Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

 
DATE=  10/6/97
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-37714 
TITLE=NORTH KOREA / FOOD & POLITICS
BYLINE=STEPHANIE MANN
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:   WHENEVER THE PROBLEM OF NORTH KOREA'S FOOD SHORTAGE IS 
EXAMINED, THE ISSUE OF DISTRIBUTION COMES UP.  HOW CAN DONOR 
COUNTRIES BE SURE THE MOST NEEDY PEOPLE ACTUALLY RECEIVE THE FOOD
AID?  IS IT WRONG IF SOME OF THE FOOD IS DIVERTED FOR CONSUMPTION
BY THE MILITARY?  FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA WAS AMONG THE TOPICS 
DISCUSSED AT A RECENT (9/30) CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON, AS 
STEPHANIE MANN REPORTS.  
TEXT:   ROBERT GALLUCCI IS A FORMER DIPLOMAT WHO LED THE U-S 
NEGOTIATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA THAT RESULTED IN THE 1994 NUCLEAR 
AGREEMENT.  AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI, WHO IS NOW DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF
FOREIGN SERVICE AT WASHINGTON'S GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, SAYS IT IS
NOT  REALISTIC TO EXPECT THAT ALL THE FOOD AID WILL GO TO 
STARVING CHILDREN.  AND HE URGES DONOR GOVERNMENTS NOT TO MAKE 
THE DISTRIBUTION ISSUE INTO A PROBLEM.
                       // GALLUCCI ACT // 
         I DON'T KNOW THAT WE CAN HAVE HIGH CONFIDENCE THAT FOOD 
         DELIVERIES ARE ALWAYS GOING TO GO JUST WHERE THEY OUGHT 
         TO GO IN HUMANITARIAN TERMS.  I THINK WE SHOULD MAKE 
         EVERY EFFORT TO MAKE SURE THAT HAPPENS, BUT WE SHOULD 
         ASSUME THAT FOOD IS FUNGIBLE, LIKE MONEY, IN THAT PEOPLE
         WHO CARRY WEAPONS IN A CONTINGENCY, IN A CONFLICT, WILL 
         BE BETTER FED AS A RESULT OF US ATTEMPTING TO FEED 
         STARVING CHILDREN.  I WOULD BE WILLING TO STIPULATE THAT
         AND NOT FIGHT THAT FIGHT. // OPT // I WOULD DO 
         EVERYTHING I CAN TO ASSURE THAT THE DISTRIBUTION WAS FOR
         HUMANITARIAN PURPOSES, BUT I THINK I WOULD BE REALISTIC 
         AND RECOGNIZE THAT YOU COULDN'T AVOID SOME IMPACT THAT 
         WOULD BE USEFUL FROM A MILITARY PERSPECTIVE.  THAT WOULD
         JUST COME WITH THE TERRITORY. // END OPT //
                          // END ACT //
ANOTHER SPEAKER AT THE WASHINGTON CONFERENCE, LEON SIGAL, 
BELIEVES THE FOOD AID MONITORING ISSUE IS MOSTLY IRRELEVANT.  MR.
SIGAL, WHO HAS JUST WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT DIPLOMACY WITH NORTH 
KOREA, SAYS THE LAST PEOPLE WHOM ANYONE IN THE WORLD WOULD WANT 
TO STARVE IS THE POWERFUL NORTH KOREAN MILITARY. 
LEON SIGAL AND AMBASSADOR GALLUCCI AGREE THAT FOOD AID SHOULD 
CONTINUE.  THEY CRITICIZE THOSE WHO SAY FOOD AID MERELY PROPS UP 
AN UNFRIENDLY REGIME.  MR. GALLUCCI CALLS IT POLITICALLY 
IMPRUDENT AND MORALLY REPUGNANT TO USE 'THE HUMAN MISERY' OF THE 
NORTH AS LEVERAGE IN THE CURRENT NEGOTIATIONS AIMED AT BRINGING A
LASTING PEACE TO THE KOREAN PENINSULA.  THE LATEST ROUND OF 
TALKS, LAST MONTH IN NEW YORK, STALLED PARTLY OVER PYONGYANG'S 
REQUEST FOR MORE DONATIONS OF FOOD. 
LEON SIGAL SAYS FOOD AID IS ONE WAY FOR THE UNITED STATES AND 
SOUTH KOREA TO CONVINCE THE NORTH THAT NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BE A 
COOPERATIVE EFFORT. 
                       // SIGAL ACT #1 //
         THAT MEANS FOOD IS NOT SOMETHING THAT IS SIMPLY A LEVER.
         THAT'S A FOOLISH UNDERSTANDING OF FOOD.  FOOD IS A 
         SIGNAL TO THE NORTH THAT YOU DO NOT INTEND TO STARVE 
         THEM TO DEATH.  IF THEY COLLAPSE, THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. 
         BUT YOU DON'T INTEND TO STARVE THEM TO DEATH.
                         // END ACT // 
ROBERT MANNING, WITH THE COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, IMPLIES 
THAT BOTH SIDES HAVE BEEN USING FOOD AS A POLITICAL TOOL.  HE 
SAYS NORTH KOREA HAS BEEN PLAYING WHAT HE CALLS THE "FOOD FOR 
MEETINGS CARD" -- AGREEING TO ATTEND NEGOTIATING SESSIONS ONLY 
AFTER MORE FOOD AID HAS BEEN PLEDGED. 
IN ADDITION, MR. MANNING SAYS NORTH KOREA IS PREPARING TO DEPLOY 
LONG-RANGE MISSILES THAT COULD TARGET SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN OR U-S 
TERRITORY.  NORTH KOREA'S ACTIONS, HE SAYS, MAY HAVE PROMPTED 
SOME POLICY-MAKERS IN SEOUL AND WASHINGTON TO CONSIDER SENDING 
FOOD AID IN HOPES OF AVERTING CONFLICT. 
                       // REST OPTIONAL //
                        // MANNING ACT // 
         SO, THEY'VE MADE A CONSCIOUS CHOICE, WHILE PEOPLE ARE 
         STARVING, TO CONTINUE THEIR MILITARY PREPARATIONS.  THE 
         MORALITY, I THINK, IS A LITTLE MORE COMPLEX THAN IT 
         USUALLY GETS PORTRAYED. ... WE HAVE BASICALLY A POSTURE 
         FROM NORTH KOREA THAT I CALL 'FEED ME OR I'LL KILL YOU.'
                          // END ACT //
AND MR. MANNING SAYS THAT SHOWS THE NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT CARES
ONLY ABOUT ITS OWN SURVIVAL AND NOT WHETHER ITS PEOPLE STARVE.  
HE DOES NOT BELIEVE THERE'S ANY LINK BETWEEN THE FOOD PROBLEM AND
THE STABILITY OF THE NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT, SAYING PYONGYANG 
WILL NOT START A WAR BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STARVING.  LEON SIGAL 
DISAGREES.  
                       // SIGAL ACT #2 //
         THE NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT HAS SHOWN ME THAT THEY CARE 
         ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THEIR PEOPLE, BECAUSE THIS IS A 
         GOVERMENT THAT DOES NOT ADMIT TO FAILINGS VERY EASILY.  
         AND THAT THEY HAVE MADE A PUBLIC APPEAL FOR FOOD, I 
         THINK SUGGESTS THAT AT LEAST THEY WERE WILLING TO PAY 
         THAT PRICE IN THEIR MINDS FOR SECURING FOOD FOR THEIR 
         PEOPLE.
                          // END ACT //
AND MR. SIGAL SAYS THE MAJOR DONOR GOVERNMENTS HAVE ALL COME TO 
UNDERSTAND THAT, FROM A SECURITY STANDPOINT, IT IS  NOT  
REASONABLE TO WITHHOLD FOOD FROM NORTH KOREA IN HOPES OF BRINGING
DOWN THE REGIME.  (SIGNED)
NEB/SMN/RRM
06-Oct-97 1:41 PM EDT (1741 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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