NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, june 24, 1999

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation
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The Kumchangni Inspection and Perry's Visit to North Korea

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I. United States

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1. DPRK-US Talks

The Associated Press ("N KOREA PROPOSES MTG S KOREA SAT, CONTINUES TALKS WITH US," Beijing, 06/24/99) and Reuters (Matt Pottinger, "U.S. WRAPS UP NUCLEAR TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA," Beijing, 06/24/99) reported that US envoy Charles Kartman and DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan met on Thursday in Beijing. Neither would comment on the talks.

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2. US Inspection of Underground site

The Associated Press ("U.S. SUSPICIOUS OF N. KOREA SITE," Washington, 06/23/99) reported that, according to US State Department spokesman James Rubin, the US still harbors suspicions about the purpose of the underground site at Kumchangri. Rubin said that since the return of the US inspection team, a fuller technical analysis has been completed to try to determine what the site might have been intended for. Rubin said that while "suspicions remain" about the site, there is nothing to suggest that the DPRK was violating the Agreed Framework.

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3. DPRK-ROK Talks

The Associated Press ("N KOREA PROPOSES MTG S KOREA SAT, CONTINUES TALKS WITH US," Beijing, 06/24/99) and Reuters (Matt Pottinger, "U.S. WRAPS UP NUCLEAR TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA," Beijing, 06/24/99) reported that the DPRK proposed to the ROK on Thursday that the two sides resume their talks on Saturday. According to ROK Embassy spokesman Han Jae-heuk, the DPRK negotiators in Beijing contacted the ROK officials on Thursday to propose that talks resume on Saturday. Han said that the ROK officials were awaiting instructions from Seoul before deciding whether to accept the proposal. Han added that the delegations would talk again by phone on Friday to arrange details of the meeting.

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4. Detained ROK Tourist in DPRK

Reuters ("S.KOREA VOWS STRONG MEASURES ON DETAINED TOURIST," Seoul, 06/24/99) reported that the ROK government said on Thursday that it would take "strong measures" to secure the release of the detained ROK tourist Min Young-mi. An unnamed Unification Ministry official stated, "We plan to come up with strong countermeasures to make sure Ms. Min returns safely to South Korea."

The Associated Press ("S. KOREA MAY BLOCK N. KOREA TOURISM," Seoul, 06/24/99) reported that, according to ROK President Kim Dae-jung's spokesman Park Jun-young, Kim threatened on Thursday to block tourist visits and cash payments to the DPRK unless it released the detained ROK tourist Min Young-mi. Kim stated, "If the North does not set her free soon, there will be no tourists, and there will be no dollars going to the North." Kim added that he expected the DPRK to release Min "before long" because it badly needs the money. Hwang Won-tak, ROK National Security Advisor, indicated that even if the DPRK releases Min, the tourism project would not resume until the two Koreas agree on ways to prevent similar incidents.

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5. Sunshine Policy

The Washington Post (Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, "S. KOREA'S KIM DEFENDS POLICY TOWARD NORTH," Seoul, 06/23/99, A01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-Jung on Wednesday defended his policy of engaging the DPRK. Kim argued that in the broad sweep of history, engagement has always worked better than confrontation. Kim repeatedly likened the DPRK to the former Soviet Union, saying that it was detente, "not the Cold War," that ultimately brought about its collapse. Kim said, "It is the nature of a Communist regime -- if you try to pressure it or push it into a corner, the stronger it will become." Kim also said, "Sunshine is not a naive policy, and our combat readiness is very powerful. No other alternative has a chance; this policy will ultimately succeed. I believe they must have learned a great many lessons from the clash." Kim added that the DPRK may have been testing his military resolve. Referring to intelligence reports that show that the DPRK is making preparations to test-launch a Taepodong 2 missile, Kim stated, "We must warn North Korea that should it launch another missile, it will lead to a serious situation; it would result in great disadvantages to North Korea." Kim concluded that some of the recent DPRK provocations may have been triggered by "great desperation over the success of my diplomatic endeavors." [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 24.]

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6. Keizo Obuchi's PRC Visit

Dow Jones Newswires ("OBUCHI TO PRESS CHINA ON N KOREA, TIES WITH U.S.," Tokyo, 06/24/99) reported that, according to a Kyodo news service report, when Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi visits the PRC next month he will ask PRC leaders to exercise influence over the DPRK to prevent Pyongyang from firing another missile. Obuchi will also ask the leaders to make efforts to mend ties with the US. Obuchi views the removal of destabilizing factors on the Korean Peninsula and an improvement in US-China ties as essential to the stability of the Asian region.

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7. Cambodian King's Visit to DPRK

The Associated Press ("SICK CAMBODIAN KING HEADS TO CHINA," Phnom Penh, Cambodia 06/24/99) reported that Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk left Cambodia on Thursday for medical treatment in Beijing. During his absence from Cambodia, Sihanouk is planning to make a trip to the DPRK, where he has a residence that was a gift from late DPRK leader Kim Il-sung in the early 1970s, when the king was in exile.

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8. PRC-US Relations

The Associated Press ("ANGER OVER EMBASSY BOMBING HALTS FLIGHT INTO H.K.," Hong Kong, 06/24/99) reported that Hong Kong's South China Morning Post said on Thursday that PRC authorities have stopped a US military airplane from landing in Hong Kong. The US consul general's office in Hong Kong confirmed Thursday that several warships were banned and that one US airplane was recently stopped from landing in Hong Kong on a routine training mission. The report said that the move has thrown doubt over US congressional delegations' plans to come to Hong Kong aboard US Air Force jets this summer. An anonymous US consulate spokeswoman said that she could not say whether any congressmen were hoping to come here this summer or whether their movements would be affected in any way. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Zhang Qiyue, stated, "Under the present circumstances, it is only natural that China does not allow the U.S. ships or planes to port or land in Hong Kong."

The Associated Press ("CHINA PRAISES DEPARTING U.S. ENVOY," Beijing, 06/24/99) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on Thursday praised departing US Ambassador James Sasser for promoting relations between the two countries. Zhang stated, "Sasser has made many positive efforts to promote the smooth development of China-U.S. relations."

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9. CIA Report on PRC Embassy Bombing

The Washington Post (Vernon Loeb and Steven Mufson, "CIA ANALYST RAISED ALERT ON CHINA'S EMBASSY," 06/24/99, A01) reported that, according to an unnamed senior US intelligence official, a mid-level US intelligence analyst warned internally that a target that turned out to be the PRC embassy might not be the Yugoslav weapons agency. The mid-level analyst, who was temporarily assigned to the CIA, had some familiarity with the Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement in Belgrade. The senior US official stated, "He had raised concerns and raised questions. He raised his doubts with a few working-level counterparts." The senior official, however, added that the doubts aired by the mid-level official "were never raised to senior levels before the strike took place." The analyst's warnings are noted in a classified internal report by the CIA's inspector general, which has not been made public but has been given to some members of US Congress. The official noted that the CIA is not usually involved in selecting targets during a military campaign, but because of a constant demand for new targets during NATO's bombardment of Yugoslavia the agency received a special request for assistance. David C. Leavy, spokesman for the US National Security Council, declined to comment on the report. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 24.]

The Associated Press (John Diamond, "CIA ANALYST QUESTIONED BOMB TARGET," Washington, 06/24/99) reported that PRC Deputy UN Ambassador Shen Guofang was asked for a reaction to the report on the doubts raised by the mid-level US intelligence analyst. Shen stated, "So far the explanation from the U.S. side is not convincing and we hope that we can get results of the fair and thorough investigation of the matter."

The Washington Post (Vernon Loeb and Steven Mufson, "CIA ANALYST RAISED ALERT ON CHINA'S EMBASSY," 06/24/99, A01) reported that, according to US congressional sources, chairmen of both the US House and Senate intelligence committees are not satisfied with what they have been told by the US government investigators on the PRC Embassy bombing in Belgrade. US Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican-Alaska and US Representative Porter J. Goss, Republican-Florida have decided to seek a further probe by the US Defense Department's inspector general because the Central Intelligence Agency inspector general left so many military-related questions unanswered. Goss, responding to PRC's demand that the US "severely punish the perpetrators," said that disciplinary action is "exclusively our business, if any is warranted at all." However an unnamed US Clinton administration official stated, "There will be some outcome as far as accountability. There will be no sweeping under the rug." [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 24.]

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10. PRC Accession to WTO

Dow Jones Newswires ("CHINA DEMANDS WTO ENTRY BEFORE TAIWAN," Beijing, 06/24/99) reported that the PRC on Thursday demanded that the PRC join the World Trade Organization (WTO) before Taiwan is allowed to enter. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue stated, "We have maintained that Taiwan can join the WTO as an independent tariff zone. However, this can only happen after the mainland's WTO entry." Zhang declined to comment on when WTO talks with the US may start again.

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11. PRC-Taiwan Relations

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, "TAIWAN CONCERNED ABOUT CHINA ARMS," Taipei, 06/24/99) reported that Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui on Thursday said that the PRC's arms buildup over the recent years, including missiles that could be fired at Taiwan, has been fueled by a desire to dominate the region rather than any real threat to PRC territory. Lee compared the aggressive Chinese nationalism being encouraged by the PRC to that of wartime Japan. Lee said that Taiwan will take all necessary steps to defend itself and also said that whether an arms race heats up "depends on Beijing." Lee also criticized Japan for "kowtowing" to the PRC over relations with Taiwan, saying that Japan has no reason to consult with the PRC over its dealings with Taiwan, but adding that he was encouraged by signs of a firmer Japanese line against the PRC. Lee furthermore attacked "paternalistic" and "Confucian" thinking among PRC leaders that he blamed for blocking greater reforms in the PRC. Lee noted that as a Chinese society that has made the transition to full democracy, Taiwan wants to provide a model for political reform in the mainland, leading to the eventual "Taiwanization" of the PRC.

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12. Russia-PRC Arms Trade

Singapore Straits Times ("RUSSIA AGREES TO SELL 72 FIGHTER BOMBERS TO CHINA," Hong Kong, 06/22/99, 20) reported that Russia has agreed to sell 72 of its front-line Sukhoi-30 fighter-bombers to the PRC. Russia and the PRC had agreed in principle to negotiations on the sale during PRC Premier Zhu Rongji's visit to Russia early this year. It is the first time Russia has sold its most up-to-date fighters to a foreign nation. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 24.]

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13. Kashmir Conflict

The Associated Press ("PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTRY CRITICIZES U.S. VIEW OF KASHMIR," Islamabad, 06/24/99) reported that US General Anthony Zinni repeated a call Thursday for Pakistan to withdraw armed intruders from neighboring India. Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Tariq Altaf has criticized the stand as encouraging India to talk of war. Altaf said the US position is "narrow" and urged the US to take a more "fair and balanced" approach to the current conflict on the disputed Kashmir border. Altaf stated, "India's violations cannot be ignored ... we want to see de-escalation and we want to see the sanctity of the line of control."

Dow Jones Newswires ("INDIA PM ARMY DOESN'T INTEND TO CROSS BORDER IN KASHMIR," New Delhi, 06/24/99) reported that, according to Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Indian troops fighting Islamic guerrillas in Himalayan Kashmir will not cross the line of control.

The Associated Press (Kathy Gannon, "U.S. GENERAL SEEKS PEACE IN KASHMIR," Islamabad, 06/24/99) reported that a top US general, General Anthony Zinni, held talks on Thursday with Pakistan's military to try to calm tensions over the disputed Kashmir region. Unnamed western officials said that Zinni would echo US President Clinton's earlier suggestions for Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif: to remove Pakistan's armed forces from Indian-ruled Kashmir and resume talks with India. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Pakistan military offered any comment on the talks in Islamabad. According to India's Foreign Office spokesman, Raminder Jassal, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gibson Lanpher, who accompanied Zinni to Pakistan, will travel to New Delhi to brief Indian officials about the discussions, but Jassal added, "It is not that somebody is coming here to mediate between India and Pakistan."

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14. Analysts Views on Kashmir Conflict

The Wall Street Journal carried a commentary by Stephen P. Cohen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution ("SOUTH ASIA NEEDS A PEACE PROCESS," 06/24/99) which argued that the military conflict between India and Pakistan in Kashmir is a serious threat to stability in South Asia that will require a long-term, international peace process. Cohen wrote that both India and Pakistan have come to regard the current dispute as more important "than the deeper problems that are corroding their societies and eroding their already-weak democratic institutions." According to Cohen, the conflict could easily spread, and the worst-case scenario will be that this episode will lead one side to use nuclear weapons. Cohen noted that there are other approaches that are at once more subtle and more promising. Cohen concluded, "South Asia needs its own peace process, which over time can be strengthened by the emergence of new generations in both India and Pakistan. Such a process might also benefit from the widespread realization that economic development in South Asia has fallen behind... Finally, the process could be helped by the more active engagement of the smaller South Asian states."

Reuters (Andrew Hill, "SIGNS POINT TO WIDER INDO-PAK CONFLICT," Islamabad, 06/24/99) reported that according to analysts, there are signs that India may have to widen the conflict to rid the Himalayan peaks of Pakistan- backed infiltrators. Gerald Segal, director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, stated, "The Indian army will get on with a difficult and bloody job, but there's no incentive for New Delhi to let this get out of hand." Segal said India had two choices: to cross the Line of Control to attack the infiltrators from the rear and choke their supply routes, or to open another front along its international border to force Islamabad to pull them out. However, Indian Commodore Uday Bhaskar of the state-funded Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi said such a response would only make sense in a conventional engagement. Bhaskar stated, "We don't describe this as a war and Pakistan says the infiltrators are not its regular troops. I would find it hard to recommend this option. This is, after all, post-May 1998." Bhaskar added that politically and diplomatically there were strong compulsions on the Indian government not to escalate the conflict. An unnamed western defense expert stated, "The Indian army is not going to walk away from this and to win this battle, they have to cross the Line of Control. They won't cross the international border, because that could escalate out of control." Another unnamed western defense analyst stated, "Pakistan cannot be seen to bow to international pressure and order the withdrawal of a force that it says it has no control over. Everything points to India."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-ROK Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "NO FOLLOW UP BEIJING MEETING," Seoul, 06/24/99) and the Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "INTER-KOREA BEIJING TALKS STALLED; OVER DIFFERENCES ON AGENDA, PRECONDITIONS," Seoul, 06/24/99) reported that the follow-up meeting to discuss the issue of family reunions between the DPRK and the ROK did not proceed in Beijing as scheduled on Wednesday. The DPRK officials refused to attend the meeting, stating that they were still awaiting official directives from the DPRK following the first meeting on Tuesday June 22. ROK delegates stressed that this setback did not mean an end to the talks, and speculated that the DPRK actions were related to the incident of the arrest of an ROK tourist in the DPRK as well as to the ongoing US- DPRK talks. Representatives of the two Koreas communicated by telephone Thursday morning but were unable to reach an agreement.

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2. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Times ("N.KOREA PUTS S-N TALKS ON HOLD, BUT MEETS US," Seoul, 06/24/99) reported that the highest level talks between the DPRK and the ROK in 14 months stood suspended on Wednesday after negotiators argued over a naval gunbattle last week. While those meetings remained on hold, the top US official on DPRK affairs, Charles Kartman, opened two days of talks with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan at Beijing's China World Hotel. Officially, their agenda covered upcoming peace talks with the ROK and the PRC and last month's inspection by US experts of a suspected underground weapons facility in the DPRK. Western diplomats expected the clash between the DPRK and ROK navies to come up in the talks.

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3. Detained Tourist in DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Yoon Young-shin, "TALKS ON RELEASE OF SOUTH KOREAN TOURIST FAIL," Seoul, 06/24/99) and The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL TO CUT FERTILIZER AID UNLESS NORTH FREES TOURIST," Seoul, 06/24/99) reported that the ROK government announced that it is making the release of Min Young-mi from DPRK custody a top priority. ROK Reunification Minister Lim Dong-won announced in the ROK National Assembly on Wednesday that the government will remain flexible in taking whatever measures necessary to ensure the safety of ROK citizens traveling to the DPRK, even considering halting the tours altogether. Minister Lim further stated that business with the DPRK would also be banned if the safety of the ROK businessmen and tourists could not be ensured. The Hyundai Group, which has been acting as an intermediary between the two governments, has stated that its efforts to negotiate for the release of Min with the DPRK representatives in Beijing have been so far unsuccessful. Furthermore, ROK officials hinted on Wednesday that the ROK would cut all aid, including fertilizer, if a solution is not reached.

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4. ROK President to Visit US and Canada

Joongang Ilbo (Shim Shang-bok, "PRES. KIM TO VISIT U.S. AND CANADA FOR FIVE DAYS FROM JULY 2," Seoul, 06/24/99), Chosun Ilbo (Hong Joon-ho, "KIM TO VISIT THE US AND CANADA," Seoul, 06/24/99), and The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM TO VISIT U.S., CANADA JULY 2-7 TO RECEIVE 'PHILADELPHIA LIBERTY MEDAL'," Seoul, 06/24/99) reported that ROK Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young said on Wednesday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung, along with First Lady Lee Hee-ho, will visit the US and Canada for five days from July 2. The President will be back home July 7. At their third summit talks at the White House on July 3, Kim and US President Bill Clinton are expected to reaffirm the "engagement policy" towards the DPRK. In Washington, Kim will also meet former defense secretary William Perry, DPRK policy coordinator, to exchange views on the security of the Korean Peninsula. On July 4, US Independence Day, Kim will receive the 1999 Philadelphia Liberty Medal for his "lifelong devotion to human liberty and democracy." Park said that Kim will then make a two- day visit to Canada from July 5 to hold a summit meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

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5. Sunshine Policy

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "'SUNSHINE POLICY' TO FACE TEMPORARY LULL, NOT OVERHAUL," Seoul, 06/24/99) reported that an ROK government official said on Wednesday that the recent strains in inter-Korean relations will force the ROK to readjust the speed of implementation of the "Sunshine Policy" toward the DPRK. However, the ROK's engagement policy is likely to survive challenges such as last week's exchange of gunfire between Navy ships and the detention of an ROK tourist to Mt. Kumgang, as it did past examples, such as the incursion of a DPRK submarine and the North's launch of a multistage missile, he said. The official also said that the ROK government sent a message to the DPRK via the Beijing channel between Kim Bo-hyun, special advisor to Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil, and Chon Gum-chol, vice chairman of the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, calling on the DPRK to set the ROK tourist free and put inter-Korean relations back on the right track. He added "however, the government is not considering taking future actions, because it is desirable for Hyundai to address the issue via a business channel, instead of the government channel."

III. Russian Federation

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1. DPRK Missile Test

Segodnya's Igor Devin ("NORTH KOREAN MISSILES CAN REACH THE U.S.A.," Moscow, 3, 6/19/99) reported that the DPRK has been completing preparations for a test of its Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 6,000 kilometers, capable of reaching US territory. US and Japanese sources reported that the test launch site was ready and fuel was being delivered to it. The launch might take place in July. The US believes that the DPRK missile program violates international agreements. Japan is especially afraid of unpredictable acts of "the Stalinist regime of North Korea" and plans to urge the Group of 8 summit in Cologne to put pressure on the DPRK.

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2. DPRK-ROK Naval Conflict

Izvestia's Vasiliy Golovnin ("KOREAN KITCHEN ROW IN YELLOW SEA," Tokyo, 4, 6/17/99) reported that Japanese analysts believe that the ROK-DPRK Naval Confrontation was an attempt to forestall inter-Korean dialogue. The article stated, "in Tokyo they believe the sensational battle in the Yellow Sea between the navies of South Korea and the DPRK was a typical example of 'a kitchen row' between the two countries which have got used to forestalling important political contacts with some aggravation of tensions. As an informed source close to Japan's government told me, new large-scale confrontations in the area are not expected, because Seoul and Pyongyang seem to have completed their tasks." According to US and Japanese intelligence sources, the DPRK suffered one 40-ton torpedo boat sunk, four other ships damaged, and about 30 men killed, while five ROK patrol ships were damaged and 7 men wounded thanks to the ROK Navy's overwhelming fire power. According to the author's interpretation of opinions in Tokyo, "the timely combat in the Yellow Sea served [the ROK's desire] to warn Washington against an excessive softness as regards the administration of 'the great leader' Kim Jong-il," while "the DPRK tries this way to increase its importance and 'dangerousness' in the eyes of the USA primarily. North Korea has been obviously displeased that NATO strikes against Yugoslavia and even the conflict in Kashmir distracted Washington's attention from it.... That line possibly might been augmented by 'something new.'... In July-August the DPRK might stage a demonstrative test of its over 1500 [that's in the text] kilometer range new ballistic missile."

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3. US Naval Deployment in Yellow Sea

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Marina Smirnova ("U.S. NAVY TRIES TO CALM KOREANS," Moscow, 2, 6/18/99) reported that the US, concerned about the tensions on the Korean peninsula, sent the "Vincennes" missile-armed cruiser to ROK territorial waters in the Yellow Sea for observation. The "Mobile Bay," a ship of the same type, was to join it. The crew of each ship is 760 men. Last Thursday night, the "Kamehameha" and "Buffalo" submarines of the US Navy arrived at ROK port of Chinhae, though their arrival was explained by a need for them to undergo some repair.

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4. DPRK-ROK Talks

Nezavisimaia gazeta's K.F. ("PYONGYANG POSTPONED THE TALKS," Moscow, 6, 6/22/99) reported that DPRK representatives confirmed their participation in talks on separated families scheduled to start in Beijing on June 21, but asked to postpone them. "South Korea agreed to postpone the talks because according to informed South Korean sources the DPRK delegation was to be headed by Park Yong-su of the Committee on Peaceful Reunification of Korea, whom South Korea cannot forgive for his threat to turn Seoul into 'a sea of fire'."

Nezavisimaia gazeta ("INTERKOREAN TALKS POSTPONED," Moscow, 6, 6/23/99), and Izvestia's Yury Savenkov ("TALKS STARTED WITH A PRAYER TO THE SUN," Moscow, 4, 6/23/99) reported that for the first time in 14 months representatives of the DPRK and the ROK met for negotiations. The delegations, headed by their respective deputy ministers of reunification Park Yong-soo of the DPRK and Yang Yong-sik of the ROK, started talks on the issues of humanitarian food aid to the DPRK and separated families in Kempinski Hotel in Beijing. The talks "started a day later than scheduled because initially Pyongyang refused to sit at the negotiation table, accusing Seoul of not fulfilling the promise to supply on time 100,000 tons of fertilizer as humanitarian aid. Only when a vessel with the last shipment of chemicals arrived at the port, Pyongyang lifted its objections. Analysts believe it was a psychological preparation measure." On the day the talks started, DPRK police detained a ROK woman tourist for allegedly describing to a DPRK woman guard "the beautiful life" of DPRK defectors in the ROK and giving her US$100. Pending her release, the ROK canceled all visits of its tourists to the DPRK. In general, Izvestia's author speculated, the talks "will be a slowly dragging dialogue turning from time to time into a measured confrontation."

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5. RF Book on Kim Jong-il

Zavtra's Nadezhda Garifullina ("TO WITHSTAND AND TO WIN," June, 1999, 8, #24(289) published a page-length article subtitled "Chapters from a Forthcoming Book about Kim Jong-il." The book is a condensed history of how the DPRK leader came into power and his present position. The three parts of the article are titled: "The Phenomenon of Kim Jong-il," wherein Kim Jong-il is put among the ranks of Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Salvador Allende; "The Most Difficult Year," meaning 1993-1994 when "Comrade Kim Jong-il brilliantly conducted his single-handed combat with the strongest superpower," concerning the Agreed Framework; "Test by Elements and ... Slander," wherein it is argued that despite unfavorable weather conditions and harvest decline in the DPRK and Western media's cries about "famine" there, the author "did not see a single beggar, hungry man, unemployed, drunkard or drug-addict" etc., but rather "working people confident of their future"; and "To Withstand and to Win," wherein the author claims that the DPRK's launching of an artificial satellite on 8/31/98 "automatically brings North Korea to the ranks of great powers ... thus radically changing the power balance not only in the Asia Pacific, but in the world as well." Kim Jong-il's warnings against US aggressive "delirious" plans are extensively cited. "We lost our Motherland [the USSR]," the author stressed, "but Korean people are unconquerable ... because they have such a leader."

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6. PRC Embassy Bombing

Segodnya's Aleksandr Chudodeyev ("AMERICAN MOVIE SHOW FAILED," Moscow, 3, 6/18/99) reported that US special envoy to the PRC Thomas Pickering showed his PRC official hosts a movie shot by US satellites to prove that the NATO bombing of the PRC Embassy in Belgrade was not "premeditated." Segodnya's author recalled that the PRC leaders saw a movie shot by PRC intelligence in 1991 and were much impressed by the efficiency of US smart weapons against Iraq. Allegedly that movie triggered the decision to undertake a thorough modernization of the PC armed forces. As for Pickering's movie, the reaction was just that "the Chinese made Mr. Pickering to understand they needed more convincing arguments to let Beijing forgive Washington. The Clinton Administration's more active measures to admit the PRC to the World Trade Organization (WTO) could be one such move.... Chinese diplomats have not missed their chance. So it would be not Mr. Pickering to talk to the PRC leaders, but rather a Mr. Pickering authorized to promise Beijing a straight road to the WTO."

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7. RF-Japan Relations

Nezavisimaia gazeta ("YELTSIN HAD TALKS WITH OBUCHI," Moscow, 1, 6/18/99) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin had a telephone conversation with Japanese Premier Keizo Obuchi. They discussed measures to step-up bilateral relations and "confirmed the policy of building a long-term partnership between Russia and Japan, as established by the Moscow Declaration of November 13, 1998." The parties noted their coinciding views concerning a settlement in Kosovo and agreed to continue their contacts at the multilateral Group of 8 summit in Cologne. The conversation was initiated by the Japanese party.

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8. RF Pacific Fleet Exercises

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("PF EXERCISES," Moscow, 1, 6/18-24/99, #23(145)) reported that the RF Pacific fleet recently completed its third maneuvers in 1999. The exercises were directly commanded by RF Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Mikhail Zakharenko. Surface and underwater ship units, naval aviation and coastal troops units and marine units participated in those. The Commander gave a high assessment to his subordinates' actions in solution of both offensive and defensive tasks.

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9. RF Missile Development

Rossiyskaya gazeta's Aleksandr Babkin ("SMART HEAD," Moscow, 3, 6/19/99) reported that this spring at the Abu Dhabi Arms Fair, an RF-made missile "smart head" the size of half a shoe-box attracted much attention. The self- homing optical targeting device enables short- and medium-range ballistic missiles to hit a circle of 7-meters diameter irrespective of the distance. After the exhibition, some US representatives voiced concerns that the device, the most important part of which is the newest "Baget" computer, could be used to modernize the numerous Soviet-made "Scud" missiles in service with many armies of the world. The "smart head" device was developed at the Central Research Institute of Automatics and Hydraulics (CNIIAG) and it can be used for precision homing of individual ballistic and cruise missiles. Presently the CNIIAG is preparing to develop the same for "Smerch" ["Tornado" or "Twister"] type salvo-fire systems. In that case, one vehicle will be able to fire twelve 7-meter long missiles in just seconds, with each missile hitting its own target. One battery consisting of several "Smerch" vehicles and one "Iskander" command and headquarters vehicle with data transmitted from a satellite into its computer will be able to eliminate several armored or mechanized infantry units in a few minutes.

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10. RF Policies in Asia

Nezavisimaia gazeta ("RUSSIA AND ASIA," Moscow, 8, 6/22/99) published a page-long article by Professor Karen Brutenz, a leading foreign policy advisor and analyst at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union until its collapse. The main idea of the article is that the RF needs a balanced foreign policy taking into account Europe, the US, and Asia. It sharply criticized the "totally unjustified giving up of many positions inherited from the Soviet Union to the United States during the years of [former RF Foreign Minister Andrey] Kozyrev." As a result "the USA, which prior to that also strove to curb Russian influence, but surrounded that activity with unctuous words, presently resort to a firm pressure if not a dictate." Today's Russian Westernizers' attempts by all means to orient the RF predominantly to the West are also criticized, especially such persons as [former RF Premier Yegor] Gaidar. Brutenz pointed out that the RF's attempts to inherit the old US strategy of containment of the PRC would have wiped out the possibility of an independent RF policy. Moreover, only "amateurs" can talks about an anti-PRC alliance. The author admitted the existence of some "Chinese dangers," but stressed that the main one is posed not by the PRC's military might, but by "stagnation" of the RF's Siberia and Far Eastern areas, the population of which dropped by 10 percent in the 1990s. In addition, the contradictions between the RF and the PRC are outweighed by common interests which open "opportunities for a Moscow-Beijing strategic partnership including both their interrelations and international issues.... Nowadays the Chinese buy from Russia more weapons than the Russian military obtain.... But, of course, that does not mean a military-political alliance.... China does not wish it.... It would contradict the main sense of Russia's foreign policy, add a confrontational flavor to it and restrict freedom of maneuver." As for India, its tests of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles cannot be explained only by threats on the part of Pakistan and the PRC. India's "accession to the nuclear club has already taken place, and it would hardly be possible to avoid admitting that fact.... One cannot rule out that the nuclear 'fury' of India and Pakistan and the demonstrated vulnerability of the policy of non-proliferation and nuclear monopoly will lead to more constructive and effective approaches to that problem. Support of India's 'application' for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council is justifiable as well." The author concluded that the RF, being both a European and an Asian nation, "a smaller version of Eurasia," should pursue a policy balanced between the major world centers of power. "The 21st century surely will not become an Asian century, a European century or a US century, though most probably it will be less European, less US and more Asian."

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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,
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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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