NAPSNet Daily Report
november 30, 1999

I. United States

II. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Food Aid

Associated Press (Paul Shin, "N. KOREA GIVES THANKS FOR FOOD AID," Seoul, 11/29/99) reported that the DPRK Flood Damage Rehabilitation Committee said in a statement on the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 29, "we feel grateful for the U.N. appeal for aid to (North Korea) as it is an expression of interest and good will of the international community to continue support to the North." However, in a separate statement also released on November 29, the DPRK criticized the US for strengthening a military alliance with the ROK while negotiating with the DPRK. The statement stated, "no sooner had the talks ended than the U.S. made public a timetable for emergency dispatch of huge aggressor forces to the Korean peninsula." KCNA quoted an unidentified spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry as saying, "this eloquently shows that their ambition for invasion of the (North) still remains unchanged."

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2. ROK Prime Minister Resignation

Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA'S PRIME MINISTER TO RESIGN IN PREPARATION FOR UPCOMING ELECTIONS," Seoul, 11/30/99) reported that the ROK Prime Minister's office on Tuesday reported that Kim Jong Pil will resign as prime minister in late December to prepare his United Liberal Democrats for next spring's parliamentary elections. Kim Jong Pil's resignation is expected to set off a major reshuffle within ROK President Kim Dae Jung's government. President Kim is trying to create a new ruling party by the April 2000 parliamentary elections and hopes the new party will win a majority in the ROK National Assembly. The ROK's three main political parties are all based on regional support. President Kim's ruling party has 105 seats in the 299-member single-chamber Parliament. The two coalition ruling parties jointly control 160 legislative seats. The main opposition Grand National Party has 131 seats. There are also eight independent members.

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3. PRC-ROK Relations

Agence France Presse ("CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER DUE IN SEOUL DECEMBER 10-12," Seoul, 11/30/99) reported that the ROK foreign ministry said Tuesday that Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan is scheduled to meet with ROK Foreign Minister Hong Soon-Young in the ROK from December 10-12 to discuss ways of improving ROK-PRC ties. ROK Chief of the Chinese Affairs Bureau Yon Sang-mo said Hong is to seek the PRC's continued support for the ROK policy of engaging the DPRK and "explain the outcomes of his recent visit to North Korea." Sang-mo said Hong is also expected to convey the ROK's hope to Tang that PRC Prime Minister Zhu Rongji will visit the ROK next year.

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4. Cross Strait Relations

Agence France Presse ("CHINA PRESSES REUNIFICATION WITH TAIWAN, PLEDGES ACCELERATED REFORMS," Singapore, 11/30/99) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji gave a lecture in Singapore on Tuesday discussing PRC efforts to accelerate reforms. Zhu described "insufficient effective demand, increasingly conspicuous inadequacy in the economic structure and greater pressure of unemployment" as the PRC's biggest problems. Zhu said that, to address these problems, the PRC would expand domestic demand and boost economic growth by issuing long-term development treasury bonds and by channeling residents' savings into funds for developing infrastructure and upgrading enterprises. Zhu also reiterated the PRC's non-belligerent stance in the region, saying, "China faithfully observes the political consensus reached with ASEAN and stands ready to continue to safeguard the healthy atmosphere and momentum of dialogue and cooperation." When asked about Taiwan during an open forum after the lecture, Zhu said, "I just want to re-emphasize and reiterate that it is our hope that the country can be reunified by peaceful means, but we will never undertake to give up the use of force. The overwhelming majority of the countries in the world that have relations with the People's Republic of China -- they all adhere to the 'one China' policy. There is no hope, no ground for (a) two states theory." Zhu also pledged PRC's commitment to accelerating reforms and opening up its markets as a responsible member of the world community. Asked if the PRC would use its position in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to resolve cross-strait problems, Zhu said, "one thing is for certain: That if mainland China, the People's Republic of China will become a member of the WTO ahead of Chinese-Taipei then we will not allow people to use the WTO as a forum to create two Chinas."

II. Russian Federation

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1. RF National Security Concept

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye ("CONCEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION", Moscow, 11/26-12/3/99, #46:169, 1, 4) published a page long text on October 5 of the "Concept of National Security of the Russian Federation" as approved by the Security Council of the Russian Federation. The titles of the sections are: Russia in the world community; National Interests of Russia; Threats to the National Security of the Russian Federation; and Maintaining the National Security of the Russian Federation.

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2. PRC-Kazakhstan Relations

The Izvestia (Vladimir Skosyrev, "A DIPLOMATIC BREAKTHROUGH IN THE EAST", Moscow, 11/25/99, Pg. 4) reported that Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the PRC. He signed a number of agreements including a communique on the final settlement of the Kazakhstan-PRC 1700 kilometer border. Some newspapers, including those published in Kazakhstan itself, claimed the signing caused Kazakhstan to lose more respect than it gained, but Nazarbayev called the documents "historical." A paragraph on joint efforts to combat national separatism, religious extremism and terrorism also contained in the joint statement caused many speculations about "the Moslem Uighur problem" among observers. The PRC Sinqiang Uighur Autonomous District has had a long history of local ethnic strife. Emigre Uighur groups in Kazakhstan and other countries have been advocating liberation and creation of a so-called Independent Eastern Turkestan, and have carried out several terrorist acts in the PRC.

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3. US Sanctions Against Kazakhstan

The Izvestia ("FIGHTERS ARE OLD, BUT SANCTIONS ARE NEW", Moscow, 11/24/99, Pg.4) reported that the United States introduced sanctions against the "Metallist" state enterprise of Kazakhstan due to its "infamous" delivery of forty MiG-21 fighters to the DPRK. The enterprise is banished from US markets, and US companies must not sell defense-related goods to it. Similar measures are being taken against private Czech "Agroplast" firms. The US sanctions are limited to only one year because the Kazakh Government admitted the delivery was at odds with its official policies and the delivery of the obsolete fighters did not change the arms balance on the Korean Peninsula.

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4. PRC Learned to Detect Stealth Aircraft

The Izvestia (Taras Lariokhin, "BEIJING LEARNED HOW TO SEE THE 'INVISIBLE' ONES", Moscow, 11/30/99, Pg.7) reported that high-ranking officials of the US Defense Department and industry experts will convene in Washington this December to discuss the implications of alleged PRC capability of detecting the US F-117 Stealth aircraft. The US intelligence claims that the new technology may be introduced to the PRC air defenses within two years. Unlike the existing radars, the new radar systems operate by detecting the temporary noises caused by a passing Stealth aircraft. The radar will not need to emit electromagnetic waves and therefore cannot be easily detected or subsequently destroyed. The US company Lockheed Martin, which invented the Stealth technology, has also produced a similar device called the "Silent Sentinel," but has not introduced it into practice. The US Department of Defense has already placed an order for 339 of the newly modified Stealth F-22 Raptor aircraft to be produced by 2004 at about US$98 million each.

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5. RF-Japan Visit

The Izvestia (Vasily Golovnin, "BORIS YELTSIN AGAIN WILL NOT SEE JAPAN", Tokyo,11/24/99, Pg.4) reported that RF President Boris Yeltsin's refusal to visit Japan this year "did not surprise Tokyo too much, but still made it feel a little bit sorry." Japan had hoped for detailed explanations and commitments from the RF to continue the dialogue, but Yeltsin destroyed "an important component of the meticulously prepared Japanese plan." Japan's strategy included two stages: first to establish "warm personal contacts" and then to fix the informal arrangements with official visits and documents. The initial contacts, however, proved insufficient. This was shown when Japanese ex-Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto, on a recent visit to Moscow, was not invited to Yeltsin's residence and spoke with the Russian president only by phone. Yeltsin's refusal to meet with Hashimoto might mean that a visit by Yeltsin to Japan will not take place at all.

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (M.O., "YELTSIN INTENDS TO VISIT JAPAN", Moscow, 1, 11/27/99) reported that Mikio Aoki, Secretary General of the Cabinet of Ministers of Japan, said RF President Boris Yeltsin told Japanese representative Tatsuo Arima at the OSCE summit in Istanbul that he intended to visit Japan in March-April, 2000. The visit has been postponed a number of times due to Yeltsin's health problems and the military campaign in Chechnya.

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6. RF to Get Loan Money from Japan

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Vladimir Sysoev, "JAPAN HAS OUTSTRIPPED THE I.M.F.", Moscow, 11/25/99, Pg.1) reported that the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation offered a plan to extend a US$700 million loan to the RF in the near future. It is to be a part of a larger loan of US$1.5 billion that Japan decided to provide in February 1998, but froze due to the financial crisis in the RF in August 1998. Analysts have drawn direct links between such loans and RF-IMF negotiations in the past, but Japan has now decided to act independently because the RF managed to settle the issue of its debt to the IMF, the World Bank, and the Club of Paris.

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7. Japan Arms Nuclear Waste Cargo Vessels

Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (Aleksey Baturin, "JAPAN FIGHTS PIRACY", Moscow, 3, 11/26-12/3/99, #46:169) reported that artillery arms were mounted on the Japanese nuclear fuel transportation vessels "Pacific Teal" and "Pacific Pintall" at a naval ship-yard in the British port of Barrow-in-Ferness. The vessels have been moving nuclear fuel waste, including radioactive plutonium isotopes, between Japan, Britain and France for the past 20 years. The Japanese owners claimed the measures were taken out of piracy concerns. According to the International Maritime Committee, the number of piracy incidents this year grew by more than 50% compared to 1998. The Committee said the pirates could be tempted to capture a ship's cargo in order to resell it to parties interested in using the radioactive waste to produce nuclear weapons for terrorist attacks. Each vessel is now equipped with three 30 millimeter DS 30B automatic guns of high-fire rate capable of hitting surface and air targets at a 10 kilometer range - similar to those used by the British Navy.

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8. ASEAN Summit Link to Northeast Asia

The Izvestia (Yury Savenkov, "ASIAN EURO", Moscow, 11/30/99, Pg.7) reported that the ASEAN Summit in Manila concluded that a customs union, a common market and a common currency for East Asia were all quite feasible. Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines committed themselves to the elimination of all customs tariffs in mutual trade by 2010, five years earlier than was planned before. The other four ASEAN member states committed themselves to 2015. The goal is to create a free trade zone with 500 million people and a common currency. The ASEAN member states promised to deepen their cooperation with the PRC, Japan and the ROK - giving hope to the expansion of the zone to encompass 3 billion people with a total GDP of US$7.75 trillion. PRC Premier Zhu Rongji, Japanese Premier Keijo Obuchi, and ROK President Kim Dae-jung were present at the summit. These three leaders also held their own summit in Manila, the first ever in history. The media called the meeting an emergence of a New Asian Three. Japan said it was ready to provide US$45 million to create a permanent fund designed to soften the impacts of financial crises in the future.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia

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