NAPSNet Daily Report 05 August, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 05 August, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 05, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-05-august-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Cross-Straits Relations
2. PFC Cross-Straits Military Drills
3. PRC on Chen Shui-bian
4. Hirohito MacArthur Appreciation
5. Japan-DPRK Red Cross Talks
6. Taiwan-Japan Relations
7. Japan Domestic Politics
8. PRC on ROK Sunshine Policy
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter Korean Relations
2. Inter Korean Military Talks
4. Conflicts on NLL Issue
5. DPRK’s Sovereignty and Human Right

I. United States

1. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (“TAIWAN POLICYMAKER SAYS NO CHINA POLICY CHANGE,” Taipei, 08/05/02) reported that Taiwan’s top PRC policymaker said on Monday she will travel to the US to explain that President Chen Shui-bian’s controversial call for a referendum on formal independence from China did not signal a change in policy. Tsai Ing-wen, chairperson of the cabinet’s Mainland Affairs Council, also said Chen’s remarks would not impact bilateral trade and the island’s further opening its doors to the PRC. Chen’s remarks were aimed at “guarding the status quo. We do not want the independence and sovereignty we enjoy now to be destroyed or changed,” she told a news conference hours before her trip to New York with Premier Yu Shyi-kun. “Do not over-interpret (Chen’s comments),” Tsai said. In his strongest comments since taking office, President Chen Shui-bian told a gathering of pro-independence activists in Japan during a video conference on Saturday that he supported legislation for a referendum.

Agence France-Presse (“WASHINGTON REACTS CAUTIOUSLY TO RENEWED CHINA-TAIWAN TENSIONS,” 08/06/02) reported that the US said it’s PRC policy remained unchanged amid renewed tensions between the PRC and Taiwan after Taiwan’s president called for a referendum on the island’s future. “Our policy with respect to China and Taiwan is well known and unchanged,” said Sean McCormack, a White House spokesman who is accompanying President George W. Bush on his visit here. “Taiwan’s future and destiny can only be decided by the 23 million people living on the island,” Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian told pro-independence campaigners in Tokyo via a video link Saturday. “But how to make the decision when the time comes? The answer is what (we) have sought after — referendum.” Chen further provoked the PRC’s ire by also stressing Taiwan’s statehood and independent sovereignty, saying that “each side (of the Taiwan Strait) is a country.”

2. PFC Cross-Straits Military Drills

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA EXTENDS MILITARY DRILLS ACROSS FROM TAIWAN,” 08/05/02) reported that the PRC has extended military exercises along its eastern coast facing Taiwan that are aimed at simulating the capture of the island, it was reported in Hong Kong. The report comes amid heightened tensions between the PRC and Taiwan after President Chen Shui-bian Saturday called for a referendum to decide the future of the island. The exercises, which follow those that started in April, will be launched in the middle of August and last until after the PRC’s National Day celebrations on October 1. Unidentified military officials said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) exercises were hypothetically aimed at capturing the main island of Taiwan, but not its off-shore islands, the paper said. More than 100,000 army, air force and navy personnel have been conducting exercises in the area since April, the paper said. A defense ministry spokesman in Taipei played down the Chinese exercises. “We are keeping a close eye on their movements, but as of now no abnormal movements have been detected,” the spokesman said, describing the exercises as “routine.”

3. PRC on Chen Shui-bian

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA WARNS TAIWAN THAT CHEN WILL BRING ‘DISASTER,'” 08/05/02) reported that the PRC issued an ominous message to Taiwan, warning that President Chen Shui-bian would bring “disaster” to the people of his island if he failed to rein in pro-independence forces following his call for a referendum on the island’s future. “Chen Shui-bian is deceiving the will of the people by encouraging Taiwan independence, and is imposing the plot of a few hardened independence-seekers on all the people of Taiwan,” said Li Weiyi, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. “This will influence Taiwan’s economy, will harm the overall interests of Taiwan compatriots and bring disaster to Taiwan.”

4. Hirohito MacArthur Appreciation

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN’S HIROHITO THANKED MACARTHUR FOR OPPOSING HIS PROSECUTION,” 08/05/02) reported that Japan’s wartime emperor Hirohito thanked US general Douglas MacArthur for opposing his prosecution in war crimes trial that sentenced seven Japanese military leaders to death after World War II, according to memoirs by Hirohito’s interpreter. “I would like to express my gratitude for the Supreme Commander’s position on the war tribunal (opposing Hirohito’s prosecution),” the late emperor told MacArthur in 1951, Akira Matsui’s memoirs obtained by the Asahi Shimbun daily said. Hirohito made the remark at his 11th and final meeting with MacArthur — the supreme commander of the Allied Occupation of Japan — on April 15, 1951, four days after the general was dismissed by then US President Harry Truman, the newspaper said.

5. Japan-DPRK Red Cross Talks

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN, NKOREA TO HOLD RED CROSS TALKS AUGUST 18-19,” 08/05/02) reported that Japanese and DPRK Red Cross societies will meet this month to discuss humanitarian issues, including the alleged kidnapping of Japanese nationals by the DPRK. They will meet August 18 and 19 in Pyongyang to talk also about how to resume visits to Japan by Japanese women living in the DPRK with their Korean husbands. Officials from the Japanese foreign ministry and Japan Red Cross Society could not immediately confirm the reports. The two Red Cross societies last met in late April, when they resumed talks for the first time since March 2000.

6. Taiwan-Japan Relations

Asia Pulse (“TAIWAN FOREIGN MINISTER HOPES TO VISIT JAPAN,” Tokyo, 08/05/02) reported that Taiwan Foreign Minister Eugene Chien has said he hopes to visit Japan, stressing that Japan’s strengthening ties with Taiwan will benefit both sides, a Japanese daily reported Saturday. The Tokyo Shimbun, which recently interviewed Chien in Taipei, quoted Chien as saying that it is time to elevate the level of dialogue between Taiwan and Japan following the island’s accession to the World Trade Organization earlier this year. Chien revealed that since he assumed his post in February, he has visited, unofficially, the United States and three countries of the European Union, which also hold to the “one China” policy as Japan does.

7. Japan Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN TO LAUNCH CONTROVERSIAL PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM,” 08/03/02) reported that Japan is to launch a nationwide identification network in a controversial scheme which has already been boycotted by communities fearful of a “Big Brother” society. Each Japanese citizen will be given an 11-digit number in the basic resident registration network, commonly called Juki Net, enabling local governments to identify people online anywhere in the country. The system will initially comprise a person’s serial number, name, date of birth, sex, address and a record of any changes to these figures, although more information can be added under local ordinances in the future. “Cows are given 10-digit numbers as a madcow measure, and human beings are put under surveillance with numbers with one extra digit,” said a group of journalists, academics, lawyers and others who are opposed to the network. The group warns of potential trouble if personal information in leaked. “There is no such thing as perfect security as the state claims,” Citizen’s League to oppose National ID Numbers said in a statement. “Data will last forever and there are fears discrimination and prejudice could be systemised.” The plan goes further than maintaining data efficiently, it creates a society under surveillance, the group said under a slogan: “No, to a stalking state.”

8. PRC on ROK Sunshine Policy

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA SUPPORTS KIM’S SUNSHINE POLICY: CHINESE FM,” 08/03/02) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan has affirmed Beijing’s support to South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung’s policy of engaging North Korea in dialogue and exchange, officials here said. “China and the Chinese people have been persistent in backing President Kim’s Sunshine Policy,” Tang was quoted as saying by the spokeswoman of the presidential Blue House in Tang’s meeting with Kim. “The Sunshine policy has already started bearing fruit and will continue making a great contribution to the peace and stability in the region,” Tang said Saturday. Kim, who arrived here for a two-day visit on Friday, expressed hope that the ROK and China could further strengthen cooperation in all areas, including security.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter Korean Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “SPORTS, REUNIONS AGREED,” Mount Geumgang, 08/05/02) reported that DPRK and ROK agreed Sunday to resume ministerial-level talks next week in Seoul, a major step in thawing icy inter-Korean relations. DPRK also said it would participate in the 14th Asian Games in Busan later this year and agreed to more reunions of families separated by the Korean war. The two delegations issued a statement after three days of working-level talks here. The ministerial conference is scheduled for Aug. 12-14, the first such meeting since November. The two sides will discuss the details concerning the resumption DPRK-ROK Red Cross talks and another reunion of separated families in Mount Kumgang.

2. Inter Korean Military Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, “MILITARY MEETING SET ON TUESDAY,” Seoul, 08/05/02) reported that the headquarters of the United Nations Command in Seoul has accepted DPRK’s request for a general officers’ meeting at Panmunjeom to discuss the naval incident in the Yellow Sea on June 29. The meeting will be held on Tuesday. The military authorities said in a press release that “all participants will have an equal opportunity to speak” at the meeting about the incident, in which four ROK sailors were killed and one is still missing. DPRK reportedly suffered 24 dead in the skirmish, which ROK and US both say was initiated by northern naval vessels. DPRK had twice refused invitations to meet at Panmunjeom after the incident, but then initiated a request for such a meeting on Friday. Military sources in ROK said they are not certain which DPRK will come to the meeting.

3. DPRK’s Student to Russia

Joongang Ilbo (“N.K. TO DISPATCH 30 STUDENTS TO SIBERIAN RAILWAY COLLEGE,” Seoul, 08/05/02) reported that Thirty DPRK students will study at Russia’s Siberian National Railway College in Novosibirsk, starting from next month. Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said Monday, citing a report from its office in Vladivostok said 24 undergraduate students and six graduate students will first study the Russian language at the college for a year study their respective specialties at colleges teaching them for next five years. DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il himself visited the College August last year during his trip to Moscow for summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin. DPRK’s leader at the time expressed his interest in linking Trans Korean Railway with Trans Siberian Railway and ordered overseas study program for technicians and students back home. “The North’s side may have also realized they are in need of their own experts for future rail linking project with Russia,” the Trade Agency said.

4. Conflicts on NLL Issue

Joongang Ilbo (“MILITARY CLASH INEVITABLE IF NLL PERSISTS, REPEATS NORTH,” Seoul, 08/05/02) reported that military clash is inevitable if no change is made in Northern Limit Line, warned DPRK once more pointing out to the maritime border that divides the two Koreas, Monday. “Northern Limit Line drawn shortly after the 1953 armistice treaty does not observe 1953 armistice treaty that brought Korean War to suspension,” Radio Pyongyang, one of the official news broadcast in DPRK said in a article title “Holding on to Northern Limit Line is to challenge North Korea”. DPRK explained it is also common in the international society to apply principle of equidistance or limiting circle on projecting part of the land to finalize the border line. DPRK and the UN Command meanwhile is to start general-level meeting in Panmunjeom at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The two parties each headed by Major General James Soligan, the deputy chief of staff at the UN Command and Lieutenant General Ri Chan-bok will be discussing on the aftermath of the June 29 naval clash at the Yellow Sea and seek ways to prevent the recurrence.

5. DPRK’s Sovereignty and Human Right

Joongang Ilbo (“SOVEREIGNTY COMES HUMAN RIGHTS, SAYS NORTH,” Seoul, 08/05/02) reported that it is wrong to determine a human rights status of a certain nation with criterion of the other and should be taken as an infringement of the other nation’s sovereignty, argued DPRK at the 54th session of the UN subcommittee meeting on human rights last Thursday. “In order to efficiently uphold world policy on human rights we must first denounce any movements that tries to infringe upon other nation’s sovereign rights through the excuse of protecting human rights,” DPRK’s official Korean Central Broadcast said Monday, quoting the words of DPRK representative at the UN meeting back then. “This is because sovereignty is the life line of the nation and its people, the very foundation of human rights.” “We should no longer tolerate such double standard in international session that show total disregard to nation’s diversity in history, tradition, culture and customs,” went on the representative and reportedly added the North would continue to keep up with dialogue and cooperation based on the concept of true equality, reciprocity and reconciliation.

6. Naval Skirmish Issue

Joongang Ilbo (Koh Han-sun, “NORTH SAYS SOUTH ERRS,” Seoul, 08/05/02) reported that DPRK’s Central News Agency reported Saturday that it would discipline ROK for insisting on a sea boundary between the two Koreas, known as the Northern Limit Line. The two Koreas agreed on Sunday to resume ministerial level talks next week. But ROK’s attempt to hold DPRK responsible for the recent naval skirmish in the Yellow Sea has reportedly exacerbated frictions. DPRK’s state-controlled press accused ROK of misrepresenting the incident by saying that North Korean ships crossed the Northern Limit Line and initiated the attack. The Central News Agency reported Friday that criticism from some quarters in ROK of its expression of regret over the naval clash was an “unpardonable act.” The agency said ROK should not doubt the intentions on its expression of regret as DPRK intended to restart inter-Korean exchanges and strengthen cooperation, which were suspended after the clash. The state-controlled press said those voicing criticism are attempting to “block cooperation and reconciliation moves between the North and the South,” and that that could initiate a second and third such military skirmish in the peninsula.

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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