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January 19, 2011
Press Releases

U.S. Says N. Korea Site Nuclear Free; Perry Visits Pyongyang

Howard Diamond

FOLLOWING THE determination by a U.S. inspection team that a North Korean underground construction site did not contain facilities relating to nuclear weapons, presidential envoy William Perry met with senior North Korean officials during his May 25 to 28 visit to discuss the possibility of a major shift in relations between Pyongyang and Washington. The inspection of the site in Kumchang-ni was described by the Clinton administration as essential to preserving the 1994 Agreed Framework and a prerequisite for any hopes of improving relations between the two states.

Perry, President Clinton's special coordinator for North Korea policy and former secretary of defense, described his meetings with senior North Korean political, diplomatic and military figures as "very intensive, extremely substantive, and quite valuable in providing me with insights in [North Korean] thinking on key issues of concern." Perry's delegation, which included State Department Counselor Ambassador Wendy Sherman and five other current and former U.S. officials, was the highest ranking U.S. group to ever visit North Korea.

Speaking to reporters in Seoul on May 29, Perry indicated he had fulfilled three goals during his trip to Pyongyang. According to Perry, he was able to "establish meaningful relationships with a wide range of senior [North Korean] officials," and "reaffirm" Pyongyang's commitment to "the current elements of our relationship," including the 1994 nuclear agreement. Most importantly, Perry said he was able "to explore [North Korean] thinking about the possibility of a major expansion in our relations and cooperation, as part of a process in which U.S. and allied concerns about missile and nuclear programs are addressed." Perry said he had not received "a definitive [North Korean] response to this idea," and suggested "it will take some time for [North Korea] to further reflect on the views I expressed." Perry refused to go into detail on the nature of his proposals to Pyongyang and did not take questions.

Appearing with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on May 17, South Korean Foreign Minister Hong Soon-Young said Perry was carrying to Pyongyang "a comprehensive package proposal…full of attractions and full of incentives." Hong added, "it is a package of incentives and disincentives and a package of carrots and sticks." Albright also announced that the United States would donate 400,000 tons of emergency food aid in response to the World Food Program's April appeal, bringing the annual total of U.S. food aid to North Korea to 600,000 tons. The United States donated 500,000 tons of food to North Korea in 1998.

Korea policy experts have speculated that Perry's trip was meant to test North Korea's willingness to deal over its development and export of ballistic missiles in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions, normalization of diplomatic relations including the exchange of ambassadors, and potentially even some form of security guarantees—all steps that can be taken by the president with limited congressional involvement. The terms of such a "grand bargain" have been discussed in Washington since the adoption of the Agreed Framework, which anticipates such improvements in U.S.-North Korean relations.

A dramatic shift in U.S. policy will probably not come easily. Perry's appointment as policy coordinator in November 1998 followed North Korea's August 1998 launch of its three-stage Taepo Dong-1 missile over Japan and allegations that the underground construction site in Kumchang-ni was part of an ongoing nuclear weapons program. Angered by Pyongyang's provocations, and convinced the Clinton administration's Korea policy was failing to meet U.S. security concerns, Congress threatened to cut-off financial support for the nuclear accord. The administration salvaged the funding by agreeing to conduct a high-level review of its policy. However, doubts remain in Congress about whether engagement with North Korea can work.

Administration critics insist, notwithstanding its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Agreed Framework, that Pyongyang remains committed to building nuclear weapons and developing and exporting long-range ballistic missiles. While unwilling to accept that Pyongyang can only be dealt with using sticks, Washington has limited its dealings with North Korea to technical-level, issue-by-issue discussions that have been prone to frequent breakdowns and long lapses without progress.

Perry is expected to complete his policy review in June, and has said he will return to the private sector. Ambassador Sherman is likely to be named as the administration's North Korea policy coordinator. A former assistant secretary of sate for legislative afairs, Sherman has a close relationship with Secretary Albright, which could prove critical in keeping high-level attention on the issue.

Kumchang-ni and KEDO

After months of negotiations, North Korea agreed in March to allow the inspection of the underground site in Kumchang-ni after dropping its initial demand for $300 million in compensation. Instead, the United States will provide North Korea with a pilot agricultural program to help grow potatoes and is continuing to provide large quantities of food aid, which it insists is given on a strictly humanitarian basis.

The Kumchang-ni site was examined by a team of 14 U.S. scientists and proliferation specialists, May 18 to 24. State Department spokesman James Rubin said May 28 that the U.S. team found "an extensive, empty tunnel complex," and that "a full technical analysis is underway to determine…what the site might have been intended for." Rubin added that "based on what we know thus far, there is no basis to conclude that North Korea is in violation of the Agreed Framework." The conclusions of the technical review will probably be released at the end of June.

Questions, however, about whether North Korea moved key pieces of equipment prior to the visit are likely to linger, with skeptics arguing that U.S. satellites showed increased vehicle and personnel activity before the inspection. According to Rubin, the site "was at a stage of construction prior to the time when any relevant equipment, other than construction equipment, would be expected to be present." Washington's access arrangement with Pyongyang provides for an additional inspection next year and annually beyond that if requested by the United States.

The Kumchang-ni inspection will help the administration to fulfill the security-related conditions set by Congress for U.S. financial support of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), the international consortium created to implement the 1994 nuclear accord. For FY 1999, Congress provided $35 million to support KEDO's annual obligation to provide North Korea with 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil while two light-water reactors (LWRs) are being built. For the past two years, KEDO has failed to deliver the required quantity of fuel oil by the end of its scheduled delivery year, which ends in late October. Since completing 1998's deliveries early this year, KEDO will have delivered 140,000 tons of this year's required heavy fuel oil by mid-June.

KEDO continues site development work in Sinpo, North Korea where the two 1,000-megawatt (electric) LWRs called for in the nuclear accord will be built, and appears to be closing in on completing the financial arrangements for the $4.6 billion project. On May 3, KEDO signed an agreement with the government of Japan, whereby Tokyo will pay the interest on a $1 billion loan to KEDO from the Japanese Import-Export Bank that will fulfill Japan's commitment to fund a "significant" portion of the LWR project. KEDO continues negotiations with the Japanese Import-Export Bank on the terms of the loan, and is in similar talks with the government of South Korea and the South Korean Import-Export Bank.

Seoul has committed itself to a "central" role in the LWR project and has pledged to pay 70 percent of the project's actual cost. The United States, while funding much of the oil program, has committed itself only to taking responsibility for finding any additional funds that might be required to complete the LWR project. Once the financial arrangements are settled, KEDO hopes to sign the prime, or "turn-key," contract for the LWR project with its prime contractor, the Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO). Completion of the prime contract would allow KEDO to order long-lead time items for the LWRs and to accelerate the pace of construction at the site in North Korea.

CD Remains in Stalemate; U.S. Criticized for NMD Plans

Wade Boese

HALFWAY THROUGH its 1999 negotiating session, the UN Conference on Disarmament (CD) is no closer to beginning negotiations than when the session started in January. Differences on nuclear disarmament and preventing an arms race in outer space are holding up agreement on an initial work program—thereby blocking all negotiations, including talks on banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, which no delegation opposes. A May 27 Chinese statement describing those three issues, as well as negative security assurances, as "inter-related" points to a continued impasse as the United States opposes negotiations on nuclear disarmament and outer space. The U.S. negotiating priority at the CD remains the fissile material cutoff talks.

In August 1998, the CD started negotiations on a fissile material cutoff treaty, but the talks ended in September with the close of the 1998 negotiating session. Frustrated by the failure to renew negotiations this year, the United States, Britain and France proposed on May 20 a new work program that includes an unprecedented move to exempt the cutoff talks from the conference's rules of operation. The three nuclear-weapon states proposed establishing an ad hoc committee on a fissile cutoff treaty that would run for successive CD sessions until negotiations are completed. Currently, annual authorization is required for any conference subsidiary body, which, in the past, expired with the end of each year's negotiating session.

U.S. Ambassador to the CD Robert Grey said on May 20 that the three sponsors could not believe that the international community wanted fissile cutoff talks to "proceed in fits and starts." He further charged that it would be "irresponsible for the conference to make limited progress this year" and then delay renewing negotiations next year.

However, without an annual means to withhold consent on conducting cutoff talks, other delegations would lose leverage to push Washington on issues that it refuses to negotiate on, such as nuclear disarmament. Because the conference operates by consensus, the May 20 proposal is unlikely to win approval.

U.S. national missile defense (NMD) plans and the new NATO "strategic concept" (see story) drew heavy fire within the conference beginning on May 11, the first plenary of the second of three working parts of the 1999 negotiating session. Moscow warned Washington that deployment of an NMD system could trigger a new strategic arms race, including in outer space, and undermine the existing non-proliferation regime. China echoed Moscow's fears about a new arms race, while Pakistan charged that deployment of an NMD, as well as theater missile defenses, could have "grave consequences in South Asia and elsewhere." Pakistan further claimed that NATO's new strategic concept would "set back" disarmament and non-proliferation.

China, alluding to U.S. NMD plans, charged on May 27 that one country has "ambitious programs" to extend weapons systems into outer space. Perhaps as much a by-product of souring Sino-U.S. relations—particularly after the May 7 NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade—as of anxiety with U.S. NMD plans, Beijing has stiffened its position for an outer space ad hoc committee, which China noted is only opposed by one country. China's ambassador to the CD, Li Changhe, warned that the conference's work program needed to be treated as a whole and that "singling out any one of the items while excluding the others is unjustified and unhelpful." Washington contends that there is no arms race in outer space.

The current working period of the 1999 negotiating session ends June 25, and the final part is scheduled from July 26 to September 8. A member of one CD delegation noted that most members are simply "watching and waiting."

Ottawa Convention States-Parties Hold First Conference; U.S. Attends

Wade Boese

AT THE FIRST meeting of the states-parties to the Ottawa Convention banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines (APLs), representatives of 96 signatories met to start putting the convention, which entered into force on March 1, into practice. While states-parties were unable to resolve a number of cases of alleged non-compliance at the May 3-7 meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, participants did agree on a common format for annual country reports and a future work program. Delegations from 13 non-signatory states, including the United States and China, also attended the meeting.

Opened for signature in December 1997, the convention, now ratified by 81 states, requires states-parties to destroy stockpiled APLs within four years and all APLs, even those planted, within 10 years. States can request a renewable, 10-year extension to complete the task, and may retain a small APL stockpile for demining research and training. Annual reports detailing characteristics, location, quantities and types of stockpiled and planted mines, as well as the status of destruction programs, are also mandated.

In a May 7 final declaration, states-parties and signatories reaffirmed their "unwavering commitment to the total eradication" of APLs. Addressing charges that three treaty signatories—Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal—were continuing to use landmines, the declaration called on all 135 signatories to "respect and implement your commitments." Senegal (a state-party) denied the accusations, but Angola (which has not yet ratified) said that it would continue to use APLs in its on-going civil war.

Though the convention lists a series of steps to investigate suspected non-compliance, there is no mechanism to enforce compliance and no mandated action for treaty violations. The first step in initiating an inquiry into suspected non-compliance, a "request for clarification," has yet to be submitted by any party regarding the three accused countries.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette, in a May 3 press conference, emphasized that states-parties had to determine how to make signatories respect their obligations. The Maputo declaration cautioned, however, that "assistance and cooperation will flow primarily to those who have forsworn the use of these weapons forever through adherence to and implementation of the Convention." A senior Canadian official involved with the landmines issues said that the goal is not to further penalize countries suffering from landmines, but to change country behavior through engagement.

In Maputo, the states-parties agreed on a common format for the treaty's annual reports and to make them public. The participating delegations also set out a work program for meetings of so-called Standing Committees of Experts on mine clearance; victim assistance and mine awareness; stockpile destruction; technologies for mine action and the general status and operation of the convention. These meetings, which will take place prior to the next states-parties meeting September 11-15, 2000, will be open to signatories, non-signatories, non-governmental organizations and demining organizations.

Sensitive to criticism that the Ottawa Convention has resulted in more talk than action, the Canadian official said that "every effort is being made to ensure that money is making its way into the field rather than meetings." Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy, in a May 3 address to the Maputo conference, noted that since the Ottawa process started in 1996, 20 countries have destroyed 14 million stockpiled landmines and that at the convention's signing more than a half billion dollars for mine action was pledged.

The United States at Maputo

While opting not to attend Maputo as an observer, Washington participated as a special guest of Mozambique. Under the convention, signatories and observers are apportioned a share of meeting costs based on the UN scale of assessment, which would have resulted in an estimated bill of approximately $400,000 for the United States.

In a speech read to the meeting, President Clinton reiterated U.S. pledges to end the use of all APLs outside Korea by 2003 and to sign the convention by 2006 if Washington successfully identifies and fields suitable alternatives to its APLs and mixed anti-tank systems (combinations of anti-vehicle and anti-personnel devices). Current U.S. landmine stockpiles consist of 1 million mixed anti-tank systems; 9 million self-destructing APLs; and another 1 million non-self-destructing APLs that are retained for Korea, being withdrawn from Cuba or required for training purposes.

Clinton's prepared speech also noted that Washington plans to dedicate $100 million to humanitarian demining activities in 2000 on top of the more than $300 million spent on demining activities in over 30 countries since 1993.

India, Pakistan Test New Missiles; U.S. Urges Restraint

Howard Diamond

BUILDING ON their tit-for-tat nuclear tests of May 1998, India and Pakistan conducted test flights of new nuclear-capable ballistic missiles on April 11 and on April 14 and 15, respectively, bringing both states closer to deploying strategic arsenals based on ballistic missiles. In keeping with the February 1999 Lahore Declaration, both states informed each other in advance of their tests, and also gave advance notice to the five permanent (P-5) members of the UN Security Council. (See ACT, January/February 1999.) Depending on their payloads, India's Agni-2 and Pakistan's Ghauri-2 and Shaheen-1 missiles could enable both states to reach important new targets: Islamabad may be able to strike all of India, and New Delhi, already capable of striking any target in Pakistan, may be able to reach Beijing and Shanghai.

The P-5 states, Japan and Australia have condemned India's missile test and Pakistan's two tests in response. China, which New Delhi has identified as its primary security concern, warned on April 13 that the Agni-2 test "could trigger a new round of arms race in South Asia," and called on India and Pakistan to resolve their differences "through continuous patient, frank and meaningful dialogue." The statement from Beijing's Foreign Ministry made no reference to any effect the Agni-2 test would have on China's own strategic modernization efforts.

When asked on April 14 about Pakistan's response to New Delhi's missile test, Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh asserted, "There is no arms race. There is no danger." Islamabad's Foreign Ministry issued a statement later that day saying, "Pakistan does not want a nuclear and missile race in South Asia" and called on New Delhi to accept Pakistani proposals for a strategic restraint regime. New Delhi has resisted regional and international efforts to limit its nascent nuclear arsenal, insisting that no limitations are feasible without including China.

At an April 14 hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth said that India bore a "special responsibility" for preventing a South Asian arms race, noting that in both the nuclear and missile areas Pakistan "is responding" to Indian actions. "Both sides have said they want to meet their security requirements at the lowest possible level," Inderfurth said. "We would now like to see concrete steps from both countries that they intend to do so."

According to a U.S. official, the Clinton administration has restrained its criticism of the tests, recognizing both countries' stated intentions to develop nuclear deterrent capabilities. Washington has "urged both sides not to test or to do anything to provoke the other" and is trying to persuade the South Asian rivals to accept the need for a stable "minimum deterrent framework," the official said. In discussions with U.S. officials, both India and Pakistan have so far resisted requests to define their concepts of credible minimum deterrence or discuss stable basing modes.

Extended Range

According to reports in the Indian press, tests of the Agni-2 had been canceled in late-January and early-March for a combination of political and technical reasons. The January test would have conflicted with the arrival of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott for non-proliferation talks with Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, and the March test would have come too soon after the successful Indian-Pakistani summit in Lahore. The nature of the so-called "technical hitches" referred to by officials from India's Defense Research and Development Organization as having influenced the two postponements was unclear. India has developed the nuclear-capable Prithvi family of 150-, 250- and 350-kilometer-range ballistic missiles and is alleged to be interested in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, sometimes referred to as the Agni-3.

According to New Delhi, the Agni-2 missile traveled over 2,000 kilometers and has an estimated range of 2,500 kilometers. Indian officials said the tested missile had a payload of 1,000 kilograms. Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes said the Agni-2 could carry a "special weapons payload" and that a decision on whether to deploy a nuclear or conventional warhead "would depend upon the circumstances." Fernandes noted the Agni-2 was rail mobile and could be deployed to "rugged areas" on a "very compact system." With the single test flight, India has "reached the point of operationalization of the Agni-2 as a weapon system," Fernandes said.

Reports in the Indian press offered some additional details about the missile. Unlike its predecessor, the two-stage solid-liquid Agni-1, the Agni-2 used two solid stages which would make the missile easier to deploy and keep ready for launch on short notice. The Agni-2 may also be highly accurate. Flight control was claimed to have been aided by an on-board computer using information from global positioning system (GPS) satellites. The 1,500 to 2,000-kilometer-range Agni-1, which New Delhi has consistantly labled as a technology demonstration project, reportedly uses an on-board computer for terminal guidance of a separating reentry vehicle. India last tested the Agni-1 in February 1994.

Pakistan's Response

Responding to the Agni-2 test—despite international pleas for restraint—Islamabad test-fired its Ghauri-2 missile on April 14 and its Shaheen-1 missile on April 15. A statement from Islamabad on April 14 claimed the missile tests "strengthened national security and will help in maintaining a strategic balance in South Asia." The Ghauri-2 was tested to a range of 1,400 kilometers, but Pakistan claims the missile has a range of 2,000 kilometers and can fly up to 2,300 kilometers if its 1,000-kilogram payload is reduced. The technical differences between the Ghauri-1 and -2 remain unclear.

According to another U.S. official, however, there may not actually be a Ghauri-2 missile at all. Based on images of the tested missile, the profile of the flight test and the specifics offered in Islamabad's initial announcement of the test, the missile fired may have actually been a Ghauri-1. When asked for a rationale, the official suggested Islamabad was probably trying to maintain the appearance of keeping pace with the range of India's Agni-2. Pakistan last tested the 1,500-kilometer-range Ghauri-1 in April 1998. Following that test, the United States imposed sanctions on Pakistan and North Korea, claiming the Ghauri-1 was derived from the liquid-fueled 1,300-kilometer-range Nodong missile.

The Shaheen-1 was tested to a reported range of 600 kilometers, but is claimed to be capable of traveling 750 kilometers with a 1,000-kilogram payload. The road-mobile solid-fuel Shaheen is believed to utilize technology from China. According to the Pakistani newspaper The News, the Shaheen-1 is meant to counter India's Prithvi missiles. Pakistan has said it is prepared to test its 2,300-kilometer-range Shaheen-2 missile, but that with the Shaheen-1 test it has completed its current missile testing activities.

Russian Compliance With CFE 'Flank' Limit in Doubt

Wade Boese

WHILE REMAINING within overall weapons limits under the 1992 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, Russia is suspected of not being in compliance with its revised "flank-zone" limits on armored combat vehicles (ACVs), which entered into force on May 31. Until a July 1 information exchange takes place, an official judgment on Russian compliance cannot be made, but Moscow has failed to meet earlier interim limits. On June 1, NATO called on all CFE countries to fulfill current legal obligations.

The treaty's flank zone, which will be retained in the "adapted" accord now under negotiation among the CFE states (see ACT, March 1999), limits the tanks, ACVs and heavy artillery located in Europe's northern and southern regions. Russia, one of 12 countries with territory in this zone, has persistently sought to increase, or abolish, its flank limits. Moscow contends the limits unfairly constrain Russian weapons deployments on its own territory, where serious security threats, like Chechnya, exist.

In a move to address Russian concerns, CFE parties renegotiated Russian flank limits in May 1996 so that the original limits of 1,300 tanks, 1,380 ACVs and 1,680 artillery would apply to a smaller area. New limits of 1,800 tanks, 3,700 ACVs and 2,400 artillery would apply to the original flank territory. Both sets of limits entered into force on May 31.

While at or near flank limits for tanks and artillery, Russia is reportedly in excess of ACV limits in the smaller, revised flank zone by roughly 1,500 and in the larger, original zone by several hundred. In fact, Russia, according to a March 8 White House compliance report, exceeded higher interim limits of 1,897 tanks, 4,397 ACVs and 2,422 artillery in the original flanks. Moscow has sought exemptions for the excess equipment, describing it as not militarily usable.

A March 30 agreement among all CFE parties to permit Russia a larger ACV limit of 2,140 in the revised flank zone under an adapted treaty has helped mute NATO reaction to Russia's suspected non-compliance. Because completion and entry into force of an adapted treaty remain wild cards, however, NATO has stressed compliance with existing treaty obligations. The White House compliance report described Moscow's earlier non-compliance with the interim flank limits as not militarily significant to NATO.

Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) said on May 26 that the "validity" of the May 1996 flank agreement has been called into question because the Clinton administration has failed to submit the 1997 ABM succession and demarcation agreements to the Senate. (See story.) As part of its 1997 resolution of ratification for the flank agreement, the Senate required any future ABM succession agreements be submitted to the Senate. The Clinton administration has repeatedly said it plans to submit the ABM agreements once the Russian Duma ratifies START II.

Security Council Remains Divided Over Iraqi Arms Regime, Sanctions

Howard Diamond

AFTER NEARLY SIX months without UN weapons inspections in Iraq, the UN Security Council remains divided on how to implement Resolution 687, which requires Iraq to eliminate its proscribed weapons before economic sanctions can be lifted. Russia, China and France have sought to induce Iraqi compliance with its disarmament obligations through concessions on sanctions and inspections, while the United States and Britain have insisted that Baghdad comply with the Security Council's mandates before sanctions are lifted. Since the U.S.-British air strikes in December 1998, Baghdad has maintained that international inspectors will not be allowed back into the country without prior relief from sanctions.

In April and May, diplomatic activity in the council centered around two competing draft resolutions seeking to build on the March report of Brazilian Ambassador Celso Amorim. (See ACT, March 1999.) Three Amorim-led panels reviewed the status of Iraq's disarmament, the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Iraq, and missing Kuwaiti POWs and property. The disarmament panel's report confirmed that Baghdad had not met the Security Council's requirements for lifting sanctions, but concluded that outstanding issues in Iraq's disarmament, previously addressed by weapons inspections, could be included in a "reinforced ongoing monitoring and verification regime." Such a regime, the panel noted, would have to be, "if anything, more intrusive than the [monitoring regime] so far practiced."

The two proposals currently under review—one offered by Britain and The Netherlands, the other by Russia—take considerably different approaches in reorienting the Security Council's dealings with Iraq. The British-Dutch proposal calls for the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM), which has had responsibility for the chemical, biological and ballistic missile elements of Iraq's disarmament, to be replaced by a new UN Commission on Investigation, Inspection and Monitoring (UNCIIM). The plan would also allow unlimited Iraqi petroleum exports through a UN escrow account and permit foreign investment in Iraq's oil sector in order to increase the amount of money available for humanitarian needs.

As described in the draft resolution, UNCIIM would "take over all assets, liabilities, staff and archives" of UNSCOM, and would be run by an independent executive director appointed by the UN secretary-general. The current executive chairman of UNSCOM, Australian Ambassador Richard Butler, announced in February that he would not request reappointment when his term of office expires at the end of June.

Like UNSCOM, UNCIIM would be entitled to "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wish to inspect." As is the case with UNSCOM, UNCIIM's work would be overseen by a body of international commissioners and its executive director would report to the Security Council every six months.

Long the subject of Iraqi accusations, UNSCOM's credibility with some members of the Security Council suffered greatly following March reports that U.S. intelligence had not only benefited from cooperation with UN inspectors, but had used UNSCOM to "piggyback" independent intelligence gathering operations in Iraq. In light of explicit calls for UNSCOM's demise from France, Russia and China, the British-Dutch proposal provides for the elimination of UNSCOM while continuing its existence under a different name. Replacing UNSCOM with UNCIIM, however, would provide opportunities for Security Council members to haggle over the membership of the commission, UNCIIM's organization and reporting lines, the extent of its administrative, procedural and technical inheritance from UNSCOM and the specifics of its mandate.

The Russian Initiative

Though discredited in Russian eyes, UNSCOM would apparently continue operating under Russia's draft proposal, which does not mention UNSCOM by name. It states that Iraq's disarmament obligations "have been completed in such a way" that further investigation of its past weapons activities can be conducted through a "reinforced" ongoing monitoring and verification (OMV) system, which UNSCOM has already established. Under the Russian proposal, UN sanctions on Iraq would be lifted once the OMV system is back in place, and Iraqi assets would remain frozen until the secretary-general reported to the Security Council that Iraq's disarmament obligations had been fulfilled. UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is responsible for the nuclear portion of Iraq's disarmament, would jointly implement the OMV system.

While China has indicated its support for the Russian proposal, France's position remains unclear. Paris has supported lifting sanctions on Iraq, but French diplomats may be looking for a "third way" between the Russian and British-Dutch proposals. Informal consultations among Security Council members are expected to continue through June.

U.S. Pursues Regime Change

While the Security Council attempts to reach a new consensus, the Clinton administration is moving ahead with its policy of "containment plus regime change." On May 24, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with leaders of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), the political umbrella for Iraqi opposition groups. The same day, State Department spokesman James Rubin announced that the administration was preparing to release non-lethal forms of aid to INC groups to help them create a headquarters, begin training in "civil affairs" for a post-Saddam Iraq, and initiate public advocacy activities. When asked about providing the U.S. military assistance contemplated by the October 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, Rubin said, "We're not prepared to take action that is premature or that puts people's lives needlessly at risk. There are a number of steps that have to be taken before we're in a position to provide lethal assistance." The United States, together with Britian, continues to patrol the two "no-fly" zones over northern and southern Iraq and has conducted periodic air strikes in response to Iraqi attacks on the patrols.

Mindful of international concerns about the effect of sanctions on Iraqi civilians, Washington has indicated its interest in the British-Dutch proposal, which would improve the output from Iraq's oil sector and remove the cap on allowable Iraqi oil sales, while retaining UN control of the proceeds. On May 21, the Security Council reauthorized the oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell $5.2 billion worth of oil every six months. Recognizing improvements in Iraq's export capacity and the rise in the price of oil, the Security Council's resolution provides for a review of the export cap if Iraq reaches the sales limit by November 20.

NATO Unveils 'Strategic Concept' at 50th Anniversary Summit

Wade Boese

AT ITS 50TH anniversary summit April 23-25 in Washington, NATO adopted a new "strategic concept" formally recasting the alliance's Cold War-era mission from collective defense to one that, in the words of NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, will guarantee European security and uphold democratic values "within and beyond our borders." While the new strategy, particularly nuclear weapons policy, departs little from the strategic concept approved in 1991 when the Soviet Union still existed, the new language officially sanctions NATO out-of-area action—such as the air campaign against Yugoslavia launched one month earlier. The alliance also reaffirmed its "open-door policy" for new members, but opted not to name any at this time. Russia condemned the summit results.

Unveiled on April 24, the strategic concept identifies the UN Security Council as having primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, but does not tie alliance action to Security Council endorsement. Some European allies, such as Greece and Italy, had questioned whether NATO could act without Security Council authorization prior to the launching of NATO's attacks against Yugoslavia on March 24. Alliance leaders dropped from the new strategic concept a 1991 statement that NATO is "purely defensive in purpose: none of its weapons will ever be used except in self-defense."

According to the 1999 concept, NATO's 19 members must "safeguard common security interests" and be prepared to act in conflict management and crisis response operations, including those beyond alliance territory. Yet, NATO's air strikes during the Bosnian war and the on-going air war against Yugoslavia, which muted what was to have been a summit celebrating alliance membership for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, suggest that the alliance was already willing to engage out-of-area.

Side-stepping German and Canadian calls last year to review NATO nuclear policy in the strategic concept, including consideration of a no-first-use policy, the alliance reiterated that nuclear weapons provide a "unique contribution in rendering the risks of aggression against the alliance incalculable and unacceptable."

In a separate communique on April 24, however, NATO noted that the "reduced salience of nuclear weapons" would permit consideration of options for "confidence- and security-building measures, verification, non-proliferation and arms control and disarmament." Proposals for a process to review such options, presumably including revival of the no-first-use debate, are to be readied by December.

NATO described the circumstances for contemplating the use of nuclear weapons as being "extremely remote," a change from the 1991 language of "even more remote." This falls shy, however, of 1990 language in the London Declaration that the alliance would make nuclear arms the "weapons of last resort."

Excluding British and French national forces, NATO is estimated to have between 150 and 600 nuclear gravity bombs in seven European countries: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey and Britain. NATO has stated that it has "no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons" on the territories of its three new members.

NATO nuclear and conventional forces, according to the strategic concept, will be kept at a "minimum sufficient level." At the same time, however, the document assigns these forces with the tasks of securing freedom of action and fulfilling all alliance missions. While the new concept judges large-scale conventional aggression against NATO "highly unlikely," it claims that "the possibility of such a threat emerging over the longer term exists."

Describing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery as a "serious concern," NATO, at the insistence of the United States, launched a "WMD Initiative" to strengthen "common understanding among Allies on WMD issues and how to respond to them." A "WMD Center" for coordinating alliance policy will be central to these efforts. European allies, some of which question the threat posed to NATO by proliferation beyond Europe's borders, had resisted past U.S. efforts to give the issue greater attention within the alliance.

Further Expansion Promised

Alliance leaders opted not to extend membership to any of the nine aspiring states (Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), but stated that "the three newest members will not be the last." The common refrain that "no European democratic country" will be excluded from membership consideration was repeated, raising Russia's ire. Moscow fervently opposes Baltic membership in NATO, and released an April 28 Foreign Ministry statement charging that the NATO summit represented a "claim by the alliance for domination in European and world politics."

NATO stated in the strategic concept that it did not consider itself to be "any country's adversary," and that it saw a strong NATO-Russia relationship as essential to European stability. But current NATO-Russian relations, already strained by NATO expansion and exacerbated by Russian economic ills, have been frozen because of NATO's war with Yugoslavia. On March 24, Moscow suspended its participation in both the Partnership for Peace program, a military cooperation program between NATO and 25 non-NATO countries, and the Permanent Joint Council, a body for NATO-Russia consultations.

Cox Panel Charges China With Extensive Nuclear Espionage

Howard Diamond

THE UNITED STATES has been the victim of a sustained Chinese espionage campaign alleged to have acquired classified information on seven types of U.S. thermonuclear weapons, a bipartisan select committee from the House of Representatives reported May 25. Led by Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA), the panel of five Republicans and four Democrats released a 900-plus page declassified version of its report charging extensive—and probably ongoing—penetration of U.S. nuclear weapons labs by Chinese agents, indications that U.S. weapons technology may be used in China's strategic modernization plans, and widespread Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. dual-use technology through legal and illegal means.

The Cox Report has been subject to criticism both from members of the select committee and outside experts who have questioned the report's charges and conclusions. Beijing has vigorously denied that it engaged in any nuclear espionage and has argued that ample information on U.S. nuclear weapons is available from open sources. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on May 27, "We have no policy of stealing from other nations and China has never stolen any nuclear secrets from any country, including America."

Initially created in July 1998 to investigate charges that two U.S. space companies had illicitly provided technical assistance to China's ballistic missile program, the Cox panel's focus on Chinese spying in U.S. weapons labs has heightened the political significance of its report, and may lead to changes in U.S. export controls and restructuring of the Department of Energy's control over U.S. nuclear weapons labs. The Cox panel blamed the Clinton administration for responding too slowly to signs of Chinese spying, failing to disseminate information about the espionage to either Congress or the cabinet secretaries responsible for implenting U.S. export controls, and going too far in liberalizing U.S. export controls in order to help U.S. business interests.

The three-volume Cox Report, which was unanimously approved by the select committee, addresses both legal and illegal Chinese technology acquisition programs, including nuclear espionage, purchases of U.S. high-performance computers and commercial satellites, and efforts to take advantage of gaps in U.S. export controls. Among its 38 recommendations, the Cox panel called for bolstering the Energy Department's security and counterintelligence functions, heightening the national security focus in U.S. licensing decisions for dual-use technologies to China, improving U.S. monitoring of dual-use technologies exported to China, and strengthening the multilateral Wassenaar Arrangement on dual-use exports to more closely match the level of control exercised by its predecessor, the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM).

Much of the public focus on the Cox Report has focused on the question of Chinese nuclear espionage and its effect on U.S. national security. When asked how the Chinese spying described in the report differed from previous instances of espionage, Cox told NBC News on May 21, "No other country has succeeded in stealing so much from the United States. And no other country having stolen such secrets has used it to design weapons that will threaten the United States."

President Clinton thanked the Cox panel for its work on May 25, and said he agreed with "the overwhelming majority" of the report's recommendations. The president insisted that despite Chinese spying, "I strongly believe that our continuing engagement with China has produced benefits for our national security." The Clinton administration received the classified version of the Cox Report on January 2 and published its response to the panel's recommendations on February 2. Aside from pointing out that most of the alleged espionage occurred during previous administrations, the White House has limited its public dissent to the question of whether it responded with sufficient dispatch upon learning of potential Chinese spying.

Addressing reporters May 24, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said the administration had moved quickly to deal with the question of spying at the weapons labs but said that despite all the government's investigations, "I can't point to a case where we know something was stolen, we know who did it, and we know where it went to, and we know where it came from." Lockhart said no rebuttal to the Cox Report would be forthcoming. On the question of improving security at the weapons labs, Lockhart said "there were some things in [the Cox Report] that we were already doing, but there are certainly ideas in there of how to shore up security that we have embraced and we're implementing."

With many of the Cox Report's most serious charges directed at his department, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson asserted that well before the Cox panel was even formed, the administration was already tackling the issue of security at U.S. nuclear weapons labs. Referring to Presidential Decision Directive-61 (PDD-61), which was issued in February 1998, Richardson said, "We have taken enormously aggressive action to deal with the problem. We are fixing the problem. I can assure the American people that their nuclear secrets are safe at the labs." Richardson also cautioned against "oversensationalizing" the allegations of Chinese nuclear espionage. "There is no evidence of a 'wholesale' loss of information," Richardson said.

Since the adoption of PDD-61, the Energy Department has adopted a 46-point security improvement plan in November 1998, a seven-point counterintelligence initiative in March, and an additional 10-part security reform package on May 11. In April, Richardson also instituted a two-week shut-down of the classified computer system in the three nuclear weapons labs to implement a new cyber-security program.

How damaging Chinese spying was to U.S. national security remains unclear. The Cox report has been criticized by two of the panel's Democratic members, Representative Norman Dicks (WA) and Representative John Spratt (NC), as being overly dependent on conditional statements and conclusions based on worst-case scenarios. According to Spratt, "there are statements in the report that will not bear scrutiny" and that despite his objections "not all were deleted or revised, and some of the revisions are still inadequate." Dicks added, "I am certain that academics and experts in and out of government will challenge some of our worst-case conclusions."

At the urging of the Cox panel, an assessment of the damage done by Chinese nuclear espionage was made by the U.S. intelligence community, which was subsequently reviewed by an independent panel led by retired Admiral David Jeremiah. Released on April 21, the intelligence community's "damage assessment," which the Jeremiah panel concurred with, concluded that classified information obtained by China "probably accelerated its program to develop future nuclear weapons." But the assessment concluded that, so far, Chinese nuclear espionage "has not resulted in any apparent modernization of their deployed strategic force or any new nuclear weapons deployment." While China had acquired "classified U.S. nuclear weapons information," the intelligence community assessment noted that "we do not know whether any weapon design documentation or blueprints were acquired."

THE UNITED STATES has been the victim of a sustained Chinese espionage campaign alleged to have acquired classified information on seven types of U.S. thermonuclear weapons, a bipartisan select committee from the House of Representatives reported May 25. Led by Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA), the panel of five Republicans and four Democrats released a 900-plus page declassified version of its report charging extensive—and probably ongoing—penetration of U.S. nuclear weapons labs by Chinese agents, indications that U.S. weapons technology may be used in China's strategic modernization plans, and widespread Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. dual-use technology through legal and illegal means. (Continue)

Belgrade Suspends Implementation of Sub-Regional Arms Accord

Wade Boese

ONE WEEK AFTER NATO began its bombing campaign against Yugoslav territory and military forces, Belgrade suspended implementation of the June 1996 Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control, but stressed that the move was not a withdrawal from the regime. All other parties to the agreement, Croatia and both entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Muslim-Croat federation and Bosnian-Serb-controlled Republica Srpska) said they will continue implementation where possible.

In letters dated March 31 and April 1, Yugoslavia informed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is helping implement the agreement, that it was temporarily suspending implementation because of the impossibility of conducting inspections on Yugoslav military forces in light of NATO air strikes, which began March 24. No provision exists, however, for temporary suspensions, while withdrawal from the agreement, which Belgrade emphasized it was not doing, would require a 150-day notice and is proscribed until after December 14, 1999.

As a key goal of the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the fighting in Bosnia, the 1996 agreement capped the number of tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), heavy artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters that the former warring parties could possess. Limits were apportioned according to the size of each party's population on a 5:2:2 ratio between Yugoslavia (composed of Serbia and Montenegro), Bosnia and Croatia. The Bosnian limit was further divided on a 2:1 basis between the Muslim-Croat federation and the Bosnian Serbs.

All parties met, and have remained at or below, their limits after destroying nearly 6,600 weapons by November 1997. As called for by the agreement, the parties annually exchange information on and conduct inspections of the capped weapon holdings. To date, 338 inspections have been conducted.

Meeting informally without Yugoslavia on April 28, the other parties to the agreement decided that implementation should continue, although "adapted to the circumstances." Seven inspections involving Yugoslavia from April to August have been postponed, while the other parties carried out two inspections in May. The parties agreed to continue to meet informally until Belgrade renewed its participation, which an OSCE official said all parties, at this time, expect to take place.

U.S. Halts 'Train and Equip'

For the second time, the United States on April 19 suspended the "train-and-equip" program that provides the Muslim-Croat federation with U.S. weapons and training, a major carrot for its adherence to the 1996 agreement. Ambassador Robert Gelbard, special representative to the president for implementation of the Dayton accords, reportedly cited inflammatory speeches regarding Bosnian-Muslims by Croat and Bosnian-Croat generals and the continuing failure of the two entities to truly integrate their forces as reasons for the move. Last year, the program was halted from June 1-17 until the forces put into use common rank insignia and flags.

The $400 million program aims to create a Muslim-Croat force in Bosnia that can counter Republica Srpska. U.S. and European critics of the program fear it may create a much stronger federation force that could go on the offensive once the international presence leaves Bosnia.

According to Stephen Geiss, deputy director of the program, most of the weapons, including 15 UH-1H utility helicopters and 126 howitzers, have been delivered and the focus is now on creating a professional, integrated force that is oriented toward NATO military doctrine. U.S. officials have not identified what steps are necessary for the program, currently expected to run through September 2000, to get back underway.

Once train and equip ends, Washington hopes to develop a normal arms sales relationship with Bosnia, much like Croatia, which President Clinton on April 8 determined as eligible to receive U.S. weapons. Zagreb, however, is currently at its limits for all five categories of arms under the sub-regional agreement and would first need to make headroom before importing any U.S. weapons.

Regional Process Stalled

As a follow-on to the 1996 agreement and as called for in Article V of the Dayton accords, Southeast European countries were to work on "establishing a regional balance in and around the former Yugoslavia." By December 1998, however, only very vague goals of continuing a process of stability and transparency had been proclaimed, without any reference to arms limitations. In February, French Ambassador Henry Jacolin, OSCE special representative for Article V negotiations, held a plenary to set out a negotiation schedule, but NATO air strikes have brought the languid process to a standstill.

U.S. Ratifies Amended CCW Landmines Protocol

Wade Boese

ON MAY 20, the Senate approved the amended landmines protocol (Protocol II) to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), the 1980 accord that limits the use of fragmentation weapons, landmines and booby-traps, incendiary weapons and blinding laser weapons. After President Clinton signed the instrument of ratification four days later, the United States became the 37th country to deposit its ratification document. Current U.S. landmine policy is already in compliance with the new protocol, which will enter into force for the United States six months after its May 24 deposit.

Unlike the Ottawa Convention that bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines (APLs), which the United States has not signed, the CCW seeks to strengthen the 1980 treaty's original restrictions on the use, production and transfer of APLs by states-parties. The United States acceded to the earlier landmine protocol only in 1995.

The new protocol prohibits the use of non-detectable APLs and severely restricts use of remotely delivered mines. Use of non-self-destructing and non-self-deactivating mines are proscribed unless planted in monitored and perimeter marked areas. States-parties also undertake not to export mines to non-states-parties. To protect civilians and deminers, the amended protocol prohibits mines that are detonated by the presence of mine detectors, as well as mines equipped with anti-handling devices that operate after the mine, itself, deactivates.

Opposition by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to the original resolution language and an accompanying report prepared by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC) helped delay Senate advice and consent of the amended protocol for more than two years. Leahy, a proponent of the Ottawa Convention, never opposed the amended protocol itself, but objected to the two documents as attacks against the Ottawa treaty and Clinton's pledge that the United States would sign Ottawa by 2006 if "suitable alternatives" to APLs could be identified and fielded. After the offending language was watered down, Leahy consented to ratification.

A U.S. government official noted that the real value of the new protocol is that it imposes conditions on countries that have not signed the Ottawa Convention or have no immediate plans to sign the accord. China and Pakistan, for example, have already ratified the new protocol but refuse to sign the Ottawa Convention. Key Ottawa countries, including Canada, South Africa, Britain and France, are also party to the protocol.


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