NEPSNet Daily Report - Apr 3

2000-04-04 00:05
This week on the Nautilus homepage:
* Peter Hayes Unveils "Non-Governmental Secret Weapon" at Non-
Proliferation Conference
* ESENA Final Report Published
* Alta Vista Fifth Grade Class Braves the Bay

In today's Report:
I. United States
1. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks
2. No Gun-ri Investigation
3. ROK-DPRK relations
4. Cross-Strait Relations
5. PRC Missile Threat to Taiwan
6. Taiwan Envoy to the PRC
7. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan
II. Republic of Korea
1. DPRK-ROK Talks
2. DPRK Conditions for Inter-Korea Talks
3. APEC Forum
4. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange
5. Chung to Visit DPRK
6. Japan to Apologize to DPRK
7. DPRK on West Sea
8. New PRC Ambassador to DPRK
9. PRC on DPRK Defectors
10. ROK POW Escaped DPRK
11. DPRK Minister to Visit Germany

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks

Associated Press (Joji Sakurai, "SECURITY MAY HANG ON DIPLOMATIC TIES,"
Tokyo, 4/3/00) reported that Representatives from Japan and the DPRK
will meet on April 4 in Pyongyang for five days of talks on establishing
diplomatic ties. Toshio Miyashita, a DPRK expert at Yamanashi Gakuin
University, said, "the North is in a weak position." Masao Okonogi, a
professor of international relations at Keio University, said, "Japan
feels that in order to bring about change in the North Korean regime, it
must follow a policy of engagement. The real issue for Japan is peace
and stability on the Korean Peninsula." Okonogi said DPRK leaders seem
eager to create a secure framework for closer relations with major
industrial countries in case of a Republican victory in the US
presidential election. He also said, "the North is really on an overall
diplomatic maneuver to prepare for a change of administration in the
United States. They want guarantees in case of a Republican victory."
[Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's
Early Bird news service for April 3, 2000.]

DIPLOMATIC TALKS WITH JAPAN," Tokyo, 4/2/00) reported that analysts said
the DPRK will be groping for an economic lifeline when it launches
landmark diplomatic talks with Japan this week. However, they said,
despite the massive food shortages, the DPRK will not be holding out a
begging bowl and the negotiations are likely to drag on for years.
Japan's chief negotiator Kojiro Takano is due to arrive in Pyongyang on
April 4 to resume the normalization talks. Japan's government has
rejected the DPRK demands for compensation from its colonial rule, but
has offered instead to discuss the DPRK's claims to assets usurped by
Japanese colonizers. Experts estimated that the DPRK could have claims
at US$5-10 billion, after accounting for inflation and interest. Masao
Okonogi, a professor at Tokyo's Keio University, said, "North Korea may
benefit from its talks with the United States in the field of security.
But its dealing with Japan will contribute to its economic
construction." Most analysts in Japan believe that the talks will be
tough. There is also strong resistance to hasty overtures to the DPRK
within Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP). Katsumi Sato, a leading Japanese analyst on DPRK affairs, said,
"if the LDP loses in the general elections, which are widely expected
after July, the foreign ministry will return to its orthodox ways and
put the abduction issue up front."

2. No Gun-ri Investigation

U.S. News & World Report (Paul Bedard, "WASHINGTON WHISPERS NO GUN YET,"
4/10/00, P.8) reported that the US Army is applying unusual ingenuity in
its probe of allegations that US soldiers massacred Korean refugees 50
years ago in the ROK hamlet of No Gun-ri. One key innovation in the
investigation is a computerized virtual-reality model that lets
investigators relive the July 1950 event as the soldiers might have,
including lines of fire and simulations of the type of US Air Force jet
strafing some think may have been responsible for the deaths of refugees
and US soldiers. Still, one investigator said, "the mystery gets bigger
as we go along." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US
Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 3, 2000.]

3. ROK-DPRK relations

SUMMIT, Seoul, 4/3/00) reported that ROK national security adviser Hwang
Won Tak said Monday the DPRK and the ROK are holding productive talks
that may lead to the first ever summit between the two states. Hwang
said, "the two Koreas are having talks through various channels, and
there is a good chance that the two would hold a summit. It would be
hard for North Korea to open up completely right now. But we believe
that they have already chosen the direction of opening and reforms."

4. Cross-Strait Relations

Washington, 4/2/00) reported that a senior US administration official
said on April 2 that PRC leaders told the US that they plan to stick
with a "wait and see" attitude toward Taiwan's new president, Chen Shui-
bian, and that they are open to resuming a dialogue with the island.
The official said that the PRC has decided, at least for the time being,
to try to reach an accommodation with Chen's new government. He said,
"they don't quite know what to make of the situation, but they are not
inclined to act in a precipitous way and they want to find a way to
reach an accommodation consistent with their principles. There is an
important national security argument for going forward with permanent
normal trade relations, which is if anything intensified by developments
related to Taiwan. It not only creates a degree of interdependence
between China and the world community but also to the economic
integration of China and Taiwan." [Ed. note: This article was included
in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 3,

CHINA ISSUES," Taipei, 4/3/00) reported that Taiwan's president-elect
Chen Shui-bian confirmed on Monday that a closed-door meeting to discuss
Taiwan's relationship with the PRC was chaired by Lee Yuan-tseh, Taiwan-
born Nobel Prize winner and a top advisor to Chen. Chen said the
results of the meeting would be used as a reference in dealing with the
PRC in the future. In a separate speech on Monday, Chen said cross-
straits ties were at a "critical juncture." Chen added, "if the issues
could be properly handled, permanent peace and stability would be
brought to the straits and security be brought to the Asia Pacific
region. But if the issues could not be solved and the cross-straits
ties could not be normalised, the crisis might further escalate."

5. PRC Missile Threat to Taiwan

The New York Times (Elizabeth Becker, "PROBLEMS SEEN IN TAIWAN'S
DEFENSES," Washington, 4/1/00) reported that senior US administration
officials said on March 31 that a team of US military officials were
scheduled to travel to Taiwan April 1-2 to present government officials
there with a secret US Defense Department study showing how problems in
Taiwan's air defense system make it vulnerable to attack from the PRC.
However, US Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen said on March 31 that
despite the conclusion of the report, "I'm satisfied that Taiwan is
still very capable and has a very capable military." US Defense
Department officials said they will discuss the report with the US
Congress after the military team returns from Taiwan. [Ed. note: This
article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news
service for April 3, 2000.]

OFFICIAL," Taipei, 4/1/00) reported that Taiwan military officials
admitted on April 1 that the PRC's missile deployment poses a threat to
the island's security. The admission came after a US Defense Department
report was released by the Washington Post on March 31. Taiwan's
defense minister Tang Fei declined to comment on the report, but
military officials admitted the island needed to heighten its anti-
missile capability. A Taiwanese military official said, "China's air
threat against Taiwan does exist." He added that in recent years, the
PRC has expanded its military spending and developed sophisticated
weapons. He continued, "building an anti-ballistic and anti-cruise
missiles system is the most pressing issue for Taiwan. They (missiles)
have posted increasing physical and psychological threats to us." He
concurred with the US Defense Department's analysis that within five
years the PRC will have air superiority over Taiwan and be capable of
blockading the island. He also admitted that Taiwan lacked military
exchanges with other countries because of the PRC military's isolation
of the island.

6. Taiwan Envoy to the PRC

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "ENVOY REACHES OUT TO BEIJING FOR
TAIWANESE," Beijing, 4/1/00, P.A13) reported that Jeremy J. Stone,
president of the Federation of American Scientists, went to the PRC on
March 31 on a sensitive and unannounced trip to talk to PRC leaders
about Taiwan. Before his visit, Stone had met with Taiwan President-
elect Chen Shui-bian and Lee Yuan-tzu, Chen's advisor on cross-strait
policy. Noting this, a Chinese source called Stone an "unofficial
representative" of the Taiwanese government-in-waiting. However, Bi-
khim Hsiao, chief of the international department of Chen's Democratic
Progressive Party, said Stone is representing only himself. Hsiao said,
"it's not like we've asked him to carry a message for us...What we're
trying to do is to find ways to communicate." Sources in the PRC said
Lee played a role in encouraging Stone to take this trip. Sources said
Stone is scheduled be in the PRC for four days and will meet with PRC
Deputy Prime Minister Qian Qichen, the chief architect of the PRC's
Taiwan policy; General Xiong Guangkai, a top policymaker with the
People's Liberation Army; and officials at the Taiwan Affairs Office of
the State Council, the PRC's cabinet. Contacted in a small Beijing
hotel, Stone declined comment, saying, "please allow me to fade back
into the woodwork."

TO BEIJING," Taipei, 4/2/00) reported that Taiwan's president-elect Chen
Shui-bian denied on April 1 a report by the Washington Post that he had
asked US scientist Jeremy Stone to visit the PRC to help improve
relations. Chen said, "here I want to solemnly clarify the report that
Mr. Stone is acting as our emissary or special envoy. It is
groundless." However, Chen continued, "the cross-strait relationship
must improve and be normalized. We must show our greatest sincerity and
goodwill in engaging in a detente between the two sides of the strait.
There may be people shuttling between Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei, or
the other way round. I realize these people hope to dedicate themselves
to peace in the Taiwan Strait as well as security and stability in the
Asia Pacific region. To these people we have to thank them for their
efforts and sincerity. We must not cast any doubts over their

7. US Weapons Sales to Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal (Russell Flannery, "TAIWAN'S CHEN SEEKS NO DELAY
FROM U.S. IN ARMS-SALE DECISION," Taipei, 4/3/00) reported that a Taiwan
spokeswoman said on April 1 that Taiwan's president-elect Chen Shui-bian
wants the US to move forward with a decision on the sale of advanced US
weapons to Taiwan. Bi-khim Hsiao, director of the department of
international affairs for Chen's Democratic Progressive Party, said on
April 1 that there was "no need to change" the timing of the US decision
and the incoming administration sees a "need for continuity" in
relations between the two sides. Lin Chi-lang, a military specialist at
Taiwan's Armed Forces University, said, "relations between the two sides
are in a state of protracted conflict that haven't changed with the
election. It's a long-term problem, and conflict is difficult to
avoid." Shih-Min Chen, a research fellow and specialist in military law
at Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research organization, said, "Chen
Shui-bian was elected mainly on domestic issues and doesn't want to be
seen as a trouble-maker in foreign affairs. What's more, the president-
elect also wants to be seen as a supporter of Taiwan's military in the
face of tension with China."

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-ROK Talks

WITHIN YEAR," Seoul, 04/03/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Kim Kyo-jun, "SOUTH
reported that ranking officials in the ROK ruling party strongly
indicated on April 2 that government-to-government talks between the ROK
and the DPRK, including a summit of their top leaders, could take place
after the April 13 parliamentary elections. "I think it is possible for
the South and North to hold a summit meeting within this year," Suh
Young-hoon, chairman of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party, told
reporters. Suh said he heard "from a most authoritative source" that
there had been considerable progress made through inter-Korean contacts
in Beijing and other channels. "The atmosphere is ripe for such a
meeting," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It
almost seems that the two sides could hold the summit right now."

CONTACT WITH NK," Seoul, 03/31/00) and Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai,
"PRESIDENT PREDICTS HUGE NK BOOM," 03/31/00) reported that on March 31,
ROK President Kim Dae-jung stated that he is going to tell the
opposition parties and the Korean people that he is driving to hold
summit talks between the two Koreas. He added that the government has
informally contacted the DPRK through many channels. In the interview,
Kim also said that a special business boom with the DPRK is expected
after the national election, and small firms will find boundless
opportunities for investment.

2. DPRK Conditions for Inter-Korea Talks

CONDITIONS FOR TALKS," Seoul, 04/03/00) and The Korea Times (Son Key-
04/02/00) reported that the DPRK recently agreed in principle to engage
in inter-Korean dialogue, but reiterated that the abolition of the
National Security Law and the withdrawal of US forces from the Korean
Peninsula were preconditions to any talks. Quoting an Italian official
who accompanied Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini on his recent
trip to Pyongyang, an ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry official
said that the DPRK was reluctant to implement PRC- or Vietnamese-style
reform and was trying to adhere to its current system. The Italian
official predicted that it would therefore take some time for it to open
itself to the international community.

3. APEC Forum

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM CALLS ON APEC TO ENGAGE N.K. BY
HEDGE-FUND MONITORING," Seoul, 04/01/00) and The Korea Times (Lee Chang-
sup, "KIM CALLS FOR NK'S ENTRY TO APEC," Seoul, 03/31/00) reported that
ROK President Kim Dae-jung made an appeal at the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation forum on March 31 to engage the DPRK in order to help the
DPRK end its era of isolation and overcome its current economic
hardships. Kim said, "I hope that North Korea will be able to
participate in APEC activities as a guest if it so wishes, upon
consultation with APEC members."

4. DPRK-ROK Cultural Exchange

SEOUL," Seoul, 04/02/00) reported that the ROK performance of the 'Year
2000 International Concert for Peace' was canceled by the DPRK without
mutual consent. A spokesman from the ROK Ministry of Unification
announced on April 2 that "the Asia-Pacific Peace Committee has been
notified of the nullification of the planned concert at the Sejong
Cultural Center (SCC) on April 8." He added that, "CnA Korea, which had
promoted the project, also canceled its reservation of the SCC concert
hall." However, the performance in Pyongyang will be held as arranged
at the Moranbong Theater on April 5. Conductor Kum Nan-Sae and 28 other
performers left for the DPRK via Beijing on April 1. The remaining
performers and 62 audience members will arrive in Pyongyang on April 3.

5. Chung to Visit DPRK

VISIT NORTH KOREA IN APRIL," Seoul, 03/31/00) reported that Chung Ju-
yung, honorary president of the Hyundai Group, plans to visit the DPRK
immediately after the completion of the general election in April. On
March 31, Kim Yun-kyu, Hyundai Engineering & Construction president,
announced the plan to "visit the DPRK with Chung Ju-yung to develop the
tour plan for Kumkang Mountain and decide on the site for the west coast
industrial park." A source from Hyundai said, "Chung planned to review
the harbor and road systems in Hae-ju and Nampo area. He would hold
discussions with DPRK authorities to decide on the areas which are
prospects for the industrial park site." The discussions with DPRK
authorities will include the integrated development of Kumkang Mountain
areas to support 500,000 tourists per year.

6. Japan to Apologize to DPRK

COLONIAL RULE," Seoul, 03/31/00) reported that the Tokyo Shimbun said on
March 31 that the Japanese government plans to express "remorse" in a
document for its past colonial rule of the Korean peninsula during
normalization negotiations with the DPRK. However, there is reportedly
a deep-rooted conviction within the Japanese government that further
apologies to the DPRK and other Asian countries for its wartime past are
unnecessary they have already been repeatedly given.

7. DPRK on West Sea

SEA AREAS," Seoul, 03/31/00) reported that an ROK Unification Ministry
official said on March 30 that the DPRK has intensified its threats to
the ROK and the US in the West Sea. The DPRK warned the two countries
last week of military attacks, saying, "if the maritime order is not
kept, we will teach them a lesson by action. Pyongyang is clearly
raising its tone, and we believe they are trying to induce Seoul and
Washington to provide them with assistance." A senior ROK Unification
Ministry analyst told reporters that the DPRK has already issued five
warnings via the media. It has also increased attacks on Tokyo, calling
it an "old enemy who is trying to resolve what it did in the past with a
few pennies." The analyst said, "we think Pyongyang is pressuring Japan
in order to gain the upper hand in the coming talks. They are trying to
weaken the Japanese position on such sensitive issues as kidnappings and

8. New PRC Ambassador to DPRK

ARRIVED," Seoul, 03/31/00) reported that the Korean Central News Agency
announced on April 1 that Wang Guozhang, the new PRC ambassador to the
DPRK, has arrived to fill his position.

9. PRC on DPRK Defectors

Beijing, 03/31/00) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi
reiterated on March 31 that seven DPRK citizens, forcefully deported
back to the DPRK from the PRC last January, were not refugees. In a
regular news briefing, spokesman Sun re-confirmed the PRC's position, in
response to a statement made by UN Ambassador Chang Man-soon. The
ambassador stated on March 29 that the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) had classed the seven as refugees, based on its
Refugee Treaty. Sun emphasized that the seven DPRK residents had
escaped the DPRK for economic reasons and not political ones.

10. ROK POW Escaped DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-gu, "NIS REPORTS RETURN OF 11TH POW," Seoul,
03/31/00) reported that the National Intelligence Service (NSI)
announced on March 31 that a 71-year-old ROK army prisoner of war, Kim
Ki-ho, escaped the DPRK earlier this year and recently returned to the
ROK through a third country. Kim fought as a rifleman of the First
Infantry Regiment of the Capital Division during the Korean War but
became a prisoner of the Chinese Army at the Keumhwa rift valley battle
in Kangwon Province in July 1953. The NIS reported that since then, Kim
lived working at the Aoji Coal Mine in North Hamkyong Province.

11. DPRK Minister to Visit Germany

The Korea Times ("N.KOREAN MINISTER TO VISIT GERMANY," Seoul, 04/02/00)
reported that the German foreign ministry said on April 1 that DPRK
Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun will become the first member of his
government to visit the reunited Germany. The ministry said Paek is due
to arrive in Berlin on April 5 and meet with junior minister Ludger
Volmer. There are currently no diplomatic relations between Berlin and
Pyongyang. A German foreign ministry spokesman said there was no reason
to oppose a meeting at this level, and that there had been no change in
the official German stance towards the DPRK.


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