NAPSNet Daily Report 09 June, 2003

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Nuclear Weapons Drive
2. DPRK Response to US Military Build-Up
3. ROK-Japan DPRK Dialogue
4. US Response to Japan-ROK Summit
5. US Missile Defense System Report
6. DPRK-Russia Nuclear Relations
7. ROK on Japan Historical Militarism
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-Japan Summit
2. Purchasing New Armament from US
3. DPRK Ferry’s Cancellation of Journey to Japan
4. Criticism on Japanese Military Contingency Legislation Law
5. Inter Korea Working Level Talks Commuting
6. Inter Korean Traffic Mounting Again
III. People’s Republic of China 1. PRC’s Diplomatic Efforts
2. US Forces Korea
3. ROK-US Relations
4. PRC-US Summit
5. PRC’s Commentary on Hu’s Visit
6. G-8 leaders target nuclear threats
7. PRC-Kazakhstan Ties
8. Japan’s Defense Policy
9. ROK-Japan Summit
10. Japan-DPRK Relations
11. PRC’s Commentary on US-DPRK Relations
12. Russian Ratification of the US-Russian Disarmament Treaty
IV. Can-Kor E-Clipping Service 1. Issue #127

I. United States

1. DPRK Nuclear Weapons Drive

The Associated Press (Soo-Jeong Lee, “NORTH KOREA SAYS IT NEEDS ‘NUCLEAR DETERRENT,'” Seoul, 06/09/03) and Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA ADMITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS DRIVE, BLAMES WASHINGTON,” 06/09/03) reported that the DPRK admitted publicly for the first time that it was seeking nuclear weapons and blamed “hostile” US policy for forcing it to develop a deterrent. Since the nuclear crisis erupted eight months ago, North Korea has often referred to its possession of a powerful physical deterrent. But Pyongyang has carefully avoided admitting in public to either seeking or possessing nuclear weapons. “We have no other option but to have nuclear deterrence if the US keeps its hostile policy and continues its nuclear threat towards the DPRK (North Korea),” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a Korean language dispatch carried by the ROK’s Yonhap news agency. KCNA later carried the commentary on its English language service in which repeated reference was made to the need for nuclear deterrence against US hostility. The KCNA commentary stopped short of saying that the DPRK had already developed nuclear weapons.

2. DPRK Response to US Military Build-Up

Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO COUNTER US ARMS BUILDUP,” 06/08/03) reported that the DPRK threatened to counter US plans for massive military enhancements on the Korean peninsula with a “corresponding powerful deterrent force.” The threat was issued late Saturday by the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in response to an 11 billion-dollar US plan to boost the war capability of ROK troops in the ROK. The plan, disclosed last week during a trip here by US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, is part of US preparations to “ignite a war that may bring immeasurable disasters to the Korean peninsula,” KCNA said. “Our army and people will answer the US arms buildup with a corresponding powerful deterrent force and its preemptive attack with a prompt retaliation to destroy it at the initial stage of war,” it said. The agency said the DPRK’s deterrent force would serve as a “merciless sledge-hammer to any aggressors. “Now that what the US really seeks has become clear, the DPRK has the legitimate right to counter such moves.” The US plan calls for the deployment of more Patriot missiles, high-speed vessels and a light-armored Stryker brigade that could be rapidly airlifted to reinforce the peninsula in a crisis. The US has already sent 24 long-range B-52 and B-1 bombers to the western Pacific island of Guam to bring them within striking range of DPRK. Six F-117A Stealth fighter-bombers have also been kept in the ROK since March. “This is an unpardonable development. The arms buildup plan was announced by the US at a time when it is calling for a military attack on the DPRK over its nuclear issue,” KCNA said. The US plan proves that “the US nuclear war against the DPRK is not just an option on the table but is becoming a reality,” it said. The DPRK has accused the US of planning a strike to resolve the eight-month-old nuclear crisis. The DPRK has also warned that it would take economic sanctions as a “declaration of war.”

3. ROK-Japan DPRK Dialogue

Agence France-Presse (“ROH, KOIZUMI EYE DIALOGUE AND PRESSURE IN NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR CRISIS,” 06/07/03) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun said they might need to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear ambitions while maintaining an open dialogue. But the two leaders’ remarks after two-hour talks revealed a slight difference in how tough they felt they should be towards the reclusive nation. “I pointed out (at the bilateral summit) that both dialogue and pressure are necessary for the diplomatic and peaceful solution” of the nuclear stand-off, Koizumi said in a joint news conference. “South Korea, the US and Japan should cooperate closely and take a tougher measure if North Korea escalates the situation further,” he said. Koizumi did not elaborate on what sort of “pressure” he meant, although the government has hinted at introducing economic sanctions on North Korea. Roh said he also believed “dialogue and pressure are necessary in parallel” “But I told (Koizumi) that the ROK government hopes to put more emphasis on dialogue.” A joint declaration issued after the summit does not include the word dialogue or pressure, but noted the leaders agreed to “enhance cooperation” between the two nations in coping with the crisis. They also stressed in the declaration that “comprehensive assistance by the international community will be possible” if the DPRK becomes a responsible member of the community. Roh and Koizumi also called for multilateral talks joined by the two nations to solve the problem. “We are convinced that we will be able to solve the North Korean nuclear problem peacefully,” Koizumi said. “We agreed that it is indispensable that the US, North Korea and China maintain their dialogue and that Japan and South Korea will join it in the future,” he said. The Roh-Koizumi meeting capped the recent series of summit talks between Japan, the ROK, and US.

4. US Response to Japan-ROK Summit

Agence France-Presse (“US OFFICIAL WELCOMES JAPAN-SOUTH KOREA SUMMIT,” Tokyo, 06/09/03) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage welcomed the outcome of a weekend summit meeting here between Japan and South Korea as it reaffirmed their coordinated stance toward the DPRK’s nuclear threat. Armitage gave the endorsement when he met Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, a Japanese foreign ministry official said. After their talks on Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and ROK President Roh Woo-Hyun promised to use both “dialogue and pressure” to persuade the DPRK to abandon its nuclear ambitions. But, in a joint news conference, Roh explained his government hoped to “put more emphasis on dialogue,” a remark Japanese commentators fear suggests a subtle gap between ROK, Japan and the US in policy toward the DPRK. Armitage appreciated a joint communique, issued by Koizumi and Roh, which noted they had reaffirmed the principles of agreements they had reached in separate meetings with US President George W. Bush last month, the official said. The communique did not include the words dialogue or pressure. “The US and Japan must continue keeping close contact and watching the situation,” Armitage was quoted as telling Kawaguchi. At the summit, the ROK had rejected a Japanese proposal to mention in the communique the possibility of taking “further steps” if the DPRK escalated the crisis stemming from its suspected nuclear weapons programme, press reports said earlier. The same phrase was used by Bush and Roh after their summit and Bush and Koizumi at a later meeting vowed to seek “tougher measures” against the DPRK if a diplomatic solution failed. The DPRK has said it would interpret any economic sanctions as a “declaration of war”. Armitage reaffirmed to Kawaguchi the US wish to see Japan and South Korea join in multilateral talks on the Korean nuclear issue, the official said.

5. US Missile Defense System Report

The Associated Press (Matt Kelley, “MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM REPORT RELEASED,” 06/05/03) reported that the Bush administration’s push to have a rudimentary missile defense system ready next year raises the risk of failure by relying on unproven technology, congressional investigators said. The General Accounting Office report says the missile defense effort is “in danger of getting off track early” because it is relying on some components which have not been tested. The report also faults the Pentagon for not setting aside money in its future budget projections for building and operating a missile defense system. That raises the possibility that the money to run a missile defense won’t be available when the program is ready, said the GAO report, which was released Wednesday. Bush administration plans call for six interceptor missiles to be installed in silos at Fort Greely, Alaska, by the end of next year, with another 10 added in 2005. The interceptors would be designed to smash into a missile headed toward the US while the warhead was traveling through space. Defense spending bills passed by the House and Senate last month both include $9.1 billion for the missile defense program next year. Both houses of Congress must work out differences in other parts of the bill before it goes to the president for his signature. The military is developing other missile defense components to target missiles just after they launch and just before they hit their targets, including plans to mount lasers on jetliners and improvements to current short-range anti-missile systems. Bush says the US needs a missile defense system to guard against attacks by rogue states, such as the DPRK, that are developing missiles that can hit US targets. Critics say the cost is too high and the threat too vague to justify the program. The system to be installed in Alaska is meant for operational testing but could be used in an emergency if a missile is fired at the US, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said. Democratic Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Carl Levin of Michigan requested the report. Both are critics of the missile defense program and both said the GAO report backs up their concerns. “Fielding such an unproven system may pick up political points with some people, but it won’t contribute to the defense or security of our country,” said Levin, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

6. DPRK-Russia Nuclear Relations

Agence France-Presse (“KIM JONG-IL REPORTEDLY SEEKS PUTIN’S HELP OVER NUCLEAR CRISIS,” 06/08/03) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il has sent a letter to Russian President Vladmir Putin, seeking his help in breaking the stalemate in the talks with the US over the nuclear crisis. The letter was sent in late May, the major Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun reported from Beijing, quoting PRC diplomatic sources. It was not known how the letter had been delivered to Putin. “It may be aimed at boosting Russia, which has been put on the sidelines over the nuclear issue, while checking the PRC side which is strongly demanding (Pyongyang) abolish nuclear weapons,” one source was quoted as saying. President Putin, who is keen to boost Russia’s profile in the region, has unsuccessfully sought a greater role in trying to resolve the dispute on the Korean peninsula. Putin and PRC President Hu Jintao met in Moscow on May 27 and they declared the use of force to resolve the US standoff with the DPRK would be “unacceptable”.

7. ROK on Japan Historical Militarism

Agence France-Presse (“ASIA STILL HAUNTED BY JAPAN’S PAST MILITARISM: SKOREA’S ROH,” 06/09/03) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun urged Japan to fight any domestic attempt to defend its wartime aggression, saying Asian neighbors are still nervous about signs of Japan’s return to militarism. “In the past, Japan marched toward imperialism and caused pain to Asian countries,” Roh said in a speech at Japan’s parliament Monday, winding up a four-day official visit. “Asian countries, including the ROK, cannot help but show sensitive reactions whenever moves related to the past unfortunate history come out of Japan,” Roh said. Roh called on the Japanese government to enhance people’s awareness of its war-time history so the two countries could exorcise the ghost of Japanese militarism. “We have to face the past squarely,” said the ROK president in a speech that met with occasional polite applause. “We need to persuade people of both countries to praise and understand each other with honest self-reflection. Telling the truth is the real courage. “I sincerely hope that we will help each other and be released from the shadow of history completely as soon as possible. It is the top priority for leaders of both countries to jointly tackle the issue,” he said. In his speech, Roh said he was concerned about Japan’s discussions of plans to strengthen its defence capability and revise the pacifist post-war constitution. “Feeling anxiety and suspicion, I will monitor the debate on legislation on defence and security and a revision of the constitution,” Roh said. The Japanese parliament enacted a set of laws on Friday that give the nation its first legal framework for responding to military attack since World War II. According to a survey released by a weekly magazine on Monday, some 60 percent of lawmakers in their 20s and 30s backed a revision of Article Nine of the constitution, which renounces forever Japan’s use of force in settling international disputes.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-Japan Summit

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Hoon, “ROH CAN WAIT FOR REUNIFICATION,” Tokyo, 06/09/03) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-hyun told the Japanese public Sunday that political unification with DPRK could wait, so long as there is peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. “Unification will come one day if North Korea is made to give up nuclear capability through dialogue and becomes a trustworthy neighbor through exchange,” Mr. Roh said. He was appearing in a “town hall” meeting on Japanese television. Mr. Roh and Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday urged DPRK not to take actions that would heighten tensions over its nuclear program. Meeting for the first time here during Mr. Roh’s four-day state visit, the two leaders agreed to cooperate for a peaceful resolution of the issue. They said in a joint statement that resolution would be based on the principles each reached last month in separate meetings with US President George W. Bush. Mr. Roh said dialogue and pressure should be employed in parallel, but “there is an emphasis on dialogue as far as the ROK government is concerned.” Mr. Koizumi said there was a “recognition of the need to respond with tougher measures” through close cooperation among the three countries if DPRK aggravates the problem. But all the measures are “tools to bring a peaceful resolution,” he said. Seoul officials accompanying Mr. Roh said there were last-minute additions to Mr. Roh’s remarks at the press conference, triggered by Mr. Koizumi’s reassurances during their meeting about Friday’s passage of three laws authorizing emergency response guidelines for Japan’s self-defense forces. Mr. Koizumi said, according to officials present, “It is inconceivable that the self-defense forces would be deployed for aggression overseas.” The new legislation did not alter the principle that Japan’s armed forces were for defensive purposes only, Mr. Koizumi was reported to have said.

2. Purchasing New Armament from US

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, “US ASKED SEOUL TO BUY HELICOPTER, NEW MISSILES,” Seoul, 06/09/03) reported that debate over multi-billion-dollar military procurement plans has been renewed in ROK after US recently asked ROK to purchase new missiles and attack helicopters. The solicitation was seen as no surprise, since US has been asking ROK to increase its defense spending. ROK government official told the JoongAng Ilbo Thursday that the request was made last month. “General Leon LaPorte, commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, explained the U.S. plans to invest $11 billion here for the next three years to Defense Minister Cho Young-gil on May 29,” the source said. “General LaPorte also asked the South Korean military to buy Patriot missiles and Apache attack helicopters to reinforce the combat capability of the combined forces.” Mr. Cho replied that ROK would examine the proposal, the source added. The Defense Ministry decided to consider developing its own missile systems after talks with the Patriot’s builder, Raytheon, failed last year. The ministry tried to buy 48 Patriots for 1.9 trillion won ($1.6 billion), but after negotiating since the early 1990s the parties could not agree on a price. ROK also planned to buy 36 Apaches for 2.1 trillion won, but the National Assembly axed the purchase from the 2001 budget, saying that the helicopters were unsuitable for ROK’s geography. The next year, ROK decided to develop its own choppers.

3. DPRK Ferry’s Cancellation of Journey to Japan

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH’S FERRY CANCELS ITS SERVICE TO NIIGATA,” Tokyo, 06/09/03) reported that DPRK ferry Mangyongbong canceled its run to Japan, Japanese media reported Sunday. The ferry, which connected DPRK and Japan on an irregular basis, is alleged to have been used in smuggling military goods and for espionage operations. According to the Kyodo News Agency and NHK network, Japan’s Niigata harbor received a telegram from the captain of the Mangyongbong Sunday afternoon that the ship had not left DPRK’s Wonsan port. The trip had been much expected because the ferry stopped its operation for nearly five months as a precaution against SARS. Japanese media speculated that the ship stayed home because its fuel supplier has decided to stop fueling it due to the alleged illegal activities. Japan also planned an intense inspection of the ferry as soon as it reached Japan.

4. Criticism on Japanese Military Contingency Legislation Law

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-jae, “JAPAN, KOREA INTELLECTUALS CHIDE TOKYO ON MILITARY PLAN,” Seoul, 06/09/03) reported that ROK and Japanese intellectuals issued a joint statement in Seoul and Tokyo Sunday concerning the military contingency legislation recently passed by the Japanese Diet. The bills are meant to enhance Japanese defense against possible attacks by foreign forces. One hundred figures from the two countries participated, including Kang Man-gil, the president of Sangi University in Korea, the Korean poet Go Eun, Wada Haruki of Tokyo University and Kenzaburo Oe, a Japanese Nobel Prize-winner for literature. The intellectuals warned in their joint statement, released at Hitosubashi University in Tokyo and the Zelkova Tree cafe in Seoul, that the strengthening of Japanese military readiness under the recently passed legislation is seen with anxiety, and suggested that the legislation might be connected to a possible intention by the government to justify past Japanese imperialism. They stated that cooperation of intellectuals from both sides is needed to forge a peaceful solution to DPRK nuclear program, and to seek a better relationship among East Asian countries. They said Japan must apologize for its past and understand its history. The thinkers called for the renunciation by the United States of a preemptive attack on DPRK, and for immediate discontinuance of DPRK’s nuclear program. They expressed opposition to all weapons development and to taxes for military spending, and asked countries possessing nuclear weapons, including the United States, not to use them.

5. Inter Korea Working Level Talks Commuting

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-gu, “RAILROAD LINKING CEREMONY EXPECTED SOON,” Seoul, 06/09/03) reported that the fifth working-level talks on the connection of railroads and roads across the Demilitarized Zone were held Saturday and Sunday in DPRK’s Kaesong to determine a date to celebrate the links and discuss technical matters. The meetings marked a first as ROK’s delegation traveled overland to reach them. ROK’s delegates suggested that the celebratory event be held this Thursday and Friday; their Northern counterparts agreed on holding the event this week. Regarding the technical matters, support for construction material and equipment may be a knotty problem; as ROK’s delegates are considering public opinion in light of the ongoing nuclear crisis, which is dampening support for DPRK. ROK’s delegates arrived at an immigration office prepared at Dorasan Station near the DMZ at 8:40 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. After simple entry procedures, they crossed the military demarcation line and arrived at Kaesong at 9:10 a.m. After the meeting, they returned to ROK at 5 p.m. ROK’s chief delegate, Cho Myung-kyun, a director at the Ministry of Unification, said that because the negotiators were able to “commute” to the meetings, they were able to discuss matters in depth. DPRK side expressed no dislike for the new method, he said.

6. Inter Korean Traffic Mounting Again

Chosun Ilbo (Bang Hyun-cheol, “INTER-KOREAN TRAFFIC REBOUNDS,” Seoul, 06/09/03) reported that the number of persons – South Koreans, North Koreans and foreigners – who made round trips between ROK and DPRK last year was slightly more than 200,000, up 43 percent from 2001 but down steeply from 2000, the year of the historic North-South summit. The Justice Ministry said Sunday that inter-Korean traffic totaled 201,600 persons, 197,525 of them South Koreans. Among the South Korean total, 92 percent were tourists, 6.2 percent went for business matters, 1.1 percent went for visits, 0.3 percent went for sports or cultural events and 0.2 percent went for official matters. Only 853 North Koreans traveled to ROK last year, 668 of them in the delegation for the Busan Asian Games. Inter-Korean traffic peaked in 2000 at 475,600 due to the summit, the popularity of the Mount Kumgang tours, ministerial-level talks and family reunions. But the number dropped significantly in 2001 as relations staggered. The ministry said the figures began to pick up with the continuing Mount Kumgang tours, the construction of the Kaesong industrial complex, the connection of ROK-DPRK railroads and roads and the Busan Asian games.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. PRC’s Diplomatic Efforts

People’s Daily (“CHINESE FM TO ATTEND MEETINGS AND START THREE-NATION VISIT IN ASIA”, Beijing, 06/06/03, P4) reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing will attend a number of meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh of Cambodia. Li Zhaoxing was invited by Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, which takes up current presidency of ASEAN. Li will attend the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of ASEAN, PRC, Japan and the ROK(the 10+3 meeting); the 10th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum; the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference; the ASEAN-PRC (10+1) Dialogue, and the second informal meeting of the Foreign Ministers of PRC, Japan and ROK, which will be held in Phnom Penh from June 17 to 19. At the invitation of Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien of Vietnam, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong of Cambodia, and Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai of Thailand, Li Zhaoxing will visit the three countries before and after the meetings, said the report.

2. US Forces Korea

China Daily (“REALIGNMENT WILL NOT UNDERMINE DETERRENCE”, Seoul, 06/03/03, P12) reported that the realignment of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) will not undermine the deterrence power of US troops, said visiting US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at a news conference here on June 2. The US military official arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a two-day visit to the ROK. In the televized press conference, Wolfowitz said one of the purposes of his visit was to “discuss with ROK President Roh Moo-hyun, Defense Minister Cho Young-kil and Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan on the US commitment to maintain deterrence power here and the future of the US-ROK alliance.” Asked about the relocation of the 2nd Infantry Division, which is stationed near the border with the DPRK, he replied the essence of realignment is to make sure “US troops can respond quickly and immediately without reinforcements.” On the DPRK nuclear issue, Wolfowitz said: “We very much want to see a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue.”

3. ROK-US Relations

China Daily (“PRESIDENT APPEALS FOR PATIENCE”, Seoul, 06/03/03, P11) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-hyun, marking 100 days in office, appealed on June 2 for time and patience to correct mistakes in running a country of 48 million people with Asia’s fourth largest economy. Roh said in a televised speech his visit to the US last month had strengthened ties with ROK’s key security ally and set the tone for peacefully resolving the crisis over the DPRK’s nuclear arms program.

4. PRC-US Summit

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “LEADERS PLEDGE TO SOLVE STAND-OFF”, Evian, 06/03/03, P1) reported that leaders of PRC and the US have pledged to make joint efforts for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and agreed to co-operate to resolve the nuclear issue there peacefully. During their meeting in the Alpine resort Evian on Sunday evening following the informal dialogue meeting between leaders of developing and developed countries, President Hu Jintao and US counterpart George W. Bush reaffirmed their stance on a nuclear-weapons free peninsula. They said they would stay in touch and co-operate for the peaceful resolution of the nuclear program of the DPRK through dialogue, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. PRC backs the denuclearization of the peninsula but has also stressed the security concerns of the DPRK should be addressed. The meeting in Evian was the first between the US and Chinese leaders since Hu became president in March and the latest in a series of top-level China-US meetings. According to the Chinese spokesman, Hu and Bush invited each other to visit their respective countries during their 50-minute talk on June 1. US Vice-President Dick Cheney may also visit China later this year. On June 1, Hu urged the US to honor its commitment to the one-China policy, handle the Taiwan question properly and refrain from sending wrong signals to Taiwan separatist forces. Bush was quoted by the Chinese spokesman as promising his administration will continue its one-China policy, follow the three US-China joint communiques and oppose “Taiwan independence.” This policy has not changed and will not change in the future, said Bush. The promise came days after Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted to Bush’s signing of a US Congress bill supporting Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization, said the report. Despite rows over Taiwan, PRC and the US have been developing a constructive relationship of co-operation in the past couple of years, said the report.

5. PRC’s Commentary on Hu’s Visit

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “PRESIDENT’S 11-DAY VISIT SIGNIFICANT, FM SAYS”, 06/06/03, P2) reported that Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who accompanied Hu on his 11-day high-profile visit and returned to Beijing on June 5, said that President Hu Jintao’s latest visit is significant for promoting PRC’s ties with neighboring states, accelerating the development of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) and pushing for the establishment of new world political and economic orders. He said the president’s briefing on PRC’s fight against SARS during the trip and its confidence in winning the battle had left the impression of a responsible government capable of conquering difficulties and had won wide understanding, respect and support. Hailing the visit as “having profound significance,” Li noted during an interview that Hu has made contacts with a wide variety of figures and talked about PRC’s ties with its neighbors, developing countries as well as with major countries. Hu’s debut in the international arena also took him to the annual SCO summit in Moscow that approved the documents that greatly push forward the mechanism of the organization. “President Hu’s visit has deepened China’s ties with both developed and developing countries,” said Li, adding “the extensive contacts with leaders from other countries has enhanced China’s communication and co-operation with them in international affairs.”

6. G-8 leaders target nuclear threats

China Daily (“G-8 LEADERS TARGET NUCLEAR THREATS”, Evian, 06/04/03, P12) reported that world leaders ended an annual summit on June 3 by pledging to combat the threat of nuclear weapons in Iran and DPRK. In a four-page closing statement, the Group of Eight summit countries – the world’s seven wealthiest nations and Russia – sought to move past their bitter divisions over the US-led war in Iraq by declaring that they were united in the reconstruction effort. The G-8 leaders put Iran and the DPRK on notice that they will not stand by and allow them to acquire nuclear weapons, the report said. A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US reads the leaders’ declaration as implicitly authorizing the use of force against countries that violate international nonproliferation norms. A senior member of the Russian delegation told reporters on June 3 that there was general agreement among the leaders during their discussions that Iran “must remove any doubts of its compliance with the NPT (Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty) by June 16,” the next meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors. The G-8 closing statement also said the leaders supported the efforts being made by countries in the region, including PRC, to prod the DPRK to comply with its past commitments on nuclear nonproliferation. The G-8 statement said WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) proliferation and terrorism were “the pre-eminent threat to international security.” But it did not mention Bush’s proposal to stop and seize shipments of suspected WMD and missile parts on sea and in the air.

7. PRC-Kazakhstan Ties

China Daily (“HU’S VISIT SEALS ENERGY DEALS”, 06/03/03, P1) reported that Kazakhstan welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao on his first visit to the country as PRC’s President, on a day when the two countries committed to major energy partnerships. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the trip proves the strength of PRC-Kazak relations. Kazakhstan is willing to work with China to further strengthen bilateral ties, Nazarbayev said. During Tuesday’s separate meetings with Nazarbayev and Prime Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov, Hu reaffirmed the new Chinese leadership’s policy of developing a stable and long-term friendship with Kazakhstan. Hu put forward four proposals on the future development of PRC-Kazakhstan relations. Echoing Hu’s proposals, Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan has always given priority to its partnership with PRC, adding that the relationship between the two countries contributed greatly to regional stability and security. After their meeting, the two presidents witnessed the signing of several documents on bilateral co-operation on June 3. In a joint statement, Hu and Nazarbayev pointed out that terrorism, separatism and extremism threaten lives as well as regional security and stability. They added that they will join hands to combat the threat, including separatist activities to safeguard peace and stability of the two countries and the region as a whole.

8. Japan’s Defense Policy

China Daily (“JAPAN EXPANDS ‘DEFENSE’ POWERS”, Tokyo, 06/07-08/03, P8) reported that Japan’s House of Councillors gave the green light on June 6 to three bills which will give the prime minister and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) a more powerful and active role in emergencies. The bills, known as Bill to Respond to Armed Attacks, Bill for Revision on the Self-Defense Forces Law, and Bill for Revision on the Law Governing the Security Council of Japan, cleared the House of Representatives on May 15. Under these new laws, if Japan is under attack or under threat of attack, the cabinet can draw up military response plans and submit them to parliament immediately. Once their plans are passed by parliament, the prime minister will be given the power to issue instructions to local governments and to exert executive power. The bills also set the target of establishing legal measures to provide support for US forces within two years. They will enable the SDF to launch pre-emptive strikes when a military attack is deemed imminent, a move regarded as a major departure form Japan’s pacifist Constitution, the report said. The SDF is also exempted from having to follow laws and regulations that obstruct defense operations, such as traffic regulations, said the report.

9. ROK-Japan Summit

China Daily (“DPRK DISPUTE TOPS AGENDA DURING ROH’S VISIT TO JAPAN”, Tokyo, 06/07-08/03, P8) reported that the ROK President Roh Moo-hyun arrived in Japan on June 6 for a weekend summit where the US’s two key Asian allies will seek agreement on how to resolve the dispute over the DPRK suspected nuclear arms program. With DPRK’s nuclear stand-off dominating the agenda, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Roh are likely to do their best to keep a bitter shared history from casting a shadow over the summit. Roh talks with Koizumi on June 7 are the third leg of a diplomatic triangle including the two Asia leaders’ summits with US President George W. Bush last month. Rhetoric in Seoul and Tokyo has moved closer to the tough US stance on taming the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions. But the two countries-both in range of DPRK’s missiles-are wary of provoking the state with talk of a military option. Gaps also exist between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington over how much to tighten the economic noose around the DPRK. Roh’s trip to Tokyo takes place amid persistent reports that the DPRK could hold talks with the US and PRC, and possibly Japan and the ROK, later this month. Roh’s trip aims to build on the friendly spirit of last year, when the two countries co-hosted the World Cup soccer tournament. The two leaders will also discuss launching talks on a Free Trade Agreement, an idea under study since 1998 and which Seoul hopes would help bring down its chronic trade deficit with Tokyo.

10. Japan-DPRK Relations

China Daily (Tokyo, 06/09/03, P12) reported that a controversial visit to Japan by a ferry from the DPRK, the only direct passenger link between the two countries, has either been cancelled or postponed, Japanese media said on June 8.

11. PRC’s Commentary on US-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“US REDEPLOYMENTS MAY CONFUSE DPRK”, Singapore, 06/09/03, P4) carried a commentary on the US redeployment, saying that if the US is serious about rapid redeployment of its forces in Asia, it will have to do better than in the ROK. Now the US said it will pull back its forces from the peninsula in a historic move that a top US commander in the ROK said would not weaken the allies’ defense ability in the region, the article mentioned. More far-reaching forces may be at play, it said. US Pentagon officials believe that new technology means US military positions in the Asia-Pacific region can now be shifted to create a more agile, flexible and effective force, as Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said that only days ago. The problems of the Korean Peninsula are more complicated than threats in the Middle East, the article said. ROK officials have voiced concern that shifting US troops away from the frontier for the first time – even if only by a few miles at first – could be perceived by the DPRK as a weakening of US support for Seoul or as a move to clear the way for a pre-emptive attack on the DPRK. The changes are intended to enable US troops, and their ROK allies, to develop as more mobile units that are afforded greater maneuverability as they move further from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two sides of the peninsula, said Ross Babbage, professor of strategic and defense studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. While the move may offer military advantages and new flexibility to troops pinned down for five decades along the most heavily fortified border on earth, the timing may not have been ideal given the nuclear crisis. The move could further bolster the DPRK view that US forces are so casualty averse that they want to move back from the front line. The maneuvers may prove hard for the DPRK to comprehend, the article commented. If Pyongyang tries to understand the move in the context of the peninsula it may make some erroneous assumptions, failing to view the shift as part of a worldwide military realignment. The grander US plan is for a smaller force sustainable over the long term and with a smaller footprint, a force that is less intrusive and more flexible while taking into account changing strategic realities. If Pyongyang decides to respond with belligerent statements, it may find little sympathy among some of its neighbors, said the article.

12. Russian Ratification of the US-Russian Disarmament Treaty

People’s Daily (“PUTIN RATIFIES US-RUSSIAN DISARMAMENT TREATY”, Moscow, 06/09/03, P3) reported that on June 7 Russian President Vladimir Putin subscribed the Federation law that ratifies the US-Russian Disarmament Treaty. The treaty, signed by US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last year, would reduce Russia’s and America’s deployed nuclear arsenals to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads, said the report. On June 1, heads of both countries exchanged documents of the treaty ratification.

IV. Can-Kor E-Clipping Service

1. Issue #127

Some observers see as a move towards a diplomatic victory for the United States, the urging of G8 leaders of the DPRK to abandon covert nuclear weapons programs during the latest summit in Evian, France. US Secretary of State Colin Powell rejects a DPRK proposal that some observers viewed as something of a concession, namely that Pyongyang is willing to hold multilateral talks over the nuclear issue on the condition that such negotiations follow one-on-one discussions with Washington. Reports of new US war plans that would bypass the Korean Demilitarized Zone and target North Korea’s leadership in Pyongyang coincide with a visit to RO Korea and Japan by US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. The $US11 billion “upgrade” of the capabilities of US forces in the region would allegedly allow them to neutralize the North’s heavy presence on the border within an hour of war breaking out. The Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Committee issues a statement pledging to “institutionally guarantee economic cooperation. Delivery of 400,000 tons of rice to the North in the form of a loan is also included in the recent agreement. The South Korean Red Cross announces it will deliver the first batch of 38,300 tons of fertilizer aid to the DPRK. Both Koreas reduce mandatory military service. The ROK reduces the term by 2 months (term is now 24 months rather than 26) and the DPRK by 3 years (term is now 10 years rather than 13 yrs). North and South Koreans share something else in common this week, they become avid buyers of the lotteries issued by their governments in recent months. The recent interception by Australian Special Forces of a North Korean cargo ship carrying a heroin shipment worth US$48 million brings to the fore both concern and speculation about the extent of the North’s involvement in transnational crime. This week’s FOCUS recaps the main events related to this issue and presents the DPRK’s response.

For more information: http://www.cankor.ca

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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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