The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Wednesday, November 25, 1998, from Berkeley, California, USA

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the US national holiday, there will be no Daily Report issued on Thursday, November 26. The Daily Report will return on Friday, November 27.

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I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Russian Federation

I. United States

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1. DPRK Underground Construction

The Associated Press ("N. KOREA MAY DEFY NUKE ACCORD," Seoul, 11/24/98) reported that the DPRK Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that it made its position clear in negotiations with US officials last week that it does not feel obligated to open its underground construction sites to US inspections. In a report carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, a ministry spokesman said, "We have no obligation to allow inspection merely because they suspect our underground facility. This is as good as asking to search another's house. This is a grave violation of and insult to our sovereignty and dignity. We can never accept their demand." The spokesman said, however, that the DPRK could allow a one- time inspection of the facility if the US compensates for its "groundless" accusation concerning the facility.

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin ("STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, NOVEMBER 24," USIA Transcript, 11/24/98) said that the US does not accept the DPRK's denials that its underground site is nuclear related. Rubin stated, "we have strong information that makes us very suspicious. We don't have conclusive evidence that the intended purpose of the underground site is nuclear related and if so, what type of nuclear facility it would be. But obviously, our concerns and our information is strong enough to justify our demand for full access and our statements to the effect that failure to provide access and to resolve these concerns would call into question the viability of the agreement." He added, "With respect to North Korea's public statement, the easiest way to resolve this question is for them to give us access to the site and then we would be in a position to resolve the serious suspicions we have one way or another."

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2. US DPRK Policy Coordinator

US State Department Spokesman James Rubin ("STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, NOVEMBER 24," USIA Transcript, 11/24/98) said that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright along with several senior US officials met with William Perry on Monday to discuss DPRK issues. Rubin stated, "Dr. Perry's been getting briefed during the course of this week from Department officials, getting up to speed from the time when he was Secretary of Defense." He added that Perry "brings to bear not only experience on the subject matter from his time in government during the 1994 period when this was such a large issue, but also brings to bear a knowledge of the military consequences of the question of North Korea if it's not resolved satisfactorily and what the different dangers might be." Regarding the time required for Perry to complete his review of US policy toward the DPRK, Rubin stated, "I would expect him to take a few weeks to get settled, a few weeks to travel to the region, some weeks to examine various options and examine other matters. I would expect it to reach fruition sometime next year, but exactly when, I wouldn't be in a position to say at this particular moment." He added, "my understanding is that in the initial phases, the first step would be to consult closely with Japan and South Korea, our key allies in the region, and probably talk to the Chinese. That's, I think, in the first tranche of activities that is being envisaged."

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3. US Sanctions against DPRK

The Christian Science Monitor carried an analytical article (Michael Baker, "SANCTIONS OR NOT, NORTH KOREA HOLDS THE CARDS," Seoul, 11/24/98) which said that some experts are worried that current US policy leaves too much up to the DPRK. The article suggested that William Perry's review of US policy toward the DPRK could result in the lifting of sanctions against the DPRK. Kenneth Quinones, the Asia Foundation representative in Seoul, said that lifting of sanctions could "remove a handy crutch that's been used to justify the shortcoming of their economic system." He added, "[Sanctions] have achieved the exact reversal of our goals. They've made North Korea more dangerous, not less."

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4. DPRK Famine

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article by US Representative Tony P. Hall, D-Ohio, ("'THE FIRST STEP IS UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SUFFERING IS REAL'," 11/25/98) which said that the decentralization of suffering in the DPRK makes it difficult for outsides to notice the effects of the famine. The author argued, "What is happening inside North Korea follows the path traced earlier this century by tens of millions of others living under communism. The parallels to China's famine, which claimed 30 million people from 1959 to 1962, are eerie." He pointed to a study by Oxfam that concluded that 95 percent of the DPRK's water is contaminated. He also noted that a study conducted by UNICEF, the World Food Program, and others found that three-quarters of those under 5 are malnourished. [Ed. note: See DPRK Famine in the US Section of the November 18 Daily Report.] He stated, "These rates put North Korea on a par with the lowest-ranked country in Africa and mean that its children are among the world's most malnourished." He concluded that the DPRK's problems "are largely man-made, and they can be overcome. The first step is understanding that the suffering of ordinary people there is real; that withholding humanitarian aid will affect neither North Korea's government nor its military; and, as we often have seen in Africa, that this famine's victims won't forget who helped them in their time of need."

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5. PRC-Japan Summit

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, "CHINESE PRESIDENT TO VISIT JAPAN," Tokyo, 11/25/98) and Reuters (Brian Williams, "JIANG'S HISTORIC VISIT STARTS WITH MENTION OF PAST," Tokyo, 11/25/98) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin began his visit to Japan Wednesday. In his arrival statement, Jiang said, "This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of Japan-China peace and friendship treaty.... Seriously wrapping up the historical experiences of Sino-Japanese relations has an important meaning in developing future-oriented friendship and cooperation." Japanese officials have said that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's apology for World War II aggressions would not go beyond what then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said in 1995, with the only difference being that Japan would apologize "directly" to the Chinese people. They also said that Obuchi would make the apology in words only, rather than in a written statement wanted by the PRC. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper said the final wording of the apology might have to wait for the Obuchi-Jiang summit talks Thursday. Even before Jiang's arrival, right-wing demonstrators in about 20 vans equipped with loudspeakers began protesting the likely Japanese apology. Later in the evening, dozens of protesters in central Tokyo demanded that the PRC improve its human rights record.

The Washington Post carried an analytical article (Michael Laris, "AN APOLOGY ROOTED IN FEAR," Huanghuayu, 11/25/98, A14) which said that a Japanese apology to the PRC would be "far more significant" than the one Japan made to the ROK last month due to the PRC-Japanese power rivalry in Asia. Ezra Vogel, director of Harvard's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, stated, "It's a major effort for China to send its top leader. China in the old world order was the center of the universe and expected envoys to come to China. Now they are sufficiently at peace that the head of China is willing to go to Tokyo." On the question of Taiwan, Liu Jiangyong, director of the northeast Asia division of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, stated, "The three 'no's' are not enough. I think Japan should say four 'no's.' They should say: 'The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance does not include Taiwan.'"

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6. Taiwanese Elections

The Los Angeles Times carried an analytical article (Jim Mann, "TAIPEI VOTE COULD FOIL U.S.-CHINA PEACE," Taipei, 11/25/98) which said that Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian will emerge as the leading presidential candidate of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party if he is re-elected on December 5. Chen stated, "I'm the only one who has the courage to say no to China. The future of Taiwan should be determined by the people of Taiwan." Andrew Yang, a scholar at the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, said that the mayoral election is "a turning point for Taiwan politics and for cross-straits relations. If Chen Shui- bian loses, it will be a setback for Taiwan independence. If Chen wins, China will send a message to the United States that America has got to come up with some kind of policy to contain this." Yang added, "For Taiwan, the status quo means indecision. And China sees that the status quo provides more time for Taiwan to seek independence. Right now, the only party satisfied with the status quo on Taiwan is the United States." Chen's opponent for the ruling Kuomintang will be Ma Ying-jeoh, a former justice minister and a second-generation Chinese mainlander whose parents fled to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese civil war. The article pointed out that about 20 percent of Taiwan's residents are have mainland roots, while the other 80 percent are ethnic Taiwanese whose families have lived on the island for centuries.

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7. US South Asian Nuclear Policy

The Washington Post carried an opinion article by Joseph S. Nye Jr., dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University ("NUCLEAR ADVICE FOR SOUTH ASIA," 11/25/98, A21) which said that the objectives of US policy toward South Asia should be to limit damage to the global consensus against the spread of nuclear weapons and should reduce the risk of nuclear war in the region. The author argued that, contrary to popular conception, the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty have been effective in limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. He added, "It is important to show [India and Pakistan] that their open tests and declarations, driven in part by domestic politics, have not been fruitful.... Nuclear weapons are not a power equalizer, and they cannot be used to blast one's way into an imagined great power club." He argued, "To reinforce this point, other states should make clear that they will not amend the Non-Proliferation Treaty to give India and Pakistan de jure nuclear status, even if we take note of their de facto situation. We should also state that we will not support India's claim to a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council but will support the claims of Japan, thus breaking the link between status and nuclear weapons." He called for inducing India and Pakistan to agree to restrictive nuclear export policies and to join the negotiations on the cutoff in the production of fissile materials. He also said that the US should offer India and Pakistan advice on the command and control of nuclear weapons. He added, "Finally, we should offer to convene a five-power security dialogue of America, Russia, China, India and Pakistan to discuss ways to improve stability in the region." The author concluded, "Outrage and sanctions probably played a useful role six months ago, but they are no longer sufficient if we are interested in furthering America's twin objectives of reinforcing the global nonproliferation consensus while saving lives in South Asia."

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8. US Nuclear Arsenal

The Washington Post carried an editorial ("TOO MANY NUCLEAR WEAPONS," 11/25/98, A20) which said that the traditional pattern of bilateral US- Russian nuclear arms reductions is losing its relevance in the post-Cold War era. It pointed out that Russia is having difficulties maintaining its nuclear arsenal due to economic problems, while US laws against unilateral arms reductions force the US to maintain weapons it does not want. The article called on the US to consider de-alerting nuclear weapons and to re-evaluate its refusal to agree to a no-first use pledge.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Missile Launch

JoongAng Ilbo ("THE DPRK'S 2ND MISSILE LAUNCHING IMMINENT," Seoul, 11/22/98) reported that DPRK's second missile launch is expected to be imminent. Intelligence agencies of the US, Japan, and the ROK are watching the DPRK's movements very carefully. Intelligence agencies have precisely tracked the DPRK's every move since the DPRK attempted to launch a satellite on August 31. They confirmed that a truck left a missile manufacturing facility in Pyongyang and headed for Musudan base. Analysts presume that the truck contains two long-range missiles. Liquid fuel is expected to be injected into the missiles. This procedure generally needs three to five weeks. The agencies analyzed satellite photos and related information and predicted that the missiles will be launched at the beginning of December. Some experts on DPRK affairs maintain that it is a show of force that the DPRK is using to divert attention from the underground nuclear facilities allegation.

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2. DPRK Underground Construction

JoongAng Ilbo ("NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO CENSURE DPRK," Seoul, 11/24/98) reported that the ruling National Congress for New Politics and the opposition Grand National Party on November 24 mutually agreed to adopt a resolution on December 1 at the National Assembly strongly condemning the DPRK's alleged nuclear facilities. Members of the Committee of Foreign Affairs and Unification such as Kim Sang-woo and Lee Shin-bum led the movement. The resolution will censure the DPRK for attempting to develop a clandestine nuclear facility and urge the DPRK to abide by the 1994 Geneva Agreement and allow a UN investigation team access to the suspicious site.

Korea Times ("KIM PRESSES DPRK TO ALLOW ACCESS TO SUSPECTED NUCLEAR SITE," Seoul, 11/23/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on November 22 renewed the call on the DPRK to allow international access to the suspected underground nuclear facility in Kumchang-ri near Yongbyon. "If the DPRK's underground site is confirmed to be a nuclear weapons storage facility, we will first ask the DPRK to remove nuclear weapons. Should it deny the call, a grave situation will take place," Kim warned in a meeting with legislative, administration, and judicial leaders at Chong Wa Dae. The President said that if the DPRK refuses access to the suspected site for verification purposes, the ROK and the US will discuss possible counteractions. Kim made the remarks as opposition leader Lee Hoi-chang questioned the approach the government is taking in dealing with the DPRK's alleged nuclear weapons development program. Kim said that the DPRK has a responsibility to allow international access to the site as part of the commitments it made through the 1994 Geneva Accord.

Chosun Ilbo ("DPRK DENIES NUCLEAR FACILITIES," Seoul, 11/24/98) reported that the DPRK on Monday strongly denied US claims that it is building an underground nuclear facility, and warned of "grave consequences" for repeating the claims. It said such reports are part of a smear campaign by the US and the ROK. The DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency, in a report monitored in Tokyo, said that ROK authorities, instigated by the US, are slandering the DPRK in order to divert public attention and said there was no such underground weapons facility. The denial followed US President Bill Clinton's departure on Monday from the ROK, where he met President Kim Dae-jung and discussed security issues, including the suspected facilities in the DPRK.

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3. ROK-DPRK POW Exchange

JoongAng Ilbo ("ROK SEEKS POW EXCHANGE WITH DPRK," Seoul, 11/23/98) reported that the ROK government is seriously considering exchanging prisoners of war held since the Korean War. Ahn Byong-kil, Vice Minister of National Defense, announced on November 23 at the National Assembly, "The exchange of war prisoners is a long-term project to be settled between the two Koreas, and we would like to solve it through mutual talks." He added this should be related to Red Cross, Four-Party Talks, and economic cooperation issues. The Ministry is estimating the number of prisoners still alive in the DPRK to be 136, but did not reveal the names for their security. The government is now scrutinizing legal conditions to see if there is a suitable way to free long-imprisoned DPRK agents held in the ROK in exchange for POWs still being held in DPRK. The US held firm to its right to find the remains of US soldiers who died during the Vietnam War when it resumed diplomatic relations with the current Vietnamese administration.

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4. Mt. Kumgang Tour

JoongAng Ilbo ("HYUNDAI WILL EXPAND DPRK TOUR," Seoul, 11/23/98) reported that Hyundai will open two more areas near Mt. Kumgang to tourists. Hyundai intends to establish boat tours from Haekumgang located on the coast to Chongseokjong, which features huge rock formations jutting out of the sea. In addition, Hyundai will open two spots inside the Mt. Kumgang area called Naekumgang. Hyundai plans to shorten the tour itinerary to three nights and four days from December and lower the fares by 38 percent per person from the current 1.38 million won to 860,000 won. Meanwhile, Hyundai plans to expand facilities at or near Mt. Kumgang to include a resort with a golf course, ski resort, hot springs and various playgrounds by next spring.

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5. ROK Investment in DPRK

JoongAng Ilbo ("KOTRA PUBLISHES REPORT ON DPRK INVESTMENT," Seoul, 11/23/98) reported that the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) published a report on investing in the DPRK on November 23. KOTRA pointed out that because the DPRK's investment related laws are incomplete, ROK companies should be cautious in their investment. The report said that the DPRK regards the ROK's investment as strictly foreign, but it is not clear if the ROK falls under a special category. The report also pointed out that because the DPRK ambiguously defines investment sectors as the sale of products and purchase of materials by foreigners, foreign investors must pay attention to their investment. Additionally, the report added that foreigners should know the precise regulations concerning working conditions, salary levels, the use of land, and sending money in and out of the country.

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6. ROK-Russia Summit

Korea Herald ("PRESIDENT KIM DAE-JUNG JOCKEYING TO VISIT RUSSIA IN APRIL," Seoul, 11/25/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung is pushing a plan to visit Russia next April to complete his first-round summit talks with the three superpowers surrounding the Korean Peninsula and the US. The government officials said that the ROK and Russian foreign ministers already agreed during their meeting in Kuala Lumpur last week on the arrangement of a summit between Kim and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young met his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Malaysian capital. President Kim has said that Ivanov told Hong that the Russian government welcomes him to visit Moscow at any time and hopes to pay a state visit "early next year." "Minister Hong plans to visit Moscow next January to work out details of the President's visit," an administration official said. He added that Kim is also likely to extend his planned visit to some European countries, including Germany and France. Kim, when he took office, had wanted to round off visits to the four superpowers this year, mainly to secure their support for his new DPRK policy. Kim visited the US in June, Japan in October, and the PRC last week. US President Bill Clinton also visited Seoul last week.

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7. ROK Defense Budget

Chosun Ilbo ("DEFENSE BUDGET TO SHRINK 0.4 PERCENT," Seoul, 11/25/98) reported that the 1999 budget submitted by the Defense Committee to the Budget Committee Wednesday shows a 0.4 percentage decrease over 1998 to W13.749 trillion, the first such reduction ever. Since 1995, defense spending has risen 10 percent to take up 18.3 percent of the total budget. This allotment from government spending will also fall to 17.1 percent. Having passed the Defense Committee review, the budget must pass one by the Budget Committee before being submitted to the National Assembly. The Ministry of National Defense (MOND) said that it had decreased personnel costs by 10 percent, but had increased defense augmentation spending by 1.5 percentage to maintain combat capability. Lawmakers are worried that the strengthened won will see a rise in the dollar cost of expenditures and are urging that the budget reflect this.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK Response to US-ROK Summit

China Daily ("DPRK SAYS US, ROK PLANNING INVASION," Tokyo, 11/23/98, A11) reported that a day after US President Bill Clinton and ROK President Kim Dae-jung discussed strategy toward Pyongyang, the DPRK's official party newspaper said the peninsula had become a sensitive world hotspot. Rodong Shinbum said that recent US military maneuvers with the ROK and Japan were "a revelation of their attempt to make a preemptive attack on us." "The Korean Peninsula has become a most tense and sensitive hotspot in the world as a result of the US reckless war provocation moves. The Korean people, therefore, always live exposed to the danger of a nuclear war," the newspaper said. The article did not specifically mention a row between the DPRK and the US over inspection of a site suspected of being used to develop nuclear weapons. The DPRK commentaries were issued as Clinton visited US troops stationed in the ROK on November 23.

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2. PRC-DPRK Relations

China Daily ("BANQUET HELD," 11/24/98, A2) reported that the PRC ministries of foreign trade and economic cooperation and culture co- hosted a banquet in Beijing on November 23 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Economic and Cultural Agreement between the PRC and the DPRK. Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng and Chu Ching- jun, the DPRK's ambassador to the PRC, proposed toasts at the banquet.

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3. PRC-Russian Summit

People's Daily ("JIANG AND YELTSIN HOLD INFORMAL MEETING," Moscow, 11/24/98, A1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Boris Yeltsin discussed bilateral relations and issues of common concern in a "friendly and unconstrained atmosphere" on November 23. The leaders expressed satisfaction with the development of the Sino- Russian relationship since the formation of the strategic partnership in 1996. They agreed to continue high-level visits to push cooperation into the new century. The demarcated eastern and western sections of the border separating the countries have been marked accurately, Jiang said. Yeltsin offered a high evaluation of achievements made in resolving border issues. Regarding Taiwan, Jiang said that Russia would clarify its position on the issue in a pending joint news communique. Russia will always maintain the "one China" stance, Yeltsin said, adding that Russia will only have non-official economic and cultural links with Taiwan.

China Daily ("COMMUNIQUE EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR 'ONE CHINA'," Novosibirsk, 11/25/98, A1) reported that Russia reaffirmed its adherence to a "one China" policy in a Sino-Russian joint news communique issued one day after the informal meeting of presidents Jiang Zemin and Boris Yeltsin. Russia reiterated its consistent policy on the Taiwan issue, which is that the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China, and that Taiwan is an inseparable province of Chinese territory. Based on this principle, the Russian side will not support "Taiwan independence" in any form. The communique said that Russia supports the PRC's stand on not accepting "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan." Reiterating that it will not sell weapons to Taiwan, Russia will not support Taiwan's entry to the UN or any other international organization composed solely of sovereign countries. The PRC side expressed its sincere thanks for Russia's consistent policy in upholding the one China policy, but expressed no objection to Russia's unofficial links with Taiwan in economic cooperation, and the trade, technological, cultural, and sports sectors. The PRC side reiterated that it supports Russia's unification and territorial integrity.

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4. PRC-Japan Summit

China Daily ("SPOKESMAN: CORRECT VIEW OF PAST KEY TO NEW TIES," 11/25/98, A1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin and Japanese officials will discuss the nations' relations "on the basis of holding a correct view of the past in order to properly face the future" in the next few days. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Tang Guoqiang provided details of President Jiang's trip during a routine media briefing in Beijing on November 24. Sino-Japanese relations can only proceed smoothly if history is reviewed correctly, and the Taiwan issue is properly handled, Tang said. Japan should honor its promises regarding Taiwan, which are outlined in the PRC-Japan Joint Statement and PRC-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty, he said.

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5. Civil Support to PLA

People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily ("CONFERENCE ON CIVIL SUPPORT FOR THE ARMY HELD," Beijing, 11/23/98, P1) reported that a national conference on civil support for the army was held in Beijing from November 18 to 20. PRC Premier Zhu Rongji, a Standing Committee Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made an important speech at the conference. Zhu said that it is important for the Communist Party and government to arouse popular support for the army, give preferential treatment to the families of soldiers and those injured or killed in military service, and make better arrangements for the placement of all demobilized officers and soldiers. "This work has a bearing on the fundamental interests of the State and the people," Zhu emphasized. According to Zhu, facts have proved that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has always been the strong pillar of the country and a courageous guard of the people's interests. Describing the unity between the army, government and the people as "a fundamental guarantee" for the smooth development of the PRC's reform, opening-up, and socialist modernization drive, the premier called on Party committees and governments at all levels to make every effort to teach the local people to love the army and give full support to army building.

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6. US-Japan Relations

China Daily ("US, JAPAN MOVE TO REINFORCE MILITARY TIES," Tokyo, 11/21/98, A8) reported that although it received little publicity, the US and Japan took another step towards stronger military ties during US President Bill Clinton's visit to Tokyo. Commenting on Clinton's visit, a Japanese defense official said that the Clinton-Keizo Obuchi talks paved the way for the two countries to work more closely than ever before in the field of defense. The defense official acknowledged that nuclear and missile threats from the DPRK had helped the two allies move faster to strengthen the bilateral security structure. According to him, Clinton and Obuchi set aside a large portion of their 90-minute summit to discuss ways of dealing with the DPRK's suspected nuclear facilities.

A commentary in Jie Fang Daily ("ECONOMIC ISSUES DISCUSSED AT US-JAPAN SUMMIT," 11/21/98, P3) said that the US-Japan summit was mostly concerned with economic issues. Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi self- confidently explained to US President Bill Clinton Japan's measures to deal with the current economic difficulties and promised that Japan's economic growth will resume next year, the article said.

IV. Russian Federation

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1. Koreans on Sakhalin

Izvestia's Gennadiy Charodeyev ("RUSSIAN KOREANS DEMAND TO BE SENT TO THEIR HISTORICAL MOTHERLAND," Moscow, 3, 11/20/98) reported that a Repatriation Association uniting ethnic Koreans, who more than fifty years ago were forcefully settled in Sakhalin by Japan, demanded promised compensation from Japan and an unhindered return to the ROK. As of today, less than 500 of 40,000 Koreans have voluntarily left Sakhalin. During the Soviet era, Koreans there, most of whom were of south Korean origin, were forbidden to freely travel in the USSR territory or seek permanent residence abroad. Soviet authorities also forbade them to correspond with relatives either in the DPRK or the ROK. Some were allowed to leave for the DPRK in the 1960s, where they promptly found themselves in "re-education camps." Japan promised to finance repatriation of Koreans from Sakhalin, but so far has only allocated money for building two hostels. Polls show that over 5,000 Sakhalin Koreans wish to return to the ROK.

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2. RF-PRC Summit

Izvestia's Yuriy Savenkov ("LEADERS OF RUSSIA AND CHINA MET DESPITE COMPLICATIONS," Moscow, 1, 11/24/98) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin and PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin had their first unofficial summit at the Central Clinical Hospital at the outskirts of Moscow due to Boris Yeltsin's pneumonia illness. They discussed the issues mentioned in the "Russia and China on the Eve of the 21st Century" Declaration signed two- and-a-half years ago. They adopted a joint statement on completion of demarcation of the Western part of the RF-PRC border. Also, Jiang discussed the unsatisfactory bilateral economic relations with RF Premier Yevgeniy Primakov. The RF's share in PRC's foreign trade was only 2 percent last year, as against 3.5 percent in 1992. RF statesmen plan to discuss economic matters at length when PRC State Council Chairman Zhu Rongji, who "in many respects is still an enigmatic figure" to them, comes to Moscow next year. Military technical cooperation with the PRC is still seen in the RF as the most promising field, and as paving the road for civilian hi-tech exports there as well. Many countries fear the PRC's growing military might and the RF's role in that, but "if Russia leaves the Chinese market, it will be taken over by Western firms." Besides, "in the next 20 years China has no chances to become a military superpower," Izvestia's author concluded.

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Dmitriy Kosyrev ("THIRD DOCUMENT," Moscow, 1, 11/25/98) reported that PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin left Novosibirsk in Siberia on Tuesday, after his earlier meetings in Moscow with RF President Boris Yeltsin, RF Premier Yevgeniy Primakov, RF State Duma Chairman Gennadiy Seleznyov, and RF Council of Federation Chairman Yegor Stroyev. Following the summit, the parties provided the mass media with their joint statement, which is their third document, the first two being the joint statements on RF-PRC border issues and on "Russian-Chinese relations on the Eve of the 21st Century." The third document contains some positions of interest, primarily concerning their respect of each other's territorial integrity. The RF confirmed again that it does not support any "two Chinas" concepts and considers Taiwan as a part of the PRC. Also, the RF stated its opposition to Taiwan's admission to the UN membership and said it has no intention to deliver arms to Taiwan. The author commented that "Beijing regards with displeasure the prospect of a 'territorial issue solution' between Russia and Japan, because it itself has got the same kind of 'issue' with Japan and does not hurry to solve it." During the visit, the RF President accepted the invitation to visit the PRC for the seventh summit.

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3. RF-Japan Regional level Contacts

Izvestia's Andrey Nekrasov ("SAKHALIN CUTS A WINDOW TO JAPAN," Moscow, 2, 11/25/98) reported that earlier this week the respective governors of Sakhalin Region of the RF and Hokkaido Island of Japan signed the first ever bilateral agreement on friendship and economic cooperation. Sakhalin Governor Igor Farkhutdinov proposed the idea in 1995, but Japan would not recognize Sakhalin as a subject of the RF, considering it together with the South Kurils its own territory unjustly annexed by the USSR. This time, though, it was Hokkaido Governor Tatsua Hori, himself born in Southern Sakhalin, who suggested resuming talks about that kind of an agreement, in view of ROK and US companies' long-standing involvement in Sakhalin natural resources development. The Agreement signed now provides for both joint exploitation of the sea-shelf riches of Sakhalin and joint protection of its marine bioresources, some of which have been brought to the verge of extinction due to activities of RF poachers selling their catch to Japanese customers at dumping prices. The governors expressed their hope the agreement could become a prototype to a peace treaty between the RF and Japan planned for 2000.

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4. US President's Visit to Japan

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Andrey Ilyashenko ("CLINTON VISITED JAPAN," Tokyo, 6, 11/25/98) commented on US President Clinton's visit to Japan. His talks with Japanese Premier Keizo Obuchi was dominated by "the problem of an exit of Japan from the longest depression in its postwar history ... and there was an impression that the American leader demanded 'an acceleration' from Tokyo, while the Japanese one was making a report on what had been done." Also they discussed Okinawa, relations with the PRC and the RF, Japanese steel "dumping" exports to the US, "mysterious underground facilities in the DPRK," and the Middle East, although Japan is still known to be opposed to the use of force against Iraq.

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Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
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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