TRENDS - MOSCOW ON ABM TREATY ADHERENCE; PRIVATE BUSINESS IN USSR; SANDINISTA-C

Created: 2/3/1988

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This issue

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Moscow on ABM Treaty adherence

Private business in USSR

talks

PRC intellectual climate

Gulf mediation

Kohl visit to Prague

Hungarian-Romanian tension

Pyongyang marks time

Sino-Soviet border talks

PLO on Mubarak proposal

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

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Contents

USSR-US.

Mosco* Grres No Ground on ABM Treaty Adherence. SDI i

USSR

Moscow Battles Resistance to Expanded Private 4

Nicaragua

Managua Yields Little Ground in Direct Talks With 9

Calna

Intellectual Atmosphere Improves in Wake of Party Congress

iiMiiiih ore

Iraq Tries To Scuttle Syria's Gulf Mediation EiTort 17

Czechoslovakia-FRC

Kohl Visit Reflects Thaw in East-West Europe22

Hungary

Friendship Treaty Anniversary Confirms Conflicts in25

Korea

Pyongyang Seeks To Ride Out KAL28

Briefs

Border Talks

PLO-Egypt: Criticism of Mubarak Proposal

52

CONflMNHAl

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Korea

Pyongyang Seeks. To Ride Out KAL ControTersy

In the two months since the bombingouth Korean airliner by North Korean agents, Pyongyang has not signaled any fundamental shift in its policy of actively pursuing dialogue with the ROK and the United States and movingore practical approach to lessening tensions on the peninsula. There is also no evidence that Pyongyang is changing its position on the Olympics question.

As it usually does in such cases, Pyongyang is trying to deflect (he plane bombing charges by pointing out that its accusers are guilty of crimes of (heir own. These periods of damage-control normally result in policy being put on bold, either because the leadership is pondering its next move or that the time is not propitious for major initiatives Currently, the North appearse keeping its options open on (he question of its final stance toward the Seoul Olympics, to be held later this year, and on the broader issue of relations with the ROK.

While (here continues to be low-level criticism of incoming President No Tac-u, there has been no clear, concerted effort to portray the new government as totally unacceptable in advance of its taking office. Overall, recent commentary suggests that there has been no reversal of the policy Kim Il-song laid out in his New Year'sbeillingness to deal withlhat the North is still waiting for the new regime to take power next month, possibly hopinge able to use the transition asortunity to call for both sides to startlean slate in (heir approach toward each other.

Consistent withait-and-see posture. Pyongyang has been careful in its (reatment of the South Korean domestic political situation. While sounding the usual warnings to the opposition against being co-opted by (he ruling party, (he North continues to adhere to the line it has takenrging opposition unity and participation in legal activities such as the upcoming parliamentary elections.1

FBISebrunia.

Domesticthe two months since the KAL incident, there has

been no change in the thrust or the tone of North Korean domestic media comment. The focus conlinur* to be on economic tasks. Reacting to report oliblc ROK icUlialion. some commentary last month warned of increasedheme that, in standard fashion, has continued to appear in the conlext of. KOK announcement that the annuul "Team Spirit" joint military exercise will begin next month.

There has notarty plenum in overonths, an unusually long delay suggesting that the leadership is having trouble resolving sensitive policy problems. At this point, there is no specific evidence in the media that the KAL incident has had domestic repercussions. However, the next plenum may well have to deal with the incident and its fallout, as did tbe plenum in3 following the Rangoon incident. That plenum, held seven weeks after the incident, marked an important turning point in policy and signaled,umber of important personnel changes, the shift in approach toward dialogue.

Reactionhas reacted in careful, measured fashion to

and Japanese sanctions for its role in the KAL

bombing. Responding to theanuary US. announcement onoreign Ministry spokesman's statement onh underlined the view that improvements in. relations are necessary for settlement of the Korean issue, thus essentially reiterating the basic approach laid out by Kim It-song in his New Year'sith typical bravado, the statement nevertheless insisted lhat Pyongyang would not "beg" for improved ties and announced countersanotions lo ihose imposed by Washington.

Pyongyang's measures include halting negotiations on the issue of the remains. servicemen killed in the Korean war. which were about to produce their first concrete results onanuary when the North was scheduled to band over tbe first remains. Accordingebruary message by the North Koreanto the Military Armistice Commission, reported the same

1 According to brief Chinese media accounts, this emphasis on the need for improvement in DPRK-US tie*apparently altocane Pyongyang comment marlinghrtary of the North'* seizure of ihe USS Pueblo. According to Ihe Chinese, in editorial in the North Korean newspaper Tongil Sltbo said (bat if Ihe United State*orrect attitude, the problem of. relation* can be "eaitlyhe editorial was not reported in monitored DPRK media, not unuiaal becaute Pyongyang only infrequently pubticizeaormflSimbo A* in pax yean, soorututed DPRK medi* haw not been observed to have reported or commented on the Pueblo

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1 February IK!

day by KCNA, lhai transfer would have taken place "but for the insolent behavior of ihe VS. authorities" who have "impaired and insulted" the sovereignty and "dignity" of the North by accusing it of leirorism in the KAL incident. Pyongyang has only rarely mentioned .lie issue of the remains since discussions began on the subjectnd it had not previously acknowledged that there had been active negotiations between the two sides on that issue. Its sudden focus on the subject now appears lo reflect some hope thai the issue can be used as leverage to return. relations to what, in Ihe North's view, was the relatively more positive track they had been on lasl year.

Pyongyangeek to respond to Japan'sanuary announcement of sanctions, apparently studying Japan's moves carefully and deliberating over iu own reaction before issuing an authoritative Commentator article in the party daily Nodong Sinmun detailing counteractions. By contrast, the North responded quickly to the imposition of Japanese sanctions3 following the assassination attempt against ROK President Chon Tu-hwan in Burma, but thai response was limited to low-level commentaries and was not accompanied by any countermoves against Tokyo.

Just as it had done in reacting to the VS. sanctions, in responding to the Japanese the North acknowledged negotiations it had previously not openlycontactsthird country" to settle Ihe case of two crewmenapanese ship being held by the North for espionage. Pyongyang may calculate that this issue represents usefuliew that may have been reinforcedeading of Japanese editorial comment in recent weeks urging caution over the imposilion of sanctions for this very reason.

the fact lhat its intentions toward the

Olympics have been Ihe subject of intense speculation in Western and South Korean media, the North has said little on the question since announcing last month lhat it wasinal decision on participation in the games. It has ridiculed accusations lhai iterrorist threat to the games, precmptorily dismissing these as routine attempts by Seoul and Washington to mask their own military-security goals. It has ignored several statements by South Korean Olympic officials thai the North is still welcome at the games, thus preserving for itself room for furthera possible redefinition of the terms under which it would consider attending.

M

COlSaipENIU.1

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by KCNA. thai transfer would have taken place "but for the insolent behavior of the US. authorities" who have "impaired and insulted" the sovereignty and "dignity" of the North by accusing it of terrorism in the KAL incident. Pvonavsng has only rar<Hyhe issue of the remains since discussion* began on the subjectnd it had not previously acknowledged that there had been active negotiations between the two sides on that issue. Iu sudden focus on the subject now appears to reflect some hope that ibe issue can be used as leverage to return. relations to what, in the North's view, was the relatively more positive track they had been on last year.

Pyongyangeek to respond to Japan'sanuary announcement of sanctions, apparently studying Japan's moves carefully and deliberating over its own reaction before issuing an authoritative Commentator article in the party daily Nodong Sinmun detailing counteractions. By contrast, the North responded quickly to the imposition of Japanese sanctions3 following the assassination attempt against ROK President Chon Tu-hwan in Burma, but that response was limited to low-level commentaries and was not accompanied by any oountennoves against Tokyo.

Just as it bad done in reacting to thesanctions, in responding to the Japanese the North acknowledged negotiations il bad previously not openlycontactsthird country" to settle the case of two crewmenapanese ship being held by the North for espionage. Pyongyang may calculate that this issue represents usefuliew that may have been reinforcedeading of Japanese editorial comment in recent weeks urging caution over the imposition of sanctions for this very reason.

the fact liiati its intentions toward the

2 .) 4 u

Olympics have been the subject of intense speculation in Western and South Korean media, the North has said little on the question since announcing last month that it wasnal decision cn participation in the games. It has ridiculed accusations that ilcrronst threat to the games, preempt only dismissing these as routine attempts by Seoul and Washington to mask their own military security goals. Il has ignored several statements by South Korean Olympic officials that the North is still welcome at the games, thus preserving for itself room for furthera possible redefinition of the lerms under which it would consider attending.

FBISebruary logs

In the wake of announcements by the USSR. China, and all of (he East European countries (except Albania) that they will attend the games in Seoul, Pyongyang has tiptoed around the sensitive question of the political implications of panieipation in :hteh circumspection suggestsesire to avoid antagonizing those allies that intend to participnte and to keep its own options open.

This caution has been reflected in treatment of the support the North has receivedandful of Its friends who have declared that they will not attend the games. The North reported without fanfare announcements by Ethiopia and Madagascar that they will not attend the games if Pyongyang's proposal for cohosting is not realized. It has completely ignored Nicaragua's decision not to attend, possibly because Managua's stated rationale for not participating cited economic grounds and thus did not appear tolear gesture of solidarity with the North.

Cuba's decision not to attend the games hasow-key and somewhat ambiguous response. Pyongyang radio reported Castro's letter to the International Olympic Committee in full, but the KCNA version of tbeversion for internationalthe possibility that the North was not completely satisfied with the Cuban move. Itortion of the Cuban leader's explanation that cast the decision as much in terms of the South Korean domestic political situation as support for the North's demands for cohosting. Caution in handling the Cuban decision was also reflected in the fact that the Northeek before welcoming it. and then did so only2 January domestic radio commentary rather than in higher level comment in Sodont Sinmun. That same radio commentary was the closest Pyongyang has come to criticizing its allies for their plans to attend the games. However, the extremely veiled language and limited dissemination of the commentary underscored theeluctance to engage in polemics at this time,ouo)

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