Beijing Scene, Volume 5, Issue 10, May 28 - June 3


Pyongyang to Peking
A top North Korean official is to visit China in early June, the first such visit in eight years, a Japanese business daily reports.
Quoting diplomatic sources in Beijing, the report says Kim Yong-nam, head of North Korea's parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, is scheduled to visit China for three days from June 3.
His visit is expected to significantly improve bilateral relations, strained since China normalized diplomatic relations with South Korea in 1992.

North Korea originally intended to send Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun to prepare for a later trip by its leader Kim Jong-il, but a North Korean diplomatic team that recently visited Beijing proposed sending a large delegation to include Kim Yong-nam, the sources say.

Kim Yong-nam officially accepts the credentials of foreign ambassadors to North Korea and serves as his country's representative to the international community. China is expected to greet him as an official in the position of a head of state, the paper reports.

Kim and Chinese President Jiang Zemin are expected to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, joint research on theater missile defense (TMD) systems by Japan and the United States and the sending of food and other famine-relief supplies by China to North Korea.

Shanghai has ordered local paging stations and computer information vendors to stop providing news reports, the Xinmin Evening News says.
Information suppliers, including telephone and computer-based services, must stop disseminating political news temporarily, including news downloaded from the internet, the newspaper says.

The Shanghai Post and Telecommunications Bureau recently called in 131 information vendors, advising them of the decision and saying firms had provided information that was pornographic, superstitious or harmful to state security, the newspaper says.

The bureau "demanded all work units immediately suspend broadcasting of news for the time being," the report says.
Many paging systems carry stock and foreign exchange information. Telephone and computer-based information services also provide similar information as well as some reports which could be interpreted as political.

The city government also reaffirmed a ban on "information involving state secrets, damaging state security and disturbing social order," the newspaper says.
Anyone who wants to post political news on a domestic website must also gain permission from local authorities, according to the newspaper.
The city government also banned the posting of what it called inflammatory information on Internet noticeboards, the newspaper says without giving details.

Covert action is seductive to policymakers in a bind. When diplomacy fails and force falls short, presidents often turn to the CIA for secret solutions to vexing problems. Unable to make the air war against Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic effective, and unwilling to invade with ground troops, President Clinton has decided to try a clandestine third way. Earlier this month national-security adviser Sandy Berger presented Clinton with a covert plan to squeeze Milosevic.

The president liked the idea. Senior intelligence officials tell Newsweek that last week Clinton issued a "finding," a highly classified document authorizing the spy agency to begin secret efforts "to find other ways to get at Milosevic," in the words of one official. Two weeks ago Berger secretly briefed members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees about the details of the two-part plan. According to sources who have read the finding, the CIA will train Kosovar rebels in sabotage - age-old tricks like cutting telephone lines, blowing up buildings, fouling gasoline reserves and pilfering food supplies - in an effort to undermine public support for the Serbian leader and damage Yugoslav targets that can't be reached from the air. That much is unsurprising. But the CIA has also been instructed to conduct a cyberwar against Milosevic, using government hackers to tap into foreign banks and, in the words of one U.S. official, "diddle with Milosevic's bank accounts."

The finding was immediately criticized by some lawmakers who questioned the wisdom - and legality - of launching a risky covert action that, if discovered, could prolong the war, alienate other NATO countries - and possibly blow back on the United States. Under the finding, the allies were to be kept in the dark about the plan. Other members of Congress privy to the finding wondered about its timing. Why did Clinton authorize the operation just as diplomats had begun making progress on a peace agreement? The White House declined to comment on the finding, and Newsweek does not have access to the entire document. But some intelligence officials with knowledge of its contents worry that the finding was put together too hastily, and that the potential consequences haven't been fully thought out. "If they pull it off, it will be great," says one government cyberwar expert. "If they screw it up, they are going to be in a world of trouble."

Chinese Hacker
"How I Attacked the U.S. Embassy Beijing Webpage," from the China Youth Daily

"After hearing on May 8 of the brazen attack of NATO guided missiles on the Chinese Embassy... I decided that afternoon to go to the U.S. Embassy website so that Americans would know what it was like to be attacked... I found the web site at In 10 minutes I figured out the kind of system it was, and my software in another twenty minutes came up with the passwords of four of the users of the site. Then I found I couldn't change the main page... Then I thought of some software a friend of mine had written several days before... Using this software, I found a loophole in the software. I used that to find the way to change the U.S. Embassy web page... In this way I managed to put up the protest notice that everyone saw. Then I cruised the net to get more information... later, after midnight, I found out that the page had been restored and that NATO and the U.S. had still not explained the bombing. I decided to change the web page again. I added a hit counter [tongji qi]. But because the security of the web site had been restored, our software didn't operate properly. This caused us a lot of trouble. The software we had put on the site had been deleted, so we had to upload it again and change the web page again. But it was deleted as soon as it was uploaded. We did this quite a few times. Finally, we got together with B and uploaded a complete package of software and main page. And then immediately implemented a command. Soon we succeeded in changing the U.S. Embassy Beijing web page for a second time! In the hours that followed, the counter recorded visits by several tens of thousands of visitors! We continued looking for weaknesses of government websites in the United States. On May 8 at 4 AM we changed the main page of the U.S. Congress Committee ( B made the page that everyone saw. At 5 PM we changed files on that site. Friends in many places helped by adding their own protests against the barbarous acts of NATO there. After resting for a day, we continued the action the following evening. We succeeded in changing the opening page of, writing there "strongly condemn.'"

Drug Smugglers Arrested
Police in southern China have arrested 14 alleged members of a drug smuggling ring and seized 418 pounds of narcotics along with cash and weapons, a newspaper reports.

The arrests last week in the southern city of Guangzhou near Hong Kong followed a year of police surveillance, according to the Guangzhou Evening News.

Police under the command of the railways administration discovered the smuggling ring, led by a man identified only by a pseudonym "Ah-B," the report says.

More than 100 police officers arrested alleged gang members over eight days at various locations in Guangzhou, the boom town capital of heavily-developed Guangdong province.

The gang was apparently a wholesale provider of drugs, dealing in quantities of 220 pounds at a time worth nearly US$1.2 million which they would transport by train, the report says.

It did not identify the type or types of drugs seized, although heroin, hashish and opium are all available in China. Most drugs enter China through the southwestern province of Yunnan.
China enforces the death penalty for drug smugglers.

Russian Navy Chief in China
Russia's naval commander-in-chief Vladimir Kuroyedov arrived in Beijing for an eight-day visit to China.

Kuroyedov was invited by his counterpart, Commander of the Chinese Navy Shi Yunsheng. He is to visit naval personnel and institutes in a number of cities.

The visit comes amid a row between the United States and China over NATO's bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade three weeks ago.

China, still angry over the attack that killed three Chinese journalists and injured 20 people, banned US navy vessels from visiting Hong Kong.

Russia, which like China is opposed to the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia, has strongly condemned the embassy attack.

    Previous Stories...

May 21 - 27, 1999

May 7 - 13, 1999

April 30 - May 6, 1999

April 23 - 29, 1999

April 16 - 22, 1999

April 9 - 15, 1999


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