NAPSNet Daily Report 09 October, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 09 October, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 09, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-09-october-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Japanese Abduction Issue
2. DPRK-ROK Railway Development
3. PRC-US Defense Contracts
4. Japan Domestic Economy
5. Japan Nobel Prize Winners
II. Republic of Korea 1. DPRK-US Relations
2. DPRK Capitalist Zone Chief Under House Arrest
3. ROK Fruits Export to US Forces
III. CanKor E-Clipping Service 1. Issue #100
2. CanKor Funding

I. United States

1. DPRK Japanese Abduction Issue

The Associated Press (Eric Talmadge, “DECADES AFTER ABDUCTIONS, JAPANESE TAKEN BY NORTH KOREA WILL BE ALLOWED TO RETURN,” Tokyo, 10/09/02) and Reuters (“JAPAN ABDUCTEES TO VISIT HOME BEFORE N.KOREA TALKS,” Tokyo, 10/09/02) reported that after nearly a quarter century, five Japanese abducted by spies to the DPRK will be allowed to return home next week for a brief visit, but without their children, officials and relatives of the victims said Wednesday. They are the only ones known to be alive. The five – two men and three women now in their mid 40s – will be allowed to return next Tuesday for one or two weeks, but will not be allowed to bring their children, said Shoichi Nakagawa, head of a lawmakers’ group supporting the families of the abductees. After being taken to the DPRK, the survivors married and are said to have children. Some survivors’ families were angry the children would not be allowed to return. “They should come back with the entire family. Leaving behind the kids – my grandchildren – is like leaving behind hostages,” said Tamotsu Chimura, father of Yasushi Chimura, who was abducted in July 1978. Toru Hasuike, whose brother is among the five survivors, said details of how the visit would be conducted were still being worked out. “The government wanted to get our opinions on this matter,” he said. “Some of us said we were concerned about the children not being allowed to return, but we decided to accept the plan.”

2. DPRK-ROK Railway Development

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “NORTH KOREA TRAILS SOUTH KOREA IN WORK ON CROSS-BORDER RAILWAY,” Paju, 10/09/02) reported that inside the Demilitarized Zone, ROK soldiers are clearing some landmines with monolithic, German-made vehicles that shred explosives. The DPRK are doing it manually, detecting mines by poking the ground with metal rods. The riskier, slower DPRK method contrasts with the ability of the US-backed, ROK military to buy the latest technology. The mine-clearing is part of a joint project to relink a cross-border railway and promote peace, and the way the two nations are going about it says a lot about the gulf between them. Even though military planners of the two Koreas inform each other daily about their railroad work over a new hot line, ROK officials don’t know exactly what the DPRK is doing on its side. They’re just happy the DPRK is at work, since the project is vital to the reconciliation process that the two countries started at a summit in 2000. Work stopped amid political tension, but resumed last month after the DPRK sought to resume contacts with the ROK, Japan and the US.

3. PRC-US Defense Contracts

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CHINA, U.S. TALK DEFENSE CONTACTS,” Beijing, 10/09/02) reported that the PRC wants renewed defense contacts and better military coordination with the US, the PRC’s defense minister said during a meeting Wednesday with the highest-ranking US military official to visit the country in 18 months. Chi Haotian said resumption of contacts would help stabilize the world and the region. Military contacts have lain dormant since the April 2001 collision between a US spy plane and a PRC fighter jet over the South China Sea. The PRC wants “military relations with the U. in the spirit of mutual respect, mutual reciprocity and equal consultation,” Chi stated. That would “further strengthen the communications and cooperation and … contribute to regional and world peace and stability.” Chi’s remarks came during talks with US Navy Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney II, president of the National Defense University in Washington, DC He is the highest-ranking US military officer known to have been in the PRC since the spy-plane incident. Gaffney, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, was quoted saying he hopes for steps to “promote friendly cooperative relations between the two countries and the two armed forces.” Xinhua said Chi and Gaffney agreed to seek more exchanges and cooperation between their national defense universities. “History had proved that the common interests of China and the U.S. overwhelmed their differences, therefore the two countries should strengthen contacts and cooperation,” Chi was quoted saying. The US Embassy in Beijing and China’s Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on Gaffney’s visit.

4. Japan Domestic Economy

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, “JAPAN WARNS DIMINISHING EXPORT GROWTH COULD OFFSET RECOVERY,” Tokyo, 10/09/02) reported that Japan warned Wednesday that the slowing pace of export growth caused by a faltering US rebound may be endangering the gradually emerging recovery here. Shortly before the government released its monthly economic report, Japan shares slid to a new 19-year low as fears continued to grow that Japan’s decision to speed up the cleanup of bad loans might also speed up corporate collapse. The Cabinet Office kept its overall assessment of the economy unchanged in October from last month, saying conditions were “more severe” despite some signs of improvement – the third straight month it has maintained that view. But the government urged caution, given the dwindling pace of the US recovery. Reiterating its view from September, Japan said the plunge in global stock markets was another reason for concern. Senior government official Jun Saito said the momentum for exports had diminished at the same time slight signs of improvement were appearing, such as corporate sentiments and employment gains. “There are two sides to the situation and the balance remains subtle,” Saito told reporters. “It all depends on how the balance will play out. Many scenarios are possible.”

5. Japan Nobel Prize Winners

The Associated Press (Eric Talmadge, “TAKING BREAK FROM ECONOMY BLAHS, JAPAN REVELS IN NOBEL WINNING STREAK,” Tokyo, 10/09/02) reported that this week, Japan won its third – and then its fourth – Nobel Prize in three years. On Tuesday, Masatoshi Koshiba, a 76-year-old professor emeritus at Japan’s top university, had won the prize in physics for his work with neutrinos. Then on Wednesday, Koichi Tanaka, an engineer at precision equipment maker Shimadzu Corp., won the coveted honor in chemistry. Japan has now won a Nobel Prize for the third year in a row, and two in a year for the first time ever. Tanaka – the country’s 12th Nobel winner – accepted his prize in stunned disbelief. “I still can’t believe even now that I would win this kind of a prize,” he said. “If I’d known, I would have liked to be better prepared, perhaps dressed in a suit and tie at least, so I apologize for my attire,” he told reporters, smiling shyly. The sudden acclaim is giving Japan a much-needed morale boost, helping deflect attention from the economic malaise which has gripped the country for more than a decade. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi jumped in with prompt congratulations. “It’s the first double victory for Japan, won by a scientist in his 70s and another in his 40s,” said the beaming premier. “Maybe it’s time to start having some more faith,” he said. Tanaka, 43, is the youngest winner of the chemistry prize since 1967 and the first Japanese winner from the commercial sector.

II. Republic of Korea

1. DPRK-US Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Kyung-bok, “KELLY BRIEFS ON PYONGYANG VISIT,” Seoul, 10/07/02) reported that US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly who visited DPRK from Thursday to Saturday as President Bush’s special envoy reportedly reiterated the US stance that DPRK is required to resolve the threats from their development and export of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including nuclear power and missiles. ROK government official said Sunday that in a briefing on all points of concern, including WMD, conventional arms and human rights improvement, Kelly said he delivered the measure to remove WMD threats in advance, and then gradually resolve conventional arms and other issues through dialogue. The official added he understood Kelly did not present a specific “reward” to DPRK. DPRK pointed out the Bush administration was not complying with the agreements made under the Clinton administration, reiterating its insistence upon the US withdrawal of its “anti-North Korea policy.”

2. DPRK Capitalist Zone Chief Under House Arrest

Chosun Ilbo (Jee Hae-beom, “YANG BIN UNDER HOUSE ARREST,” Shenyang, 10/07/02) reported that DPRK decided Sunday to dispatch vice-minister-level officials to the PRC in regard to the tax investigation of Shinuiju Special Administrative Region’s Chief Executive Yang Bin. The Daily said that Yang’s problems were complicated issues that dealt with tax evasion and illegal land purchases, which “may affect diplomatic relations between PRC and DPRK. DPRK’s Central News Agency also reported that Yang Hyoung-seop vice chairman of the People’s Commissariat would lead representatives to PRC from October 15-19. “The goal of the visit is to increase friendly relations between the two countries,” it said on. The DPRK team will have a conference with PRC’s top leaders and look for ways to resolve the problems of Yang Bin. Yang Bin is currently under house arrests after being questioned by PRC officials since October 4.

3. ROK Fruits Export to US Forces

Joongang Ilbo (“EXPERTS TO US FORCES ARE FRUITFUL,” Seoul, 10/07/02) reported that ROK started exporting agricultural products such as apples and pears last month to the US military base in Guam. The exporter, Korea Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Co., shipped US$9,740 worth of products to the base in September, and has another, slightly larger shipment scheduled for Tuesday. It had already been exporting about US$20,000 worth of fruits and vegetables monthly to US military bases in Japan. The company is selling some 25 items to the Guam base, including apples, pears, cucumbers and mushrooms. The company expects the value of the monthly shipments to the Guam base, which also supplies US naval vessels calling at the island, to rise to $50,000 per month.

III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

1. Issue #100

In celebration of its 100th issue, CanKor introduces a new section: THE CANKOR INTERVIEW. This week, former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for DPRK David Morton provides us with an exclusive. Two Korean-Canadian organizations appeal to the US government to put human rights on the agenda of US-DPRK talks. US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly concludes useful conversations in Pyongyang, although no imminent deals were made. The DPRK complains about the high handed and arrogant attitude of the Bush administrations first high-level envoy. A postal worker opens fire at the United Nations in New York in an apparent anti-DPRK protest. Refugee status is granted a North Korean teacher after slipping into the USA from Mexico, following two others who received refugee status last month. A North Korean delegation attends the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD) in Moscow, for the first time since preparatory talks in 1993. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it plans to invite DPRK to the 58th annual IMF/World Bank conference as “special guest” and offers assistance despite lack of membership. The Busan Asiad games begin. 280 cheering DPRK supporters dock at Busan Dadaepo harbour, while civic and religious groups from the South arrive in Pyongyang for National Foundation Day.

2. CanKor Funding

None of those involved in the creation of CanKor just over two years ago could have predicted the success and popularity of this venture. CanKor has broadened far beyond the handful of Canadians interested in developments in North Korea. CanKor has become one of the “must have” resources for teachers, researchers, academics, political officials, government employees, humanitarian workers and journalists who wish to keep informed about the twists and turns of contemporary history on the Korean peninsula.

With success come greater demands, which in turn require greater financial means. CanKor has opened a new website (www.CanKor.ca), and has put together an increasing amount of original material (e.g. the new CANKOR INTERVIEW feature). Much more is planned, both on the website and in the e-mailed news service: a calendar of events, book and movie reviews, a repository for articles, research papers and photographs. CanKor is well on the way to becoming a one-stop service centre for English-language material on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The only thing delaying implementation is money. We have managed to do much on a shoestring budget, and thank the Canadian International Development Agency for its continued financial support. We are also grateful for the competent and dedicated work of our volunteers (please find their names at the end of each issue). However, we can do only so much with available human and financial resources.

We do NOT wish to begin charging money for the CanKor service. There are many worthy readers (students, NGOs) who would not be able to afford a subscription fee. We are therefore appealing to you, our readers, to help us in one or all of the following ways:

– Please continue to inform interested friends and colleagues about CanKor and direct them to our website.

– Please continue to send us comments about the usefulness to you of the CanKor service (CanKor2000@cs.com). Give your full title, position and organization, so we will be able to use your endorsements more effectively in our funding requests.

– Please send us information about possible funding sources. If you have special contacts, please let us know them and permit us to cite your endorsement.

– If you can afford it, please send us a VOLUNTARY SUBSCRIPTION FEE. We do not expect to make a great deal of money this way, but you or your institute, university, agency or organization may be able to afford to pay for the CanKor service. Even $50 or $100 a year would go a long way to help us pay our bills. More would be gratefully appreciated. (Please make cheques payable to “Weingartner Consulting” and mail them to Erich Weingartner, CanKor Editor, 13 Westview Dr. RR1, Callander, ON, Canada, P0H 1H0.) We would consider it a great Christmas present!

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

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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