NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 2003

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 03, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-03-june-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-US Nuclear Diplomacy
2. ROK-DPRK Worst Case Scenario
3. ROK DPRK Naval Warning Shots
4. ROK US Troop Alignment
5. US-DPRK Espionage
6. G8 on Missile Control and Terrorism
7. US-Russia Missile Defense
8. Japan Missile Defense 2006
9. PRC Missile Range
10. PRC SARS Status
11. US Congressman on PRC Government
12. Philippines-ROK DPRK Support

I. United States

1. DPRK-US Nuclear Diplomacy

Agence France-Presse (“US LAWMAKERS SAY NORTH KOREA “READY TO DEAL” OVER NUCLEAR ARMS,” Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, 06/03/03) reported that “shaken” by displays of US military might, the DPRK is “ready to deal” over its nuclear weapons and gave a positive response to a plan proposed by US Congressmen, members of the group said. Congressman Curt Weldon said he presented the plan to DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-Sun during a private 90-minute meeting in Pyongyang last week. “His response was, ‘It’s very positive. It’s exactly what we are looking for,'” Weldon, who headed the six-member bi-partisan delegation, told reporters here upon his return to the US. No details of the blueprint were disclosed. But Weldon, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, said the delegation “had some ideas that might help our negotiators” which he would present to Secretary of State Colin Powell. “They are certainly ready to deal,” Democratic Representative Eliot Engel said of the DPRK. The three-day trip by US lawmakers marked the first effort to engage the DPRK on a less formal level than diplomatic talks — and try to find ways to defuse the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program, according to congressional officials. Although the group had been briefed prior to the trip at the State Department and the National Security Council, its members denied substantive negotiations were their purpose, or that they did the administration’s bidding. “Our goal was to put the human face on the US, and we did that overwhelmingly” Weldon pointed out, describing the trip as “very productive and very positive,” despite Pyongyang’s expressed determination to build up its arsenal of nuclear arms. The group was told the DPRK government had decided to make more nuclear weapons by reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods from the Yongbyang plutonium production plant, according to Weldon. The rods could produce enough plutonium to make more nuclear weapons in a few months. The DPRK has also designated its Vice Foreign Minister, Kim Kye Gwan, as chief negotiator for nuclear issues, said Weldon. “We learned that the present DPRK nuclear weapons stockpile is subject to negotiation — along with their nuclear facilities and materials,” Weldon pointed out.

Reuters (Linda Sieg, “TIME RUNNING OUT FOR NORTH KOREA SOLUTION -PERRY,” Tokyo, 06/03/03) reported that the US and its allies have months, not years, to prevent the DPRK from becoming a serious nuclear power and sparking an atomic arms race in East Asia, former Defense Secretary William Perry said on Tuesday. “The worst-case scenario I see is a major nuclear arms race unfolding in the Pacific. That’s not a forecast, that’s a logical train of events,” Perry stated. “We have maybe half a year; the first month or two are more important than the last month or two in that half-year period,” he said. “We loose leverage each month that we delay.” Perry, defense secretary during a similar crisis with North Korea a decade ago, also said Washington risked sending the wrong signals with its talk of realigning US forces in Asia. Those proposals, including changes in frontline forces on the North-South Korean border, are part of a broader look at US forces worldwide aimed at creating a more mobile military capable of dealing with unpredictable threats. “A few years ago, I thought we were on a resolution of our principle problem with North Korea, which is its nuclear weapons program…Had that trend continued, I think a major realignment of our military forces would have been in order,” Perry said. “Now we are in a new nuclear crisis, and I myself would be reluctant to do anything that could be considered to be weakening our deterrence at this time,” he added. Perry said Washington and its allies should designate the completion of reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel by the DPRK as a “red line” that could warrant the use of force. “Once the reprocessing is completed, our options of how to deal with the problem are considerably narrowed and considerably more unattractive,” Perry said.

2. ROK-DPRK Worst Case Scenario

Agence France-Presse (“ROH TO ACT AGAINST NORTH KOREA IN WORST-CASE SCENARIO,” 06/03/03) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun has said his country might take stricter action against the DPRK in the “worst case” of a DPRK nuclear threat, a press report said. In an interview with the major Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, he warned that imposing sanctions on the DPRK “won’t be good for South Korea, the US, Japan and any other countries. “It is important now to do our best so that such a situation won’t occur,” he said in Seoul on Monday, ahead of a visit to Japan later this week. In a joint statement following their meeting in Washington in mid-May, Roh and US President George W. Bush vowed to take unspecifed “further steps” if the DPRK escalated the crisis stemming from its nuclear weapons ambitions. Asked to elaborate on such steps, Roh told the daily they generally meant an option that could be taken upon an “unpredictable, particular” worsening of the situation. There is a chance that such steps will be “implemented in the worst case,” he said, adding: “These words are important because they play a very big role in increasing the US’ negotiating power.”

3. ROK DPRK Naval Warning Shots

Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA SAYS SOUTH KOREAN WARSHIPS INTENT ON SPARKING SEA CLASH,” 06/03/03 and Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA’S NAVY FIRES WARNING SHOTS IN DISPUTED WATERS,” 06/03/03) reported that the ROK’s navy fired warning shots to repel a DPRK fishing boat in disputed waters off the western coast, military authorities said. “Our navy fired warning shots to stop the incursion by a DPRK fishing boat, which has intruded into our waters, ignoring our loud-speaker warning,” a Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman said Tuesday. The midday incursion lasted five minutes before the boat returned to DPRK waters, he added. It was the latest in a series of incursions from the DPRK reported by ROK military authorities over the past nine days. Warning shots were fired two days ago to deter a DPRK incursion into the sea off the west of the Korean peninsula. The spokesman said the warning shots were fired from close range, about 270 metres (900 feet), from a naval vessel cruising close to the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de-facto inter-Korean maritime border. Earlier Tuesday, the DPRK accused the ROK of sending warships on a daily basis into DPRK territorial waters in the Yellow Sea. Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoting a navy spokesman, said the ROK planned to provoke another clash and blame it on the DPRK which would provide a pretext for a US attack.

4. ROK US Troop Alignment

Agence France-Presse (“US TROOP REALIGNMENT SHOULD NOT WAIT UNTIL N KOREAN CRISIS SOLVED: WOLFOWITZ,” 06/03/03) reported that the US should press on with its planned realignment of troops in Asia even before the DPRK nuclear crisis is resolved, US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said here. “It is not something that should wait until the nuclear problem is solved, as though somehow it’s going to weaken our posture,” Wolfowitz told a news conference at the US embassy on Tuesday. “To the contrary, it’s part of an effort to strengthen our overall posture on the peninsula, including … a very substantial investment by the US in some 150 systems that will enhance our ability to provide for early defense against a DPRK attack.” US forces stationed in the ROK announced an 11 billion-dollar plan Saturday to build up their war capability over the next three years. On Monday during a visit to Seoul, Wolfowitz urged the DPRK to reverse its nuclear weapons drive and promised a “devastatingly effective” response to any military aggression by the Stalinist state. Wolfowitz said Monday the US realignment would be implemented next year and would include the 2nd Infantry Division, some 15,000 troops based close to the heavily-fortified border with the ROK. DPRK officials have opposed the redeployment of the 2nd Infantry to the south of Seoul, believing this would offer Washington the opportunity to launch a pre-emptive attack on the DPRK’s nuclear facilities beyond the range of a reprisal attack with Pyongyang’s artillery massed on the border. Wolfowitz on Tuesday refused to discuss any war plans the US military might have. But he did say US forces were somewhat disadvantaged in their current setup. “I would say the DPRKs have certain advantages over us… which they continue to press,” he said, without elaborating. He said US strengths, as demonstrated in swift and overwhelming victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, needed to be put to better use in Asia. “We think it’s very important that we update our force posture from where it was 10 years ago, to take take advantage of those capabilities so that we can counter a DPRK attack more quickly and more effectively,” he said.

5. US-DPRK Espionage

Agence France-Presse (“WIFE OF ACCUSED N. KOREAN “SPY” PLEADS GUILTY TO NOT DECLARING CASH,” 06/04/03) reported that the wife of an accused DPRK secret agent pleaded guilty to failure to declare 18,000 dollars in cash she brought into the US after an alleged visit to her husband’s spy masters. Susan Young-ja Yai, 51, admitted one count of failing to inform US Customs officials that she and her husband were bringing more than the declarable amount of in cash into the country when they returned from a trip to Prague and Vienna. Yai, who is due to be sentenced on September 15 by US District Judge George King, faces up to six months behind bars under her plea bargain deal. Her ROK-born husband, “John” Yai Joung-woong, 59, faces more serious charges of failing to register as a DPRK agent, failing to declare the cash and making false statements. Yai, who was arrested in February after a long undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation probe and accused of seeking to obtain “top secret” US documents and of plotting to infiltrate the government, is free on US$400,000 bail. His lawyers say Yai — who has not been charged with espionage and who faces 30 years in jail if convicted — say he is being unfairly targeted by the authorities to make an example of him. Defence attorney William Genego said his client was sending only publicly available information to the DPRK in an attempt to compensate for the lack of free media and Internet access in the DPRK. During the seven-year FBI probe, authorities intercepted Yai’s e-mail and faxes, bugged his phones and office and made covert searches of his premises. They allegedly found code charts containing substitutes for words such as “White House,” “State Department,” “The Pentagon,” “secret operation,” and “top secret.” No trial date has yet been set for small-businessman Yai, a naturalized US citizen who had been under FBI investigation since 1996.

6. G8 on Missile Control and Terrorism

Reuters (“G8 URGES CONTROL OF MISSILES TO FIGHT TERRORISM,” Evian, 06/02/03) reported that leaders of Group of Eight nations called on countries across the world Monday to crack down on small anti-aircraft missiles to stop them getting into the hands of terrorists. The G8 countries will also boost help to other countries in fighting terrorism, notably through aid in developing tighter legislation, customs and immigration practices, they said in a statement released at a French-hosted summit. The G8 action targets stockpiles of so-called “Manpads,” the shoulder-launched missiles like the one that nearly shot down an Israeli airliner in Kenya in November.

7. US-Russia Missile Defense

Reuters (Adam Entous, “US SEES RUSSIA COOPERATING ON MISSILE DEFENSE,” St. Petersburg, 06/01/03) reported that the Bush administration sees Russia expanding cooperation with — and potentially joining — its proposed missile defense system, US officials said on Sunday. In a joint statement after talks in St Petersburg, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin said they planned to “advance concrete projects in the area of missile defense which will help deepen relations between the US and Russia.” The US formally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty last June, clearing the way for what Bush called an aggressive push to build missile defenses against “terrorists” and “rogue” states. The US president’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty was initially opposed by Russia, the PRC and European nations who argued it could undermine nuclear deterrence and spur an arms race, but criticism has since died down. A US official said Russia could eventually help the US in the development of software and other systems, though that may be well down the road. “We’re getting to the point where there’s mutual interest in looking for concrete ways they (Russia) can cooperate on missile defense,” the official said. The official said the Bush administration “certainly does not rule out” letting Russia eventually join its missile defense shield, but added: “That would certainly require future work and discussions.” Russia’s evolving position follows the Canadian government’s decision on Thursday to hold talks with the US on joining its missile defense shield after months of indecision and stormy bilateral relations.

8. Japan Missile Defense 2006

Reuters (“JAPAN AIMS AT NEW MISSILE DEFENSE FROM 2006-REPORT,” Tokyo, 05/30/03) reported that Japan aims to deploy a new US-made missile defense system as early as 2006 in response to rising tension over communist North Korea, Japanese media said on Saturday. Japanese officials have repeatedly said Japan lacks the capability to defend itself from the DPRK, which launched a ballistic missile over Japan in August 1998 and is suspected of developing nuclear weapons. The media reports coincide with a visit to Asia by US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz amid speculation about US plans to rearrange its forces in the region. Japanese government sources were quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying that the defense system would be linked to a revision of Tokyo’s National Defense Program Outline, likely to be carried out by the end of the year. The program was last updated in 1995. Japan intends to deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile system, an upgraded version of the PAC-2 system that Japan’s air force currently possesses. It also would upgrade its four Aegis destroyers, currently equipped with hi-tech missile detection systems, with a US-made missile defense system, the sources were quoted as saying. Officials at the Defense Agency were not available for confirmation of the report, but military sources have said that both options were being considered to boost Japan’s defenses. Government endorsement is required for the new deployment to proceed, but such approval is likely to be difficult to obtain due to Japan’s nervousness of anything that threatens to exceed the limitations of its pacifist constitution. Japan’s postwar constitution bans war as a means of settling international disputes, and that has been interpreted to mean the nation’s military must be restricted to self-defense. The new deployment would not come cheaply. According to Defense Agency estimates, the minimum cost for the two new systems is likely to run around 500 billion yen ($4.23 billion), the sources were quoted by Kyodo as saying.

9. PRC Missile Range

Agence France-Presse (“ALL MAJOR INDIAN CITIES WITHIN RANGE OF CHINESE MISSILES: REPORT,” New Delhi, 05/30/03) reported that India warned that every major Indian city was within reach of PRC missiles, indicating continued suspicion in Delhi of its huge neighbour to the west. “It cannot be ignored that every major Indian city is within reach of Chinese missiles and this capability is further augmented to include submarine launched ballistic missiles,” an annual report of Indian ministry of defence said. “The asymmetry in terms of nuclear forces is pronouncedly in favor of China. While several rounds of border talks have been held with China a number of disputed pockets remain.” The report added that the PRC was “passing through a period of rapid modernization with the aim of achieving great power status. It is rapidly modernizing its armed forces.” It said India continues its endeavor to seek a “long-term and stable relationship with China and is committed to the process of dialogue to resolve all outstanding differences”. The report said that while some confidence-building measures had been initiated and were “bearing fruit incrementally, the pace of progress has been less than satisfactory”. Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is due to visit the PRC in June. The two countries fought a war in 1962 over a border dispute that still persists.

10. PRC SARS Status

Agence France-Presse (“SARS WARNING OVER CHINA DESPITE SUDDEN DROP IN INFECTIONS,” 06/03/03) reported that the PRC’s fight against SARS was far from over despite a dramatic decline in cases, health authorities warned, as a World Health Organization official criticized Beijing for withholding information about the outbreak. Beijing’s demand for continued vigilance was given added urgency as a WHO official indicated that the sudden drop in infections could prompt a lifting of further travel advisories against China. A day after the country worst affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome reported no new cases for the first time since it began reporting infection data, vice minister of health Gao Qiang warned of “major tasks” ahead. “We are fully aware that the fight against SARS in China is far from being over,” Gao said Tuesday. “We must maintain sharp vigilance and continue prevention and treatment initiations unremittingly. We shall not relax until complete success of the fight against SARS has been achieved.” Doubts have remained over the validity of the PRC’s official data since it admitted in April to covering up the extent of the spread of the pneumonia-like respiratory virus after an outbreak emerged in southern Guangdong province in November. Monday’s announcement of zero new infections proved no exception, prompting Hitoshi Oshitani, who is leading the WHO’s battle against SARS in Asia, to question the data. The International Herald Tribune quoted Oshitani as saying: “We have good cooperation from Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada and even Vietnam. The World Health Organisation is still in urgent need of information that we are just not getting from the PRC. “On a policy level things have changed in China, but that has not altered attitudes on an operational level.”

11. US Congressman on PRC Government

Agence France-Presse (“BUSH CONGRESSIONAL ALLY SAYS CHINA RUN BY ‘DECREPIT TYRANTS,'” 06/03/03) reported that one day after US President George W. Bush invited the new PRC president to the US, his key congressional ally said the PRC was run by “decrepit tyrants” and placed it among US foes in the war on terror. Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who like Bush hails from Texas, also said Monday the one-PRC policy followed by the US since the 1970s was “a diplomatic contrivance” that “unfortunately … has been elevated by some to the status of ‘doctrine.'” The People’s Republic of China “is a backward, corrupt anachronism run by decrepit tyrants: old apparatchiks clinging to their dying regime,” DeLay said in a speech before the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, where Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Richard Cheney, works as a senior fellow. “The notion that these oppressive and dangerous men could convince the US that their murderous ideology should be imposed on a free and independent Taiwan is absurd. And refusing to say so, for fear of upsetting Beijing, is not tact: it is infantilism,” DeLay said. White House and State Department officials had no immediate comment on the speech.

12. Philippines-ROK DPRK Support

Asia Pulse (“PHILIPPINES OFFERS SUPPORT TO S. KOREA ON N. KOREA ISSUE,” 06/03/03) reported that the Philippines has expressed readiness to support South Korea in its efforts to find a peaceful solution to the DPRK nuclear issue. This commitment was indicated today by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her expanded bilateral meeting with South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun. The meeting was part of her three-day state visit here. Presidential Management Staff head Silvestre Afable said in line with this effort, the President tasked Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople to draft a resolution that will push for the denuclearization of North Korea. Afable said such resolution would be presented during the forthcoming ASEAN Ministerial Summit aimed at getting support from ASEAN leaders. There are efforts within the ASEAN regional fora to consolidate a multilateral consensus to support the peaceful resolution through dialogue, he said. “Even in the absence of our diplomatic relations with North Korea, we can very well participate in that effort,” he said. Afable said President Arroyo has expressed her deep concern over the possible spillover effects of the DPRK crisis in the region, particularly the Philippines. “The Philippines is the nearest ASEAN nation in this peninsula,” he said. President Arroyo said her country is prepared to do its part to resolve this issue which has great importance not only for the region but also the world. “We support President Roh in his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the DPRK crisis,” she said.

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Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
Department of Political Science, Korea University, 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 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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