NAPSNet Daily Report 03 January, 2002

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Relations
2. DPRK-US Relations
3. Inter-Korean Relations
4. Cross-Straits Relations
5. PRC-Pakistan Relations
6. PRC Military Espionage
7. Japan-Afghanistan Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK Military
2. ROK-DPRK Nuclear Exchange
3. ROK Anti-terrorism Program
4. DPRK Religious Issues
5. ROK-Japan Relations
III. Japan 1. Japan-DPRK Relations
2. Japan-PRC Relations
3. Japan-ROK Relations

I. United States

1. DPRK-Japan Relations

Reuters (Elaine Lies, “N.KOREAN MYSTERY SHIP SAID TO HAVE SENT SUICIDE MESSAGE,” Tokyo, 12/31/02) reported that the suspected DPRK ship that sank after an exchange of gunfire with Japanese patrol boats on December 22 sent a suicide message before it sank. Although the unidentified ship went down with the apparent loss of all 15 hands, the cause of the sinking remains unknown. Citing Defence Agency and police sources, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said that among radio signals picked up by an agency monitoring facility were messages saying that the crew was prepared to commit suicide if they could not break away from their Japanese pursuers. “We will blow ourselves up and fulfill our duty,” an internet phone message from the mystery boat reportedly said. A Japanese Defence Agency official said he was unable to comment on the report. However, the Japanese Coast Guard said last week that there was a possibility the ship blew its engine room and sank on purpose. The mystery ship was first spotted in Japan’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone, and Japanese vessels fired warning shots when it tried to flee. The DPRK has strongly denied any connection to the ship, accusing Japan of mounting a smear campaign while threatening unspecified countermeasures.

2. DPRK-US Relations

Reuters (“NORTH KOREA ENDS 2001 WITH ANTI-U.S. DIATRIBE,” Seoul, 12/31/02) reported that DPRK newspaper Rodong Sinmun published a commentary stating, “The US seeks to launch an aggression against the DPRK with South Korea as its military stronghold in a bid to swallow up the whole of Korea and, furthermore, dominate other Asian countries. The US, buoyed up by its self-claimed ‘victories’ in a series of wars in recent years, are running amuck to ignite a new war in Korea.”

3. Inter-Korean Relations

Reuters (“SOUTH TO PUSH FOR VISIT BY NORTH KOREAN LEADER,” Seoul, 12/02/02) reported that ROK Unification Minister Hong Soon-young told his ministry on Wednesday that the ROK’s top priority for the upcoming year will be realizing the promised visit to Seoul by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. However, Hong acknowledged, “at this stage, I can neither affirm nor predict” that Kim will visit the ROK. Hong also stated that peaceful co-existence between the DPRK and the ROK was “more important than ever” this year because the ROK will host the soccer World Cup and the Asian Games, and hold two key elections. In the New Year message for his final year in office, ROK President Kim Dae-jung pledged to “try to improve North-South relations steadily and unceasingly.”

4. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (Jonah Greenberg, “CHINA RENEWS CALL FOR UNIFICATION IN THE NEW YEAR,” Beijing, 12/02/02) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin in his new year address to the nation said, “In the new year, China will work toward the complete reunification of the motherland by adhering to the basic policy of ‘peaceful reunification and one country, two systems.'” At an official tea party on January 1, Jiang also said that the new WTO membership of both the PRC and Taiwan provided a chance to develop economic and trade relations across the Strait.

5. PRC-Pakistan Relations

The Associated Press (“PAKISTANI LEADER VISITS CHINA,” Beijing, 01/03/02) reported that Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf flew to the PRC for a visit en route to a regional meeting that includes the Indian prime minister. It was Musharraf’s second visit to the PRC in a month. He arrived Thursday evening to meet with PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. The PRC appealed this week to Pakistan and their common rival India to show restraint in their border standoff. In phone calls to his Pakistani and Indian counterparts, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said that armed conflict could hurt peace efforts in Afghanistan as well as regional stability.

6. PRC Military Espionage

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (“TAIWAN, U.S., INDIA LISTENING POST DECODES CHINA’S MILITARY MESSAGES,” Taipei, 01/03/02) reported that Taiwanese magazine, Yi Zhou Kan, ran an article stating that the US, Taiwan and India have for years jointly operated a listening post to intercept and decode electronic messages from the PRC’s military. The article reports, “The listening operation was jointly financed by Taiwan and the US to gather electronic messages from Tibet, Xinjiang, Qinghai and Sichuan. India mans the listening post. The intercepted codes were sent to Taiwan in a US diplomatic parcel every seven to 10 days. The decoded messages were analyzed and reported to Taiwan and US authorities, keeping them informed of the PRC’s military moves. The six-page article did not say when the listening project began, but hinted it is still going on.

7. Japan-Afghanistan Relations

Agence France-Presse (“KARZAI SEEKS JAPAN’S SUPPORT FOR AFGHANISTAN’S RECONSTRUCTION,” 12/31/02) reported that Afghanistan’s interim leader Hamid Karzai has affirmed his plan to attend a Tokyo conference on Afghan reconstruction which is scheduled to open on January 21. “We are happy to be there,” Karzai said, adding that he had “tremendous expectations” of the conference. “We expect Japan will be able to help us in all spheres of life in Afghanistan, especially in the reconstruction of Afghan infrastructure, health, education and in financial sectors,” he said.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK Military

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “REPORT NOTES REINFORCING BORDER GUARDS,” Seoul, 12/31/2001) reported that an ROK Ministry of National Defense (MND) official said that in a bid to stop defectors and economic refugees from fleeing the famine-wracked country, the DPRK has been reinforcing its guards along the PRC and Russian borders since 2000. The MND released its annual “Major Defense Issues in 2001” report which concluded that there had been no major change in the strength of the DPRK military which continues to stand at 1.17 million active soldiers and 7.48 in reserve. The DPRK tank force has fallen from 3,800 to 3,700 units and armored cars from 2,300 to 2,200.

2. ROK-DPRK Nuclear Exchange

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “NUCLEAR VISITORS HEAD BACK TO DPRK,” Seoul, 31/12/2001) reported that a group of DPRK senior officials and engineers in charge of nuclear power generation flew back to the DPRK Sunday after completing a two-week tour in the ROK. Based on the questions that the DPRK officials asked ROK engineers, an ROK official commented that DPRK nuclear technology is highly developed. Another source stated, “The visit showed that the North Koreans are eager to gain as much knowledge as possible to resolve their power shortage.” Kim Hui-mun, deputy director general of the DPRK General Department of Atomic Energy, showed satisfaction with the two-week tour and education program. The DPRK is planning to send 290 engineers to the ROK in the latter half of 2002.

3. ROK Anti-terrorism Program

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, “GOVERNMENT DRAWS UP BUDGET TO FIGHT TERROR,” 12/31/2001) reported that by January 2002 the cockpits of all Korean Air and Asiana Airlines jets will be outfitted with bulletproof doors and closed circuit television cameras to monitor passengers. Inspections at water purification facilities will increase from once a day to twice a day to guard against potential chemical attacks. These are just two provisions in a 150 billion won (US$110 million) anti- terrorism program announced by Kim Ho-sik, who is in charge of the Office for Government Policy Coordination. The Ministry of National Defense also announced steps to protect against terrorist attacks. Among them, the ministry will import enough anthrax vaccine for 7,000 soldiers next year. “We are planning to import 2 billion won worth of anthrax vaccines from the United States or Russia by the beginning of next year,” a ministry official said. The government is also considering establishing a special unit to guard against terrorist attacks using weapons of mass destruction.

4. DPRK Religious Issues

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Dong-hyun, “DPRK ASSERTS THAT RELIGION IS ALIVE,” Seoul, 12/31/2001) reported that according to an official paper of the Japanese organization Chongryon more than 200 people regularly attend Sunday service at the DPRK Bongsu church. The paper reported that foreigners and diplomats living in the DPRK attend the services alongside local residents. The paper was published to counter assertions by the US that the DPRK is a “country of particular concern” for denying religious freedoms to its citizens. The Chongryon paper said that there are about 500 religious meetings throughout the DPRK.

5. ROK-Japan Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KIM, KOIZUMI HOPE FOR WORLD CUP SUCCESS,” Seoul, 1/1/2001) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed hopes for more active cultural and people exchanges between their countries during the joint effort to make the World Cup a success. Kim and Koizumi exchanged videotaped messages on New Year’s Day. The two governments had designated 2002 as “The Year of People Exchange” to celebrate their countries’ co-hosting of the international soccer tournament that opens May 31 of this year. “Active cultural and human exchanges between Koreans and Japanese will be a shortcut to further developing friendly relations between our countries,” Kim said.

III. Japan

1. Japan-DPRK Relations

The Daily Yomiuri (“2 BODIES RECOVERED AFTER ‘SPY’ SHIP SINKS,” 12/24/01, 01) and Financial Times (Bayan Rahman, “BLOW FOR JAPAN’S LINKS WITH N KOREA,” Tokyo, 12/24/01, 06) reported that two bodies from the sinking of an unidentified ship were recovered on December 23 in the East China Sea. The vessel exchanged shots with Japanese coast guards after being warned to stop. Because one of the life jackets and belongings of the recovered bodies were written in Hangul characters, a Japanese coast guard source said that the ship was probably of DPRK origin. The ship was first spotted by a Maritime Safety Defense Force airplane on December 22 at about 4 p.m. approximately 150 kilometers northwest of Amami Oshima Island. Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi defended the coast guard’s action as an act of self-defense.

The Yomiuri Shinbum (“MYSTERY SHIP LAUNCHED ROCKET BOMB,” 12/25/01, 01) reported an unidentified ship suspected of being from the DPRK launched two rocket bombs at Japanese Maritime Safety patrol boats. Although the bombs did not hit their intended target, it was the first time guards of the Maritime Safety Agency have been attacked with heavy weapons.

2. Japan-PRC Relations

The Yomiuri Shinbun (“EVIDENCE IN CHINESE EEZ,”12/26/01, 03) and The Yomiuri Shinbun (Yusuke Sugiyama, “CHINA KEEPS RESTRAINT POSITION ON MYSTERY SHIP,” 12/25/01, Beijing, 02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi commented on the unidentified ship sunken by Japanese Coast Guards saying that if technically possible, the salvaging of the sunken ship is preferable, as it would provide information regarding the national identity of the ship. However, the unidentified ship sank in the PRC’s Economic Exclusive Zone.

3. Japan-ROK Relations

The Yomiuri Shinbun (Yoshiharu Asano, “ROK: SERIOUS CONCERN,” Seoul, 12/25/01, 02) and the Asahi Shinbun (“CHINA, S-KOREA FRET OVER SHOOTING,” 12/25/01) reported that ROK’s minister of foreign affairs and trade Han Seung Soo stated that the ROK is closely monitoring the details of the recent sinking of an identified ship after its exchange of fire with Japan’s coast guard. A spokesperson for the ROK Democratic Party announced that the Japanese coast guards sinking of the unidentified ship can be interpreted as part of Japan’s recent military expansion. The spokesperson added we call on Japan to explain the accident immediately. A separate ROK official said that “the vessel could have intentionally intruded into Japanese waters to add to tensions between the DPRK and Japan and was not expecting to be fired on by Japan’s coast guard.”

The Asahi Shinbun (“KOIZUMI TO VISIT S-KOREA SOON,” 12/29/01) reported that Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, intends to visit the ROK in February or March 2002. During the visit to the ROK, Koizumi is to meet with his counterpart, Kim Dae Jung, to discuss ways to bolster security during the 2002 World Cup, and the development of joint- research history projects to improve bilateral relations. Additionally, the Japanese government is considering whether a member of the imperial family will attend the opening ceremony of the 2002 World Cup in the ROK in May. Although the Korean Football Association has requested that Emperor Akihito attend, Japanese senior Foreign Ministry officials have said that such a visit is “unlikely.”

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

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

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy@dh.mbn.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

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

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
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< /a>
Clayton, Australia

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.