NAPSNet Daily Report 07 September, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 07 September, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 07, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-07-september-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Trilateral Coordination Group Statement
2. DPRK Food Aid
3. US Forces in ROK
4. New ROK Ambassador to PRC
5. US Analysis of PRC Missile Buildup
6. Analysis of Sino-US Nuclear Strategy
7. Cross-Strait Relations
8. US Forces in Japan
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-DPRK Talks
2. DPRK’s Attendance at APEC
III. Japan 1. Japan-US security cooperation
2. Security Policy of Self Defense Force
3. Alleged SDF Constitutional Violation
4. Eisaku Sato’s Nobel Peace Prize
5. SDF’s Peacekeeping Operation in East Timor
6. Self Defense Force Rescue Operations

I. United States

1. Trilateral Coordination Group Statement

The US Department of State’s Office of International Information Programs, (“US PREPARED FOR SERIOUS DISCUSSIONS WITH PYONGYANG,” 9/6/01) reported that the US, Japan, and the ROK released a joint statement from the Trilateral Oversight and Coordination Group Meeting on September 6. The statement said the US is prepared “to undertake serious discussions with North Korea without preconditions.” It also described efforts by Japan and the ROK to engage the DPRK. The US in the statement expressed its hope “that North Korea would positively respond to its call” at an early date for discussions. The Tokyo meeting of the delegations from the three countries reviewed the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and shared information on the status of their respective bilateral relations with the DPRK. Japan’s Director-General of Asian and Oceanic Affairs Kunihiko Makita and ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Ambassador Yim Sung-joon joined Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly in the third Japan-US-ROK Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group meeting this year.

2. DPRK Food Aid

The Associated Press (“CHINA PROMISES N KOREA 200,000 TONS OF FOOD, FUEL -REPORT,” Beijing, 9/6/01) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on September 6 that the PRC promised during a presidential trip to the DPRK to give the nation 200,000 tons of food and 30,000 tons of diesel fuel. Official PRC media had mentioned the food aid repeatedly during PRC President Jiang Zemin’s trip to the DPRK this week, but had not said how much aid was involved. KCNA said that the gift was “in connection with the damage caused by an unprecedentedly long spell of drought that hit it this spring. The Korean side expressed thanks for this.”

3. US Forces in ROK

Reuters (“N.KOREA DEMANDS U.S. FORCES WITHDRAW FROM SOUTH,” Seoul, 9/7/01) reported that the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement overnight by the Korea Central News Agency that called on the US to withdraw its forces from the ROK. The DPRK blamed the “tough and hostile” US policies for stalled inter-Korean relations. The statement said, “The withdrawal of US troops from South Korea is a pressing issue, the solution of which brooks no further delay for peace and security in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.” It also said, “The Bush administration defined the DPRK as ‘No. 1 enemy’ and is unilaterally forcing it to ‘reduce conventional force’ in a bid to disarm and stifle it by force.” A commentary in the DPRK’s Rodong Shinmun also attacked US military proposals to shift the emphasis of US security policy to Asia from Europe. The article said, “By concentrating their armed forces in the region the U.S. imperialists are pursuing an important purpose to stifle the DPRK.” The commentary again rebuffed the US call for talks, accusing the US of setting preconditions. The article said, “The US clamor for the ‘resumption of dialogue’ with the DPRK is no more than a trick to cover up its true colors as an aggressor and make the DPRK slacken its vigilance.”

4. New ROK Ambassador to PRC

The Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT NAMES CHINA AMBASSADOR TO LEAD ‘SUNSHINE’ POLICY TOWARD NORTH,” Seoul, 9/7/01) reported that in a Cabinet reshuffle, ROK President Kim Dae-jung appointed Hong Soon-young, a 64-year-old career diplomat and former foreign minister, as ambassador to the PRC on Friday to direct his “sunshine” policy of engaging the DPRK. Hong said that the inter-Korean talks slated for September 15 might provide “some stimulus to the resumption of dialogue between North Korea and the United States.” Hong quit as ROK foreign minister early last year after the PRC forcibly repatriated seven DPRK defectors despite ROK appeals for them to be released.

5. US Analysis of PRC Missile Buildup

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “RUMSFELD SAYS MISSILES PROOF OF CHINA’S GLOBAL AMBITIONS,” 9/7/01) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said on September 6 that the PRC strategic missile buildup reflects the PRC’s “seriousness of purpose” in becoming a global power. Rumsfeld told reporters at the US Defense Department, “We know that they have been investing in various types of weaponry, including ballistic missiles of varying range. We know that they have been deploying various types of weaponry, including ballistic missiles. And we know that they have been acquiring a number of types of weapons from Russia and from other countries. It is a long pattern that reflects a seriousness of purpose about the People’s Republic of China with respect to their defense establishment.” Rumsfeld said that intelligence reports and press reports show that the PRC has been building up its military forces with spending increases for defense in “double-digit” percentage ranges of its overall government spending for the past several years. He added that PRC writings and statements about their military show a “high degree of compatibility between what they’re saying and what they’re doing” militarily. Asked if he is concerned about the military buildup, Rumsfeld said the PRC is “navigating along a path that is uncertain … as to where it’s going to end. I don’t know that they know.” He noted that the US is trying to encourage the PRC to move toward greater economic relations with the world so that “the thing that gives, is the nature of its system, its regime.” [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 7, 2001.]

6. Analysis of Sino-US Nuclear Strategy

The New York Times published an opinion article by Bates Gill, director of the Brookings Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, and James Mulvenon, an associate political scientist at RAND (“CHINA’S NUCLEAR AGENDA,” 9/7/01) which said that the announcement and consequent withdrawal of the US Bush Administration’s statements suggesting that they were not opposed to the PRC’s increase in its nuclear stockpile points to the main question of how the US should counter the PRC’s small nuclear force, in the context of the PRC’s abilities to develop new weapons and its opposition to missile defense. The authors noted that the US must be informed by certain “uncomfortable truths.” First, although the PRC has had the ability to incinerate at least a handful of US cities for the past twenty years, it continues to rely on a “minimal deterrent” and the barest of abilities to retaliate with nuclear force should it come under nuclear attack. Second, while the US may not like PRC missiles pointing at its cities, the current nuclear balance between the two countries is nevertheless strategically stable. Third, “we should expect China’s ongoing nuclear weapons modernization to continue.” The article noted that the PRC’s second-generation nuclear force, to be deployed over the next 10 to 15 years, will be far more mobile, accurate and reliable than its current force, but will almost certainly remain small in comparison to the US nuclear arsenal. However, it continued, the “numbers of missiles alone don’t fully determine the nuclear threat [and] there are plenty of steps China could take that would be very damaging to American interests.” Therefore, it concluded, it is clearly in the interests of both nations that the PRC maintain the smallest effective nuclear deterrent possible. It continued, “that means the United States must give China incentive to show restraint. The administration is more likely to get what it wants from Beijing – minimal nuclear buildup, no resumption of nuclear testing and tacit acceptance of missile defense – if it begins a frank and realistic dialogue that takes the realities of China’s capabilities and interests into account.” [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for September 7, 2001.]

7. Cross-Strait Relations

Reuters (Leslie Gevirtz, “TAIWAN OPEN TO DEEPER TALKS WITH CHINA AT APEC,” Cambridge, 9/6/01) reported that Taiwan Foreign Minister Tien Hung-mao said on September 6 that he would welcome more extensive bilateral talks with the PRC at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting under way in Suzhou, PRC. Tien told an audience at Harvard University that a meeting already set for Friday between finance ministers from Taiwan and China was simply a matter of protocol and that contacts between the two delegations should be deepened. Tien said, “If for instance, when our ministers attend the APEC meeting in China, and should Beijing decide that they will welcome some kind of bilateral meeting while our ministers are there, I can tell you that we would welcome that. For several years now there has been a breakdown in official contact between both sides. And there is no secret that the United States, as well as Taiwan, thought that there ought to be some kind of political contact. And I’m sure that China also wishes the resumption of dialogue takes place except that it puts on certain kinds of preconditions that so far are unacceptable to us.” In his prepared remarks, Tien said that Taiwan’s top priority “must be to step up our efforts to maintain the current balance of power in order to stabilize the region and keep the peace.” In addition to upgrading relations with the US and Japan, Taiwan was also “striving to obtain sources of military hardware.”

8. US Forces in Japan

Reuters (“OKINAWA KEY TO U.S.-JAPAN SECURITY TIES – OMI,” Washington, 9/7/01) reported that Koji Omi, Japan’s state minister in charge of Okinawa affairs, said on September 6 that Japan has told the US that resolving issues surrounding the US military presence in Okinawa is key to making progress on efforts to deepen security ties. Omi said that that was the message he had delivered to US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and would repeat to US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz when he saw him later during his five-day stay in Washington. He did not elaborate on the specific issues affecting Okinawa that would need to be addressed. He said that both Armitage and US Marine Corps Commandant General James Jones agreed.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-DPRK Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “KOREAS TO RESUME CABINET-LEVEL TALKS IN SEOUL SEPT. 15,” Seoul, 09/07/01) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry announced that the ROK and the DPRK agreed on September 6 to hold ministerial talks in Seoul from September 15-18. It will be their first official dialogue in more than six months. In a telephone message sent through Panmunjom, the DPRK said that it accepted the ROK proposal for the resumption of the talks. The message said, “We hope the upcoming talks will be productive under the spirit of the June 15 North- South Joint Declaration.”

2. DPRK’s Attendance at APEC

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, “SEOUL SKEPTICAL OF KIM JONG-IL ATTENDING APEC MEETING,” Seoul, 09/07/01) reported that ROK senior officials said Thursday that the ROK does not support the idea of a possible visit by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to Shanghai for the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum next month, if it is pushed as an alternative to his promised visit to Seoul for a second inter-Korean summit. The PRC Foreign Ministry said on September 4 that it backs the idea of Kim attending the APEC meeting as an observer, fueling speculation that PRC President Jiang Zemin may have extended an invitation to Kim during his visit to Pyongyang this week. ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo said, “We can’t confirm whether Jiang invited Kim Jong-il to the APEC summit. But I would say his visit to Shanghai is a separate issue from prospects of a second South-North summit. There is no precedent in the APEC forum of inviting a leader of a non-member nation as an observer. There should be tough talks between member nations before Kim is allowed to attend.” Technical difficulties notwithstanding, Han said that the idea is unrealistic because “the North Korean leader has nothing substantial to gain from attending the APEC summit.” The PRC Foreign Ministry did not confirm whether Jiang invited Kim to the APEC summit, but said that the PRC wants to see the DPRK take a greater part in the activities of relevant international organizations. The PRC ministry said that if the DPRK is willing to take part in the meeting, the PRC will welcome and support it.

III. Japan

1. Japan-US security cooperation

The Japan Times (“DEFENSE AGENCY OUTLINES EMERGENCY PLANS WITH U.S.,” Tokyo, 09/03/01) reported that the Defense Agency has outlined an action plan for cooperating with US forces during foreign attacks on Japan or emergencies in areas surrounding it. An outline of the scheme, which has been studied by panel of uniformed officers from Japan and the US, is likely to be submitted to the “two plus two” meeting of foreign and defense ministers of the two countries, expected to be held in the US late September. The plans stipulate courses of action for both Japan and the US in various situations, but no specific details were available. A senior agency official said that the contents are classified as top secret. The two countries reviewed the operations as is required under the updated Japan-US defense cooperation guidelines implemented in 1997. The panel will continue studying details and updating the plans as situations change, the official said.

2. Security Policy of Self Defense Force

The Asahi Shimbun English edition (“DEFENSE POLICY SHIFTING FROM LARGE- SCALE ATTACKS”, Tokyo, 09/04/01) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency plans to shift priority of its defense outline from large-scale military invasions by the former Soviet Union to guerrilla incursions, sea intrusions, nuclear accidents and natural disasters. The agency also plans to reassign SDF units and reinforce the SDF’s presence in Okinawa and the southern seas where PRC navy vessels have often appeared. The agency also must deal with technological advances in military communications as well as Japan-US joint research on a missile defense system. The new outline will also respond to public expectations for the SDF to be sent to areas hit by natural disasters. SDF participation in UN peacekeeping operations will also be stressed in the outline.

3. Alleged SDF Constitutional Violation

The Asahi Shimbun English edition (“MSDF DRILL REISED LEGALITY DOUBTS”, Tokyo, 09/05/01) reported that Maritime Self Defense Force ships and aircraft participated in a 1984 exercise with US forces in a manner that represented a de facto violation of the Constitution, according to declassified US documents. The participation of MSDF vessels and aircraft under US command is an instance of the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, which is prohibited by the Constitution. An aircraft carrier battle group of the US Seventh Fleet has taken part in the MSDF’s annual fall exercises since 1984.

4. Eisaku Sato’s Nobel Peace Prize

Kyodo (“SATO’S’ 74 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE QUESTIONED”, Oslo, 09/06/01) reported that Former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato (1964-1972), who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974, was the worst selection ever by the award committee, according to a Nobel Peace Prize official historian. Oivind Stenersen, principal author of an official Nobel Peace Prize history, told reporters late last week that Sato, who won the prize for his contribution to peace and opposition to nuclear weapons, was the committee’s “biggest mistake.” The book, ” Nobel Peace Prize – One Hundred Years for Peace,” made disparaging observations about the committee and said Sato’s prize was not warmly received in Japan. At a news conference, Stenersen said that US documents declassified in 1999 show that in principle, Sato was not opposed to Japanese nuclear weapons.

5. SDF’s Peacekeeping Operation in East Timor

The Asahi Shimbun English edition (“SDF TROOPS TO JOIN E. TIMOR MISSION,” Tokyo, 09/06/01) reported that between 300 and 400 Ground Self Defense Force troops would go to Ease Timor next spring to take part in peacekeeping operations, according to government sources. The troops will likely to be involved in road construction and would constitute the first large-scale deployment of SDF troops on an overseas peacekeeping operation since the mission to Cambodia in 1992. A total of 1,200 GSDF troops were sent to Cambodia between September 1992 and September 1993. A similar number of personnel may be expected to eventually serve in East Timor. The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) is in the process of reorganizing its role in preparation for East Timorese independence next spring. Japanese Defense Agency officials, meanwhile, are using the reorganization as an opportunity to establish a possible role for GSDF troops in the island’s western sector under UNTAET command.

6. Self Defense Force Rescue Operations

The Asahi Shimbun English edition (“57,000 TROOPS EYED FOR TOKAI IF MAJOR QUAKE HITS,” Tokyo, 09/03/01) reported that sources said Saturday that the Ground-Self Defense Force plans to send about 57,000 troops to quake-stricken areas in the first few days after an anticipated major earthquake hits the Tokai region. The plan, which was revealed for the first time, was revised last year after the GSDF was criticized following the Great Hanshin Earthquake in January 1995 for sending in troops too late to save those trapped under rubble.

The Asahi Shimbun English edition (“FOUR-WAY PARTNERSHIP VITAL TO DISASTER-RELIEF DRILL,” Tokyo, 09/03/01) reported that Toshiyuki Shikata, counselor of the Tokyo metropolitan government and former commanding general of the Northern District Army of the Ground SDF, said in an interview that the SDF could play a major role in disaster relief. Explaining why the Northern District Army conducted an emergency medical drill called ‘Big Rescue’ in Hokkaido in summer 1991, Shikata said, ” First, with the end of the Cold War, the SDF expected its role to become more diverse. It wanted to show what -other than its primary duty: combat-it is capable of. Second, the SDF wanted to narrow the gap between it and residents of Hokkaido. A 40,000-strong SDF is not enough to defend the area as vast as Hokkaido. Back up from local residents is indispensable. Third, there had been real disasters in the area, such as the eruption of Mount Usu and the earthquake off Kushiro, which made it necessary to conduct a disaster drill.” He also objected to the opinion that the SDF is not suitable for the rescue operation because its primary mission is combat. “

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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Tokyo, Japan

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

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

Chunsi Wu: 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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