NAPSNet Daily Report 02 July, 2002

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Naval Clash
2. PRC-Kyrgyzstan Murder Incident
3. Japan-Taiwan Relations
4. Hong Kong Domestic Politics
5. PRC-Hong Kong Public Trust
II. Republic of Korea 1. Rules for Sea Skirmishes Reconsidered
2. ROK’s Sun Shine Policy
3. US’s Schedule Unchanged
4. Inquiry of Command Structure
III. Japan 1. Misuse of Personal Data by SDF
2. Salvage of Mystery Ship
3. Japan Domestic Politics
4. Japan-ROK Relations
5. Japan ODA Reform

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Naval Clash

Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA WARNS TALKS WITH NORTH COULD BE HALTED,” 07/01/02) reported that the ROK warned that talks with the DPRK could be delayed as anger mounted over a deadly sea battle between the ROK and DPRK navy. “We will not be in a hurry. The government will seek to resume inter-Korean talks in a cautious manner, watching the situation,” Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun said Monday after a meeting of senior government and ruling party officials. But he rejected an opposition demand that the ROK freeze all inter-Korean exchanges including tours to the DPRK’s Kumgang mountain resort. “The government will proceed with exchanges and cooperation in the private sector as planned, doing its best to guarantee the nation’s safety,” he said. The skirmish on Saturday in the Yellow Sea left four ROK sailors dead, one missing and 19 injured. ROK officials said at least 30 DPRK sailors were killed or wounded. The clash prompted a high alert on both sides, but the ROK allowed 515 tourists to visit Kumgang on Sunday. ROK opposition parties demanded the government sack Defense Minister Kim Dong-Shin and review the “Sunshine” policy. “Our military policy needs a total review,” said Lee Hoi-Chang, the candidate of the main opposition Grand National Party for the presidential election in December. “A strong countermeasure is the only way we can stop North Korea’s armed provocations.”

2. PRC-Kyrgyzstan Murder Incident

Agence France (“CHINESE DIPLOMAT SHOT DEAD IN KYRGYZSTAN,” Hong Kong, 07/01/02) reported that a high-ranking PRC diplomat has been assassinated in the capital of Kyrgyzstan in a gun attack possibly linked to Muslim Uighur separatists. The Chinese consul and his driver were gunned down in the center of Bishkek late on Saturday, said Kyrgyz interior ministry official, Omurbek Egemberdiyev. “We have not ruled out that it is Uighur separatists drawing attention to themselves once again,” the official stated. Eyewitnesses saw two young men carry out the murder, firing with a pistol at the diplomat’s Mercedes at around 8 pm, according to the interior ministry. The assailants then fled in another car. The PRC embassy could not be reached for comment.

Reuters (Jeremy Page, “CHINA CONDEMNS MURDER OF DIPLOMAT IN KYRGYZSTAN,” Beijing, 07/01/02) reported that the PRC condemned the murder of one of its diplomats in Kyrgyzstan over the weekend as an “evil act” and demanded a thorough investigation. Police in the capital, Bishkek, were investigating whether the killings were carried out by Uighurs sources at the Kyrgyz embassy said. But Kyrgyz officials said they had not established the identity or motive of the killers who shot the first secretary at the embassy and his driver, who was from Xinjiang, in Bishkek on Saturday. “The Chinese side is deeply shocked at this case and strongly condemns this evil act,” PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement. “We have demanded the Kyrgyz side solve the case as quickly as possible and capture and severely punish the murderer.” The Chinese diplomat and his driver were shot as they drove through the city center late on Saturday, Piotr Tyablin, deputy head of the Interior Ministry, said. He named the dead diplomat as Van Dzhan Pin and the driver as Omar Nurmurkhamed. Both names were transliterated from the Russian and the PRC Foreign Ministry declined to name them. “Right now, we can’t tell exactly what happened there, whether it was a terrorist act or a criminal act,” said one Kyrgyz embassy source. “But we cannot exclude the possibility it was a terrorist act. Something similar happened two years ago.”

3. Japan-Taiwan Relations

Asia Pulse (“CALL FOR TAIWAN AND JAPAN TO BOLSTER COOPERATION,” Taipei, 07/01/02) reported that National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen stressed Sunday that Taiwan and Japan should develop comprehensive cooperation relations. Chiou made the remarks when he delivered a speech at the Taiwan-Japan forum in Taipei, which was sponsored by Taiwan’s Chinese Eurasia Education Foundation and the World Peace Research Institute of Japan. Chiou noted that Japan has better conditions than Taiwan to effectively counter the consequences of the PRC economy. If Japan is determined to develop Southeast Asia and make it the basis for building up the new order in the Asia-Pacific region, he said, Taiwan is the best cooperation partner to help Japan realize the goal. He said that the cooperation relationship should cover all areas, including security, regional stability, trade exchanges and southward development. He said that cooperation will bring new order to the Asia-Pacific region and have a positive effect on the national interests of Taiwan and Japan. Later, speaking on the sidelines of the forum, Chiou said that it is “impractical” to set a timetable for the implementation of the “three direct links,” namely direct trade, postal and transportation links between Taiwan and the PRC.

4. Hong Kong Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA’S PRESIDENT JIANG OVERSEES SWEARING-IN OF TUNG’S NEW CABINET,” Hong Kong, 07/02/02) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin officiated at the swearing-in ceremony of Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa for a second term and with a new cabinet in tow. Jiang swore in Tung as the chief executive of the special administrative region for another five-year term. Tung was returned unopposed in a March election by a Beijing-picked 800-member election committee. Jiang also oversaw the oath-taking of newly appointed principal officers or ministers, as well as new members to Tung’s cabinet, the executive council, that is answerable to the Hong Kong chief executive. In a speech, Jiang extended his “heartfelt congratulations” to Tung and his cabinet, praising the Hong Kong government for maintaining overall stability, despite the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the global economic slowdown. Jiang said the “one-country, two system” concept was “totally workable” in Hong Kong, as it continued to be one of the world’s financial centers and as its capitalistic lifestyle remained unchanged.

5. PRC-Hong Kong Public Trust

Reuters (“SURVEY SHOWS TRUST IN GOVERNMENT AND BEIJING DIPPING,” Hong Kong, 07/02/02) reported that Hong Kong people are becoming less trusting of the local government and Beijing, according to a survey released on Tuesday, the day after the territory marked the fifth anniversary of its return to PRC rule. Forty-four percent of more than 1,000 people surveyed in mid-June said they trusted the local government, a drop of four percentage points from a survey in mid-April, the University of Hong Kong said in a news release. The number of Hong Kong people who said they did not trust the local government rose by five percentage points to 26 percent. Pollsters gave no explanation for the trend, but many people in the territory are unhappy with the local government’s handling of the ailing economy. The government’s adoption of a new ministerial system has also generated controversy. Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa has created a new layer of government by putting trusted lieutenants and political appointees in key positions. Tung says the move will make his administration more accountable and allow him to better manage policy. But critics say the new system will concentrate power in his hands and ultimately mean more control for the pRC over Hong Kong’s affairs. Forty-five percent of the people polled said they trusted the PRC government, down four percentage points from April. About 25 percent said they did not the trust the PRC, up eight percentage points from April.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Rules for Sea Skirmishes Reconsidered

Joongang Ilbo (Ko Soo-suk, “ENGAGEMENT RULES FOR SEA SKIRMISHES TO BE AMENDED,” Seoul, 07/02/02) reported that the ROK and US will revise and supplement the rules of engagement of the ROK military, the ROK’s National Defense Ministry said Monday. “Kim Dong-shin, South Korean defense minister, and General Leon LaPorte, commander in chief of the United States-ROK Combined Forces, held an emergency meeting at the minister’s office Monday morning,” defense ministry spokesman Hwang Eui-don said. “The two military leaders agreed to cooperate in amending the rules of engagement in preparation for future North Korean armed provocations.” There is no problem with the army’s rules of engagement at this point,” Kim said, “but the navy’s rules of engagement are a matter of concern.” General LaPorte replied that the revision will be discussed with ROK’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2. ROK’s Sun Shine Policy

Joongang Ilbo (“UNIFICATION MINISTER SAYS GOVERNMENT WILL STICK TO BIG FRAMEWORK OF SUNSHINE,” Seoul, 07/02/02) reported that Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun said Tuesday the government will maintain the big framework of the sunshine policy despite the skirmish at the territorial waters last Friday in his interview state-run KBS radio program. “But this time we plan to study even further on the North’s double nature in order to match it with our policy and elicit national consensus from public as well¡¦if we put a halt to our humanitarian aids and inter-Korean Geumgang tours it’d be our loss as well losing foreign investment and recording poor in exports thus evoking minus growth on our economy as well. All this requires a more prudent measures,” Jeong said. As for the US reviewing of decision to send special envoy to DPRK the minister added there’s no need to be pessimistic of the prospect yet and expressed hope. “The visit can provide an opportunity for the North to explain or apologize for the incident,” he said.

3. US’s Schedule Unchanged

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin, “US SAID TO BE WILLING TO TALK,” Washington, 07/02/02) reported that US will go ahead with talks with the DPRK, despite calling Saturday’s inter-Korean sea battle an armed provocation by the DPRK, a diplomatic source in Washington said Monday. Earlier, US officials said that the planned talks might be reconsidered. “The South Korean government told the US government it feels that the US-North Korea talks should be carried out as planned,” the diplomat said. “Washington confirmed that its offer of talks remains unchanged. Washington has made no revision of its North Korea policy yet,” the source said. “They are instead closely watching how the gun battle will impact the North’s reaction to their proposal” for talks.

4. Inquiry of Command Structure

Chosun Ilbo (Choi Byung-mook, “INQUIRY CALLED FOR ON WEST SEA BATTLE,” Seoul, 07/02/02) reported that there were mounting calls Monday for an investigation of the ROK Navy command structure. According to a Ministry of National Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff statement, the ROKN could have sunk one of the ships, which was damaged, on fire and being towed, but stopped shooting due to an unspecified order. Experts say the ROKN had every opportunity to sink the DPRK ship when they were towing the damaged vessel. A naval law specialist said the DPRK ships had opened fire first, and so the ROK could have pursued and sunk them north of the NLL. A source said that an unidentified officer out-ranking a fleet commander gave the order to ceasefire for fear of escalation. In addition the ROK Air Force sent fighters to the scene, but they did not engage in the battle and some suspect that they too were ordered not to open fire. On Saturday night JCS Chairman Lee Nam-shin testified to an emergency meeting of the National Assembly said that the action taken by the ROKN was to prevent escalation of the incident.

III. Japan

1. Misuse of Personal Data by SDF

The Asahi Shimbun (“SURVEY: ABOUT HALF WANT NAKATANI OUT,” 06/25/02) reported that forty-seven percent of voters believe Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani should resign in the scandal regarding the unauthorized background checks on citizens lawfully requesting official information, an Asahi Shimbun poll shows. Among those who called for Nakatani’s resignation, nearly 60 percent said they did not support the Cabinet. Forty-one percent of respondents were content for Nakatani to remain in his post. The Asahi Shimbun telephoned 3,743 households with eligible voters nationwide for the poll. Valid responses were received from 1,999 people, or 53 percent.

2. Salvage of Mystery Ship

The Japan Times (Reiji Yoshida, “SUNKEN MYSTERY SHIP’S ARMS UP THE ANTE,” 06/29/02) reported that the powerful weapons found aboard the mystery ship that sank in the East China Sea in December suggest that the authorities charged with policing and defending the nation’s waters face a new challenge. In an undersea probe in May of the suspected DPRK spy ship, the Japan Coast Guard found that the vessel carried shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, a heavy machinegun, automatic rifles and a portable rocket launcher, government sources recently revealed.

3. Japan Domestic Politics

The Japan Times (“SEPTEMBER TO SEE CABINET SHUFFLE, CLAIMS YAMASAKI,” Tokyo, 07/01/02) reported that Taku Yamasaki, the secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Sunday that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is planning a Cabinet shuffle in September. Yamasaki doesn’t believe a Cabinet shuffle will take place immediately after the ongoing Diet session ends July 31. “The personnel shuffle of LDP executives and that of the Cabinet are always integral,” the secretary general said. The terms of LDP executives expire at the end of September. Yamasaki, meanwhile, did not deny that Koizumi might dissolve the House of Representatives and hold general elections, saying the prime minister has a propensity to do the unexpected.

4. Japan-ROK Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“EMPEROR, DIGNITARIES JOIN CUP THRONG,” Yokohama, 07/01/02) reported that Japanese dignitaries, including Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, visiting Kim Dae Jung, president of the ROK, and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, were among the spectators who watched the final World Cup match between Brazil and Germany at the International Stadium Yokohama on Sunday. Kim arrived Sunday morning to attend the tournament final despite the fatal clash of North and South Korean naval ships on Saturday. 5. Disarmament of the Former Soviet Union

Kyodo (“JAPAN BACKS WEAPONS DISPOSAL WITH $200 MILLION,” Calgary, 06/28/02) reported that Japan threw US$200 million into the hat last Wednesday to help fund a project backed by the G-8 to dispose of decommissioned weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union, a Japanese official said. The weapons are being gathered up and destroyed in a bid to prevent terrorists from using them as a source for bomb-making materials. The Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told a luncheon with his G-8 counterparts at the Canadian Rockies resort of Kananaskis, Alberta, that the amount is all Japan will offer “for the time being.” The US has proposed that the G-8 nations contribute a total of $10 billion over 10 years, meaning Japan will probably come under pressure to be more generous. Koizumi added that 50 percent of Japan’s $200 million contribution should be put aside to help set up an international organization that will handle the disposal of surplus plutonium. Koizumi also voiced dissatisfaction at the uncooperative stance taken by the RF toward a separate project initiated by Japan in 1993 to help Russia decommission its nuclear weapons.

5. Japan ODA Reform

The Japan Times (“KAWAGUCHI LAUNCHES ODA REFORM PANEL,” Tokyo, 06/28/02) reported that the Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi launched a new standing panel of outside experts tasked with mapping out country-by-country strategies for official development assistance (ODA) as part of the government’s reform of ODA. The panel was created in response to criticism that Japan’s official aid programs are often inefficient and lack transparency. It is headed by Kawaguchi, while Toshio Watanabe, a professor of development studies at Takushoku University, will serve as vice chairman. The other participants in the 18-member council have been selected from outside the ministry.

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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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