters and amphibious airplanes. [Ed. note: See "Russia Plans Arms for ROK Debt Payment" in the US section of the July 11 Daily Report.]

9. RF-ROK Economic Interaction

Nezavisimaia gazeta ("KOREANS WILL HELP PRIMORIYE RESIDENTS", Moscow, 1, 7/15/97) reported that the first session of joint RF-ROK science-technical and economic commission recently completed its work in Seoul. The RF delegation was headed by RF Deputy Premier Oleg Sysuyev and included Primorskiy Area Deputy Governor Vladimir Stegniy and "Nakhodka" Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Administrative Committee Chairman Sergey Dudnik. At the session the parties put down their initials under an RF-ROK agreement on creation of a joint industrial complex in Nakhodka SEZ territory.

10. DPRK Defector Hwang Statements on DPRK Threat

Nezavisimaia gazeta ("MOURNING AFTER KIM IL-SUNG IS OVER", Moscow, 4, 7/11/97) reported that the DPRK's three years of mourning for the late Kim Il-sung is now over. In the ROK, Hwang Jang-yop, a high-ranking DPRK official who defected to the ROK earlier this year, warned that the DPRK is continuing with its war efforts despite the country's economic crisis. Urging the ROK to be prepared for hostilities, Hwang said he defected only in order "to warn the world public of Pyongyang's plans... sounded rather strange in view of the fact that North Korea recently agreed to hold 4-party talks with its Southern neighbor and China and the USA participation on a peace treaty between the two Korean states."

Segodnya ("SPY-MANIA IN SEOUL", Moscow, 4, 7/12/97) reported that after DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop's press conference, the ROK National Security Planning Agency initiated investigations concerning ROK citizens who allegedly had contacts with him in the DPRK and other countries while he was a Secretary of the Central Committee. The ROK National Security Act forbids ROK citizens any illegal contacts with DPRK citizens. After ROK security officers establish whether any sensitive information leaks occurred during those contacts, ROK prosecutors will undertake their own investigation and bring lawsuits if necessary.

An Izvestia ("DEFECTOR FROM PYONGYANG FRIGHTENED SEOUL", Moscow, 3, 7/15/97) report said that at the forthcoming four-party negotiations on the Korean peace settlement, the ROK intends to make a withdrawal of DPRK missiles and fighters and the DPRK's agreement to adhere to the chemical weapons ban treaty preconditions to its further food aid to the DPRK. The ROK believes the DPRK possesses 1,000 tons of poisonous chemical substances and is capable of producing 5 times that amount. ROK military experts maintain it can take DPRK fighters 5 minutes to deliver bombs and missiles to Seoul, while ROK fighter planes might need an additional 2-3 minutes to intercept them. At a nationally televised press conference last wee, DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop described the DPRK as a highly militarized war-camp with all of its command facilities located underground. Accordingly, the DPRK might be tempted to render a "preemptive" strike against the ROK if there are riots there or if the US is distracted by a conflict in some other part of the globe. After the conference, practically all ROK newspapers urged ROK Government to take appropriate protective measures.

11. RF Nuclear Sales to Indonesia

According to Segodnya ("USUALLY APPETITE GROWS AT FEEDING TIME", Moscow, 3, 7/10/97), Indonesian Science and Technology Minister Yusuf Habibi and RF Vice Premier Yakov Urinson who runs RF foreign military-technical cooperation issues recently met in Moscow. Although no definite results have been revealed, some believe that a deal concerning RF-made Su-30, MiG-29 and MiG-AT aircraft is possible. Another round of talks is to take place in Moscow this August, and experts believe the resulting deal might be a comprehensive package worth up to US$1.5 billion. Habibi and the RF Atomic Energy Ministry also reportedly agreed to undertake a preparation of a draft bilateral agreement on nuclear energy cooperation expected to be signed this year. Segodnya speculated that RF deliveries of "small autonomous floating" nuclear power plants to Indonesia are feasible, considering the fact that the RF Atomic Energy Ministry developed them some years ago specifically for countries with geographic conditions unsuitable for ordinary nuclear power plants.

Following his visit to the RF, Indonesia's Science and Technology Minister Burhanuddin Habibi said his ministry in conjunction with the Indonesian Air Force will prepare a "system analysis" on fighters to be considered by Indonesia's President Soeharto, reported Izvestia ("INDONESIA CHOOSING FIGHTERS LIKE CHOOSING A BRIDE", Moscow, 3, 7/10/97). Since Indonesia rejected US-made F-16 fighters, the choice will be between RF-made MiGs and Sus and French-made Mirages. According to anonymous sources, in addition to Indonesia's desire to spend approximately US$200 million on 9 fighters, the country also wants the deal to include training for their pilots and a service and repair contract. There are no guarantees Indonesia will buy RF fighters, nor are payments in hard cash guaranteed either. The only definite result of the RF-Indonesian talks was that a protocol was signed providing that RF aircraft will permanently take part in airspace fairs held in Indonesia.

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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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