NAPSNet Daily Report 02 December, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 02 December, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 02, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-02-december-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. UN Agency on DPRK Nuclear Program
2. US-DPRK Relations
3. PRC and Russia on DPRK
4. PRC Aids Crisis
5. PRC-Russia Summit
6. ROK US Protest
7. DPRK Asylum Seekers
8. PRC-Russia Energy Talks
9. Inter-Korean Border Crossing
II. Republic of Korea 1. IAEA Interference on DPRK
2. KEDO’s Pressure on DPRK
3. DPRK Issue on Nuclear Crisis
4. UNC Insisting Armistice Agreement
5. US Deputy Secretary of State Visiting ROK
III. Japan 1. KEDO-DPRK Relations
2. Japan-DPRK Relations
IV. CanKor E-Clipping 1. Issue #108

I. United States

1. UN Agency on DPRK Nuclear Program

The New York Times (Serge Schmemann, “U.N. AGENCY DEMANDS NORTH KOREA END ATOMIC PROGRAM,” United Nations, 11/30/02) reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency called on the DPRK today to abandon any nuclear weapons program it had and to accept international inspections. The demand by the agency, the nuclear-monitoring arm of the United Nations, was issued in a resolution of its full 35-member board. It was the board’s first meeting since the DPRK admitted to a US envoy in October that it was conducting a clandestine program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Although the agency has issued previous calls for the DPRK to accept its inspections, the resolution today was apparently the first time it has explicitly demanded that the DPRK scrap its entire nuclear weapons program. But the agency has no enforcement powers beyond reporting violations to the Security Council, and the resolution set no deadline.

The text of a November 29 State Department statement on the IAEA’s resolution can be found:

http://usinfo.state.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=02112901.elt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml

2. US-DPRK Relations

The Agence France-Presse (“US AMBASSADOR SAYS TALKS WITH NKOREA HINGE ON DISMANTLING NUCLEAR PROGRAM,” 12/02/02) reported that the United States is willing to hold talks with theDPRK as long as it takes concrete steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons facilities, the US ambassador to Japan. “We are willing to have a conversation only after we see confirmable dismantling of their nuclear capability,” Ambassador Howard Baker told a news conference in Tokyo Monday. “If they would begin that, they might be very surprised at how promptly the US would respond,” he said. Baker, speaking to journalists at the Japan National Press Club, also said that a former US soldier who defected to the DPRK and married a Japanese kidnapping victim there was unlikely to escape prosecution for desertion just because his case was nearly three decades old. “I am really sympathetic to the man, but still he is classified as a deserter, and the matter has to be dealt with according to law,” Baker said. “My impression is that the statute of limitations, whatever it is, would not begin to run until he was back in the United States or in American custody.”

3. PRC and Russia on DPRK

Reuters (“CHINA AND RUSSIA URGE N.KOREA TO DROP NUCLEAR PROGRAMME,” Beijing, 12/02/02) and the Associated Press (Audra Ang, “RUSSIA, CHINA CALL FOR RENEWED U.S.-NORTH KOREAN CONTACT,” Beijing, 12/02/02) reported that Russia and PRC urged DPRK on Monday to drop its nuclear weapons program in the strongest call ever by DPRK’s allies for detente on the Korean peninsula. But a joint declaration after a Beijing summit also sent a strong message to the US, urging the US and DPRK to normalize ties and stick by a 1994 pact which each accuses the other of breaking. Analysts say PRC and Russia have only limited influence over the DPRK and the statement was consistent with recent policy towards them. But PRC, which fought with the DPRK in the 1950-53 Korean War, holds more sway than any other nation as a provider of most of its fuel oil and non-aid food imports as well as being a possible model for gradual economic reforms. “The sides consider it important for the destiny of the world and security in Northeast Asia to preserve the non-nuclear status of the Korean peninsula and the regime of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” said the joint declaration. “And in this context, they stress the extreme importance of normalising relations between the United States and the DPRK on the basis of continued observation of earlier reached agreements, including the framework agreement of 1994.”

4. PRC Aids Crisis

Reuters (“CHINESE EXPERTS SAY CHINA HAS LAST CHANCE TO CONTAIN AIDS,” Beijing, 12/02/02) reported that a team of PRC AIDS experts has told the government it has a one last chance to save 10 million people from HIV/AIDS by 2010 and avert a major epidemic, sending Beijing one of the starkest ultimatums yet to tackle the disease. The PRC could have as many as 12 million HIV/AIDS sufferers by 2010 or as few as 2.2 million — if the government fully engaged the problem as soon as possible, they say in a new survey. “Right now there still exists a chance to prevent and control the broad spread of AIDS in China,” says the study, released to coincide with World AIDS Day on Sunday. “It also may be the last chance.” Researchers from the Health Ministry and disease control center, the non-governmental Beijing Institute of Information and Control and the London-based consultancy the Future Group took part in the study.

5. PRC-Russia Summit

Reuters (“CHINA AND RUSSIA SEEK TO BOOST TIES WITH PUTIN VISIT,” Beijing, 12/02/02) and the Agence France-Presse (“JIANG AND PUTIN HOLD SUMMIT TALKS WITH IRAQ, NKOREA ON AGENDA,” 12/02/02) reported that the PRC and RUssia urged the normalization of US-North Korea relations and a diplomatic solution to the weapons crisis in Iraq during summit talks in Beijing. A joint declaration signed by Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after a one-hour meeting also pledged efforts to crack down on “terrorism” within their borders, Russian sources told AFP Monday. China and Russia have close ties with the unpredictable Stalinist regime in North Korea, and both countries urged the DPRK to take steps to “denuclearize” the Korean peninsula. “They said it was also very important to maintain efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” a Russian source said. The source said the declaration also called on the DPRK to carry on the process of rapprochement with the ROK.

6. ROK US Protest

The Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN GROUP TRAVELS TO US TO PROTEST SOLDIERS’ ACQUITTAL,” 12/02/02) reported that an ROK civic delegation left for the US to demand a retrial for two US soldiers acquitted of killing two girls in a road accident, and a direct apology from the president. “We are visiting the United States to secure a direct apology from (President George W.) Bush,” said the seven-member delegation, led by Presbyterian church priest Hong Keun-Soo, in a statement. “We will also demand the US court martial’s verdict be nullified to have the soldiers tried again in a Korean court,” it said. Hong heads a coalition of 130 South Korean civic groups that has organized anti-US protests since the 14-year-old girls were crushed to death by a 50-ton military vehicle on their way to a birthday party on June 13. A US military court cleared the soldiers of negligent homicide two weeks ago and ROK activists have since stepped up protests, burning US flags and breaking into US army bases.

7. DPRK Asylum Seekers

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “N KOREAN REFUGEE ADVOCATES TURN TO UN,” Tokyo, 11/28/02) reported that activists involved in several highly publicized attempts by DPRK refugees to storm into foreign diplomatic missions in the PRC for protection say a PRC police crackdown has forced them to largely abandon the tactic. Instead, they said they plan to step up pressure on the UN refugee agency to “start doing their job” by monitoring the Korean refugees in the PRC, despite government restrictions on its work. Officials of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have acted like “naive schoolchildren” in the face of the problem, said Tarik Radwan, a Fairfax, Va., lawyer working on human rights. “It’s not just apathy; it’s culpable negligence to the point of complicity.” PRC authorities have insisted that UNHCR does not have jurisdiction over the thousands of DPRK citizens who have fled their impoverished country and are hiding in the PRC. “UNHCR has been pushing the Chinese government for access to that border region so we can access the situation and see for ourselves,” said Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the agency at its headquarters in Geneva. “But to date, we don’t have authority for regular visits,” he said. “We need the cooperation of the national government to move around.” The head of the UNHCR field office in Beijing declined to comment.

8. PRC-Russia Energy Talks

The New York Times (Sabrina Tavernise, “RUSSIA IN ENERGY TALKS WITH CHINA,” Moscow, 12/01/02) reported that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia will seek to advance energy projects by Russia and the PRC during a visit to the PRC this week, officials said in Moscow over the weekend. On a three-day visit to the PRC, Putin will “emphasize the realization of large joint projects in the sphere of oil and gas,” among other sectors, a close aide to Mr. Putin, Sergei Prikhodko, was quoted as saying by the Russian government’s news agency, Ria-Novosti. In particular, an oil pipeline project that would carry Russian oil from the Siberian city of Angarsk to Daqing in northeast China, is expected to move forward, said the Russian deputy foreign minister, Aleksandr Losyukov, in an interview with Russian news agency Itar-Tass. Mr. Losyukov said all the paperwork would be “officially approved” by the end of the year. A spokesman for Viktor B. Khristenko, the deputy prime minister responsible for energy issues, was more cautious, saying only that the government was still considering signing off on the project.

9. Inter-Korean Border Crossing

The Associated Press (“UN COMMAND AGREES TO SIMPLIFY INTER-KOREAN BORDER-CROSSING RULES,” Seoul, 12/02/02) reported that the US-led United Nations Command says it has agreed to simplify procedures for ROK tourists traveling to the DPRK via a newly built cross-border road. The agreement, reached with the ROK’s Defense Ministry on Saturday, cleared the way for ROK tourists to visit the DPRK’s scenic Diamond Mountain resort via an overland route. Inspectors will test the road on Thursday, and the first group of tourists will use it December 11. Under a joint tourism project with the DPRK that started in 1998, the ROK’s Hyundai group is running a cruise tour to the resort. The overland tour will be less expensive. Border crossings require approval by the UN Command, which oversees the southern half of the 4 kilometer (2.5 mile)-wide Demilitarized Zone separating the ROK and the DPRK.

II. Republic of Korea

1. IAEA Interference on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, “ATOMIC AGENCY SAID READY TO CRITICIZE PYEONGYANG,” Seoul, 11/29/02) reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency was expected to adopt a statement calling on DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program at a meeting of the international agency’s board of governors now under way. Although some observers see the expected move as a new source of pressure on DPRK, it is not clear what sway the body might have. An official in Seoul said the governors of the IAEA were reviewing a statement for a vote. The board meeting will be the agency’s first chance to comment on the revelations in September that the DPRK has conducted a program to enrich uranium since the late 1990s.

2. KEDO’s Pressure on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“PYEONGYANG WILL EVENTUALLY GIVE UP ON NUKES, SAYS CHARLES KARTMAN,” Seoul, 11/29/02) reported that Charles Kartman, executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization said he expects DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program. The remark came during his interview with Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun in New York Wednesday (local time). Kartman said DPRK will give up developing nuclear weapons as long as it tries to maintain the Agreed Framework, the 1994 deal with US which the nation is presently accused of violation. Rather, he pointed out, DPRK seems to take the Agreed Framework as still alive, considering the statements the country came to release lately. Kartman then sternly added there will be no choice but the three allies of ROK, US and Japan make full revision of KEDO activities if DPRK continues to resist demands to stop the weaponry program. It’s been about two weeks since the executive board of KEDO decided to withdraw annual supply of heavy oil to DPRK as part of the added pressure. The United States disclosed at the last KEDO meeting that the DPRK still holds about 50,000 metric tons of heavy fuel and submitted an actual data to prove it. Such has prompted both ROK and Japan to agree on final decision to suspend heavy oil, reported another Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun, Friday.

3. DPRK Issue on Nuclear Crisis

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH DEMANDED PRESIDENT BUSH’S VISIT TO PYEONGYANG,” Seoul, 11/29/02) reported that DPRK proposed US President George W. Bush to visit its nation during last month’s with the visiting US Assistant Secretary of East Asia and Pacific Affairs James Kelly in Pyeongyang, reported a Japanese daily, Thursday. The meeting is more noted for DPRK’s surprise confession of its secret nuclear program which stirred the international society once more. The Mainichi Shimbun reported DPRK’s Deputy Foreign Minster Kang Sok-ju also told special envoy Kelly at the time that it would give up its nuclear ambitions if US accepts its demands for a non-aggression pact and peace treaty as well as lifting economic sanctions. Kelly was upset at the proposal, the paper said quoting the words of US senior officials. He reportedly left the negotiating table saying “If North Korea thinks that the United States will agree to a new framework because it has broken the Agreed Framework then it is totally mistaken.”

4. UNC Insisting Armistice Agreement

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “UNC INSISTS ON ARMISTICE AGREEMENT IN DMZ,” Seoul, 11/29/02) reported that Major-general James Soligan, deputy chief of staff at the United Nations Command (UNC) warned Thursday that if DPRK continues to refuse to seek the UNC’s consent to cross the military demarcation line (MDL), major inter-Korean projects, including the cross-border rail, road and Mount Kumgang overland tourism projects may be set back. Speaking to reporters at the US Army base in Yongsan, Major-general Soligan reaffirmed the UNC’s position that passage across the MDL requires prior approval from the command as stipulated under the armistice agreement, adding it ‘s approval was required for even the Mount Kumgang overland tourism. As long as the DPRK attitude does not change, the project may be frustrated when the re-linking of two cross-border railways starts after the clearance of mines by next week at the earliest, he said, noting the UNC has no intention of disturbing inter-Korean economic exchange, but in this case the exchange might not go smoothly.

5. US Deputy Secretary of State Visiting ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Kyung-bok, “ARMITAGE TO VISIT SEOUL IN DECEMBER,” Seoul, 11/29/02) reported that a ROK high-level government official said Thursday that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage plans to visit ROK in December, for discussions on whether to continue the light water nuclear reactor project in DPRK in view of the current North Korean clandestine nuclear project issue. Deputy Secretary Armitage will also confer with Korean government officials on the subject of Korean assistance in the case of a US attack on Iraq and express apologies for the June accident in which two Korean middle school students were killed.

III. Japan

1. KEDO-DPRK Relations

The Asahi Shinbun (Nobuyoshi Sakajiri,”KEDO HEAD CONFIDENT NORTH KOREA WILL BEND,”New York, 11/29/02) reported that Charles Kartman, executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), expressed his optimism in an interview Wednesday with The Asahi Shimbun saying it was based on recent signals from Pyongyang.”(North Korea) seems to understand that the Agreed Framework is now in great jeopardy,” Kartman said. “They use the phrase, ‘If the Agreed Framework is to be alive, and the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is to find a fundamental solution …,’ then the United States should do some things. This is their way of saying that the Agreed Framework is not yet dead. It is still alive.” Kartman also promised a “fundamental review” of the project if Pyongyang insisted on continuing its nuclear development program. On Nov. 14, the KEDO executive board said in a statement that it could review other activities beyond the suspension of heavy fuel oil shipments from December if the DPRK failed to comply with international requests to abandon its nuclear development program. Japan and the ROK oppose scrapping the light-water reactor project, but the US says that option must be included if the North continues to be stubborn. “I still consider the Agreed Framework to be of vital importance to ultimately the complete resolution of the crisis that we faced in 1994,”Kartman said. “It is the means by which, if both sides implement the agreement, North Korea and the United States can enter into new and different relations with one another. Those improved relations can make a great contribution to the peace and security of the entire region.”

2. Japan-DPRK Relations

The Japan Times (NO FOOD ASSISTANCE FOR NORTH KOREA, KAWAGUCHI SAYS, Nagoya, 12/01/02) reported that Japan’s foreign minister Yoriko Kawaguchi denied Saturday that Japan will provide any food aid to DPRK and said the government is not considering any such assistance at present. “From now, the government’s stance is to consider comprehensively various concerns such as abduction issue and then decide,” Kawaguchi said at a town meeting with residents of Nagoya. On the question of bilateral talks with Pyongyang, Kawaguchi acknowledged they are “now in a condition where not much progress is possible,” but added that “we are frequently conducting dialogue at the embassies in Beijing and through other routes.”

IV. CanKor E-Clipping

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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo: yskim328@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy84@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata: saiko@akira.ne.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@online.ru
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
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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