The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Thursday, September 11, 1997, from Berkeley, California, USA

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In today's Report:

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

I. United States

1. Four-Party Peace Talks

The US State Department ("STATE RELEASE ON 2ND KOREA 4-PARTY PREPARATORY MEETING," USIA Transcript, 9/11/97) issued the following statement through the Office of the Spokesman: "KOREA - FOUR-PARTY PREPARATORY MEETING. A second Four-Party preparatory meeting with the participation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, the United States, and the People's Republic of China will be held in New York City on September 18 and 19, 1997. The preparatory meeting is to decide arrangements for the Four-Party plenary session. The meetings will be held at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. We wish to express our appreciation to Columbia University for its generosity in making these facilities available."

US State Department Spokesman James Foley ("STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11," USIA Transcript, 9/11/97) discussed the announcement that US, PRC, DPRK and ROK representatives will meet at Columbia University in New York City September 18 and 19 for the second preparatory meeting to discuss arrangements for four-party talks on a peace agreement for the Korean peninsula. Foley stated that the US also will be holding prior bilateral meetings with each of the other participants in the four-party talks, but would not comment on "the particulars of those meetings." Foley also continued to refuse comment on any aspect of the recent defections of DPRK Ambassador to Egypt Chang Song-kil and his brother and fellow diplomat Chang Song-ho. "In our view there is no linkage between the Chang case and the four-party peace process, or, indeed, any other issue," Foley said. Asked to comment on reports that DPRK officials claim their renewed willingness to attend the talks resulted from a new US-DPRK agreement on other issues, Foley replied, "I'm aware that our policy has consistently been to acknowledge no linkage. I have nothing further to add." Foley also would not comment on any aspect of the meetings between US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan in Beijing earlier in the week. Foley repeated the US position that it would treat seriously any new appeal for DPRK food aid from the UN World Food Program. Finally, Foley stated that no new date has been set for a next round of US-DPRK talks to discuss missile proliferation, following cancellation of talks set for the week of September 15 due to the defections.

Reuters ("U.S., N.KOREA AGREE TO NEW PEACE TALKS," Beijing, 9/11/97) reported that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan, meeting in Beijing, agreed Thursday on resumption of preliminary four-party Korean talks in New York later this month. Although embassy officials on both sides had little comment, the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and a senior US diplomat in the ROK confirmed the agreement. KCNA said the US had removed "obstacles" to the DPRK's participation in the next round of talks, and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Stanley Roth, said the DPRK had agreed not to link the defection of two senior diplomats with the talks. "The (Beijing) talks discussed how to dispel North Korea's apprehensions caused by the wrong attitude of the U.S. side which has created obstacles that have a negative influence on the atmosphere of the soon-to-be-held second four-way preliminary talks," KCNA said. "At the talks, the sides reached a political agreement for the U.S. side to take measures to save the situation, with the result that conditions for surmounting the recently-created obstacles have been created. Accordingly, the sides agreed to hold the second four-way preliminary talks from the third week of September as scheduled," KCNA said. Roth told a news conference in Seoul: "What I can say is that an agreement was reached based on one key point that the two issues (talks and defection) are completely separated. ... The DPRK does not consider the matter closed. We have indicated that we are prepared to continue talking to them about it as long as it is absolutely clear that this is outside the context of the four-party talks."

2. US MIAs in DPRK

The Associated Press ("BODY OF US G.I. FOUND IN N. KOREA," Washington, 9/11/97) reported that the US Defense Department's POW-MIA office spokesman Larry Greer said Wednesday that a joint US-DPRK excavation of a Korean War battlefield yielded human remains believed to be those of a US soldier, marking the third time in just over a year that such remains have been found in the DPRK. One other set, found in July 1996, has been confirmed as that of a US serviceman; four others found last month are still undergoing forensic analysis. The remains were to be handed over in a repatriation ceremony Friday at Panmunjom in the neutral zone that divides the two Koreas, Greer said. The remains recovered early this week were found less than one mile from the village of Unsan in northwestern DPRK, which was the scene of fierce fighting between Chinese forces and soldiers of the US Army's 8th Cavalry in the fall of 1950.

The Associated Press ("U.S. KOREAN WAR POWS BREAKTHROUGH," Washington, 9/11/97) reported that the US Defense Department's POW-MIA office spokesman Larry Greer said Thursday that the US government's first comprehensive search of Korean War artifacts in the DPRK's main war museum yielded identifying information on more than 100 US troops. Analysts studying the information, including photographs and other documentation, "recognized a handful of names" as those of missing US servicemen, Greer said. Greer said that analysis is continuing, and that it is not yet clear whether the information will help account for the men.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Four-Party Peace Talks

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman, on a mission to dissuade Pyongyang from quitting the four-party Korean peace talks, said Tuesday he expects the talks to proceed next week as planned, despite the defections of the two DPRK diplomats to which the DPRK protested. In an interview after a meeting with PRC officials on this matter, Kartman said that the PRC "did not have any special revelations for me about North Korean intentions." But he also said that DPRK officials, including Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan, were in Beijing and ready to meet him Wednesday. At an earlier briefing for reporters, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said the PRC hoped all sides would work to ensure that next week's talks take place on time. (Korea Times, "US HOPES KOREAN PEACE TALKS TO BE HELD NEXT WEEK AS SCHEDULED," 09/11/97)

Stanley Roth, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, was due to arrive in Seoul Thursday for a series of talks with top ROK officials on the DPRK and other regional issues. Roth will meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Unification Minister Kwon O-kie, Foreign Minister Yoo Chong-ha, and Ban Ki-moon, senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security. Roth and ROK officials are expected to focus discussions on keeping the DPRK on track for four-way talks. Roth is scheduled to hold a news conference later in the day to explain the outcome of his talks with the ROK officials, and will fly to Tokyo Friday for the last stop of his four-nation Asian tour, which also took him to the Philippines and Indonesia. (Korea Herald, "ROTH ARRIVES HERE FOR TALKS ON DPRK, REGIONAL ISSUES," 09/11/97)

2. DPRK-Taiwan Nuclear Waste Deal Postponed

The DPRK and Taiwan have decided to postpone the agreement under which Taiwan would ship nuclear waste to the DPRK for storage, a ROK Foreign Ministry official said yesterday. "In a recent meeting held in Singapore, the DPRK and Taiwan, facing criticism from the international community, revised their contract on the export of nuclear waste," he said. The original agreement signed in January between the DPRK and the Taiwan Power Co. stipulates that shipments of 60 thousand drums of nuclear waste would be transferred from Taiwan to the DPRK over two years, starting when the contract is signed. Under a new contract, however, the shipments, still to be made over two years, will start with the arrival of the first vessel transporting radioactive waste. (Korea Times, Son Key-young, "NK, TAIWAN AGREE TO POSTPONE N-WASTE SHIPMENT," 09/11/97)

3. DPRK Influence in US, Canada

The DPRK, reportedly in an attempt to expand pro-DPRK forces in the US and Canada, has created the National Federation of Korean Americans, which will unite 150 pro-DPRK groups in North America. According to Korean-American members of the Peaceful Unification Advisory Committee who are visiting Seoul for a committee meeting, the federation is approaching Korean Americans with non-political initiatives such as reunions with dislocated family members in the DPRK, missionary activities in the DPRK, and visits to Rajin-Sonbong for business purposes. In particular, the western section of the federation, centered in Los Angeles, is proceeding on a plan to send the children of Korean-Americans to Kim Il-sung University. (Chosun Ilbo, "NORTH KOREAN ORGANIZES PRO-NORTH ASSOCIATION IN US AND CANADA," 09/11/97)

4. DPRK Soldier Repatriated

A DPRK soldier who drifted along a river into the ROK August 25 will be repatriated soon, the ROK Ministry of Defense said yesterday. A ministry spokesman said the DPRK soldier, Cho Kang-gon, could be sent home as early as today via the truce village of Panmunjom. Cho first said he wanted to defect to the ROK, but later changed his mind. Investigators found that he accidentally fell into the Yesong River from a small boat while fighting with a DPRK civilian. (Korea Herald, "DPRK SOLDIER TO BE REPATRIATED," 09/11/97)

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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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