NAPSNet Daily Report 09 July, 2003

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 09 July, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-09-july-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Nuclear Diplomacy
2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Development
3. PRC-ROK Relations
4. US Nuclear Weapons Spending
5. US PRC Espionage Case
6. PRC HIV Protests and Arrests
7. Hong Kong Security Bill Protests
II. Japan 1. Japan’s Role in Iraq Reconstruction
2. SDF Permanent Legislation
3. Lawsuit on Anti-terrorism Law
4. Japan on Iran’s Nuclear Development
5. US Forces in Japan Realignment

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Nuclear Diplomacy

Reuters (“KOREA’S ROH URGES OPEN, NUCLEAR-FREE NORTH,” Beijing, 07/09/03) and Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA LEADER TELLS NORTH KOREA IT WILL GET HELP IF IT DUMPS NUKES,” 07/09/03) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun sought to reassure the DPRK that it would get the support it needs to haul itself into the modern age provided it abandoned a quest for nuclear arms. At the same time, he warned the Stalinist regime that pursuing its nuclear ambitions jeopardized the future of Northeast Asia. “No country should be alienated in Northeast Asia but in the same context, no nation has a right to threaten the security of neighboring states and the stability of the region,” he said in a speech at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University. “It (North Korea) has to choose the path of peace and coexistence with others. No nation in the international community believes that the nuclear project will assure its future. “North Korea must dismantle its nuclear project.” The ROK and the PRC said in a joint statement issued late Tuesday that a nuclear free and stable Korean peninsula was paramount to its future development. “The two sides are also convinced that the nuclear issue in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) could be settled through talks,” the statement said, without specifying whether they should be in a bilateral or multilateral context. The DPRK has remained silent on Roh’s maiden trip to the PRC as president. Roh said Wednesday that he sincerely hoped that the DPRK would choose to “join the ranks in the march toward peace and prosperity”. “When North Korea discards its nuclear program and comes forward onto the path of dialogue and openness, the rest of the world will not spare the support and cooperation it needs,” he said. Roh stressed the need for Northeast Asia to move forward to keep pace with a rapidly changing, globalised world. While he acknowledged that past conflicts in the region had created suspicions that still exist “as an open sore”, Roh urged people to push on and consider the future. “Now, the course of Northeast Asian history should be changed,” he said. “We should not repeat the past history of invasion and forced control. The scars of confrontation and conflict should be healed and a new order of cooperation and unity put in place.” He said Europe had done it and Northeast Asia must follow suit. “The European countries saw the need half a century ago, established common objectives for the future and sowed the seeds,” he said. “As a result, the European Union today is enjoying peace and prosperity envied by all other peoples. There is no suspicion among EU nations; the walls of suspicion that once occupied their minds have crumbled.”

2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Development

The New York Times (Don Kirk, “SOUTH KOREA ISSUES REPORT ON DPRK EXPLOSIONS,” Seoul, 07/09/03), Reuters (“SEOUL SAYS NORTH KOREA REPROCESSED NUCLEAR RODS,” Seoul, 07/09/03) and The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “S. KOREA: NORTH ADVANCING NUCLEAR PROGRAM,” Seoul, 07/18/03) reported that the ROK said Wednesday the DPRK has reprocessed a small number of spent nuclear fuel rods, an important step in making weapons. The report came as DPRK envoys warned that the “black clouds of a nuclear war” are approaching. The developments are likely to escalate the crisis over the DPRK’s suspected development of nuclear weapons. The ROK’s National Intelligence Service said in a report to the National Assembly that it believed North Korea has reprocessed “a small portion” of the 8,000 spent fuel rods at its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. Reprocessing all the rods could yield enough plutonium for several atomic bombs within months, adding to the the DPRK’s suspected arsenal of one or two nuclear bombs, experts say. Since April, the DPRK has claimed that it had all but finished reprocessing the rods. Until now, both US and ROK officials have expressed doubt about the DPRK claim, speculating that it might be a bluff to extract concessions at the negotiating table. Ko Young-koo, the intelligence service director, also said the DPRK conducted nuclear-related tests of high explosives at Yongduk-dong, a site west of the Yongbyon nuclear complex. It was unclear whether the tests were recent. The ROK has been aware of similar tests over the past decade.

Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA CONDUCTED HIGH-EXPLOSIVE TESTS, REPROCESSING SPENT FUEL: SPY CHIEF,” Seoul, 07/09/03) reported that the DPRK has carried out some 70 high-explosive tests linked to nuclear weapons development, the ROK’s spy chief was quoted as saying. He said that the ROK’s National Intelligence Service also suspected that the DPRK had reprocessed part of its stockpile of spent nuclear fuel rods that will yield plutonium for nuclear bombs. Ko told the National Assembly’s intelligence committee there had been some 70 high-explosive tests at Yongdok, 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Yongbyon, the DPRK’s nuclear complex north of the capital city Pyongyang. Experts said conventional high-explosives are used to trigger atomic blasts by compressing the plutonium core. “We have also noticed high-explosive tests being conducted in Yongdok district in Gusong City in (the northwestern province of) North Pyongyang and we have been keeping track of the movement,” Ko was quoted as saying by a senior parliamentary aide.

3. PRC-ROK Relations

Asia Pulse (“China, S Korea Keen to Forge Closer Relations,” Beijing, 07/09/03) reported that the PRC and ROK have issued a joint statement, in which the two countries said they had reviewed the development of their relations during the past 11 years, and announced a desire to build an all-round cooperative partnership. The statement says the PRC and the ROK agree that the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula should be maintained and the Korean Peninsula should be nuclear free. The two sides are also convinced that the nuclear issue in the DPRK could be settled peacefully through talks, it says. It says the PRC holds that the security concerns of the DPRK should be taken into account and the ROK notes that the nuclear issue in the DPRK should be resolved in a verifiable and irreversible way. The two sides agree that the Beijing talks held in April this year is helpful and hope that the dialogue process starting from Beijing talks should continue so as to push the situation on the Korean Peninsula toward a positive direction, the statement says. The statement says the PRC reiterates that there is only one PRC in the world and Taiwan is part of the PRC, and the ROK understands and respects the PRC’s stance, pledging that it will continue to adhere to the one-China policy. The two sides will strengthen mutual visits and meetings between leaders, and widen channels and improve mechanism of cooperation and dialogue, it says. The two sides agree to take active measures for the healthy and smooth development of trade, it says, sticking to the principle of seeking trade balance through development for the common goal of improving the situation of trade imbalance. The two sides agree to explore new cooperative fields and mechanisms and to jointly build forward-looking economic cooperative relations. The two sides also agree to improve joint research and cooperation in the industries of next generation telecommunications technology, biological projects and new materials, says the statement. The two sides also agree to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of infrastructure construction including logistics, exploitation of natural resources, energy and transportation, the statement says. The two sides agree to promote the newly-emerged regional cooperation process in the Asia Pacific region and continue to improve coordination and cooperation in regional and international affairs, it says. ROK President Roh Moo-hyun invited PRC President Hu Jintao to visit the ROK, and Hu accepted the invitation with pleasure, the statement says.

4. US Nuclear Weapons Spending

Reuters (“HOUSE PANEL CUTS BUSH NUCLEAR WEAPONS REQUESTS,” Washington, 07/18/03) reported that a House of Representatives panel on Tuesday passed a bill that would curb spending on US nuclear weapons programs, in what lawmakers termed “a shot across the bow” of the Bush administration. Showing rare bipartisan unity, the House Appropriations subcommittee unanimously approved the $27.1 billion measure to fund energy and water programs in 2004, including a boost in funding for the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump. Overall the bill would be an increase of around $942 million over the current fiscal year but would slash more than $326 million from President Bush’s budget request for the federal agency which oversees nuclear weapons programs. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers expressed skepticism about whether the current US nuclear stockpile was appropriate in a world without a superpower foe. “We have a Cold War footprint,” said Ohio Republican Rep. David Hobson, the subcommittee’s chairman. “We need to look better at what the future is.” The bill would also cut most of the $15.5 million Bush had requested to study new, smaller nuclear weapons that could be used to destroy deeply buried bunkers, aides said. Critics say they fear the move could spark a new nuclear arms race. The National Nuclear Security Administration — which is part of the US Department of Energy — would still receive $8.5 billion next year, an increase of $330 million over 2003. But the bill would cut a largely-symbolic $60 million from an effort to help Russia dispose of its Cold War nuclear arsenal, to show Congress’ displeasure with slowdowns that have seen the program accumulate some $1 billion in unspent funds. Texas Democratic Rep. Chet Edwards said the move was “a shot across the bow” of the Department of Energy. The bill would also substantially boost funding for the Yucca Mountain project providing $174 million more than Bush had requested and $308 million more than Congress approved this fiscal year. The plan aims to site the first permanent US nuclear waste repository in the desert northwest of Las Vegas. Much of the extra money would go toward developing a rail line to transport nuclear waste around Las Vegas, in an effort to damp down fierce political opposition inside Nevada. The bill, one of 13 Congress must pass each year to fund the federal government, now goes to the full Appropriations Committee. The Senate has yet to act on its companion measure.

5. US PRC Espionage Case

The Associated Press (Linda Deutsch, “JUDGE MAY DROP 3 CHINA SPY CASE CHARGES,” Los Angeles, 07/09/03) reported that a judge has indicated she may drop three charges against a woman accused of stealing classified information from her FBI handler to pass on to the PRC. Katrina Leung, a naturalized US citizen, would still face two charges. The other charges may not meet the law’s requirement of intent to harm the US and benefit a foreign country, US District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper said Tuesday. The judge said she would review the issues again and issue a ruling later. The three counts not in question allege that Leung unlawfully retained three documents relating to national defense. Prosecutor Michael Emmick argued that the intent requirement was met because the charges stated that she took the material “willfully.” Emmick said that if the charges were dismissed he would seek a new grand jury indictment reinstating the counts and adding the necessary language regarding intent. Leung, a naturalized citizen who was born in the PRC, made her first public comment on the case outside court. She had been in custody since April until her release last week on $2 million bail. “I love America. I have been and I am a very proud and loyal American,” she said. “America is my home and I cherish it. I know we will answer the charges and my name will be cleared.” The government has alleged that Leung carried on a sexual relationship with now-retired FBI agent James J. Smith, 59, who is charged with fraud for filing false reports about Leung’s reliability and with gross negligence for allowing her access to classified material. He is free on $250,000 bail and attended Tuesday’s hearing. If convicted of all counts, Leung faces up to 50 years in prison. Smith could face up to 40 years if convicted.

6. PRC HIV Protests and Arrests

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA STEPS UP ARRESTS, VIOLENCE AGAINST HIV-POSITIVE PROTESTERS: GROUP,” Beijing, 07/09/03) reported that the PRC has stepped up arrests and violence against HIV-positive villagers protesting for more government help, rights groups said. The crackdown has been felt hardest in central Henan province where many farmers were infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes AIDS, by selling blood in government-approved schemes, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other groups said villager reports have indicated a tougher approach towards their status even as the PRC actively seeks international funding to fight AIDS. The charges came after farmers in one village in Henan told AFP last week 13 farmers who had allegedly joined a protest calling for the establishment of a hospital were arrested in a night raid on June 22 in which hundreds of police beat them indiscriminately. Police confirmed the arrests and those of three other villagers in an earlier incident, saying they face charges of robbery and “attacking state offices.” HRW said in a statement that police in Henan, where many villages are devastated by AIDS, are increasingly using arbitrary arrests and violence against HIV-positive protestors seeking access to treatment. “Persecuting HIV-positive protestors is doubly outrageous given that the state was complicit in their infection in the first place,” Joanne Csete, director of HRW’s HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Program, said Wednesday. “Henan authorities seem to want to sweep their role in the AIDS epidemic under the rug by silencing protesters.”

7. Hong Kong Security Bill Protests

BBC (“FRESH HK PROTESTS AT SECURITY BILL,” Hong Kong, 07/09/03) reported that Article 23 has caused the largest protests since Tiananmen Square Thousands of Hong Kong people protested on Wednesday against the government’s handling of a controversial anti-subversion bill. Demonstrators staged a candlelit vigil and called for greater democracy, amid mounting criticism of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, who was not directly elected to the post. The protests followed a 1 July rally when 500,000 people marched to denounce the bill, the biggest protest in the territory since the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in June 1989. The scale of that protest forced Mr Tung to defer the bill’s passage, and no new timetable has been set for it. Under the Basic Law – Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, drawn up on its return to Chinese sovereignty – the territory is required to pass security laws banning treason, sedition, subversion and the theft of state secrets. But opponents are concerned that the PRC could use the legislation – known as Article 23 – to suppress Hong Kong’s political freedom and curb free speech. Tsoi Yiu-cheong, a spokesman for the Civil Human Rights Front, said Wednesday’s rally was not merely about the bill. “We will continue to push on our demand until there is universal suffrage in Hong Kong,” he added. Hong Kong’s constitution allows for universal suffrage after 2007, but the government has repeatedly refused to debate the issue. The Civil Human Rights Front says that the anti-subversion bill should only be discussed when the territory’s government is democratically elected, in order to lessen the scope for abuse.

II. Japan

1. Japan’s Role in Iraq Reconstruction

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “DIET BEGINS DEBATE ON SENDING SDF TO IRAQ,” 06/25/03) reported that the House of Representatives began deliberating a government-proposed bill to send the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to Iraq. Masaharu Nakagawa of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) said the party does not totally oppose the dispatch of SDF personnel “if they are truly needed.” But he argued that the DPJ’s fact-finding mission to Iraq did not find an urgent need for the SDF to be dispatched, and that non-governmental organizations operating in Iraq should hire Iraqi people to carry out reconstruction work. “Are you sticking to sending the SDF because you have been asked to do so by (US) President (George W.) Bush?” Nakagawa asked Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. He denied that the government had received any such request. Responding to the charge that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, Koizumi said there are “many suspicions” and that “Japan is carefully watching” the progress of the US in its search for such weapons. Defense Agency chief Shigeru Ishiba said that a government fact-finding mission has found that there is a need for an SDF presence in Iraq, especially in reconstructing the nation’s infrastructure, providing medical assistance, and helping with the transportation and supply of water, food and other relief materials. Other points of contention include the four-year effective period the legislation carries and making the SDF’s dispatch subject to Diet approval within 20 days of a dispatch order. Opposition parties have demanded that the four-year period be shortened and that any SDF dispatch be subject to prior Diet approval.

The Japan Times (Kanako Takahara, “WATER PURIFICATION, AID TRANSPORTATION TOPS IRAQ AGENDA,” 06/27/03) reported that a team of ruling coalition lawmakers who visited Iraq urged the Japanese government to focus on water purification and transportation of humanitarian aid when helping rebuild the devastated nation. The Self-Defense Forces (SDF) may be required to purify water there and transport other goods, including humanitarian aid supplies, by air, according to their report. “We have come to believe that Iraq is (now) a noncombat zone,” LDP lawmaker Seiken Sugiura, who headed the team, told a news conference, indicating there is no problem to dispatching the SDF. “But there is still sporadic resistance (by Iraqis).” Another LDP lawmaker, Yoichi Masuzoe, said the SDF units that are sent there should be heavily armed, saying this would help prevent them from being attacked. To date, 15 nations, including Australia and the ROK, have dispatched military forces to Iraq to help the reconstruction process, while another 14 have decided to do so, according to the team’s report.

The Japan Times (“PENTAGON REQUESTS SDF AIR, GROUND UNITS FOR IRAQ,” 06/28/03) reported that the US Defense Department has asked Japan to send Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) C-130 transport planes to Iraq and to take part in ground transportation and escort services there, according to sources. The sources said Richard Lawless, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia and the Pacific, made the request during a working-level meeting in Tokyo on June 11, two days before Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi submitted a bill to enable the dispatch of SDF units to Iraq. Lawless stressed the need to make Baghdad International Airport a hub and to bring relief aid such as food and medical goods from countries in the region using the C-130s. He also asked Japan to send Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to transport the relief aid from the airport to US troops and Iraqis in Baghdad and other cities. He said escort services for such planes and ASDF personnel providing logistic support will also be necessary. The Defense Agency plans to send six C-130s to Iraq in response to the US request. While Koizumi has stressed that Japan will make its own decision on the issue, the request by Lawless shows that Japan’s decision was apparently prompted by the US.

The Japan Times (“DPJ MAY SOFTEN STANCE OVER SDF DISPATCH BILL,” 06/30/03) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) may consider discussing with the ruling coalition revisions to a government bill to allow the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to help with the postwar reconstruction of Iraq, a senior DPJ official said. “If (the Diet debate) gets boiled down to some extent and the basic conditions are met, it is possible to begin specific negotiations” on revising the bill, DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada said on a morning Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) program. But Okada asserted there would be “no room for discussions” if the ruling bloc refuses to accept the DPJ’s demand that any SDF dispatch first receive approval by the Diet. Okada said Japan must consider whether the Iraqi people actually need a dispatch of SDF personnel, and whether the proposed legislation would infringe upon Japan’s war-renouncing Constitution.

2. SDF Permanent Legislation

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “KOIZUMI EYES PERMANENT SDF RULES, SLAMS SHORT-TERM APPROACH,” 06/26/03) reported that Japan should consider implementing a permanent law that stipulates the principles under which the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) can be dispatched overseas, rather than drawing up sunset legislation every time the need arises, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said. The comment came during debate on a bill to authorize an SDF dispatch to Iraq. The government’s case-by-case approach regarding SDF deployment has also been criticized by some experts. “There are opinions within the Liberal Democratic Party that a permanent law is more desirable in considering what kind of peacekeeping activities the SDF should engage in within the framework of the Constitution,” Koizumi said during the debate at the House of Representatives. “Drafting a permanent law should be considered as a future issue after taking into account national debate on the matter.” Later in the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda voiced hope for an early debate on the issue.

3. Lawsuit on Anti-terrorism Law

Kyodo (“CHALLENGE TO ANTITERROR LAW FAILS,” Saitama, 06/26/03) reported that a special antiterrorism law enacted in 2001 in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the US has survived its first legal challenge. The Saitama District Court dismissed a suit challenging the law’s constitutionality. The 253 plaintiffs had sought nullification of the law, claiming it violates the Constitution’s recognition of the right of people around the world to live in peace and its renunciation of war as a means of settling international disputes. They also had demanded 2.53 million yen — 10,000 yen each — in damages in the suit. In addition, the plaintiffs demanded that the government order the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels that had been dispatched to the Indian Ocean under the law to return home. Presiding Judge Tateo Toyoda dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims, saying that the court “does not have the power to rule on whether a law is unconstitutional.” “The court merely followed political circles rather than maintaining the independence of the judiciary,” one of the plaintiffs said. During the proceedings, the court did not allow the plaintiffs to bring in constitutional scholars and military affairs commentators to testify when it suddenly called off procedures in March after holding only three sessions. In response, the plaintiffs challenged the judges, but the claim was denied by the Tokyo High Court. In a statement, the plaintiffs argued: “The SDF activities under the law should be considered military activities and the exercise of the right to collective defense, as they have enabled the US-led forces to continue military action.” They also insisted Japan’s provision of support for military action in and around Afghanistan violates an international convention on the rights of children, because the US and British bombing of the country has worsened the living conditions of Afghan children. The plaintiffs said they would appeal the ruling shortly.

4. Japan on Iran’s Nuclear Development

The Japan Times (“MAKE WAY FOR IAEA, JAPAN TELLS IRAN,” 06/28/03) reported that Japan is calling on Iran to give International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors full access to its nuclear facilities. In response to growing concern in the international community over Iran’s nuclear program, Senior Vice Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told Iranian Ambassador to Japan Ali Majedi his country should “fully cooperate with the IAEA and immediately and unconditionally sign and implement an additional protocol,” a Foreign Ministry official said. The additional protocol would enable the IAEA to conduct inspections without prior notification. Majedi responded that the nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and said he will notify the Iranian government of Japan’s request, the official said.

5. US Forces in Japan Realignment

Kyodo (“NO OKINAWA PULLOUT,” Washington, 06/28/03) reported that the commander of US forces in the Pacific and a senior Pentagon official ruled out a big realignment of US troops in Okinawa. The US forces in Okinawa “are absolutely central to our planning and our ability to meet our security concerns in the Pacific,” Adm. Thomas Fargo, head of the US Pacific command, said in congressional testimony. Assistant Defense Secretary for International Security Affairs Peter Rodman told the same hearing that the US and the Japanese government are looking at “small adjustments” in the US military presence in Okinawa, home to the bulk of the 47,000 U.S. troops deployed to Japan. “We don’t expect to leave there. I think we’re talking about small adjustments,” Rodman told the House of Representatives East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee.

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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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