NAPSNet Daily Report 03 April, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 April, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 03, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-03-april-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il’s ROK Visit
2. EU Role on Korean Peninsula
3. DPRK View of US Policy
4. Japanese History Textbook
5. US Nuclear Submarine in Japan
6. Japanese Views of Spy Plane Incident
7. US Spy Plane in PRC
8. US Surveillance Equipment
9. US-PRC Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. Castro Visit to Two Koreas
2. DPRK View of US Policy
3. Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il’s ROK Visit

The Associated Press (“N KOREA LEADER TO ‘DEFINITELY’ VISIT SEOUL THIS YR-YONHAP,” Seoul, 04/02/01) and Reuters (“N.KOREA’S KIM JONG-IL SAID DELAYING VISIT TO SOUTH,” Seoul, 04/03/01) reported that the ROK’s Yonhap news agency quoted Ma Yong-il, a delegate of the DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly, as saying Monday that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il will likely visit the ROK in the second half of this year. Ma made the comment during an international conference of legislators in Havana, Cuba. Ma was quoted as saying, “The visit will definitely take place within this year. But it would be difficult during the first half.” Ma said that it was possible that Kim would travel to the ROK by train if a cross-border railway is reconnected on schedule late this year. He stated, “I cannot confirm anything because the decision is up to the top leaders, but it would be natural.” Kim Hyong-ki, ROK vice unification minister, responded, “North Korea is saying a lot of things, and this is one of them.” Kim Jong-ro, a spokesman for the ministry, said that the ROK did not regard Ma’s remark as an official statement by the DPRK government. The DPRK delegation met ROK representatives led by Lee Man- sup, speaker of the ROK National Assembly.

2. EU Role on Korean Peninsula

The Associated Press (“ENVOY: U.S. BACKS EU’S KOREA EFFORT,” Washington, 04/02/01) reported that Hans Dahlgren, Sweden’s state secretary for foreign affairs, on Monday quoted Bush administration officials as saying that they support a European Union initiative to promote reconciliation between the DPRK and the ROK. Dahlgren spoke after meeting with Korea and nonproliferation specialists at the State Department. Dahlgren said that he assured US officials that the EU does not plan to usurp the role of the US as the DPRK’s principal contact on missile issues. He said that the EU initiative was unrelated to the perception by some that more active EU involvement is needed because of the US stance on negotiations with the DPRK, adding that the possibility of an increased EU role was first raised by ROK President Kim Dae-jung when he went to Sweden last December to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize. Dahlgren also said that as a condition for Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson to travel to the DPRK, Sweden wants assurances of the DPRK’s interest in a second inter-Korean summit meeting. He said that possible additional agenda items for a visit would include the DPRK missile program, human rights and confidence-building measures between the DPRK and the ROK.

3. DPRK View of US Policy

Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREAN OFFICIAL SCORNS U.S. POLICY IN PUBLIC,” 04/03/01) reported that Kim Yong-Dae, vice president of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly presidium, speaking at the Inter- Parliamentary Union in Havana, described US policy toward the DPRK as “out of date and very displeasing.” Kim stated, “We are very unhappy about what the Bush administration has done. This is out of the times.” He added, “Since the United States said it will draw up its North Korean policy within first half of this year, we will be watching it before we make a decision on our actions.” Asked about a possible change in DPRK policy toward the ROK, Kim stated, “Our position has already been sent to the South Korean unification minister.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 4.]

4. Japanese History Textbook

The Associated Press (“JAPAN APPROVES HISTORY TEXTBOOK,” Tokyo, 04/03/01) reported that the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said Tuesday that it has approved the “New History and Civics Textbook,” for use beginning in April 2002. Japanese officials said that the textbook was approved because no obvious mistake or bias was found after authors agreed to revise it at inspectors’ request. Chief Cabinet spokesman Yasuo Fukuda stated, “During the process of the recent authorization of textbooks, various concerns have been expressed from neighboring countries. However, the authorization was carried out impartially.” However, PRC Ambassador to Japan Chen Jian said that the changes to the book failed to remove “its essence of denial and beautification of Japan’s past aggression.” Chen stated, “We are shocked and deeply regret on the approval of the history textbook.” The authors of the textbook, who belong to the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, welcomed the approval and hailed the ministry for resisting “foreign pressure,” saying the final product was largely in line with what they had originally intended. Japanese Education Minister Nobutaka Machimura said that Japan stands by its 1995 apology in which it acknowledged most of its wartime atrocities in Asia.

The Associated Press (“S KOREA CONDEMNS JAPANESE SCHOOL TEXT; MAY WITHDRAW ENVOY,” Seoul, 04/03/01) reported that the ROK on Tuesday condemned a new Japanese history textbook. The ROK Yonhap news agency reported that the government was considering recalling its ambassador to Japan, Choi Sang-ryong. Kim Euy-taek, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said such a move is “one of many options that can be considered.” Civic groups said that they will stage large protest rallies this week near the Japanese embassy in Seoul. ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman Lee Nam- soo in a statement, “The distorted view of history that such textbooks are likely to instill in Japan’s growing generations is not only undesirable for Japan’s future and its responsibilities in the international community but also highly detrimental to Korea-Japan relations.” The statement added, “Some of the textbooks that have passed the screening process still include contents rationalizing and beautifying Japan’s past wrongdoings based upon a self-centered interpretation of history.”

5. US Nuclear Submarine in Japan

The Associated Press (“JAPAN ANGERED BY US SUB’S PORT CALL,” Tokyo, 04/03/01) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on Tuesday demanded an explanation for the US nuclear-powered submarine Chicago’s entry into the Japanese port of Sasebo without advance notice. Kono stated, “Until I receive the report, I cannot cooperate with US nuclear submarines making port calls.” Sasebo city spokesman Keiichi Matsuda said that the Chicago entered port on Monday, but US military officials had only told the city government that it would stop outside the port. The 20-minute stop violated a 1964 bilateral accord requiring the US to notify Japan 24 hours in advance of port calls for US nuclear-powered submarines to give local authorities time to check radioactivity levels in ports before and after the visits. Sasebo City Mayor Akira Mitsutake called the Chicago’s port call an “act of bad faith.” An anonymous Foreign Ministry spokesman said that acting US Ambassador Christopher LaFleur told Japanese Foreign Ministry officials that the call was caused by a miscommunication within the US Navy, but US embassy spokesman Akira Matsuda refused to comment.

6. Japanese Views of Spy Plane Incident

The Wall Street Journal (“US-CHINA PLANE STANDOFF UPS JITTERS IN FRONT- LINE JAPAN,” Okinawa City, 04/03/01) reported that some people in Japan were worried that the US-PRC standoff over a downed US spy plane could effect Japan’s security arrangements with the US. The Yomiuri newspaper said in an editorial on Tuesday, “Sunday’s incident … could put a strain on Japanese and US efforts to maintain their security setup in the region.” It added, “The area in question is an important sea-lane to Japan.” Commander Rex Totty, at the US Pacific Command in Hawaii, said that he could not immediately answer questions about whether Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa would play a role in the resolution of the issue. He stated, “Right now we’re focused on meeting with the crew.”

7. US Spy Plane in PRC

The Associated Press (“DIPLOMATS VISIT NAVY CREW IN CHINA,” Haikou, 04/03/01) reported that Army Brigadier General Neal Sealock, defense attache at the US Embassy in the PRC, met Tuesday night with the crew of the fallen US spy plane. Sealock stated, “They are in good health.” He said that US officials were working for their release, but gave no indication that would happen immediately. He stated, “Our goal is to get them home as soon as possible.” US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Tuesday called for the “rapid” return of the crew and the plane. Powell stated, “I’m encouraged by the fact that the meeting is taking place. It shouldn’t have taken this long to happen. But, now that it has happened, I hope this starts us on a road to a full and complete resolution of this matter.” PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said that the crew’s fate would be decided based on a PRC investigation. Zhu refused to say whether Chinese officials had boarded the plane, but dismissed US claims that the plane is sovereign US territory. He stated, “If this plane is sovereign American territory, how did it land in China? There’s no question of immunity at all. Therefore China has all rights to handle this case.” Zhu said that the US should “admit its mistakes” and “make an explanation to the Chinese government and people on this incident instead of raising this or that demand or try to shirk its responsibilities.” PRC President Jiang Zemin was quoted by Zhu as saying, “The responsibility fully lies with the American side. We have full evidence for that.” Jiang called for an end to US surveillance flights off the PRC coast “so as to prevent similar accidents from happening again.”

The New York Times (David E. Sanger, “BUSH DEMANDS ‘PROMPT’ RETURN OF PLANE AND CREW,” Washington, 04/03/01) reported that US President George W. Bush’s top aides on Monday held a series of emergency meetings focused on what one official called “the many mysteries of this whole bizarre encounter” between a US spy plane and a PRC fighter. A senior US defense official stated, “I think they were more confused in Beijing than we are in Washington” over how to deal with the incident. An administration official said that the PRC had “already missed an opportunity to improve relations by announcing right away that they would return the crew.” An unnamed senior US official said that the crew’s last transmission to Kadena air base in Okinawa “suggested that a group of Chinese military had surrounded the plane, and it appeared that they were about to board the aircraft.” The official added that, based on photos from spy satellites, the left wing of the plane and one of the four engines that power its propellers appeared to have been damaged. China experts in the US administration speculated that PRC President Jiang Zemin might not want to spend his political capital by intervening to order the crew’s release. A State Department official said that Jiang “may not want to be seen doing us a favor” if he thinks that Bush might approve selling Taiwan advanced weapons technology. Ruth Wedgwood, a professor of international law at the Yale University Law School, stated, “Spying itself is not illegal. China may not like it. But you can use the high seas for any purpose you wish.” [Ed. Note: This article was on of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 4.]

8. US Surveillance Equipment

Dow Jones Newswires (“PENTAGON SOURCES: CHINA REMOVING EQUIP FROM PLANE,” New York, 04/03/01) reported that the Cable News Network (CNN) cited US Defense Department sources as saying that PRC personnel have begun removing equipment from the downed US spy plane. It added that the crew of the plane reported that before landing, they had been begun procedures to disable and destroy the equipment, but once on the ground, armed Chinese military personnel boarded the plane. CNN later cited an unnamed senior White House official as saying that the report of equipment being removed was “conjecture.”

Dow Jones Newswires (“CAN’T CONFIRM EQUIPMENT REMOVAL,” Washington, 04/03/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday that he could not confirm reports that the PRC has begun taking equipment off the downed US surveillance plane. Powell said that he does not find a connection between the issue of the plane and decisions on US arms sales to Taiwan.

9. US-PRC Relations

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “A BUILDUP OF IRRITATION IN RELATIONS,” Beijing, 04/03/01, A01) reported that analysts see the US- PRC plane collision as adding to a growing list of quarrels between the US and the PRC. Shen Dingli, an expert on security issues at Fudan University in Shanghai, stated, “U.S.-China relations risk falling into a crisis. I cannot stress how sensitive the situation is right now.” Bates Gill, an expert on Chinese security issues at the Brookings Institution, stated, “This episode should be a wake-up call to all involved. Conflict with China is not inevitable, but in the absence of active efforts to manage contentious differences, minor incidents will quickly escalate to larger crises.” Thomas Christensen, professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued, “The defector story and this collision are classic Cold War events. Before, conflicts with China were very sui generis ‘China’ conflicts, like Taiwan. Now it feels like [Soviet defector Anatoli] Golitsyn and Francis Gary Powers,” the US pilot shot down in a U-2 spy plane over Russia in 1960. Ken Allen, a former assistant air attache in the US Embassy in Beijing, noted that so far the PRC government has not sought to excite nationalist fervor over the incident. He predicted that the PRC would drag out negotiations for return of the aircraft and the crew as a way to influence the decision on arms sales to Taiwan, but added, “The problem is that it might backfire.” [Ed. Note: This article was on of the top stories in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 4.]

The Los Angeles Times (Jim Mann, “CRISIS FORCES BUSH TEAM TO SPEED UP DECISIONS ON CHINA POLICY,” Washington, 04/03/01) reported that the sudden crisis over the downed US spy plane is forcing the US President George W. Bush administration to make decisions about its policies toward the PRC earlier than it had planned. Jonathan Pollack, head of strategic research at the Naval War College in Rhode Island, stated, “I have to believe the administration really wishes this [crisis] hadn’t come upon them that soon.” The article said that in recent weeks, senior administration officials have said privately that the administration would make obligatory short-term decisions on the PRC but not focus on formulating a longer-term policy until the fall. It added that the incident may also affect US relations with Japan. Paul Giarra, a former US Defense Department specialist on Japan, stated, “My belief has been that the Japanese turn a blind eye to these [U.S.] reconnaissance flights–and unchallenged, the Japanese can live with that. But the Japanese will hear from the Chinese about this [plane incident], I presume.” The article noted that the administration has not completed the process of hiring working-level officials for Asia. Former US Ambassador to the PRC Winston Lord stated, “In terms of handling a crisis like this, there are enough people in place.” However, he added, “to staff out a full strategy for dealing with the Chinese over the next four years, you need to have that whole upper and middle level of people in place in the government.” Richard Solomon, president of the US Institute of Peace, argued, “The context [for this airplane incident] goes back to the early 1990s, when the Chinese decided they really needed to get the United States out of the [Asia- Pacific] region if they wanted to recover their patrimony, Taiwan and the South China Sea. One of the long-term, sweet dreams of the Chinese is that we’ll be out of our bases in Korea and Japan and that will result in a reduction in our overall presence in the region.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Castro Visit to Two Koreas

The Korea Herald (“CASTRO CONSIDERING VISIT TO BOTH KOREAS,” Seoul, 04/03/01) reported that Cuban leader Fidel Castro said that he would consider visiting the ROK and the DPRK hoping to contribute to the rapprochement process on the Korean Peninsula, National Assembly Speaker Lee Man-sup said in Havana Monday. Lee, who is attending the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) session in the Cuban capital, said that he had proposed the trip during a dinner hosted by Castro. The Cuban leader responded positively to the proposal, Lee said.

2. DPRK View of US Policy

The Korea Herald (Kim In-koo, “NORTH KOREAN OFFICIAL SCORNS U.S. POLICY IN PUBLIC,” Seoul, 04/03/01) reported that a DPRK leader has expressed anger at the new US administration in public for the first time at an international forum, news reports said Monday. Speaking at the Inter- Parliamentary Union in Havana, Kim Yong-dae, vice president of DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly presidium, described the US view of the DPRK as, “out of date and very displeasing,” Yonhap news agency reported from the Cuban capital. “We are very unhappy about what the Bush administration has done. This is out of the times,” he added.

3. Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Yoon Jong-ho, “FOURTH RED CROSS MEETING CANCELLED,” Seoul, 04/02/01) reported that an ROK Ministry of Unification official said Monday that the DPRK had not responded to the Korean National Red Cross telephone message on March 22, calling for the fourth round of talks scheduled for April 3 to take place in Seoul. He added that this essentially means the meeting is cancelled, as there was now insufficient time to prepare. KNRC president Soh Young-hoon is expected to send an official letter of regret in the near future.

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

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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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