NEPSNet Daily Report - Mar.23

2000-03-29 00:03
For Tuesday, March 21, 2000, from Berkeley, California, USA

Latest Policy Forum Online:
"Make South Korea the Real Party to North Korea," by Indong Oh,
Korea 2000.

In today's Report:
I. United States
1. US-DPRK Relations
2. Japan-DPRK Normalization Talks
3. PRC-DPRK Talks
4. US-ROK Military Exchange
5. Cross-Strait Relations
6. US-PRC Relations
II. Republic of Korea
1. EU on Berlin Proposal
2. DPRK-Japan Trade Volume
3. DPRK-PRC Relations
4. ROK-DPRK Relations
5. DPRK-France Economic Cooperation
6. DPRK-US Talks
7. Myanmar Demands Apology to DPRK
8. ROK on Human Rights in DPRK
9. Philippine Senate to Visit DPRK
10. DPRK and ARF
11. DPRK Electricity Shortage
12. DPRK Requests Clothes
III. People's Republic of China
1. DPRK-US Talks
2. ROK-Japanese Relations
3. DPRK-PRC Relations
4. ROK-PRC Relations
5. Cross-Strait Relations
6. PRC-Indian Relations
7. Taiwan's Presidential Elections
IV. Russian Federation
1. DPRK's Foreign Activities
2. RF Presidential Elections and RF-PRC Relations
3. RF-PRC Relations Forecasts in RF Pre-Election Campaign
5. RF-PRC Arms Trade and Taiwan Defenses
6. Taiwan's Presidential Elections

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Relations

The US State Department's Office of International Affairs released the
testimony of Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Counselor of the Department of
State, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on
East Asian and Pacific Affairs (U.S. ADHERES TO "CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE"
POLICY, 3/21/00). The testimony said that the US Clinton Administration
continues to pursue "constructive dialogue" with the DPRK in the hope of
ending the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula. Sherman said in her
prepared remarks that the Administration is "attempting to pursue a
constructive dialogue with the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of
Korea) that addresses our central security concerns and leads us more
rapidly down the path toward full normalization. The Cold War still
exists on the Korean Peninsula. We hope that our dialogue will be the
first step toward ending it. We are under no illusions that it will be
an easy path. We recognize fully that everything we and our allies do in
our diplomacy requires the maintenance of strong allied deterrent
posture." Sherman noted that the 37,000 US troops in the ROK and 47,000
in Japan "demonstrate our commitment to stand with our allies against any
threat of aggression." She also noted that coordination among the US,
the ROK, and Japan "is stronger than at any time in the past. I believe
this has been one of the most important achievements of the
Administration's policy toward North Korea."

2. Japan-DPRK Normalization Talks

3/21/00) reported that Japanese diplomatic sources said on March 20 that
Japan and the DPRK are set to hold full-scale normalization talks, which
will likely take place in Pyongyang on April 4. A diplomatic source said
Japan and the DPRK had struck a "basic agreement" to meet. However, the
source said, it remained unclear how long the Pyongyang talks would last.
But another diplomatic source said Japanese negotiators could stay in
Pyongyang for more than two days, depending on progress in the scheduled
talks. A Japanese government source said no major breakthrough was
expected in initial rounds of the normalization talks. However, the
source said, "we must deal with North Korea patiently. As regards
normalization talks, we have no intention of using a simple formula in
which we try to get something from North Korea in exchange for food aid."
Analysts say Japan is keen to keep in step with the US and the ROK in
gradually improving relations with the DPRK.

3. PRC-DPRK Talks

Associated Press ("CHINA, NORTH KOREA DISCUSS VISITS," Beijing, 3/21/00)
reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi confirmed Tuesday
that it was discussing with the DPRK an exchange of high-level visits
that could reportedly include Kim Jong Il's first overseas trip since he
took power almost six years ago. Sun said, "concerning the issue of
leaders' exchange of visits, the two sides are in the process of
consultation." There have also been reports that PRC legislative
chairman Li Peng, who is second in the ruling Communist Party, might
visit the DPRK.

4. US-ROK Military Exchange

Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "KOREA, U.S. AIR FORCE CHIEFS TO MEET
TODAY," 3/21/00) reported that the US Air Force said on March 20 that ROK
Air Force chief of staff Yi Ok-su will meet with his US counterpart,
Michael E. Ryan, for talks on bilateral cooperation on Tuesday at Air
Force Headquarters in Kyeryongdae, south of Taejon. A US Air Force
spokesman said that Yi and Ryan are expected to exchange opinions on the
current security situation on the Korean Peninsula and ways of boosting
cooperative ties between the two air forces. He also said that "high on
the agenda at the meeting will be the ongoing joint development of
advanced training aircraft." The program, code-named "T-50" (formerly
KTX-2), involves Lockheed Martin of the US and Korea Aerospace Industries
(KAI), a joint venture launched last October by the ROK's three leading
aircraft makers - Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries and Hyundai
Space & Aircraft. Under the project, six Golden Eagle prototypes will be
produced by June 2002. Delivery of the advanced training jets will begin
in October 2005. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US
Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for March 21, 2000.]

5. Cross-Strait Relations

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "TREADING SOFTLY IN TAIWAN," Taipei,
3/20/00) reported that Chen Shui-bian's vice presidential running mate,
Annette Lu, had planned to criticize PRC leaders on March 18 for
attempting to interfere "in our democratic process" and to declare that
the modern PRC was founded on "enormous bloodshed" while change in Taiwan
came "through the ballot." However, Chen's advisers persuaded her to
scrap the statement and leave the talking to Chen, who voiced restraint
and promised to travel to the PRC for conciliation talks. An anonymous
leading adviser to the Chen said, "we've got to face reality. No matter
what people want, we cannot afford to anger the mainland. We have got to
be very, very careful." In recent days, the dominant pragmatists and a
group that party officials call fundamentalists have struggled over what
stance the new ruling Democratic Progressive Party should take. Among
the pragmatists are Chiou I-jen, Chen's campaign manager, and Bi-Khim
Hsiao, head of the party's international relations section. It was Hsiao
who ensured that Lu did not make her agitating statement. On the
fundamentalist side are Lu, a firm backer of independence who is close to
Tibetan activists and conservative US congressmen, and Parris Chang, the
party's former representative in the US who has argued that Taiwan should
consider acquiring nuclear weapons if the US refuses to supply enough
conventional arms. The author noted that, in a sign that the pragmatists
won another round, three senior Chen advisers held a news conference on
March 20 in which they stressed that Taiwan's connections to the PRC are
more complex than common cultural roots - another modification of party
policy. One of the three, Chiou, even said the party was open to a
concept that there is only one-China but that the PRC and Taiwan have
different definitions of what that China is. Michael Pillsbury, a
security expert at the Atlantic Council in Washington, said, "I am
extremely relieved at this press conference, which I see as a victory for
the pragmatists. But much depends on Beijing's reaction." [Ed. note:
This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of
Defense's Early Bird news service for March 21, 2000.]

Knight Ridder News Service (Michael Dorgan, "CHINESE MILITARY PAPER WARNS
TAIWAN AND U.S.," Beijing, 3/21/00) reported that one of the reports in a
16-page special issue of Haowangjiao Weekly, a PRC newspaper sponsored by
the People's Liberation Army, laid out plans on how the PRC could conquer
Taiwan by force. The report said the PRC's tactics might include a
neutron-bomb attack on Taiwan and a nuclear showdown with the US. One
article said, "the United States will not sacrifice 200 million Americans
for 20 million Taiwanese. They will finally acknowledge the difficulty
and withdraw." Haowangjiao, an arm of the PRC State Commission of Science
Technology and National Defense, an agency of the PLA, did not set a
deadline for reunification but said the PRC "will announce a timetable
for reunification at the proper time this year." The publication
described in detail how Taiwan might be harmed, saying the PRC has
developed multiple-warhead long-range missiles, outlining a strategy for
increasing the pressure on Taiwan and the US to capitulate, and
threatening to attack US satellites and military bases in the Pacific.
If that was insufficient, the article said, the PRC would fire a nuclear
warning shot in the Taiwan Strait and threaten the US with a nuclear
attack if it did not withdraw. However, several US analysts said the
threats could be rhetorical nonsense, reckoning that the US would quickly
win any military conflict with the PRC. [Ed. note: This article was
included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for
March 21, 2000.]

BUT ONLY ON THEIR OWN TERMS," Taipei, 3/20/00) reported that Taiwan's
president-elect Chen Shui-bian said on March 20 that Taiwan could not
talk about 'one-China' as long as it was not a principle. Chen said, "as
long as we are treated as equals, there is nothing we cannot discuss."
Chen's advisers regard the statement as a creative concession that may
entice the PRC into talks. Meanwhile, PRC President Jiang Zemin repeated
the PRC's stance: "the one-China principle must first be recognized.
Under this precondition, anything can be discussed." Chen and his
advisers are optimistic that they will not only avoid provoking a PRC
attack, but may also be able to coax the PRC into a friendly dialogue as
well as new agreements to deepen economic ties and perhaps even a peace
treaty. Chiou I-jen, a top adviser to Chen, said, "I'm optimistic. If
both sides can maintain a certain vagueness, then negotiations could
carry on." Chiou will be going to Washington next week to discuss Chen's
strategy with US officials who are worried about possible tensions across
the strait. However, Andrew Nathan, an expert on East Asian politics at
Columbia University, said, "I think the optimism from the Chen people and
the American government, this idea that they have a new beginning, is
extremely dangerous. The Chinese simply don't trust Chen Shui-bian. They
think his ultimate goal is to cheat China." In interviews and speeches in
the last two days, Chen and key advisers have described a strategy that
they think may be more attractive to the PRC than what Taiwanese
president Lee Tung-wei had to offer. Essentially, it involves being
willing, as Lee never was, to take up the PRC's offer to discuss Taiwan's
status under the principle of 'one-China.' The author noted that the
problem was that Chen does not even talk about a future political link,
although he says he will discuss anything including reunification. That
general willingness is made possible by Chen's final condition that any
important change in Taiwan's status that is proposed must be decided by
the democratic will of Taiwan's people. Chiou said, "we insist on parity
and that any ultimate resolution must have the consent of the people."
However, the PRC has already rejected that condition. [Ed. note: This
article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news
service for March 21, 2000.]

MILITARY ALERT," Taipei, 3/21/00) reported that Taiwan on Tuesday
approved direct links between its three frontline islands and the PRC for
the first time in more than 50 years. However, Taiwan also placed the
military back on alert without explanation. Lawmakers said the
parliament's approval of direct trade, transport and mail between the PRC
and the outposts of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu, which are separated by a
sliver of the Taiwan strait, could eventually be extended across all
Taiwan. As for the military alert, defense ministry spokesman Kung Fan-
ding said Tuesday that the military was ordered back onto a state of
"heightened alertness" less than 24 hours after it was lifted after the
election weekend. Kung refused to say why it had been restored but said,
"heightened alertness can come and go depending on our situation. It is
a flexible measure." The alert level increases the number of troops on
duty but Kung stressed it did not mean combat readiness.

The Wall Street Journal (Russell Flannery and Matt Forney, "TAIWAN'S
reported that the US said Tuesday that its top representative on Taiwan
affairs, Richard Bush, and the former ranking Democrat on the House
foreign affairs committee, Lee Hamilton, would visit Taiwan March 22-24.
The two are scheduled to meet Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and
president-elect Chen Shui-bian.

ROUTINE," 3/21/00) reported that US defense officials said that military
amphibious landing exercises on the coast of southern PRC are routine and
do not appear aimed at Taiwan. An anonymous official said the operations
are an annual exercise involving several hundred marines and do not
include large warship exercises. Officials said about five PRC navy
landing craft were spotted during one recent portion of the amphibious
exercise near the port of Shanghai. The exercises were not announced
publicly by the PRC military and have been under way for about a week.
The official said other military activities observed by US intelligence
agencies include some People's Liberation Army (PLA) troop rotations and
lower-than-usual sorties by PRC aircraft along the demarcation line
separating Taiwan from the mainland. [Ed. note: This article was
included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for
March 21, 2000.]

6. US-PRC Relations

3/21/00) reported that US ambassador to the United Nations Richard
Holbrooke said on Tuesday that he held constructive talks with PRC
Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on several issues, including Taiwan.
Holbrooke said, "the Chinese position this morning was very constructive.
The talks were excellent. There is no other word for this morning's
talks but constructive." Holbrooke said he had repeated the US'
commitment to the concept of 'one-China', but declined to reveal what
Tang had said.

FM," Beijing, 3/21/00) reported that the PRC's official Xinhua news
agency said PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan warned the US on Tuesday
that the PRC would "fight to the finish" if the US was bent on
confrontation. Tang told US ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke in a
meeting, "if the US side is bent on confrontation, China will oblige it
and fight to the finish. This practice of the US side to go against the
tide of history cannot attain the support of the vast majority of member
nations of the United Nations."

II. Republic of Korea

1. EU on Berlin Proposal

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "SEOUL WELCOMES EU'S CALL FOR N.K. TO
POSITIVELY RESPOND TO KIM'S PROPOSAL," Seoul, 03/20/00) reported that the
European Union (EU) officially welcomed ROK President Kim Dae-jung's
'Berlin declaration' on March 16. A statement issued by Portugal, which
currently holds the rotating presidency, said, "Kim's Berlin declaration
offers clear ways to move forward, and the EU calls on the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea to respond positively, constructively, and
without pre-conditions. A constructive approach by the DPRK on these two
issues is crucial also to the development of its relations with EU
countries and with the EU as a whole." The statement said that the
Central and Eastern European countries associated with the EU, as well as
Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, and member countries of the European Economic
Area, joined in the declaration. An anonymous official said, "support
from the EU, which has emerged as another key pillar in our diplomacy
focused on the for powers surrounding the Korean Peninsula, will be
conducive to our efforts to expand international approval for our North
Korea policy." Another official said that the EU's statement could also
increase the pressure on the DPRK, which is currently seeking to improve
relations with major European countries.

2. DPRK-Japan Trade Volume

YEAR," Seoul, 03/20/00) reported that DPRK-Japan trade totaled US$350.4
million last year, down 11.65 percent from 1998. Quoting data from
Japan, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said that the
DPRK exported goods worth US$202.56 million to Japan, down 7.71 percent
from 1998, and imported US$147.8 million, down 15.59 percent. The DPRK's
main export item was fish, at US$72.42 million. Japan exported cars and
related components worth US$29.6 million to the DPRK last year, a 10.2
percent drop from 1998.

3. DPRK-PRC Relations

Joongang Ilbo (You Sang-chul, "BAEK MEETS PRIME MINISTER ZHU," Seoul,
03/20/00) reported that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun met with PRC
Prime Minister Zhu Rongji on March 20. The two discussed inter-Korean
talks and issues that concern the two countries. Baek delivered a
written greeting from DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and Kim Young-nam, head of
the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, to PRC President Jiang
Zemin and Li Peng, chairman of the standing committee of the National
People's Congress. Zhu said that the two countries would continue their
long-standing friendship and emphasized the importance of peace and
prosperity on the Korean peninsula.

Joongang Ilbo (Yoo Sang-chul, "KIM JUNG-IL INVITED TO VISIT CHINA,"
Seoul, 03/19/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Jee Hae-bom, "NK FOREIGN MINISTER TO
MEET CHINESE PREMIER FROM BEIJING," Seoul, 03/17/00) reported that DPRK
Foreign Affairs Minister Paek Nam-sun met with PRC Foreign Minister Tang
Jiaxuan on March 18. Paek and Tang discussed the Korean Peninsula
problem, an upcoming visit by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, and ROK President
Kim Dae-jung's 'Berlin Declaration.' Tang invited Kim Jong-il to visit
the PRC. Both governments agreed that Kim's recent visit to the PRC
embassy in the DPRK showed the great alliance between the people of the
two countries and set the stage for Kim's visit to the PRC. Paek is
scheduled to meet PRC Prime Minister Zhu Rongji on March 20.

Seoul, 03/17/00) reported that DPRK Minister of State Baek Nam-jun is
going to visit the PRC from March 18 to 22. Following his visit to the
PRC, he will continue onto Malaysia, Laos and then to Vietnam.

4. ROK-DPRK Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "NSC DISCUSSES WAYS TO PROMOTE S-N TALKS,"
Seoul, 03/17/00) reported that the ROK government held a standing
committee of the National Security Council (NSC) on March 17, led by
Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu, to discuss follow-up measures to ROK
President Kim Dae-jung's 'Berlin Declaration' and the US-DPRK talks which
ended on March 16. The participants reportedly discussed ways to coax
the DPRK to the conference table.

5. DPRK-France Economic Cooperation

NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 03/17/00) reported that ROK Blue House (ChongWaDae)
Chief of Economy Lee Ki-ho announced on March 16 that two French
manufacturing companies will make inroads into the DPRK. The two French
companies are also considering engaging in joint investments with the

6. DPRK-US Talks

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA-US TALKS END," Seoul, 03/16/00), The Korea
AGENDA," Seoul, 03/17/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Lee Chul-min, "US-NK TALKS
ADJOURN," Seoul, 03/17/00) reported that after a week of discussion in
New York, the DPRK and the US finished working-level preliminary talks on
March 15 without obvious achievements. The two sides agreed that they
would meet again for further discussion. While the US hoped to set the
agenda for the high-level talks, the DPRK demanded that it be removed
from the list of terrorist-sponsoring countries, economic sanctions be
relaxed, and food and heavy fuel be supplied soon, claiming that without
those goals, high-level talks were meaningless. US Senior Representative
Charles Kartman said that he and DPRK Vice Minister Kim will be fully
utilized, and new talks will begin soon. US State Department spokesman
James Rubin said in an official statement that the two sides had
discussed pending issues, including a visit by a high-level DPRK
delegation, in a constructive and efficient atmosphere. The statement
said the DPRK had agreed on an additional visit by the US to the
Kumchang-ri underground facilities. Diplomatic sources in New York
believe that talks have not been broken and that differences in opinion
will be narrowed down through future negotiations.

7. Myanmar Demands Apology to DPRK

1983 YANGON BOMBING," Seoul, 03/16/00) reported that Myanmar (Burma)
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Khin Maung Win announced on March 16
that Myanmar could resume diplomatic ties with the DPRK only when it
acknowledges its responsibility for the 1983 terrorist bombing in Yangon.
Win's statement suggests that an official DPRK apology for the Yangon
(formerly Rangoon) bombing by its agents in an attempt to assassinate
former ROK President Chun Doo Hwan will be the prerequisite for improving
bilateral relationship.

8. ROK on Human Rights in DPRK

03/19/00) reported that a ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official
said on March 18 that the ROK is poised to take up the issue of DPRK
refugees and families separated between the two Koreas at sessions of the
UN Commission on Human Rights on March 19. During a speech scheduled for
March 30, ROK Ambassador to Geneva Chang Man-soon will raise the issue
with the aim of protecting the human rights of DPRK refugees and urging
the DPRK to help separated families meet after their decades-long
separation. The official said that because the meeting is set to deal
with human rights issues in an overall manner, not specifically with the
refugee issue, Chang will discuss the issue of DPRK refugees within the
scope of human rights.

9. Philippine Senate to Visit DPRK

IN MAY," Seoul, 03/17/00) reported that Philippine Ambassador to the ROK
Juanito Jarasa said on March 16 that Philippine Senate president Blas
Ople has accepted an invitation to visit the DPRK in May. Philippine
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Benjamin Domingo said the Philippine
Congress has opened a committee hearing as part of the final stage of
endorsing the administration's plan to normalize diplomatic ties with the
DPRK. Domingo said the hearing is set to focus on "what people will
think if we open diplomatic relations with North Korea." However, the
Philippines does not expect any immediate benefits from its diplomatic
normalization with Pyongyang.

10. DPRK and ARF

The Korea Times ("NK EXPRESSES WISH TO JOIN ARF," Seoul, 03/16/00)
reported that an ROK government source said that the DPRK has intensified
diplomatic activities aimed at forming better ties with many countries
since last year, improving its chances of joining a regional security
dialogue body this year. The source said, "in case progress is made in
diplomatic normalization talks with the Philippines, North Korea has
expressed its desire to apply for ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) membership."
The ARF will hold a foreign ministers meeting in Thailand in July. An
ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official said, "as a senior officials
meeting (SOM) is set for May, the North's membership will be decided
then." However, the official said that it was still early to predict
whether the DPRK would join the meeting because it was still in doubt
whether the Philippines and the DPRK could reach a breakthrough in their
normalization talks.

11. DPRK Electricity Shortage

Seoul, 03/20/00) reported that according to a report from the PRC Central
News Agency (CNA) on March 19, DPRK Workers' Party members have
volunteered to work at the country's coal mines to boost production. An
ROK government official explained that the electricity shortage in the
DPRK has highlighted the need for more fuel. The workers are reportedly
being allocated to mines in Anju, Pukchang, and Sunchon in South Pyongan
province, the Kujang mine in North Pyongan province, and other coal-
fields and coal mines in the Western and Northern areas.

12. DPRK Requests Clothes

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA'S REQUESTS FOR CLOTHING," Seoul, 03/20/00)
reported that the DPRK government has made repeated requests for
children's clothing in diplomatic negotiations with western countries. A
ROK diplomat said, "one North Korean representative asked for a
considerable amount of clothing." Another western diplomat was solicited
for over 2 million gym suits. DPRK refugees believe the clothing is
being distributed to children for political purposes. Kim Sun-gil, a DPRK
refugee since 1997, said, "its possible that the clothing was handed out
on Kim Il-sung's birthday on Aril 15, or on Inauguration Day on October

III. People's Republic of China

1. DPRK-US Talks

People's Daily ("DPRK: TALKS WITH US TO BE CONTINUED," 3/20/00, P6)
reported that DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said on March 18 that DPRK-
US vice-ministerial talks were held in New York on March 8-15. The two
sides agreed to continue holding talks at different kinds of levels, the
spokesman said. The details of the DPRK's requests to remove it from the
list of 'terrorist states' and to compensate its electricity loss because
of the delay of the construction of light-water reactions were discussed
extensively. The US admitted that the DPRK's compensation request was
reasonable and the two sides discussed how to resolve the problem.

2. ROK-Japanese Relations

China Daily ("MILITARY BOND: JAPAN, S. KOREA," Seoul, 3/16/00, P11)
reported that a spokesman for the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff said that
Japan and the ROK on March 15 agreed to step up military cooperation and
exchanges to help maintain stability in Northeast Asia. The spokesman
said the agreement was reached at a meeting between the chairman of
Japan's Joint Staff Council Yuji Fujinawa and his ROK counterpart Cho
Yung-kil in Seoul. The spokesman said, "they shared the view that close
bilateral ties between the two countries are important for maintaining
stability in Northeast Asian region and agreed to increase military
exchange and cooperation."

3. DPRK-PRC Relations

reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and visiting DPRK Foreign
Minister Paek Nam-sum on March 18 expressed satisfaction with talks and
with the continuous growth of bilateral relations during the past few
years. Tang said that the growth of bilateral relations was good for
both countries and has contributed positively to peace, stability and
security in the Korean Peninsula and the region. Tang stressed that the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the PRC government are consistent in
their determination to develop traditional friendship between the two
countries. Paek agreed that bilateral friendship is progressing well
under the great care of the leaders of the two countries. Paek said that
it was Kim Jong-il's adamant wish and will to develop the traditional
DPRK-China friendship, regardless of changes in the international
situation. Both sides also agreed that Kim Jong-il's recent visit to the
PRC Embassy in Pyongyang fully demonstrated the great goodwill between
the two peoples. Both sides also pledged to enhance contacts and
cooperation on relevant issues, and to contribute jointly to maintaining
peace and stability in the peninsula, in Northeast Asia and in the world.
Paek said the DPRK supported the PRC government's stand on the Taiwan
issue, as stated in its recent white paper.

China Daily ("TRIP TO DPRK," Beijing, 3/20/00, P2) reported that, at the
invitation of the DPRK's Labor Party, a delegation from the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) left Beijing on March 19 on a goodwill visit to the
DPRK. The delegation is headed by Chen Jiping, deputy secretary of the
Political Science and Law Committee under the CCP Central Committee.

4. ROK-PRC Relations

3/19/00, P4) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo met a special
envoy of ROK President Kim Dae-jung in Beijing on March 17. During the
meeting, the two sides exchanged views on increasing cooperation in
information and communication fields. The ROK envoy conveyed Kim's
wishes for the two countries to carry out bilateral cooperation in these

5. Cross-Strait Relations

China Daily (Hu Qihua and Shao Zongwei, "TIMELINE, VOTERS DECIDE WHEN,"
3/17/00, P2) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi
commented on US Defense Secretary William Cohen's remarks on March 16
regarding the Taiwan issue. Sun said, "we hope that the US will not
interfere in China's internal affairs. We hope China-US relations can
develop in a healthy and stable manner."

China Daily ("STRAITS TRADE PROGRESSING," 3/17/00, P5) reported that
trial direct shipments across the Taiwan Straits saw rapid progress
during the first two months of 2000. The shipments are utilizing Xiamen,
a port located in East China's Fujian Province. The report said that the
city handled 49,453 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) of containers
destined to Kaohsiung Port during the period, an increase of 46 percent
from the same period last year.

6. PRC-Indian Relations

People's Liberation Army Daily (Zhang Xiaozheng, "CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO
INDIA ON BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP," New Delhi, 3/17/00, P4) reported that
PRC Ambassador to India Zhou Gang said on March 17 that the PRC attached
importance to its relations with India and is ready to establish a
cooperative and constructive partnership in the future with India on the
basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. Zhou said, "it is
China's consistent and firm aspiration, not an expedient." Zhou said
that since the beginning of last year, the Sino-Indian relationship has
overcome contemporary frustration and gradually stepped back onto the
track of improvement and recovery, which is what the PRC is pleased to
see. Zhu said the PRC was looking forward to Indian President's state

7. Taiwan's Presidential Elections

[see the NAPSNet Special Report issued on March 21, 2000]

IV. Russian Federation

1. DPRK's Foreign Activities

The Izvestia (Evgeny Artemov, "GREAT LEADER TURNS FACE TO THE WORLD",
Washington, 5, 03/15/00) reported that US-DPRK talks were held in
Washington between US Special Envoy on DPRK Charles Kartman, US Anti-
Terrorism Coordinator Michael Sheehan, and Deputy Foreign Minister of the
DPRK Kim Gai Gwang. An agreement was reached that a DPRK delegation
headed by a DPRK deputy Foreign Minister would visit. The DPRK is among
the seven terrorist-sponsoring states on the US State Department list,
but the US said that there was no evidence of its terrorist involvement
since 1987. Prior to the talks, four men from a DPRK delegation
"secretly" visited Canada. More visits to Western Europe were expected
this spring. Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini will be the first G8
foreign minister to pay an official visit to the DPRK soon. The Red
Cross Society of Japan and the DPRK signed an agreement to let Japanese
women married in the past to DPRK citizens visit Japan this April. The
DPRK agreed to facilitate the "search for missing Japanese" in its
territory as a prelude to April's normalization talks.

2. RF Presidential Elections and RF-PRC Relations

The Izvestia ("BEIJING AND OUR ELECTIONS", Moscow, 6, 03/11/00) reported
that PRC authorities said acting RF President Vladimir Putin would visit
the PRC "this year." PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said the visit
would be "of great importance." The report said the PRC seemed to have
no doubt that Vladimir Putin will win the RF presidential elections on
March 26 and hoped for continuity in bilateral relations.

3. RF-PRC Relations Forecasts in RF Pre-Election Campaign

Nezavisimaia Gazeta-Stsenarii published an editorial article by Denis
Muller ("RED AND YELLOW", Moscow, 5, 03/15/00) which said that if RF
Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov wins the RF presidential
elections later this month, RF relations with the PRC will surely change.
According to Muller, if the RF Communist Party wins, there will be a
sharp rise in RF foreign debt after 2003 and Zyuganov's government will
face two options: ether a national default followed by international
economic isolation and economic collapse, or a totally "Draconian"
domestic economic measures. Muller wrote that both options would lead to
a sharp political crisis and therefore RF Communist leaders will have to
look for a "non- standard" way of salvation. Muller continued, "and they
will find it. Almost surely Zyuganov's ideologically like-minded persons
from the fraternal Communist Party of China will not deny assistance. In
exchange for their loans helping Russian Communist leaders to hold their
power somehow, Chinese comrades will ask for just little - a more or less
free access to undeveloped resources of Siberia and the Far East.
Capitals from various countries will be attracted with Beijing's
guarantees, and the necessary multimillion-strong work force will come
chiefly from China. A strategic alliance along the Beijing-Moscow axis
will become the last and most reliable basis of the Russian Communists'
power. And the wise rulers in Junnanghai will not speed up the natural
processes predetermined by the logic of history, that is practically

5. RF-PRC Arms Trade and Taiwan Defenses

Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Sergey Sokut, "'MOSKIT' VERSUS 'AEGIS'", Moscow, 6,
03/15/00) reported that RF Vice Premier Ilya Klebanov said that "China is
interested in purchasing not just two, but even a greater number of
Russian destroyers equipped with 'Moskit' missiles." Talks on that
subject are to be held August-September 2000, but experts say PRC leaders
have already made a principal decision to buy two destroyers. The PRC
Navy has already received one RF-made "Sovremenny - class" destroyer from
the two agreed upon in the 1997. The second will be delivered in
November. Inclusive to the deal are six Ka-28 deck-based helicopters
which have already been delivered, and anti-ship 3M-80E "Moskit" missiles
which will be delivered in April and November. "Moskit" missiles are the
main strike force of the destroyers. Four destroyers can fire 32 missiles
simultaneously flying at supersonic speed which make them very hard to
hit by anti-missile defenses. The US are in the process of purchasing an
additional 100 MA-31 supersonic missile targets imitating "Moskit"
flight, but success in counteraction is still limited.

6. Taiwan's Presidential Elections

[see the NAPSNet Special Report issued on March 21, 2000]


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