NAPSNet Daily Report 01 December, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 01 December, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 01, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-01-december-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks
2. Korean War Massacre
3. Cross-Straits Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. Reunion of Separated Families
2. Korean War Massacre
III. Japan 1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks
2. Former Prime Minister’s Visit to DPRK
3. Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue
4. Defense Agency Reform
5. Japanese Collective Self-Defense
6. World Peace Conference

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks

Reuters (“N.KOREA SAYS IT REFUSED JAPAN NORMALIZATION PLAN,” Tokyo, 12/1/00) reported that the DPRK said on Friday that it had refused a Japanese proposal to normalize relations based on an economic plan similar to that used years before to normalize relations with the ROK. According to an editorial in the DPRK’s state-run Rodong Shinmun newspaper, the DPRK refused the proposal after a round of talks in October. The editorial said, “We made clear to the Japan side at the last round of talks that we rejected this” style of agreement. “Use of this model of agreement is nothing more than an attempt to sidestep the question of settling the past. Japan is putting the idea of compensation to the side and only making illogical talk about ‘cooperation.'” At the time of the talks in October, officials on both sides declined to reveal details. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official said that the Japanese team had agreed to a DPRK request not to reveal details as the discussions were “substantive.” Japan has refused the DPRK’s demands for compensation, saying that Japan and Korea were not in a state of war. However, it does say that the DRPK has the right to demand that Japan pay damages caused by its colonial rule. In turn, Japan has made progress on the issue of the alleged abduction and have made the issue a prerequisite for normalizing relations. The DPRK has denied abducting anybody but has agreed to launch a nationwide investigation into the fate of what it calls “missing” Japanese nationals. However, the Rodong Shinmun said Friday that if Japan did not stop raising the issue, they might be forced to halt this investigation. The editorial said, “They must realize that if they keep making a fuss about this issue, the whole investigation might cease forever.”

2. Korean War Massacre

The Associated Press (“U.S., KOREANS DIFFER OVER REFUGEE KILLINGS IN KOREAN WAR,” Seoul, 12/1/00) reported that Yi Manh-yol, an adviser to the ROK inquiry, said that US and ROK officials disagree about whether US troops were ordered to open fire on refugees at the No Gun Ri in the early days of the Korean War. Yi said that a rift exists over a number of issues, including whether there were shoot-to-kill orders and the number killed. The split was affirmed by five other sources close to the ROK inquiry. Yi said, “The Pentagon is trying to deny that American troops attacked the refugees under orders from commanders. This is an argument we can never accept.” Major Tom Collins, a US Defense Department spokesman, said that US and ROK investigative teams are working on a Statement of Mutual Understanding detailing points of agreement. Yi said that he spoke out despite official urgings not to discuss the case because he felt the US needed to understand the depth of ROK feelings and the potential damage to bilateral relations. He said that several members of the ROK advisory panel want to meet with congressional leaders and other officials in the US before the reports are made public.

3. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (“TAIWAN TO OPEN DOORS WIDER TO CHINA NEXT YEAR,” Taipei, 12/1/00) reported that Taiwan said Friday that it will open its doors wider to the PRC next year despite political tensions. Han Kun, deputy director of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, told reporters that PRC tourists can visit Taiwan for sightseeing trips beginning June next year. However, Han warned of a growing security threat with PRC and foreign spies infiltrating the island. He also said that Taiwan would complete before December 15 preparations for easing the trade and transport ban between Taiwan-held offshore islands and designated PRC port cities. Chen Ming-tong, vice chairman of the Taiwan cabinet’s Mainland Affairs Council, said that direct trade with the mainland could proceed as soon as Taiwan and the PRC become members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Chen said, “Once we are admitted into the WTO, mainland goods and services industries will be allowed to enter Taiwan. We will then consider opening direct transport links.”

Reuters (“TAIWAN DISAPPOINTED CHINA REJECTED ITS OVERTURES,” Taipei, 12/1/00) reported that Taiwan leaders said on Friday that they were disappointed at the PRC’s outright rejection of the island’s latest bid to restart reconciliation talks and urged the PRC to be more conciliatory. Taiwanese Vice President Annette Lu said, “Our democracy and the opinion of the people cannot be misunderstood or distorted. We have repeatedly shown our goodwill and sincerity. We hope Beijing can reciprocate. We hope they can truly understand what democracy is.” Tsai Ing-wen, a top official of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said that Taiwan had worked hard to reach a consensus and urged the PRC and Taiwan’s opposition parties not to dismiss it outright. Analysts in Taiwan said the 25-member body’s consensus on a fresh but ambiguous formulation of the “one China” issue was merely an attempt to allow Chen to fudge the issue and meet the PRC’s demand without alienating pro-independence supporters. Taiwan Premier Chang Chun-hsiung said on Friday that both sides should set aside disputes and start reconciliation talks.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “SEPARATED FAMILIES REUNITE IN SEOUL, P’YANG,” Seoul, 12/01/00) reported that 200 ROK and DPRK citizens were reunited with relatives they have not seen since the Korean War (1950-53) in the two Koreas’ capitals on Thursday. Most family members, overcome with emotion, threw themselves into each other’s arms and rubbed each other’s faces in their first encounter for the past half-century. The visitors will have four chances to meet their long-lost kin, including two rounds of individual meetings, during their three-day stay. ROK officials said that the two Koreas have paved the way for regularizing the meetings of separated families by holding a second round of family reunions in less than four months.

2. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “CLINTON’S APOLOGY SOUGHT FOR MASSACRE,” 12/1/00) reported that an ROK government official said on November 30 that the ROK is poised to propose that US President Bill Clinton, during bilateral negotiations next week, make an apology for the alleged massacre of hundreds of ROK refugees in the hamlet of No Gun Ri by US troops at the early days of the Korean War. The official said that ROK negotiators, citing the demands of Korean victims and their family members, are also set to call for appropriate US actions, including the restoration of the victims’ honor and the giving of compensation to them. ROK and US officials are set to hold negotiations on December 6 in Seoul to discuss how to wrap up their year-long joint investigation of the incident and how to make a final announcement. Senior US officials, including Assistant Secretary of the Army Patrick Henry and his principal deputy, Under Secretary of Defense Charles Cragin, are expected at the talks with their ROK counterparts. The official also said, “In the process of figuring out whether U.S. soldiers were ordered to shoot refugees, we have managed to secure U.S. officers’ memos, including that of Colonel Rogers, but they didn’t pinpoint the Nogun-ri massacre specifically.” Therefore, there is a high possibility that the ROK and US investigators might define the incident as an accidental one which took place in the whirlwind of a war. In contrast, the ROK victims’ association has claimed that the US troops killed the villagers “intentionally and in an inhumane manner.” ROK officials are concerned about the possible uproar from the ROK public because the outcome of the investigation apparently did not meet their expectations. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for December 1, 2000.]

III. Japan

1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks

The Daily Yomiuri (“GOVT TO DEFER TALKS WITH N. KOREA,” 11/27/2000) reported that according to governmental sources on November 26, the Japanese government intends to forego diplomatic normalization talks with the DPRK that were initially expected to be held late this year, but hopes to resume the talks in early 2001. According to a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official, uncertainties over negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the DPRK missile development and the US president’s visit to Pyongyang, coupled with an expected reshuffle of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s Cabinet in December, have created a difficult environment for the Japanese government to push for the talks. The ministry plans to begin preparations for the next round of talks after the completion of the Cabinet reshuffle and finalization of the Liberal Democratic Party executive line-up. The official also said that with the next round of talks likely to be held next year, talks between Red Cross societies of the two countries, which are aimed at resolving the alleged kidnapping of Japanese nationals by DPRK agents, will also be postponed to next year.

2. Former Prime Minister’s Visit to DPRK

The Asahi Shimbun (“MURAYAMA TO VISIT DPRK FROM NOVEMBER 30,” 11/29/2000) reported that former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama will lead a delegation to the DPRK from November 30 to December 5. Murayama will meet with DPRK Workers’ Party Secretary Kim Yong-sun and Foreign Minister Paik Nam-sun to convey the delegation’s objective to the DPRK side that Japan establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK by 2002 at the latest. Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said to reporters on November 28, “(Because the normalization talks are still deadlocked at the official level,) I would like to hear from Mr. Murayama what sense he got (from the DPRK).”

3. Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue

Kyodo News (“RUSSIA EYES END OF TERRITORIAL ROW WITH 2 ISLANDS’ RETURN,” 11/29/2000) reported that during his interview with Kyodo News, Alexander Losyukov, the vice Foreign Minister in charge of the Asia- Pacific region, said, “Russia wants to close territorial talks with Japan by returning two of the four disputed islands northeast of Hokkaido in line with a 1956 joint declaration.” The report said that he suggested that Russia cannot accept Japan’s policy of seeking the return of all the islands, even in a two-step process, and instead seeks an end to the territorial dispute by returning two islands.

4. Defense Agency Reform

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“LOWER HOUSE DIET MEMBERS ESTABLISH GROUP AIMING TO RAISE DEFENSE AGENCY TO MINISTRY,” 11/24/2000) reported that former Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda, former Japanese Defense Agency (JDA) Director Generals Fukushiro Nukaga and Shigenari Norota, and other Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members decided to establish a group within the Lower House aiming to raise the status of the JDA from agency to ministry. The report said that there is already a group within the Upper House formed by both LDP and Conservative Party members and that the new group will go hand in hand with the Upper House one to submit to the Diet a bill to raise the JDA to a ministry. Behind this move is a deep-rooted frustration among LDP members that JDA has remained an agency while other central ministries and agencies have been subject to reform. The report pointed out, however, that the move is also intended to appeal to the public especially after the administration of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori survived the non-confidence vote at the last Lower House Diet session. The report added that the group will strive to gather more members not only from the LDP but also from the Conservative Party. However, the report also added that because Komeito is still cautious about the move, the issue of raising JDA to a ministry may become controversial at the Ordinary Diet sessions.

5. Japanese Collective Self-Defense

The Daily Yomiuri (Hidemichi Katsumata, “VIEW OF COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE RIGHT DRAWS FIRE,” 11/30/2000) reported that Japan’s stance on exercising the right of collective self-defense is drawing US criticisms. The report said that a former high-ranking officer of the US Pacific forces criticized Japan’s stance toward international contributions on November 15 during a meeting in Tokyo to study security issues. The former US officer said that Japan’s restrictions on its operations constituted burdens on other participating countries. He criticized Japan for limiting the use of weapons by Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel dispatched to UN peacekeeping operations to self- defense purposes and for freezing the SDF’s participation in UN peacekeeping forces. The report pointed out that the former officer’s remarks also reflected the mood at a conference of military chiefs of staff and equivalent officers from countries in the Asia-Pacific region held in Hawaii just before the Tokyo meeting. Participants of the conference discussed what measures should be taken in the event of a crisis in the region like the one that occurred in East Timor and they agreed to take joint measures under a multilateral scheme. They also agreed to start joint study of military affairs for the first time, in the fields of tactics, skills and operation enforcement guidelines. A high-ranking official of the Joint Staff Council said, “The former US officer’s remark was probably a question over whether Japan can adequately contribute to a multilateral cooperation under the current restrictions. Also in other meetings, Japan has been unsuccessful in bringing round other countries to its point of view with respect to Japan’s restriction on multilateral cooperation.” Former US Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Armitage and other US policymakers with influence on policies toward Asia compiled a suprapartisan report on US policy on Japan last month which pointed out that although the US supports Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on UN Security Council, Japan should remember that collective security is accompanied by duties.

6. World Peace Conference

The Daily Yomiuri (“CONFERENCE URGES HALT TO MISSILE DEFENSE,” Kyoto, 12/01/2000) reported that the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP) held on November 30 in Kyoto urged world leaders not to develop missile defense systems of the type being considered by US. The body also released plans to strengthen conflict prevention and peace initiatives. Twenty-three representatives of religions and disarmament organizations from 14 countries were attending the two-day meeting. The commission’s members said in a statement that the use of nuclear weapons contradicts their shared moral and spiritual beliefs, and that they should be eliminated. As long as nuclear weapons exist, the potential exists for their use, they said. They voiced concern that the development of missile defense systems would require renewed testing of nuclear weapons and intensify resistance to further reductions in existing nuclear arsenals. Missile defense would also legitimize nuclear weapons as an important factor in international relations, and may lead non-nuclear states to develop their own nuclear capabilities, they said. The commission reaffirmed the importance of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, and urged political leaders to discard missile defense and search for new ways to ensure security. They also called on world leaders to realize their commitment to eliminating nuclear weapons. The commission urged the WCRP to convince the permanent members of the UN Security Council of the contradiction between their dual role as guarantors of security and as the world’s major arms suppliers. The conference was also asked to call on states to reduce expenditure on their armed forces. The report added that the forum is being chaired by Gijun Sugitani, secretary general of the WCRP’s Japanese Committee and former president of the Tendai Buddhist sect.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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