NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, june 29, 1999

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea
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I. United States

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1. Trilateral Consultations on DPRK

US Department of State Spokesman James P. Rubin ("U.S., ROK, JAPAN JOINT STATEMENT ON NORTH KOREA POLICY," Washington, USIA Text, 06/26/99) issued a joint press statement released by the US, the ROK, and Japan. The statement said: "The delegations of the United States, Republic of Korea, and Japan, headed respectively by State Department Counselor Ambassador Wendy Sherman, ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai- ryong, and Japanese MOFA Director General Ryozo Kato, held a Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting in Washington, D.C. on June 25-26. The three delegations reviewed the situation on the Korean Peninsula and their contacts with the DPRK, including recent U.S.-DPRK and ROK-DPRK bilateral meetings in Beijing. The three delegations renewed their commitment to continue close coordination of their policy approaches to the DPRK and reaffirmed the critical importance of such coordination. The three delegations affirmed that the ongoing policy review being conducted by U.S. North Korea Policy Coordinator William J. Perry offers the hope of greatly increased stability on the Korean Peninsula and improved relations with the DPRK, while addressing concerns regarding North Korean missile and nuclear programs. The three delegations expressed the hope that the DPRK will respond positively to the concepts Dr. Perry outlined to the DPRK last month. Finally, the three delegations reaffirmed their commitment to implementation of the 1994 Agreed Framework. The Framework continues to be essential to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula."

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2. DPRK-Australia Talks

The Associated Press ("AUSTRALIA LINKS FOOD AID TO N. KOREA WITH ARMS CONTROL," Canberra, 06/29/99) reported that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Tuesday said that, at talks with DPRK officials in Bangkok last Friday, Australian officials told DPRK officials that it will be easier for Australia to provide food aid in the future if the DPRK makes progress on arms control and disarmament. Downer also said Australia has already set aside A$10 million for food aid to the DPRK this year. He said he knows that the famine in the DPRK is still serious and he promised that Australia, along with international agencies, would watch it closely. Downer stated, "Australia would be prepared to provide additional assistance to North Korea in the future given the very severe food problems that North Korea has." Downer described Friday's talks as an important contribution to regional security.

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3. DPRK Famine

The Associated Press ("FAMINE-HIT N KOREA REPORTS DROUGHT, HIGH TEMPERATURE," Seoul, 06/29/99) reported that the DPRK's official Korean Central news Agency (KCNA) said on Tuesday that droughts and high temperature across the country have been damaging crops. KCNA stated, "With the small amount of precipitation caused by the dry air from the west, drought hit nearly all areas of the country in June." KCNA said that the DPRK had only 25 to 50 millimeters (1 to 2 inches) of rain from June 1-28 and the temperatures were also 2 to 5 degrees Celsius higher than average in terms of the maximum temperature at noon.

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4. Detained ROK Tourist

Agence France-Presse (Zeno Park, "SEOUL PROTESTS AGAINST PYONGYANG'S DETENTION OF TOURIST," Seoul, 06/29/99) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement that denounced the DPRK for detaining the ROK tourist Min Young-mi and forcing her to write a confession. The statement accused Pyongyang of "making an issue out of inadvertent remarks to represent the incident as a spying case." Min had to write an "apology" for doing harm to the DPRK

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5. Bombing of PRC Embassy

The Associated Press ("CHINA DENIES EMBASSY REPORT," Beijing, 06/29/99) reported that the PRC on Tuesday denied a newspaper report that the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia destroyed an intelligence-gathering center and that two of the three PRC journalists were PRC intelligence officers. [Ed. note: See the Daily Report for June 25]. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue stated, "They were all correspondents. The capacity of the three correspondents is very clear no matter what lies are fabricated by U.S. media." Zhang also rejected a report in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag on Saturday that quoted opposition leader Zoran Djindjic as saying the PRC had offered asylum to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to help him escape prosecution for war crimes. Zhang said, "That is sheer nonsense and baseless."

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6. US Views on Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal carried an editorial ("ASK TAIWAN," 06/29/99) which argued that if US Congressmen want to help Taiwan, they should themselves visit Taiwan to promote regional peace and security, instead of introducing legislation to bolster Taiwan's military arsenal. The editorial also argued that US Congressmen should get advice from Taiwan on the subject of US-PRC relations. The editorial stated, "It's a race against time, and no place knows better than Taiwan what the cost may be if mainland military adventurists are first past the post. All the more reason to expose people on the mainland at all levels to the much greater benefits that can come through reform. Taiwan should know." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29.]

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7. PRC-EU Relations

The Asian Wall Street Journal carried a commentary by Gerald Segal, the director of studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London ("THE ILLUSION OF CHINESE POWER HAUNTS EUROPE," 06/29/99) which argued that the European Union (EU) "kowtowed" to the PRC when it acquiesced to the PRC's demand not to appoint former Hong Kong governor Christopher Patten as EU trade commissioner. Segal wrote, "The EU would probably resist, for example, an American attempt to determine who should be the EU trade commissioner, but curiously it seems more than willing to bend to the will of an Asian country that still has little clout in the world economy." Segal also said that the recent episode of the PRC abstaining from the UN resolution authorizing deployment of NATO troops in Kosovo shows that the PRC "is a middle power that does not matter very much, especially outside of Asia." Segal added that Europeans, who are "caving in" to the PRC because they believe there is a vast market that might be lost, should look again at the basic economic statistics and realize that the PRC has "limited role in the world." Segal concluded, "A Europe that runs scared of Chinese shadows is certainly no match for the much more real U.S. power." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 29.]

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8. WWII Museum in Japan

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, "JAPAN'S NEW NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM HAS SERIOUS HOLES," Tokyo, 06/28/99) reported that the newly opened Japanese Showa Hall museum on World War II has no references to Pearl Harbor or Hiroshima and nearly no direct reference to the battlefront. According to Hirokazu Ishida, who oversees the project, the passions aroused by Japan's role in World War II were too controversial for the museum. Ishida stated, "The people on the left wanted wartime responsibility addressed. The people on the right protested they didn't want an anti-war memorial. It became impossible to display anything historical about the war." Hitoshi Nakayama, an official with the association for Showa Hall, said, "It's like touching the elephant's leg and thinking you've seen the elephant. You have to talk about the war." Hidehiko Ushijima, a professor at Tokai Women's College, said that the museum reflects how Japan has never fully dealt with the emperor worship and glorification of death during World War II. Ushijima said, "Japanese people are still blind to what the war meant."

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9. US Missile Defense System

The Associated Press (Tom Raum, "U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM SOUGHT," Washington, 06/29/99) reported that, according to John Holum, acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, revised estimates of nuclear missile capability, particularly of the DPRK and Iran, add new urgency to development of a national missile defense system. Holum stated, "Cold war disciplines are gone. Technology is more widely available." Holum also voiced strong support for deploying the US missile defense system. Holum said that even if a missile defense is outlawed by the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, national interest dictates that the US move ahead in planning for such a system anyway. Holum added that the threat of a nuclear attack by a small power "is clearly very prominent" as an area of concern. Holum also argued that rather than blindly following the ABM Treaty's restrictions, US missile defense "should be geared toward threat."

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10. Kashmir Conflict

The Associated Press ("INDIA EDITOR MISHRA, FOREIGN MIN KATJU VISITED PAKISTAN," Islamabad, 06/29/99) reported that, according to an unnamed Pakistani official, R.K. Mishra, an editor-in-chief of India's Business and Political Observer, made a secret visit to Islamabad eleven days ago. Accompanying Mishra was Indian foreign ministry official Vivek Katju. The official said that Mishra met with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Foreign Secretary Shahmshad Ahmed. At the meeting, Mishra repeated India's call for Pakistan to withdraw armed intruders from Kargil, on its side of the Kashmir border. However, Indian Foreign Ministry Official R. S. Jassal said that he was "unaware" of any visit to Pakistan by Mishra. The Pakistan official also said that Pakistan's former foreign secretary Niaz Naik met with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee last weekend. The official said that Naik carried only a verbal message from Sharif. Naik said that the substance of that message was that India and Pakistan should open talks and "search for a diplomatic solution."

The New York Times (Barry Bearak, "INDIA AND PAKISTAN FAR APART IN WAR OF WORDS AND WEAPONS," New Delhi, 06/29/99) reported that Zamir Akram, a senior official in the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, said that Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani foreign secretary, denied that he held a secret meeting with Indian Prime Minister Bihari Vajpayee. Naik said, "It's all speculation. There was no secret visit."

The Associated Press ("INDIA'S DEFENSE MIN FEARS PAKISTAN COULD USE NUCLEAR ARMS," Paris, 06/29/99) reported that Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes on Tuesday said that he fears Pakistan could be tempted to use nuclear weapons in the event of a full-blown conflict with India. Fernandes stated, "Pakistan is an irresponsible country," and added that Pakistan was "not at all" bluffing about using nuclear arms. Fernandes noted that Pakistan has refused to sign a treaty with India banning first use of nuclear weapons because "they know that we're superior in conventional weapons."

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11. PRC Views on Kashmir Conflict

The Associated Press ("CHINA URGES INDIA, PAKISTAN TO END CONFLICT OVER KASHMIR," Beijing, 06/29/99) reported that, according to the PRC's official Xinhua News Agency, the PRC on Tuesday urged India and Pakistan to negotiate an end to their clash over disputed Kashmir. A day after holding talks with PRC Premier Zhu Rongji, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif separately discussed the Kashmir conflict with PRC President Jiang Zemin and PRC Legislative Chairman Li Peng. Xinhua quoted Li as saying, "China firmly maintains that both the nuclear weapons and missiles rivalry in South Asia and the tensions in Kashmir are not in the interests of the region's peoples." Xinhua also quoted Jiang as saying, "We sincerely hope that Pakistan and India will proceed from the basic interests of the region's peoples, alleviate recent tensions and peacefully resolve the problems they face through dialogue."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, "'NK HINTS AT MAJOR CHANGES IN INTER-KOREAN POLICIES'," Seoul, 06/28/99) reported that according to a report released by the ROK ruling party on Sunday, the DPRK has recently indicated that there would be major changes in the way it deals with inter-Korean issues. Kim Young-nam, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, was quoted as telling a group of PRC officials that "South Korea will become the main dialogue partner in talks for national reunification, although the United States will remain as the major counterpart in negotiations for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula." The statement was revealed in a classified report to a caucus of the ruling National Congress for New Politics (NCNP) on the result of a party delegation's recent visit to the PRC. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told the NCNP mission that "In a turnaround, the North showed a different attitude from that of the past, although it had cited the United States as the only partner for negotiation regarding the Korean peninsula issue."

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2. ROK Military Posture

The Korea Herald (Lee Sung-yul, "S. KOREAN TROOPS RETURN TO NORMAL SURVEILLANCE STATUS," Seoul, 06/29/99) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that ROK troops returned to normal surveillance status on Sunday, two weeks after the June 15 naval battle between the ROK and the DPRK. An ROK ministry spokesman said, "We downgraded Watchcon 2 to Watchcon 3 status as of 11 a.m., as no unusual North Korean movement intended for another provocation has been detected." He added that as the Watchcon status returned to normal, the air patrol over the West Sea has been reduced by half, and other activities of keeping an eye on the DPRK forces have also been decreased.

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3. Mt. Kumgang Tours

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "HYUNDAI WITHHOLDS TOURISM PAYMENT," Seoul, 06/28/99) and Joongang Ilbo (Kang Joo-an, "HYUNDAI MEETS NK TO RESUME MT. KUMGANG TOUR," Seoul, 06/28/99) reported that the ROK government and Hyundai decided that the June installment for the Mt. Kumgang tour project will only be paid when the DPRK guarantees the security of ROK tourists. The talks between Hyundai Group and the DPRK to revise basic provisions for the Mt. Kumgang tour have focused on a very clear and concise written statement of the tour's regulations and fines. A source in the group said, "The resumption of the Mt. Kumgang tour depends on the results of this talk. We will negotiate with the South Korean government after concluding talks with NK." As a measure of good faith, the ROK conglomerate decided to pay US$8 million on June 30 as scheduled.

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4. Detained ROK Tourist

The Korea Herald (Chang Jae-soon, "FREED TOURIST TO LEAVE HOSPITAL TODAY," Seoul, 06/29/99) reported that Dr. Kim Song-yoon said in a briefing on ROK tourist Min Young-mi's condition at the Asan Medical Center in Seoul on Sunday that she will leave the hospital on Monday since a series of medical examinations found no abnormalities. Doctors said, however, that it would take at least two to three months for Min's mental state to fully return to normal. "A patient suffering from an intense mental shock needs close observation and medical care for a while. Min will also have to get a psychological and neurological checkup every other week for some time." Meanwhile, there were some reports on Sunday citing unidentified ROK government and Hyundai Group sources as saying that the DPRK released Min after she produced a written confession to the espionage charges.

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5. DPRK Defectors

The Korea Herald ("2 N. KOREANS DEFECT BY BOAT VIA WEST SEA," Seoul, 06/29/99) reported that intelligence authorities said on Monday that two DPRK men, including a soldier, have smuggled themselves across the West Sea and defected to the ROK. ROK officials said that the two DPRK citizens identified themselves as Lee Kyoung-soo, 31, a sergeant at the DPRK Social Security Department, and Chu Song-kyu, a laborer. They added that their boat was spotted drifting some 27 km. off Taean on the mid-West Coast early in the morning. Exhausted and without fuel, they shouted for help to an ROK fishing boat, which rescued and delivered them to an ROK Navy patrol ship. Lee and Chu were quoted as saying that they had crossed the border between the PRC and the DPRK in May and November last year, respectively, and left a PRC port on Saturday aboard a small fishing boat. Investigation was underway on details of their defection, the officials said. So far this year, 55 DPRK citizens have defected to the ROK. Last year, 69 DPRK citizens, including four soldiers, defected to the ROK.

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

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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