NAPSNet Daily Report 05 November, 2002

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. PRC Domestic Politics
2. PRC Democratic Activist
3. DPRK on US Diplomacy
4. PRC-Japan Relations
5. DPRK-Japan Relations
6. Japan on US Missile Defense
7. Smallpox Possession
8. DPRK Food Program
9. Japanese Abduction Victims
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK-US Confrontation
2. Gaeseong Industrial Complex
3. Inter Korean Red Cross Talks Nullified
4. DPRK Nuclear Problem
5. Suspended Oil Supply to DPRK
III. Japan 1. Japan Domestic Politics
2. Japan-US Relations
3. Japanese Disarmament Diplomacy

I. United States

1. PRC Domestic Politics

Reuters (“CHINA’S PARTY ELITE WINDS UP PRE-CONGRESS MEET,” Beijing, 11/05/02) and Agence France-Presse (“CHINA’S TOP LEADERS GATHER IN SECRET TO PLAN UPCOMING CONGRESS,” 11/05/02) reported that the PRC’s Communist Party put the finishing touches to a generational leadership change in the final days before a pivotal congress. The party’s 325-strong Central Committee also approved a change to the party constitution, allowing private entrepreneurs to join for the first time, at its pre-congress plenum, the official Xinhua news agency said. The moves highlighted the party’s drive to clean up official corruption and maintain rigid political control while adapting itself to an increasingly pluralistic and capitalistic society — major themes of its 16th congress due to open on Friday. President Jiang Zemin is expected to retire as party chief at the congress, along with other leaders over 70, but to maintain power by installing allies in key posts and having his political theory made official doctrine, analysts say.

Reuters (“SECRECY-OBSESSED CHINA GUARDS PARTY CONGRESS REPORT,” Beijing, 11/05/02) reported that the PRC’s Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin was livid when a Hong Kong newspaper jumped the gun and published the full text of his speech to the 14th party congress in 1992 a week before the meeting convened. An ensuing probe led to a life sentence for Wu Shisen, then an editor of the PRC’s state news agency Xinhua, for selling state secrets. His reporter wife was jailed for six years. The “political report” to the five yearly party congress has been shrouded in secrecy since. And perhaps never more so than in the run-up to the 16th congress opening on Friday, when Jiang and other top leaders are expected to retire. “It’s impossible to get the 16th congress report,” said a journalist from Hong Kong. Hong Kong reporters have often obtained in advance the premier’s work report to the annual session of parliament, the National People’s Congress, in the past decade. But they have not been so lucky with the party congress. Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper said the party’s Publicity Department issued an edict warning newspaper, television and radio reporters and editors not to leak state secrets, spread political rumors or “uglify” the PRC’s leaders. The edict called for “obedience and discipline.”

2. PRC Democratic Activist

Reuters (“CHINESE DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST FANG JUE DETAINED, SISTER SAYS,” Beijing, 11/05/02) reported that PRC police have detained government official-turned-democracy activist Fang Jue and confiscated his belongings days before a pivotal Communist Party congress, his sister said on Tuesday. More than 10 policemen showed up at Fang’s residence in central Beijing on Monday evening and hauled off the frail but outspoken activist, threatening onlookers not to say anything, younger sister Liu Jing said. “He was taken away in the afternoon. His neighbours all saw it happen and they told me about it,” she said. Police returned later and confiscated many of his personal effects, including his computer and telephone, she added. Police at a station near Fang’s home declined to comment. “I can’t answer your questions. I don’t know,” a duty officer said. In January 1998, the former researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences called for direct elections at all levels of government, freedom of the press and the right to form new political parties and independent labour unions. At the time he published the article, Fang said some 200 mid-ranking Communist Party cadres backed his radical proposals. That July, however, police detained him. Eleven months later they charged him with illegally selling oil import quotas and pocketing 145,000 yuan ($17,500) when he was a government planner in the southern city of Fuzhou.

3. DPRK on US Diplomacy

Korean Central News Agency (“US FRENZY DIPLOMACY TO PRESSURIZE DPRK UNDER FIRE,” Pyongyang, 11/04/02) carried an article that read that the US is busy taking such counter-measures as increasing diplomatic and political pressure upon the DPRK, while trying to build up public opinion favorable for it after Pyongyang proposed to conclude a non-aggression treaty with the US. Rodong Sinmun today says this in a signed commentary. It goes on: This only shows how much the US is upset by the reasonable proposal advanced by the DPRK and how hard it is working to sidestep it. The DPRK’s proposal is a constructive proposal based on reality and propriety as it is the best way of settling the current crisis. There is no reason for the US to reject this proposal. The US assertion that it has no intention to invade the DPRK is a sheer lie and a mockery of the public opinion. When looking back on history, the DPRK has been in the hostile relationship with the United States. The US demanded the DPRK scrap its “nuclear program”, saying that this would bring “economic benefit” to it. This means that if the DPRK puts down arms, it will receive sugar. This is an unbearable insult to the DPRK. It is the faith and will of the Korean people that they can survive without sugar but not without arms. The DPRK cannot sacrifice its army for a piece of gold. The US assertion that negotiations are possible only after the DPRK scraps its “nuclear weapons program” is in essence aimed to disarm the DPRK and invade it without difficulty. If the United States continues posing a nuclear threat to the DPRK, while sidestepping the DPRK’s proposal, it will be left with no option but to take a corresponding measure. Then this will only push the DPRK and the US to a clash. The United States should not deceive the public with sheer lie that it has no “intention to invade” the DPRK but prove it in practice. The US should convince it by accepting the DPRK’s proposal.

4. PRC-Japan Relations

Reuters (Elaine Lies, “JAPAN TAKES ON CHINA OVER SE ASIAN FREE TRADE ZONE,” Phnom Penh, 11/05/02) and Reuters (Ed Cropley, “JAPAN, CHINA, INDIA LOOK EAST FOR FREE TRADE,” Phnom Penh, 11/05/02) reported that a day after the PRC seized the initiative with a free trade zone plan in Southeast Asia, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi took the first steps Tuesday to include the world’s number two economy in a regional trade deal. Japan has been left on the back foot by an agreement signed Monday by PRC and the 10 member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) that launches 10 years of negotiations toward what would be the biggest free trade zone in the world with a population of 1.7 billion people. The summit aims to promote economic integration, tackle terror and paper over cracks that perennially open up among 10 states that range from impoverished Laos to oil-rich Brunei and giant Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation. “We’ve entered a new age of partnership. We will walk together and advance together,” said Koizumi as he signed the joint declaration on an economic partnership in the Cambodian capital. But details were vague. The move kicks off a 10-year process of building a broad-based economic partnership covering not only liberalization of trade and investment but also trade and investment promotion.

5. DPRK-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (Eric Talmadge, “N. KOREA, JAPAN TALKS BREAK DOWN,” Tokyo, 11/05/02) and Reuters (“N. KOREA MAY RECONSIDEERR MISSLE TEST MORATORIUM,” Tokyo, 11/05/02) reported that the DPRK threatened Tuesday to resume missile test-launches unless Japan stops making the DPRK nuclear weapons program and the fate of five Japanese abductees central to normalizing relations. Quoting a Foreign Ministry official, the DPRK’s official Korea Central News Agency said Japan’s stance on the abductees and its demands that the North stop developing nuclear weapons “is now creating very serious issues as it is illogical.” The date for the next round of talks has not been set. The five abductees are in Japan in their first homecoming, allowed by the DPRK but on the expectation it would last only a week or two. Japan now says it has no plans to return them to the North. The five are the only known survivors of 13 such kidnappings Kim confessed his country carried out in the 1970s and ’80s. The DPRK Foreign Ministry official, who was not identified, said that if Japan is willing to break its promise on the abductees, the DPRK is not obliged to stick to the test-launch moratorium. “If any party ceases to implement its commitment, it is impossible for the other party to continue to fulfill its commitment,” the official said.

6. Japan on US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (“JAPAN’S DEFENSE CHEIF BACKS US MISSILE SHIELD,” Tokyo, 11/05/002) reported that Japan’s defense chief backed the country’s right to participate in a potential US missile shield, saying it was in line with Japan’s pacifist constitution, an official said Tuesday. “Japan is committed to an exclusively defensive security system. The (US-Japan) missile defense program is in accord with this commitment,” Defense Agency spokesman Ichiro Imaizumi quoted Japan’s top defense official, Shigeru Ishiba, as saying. Ishiba, speaking to a parliamentary security committee, referred to the proposed US$48-billion program, which aims to put up a defensive shield to protect the US and its key allies against ballistic missiles. Japanese critics argue that the program could clash with constitutional restrictions on Japan’s ability to aid allies under attack. Many in other countries say the program may prompt an arms race. Japan has so far kept a neutral stance on the issue, indicating it would make a decision by 2003 or 2004. But Ishiba – who replaced his predecessor just over a month ago – has been more vocal in leaning toward a commitment.

7. Smallpox Possession

The Assocated Press (John J. Lumpkin, “IRAQ, NORTH KOREA AMONG FOUR NATIONS SUSPECTED OF COVERTLY POSSESSING SMALLPOX,” Washington, 11/05/02) reported that US intelligence believes four nations other than the US – Iraq, the DPRK, Russia and France – probably possess hidden supplies of the smallpox virus, a US official said. Al-Qaida is also believed to have sought samples of smallpox to use as a weapon, but US officials don’t believe the terror network is capable of mounting an attack with the virus. Evidence recovered in Afghanistan pointed to Osama bin Laden’s interest in the disease, the US official said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. US officials worry that Iraq and the DPRK could develop potent biological weapons with their samples, which are believed to exist in small amounts. There is no evidence they are able to use the disease as a biological weapon. Officials also fear lax security in Russia could allow other nations to obtain the deadly disease for use as a weapon. “The general issue of smallpox does remain a concern,” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters. He said it is not known if Iraq has smallpox, but it is unlikely that al-Qaida does. The fears that smallpox, declared eradicated in 1980, could again be loose on the world have driven the US administration to consider vaccinations for the American populace and to prepare emergency plans should an outbreak be detected. Smallpox historically has killed about a third of its victims and can be transmitted from person to person, unlike other biological weapons such as anthrax.

8. DPRK Food Program

Reuters (David Ljunggren, “UN SAYS COULD AGAIN SLASH NORTH KOREA FOOD PROGRAM,” Ottawa, 11/05/02) reported that the UN World Food Program (WFP) warned on Tuesday that a serious funding shortfall meant it might again be forced to slash food distribution in the DPRK. The WFP, which has been feeding about a third of DPRK’s 23 million people, began halting food aid to millions of hungry children, women and elderly people in September because of a slump in grain donations. By the end of the year, some three million people will be cut off and another 1.5 million may follow early next year. “We’ve had to cut our work in North Korea in half and I’m concerned we may have to cut it in half again … I’m very troubled about how we’re going to do our humanitarian work in North Korea going forward,” said WFP Executive Director James Morris. “Japan has historically given us $100 million a year to feed the people in North Korea. They’ve not been able to do that this year and that’s a serious resource shortfall,” he told Ottawa’s National Press Club.

9. Japanese Abduction Victims

The Associated Press (“POLICE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE REMAINS OF JAPANESE ABDUCTED BY NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 11/05/02) reported that Japanese police were unable to identify the only set of human remains turned over by DPRK officials, who say the remains belong to one of eight Japanese who died after being abducted decades ago by DPRK spies. Experts’ attempts to conduct DNA tests were frustrated because the remains appeared to have been “severely affected by heat,” Cabinet spokesman Takashi Okada said Tuesday. He refused to comment on how the damage may have occurred. Local media had reported the remains were cremated twice, and had been dubious that the tests would yield a conclusive outcome. The graves of the seven other victims had been washed away in floods, the DPRK said. The test results cast further doubt on Pyongyang’s reports to Japan on the fates of the eight allegedly dead abductees. Victims’ families, faced with no verifiable evidence, have refused to believe the DPRK’s accounts of the deaths.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Confrontation

Joognang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, “‘END HOSTILITES, OR ELSE’,” Seoul, 11/04/2) reported that DPRK threatened to take strong military measures if US continues to ignore DPRK’s proposal for a non-aggression treaty, DPRK media reported Saturday. Rodong Shinmun, a DPRK government newspaper, said in an editorial Saturday that unilateral coercive measures and pressure on DPRK would complicate the current nuclear crisis even further. After the revelation of its program last month, DPRK has been pushing hard for a non-aggression pact with US, but the Bush administration said it would talk with DPRK only after DPRK scraps its nuclear program in a verifiable manner. “Taking into account the hostile confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang, it is natural that we are producing weapons through all possible means to arm ourselves,” a foreign ministry spokesman told the official Korean Central News Agency. “Everything will be negotiable,” North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations, Han Song-ryol, was quoted as saying in the New York Times. “Our government will resolve all U.S. security concerns through the talks, if the [U.S.] government has a will to end its hostile policy.” International disapproval of the North’s nuclear program has intensified recently, with criticism coming even from Russia and PRC, DPRK’s longtime allies.

2. Gaeseong Industrial Complex

Joognang Ilbo (Kim Young-hoon, “CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN NEXT MONTH’S GAESEONNG INDUSTRY PARK,” Seoul, 11/04/02) reported that ROK and DPRK have agreed to begin building an industrial zone in Gaeseong, DPRK, next month. The target is to allow South Korean firms to establish plants in the zone beginning in late 2003. The two Koreas are also reportedly near an agreement on tourism programs in the city northwest of Seoul across the Demilitarized Zone that could begin early next year. After three days of talks in Pyongyang, delegates from the ROK and the DPRK announced the agreement Saturday. Two ROK firms, Hyundai Asan Corp. and the state-run Korea Land Corp., will develop 3.3 million square meters of land by the end of next year in the first stage of a project to turn 66 million square meters of land into an industrial zone. DPRK said it will set up a new legal system for the zone, making it a special district with tax benefits and a minimum of interference in the use of the land, the operation of plants located there and funds flows.

3. Inter Korean Red Cross Talks Nullified

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH-SOUTH RED CROSS TALKS BREAK OFF,” Seoul, 11/04/02) reported that Red Cross talks between the ROK and the DPRK broke off Saturday after DPRK showed no enthusiasm for holding a temporary family reunion this winter and searching for South Koreans kidnapped to DPRK after the Korean War. The Red Cross talks began at Mount Kumgang on Thursday. The three-day talks at first went smoothly; the two sides discussed a plan to build a permanent meeting facility for separated families of the the ROK and the DPRK and visited Jopo, a small town that DPRK had proposed as a location for the meeting site. They reportedly reached an agreement to begin construction, possibly before the end of this year. But other issues scuttled the talks. ROK’s delegates proposed holding another separated family reunion either in early December or next February, the sixth such gathering. DPRK, however, said that no more meetings could be held until the permanent facility was completed. ROK Red Cross officials also asked DPRK to confirm the whereabouts of ROK members missing since the Korean War; they also pressed DPRK to provide information about ROK citizens who were kidnapped to DPRK after the war.

4. DPRK Nuclear Problem

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “CABINET ORDERED TO USE INNTER-KOREAN DIALOGUE TO RESOLVE NECLEAR ISSUE,” Seoul, 11/04/02) reported that ROK president Kim Dae-jung directed the government to use inter-Korean dialogue channels to encourage DPRK into accepting international demands to scrap its nuclear arms project. The President spoke at a meeting of security-related ministers at Cheong Wa Dae on Saturday to discuss the government’s future course of action in response to DPRK’s refusal to relinquish its nuclear ambitions. Senior officials from ROK, Japan and US will meet later this weekend in Tokyo to discuss how to force DPRK to give up the highly enriched uranium development program aimed at producing nuclear bombs. The three countries will also discuss the DPRK’s nuclear issue when their foreign ministers meet on the sidelines of the meeting of the Community of Democracies in Seoul early next week.

5. Suspended Oil Supply to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Kyung-bok, “OIL FOR NORTH SUSPENDED TEMPORARILY,” Seoul, 11/04/02) reported that the plan to send 400,000 tons of oil to DPRK this week has been temporarily halted it was learned Sunday. An ROK government official announced Sunday, that alongside the US and Japan a final decision upon sending the oil will be made around November 15 after the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group, or TCOG meeting scheduled to open in Tokyo and Seoul from November 8. Considering limiting various aid sent to DPRK, the three countries also reached an agreement to make concrete counter plans in case DPRK continues its clandestine nuclear development programs. In accordance with this, the three are considering boycotting a Nuclear Accident Compensation Protocol meeting between KEDO and DPRK originally scheduled for this month. The official said, the US, Japan and ROK will continue its firm principal requesting prior suspension of DPRK’s nuclear program and if it fails to comply, phased counter measures will be applied.

III. Japan

1. Japan Domestic Politics

The Japan Times (“LDP WINS IN FIVE OF SEVEN ELECTIONS AMID LOW TURNOUT,” 10/28/02) reported that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party won five of the seven Diet by-elections amid extremely low voter turnout that apparently reflected sluggish public interest. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan won only one of the contested seats. The by-elections, seen as a major electoral contest for Koizumi as the nation remains mired in an economic slump, were marked by sluggish voter turnout — up to 28 percentage points lower than in the general election held in June 2000. “We were able to win great achievements in the by-elections through the united efforts of the coalition parties,” LDP Secretary General Taku Yamasaki said as he declared a victory for Sunday’s elections.

2. Japan-US Relations

Kyodo (“U.S. NAVY TO PAY $13 MILLION IN EHIME MARU SETTLEMENT,” Matsuyama, 10/20/02) reported that the US Navy will pay about $13 million in compensation to families of seven victims and 26 survivors of a collision in waters off Hawaii in February 2001 between Ehime Maru, a Japanese fisheries training ship, and Greenville, a US nuclear-powered submarine. The total, equal to about 1.62 billion yen, includes compensation for the fatalities in the sinking of the vessel and medical treatment for the survivors for posttraumatic stress disorder, they said. However, lawyers representing the families of two other victims are still discussing compensation with the navy. Captain Richard Evans, who is in charge of the US Navy’s legal affairs, is expected to visit Japan to sign a document on the settlement in mid-November.

3. Japanese Disarmament Diplomacy

Kyodo (“JAPANESE TO LEAD U.N. ARMS SESSION,” New York, 10/21/02) reported that the Japanese ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Kuniko Inoguchi, has been elected to serve as chairwoman of a UN conference on the illegal trade of small arms and light weapons in July 2003, UN officials said. The United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects unanimously elected Inoguchi to head the interim conference in New York. The conference will review the implementation of an action plan adopted in 2001, the officials said.

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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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