NAPSNet Daily Report
 
thursday, july 1, 1999
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I. United States

II. Republic of Korea
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I. United States


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1. DPRK-ROK Talks

The Associated Press (John Leicester, "KOREA TALKS STALL AGAIN," Beijing, 07/01/99) reported that the talks between the ROK and the DPRK stalled on Thursday. According to ROK Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-shik, both sides left without setting a time to return, saying they would talk later by telephone. Yang said, "We have urged them again and again that they need to come to the table and discuss family reunions." However, according to Yang, the DPRK delegation demanded that the ROK apologize for sinking a DPRK gunboat in disputed waters. Yang said that seventy-five minutes into the session, the head of the DPRK delegation, Pak Yong-su, demanded to speak to Yang alone. With their deputies gone, Pak attacked an ROK magazine's interview with a top-level DPRK defector. Pak called the interview a planned act by the ROK that "criticized and humiliated" the DPRK, and he demanded that the ROK provide a "responsible answer."

The Associated Press ("NORTH, SOUTH KOREA RESUME TALKS," Beijing, 07/01/99) and Reuters ("KOREAS SET TO REOPEN TALKS IN BEIJING," Beijing, 07/01/99) reported that the two Koreas resumed talks on Thursday on reuniting families. ROK Vice Unification Minister Yang Young-shik told the DPRK negotiators that all Koreans want divided families reunited. Yang stated, "The people of Korea and the people of the world are watching our talks. So we must relieve the pain of 10 million divided family members." Pak Yong-su, head of the DPRK delegation, said, "I know expectations for these talks are very high."


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2. ROK Missile Development

The New York Times (David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, "U.S. FEARS ARMS RACE ON KOREAN PENINSULA," Washington, 07/01/99) reported that US administration officials are worried that the ROK may be pushing ahead with several missile projects that could further fuel an arms race on the Korean Peninsula. According to the official, the political pressure in the ROK to deploy such missiles is bound to grow if the DPRK fires another Taepodong missile over the Sea of Japan in the coming weeks. He said that he believed that the ROK had "a fairly determined national program to create capabilities that are competitive with the North Korean capability." He also said that the ROK does not want to be overly dependent on the US to supply all of their weaponry. He added that some ROK officials have complained that the US is not being tough enough on the DPRK about its missile program, while pressuring the ROK to contain its own development programs. Other US administration officials said that when ROK President Kim Dae- jung visits Washington on Friday they will raise their concerns that an ROK missile program could destabilize an already dangerous situation. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 1.]


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3. Kim Dae-jung's Visit to US

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "S.KOREAN LEADER SEEKS US SUPPORT," Seoul, 07/01/99) reported that when ROK President Kim Dae-jung visits the US on Friday, he will meet with US President Bill Clinton and US envoy to the DPRK William Perry. Moon Jung-in, a political science professor at Seoul's Yonsei University, stated, "President Kim already has President Clinton's support. But because of increasing domestic criticism by conservatives, he definitely wants to confirm that support." ROK Presidential press secretary Park Jung-ho said that Kim expects his meeting with Clinton to "serve as an opportunity to consolidate mutual cooperation between the two countries in consistently pushing the engagement policy and a comprehensive approach toward North Korea."


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4. PRC-US Relations

The Associated Press (John Leicester, "CHINA WANTS TO IMPROVE US RELATIONS," Beijing, 06/30/99) reported that US Ambassador James Sasser on Wednesday said that PRC leaders have indicated to him that they want to repair ties damaged by the bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia. Sasser said that he dined with PRC President Jiang Zemin on Sunday, met with PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian on Monday, and had long talks with PRC Premier Zhu Rongji on Tuesday. According to Sasser, the PRC leaders used the unusually high-level send-off "to send a signal quietly that, when they can, they want to get this relationship back on track." Sasser also suggested that Jiang and Zhu do not have a free hand. Sasser stated, "The leadership is feeling its way. They have been embarrassed, frankly, by the embassy bombing and this is being used against them by their political opponents. So it's going to take some time for the dust to settle and things to resolve themselves."


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5. PRC Missile Test

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "N. KOREA MIGHT TEST MISSILE WITH LONG-RANGE CAPABILITY," Washington, 07/01/99) reported that Kurt Campbell, US deputy assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific affairs, confirmed that the PRC is making final preparations for a test launch of a new mobile intercontinental-range missile known as the DF-31. Campbell said that the test is part of the PRC's modernization and expansion of its nuclear missile forces. Campbell stated, "We think over time the number of warheads [that] China will build and deploy that can reach the United States will increase." Campbell said that the US and many Asian countries are concerned about the PRC's "nuclear intentions" and its failure to be open about its "nuclear goals and ambitions." Campbell added, "They should also understand how important it is for them to be a bit more transparent, ultimately, about what they are thinking about in terms of their military and nuclear ambitions." Campbell also said that the current strains in US-PRC relations have prompted worries that the PRC will increase sales of weapons of mass destruction and missiles to other states. Campbell said, "I think there is concern that we'll see some backsliding on proliferation with not only a potential cutoff of dialogue, but perhaps questioning at the highest levels in China, by some, about the relationship with the United States." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 1.]


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6. PRC-Japan Border Dispute

The Wall Street Journal (Masayoshi Kanabayashi, "UNDERWATER-BORDER FLAP FUELS CLASH BETWEEN JAPAN AND CHINA," 07/01/99) reported that the Japanese Foreign Ministry said that the issue of dispute on borders drawn under the water in East China Sea between the PRC and Japan might be on Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's agenda when he visits Beijing next week. The PRC and Japan have a dispute on borders drawn under the water to the west of the Japanese island chain of Okinawa where many geologists believe that deposits of oil are buried. Although the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea states that the PRC has rights to the East China Sea as an extension of its own continental shelf, Japan also has claim to the same stretch of seabed under the same UN law. In a recent editorial, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper demanded that the Japanese government take a "resolute action" against the PRC boats, saying that the PRC "appears to be aiming at establishing a fait accompli for its claim by reinforcing the research activities."


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7. PRC Policy toward South Asia

The Los Angeles Times carried an opinion article by Mansoor Ijaz, a nuclear physicist of Pakistani Descent ("CAN CHINA SPARK A DETENTE IN SOUTH ASIA?" 07/01/99) which argued that the PRC's willingness to work with the US in mediating an end to the current Kashmir conflict is an encouraging sign of the PRC's diplomatic maturity. Ijaz also said that the PRC's decision to have chosen diplomacy over friendship with Pakistan is a tacit admission that years of support for Pakistan's army as well as its semi-indigenous nuclear program "may need serious rethinking in future Asian geostrategic planning." Ijaz outlined three problems the PRC faces in trying to diffuse the current conflict. The first problem is that it is unclear who is running Pakistan. Secondly, face-saving gestures are needed for all sides. Ijaz argued, "One credible proposal under discussion at the moment would have the Chinese, with heavy U.S. input, offer more concerted diplomatic efforts to pressure New Delhi into earnest bilateral discussions over Kashmir's future, but only after Sharif publicly declares Pakistan's willingness to 'cease and desist' all current and future misadventures into Indian-controlled Kashmir." Thirdly, Ijaz pointed out that there must be a viable solution for the Kashmiri people. Ijaz concluded, "The PRC could take the first step to resolve its own border dispute with India in Kashmir. Warmer relations between New Delhi and Beijing would ease Indian anxiety over the Islamabad-Beijing axis and reduce Indian insecurities to cut a fair deal with Pakistan for the oppressed people of Kashmir."


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8. Kashmir Conflict

Reuters ("PAKISTAN PRESSURED IN LOW-KEY DIPLOMACY," New Delhi, 06/30/99) reported that former Pakistani foreign secretary Niaz Naik, who met with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee last weekend, said that military officials from both sides may meet soon to prepare a schedule for the withdrawal of Muslim infiltrators. Naik stated, "I'm very hopeful this process of consultation and meeting between the directors of military operations or senior military officers will soon start, within the next two or three days." However, Indian spokesman Raminder Singh Jassal said such contact was routine, and Vajpayee said that no concession was involved. Vajpayee said, "I made it loud and clear to Mr. Niaz Naik that there was no question of holding any talks until Pakistan ensured pulling out the intruders and the Pakistani military personnel." He said a deeper resolution of the Kashmir problem must be preceded by the withdrawal of guerrillas.


II. Republic of Korea


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1. DPRK Boats in Yellow Sea

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Young-won, "NK FISHING BOATS CROSS NLL AGAIN," Seoul, 07/01/99), Joongang Ilbo ("NINE NK FISHING BOATS ENTER AGAIN S. KOREAN WATERS," Seoul, 07/01/99) and The Korea Times ("NK FISHING BOATS ENTER SOUTHERN WATERS AGAIN," Seoul, 07/01/99) reported that the ROK joint chiefs of staff announced on Wednesday that nine DPRK crab-fishing boats crossed the northern limit line (NLL) ten kilometers west of Yongpyong island at 12:50pm and fished in waters one to three kilometers inside the buffer zone until 5:30pm, when they returned to port. An ROK spokesman said that ROK patrol boats approached the vessels and five left at 4:30pm, being followed an hour later by the remaining four. He added that DPRK naval assets did not enter the zone.


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2. ROK-PRC Talks

The Korea Herald (Jun Kwan-woo, "SEOUL ENVOY TO FOUR-PARTY TALKS FLYING TO BEIJING TO MEET CHINESE COUNTERPART," Seoul, 07/01/99) reported that ROK officials said on Wednesday that with the four- party peace talks on the Korean Peninsula scheduled for early August in Geneva, Park Kun-woo, the ROK's chief delegate to the talks, will leave for Beijing on Thursday. Lee Ho-jin, ROK spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, stated, "Ambassador Park will visit China July 1-6 to visit Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai." Park will meet Qian Yongnian, the PRC's head delegate to the four-party peace talks, and other PRC officials while staying in Beijing. ROK officials added that attention is being drawn to the Park-Qian talks in Beijing, as Qian is scheduled to take the rotating chairmanship of the next four-party peace talks. ROK diplomatic observers said that Park and Qian would discuss such technical issues as how to manage the next round of the talks. One diplomatic observer added, "The two officials are also expected to exchange views on their basic policy positions on key agenda items to be tabled at the sixth round of the four-party peace talks." ROK Ministry officials said that Park's PRC visit is made at the request of the PRC in return for the ROK inviting Qian to the ROK in March this year. An ROK ministry official said on condition of anonymity, "It is desirable for Seoul and Beijing to frequent such contacts. Furthermore, China plays a constructive role at the four-party talks on the Korean Peninsula."


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3. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "BUSINESS WITH N.K. TO PROCEED AS USUAL," Seoul, 07/01/99) reported that ROK officials and analysts said that despite the latest series of inter-Korean incidents and critics' calls for a temporary severance of ties, the ROK government appears set to push ahead with inter-Korea projects. A senior ROK Unification Ministry official said on Wednesday that all business projects between the two Koreas should proceed as planned, with the exception of the Mt. Kumgang tour, which is still suspended even though the DPRK freed a tourist it had detained on charges of spying. Hwang Ha-soo, ROK director general for the ministry's Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Bureau, said, "The government does not link the suspension of the tour with other inter-Korean projects. We will of course seek to get firmer safety guarantees for South Korean businessmen in North Korea. But that does not necessarily mean all activities in the North should be halted." Such a basic position appears to be shared by the DPRK, Hwang noted, citing the normal activities and safe return of a Samsung Group delegation amid the heightened tension last week. A Hyundai official said that, encouraged by the improved atmosphere in both capitals, "The delegation of five group officials will visit North Korea July 12 to discuss developing an industrial complex along the North's western coast, and the accompanying basketball team will have a match with North Korean players as scheduled."


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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

 
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