NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, june 11, 1999


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan


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I. United States

1. DPRK Warships in ROK

Reuters ("S.KOREA SAYS 'PUSHING' N.KOREAN SHIPS IN YELLOW SEA," Seoul, 06/11/99) and the Associated Press (Paul Shin, "S. KOREA NAVY REPELS N. KOREA SHIPS," Seoul, 06/11/99) reported that ROK Defense Ministry spokesman Brigadier-General Cha Young-koo said that ROK patrol ships pushed the DPRK ships out of the ROK's territorial waters on Friday. However, according to Cha, after initially retreating, four DPRK warships sailed back into the disputed zone. Cha stated, "To prepare for any emergency, we will strengthen the military power in the area, which would be stronger (than that of North Korea)." Cha added that the ROK would seek to resolve the matter as soon as possible because it had gone on "too long."

The Associated Press ("N. KOREA LAYS CLAIM TO WATERS CONTROLLED BY S. KOREA," Seoul, 06/10/99) reported that the two Koreas issued competing claims on Thursday to a rich crab fishing ground in the Yellow Sea. However, ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae did not order a heightened alert status for the military, and the 37,000 US troops stationed in the ROK also remained on normal alert.

Reuters ("S.KOREA DENIES NEWS REPORT OF THREAT AGAINST NORTH," Seoul, 06/11/99) reported that ROK's Defense Ministry on Friday denied a report by ROK's Yonhap News Agency, which quoted an unidentified Defense Ministry official as saying, "South Korea would take all possible steps and sacrifices to strongly counter the current North Korea intrusion." A defense ministry lieutenant general stated, "South Korea's position is that it would strengthen its presence in the standoff area in case of emergency and that it would seek to resolve the situation as soon as possible."

The International Herald Tribune (Don Kirk, "SOUTH KOREA VOWS TO RESPOND IF NORTHERN VESSELS OPEN FIRE," Seoul, 06/11/99) reported that experts on DPRK affairs see two reasons behind DPRK warships' incursion into ROK waters. Park Young Ho, senior fellow at the Korean Institute of National Unification, stated, "North Korea intends to show that there remains a terrible military situation on the Korean Peninsula. It is a negotiating tactic before talks between North and South Korean diplomats in Beijing on June 21." Park saw the incursion as part of "a two-track policy" in which the DPRK seeks to use its military strength to win points at the negotiating table. According to John Barry Kotch, an expert on DPRK affairs at Hanyang University, another reason is that the DPRK desperately needs the crab found in the waters in that area at this time of year. Kotch stated, "It is about food. The North is starving and may see no other way to feed their people. Unfortunately, they don't have an agreement on fishing with the South and have to feed themselves any way they can." ROK military experts also saw the forays as reflecting disagreement between those favoring a strong policy against the ROK and others who may be open to ROK President Kim Dae-Jung's Sunshine Policy. ROK Defense Ministry's spokesman Brigadier Cha Yong-koo stated, "Maybe the hawks up there are not happy with the idea of dialogue between North and South Korea. They have never accepted officially the northern limit line. They may want a showdown." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 11.]

2. Perry Invites DPRK Official

The Associated Press ("N. KOREAN LEADERS INVITED TO D.C.," Tokyo, 06/11/99) reported that the US Embassy spokesman in Japan stated that US envoy to the DPRK William Perry has invited top DPRK officials to the US. The spokesman said that the invitation was extended during Perry's recent trip to Pyongyang, as a way to continue to hold "dialogues," but no visit has been set.

3. Inspection of Underground Site

The Associated Press ("US TEAM VISITS SUSPECTED NUKE SITE," Seoul, 06/10/99) reported that DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that its ultimate use of the tunnel at Kumchang-ri will depend "entirely upon the attitudes of the US" toward the DPRK.

4. DPRK Participation in Women's World Cup

The Associated Press (Barry Wilner, "N.KOREAN SOCCER PLAYERS MEET MEDIA," Mcafee, New Jersey, 06/10/99) reported that the DPRK women's soccer team will be in Los Angeles this weekend, where they will practice leading up to their tournament opener against Nigeria on June 20. They will play Denmark in Portland, Oregon, on June 24, then play against the US on June 27 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

5. PRC Position on NATO Bombing in Yugoslavia

Reuters ("CHINA WON'T VETO U.N. KOSOVO RESOLUTION," United Nations, 06/10/99) reported that the PRC's Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Shen Guofang said that the PRC will not veto the Kosovo peace plan to be adopted by the UN Security Council. Referring to a PRC amendment to the resolution's preamble that had been accepted by the draft's sponsors, Shen stated, "Since China's main concern is solved ... we are not going to block the resolution."

The Associated Press ("CHINA CLAIMS CREDIT FOR KOSOVO DEAL," Beijing 06/11/99) reported that the PRC's state-run People's Daily carried a commentary which argued that sovereignty of a country is more important than human rights within the country. The commentary read, "This kind of taking so-called 'protecting human rights' as the excuse to fight a war in reality created the greatest humanitarian disaster since World War II and seriously harmed the Balkans' and the world's peace and stability." The commentary also claimed that the PRC's principle position demanding peace forced NATO nations to craft the plan that finally ended the conflict. The PRC abstained when the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on the Kosovo peace plan on Thursday.

6. Hong Kong's Reaction to Cox Committee Report

Reuters ("HK REJECTS U.S. TECHNOLOGY SPYING ALLEGATIONS," Hong Kong, 06/11/99) reported that a Hong Kong government spokesman said that Hong Kong will defend its customs system next week in a bid to dispel allegations that Hong Kong is being used as a transshipment point for illicit technology transfers. The Hong Kong government will present a paper, which was publicized on Friday, to legislators on Monday rejecting the Cox Committee Report. The paper warned the US that it would put bilateral relations at risk if it tried to restrict exports of strategic goods to Hong Kong. The spokesman stated, "What we're doing here is to reinforce that where it was talking about Hong Kong, it was wrong or it wasn't applicable."

7. US Policy Towards the PRC

Reuters (John Whitesides, "HOUSE BACKS MOVES AGAINST ALLEGED CHINA SPYING," Washington, 06/10/99) reported that the US House of Representatives passed a series of measures on Wednesday to counter alleged PRC espionage. The House approved proposals to tighten security at US nuclear labs and bolster technology export controls. US Representative Norman Dicks, a Washington Democrat, stated, "I think these proposals will go a long way toward resolving the security problems at our nuclear labs." US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, appearing before the US Senate Intelligence Committee, said that he opposed a Senate plan to reorganize the department's nuclear security and counter- intelligence operations. Richardson stated, "This amendment would undermine my authority and the reforms I've initiated. To set up an agency, a fiefdom, in a department of fiefdoms, is not what I need." US Representative Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, stated, "China must know this issue will not fade away. The Congress must be strong where the president has been weak."

8. PRC Policy on Hong Kong Immigration

The Associated Press (Priscilla Cheung, "CHINA TO REVIEW IMMIGRATION REQUEST," Hong Kong, 06/10/99) reported that the PRC has accepted Hong Kong's request to review an immigration case already decided by Hong Kong's top court. This move could effectively reverse a major legal defeat for Hong Kong's government that honored the rights of more than 1 million mainland Chinese to move to the affluent territory. A majority of Hong Kong residents are in favor of the request saying that intervention from the Beijing government could end the threat of a massive influx of immigrants that could overwhelm the territory. Elsie Leung, Hong Kong's Secretary for Justice, stated, "This is not a problem that Hong Kong could solve on its own." Leung said that Beijing's State Council, the top executive body, has accepted a report on the controversy from the Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, and will forward it to members of a congressional committee for further action. However, local legal experts warn that Hong Kong has stepped into dangerous territory by asking the Beijing government to effectively throw out a ruling from the court that is supposed to have final say over the territory's laws. James To, a lawmaker from the Democratic Party, Hong Kong's largest party, stated, "It seriously undermines the authority and credibility of the judiciary."

9. US Missile Defense Success

The Associated Press ("MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM SCORES HIT," White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 06/10/99), PR Newswire ("LOCKHEED MARTIN'S THAAD MISSILE RECORDS FIRST TARGET INTERCEPT," White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 06/10/99) and the New York Times (Philip Shenon, "AFTER SIX FAILURES, TEST OF ANTIMISSILE SYSTEM SUCCEEDS," Washington, 06/11/99) reported that on Thursday the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) weapon system successfully intercepted a target missile. The intercept occurred at a high altitude over the central portion of the national missile range. The target, which simulated a Scud ballistic missile, was destroyed on impact. Army Colonel Lou Deeter, THAAD program manager, stated, "This is a great day for America, the Army and the missile defense community. We appreciate all the people standing behind us and letting us prove this could happen." Brigadier General Richard Davis of the US Defense Department's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, stated, "It's significant because it demonstrates that the technology can be made to work. It is a major milestone, because this is our first successful intercept, but we still have a ways to go." However, Brian Hughes, director of the Taxpayers for Common Sense's national security reform project, stated, "The 1-for-7 record isn't that much better than 0-for-6. It's a batting average that shouldn't put that in the starting lineup for missile defense." Union of Concerned Scientists said, "It is quite possible for a system to work well in tests and fail in the field."

10. US Policy Towards India and Pakistan

Dow Jones Newswires ("CLINTON WARY OF BILL TO EASE INDIA, PAKISTAN SANCTIONS," Washington, 06/10/99) reported that the US Senate passed a defense spending bill amendment on Wednesday that would extend the current waiver on US economic sanctions against India and Pakistan by five years. The amendment would also broaden the type of bilateral US trade permitted under the waiver, and lift current US opposition to multilateral lending to India and Pakistan for purposes other than basic human needs. The bill would suspend all sanctions imposed on the countries last year by Clinton under the Glenn amendment of 1994, including sanctions against US governmental and private-sector lending. However the US President would retain the authority to block trade of military or potentially military items under the bill.

11. G8 Policy Towards Indian and Pakistan

The Associated Press ("G8 URGES INDIA, PAKISTAN TO BAN NUCLEAR TESTING," Cologne, 06/10/99) reported that the Group of Eight nations (G8) (US, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, Canada and Italy) urged Pakistan and India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty on Thursday. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer stated, "Nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction is one of the main topics that we must and will address in the future." He added that the G8 views the spread of chemical, nuclear and biological weapons with great concern, and said, "We urge India and Pakistan to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty."

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Warships in ROK

The Korea Times ("ROK VESSELS TURN BACK N.KOREAN BOATS WITH INTENTIONAL COLLISIONS," Seoul, 06/11/99) reported that ROK patrol boats intentionally collided with DPRK vessels after they intruded into the buffer zone on Thursday in an effort to force them back to their own waters. Four of the six DPRK vessels were damaged owing to the collision and all six intruding boats retreated to their waters. In the process, there was no exchange of gunfire and some ROK patrol boats were slightly damaged. However, four DPRK boats reentered the buffer zone escorting DPRK crab-fishing boats. One of the four remained with the fishing boats while three others were taking up a position approximately 2 km south of the maritime border line.

2. Perry Invites DPRK Official

The Korea Times ("PERRY INVITES N.KOREAN COUNTERPART TO WASHINGTON," Seoul, 06/11/99) reported that the US Embassy spokesman in Seoul said that the US envoy to the DPRK William Perry has extended an invitation to his DPRK counterpart to visit Washington DC to continue dialogue on improving relations. The spokesman said that the invitation was extended during Perry's recent trip, but no visit date has been set so far.

3. DPRK-US Missile Talks

The Korea Herald ("WASHINGTON, PYONGYANG PREPARING TO RESUME SUSPENDED MISSILE TALKS," Seoul, 06/12/99) reported that, according to an unnamed Ministry of Foreign Affiars and Trade official, the US and the DPRK are currently holding unofficial talks on resuming bilateral missile talks. The official stated, "The U.S. side confirmed that covert contact with the North is taking place to continue suspended missile nonproliferation talks." He added that the details of the missile talks, including the date and place have yet to be fixed.

4. DPRK-Japan Talks

The Korea Herald ("EX-JAPANESE PM'S VISIT TO PYONGYANG LIKELY TO BE DELAYED," Seoul, 06/12/99) reported that a planned visit to Pyongyang by former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama will likely be delayed, because the DPRK has asked that Murayama not discuss the alleged kidnapping of several Japanese by DPRK agents. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade official said that a Japanese parliamentary delegation led by Murayama was to visit Pyongyang June 20-23, to discuss ways to improve bilateral relations.

5. Mt. Kumkang Tour

The Korea Herald ("HYUNDAI'S NEWEST KUMGANG TOUR SHIP RESUMES OPERATION," Seoul, 06/11/99) reported that the Hyundai Group's new cruise liner for the Mt. Kumgang tour, "the Pungak," resumed operating on Thursday, ending a month of suspension. Kim Hak-soo, a Hyundai manager, stated, "We have been preparing for the resumption of operations of the ship since North Korea sent an official document May 26. A total of 722 tourists will board the liner today, almost filling it to full capacity." Hyundai Group will try to gain exclusive rights to the Mt. Kumkang tour. Kim Young-soo, a manager at Hyundai Asan Corporation, stated, "In the upcoming meeting with the (North) Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC), we expect to receive a formal document guaranteeing exclusive rights."

6. ROK-PRC Energy Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwashik, "KOREAN ATOMIC ENERGY TRIES TO TAKE CHINESE MARKET," Seoul, 06/11/99) reported that, according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO), KEPCO has decided to participate in the PRC's new atomic power plant construction plan. As part of the 10th economic development plan, which will be settled in 2000, the PRC is considering ordering a one million KW plant to be situated around Guangdong and Shangdong. KEPCO has entered into a partnership with the US ABB-CE and will take charge of design, generator construction and test working.

III. Japan

1. Japan-ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Daily Yomiuri carried a Yomiuri Shimbun article (Chirahu Mori, "JAPAN, ROK DIFFER ON N. KOREA FOCUS," Seoul, 06/07/99) reporting that, within hours after the unofficial meetings in Beijing between the ROK and the DPRK at which they agreed to resume vice ministerial talks after a 14-month suspension, ROK President Kim Dae-jung reported the decision to Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi by phone. The article discussed that Japan and the ROK have basic differences in priorities that prevent them from adopting a unified policy toward the DPRK. In particular, Japan emphasizes individual issues (such as the alleged abduction of Japanese nationals by DPRK agents and the DPRK's missile program), while the ROK has a long-term strategy aiming at Korean unification. A meeting late last year in Seoul between Unification Minister Lim Dong-won and Foreign State Secretary Keizo Tekemi was part of an initiative to overcome these differences. The article also pointed out that it is rare for Japanese politicians and diplomats to engage in a large-scale debate over how Japan will commit to the future of the Korean Peninsula from medium- and long-term perspectives. Although increasing ROK attention to the issue of alleged abductions is one example of the progress made in cooperation between Japan and the ROK, the report noted that the abduction issue is still not a priority for the ROK, quoting an ROK diplomat as saying, "It is difficult to get the North to move on that issue. It is unavoidable that the solution will come after the nuclear weapons and missile issues (are addressed)."

2. Japan's Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy

The Nikkei Shimbun ("NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT FORUM TO PROPOSE DENUCLEARIZATION OF KOREAN PENINSULA," 06/08/99) reported that the Tokyo Forum on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, which was established by the Japanese government's initiative in May, 1998, released the outline of a final report that the forum will issue in July. The forum consists of security experts from 18 countries including Japan, the US, the PRC and Russia. The forum will suggest in its proposals that the Korean Peninsula, India and Pakistan be denuclearized and that the US and Russia reduce the number of their nuclear warheads to as few as 1000. The Japanese government will propose the report to the United Nations and relevant countries as a new guideline for promotion of nuclear disarmament.

3. Japan's National Flag and Anthem

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("LDP APPROVES HINOMARU-KIMIGAYO BILL," 06/11/99), the Sankei Shimbun ("HINOMARU, KIMIGAYO BILL TO BE SUBMITTED TO DIET," 06/11/99) and the Japan Times ("LDP OKS HINOMARU, 'KIMIGAYO' BILL," 06/10/99) reported that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) approved a Cabinet plan on June 10 to adopt a bill to legally recognize the Hinomaru as the national flag and "Kimigayo" as the national anthem. However, prospects for enacting the Hinomaru-Kimigayo bill during the current Diet session are uncertain due to resistance from opposition parties. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka stressed the importance of legally recognizing the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" as Japan's symbols and expressed hope that the Diet will conduct a wide ranging debate on the issue. The Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" have served as unofficial national symbols since World War II, and the question of whether to officially recognize them has been a sensitive issue because of their alleged links to Japan's emperor system and wartime militarism.

The Asahi Shimbun ("BEIJING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS THINK HINOMARU SYMBOLIZES 'AGGRESSION'," 06/11/99) reported that students studying Japanese at six major universities in Beijing opposed official recognition of the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" in Japan. In a multiple-response questionnaire survey conducted from late May to early June by a research institute in Beijing, approximately 40 percent of 156 respondents opposed such legalization, while more than 10 percent supported it. The reasons offered for opposition to such legalization included the rise of rightist sentiments in Japan, indifference to the views of other Asians, and a revival of militarism. The reasons for support, on the other hand, included the facts that both the Hinomaru and "Kimigayo" are national symbols and also that they are already well-accepted.

4. US Missile Defense Success

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Akinori Uchida, "US SUCCEEDS IN TMD INTERCEPTION TEST," Washington, 06/11/99) reported that the US succeeded on June 10 for the very first time in the testing of the interception capability of theater high altitude area defense (THAAD), which is part of the theater missile defense (TMD) initiative. According to the report, six previous tests through last March had failed. The current test was postponed twice, which raised suspicion of the credibility of the THAAD system. The US Defense Department said that radar, object-tracking devises and other parts worked perfectly this time, according to the report.

5. Former ROK President on Sunshine Policy

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("FORMER ROK PRESIDENT KIM YOUNG SAM CRITICIZES SUNSHINE POLICY," 06/06/99) and the Daily Yomiuri ("FORMER SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES SEOUL'S 'SUNSHINE' POLICY, 06/07/99) reported that during his interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun in a Kitakyushu hotel on June 4, former ROK President Kim Young-sam criticized the current administration's "sunshine" policy toward the DPRK. Kim said that the policy undermines the cooperation among Japan, the US and the ROK, and that the current DPRK leadership would not survive for long. Kim expressed his dissatisfaction with the current ROK administration's dealing with the DPRK's launch of a missile over Japan last August, saying that it is strange that Seoul has not taken up the issue with Pyongyang. Kim added that if the cabinet system is delivered as promised, he is confident that President Kim's term will end in December. As for Japan-ROK relations, Kim Young-sam said that his many talks with Japan's prime ministers during his tenure made a contribution to improvement of Japan-ROK relations, rejecting criticism that bilateral ties had soured during his presidency. However, Kim said that Japan's education system is inadequate in terms of covering contemporary history, and urged the Japanese government to address the problem.

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Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Wade L. Huntley:
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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