NAPSNet Daily Report 10 July, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 10 July, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-10-july-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Asylum Seekers
2. DPRK-ROK Maritime Relations
3. ROK Domestic Politics
4. DPRK Asian Games Rejection
5. DPRK-Japan Red Army
6. DPRK ‘MacArthur Demand’
7. ROK-US Relations
8. PRC Military Bases
9. Cross-Strait Relations
10. PRC Brain Drain
II. Republic of Korea 1. Inter Korean NLL Issue
2. Sunken Vessel Salvage
3. DPRK Food Aid
4. Efforts to Talk to DPRK
III. Japan 1. Misuse of Personal Data by SDF
2. US Bases in Japan
3. Japan Nuclear Energy Policy

I. United States

1. DPRK Asylum Seekers Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREANS IN SEOUL’S BEIJING CONSULATE ‘HAVE LEFT CHINA,'” 07/10/02) reported that two DPRK asylum seekers who sought refuge in the ROK consulate in Beijing have been allowed to leave the PRC and are most likely already in Seoul, a diplomat familiar with the case said. “I think they left yesterday (Tuesday), but it’s difficult for me to confirm,” the Beijing-based Asian diplomat announced Wednesday. However a spokesman for the ROK embassy said the DPRK pair were still inside the consulate, which is in a separate building from the main embassy. “We expect them to leave China soon.” he said, refusing to comment on whether a deal had been made with PRC authorities. “I’m not in a position to talk about the content of the consultations,” he said. The embassy in recent weeks has tried to avoid commenting on the pair’s cases, seemingly out of sensitivity for the PRC’s position as a close ally of the DPRK.

2. DPRK-ROK Maritime Relations

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA ACCUSES SOUTH KOREA OF VIOLATING MARITIME BORDER,” Seoul, 07/10/02) and Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA ACCUSES SOUTH OF VIOLATING TERRITORIAL WATERS,” 07/10/02) reported that the DPRK said that two ROK battleships had violated its territorial waters in the Yellow Sea with tensions still high over an inter-Korean gunbattle last month. Two warships had crossed into the DPRK’s side in the morning hours, the DPRK’s navy command said Wednesday. “This provocation… is a premeditated provocation to ignite a new armed clash by further aggravating the situation in these waters that has become extremely tense since the armed clash on June 29,” it said. The ROK brushed aside the claims and said its defense chief was that morning looking around the waters where an ROK vessel was sunk in the clash last month. “Defense Minister Kim Dong-Shin was briefed on the recent skirmish while being aboard a patrol boat in the Yellow Sea today,” a ministry official said. “There were two patrol boats, including one carrying Minister Kim, in the South’s territorial waters,” he said.

3. ROK Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse (“SECOND SON OF SKOREAN PRESIDENT INDICTED FOR GRAFT,” 07/10/02) reported that ROK prosecutors indicted a second son of ROK President Kim Dae-Jung on charges of corruption and tax evasion as Kim apologized afresh over the scandal engulfing his family. Kim Hong-Up, 53, who was arrested last month, was charged with receiving a total of 2.58 billion won (US$2.2 million dollars) from six companies through influence peddling. He was also accused of avoiding tax after taking another 2.2 billion won (1.8 million dollars) from businesses including the Hyundai and Samsung groups as political “donations,” prosecutors said Wednesday. Hong-Up’s younger brother, Kim Hong-Gul, 38, has also been jailed on graft and tax-evasion charges. Kim Dae-Jung has made a public apology for his sons’ behavior, which has badly tarnished the image of the president, who took office on a pledge to fight graft. Several ministers and top officials have been forced to resign over the past two years and investigations into Kim’s family and top corporate executives have further dragged down his popularity rating. Kim, whose single term ends this year, is expected to reshuffle his cabinet next week in a bid to revive the government’s popularity in the face of the scandals and an inter-Korean naval skirmish last month.

4. DPRK Asian Games Rejection

Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA SNUBS SOUTH’S ASIAN GAMES OFFER,” 07/10/02) reported that the DPRK has snubbed approaches to take part in the Asian Games in the ROK in October, with rising military tensions making an appearance almost impossible, Asian sports officials said. “South Korea still hopes, and it would be a great moment if the North took part, but as of now we are preparing for an Asian Games without North Korea,” said a senior member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) executive committee Wednesday. The draws for the football, basketball and other team sports have all gone ahead without waiting for a response from the DPRK. The ROK organisers of Asia’s biggest sporting event, held every four years, sent an invitation last month and expected a reply by next Monday. But it has already been forced to extend its deadline. “We have not received an official response from the North,” said Busan Asian Games Organising Committee (BAGOC) spokesman Hong Jae-Kyun. “We set July 15 as the deadline for an answer. But in case they fail to meet this deadline, the South Korean government plans to make a second appeal to the North. “If the North expresses a wish to attend the Games by August 31, it would be possible for the North to take part. We have prepared everything including accommodation facilities for the North.” However, the OCA executive member said DPRK officials had made it known that the government would not allow a delegation to go to the ROK.

5. DPRK-Japan Red Army

The Associated Press (“OFFICIAL: RED ARMY MEMBERS PLANNING RETURN FROM NORTH KOREA WOULD BE ARRESTED,” Tokyo, 07/10/02) reported that four Japanese Red Army members wanted for the 1970 hijacking of a jetliner to the DPRK, who are reportedly planning to return home, would be arrested on arrival, the government’s top spokesman said Wednesday. The four men are among a group of nine members of the ultra-left terrorist group accused of hijacking a Japan Airlines Boeing 727 with 129 people aboard on March 31, 1970 and forcing it to land in North Korea. Japanese media reported early Wednesday that Takahiro Konishi, 57, Shiro Akagi, 54, Moriaki Wakabayashi, 55, and Kimihiro Abe, 54, who currently live in a suburb of Pyongyang have told supporters they want to come home. Chief Cabinet spokesman Yasuo Fukuda told reporters later in the day that the four would be arrested upon setting foot in Japan. “If they return, the arrest procedure would go forward according to Japanese law,” Fukuda told a nationally televised press conference. He added that the government did not know when they were expected to arrive. Media speculated that the DPRK may be trying to get rid of the four in order to shed its image as a sponsor of terrorism.

6. DPRK ‘MacArthur Demand’

Reuters (“NORTH KOREA WANTS MACARTHUR OUT OF SOUTH,” Seoul, 07/10/02) reported that the DPRK has added a new demand to its campaign for the withdrawal of US troops from the ROK: Take down a statue of US General Douglas MacArthur. A statue of MacArthur overlooks Freedom Park in the port city of Inchon, where he led a landing by US-led United Nations forces in September 1950. “There is no room in this land for his dirty statue to remain standing,” the official DPRK newspaper Minju Chosun said in one of several reports this week claiming that there was a growing ROK movement to remove the memorial. “It is an intolerable national disgrace that the statue of MacArthur, the sworn enemy of the Korean nation, remains standing in South Korea till now,” it said. “His statue clearly proves that the US imperialists are the real ruler of South Korea and the latter is under the former’s domination and subjugation,” it added. Inchon lies an hour by car from the capital Seoul.

7. ROK-US Relations

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, “SOUTH KOREA ASKS U.S. MILITARY TO GIVE UP JURISDICTION ON TEEN-AGERS’ CASE,” 07/10/02) reported that the ROK asked the US military on Wednesday to give up jurisdiction over two US soldiers whose vehicle fatally struck two ROK teen-agers last month. Since the accident in mid-June, anti-US protests have taken place almost daily, demanding an apology by the US military and a trial in an ROK court of the two soldiers. Reversing its earlier decision not to court-martial the soldiers, the US military indicted Sgt. Mark Walker and Sgt. Fernando Nino on charges of negligent homicide last week. Their armored bridge carrier hit two 14-year-old girls to death on a public road on June 13 while on a training mission near the border. The US military has planned to hold a trial at a US military court in the ROK. If convicted, the soldiers could face up to six years in prison. Under a bilateral treaty with the ROK, the US military can allow US soldiers involved in accidents while on duty to be tried at South Korean court. If convicted in an ROK court, the soldiers could face up to five years in prison. Lee Ferguson, spokeswoman at the US military in tge RIJ, said her command would “give a very careful consideration to the request.” Also Wednesday, the two soldiers briefly appeared at a South Korean prosecutors’ office in Eujongbu, north of Seoul, for questioning, but they left soon citing safety concerns, said the local Yonhap news agency. Prosecutors were not immediately available to confirm the report.

8. PRC Military Bases

The Associated Press (Audra Ang, “CHINA’S MILITARY OPENS TWO BASES,” 07/10/02) reported that the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army opened two military bases to scores of foreign journalists Wednesday, a show of equipment and soldiers designed to depict a military capable of protecting the world’s most populous nation. More than 100 reporters from 16 countries were shepherded around parts of the PLA’s 196th Brigade and the 24th Air Division in tour buses led by an army convoy. The well-supervised program included a shooting exhibition, a tour of the barracks, lunch with soldiers and a flying demonstration. “It is the first time in more than 10 years that so many journalists have been let on a military base,” said Kong Quan, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, which coordinated the event. “The PLA has a desire to communicate to the external world and is happy to show everybody their exercises.” The 2.5-million-member PLA, the world’s largest military, is marking its 70th anniversary August 1 – one reason for the tour, Kong said. The bases sit in a suburb of Tianjin, 45 miles southeast of Beijing. “We just wanted to show you what we have,” said Senior Colonel Hu Dongming of the 196th Brigade, established in 1937 during the war between China and Japan.

9. Cross-Strait Relations

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN ACCUSES CHINA OF USING BULLY TACTICS TO BLOCK HUMANITARIAN AID,” Taipei, 07/10/02) reported that Taiwan’s president on Wednesday accused the PRC of using “bully tactics” to block the island from providing humanitarian aid to Africa and other impoverished regions. President Chen Shui-bian made the comments after returning from a visit of four African nations that are among a small number of countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Only 28 nations have official ties with Taiwan, and most are poor countries in Africa and Latin America. In recent years, the PRC has stepped up efforts to lure away Taiwan’s African allies. Taiwan has had to provide the countries with generous aid packages to keep them from shifting ties to the PRC, which also offers incentives in the intense bidding war. Returning to Taiwan, Chen tried to justify the aid Taiwan gives to its African allies. He also accused the PRC of trying to cut off Taiwan’s aid channels by discouraging countries from having official relations with the island. Chen did not mention specific examples. “China’s use of bully tactics to block Taiwan’s humanitarian efforts has no chance of winning international approval,” Chen said. During his 10-day Africa trip, the president visited Senegal, Malawi, Swaziland and Sao Tome and Principe.

10. PRC Brain Drain

ZDNet (Michael Kanellos, “CHINA: BURSTING WITH BRAINPOWER,” Beijing, 07/10/02) carried an analytical article that reported while many technology giants are expanding manufacturing plants in China, a significant number of multinationals are increasingly combing the mainland for engineers and researchers to handle projects for global applications that, in recent years, would have been performed in labs in the United States or Europe. “I’m hiring Ph.D.s with years of experience for less than what it would cost to hire a new college grad out of Stanford,” said Chief Executive Al Sisto of Phoenix Technologies, a software company in San Jose, California. PRC university students are flocking to the industry for a combination of reasons, including comparatively high salaries, government policies that encourage technical education, and a booming domestic market. An estimated 700,000 engineers graduate annually from the PRC’s schools, and US companies want to get the cream of the crop. “We are putting our design centers where the talent is,” Intel CEO Craig Barrett said when asked about the chipmaker’s research centers in China and Russia. “We’ll just chase the best talent.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Inter Korean NLL Issue

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Yong-jong, Kim Min-seok, “NLL ISSUE RETURNS TO THE FORE,” Seoul, 07/10/02) reported that since the two Korean navies collided June 29 near the western sea border, disputes between them over rights in the waters have heated up. DPRK has claimed the waters near the Northern Limit Line since the 1970s, and the tension on the peninsula escalated Tuesday when DPRK rejoined the issue by asserting that the waters were “under its military control.” The Northern Limit Line was drawn Aug. 30, 1953, immediately after the Korean War cease-fire. The line has been referred as the de facto maritime demarcation line between the divided Koreas. The line was drawn unilaterally by the United Nations to limit the range of ROK patrol vessels and planes. When they signed their armistice pact, the two Koreas failed to agree on the territorial waters in the region.

2. Sunken Vessel Salvage

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “NK DEMANDS ADVANCED SALVAGE NOTICE,” Seoul, 07/10/02) reported that DPRK’s Central Radio announced, Tuesday, that DPRK would not oppose the raising of the sunken ROK high-speed patrol boat 357, but insisted that it be notified in advance of the ships and equipment to be used, and the date and position of the operation. It continued DPRK’s Panmujom representative made this statement, as it was necessary to ensure no further incidents occurred in the West Sea and the operation would be taking place in DPRK’s military controlled waters. The ROK Navy boat was sunk five miles south of the Northern Limit Line and 14 miles west of Yeonpyeong Island on June 29. ROKN Headquarters Spokesman Kim Jong-in said that if the DPRK commits any undesirable action, it would be wholly responsible for what would be considered an armed provocation.

3. DPRK Food Aid

Joongang Ilbo (“US ACCOUNTING OFFICE SPOTS LOOPHOLES IN MONITORING FOOD AID TO NK,” Seoul, 07/10/02) reported that the US General Accounting Office disclosed Tuesday monitoring system for food aid to DPRK is insufficient. In the latest report concerning the food aid operation the Office picked out the food distribution to DPRK as a failed example of proper administration and held US Agency for Development responsible for not doing enough to confirm the process, as told by state official in Seoul. To prevent possible misusage and swindling of goods the Accounting Office stressed the need to enhance expertise in responsible government sectors that including Department of Agriculture in charge of coming up with the actual aid. The Accounting Office continued in the report that the US administration has been providing about US$50 billion-worth aid to developing countries since 1979. However it has been lately cutting back on the size due to complaints that offer too generous is leaving beneficiaries complacent in their economic reform.

4. Efforts to Talk to DPRK

The Koreaherald (“US, JAPAN STILL AIM AT PYEONGYANG TALKS,” Seoul, 07/10/02) reported that US and Japan will maintain their efforts to talk to DPRK, despite last month’s deadly border clash between the two Korean navies. The Japanese Jiji Press agency reported Tuesday that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi would visit Seoul Friday. It said Hitoshi Tanaka, the Japanese Foreign Ministry director for Asian Affairs, had met senior US officials including Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage Monday. The US State Department said Monday that it would consider rescheduling the scrapped US-DPRK talks when the time was appropriate. The US policy of resuming talks with DPRK “remains in force,” said a spokesman. “We expect to maintain working-level contact with North Korea.”

III. Japan

1. Misuse of Personal Data by SDF

The Asahi Shimbun (“NO DEFENSE: MORE AGENCY LISTS COME TO LIGHT,” Tokyo, 07/04/02) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency, already under fire for illegally keeping a list of personal data on citizens exercising their lawful right to request official information, had six other sets of lists based on the data, sources said. One such list, compiled by a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) lieutenant commander, ranked the information seekers according to the number of requests they filed, for example. The officer also compiled the first list that came to public attention, which described applicants’ occupations and hinted at their political beliefs. The six sets of lists–of which five were illegal–were distributed to various departments within the Defense Agency, agency officials said. The only list considered legal showed the status of each request, arranged in the order of the dates they were filed. Hoping to prevent a recurrence of the scandal, meanwhile, the agency said it plans to bar officers with intelligence experience from working in its information disclosure offices. Defense Agency Director-General Gen Nakatani said he would also establish a training program to teach agency personnel about information privacy.

2. US Bases in Japan

Kyodo (“SECURITY EASED AROUND SASEBO BASE,” Nagasaki, 07/04/02) reported that Nagasaki Prefectural Police have eased security near the US naval base in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, police officials said. Security measures in the area had been boosted in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Officers had set up a special unit and mobilized riot squads, putting them on 24-hour duty near the base after September 11. A police official said the drawdown was made on July 1st because “circumstances have changed from the tense situation after the attacks.” Although the number of security personnel in the area has not been scaled back, police will carry out more flexible patrols in front of the gate.

3. Japan Nuclear Energy Policy

The Japan Times (“GOVERNMENT TO RATE NUCLEAR PLANTS ON SAFETY LEVELS,” 07/07/02) reported that plans are being drawn up to rate Japan’s nuclear power plants for safety to better monitor risk-prone plants and reduce inspection costs. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the new policy marks a turning point in its safety monitoring system. In the past, equal weight has been given to all nuclear power plants on the question of ensuring safety. Under the new policy, all plants will be rated in terms of their operating performance, including radiation management and the number of failures at reactors, officials said. To prevent complacency from compromising safety standards at higher-rated plants, the nuclear agency intends to complement the new system with surprise inspections, the officials said. To date, the agency has merely inspected the main facilities of nuclear power plants, leaving it up to individual power companies to inspect the rest of their facilities. A pipe rupture caused by a hydrogen explosion at Chubu Electric Power Company’s Hamaoka nuclear power plant last November occurred in an area not covered by state inspections.

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

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.