The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Wednesday, May 13, 1998, from Berkeley, California, USA

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I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

I. United States

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1. DPRK Nuclear Program

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "NORTH KOREA SUSPENDS '94 NUCLEAR FREEZE PACT," Beijing, 05/13/98) reported that DPRK Foreign Minister Kim Yong-nam on Saturday told Selig Harrison of the Twentieth Century Fund, during a private two-hour meeting in Pyongyang, that on April 19, the DPRK opened up the previously sealed Yongbyon nuclear power plant to "conduct maintenance on the reactor," and had also halted the "canning of spent fuel rods" from the reactor. Kim said that 200 of the reactor's 8,000 rods have not yet been prepared for canning. He stated, "We are keeping up our progress in implementing the nuclear freeze agreement, but the U.S. is behind. So we have now decided to slow down and suspend certain aspects of the agreement." He added that once the US had a chance to "catch up," the DPRK would resume cooperation. Harrison added that DPRK leaders had signaled to him that they might be willing to negotiate with both the US and the ROK to create a new type of peacekeeping force and structure for the Demilitarized Zone. He quoted Lieutenant General Ri Chan-bok as saying, "If there is an official proposal from the U.S. side for such a trilateral structure, we will consider it affirmatively." An anonymous State Department official said that he had no information about the unsealing of the plant, adding that whether the act violates the agreement depends on what those "maintenance activities are." He also said that, according to the US government's information, "the canning of the rods is essentially done," although he acknowledged that a small fraction of the rods, including some in fragments, might remain. Meanwhile, US Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering said that the US had lived up to its obligations, adding, "Anything that would happen to undermine the integrity of that agreement from the North Korean side or from the outside would be, in our view, extremely lamentable and regrettable." Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, said that the DPRK is "sending a clever signal in our direction saying, remember, we can stop cooperating." Milhollin also said that the approximately 200 spare rods did not contain enough plutonium to pose a nuclear threat.

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2. Asian Financial Crisis

The Washington Post carried an analytical article (Robert J. Samuelson, "ASIA'S CONTINUING DEPRESSION," 05/13/98, A17) which argued that signs of social and political unrest resulting from the Asian financial crisis "ought to dispel the impression ... that the worst is certainly over." Peter Beck of the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington said that some ROK business leaders think that the number of unemployed in the ROK could eventually reach 3 million. He added that many of the chaebol are making workers take wage and salary reductions of between 10 percent and 30 percent. The article criticized the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for focusing only on overborrowing by the afflicted countries and ignoring the problem of overlending by Japanese, European, and US banks. The author stated, "If banks don't suffer losses on bad loans, they have little reason to be more prudent in the future. More important, all the social costs ... of bad lending are heaped on the borrowing countries, instead of being shared with banks." He added, "The more austerity these countries endure, the greater the chances that a political or social explosion will torpedo needed economic reforms."

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3. Taiwan-US Relations

The Associated Press (David Briscoe, "TAIWAN REASSURED ON CLINTON TRIP," Washington, 05/12/98) reported that US Assistant Secretary of State Stanley Roth assured Taiwan Tuesday that President Bill Clinton's trip to Beijing next month will produce no new agreement affecting US relations with the island. Roth stated, "Let me say categorically that there won't be a fourth communique on Taiwan arms sales. Let me say categorically there won't be a fourth communique on any Taiwan issue. So I don't think there's any need for anxiety on the part of Taiwan on this score." He added that experience shows that stronger US-PRC relations bring better cross-straits relationships and a stronger US-Taiwan relationship.

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4. Pending Congressional Action on PRC

The Associated Press (David Briscoe, "GOP SENATORS PUSH CHINA BILLS," Washington, 05/13/98) reported that Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., called on Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott to schedule a vote on eight House-passed bills aimed at stepping up pressure on the PRC before President Clinton's trip to the PRC next month. Hutchinson stated, "Passage would send a strong message to the Chinese government, as well as to President Clinton, that the American people are very serious about human rights abuses that continue in China." He added that if the bills are not sent to the Senate floor by the Foreign Relations Committee, which has scheduled consideration of six of them next week, he will move to attach them as amendments to other bills.

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5. PRC Weapons Purchases

The Associated Press (Elaine Kurtenbach, "TOP WEAPONS FIRMS COURT CHINESE," Beijing, 05/12/98) reported that arms suppliers from 14 countries on Tuesday participated in a defense electronics trade fair in Beijing, designed to showcase weapons technology to the PRC. The trade show was sponsored by the PRC Ministry of Information Industry and the General Equipment Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which are reportedly focusing on developing defense-related electronics, telecommunications, aviation, nuclear power, and shipbuilding. The PLA is also interested in long-range bombers and fighters, in-flight refueling capability, airborne early warning systems, and anti-aircraft missile systems.

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6 Criticism of US Nonproliferation Efforts

Reuters ("GINGRICH SAYS CLINTON INDIA POLICY 'ONE-SIDED'," Washington, 05/13/98) reported that US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich on Wednesday criticized President Bill Clinton for a "one-sided" policy on India over nuclear tests compared with the administration's policy on the PRC. Regarding the Indian nuclear tests, Gingrich stated, "I don't know to what extent that's the Indian reaction to the Clinton administration selling missile technology to China. The Indians are much more worried about China than they are about Pakistan." He added that he has asked for a congressional briefing on PRC missiles, nuclear tests, and passing of military information to Iran. Gingrich said that the PRC has more missiles, nuclear weapons, and possibly more nuclear testing than India. He concluded, "You've had a one- sided policy that a Chinese dictatorship is OK, an Indian democracy doesn't seem acceptable to Clinton. And I think that there has been a great overreaction by Clinton."

The New York Times carried an opinion article by Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center ("BLAST OF REALITY," Washington, 05/13/98) which argued that India's nuclear test was partly due to impatience with failed US efforts to stop the PRC and the DPRK from developing and spreading strategic weapons. The article quoted the Times of India as saying on Tuesday, "It is clear that by the time the Clinton Administration wakes up to the danger posed by the China-Pakistan-North Korean axis, it will be too late for India." The author argued that US nonproliferation policy is "so disjointed and concessionary that it was prone to be disregarded and misread." He blamed the Clinton administration for sending mixed signals to the Indian government during recent visits to Indian by US officials. The article called on the US to immediately impose the sanctions called for in the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994. The author argued that sanctions "would strengthen the hand of Indians who understand that their nation can best compete against China by being economically powerful and that without such strength, a military competition of the sort now being undertaken will be disastrous." He added that US "catering to [PRC and DPRK] demands for military- related technology ... is a prescription for more proliferation." He also accused the US of avoiding the use of any "sticks" to discourage nuclear proliferation moves by the PRC, the DPRK, and Russia. He concluded, "This and the continued American export of high technology to known proliferators must end.... We always have plenty of warning, if we are willing to act on less than conclusive proof of a completed weapons program. And we have plenty of options to deter proliferation, assuming we're willing to act early enough."

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7. Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Reuters ("KEY SENATOR REMAINS OPPOSED TO TEST BAN PACT," Washington, 04/13/98) reported that Marc Thiessen, spokesman for US Senator Jesse Helms, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Wednesday that Helms remains steadfast in his plans to block congressional action on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty despite India's nuclear tests. Thiessen said that, because of opposition by India and other states, "the treaty is not about to go into effect any time soon and we have other pressing issues ... to be considered this year."

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8. US Missile Defense

Dow Jones Newswires ("INDIA TESTS DOMINATE U.S. SENATE DEBATE ON MISSILE DEFENSE," Washington, 05/13/98) reported that supporters of a bill designed to speed development of an anti-ballistic missile defense system failed by a single vote to bring the measure to a quick vote in the Senate. The administration's present program requires identification of an emerging ballistic missile threat first before it mandates a three-year period to develop the actual system. The bill would require the deployment of such a system as soon as technologically possible. Senator Jon Kyl, R-Ariz, argued, "As Indian nuclear testing has just demonstrated to us, we won't necessarily know when there's a threat." However, Senator Byron Dorgan, D-S.D., stated, "What it ought to tell us is we ought to be very aggressive to lead in nonproliferation."

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9a. Indian Nuclear Tests: New Tests Conducted Wednesday

Reuters (John Chalmers, "INDIA CONDUCTS MORE NUCLEAR TESTS," New Delhi, 05/13/98) reported that the Indian government said in a statement Wednesday that it had conducted two more underground nuclear tests in the desert state of Rajasthan. The statement said, "The tests were fully contained with no release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. This completes the planned series of tests." Indian newspapers meanwhile said that the government had carried out an elaborate cost-benefit analysis of the likely impact of resultant sanctions before carrying out the tests. An opinion poll published in the Times of India showed that 91 percent of urban Indians approved of the tests and 82 percent believed the country should now build nuclear arms.

The New York Times ("INDIAN'S LETTER TO CLINTON ON NUCLEAR TESTING," Washington, 05/13/98) reported that Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday sent a letter to US President Bill Clinton explaining India's reason for conducting nuclear tests. The letter stated, in part, "We have an overt nuclear weapon state on our borders [the PRC], a state which committed armed aggression against India in 1962. Although our relations with that country have improved in the last decade or so, an atmosphere of distrust persists mainly due to the unresolved border problem. To add to the distrust that country has materially helped another neighbour of ours [Pakistan] to become a covert nuclear weapons state." He added, "The series of tests are limited in number and pose no danger to any country which has no inimical intentions towards India.... We hope that you will show understanding of our concern for India's security." Vajpayee assured Clinton that "India will continue to work with your country in a multilateral or bilateral framework to promote the cause of nuclear disarmament.... In particular we are ready to participate in the negotiations to be held in Geneva in the Conference on Disarmament for the conclusion of a fissile material cut-off treaty."

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9b. Indian Nuclear Tests: US Sanctions

The Office of the White House Press Secretary ("WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ON SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON INDIA," USIA Text, Berlin, 05/13/98) released a statement which said: "On Wednesday, May 13, 1998, the President reported to Congress that he had imposed sanctions on India as a consequence of that country's May 11 nuclear test explosion. These sanctions were required by Section 102 of the Arms Export Control Act, otherwise known as the Glenn Amendment. The sanctions imposed are as follows: termination of assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, except for humanitarian assistance for food or other agricultural commodities; termination of sales of defense articles, defense services, or design and construction services under the Arms Export Control Act, and termination of licenses for the export of any item on the United States munitions list; termination of all foreign military financing under the Arms Export Control Act: denial of any credit, credit guarantees, or other financial assistance by any department, agency or instrumentality of the United States government; the United States opposition to the extension of any loan for financial or technical assistance by any international financial institution; prohibiting United States banks from making any loan or providing any credit to the government of India, except for the purposes of purchasing food or other agricultural commodities; and prohibiting export of specific goods and technology subject to export licensing by the Commerce Department. Finally, the Secretary of State is making a similar determination under Section 2 (b) (4) of the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945; thereafter, the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank may not give approval to guarantee, insure, or extend credit, or participate in the extension of credit in support of United States exports to India."

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, "INDIA TESTS ESCALATES NUKE TENSIONS," Washington, 05/13/98) reported that several members of the US Congress criticized India's nuclear test on Wednesday. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, stated, "What India did will live in infamy." Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., called US failure to anticipate Monday's tests, "a colossal failure of our intelligence gathering." Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said that, as a result of India's actions, the test ban treaty "probably has been set aside." However, former Senator Larry Pressler, R-SD, who was the author of 1985 legislation that preconditioned US aid to Pakistan on a presidential certification that it did not have nuclear devices, stated, "I think this testing is exactly what I predicted." He attributed the Indian tests to a decision by Congress in 1996 to resume economic assistance to Pakistan. However, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that she remained hopeful that India's actions might provide more incentive for US ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

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9c. Indian Nuclear Tests: Japanese Sanctions

The Associated Press ("JAPAN TO SUSPEND AID TO INDIA," Tokyo, 04/13/98) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto said Wednesday that Japan will suspend grants to India worth US$30 million in response to India's nuclear weapons tests. Hashimoto also reportedly plans to propose joint actions against India at a summit meeting of the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized countries this weekend Birmingham, England.

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9d. Indian Nuclear Tests: Pakistani Reaction

Reuters (Andrew Hill, "PAKISTAN RAILS AT INDIA'S LATEST N-TEST," Islamabad, 05/13/98) reported that Pakistani Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said on Wednesday that the Indian government had "gone berserk" by carrying out two more nuclear tests. Khan stated that India's actions had been encouraged by a weak Western response to India's weapons program, and he added that Pakistan's response to India's actions was being formulated. A government statement issued after a meeting of top policymakers said that Pakistan would "take all the steps it deemed necessary for national security, which were within its sovereign rights for self-defence." It added, "After comprehensively evaluating the defence preparedness, the meeting expressed satisfaction over Pakistan's ability to respond effectively and adequately to the new threats and challenges." Diplomatic sources said that Western states were trying to head off the possibility of Pakistan carrying out its own, first nuclear test with behind-the-scenes diplomacy. One unnamed diplomat was quoted as saying, "The message is that Pakistan has quite a lot to gain from restraint, and quite a lot to lose if it doesn't use it." US President Bill Clinton telephoned Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from Berlin after signing documents enacting sanctions against India. Some unnamed Western diplomats speculated that India might now announce that it was ready to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

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9e: Indian Nuclear Tests: Russian Reaction

Reuters ("YELTSIN RAPS INDIAN NUCLEAR TESTS," Moscow, 05/12/98) reported that Russian President Boris Yeltsin on Tuesday condemned India's underground nuclear tests but said the world should rely only on diplomatic pressure to reverse Indian policy. He stated, "India has let us down with its explosions. But I think that by diplomatic means and with our visit to India [due later this year] we should bring about a change in its position." Later on Tuesday, Yeltsin added, "Frankly, India is a very good friend of ours and we have very good relations. This nuclear test came as a big surprise for us." Earlier on Tuesday, Itar-Tass news agency quoted Russia first deputy minister of atomic energy, Viktor Mikhailov, as saying that Russia did not pass on any nuclear technology to India. Yeltsin's spokesman and adviser on foreign affairs, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, told reporters that he believed India could "sooner or later, but preferably sooner" be persuaded to sign up to a global nuclear test ban treaty.

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9f: Indian Nuclear Tests: Delivery Systems

The Associated Press ("INDIA LACKS LONG-RANGE DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR NUCLEAR BOMBS," New Delhi, 05/13/98) reported that an anonymous senior Indian government official said Wednesday that India will resume tests of long-range missiles that were suspended in 1994, but it plans no more testing of nuclear devices. The official said that the tests had given India a credible nuclear deterrent, and it does not need further underground explosions to build tactical or strategic weapons. However, defense analyst Jasjit Singh, director of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, an independent think tank, said that, to be a truly effective deterrent, a nuclear arsenal requires ballistic missiles. India is currently building a long-range ballistic missile called "Agni," or "Fire" in Hindi, which has a range of 1,550 miles, enough to reach Shanghai or Beijing, and has tested a short-range missile "Prithvi," or "Earth," missile, which can target Pakistani cities within 95 miles. US defense analysts said that both missiles could be fitted with nuclear or conventional payloads. Singh said that, judging by the experience of other countries, another 25 tests or more may be needed to build an accurate and reliable missile. He said it could take 10 years for India to build a good delivery system, especially since sensitive technology is embargoed.

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9g. Indian Nuclear Tests: Editorial Comments

The Washington Post carried an editorial ("INDIA'S NUCLEAR IRRESPONSIBILITY," 05/13/98, A16) which said that India's nuclear weapons tests are a major blow to US nonproliferation efforts. It stated, "The danger is that its defiance of global nonproliferation standards will stir others to follow suit." The article argued, "Sanctions are a blunt instrument, but they have a punitive impact and are crucial to American credibility. It is not for Washington to take the global heat off India. It is for India, a nation supposedly otherwise bent on economic modernization, to find its own way back from its nuclear irresponsibility."

The New York Times carried an editorial ("A NUCLEAR THREAT FROM INDIA," 05/13/98) which said that India's nuclear tests are a threat to world peace. The article stated, "By arrogantly challenging international efforts to control the spread of the most lethal weapons, the new Hindu nationalist Government ... may win applause at home from those who confuse military might with self-esteem. But for a paltry and short-lived domestic gain, India now faces a ruinous cutoff in foreign aid, a self-defeating arms race with Pakistan and isolation even from friends." It called on US President Bill Clinton to reconsider his planned visit to India this fall. It stated, "India might still clear the way for a useful visit if it stopped testing and signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty." The article argued that, "beyond minor border disputes, China has no hostile designs on India. It is deplorable that China has aided Pakistan with its military program, but Pakistan, with or without nuclear weapons, is more than matched by India's conventional and nuclear capacity." It also called on Clinton to "seek India's pledge to exercise restraint in developing nuclear warheads and in testing missiles capable of delivering them. He can also press China to stop the flow of technology to Pakistan and thus reassure India about its security concerns."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Defectors

Eighteen workers who had been imprisoned on a DPRK prison farm in northeast Russia and had escaped last August emerged from hiding to request asylum in the ROK, it was learned Tuesday. The Reverend Yoon Hyun, who is a representative of the Citizens Federation for DPRK Human Rights, announced that two of the workers sent a letter requesting help through a missionary who recently returned from Moscow. All the workers have applied for refugee status at the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Moscow. In the letter, the two said the men were working at a farm in the Russian province of Armul growing beans. After no pay for three years they decided to escape, but failed in their first bid and spent several months imprisoned there. They succeeded in their second attempt after breaking through steel bars and fled into hiding on August 11. (Chosun Ilbo, "NK WORKERS ESCAPE FROM PRISON FARM," 05/13/98)

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2. Alleged DPRK Smuggling

The DPRK has apparently mass-produced drugs and counterfeit US currency, which it is sending into the ROK in an effort to gain valid currency, according to presidential spokesman Park Ji-won, who cited National Security Planning Agency (NSPA) reports Tuesday. Park said that the NSPA is preparing to counter this and the possibility of organized crime from neighboring countries becoming involved. ROK President Kim Dae-jung visited the headquarters of the spy agency Tuesday and received a promise from Deputy Director Shin Kon that the agency will concentrate on external and anti-communist investigations and be discrete about applying the National Security Law. It will prevent the use of torture in interrogations and will follow appropriate legal procedures to avoid human rights infringements. Park said that, on receiving Shin's report, Kim said that the agency should work for the country, not the administration. Afterwards the president, when attending the unveiling of the NSPA's new motto, "intelligence is national power" noticed his name on the back of the stone structure and asked that it be removed, saying the agency must be politically neutral. (Chosun Ilbo, "NK INFILTRATES DRUGS AND COUNTERFEIT DOLLARS," 05/12/98)

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3. Reform of ROK National Security Agency

The ROK's top intelligence agency has declared that it would not commit acts of torture, violate human rights and intervene in political affairs any more. In a report to ROK President Kim Dae-jung, the Agency for National Security Planning (NSP) said yesterday it will never abuse the National Security Law for political purposes, adding that its anti-spy probes will be conducted in strict compliance with the law. The agency, which soon will be renamed the National Intelligence Service (NIS), said in the report that its officials deeply regret its past misdeeds, which "inevitably" invited condemnation from the people. Director Lee Jong-chan noted that minor violations of the stern security law, such as eulogizing the DPRK or failing to report contacts with DPRK citizens, will be referred to the prosecution or to the police. These "minor" violators of the anti-spy act will not be jailed in principle, he said. The NSP will also adopt scientific and rational investigation methods so as not to bully spy suspects through torture, Lee added. (Korea Times, "NSP GIVES UP POLITICAL INTERVENTION," 05/13/98)

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4. ROK-Japanese Relations

ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Minister Park Chung-soo will make a three-day visit to Japan from May 21 to lay the groundwork for the establishment of a new partnership for the 21st century, to be announced in time for President Kim Dae-jung's visit to Japan this fall. Minister Park's main agenda is to engage in consultations on the new partnership, sign a fisheries agreement, and settle "past history" issues. Convinced that the lack of high-level exchanges between politicians of the two countries brought about a diplomatic row over fishing rights, Park is expected to endeavor to restore the alliance between the two countries' senior politicians, said Moon Bong-joo, director general of the ministry's Asian-Pacific Affairs Bureau. In particular, the minister is expected to call on Japan to "publicly express its historical and moral responsibility" for the past history issues, and to work out the details of how to settle the dispute regarding "Korean sex slaves for Japanese soldiers." (Korea Times, "PARK TO VISIT JAPAN FOR 'NEW PARTNERSHIP'," 05/13/98)

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5. DPRK Reaction to Compensation for Comfort Women

The DPRK on Monday welcomed a recent ruling by a Japanese court that former sex slaves for Japanese World War II soldiers should be paid compensation, the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency said. The report, monitored by Radio Press in Tokyo, quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as calling the ruling last month in Yamaguchi District Court "a comparatively fair decision." It is very rare for the DPRK government to praise Japanese actions. (Korea Times, "NORTH KOREA WELCOMES JAPANESE COURT SEX SLAVES RULING," 05/13/98)

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6. ROK Response to India's Nuclear Test

Lee Ho-jin, spokesman for the ROK Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs, issued a statement Tuesday expressing deep regret over India's underground nuclear test. Lee said, "we urge all countries of the world to stop nuclear testing and join in non-proliferation and reducing the number of nuclear weapons." (Chosun Ilbo, "MOTFA EXPRESSES REGRET OVER INDIA'S NUCLEAR TEST," 05/13/98)

III. People's Republic of China

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1. ROK Food Aid for DPRK

China Daily ("TYCOON PLANS CATTLE DRIVE INTO FOOD-STRAPPED DPRK," Seoul, 05/08/98, A11) reported that Chung Ju-yung, founder and honorary chairman of ROK's Hyundai Group, unveiled a plan on May 7 to lead an unprecedented cattle drive across the heavily guarded demilitarized zone into the famine-hit DPRK. Chung said he planed to visit the DPRK within one month through Panmunjom with 1,000 cows. He made his comments on the same day a vessel carrying 10,000 tons of his corn left the southern port city of Pusan for Chung's hometown of Tongchon in the DPRK. An official at the Unification Ministry of the ROK said, "We think Chung Ju-yung will make the trip very soon. The (DPRK) knows there is no other way to send the cattle, and that is the best way." Chung also said he would send rice, beans, and other foodstuffs to aid the DPRK.

China Daily ("ROK AID TO LEAVE FOR DPRK SATURDAY," Seoul, 05/13/98, A11) reported that the Red Cross of the ROK has told its counterpart in the DPRK that the third aid shipment of 50,000 tons pledged earlier this month will leave this weekend. The aid will arrive in DPRK on May 18. As to Hyundai Group's honorary chairman Chung Ju-yung's plan to send 1,000 cows to DPRK, the report said that the ROK is still waiting for a response from the DPRK.

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2. EU Food Aid to DPRK

According to People's Daily ("EU PROVIDES AID TO DPRK," Pyongyang, 05/11/98, A6), the European Union (EU) will provide 77,000 tons of rice, 6,000 tons of beans, 3,000 tons of edible oil, 30,000 tons of fertilizer and other agricultural goods to the DPRK this year. The EU aid is worth US$36 million, the report said.

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3. PRC-ROK Relations

China Daily ("ROK GUSTS," 05/09/98, A2) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen met a delegation from the ROK led by Kim Kyong-won, president of the Seoul Forum for International Affairs, on May 8. The two sides exchanged views on bilateral ties, regional issues, and other matters of common concern, according to the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegation is in Beijing at the invitation of the PRC People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan earlier met with the delegation.

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4. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily ("PRC, US HOLD VICE-MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS," Washington, 05/09/98, A6) reported that PRC Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Deguang met with his US counterparts in Washington on May 5 and 6. Zhang's visit to the US is a step in implementing agreements reached by PRC President Jiang Zemin and US President Bill Clinton last fall. During the consultations, Zhang set forth the PRC's stands on the Taiwan issue. The US side expressed that it would pursue the "one China" policy.

Jie Fang Daily ("TRADE BETWEEN CHINA AND THE US KEEPS GROWING," Beijing, 05/13/98, A3) reported that the trade between the PRC and the US achieved sustained growth during the first four months of this year. According to a report from the General Administration of Customs of the PRC, the gross value of imports and exports between the PRC and the US reached US$15.5 billion in the four months. An official from the General Administration of Customs said that the trade unbalance between the PRC and the US is expected to be changed this year. Influenced by the financial crisis in Southeast Asia, the growth rate of the PRC's exports to the US will fall after the rise in previous years. At the same time, PRC imports from the US will grow faster because the US removed the limits on partial high-tech products.

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5. PRC Response to India's Nuclear Tests

Jie Fang Daily ("CHINA EXPRESSES CONCERN ON INDIAN NUCLEAR TESTS," Beijing, 05/13/98, A3) reported that the PRC Government expressed grave concern over India launching nuclear tests. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said in Beijing on May 12 that worldwide nuclear arms reduction has been gradually progressing. The Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons has been extended indefinitely and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty has won widespread endorsement. Under these circumstances, India's decision to conduct nuclear tests runs against the international trend and is prejudicial to peace and stability in South Asia.

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6. PRC Nuclear Industry

People's Daily ("IAEA FINISHES REVIEW ON DAYA BAY NUCLEAR PLANT," 05/12/98) said that an expert delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed its 5-day review on the safety of Daya Bay nuclear plant in Guangdong Province. According to the report, the delegation is satisfied with the improvement of the safety of the plant.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
The Center for International Studies,
Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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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