NAPSNet Daily Report 04 June, 2004

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 04 June, 2004", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 04, 2004, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-04-june-2004/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK on Light Water Reactor Project
2. DPRK-ROK DMZ Propaganda
3. DPRK-ROK Naval Clash Aversion
4. DPRK Six-Way Talks Outlooks
5. DPRK-ROK Commercial Trade
6. Red Cross Chief DPRK Visit
7. Rumsfeld on US Troops in ROK
8. PRC Response to Tiananmen Anniversary Protest
9. US on PRC Official View of Tiananmen
II. Japan 1. Japan-DPRK Abduction Cases
2. Japanese Journalists Killed in Iraq

I. United States

1. DPRK on Light Water Reactor Project

Korean Central News Agency (“SOPHISM OF US AND KEDO ABOUT “FATE” OF LWRS UNDER FIRE,” 06/04/04) reported that a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry today gave the following answer to the question put by KCNA in connection with the recent talk made by the US and the KEDO about the “fate” of LWRs: US high-ranking officials recently said the US made it clear that there was no prospect of the LWR construction and there can be no concession such as the resumption of the LWR construction. It was against this backdrop that an executive council meeting of the KEDO held a few days ago announced that member states of the council have not reached a consensus of views on whether the LWR construction would be resumed after December 1 2004 when the period of its temporary suspension will expire. Frankly speaking, we have never thought that the Bush administration steeped in hostility toward the DPRK to the marrow of its bone would bring the LWR construction to a completion. The point is why the US is now talking about the issue of LWR construction again though it is long since it discarded the issue by itself. Needless to say, the Bush administration was prompted by a sinister attempt to evade the responsibility for having unilaterally scrapped the Agreed Framework. It is necessary to settle any issue with the US through a one-to-one agreement on the principle of simultaneous actions. That was why the DPRK put forward a formula calling for a simultaneous package solution to the nuclear issue and a “reward for freeze” proposal as the first phase action. The Bush administration would be advised to see how the international community is censuring the US for its non-compliance with international commitments. Then, it may come to realize the fact itself and sympathize with the DPRK’s fair and aboveboard proposal.

2. DPRK-ROK DMZ Propaganda

The Associated Press (Hans Greimel, “DMZ LOUDSPEAKERS BEGIN FINAL REFRAIN WITH NORTH, SOUTH KOREA ACCORD,” Seoul, 06/04/04) reported that the bellowing cacophony of anthems here along the tense border with the DPRK began their swan songs Friday after a rare agreement to phase out such broadcasts and propaganda signboards. The ROK uses towering electronic billboards, reminiscent of the “Hollywood” sign overlooking Los Angeles, to beam weather reports, world news and salutations to the DPRK. The DORJ rejoins with signboards of its own to relay such messages as “Let’s Establish a Confederate Nation!” From strategically placed loudspeakers, both Koreas blare music that reverberates across the 2 1/2-mile Demilitarized Zone. Yet in a small sign of rapprochement between the former battlefield foes, the ROK and DPRK agreed Friday after an all-night negotiating session to try to ease tensions by, among other things, ending such propaganda efforts. That effort begins June 15, the fourth anniversary of a historic summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong Il and the South’s then-President Kim Dae-jung. A month later, there will ideally be no more booming music or signboards, according to a joint statement both countries released after the talks.

3. DPRK-ROK Naval Clash Aversion

Bloomberg (“NORTH KOREA, SOUTH KOREA AGREE TO AVERT NAVY CLASHES,” 06/04/04) reported that the DPRK and ROK agreed after all-night talks to prevent clashes between their navies in fishing grounds, the ROK Defense Ministry said. The two countries agreed to stop patrol boats and ships firing upon each other or exerting physical force upon non-military vessels, the ministry said in a statement. They will also take measures to reduce tension on the border, including halting propaganda broadcasts. The DPRK and ROK will hold “working-level talks in the near future to finalize the details,” the statement said, citing Colonel Moon Sung Muk, a spokesman for the ROK delegation. They will continue top military level talks in order to ease military tension, it said. The agreement aims to prevent incidents during the crab- fishing season that started last month. Clashes occurred in 1999 and 2002 as the two navies tried to protect their fishermen in the Yellow Sea. The ROK has been maintaining contacts with the DPRK amid an international dispute over North Korea’s nuclear development program.

4. DPRK Six-Way Talks Outlooks

Reuters (Linda Sieg, “OUTLOOK FOR PROGRESS DIM AT NEXT NORTH KOREA NUKE TALKS,” Tokyo, 06/04/04) reported that the PRC has proposed the week of June 21 for the next round of multilateral talks aimed at dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear arms projects, a Japanese government source said on Friday, but the outlook for progress appeared dim. Working level talks in the PRC last month did little to narrow the gaps between the two main protagonists — the US and the DPRK — and neither is thought likely to budge ahead of the US presidential election in November. Japanese media said June 23 was being eyed as the starting date for a third round of formal negotiations among the US, the DPRK and the ROKs, Japan, Russia and host country PRC. “Both America and North Korea are taking a wait-and-see stance. Neither side wants to wreck the process, but neither is ready to take action toward a breakthrough,” said Noriyuki Suzuki, chief analyst at the Tokyo-based Radiopress news agency, which monitors events in the DPRK. “They will agree to continue dialogue,” he added.

5. DPRK-ROK Commercial Trade

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA OPENS BORDER WITH SOUTH KOREA FOR COMMERCIAL TRADE,” Seoul, 06/04/04) reported that a convoy of 15 ROK dump trucks rumbled across the heavily fortified border Friday, returning home with DPRK sand in a symbolic trip that raised hopes for breaching a Cold War frontier for the sake of trade. The DPRK has been extremely reluctant to open its land border with the ROK. Friday’s truckloads were yet another sign of the DPRK’s willingness to open its border with the ROK for commercial profits. ROK tourists are already crossing the eastern border to visit Mount Kumgang. The ROK, suffering a shortage of construction materials, has imported over 33,000 tons of DPRK sand since 2002. But until Friday, all the law material shipments from the DPRK came through the PRC or by ship. Last month, the DPRK allowed ROK trucks to cross the border to deliver relief goods for the victims of a deadly train explosion in the DPRK. Friday’s trucks were hired by a ROK construction company that has recently signed a deal to import 1,000 tons of sand from a DPRK river near the border. The cross-border transport will continue through Sunday. No further details of the deal were immediately available.

6. Red Cross Chief DPRK Visit

Yonhap News (“RED CROSS CHIEF ON ROUTE VIA CHINA TO N. KOREAN TRAIN BLAST SITE,” Seoul, 06/04/04) reported that the ROK’s Red Cross chief Lee Yoon-gu left Friday for Beijing, from where he will go to Ryongchon, DPRK, the site of a deadly train explosion in April, Seoul officials said. Lee is a member of an international Red Cross delegation to be led by Markku Niskala, secretary-general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The delegation, which is also to include high-ranking officials from the IFRC’s regional chapters in Sweden, Canada, Britain and Norway, is scheduled to fly from Beijing to the DPRK aboard a DPRK plane on Saturday. Niskala is expected to come to Seoul Tuesday after visiting the devastated area in the DPRK.

7. Rumsfeld on US Troops in ROK

Donga (“US FORCES STATIONED IN SOUTH KOREA TOO LONG,” 06/04/04) reported that US Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said on June 3 that “after the cold war, US forces have been stationed in South Korea for too long.” Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld explained the reasoning behind his statement, saying, “The US is prepared to fundamentally change the deployment of US forces in the ROK and Europe where threats have disappeared or where the US no longer needs to commit large-scale forces. At a press conference on his way to Singapore to attend the “Shangrila Dialogue,” an international security conference, he added, “It is right time to change the traditional fixture-type deployment to a new type of 21st century deployment to swiftly cope with situations. We can see the first change in the deployment of the US forces is near at hand. Moving US forces on the Korean peninsula to Iraq will be the first change.”

8. PRC Response to Tiananmen Anniversary Protest

Reuters (John Ruwitch, “CHINA SNUFFS OUT PROTEST ON TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY,” Beijing, 06/04/04) reported that with cordons, vans and plainclothes police, China snuffed out dissent on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on Friday, worried that even a minor protest could threaten the Communist Party. The prosperity brought by three decades of economic reform has dimmed political discontent and most of the few remaining activists from 1989 are under house arrest to muzzle criticism over those killed in one of the biggest demonstrations against the Communist Party since it took power in 1949. Police cars criss-crossed the sprawling square and officers were seen shoving two men into the backs of vans and taking aside three photographers for questioning. At least seven others were taken into police custody or turned away on the fringes of the square.

Agence France-Presse (“NO REMORSE FROM CHINA AS SURVIVORS MARK TIANANMEN MASSACRE QUIETLY,” Beijing, 06/04/04) reported that the PRC showed no sign of remorse on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, with the government instead muzzling survivors and their families who privately mourned the hundreds mown down by machine guns. With the event remaining highly sensitive to the ruling Communist Party, few, if any, commemorations were taking place to mark the day when hundreds, if not thousands, of democracy protestors were killed by PRC troops. On the vast square Friday, police vans criss-crossed constantly to maintain order, while on the majestic Chang’an Avenue running past Tiananmen, uniformed People’s Armed Police and undercover teams made their presence felt. All traces of the bullet holes and tanks tracks that scarred the area have long since been erased. One wheelchair-bound man was seen protesting, wearing a headband with a slogan on it. He managed to unveil and hold up a slip of paper before security forces pounced and took him away. While few in the capital dare to publicly commemorate the massacre, an estimated 60,000 people are expected to gather in Hong Kong to light candles in memory of those who died.

9. US on PRC Official View of Tiananmen

Agence France-Presse (“US URGES CHINA TO REASSESS OFFICIAL VIEW OF TIANANMEN,” Washington, 06/04/04) reported that the US government urged the PRC’s leadership to change their official view of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests that ended in the deaths of many student activists. “Fifteen years after the events at Tiananmen Square, I think we all have a common understanding about the sort of tragic and historic character of those events. I think that’s a view that’s not necessarily shared by officials in China,” deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told a briefing. “And our position is that 15 years after these events, it’s time for those in China to reassess how they look at them, to reassess how they see them. “And in that regard, we continue to urge the PRC leadership and the public on key issues that were part of the foundation of the popular protest in Tiananmen.” He highlighted the “the right of people to participate in government decisions that affect their lives, the right of people to have a say in who leads them, to live in a nation governed by law.”

II. Japan

1. Japan-DPRK Abduction Cases

The Japan Times (“PUBLIC TURNS ON FAMILIES OF MISSING ABDUCTEES,” 05/29/04) reported that families of citizens kidnapped by the DPRK say they are being harassed by the public after they angrily accused the Japanese government of failing to win enough concessions in the summit between the two countries. The families claim they are getting hundreds of phone calls and e-mails, criticizing them for saying Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi did not get enough information from DPRK leader Kim Jong Il about missing abductees. “Although it was hardly reported on television, we did thank the prime minister for his efforts and celebrated the return of the five children. Please do not misunderstand us,” according to Shigeru Yokota, speaking on behalf of the families and their supporters.

2. Japanese Journalists Killed in Iraq

The Japan Times (“ATTACK ON JOURNALISTS PROMPTS CHORUS OF ‘RESPONSIBILITY’ MANTRAS,” 05/29/04) reported that Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers again banged the drum of “self-responsibility” on May 28, following an overnight attack on a vehicle carrying two freelance Japanese journalists in Iraq. “It’s really regrettable,” Jiro Kawasaki, chief deputy chairman of the LDP Diet Affairs Committee, told reporters. “We’ve repeatedly called on news media and other people to think about their own safety and withdraw (from Iraq) with self-responsibility.” “The government must again request them to leave Iraq,” Kawasaki said. The LDP will urge the government to proceed with an investigation into the incident, he said. Meanwhile, opposition parties called for a review of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) dispatch to the country. “We recognize that the situation there has come to a point that a thorough assessment of the deployment is necessary,” said Tatsuo Kawabata, DPJ Diet Affairs Committee chairman.

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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