The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Tuesday, September 9, 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 Talks in Beijing

Reuters ("U.S. OFFICIALS IN BEIJING FOR N.KOREA TALKS," Beijing, 9/9/97) reported that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman on Tuesday arrived in Beijing to hold one day of talks with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan on Wednesday, according to a US embassy spokesman. The talks will focus on DPRK attendance of the four-party Korean peace talks, the official said. The meeting will be the first of senior US and DPRK officials since the DPRK ambassador to Egypt, Chang Sung-kil, and his diplomat brother sought asylum in the US last month. The defections have raised doubts as to whether the DPRK will attend a second peace talks preparatory meeting set for the week of September 15 in New York, and the DPRK last week requested a meeting with US senior officials to discuss the defections and four-party talks, diplomats said. Kartman arrived from Seoul, where he had held consultations with ROK authorities.

The AP-Dow Jones News Service ("US, CHINA OFFICIALS MEET IN ATTEMPT TO KEEP N KOREA IN TALKS," Beijing, 9/9/97) reported that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman on Tuesday met with PRC officials to discuss his plans for Wednesday's meeting in Beijing with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan to dissuade Pyongyang from dropping out of the four-party peace talks. US Embassy officials provided no specifics on the discussions.

The Associated Press ("OFFICIAL SAYS KOREA TALKS STILL ON," Beijing, 9/9/97) reported that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman said Tuesday that the US still expects Korean peace talks to go ahead next week despite the defections of two DPRK diplomats. "I expect they'll take place," Kartman said in an interview. Kartman said the purpose his meeting Wednesday with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan was to "stay in touch, make sure we're communicating." The PRC Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Shen Guofang, said the PRC hoped all sides would work to ensure the talks begin on time, but added that rapid results should not be expected. "It's not realistic to expect all the issues or most of the issues to be resolved in an instant," Shen said. "We hope that all sides will maintain a calm, cool state of affairs so that they can continue to discuss issues of common concern."

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley ("STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8," USIA Transcript, 9/9/97) stated Monday that the US still expects the second round of the four-party peace talks preliminary meetings to take place on schedule in New York the week of September 15. "Now, there have been questions raised in the wake of some recent events. I can only say that we have not had any concrete news from the North Korean side about any change of plans. We are continuing to hope that indeed they will arrive and participate in the talks in New York next week, as has been scheduled," Foley said. Foley confirmed that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman would meet with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan in Beijing Wednesday, but refused to discuss the agenda for that meeting.

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley ("STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9," USIA Transcript, 9/9/97) commented Tuesday on the Kartman-Kim meeting Wednesday in Beijing. "We think meetings of this nature are always helpful. I wouldn't draw any extraordinary implications from the meeting. We think, in the circumstances, that it's timely for Mr. Kartman to have this meeting. ... In this context, regular communication such as Mr. Kartman's meeting tomorrow with the North Korean Vice Foreign Minister can help move the peace process forward." Foley would not comment on the specific topics to be discussed at the meeting.

2. DPRK Soldier Killed in DMZ

The Associated Press ("NKOREAN SOLDIER KILLED IN DMZ," Seoul, 9/9/97) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said Tuesday that a DPRK had been shot to death by ROK troops in the demilitarized zone. The DPRK soldier was spotted approaching a ROK guard post in the middle of a mine field in the southern half of the 2.5 mile-wide buffer zone, near Yanggu, 75 miles northeast of Seoul, the ministry said. When challenged by two ROK guards, the DPRK soldier raised his rifle as if to fire and was immediately gunned down, the ministry said. The shooting was the second armed clash reported along the Korean border in less than two months. On July 16, several DPRK soldiers were reportedly wounded in an exchange of fire with ROK troops in the same general area. The United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission is investigating the latest incident, the ministry said.

US Deputy State Department Spokesman James Foley ("STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9," USIA Transcript, 9/9/97) on Tuesday refrained from commenting on the killing of a DPRK soldier in the Korean DMZ on Tuesday. "First of all, we just have received reports about the incident between North and South Korean military personnel, and we don't have full details on that incident," he said. Foley did say that the incident "underlines the need to ensure the effective functioning of the military armistice commission until a permanent peace is established on the Korean Peninsula."

3. US Nuclear Ship Visit to Hong Kong

Reuters ("U.S. NUKE SUB IN DISCREET HONG KONG VISIT," Hong Kong, 9/9/97) reported that a US Navy nuclear submarine has paid a low-key visit to Hong Kong, discreetly entering PRC waters with Beijing's approval for the first time. A US Consulate official said on Monday that the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Portsmouth visited Hong Kong August 18 to 23, accompanied by the support ship USS Frank Cable, on a routine rest and recreation stop. "The Chinese cleared it and it came in and got provisions and I presume the people on board went ashore for some recreation," the official said, declining to offer further details. According to Jane's Fighting Ships, the Portsmouth does not normally carry nuclear warheads, but is armed with formidable weaponry including nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missiles. The PRC Foreign Ministry Commissioner's Office, which grants approval for visits by foreign warships, had no comment. The port call was not announced by the US Consulate, unlike visits by other warships, which entertain local dignitaries and the media on board during their stays. The Seventh Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge and escort ships staged a high-profile port call a month ago, and last week a seven-vessel naval battle group led by the aircraft carrier USS Constellation stopped in for five days. Defense expert Paul Beaver of Jane's Information group commented, "It's unusual for a nuclear-powered ship to come into Chinese waters. It's unprecedented. I'm really surprised."

4. Russia Missing Nuclear Weapons

Reuters ("LEBED: RUSSIA MISSING SCORES OF NUCLEAR BOMBS," New York, 9/5/97) reported that former Russian National Security Adviser Alexandr Lebed believes that the Russian military has lost track of over 100 suitcase-sized one-kiloton nuclear bombs. In the interview with the CBS News "60 Minutes" program, to be aired Sunday, Lebed said, "more than a hundred weapons out of the supposed number of 250 are not under the control of the armed forces of Russia. I don't know their location. I don't know whether they have been destroyed or whether they are stored or whether they've been sold or stolen, I don't know." Vladimir Uvatenko, a spokesman for Russia's Defense Ministry, said by telephone from Moscow, "I declare there are no nuclear bombs in Russia out of control of the Russian armed forces. This statement by Alexandr Ivanovich (Lebed) can cause nothing but a smile -- he never dealt with nuclear security questions and cannot know the situation." Asked if it were possible that the authorities did know where all the weapons were and simply did not want to tell Lebed, he said, "No." Lebed said the devices, made to look like suitcases, could be detonated by one person within half an hour. "Can you imagine what would happen psychologically, morally, if this weapon is detonated in a big city? ... About 50-70,000 people, up to 100,000 people would be killed," Lebed said in the interview. Last May, Lebed said at a private briefing to a delegation of US congressmen that he believed 84 of the bombs were missing. US Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Penn.) led the congressional delegation and reported Lebed's information to the CIA. Lebed, a former top general and national security adviser to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, said the revelation "should be troubling for everyone in the world, because any military officer who had access to those devices could get a very large sum of money on the black market for that device."

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Talks

Pyongyang proposed a high-level meeting with Washington last week to discuss Ambassador Chang Sung-kil's political asylum in the US, a ROK Foreign Ministry official said yesterday. The DPRK Ambassador to the UN Li Gun made the proposal in a working-level meeting in New York last weekend with Mark Minton, director of Korean affairs at the State Department. "The US made it clear that it is impossible to launch consultations over the asylum case. However, Seoul and Washington shared the belief that it is worth holding negotiations with the DPRK, timed with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman's visit to the PRC starting Wednesday," the official said. However, the primary concern for the US and the ROK at this moment seems to be the preliminary four party peace talks. Originally, the preliminary four-party talks were supposed to start in the week of September 15, but Seoul and Washington decided not to press the DPRK to immediately enter into dialogue because the DPRK's Foreign Ministry was cornered by the defections. (Korea Times, Son Key-young, "NK PROPOSES HIGH-LEVEL TALKS WITH US," 09/09/97)

2. DPRK-PRC Relations

PRC President Jiang Zemin has assured DPRK leader Kim Jong-il that Beijing will maintain its "steadfast policy" to strengthen ties with Pyongyang, the DPRK said Sunday. Jiang made the remark in a message to the DPRK leader on Saturday to congratulate him on Tuesday's 49th anniversary of the foundation of the Stalinist state, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. "It is the steadfast policy of the Chinese party and government to consolidate and develop the Sino-Korean friendly relations," Jiang was quoted by the KCNA as saying in the message. "We will together with the Korean party and government make continued and ceaseless efforts to defend and develop the great Sino-Korean friendship and consolidate and strengthen the Sino-Korean friendly and cooperative relations," the PRC president said. The PRC, previously a major alliance partner of the DPRK, more recently has played a mediation role in negotiations between Pyongyang and the West, including Japan. Beijing maintains diplomatic ties with both Pyongyang and Seoul. (Korea Times, "JIANG ASSURES DPRK OF STEADY TIES," 09/09/97)

3. Fisheries Disputes

The ROK is seeking to hold three-way consultations with Japan and the PRC on fishing in the East China Sea, where their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) overlap, a ROK Foreign Ministry official said yesterday. The official said cooperation between the three countries is needed to preserve maritime resources in the sea as most of the species of fish found there are migratory. He said the PRC has reacted positively to the offer, adding the ROK will raise the need in working-level fisheries talks with Japan, which open tomorrow. The official made the remarks while commenting on a recent fisheries agreement between Japan and the PRC, which introduces a joint management fishing zone between the latitudes of 30.40 degrees North and 27 degrees North. Such provisional measures resulted from difficulties the two countries have been facing in setting the boundaries of the overlapping exclusive economic zones claimed by the two countries. ROK officials have problems with the boundaries of the proposed PRC-Japan joint management seas, which some local newspapers claimed might intrude into the Southern limit line of the ROK's planned EEZ. (Korea Herald, Kim Kyung-ho, "KOREA TO HOLD TALKS WITH THE PRC, JAPAN ON EEZ," 09/09/97)

III. Russian Federation

1. RF Missing Nuclear Weapons

Nezavisimaia gazeta ("LEBED FRIGHTENS WITH NUCLEAR ATTACHE CASES," Moscow, 2, 9/9/97) reported that Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, former Secretary of RF Security Council, urged the authorities of the RF and other CIS countries "to deal with the problem of individual-use nuclear ammunition kits with which the special purpose brigades of the Main Intelligence, USSR General Staff, were armed." On 9/8/97 Aleksandr Lebed told RR Interfax News Agency that when he was the RF SC Secretary in September-October 1996 he learned that in the past the special purpose brigades were armed with such ammunition kits, and that in his short term in the office he "failed to learn how many of those nuclear ammunition kits there were." Lebed stressed, "The state of nuclear safety in Russia presents a greatest danger to the whole world." The 12th Main Directorate of RF Defense Ministry that deals with nuclear ammunition planning, production, control and storage issues called Mr. Lebed's information "a complete delirium."

2. RF Fissionable Materials Safety

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye's Aleksandr Kouznetsov ("PLUTONIUM UNDER LOCK AND KEY," Moscow, 6, 9/5-11/97, #33(60)) published his interview with Gennadiy Tsygankov, Deputy Director for Safety, All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics (VNIITF. Tsygankov said that while the Soviet nuclear safety system existed as a part of a larger state security system, today "the borders are half-open" and nuclear safety requires additional efforts. Tsygankov discussed RF-US cooperation, such as the "Lab to Lab" program of cooperation between US national laboratories and RF Atomic Energy Ministry enterprises. Tsygankov also commented on the state of systems of physical protection, noting that the process of improvement is endless and goes on permanently. "It will take five years to complete what we've on our mind presently," he said.

3. RF-US Joint Plutonium Storage Facility Construction

Kommersant-Daily's Dmitriy Zobkov and German Galkin ("THE NEW STORAGE FACILITY WILL PROTECT PLUTONIUM FROM TERRORISTS," Moscow, 4, 9/4/97) reported that Dr. Hans Blix, IAEA Director General, on 9/3/97 completed his visit to RF Chelyabinsk Region where he studied the construction of a new storage facility for fissionable materials at the city of Ozyorsk. Weapon-grade plutonium from discarded missiles, bombs, torpedoes and shells will be stored there. The US is providing partial funding for construction under the US Nunn-Lugar Program, initiated in 1992 to help the RF and other CIS countries to dismantle nuclear weapons. The construction is to be completed in 1999, after which a similar storage facility is to be built in the US. The facilities are intended to enable the RF and the US to destroy thousands nuclear warheads by the year 2007. An RF-US nuclear weapons dismantling seminar was held simultaneously with the IAEA Director General's visit, but at the same time local environment protection movement staged a protest action against the storage facility construction.

4. RF Uranium Exports To Be Stepped Up

Kommersant-Daily ("INFORMATION .... RUSSIA INCREASES ITS URANIUM DELIVERIES ABROAD," Moscow, 3, 9/4/97) reported that according to Viktor Mikhailov, RF Atomic Energy Minister, now in London at an international forum of nuclear energy producers and consumers, the RF will increase its natural uranium exports, starting from early 1998, and by December will increase those sales by 20%. By 2000 there is to be 100% increase worth US$3.5 billion. The increase is being made on RF initiative approved by the IAEA. Viktor Mikhailov listed "Finland, Germany, Korea, China, Japan" among the countries to import those increases. "Our tactics are aimed at securing the South East Asia market which will become a major center of nuclear ores consumption in the early 21st century," he said.

5. RF Official On New US Nuclear Weapon

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("IN BRIEF .... USA," Moscow, 3, 9/5-11/97, #33(60)) reported RF Deputy Atomic Energy Minister Lev Ryabev's comments on reports that the US has created a new penetrating nuclear explosive. The device is said to be capable of penetrating several meters deep into the ground, thus destroying underground facilities more efficiently. Lev Ryabev said the US was known to have been developing that type of device for several years and now apparently has completed the process. In his opinion, the weapon is not an entirely new device, but rather a modernized device with a more solid shell and some other innovations, and hence does not contradict the CTBT. "No one and nothing can prevent Russia as well to work in the field of modernization of nuclear weapons," he said, adding that RF nuclear centers work in this field, in particular solving the problems of increasing the safety of nuclear weapons handling.

6. RF Activities of US CIA

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye's Sergey Modestov ("US INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY PROCLAIMED NEW OBJECTIVES," Moscow, 7, 9/5-11/97, #33(60)) published an article in connection with the 50th anniversary of US Central Intelligence Agency in which he argued that, despite present US intelligence chiefs' statements saying the RF no longer is a priority target of their efforts, in reality the CIA continues to consider the RF as a priority. The US is concerned with RF-PRC military industrial links, and their alleged participation in nuclear programs of the threshold countries. He maintained that CIA activities in the RF include not only intelligence, but direct economic subversion as well.

7. RF-PRC Military Exchange

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("VISITS, MILITARY COOPERATION," Moscow, 3, 9/5-11/97, #33(60)) reported that on 9/4/97 Lu Haoquin, Deputy Chairman, PRC Military Council, completed his visit to the RF, where he met with RF Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, visited military industrial enterprises where Su-27 fighters are produced, and discussed the issues concerning imports of Su-27 spare parts and other military items to the PRC.

8. RF-Indonesia Aircraft Deal Made

Segodnya ("INDONESIA CONFIRMED ITS CHOICE," Moscow, 4, 9/5/97) reported that Indonesian Planning and National Development Minister Ghinanjar Kartasasmit confirmed his country's decision to buy 12 Su-30K fighters and Mi-17-1V helicopters worth US$500 million from the RF. The deliveries are to be paid completely by traditional Indonesian exports of coffee, palm oil, natural rubber and other items of 40 types suggested by Indonesia. The deal provides for deliveries of ammunition, spare parts and technical service means as well.

9. Four-Party Korean Peace Talks

Nezavisimaia gazeta ("IN BRIEF .... DPRK BLACKMAILS USA," Moscow, 4, 9/3/97) reported that the four-party Korean peace talks scheduled for 9/15/97 might not take place. The reason, according to the DPRK Foreign Ministry Spokesman's official statement made on 9/2/97, is US provision of refuge to former DPRK Ambassador to Egypt Chang Sung-kil and his brother following their recent defections.

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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

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