The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Thursday, June 18, 1998, from Berkeley, California, USA

Policy Forum Online 17: Political/Economic Transition on the Korean Peninsula

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I. United States

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

I. United States

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1. DPRK Film Released in Japan

The Associated Press ("NKOREAN 'GODZILLA' DEBUTS IN TOKYO," Tokyo, 06/17/98) reported that a DPRK film about an iron-eating monster named "Pulgasari" is scheduled to debut in a Tokyo theater in July. The film was made in 1985, but was banned both in the DPRK and abroad after its director, Shin Sang-ok, sought asylum in the US in 1986. Media reports said that Shin, an ROK citizen, and his wife were kidnapped in the late 1970s and held for several years to make movies for DPRK leader Kim Jong- il. Several members of the Japanese film crew that made "Godzilla" worked on the DPRK film as well.

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2. US MIAs from Korean War

US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Charles Kartman ("KARTMAN 6/17 REMARKS TO HOUSE PANEL ON POW/MIA ISSUE," USIA Text, 06/17/98) said Wednesday that the US is seeking a full accounting of all of the more than 8,100 servicemen missing from the Korean War. Kartman stated, "We believe that the remains of most of these men are still in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea." He added, "progress in this area has been among the greatest in the range of issues on which we and the North Koreans cooperate." Kartman said that the 208 remains returned by the DPRK through the United Nations Command (UNC) in Panmunjom have been difficult to identify because of poor DPRK recovery techniques. He stated, "The problem underscored the need for joint recovery operations (JROs), in which U.S. Army forensic specialists could work together with DPRK military personnel to recover and return remains of U.S. servicemen to the United States." He added, "Five JROs and one joint archival review have been scheduled for 1998. The first of these, in May, resulted in the recovery of two remains. U.S. compensation to North Korea for the JROs is based on agreed-upon formulas that are consistent with our practice worldwide." He said that the DPRK has recently indicated that they saw a linkage between agreement on General Officer talks and repatriation of remains. However, he stated, "We continue to emphasize to the DPRK that the MIA remains issue must be kept separate from all others on humanitarian grounds, and that both sides must honor the agreements specifying the terms of each year's joint operations." He added, "We are also committed to pursuing all information about the fate of Americans possibly being held against their will in North Korea, although to date there has been no substantiation of such reports." He said that the DPRK government has said that, apart from four US defectors in the postwar period, there are no US military personnel living in the DPRK. Kartman stated, "We will continue to insist on access to these four men to determine if they have any knowledge of American POWs alive in the DPRK." He said that the US is also "continuing to press senior Chinese officials to take steps to advance cooperation on Korean War POW/MIA cases." He added that the US is seeking a copy of the Chinese documentary film "Jiaoliang" (Test of Strength), which reportedly contains footage of US Korean War POWs.

The Associated Press ("CHINA VISIT TO INCLUDE TALK OF MIAS," Washington, 06/17/98) reported that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Kartman said Wednesday that State Department officials are seeking to obtain access from the PRC to sites, archives, museums, and any information they have on US POWs from the Korean War. Kartman stated, "At this point I can't say we're satisfied with Chinese cooperation in this area. We'll continue to raise it during the course of the president's summit meetings in China." He added, "If we can get the cooperation started ... there's probably a gold mine of information to be had."

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3. Taiwan Cancels Military Exercises

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN CANCELS MAJOR COMBAT DRILLS IN ADVANCE OF CLINTON'S CHINA TRIP," Taipei, 06/18/98) reported that Taiwan's China Times on Thursday quoted high-ranking military sources as saying that Taiwan canceled all major combat drills scheduled in advance of US President Bill Clinton's trip to the PRC. An unnamed high-ranking officer said that any drill during this period, even small in scale, "could lead to misunderstanding and unnecessary speculation which would not be in the interest of Taiwan and the United States." A defense officer confirmed that the "Peng Tung" exercises had been postponed, but said this was "to ensure quality of the drills and safety of personnel" and not because of the U.S.-China summit. Taiwan defense authorities said earlier this week that full-scale military maneuvers involving up to 5,000 troops would be held later this year to deter the growing threat from the PRC.

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4. US-PRC Summit

Reuters (Steve Holland, "CLINTON TO PRESS CHINA ON MISSILES, RIGHTS, TRADE," Washington, 06/17/98) reported that US National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said on Wednesday that President Bill Clinton will press the PRC on missile control issues, human rights, and opening trade barriers during his upcoming visit there. Berger said Clinton and his aides on the trip would "seek further steps by the Chinese to bring itself [sic] wholly in line with international regimes" regarding arms technology transfers.

Reuters ("CHINA URGES U.S. TO PUT DIFFERENCES ASIDE," Beijing, 06/18/98) reported that the PRC's official People's Daily on Thursday carried a front-page commentary urging the US to look beyond its differences with the PRC to ensure the success of the upcoming US-PRC summit. The article said that while Clinton's visit had broad popular support, "there are also a few people who, limited by a Cold War mentality, run out at the first opportunity spreading rumours, creating trouble and disturbing and disrupting Sino-U.S. ties." It added, "We hope the U.S. side will adopt a pragmatic and constructive attitude and not let differences between the United States and China become obstacles to improving relations."

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5. US-PRC Missile Targeting

The Associated Press (John Leicester, "CHINA, U.S. ARGUE OVER MISSILES," Beijing, 06/18/98) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Thursday reiterated that the PRC is uninterested in signing a nuclear detargeting agreement with the US. Zhu stated, "We think it is more important that the U.S. and China reach agreement on mutual non- first use of nuclear weapons."

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6. US-PRC Satellite Cooperation

Reuters ("CONGRESS URGED TO END CHINA SATELLITE LAUNCHES," Washington, 06/17/98), and the New York Times (Eric Schmitt, "CHINESE SUDDENLY IMPROVED ROCKET LAUNCHES, EXPERT SAYS," Washington, 06/18/98) reported that two nuclear proliferation experts told a US House of Representatives hearing Wednesday that Congress should halt all US satellite launches on PRC rockets until it determines if the practice endangers national security. Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, stated, "I would hope you would stick to that position until you get to the bottom of this." Sokolski noted that whereas between 1990 and 1996, one in four Chinese rockets carrying blew up, since August 1996, the PRC has conducted 10 consecutive successful launches. He asked, "Is that a coincidence or is it the result of cumulative technology transfers?" Sokolski said he had no doubt that US space technology had been transferred to the PRC that helped its military arsenal. Likewise, Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, argued, "I think our satellite commerce with China should be suspended until we have further information." However, Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, stated, "I would strongly urge you not to retreat from the engagement policy with China, including U.S. satellite launches, which has enhanced our strategic position there."

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, "CONGRESS LOOKS INTO CLINTON POLICY," Washington, 06/18/98) reported that top US government officials on Thursday rejected allegations that President Bill Clinton's export decisions helped the PRC improve the accuracy and reliability of its ballistic missiles. Jan M. Lodal, deputy undersecretary of defense, told a joint hearing of two House of Representative committees, "I do not believe there has been any transfer of these sensitive technologies to their military program." John D. Holum, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, told the hearing, "We're satisfied no authorized transfers ... contributed to their space launch program." He added that "the technologies are dramatically different" between rockets that put communications satellites in orbit and those that can carry multiple nuclear warheads to targets.

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7. South Asian Nuclear Weapon Potentials

The Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer, "INDIA NUKE ARSENAL: HOW BIG IS IT?" London, 06/18/98) reported that Jane's Intelligence Review reported Wednesday that India's potential nuclear arsenal would be bigger than Britain's and in the same league as the French and Chinese. The article was written mainly by W.P.S. Sidhu, a South Asian security expert at the Rockefeller Foundation. It stated that if India's commercial reactor fuel were taken into account, the country would possess enough fissile material to build at least 390 nuclear weapons and as many as 470 weapons. According to estimates by the Washington-based National Resources Defense Council, at the end of 1996 Britain had 260 nuclear weapons, the PRC had 400, and France had 450. The article in Jane's said that, in addition to the land-based Prithvi and Agni missiles, India is also working on a ship-launched version of the Prithvi, which could be operational by 2001, and a submarine-launched missile called Sagarika, which could be operational by 2010. On the other hand, Pakistan exhausted a significant part of its arsenal in last month's nuclear tests, and the poor performance of its weapons revealed the country's strategic nuclear weakness. The report said that analysts believe that Pakistan's tests involved a maximum of three devices, and not five as the government claimed. The estimated cumulative force of the blasts is most likely around six kilotons, smaller than the 18 kilotons that the Pakistani government reported. The report added that Pakistan's second blast measured only 1.2 kilotons, suggesting that the test was "a fizzle."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-DPRK Unification Festival

The ROK government, at the National Security Council meeting on Thursday, decided to accept in principle the proposal by the DPRK for a unification grand festival at Panmunjom on August 15. The proposal was sent to 85 political, social, and religious leaders last Monday. An ROK government official said that the decision to accept the proposal came about because the DPRK did not demand the scrapping of national security laws or the disbanding of the National Security Planning Agency, or request to stage political events such as mass rallies. He added, however, that the government would not accept the proposal as such, but offer a counterproposal, as there were several illegal organizations included among the 85 receiving the proposal. The government is also seriously considering the DPRK proposals for a Seoul-Pyongyang student soccer match, a joint music concert, and a joint Christian prayer session at Panmunjom. (Chosun Ilbo, "GOVERNMENT TO ACCEPT NORTH UNIFICATION FESTIVAL PROPOSAL," 06/18/98)

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK Missile Policy

According to a report in Wen Hui Daily ("DPRK WILL CONTINUE ITS DEVELOPMENT OF MISSILE," Pyongyang, A7, 6/17/98), the DPRK said on June 16 that it will continue to develop, test, and deploy missiles. In a commentary issued by the Korean Central News Agency entitled "None Can Use DPRK's Missile Policy to Do Deal," the DPRK said that as long as it remains subjected to a military threat from outside, it should produce and deploy military equipment to safeguard the security of the country and the people. The commentary argued that in the environment in which the US pursued a policy of economically isolating the DPRK, missile exports are the option the DPRK had to take to obtain the foreign money it needs.

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2. ROK-DPRK Relations

People's Daily ("ROK ENTERPRISER VISITS DPRK," Pyongyang, A6, 6/17/98) reported that Hyundai Group honorary chairman Chung Ju-yung began his eight-day visit to the DPRK on June 16. He is the first industrialist to visit the DPRK through Panmunjom since the division of Korea.

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3. Kim Dae-jung's US Visit

People's Daily ("KIM VISITS THE US FOR ECONOMIC AID," A6, 6/16/98) said on June 16 that ROK President Kim Dae-jung's visit to the US was mainly to obtain economic aid from the US to help the ROK overcome its financial crisis. It shows that the economic cooperation between the US and ROK is entering into a new stage, the article said. During the summit, the two presidents also discussed the relations between the ROK and the DPRK, the commentary said.

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4. US High-Tech Exports to China

Jie Fang Daily ("US SHOULD LOOSEN LIMITS ON HIGH-TECH EXPORTS TO CHINA," Beijing, A3, 6/16/98) reported that Zeng Yanpei, Director of the PRC State Development Planning Commission, said in an interview that the US should loosen its restrictions on technology exports to the PRC, which will help to expand US exports to the PRC and reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries. Zeng also urged the US to permanently resolve the issue of the PRC's most favored nation status as early as possible and to support the PRC's entry into the World Trade Organization.

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5. PRC-US Scientific Cooperation

China Daily ("SCIENCE COOPERATION SUPPORTS RELATIONS," A1, 6/15/98) reported that Sino-US cooperation in science and technology is a major component of the friendly relations between the two countries. Hui Yongzheng, PRC vice-minister of science and technology, said in an interview that prospective cooperation between the two countries is likely to cover such fields as environmental protection, public health, energy efficiency, disaster relief, effective use of water resources, and water conservation. His ministry is working closely with a number of US government departments to identify areas for establishing cooperative projects between Chinese and US scholars.

IV. Correction

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1. DPRK Economy An item in the ROK Section of the Daily Report for June 17 stated that the DPRK's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank to US$741 million last year. The item should have said that the GDP per capita shrank to US$741.

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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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