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Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Wednesday, February 4, 1998, from Berkeley, California, USA

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I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Announcements

I. United States

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1. Light-Water Reactor Project

Craig Johnstone, US State Department director of resources, plans, and policy ("STATE DEPT. BRIEFING ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET," Washington, USIA Transcript, 02/03/98) said that the Clinton administration is seeking US$35 million for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) in the next budget. He stated, "That's not out of keeping with what we have been saying all along KEDO would require." He added that the budget includes a US$10 million add-on for debt related to the heavy fuel oil shipments to the DPRK, which have been funded on the basis of lines of credit.

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2. DPRK Defector

The Associated Press ("N. KOREAN SOUGHT DEFECTORS," Seoul, 02/04/98) reported that DPRK defector Captain Byun Yong-kwan said Wednesday that his job before he defected was to lure UN border guards to the DPRK. Byun said that he decided to defect himself when his superiors threatened to punish him for failing in his mission.

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3. DPRK-Japan Relations

The AP-Dow Jones News Service ("N. KOREA PRESENTS LIST OF JAPANESE REPORTED MISSING - KYODO," Tokyo, 02/04/98) and Reuters ("NORTH KOREA MAKES CONCESSION TO JAPAN," Tokyo, 02/04/98) reported that Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted Japanese Foreign Ministry officials as saying Wednesday that the DPRK, at informal talks held in Beijing last week, provided Japan with a list of seven or eight Japanese missing in the DPRK. However, the list does not include any people Japan suspects the DPRK of kidnapping. A ministry official, however, denied Kyodo's report that ministry officials divulged the existence of the list at a meeting of foreign affairs officials of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday.

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4. Global Land Mine Ban

Reuters ("ANTI-MINES CAMPAIGNER VISITS KOREAN FRONTIER," Paju, 02/04/98) and the Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, "NOBEL WINNER VISITS KOREA MINES," along the Demilitarized Zone, 02/04/98) reported that on Wednesday Jody Williams, head of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines, was given a tour of the Demilitarized Zone by ROK soldiers. Williams stated, "I understand the purpose of this trip, but it is not going to change my mind." She added, "They say the situation here is unique, but that is what the rest of the world said before." She continued, "If North Korea attacks, the United States and South Korea will immediately strike deep into the north. So anti-personnel mines are not a deterrent to stop a North Korean invasion. Take out the mines and the North is not going to invade." She pointed out that the DPRK did not invade when the US removed tactical nuclear weapons from the ROK. However, ROK Captain Chung Hee-young stated, "North Korea threatened to turn Seoul into a sea of fire in five minutes. And our radar system is not as vast as the North's. The land mines here are used to deter such North Korean attack." According to the Korean Campaign to Ban Land mines, the mines have killed or injured 84 soldiers and civilians in the ROK in the past five years.

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5. US-PRC Nuclear Cooperation

The AP-Dow Jones News Service ("U.S. OFFICIALS PRAISE CHINA NUCLEAR POLICIES," Washington, 02/04/98) reported that Robert J. Einhorn, US assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation, on Wednesday told the House International Relations Committee that the PRC has made a "marked, positive shift" on nuclear nonproliferation issues. He stated, "The recent steps the Chinese have taken ... satisfy the demands set by the Congress for implementing the 1985 agreement." Einhorn said that the PRC is fulfilling US demands to end its assistance to Pakistan's and Iran's nuclear programs, establish an effective export control system for nuclear-related materials, and participate in international nuclear export control efforts. However, committee chairman Representative Benjamin Gilman said, "I do not believe the evidence supports engaging China in nuclear cooperation at this time."

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6. Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

The New York Times (John M. Broder, "CLINTON VISITS LOS ALAMOS TO PRESS TEST BAN TREATY," Albuquerque, 02/04/98) reported that US President Bill Clinton on Tuesday visited the Los Alamos National Laboratory to urge the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). [Ed. note: See theNAPSNet Special Report for February 3, 1998.] Clinton said that adherence to the test ban treaty depended on weapons scientists' ability to use computers to predict the performance of bombs in storage bunkers and atop missiles. He added, "The test ban treaty will hold other nations to the same standard we already observe -- that is its importance. Its ban on all nuclear explosions will constrain the nuclear powers from developing more advanced and more dangerous weapons, making a costly arms build-up less likely." He also said that the treaty will deter non-nuclear states from building weapons since they will not be able to test those weapons.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Light-Water Reactor Project

Craig Johnstone of the US State Department on February 2 (US time) revealed the US budget for the 1999 fiscal year. According to the announcement, in relation to the Korea Atomic Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the US allocated US$35 million to finance oil supply to the DPRK. However, no separate budget was designated to finance the construction of two KEDO-sponsored light-water nuclear reactors in the DPRK. The ROK government recently manifested its incapability to shoulder more than 60 percent of the total cost of the reactors. Accordingly, observers anticipate many difficulties during the executive council meeting of KEDO, scheduled to be held in New York on February 5. (Kyunghyang Shinmun, Park In-kyu, "US BUDGET EXCLUDES COSTS FOR LIGHT-WATER REACTORS," 02/04/98)

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2. ROK-Japan Relations

ROK President-elect Kim Dae-jung will not visit Japan until the ROK and Japan resume talks for concluding a bilateral fisheries accord. Kim's advisors said the president-elect may possibly visit Japan in the second half of this year. However, Kim will hold a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto in London during the annual Asia-Europe Summit Meeting (ASEM) in April, aides added. (Korea Times, "KIM DJ'S VISIT TO JAPAN," 02/04/98)

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3. PRC-Japan Relations

PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian arrived in Japan on February 3, marking the first official visit by the PRC's chief military official to Japan. Chi will meet with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kyuma, Japanese Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi, and Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto during his stay. In addition, PRC President Jiang Zemin is expected to visit Japan this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the peace treaty between the two countries. (Kyunghyang Shinmun, Lee Dong-ju, "PRC MILITARY CHIEF VISITS JAPAN," 02/04/98)

III. Announcements

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1. Colloquium on DPRK

The Center for Korean Studies at the University of California at Berkeley will hold a colloquium entitled, "Reassessing North Korea," by Victor D. Cha, Department of Government and School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, on Friday, February 6, 1998, at 4:00 p.m., at the Institute of East Asian Studies, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor Conference Room. Cha will discuss the nature of the DPRK threat, whether it has changed in the post- cold war, and how the US and ROK should deal with this threat. Cha will argue that fitting threats to policies rather than policies to threats is dangerous because those strategies that brought peace in the cold war may bring the opposite effect in the post-cold war era. This talk is free to the public. For further information contact The Center for Korean Studies, University of California, 2223 Fulton Street, Room 508, Berkeley, CA, 94720, telephone: (510) 642-5674.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development.

Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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