The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Friday, August 15, 1997, from Berkeley, California, USA

The Daily Report is distributed to e-mail participants of the Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network (NAPSNet). For more information on the Daily Report, visit the NAPSNet Daily Report Page.

A plain text version of the most recent Daily Report may be obtained automatically by sending an email message in any form to: Other recent hypertext (web) version Daily Reports may be found in the Recent Reports Folder. Plain text versions of all previous Daily Reports may be accessed (using either web browsers or ftp software) in the Daily Report Archive.

Please send news items, discussion contributions, subscription requests, or other comments to the Daily Report Editor at:

In today's Report:

I. United States

II. Landmine Ban Colloquium Statement

I. United States

1. US Official on DPRK Famine, Food Aid

Reuters ("U.S. ENVOY: N. KOREA FOOD CRISIS WORSENS," Tokyo, 8/15/97) reported that US ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson said Friday that the DPRK's food crisis is getting worse and that the US has no evidence supporting reports that the DPRK government is diverting international aid to its military. Richardson, who made several visits to the DPRK prior to becoming UN ambassador earlier this year, also said the US was likely to respond to any further appeals for food aid to the DPRK by the UN World Food Program (WFP). The US already has provided US$52 million this year through the WFP to help stave off famine conditions. Commenting on assertions by members a US congressional delegation that during their DPRK visit they saw evidence of diversions of food aid to the military, Richardson said, "We right now, on the reports that food is being diverted to the military, are looking into the reports. We can't verify them." He said US food aid was targeted mainly at children under the age of six and "we believe it is getting to them."

2. DPRK-Japan Relations

The Associated Press ("N. KOREA, JAPAN MAY ESTABLISH TIES," Tokyo, 8/15/97) reported that the DPRK and Japan announced Friday that they will hold talks next Thursday in Beijing aimed at eventually establishing diplomatic relations. In Tokyo, Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda announced the agreement to hold the bilateral talks, which was confirmed by a statement on DPRK radio. The two countries never have had formal relations, and previously have scheduled eight rounds of normalization talks without success. The last round of talks was suspended in November 1992, when DPRK negotiators walked out in objection to Japanese demands for information on Megumi Yokota, thought to have been kidnapped by DPRK spies. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto welcomed the chance to improve ties, stating, "There have been so many times that similar talks have been put off for one reason or another that I really look forward to their actually being carried out." A warmer relationship could help the DPRK get more Japanese food aid to help ward off its looming famine. Japan provided US$5.2 million in food aid last year, but has refused to pledge any more.

3. ROK President Supports DPRK Peace Efforts

AP-Dow Jones News Service ("S.KOREA LAUDS PEACE EFFORTS, URGES BETTER TIES WITH NORTH," Seoul, 8/15/97) reported that ROK President Kim Young-sam on Friday lauded recent peace efforts between the rival Koreas and renewed his offer of assistance if the DPRK were to improve ties. Kim said in a nationally broadcast speech commemorating the 52nd anniversary of Korean independence from Japanese colonial rule that last week's four-party peace talks preliminary meeting provided "concrete steps for peace and cooperation." Kim called on the DPRK to renounce its aggressive stance. "If North Korea chooses the path of change, we have the will and capability to cooperate with it as much as it wants," he said.

4. DPRK Pushes People to Produce

The AP-Dow Jones News Service ("NORTH KOREA URGES POPULACE TO ENSURE BUMPER RICE CROP," Tokyo, 8/15/97) reported that an editorial in the DPRK's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Friday urged everyone to ensure a big harvest this autumn to avert famine. The editorial, marking the 52nd anniversary of the Korean independence from Japanese colonial rule, stated, "We must bring a big harvest this year no matter what." "Not much time is left before the year ends. All party members and workers must make the final dash in our 'march of hardships'," the editorial said. The editorial was carried in a broadcast by Korean Central Radio, which was monitored in Tokyo by the Radiopress news agency.

II. Landmine Ban Colloquium Statement

[Following is the final statement from the international colloquium on landmines held in Sydney, Australia, from July 14 to 17. The statement was drafted by the chair of the conference, Ramesh Thakur, of the Peace Research Centre, RSPAS, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. For more information, send email to:]

Chairman's Statement

The regional Colloquium 'Towards Ottawa and Beyond', organised by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, was held in Sydney from 14 to 17 July 1997. Around 110 participants from 24 countries attended, including representatives of government and non-government organisations.

The purpose of the Colloquium was to raise public awareness on landmines and mobilise support for the Ottawa Process around Asia and the Pacific. Colloquium participants expressed horror at the weapon of mass murder in slow motion. Up to 110 million anti-personnel landmines continue to be deployed in 65-70 countries, killing and maiming up to 26,000 people each year. Landmines should be outlawed because of the horrific nature of injuries they cause; because 90 percent of the victims are civilian; because once positioned they are triggered by victims; and because they continue to cause death and injury for decades after being sown.

Participants acknowledged the urgent need for a global ban on anti-personnel landmines and expanded programs for mine clearance and victim assistance. Questioning the military utility of landmines, they were persuaded of the imperative for a simple, clear, comprehensive and legally binding global ban with no exceptions, reservations or loopholes. There was some discussion that a purely symbolic, non-verifiable Ottawa treaty may jeopardise the efficacy of the Conference on Disarmament, the Australian government's forum of first choice for an internationally negotiated landmines treaty. Convinced that the Ottawa Process is the clearest expression of the will of the international community, participants welcomed the commitment of the 100 countries which to date have indicated their intention to sign the Brussels Declaration of June 1997.

Colloquium participants called on all governments of Asia and the Pacific:

To commit their countries to signing a simple, clear and comprehensive international treaty in Ottawa in December 1997 banning the production, stockpiling, use and transfer of all anti-personnel landmines (including all explosive devices that have the same effects as anti-personnel landmines) with minimal exceptions (such as a training stockpile), reservations or loopholes;

To participate actively in the negotiations leading to the Ottawa Treaty in parallel with ongoing efforts to negotiate a landmines ban in the Conference on Disarmament;

To include representatives of non-government organisations in national delegations to the forthcoming Oslo and Ottawa conferences later this year;

To support the inclusion of a delegation from the International Campaign to Ban Landmines at the forthcoming Oslo and Ottawa conferences;

To increase greatly resources for mine awareness in their own countries and for mine clearance and victim assistance in mine-contaminated countries;

To inscribe the issue of landmines on the agenda of relevant regional and international fora;

To explore how non-state groups can be made to abide by mine ban regimes; and

To support research on the impact of mines on the society, economy, development and environment of mined regions.

Affirming that the humanitarian imperative overrides any strategic utility and commercial benefits, the Colloquium looked beyond Ottawa 1997 to the continued stigmatisation of this weapon of mass destruction; the progressive universalisation of a comprehensive landmine ban treaty; the complete eradication of all landmines throughout the world; and greatly expanded programs of mine clearance and victim assistance, including rehabilitation and reintegration into civil society.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today's report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

Wade Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
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

Return to the top of this Daily Report

Go to the Daily Report Archive

Return to the Nautilus Institute Home Page