NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, june 18, 1999


I. United States

II. Republic of Korea II. Japan

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I. United States

1. DPRK-US Talks

The Associated Press (Barry Schweid, "US, N. KOREA TO HOLD TALKS IN CHINA," Washington, 06/18/99) reported that the US envoy Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan have scheduled talks for June 23 in Beijing. Kartman will report to Kim on the inspection US experts made last month at Kumchangri.

2. DPRK View of Naval Confrontation

Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer, "NORTH KOREA CALLS U.S. ANTAGONISTS," United Nations, 06/18/99) reported that the DPRK accused the US on Friday of trying to unleash a new war on the Korean peninsula. In a letter to the UN, DPRK UN Ambassador Li Hyong-chol stated, "The touch-and-go situation is now created in the Korean peninsula where a war may break out any time." Li said that the only reason the recent naval confrontation in the Yellow Sea did not escalate into all-out war is because of the DPRK's patience. Li wrote, "If the danger of war is to be averted and durable peace secured, it is indispensable for the US to renounce its hostile policy against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and to put an early end to its dangerous provocations of a new war." Li added that the DPRK wanted the UN Security Council to know "the truth" about the naval clash and "pay serious attention to the Korean peninsula and take proper measures to cease immediately these type of military provocations on the part of the United States and South Korea." In the letter, Li also stressed that the DPRK has never recognized the "northern limit line."

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA CLAIMS U.S. INTERVENTION IS ESCALATING TENSIONS," Tokyo, 06/18/99) and the Associated Press (Y.J. AHN, "N. KOREA SKIPS MIA HANDOVER SERVICE," Panmunjom, 06/18/99) reported that the DPRK on Friday accused the US of escalating tensions between the two Koreas by sending US naval ships and planes to the Yellow Sea. DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) stated, "The U.S. maneuver to reinforce its armed forces and tighten its vigilance raises tensions over the situation on the Korean peninsula. The U.S. madcap arms buildup and heightened posture arouse vigilance as they aggravate the tension on the Korean Peninsula."

3. DPRK-ROK Talks

Reuters ("SEOUL SEES NKOREA MEET PROCEEDING AS TENSIONS EASE," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young said on Friday that he expected that the vice-ministerial level talks between the two Koreas will be held on June 21 as scheduled. Hong stated, "I hope and expect the Beijing talks will be held as planned." Hong said that the DPRK may bring up the issue of the recent naval confrontation. Hong said, "Any participant is free to raise any topic. If Pyongyang brings up the (sea border dispute) then of course we have our position. In that case this will be a prolonged debate." Referring to the DPRK's decision to temporarily halt visits by ROK citizens to Pyongyang, Hong said that the decision "could be targeted to the domestic audience to save its face over the defeat in the Tuesday skirmish." Hong also said that judging by all the signs so far, the DPRK does not seem to want to escalate the confrontation any further. Hong added, "The Yellow Sea provocation could be an attempt by Pyongyang, half-convinced by Dr. Perry's explanation, to test the degree of our commitment to comprehensive engagement."

4. DPRK Missile Test

The Associated Press ("NORTH PREPARING FOR MISSILE LAUNCH," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that, according to ROK National Intelligence Service director Chun Yong-taek, the DPRK is preparing to test-fire an upgraded ballistic missile, the Taepodong 2. Chun stated, "We don't know when the North will launch the missile, but we have detected various signs that North Korea is making preparations."

The New York Times (Elizabeth Becker, "U.S. SAYS PHOTOS SHOW NORTH KOREA PREPARING FOR MISSILE," Washington, 06/18/99) reported that some US House of Representatives members and defense analysts said that if the DPRK test-fires the Taepodong 2 missile, it might strain the US proposal for reconciliation between the DPRK and the US. An unnamed senior US administration official stated, "This underscores why the most dangerous place on earth is not downtown Pristina but the Korean border." Richard Armitage, a defense analyst and a former US Reagan administration official, stated, "Right now, the testing of a missile by North Korea would have a very severe political impact, more even than a military one. It will increase the fervor for a theater missile defense system and dampen any enthusiasm for Perry's ideas." While all officials expressed concern over any new test, several said these initial intelligence findings were not conclusive proof that the DPRK would launch a missile this summer and should not cut off the continuing diplomatic efforts to lower tensions on the Korean peninsula. US Senator John Kerry, Democrat Massachusetts, stated, "No one is minimizing the thought that the next launch would be very provocative and very dangerous. The missile piece is not a surprise at this point. You just have to make sure another test doesn't happen, and I think this is more reason to keep engaged with North Korea."

5. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

The Associated Press (Y.J. Ahn, "N. KOREA SKIPS MIA HANDOVER SERVICE," Panmunjom, 06/18/99) reported that, according to the United Nations Command (UNC), DPRK officials did not show up on Friday for a ceremony to hand over remains believed to be those of US soldiers killed in the Korean War. US Major General Michael M. Dunn, who represents the UNC, issued a statement denouncing the DPRK for failing to return the remains "for reasons that defy explanation and understanding." Dunn stated, "The return of remains is a purely humanitarian issue. The North's refusal to turn over the remains demonstrates their insensitivity to the families of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. It again displays their unwillingness to take steps to further reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula."

6. ROK Defense Spokesman Fired

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA'S DEFENSE SPOKESMAN FIRED," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that ROK Defense Ministry Spokesman Brigadier General Cha Yong-koo was fired on Friday. ROK opposition legislators criticized Cha after he reportedly compared the Yellow Sea naval clash to "a simple row between a married couple." According to the legislators, Cha's comments were too "easy-going". Aides to ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae said that Minister Cho had removed Cha for "inappropriate remarks."

7. Bombing of PRC Embassy

US State Department Spokesman James Foley ("STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, THURSDAY," Washington, USIA Text, 06/17/99) said that the US delegation led by US Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering was treated with "tact and courtesy" by the PRC government. Foley stated, "The Chinese listened carefully to the explanation; they regarded it as a serious report, a thorough report, a detailed report. I would like to point out, though, that from our perspective, we believe that the information Ambassador Pickering provided is sufficient to demonstrate that the bombing was a terrible mistake." Foley added that Pickering also offered to provide payment to the injured and the families of those killed, with the details to be worked soon. Foley said, "We do very much believe that it is in the interests of both China and the United States to re-engage on a range of issues of importance to both countries. And we hope that both countries will be in a position to move forward on the relationship as time goes on."

The Washington Post (Michael Laris, "CHINA REJECTS U.S. EXPLANATION FOR BELGRADE EMBASSY BOMBING," Beijing, 06/18/99, A34) reported that, according to a summary released by the PRC's official Xinhua News Agency, the US report on the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade cites three basic failures. First, the US used flawed techniques to locate the intended target. US military planners relied on three outdated maps, none of which showed the location of the PRC Embassy. Second, although US officials visited the PRC Embassy at its new address several times in recent years, no one registered the new location into US military or US intelligence databases, thus, when the incorrect location for the directorate was fed into several databases for review, no error was detected. Finally, according to a report summary, despite a review beforehand, "the system of checks that U.S. and European command forces had in place to catch target errors did not reveal the mistake." In its rebuttal, the PRC said that the US explanation about the intelligence officer was "not logical."

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, "DATA DUMP," 06/18/99, Pg. 9) reported that US Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials were nervous about US delegation's talks in Beijing this week. The CIA officials feared the talks with senior PRC officials would compromise intelligence- gathering methods used to identify targets and the US Defense Department officials worried the discussions would reveal the top-secret methods used by war planners to conduct high-technology bombing strikes. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 18.]

8. PRC View of Embassy Bombing

The Wall Street Journal ("BEIJING REJECTS U.S. INVESTIGATION OF BOMBING OF CHINA'S EMBASSY," Beijing, 06/18/99) and the Washington Post (Michael Laris, "CHINA REJECTS U.S. EXPLANATION FOR BELGRADE EMBASSY BOMBING," Beijing, 06/18/99, A34) reported that the PRC government on Friday publicly rejected the US explanation for the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade. Following meetings with a US delegation headed by Undersecretary of State Thomas R. Pickering, the PRC government broadcast a point-by-point rebuttal of what it said were the main results of a US government inquiry into the bombing. The PRC said that the US report "does not hold water." A PRC government foreign policy adviser stated, "Most Chinese people believe [the bombing] was deliberately planned. We need time to release that kind of emotion. It's very helpful to give the American version to the Chinese public."

The Associated Press (George Gedda, "CHINA UNSWAYED BY U.S. MISSION," Washington, 06/18/99) reported that the PRC state-run media dismissed US Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering's presentation to the PRC government as "deceitful talk." The media said that with its sophisticated reconnaissance technology, "the U.S. could not possibly have mistaken the embassy building." PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan stated, "The Chinese government and people cannot accept the conclusion that the bombing was a mistake. The U.S. side must make a satisfactory explanation." After the talks, Pickering flew to Germany to report to US President Clinton on the discussions in Beijing.

9. US-PRC Relations

The New York Times (Elizabeth Rosenthal, "BEIJING CALLS U.S. EXPLANATION OF EMBASSY BOMBING 'UNCONVINCING'," Beijing, 06/18/99) reported that the PRC's rejection of the US explanation marked another setback for US-PRC relations. David Zweig, a PRC expert at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, stated, "There was an opportunity here to move forward on WTO and other big issues, but instead something in the Chinese foreign policy-making process made them want to rachet this up again." Some PRC analysts, seeing the exchanges on this issue as a first step in a healing process, were more optimistic. Jia Qingguo, a professor of international politics at Beijing University, stated, "From the Chinese perspective the explanation is not convincing. But I think China wants further clarification so it can get over its doubts, so that it can move on in the relationship."

10. PRC Accession to WTO

The Washington Post (Michael Laris, "CHINA REJECTS U.S. EXPLANATION FOR BELGRADE EMBASSY BOMBING," Beijing, 06/18/99, A34) reported that in response to PRC Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng's remark about PRC not resuming the World Trade Organization talks, US Commerce Secretary William Daley stated, "If they want to use this tragic accident to not come to the table, that's their position." Daley added that unless the PRC opens its markets as part of an accord for WTO entry, "at some point we'll have to sit down with them on a bilateral basis" to discuss US complaints about the PRC's import barriers.

11. Alleged Nuclear Testing in the PRC

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, "SMALL NUKE TEST?" Washington, 06/18/99, Pg. 9) reported that the PRC set off a small nuclear-related blast over last weekend. According to unnamed US Defense Department sources, the explosion took place at PRC's Lop Nor testing facility in northwestern Xinjiang province. The test was detected on June 12 or 13 and reported through US intelligence channels. Analysts were unable to confirm that it produced a nuclear yield. An unnamed official said the blast may have been a large underground nuclear explosion that was carried out in an "evasive way" by the PRC to avoid international detection. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 18.]

12. Japan's Nuclear Power Program

Dow Jones Newswires (Mika Watanabe "JAPAN POWER EXEC SAYS INDUS UPBEAT ABOUT NUCLEAR PROGRAM," Tokyo, 06/18/99) reported that, according to Hiroshi Araki, chairman of Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies, Japan's electric utility industry will progressively press ahead with its nuclear power program. Araki, noting that Japan's nuclear power program has steadily been regaining public trust, said, "The situation surrounding Japan's nuclear power plan is beginning to turn (in our favor)." Araki said that as a way of achieving the target, nuclear energy, categorized as a "zero emission" fuel source for power generation, will be given greater emphasis. Hiroji Ota, president of Chubu Electric Power Company and next chairman of the federation, said, "Nuclear is one of the most effective means to deal with the environmental problem."

13. Pakistan-Indian Relations

The Associated Press ("INDIA FOREIGN MIN DOESN'T SEE FULL-SCALE KASHMIR WAR," Dras, India) reported that, according to Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, a full-fledged war between nuclear powers India and Pakistan is unlikely. Singh stated, "Good sense will dawn at the earliest (in Pakistan). I don't foresee a large-scale war."

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-DPRK Naval Confrontation

The Korea Times ("TENSIONS EASING IN WEST SEA," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that military tensions in the West Sea eased on Thursday as DPRK patrol boats and fishing vessels kept their distance from the naval border for the second consecutive day. DPRK fishing vessels hauled in crabs 3-4 km north of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) while their patrol boats took up positions two km away. The Joint Chiefs of Staff said there were no signs of either the DPRK fishing or navy ships moving toward the south. Despite the apparent easing of tensions, US ships and planes were on their way to the waters off the ROK to help prop up the ROK's defense posture. The ROK Defense Ministry said there were no signs of extraordinary movements by DPRK forces. ROK Brigadier General Cha Young-koo, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said, "We hope the latest confrontation between the ROK and the DPRK will soon come to an end," adding, "there are clearer signs that the DPRK hopes for peace on the Korean peninsula."

2. Retrieval of Sunken DPRK Ship

The Korea Times ("SEOUL WILLING TO ALLOW P'YANG TO SALVAGE SUNKEN SHIP," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that ROK Defense Minister Cho Seong-tae said that the ROK is willing to allow the DPRK to salvage its sunken torpedo boat from waters south of the Northern Limit Line. Answering ROK lawmakers' questions at the ROK National Assembly Defense Committee, Cho said that the ROK would permit DPRK salvage vessels to cross the maritime demarcation line in the West Sea (Yellow Sea), if requested. Cho made it clear, however, that the ROK will not allow the DPRK to engage in any activities other than salvage operations and efforts to recover the bodies of servicemen. "The work, if any, would be conducted under the strict surveillance of the South Korean navy," the minister added. Saying there is a high possibility of fresh DPRK provocations in the West Sea area, such as missile and coastal artillery attacks, Cho revealed that the ROK is fully prepared for such hostilities, having prepared countermeasures in anticipation of 114 kinds of potential DPRK provocations.

3. ROK Sunshine Policy

Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, "PRESIDENT KIM CONFIRMS APPEASEMENT POLICY," Seoul, 06/18/99) and The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM SAYS WEST SEA INCIDENT HELPED SHOW SECURITY SIDE OF SUNSHINE POLICY," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Thursday said that the naval confrontation between the ROK and the DPRK has demonstrated the defensive aspects of his sunshine policy toward the DPRK. Kim stated, "The North Korean intrusion in the West Sea has proved that the appeasement policy is not simply nor solely conciliatory but one based foremost on national security." Kim added, "The Sunshine Policy has drawbacks, but it is essential for mutual existence through the cooperation between South and North Korea." He also emphasized that the four great powers - the US, Japan, the PRC, and Russia - have never wavered from supporting the policy, and the US deployment of an aircraft carrier and nuclear submarines is meant to deter the DPRK from enlarging or prolonging the incident. Kim also promised that along with protecting the lives and interests of the 45 million people living in the ROK, he will maintain a generous attitude if the DPRK ceases provocations.

4. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Korea Times (Son Key-Young, "S-N BEIJING TALKS UNAFFECTED BY NK RETALIATORY MOVE," Seoul, 06/18/22) and The Korea Herald (Shin Youg-bae, "N.K.'S BAN ON PYONGYANG VISITS TO HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON S-N TALKS," Seoul, 06/18/22) reported that ROK officials said that the DPRK's retaliatory move banning ROK visits to Pyongyang is unlikely to affect the resumption of dialogue between vice ministers of the two Koreas, set for next Monday in Beijing. Basically, the ROK analysts are of the opinion that the DPRK's retaliatory action, which refers specifically to Pyongyang, is aimed at inter-Korean economic cooperation projects that have been realized through ROK citizens' visits to the capital. Accordingly, the analysts see it as inevitable for ROK citizens' visits to the DPRK capital to be suspended for the time being. Despite the escalation of tension, ROK ships have resumed delivery of fertilizer to the DPRK via a West Sea route. The ROK is set to deliver a total of 200,000 tons of fertilizer to the DPRK by the end of next month, as the DPRK promised in recent secret contacts in Beijing to take positive steps on the regular inter-Korean dialogue and proposed reunions of separated family members. A freighter carrying the fifth batch of fertilizer left for the DPRK port of Nampo on Wednesday, while four more vessels embarked Thursday on voyages to such DPRK ports as Wonsan, Hungnam, Haeju, and Chongjin.

5. DPRK Military Posture

The Korea Herald ("NK SEEN REFRAINING FROM LAUNCHING ANOTHER PROVOCATION IN W. SEA," Seoul, 06/18/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Chong Byong-sun, "NK Leadership Shows Restraint," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that, according to intelligence sources on Thursday, the DPRK leadership is not outwardly showing any increased activity following the naval engagement on Tuesday. Kim Jong-il reportedly visited a hydroelectric project in Chagang province on the border with the PRC, and later, when touring farming collectives, urged farmers to find ways of increasing production. On Pyongyang Central Radio, Kim said that the ROK should avoid escalation of activities in the West Sea, and praised the DPRK forces for showing restraint toward what he called provocative action by the ROK. Military sources said that no extra activity has been observed in the DPRK armed forces and that many soldiers appear to be involved in staging a sports competition. Others are reported to be attending seminars and a festival commemorating Kim Jong-il's joining of the Workers Party. The DPRK army is expected to mobilize over the weekend at farms throughout the country to assist in preparing land for cultivation.

6. US Forces in ROK

Choongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, "U.S. ENACTS 8 EMERGENCY ITEMS FOR KOREA," Seoul, 06/18/99) and The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, "AMERICAN AIRCRAFT INCREASING PATROLS," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that the US recently decided to support eight emergency measures for the ROK in preparation for the possible event of a sudden war. Kim Jin-ho, chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staffs, and John Tilelli, Commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces, agreed on these articles last week after the West Sea infiltration by the DPRK. The US first of all moved three early warning systems from Okinawa, Japan to the ROK to detect the DPRK's movements. Also, a high tech aircraft carrier carrying 100 missiles was dispatched to the West Sea, together with a contingent of marines. Aircraft fighters, including 30 F-15s and F-16s, are remaining in the ROK as the aircraft carrier, the USS Constellation, is heading for the ROK as well. The remaining measures have not been released yet, a source from the ROK government revealed.

7. ROK Poll on Fertilizer Aid

Chosun Ilbo (Hong Young-lim, "MAJORITY AGAINST FERTILIZER AID," Seoul, 06/18/99) reported that, according to the results issued Thursday from a nationwide telephone survey conducted June 16 of 629 adults by the Chosun Ilbo and Gallup, 70 percent of ROK citizens desire that the ROK continue its dual policy of hard and soft measures with the DPRK. A minority of 9 percent stated that the ROK should maintain just an "embracing policy," as opposed to harsh policies, while 7 percent were supporters for using a strengthened "embracing policy." 43 percent said that the ROK government's stance on the DPRK is not mirroring the ROK people's desires, while 39 percent replied that it was. A majority of 58 percent wanted the donation of fertilizer to the DPRK stopped, while 39 percent desired the aid to continue. However, 50 percent replied that the Kumgang trips should continue as planned, while 43 percent wanted a halt. Regarding the ROK Navy's response to the attack by DPRK ships, 81 percent expressed approval, 9 percent believed it should have been more forceful, while only 5 percent expressed disapproval. 51 percent of those surveyed answered that they were not afraid of the DPRK initiating an all-out war, while 43 percent stated a fear of war occurring in the near future. In August 1995, 53 percent had replied that there was a danger that the DPRK would start a war, while 43 percent believed the opposite. 47 percent replied that they believe the ROK to be stronger militarily, 33 percent believed the DPRK to be stronger, while 12 percent stated that there was equilibrium in military power. In 1995, 60 percent replied that the DPRK's military was stronger while only 21 percent replied that the ROK was stronger. The sample is at a 95 percent confidence level, plus or minus 3.9 percent.

II. Japan

1. The Analysis of ROK-DPRK Naval Confrontation

The Sankei Shimbun ("NORTH-SOUTH 'THREAT'-BUILDING: DPRK DISTURBS ROK SUNSHINE POLICY," 06/16/99) carried an analysis of the ROK-DPRK naval confrontation by Hideshi Takesada, professor at the National Institute for Defense Studies. Takesada said, "Given that the DPRK announced that the confrontation did not escalate because of the DPRK's 'endurance,' the DPRK's infiltration into ROK territorial waters this time has some (deliberate) objectives." Takesada pointed out that a military objective may be to demonstrate to the ROK that the DPRK can take military action whenever it wants to. With regard to political objectives, Takesada said, "The first objective is to suggest that it would raise the issue of the Northern Limitation Line (NLL), which the ROK claims as a maritime border but which the DPRK has not approved, at the future North-South vice ministerial or general level meetings. A second one is directed to the US. Now that US Coordinator for DPRK Policy William Perry returned to the US, the DPRK may have wanted to draw from the US a flexible policy toward the DPRK before the US reviews its DPRK policy by initiating a crisis between the North and the South." Takesada added that the strategy taken to achieve the second objective is consistent with the DPRK's past strategy to draw compromises from the US by initiating an ROK- DPRK crisis. As for the third objective, Takesada said, "It is directed to the Kim Dae-jung Administration. The DPRK has seen the sunshine policy as based on President Kim Dae-jung's own philosophy and therefore not prone to immediate change, but it is beginning to face some criticism within the ROK.... The DPRK is also well-aware that once the DPRK poses a threat to the ROK public, the ruling and opposition parties in the ROK become one in security policy. Therefore, the DPRK may have aimed to strengthen the consensus (among the parties) for continuation of the sunshine policy under the Kim Dae-jung Administration." Takesada concluded, "It is highly likely that infiltration and gunfire this time was ordered by those in the higher positions of the DPRK regime to achieve military and political objectives."

2. Japanese-DPRK Relations

The Asahi Shimbun ("LDP TO DISCUSS MURAYAMA DELEGATION TO DPRK," 06/17/99) reported that although the exact date for the visit of a bipartisan delegation to the DPRK led by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama has not been decided yet, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) agreed on June 17 to initiate intensive discussions within the party on the delegation before the formal schedule is decided. The report quoted an LDP member as saying, "Because a former prime minister is involved in the delegation, Japan's policy (towards the DPRK) will be conveyed to the DPRK. What the delegation will say (to them) is a problem (to discuss beforehand)."

3. PRC-DPRK Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("DPRK ACCEPTS PRC INVITATION OF KIM JONG-IL'S VISIT TO PRC," 06/15/99) reported that former director of the Chinese Communist Party's Foreign Liaison Office Shu Zheng told Tsutomu Hata, current secretary general of the Japanese Democratic Party and former Prime Minister, that the DPRK had accepted the PRC's invitation for Kim Jong-il to visit. The report said that this is the very first time an important PRC official made such a statement. Lee also said that the timing of the visit "is now being negotiated though a diplomatic channel." As for PRC-DPRK relations, "Although bilateral exchanges have been stopped, it is a fabrication that our relations have been worsened.... (Because of the visit by Kim Yong-nam,) high-level exchanges have been revived."

4. PRC Maritime Activities

The Sankei Shimbun (Yoshihisa Komori, "PRC INVESTIGATION SHIP: NAVIGATION WAS UNUSUALLY ANNOUNCED BEFOREHAND," Beijing, 06/18/99) reported that, according to the PRC governmental newspaper China Daily on June 17, a PRC investigation ship "Ocean 1" departed from Qingdao for maritime investigation into natural resources in the East China Sea. The article said that the move suggested that the Japanese government's complaint about the same ship's entry into Japanese exclusive economic zones (EEZs) last month may have been ignored. According to the China Daily, there were going to be US and Russian experts on board this time. The report pointed out that although the scope of the area the ship will investigate has not been specified yet, given that the ship was spotted within Japan's EEZs near the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands on May 19, the ship may undertake the investigation around the same area. The report added that the Japanese government conveyed its complaint about the ship's activities to the PRC through the Japanese embassy in Beijing, but that the complaint was rejected. With regard to China Daily's report, the Sankei report also quoted sources from the Japanese government as saying that while the PRC rejected the Japanese government's complaint, the fact that the PRC revealed its planned maritime activity (through the media) in advance may indicate its consideration for Japan's concern by providing some transparency.

5. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Sankei Shimbun ("JAPANESE AND RUSSIAN SUMMITS CONFIRM TO PROMOTE PEACE TREATY NEGOTIATIONS," 06/18/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and Russian President Boris Yeltsin talked on the phone for ten minutes on June 17 and confirmed that they would promote negotiations for a peace treaty between the two countries. In response to a letter from Yeltsin to Obuchi that arrived on June 17, Obuchi called Yeltsin, saying, "I want to promote negotiations for a peace treaty positively." Both in the letter and on the phone, Yeltsin said, "While I am in Tokyo, I think we can more deeply exchange our opinions on solutions that are mutually acceptable." The report added that Yeltsin will attend only the last day of the incoming G8 summit meeting and quoted Yeltsin as saying with regard to his meeting with Obuchi at the summit meeting, "The schedule is very tight, but I want work hard (to realize our meeting)."

6. Japan's TMD Policy

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Akinori Uchida, "JAPAN TO BE IN CHARGE OF DESIGN OF TMD SYSTEM WARHEAD," Washington, 06/17/99) and the Daily Yomiuri (Akinori Uchida, "JAPAN AGREES TO DESIGN TMD SYSTEM WARHEAD," 06/18/99) reported that according to US government sources, Japan and the US agreed on June 15 to exchange a memorandum next month to formally launch a joint study on the US-led theater missile defense (TMD) initiative. Japan will be responsible for the design of a warhead and three other devices within the TMD system. The memorandum will define each country's responsibilities for technical research for the development of the Navy Theater Wide Defense (NTWD), which is a sea-based TMD system and would be carried on vessels armed with the Aegis guided-missile system. However, the memorandum will only cover the design of necessary equipment and the first three years of the joint study, which is expected to last up to six years, and the two countries will sign more memorandums to conduct trials and experiments. The two governments already agreed at a meeting of the bilateral Security Consultative Committee to begin a joint NTWD study this fiscal year. The two governments have been negotiating the text of the memorandum since the Diet passed the budget for this fiscal year in March. The report added that the US announced in January that it would bring forward the target date for deploying the Block-I type missile, which the US is developing independently, to fiscal 2007 and that the two governments will study the development of a Block-II type, an advanced version of the Block-I type, and the target date for its deployment will be four years later than initially planned.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Sae-ryo
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Heesun:
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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