NAPSNet Daily Report 05 December, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 05 December, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 05, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-05-december-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-US Relations
2. Cross-Straits Relations
3. Taiwan-US Relations
4. PRC-US Relations
5. PRC View of Israel-Palestine Relations
6. Japanese Public Opinion
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter-Korean Relations
2. ROK-UK Talks
3. DPRK-Thailand Pacts
4. US Defense Dept. Report
III. Japan 1. Japanese Logistical Support for US
2. Split in the Democratic Party of Japan
IV. Russian Federation 1. DPRK-ROK Family Reunions Planned
2. RF Trans-Siberian Transit Project Approved
3. Aum Shinrikyo’s RF Members’ Trial

I. United States

1. DPRK-US Relations

Reuters (“NORTH KOREA WARNS U.S. AGAINST ATTACK,” 12/05/01) reported that the DPRK newspaper Rodong Sinmun published a commentary stating that the DPRK “feel[s] quite reassured” and bolstered in its belief that only a strong military force can guarantee the country’s survival. The commentary continued, “It is a foolish delusion for the U.S. imperialists to threaten and blackmail the DPRK and hurt it, taking advantage of the ‘September 11 incident’. This incident threw the world into a catastrophic crisis and great confusion in overall international relations. It is only the DPRK that remains unfazed, unaffected by it.” On Tuesday, the DPRK warned the United States it would build up its military to counter what it said was the US’ “strong-arm policy” against it. The newspaper warned, “If the U.S. imperialists try to test its logic of strength on the DPRK as they are using it against some countries, they will be annihilated to the last man.”

2. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA WARNS WINNERS OF TAIWAN POLL AGAINST PUSHING FOR INDEPENDENCE,” 12/5/01), Reuters, (Jeremy Page, “CHINA COOL BUT FIRM OVER TAIWAN ELECTION RESULT,” Beijing, 12/05/01), and Deutsche Presse-Agentur (“BEIJING SNUBS CHEN AGAIN, DISMISSES ELECTION,” 12/05/01) reported that the PRC on Wednesday warned Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party against promoting pro-independence policies and passing laws pushing the island further away from the mainland. The PRC’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Zhang Mingqing stated, “We will pay a lot of attention to the direction of Taiwan’s policies towards the mainland in the wake of the election.” Zhang argued, “I don’t think independence forces are getting stronger. The overall political situation has not changed after the election. Most Taiwan people want relations to be stable and developing and especially want warmer economic and trade relations.” Jean-Pierre Cabestan, director of the Hong Kong-based French Center for Studies on Contemporary China, responded, “Saying the election is not a victory for pro-independence forces is a sort of sour grapes reaction. It’s true that most Taiwanese are in favor of stability, but Beijing ignores the fact that the election was indeed a setback for pro-unification forces.”

3. Taiwan-US Relations

Asia Pulse (“TAIWAN TOP MAINLAND POLICY PLANNER TO VISIT WASHINGTON,” Taipei, 12/06/01) reported that Taiwan’s top PRC policy planner will fly to Washington next week for a three-day stay to brief US think tanks on the government’s post-elections cross-strait policies. Chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council Tsai Ing-wen said that she will go to the United States at the invitation of the US Heritage Foundation. Tsai will give speeches on President Chen Shui-bian’s policies toward mainland China since he took power in May 2000.

4. PRC-US Relations

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (“U.S.-CHINA MILITARY EXCHANGES TO RESUME AFTER SPY PLANE CRISIS,” Hong Kong, 12/05/01) reported that the South China Morning Post reported that military exchanges between the US and the PRC are poised to resume, following a suspension caused by the spy plane crisis in April. An unnamed US Defense Department official stated, “We are ready to engage China, and now we’re waiting to see what Beijing will agree to.” The Pentagon source also said, “September 11 changed everything. People now see the value of having a strategic dialogue with China.”

5. PRC View of Israel-Palestine Relations

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “CHINA WARY ON MIDEAST, CRITICIZING BOTH PALESTINIANS AND ISRAELIS,” 12/05/01) reported in an analytical article that the PRC government shied away from characterizing the suicide bombings in Israel over the weekend as terrorism, instead criticizing the Palestinians and the Israelis equally for the use of violence and calling for renewed peace talks. At a news briefing, PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue avoided using the word “terrorism” to describe the attacks that killed 25 people. Instead, she said, “China strongly condemns recent explosions in Jerusalem and Haifa, which increased tension in the Middle East.” PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan also stated, “China also condemns the airstrikes by the Israeli helicopter gunships in Gaza.” An unnamed Israeli diplomat responded, “We are surprised and disappointed to hear the Chinese position regarding what were so obviously acts of terrorism. China is deviating from its own call for the world to avoid double standards in dealing with terrorism.”

6. Japanese Public Opinion

Reuters (Linda Sieg, “JAPAN’S KOIZUMI GETS PUBLIC’S VOTE DESPITE DOUBTS,” Tokyo, 12/05/01) reported that according to a poll conducted by the Tokyo Shimbun on December 1 and 2, 79.5 percent of those surveyed backed Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his cabinet, while a mere 15.2 percent did not. Voters who supported Koizumi cited their trust in the prime minister as one main reason. Others included a lack of attractive alternatives to replace Koizumi and hopes that he would keep his promises of reform. Ten percent of those who did not support Koizumi said that it was because they did not expect reforms to happen. That was double the percentage that expressed such doubts in September. A larger portion of the dissatisfied 15.2 percent minority — almost 30 percent — expressed doubts over Koizumi’s economic policies.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter-Korean Relations

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. HAWKS MIGHT BE IMPEDING PEACE PROCESS: MINISTER HONG,” Seoul, 12/05/01) reported that ROK Unification Minister Hong Soon-young yesterday voiced his suspicion that DPRK hard- liners, including the military, are attempting to curb inter-Korean rapprochement efforts. Minister Hong said, “I call this friction or tension between militarists and economists.” Hong claimed that the hard-liners exploited an ROK anti-terrorism alert as an excuse for their attempt. The ROK minister said despite its internal feud, the DPRK’s “trend” is in the direction of making economics, rather than the military, its top priority. Noting that the reclusive country has only a few allies, Hong urged the DPRK to “get out of this international isolation” through dialogue with the ROK.

2. ROK-UK Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KIM, BLAIR AGREE ON JOINT BUSINESS VENTURES IN N.K.,” London, 12/05/01) reported that ROK officials said that the ROK and Britain agreed Tuesday to jointly participate in Middle East construction contracts. ROK President Kim Dae-jung and British Prime Minister Tony Blair also discussed security measures for the 2002 World Cup soccer finals, anti-terrorism and the DPRK. Kim’s top economic adviser Lee Ki-ho stated “The two countries will decide on concrete plans next week for their joint participation in the multibillion-dollar construction projects mainly in the Middle East, after holding working-level negotiations.” On inter-Korean relations, the two leaders reaffirmed their shared view that the ROK government’s “sunshine policy” toward the DPRK is vital for the DPRK’s development. The two leaders also decided to seek ways for the ROK and Britain to jointly pursue investments in the DPRK.

3. DPRK-Thailand Pacts

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K., THAILAND TO SIGN PACTS,” Seoul, 12/05/01) reported that according to the DPRK newspaper the Pyongyang Times the DPRK and Thailand have agreed to conclude an accord on investment protection and the avoidance of double taxation. The agreement was made by DPRK Trade Minister Ri Kwang-gun and Prachuab Chalyasan, trade representative of the Thai Prime Minister’s Office, during their talks in Pyongyang last month.

4. US Defense Dept. Report

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin, “U.S. DEFENSE MARKS N.K. AS THIRD MOST THREATENING NATION,” Seoul, 12/05/01) reported on Tuesday that the US Department of Defense submitted a report to the US Congress that marked the DPRK as the third “most threatening nation” in the world in terms of proliferating weapons of mass destruction. The Defense report characterized threats into six categories: ballistic missile, cruise missile, biological weapons, chemical weapons, nuclear weapons and terrorism and then evaluated 19 nations the US deems potential security threats. On a scale of one to five, Russia which has reduced its development of biochemical weapons and terrorism was still noted as “the most threatening” nation to the US and received a five. The DPRK, Iraq and Iran were tied with three points. Syria and Libya meanwhile received two points while Taiwan, Pakistan, India, Israel and Egypt received one point. Afghanistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates received 0.5 point and Cuba, Myanmar and the Republic of South Africa received 0.25.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Logistical Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun (“HAMANA REFUELS U.S. SHIPS AS NGOS PREPARE TO HELP,” Tokyo, 12/04/01) reported that Japanese Defense Agency officials said that the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) supply vessel Hamana refueled US Navy supply ships in the Arabian Sea on Sunday. The ship, which left Japan on November 9 with two destroyers, was originally on an intelligence-gathering mission, but with Diet approval late last month, the three ships were asked to support their US counterparts. This is the first time the SDF has provided support for US forces engaged in a combat operation. The Hamana, still carrying more diesel after refueling the US ships, remained on standby in the Arabian Sea, together with the two destroyers. Defense Agency officials said the Hamana’s refueling area was too far out of the way for US Navy vessels actively engaged in combat operations.

2. Split in the Democratic Party of Japan

The Japan Times (“DPJ SLAPS 28 OVER VOTE ON NEW SDF LAW,” Tokyo, 12/05/01) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on Tuesday reprimanded 28 of its members who failed to follow the party line and vote for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) deployment legislation. DPJ vice president Takahiro Yokomichi and 13 others who voted against the deployment plan were given a maximum three-month suspension from their party posts. DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama wanted a stricter penalty, but others argued more weight should be placed on reconciliation. However, Hatoyama also indicated that he is not sure if Yokomichi and others will be reinstated. The party’s executive board issued warnings to the 14 lawmakers who abstained from voting. It accepted offers from two officials to resign their party positions: Tomiko Okazaki, vice president of the DPJ’s Upper House caucus, and Yoriko Madoka, the DPJ’s policy affairs chief in the Upper House.

IV. Russian Federation

1. DPRK-ROK Family Reunions Planned

Vremya MN (“KOREAN FAMILIES ARE RE-UNITING,” Moscow, 11/14/01) reported that DPRK and ROK agreed to hold another round of re-union of families. One hundred persons per each party are to meet with their relatives who found themselves at the wrong side of the cease-fire line at the end of the Korean War. The meeting will take place in DPRK.

2. RF Trans-Siberian Transit Project Approved

Rossiyskaya Gazeta’ Nikolai Sidorenko (“A FASTER TRAVEL MEANS MORE RICHES, Moscow, 11/22/01) reported that a conference took place in Seoul of infrastructure related ministers of the Asia Pacific region. RF Deputy Railways Minister Aleksandr Tselko attended the conference. The East-West transportation corridor project with the Trans-Siberian Main Railway as its major link was discussed. Tselko said that at present the Trans-Sib worked at half of its capacity, whereas with additional infrastructure development it might be able to transit a far more cargo. The Seoul conference supported the project. The RF, PRC, ROK and Mongolia signed a memorandum of intentions providing for the creation of a special committee to develop the project. The future superway is expected to have 5 sea terminals including PUSN in ROK, Tianzing in PRC, Vostochniy in RF and a seaport in the DPRK.

3. Aum Shinrikyo’s RF Members’ Trial

Nezavisimaya Gazeta’s Akhmed Tagirov (“‘AUM SHINRIKYO’S CASE HAS REACHED THE COURT,” Moscow, 7, 12/05/01) reported that the hearings concerning members of the RF affiliate of “Aum Shinrikyo” commenced at the Primorskiy Krai Court. Two residents of Moscow, one resident of Moscow Region and one resident of Primoriye are accused of terrorism, smuggling, illegal acquisition and storage of weapons and production of explosive devices. The defendants planned to go to Japan as tourists in the summer 2000 to carry out a series of terrorist acts to force Japanese authorities to release Aum Shinrikyo head Seko Asahara.

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:
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

Gee Gee Wong: 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

Rumiko Seya: rumiko- seya@geocities.co.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yunxiac@yahoo.com
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

 


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