NAPSNet Daily Report 07 June, 2004

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 07 June, 2004", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 07, 2004, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-07-june-2004/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Nuclear Talks
2. ROK on DPRK Six-Way Talks
3. ROK US Troops Withdrawal
4. ROK Security Road
5. Cross-Straits Relations
6. Japan on Missile Defense System
7. DPRK-ROK Cross-Border Roads Agreement
8. DPRK-PRC Commercial Flight Route
II. CanKor E-Clipping Service 1. Issue #168

I. United States

1. DPRK Nuclear Talks

Reuters (George Nishiyama, “JAPAN PM SAYS NORTH KOREA WANTS PROGRESS AT NUKE TALKS,” Tokyo, 06/07/04) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on Monday he believed that the DPRK was willing to make progress in the next round of six-party talks aimed at persuading it to dismantle its nuclear arms program. Analysts are skeptical about prospects for progress, however, given that neither of the US and the DPRK are thought likely to compromise ahead of the US presidential elections in November. The PRC has proposed holding a third round of talks aimed at resolving the crisis over the DPRK’s nuclear arms projects during the week of June 21 in Beijing, and Japanese media reports have said June 23 is the likely starting date. “I got the feeling that the North Koreans are willing to make progress ahead of the six-party talks,” Koizumi told a small group of foreign reporters, but did not elaborate.

2. ROK on DPRK Six-Way Talks

Agence France-Presse (“SKOREA APPEALS FOR ‘MORE SUBSTANTIVE’ PRC IDEAS AT NUCLEAR TALKS,” 06/06/04) reported that the ROK urged Beijing to bring more “substantive” proposals to the negotiating table during the next round of talks on the DPRK nuclear issue. “China seems to enjoy their role as a facilitator for the six-party talks but in reality we haven’t heard the very real substantive proposals from the PRC for the resolution of this nuclear issue,” Seoul’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Lee Soo-Hyuck told the Asia Security Conference during a question and answer session. “We really appreciate the PRC role as a facilitator but we hope that China will bring more substantive ideas or proposals in the next round of the six-party talks.”

3. ROK US Troops Withdrawal

Agence France-Presse (“US TO WITHDRAW ABOUT 12,500 TROOPS FROM SKOREA,” 06/07/04) reported that the US plans to withdraw 12,500 troops from the ROK by the end of next year as part of a global troop realignment, US and ROK officials said. “The US informed us of its plan to pull out 12,500 troops by the end of December 2005. That figure includes 3,600 to be sent to Iraq,” said Kim Sook, the head of the foreign ministry’s North American affairs bureau. “US troops will eventually be reduced to 25,000,” Kim added at a televised press conference here. A US military official confirmed the planned troop cut, saying Washington currently stations “slightly more than” 37,000 US forces in the ROK under a five-decade-old mutual defense pact. Kim said the announcement came during scheduled talks on the military alliance between a US delegation led by Richard Lawless, the US deputy assistant secretary of defense, and ROK officials led by Kim. Kim said Lawless had explained that the troop realignment was part of the US’ ongoing Global Defense Posture Review (GPR) and would be pursued in such a way as to avoid weakening the capability of US and ROK forces to deter a nuclear-armed DPRK.

4. ROK Security Road

Agence France-Presse (“ROK LEADER MOOTS NEW SECURITY ROADMAP,” 06/06/04) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun proposed a new security roadmap to enhance independent defense capability so that the ROK would not be swayed by major international powers. The move comes ahead of US-ROK talks here to discuss a cut in American troops stationed on the peninsula for five decades to deter the DPRK. Roh said in a Memorial Day speech that the ROK should bolster its “independence” in security while maintaining ties with the US. “We are not a country in a remote region being swayed by (super-power) politics. It is needless to say that we should have the power to defend ourselves, given our status and role,” he said

5. Cross-Straits Relations

Asia Pulse (“BEIJING INTERFERENCE TO HURT TAIWAN, CHINA: ECONOMISTS,” Taipei, 06/07/04) reported that the PRC’s political interference in economics will seriously hurt both Taiwan and the PRC in view of their close and frequent two-way exchanges, a government official in charge of trade and economics said Sunday. Taiwan investments in the PRC over the past 14 years have increased rapidly, with the ratio of mainland-bound investments to the country’s overall outbound investments growing from 9.5 per cent in 1991 to 53.7 per cent in 2003, according to statistics compiled by the Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development. The PRC responded last week to President Chen Shui-bian’s second inaugural address on May 20 that the PRC does not welcome Taiwan businesses which reap profits in the PRC to back pro-Taiwan independence at home and singled out former Chi Mei Group Chairman Shu Wen-long as an example. The PRC’s unexpected rhetoric sent Taiwan’s stock market plummeting by 204 points that same day and has provoked grave concerns among Taiwan businessmen with investments in the PRC. Taiwan authorities have called on Beijing in recent days to separate politics from economics.

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN POSTPONES PRC REPORTER’S VISA AFTER PAPER’S ATTACKS,” 06/06/04) reported that Taiwan has temporarily refused entry to a reporter for a PRC state-run newspaper in retaliation for the PRC’s attacks on Taiwanese pro-independence businesses, an official said. Taiwan’s PRC policy decision-making body said it had “postponed for a week an entry visa issued to the People’s Daily journalist” due to be assigned to Taipei. “From the day the People’s Daily printed its editorial attacking Taiwanese enterprises, we’ve repeatedly tried to adopt a softer approach, hoping to put an end to the event, but to no avail,” an official of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) told AFP. “Instead, they ignored our efforts and even got worse,” he said. “Therefore we must send a clear signal to them.”

6. Japan on Missile Defense System

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN ASSURES NEIGHOURS ITS MISSILE SYSTEM WON’T SPARK ARMS RACE,” 06/05/04) reported that Japan’s ballistic missile defense (BMD) system will not spark an Asia Pacific arms race, Japanese Minister of State for Defense Shigeru Ishiba said at the Asia Security Conference. Ishiba, whose speech was delivered by Japan’s director general for international affairs, Masahiko Horie, said Saturday BMD was part of Tokyo’s efforts to contribute to regional security. “Some countries expressed their concern that the BMD system might trigger an arms race,” Horie said. “I do not agree to this. “Ballistic missiles are extremely fast. Their targets are very small. And they can have a devastating effect if nuclear, biological or chemical warheads are mounted on them. “To effectively respond to the threat of these missiles, there exist no better mechanism than BMD.” Japan last year deployed a US-developed ballistic missile defense shield and is conducting joint research with the US to improve on the system.

7. DPRK-ROK Cross-Border Roads Agreement

Agence France-Presse (“TWO KOREAS AGREE TO OPEN CROSS-BORDER ROADS, TEST-RUN RAILWAYS,” 06/06/04) reported that the ROK and DPRK officials announced that they had reached an agreement to open cross-border roads and make test runs on two railways across their heavily fortified frontier in coming months. Under the accord, which followed a four-day meeting of economic officials in the DPRK capital, the two sides will open two roads, one across the western part of the inter-Korean border and the other in the east. They will also test-run two railways running alongside the roads, a media pool report from Pyongyang said. “The South and North … shall test run on the linked sections of the railways in October 2004,” said a joint statement. “In addition, the two sides will open the Seoul-Sinuiju road and the Eastern road no later than in October,” it said. The two sides also agreed to set up by the end of June a joint agency to run an industrial park being built in Kaesong near the border and appoint a ROK to oversee it.

8. DPRK-PRC Commercial Flight Route

Yonhap (“NEW COMMERCIAL CHINA-NORTH KOREA FLIGHT OPENS,” Seoul, 06/07/04) reported that a PRC commercial airline has opened a new route to North Korea to meet increasing demand from businesspeople and tourists, a PRC radio station reported Monday. China Southern Airlines established a route between Shenyang in northeast PRC and Pyongyang where the first plane landed smoothly Monday morning, China Radio International, monitored in Seoul, said.

II. CanKor E-Clipping Service

1. Issue #168

A landmark agreement was reached at general-level North-South military talks. The two Koreas decided to share a radio frequency, stop cross-border propaganda broadcasts, set up a telephone hotline, and exchange naval information to avoid maritime clashes in the disputed waters of the West Sea. The agreement is seen to mark a first step toward building confidence between old foes on the world’s last Cold War frontier. The DPRK has agreed to provide “basic data” on its electric power system, as a step toward linking electric power between the two Koreas and Russia. A 36-member South Korean delegation to the ninth round of inter-Korean economic talks in Pyongyang reviews the progress of several joint venture projects, such as cross-border transport links and the Kaesong industrial park. A bill that allows Japan to bar North Korean ships from Japanese ports passed the House of Representatives transportation committee. The bill follows other legislation that revised the foreign exchange and foreign trade laws, permitting Japan to impose unilateral sanctions by halting cash remittances to the DPRK. Kim Jong Il made headlines this week when he congratulated workers at the Kusong Machine Tool Plant for “abiding by the principles of profitability,” urging them to intensify “ideological education among producers to thoroughly ensure profitability in production.” While the DPRK displays more overt signs of accommodation to the concept of profit, it has reversed a recent policy allowing the use of cell phones. According to South Korean sources, the DPRK’s state security agency has determined that the Ryongchon train explosion was an assassination plot against Kim Jong Il, and that mobile phones were used in its execution. The six South Koreans convicted of illegally transferring more than $500m to the DPRK to gain agreement for the June 2000 Inter-Korean summit were pardoned this week, in a presidential amnesty to mark Buddha’s birthday. Witnesses claim the DPRK is building a 2-meter high wooden fence and setting deadly traps in hard-to-patrol areas along the 400 km border with China.

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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