NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 2004

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 03 June, 2004", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 03, 2004, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-03-june-2004/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Working-Level Talks
2. DPRK-ROK Economic Military Discussions
3. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Proliferation
4. DPRK Drug Smuggling
5. DPRK Economic Liberalization
6. Japan Al-Qaeda Suspect Arrests
7. Amnesty International on PRC Tiananmen Square Square
8. DPRK Humanitarian Aid
9. Dalai Lama on EU PRC Arms Embargo
10. ROK Olympic Corruption

I. United States

1. DPRK Working-Level Talks

Reuters (“North Korea working-level talks may open June 21,” 2004-06-03) Arrangements are being made to reopen six-nation “working-level” talks on the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions for two days from June 21, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday. Quoting unspecified sources in Washington, Kyodo said the PRC was proposing to hold working-level talks and a third round of full-fledged six-party discussions in the fourth week of June. Japanese officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.

2. DPRK-ROK Economic Military Discussions

Bloomberg (“North Korea, South Korea Hold Military, Economic Discussions,” 2004-06-03) The DPRK and ROK are today holding a new round of talks on military and economic cooperation. ROK delegates, led by Vice Finance Minister Kim Gwang Lim are in Pyongyang, for economic talks. The discussions will include progress on the construction of an industrial complex in Gaesong. Military commanders are holding a separate one-day meeting today aimed at preventing clashes between their navies over access to fishing grounds, the ROK Defense Ministry said. The economic talks, which end on Saturday, will be held at the Yanggakdo Hotel. The two nations will also discuss progress on the construction of inter-Korean rail and road links on the east and west coasts of the peninsula, the Office of the South-North Dialogue in Seoul said in a statement. They agreed in March to begin operations at the Gaesong Industrial Complex next year.

3. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Proliferation

Reuters (“China Helps to Stem N.Korea Proliferation, U.S. Says,” 2004-06-03) The PRC has sought to stem the DPRK’s proliferation of unconventional weapons by blocking some exports to the country, which is considered a major seller of illegal arms, a senior US official told Congress on Wednesday. The steps indicate a possible change in the PRC’s attitude toward thwarting proliferation, although the PRC has previously cooperated with the United States by hosting six-party talks on dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear program. At a congressional hearing where lawmakers worried about the PRC’s role of helping countries such as the DPRK and Pakistan build up arms programs, Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly suggested Beijing now acted differently. “Regarding North Korea, we do not have evidence of serious recent proliferation support to their weapons of mass destruction. Indeed in several particular cases that we are aware of … China has in fact blocked exports that would cont! ribute to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in North Korea,” the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia said. He declined to elaborate citing security concerns.

4. DPRK Drug Smuggling

New York Times (“North Korea’s Drug Habit,” 2004-06-03) Reaction to last month’s meeting between Junichiro Koizumi, the Japanese prime minister, and Kim Jong II, the DPRK leader, was nothing short of underwhelming. Critics said Koizumi gave up too much – millions in medical aid and thousands of tons of rice – to secure the return of five children of Japanese citizens abducted by the DPRK more than two decades ago. He also failed to obtain a definitive commitment from Kim to dismantle the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programs. The critics notwithstanding, Koizumi’s diplomacy should be judged a success. The lesson the US and Japan should learn from it is that moderate pressure on the DPRK regime works – and can be used to limit the DPRK’s ambitions not only in weapons development but also in the drug trade. After all, Japan has been pressing for the release of its citizens and their relatives since the day two years ago when Kim Jong Il admitted the DPRK had kidna! pped them. Yet it was not until Japan made clear it was prepared to curtail trade with the DPRK – cutting off financial remittances to the DPRK, imposing an import ban on North Korean goods, banning Japanese ships from making North Korean ports of call – that the DPRK made any concessions. International commerce is clearly important to the DPRK, and threats of trade sanctions obviously get the regime’s attention. Yet there is an even better reason for the US and Japan to employ this strategy: there is increasing evidence that in recent years the DPRK has expanded its role as producer, shipper and trafficker of narcotics throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia. Because the DPRK is so secretive, it is difficult to prove any direct links between the regime and drug trafficking. But there is some evidence that the government may be taking over and enlarging the trade, as it has done in other areas of the DPRK economy. A 2003 report from the Congressional Research Ser! vice cited nearly 50 arrests or drug seizures involving North Koreans in more than 20 countries since the early 1990’s, with at least 11 documented cases involving DPRK diplomats or intelligence agents. This problem is likely to get worse.

5. DPRK Economic Liberalization

Reuters (“North Korea’s Kim says “profit is good,’,” 2004-06-03) Profit is good and the DPRK’s workers need to be taught more about its importance, leader Kim Jong-il told factory hands in a rare personal endorsement of economic changes under way in the DPRK. The official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday Kim had visited a machine tool plant with Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju and military officials. It did not say when Kim, whose reported visits are nearly all to army bases, visited the Kusong plant. “It is very gratifying that this plant has abided by the principle of profitability,” KCNA quoted Kim as telling workers. It said he also urged officials to ensure economic performance met “the needs of the socialist method of industrial management” while intensifying the ideological education among producers to thoroughly ensure profitability in production.”

6. Japan Al-Qaeda Suspect Arrests

Agence France-Presse (“Japanese police arrest 8th foreigner linked to Al-Qaeda suspect,” 2004-06-03) Japanese police have arrested an eighth foreign national in a nationwide crackdown on a suspected Al-Qaeda network in Japan. A 37-year-old Bangladeshi identified as Shiddiqur Rahmann, 37, was arrested in Gunma, north of Tokyo, on suspicion of violating immigration laws, a local police spokesman said. “We arrested the Bangladeshi factory worker as we suspect the man overstayed although his visa expired,” the spokesman said. The Bangladeshi man was the eighth foreign national arrested in connection with an investigation into Lionel Dumont, 33, a Frenchman linked to Al-Qaeda who stayed in Japan after the September 11 attacks in the US, news reports said. On Wednesday, the Tokyo Police Department arrested another Bangladeshi man, named as Zaynal, 34, the seventh foreigner allegedly linked to the Frenchman, police and news reports said.

7. Amnesty International on PRC Tiananmen Square Square

Agence France-Presse (“Amnesty demands inquiry into Tiananmen massacre,” 2004-06-03) The PRC should conduct an independent inquiry into the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators on Tiananmen Square, rights group Amnesty International demanded ahead of the 15th anniversary of the event. “Those found responsible should be tried and brought to justice,” the London-based group said in a strongly-worded statement released just ahead of the June 4 anniversary. Amnesty “calls on the government to release all those who are still held in connection with the Tiananmen crackdown and who never received fair trials,” it added. The group has records of more than 50 people it believes remain imprisoned in the PRC for their part in the protests, which is thought to be “a fraction of the true figure,” one never released by the authorities, the statement said.

8. DPRK Humanitarian Aid

Agence France-Presse (“Secretive North Korea warming to foreign aid agencies: UNICEF expert,” 2004-06-02) The DPRK is more open to foreign aid, a UN expert said, noting that Pyongyang’s call for help after a deadly train blast in April gave hope for even greater contact with the outside world. With poverty levels still high and many children suffering from disease and malnutrition, the DPRK relies heavily on donations from the international community, said Pierrette Vu Thi, a Pyongyang-based representative for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “Over the past two-and-a-half years we have seen the government of the DPRK become more open to the presence of humanitarian agencies like UNICEF,” Vu Thi told a news conference while on a visit to Geneva where the United Nations has its European headquarters. “The reaction of the government after the devastating explosion in Ryongchon on April 22 in which (it) appealed for international aid within hours of the explosion sh! owed more openness,” she said. “Also, the reaction of the international community showed good will. … We hope that this accident and the good will that it showed on both sides will open up the way for further collaboration.”

9. Dalai Lama on EU PRC Arms Embargo

Agence France-Presse (“Dalai Lama worried about moves to lift EU arms embargo on China,” 2004-06-03) The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, voiced concern that the European Union could lift its ban on selling arms to China, in comments made days ahead of the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. When asked about reports that Britain would join other EU powers France and Germany in urging an end to the arms embargo, he said it was a “delicate question”. He insisted he was “basically always against the arms trade”. The Buddhist leader’s measured statement came after a speech to members of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, his last stop on a weeklong trip to Britain hotly condemned by China.

10. ROK Olympic Corruption

Agence France-Presse (“South Korea’s top Olympics official gets jail sentence,” 2004-06-03) International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Kim Un-Yong has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison on corruption charges, court officials said. The Seoul District Court said Kim, 73, was also ordered to pay 788 million won (677,000 dollars) in part restitution of funds embezzled by the country’s sports czar. Kim, an IOC vice-president, was found guilty of diverting 3.3 billion won from the ROK sports organizations, court officials said, adding he was also accused of accepting bribes from business contacts. Kim resigned from the leadership of the World Taekwondo Federation in January and also stepped down as a national legislator. Prosecutors had demanded a seven-year prison sentence, accusing Kim of embezzlement, bribery and illegal use of foreign currency. “The generous term reflects his life-long contribution to the global promotion of taekwondo, illness from! age and repentance,” judge Kim Byong-Un said in his ruling.

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.
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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

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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