NAPSNet Daily Report 03 December, 2002

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 December, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 03, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-03-december-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Inter-Korean Railway Vulnerability?
2. IAEA on DPRK Nuclear Development
4. PRC Internet Human Rights
5. Japan-DPRK Relations
6. International Red Cross in PRC
7. DPRK on Mount Kumgang Special Tourism Zone
II. Japan 1. Japan-US Military Cooperation
2. SDF-Police Cooperation
3. US Bases in Japan
III. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK-ROK Relations
2. PRC Commentary on DPRK-ROK Relations
3. US, ROK Relations with DPRK
4. PRC-US Relations
5. PRC-ROK Relations
6. Across Taiwan Straits Relations
7. PRC-Russia Ties
8. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Joint Communique
9. US-Russian Ties

I. United States

1. Inter-Korean Railway Vulnerability?

The Agence France-Presse (NORTH KOREA COULD USE TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR AS INVASION ROUTE,” 11/26/02) reported that a US army general said the DPRK could make use of transportation corridors under construction between the ROK and the DPRK as ready-made invasion routes to the ROK. US Major General James Soligan was responding to the DPRK’s refusal to continue work on the road and rail links unless the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) gives up its control of the corridors in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas. “The North Koreans would like to create this corridor outside the demilitarized zone and outside the authority of the armistice agreement,” Soligan said in an interview with cable television YTN. “That way, if they elected to, they could move combat forces into this corridor and challenge the security of South Korea. North Korea is very uncomfortable being held accountable for their violations of the armistice agreement,” said Sooligan. “So they would like to create an area that is outside the armistice agreement, so the world cannot hold them accountable for their actions.” The US military official accused the DPRK of delaying the inter-Korean railway and road project that he fully supports. “It is North Korea who is electing not to move the process forward,” he said.

2. IAEA on DPRK Nuclear Development

The Agence France-Presse (“IAEA TO TELL NKOREA TO END NUKE PROGRAM, ACCEPT INSPECTION: REPORT,” 11/26/02) reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will urge the DPRK this week to scrap its nuclear weapons program and allow inspections by the UN body. The IAEA’s board of governors will issue a statement containing the requests at a meeting Thursday at its Vienna headquarters, Tuesday’s major daily Mainichi Shimbun quoted several Japanese government sources as saying. The statement will “indirectly” support Japan as the country continues talks on normalising ties with North Korea, demanding among other things that the hardline communist state abandons nuclear arms development, Mainichi said. A Japanese envoy to the UN agency, Yukio Takasu, had negotiated with the IAEA and asked the organisation to express its support for Japan in talks with DPRK, the newspaper said. Japan will now present its decision on a review of the protocols to the United States at a KEDO executive board meeting in mid-December, Sankei said. Japan is considering reviewing KEDO protocols to suspend training of DPRK engineers and transport of workers in the reactor project, the report said. 3. PRC Military Transfers

The Associated Press (Audra Ang, “CHINA DENIES TRANSFER OF RADAR SYSTEMS,” Beijing, 11/26/02), the Associated Press (Audra Ang, “CHINA SAYS IT WASN’T THIRD PARTY FOR RADAR TRANSFER TO IRAQ,” Beijing, 11/26/02), and Reuters (Jonathan Wright, “US QUESTIONS UKRAINIAN SYSTEMS SOLD TO CHINA,” Washington, 11/26/02) reported that the PRC denied involvement Tuesday in an alleged transfer of sophisticated radar systems from Ukraine to Iraq, responding to U.S. and British investigators who cited a “credible possibility” that a transaction took place through an intermediary. The sale of the Kolchuha radar systems, which can be used to track Western aircraft in Baghdad’s no-fly zones, would violate U.N. sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. “There is no such question of China transferring radar systems to Iraq,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told reporters at a regularly scheduled briefing. “The Chinese government has strictly implemented the relevant sanctions by the U.N. on Iraq.” Kong added that cooperation between the PRC and Ukraine in various areas – including the military – is in accord with international conventions. The US has not said which country it believes acted as an intermediary in the alleged weapons transfer. But the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Carlos Pascual, said Tuesday that the pRC was of “special concern.” Investigators probing an alleged Ukrainian arms deal with Iraq are now focusing on the PRC’s possible role in the transaction, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said Tuesday.

4. PRC Internet Human Rights

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “AMNESTY DEMANDS 33 CHINA PRISONERS FREED,” Beijing, 11/26/02) reported that warning of tightening government controls over the Internet, Amnesty International is demanding the release of 33 people imprisoned for online subversion and says such detainees are emerging as a new category of PRC “prisoners of conscience.” In a sweeping report released Wednesday, the London-based human rights group also said American companies are helping the PRC monitor the Internet through sales of software and other equipment – boosting the PRC’s ability to muzzle discussion online. “Internet users are the latest group to be ensnared in the China’s deadly web of arrest, detention and torture, and U.S. corporations increasingly facilitate this repression,” T. Kumar, Amnesty’s Asia advocacy director said in a news release accompanying the report. The report is the first in which Amnesty identifies Internet users as a new class of dissident – alongside the religious, political and minority rights dissenters already targeted by China. “Everyone who is detained purely for peacefully publishing their views or other information on the Internet or for accessing certain Web sites is a prisoner of conscience and they should be released immediately and unconditionally,” Amnesty International said. The PRC has about 60 million Internet users – one of the largest numbers of any country, though the percentage of users in the nation of 1.3 billion remains in single digits.

5. Japan-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (Audrey McAcvoy, “JAPAN SAYS IT WON’T ABANDON DIALOGUE ATTEMPTS WITH NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 11/26/02) reported that Japan said Tuesday it would not give up on attempts to normalize relations with the DPRK even though deep differences with the communist state have stalled diplomatic negotiations. “We won’t abandon our talks,” Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said at a news conference. “We are pursuing contacts through a number of avenues, such as our embassy in Beijing. This is important.” The DPRK and Japan launched negotiations last month to normalize relations. But the talks quickly ran aground over the issue of five Japanese abducted by DPRK decades ago who are now back in Japan. The DPRK wants Japan to send the five back to the North as originally agreed. But Japan insists the DPRK send the children of the five and the US husband of one to Japan first. The dispute has kept the two countries from setting a date for a second round of talks.

6. International Red Cross in PRC

The Agence France-Presse (“ICRC PRESIDENT VISITS CHINA, HOPING TO REACH DEAL TO OPEN OFFICE,” Geneva, 11/26/02) reported that the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross started a three day visit to Beijing on Tuesday in the hopes of reaching an agreement to open an office and ultimately be allowed to visit detainees in the world’s most populous nation. Jakob Kellenberger will meet PRC leader Jiang Zemin and other top officials during the stay, Red Cross spokesman Eros Bosisio said. It is Kellenberger’s first visit to the country. The ICRC, which monitors compliance with international humanitarian law, has been trying for years to persuade the PRC to let it establish a permanent presence. It specially wants to set up a program of prison visits. The ICRC always insists on being able to visit all prisons, and meet all detainees in private. It never publicizes the findings of its visits but they are widely credited with improving conditions for detainees.

7. DPRK on Mount Kumgang Special Tourism Zone

Korean Central News Agency (“MT. KUMGANG TOURSIT ZONE TO BE SET UP IN KOREA,” Pyongyang, 11/25/02) reported that the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK promulgated a decree on setting up Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone. The decree dated October 23 says: Mt. Kumgang is a famous mountain of Korea and a world famous mountain. This mountain of superb scenic beauty has turned into a wonderful cultural resort for the people and a world tourist attraction thanks to the popular policy of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the DPRK Government. Mt. Kumgang tourism is going on amid the great expectation and concern of the whole nation. The Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly has adopted the following decision to pep up Mt. Kumgang tourism according to the general plan for land construction: 1. Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone of the DPRK shall be set up in Mt. Kumgang area in Kosong county and some areas of Thongchon county of Kangwon Province with main stress on tour of ecology of scenic spots. 2. Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone shall include Kosong township, some areas of Onjong-ri and Songbuk-ri of Kosong county, Samil Lagoon, the area of Sea Kumgang and some areas of Thongchon county of Kangwon Province. 3. The DPRK sovereignty shall be exercised over the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone. 4. The DPRK shall permit free investment of corporate bodies, individuals and economic organizations for the development of the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone and protect their properties by law. 5. The central institution guiding the tourist zone shall take relevant steps to increase the number of new tourist attractions in keeping with the progress made in the development of the Mt. Kumgang Tourist Zone. 6. The DPRK Cabinet and relevant institutions shall take practical steps to implement the decree.

II. Japan

1. Japan-US Military Cooperation

Kyodo (“JAPAN, U.S. GETTING CLOSER TO CREATING MISSILE SHIELD,” Washington, 11/17/02) reported that Japan and the US will issue a joint statement calling for their missile-defense initiative to be accelerated after next month’s ministerial security talks in Washington. Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, Defense Agency chief Shigeru Ishiba, US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will attend the meeting, to be held at the US State Department on Dec. 16. In the joint statement, the two countries will also urge the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program “in a prompt and verifiable manner,” the Japanese and US government sources said. In addition to the issues of missile defense and DPRK, Japan and the US plan to discuss possible logistic support by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in the event of a US attack on Iraq. They will also address measures to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and issues concerning US military bases in Okinawa Prefecture, the sources said. The two countries will hold a working-level meeting Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 in Washington to prepare for the ministerial security talks, the sources said.

2. SDF-Police Cooperation

Kyodo (“GSDF, POLICE DRILL AGAINST INCURSION,” Sapporo, 11/19/02) reported that the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) and police conducted a joint drill in a scenario of armed agents landing in Hokkaido. Some 40 senior officers of the GSDF’s Northern Army and Hokkaido police took part in the exercise. It is the first time police and the SDF have held a joint exercise, and officials of the two groups said the purpose is to be ready to maintain “public order and security.” The Northern Army began simulated intelligence-gathering on reports that spies armed with rocket launchers and machineguns had landed in Hokkaido, under the premise that police alone could not handle the situation. The two bodies coordinated their roles, responding to the changing situation by tracing the movements of the intruders and subduing them, as well as guarding important installations, including vital infrastructure, and evacuating residents, the officials said. The drill was held in line with the December 2000 revision of an accord between the SDF and police on how to work together to ensure public safety. Senior prefectural police officers from throughout Japan observed the drill and are expected to consider conducting similar training with GSDF units in their areas, the officials said.

3. US Bases in Japan

The Japan Times (“GROUP CALLS FOR END TO FLIGHT DRILLS,” Tokyo, 11/19/02) reported that a group of local governments neighboring the US Air Force Yokota base asked the national government to take measures to suspend all flight drills from the base, local government officials said. The group, which comprises five cities, one town and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, also called for the national government to promote noise prevention measures, the officials said, adding the group will make a similar request to the US forces in Japan. The group also asked the government to take steps to improve the environment, including the reduction and return of the land occupied by the base, the officials said. The request also calls for a review of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) to incorporate domestic laws such as the Air Pollution Control Law in areas where US military facilities are located.

The Japan Times (“AIRFIELD ISSUE STILL ON INAMINE’S LIST,” 11/19/02) reported that Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine, fresh from a re-election victory, has renewed his call for a 15-years time limit on US forces’ use of a planned local airfield off the coast of Nago, but the national government only responded by repeating its earlier position. Following his win at the polls on Nov. 17, Inamine said construction on the new airfield will not begin until the time-limit issue is resolved. “We will negotiate with the United States,” Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters at his office, avoiding direct comment on the issue.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-ROK Relations

China Daily (“KOREAS HIT SNAG ON RAILWAY,” Seoul, 11/25/02, P11) reported that border mine clearing work for a railway between ROK and DPRK has hit a snag that will delay the landmark reconciliation project. The report said that in a setback to ROK efforts to maintain relations with its neighbor amid international tensions over DPRK’s nuclear program, Pyongyang has rejected agreed mine clearing verification procedures.

People’s Daily (Xu Baokang, “TWO KOREAS AGREED ON RAILWAY AND ROAD LINK,” 11/21/02, P5) reported that at working-level talks on road and railway reconnection held from November 18 to 20 at Mt. Geumgang, ROK and DPRK agreed to jointly conduct land surveys to finalize the connecting points of inter-Korean railways from November 26 to 30. On November26 to 27, the two sides will conduct a joint survey on the Donghae Line on the East Coast, and the same will follow for the Gyeongui Line November 29 to 30, said the report.

People’s Daily (Zhang Jinfang, “DPRK AND ROK NAVY CLASH,” Pyongyang, 11/22/02, P3) reported that the DPRK people’s navy headquarter condemned on November 21 in a declaration that the ROK navy vessels fired to the DPRK’s patrol boats on the west coast of the Korean Peninsula. The declaration said that at about 2:00 p.m. local time on November 20, more than 10 unidentified boats illegally entered the DPRK’s territorial sea. The DPRK navy sent boats to confront the invading ones while the ROK’s navy vessels that were resided in the west-Baengryeong Island suddenly fired several shots to the DPRK’s boat for warning, the report said.

People’s Daily (Xu Baokang, “DPRK AND ROK NAVY CLASH,” Seoul, 11/22/02, P3) reported that the DPRK’s patrol vessel violated the Northern Limit Line (NLL) 3.5 nautical miles off Baengryeong Island at 2:41 p.m. on November 20, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of ROK. JSC said that the ROK navy immediately dispatched four high-speed patrol boats and one other vessel to the area to confront the DPRK’s boat, which retreated 14 minutes later after receiving two warning shots from the ROK side, the report said.

2. PRC Commentary on DPRK-ROK Relations

China Daily (“MARITIME LINE A FLASHPOINT OF CONFLICT,” Seoul, 11/23-24/02, P4) carried a commentary on the DPRK and ROK bilateral clashes on the maritime line saying that the Northern Limit Line (NLL)in the Yellow Sea between the ROK and the DPRK is becoming a flashpoint for conflicts between the two countries. Looking back at the past clashes around the controversial sea border from the early 1950s to the latest incident happened on November 20, the article said that over a long period of time, the ROK and the United Nations Command (UNC) mistook that DPRK accepted the maritime line however in 1973 the DPRK drew up a new sea border including five islands under ROK control, declaring that ROK vessels should obtain its approval before passing the water around the islands. Since then, the two countries have criticized each other for entering the other side’s territorial waters. In conclusion, the article said that with the disputed border continuing to be the focus of ROK-DPRK confrontations, which are disharmonious with the improvement of inter-Korean ties mainly in the economic field, the two countries on the Korean Peninsula should sit at the negotiation table to redesign the line in order to avoid further conflicts.

3. US, ROK Relations with DPRK

China Daily (“POWELL: NO PLANS TO INVADE DPRK,” Washington, 11/20/02, P12) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on November 18 that US has no intention of invading the DPRK and is willing to help the DPRK if it abandons its nuclear weapons program. The DPRK and the US have accused each other of violating the 1994 agreement, the report said. In a clear effort to dispel Pyongyang’s growing concerns over US threats, Powell reiterated that the US had no intention of invading the DPRK. In another development, the US and ROK agreed on November 19 to push ahead with a landmark inter-Korean railway project, officials said. Representatives from ROK, the US and the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) agreed to end a row with the DPRK over procedures for crossing the inter-Korean border to allow the project to go ahead. “We have decided to simplify the procedures for crossing the military demarcation line for verifying the removal of landmines,” said Cha Young-koo, head of the defense ministry’s policy planning bureau. But Yonhap news agency said that ROK and the UNC had accepted the DPRK’s position that the names of its inspectors did not have to be checked by the UNC, the report said.

4. PRC-US Relations

China Daily (“JIANG, QIAN MEET WITH FORMER US LEADERS,” 11/23-24/02, P1) reported that Jiang met with former US Defense Secretary William Perry and former US National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft on November 22 in Beijing. Jiang said that the bilateral relations have gained a good momentum and the two countries also shared common ground on the Taiwan question. The two sides also discussed the issue of the Korean Peninsula and Jiang said PRC backed all efforts for a nuclear-free peninsula. Vice-Premier Qian Qichen also met with the US guests, exchanging views with them on international issues, PRC-US relations and the Taiwan question. According to the report, the US delegation hoped to enhance exchanges and cooperation with PRC in various fields including fighting terrorism and friendly exchanges between their militaries.

China Daily (“TANG HOLDS PHONE TALKS WITH POWELL,” 11/22/02, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan talked on the telephone on November 21 with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, saying that the Sino-US relationship is showing a positive growth and the two sides should conscientiously follow through on the consensus, strengthen dialogue and co-operation, and maintain the good momentum on the growth of bilateral ties. Powell endorsed Tang’s appraisal of the current US-PRC relations, and expressed his approval of the sound cooperation between the two in many spheres, adding that he hoped to enhance their exchanges and cooperation, said the report.

China Daily (Meng Yan, “SPOKESMAN BRIEFS ON SINO-US TIES, IRAQ, INDIA,” 11/22/02, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on November 21 that friendly military exchanges between PRC and US will help enhance mutual understanding and promote bilateral ties. Kong said that the latest PRC-US summit has “reached a series of important consensus including resumption of military exchanges,” adding that the two countries are still discussing specific issues concerning the military exchange. Kong added that the defense consultation between the vice-defense ministers of the two countries will also resume, according to the report.

China Daily (“LEADERS APPLAUD HISTORIC SINO-US HANDSHAKE,” 11/21/02, P1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin has recorded a TV speech for an exhibition of former US President Richard Nixon’s history-making visit to PRC in 1972. In his videotaped speech broadcast on November 20 on Chinese television, Jiang welcomed visitors to the exhibition opened in Beijing to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Nixon tour. A TV speech by US President George W. Bush to mark the occasion also aired the same day. “We believe that as long as the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and seeking common ground while setting aside differences are observed, PRC-US ties will see unceasing progress,” Jiang said.

5. PRC-ROK Relations

People’s Daily (Yang Guoqiang, “JIANG HOLDS TALKS WITH FORMER ROK PRESIDENT,” Beijing, 11/21/02, P1) reported that in a meeting with Roh Tae-woo, former president of the ROK, Jiang said PRC firmly supported all efforts conducive to promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. According to the report, Jiang welcomed Roh’s visit on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-ROK diplomatic relations, saying that bilateral ties had proceeded smoothly over the past decade. ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s 1998 PRC visit resulted in the formation of a co-operative partnership for the 21st century, Jiang said. In line with the clear-cut stance PRC always takes on the nuclear issue, it backs every effort that will lead to a nuclear-free peninsula. PRC is against all those that countered such efforts and is opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass-destruction, Jiang said. Implementing the hard-won framework agreement on the nuclear issue, signed between the DPRK and the US in 1994, is in the interests of all parties concerned and PRC hopes that the relevant issues can be resolved through dialogue, said Jiang. Roh conveyed his congratulations on the success of the 16th Party congress and President Kim Dae-jung’s greetings to Jiang. The ties between the ROK and PRC had made conspicuous strides over the past decade, Roh said, expressing the hope that the ties would continue.

6. Across Taiwan Straits Relations

China Daily (“DIRECT FLIGHTS IN FOCUS,” 11/23-24/02, P1) reported that the director of the Taiwan Affairs Office Chen Yunlin met visiting Taiwan “legislator” John Chang, who is heading a Taiwan delegation to push for the establishment of direct charter flights on November 22 in Beijing, saying that the political differences between the mainland and Taiwan should not hinder the progress of the three direct links across the Taiwan Straits. “We completely support the fair and reasonable requirements by the Taiwanese for direct charter flights to and from the mainland during the Chinese lunar New year period,” Chen said. Chen also suggested that nongovernmental industry organizations and airlines between the two sides of the Straits carry out negotiations and reach an agreement on this issue. Once the agreement approved by authorities from the two sides, this proposal can be put into practice, Chen added in the report.

7. PRC-Russia Ties

People’s Daily (“RUSSIA, CHINA PLEDGE TO FORWARD STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP,” 11/25/02, P3) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on November 23 pledged to further the strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries. At a meeting in the Kremlin, Tang Jiaxuan told Putin that PRC will make unremitting efforts to develop PRC-Russian strategic partnership and continue consolidating and strengthening bilateral cooperation with Russia, aiming at substantiating the bilateral strategic partnership. Tang said President Putin’s upcoming visit to PRC on December 1 to 3 is a big event in the Sino-Russian relations for the year and PRC attaches great importance to the visit. Putin hopes to expand Russian-PRC cooperation in the fields of energy, transport and aviation. Tang also expressed PRC’s readiness to further strengthen cooperation with Russia in combating terrorism.

8. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Joint Communique

China Daily (“FOREIGN MINISTERS ISSUE COMMUNIQUE,” Moscow, 11/25/02, P1) reported that nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) committed themselves to strengthening anti-terrorism efforts on November 24 in a joint communiqu¨¦ released after a meeting. The meeting is to up a secretariat in Beijing and regional anti-terrorism center in Bishkek. The report said that the ministers signed interim procedures for cooperation of the SCO members with international organizations and sovereign countries. The communiqu¨¦ called for stepping up the fight against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery, environmental damage, exhaustion of nature resources, massive illegal migration, poverty, backwardness and AIDS. They urged the UN to promptly adopt the comprehensive convention for the eradication of international terrorism and the convention for the prevention of nuclear terrorism. The communiqu¨¦ also touched on peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and the establishment of working contacts between SCO and ASEAN nations, the report said.

9. US-Russian Ties

People’s Daily (Sun Zhanlin, “BUSH, PUTIN HELD TALKS,” Moscow, 11/24/02, P3) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin held working talks with US President George W. Bush on November 22 near St. Petersburg, discussing issues including bilateral relations, Iraq, NATO expansion, anti-terrorism and Russia-NATO relations, etc. Commenting that the meeting is fruitful and beneficial, Putin stressed that there was no need for NATO to expand and Russia hopes to develop relations with NATO countries. Bush said that NATO recognized the important role of Russia in anti-terrorism and the latter should welcome the NATO’s enlargement. According to the joint declaration released after the meeting, the two sides attached serious concerns about the proliferation of the mass destructive weapons, the report said.

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Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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