평화/화해

NAPSNet Daily Report - Feb 29

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2000-03-03 23:59
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1075
NORTHEAST ASIA PEACE AND SECURITY NETWORK DAILY REPORT
For Tuesday, February 29, 2000, from Berkeley, California, USA

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In today's Report:
I. United States
1. DPRK High-Level US Visit
2. US-PRC Military Talks
3. PRC View of US Intervention in Taiwan
4. US Military Exercises
II. Republic of Korea
1. DPRK-Australia Relations
2. DPRK-US Talks
3. Inter-Korean Fishing Accord
4. DPRK Human Rights
5. ROK View of DPRK Leader

I. United States

1. DPRK High-Level US Visit

US State Department Spokesman Jamie Rubin ("US STATE DEPARTMENT DAILY
NOON BRIEFING," The Office of International Information Programs, US
Department of State, 2/28/00) said that contrary to reports from the ROK,
the US does expect to have a meeting with the DPRK in New York to
finalize preparations for a high-level DPRK visit to Washington. Rubin
stated that the meeting is still on track for next month. Rubin stated
that, "we have always demonstrated a willingness to continue work on the
liaison office effort. We have expressed a willingness to work on
counter-terrorism issues, by explaining in some detail to the North
Koreans what steps they need to take to remove North Korea from the
terrorism list. And those efforts continue."

2. US-PRC Military Talks

Agence France Presse ("CHINA WARNS US MILITARY COMMANDER: NO COMPROMISE
OVER TAIWAN," Beijing, 2/29/00) and the Associated Press (John Leicester,
"U.S. ADMIRAL VISITS CHINESE MILITARY CHIEFS," Beijing, 2/29/00) reported
that the PRC's official Xinhua news agency said that US Admiral Dennis
Blair met separately with the deputy general chief of staff of the
People's Liberation Army (PLA), Xiong Guangkai, and the PRC's naval
commander Shi Yunsheng on February 28. Blair also met PRC Defense
Minister General Chi Hoatian on Tuesday. Chi told Blair that the PRC
would never rule out using force to win back Taiwan. Chi said that last
week's policy White Paper on Taiwan reflected the PRC's determination on
the issue because "the reunification cause of China is irreversible."
However, Chi added that the PRC wanted to follow a peaceful path, but if
it was foiled it would have to keep all options open. Chi also called on
the US to stop all arms sales to Taiwan, and to "do things that genuinely
promote the peaceful reunification of China." Blair also spoke with the
chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, General Fu
Quanyou. Fu told Blair, "Sino-US relations are right now at an important
period which faces both opportunities for improvement and development,
and problems calling for urgent handling, and the Taiwan issue is a key
one. The US government should not let the Sino-US relations and
bilateral military ties which have shown a trend of resumption and
improvement suffer setbacks once again." [Ed. note: The Associated Press
article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news
service for February 29, 2000.]

3. PRC View of US Intervention in Taiwan

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CHINA THREATENS U.S. WITH MISSILE
STRIKE," 2/29/00) reported that the PRC's People's Liberation Army (PLA)
Daily said in a commentary on February 28 that the PRC could resort to
long-range missile attacks on the US during a regional conflict. [Ed.
note: See "PRC View of US Intervention in Taiwan" in the Daily Report for
February 28.] According to US Defense Department officials familiar with
the translation, the article was unusually harsh and echoed a private
warning made in 1995 by PRC Lieutenant General Xiong Guangkai. One US
official said that the article appeared to be a response to a statement
by Walter Slocombe, US undersecretary of defense for policy, last week
that said the PRC would suffer "incalculable consequences" if it attacked
the island. Slocombe's statement brought a complaint from some officials
at the White House and State Department who objected to the Defense
Department's tough stance. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top
Story in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for
February 29, 2000.]

4. US Military Exercises

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CHINA THREATENS U.S. WITH MISSILE
STRIKE," 2/29/00) reported that several ships from the carrier battle
group led by the USS Kitty Hawk began conducting exercises in the Pacific
on February 23. US Defense Department officials said privately that the
carrier deployment was part of US diplomatic efforts to discourage the
PRC from conducting threatening war games. A senior military official
said that the carrier exercises were scheduled weeks ago. The ships are
deployed in waters east of central Japan and will be at sea for 12 days
before returning to their home port of Yokosuka, Japan. Officially, US
Defense Department spokesman Lieutenant Commander Terry Sutherland said
that the Kitty Hawk is engaged in "general quarters" and the deployment
was not related to the PRC's release of the white paper or the upcoming
Taiwanese presidential elections. Susan Shirk, Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State for East Asia, wrote an unofficial electronic message
to a group of California academics recently saying the carrier will not
be sent to the region. Shirk wrote, "want to let everyone know that one
carrier, the Kitty Hawk, is engaged in routine training off the coast of
Japan, no intention to move near the Strait, nothing to do with Taiwan,
white paper, etc." [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story
in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February
29, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-Australia Relations

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K. OFFICIALS TO VISIT AUSTRALIA LATER
THIS YEAR FOR RAPPROCHEMENT TALKS," Seoul, 02/29/00) reported that ROK
officials said on Tuesday that Australia and the DPRK agreed in principle
to reinstate diplomatic relations. A four-member Australian delegation,
led by First Assistant Foreign Secretary Colin Heseltine, returned from a
five-day trip to Pyongyang and briefed ROK officials on the results of
the visit on February 27. Heseltine, who met with DPRK Vice Foreign
Minister Pak Kil-yon and other officials during the visit, said that he
delivered his government's message to DPRK officials, which included an
invitation to visit Canberra during the second half of this year. The
ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade quoted Heseltine as saying,
"the North Korean officials expressed their strong hopes that the two
countries would open embassies in each others' capitals as soon as
possible." The ministry official said that while in Pyongyang, the
Australian delegation made a set of suggestions for the early resumption
of diplomatic ties. They called for the DPRK to improve relations with
the US, maintain a moratorium on missile tests, and agree to participate
in direct talks with the ROK and in the four-party dialogue.

2. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald ("N.K.-U.S. HIGH-LEVEL PREPARATORY TALKS LIKELY TO BE
DELAYED UNTIL NEXT MONTH," Seoul, 02/29/00) reported that an ROK
government official said that the DPRK-US talks scheduled for this month
to prepare for high-level bilateral dialogue are likely to be put off
until next month. The anonymous official said, "there is no response on
this matter from the DPRK yet. The schedule will inevitably have to be
readjusted. North Korea committed itself to the talks, so the talks will
eventually open. But due to procedural matters such as visa issuances,
they will likely take place next month."

3. Inter-Korean Fishing Accord

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "PRIVATE INTER-KOREAN FISHING ACCORD FACES
GOVERNMENT IRE, INTERAGENCY RIFT," Seoul, 02/29/00) and The Korea Times
(Son Key-young, "INTER-KOREAN PRIVATE FISHING PACT PROMPTS AUTHORITIES'
SCRUTINY," Seoul, 02/27/00) reported that an ROK private fishing industry
group that struck a joint fishing accord with its DPRK counterpart
without prior government approval reiterated its resolve on Tuesday to
push ahead with the project. Responses from related government agencies
to the private agreement were varied. Some noted additional obstacles to
the landmark accord becoming a reality. Members of the Korean Fishermen
Union stressed the validity of their agreement, describing it as
"credible and authoritative." Officials at the ROK Ministry of Maritime
Affairs and Fisheries downplayed the plan in their comments on February
26's announcement that the DPRK had agreed to open part of its waters to
ROK fishermen. They called the initiative "unrealistic," and hinted that
the agreement could be used as DPRK political propaganda. ROK
Unification Ministry officials were also cautious, saying that the
government should examine problematic points within the private-level
agreement before allowing the parties involved to proceed with the plan.

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA OPENS ITS HARBORS," Seoul, 02/28/00) and The
Korea Times (Lee Soo-jeong, "S. KOREAN BOATS LIKELY TO START OPERATIONS
IN NORTH IN MID-MARCH," Seoul, 02/28/00) reported that the DPRK announced
on February 28 that its harbors and fishing zones on the eastern coast
will be open to ROK fishing vessels. The ROK government will make a
decision on whether or not to allow ROK vessels to enter the DPRK's
fishery zones after looking into certain agreements between the
Federation for Fishery Association (FFA) and the DPRK. Kim Yong-hae, an
advisor to the FFA, said, "we have reached an agreement allowing ROK
fishermen to enter DPRK harbors during periods of heavy wind and/or
dangerous waves. Ships from South Korea will be guaranteed access to
wireless communications in the North Korean fishing zones."

4. DPRK Human Rights

The Korea Herald ("KIM PESSIMISTIC ON IMPROVING N.K. HUMAN RIGHTS
SITUATION," Seoul, 02/29/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung
said that it will be difficult to make significant progress in attempting
to convince the DPRK to improve its human rights situation. Kim said in
an international conference on the engagement policy toward the DPRK,
"the interest of the international community in North Korea's human
rights conditions may have a limited effect, but it would be difficult to
produce significant results under any circumstances. Eradicating poverty
is the most important step in terms of North Korean human rights." Kim
also said that the DPRK was most likely to follow the paths of the PRC
and Vietnam, by seeking liberalization and reform while adhering to its
system.

5. ROK View of DPRK Leader

The Korea Times (Lee Chang-sup, "PRESIDENT KIM DESCRIBES KIM JONG-IL AS
PRAGMATIST," Seoul, 02/29/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung
described DPRK leader Kim Jong-il as a pragmatist who has so far honored
his commitment not to develop nuclear weapons. During an interview with
German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Kim Dae-jung said that he does not
know many details about the DPRK leader, but said he "might be a
pragmatist and he appears to be in full control of all North Korean
affairs." Another factor that made Kim Dae-jung believe Kim Jong-il is a
pragmatist is that the DPRK has sent its officials to the Four-Party
Talks. Kim Dae-jung added, "when we take all these things into account,
we can surmise that we can regard the North Korean leadership as a
partner for dialogue."

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