NAPSNet Daily Report 08 July, 2002

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 08 July, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-08-july-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-ROK Naval Clash
2. PRC on US Taiwan Missile Sales
3. US-Taiwan Missile Transfer
4. Cross-strait Relations
5. Japan-DPRK relations
6. Japan Domestic Politics
7. Japan MOX Fuel Shipment
8. DPRK Asian Athletic Championship
II. Republic of Korea 1. Retraining Facility in ROK
2. Japan’s Position on Naval Clash
3. ROK Opinion of DPRK
4. Naval Skirmish Truth
5. DPRK’s Need to Apologize
III. People’s Republic of China 1. DPRK-ROK Maritime Relations
2. DPRK-US Relations
3. ROK-Japan Relations
4. PRC Views on DPRK-ROK Naval Crash
5. PRC-US Relations
IV. CanKor E-Clipping Service 1. CanKor #91 Monday, 8 July 2002

I. United States

1. DPRK-ROK Naval Clash

Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN GOVT DEFENDS “SUNSHINE POLICY” AFTER SEA BATTLE,” 07/08/02) reported that the office of ROK President Kim Dae-Jung defended his “sunshine policy” of engaging the DPRK in the face of criticism over a deadly inter-Korean sea battle. The opposition Grand National Party (GNP) has stepped up attacks since the clash, saying the policy requires the South to make too many concessions to the DPRK. “This is absolutely not true,” presidential spokeswoman Park Sun-Sook told reporters Monday. “Those who are attributing North Korea’s provocation to the (South Korean) government are misleading the situation and the people.” Park said the sunshine policy “is based on our national power and defense, particularly confidence in our military.” “The sunshine policy should be reviewed as it could allow a military provocation like the battles in the West Sea,” GNP presidential candidate Lee Hoi-Chang told reporters Sunday.

Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN CULTURE MINISTER OFFERS TO QUIT,” 07/08/02) reported that ROK Culture and Tourism Minister Namgung Jin offered to stand down, as President Kim Dae-Jung faced pressure to overhaul his cabinet over last month’s inter-Korean sea battle. Namgung, who has sent his resignation to Kim, is to run in a parliamentary by-election on August 8, the president’s office said. The minister’s action bolstered speculation of an imminent cabinet reshuffle. But presidential spokeswoman Park Sun-Sook said: “Nothing has been decided yet on the scale and timing of a reshffule.” Opposition parties have demanded the sacking of Defense Minister Kim Dong-Shin for mishandling the June 29 clash in the Yellow Sea between the ROK and DPRK navies. The clash has taken inter-Korean relations to their worst level in more than five years. The ROK has put government-level talks with the DPRK on hold.

Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA MILITARY ADMITS MISHANDLING SEA BATTLE,” 07/07/02) reported that the ROK navy admitted it mishandled a deadly inter-Korean sea clash last week but rejected the DPRK’s accusations that it provoked the skirmish. The defense ministry on Sunday said an incorrect report by field commanders led to the slow response by navy ships which came under threat from DPRK missiles in the Yellow Sea. The June 29 battle caused nationwide anger over the deaths of four sailors, with one still missing and 19 wounded, many seriously. “The initial report on casualties was late and incorrect,” said Rear Admiral Bae Sang-Gi, who headed a defence ministry probe into the second clash in the zone in three years. The navy failed to respond quickly to the DPRK’s incursion, due to incorrect information that the attack did only minor damage to South Korean vessels without any deaths, he said.

2. PRC on US Taiwan Missile Sales

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA CONDEMNS POSSIBLE US MISSILE SALES TO TAIWAN,” 07/05/02) reported that the PRC slammed the possible sale of advanced US-built air-to-air missiles to Taiwan, while stoutly defending the development of its own sophisticated new weaponry. “We firmly oppose any country interfering in China’s internal affairs, or selling weapons to Taiwan under any excuse,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman in Beijing said Friday. “China has made solemn representations many times to the US side over the provision of US weapons to Taiwan.” The spokeswoman said that it hoped the US would end arms sales “in order to avoid damage to the common interests of the two countries (China and the United States) and the Sino-American relationship.” A US defense official said that the US was considering delivering 120 AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to Taiwan. The planned sale of the missiles follows indications that the PRC is on the verge of significantly upgrading its aerial firepower, Pentagon spokesman Major Jay Steuck stated. “US policy requires that these missiles not be released to Taiwan unless there is evidence that China has similar missiles as part of its operational inventory,” he said. But the PRC has reserved the right to develop new weapons, while not specifying whether this included tests of an advanced new Russian-designed, air-to-air missile, as reported this week.

3. US-Taiwan Missile Transfer

Reuters (Jim Wolf, “U.S. MULLS MISSILE TRANSFER TO TAIWAN,” Washington, 07/05/02) reported that the Bush administration may let Taiwan take delivery of advanced air-to-air missiles originally sold on condition they not be delivered straight away for fear of triggering a regional arms race, the Pentagon said on Thursday. At issue is the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, which could be deployed on Taiwan’s U.S.-built F-16 fighter fleet. Taiwan contracted for 120 of the combat-proven missiles in 2000. They are now in production by Raytheon Co. “Our policy is under review,” he added. “No decision has been made” on whether the missiles will be sent. Word of the policy review follows China’s reported testing last week of a similar “fire-and-forget” missile, the AA-12 “Adder” built by Russia. Once fired, such missiles use an active radar on board to guide them independently.

4. Cross-strait Relations

Reuters (Jeremy Page, “CHINA TELLS TAIWAN TO KEEP POLITICS OUT OF TRANSPORT TALKS,” Beijing, 07/05/02) reported that PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen urged Taiwan on Friday not to let politics interfere with talks on opening direct trade and transport links with the mainland in the latest of several overtures to the self-ruled island. The PRC also stated that it would allow PRC banks to do direct remittance business with Taiwan counterparts rather than send money via banks elsewhere, bank officials said. Lifting the decades-old ban was “basically an economic question and should not be affected or obstructed by political factors,” the PRC’s top Taiwan policy maker told the delegation of 67 business leaders from Taiwan. “As long as you treat the “three links” as an internal matter of one country, they can be implemented as soon as possible, and not relate to the political implications of one China,” he said.

5. Japan-DPRK relations

The Associated Press (Hans Greimel, “JAPANESE ENVOY DEPARTS FOR NORTH KOREA TALKS IN WASHINGTON,” Tokyo, 07/08/02) and Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN SENDS SENIOR DIPLOMAT TO US FOR TALKS ON NORTH KOREA,” 07/08/02) reported that a senior Japanese diplomat left Tokyo for Washington to hold talks over the two nations’ policies toward the DPRK, the Japanese foreign ministry said. Hitoshi Tanaka, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, is due to hold talks with his US counterparts in the wake of a deadly sea clash between the DPRK and ROK on June 29. The meeting was scheduled after the US postponed the dispatch of a delegation to the DPRK due to the naval engagement, said an official with the foreign ministry Monday. “(Tanaka) went to the United States to discuss with American officials about their and our North Korean policies and to coordinate the policies of Japan and the United States,” the official said. “Having seen the firefight in the Yellow Sea and South Korea’s announcement that the incident was carefully planned by North Korea, it has become more important for Japan and the United States to coordinate our North Korean policies and to exchange information,” he added. Japanese diplomats are trying to schedule a meeting between Tanaka and James Kelly, US assistant secretary of state.

6. Japan Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse (“SUPPORT FOR KOIZUMI CABINET EDGES UP TO 44 PERCENT: POLL,” 07/08/02) reported that the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has seen its approval rating go up for the first time since January, when it plummeted over his sacking of his foreign minister, according to a newspaper poll. The rating has risen four percentage points from early June to 44 percent, the Mainichi Shimbun said Monday. The Mainichi poll of 1,043 randomly selected voters nationwide, conducted on Saturday and Sunday, suggested the slide had eased with the disapproval rating falling four points to 36 percent. The newspaper said the slight recovery could be attributed to Koizumi’s appointment of reform-minded individuals to a special panel to reform the Japan Highway Public Corp.

7. Japan MOX Fuel Shipment

The Associated Press (Kozo Mizoguchi, “JAPAN DEFENDS NUCLEAR FUEL DECISION,” Tokyo, 07/05/02) and Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN TO SHIP MOX FUEL TO BRITAIN; PROTESTORS ASK COURT TO STOP TRANSPORT,” 07/04/02) reported that Japan defended its decision Friday to transport nuclear fuel to Britain by sea, denying criticism that the shipment was vulnerable to terrorist attack or could be used for making nuclear weapons. The shipment of 560 pounds of rejected reactor fuel, a mixture of plutonium and uranium known as MOX, left the Japanese port of Takahama on its two-month journey Thursday. The radioactive material was being taken back to its maker in Britain on the Pacific Pintail, a cargo ship armed with deck-mounted machine guns. The route the ship and another armed companion vessel will take, and other security details, have not been made public. “We have done everything necessary to secure the shipment, and we are confident about it,” said Tetsuya Kitajima, a spokesman for Kansai Electric Power Co. The MOX fuel to be transported out of Japan contains 255 kilograms (561 pounds) of “weapons usable plutonium,” Suzuki said.

8. DPRK Asian Athletic Championship

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA TO COMPETE IN ASIAN ATHLETIC CHAMPIONSHIPS,” Colombo, Sri Lanka, 07/08/02) reported that the DPRK has confirmed it will participate in the Asian Athletic Championships to be held in the Sri Lankan capital in August, the president of the organizing committee said Monday. “We have confirmation that three North Korean athletes and one official will be here,” said Sunil Jayaweera. He said 35 countries, including top sporting nations such as the PRC, Japan and the ROK, have confirmed they join the August 9-12 track and field meet.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Retraining Facility in ROK

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “SEOUL TO OPEN 2ND DEFECTOR RETRAINING FACILITY,” Seoul, 07/08/02) reported that the ROK will establish a second reception facility for DPRK defectors in Seongnam, Gyeonggi province, to accommodate expected growth in the number of defectors settling here. The new accommodation, now the Saemaul Training Center building, is in the Bundang area, and will house women and families who came here together. The building at the Saemaul Training Center was constructed in 1972 and was used for the training of the civic movement’s leaders, government officials and students. It can house 570 people. The Unification Ministry official said other changes were also in the works. Hanawon, the present facility, will be three years old on Monday. It is a 7,300-square-meter facility where 240 defectors receive an eight-week-long course to prepare them for life in ROK. The Ministry of Unification’s plan to add a second facility will cost 5.7 billion won (US$4.75 million). Eighty-six defectors arrived here in 1997, 71 in 1999 and 320 in 2001. So far this year, 520 defectors have come.

2. Japan’s Position on Naval Clash

Joongang Ilbo (“KOIZUMI VOWS TO MAKE EFFORT TO NORMALIZE TIES WITH N.K,” Seoul, 07/08/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minster Junichiro Koizumi said Monday he would still work to normalize ties with DPRK in the wake inter-Korean naval clash at the Yellow Sea. “We will be consistent in persuading the North that it is desirable to cooperate with international society for the stability of the region,” Koizumi said. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda commented the report from ROK did not specify the exact term of the surprise attack and added that the ROK government would continue collecting more information on this part. Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is sending Director-General of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Hitoshi Tanaka to US to exchange opinions on the issues related to the inter-Korean naval clash and delay of DPRK-US dialogue, reported Kyodo News Agency the same day.

3. ROK Opinion of DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Hong Yeong-lim, “MOST PEOPLE BLAME NK FOR WEST SEA CLASH,” Seoul, 07/08/02) reported that most ROK people consider the West Sea skirmish between DPRK and ROK as a premeditated provocation by DPRK and think the sunshine policy should be used with a toughened security policy according to a Chosun Ilbo/Gallup Korea telephone poll of 1,011 adults nationwide on July 6. Some 70% of respondents called the clash a premeditated provocation, while 20.2%, said it was an accidental clash between the two Korea’s navies. A total of 59.1% said the sunshine policy should continue but with a tougher security stance based on DPRK’s response, whereas 15.8% said a harder line needed to be taken instead. Some 16.2% thought the sunshine policy should remain at the same level as now, while 8.9% insisted the government should increase aid to DPRK. In relation to the Mount Kumgang tours, 59.3% said trips should be halted until DPRK apologizes and promises non-recurrence, nearly doubled the 32.2% who said they should continue so as to ease tension.

4. Naval Skirmish Truth

The Korea Herald (“MILITARY ACKNOWLEDGES COMMUNICATIONS BLUNDER,” Seoul, 09/08/02) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry acknowledged Sunday that a communications blunder at the height of the naval clash with DPRK made the ROK navy underrate the damage suffered by ROK’s speedboat, causing it to hold back from further attacks on the retreating DPRK boats. Announcing the results of a three-day initial inquiry into the gun battle, the ministry reconfirmed that the skirmish was intentionally provoked by the DPRK. Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin briefed President Kim Dae-jung on the investigation result Saturday. The investigation found that Rear Adm. Chung Byung-chil, commander of the Second Navy Fleet, was misinformed of the scope of damage until 11:25 a.m., 29 minutes after the battle ended at 10:56 a.m.

5. DPRK’s Need to Apologize

The Koreaherald (Kim Ji-ho, “NK CALLS FOR US TO APOLOGIZE, ADMITS IT SUFFERED CASUALTIES,” Seoul, 07/08/02) reported that the DPRK has demanded that US apologize for the recent inter-Korean fatal clash in the West Sea, renewing its claim that US “orchestrated” the battle. “The United States is well advised to … make an apology for its backstage manipulation of the incident, instead of letting Rumsfeld and other officials be busy with anti-DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) diatribe,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Friday. The KCNA report was responding to the remarks made by US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and State Department spokesman Richard Boucher last week, which described the naval skirmish as “the North’s provocation” and a “breach of the armistice agreement.” In the report, DPRK also acknowledged that its navy suffered casualties during the naval firefight, in which at least four ROK sailors were killed. It was the first time the DPRK admitted to having suffered casualties in the incident.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. DPRK-ROK Maritime Relations

China Daily (“KOREAN SCRAPS AID OFFER,” Seoul, 07/04/02, P11) reported that the ROK shelved plans on July 3 to give the DPRK rice and help launch a mobile phone service, both part consequences of the recent naval skirmish. ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s government has said it remains committed to its “sunshine policy” of engaging the DPRK, but Kim used uncharacteristically stern works toward the DPRK about the weekend clash and an aide said public opinion was hardening, said the report.

People’s Daily (Zhao Jiaming, “DPRK: NORTHERN BOUNDARY LINE ILLEGAL,” Pyongyang, 07/03/02, P3) reported that a spokesman for DPRK Foreign Ministry reiterated on July 1 that the Northern Boundary Line is not mentioned in the armistice agreement and it is a bogus line illegally drawn by the US as it placed in the territorial waters of the DPRK side without any agreement after signing the armistice agreement. The spokesman expressed that DPRK will firmly safeguard its sovereignty, the report said.

China Daily (“DPRK BLAMES US FOR SEA CLASH,” Pyongyang, 07/03/02, P12) reported that the DPRK is blaming the US for the armed clash on June 29 on the Yellow Sea between warships from the DPRK and ROK and has reaffirmed the illegality of the “northern boundary line.” In an interview with the Korean Central News Agency on July 1, a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman accused the US of putting new obstacles in the way of the inter-Korean relationship. The US, which has supreme command over the ROK forces, cannot shirk responsibility for the intrusion and provocation by ROK warships, the spokesman said. The DPRK also blamed the ROK for causing the armed clash, claiming that the ROK fleet and more than 10 fishing boats intruded into the territorial waters of the DPRK, to the Southwest of Yonpyong Island in the Yellow Sea, and fired at the DPRK’s People’s navy, which was on a regular guard mission.

2. DPRK-US Relations

People’s Daily (Yan Feng, “US WITHDRAWS DIALOGUE OFFER TO DPRK,” Washington, 07/04/02, P3) reported that a spokesman for US State Department Richard Boucher said on July 2 that the US has decided to withdraw an offer provided to the DPRK last week for resumption of high-level dialogues between the two sides. According to him, the report said, the decision was made because of a lack of response from the DPRK and a sea clash between the DPRK and the ROK on Saturday. However, the report said, Boucher stated that the US still wants to maintain contacts with the DPRK on the basis of the policy that US President expressed last June.

3. ROK-Japan Relations

People’s Daily (Wang Linchang, “JAPAN, ROK AGREE TO EXPAND EXCHANGES,” Seoul, 07/02/02, P3) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held talks with ROK President Kim Dae-jung, who was watching finals of the World Cup soccer tournament in Japan, on July 1. The report said that the two leaders agreed that their countries should further develop bilateral relations on the basis of the successful co-host of the World Cup. At the meeting, the report said Kim vowed to push ahead with his “sunshine policy” of engaging DPRK despite the latest incident, and Koizumi expressed his support for the ROK leader’s position. It reported that the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of the close cooperation among Japan, the US and ROK and the maintaining of dialogues with the DPRK. After the summit talks, the report said, Kim and Koizumi issued a joint statement pledging their countries’ combined efforts to promote cooperative relations on the basis of their friendship, seen as enhanced by the shared hosting of the soccer tournament.

4. PRC Views on DPRK-ROK Naval Crash

People’s Daily (“CHINA CONCERNS EXCHANGE OF FIRE BETWEEN DPRK AND ROK,” Beijing, 06/30/02, P2) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said on June 29 that the PRC is concerned about the exchange of fire between the DPRK and the ROK in the Yellow Sea on the morning of June 29. He said, “We’ve taken note of relevant reports,” expressing concern over the exchange of fire between the two sides in the Yellow Sea. The overall situation on the Korean Peninsula tends to ease and the north and south sides are taking measures to improve their relations, Liu said. The PRC hopes that relevant parties would make efforts to safeguard stability on the peninsula, Liu said.

5. PRC-US Relations

People’s Daily (Shi Xiaohui, “US DONATES FOR CHINA’S FLOOD VICTIMS,” 07/03/02, P7) reported that US Ambassador to the PRC, Clark T. Randt, on behalf of the US government gave the PRC 300,000 US dollars on July 2 to aid flood victims. It said that the American Red Cross recently also donated 100,000 US dollars to the PRC’s flood-ravaged areas.

China Daily (“DEFENSE TIES TO BE ENHANCE,” 06/28/02, P1) reported that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian said on June 27 in Beijing that the PRC is ready to work with the US to improve military relations. The report said he was speaking during a meeting with Peter W. Rodman, assistant secretary of the US defense department. Sino-US military relations have had their ups and downs over the past two years and Chi said that the US should take full responsibility for the twists and turns in bilateral ties. Chi said that the PRC military values its relations with its US counterpart. He added that contact over the past two decades between the two armed forces has promoted mutual understanding, reduced differences and mistrust, improved friendship, and pushed forward relations between the two countries.

IV. CanKor E-Clipping Service

1. CanKor #91 Monday, 8 July 2002

Canada’s new relationship with the DPRK was given prominence in the past two weeks. DPRK ambassador to Canada Pak Gil Yon presented his credentials to Governor General Adrienne Clarkson on 24 June, and participated in a reception hosted by the Canada-DPR Korea Association in Ottawa. In the same week, a Canadian delegation visited the DPRK and participated in Canada Day celebrations in Pyongyang on 1 July. The articles featured in CanKor may be accessed at the following website: http://www.pcaps.iar.ubc.ca/pubs.htm You may also subscribe directly to the CanKor e-mail service by writing to the CanKor team (Editor: Erich Weingartner; Assistant Editor: Miranda Weingartner; Research: Marion Current, Ihor Michalishyn) at CanKor2000@cs.com.

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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