FW: Daily Report Feb 25

2000-03-03 00:00
In today's Report:
I. United States
1. Kazakhstan Fighter Sales to DPRK
2. Taiwan Military Posture
3. PRC Threat to US
4. PRC Human Rights
5. PRC, Russian Views of Missile Defense
6. US Policy toward Asia
II. Republic of Korea
1. DPRK Missile Research
2. DPRK Energy Shortage
3. ROK Four-way Diplomacy
4. DPRK-ROK Relations
5. DPRK-Indonesia Economic Cooperation
III. Japan
1. Japanese-DPRK Relations
2. Dalai Lama's Visit to Japan
3. Nuclear Nonproliferation Symposium
4. India's Policy toward CTBT

I. United States

1. Kazakhstan Fighter Sales to DPRK

Inside the Air Force (Adam J. Hebert, "TWO COMPANIES SANCTIONED FOR
ILLEGAL SALE OF MIG-21S TO NORTH KOREA," 2/25/00, P.1) reported that the
US State Department determined that two European companies helped sell
and deliver about 40 MiG-21 fighter jets to the DPRK late last year. The
department has issued a sanction to prohibit federal entities and US
companies from conducting defense-related business with either firm.
Anonymous State Department officials said that sanctions originally
imposed on the Kazakhstan government, the origin of the MiGs, were waived
because that government cooperated closely with the investigation. State
Department officials said that 38 or 40 disassembled but complete MiGs
were delivered to the DPRK, possibly by rail. DPRK officials have denied
receiving the fighters, but the US State Department is confident that the
aircraft did indeed arrive. The MiGs were originally suppose to go to a
Czech company called Agroplast, which has a license to import spare parts
for the MiG-21 to the Czech Republic. Agroplast denied any involvement
in the transfer of the MiGs to the DPRK. [Ed. note: This article was
included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for
February 25, 2000.]

2. Taiwan Military Posture

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "TAIWAN DISPLAYS ITS FEEBLE FLEET AS
CHINA THREATENS," Tsoying Naval Base, 2/25/00) reported that Taiwanese
Vice Admiral Fei Hrong-po, commander of the Taiwan's main naval base at
Tsoying, said that Taiwan lacks an advanced radar system to warn of a
missile attack from the PRC. Fei said that Taiwan's navy and the rest of
its military are in danger of losing an arms race with the PRC. He
warned, "If we don't do something about it now, it will be too late."
Some Taiwanese naval officers and military experts said that Taiwan is in
serious need of submarines because in five years, the PRC will expand its
force of 96 submarines by at least 23 vessels (including a nuclear
submarine now being developed) while Taiwan only has four. Captain Lee
Chao-peng, commander of Taiwan's submarine task force, said, "it is very
urgent for us to obtain more submarines, to train for surface and anti-
submarine warfare." Admiral Lee Jye, chief of Taiwan's navy, said that
Taiwan wants the four 8,000-ton Arleigh Burke-class guided missile
destroyers equipped with Aegis over-the-horizon radar requested from the
US to defend against the PRC's superiority in missiles by aiding in
battlefield management, giving early warning of a PRC missile launch, and
then coordinating defensive fire by Taiwan's land-based Patriot-3
antimissile batteries or by sea-based antimissile guns produced in
Taiwan. Lee said that by 2005, the PRC will have 800 M9 ballistic
missiles and a large but unknown number of M11 missiles, both of which
will be able to cross the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait in minutes. Lee
said that he expects that if the PRC attacks, it will saturate Taiwan
with 400 missiles at once, striking at airfields, ports, electrical power
stations, telecommunications centers and military command centers. He
continued, "In the end, Communist China wants to become a superpower. We
don't. We just want to exist." Fei said that the idea is for Taiwan to
be able to survive the first round so that US forces can have time to
come to its aid. However, Michael Swaine, an expert on Asian security at
the US-based RAND Corporation, said that the Aegis system is more than
Taiwan "can handle at present from a technical/training point of view."
Swaine noted that it would "eat up enormous defense revenues ?and many
in [Taiwan's] navy place a higher value on the acquisition of
submarines." Taiwan's annual defense budget is about US$10 billion.
Swaine and other analysts worry that Taiwan is seeking the Aegis purchase
more for political than military reasons. [Ed. note: This article was
included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for
February 25, 2000.]

3. PRC Threat to US

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, "INSIDE THE
RING," 2/25/00) reported that US Defense Department officials recently
rejected a proposal drawn up by Ronald Montaperto, chief PRC expert at
the National Defense University (NDU), for a congressionally mandated
center to study the threat posed by the PRC. Officials familiar with the
plan said that Montaperto's proposal lost because it would have produced
the exact opposite of what was called for in legislation that authorized
the center - it would downplay the threat of the PRC's military moves
such as missile deployments and new weapons purchases.

4. PRC Human Rights

2/25/00) reported that Jose Diaz, spokesman for UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Mary Robinson, said on Friday that Robinson hopes to sign an
accord in Beijing next week that could help the PRC revise legislation
before ratifying key international rights pacts. Diaz said that Robinson
will raise various human rights concerns with PRC officials. Diaz said,
"she will hold further talks with the Chinese government on the
establishment of a program of technical cooperation and also discuss a
number of human rights issues. This time around the High Commissioner
hopes to finalize this memorandum of intent with a memorandum of
understanding that will formally establish a program of technical
cooperation. Among the measures which could be taken within the context
of this program of technical cooperation could be providing assistance to
China in adapting legislation in view of the ratification -- as they have
committed themselves to do -- of the two covenants which they have

5. PRC, Russian Views of Missile Defense

PROJECT," Geneva, 2/25/00) reported that Russia and the PRC on February
24 criticized US plans to deploy anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) in space
as a violation of the 1972 ABM Treaty. Vasily Sidorov, Russian
ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, said, "if the United States
implemented its unilateral plans on national missile defense, the ABM
Treaty would be destroyed." Sidorov also said that Russia supported the
PRC's proposal to create a special committee within the disarmament
conference to address the problem. PRC ambassador Hu Xiado said that a
violation of the ABM Treaty by the US would "not only undermine global
and regional strategic balance and stability, obstruct or even reverse
the nuclear disarmament process, but also open the door to the
weaponization of outer space."

6. US Policy toward Asia

Singapore Straits Times published an article by Asad Latif, a senior
writer with The Straits Times, ("US IS HERE TO STAY IN ASIA," 2/25/00)
which said that Vice-Admiral Walter Doran, the Commander of the US
Seventh Fleet, said on February 15 that imperial overstretch was not
causing a retrenchment of the US military presence in Asia. Doran spoke
at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies where he said US forward
presence would remain a constant in Asia because "Asia is tied to the
seas" because they are filled with navigational choke points and
strategic lanes of communication "that carry the lifeblood this region
needs." Doran also pointed to Asia's economic importance to the US and
the continued importance of the US in maintaining regional security and
stability. Latif noted that one participant wondered whether the level
of the US presence would be sustainable while another noted that the US
presence was focused on Northeast Asia, not the Southeast. Latif wrote
that Doran's main point was that "the US would remain in Asia this
century, and remain not as an observer but as a participant." Latif also
wrote that for the US presence to be meaningful, "it must have teeth.
And it is teeth that the Seventh Fleet represents. Vice-Admiral Doran's
repeated references to his fleet's readiness left no one in any doubt
about its role of providing credible deterrence. Asia can do with that."
[Ed. note: This opinion article was included in the US Department of
Defense's Early Bird news service for February 25, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Missile Research

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Min-suk and Lee Young-jong, "NORTH KOREA RESUMES
MISSILE TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH," Seoul, 02/24/00) reported that the DPRK has
resumed its missile program, testing missile engine combustion systems on
several different occasions in December and January. Excavations have
also been carried out at the Kumchangri underground facility, where
suspicions of nuclear-related activities have not yet been confirmed. On
February 23, a high-ranking ROK official said, "during December 1999 and
January 2000, North Korea has tested its Taepodong missile engine
combustion system three to four times at the Musudan base in north
Hamkyong province." Another related official said, "a U.S research group
visited Kumchangri in May 1999, suspecting it to be a nuclear
installation. It has now been discovered that North Korea has again been
excavating and installing nuclear linked equipment."

2. DPRK Energy Shortage

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA'S ELECTRICITY WOES WORSEN," Seoul, 02/24/00)
reported that the DPRK said on February 23 that its unprecedented
shortage of electricity and ensuing economic instability was largely due
to the US. According to the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), the DPRK
has never before experienced such a severe shortage in its supply of
electricity. KCNA said that the shortage is one of the primary reasons
for the nation's worsened economic condition. It also maintained that
the malfunctions in railroad services, heating, lighting and agriculture
are serious, and directly linked to the US stance. KCNA went on to note
that if the light-water reactor that the two sides agreed to build had
been completed, the current energy crisis would not have occurred.

3. ROK Four-way Diplomacy

DIPLOMATIC DRIVE," Seoul, 02/25/00) reported that ROK officials said on
February 24 that as the tensions in the Korean Peninsula are dissipating,
the ROK government will soon launch an aggressive diplomatic drive
focusing on the four major powers. The ROK ministry officials said that
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Joung-binn is scheduled to
visit the US next month to hold talks with Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright on pending issues, and will follow a meeting in the ROK with his
Japanese counterpart, Yohei Kono. Minister Lee is also slated to visit
the PRC and Russia in March and April, respectively, to wrap up his four-
way diplomatic push. The official said the two ministers at the Lee-
Albright talks are expected to focus their discussions on maintaining
close cooperation in dealing with the DPRK, as the US will soon hold a
series of talks with the DPRK.

4. DPRK-ROK Relations

KOREAN TIES BEFORE ELECTIONS," Seoul, 02/25/00) reported that ROK
Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said on February 24 that the government
will avoid promoting any radical changes in the inter-Korean relationship
before the April 13 general elections. Park said, "we will not let
(inter-Korean) issues influence the elections, nor let them be exploited
politically. Even if we have secret contacts (with the DPRK), they will
be revealed only after the general polls." Park was responding to a
question on the ROK's intentions to effect a breakthrough in DPRK-ROK
governmental dialogue before the upcoming election race. Park said,
"North Korea has conveyed their hopes for additional aid in return for
improved ties before the general elections through various channels." He
added that he expects ROK-DPRK relations will soon significantly improve,
as the DPRK is now anxious to talk with the ROK.

5. DPRK-Indonesia Economic Cooperation

02/24/00) reported that the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
reported on February 24 that the DPRK and Indonesia have concluded a
treaty promoting trade and investment between the two countries.
According to the KCNA, Kang Jung-mo, Minister of Trade for the DPRK, and
Yousub Calor, Minister of Industry and Trade for Indonesia, signed the
treaty on February 21. KCNA also reported that Indonesian President
Abdulaman Wahid met with Kang and his staff earlier in the day. Wahid
reportedly stressed his desire that relations between the two countries
continue to develop.

III. Japan

1. Japanese-DPRK Relations

MURAYAMA BECOMES PRESIDENT," 02/24/2000) and the Asahi Shimbun
MURAYAMA BECOMES PRESIDENT," 02/24/2000) reported that fifteen Japanese
Diet members who visited the DPRK in December 1999 formally established
the Japanese-DPRK Friendship Association of Politicians on February 23.
Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama became the association's first
president. 169 Diet members, including those from the Japanese Communist
Party, joined the association. Murayama said, "(Given that the US, the
ROK and the PRC are moving toward improving relations with the DPRK,)
Japan should not be isolated from this move. We have to normalize
Japanese-DPRK relations and strive to make the relations even closer. I
also want to continue to strive to make good environments where smooth
inter-governmental talks can be done by promoting relations between both
countries' politicians as well as sports and cultural exchanges."
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Yozo Azuma, who was invited to the
association's commencement ceremony as a guest, said, "we are now
coordinating with the DPRK to resume normalization talks as soon as
possible. We will seriously discuss such humanitarian issues as the
DPRK's abduction of Japanese civilians and such security issues as the
issue of the DPRK's missile development." Some Diet members urged the
solution to the abduction issue, but Murayama said, "I will strive to put
the issue on the negotiation table."

2. Dalai Lama's Visit to Japan

The Asahi Shimbun ("PRC OPPOSES DALAI LAMA'S VISIT TO JAPAN," 02/25/2000)
reported that a PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman said on February 24 that
the PRC has been asking the Japanese government not to allow Tibetan
leader Dalai Lama to visit Japan on April 14. A spokesman said, "(We)
formally request that the Japanese government keep the existing promise,
not allow Dalai Lama to enter Japan, and avoid new obstacles to our
bilateral relations from occurring." The university in Kyoto had invited
the Dalai Lama to participate in seminars, give lectures, and meet Tokyo
Governor Shintaro Ishihara during his stay in Japan.

3. Nuclear Nonproliferation Symposium

NONPROLIFERATION REGIME," 02/25/2000) and the Daily Yomiuri ("INTL
that experts from Japan, the US, Russia, the PRC, and other countries
gathered in Tokyo on February 24 to discuss nuclear nonproliferation and
disarmament issues at "The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime--in the Face
of a Possible Renewed Nuclear Arms Race" symposium. The symposium was
sponsored by the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) Center
for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, with the support
of the Foreign Ministry and the Yomiuri Shimbun. Michael Krepon,
president of the US-based Henry L. Stimson Center, gave the keynote
speech about the shift in the nuclear strategic balance from a bipolar
format to a trilateral structure comprising the US, the PRC and Russia.
JIIA President Hisashi Owada chaired the afternoon session, and three
panelists presented reports on the feasibility of nuclear disarmament and
the nonproliferation process, as well as the possibility of a successful
conclusion to the review conference. Other issues included Japan's
acceptance of the nuclear umbrella and research into theater missile
defense systems, the PRC-Taiwan problem, and Middle East peace talks.
Owada said, "the end of the Cold War invalidated the premise of mutual
assured destruction (MAD). From now on, we should build a new framework,
namely mutual assured security (MAS), instead."

4. India's Policy toward CTBT

HASHIMOTO," 02/23/2000) reported that during a meeting with Indian
Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh on February 22, Senior Foreign Affairs
Advisor Ryutaro Hashimoto said that he "heard that India is striving for
consensus-building in terms of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. I
would like to ask you to continue this." Singh responded, "India is
striving for disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation and is ready to
promote that direction."

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