NAPSNet Daily Report 03 August, 2001

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il’s Russia Visit
2. DPRK View of US Missile Defense
3. Landmine Ban Treaty
4. ROK-Japan Fishing Dispute
5. Japanese History Textbook
6. US Troops in Okinawa
7. ASEAN Regional Forum
II. Republic of Korea 1. Kim Jong-il’s Trip to Russia
2. Russian Aid to DPRK
3. Alleged German Warfare During Korean War
4. US Missile Defense

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il’s Russia Visit

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “RUSSIANS SEARCH KIM TRAIN STATION,” Moscow, 08/03/01) and Reuters (Daniel Mclaughlin, “MOSCOW BRACES FOR END OF KIM’S SIBERIAN ODYSSEY,” Moscow, 08/03/01) reported that Russian officials said that, in response to a phoned-in bomb threat, security agents with sniffer dogs on Friday conducted an extensive search of the Moscow train station where DPRK leader Kim Jong-il was to arrive. After a one-and-half-hour search, the authorities declared the threat a prank. Media reports said that all commuter train service from the Yaroslavsky station would be halted for nearly four hours Friday evening before Kim’s arrival.

Reuters (“N. KOREA DENIES BULLETS HIT MOSCOW-BOUND KIM TRAIN,” Moscow, 08/0201) reported that the DPRK embassy in Moscow denied a report on Thursday in the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda that bullet holes were visible on leader Kim Jong-il’s train as it headed toward Moscow. The newspaper printed what it said was an image from a frame of video footage of the train showing white spots beneath a window. It said that experts had studied the image and believed the spots were holes made by 7.62 mm rounds, like the bullets in an AK-47 automatic rifle. A DPRK embassy official stated, “There are hundreds of guards around the train. If anything like that had happened on an official visit–the train being shot at–there is no way anyone would have been able to get close enough to take such a picture.”

2. DPRK View of US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (“N. KOREA RIPS U.S. MISSILE PROGRAM,” Moscow, 08/02/01) reported that the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary on Thursday that it will continue to develop missiles to guard against US military threats. It argued that US talk about the missile threat from the DPRK is nothing but “groundless sophism to cover up its dominationist intention.” It added that the DPRK missile program is only for self- defense and cannot pose a threat to the US. The DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper warned that the US missile defense program would trigger a new arms race, particularly on the Korean peninsula.

3. Landmine Ban Treaty

The Los Angeles Times (Norman Kempster, “U.S. COOLS TOWARD LAND MINE PHASE-OUT PLAN THE WORLD,” Washington. 08/03/01) reported that Paul V. Kelly, head of the US State Department’s legislative affairs bureau, in a letter to Representative James P. McGovern (Democrat-Massachusetts), said that the US government is reviewing a promise by former US President Bill Clinton to adhere eventually to an international ban on the use of land mines. Kelly said that land mine policy should be left “to our colleagues in the Department of Defense for their determination and judgment.” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell “has met with a number of people on this topic and has, indeed, carried forth diplomatically our efforts to work on this. But at the same time, we’ve reserved the need to use [land mines] as necessary in Korea.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 3.]

4. ROK-Japan Fishing Dispute

Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN REJECTS S KOREA’S CALL TO REVERSE FISHING BAN-KYODO,” New York, 08/03/01) reported that Kyodo News said that Japan on Friday rejected an ROK demand to reverse a ban on ROK saury fishing boats from operating in waters off the Sanriku region in northeastern Japan. Park Jae-young, deputy minister of the ROK Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, made the request Friday in a letter addressed to Yoshiaki Watanabe, director general of Japan’s Fisheries Agency. Japan had invalidated a license for the ROK saury boats to operate in the region after they began fishing Wednesday in waters around Russian islands claimed by Japan. Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tsutomu Takebe rejected Park’s claim that the ban undermined the spirit of last December’s bilateral fishing accord, saying that the ROK boats “are the ones that go against the accord.” Takebe stated, “It is a matter of territorial issue for Japan, and we can’t accept even if (the ROK) claim it as a fishery issue.”

5. Japanese History Textbook

The Associated Press (“TOKYO GOVERNOR DEFENDS CONTROVERSIAL HISTORY TEXTBOOK,” Tokyo, 08/03/01) reported that Japanese officials said that, if approved at a board meeting Tuesday, the New History Textbook would be used by 1,641 handicapped students at 47 Tokyo schools in the academic year beginning April 1, 2002. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said Friday that critics at home and abroad should stop attacking the textbook. He said that the book, unlike others, can give students a “correct understanding of history.” About 50 protesters from groups supporting the handicapped rallied against the proposed use of the book Friday at the Tokyo government complex.

6. US Troops in Okinawa

Reuters (“OKINAWA GOVERNOR WANTS U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE CUT,” Tokyo, 08/03/01) and the Associated Press (Scott Stoddard, “MORE OKINAWA ANGER VS. U.S. TROOPS,” Tokyo, 08/03/01) reported that Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine on Friday urged the US and Japan to reduce the size of the US military presence on Okinawa. Inamine stated, “The emotions of the Okinawa people are like magma … on the brink of eruption due to crimes committed by U.S. servicemen. We have been pressing for a reduction of U.S. military bases as well as cuts in personnel.” He added, “To protect the lives and property of the Okinawa people, it is necessary that the SOFA [Status of Forces Agreement] be revised. We will work to gain understanding from both the Japanese and U.S. governments.” He noted, “The government’s foreign affairs committee has decided to take up the issue for the first time and progress is slowly being made. We hope to add momentum to it.”

7. ASEAN Regional Forum

The Asian Wall Street Journal carried an opinion article (Ellen Bork, “REPLACE ASEAN,” 08/03/01) which said that last week’s meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) demonstrated that ASEAN has outlived its purpose. The author stated, “Rather than trying to the transform the Asean/ARF system, Asia’s democracies should establish a regional political and military alliance committed to strengthening the democracy and security of its members and expanding it in the region. Such an organization would be a logical outgrowth of Asia’s democratic development over the last half-century, and an answer to the anachronistic regional institutions that now fail to guarantee the region’s security and freedom.” She argued, “like NATO, the U.S. would be an indispensable member of an Asian democratic alliance.” While acknowledging that such an alliance would “provoke intense outrage from China,” the author maintained that it would also “require a long overdue re-evaluation of the way U.S. policy on Taiwan has evolved.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 3.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. Kim Jong-il’s Trip to Russia

Chosun Ilbo (Hwang Seong-jun, “KIM JONG IL’S TRAIN HIT BY GUNFIRE?,” Moscow, 08/03/01) reported that ten holes appearing to have come from bullets have been found in the bulletproof train taken by DPRK’s National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong Il on his trip across Siberia to Moscow, according to a report in the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda on Tuesday. The damage was reportedly discovered while Kim was in Omsk on July 31st, and an expert was quoted as saying that the holes resemble bullet holes from a 7.62 mm rifle at a distance of 30 to 50 meters, and that one of the holes has chalk in it, and that this is usually left after a trajectory test has been performed. According to the Komsomolskaya Pravda report, by all appearances, “at least one of Kim Jong-il’s train cars was shot at somewhere in Russia.” While in Omsk, where the DPRK leader spent one night, there was particularly strong security in the streets of the city and on rooftops. Kim was completely separated from the crowds, to a degree unusual even for his foreign travels. The news report said that this may have been because the DPRK had information about a possible sniper in the area. Experts are saying that an automatic 7.62mm AKM rifle would not be enough to penetrate the bulletproof train, even when shot at one of the windows from as close as 10 meters.

2. Russian Aid to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Chung Byeong-seon, “RUSSIA TO PROVIDE NK AID OF US$2 BIL. FOR RAIL LINK,” Seoul, 08/03/01) reported that Russia will provide some US$2 billion in assistance to the railway modernization project in the DPRK over the few next years in exchange for linking the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) to the Trans-Korean Railway (TKR), according to a government source. The source said that Russia is likely to specify the exact amount of the assistance during Kim Jong-il’s visit to Russia when the two countries are likely to sign the DPRK-Russia Railway Agreement. The source went on to say that military equipment will cover labor costs and fees for using the facilities, as DPRK requested.

3. Alleged German Warfare During Korean War

The Korea Herald (Yonhap, “INT’L CIVILIAN TEAM PROBING U.S. GERM WARFARE DURING KOREAN WAR,” Kwangju, 08/03/01) reported that the ROK civilian group the Korea Truth Commission said Thursday that it would launch a probe Friday to look into allegations that US troops carried out germ warfare in the ROK during the Korean War. The investigating team is led by Brian Willson, who presided over the Korea War Crimes Tribunal held in New York in June. Other participants include Korea War veterans and a former US Federal Bureau of Investigation agent. After the Kwangju visit, the team will tour sites of alleged massacres by US troops during the war. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 3.]

4. US Missile Defense

The Korea Times carried an opinion article by Ralph A. Cossa, head of PacForum CSIS (“MISSILE DEFENSE: DIALOGUE WELCOME . . . AND NEEDED,” 08/03/01) which argued that the US is going to develop some type of a national missile defense (NMD) system despite the PRC’s objections. The author stated, “The decision to pursue NMD has been highlighted by many international critics as another example of ‘U.S. unilateralism’ and there is some truth in this argument. But, few countries, in making what is essentially a sovereign national security decision, have taken as many pains as has the U.S. … to consult with allies and others every step of the way.” He argued, “What’s needed is a serious Sino-U.S. dialogue on what China’s genuine security concerns are, given Washington’s current inclination to listen . . . provided, of course, that China is prepared to recognize that there are also legitimate U.S. security concerns to be discussed.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 3.]

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

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

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

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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