NAPSNet Daily Report 09 April, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 09 April, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 09, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-09-april-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. New DPRK Budget and Policy Guidelines
2. DPRK Missile Exports
3. US-ROK View of DPRK Threat
4. ROK Protest Japanese Textbooks
5. US-PRC Plane Collision
6. Effect of Collision on Sino-US Relations
7. PRC Military Role in Spy Plane Standoff
8. Popular PRC Sentiments About Standoff
9. Analysis of US-PRC Standoff
10. Underground PRC Nuclear Tests
11. Taiwan’s View of Plane Collision
12. Dalai Lama Visits Taiwan
13. Japanese Prime Minister Resigns
II. Republic of Korea 1. PRC Official’s Visit to ROK
2. DPRK Parliamentary Session
3. DPRK Broadcast towards ROK
4. DPRK Relations with US
5. DPRK Human Rights
6. Aid to DPRK
III. Japan 1. Japanese Reaction to US-PRC Collision
2. Japanese-PRC Relations
3. Japanese Constitution
4. History Textbook
5. Prime Minister’s Resignation

I. United States

1. New DPRK Budget and Policy Guidelines

Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “N. KOREA SEEKS DIPLOMATIC TIES” Seoul, 4/5/01) reported that the DPRK parliament on April 5 adopted a new budget and policy guidelines that emphasized resolving its food problem and boosting trade and diplomatic relations with the outside world. DPRK Premier Hong Song Nam told the parliament that the country will continue its cautious attempt to improve ties with Western countries, a move essential to win badly needed outside aid. Hong said Hong in his parliamentary speech, “The (North) will expand and develop relations with all those countries which are friendly to our country.” Hundreds of deputies to Supreme People’s Assembly adopted the policies as their leader, Kim Jong-il, viewed the session in DPRK’s Mansudae Assembly Hall. The newly adopted policy guidelines indicated that the DPRK will continue to woo foreign aid and investment. Hong was quoted as saying by the DPRK’s official foreign news outlet, KCNA, “The most urgent task facing the Cabinet this year is to improve the standard of the people’s living. Every effort should be exerted to develop agriculture to resolve the food problem of the people.” He added that the DPRK needed to develop foreign trade and “decisively” expand its export. The 687- member parliament later enacted laws on trade and copyrights.

2. DPRK Missile Exports

The Associate Press (“N KOREA HAS EXPORTED 540 MISSILES TO MIDEAST,” 4/6/01) reported that Lee Jae-wook, a research fellow at the Korean Institute for Defense Analyses, in a report published on April 6, said the DPRK has exported at least 540 missiles to Libya, Iran and other Middle East countries since 1985. The latest customers of the DPRK missiles included Libya, which bought 50 Rodong-1 missiles with a 1,000- kilometer range. The report said the DPRK sold the Rodong missiles for US$7 million apiece. Lee based his report on data he has acquired from the ROK Defense Ministry and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. Lee said the DPRK has also sold 490 Scud-type missiles to Iran, Iraq and Egypt for US$2 million apiece since 1998. The DPRK can annually produce 60 Scud missiles, which can fly up to 500 kilometers. Lee said n 1998, the DPRK deployed seven Rodong missiles that can reach all of ROK and most of Japan. He also said, “North Korea’s development and deployment of missiles poses a threat to the stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Thus, the government must make diplomatic efforts as well as military countermeasures against North Korea’s missile threats.”

3. US-ROK View of DPRK Threat

Korea Times (Kim Kwang-tae, “SEOUL, WASHINGTON DIFFER ON NK MILITARY THREAT,” 4/9/01) reported that the channel of consultation and coordination between the ROK Defense Ministry and the US forces in the ROK is apparently showing signs of weakening, as it is alleged to be the cause of different assessments of the present threat that the DPRK poses. According to sources at the National Assembly on April 8, former ROK defense minister Cho Seong-tae had been told in advance of a plan by a top US general stationed in the ROK to report to US Congress his assessment of a growing DPRK threat despite the ROK’s reconciliation and cooperation effort, but he either did not or could not do anything to reconcile it with the ROK’s more benign assessment. The anonymous Assembly official said, “New Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin told the behind-the-door Assembly session that his predecessor Cho was informed of Schwartz’s plan ahead of his Senate testimony but either didn’t do anything or his effort to synchronize their different views was not successful.” General Thomas Schwartz, commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC), recently told the US Senate that the DPRK military was “bigger, better, closer and deadlier, with its armed forces training at a higher level while it continued to sell missiles abroad.” The US general’s remarks came on the heels of the ROK-US summit in which US President George W. Bush expressed skepticism about DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and precluded the possibility of an immediate resumption of talks with Pyongyang. Schwartz’s assessment also has reinforced Bush’s hard-line stance, running counter to the ROK military’s view that the DPRK armed threat is either the same as last year or has been reduced. His testimony has spawned speculation that the two allies are diverging on their views on the DPRK. Cho denied that Schwartz had consulted him in advance. The ROK Defense Ministry commented that the two do not necessarily have to fine-tune and synchronize their views, even if they are allies. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

4. ROK Protest Japanese Textbooks

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREA RECALLS AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN OVER TEXTBOOK ROW,” Seoul, 4/9/01) reported that the ROK said Monday it was recalling its ambassador to Japan in protest at Japan’s decision to approve school history textbooks which gloss over Japanese wartime abuses. ROK foreign ministry spokesman Kim Eui-Taek said ROK Ambassador Choi Sang-Ryong had been ordered to return home by Tuesday. The move was the toughest diplomatic action against Japan yet by the government of ROK President Kim Dae-Jung. Tensions rose after the Japanese government last week approved textbooks which avoid mention of Japan’s pre-World War II invasion of neighbors and Japanese troops’ use of sex slaves. ROK lawmakers on Monday called off an annual gathering with their Japanese counterparts, and protestors in Seoul and the southern port of Pusan burned a Japanese effigy in street rallies. A four-member delegation of ROK deputies led by Park Sang-Cheon of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party would visit Japan on Tuesday and Wednesday to file a complaint. Officials at the union said the ROK team is scheduled to meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, education ministry officials and parliament members during the two-day protest visit. The GNP has also called for a boycott of Japanese goods in protest to the school books. The PRC, Taiwan and the DPRK have also condemned the approval of the books intended for junior high school students.

5. US-PRC Plane Collision

The New York Times (Craig S. Smith, “U.S. AND CHINA LOOK FOR A WAY TO SAY ‘SORRY’,” Haikou, 4/9/01) and the Wall Street Journal (Neil King Jr. and Peter Wonacott, “U.S. SEES ‘INTENSE DIPLOMACY’ AS SOLUTION TO STANDOFF WITH CHINA ON CREW RELEASE,” Washington and Hainan, 4/9/01) reported that while officials in both the US and the PRC want the US crew of the US Navy surveillance plane which collided with a PRC fighter jet released as soon as possible, that will not happen until the two sides come up with sentences in English and Chinese that are close enough to be considered a single statement about how the US regards the incident yet distant enough to allow subtly different interpretations in each country. The sticking point is the PRC public’s demand for an apology or “dao qian” in Chinese. The problem began two days after the collision when the PRC Foreign Ministry condemned the actions of the US “spy plane” and demanded an apology from the US. US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, and later US President George W. Bush, made finessing the situation doubly more difficult by declaring that the US had no apology to give. Though Powell used the word “sorry” for the first time on Monday, the US has stuck mostly to expressions of “regret” for the incident. The word was translated as “yihan” in Chinese, a term that carries no acknowledgment of guilt. Linguistic ambiguities already cloud China’s view of the United States. Many Chinese, for instance, are wary of stated US strategic policy of “deterrence.” While that conveys a prudent defensive posture in English, the Chinese translation, “weishe,” carries the connotation of threats, coercion and bullying that reinforces PRC’s oft- repeated characterization of the US as a hegemonic power. In the case of the spy plane collision, the question is how much time it will take before the PRC comes up with an acceptable statement to describe the accident. The PRC is pressing hard to fix its position in the current problem. Chinese linguists say the way out may rest on a consonant: the US could use the term “bao qian,” a more apologetic term than “yihan” but less rigid than “dao qian.” According to the “Modern Chinese Dictionary,” compiled by the Chinese Academy of Social Science’s language institute in 1985, “yihan” refers to “internal remorse.” A person on his deathbed, for instance, would use the word to say he had no regrets. The dictionary also notes that in diplomatic documents “yihan” is usually used to express discontent. “Bao,” means “to hold” and refers to the traditional Chinese gesture of apology in which a person clasps his hands in front of his face and bows slightly. “Dao,” in the more formal “dao qian,” is a classical Chinese word that means “to say.” “Qian” means “sorry.” The retired PRC Foreign Ministry translator in Beijing said, “‘Bao qian,’ which can still be translated in English as ‘regret,’ is much better, because it’s a vernacular expression of apology.” There are still other possibilities that are less apologetic than “bao qian,” yet more heartfelt than “yihan.” However, Mao’s former interpreter said, “The point is to avoid repeating the word ‘yihan,’ ” which has already been seen as falling short by the Chinese.” [Ed. note: Both articles were included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

Agence France Presse (“US DIPLOMATS LEAVE FOR FOURTH MEETING WITH CREW IN CHINA,” Haikou, 4/9/01) and Reuters (“U.S. DIPLOMATS MAKE FOURTH VISIT TO SPY PLANE CREW,” Haikou, 4/9/01) reported that US military attache Brigadier General Neal Sealock and consular official Ted on Monday left their hotel on the island of Hainan to hold a fourth meeting with the crew of a US spy plane being held by the PRC military. A US official said the pair would only be meeting with the crew and that a preliminary meeting with PRC officials to set the ground rules had been abandoned. US diplomats have so far held three meetings with members of the 24 crew of an EP-3 surveillance plane who have been detained in Hainan. At the last meeting in the early hours of Sunday morning US diplomats were only allowed to see eight members of the crew.

6. Effect of Collision on Sino-US Relations

Washington Post (Steven Mufson and Vernon Loeb, “U.S. WARNS OF DAMAGED RELATIONS WITH CHINA,” 4/9/01) reported that US Vice President Cheney and US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on April 8 again rejected PRC demands that the US apologize for the collision of a US Navy surveillance plane and a PRC fighter jet, and warned that the PRC delays in returning the US Navy plane’s 24 crew members risked long-term damage to relations between the two nations. However, Powell expressed “sorrow” about the disappearance of the PRC pilot and at Camp David, US President Bush and his aides prepared a letter of sympathy to the pilot’s wife. Privately, US administration officials said they are concerned that the standoff could continue for several more days, if not longer. On a television news program Sunday, Cheney said, “Every day that goes by without having it resolved raises the risks to the long- term relationship.” Meanwhile, Powell said on another show, “The relationship is being damaged. The damage can be undone, but in order for the damage to be undone and no further damage to occur, we’ve got to bring this matter to a close as soon as possible.” Powell expressed guarded optimism that “intense diplomatic discussions” would soon resolve the standoff. He said “some progress” had been made but not as much as he had hoped. Negotiations continue to be handled mainly by Powell, his deputy Richard L. Armitage and the US ambassador to the PRC, Joseph W. Prueher. A senior US State Department official said Prueher was expected to meet with a PRC foreign ministry official on Monday, but no definite meeting was set. Meanwhile, there were signs that the standoff over the US Navy plane’s crew was eroding support in US Congress for stronger US-PRC ties. Senators Richard C. Shelby (Republican – Alabama), chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and John W. Warner (Republican – Virgina), chairman of the Armed Service Committee, said the continued detention of the US crew would force them to reconsider support for legislation renewing the PRC’s normal trade relations status. The Senate will consider the legislation in June. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

The New York Times (Jane Perlez, “POWELL WARNS OF DAMAGE TO TIES AS CRISIS DRAGS ON,” WAshington, 4/9/01) reported that the US Bush administration warned the PRC on Monday that its relationship with the US was already being hurt and that it risked further harm with every day that the crew of the US spy plane remained in detention. In coordinated and nuanced words, US national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and US Vice President Dick Cheney offered similar assessments on the negative impact of a continued impasse during appearances on April 8 television talk shows. Cheny said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ “I don’t want to put a timetable on it. I think we’re clearly in a situation, and I hope the Chinese understand this as well, too, that every day that goes by without having it resolved raises the risk to the long-term relationship. There are clearly significant interests on the part of both nations of getting this resolved and not have a lasting impact, and we’re working hard to try to achieve that.” A senior US State Department official said two meetings between US ambassador to the PRC, Admiral Joseph W. Prueher and the PRC Foreign Ministry on Monday were “productive” and had brought the situation “closer to resolution.” The official said in the last several days, many of the details to a solution had been worked out between the two sides – which could eventually be outlined in a statement by the US – but the few remaining issues were proving “very difficult.” A former American ambassador to the PRC, J. Stapleton Roy, who is now a member of Kissinger Associates, the consulting firm headed by former US Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, said the Bush administration might consider a limited apology dealing with the US plane’s emergency landing on the PRC territory. Roy said he would advise against a more general apology but said it was vital that the two sides not get boxed in with hardened positions. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

7. PRC Military Role in Spy Plane Standoff

Wall Street Journal (Charles Hutzler, “CHINA’S SLIMMED-DOWN MILITARY TAKES THE LEAD IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS,” Beijing, 4/9/01) reported that recent reforms to streamline and scale down the PRC military are paying an unexpected dividend to the armed forces: a stronger voice in foreign policy, evidenced by a pivotal role in the dispute over the downed US reconnaissance plane. After 20 years of effort in creating a professional army by first stripping it of administrative duties and finally, three years ago, of its commercial operations, the PRC military’s scope has shrunk, but its clout has increased. Thanks to the reforms, the PRC military today enjoys bigger defense budgets, wields a more credible deterrent and speaks with greater authority in the councils of power on defense policy and foreign affairs. James Mulvenon, a PRC military analyst with Rand Corporation said, “The PLA has gone from being a mile wide and an inch deep in influence, to being a mile deep and an inch wide. Its direct intervention has narrowed [to defense and foreign-policy issues.]” That renewed influence has been on display in the messy aftermath of the April 1 midair collision. The military’s authority in the recent spy-plane dispute underscores its growing clout in widening areas of politics and diplomacy. Chu Shulong, an analyst at the Chinese Institute for Contemporary International Relations, said, “The military wants to make its influence felt in those matters because it feels that it has a responsibility to do something.” Michael Swaine of Rand says a dangerous increase in tensions puts the military in a tough spot. He said, “They aren’t strong enough to deliver if China had to employ force.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

8. Popular PRC Sentiments About Standoff

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, “ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT ON THE UPSWING IN CHINA,” Beijing, 4/9/01) reported that there is a growing anti-American sentiment in the PRC where the US is seen displaying hegemonic behavior that is more similar to being the world’s biggest criminal rather than the world’s policeman. After several days of relatively low-key reporting, the PRC’s state-run media have been allowed to issue detailed reports on the missing PRC pilot, Wang Wei, his wife’s emotional letter to US President George W. Bush and other twists in the story, stirring the emotions of anti-Americanism. Almost every major paper was allowed to publish its own commentary on the case today. The military’s newspaper opined that the PRC had the right to investigate the US crew, intimating that charges could be brought. The Guangming Daily wrote about the fiery anger of PRC students. A commentary in Monday’s People’s Daily titled “Don’t Quibble With the Facts” said, “On this planet only the stuck-up United States is this rude and unreasonable.” The current “down with America” campaign serves as an important reminder that, although the PRC is becoming a more open society, when it comes to international issues, PRC people generally muffle their skepticism and toe the government’s line. On the whole, the anti-Americanism is deeply emotional, born of what the Chinese say has been 150 years of indignities at the hands of the West. Richard Baum, a political scientist from the University of California at Los Angeles, noted, “Nationalism is a good salve for a society that is confused about where it is going and is confronted by enormous challenges. It provides many Chinese with a shelter in the storm. This is a textbook case of the uses of nationalism.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

9. Analysis of US-PRC Standoff

Los Angeles Times (Robin Wright, “FOR U.S. AND CHINA, THE LOOKING GLASS YIELDS DISPARATE VIEWS OF ACCIDENT,” Washington, 4/8/01) reported that the standoff between the PRC and the US has as much to do with disparate cultures and histories as with spy craft and modern aviation. As a result, psychology is proving as important as diplomacy in crafting a resolution to the drama. According to PRC experts and former US officials, the stakes are higher than they might appear. The outcome may well determine whether the budding era of globalization has matured enough to avoid the “clash of civilizations” expected by some experts, or whether this kind of run-in, exacerbated by different self-images and world views, will recur among diverse societies for years to come. Douglas Paal, president of the Asia Pacific Policy Center in Washington and a National Security Council staffer during the Reagan and first Bush administrations, said, “Life in America is a new story, while in China, life is part of a long-running tale. So for us, the act of bumping into someone is an act of the moment. For the Chinese, bumping into someone is bumping into all that went before him. And that’s a long time.” Min Xin Pei, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, said, “Americans are forward-looking. They don’t get hung up on historical events, and the collective memory is short. But for China, the glory lies in the past. That’s why, when they look at a major international incident, they conjure up ghosts of the past that appear to be haunting, distressing and reminiscent of a time when China suffered quite brutally at the hands of foreign powers.” Kenneth Lieberthal, the National Security Council staff director on Asia during the Clinton administration and now a University of Michigan political scientist, noted that although China was never fully colonized, it was divided into different spheres of influence with enclaves subject to foreign laws, not Chinese laws. Lieberthal said, “During that same period, the United States went from being an agricultural country that meant nothing in the world to a superpower.” Lieberthal said the US views its actions through the prism of legality and culpability, but the PRC views the incident through a prism that places less emphasis on legality. He added, “[The US] may have a legal right [to dispatch spy planes on the PRC], but it still rankles morally. This reflects China’s legacy. In Confucian society, people rule by virtue and by being morally superior. The struggle of modern China is to regain dignity and respect internationally, so they tend to be very sensitive if they perceive that they’re being treated as second class.” Experts also said that the countries’ contrasting styles have caused a clash at the tactical level as well. Pei said, “When Americans see an accident, they want to get a tow truck and deal with it, and leave talk for later. The Chinese are more patient. What they’re doing is not intentionally hostile to the United States. They want to see who is at fault and not let anyone leave the scene, so they can sit down and talk about it. The Chinese view is: What’s the hurry? We have to sort it out completely before anyone leaves.” Differing world views also color each country’s assessment of the stakes involved in the standoff. According to Bates Gill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, for the US, the perceived danger is to future relations, particularly the rapidly growing trade relationship. However, Bates added, the PRC is more fixated on past US actions, which the PRC sees as precursors to last week’s incident. Gill said, “This all comes at a time when no one is lining up behind China to follow its ideas or leadership. Its leaders are in a weak position, and the party is losing legitimacy. That adds to the frustration in China–to have national pride and . . . legitimate concerns but knowing there’s not a whole lot they can do about it.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

10. Underground PRC Nuclear Tests

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “SPY PHOTOS SHOW BEIJING SET FOR UNDERGROUND TEST,” 4/9/01) reported that The Washington Times has learned that the PRC is preparing to conduct a small, underground nuclear test. US intelligence officials said the EP-3E surveillance aircraft that collided with a PRC interceptor jet on April 1 was gathering electronic intelligence related to the impending test, along with other intelligence targets. The test preparations were detected two weeks ago at the PRC’s top Lop Nur testing facility in western Xinjiang province. They were based on US spy satellite photographs that showed activity related to nuclear testing at one location of the testing site. One official said the underground blast could be another in a series of “subcritical” nuclear tests – small explosions that do not produce an actual nuclear yield but are useful in weapons development and maintenance. However, other officials familiar with intelligence reports said the PRC are known to have a covert testing program that relies on small, or low-yield, nuclear explosions. U.S. intelligence officials said suspicions about the secret PRC nuclear testing program were confirmed after agents from the PRC purchased special nuclear containment equipment from Russia several years ago. Although the test preparations were spotted before the showdown between the PRC and the US began, officials did not rule out a connection to the PRC’s stepped-up aggressive harassment of US intelligence and plans for the test. A US defense official said the testing activity at the current time is a sign that PRC President Jiang Zemin may not be fully in control. The official said, “Some say Jiang is a moderate who wants good relations with the United States. If that’s the case, this test during a difficult period with the United States indicates he is not in control of China.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 9, 2001.]

11. Taiwan’s View of Plane Collision

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN TREADS CAUTIOUS LINE IN SUPERPOWERS’ SPY PLANE ROW,” Taipei, 4/8/01) reported that amid the drama between the US and the PRC to solve the spy plane row, Taiwan has taken a highly cautious line. Local media have asked both the PRC and the US to exercise restraint in handling the standoff, caught in delicate position between the PRC and the US. Joseph Wu, deputy director of National Chengchi University’s Institute of International Relations, said, “It seems that the best policy for Taipei is to keep tight-lipped, although the government may really want to voice its moral support to Washington.” The low-key response is intended to not give the PRC anything to be used against the government. Yang Chih-heng, deputy director of the Strategic and International Studies think tank of the Taiwan Research Institute, said, “The new government has been very careful not to enrage Beijing since President Chen Shui-bian took power last year.” The US insisted on April 6 that US arms and equipment sales to Taiwan were not a part of negotiations aimed at resolving the standoff, but the island nonetheless remains nervous.

12. Dalai Lama Visits Taiwan

Agence France Presse (“DALAI LAMA’S TAIWAN TRIP A BID TO SPLIT NATION, SAYS CHINA,” Beijing, 4/9/01) reported that the official PRC state media said on April 8 that the current visit to Taiwan by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is an attempt by pro-independence forces in Taiwan and Tibet to split China. An official commentary published by the Xinhua news agency said Taiwan’s decision to “allow the so-called ‘pure religious visit’ by the Dalai Lama, who has long been engaged in separatist activities, indicated once again that it has no intention of improving cross-Straits relations but, instead, is intending to damage the ties.” The article accused the Dalai Lama of “collaborating with pro-independence forces in Taiwan for a long time.” It said that the Dalai Lama “sent people to Taiwan in pursuit of support for their activities to split the motherland, but the then Taiwan rulers, Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo, insisted on Tibet being part of China and refused to recognize the ‘Tibetan government in exile’.” The commentary continued: “The Taiwan Authorities invited the Dalai Lama to visit the island province to use his ‘reputation’ to improve the ‘international transparency’ of Taiwan, enhance its ‘international status,’ and increase its ‘international impact’ and ‘living space’ in order to win support from the international community for its own separatist activities.”

13. Japanese Prime Minister Resigns

Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, “JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER TO RESIGN,” Tokyo, 4/6/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori told his Cabinet on April 6 that he would step down. Mori, under fire for months over verbal gaffes and missteps, had been long expected to quit. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is planning to hold a leadership election later this month to choose a successor. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda quoted Mori as telling the Cabinet, “I made up my mind to resign because I think it is necessary to tackle mounting issues both at home and abroad under a new administration.” The apparent front-runner to replace Mori is former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, who served from 1996 to 1998. Hashimoto heads the LDP’s largest faction and reportedly has the support of two other factions.

II. Republic of Korea

1. PRC Official’s Visit to ROK

The Korea Herald (“CHINA’S RANKING OFFICIAL TO VISIT SEOUL,” Seoul, 04/09/01) reported that a high-ranking official of the PRC’s Communist Party in charge of foreign affairs was to arrive in Seoul Monday for a four-day visit. Dai Bingguo, head of the International Liaison Department of the party, will meet President Kim Dae-jung, Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo, leaders of the ruling and opposition parties, and other government officials to discuss a range of issues such as the DPRK, Northeast Asian security, and the bilateral relationship between the ROK and the PRC.

2. DPRK Parliamentary Session

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K.’S PARLIAMENT URGES OPENNESS, ‘SELF- STYLED’ REFORM,” Seoul, 04/09/01) and Chosun Ilbo (Seo Soo-min, “NK HINTS AT GREATER COOPERATION WITH INT’L AGENCIES AT ASSEMBLY MEETING,” Seoul, 04/06/01) reported that the DPRK, which in its parliamentary meeting on Thursday fell short of ROK expectations that it would conduct a sweeping revision of laws to facilitate an open-door policy, appears to be pursuing a limited policy of diplomatic and economic reforms, ROK government officials and analysts said. DPRK Premier Hong Song-nam said in the annual parliamentary session that the DPRK would “expand and develop” relations with foreign countries. In his Supreme People’s Assembly speech, Hong also placed significance on rebuilding the nation’s economy. “But the North failed to make any major announcements indicating its readiness for reform and openness, and stuck to its present ideology and systems,” said Shin Eon-sang, director-general for the ROK Unification Ministry’s Information Analysis Bureau.

The Korea Herald (“N.K. OPENS 4TH SPA CONGRESS,” Seoul, 04/05/01) reported that the DPRK opened the fourth congress of the 10th Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) in Pyongyang on Thursday. DPRK watchers in the ROK said that the deputies were expected to deal with the state budget, pass bills and elect ranking officials during the session. The SPA may also adopt some measures to renovate the DPRK’s economic system and to take an open-door policy, the analysts added.

3. DPRK Broadcast towards ROK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim In-Ku, “NK BROADCAST URGES STUDENTS TO FIGHT AMERICANS,” Berlin, 04/08/01) reported that the Pyongyang Central News Agency broadcast an interview with Ko Sang-moon, a former high school teacher who was kidnapped by the DPRK while on an overseas trip, saying that Korean students should fight against Americans in the ROK. According to Yonhap News Agency, Ko stated, “Americans are disguised beasts and the imperialistic intention of the US will doom Korea.” Ko went on to urge ROK students to “break out from the US influence by driving Americans out of Korea and by increasing anti-US protests.” The Pyongyang Central News Agency falsely introduced Ko as a former head researcher at one of the institutions under the UN Economic and Social Council.

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “NORTH KOREA RESUMES MEDIA ATTACKS ON SEOUL,” Seoul, 04/05/01) reported that the DPRK has begun to target the ROK in its propaganda campaigns, which were recently focused on the US. After it denounced ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin Saturday as a “warmonger” who supports military ties with the US, the DPRK’s state media and government officials have since made a string of comments criticizing the ROK. The DPRK’s Korean Central TV (KCTV), in a commentary monitored on Tuesday, criticized the ROK’s military authorities for “conspiring with the United States in their war exercises for an invasion of the North.” The broadcast was referring to the ROK-US joint military drill last week, dubbed “Crisis Action Team.” The KCTV said that the ROK’s participation in the exercise is a “betrayal” that runs counter to the reconciliation agreement reached between the leaders of the two Koreas during their summit last June.

4. DPRK Relations with US

Joongang Ilbo (“PYONGYANG HINTS IT WISHES TO HOLD TALKS WITH WASHINGTON,” Seoul, 04/09/01) reported that the DPRK stressed that it would not put any efforts into improving relations with the US as long as its counterpart wishes for its nation’s doom and proposes unfavorable pre-conditions for dialogue. The DPRK’s state-T.V. in its special commentary program the “Righteous Voice” featured on Saturday April 7 reported, “We shall never hold talks nor improve relations nor be seated next to those who wish our regime’s downfall and attach some kind of strings for talks.” The broadcast said that the US President George W. Bush administration is out to disarm the nation under the excuse of “verification and review” and went on to comment that “it would be in their wildest dream to believe we would actually abide by their rules.” “North Korea, despite the continued blasting of the United States for several weeks, has been refraining itself from making negative comments directly toward Washington” said one observer in Seoul. He suggested however, “This could be a hint from Pyongyang that it wishes to hold talks with Washington without any prior conditions.”

5. DPRK Human Rights

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, “FREEDOM HOUSE CONDEMNS NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 04/05/01) reported that Freedom House, a Human Rights group headquartered in New York, criticized the DPRK for its human rights situation Thursday at the United Nations Human Rights Committee conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization issued a statement saying, “human rights violations in North Korea are the most serious in the world” and included the DPRK alongside Iraq and Afghanistan as one of 11 countries with the worst human rights records. The statement also harshly commented “despite the collapse of communism, North Korea has shut its people off from the outside world and insisted on totalitarianism.” In addition, it pointed out that there is no room for anti-establishment powers in the DPRK as the authorities keep a close watch over the people and take oppressive measures against dissident groups. Freedom House also added, “in North Korea, even fundamental elements of civil society do not exist, not to mention the rule of law.”

6. Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Yoo Jae-sik, “BEEF FOR NORTH KOREA IS APPROVED, WITH SAFEGUARD AGAINST DIVERSION,” Berlin, 04/06/01) reported that a German official announced Thursday that the country would send 30,000 metric tons of beef to the DPRK. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, made the announcement after a cabinet meeting in the German capital. Germany plans to butcher 400,000 cows in order to revive its ailing beef industry, which has been hit by an outbreak of mad cow disease.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Reaction to US-PRC Collision

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“DEFENSE AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL HOPES FOR SMOOTH RESOLUTION TO COLLISION ACCIDENT,” 04/03/2001) reported that Japanese Defense Agency Director General Toshitsugu Saito said to reporters after the cabinet meeting on April 3 regarding the recent US-PRC midair collision, “Given stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, US-PRC relations are becoming important. I hope that they (the US and the PRC) will smoothly resolve (the accident) while sufficiently communicating with each other.”

The Sankei Shimbun (“NO INFLUENCE ON JAPANESE-US SECURITY RELATIONS,” 04/03/2001) reported that in response to the news of the recent US-PRC midair collision, which included a US EP-3 that departed from the Kadena Base in Okinawa, Japanese Vice Defense Agency Director General Ken Sato stated, “The US forces are acting according to the Japanese-US Security Treaty. The accident will not influence the security relations.”

2. Japanese-PRC Relations The Daily Yomiuri (Kiyoshi Takai, CHINA MEDIA’S JAPAN-BASHING SPREE,” 04/03/2001) carried an essay on the PRC media’s “Japan bashing” by Kiyoshi Takai, professor at the Hokkaido University Graduate School of International Media and Communication, on April 3. Takai pointed out that Japan-PRC relations, which seemed on the verge of improving last autumn when PRC Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Japan, now appear to be increasingly strained again. PRC newspapers are bashing Japan for the government screening of a history textbook for use in middle schools. PRC newspapers vie for readership by churning out Japan- bashing articles on a daily basis. Samples of this daily fare include stories about defects in Japanese automobiles and computers, and allegations that Japan Airlines discriminates against Chinese passengers. The reason that the PRC’s press can get away with these outpourings, Takai argues, is the delay in political reform in the PRC, and the PRC media in particular. PRC papers are locked in a fierce battle for survival, slashing prices and offering gifts to readers. However, since political reforms have been delayed, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are still not guaranteed in the PRC. PRC newspapers resort to lurid anti-Japan and anti-US articles that appeal to the “patriotism” of readers, but escape censure from the propaganda department. PRC newspapers exercise some restraint when it comes to criticizing the US, because the importance of maintaining a certain level of PRC-US relations is recognized not only by government officials, but also by the public. However, it seems to be open season when it comes to anti-Japanese sentiments, which quickly escalate into all-out Japan bashing. Therefore, even if an issue is related solely to a particular Japanese company, it becomes another excuse to lower the boom once again on the Japanese people as a whole. Takai concludes that under such circumstances, if a political problem, such as the textbook screening issue, occurs, friction between the two countries will grow even greater. Takai suggested that in Japan it should be realized that the PRC’s domestic factors play a significant role in the backdrop of friction between Japan and the PRC.

3. Japanese Constitution

The Daily Yomiuri (“POLL: 54% BACK CHANGES TO CONSTITUTION,” 04/05/2001) reported that in the latest Yomiuri Shimbun opinion poll regarding the Constitution, those who said that it should be revised accounted for 54 percent. The report said that the outcome signifies the second-highest number on record for such polls, marking the fourth consecutive year that a majority of respondents have expressed support for revising the Constitution. The poll was conducted at random on 3,000 eligible voters nationwide on March 24 and 25. Of the 3,000, 1,946 responded, with 45 percent of the respondents being males and 55 percent female. Only 28 percent of those surveyed said they were opposed to any constitutional revisions, up two percentage points from the previous year, staying below the 30 percent line for the second straight year. Asked what aspects of the Constitution they were most concerned about, 45 percent of the respondents listed environmental issues, marking an all-time high with an increase of 15 percent points from the previous year. The second highest percent was recorded, at 34 percent, for the issue of the Constitution’s renunciation of war and the issue of the Self-Defense Forces, down three percent points from the previous year.

4. History Textbook

The Daily Yomiuri (“HISTORY TEXTBOOK APPROVED BUT STILL CONTROVERSIAL,” 04/05/2001) reported that members of a group of historians on April 3 defended their new middle school history textbook, which has been criticized by some Asian countries, after the Education, Science and Technology Ministry approved the textbook earlier in the day. At about the same time, citizens’ groups and a national teachers union held separate press conferences at which they questioned ministry criteria for authorizing history textbooks and claimed that approval of the disputed textbook ran the risk of inflaming jingoism among students. The Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, whose members compiled most of the approved draft of the textbook, also held its own press conference at a Tokyo hotel on the same day. The meeting was attended by society head Kanji Nishio and other society members. The group said that they had decided to “give in” to ministry instructions to revise or delete some parts of the draft, albeit unwillingly, because they felt that it was very important to get the book published. The group also said that they did not think the revised version would be significantly different from the original draft. When asked if the draft contained parts that could be offensive to neighboring Asian countries, the society members claimed their work contained no biased descriptions. The members accused “certain media” of picking over the draft while it was still undergoing ministry inspection and deliberately provoking resistance from the PRC and the ROK. The group went on to say that the draft had no “ethnocentric descriptions,” and that they thought the Chinese and Koreans would understand if the contents were discussed in detail. The report added that meanwhile, 12 citizens groups opposed to the ministry’s authorization of the textbook demanded that the textbook be kept away from students. The citizens groups also criticized ministry criteria that have led to authorization of other history textbooks.

5. Prime Minister’s Resignation

The Nihonkeizai Shimbun (“PRIME MINISTER MORI FORMALY ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION,” 04/06/2001) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori formally revealed after the cabinet meeting on April 6 that he is ready to resign. Mori stated, “I thought it necessary to regain political confidence under a new cabinet, and I decided to resign.” The report added that the prime ministerial election will be held on April 24 and that the new cabinet will be formed on April 26.

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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
Monash Asia Institute,
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

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

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.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
Clayton, Australia

 


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