NAPSNet Daily Report
november 17, 1999

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. ROK Missile Development

Associated Press ("SEOUL DEVELOPS SHORT-RANGE MISSILE," Seoul, 11/16/99) reported that the ROK said on November 16 that it had developed a new short-range surface-to-air missile and would begin deployment next month, but denied trying to develop longer-range missiles in violation of an agreement with the US. The ROK Defense Ministry said the deployment of the first locally developed short-range missile, code-named "Chonma" or Pegasus, will mark a milestone in the ROK's effort to improve its defense capability. An ROK Defense Ministry news release said that the missile was designed and developed by the state-run Agency for Defense Development and has a 10 kilometer range, high mobility, and an advanced guidance system. The report also said, "the system, capable of being loaded with eight missiles, is mounted on a caterpillar vehicle and suitable for Korean terrain" and has been under development since 1990, together with 13 domestic and foreign defense contractors. The ROK's Samsung Electronics and Daewoo Heavy Industries were involved in the project. The only foreign contractor involved was France's Thomson-CSF, which supplied the sensor and firing system.

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2. US Defoliant Use in ROK

Associated Press (David Briscoe, "SOUTH KOREANS USED AGENT ORANGE IN 1960S, PENTAGON SAYS," Washington, 11/17/99) reported that the US Defense Department responded to criticism about the spraying of chemicals in the ROK in the late 1960's by saying that the use of Agent Orange in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was never a secret. Authorities in the ROK acknowledged this on Wednesday, but disagreed over which country came up with the idea of using the chemicals. US Defense Department Rear Admiral Craig Quigley said at a briefing on November 16 that there is no evidence of an effort to cover up the spraying, although the defoliants' use "had fallen off people's scopes for a long period of time." Quigley reported that the ROK paid for the defoliant and no US soldiers were involved in applying it. He also said that the ROK used hand sprayers because airplanes could not fly over the border region. DPRK Brigadier General Kim Tae-young, an assistant policy-planning director in the defense ministry, said Wednesday that the US military "first requested the use of defoliants, and it is assumed that the South Korean side accepted it, recognizing its usefulness." Quigley said he was unaware of any complaints of Koreans being harmed by Agent Orange or other chemicals along the border, and there were no reports of such complaints in Seoul.

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3. US-PRC Relations

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "U.S. MILITARY OFFICIALS READY FOR CHINA VISIT," Washington, 11/16/99) reported that US Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for East Asia Kurt Campbell will lead a small delegation of US officials that includes the Pacific Command's Policy and Planning Director Marine Corps Major General Michael Hagee to the PRC on November 18-21 for the first military-to-military talks since ties were cut after NATO's bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia. Campbell will meet with the Number 2 general in the People's Liberation Army. A US Defense Department official said, "there are still negative, lingering feelings associated with the embassy bombing and other aspects of US strategy, including theater missile defense, Taiwan, national missile defense and US-Japan relations." US Defense Department officials said the US visit could open the way for a visit to the PRC in January by Commander-in-Chief of US Forces in the Pacific Admiral Dennis Blair.

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4. Taiwan Anti-Missile Program

Agence France-Presse ("ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM PLANNED," 11/17/99) reported that Taiwan researchers said on November 16 that Taiwan will put a low-altitude anti-missile system into service in 2005 to counter any threat from the PRC. Chao Yao-ming, an official at the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology said, "we have successfully intercepted a drone flying at an ultra-low altitude" during a test in September. He added, "on radar screens one could hardly tell if the target was a drone or a cruise missile." The weaponry targets M-9 and M-11 ballistic missiles, now part of the PRC arms inventory, as well as cruise missiles. Chao said the weaponry updated the Tienkung (Sky Bow) air defense system. Meanwhile, as part of the plan to modernize its forces to counter the PRC, the Taiwanese navy has retired its second missile destroyer in a month. The navy said the Kai Yang destroyer was decommissioned in the southern port of Kaohsiung after serving the navy since 1977. A Taiwanese navy spokesman said, "We plan to retire one destroyer a month. Only six of the 22 destroyers will be kept due to the acquisition of second-generation warships."

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5. US Pacific Fleet Changes

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Ed Offley, "NAVY COMMANDER WANTS TO KEEP HIS PACIFIC FLEET FROM SHRINKING," Everett Naval Station, 11/17/99) reported that U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Thomas Fargo said he supports a Navy plan to keep the number of warships at 320, rather than a US Defense Department proposal to shrink the force to 300 surface combatants and submarines. Fargo stated, "it is clear that the demand for naval forces has never been higher." Under a congressionally mandated review of the defense force in 1997, the US Defense Department decided to reduce the attack submarine fleet from 58 to 50 subs by 2003. The Navy also plans to shrink its nuclear missile Trident submarine force from 18 to 14 boats. Fargo stated, "It's pretty clear to us that 50 (attack subs) is too small a number." He also said the Navy needed to readdress the current plan to downsize the number of cruisers, destroyers and frigates in the fleet, given the pace of operations in the Persian Gulf, western Pacific and Adriatic regions. He said Navy surface ships such as the Aegis cruiser are likely candidates for carrying out regional defense against ballistic missiles.

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6. Russian Missile Tests

Reuters (Martin Nesirky, "RUSSIA TESTS MISSILES ON EVE OF OSCE SUMMIT," Moscow, 11/17/99) reported that the RF test-fired two nuclear-capable missiles from its largest submarine on Wednesday. The RF navy said the missiles were launched from the high Arctic and the warhead sections hit a testing ground on the Kamchatka peninsula in the RF's far east. RF Navy spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo said, "the launch was not unplanned or somehow sudden or unexpected so one should not view this as some kind of step linked to the meeting in Istanbul." RF Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov congratulated the submarine crew for Wednesday's test and said the strategic naval forces were in good shape and up to date. The RF Navy did not name the rocket type fired, but Dygalo said it was the usual kind carried on the catamaran-hulled Typhoon-class submarine. Russian nuclear weapons expert Pavel Podvig stated, "What Kuroyedov meant is 'Look, if you go ahead and build this ABM system we will just start extending the lives of our systems and keep the number of warheads at a relatively high level'."

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7. US-India CTBT Talks

Reuters ("US, INDIA SAY PROGRESS NEEDED ON DISARMAMENT," Washington, 11/17/99) reported that after two days of talks in London between Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh and US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, the two sides said in a joint statement they hoped to "lay the foundation of a broad-based forward-looking relationship between the United States and India." A statement issued by the US Embassy in London said, "they discussed issues related to disarmament and non-proliferation and focused, in particular, on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), control over exports of sensitive products and technologies, and issues related to defense posture." The joint statement also said Singh and Talbott hoped a visit to India by US President Bill Clinton next year would "provide the occasion to significantly improve mutual understanding and cooperation. To that end, the two sides agreed to intensify their contacts at all levels in the months ahead." Singh and Talbott plan to meet again in January.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "U.S., N.K. TO DISCUSS 4-PARTY TALKS," Seoul, 11/17/99) and Joongang Ilbo ("US, N.KOREA BEGIN A NEW ROUND OF TALKS IN BERLIN," Seoul, 11/16/99) reported that ROK officials said on November 16 that the US and the DPRK will discuss when to resume the four-party peace talks during their meeting on improving relations in Berlin. An anonymous official at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) said, "we delivered our hope to Washington that it would exchange views on the opening of the four-way talks with Pyongyang." It has been speculated that the four-nation talks may be held after the planned visit by a high-level DPRK official to the US to discuss concrete steps toward normalizing bilateral ties. During the ongoing Berlin meeting, the US and the DPRK plan to discuss follow-up measures, including preparations for high-level talks, to the earlier agreement on the DPRK suspension of new missiles testing. Director General for North American Affairs at MOFAT Song Min-soon said, "The two sides opened the first day of talks Monday but stopped short of presenting any proposals. But the atmosphere was good. The two sides are expected to have in-depth discussions from today."

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2. Mount Kumgang Tour

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "MT. KUMGANG TOUR CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY AMID PRAISE, CONCERNS," Seoul, 11/17/99) reported that the tour to Mount Kumgang in the DPRK celebrates its first anniversary on Thursday. Most ROK analysts said that the program has greatly contributed to easing tension on the Korean Peninsula. Some, however, are still expressing concerns about its possible exploitation by the DPRK. More than 140,000 ROK tourists have stepped on DPRK soil since the Hyundai Group first launched cruise ships bound for the scenic mountain November 18, 1998. Myongji University Professor Yon Ha-chong said, "it offered a turning point in the inter-Korean economic exchanges, which had been of limited scope and wildly fluctuated according to the political situation on the Korean Peninsula, through the large-scale transfer of money, manpower and resources."

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-US Talks

China Daily ("DPRK, US TALKS RESUME," 11/17/99, A11) reported that talks between the DPRK and the US aimed at improving ties between the two countries resumed on November16 at the US Embassy in Berlin. Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan, head of the DPRK delegation, did not say anything as he arrived, the report said. The talks are expected to last several days.

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2. ROK Missile Program

People's Daily (Wang Linchang, "ROK INDEPENDENTLY DEVELOPS SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE," Seoul, 11/17/99, A6) reported that the ROK announced on November15 that it has independently developed a short-range surface-to-air missile code-named "Chonma", or Pegasus, and has begun producing it in batch process. This type of missile is scheduled to deploy near Seoul next month. According to the ROK Agency for Defense Development, this type of missile has a maximum range of 10 kilometers and is capable of being fired in all types of weather.

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3. ROK Official's Visit to Egypt

People's Daily (Zhang Liqing and Wang Yadong, "EGYPT WILLING TO MEDIATE BETWEEN TWO KOREAS," Cairo, 11/16/99, A6) reported that Egyptian Foreign Minister Moussa expressed on November 14 that his country is willing to mediate between the ROK and the DPRK so as to help them end long-term confrontation and realize peace after talks with his ROK counterpart Hong Soon-young. The two ministers exchanged views on strengthening bilateral relations and on a number of issues in the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula and other regions. After the talks, the two countries signed an agreement on cooperation on peaceful use of nuclear energy and an agreement on the cooperation between the two countries' diplomatic agencies.

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4. PRC's Accession to WTO

People's Daily (Peng Shujie, "PRESIDENT JIANG MEETS WITH US GOVERNMENT DELEGATION," Beijing, 11/16/99, A1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin said at a meeting with US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky and US National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling in Beijing on November15, that the signing of a bilateral pact on the PRC's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) is of "great realistic and historic significance." Jiang expressed his belief that the signing of the agreement "will help accelerate the process of China's entry into WTO and promote the overall development of China-US trade and economic cooperation." He also said that the agreement would be conducive to the improvement and development of China-PRC relations, and bring about a new driving force for the development and prosperity of the world economy. According to Jiang, the signing of the agreement between the PRC and US fully demonstrates the two sides should examine and handle major events that are closely related to the interests of both the Chinese and the US people as well as the people of the world, from the strategic perspective geared to the 21st century. According to Jiang, both sides have adopted an overall point of view and made unremitting efforts in line with the spirit of equality, mutual benefit, mutual understanding, mutual compromise, and seeking common ground while leaving difference aside. Jiang said that it is because of this that we have overcome all difficulties, properly handled and resolved all differences, and finally achieved "win-win" results. He stressed that the PRC will unswervingly push forward the reform and opening-up drive, steadily expand the mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries in the world, and continue its efforts for the establishment of a complete and open international trading system so as to make positive contributions to world peace and development.

China Daily (Shao Zongwei and Gao Wei, "CHINA, US SIGN LANDMARK PACK," 11/16/99, A1) said that the November 15 agreement does not secure PRC's National Trade Relations (NTR) status as a major US trade partner. However, US National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling pledged at the signing ceremony that "Ambassador Barshefsky and myself, and most importantly our president and vice-president, will commit themselves to doing everything in their power to help ensure China does get permanent, formal NTR (Normal Trade Relations) status." Sperling also said, "we will work very, very hard with our leaders and our Congress to make that happen. It is a win for US jobs and exports. It is a win for China's economic reforms. It is a win for our global economy." The agreement will help anchor US-China relations that can often be complex and difficult, Barshefsky said. She added that the agreement will also provide an additional element of stability, prosperity, and goodwill to the global economy. Later at a press conference held at the US embassy in Beijing, Barshefsky called the agreement "extremely comprehensive," saying that it covered issues such as business, regulation, investment and anti-dumping measures. Chinese officials refused to disclose details of the agreement and were not available for comment.

China Daily ("US CONGRESS MAY SUPPORT CHINA ENTRY," 11/17/99, A1) reported that US trade negotiators expressed in Hong Kong on November 16 their confidence that the deal on the PRC entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) would be approved by the US Congress. Speaking in Hong Kong on her way back to the US, the report said that US trade representative Charlene Barshefsky said she believed lawmakers will support the PRC. Gene Sperling, the National Economic Council Director as well as the White House Economic adviser, agreed. Sperling stated, "we have consulted with Congress, and much of what we have been looking for over the last few months have been precisely things the members of Congress have told us they thought were important for their support. We were very much trying to bring back a package that was not only something we thought was strong economically, but something that members of Congress would agree with."

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5. Taiwan Entrance to WTO

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "FM SPEAKS OUT ON TAIWAN'S WTO ACCESSION," 11/17/99, A1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said on November 16 that the agreement on the PRC's entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a monumental step toward worldwide wealth. However, he said Taiwan may join the organization only as a separate customs territory of the PRC. He made the comments at a regular press conference in Beijing on November 16.

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6. PRC-Japanese Relations

People's Daily ("CHINA EXPRESSES INDIGNATION AT ANTI-CHINA REMARKS BY JAPANESE OFFICIAL," Beijing, 11/16/99, A4) reported that when asked to comment on Governor of Metropolitan Tokyo Ishihara Shintaro's so-called "visit of condolence" to Taiwan, PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Sun Yuxi expressed strong indignation at Ishihara's "wanton remarks" in Taiwan. Sun said at a news conference on November 15 that the Japanese official's reference to Taiwan as "a state" has again exposed his anti-China nature and ulterior motives of undermining the PRC reunification cause. Sun said the actions of Ishihara, as governor of Japan's capital, have set a bad precedent for the contacts between Japan and Taiwan. "We demand the Japanese government earnestly abide by its solemn commitment to the Chinese side concerning the Taiwan issue in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship and last year's Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration," Sun said. He also said the Japanese government should take immediate and effective measures to diffuse the damage done to Sino-Japanese relations resulting from Ishihara's remarks and prevent the recurrence of "further thoughtless comments."

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "FM SPEAKS OUT ON TAIWAN'S WTO ACCESSION," 11/17/99, A1) reported that in response to a Japanese official's wish to establish sister-cities relations between Tokyo and Taipei, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said at a news press on November 16 that the PRC is very concerned about the prospect. Sun noted that Beijing and Tokyo have established a sister-city relationship based on the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Sun also said that to establish sister relations with Taipei would undermine the political basis of the existing friendship between the PRC and Japan and would be a political error. He said added, "China will keep a close watch on developments of this issue."

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7. Taiwan Military Development

China Daily (Jing Xian, "MOVE EXPOSES SPLITTIST SCHEME," 11/15/99, A4) reported that Taiwan's new proposal to increase its military budget could hurt Taiwan people more (than the earthquake on September 21). Taiwan's Defense Minister Tang Fei proposed recently to increase the budget for defense next year to 3 per cent of gross national product. Taiwan's defense budget this year is NT$300 billion (US$9.4 billion) and Tang's proposal will add another NT$40 billion (US$1.26 billion). The increase of the defense budget has been approved by the administrative yuan, although the exact amount remains to be discussed. The decision is unfair to many ordinary Taiwan people since much more money is urgently needed to renovate their homes, the report said. Another thing that deserves attention, the article said, is the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act recently approved by the House International Relations Committee of the US. It pointed out that Taiwan leaders are watching the progress of the bill closely. Strengthened US-Taiwan ties in their eyes will better help them challenge the PRC. It warned that Taiwan authorities' decisions are not in the interest of the majority of Taiwan people. Instead of security and "independence" as some have advocated, the article said, such provocativeness can only lead to disaster.

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8. PRC Military Development

People's Liberation Army Daily (Wang Wenjie and Su Ruozhou, "CHAIRMAN JIANG GIVES IMPORTANT SPEECH AT PLA MEETING," Beijing, 11/13/99, A1) reported that Chinese President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin said at the meeting of People's Liberation Army (PLA) Chiefs of Staff held in Beijing on November 12 that safeguarding security and unification is of primary importance to any nation, and a powerful national defense and military strength are solid backing for national security. According to the report, Jiang said that the PRC opposes any unjust war, but in just wars such as safeguarding its security and unity, it will fight to win. The PRC army strategy should be fully developed to prepare the military for possible, Jiang said, adding that people are the critical factor for winning a war, while weaponry should also be improved and strengthened.

China Daily ("MISSILE CORPS," 11/17/99, A3) reported that according to army sources, the Strategic Missile Corps of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has mastered the operation of more powerful rockets that can hit targets with precision.

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