NAPSNet Daily Report 10 June, 2002

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Asylum-Seekers in PRC
2. Cross-Straits Relations
3. Taiwan International Relations
4. Taiwan “Stealth” Missile Boat
5. Inter-Korean Mobile Phone Development
6. Bush to Japan on Iraq Attack
7. DPRK on Japan Nuclear Policy
8. Japan Nuclear Policy
II. Japan 1. Govt unable to settle asylum-seeker row
2. Japanese Armed Attack Situations Bill
3. Japanese Nuclear Policy
4. Misuse of Personal Data by SDF
5. Japanese Logistical Support for US
6. Moves against US Subcritical Nuclear Test

I. United States

1. DPRK Asylum-Seekers in PRC

Reuters (Tamora Vidaillet, “MORE NORTH KOREANS SEEK REFUGE IN CHINA EMBASSIES,” Beijing, 06/10/02) and Agence France (“THREE MORE NKOREAN ASYLUM-SEEKERS ENTER SKOREAN DIPLOMATIC COMPOUND,” 06/10/02) reported that five DPRK asylum-seekers entered diplomatic missions in Beijing over the weekend in the latest of a string of attempts by asylum seekers to flee the DPRK. Two DPRK men, believed to be in their 20s, got into the Canadian embassy compound on Saturday evening, an embassy spokeswoman said on Monday. She declined to give details. Two women and a toddler entered the ROK consulate on Sunday afternoon, taking to eight the total number of North Koreans holed up there, an ROK diplomat said. “Two women, one 24 and one 28 years old, got in on Sunday afternoon. There was also a two-year-old boy with them,” the diplomat told Reuters. “They may have got in because it was a holiday, but I’m not sure of the details.” In a spate of defections since March, the PRC has allowed 38 DPRK citizens who defected at foreign diplomatic missions to travel to the ROK via third countries.

2. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN PRESIDENT URGES HEIGHTENED MILITARY ALERT OVER CHINA THREAT,” 06/10/02) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has urged the armed forces to heighten their alertness against the PRC’s military expansion which, he said, posed a great threat to Taiwan’s survival. “A;though the government has hoped to peacefully resolve cross-strait disputes through political negotiations and positive interaction, communist China has never abandoned its attempt to invade Taiwan,” Chen said on Monday. Threats to take Taiwan by force, based on the PRC’s claim that the island was part of the PRC territory and buoyed by nationalism, “pose the greatest danger to our country’s survival and development,” Chen told a seminar of senior military officers. “We must heighten alertness as communist China is strengthening its military combat capibilities” with skyrocketing defence budgets, he said. Chen pledged increased allocations for advanced weaponry for Taiwan’s military, “not for an arms race against communist China but to maintain military equillibrium to effectively prevent war and deter invasion.”

The China Post (“CHOOSE BETWEEN TAIWAN AND MAINLAND: LEE,” 06/08/02) reported that former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui yesterday said that it is contradictory to claim love for Taiwan and for the PRC. He also called for the people of Taiwan to have a stronger sense of national identity as the economic development in PRC poses an increasing threat to the island. Lee made the remarks at a meeting of over 20 Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) candidates who failed to win legislative seats late last year. The conference was held to discuss ways of expanding the influence of the TSU and groups like the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Associations. The former president said that recently he has been unable to sleep soundly because he is bothered by the serious problems concerning Taiwan’s national identity. President Lee told TSU members that, when it comes to national allegiance, a person can be loyal to only one country. He emphasized that the biggest problem faced by Taiwan at the moment is the issue of national identity. It will be detrimental to Taiwan’s future development if people cannot build a general consensus, with 70 percent accepting the concept of “national-identity,” before Beijing hosts the summer Olympic Games in 2008, he said.

3. Taiwan International Relations

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT AFRICA AS CHINA UPS DIPLOMATIC ANTE,” 06/09/02) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian is to go on a four-leg African trip later this month seeking to fend off the PRC’s mounting efforts to squeeze Taiwan’s diplomatic space. The African trip, the second since Chen took office in May 2000, will take him to Senegal, Sao Tome and Principe, Malawi and Swaziland starting on June 28, officials said. “Football will be one of the topics to be discussed when the president travels to Senegal,” the first leg of Chen’s 12-day state visit, foreign ministry spokeswoman Chang Siao-yue stated. Taipei congratulated Dakar after Senegal beat France 1-0 in the first game of the World Cup on May 31. “During the president’s trip to Africa, he will exchange views with his counterparts on trends in the African region, international affairs and matters of mutual concerns,” a presidential aide said. Discussions will also center on Taiwan’s cooperative projects in agriculture, infrastructure, education and medicare, the official said. The presidential office discounted reports that Chen will make a stopover in Singapore, Thailand or somewhere in Europe. It did not say where he would stopover to and from the trip for fear of Beijing’s sabotage. No European state except the Vatican has diplomatic links with Taiwan. Taiwan is recognized by 28 nations, eight of them African.

4. Taiwan “Stealth” Missile Boat

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN TO TEST FIRST ‘STEALTH’ MISSILE BOAT: REPORT,”) reported that Taiwan’s navy plans to test its first homegrown “stealth” missile boat that could play a major role in any conflict with the PRC, it has been reported. The first prototype of the “stealth” missile boat, now under construction, will be tested in September and join the navy in April, the Liberty Times said Saturday. Under the “Kuanghwa 6 Project,” the navy plans to build a fleet of 30 such missile boats, the paper said. No naval officials were able to confirm the report. The paper said the 180-tonne boats, able to cruise at a maximum speed of 33 knots would replace dozens of ageing 50-tonne Seagull missile boats. Each would be armed with four locally made Hsiungfeng II ship-to-ship missiles. The boats would be able to “passively” receive intelligence collected by other Taiwan warships without opening their radars to the “enemy”, the paper said. Such stealth actions would enable them to launch missile blitzes against targeted enemy warships without risking their location, the report added. The report came as the defense ministry is pushing for the acquisition of four second-hand US-built Kidd class destroyers. The deal, worth 24.8 billion Taiwan dollars (US$726 million), is still pending final approval from parliament. The navy insists it needs to boost its anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-missile capability and would only have to spend 1.65 billion Taiwan dollars a year in maintaining the four destroyers. The first two Kidd class destroyers are expected by 2005, according to an article in Jane’s Defence Weekly published last month.

5. Inter-Korean Mobile Phone Development

The Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA PROPOSES FORMING JOINT CONSORTIUM TO DEVELOP MOBILE PHONES IN NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 06/10/02) and Reuters (“S.KOREA SAYS AGREES TO HELP NORTH ON MOBILE SERVICES,” Seoul, 06/10/02) reported that the ROK’s Information and Communication Ministry said on Monday it had reached an agreement with the DPRK to jointly pursue mobile and international phone service projects in the DPRK. “The two Koreas agreed to jointly push ahead with CDMA-based mobile phone service projects in the North,” a ministry official announced. “South Korean companies will form a consortium to help avoid any risks arising from doing business in North Korea.” The ministry said in a statement both sides would meet again within one month from now in Pyongyang or Beijing to discuss how to move the projects forward. Ministry officials and businessmen from top mobile carrier SK Telecom, the largest fixed-line carrier KT Corp, the ROK’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics Inc were in Pyongyang last week to discuss the launch of mobile phone services in the DPRK. “KT will lead a project to upgrade the North’s international call services,” said the official.

6. Bush to Japan on Iraq Attack

Agence France-Presse (“BUSH TOLD JAPAN PREMIER IRAQ WOULD FACE ATTACK: DAILY,” 06/09/02) reported that US President George W. Bush told Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during a meeting in February that the US would go ahead with plans to attack Iraq, a Japanese newspaper has reported. When the two met in Tokyo, Bush told Koizumi that his country would definitely attack Iraq, the Mainichi Shimbun said, citing Japanese and US diplomatic sources. The daily said Bush did not specify a date but told Koizumi twice: “It would be swift.” Koizumi said Japan was always on the side of the US in its war against terrorism, the daily said. The US took Koizumi’s reply as Japan’s consent to a future US raid on Iraq, the newspaper said. During his trip to Tokyo, Bush told a news conference that he did not rule out any options regarding Iraq.

7. DPRK on Japan Nuclear Policy

Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA ACCUSES JAPAN OF PREPARING FOR OVERSEAS AGGRESSION,” 06/07/02) reported that the DPRK has accused Japan of preparing “a war of overseas aggression” after a senior Japanese official suggested Tokyo could change its non-nuclear principles. “These remarks go to prove that the Japanese reactionaries are going to provoke a war of overseas aggression in which nuclear weapons would be used and are busy making preparations for it,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang’s official mouthpiece, monitored here, said Friday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s right-hand man, admitted Monday to sparking outrage across Asia by telling a reporter Japan might reconsider its three non-nuclear principles – non-possession, non-production and non-importation of nuclear weapons. He later backtracked, saying: “I made the remark in the hope that young journalists would start seriously thinking about the future,” and adding the current government had no intention of changing the policy. Friday’s outburst from North Korea was the second this week condemning Fukuda’s remarks, and followed harsh statements from South Korea and China. “The Japanese reactionaries leave no means untried to achieve their goal of overseas militarist aggression,” the KCNA tirade charged. “The Japanese reactionaries should bear deep in mind that Japan’s nuclear weaponization would lead it to self-destruction.”

8. Japan Nuclear Policy

The Associated Press (Joji Sakurai, “JAPAN COMMENTS ON NUCLEAR STANCE,” Tokyo, 06/10/02) reported that Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi sought to assure Parliament on Monday that, despite reports hinting otherwise, Japan does not plan to change its policy banning possession, construction or transport of nuclear weapons on its soil. Koizumi has repeatedly tried to quell the controversy over Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda’s recent remark that Japan is not legally prohibited from having nuclear arms. “Our nation has been aggressively pursuing a diplomacy to promote nuclear nonproliferation and end nuclear tests,” Koizumi said. “We are working hard to create a world where nuclear weapons don’t exist.” “It was reported that I hinted at a change in policy,” Fukuda said before Monday’s Parliament session. “This is absolutely different from what my beliefs are.”

II. Japan

1. Govt unable to settle asylum-seeker row

Yomiuri Shimbun (10/Jun./02) reported that Japan and the PRC have yet to start discussions aimed at resolving a diplomatic row over DPRK asylum-seekers who were seized from the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang a month ago. A resolution has been indefinitely postponed as the two governments have not even scheduled talks over whether PRC police infringed Japan’s rights of inviolability by entering the facility. Since the incident, the government has been reviewing its policy toward refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as the Foreign Ministry’s crisis-management system, which has been questioned by the public. After the incident, the government was strongly criticized for not having a clear policy on asylum-seekers and other refugees. In an effort to clarify such issues, it set up a private advisory panel to report to Justice Minister Mayumi Moriyama. The Liberal Democratic Party also set up a discussion panel under Policy Research Council Chairman Taro Aso to review policies toward refugees and asylum-seekers. The ministry has begun compiling a manual on how officials should handle similar incidents in the future. It also is examining security conditions and the chain of command in the event of an emergency at diplomatic offices overseas. Meanwhile, the government remains cautious of its relations with the PRC. It is uncertain if the two governments will discuss the issue of the inviolability of the consulate general or measures to prevent a recurrence of PRC police entering consulate grounds without permission.

2. Japanese Armed Attack Situations Bill

The Asahi Shimbun (“MILITARY BILLS SPARK COALITION DISSENT,” Tokyo, 06/07/02) reported that even the ruling coalitions’ own witnesses criticized the military emergency bills at public hearings. One such critic was Tottori Governor Yoshihiro Katayama, who the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chose as a witness in his prefectural capital. “These bills have a major defect in them,” he said, referring to provisions in the bills that would compel local governments to cooperate with the central government in the event of an armed attack on the nation. Coalition partner New Komeito’s witness proposed further debate before passing the bills. Witnesses chosen by the opposition parties were quick to link the bills with two recent government scandals. One is the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda’s remark on non-nuclear principles and the other is the misuse of personal data by the Self-Defense Forces.

The Asahi Shimbun (“DEFENSE BILLS TO BE DELAYED,” Tokyo, 06/10/02) reported that after conferring with executives of his Liberal Democratic Party, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi decided to leave Diet passage of three emergency defense bills to the next parliamentary session, sources said over the weekend. Koizumi said there was no point putting the bills to the vote if opposition party members were going to boycott the session. Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), on Friday rejected a ruling coalition offer to make amendments to the bills. The majority of the DPJ members accept the necessity of military emergency legislation, and some have asked the party leadership to talk to the coalition about making amendments. Hatoyama said the proposed legislation should be scrapped. “It’s not a matter of amending the bills. They should be drawn up once again, from top to bottom,” said Hatoyama.

3. Japanese Nuclear Policy

The Japan Times (“A-BOMB GROUP BLASTS FUKUDA’S NUCLEAR BLUNDER,” 06/07/02) reported that an A-bomb victims group submitted a letter to the office of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Thursday to protest Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda’s recent remarks that Japan may compromise its three non-nuclear principles. “There are no weapons more powerful than nuclear arms. Why did (the remarks) not violate the war-renouncing Constitution? The three non-nuclear principles should immediately be enshrined into law,” the letter by the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs Suffering Organization (Hidankyo) said. About 50 members of the group also denounced Fukuda in front of the prime minister’s office, shouting, “We demand that Fukuda step down.”

4. Misuse of Personal Data by SDF

The Asahi Shimbun (“AGENCY COVERED ITS TRACKS IN SCANDAL,” Tokyo, 06/07/02) reported that the three information arms of the Defense Agency scrambled to cover their tracks when reports first surfaced last month it was keeping unauthorized records on individuals seeking information under the disclosure law. The information offices of the Ground and Air Self-Defense Forces as well as the central information office at the Defense Agency placed their respective lists of information seekers on a LAN. But they immediately pulled the lists when a lieutenant commander in the Maritime SDF admitted on May 28 that he was behind the endeavor.

5. Japanese Logistical Support for US

Kyodo (“MSDF SHIPS LEAVE FOR ARABIAN SEA,” Sasebo, 06/09/02) reported that two Maritime Self-Defense Force ships left Japan on Saturday for the Arabian Sea to provide US-led forces operating there with logistic support in their military campaign against terrorism. The 8,150-ton supply ship Hamana departed from Sasebo base, while the 3,550-ton destroyer Setogiri set sail from the Ominato base in Aomori Prefecture.

The Asahi Shimbun (“U.S. PLEA FOR SDF TEAMS NIXED,” Tokyo, 06/10/02) reported that Japan rejected an informal US request for medical and engineering teams from the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to go to Afghanistan, saying current laws do not permit this move, sources said over the weekend. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, told Defense Agency Director-General Gen Nakatani that rear-support activities are needed in Afghanistan and that the SDF could fill that role. Nakatani told him it would be difficult to dispatch troops to Afghanistan under current laws. This is because SDF troops can only go to Afghanistan if the purpose is to participate in international peacekeeping missions or for humanitarian aid. In this case, SDF troops cannot be dispatched under the anti-terrorism special measures law.

6. Moves against US Subcritical Nuclear Test

Kyodo (“HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI OFFICIALS SLAM U.S. SUBCRITICAL NUCLEAR TEST,” Hiroshima, 06/09/02) reported that the governors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the mayor of Nagasaki and many other municipal officials protested Saturday over a US subcritical nuclear test. In a letter sent to US President George W. Bush, Hiroshima Governor Yuzan Fujita said he is angry that the US conducted the test Friday despite repeated calls on it not to do so. He described the test as “a challenge to the international community.” Fujita also criticized the Bush administration for not ruling out a possible nuclear attack against Iran and Iraq. Nagasaki Governor Genjiro Kaneko and Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito also sent similar protest messages to the US Embassy in Tokyo. “It is a very dangerous act that could lead to a nuclear arms race,” Kaneko wrote in his letter. Other Japanese cities joined the chorus of anger. Kyoto Mayor Yorikane Masumoto and Toshiko Isobe, chairwoman of the city assembly, sent a protest letter to Bush calling on US to suspend all nuclear tests.

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Brandon Yu: napsnet@nautilus.org
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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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