NAPSNet Daily Report
 
friday, july 9, 1999
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CONTENTS

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan
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I. United States


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1. DPRK Missile Test

Reuters ("NKOREA LIKELY TO LAUNCH MISSILE TEST IN AUG," Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that the ROK's Yonhap news agency quoted an unnamed government official as saying that the DPRK is likely to go ahead with a second test-firing of a long-range missile in late August. The officials said, "In view of the height of the missile launcher, the missile seems to have a 6,000 km (3,730 miles) range."


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2. US Views of DPRK

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, "SECRETIVE NORTH KOREA LEAVES MANY GUESSING," 07/09/99, A27) reported that US officials disagree over the inner workings of the DPRK government. One unnamed State Department official said recently, "There is a debate at the State Department over whether they are evil geniuses or whether they are uncoordinated and don't know what they're doing." One US official said that the underground construction site at Kumchangri took thousands of workers about a decade to build, making it unlikely that the site was meant as a decoy. The official noted that there were no signs of the amenities of an underground shelter, and that it could not be adapted for nuclear energy material reprocessing without drainage. The official stated, "We don't know what it's supposed to be." An administration official said that the ability to get into the tunnels at least showed that the DPRK foreign ministry or someone more senior could force the military to open up a facility. An unnamed aide for a Democratic senator called Kumchangri a "colossal intelligence failure." The aide stated, "How are we to proceed with any confidence about North Korea?" An unnamed State Department official said, "for most of our questions, we won't have answers.... Can we tolerate uncertainties?" An unnamed expert advising the administration stated, "People will disagree. Who understands Pyongyang? We don't make any assumptions about that. It's a lousy situation fundamentally." Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia, argued, "Ultimately you cannot know what the North Koreans are thinking. The important thing is to know your own interests and your own objectives."


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3. DPRK Missile Development

The New York Times (Nicholas D. Kristof, "NORTH KOREAN MISSILE PARTS SAID TO BE FROM JAPAN," Tokyo, 07/09/99), the Wall Street Journal (Norihiko Shirouzu, "JAPANESE LAWMAKERS MAY TIGHTEN EXPORT RULES AFTER MISSILE SCARE," Tokyo, 07/08/99, 14), Chicago Tribune (Michael A. Lev, "JAPANESE LAWMAKERS WANT LEGISLATION HINDERING NORTH KOREAN TECHNOLOGY USE," 07/08/99) and the Associated Press (Thomas Wagner, "JAPAN PARTS USED IN MISSILES," 07/08/99) reported that, according to Japanese legislators Ichita Yamamoto and Keiichiro Asao, the DPRK's ballistic missile program relies heavily on Japanese-made components. They urged the Japanese government to tighten its export restrictions. Yamamoto and Asao, who were among a group of lawmakers who visited the ROK in May, said that in addition to inspecting the DPRK submarine captured in the ROK, they had also spoken with DPRK defectors familiar with the DPRK missile program and its military imports. The defectors told them that up to forty percent of the semiconductors and gas burners used in the Taepodong missiles were imported from Japan. Asao, an upper-house Japanese lawmaker, stated, "It's ridiculous that missiles built with our own technologies are threatening the very security of our own nation." The defectors also said that about twenty percent of the components used in the captured spy submarine, such as a depth meter and a periscope, had been made by Japanese Furuno Electric Company and Japan's Canon Inc. Yamamoto and Asao said that although the companies that manufactured the equipment should not be blamed, the material was easily available on the market. Asao stated, "All the parts that we found can be exported legitimately to North Korea." They said that Japan must adopt stronger export controls towards the DPRK similar to those used by the US, Great Britain, and Germany. Spokesmen for Canon and Furano Electric said that their companies currently do no business with the DPRK, although Furano Electric said it legally exported a small number of radar, sonar, global-positioning systems and other electronic devices for fishing and pleasure boats to the DPRK until the missile launch last year. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 9.]

US State Department Deputy Spokesman James Foley ("JAPAN CONSIDERS TIGHTENING ITS EXPORT CONTROL LAWS," Washington, USIA Text, 07/08/99) confirmed that the Japanese Diet is considering legislation that would tighten Japan's export control laws. Foley stated, "We believe that the Japanese understand fully the importance of effectively controlling exports of sensitive items. Japan is a member of all the multilateral nonproliferation regimes.... Japan has a mature export control system."


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4. ROK Fertilizer Aid for DPRK

The Associated Press ("N. KOREA ASKS SOUTH FOR FERTILIZER," Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) asked the ROK on Friday to resume shipments of 200,000 tons of fertilizer. KCNA stated, "The two issues (fertilizer and family reunions) are not inter-dependent. Especially, the provision of the remaining 100,000 tons of fertilizer was not conditional on any success in the solution of the issue of separated families."


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5. DPRK Famine

The Associated Press ("UN URGES PROTEIN AID TO N. KOREA," Rome, 07/08/99) reported that, according to the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the DPRK needs more donations of oils and proteins, as well as cereals, to combat stunting and chronic malnutrition after years of famine. WFP and FAO said that most of the donations have been wheat and maize, which fail to provide all the needed nutrients. They urged greater diversity of food aid, adding such foods as beans and oils, especially for the sake of DPRK children.


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6. US Military on Okinawa

Pacific Stars And Stripes (Jan Wesner Childs, "MORE MAYORS QUESTION DEFENSE GUIDELINES," Camp Foster, 07/09/99, Pg.3) reported that four mayors on Okinawa expressed concern about the new manual that the Japanese government will release at the end of the month requiring municipal authorities and private businesses to cooperate with the US during military crises. Shizuyuki Moto, chief of the base liaison department in Sasebo, stated, "Our mayor has said that if the cooperation we have to make causes damage on the citizens' lives and properties, we may reject it. For example, over 90 percent of the beds in the hospitals in the city are occupied right now. If the national government asked us to make the beds available for injured U.S. servicemembers, we could not accept that." Some officials are also worried that, since the agreement allows details of cooperation to be kept secret for security reasons, cities would be asked not to tell residents how they are helping US troops. An Iwakuni city spokesman said, "In cases where cooperation to the national government seems to seriously affect our citizenís life or economic activities, we will request that the national government give us an explanation as to why we have to cooperate." Noriaki Hori, a spokesman for the Aomori prefectural government, said the governor of that prefecture supports the plan. He added, however, that how well it is received will depend on what is asked of local communities. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 8.]

Pacific Stars & Stripes (Jan Wesner Childs and Chiyomi Sumida, "JAPAN PASSES BILL ON U.S. BASE CONTROL," Camp Foster, Okinawa, 07/10/99, Pg. 3) reported that the Japanese government enacted a bill on Thursday that allows the Prime Minister to override any decisions made by local communities on hosting US military bases. Okinawa City Mayor Masakazu Nakasone said on Friday, "The passage of the bill is very regrettable. It is very important to maintain a system where local municipalities can speak from their own stance. If we are deprived of such a system, how can we protect the rights of our residents? This is the basis of democracy, isn't it?" Okinawa's current governor, Keichi Inamine, however, said, "I request that the law is applied appropriately by respecting the intention of the people of Okinawa so that the application of the law will not cause a grave impediment to property and life of the people of Okinawa." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 9.]


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7. Japanese Military Stance

The Christian Science Monitor (Cameron W. Barr, "JAPAN MOVES TOWARD A NEW ASSERTIVENESS," 07/08/99, 1) reported that analysts said that feelings of insecurity are prompting Japan's government to take a more assertive military posture. Terumasa Nakanishi, a professor of international relations at Kyoto University, stated, "Some non-Japanese people might say that the country is becoming more assertive, nationalistic, strong, et cetera. As I see it, it's more that [a] sense of crisis has brought people together, making both politicians and the public alike think that they should 'do something.'" He added that democracy is too deeply entrenched in Japan to allow a recurrence of pre-war fascism. He said that the government is trying to "balance" itself and claim some of the powers wielded by democratic states all over the world. Ronald Morse, who teaches economics at Reitaku University outside Tokyo, said, "what we have here is neoconservatives in Japan finally having a voice." He added, "There's a whole new wave of political concern about the priority of Japan's national security needs. It's a consciousness change." An anonymous ROK diplomat said that the recent debate over whether to make the Japanese flag and anthem official national emblems is "symbolic. It means Japan is looking to the past." The US Central Intelligence Agency's National Intelligence Council held a symposium of 20 experts on May 11 to analyze change in Japan. A published summary of the discussion said that Japan is pursuing a two-track approach in which it works to maintain the alliance with the US while "hedging its bets by pursuing greater autonomy or independence." Some of the participants argued that the US and Japan "may be drifting apart in the security realm." Mizuho Fukushima, a member of the opposition Social Democratic Party, warned, "I just cannot stop feeling the emergence of neonationalism in this country," saying that bureaucrats and ruling-party politicians are intent on building a "stronger country." Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sadaaki Numata said that Japan is "a nation that is more conscious of its identity, its place in the world, and its own interests, and that wishes to be more active in the pursuit of those interests." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 8.]


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8. PRC-Japan Summit Meeting

Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, "JAPAN, CHINA WTO DEAL SEALED, US WAITS," Beijing, 07/09/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi told PRC officials that Japan's strengthened military ties with the US was solely for self-defense and would target no country or region. Obuchi also vowed that Japan would never again become a military power. PRC President Jiang Zemin told Obuchi that military alliances were outdated. Jiang said, "Persisting with Cold War thinking, expanding military alliances and raising the influence of military measures is not in line with the trend of the times and do not establish a truly safe environment." According to a statement issued by Japanese officials, Premier Zhu Rongji also urged Obuchi to exclude Taiwan from the scope of Japan-US defense guidelines. Zhu said, "We want you to prove what you have said by action in future." Obuchi said Japan would not support Taiwan's independence and it would not interfere in the issue. However, he urged the PRC to persuade the DPRK not to test-fire another ballistic missile. Obuchi also asked the PRC not to aggravate a Japanese-PRC territorial dispute by sending research ships to near disputed East China Sea islands.

The Los Angeles Times carried an editorial ("ASIA SECURITY ON THE TABLE," 07/09/99) which said that the relationship between Japan and the PRC is crucial to security in East Asia. The article stated, "[Japanese Prime Minister Keizo] Obuchi's ability to iron out Tokyo's differences with the Chinese, especially on matters of regional security and China's bid for membership in the World Trade Organization, both of which also sour Sino-U.S. ties, could help improve China's relations with the United States as well." The article argued that the new US-Japan defense guidelines "put the U.S.-Japan military alliance on a more balanced footing but in no way pose a threat of aggression, and Beijing should not interpret them otherwise." It also called on the PRC to "help allay Tokyo's growing concern about North Korea's missile program." It stated, "Beijing's interests in preventing North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and delivery capability are identical with those of Japan and the United States. It should agree to do all it can to stop North Korea from launching its missile, an event that would sharply raise tensions in Northeast Asia." It concluded, "Japan and China have much to do to build trust in their difficult relationship. Obuchi could move forward in ways that would benefit both Asian giants and the United States."


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9. PRC-Japan WTO Agreement

The Associated Press (Joji Sakurai, "JAPAN, CHINA SEAL WTO AGREEMENT," Beijing, 07/09/99) and Reuters ("CHINA SAYS WILL NOT RETRACT WTO CONCESSIONS," Beijing, 07/09/99) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and PRC Premier Zhu Rongji agreed on Friday on terms for the PRC's entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In a joint statement, the two leaders said, "A satisfactory conclusion has been reached in the bilateral negotiations on trade in services." Obuchi also urged the PRC to restart WTO talks with the US, saying, "We hope that the bilateral settlement will lead to an impetus for new China-U.S. talks." Jun Yokota, Japanese Foreign Ministry deputy director-general for economic affairs, said that Obuchi and Zhu decided to keep the details of the agreement secret. Yokota added that telecommunication and distribution issues had been particularly tough and problems could come up during a review. According to Yokota, Zhu told Obuchi that US apologies for the bombing were so far not sufficient to allow negotiations to resume. Yokota also said that Zhu told Obuchi that the PRC would not withdraw earlier concessions made to the US. PRC Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng stated, "Now is not the proper time to resume the WTO talks with either the United States or the European Union. It is only when NATO has given a response that China is satisfied with and the good atmosphere reinstated that the talks can resume."


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10. US Nonproliferation Policy

The New York Times (Eric Schmitt, "PANEL URGES PLAN TO CURB PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS," Washington, 07/09/99) reported that an independent commission, in a report to be sent to Congress next week, argues that the US Government's efforts to fight the spread of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons are disorganized and overlapping. The report recommends that a national coordinator head a council of senior officials from the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, and Energy and from the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The report says, "The U.S. Government is not effectively organized to combat proliferation. With no one specifically in charge of all proliferation-related efforts, no one is ultimately accountable to the President and to Congress." John M. Deutch, a former Director of Central Intelligence who headed the panel, said, "The Government must reorganize itself if it's going to meet the more dangerous proliferation threats we now face." An unnamed senior Administration official who has read the report stated, "This is a serious and thoughtful report that we're going to study very carefully." US Deputy Defense Secretary John J. Hamre said that the US was well prepared to stop the use of nuclear weapons but less prepared to combat other threats. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 9.]


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11. Global Plutonium Supply

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, " PLUTONIUM TALLY," 07/09/99) reported that a classified US government intelligence report recently estimated the worldwide inventory of plutonium as between 235 to 265 tons. The report said that the DPRK has between 25 and 30 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, enough to make several nuclear warheads. It added that the PRC has 1.7 to 2.8 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough to make large numbers of warheads. Russia has 140-162 metric tons, India 150-250 metric tons, the US 85 metric tons, Britain 7.6 metric tons, France 6-7 metric tons, Kazakhstan 2-3 metric tons, and Israel 300-500 kilograms. Non- weapons-grade plutonium stockpiles exist in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Japan, and Pakistan. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 9.]


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12. Kashmir Conflict

Reuters (Ovais Subhani, "TWO KASHMIR MILITANT GROUPS REJECT 'HELP' APPEAL," Karachi, 07/09/99) reported that two Moslem military groups on Friday rejected a government appeal to withdraw from Indian-held Kashmir under a Pakistani-US agreement. There was no immediate statement from the 15-group umbrella organization that includes the two groups.

The Associated Press (Roshan Mughal, "THOUSANDS PROTEST IN PAKISTAN," Muzaffarabad, 07/09/99) reported that several thousand Kashmiri people marched through the streets to protest calls for withdrawal of Muslim guerrillas from the Line of Control. Munawaar Hasan, secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami, or Islamic Party, stated, "By agreeing to withdraw mujahedeen (holy warriors) from Kargil, Nawaz Sharif has betrayed their blood ... people will protest against this treason."

The Associated Press ("PAKISTAN ASKS MUSLIM MILITANTS TO DEFUSE CRISIS," Islamabad, 07/09/99) reported that the Pakistan government on Friday asked Muslim guerillas who have been fighting Indian troops in Kashmir to "help resolve" the crisis. The cabinet's defense committee praised the Muslim guerrillas for their "valiant and courageous action."


II. Republic of Korea


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1. Anniversary of Kim Il-sung's Death

Joongang Ilbo ("NK MARKS 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF KIM IL-SUNG," Seoul, 07/08/99) reported that the DPRK marked the fifth anniversary of the death of its founding leader, President Kim Il-sung, with rallies and seminars on Thursday swearing loyalty to his son and successor, Kim Jong-il. The younger Kim invited his country's old allies, including Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk, for this year's memorial events. At a seminar broadcast on Wednesday by the Korean Central News Agency, DPRK students stated, "To become an absolute worshipper, resolute defender and perfect embodier of the Great Kim Jong-il's ideas is a basic guarantee for glorifying the idea of the President." In the past week, the DPRK's state news media has reported mysterious phenomena such as trees blossoming early this year to mark the anniversary.


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2. ROK Policy toward DPRK

The Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, "LAWMAKERS CALL FOR TOUGHER MISSILE POLICIES, Seoul, 07/08/99) reported that ROK lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties on Wednesday, during a parliamentary interpellation on state unification, security, and foreign affairs, cited the need for the nation to develop long-range missiles to ensure deterrence on the Korean peninsula. Opposition Representative Kim Ki-choon warned against the danger of "blindly" pursuing the Sunshine Policy of comprehensive engagement with the DPRK. He stated, "Provision of food, fertilizer and dollars has led the North to expedite development of artillery and missiles, threatening our security. Now we are asking to develop our own long-range missiles to defend ourselves against any attacks." Representative Lee Kung-kyu of the ruling coalition United Liberal Democrats (ULD) stressed the importance of maintaining coordinated efforts with the US to contend with a possible missile launch by the DPRK. Lee said, "The North's missile development program has emerged as a global issue, having become one of the major agenda items at the summit meeting of the so-called G- 8 club of Western industrialized nations, who expressed deep concern over the matter in wrapping up talks." Ahead of the presidential election in November next year, there is expected to be some changes in the US policy toward the ROK, prompting the nation to take appropriate steps, he added. In the meantime, some lawmakers called for diplomatic efforts to enhance the human rights of DPRK defectors in the PRC, in particular. Steps are needed to prevent the PRC government from attempting to forcibly send defectors back to the DPRK through cooperation with the UN and human rights-related organizations, they said.


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3. ROK Participation in Theater Missile Defense

The Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, "LAWMAKERS CALL FOR TOUGHER MISSILE POLICIES," Seoul, 07/08/99) reported that ROK Representative Cho Woong-kyu of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) urged the ROK to join the theater missile defense (TMD) project to help enhance stability in Northeast Asia. Cho stated, "Fortifying security cooperation with the United States and Japan, in particular, is the most urgent task facing the nation as it tries to prevent war in the Northeast Asian region. Given this, I believe Korea should take part in the TMD project, albeit symbolically." He added, "We need to develop ground-to-ground and ground-to-air missiles in response to the medium- and long-range ballistic missiles of the North, and must convince the U.S. to support us that end." Cho raised the possibility that the ROK would face difficulties in its bid to maintain close security ties with the US and Japan in the event it does not take part in the TMD project. He said that the need for the TMD project has further intensified in the wake of the DPRK's test-launching of its Taepodong missile in August last year.


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4. US Port Visits to ROK

The Korea Herald ("U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER CONSTELLATION TO ARRIVE IN PUSAN SUNDAY," Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that US Forces Korea (USFK) said on Thursday that the US aircraft carrier Constellation and its fleet of nine ships will make a five-day port visit to Pusan beginning on Sunday. The 88,000-ton aircraft carrier left its home port in San Diego June 18 amid rising tension following the June 18 naval skirmish between the ROK and the DPRK. With the cessation of tensions, however, the carrier's crewmembers are being allowed to enjoy their time at port by shopping and touring Pusan, a USFK spokesman said. The aircraft carrier, heading to the Arabian Gulf on a six-month deployment, is home to more than 5,500 sailors and about 85 aircraft, including F-14 and F/A-18 squadrons. Its battle group includes two guided-missile cruisers, two submarines, two destroyers and three support ships.


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5. DPRK-ROK Economic Cooperation

Chosun Ilbo (Hwang Soon-hyun, "NK SOFTWARE AVAILABLE IN SOUTH," Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that DPRK-made commercial computer software will be sold on the ROK domestic software market from June 20 for the first time ever. Saehan Information Systems, an affiliate of the Saehan Group, announced that it had signed a contract with Silver Star Japan, a pro-DPRK (Chochongnyon) company in Japan, to sell Eun Byul (Silver Star in English), a Go (paduk) game software from the DPRK. The Go game software made by Chosun Computer Trade Center (KCC) in the DPRK was rated the best Go game program at the international Go game software competition. Saehan Information Systems explained that the software was officially authorized as 3rd grade by the Japan Go Institute and will be mainly sold to Go fans. The price of the software will be W45,000 and sold by Endless Rain and Tzone Korea.


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6. ROK Seminar on DPRK Famine

The Korea Herald ("KDI TO HOST WORLD SEMINAR ON N.K. CHILDREN, FAMINE," Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that the ROK Korea Development Institute's School of International Policy and Management on Friday hosted an international seminar on DPRK children at the KDI Ambassador Hall in Seoul. The one-day seminar was titled "Nutritional Problems of North Korean Children: Current Status and Possible Solutions," and covered the food shortage in the DPRK and its effect on children. Some 30 scholars from the ROK, the US, and the PRC presented papers on such topics as "Malnutrition of Children in North Korea and other Developing Nations," "Malnutrition and Child Behavior," "Socioeconomic Consequences of Chronic Food Shortage" and "Development of Effective Intervention Programs." The seminar was jointly organized by Ewha Womans University and Michigan State University with statistical research material supported by the institute's North Korean Economy division.


III. Japan


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1. Japanese-DPRK Relations

The Daily Yomiuri ("PYONGYANG DISPLAYS CONCERN OVER STALLED TALKS WITH TOKYO," 07/07/99) reported that during his interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun on July 6 in Tokyo, former UN Undersecretary General Yasushi Akashi, who visited the DPRK from June 29 to July 3, said that the DPRK has made no progress toward the normalization of relations with Japan. He added that the official who was in charge of the negotiations has been criticized by the DPRK. During his visit to the DPRK, Akashi met with top DPRK Foreign Ministry officials, including Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon and Song Il-ho, head of the ministry's Japanese affairs section. Akashi said that the DPRK considers the lack of progress in the normalization of relations "a problem." Akashi also said that DPRK officials did not specifically discuss the possibility of future Taepodong missile launches. Akashi said, "It sounded like they (the officials) were considering whether the suspension of any relaunch would lead to a normalization of ties with Japan.... I think the DPRK understands that further Taepodong launches would represent an obstacle (to the normalization process).... On the issue of resuming talks with Japan, the DPRK may be a little too optimistic of Tokyo's stance." Akashi also pointed out that the officials repeatedly referred to the development of missiles as a sovereignty issue. He quoted them as saying that Japan "misses the point" when it refers to issues such as the suspected abduction of Japanese nationals during normalization talks. From the DPRK's perspective, the abductions issue represents one of the main obstacles to the normalization of relations, which, according to the ministry officials, would require apologies and compensation. As for the DPRK's attitude toward Japan, Akashi said, "It is complicated--it is both determined and timid. The DPRK seems to want to seek a solution by exchanging ideas with Japan, but at the same time seems determined not to give up its sovereignty for the sake of establishing normal relations."

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Hiroyuki Sugiyama, "DPRK HOPES FOR RESUMPTION OF JAPANESE-DPRK NORMALIZATION TALKS," Beijing, 07/03/99) reported that former UN deputy secretary general Yasushi Akashi told reporters in Beijing after visiting the DPRK on July 3 that the DPRK expressed to him its hope for resumption of Japanese-DPRK normalization talks and also for Japan's food aid to the DPRK. According to Akashi, the DPRK said to him, "It is our regret that the talks have been deadlocked. We should achieve normalization as soon as possible.... In order to resolve the atmosphere of distrust, for example, Japan's food aid to the DPRK would be effective."


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2. Japan's Contribution to Light Water Reactor Project

The Asahi Shimbun ("US AND ROK AGREE TO JAPAN'S FREEZING OF CONTRIBUTION TO KEDO IF DPRK LAUNCHES ANOTHER MISSILE," 07/07/99) reported that Japanese Ambassador to the US Kunihiko Saito said on July 6 that a DPRK missile launch would halt Japanese engagement efforts. Saito stated, "Japan will immediately be unable to provide contribution to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) as planned, and the US fully understands this. So does the ROK." Also, in response to the statement by a high-ranking US official last week that that another missile launch by the DPRK would not undermine the Agreed Framework, Saito said, "I don't think that the US would say that it would implement the agreement even if the DPRK conducted a missile test at this point." Saito also said, "(If another launch occurred,) Japan would not be able to provide finance to KEDO as if nothing happened.... Freezing of the finance is not necessarily permanent. This is different from the collapse of KEDO." The report pointed out that this statement suggests that Saito considers the temporary cancellation of Japan's contribution to KEDO as compatible with the US official's statement.


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3. Anniversary of Kim Il-sung's Death

The Sankei Shimbun (Katsuhiro Kuroda, "DPRK CONFIRMS MILITARY-DICTATORIAL LINE AT ANNIVERSARY OF KIM IL SUNG'S DEATH," Seoul, 07/09/99) reported that the DPRK mourned the fifth anniversary of Kim Il-sung's death on July 8. The Sankei Shimbun observed that the statement of mourning read by General Jo Myong-rok, first vice-chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission, only confirmed the DPRK's military-centered line, which aims to tighten domestic discipline. The report also said that according to ROK authorities, the DPRK needs to emphasize the strong military, especially after it lost the naval battle on the Yellow Sea to the ROK, which made DPRK leaders lose face. ROK authorities are still cautious about the DPRK's retaliation, said the report. It also said that most analysts in Seoul observe that as long as the DPRK's militaristic policy continues, the DPRK is unlikely to abandon its attempt of missile launch.


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4. DPRK Defectors in ROK

The Asahi Shimbun ("ROK BUILT A FACILITY FOR DPRK DEFECTORS," 07/09/99) reported that the ROK government celebrated on July 8 the completion of the construction of a support facility in Kyonghido for DPRK people who have defected to the ROK. The report said that the facility is named "Hanawon," will be run by the ROK Unification Ministry, includes accommodations, computers and a library, and has the capacity to accommodate about one hundred people. "Hanawon" aims to have the capacity to fit five hundred people in the future, according to the report. The report also said that newcomers will learn to adjust their new life environment for up to eight months at the facility. The report quoted a 25 year-old DPRK defector as saying, "The facility is fully convenient. I want to start new life here by learning the social practice and history of the ROK. I want to become an engineer in the future." The report added that according to the Unification Ministry, there are currently eight hundred DPRK defectors in the ROK and the number is increasing. Until the early 1990s, the yearly number was less than ten, but the number was 86 in 1997 and 72 in 1998. The report also added that the ministry began the construction of the facility in 1996.


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5. DPRK Drought

The Asahi Shimbun ("BAD WEATHER IS AFFECTING DPRK'S AGRICULTURE," 07/04/99) reported that according to the DPRK's Central News Agency on July 3, the DPRK has been suffering a nation-wide abnormal weather including drought and both high and cold temperatures, which has affected agricultural products. The report said that since June, the major part of the west coast has suffered a drought and that Pyongyang had only 27 percent of the average amount of rain (26 mm), and Pyongannamdo, Pyonganbukdo, Hwanghaebukdo, and Kangwondo 25-34 percent (25 to 50 mm). The highest temperature in June was also 2 to 5 degrees higher than the average temperature of the same month in the past. According to meteorological authorities in the DPRK, the drought and the high temperature will continue even in July. The report said that in Hamgyongnamdo and Hamgyongbukdo, on the other hand, the east coast has been suffering cold weather since late June.


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6. PRC Views of DPRK Missile Launch

The Asahi Shimbun ("PRC GOVERNMENT SAYS IT DOES NOT KNOW SPECIFICALLY ABOUT DPRK MISSILE," 07/09/99) reported that a PRC spokesman told reporters on July 8 regarding the DPRK's preparation for missile launches, "We are carefully observing reports related to the launch, but we do not know specifically about its situation." The report said that although Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi will ask the PRC to ask for the DPRK's refrain from missile launch when he visits the PRC, the spokesman only said, "Even if Japan wants to discuss the DPRK's missile issue, we don't know about it specifically."

The Nikkei Shimbun (Testufumi Takahashi, "PRIME MINISTER TO CALL FOR PRC'S COOPERATION IN DETERRING DPRK'S MISSILE LAUNCH," Beijing, 07/09/99) reported that on his way to Beijing on July 8, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi told reporters in his airplane regarding the DPRK's missile launch, "I would like to tell the PRC side that we see measures to stop (the DPRK's) missile launch as important.... Although the missile launch may not be imminent, the launch would be undesirable to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, and it would seriously affect relations between the DPRK and Japan and other countries," emphasizing the need for cooperation between Japan and the PRC in deterring the DPRK from launching another missile.


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7. Japanese-PRC Summit

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Haruki Sasamori, "PRIME MINISTER ASKS FOR PRC'S UNDERSTANDING OF LEGISLATION FOR SITUATIONS IN AREAS SURROUNDING JAPAN, Beijing, 07/09/99) reported that visiting Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi met with PRC Prime Minister Zhu Rongji in Beijing on July 9 to discuss the New Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation. Obuchi said to Zhu, "(Our) relations with the PRC are also part of our vital national interests," calling for the PRC's understanding of the guidelines and emphasizing the need to stop the DPRK from launching another Taepodong missile. In response, although Zhu asked Obuchi to take Taiwan out of the scope of the guidelines, Zhu expressed his understanding of the guidelines. Obuchi also said, "We do not support Taiwan's independence. It is up to the Chinese people to solve peacefully the issue (of Taiwan's independence)."


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8. Japanese-Taiwanese Relations

The Asahi Shimbun ("PRIVATE ORGANIZATION TO COMMENCE IN TAIPEI TO PROMOTE JAPANESE- TAIWAN EXCHANGE," 07/03/99) reported that the Taipei Association for Promotion of Taipei-Tokyo Exchange was established in Taipei on July 3, gathering more than one hundred people. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara's message was read by Tokyo parliamentary member Takayuki Tsuchiya at the opening ceremony. Ma Ying Jiu, Taipei City mayor, said at the ceremony, "We welcome Governor Ishihara's visit to Taipei." According to the report, the establishment of the association was first put forward by the Taipei parliament in wake of the emergence of Ishihara, who has been well-known for his pro-Taiwan stance.


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9. Japanese-Russian Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("GOVERNMENT TO DISCUSS BUILDING OFFSHORE FACILITIES IN HABOMAI ISLANDS," 07/04/99) reported that the Japanese government decided on July 3 to build offshore facilities in Habomai Islands for the free visits to the islands by former residents. The decision is based on the agreement on allowing free visits by former island residents reached between Japanese and Russian governments in May. In three of the four islands--Etorofu, Kunashiri and Shikotan--bridges, accommodations for former Russian residents, most of whom are senior people, and other facilities have been under construction by Japan's support.


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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Tokyo, Japan

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Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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

 
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