Policy Forum Online:
I. United States
1. DPRK Missile Test
The Associated Press ("N. KOREA SAYS IT HAS MISSILE RIGHT," Seoul, 09/30/99) reported that the DPRK's Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary on Wednesday that the DPRK still maintains that it has the right to test launch a new missile. The paper stated, "The issue of missile launch is a matter wholly pertaining to our sovereignty and the DPRK will launch a missile and a satellite any time it feels necessary." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 1.]
2. DPRK Fighter Purchases
The Associated Press (Rozlana Taukina, "KAZAKSTAN ADMITS N.KOREA ARMS SALES," Almaty, 09/30/99) reported that Kazakstan Prosecutor-General Yuri Khitrin acknowledged Thursday that about 40 MiG fighter planes had been illegally sold to the DPRK. Khitrin identified Alexander Petrenko as the Kazak man detained two weeks ago for brokering the sale. He said that authorities had confiscated US$1.8 million from Petrenko, believed to be partial payment from the DPRK for the planes. Petrenko's lawyer, Anatoly Ginzburg, said that 38 of the planes had been delivered. Ginzburg claimed that the deal was legal because it was based on earlier framework agreements on military cooperation with the DPRK. He said that the disassembled planes were sent to the DPRK by railway across the PRC. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 1.]
3. DPRK Biological and Chemical Weapons
Reuters ("NKOREA TO USE BIO-CHEM ARMS IF WAR ERUPTS-SKOREA," Seoul, 09/30/99) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said Friday that the DPRK would likely use biological or chemical weapons if war ever erupted on the Korean peninsula. Kim stated, "If war breaks out, North Korea is likely to use bio-chemical weapons of mass destruction in an attempt to inflict an initial major blow against us." He said, "We are dealing with North Korea which is pouring all its resources into beefing up its military capability in the midst of a tragic famine and economic crisis. It is doing incomprehensible things under the absurd motto of 'Building a Great Nation of Strength and Prosperity.'" He added, however, "Recently, the North showed a slight change in their attitude and I certainly hope that it will lead to further progress in inter-Korean relations." He warned that the DPRK may still attempt further provocations "in order to maintain their regime and gain the upper hand in international negotiations." He predicted, "When we continue to cooperate with the Pyongyang authorities on the basis of a strong defense posture, they, too, will begin to think that cooperation rather than confrontation will be more to their benefit. This very approach to inducing change in their thinking is the best way to obtain national security in the true sense of the word."
4. ROK Policy toward DPRK
Reuters (David Ljunggren, "SOUTH KOREA SAYS HAS NO WISH TO UNDERMINE NORTH," United Nations, 09/30/99) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young told the UN on Thursday insisted that the ROK had no wish to either absorb or undermine the DPRK. Hong stated, "Speaking to you in this solemn hall I must reiterate the genuine, good-hearted intentions of our engagement policy." He added, "All we seek is peaceful coexistence. I make this appeal. Let us, South and North Korea, live in lasting peace." He said, "I sincerely hope North Korea responds to the warm sunshine we have been sending it with some warm sunshine of its own. I also hope that the North Korean authorities take steps to fundamentally address the chronic food shortage and other difficulties that have plagued the people in the North for many years." Hong noted, "We are prepared to offer far more in terms of food and fertilizer as well as assistance in its agricultural restructuring. We urge the North Korean authorities to come out and join us in dialogue for cooperation on this and other matters." He argued, however, "The primary responsibility to redress the situation lies with the North Korean authorities. They must face up to the enormity of the problems."
5. ROK-DPRK Economic Cooperation
Reuters ("RECLUSIVE N.KOREAN LEADER MEETS S.KOREAN TYCOON," Seoul, 10/01/99) and The Associated Press ("N. KOREA LEADER, HYUNDAI CHIEF MEET," Seoul, 10/01/99) reported that the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il on Friday met with Hyundai Group's honorary chairman Chung Ju-yong and his son, Hyundai Chairman Jong Mong-hun. KCNA said, "Kim Jong-il welcomed Chung Ju-yong's visit to Pyongyang and conversed with him in a cordial atmosphere."
6. US Atrocities in Korean War
The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, Charles J. Hanley, and Martha Mendoza, "EX-GIS TELL AP OF KOREA KILLINGS," 09/30/99) reported that US Army veterans of the Korean War confirmed allegations that in July 26-29 1950, their Army battalion killed a large number of Korean refugees beneath a railroad bridge at No Gun Ri. The ROK survivors claim that 300 civilians were shot to death at the bridge and 100 died in a preceding US air attack. The veterans corroborated that US troops forced the refugees off the road under the No Gun Ri railroad bridge and killed almost all of them. Both the Koreans and several ex-soldiers said the killing began when US planes strafed an area where the clad refugees were resting. The veterans said that other refugee killings took place as well in the war's first few weeks. Declassified documents in US military archives show that US commanders ordered their troops to shoot civilians as a defense against disguised enemy soldiers. Two days before the shootings, 1st Cavalry Division headquarters had issued an order: "No refugees to cross the front line. Fire everyone trying to cross lines. Use discretion in case of women and children." A neighboring US Army division, in its order, said that civilians "are to be considered enemy." 30 ROK survivors and victims' relatives called for a US investigation into the killings. The claimants said in a statement, "We hope the U.S. government will meet our demands and console the wandering souls of those who died an unfair death." US Defense Secretary William Cohen said Thursday, "I am not aware of any evidence that would support or substantiate those claims. But to the degree that any substantive information is forthcoming, we certainly would look at it." On Wednesday, US Defense Department spokesman P.J. Crowley stated, "We just have no information in historical files to lend any clarity to what might have happened in July 1950." ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman Chang Chul-kyun stated, "With keen attention, we'll try to verify the truth of all related things concerning the case. Any further action will be decided after those efforts are finished." [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 30.]
The Washington Post (Michael Dobbs and Roberto Suro, "ARMY DISMISSED MASSACRE ALLEGATION," 10/01/99, A01) reported that survivors of the reported Korean War massacre said that they were afraid to air their grievances under the authoritarian regimes that ruled the ROK, but began petitioning US President Bill Clinton and other US officials from July 1994 onward. On March 22 of this year, the US Defense Department wrote a letter to the claimants' US representative, the US Council of Churches, saying that its research had "produced no evidence to demonstrate U.S. Army involvement" with the deaths. Army records at the National Archives at College Park corroborated many of the details provided by the ROK survivors, including the presence of 1st Cavalry units in the vicinity of No Gun Ri and the strafing of the railroad by US military aircraft. The 1st Cavalry War Diary, dated July 24, 1950, stated, "No one desired to shoot innocent people, but many of the innocent-looking refugees dressed in the traditional white clothes of the Koreans turned out to be North Korean soldiers transporting ammunition and heavy weapons. There were so many refugees that it was impossible to screen and search them all." An intelligence report filed among the 1st Division records refers to a P-80 warplane "with allied markings" strafing the railroad in the vicinity of No Gun Ri on the morning of July 25. The diary also contains a detailed description of an incident in the early morning hours of July 25 when US troops "fired a volley of small arms and machine gun fire" into a group of Korean refugees on the assumption that they were "enemy." The civilians were later "rounded up" and permitted to pass through US lines. [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 1.]
Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera ("PENTAGON REGULAR BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 30, 1999," USIA Transcript, 10/01/99) said that US Defense Secretary William Cohen has asked him to lead a review on behalf of the Department of Defense to determine the facts surrounding the reports of civilian deaths near No Gun Ri in 1950. Caldera stated, "He has asked me to use whatever resources are available, to do a quick and thorough review of these matters, including all military departments and other governmental agencies that are necessary to do as quick a review as possible." He added, "Earlier this year our Army Center for Military History did a search and found nothing in the official records that substantiates the claims that U.S. Army soldiers perpetrated such massacres. This review, of course, is going to go beyond a search of the documentary records. It will be an all-encompassing review." He said, "Although it would not excuse the alleged acts, history records that the early weeks of the Korean conflict were very chaotic. U.S. soldiers, although they fought with great courage under very harsh conditions, were ill trained and ill equipped to fight because of the large reduction in resources available to the military for training and equipment following World War II." Caldera stated, "The review that was done by the Center for Military History was a documentary review of the records of the units. The Associated Press has clearly gone further in looking up individuals from those units and seeking out individual testimonials, and so clearly has raised new information that demands that it be looked into.... We will also look into the investigations that we've done to date to ensure that there was no such misreading of those records." He added, "if the review shows that something that was inappropriate did occur, then I think it would be appropriate for our country to take the appropriate actions.... We anticipate it could take ... at least a year to do the kind of review that is warranted in this kind of situation."
The Associated Press ("S KOREAN PROTESTERS WELCOME US PROBE OF REPORTED KILLINGS," Seoul, 10/01/99) reported that ROK activists on Friday welcomed the US government's promise to investigate a report that US forces killed several hundred refugees at the start of the Korean War. A group of about 50 demonstrators in front of Yongsan military base in Seoul shouted, "All the South Korean people are angry. America apologize!" They also hung banners on the wall of the compound and waved signs that read, "You must apologize for unwarranted death caused by American military; The truth will overcome; Punish those responsible for the No Gun Ri massacre."
7. Korean Comfort Women
The Associated Press ("FORMER SEX SLAVE'S DEMAND REJECTED," Tokyo, 10/01/99) reported that the Tokyo District Court on Friday rejected a Korean woman, Song Shin-do's, demand for US$1.1 million compensation for being forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops during World War II. The court also rejected her demand for an official government apology. The court acknowledged that Song had suffered during the war, but said individuals do not have the right to sue the government for compensation.
8. Japanese Nuclear Accident
Reuters (Linda Sieg, "JAPAN LIFTS NUKE TOWN BAN, CALM DESCENDS," Tokyo, 10/01/99) reported that more than 300,000 people living near the site of Japan's Tokaimura uranium processing plant were told that it was safe to leave their homes on Friday. Road and rail links were re-opened by late Friday and schools were notified that they could open as usual on Saturday. Military vehicles deployed in case of a possible mass evacuation were taken off standby and sent home. Fifty-five people, mainly plant workers and emergency personnel who responded to the accident at the plant, were exposed to radiation. Three were in serious condition. The advisory excluded 80 people living within 350 meters of the plant, who were evacuated soon after the accident on Thursday morning and were expected to be barred from returning until Saturday. Authorities said that 10,000 area residents were tested for radiation exposure at community centers and all were found to be negative. The government declared the accident to be "level four" on a scale of nuclear accidents, making it Japan's worst ever. The 1979 US Three Mile Island incident was level five, and the 1986 Chernobyl accident in the Ukraine was at the maximum, level seven. An official in the nuclear safety division of the government's Science and Technology Agency stated, "This is not anything like an explosion. And considering the quantities of radiation leaked from the facility, we believe it unlikely that high levels of radiation could spread to wider areas." Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the anti-nuclear Citizens Nuclear Information Center, stated, "It is an accident of unprecedented seriousness. The situation (facing the industry) is more serious than ever before."
Reuters (Tim Loughran, "U.S. GREENS CRITICIZE JAPANESE NUCLEAR SAFETY," Washington, 09/30/99) reported that US anti-nuclear groups on Thursday described the nuclear accident in Japan as evidence of a careless attitude toward nuclear safety. Damon Moglen, international plutonium campaign coordinator for Greenpeace, said that the supporters of Japan's plutonium program were "trying to move ahead at all costs. That policy has caused shortcuts in safety and security. They have acted in a reckless way and that is what the accident is about." Paul Leventhal, president of the Nuclear Control Institute, stated, "I think the accident is a reflection that they are running faster than they should be, and in the wrong direction." He added, "There were very severe lapses in security for" the shipment to Japan from Europe of mixed oxide nuclear fuel.
The Washington Post (Kathryn Tolbert and Shigehiko Togo, "NUCLEAR ACCIDENT STUNS JAPAN," Tokyo, 10/01/99, A01), the Los Angeles Times (Sonni Efron, "DOZENS HURT IN JAPAN'S WORST NUCLEAR ACCIDENT," Tokyo, 10/01/99) and the New York Times (Howard W. French, "JAPANESE FUEL PLANT SPEWS RADIATION AFTER ACCIDENT," Tokyo, 10/01/99) reported that workers accidentally set off a nuclear-fission chain reaction at a uranium processing plant in Tokaimura, about 75 miles northeast of Tokyo, on Thursday morning. Masaru Hashimoto, the governor of Ibaraki prefecture, said that by early Friday, the reaction was contained and radiation levels had fallen to one-third or one-fourth of their peaks. Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said that Japan asked the US and Russia for technical assistance in dealing with the accident. The accident occurred when workers put too much uranium into a liquid mixture of uranium and other compounds. The excess was enough to create a critical mass and begin a fission chain reaction. Japan's Science and Technology Agency said that radiation measured outside the plant had at one point reached 4,000 times the normal ambient level.
US Defense Department Deputy Spokesman Rear Admiral Craiq Quigley ("PENTAGON REGULAR BRIEFING, SEPTEMBER 30, 1999," USIA Transcript, 10/01/99) said that reports that the Japanese Defense Ministry requested assistance in dealing with the nuclear accident from the US military were in error. Quigley stated, "We are aware of no requests that have come in for Defense Department help yet."
9. US Support for Taiwan
Reuters (Jeremy Page, "CHINA SAYS U.S. PUSHING TAIWAN TOWARD WAR," Beijing, 09/30/99) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji said Thursday that US support for Taiwan had emboldened Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to make his "two states" remark. Zhu stated, "Sooner or later it will lead to an armed resolution of the question because the Chinese people will become impatient." He added, "We are convinced that with the concerted efforts of the entire Chinese people, the Taiwan question can definitely be resolved at an early date following the return of Hong Kong and Macao, and the complete reunification of China will be realized."
10. PRC 50th Anniversary
The Associated Press (Renee Schoof, "CHINA MARKS 50 YEARS OF COMMUNISM," Beijing, 10/01/99), The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "CHINA CELEBRATES ITS 50TH," Beijing, 10/01/99, A25) and Reuters (Matt Pottinger, "PRIDE SWELLS ON COMMUNIST CHINA 50TH BIRTHDAY," Beijing, 10/01/99) reported that the PRC on Thursday celebrated the 50th anniversary of its establishment. PRC President Jiang Zemin Jiang said in a brief speech, "Arduous struggle and strenuous efforts of 50 years, particularly the past 20 years since reform and opening-up, have brought about earthshaking changes to the erstwhile poor and weak old China."
The Associated Press ("CHINA SHOWCASES MILITARY HARDWARE," Beijing, 10/01/99) and Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, "CHINA ROLLS OUT MILITARY MIGHT ON ANNIVERSARY," Beijing, 10/01/99) reported that the PRC displayed its most modern weapons on Friday as part of its 50th anniversary celebration. Weapons displayed included models of the intercontinental ballistic missile Dong Feng-31 and the Flying Leopard fighter bomber. One anonymous Asian military specialist stated, "Fifty percent of the military parade was missiles and rockets. They're reasonably proud of it. It's not state of the art, but it's okay for Asia."
11. Taiwanese Views of PRC Anniversary
The Associated Press (Annie Huang, "TAIWAN PASSES ON CHINA CELEBRATION," Taipei, 10/01/99) reported that Taiwanese television on Friday showed scenes from the PRC's 50th anniversary celebration. The reports, however, frequently cut away from coverage of the celebrations to the latest news on the Taiwan earthquake. Chu Hai-yuan, head of the Sociology Institute of Academia Sinica, stated, "Taiwanese cannot sever their cultural and ancestral ties with the mainland, but they can't bear with the father-son attitude China has taken with us."
12. Pakistan Adherence to CTBT
Reuters (Carol Giacomo, "PAKISTAN TIES CTBT SIGNING TO LIFTING SANCTIONS," Washington, 09/30/99) reported that Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz said Thursday that Pakistan would not sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) until the US further eases economic sanctions. He stated, "Pakistan is ready (to sign the CTBT) in an atmosphere free from coercion." Aziz said that his government was looking for quick passage by the US Congress of a new law providing a five-year waiver of some sanctions and repeal of others, saying it would allow Pakistan to acquire military spare parts and defense equipment needed to "maintain the credibility of our conventional defense." He added, "Such removal of the coercive environment will, in turn, enable our prime ministers to build domestic support for adherence to the CTBT."
13. US Ratification of CTBT
Reuters (Christopher Wilson, "REPUBLICANS OFFER TO MOVE ON NUCLEAR TREATY," Washington, 09/30/99) and The New York Times (Eric Schmitt, "LOTT OFFERS TO HOLD HEARINGS ON NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY," Washington, 10/01/99) reported that US Senate majority leader Trent Lott, Republican-Mississippi, announced Thursday that the Senate would debate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) for 10 hours on October 6 and then vote on ratification. Lott stated, "We are asking that we go to a reasonable time for debate and a vote this Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. I think this treaty is bad for the country and dangerous. But if there is demand that we go forward with it as I have been hearing for two years, we are ready to go." Senate minority leader Tom Daschle, Democrat-South Dakota, protested that 10 hours was insufficient time for a debate on "a treaty as important as this." However, Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat-North Dakota, announced he was keen to go ahead with ratification. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Democrat Delaware, stated, "This is not the best way to deal with this, but it's better than nothing."
14. Russian Missile Test
Reuters (Martin Nesirky, "RUSSIA TEST-LAUNCHES SUB-BASED NUCLEAR MISSILE," Moscow, 10/01/99) reported that Russia test-launched a submarine-based nuclear missile on Friday. Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo stated, "An atomic submarine from the Pacific Fleet launched a ballistic missile to the region of the Barents and White Seas, as planned. It was a training launch, a successful launch from an underwater position." Dygalo said that the US had been told in advance about the test launch. He declined to identify the kind of missile was tested but said, "I can say that this missile is the one we always fire."
1. DPRK-ROK Relations
The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K.'S 'PRAGMATIC TURN' EXPECTED TO HELP IMPROVE INTER-KOREAN TIES," Seoul, 09/30/99) and Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, "NORTH KOREA TURNS TO UTILITARIANISM," Seoul, 09/29/99) reported that ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won said on Wednesday that the DPRK has begun to draw up more "practical and pragmatic" policies. "Since last year, when North Korea consolidated its internal regime by revising the Constitution and establishing Kim Jong-il's leadership, Pyongyang has shown signs of pragmatic changes," Lim told members of a quasi-governmental unification group representing the US region. "In view of such a realistic attitude, the future of the South-North relationship is expected to take a more positive direction, although there may be some ups and downs," Lim said. The minister based his views on the current amicable atmosphere created between the DPRK and its rival governments, including the US, and the subsequent easing of strain on the Korean Peninsula. Lim cited, as an example of DPRK's practicality, mounting inter-Korean trade, which totaled US$29 million last month, up 83.5 percent from the same month last year, as well as the number of ROK visitors to the DPRK last month, which almost doubled that of July. Stressing the significance of the first inter-Korean workers' football matches last month and the latest goodwill basketball games in Pyongyang, Lim said, "That North Korea allowed those sports events represents its changed attitude toward the South." He also reiterated the ROK's unwavering stance in maintaining its engagement policy toward the DPRK, noting that the "sunshine policy" is aimed at more effective management of the divided peninsula. "The foremost goal of the engagement policy is to create an environment in which North Korea can open itself to the outside world, as China and Vietnam did," the unification minister said. "We are trying to attain a 'substantive' unification ahead of a 'legal' one by encouraging mutual help and sharing between the two Koreas."
2. DPRK Military Stance
Chosun Ilbo (You Yong-won, "NK MOVES FORWARD MILITARY UNITS," Seoul, 09/30/99) and the Korea Times (Shim Jae-yun, "NK FULLY PREPARED FOR BIOLOGICAL WAR," Seoul, 09/29/99) reported that ROK Grand National Party (GNP) representative Seo Chang-won, a member of the National Defense Committee of the National Assembly, stated on Wednesday in an inspection report that the DPRK has moved more than 20 artillery battalions nearer to the Demilitarized Zone, including artillery brigade 825 from Jungju, Pyungbuk, mechanized infantry brigade 417, a 130mm towed artillery battalion, and an artillery battalion of the third corps from Hwanghaedo. He added that the DPRK has seven types of germ warfare agents such as cholera and typhoid and thirteen biological agents, including eruptive typhus and smallpox viruses, at ten production research facilities nationwide. Seo alleged that the DPRK had also conducted human experiments on political offenders, condemned criminals, and deformed children. Seo argued that the ministry has totally failed to efficiently cope with the possibility of a biological war with the DPRK, despite the latter's increased potential to resort to biological warfare. The DPRK is storing the deadly weapons in 10 production and research institutes including that in Pyongsung, Pyongan-namdo, according to Suh. "For this reason, the U.S. Defense Department in March, 1998 announced plans to complete the protective inoculation against anthrax germs until 2004 on 2.4 million U.S. military personnel stationed in South Korea and the Middle East," Suh said. Ninety-five percent of the 34,737 US servicemen in the ROK have been vaccinated; but the ROK Augmentation to the US Army (KATUSA) soldiers and other ROK military personnel were excluded from the vaccination, Suh claimed. An official at the ROK Ministry of National Defense said that the movement of some portions of military forces had been identified, but the purpose of the move--military training or installation of military bases--was not clearly determined.
3. ROK-Japan Relations
The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "'KOREA, JAPAN NEED TO DIG UNDERSEA TUNNEL, LAUNCH WEATHER SATELLITE': AMB. OGURA," Seoul, 09/30/99) reported that Japanese Ambassador to the ROK Kazuo Ogura on Wednesday put forward new ideas to enhance ROK-Japan ties. Under the title "Prospect of Japan-Korea Relations in the 21st Century: The Asia-Pacific Era," Ogura made the remarks at a symposium hosted by the Asia- Pacific Policy Research Institute (APPRI) at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Ogura noted that it is crucial for the two countries to implement large-scale economic cooperation projects to deepen their bilateral partnership, such as the joint hosting of the 2002 World Cup. Noting that it is time to work for the new vision of the ROK-Japan relations, the ambassador exemplified such ideas as an undersea tunnel, the joint launch of a weather satellite, the establishment of a Eurasian gas pipeline, and a free trade zone. Meanwhile, Ogura said that the two countries need to work together to induce the DPRK and the PRC to join the international community.
4. DPRK Defectors in PRC
The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "ATTENTION TO NK REFUGEES IN CHINA URGED," Seoul, 09/29/99) reported that ROK opposition lawmakers urged the President Kim Dae-jung administration to pay more attention to the estimated 300,000 DPRK escapees staying in the PRC, who they said are vulnerable to a wide range of human rights violations. In particular, the lawmakers called for the ROK to counter PRC Ambassador to the ROK Wu Dawei's statement in which he dismissed ROK's attention to the issue as a "neo-interventionist approach." In a reply to the lawmakers' questions, ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-young, noting that he cannot condone the ambassador's view, said that the ROK is making efforts to win the international community's recognition of the ROK escapees as "economic refugees." "We are striving to resolve this issue through quiet diplomacy out of humanitarian considerations. However, it will take time," Hong said.
5. Foreign Relief Agencies in DPRK
The Korea Times ("100 INT'L ORG. OFFICIALS SERVE IN N. KOREA," Seoul, 09/29/99) reported that officials of international organizations serving in the DPRK numbered 100 at the end of August this year. According to the ROK Unification Ministry's report to the National Assembly, the 100 officials are working in the DPRK for mainly humanitarian purposes, dispatched by organizations like World Food Program (WFP), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and World Health Organization (WHO) and other non-government organizations. Of the organizations, WFP had the largest number, 46, of employees stationed in six regions like Shinuijoo, Chongjin, Hamhung, and Wonsan. UNDP and European Union have seven officials each. Private voluntary organizations of the US have 11 employees in the DPRK who engage in monitoring and distribution of 100,000 tons of food offered by the US.
6. ROK Weapon Exports
The Korea Times ("ROK'S WEAPONS EXPORTS RISE STEADILY," Seoul, 09/29/99) reported that the ROK's arms exports have increased continuously since 1996, reaching US$171.48 million in the first six months of this year, up from US$147.19 million registered all of last year. According to a report submitted by the ROK Defense Ministry to the National Assembly on Wednesday, the exports mainly comprise transport vehicles, boats and other related goods. The report showed that the weapons exports reached US$45.38 million in 1996 and US$58.02 million in 1997 and then sharply increased to US$147.19 million in 1998. The ministry said the country's arms exports structure has begun to resemble the style seen in Western industrialized countries, concentrating on heavy equipment rather than ammunition.
7. ROK Aid to DPRK
The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "SOUTH READY TO PROVIDE MORE AID TO N. KOREA; MINISTER HONG MAKES OFFER IN U.N. ADDRESS," Seoul, 10/01/99) reported that ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hong Soon-young said on Thursday that the ROK is ready to provide more economic aid to the DPRK. "We are prepared to offer much more in terms of food and fertilizer provisions as well as assistance in agricultural restructuring," Hong said during a speech before the UN General Assembly in New York. To discuss cooperation on this and other matters, he said, the DPRK authorities should come out and join dialogue with the ROK.
The Korea Times (Kim Yong-bom, "$263.7 MIL. GIVEN TO NK UNDER PRES. KIM'S ADMIN," Seoul, 09/30/99) reported that a total of US$263.7 million was donated to the DPRK under the ROK government of President Kim Dae- jung, according to Representative Lee Shin-bom of the opposition Grand National Party. The sum includes US$174 million in Mount Kumgang tourism fees paid by Hyundai group to the DPRK, Lee said. The government's donations, including humanitarian aid from the ROK Red Cross, totaled US$89 million, Representative Lee said, while criticizing the government's spending on the DPRK in the inspection of the ROK Unification Ministry on Wednesday. Meanwhile, in the inspection session, Representative Lee also raised suspicions that the Hyundai group might have spent the earnings from its alleged stock price riggings for the Mount Kumgang tour program, citing the fact that the announcement of the tour program coincided with the start of a massive rise in capital of Hyundai subsidiaries.
8. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange
Joongang Ilbo (Bong Hwa-shik, "GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR PYONGYANG STADIUM," Seoul, 09/29/99) and Chosun Ilbo (Lee Kwang-hoi, "CONSTRUCTION BEGINS IN NK FOR FIRST INTER-KOREA GYMNASIUM," Seoul, 09/29/99) reported that Hyundai staff members and DPRK representatives held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for the new Pyongyang Gymnasium. Eighty ROK delegates including Chung Ju-yung, honorary chairman of Hyundai Group, Chung Mong-hun, chairman of Hyundai Electronics, and Kim Yoon-kyu, president of Hyundai-Asan were present, along with 1,000 DPRK dignitaries. Now that the stadium's construction has officially begun, the two sides agreed to hold regular matches in various sports such as a basketball exhibition next spring in Seoul. Table tennis, volleyball, badminton, wrestling and Taekwondo will also be exchanged by turns. The DPRK's Kim Yong-soon, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee said, "Chung Ju-yung's tremendous achievement has contributed to a better mutual relationship. The stadium should be the symbol of peace and cooperation in both nations."
9. EU Views on DPRK
Joongang Ilbo (Seo Jang-soo, "EU URGES TWO KOREAS TO RESUME TALKS UNCONDITIONALLY," Seoul, 09/30/99) reported that a source from the ROK government said on September 30, "The EU urged in a announcement at its meeting of the board of directors on Wednesday that the two Koreas resume their talks unconditionally, because meaningful conversation between the divided Koreas is crucial in the maintenance of peace on the Korean peninsula." The EU hinted that a second round of talks between the DPRK and the EU are to take place, by saying that it supports international efforts towards peace and stability on the peninsula and is ready to push for talks with the DPRK. The EU said that it welcomed the DPRK's announcement that it will freeze the test-firing of long-range missiles and continue talks with the US, adding that DPRK's decision is expected to bear fruit in the drive for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
10. ROK-PRC Forum
The Korea Times ("KOREA, CHINA TO HOLD 'FUTURE' FORUM IN CHEJU-DO," Seoul, 09/29/99) reported that the ROK and the PRC will hold a forum on the southern resort island of Cheju-do on October 4-5, mainly to address such issues as how to improve bilateral cooperation in dealing with security issues facing the region. The 6th ROK- PRC Forum for the Future will be organized by the Korea Foundation and the PRC People's Institute of Foreign Affairs. The forum attracts opinion leaders from the two countries, comprising those from the government, parliament, business circle, press, and academic community. "Among the many issues, we believe that there will be some discussions on issues such as the four-party peace talks and North Korea's missile development program," a foundation official said. Foundation president Lee Joung-binn will lead the 20-member ROK delegation, while the 12-member PRC team will be headed by Mei Zhaorong, president of the PRC's Institute of Foreign Affairs.
11. Korean War Massacre
Chosun Ilbo ("KOREAN WAR MASSACRE CONFIRMED: AP," Seoul, 09/30/99) reported that an incident in which ROK refugees were killed by US troops during the Korean War has been confirmed by declassified documents and the testimony of soldiers involved in the operation, according to the Associated Press news agency on Thursday. The agency said that families of the victims had filed an appeal and demanded compensation from the US government but to date had received no reply. The massacre occurred on July 26, 1950 when a US unit opened fire on 400 civilian refugees gathered at a railway yard near Nogunri, Youngdong, Chungbuk province. A total of one hundred were killed, and survivors said that the US soldiers machine-gunned people trying to escape into a tunnel on the railway. A committee for the massacre victims claimed a total of 121 people were killed in the incident. The families of the victims filed a lawsuit for compensation against the ROK government in August 1997, but were unsuccessful.
12. Chung's visit to DPRK
Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "CHUNG EXTENDS STAY IN NK," Seoul, 09/30/99) reported that Honorary Hyundai chairman Chung Ju-young has postponed his return to Seoul scheduled for September 30, it was reported on Wednesday. An ROK Ministry of Unification spokesman announced that DPRK officials had called the ROK National Red Cross at Panmunjom and said that Chung and his party have delayed their departure date from Pyongyang and would announce the new return date on Thursday. While the reason of his visiting extension was not officially given it is believed to be so that he can meet Kim Jong-il.
13. ROK Participation in East Timor Peacekeeping
The Korea Herald ("E. TIMOR PEACE FORCE ADVANCE TEAM LEAVES FOR MISSION," Seoul, 10/01/99) reported that fifty-six members of the 419-man ROK peacekeeping force bound for East Timor left for Townsville, Australia, Thursday night aboard a C-130 aircraft to join a UN-backed mission in the territory. The advance team, led by Major Soh Young-min, will participate in a week-long program in Townsville to adjust themselves to the tropical weather, topography, and culture of East Timor before being deployed. The C-130 aircraft took off from the Seoul Airport in Songnam, south of Seoul, and was to arrive in Townsville at around 4:30 p.m. on Friday after flying 7,000 km. In Townsville, on the northeastern coast of Australia, the team will make preparations for the arrival of the main contingent. ROK Defense Ministry officials said that 209 soldiers will leave Monday and the remaining 140 on Thursday. More than 2,000 tons of weapons and other equipment will be shipped from Pusan to Dili.
1. Japanese Nuclear Accident
The Yomiuri Shimbun ("CRITICAL ACCIDENT: 310 THOUSAND PEOPLE WERE EVACUATED," 10/01/99), the Sankei Shimbun ("TOKAI MURA FACILITIES FACE FIRST CRITICAL ACCIDENT," 10/01/99) and the Japan Times ("TOKAI NUCLEAR ACCIDENT GOES CRITICAL: REMAINS OUT OF CONTROL," 09/30/99) reported that a nuclear criticality accident at a uranium-processing plant in Tokai Mura, Ibaraki Prefecture, 125 km northeast of Tokyo on September 30, injured three workers. The Japanese government already began evacuating about 310,000 from the vicinity of the site of the accident. The government also immediately set up a headquarters to deal with the accident. The nature of the accident was that a plant owned by a private nuclear fuel processing company, called JCO, located in Tokai Mura, leaked radiation. The head of JCO's Tokyo Office Makoto Ujihara was quoted by the Japan Times as saying, "We are still trying to find out what exactly happened but we believe the uranium reached the critical point." The radiation leakage occurred when the three workers mistakenly set off a nuclear fission reaction. In this accident, in addition to three workers of the plant, 36 people of the area, including residents and firefighters, were exposed to radiation. The reports said that this accident is the largest of its kind in Japan.
The Yomiuri Shimbun ("NUCLEAR SAFETY COMMISSION SAYS THAT CRITICALITY IS CURRENTLY OVER," 10/01/99) and the Asahi Shimbun ("NUCLEAR SAFETY COMMISSION SAYS THAT CRITICALITY IS CURRENTLY OVER," 10/01/99) reported that Head of the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission Kazuo Sato told reporters on the morning of October 1 that nuclear criticality at the accident site is currently over and that this marks an important step forward to ending the accident. As for the reason for this judgment, according to the Yomiuri article, Sato said, "With the amount of neuron, other data and views given by the authorities at the site, we came to this conclusion." The Yomiuri also said that Sato added that there are many things to be made clearer and that measures have been taken to decrease the neutron density "just in case."
2. US Nuclear Subcritical Test
The Yomiuri Shimbun ("US CONDUCTED 7TH NUCLEAR SUBCRITICAL TEST," 10/01/99) carried a Jiji News Agency article that the US Department of Energy announced that it conducted its 7th nuclear subcritical test at an underground test site in Nevada on September 30.
3. Japanese Satellite Policy
The Daily Yomiuri ("US TO REQUIRE SECURITY OVER SATELLITE PARTS," 09/30/99) reported that the US will require Japan to ensure the protection of technological secrets before it will allow Japan to use US-supplied components in the development of intelligence-gathering satellites. The US and Japanese governments are expected to exchange documents and sign a memorandum of understanding shortly to enable Japan to procure high-performance parts from the US to complete its satellite development program. According to the report, Japan will be barred from using the US parts for purposes other than developing the planned intelligence-gathering satellites and transferring the parts to third countries. Furthermore, according to the report, the memorandum will have an appendix stating that the US parts will not include those classified as highly confidential for military use. The report pointed out that this is because most parts Japan will purchase are already used in commercial satellites in the US. The report added that the Japanese and US governments have already agreed in principle that Japan will buy the parts from the US. Based on the agreement, the two sides almost reached a final accord during working-level meetings in Washington from September16 to 19. The report also added that during the meetings, Japan agreed to allow the U S to conduct on-site inspections at Japanese companies to check that the confidentiality agreement is being observed.
4. Forum on Northeast Asia and TMD
The Japan Times (Yosuke Naito, "PRIVATE-SECTOR SECURITY FORUM EXPLORES NORTHEAST ASIA, TMD," 09/27/99) reported that according to a senior official of a foreign policy think tank that recently organized an unofficial three-way forum in Tokyo, dialogue on Northeast Asia security involving Japan, the US and the PRC may be further enhanced in coming years. The report said that Toshiro Ozawa, 51, acting director of the Japan Institute of International Affairs, made the remarks at the September 17-19 second meeting of the Japan, US and PRC Conference. The conference is a security forum for private-sector experts from the three countries and has paved the way for enhanced dialogue based on "intelligence" and "rationality." The report quoted Ozawa as saying, "On the first day of the conference, discussions were incoherent because participants maintained their governments' official stance toward security. In the end, however, they went as far as to explore such delicate issues as research and development of the theater missile defense system and Taiwan Strait tensions." According to the report, the forum was established in Tokyo in the summer of 1998 to follow in the footsteps of a forum involving Japan, the US and Russia that contributed to their recently enhanced security cooperation in Northeast Asia. Among the Japanese participants was Nobuo Matsunaga, a former ambassador to the US and current vice chairman of the think tank. As for the research on the theater missile defense (TMD) system, the three sides held frank discussions on what technological obstacles lie in the process and what specific subjects they should focus on to make the whole parley fruitful, according to Ozawa. Ozawa said, "It was significant that discussions on TMD proved very rational, not emotional. I think these experts were able to set aside their governments' official stances toward the issue, although it is impossible to reach a consensus in a single session." The report added that the trilateral forum will submit policy recommendations in a report to the three governments after its third session is held in the PRC.
5. Japanese-PRC Relations
The Daily Yomiuri ("SURVEY SHOWS BIG DECLINE IN SINO-JAPANESE RELATIONS," 09/30/99) reported that according to a Yomiuri Shimbun-Gallup poll released on September 29, 17 percent of Chinese and 33 percent of Japanese think relations between Japan and the PRC are good. This marks a significant decline in both figures compared to a survey in 1988. The report said that the latest survey was conducted over a one-month period from the end of July in Japan and the PRC, to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the PRC on October 1. The number of PRC people who expressed a favorable opinion of bilateral relations dropped by 34 percentage points, while the number of Japanese who said they viewed relations favorably fell by 32 percentage points. Fifty percent of the Chinese respondents expressed an unfavorable opinion of Japan, up from 38 percent in a similar survey conducted in 1995. The proportion of Japanese respondents who said they had an unfavorable impression of the PRC increased by more than 10 percentage points to 46 percent. The Yomiuri Shimbun pointed out the results reflect the complexity of issues concerning relations between the two countries, including differences in interpretations of history. The report added that regarding Japan's official development assistance to the PRC totaling 2 trillion yen over two decades, three out of four PRC people did not know anything about it, according to the survey.
6. PRC-DPRK Relations
The Asahi Shimbun ("PRC FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT DPRK ON OCTOBER 5," 09/29/99) reported that the PRC foreign ministry announced on September 28 that PRC foreign minister Tang Jiuxuan will visit the DPRK from October 5 to 9 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of PRC-DPRK diplomatic relations. The report said that Tang will meet with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-soon and that his visit will be the first ministerial visit between the two countries since Kim Yong-nam's visit to the PRC. The report pointed out that although Tang's visit may facilitate improvement of bilateral relations, any higher-level visit was postponed and that Tang's visit this time seems to aim to set candidate dates of Kim Jong-il's visit to the PRC. The report also pointed out that both the PRC and the DPRK share a common concern that the US will unilaterally dominate the world again. On this, the report said that according to a Japanese foreign ministry source, the PRC government said, "The PRC and the DPRK will discuss foreign affairs that both are concerned about." The report added, however, that the DPRK initially opposed the visit by ROK Defense Minister Cho Sun-tae to the PRC in late August and that the PRC's selection of whom to visit the DPRK this time did not go smoothly.
1. US-Korea Security Studies Conference
The Council on U.S.-Korean Security Studies is holding its 14th Annual Conference at the Hyatt Key Bridge Hotel in Arlington, Virginia on October 28, and 29, 1999. The conference, co-sponsored by the Walker Institute for International Studies of the University of South Carolina, and the Korean Association of International Studies will provide an opportunity to address, in an open and forthright manner, issues that are important to the Republic of Korea and the US. Speakers will include the ROK Ambassador to the US, Ambassador Lee Hong-koo, the Assistant to The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lieutenant General Donald L. Kerrick, the President of the United States Institute of Peace, Honorable Richard H. Solomon, and Dean Paul Wolfowitz of Johns Hopkins University. The Theme of the October Conference is "Korean-American Relations, The Key to Stability in Northeast Asia, In a New Century." Six panels will address this theme. Fees for the conference are $70 per person for Council members and $100 for non-members. For a registration form please contact Dr. Hugo WheeGook Kim at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Medical Mission to DPRK
The Institute for Strategic Reconciliation (ISR)'s 5-member team of "Reconciliation Ambassadors for Medicines" completed a humanitarian trip to the DPRK September 18 to 21. The Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific Peace Committee and his representatives hosted the ISR delegation led by President Asaph Young Chun. The DPRK permitted the ISR delegation to confirm the delivery at Port Nampo of a 20-foot container full of medicines and medical supplies. The DPRK also allowed the ISR team to pay a special visit to a 24-hour Children's Care Center treating kids aged 1 month to 48 months. The ISR hand-delivered the Children's center substantial medicines, including antibiotics, oral rehydration salts, and medicines to de-worm children with parasitic infestations. The DPRK and ISR have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding a 16-month-long delivery of medical aid, an accountable distribution plan, and transparent documentation of field activities. The DPRK has provided ISR with the certificate of humanitarian donation of antibiotics for 76,500 people, oral rehydration salts for 2,000 treatments of diarrhea, Mebendazole for treating 9,000 children with parasitic infestation for a year, and a 20-foot container (13,448 pounds of medical aid) of quality medicines and medical supplies. The 20-foot container included critically-needed medicines including Motrin, Thioridazine, Ioban, Indocin, Mintezol, Duratuss, and 20 other basic medical supplies including stethoscopes. For more information, contact ISR President Asaph Young Chun at email@example.com, phone 301- 570-3948, fax 301-570-0911.
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