NAPSNet Daily Report 11 May, 2000

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 May, 2000", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 11, 2000, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-11-may-2000/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit
2. ROK Aid to DPRK
3. Korean War Commemoration
4. DPRK Economy
5. DPRK Participation in ARF
6. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks
7. Japan-PRC Relations
8. Japanese Constitutional Revisions
9. Satellite Photos of PRC Military
10. US-PRC Trade Relations
11. PRC View of US Missile Defense
12. US Missile Defense
13. US Security Strategy in Asia
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-DPRK Summit
2. ROK Aid to DPRK
3. DPRK Refugees in PRC
III. People’s Republic of China 1. ROK-DPRK Summit
2. ROK Aid to DPRK
3. DPRK-US Relations
4. PRC View of DPRK-Australian Relations
5. PRC-US Trade Relations
6. PRC-Japanese Relations
7. The Taiwan Issue
8. Japan-India Military Exercises
IV. Australia 1. Australia-Indonesia Relations
2. Alleged Australian Spying on Indonesia

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Summit

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “NORTH, SOUTH KOREA CLOSER TO TALKS,” Seoul, 05/11/00) reported that ROK officials said on Thursday that the DPRK and the ROK agreed on an agenda for the June summit meeting. The officials said that they would accept the DPRK suggestion for a broad agenda but that they differed over its language. Details were not released.

Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREA MEDIA PHOBIA RISKS SUMMIT PREPARATIONS,” Seoul, 0511/00) reported that ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu said late Wednesday that all procedural matters for the summit had been agreed except for the size of the press corps. He stated, “We will do our best to reach a full agreement on procedural matters, including the media corps issue, as soon as possible.” Song Young-dae, former ROK vice unification minister, stated, “North Korea is concerned about the (media) exposure of the regime’s weak points.” He added that the DPRK’s haggling over the number of reporters that would be allowed to cover the summit “may be a ploy aimed at taming South Korean media and blocking them from making reports negative to Pyongyang.” An unnamed foreign diplomat in Seoul noted, “Foreign correspondents [in the DPRK] are strictly banned from making personal contacts with local residents in North Korea. They are allowed to contact officials only.” The DPRK allows only a few foreign correspondents to work there, include those from the PRC’s Xinhua news agency and Russia’s Itar-Tass.

2. ROK Aid to DPRK

Reuters (“N.KOREA ACCEPTS S.KOREA’S FERTILISER AID OFFER,” Seoul, 05/11/00) reported that an ROK Unification Ministry spokesman said on Thursday the DPRK has accepted the ROK’s offer to donate 200,000 tons of fertilizer. The spokesman added, “It also agreed to our delivery schedules.” The ministry earlier said that the fertilizer, costing 64 billion won (US$57.6 million), would be shipped starting mid-May at the earliest. Shipments would be completed by June to arrive in time for the DPRK’s planting season.

3. Korean War Commemoration

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “NORTH, SOUTH KOREA CLOSER TO TALKS,” Seoul, 05/11/00) reported that the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency quoted a spokesman for the National Democratic Front of South Korea, which it claims is an indigenous dissident organization inside the ROK, as criticizing the ROK and the US for planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War on June 25. The spokesman was quoted as saying, “Such movement is nothing but a sinister trick to twist the aggressive nature of the Korean War and prevent the war- weariness rampant in the U.S. and South Korea.”

4. DPRK Economy

Oxford Analytica (“NORTH KOREA: ECONOMIC PLIGHT,” 5/9/00) reported that despite some reported improvement last year, the DPRK economy remains in dire straits caused by a hesitancy to undertake reform which continues to deter potential investors and undermine grass-roots trends towards the development of a market economy. The article argued that hesitancy on reform has blighted the DPRK’s only special economic zone at Rajin- Sonbong, and that it is not clear that the DPRK has yet reached the bottom. It argued that claims by some observers in the ROK that the economy grew by up to 3 percent in 1999 seem unsupported by trends in trade, where volumes with both main partners continued to fall by more than 10 percent last year. It argued that the DPRK economic plight presents both a challenge for the DPRK and an opportunity for those, such as the ROK, wishing to develop closer relations. In 1999, DPRK trade with the ROK rose 50 percent to US$333 million, making the ROK the DPRK’s third-largest partner. Excluding aid, the total was US$189 million, with a balance in the DPRK’s favor of US$54 million. The article argued that it would take only a few small deals to double or triple this figure, and – providing there is sufficient political will – there is no reason in principle why it should not grow to far higher volumes of trade and investment than that between the PRC and Taiwan.

5. DPRK Participation in ARF

Reuters (“N.KOREA FORMALLY APPLIES TO JOIN SECURITY FORUM,” Bangkok, 05/11/00) reported that Nopadol Pattama, secretary to Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan, said on Thursday that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun sent an official application to Surin this week to join the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF). He said that Thailand, current chair of ASEAN, had circulated the letter to other forum members for approval. Nopadol stated, “Mostly likely North Korea will be admitted into ARF.” The Nation newspaper on Thursday quoted Surin as saying that all ARF members supported the DPRK’s application. Surin stated, “It’s good news for the evolution of security in the Asia Pacific.” The report said that the application will be discussed in Bangkok next week at a meeting of senior ARF officials.

6. DPRK-Japan Normalization Talks

Agence France-Presse (NORTH KOREA ACCUSES JAPAN OF OBSTRUCTING LANDMARK TALKS,” Tokyo, 05/11/00) reported that the DPRK’s Rodong Sinmun on Thursday accused Japan of deliberately obstructing normalization talks by unreasonably raising concerns about the DPRK’s missile program and accusing DPRK agents of kidnapping Japanese citizens. It stated, “Japan’s attitude compels us to doubt if it has true willingness to settle the issues of redressing its past and establishing diplomatic relations with the DPRK through the talks.” It added that the Japanese position “cannot be construed otherwise than a campaign to deliberately lay obstacles to the talks and hinder them from making any progress.” The article argued, “The DPRK-Japan talks should not turn into a forum for a quarrel. If Japan approaches the talks from this improper stand, it will put the talks into a bottomless quagmire.” It stated, “The hard- won talks should not be let to repeat a collapse in the past. It is high time the Japanese authorities thought twice.” The article argued, “It is nonsensical for one to propose to have talks while provoking his dialogue partner. What is more incomprehensible is why Japan is renewing a verbal spat against the DPRK while calling for improved relations with it.” In a separate report, the Korea Central News Agency criticized Japan for backing the US decision to block the DPRK from membership in the Asian Development Bank, stating, “Japan is becoming ever more pronounced in its moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK at a time when the DPRK-Japan talks are under way. This prompts the DPRK to doubt once again any success of its talks with Japan. This servile diplomatic posture of Japan may imperil the fate of the talks.”

7. Japan-PRC Relations

Agence France Presse (“JAPAN AND CHINA MEET AMID TENSION OVER MILITARY BUILD-UP,” Tokyo, 5/11/00) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan met Thursday with Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and spoke of improving ties. Mori made no mention of the PRC’s defense program, but according to Japan’s Jiji Press news agency, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono told the Japanese Diet that the government would be scrutinizing further aid disbursements to the PRC. Kono said, “we will need to further analyze each project while considering how to maintain the Japan-China relations.” Kono told Tang on May 10 that there had been calls in Japan for a review of PRC aid “in view of its high economic growth and military expansion.” Kono called on the PRC to “make efforts to enhance the transparency of its military spending.” Tang told Mori that he was “positive” about the future of relations with Japan and would work for a successful visit by PRC Premier Zhu Rongji in October. Tang said, “I will make efforts for the premiers of the both countries to obtain a common understanding.”

8. Japanese Constitutional Revisions

The Washington Times (Edward Neilan, “PACIFIST CONSTITUTION COMING UNDER SCRUTINY AS TOKYO LOOKS TO U.N. ROLE,” Tokyo, 5/10/00) reported that analysts said that Japan’s debate about its national constitution is being driven by resurgent nationalism of Japan’s youth, a feeling that military dependence on the US cannot last forever, and a sense that Japan should be more ready to participate in UN peacekeeping missions. Japanese lawmaker Hiroshi Mitsuzuka of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was adamant that the nation’s right to self-defense should be clearly spelled out in any changes to Article 9 of the constitution. Current interpretation of the document is also at issue since Japan has the world’s fifth-largest military budget at US$47.8 billion and hosts nearly 50,000 US service men and women. Komazawa University professor Osamu Nishi argued that the constitution was forced on Japan during the occupation by US Commanding General Douglas MacArthur and should be revised at all costs. Tokyo Govenor Shintaro Ishihara has been proposing that Japan simply annul the present constitution on the grounds that the nation was under occupation when it was introduced. Taro Nakayama, a former foreign minister who heads the constitution panel in the lower house, said that such a view is irrational, maintaining that the procedures stipulated in the constitution should be followed when it is revised. Yasuhiro Nakasone, a former prime minister and LDP leader, urged the current panel to complete preliminary studies on the constitution within two years and then begin discussing in detail which articles should be amended. Rikukai Sasaki of the Japan Communist Party said that his party will firmly oppose any change, stating, “Japan should sever its security arrangement with the United States and seek ways to coexist with its Asian neighbors.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 10, 2000.]

9. Satellite Photos of PRC Military

The Washington Post (Vernon Loeb, “SHARP EYE IN THE SKY LETS NATIONS SPY- -FOR A PRICE,” 5/10/00) reported that John Pike, an intelligence and space policy analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, hypothesized that Space Imaging Incorporated’s Ikonos satellite has been funded by foreign investments. Space Imaging, a US$700 million joint venture led by Lockheed Martin Corporation and Raytheon Company, launched Ikonos in September 1999 to provide paying customers with the ability to spy from space. After looking at satellite photographs of PRC military installations on Space Imaging’s Web site, Pike said, “I’ve been of the opinion that Ikonos is going to be of considerable interest to military intelligence agencies around the world–and this is an example of that. Someone has invested a lot of money in Ikonos imagery of Chinese military facilities–I’m talking a lot of money, as in hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Space Imaging will not reveal the names of its customers or how much they spend, but Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the US, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative’s Office, said in a statement that Taiwan’s military “has been using satellite imagery technology for over a decade. It continues to be a routine part of our ongoing analytical efforts. News of deployments on the Chinese mainland has not produced on our part special demands for, or procurement of, satellite images.” Pike is scheduled to announce his assessment on May 12, based on satellite imagery analysis, of the PRC’s potential for launching an air assault against Taiwan. Using declassified US spy satellite imagery shot in the late 1960s, commercially available Russian imagery and the latest Ikonos photography, Pike is attempting to calculate the runway, maintenance and aircraft parking capacities of dozens of PRC air bases along the Taiwan Strait. Pike said, “in the past, on an unclassified basis, these airfields were just dots on a map. And not all runways are created equal. It’s entirely possible, having looked at all these airfields, that China could get a lot of airplanes up quickly.” Pike found vast quantities of imagery of PRC along the Taiwan Strait and noted, “it looks to me like it’s the government of Taiwan to monitor the status of deployments at airfields, develop target folders and do all the things people do with military intelligence.” However, Space Imaging’s chief executive officer, John Copple, said that the presence of that imagery in the firm’s archive does not necessarily mean a paying customer commissioned it. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 10, 2000.]

10. US-PRC Trade Relations

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State (“SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT ADDRESS TO THE WORLD TRADE CENTER DENVER, COLORADO,” 5/10/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said on May 9 that the US Congress should pass permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status for the PRC. Albright said that the US has a significant economic interest in encouraging the PRC to open its vast market and take its place in a global trading system based on the rule of law. She noted that the US has a foreign policy interest in encouraging the PRC government to respect labor and human rights, as well as a security interest in seeing a PRC that contributes to stability in the Asia-Pacific and plays a constructive role in world affairs. Albright noted, “all of these interests will be served if Congress makes the right decision now on PNTR. All will be set back if PNTR is rejected … withholding PNTR is no way to make progress.”

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State (“HOSTETTLER SAYS PNTR WITH CHINA THREATENS U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY,” Washington, 5/9/00) reported that in a May 9 news conference in Washington, four members of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee came out against granting the PRC permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status. They were joined by four other lawmakers concerned about the PRC’s threat to US interests. US Representatives John Hostettler, vice chairman of the Armed Services Research and Development Subcommittee, said, “I do not believe we should aid and abet Communist China’s dangerous military build-up by extending to it the benefits of PNTR. Chinese exports to the United States already equal about one-third of China’s economy. That infusion of dollars ends up fueling the expansion of the People’s Liberation Army, emboldening China in its increased practices of proliferation, threats and blackmail. In short, U.S. dollars are strengthening Beijing’s ability to make war.”

11. PRC View of US Missile Defense

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “CHINA SAYS U.S. MISSILE SHIELD COULD FORCE AN ARMS BUILDUP,” Beijing, 5/11/00) and the Associated Press (John Leicester, “CHINA MAY DEPLOY MORE WARHEADS,” Beijing, 5/11/00) reported that Sha Zukang, the PRC Foreign Ministry’s director general for arms control, said on Thursday that the US proposal to build a National Missile Defense (NMD) system posed an unacceptable threat to the PRC’s security and could force the PRC to significantly expand its own nuclear forces in response. Sha said that it is hard for the PRC to believe that the NMD is intended only to counter threats from small “rogue” states such as the DPRK. Sha continued that, whatever the intention, the systems under discussion would destroy the PRC’s ability to deter nuclear attack by neutralizing its relatively small force of nuclear missiles. He added that the PRC would be left dangerously vulnerable to bullying or attack and if that appears likely, “we will not sit on our hands.” Sha said that a “balance of terror” had kept nuclear peace for decades and remained the only realistic course until such weapons are phased out. He said that the US proposal would spark a new global arms race and possibly what he called a “nightmare scenario” of weapons proliferation. He said that if the NMD proceeds, “we’ll have to do something.” Sha noted that the options include a significant increase in the number of nuclear warheads that the PRC would field, improvements in the accuracy and other traits of warheads, and the development of methods to destroy or frustrate the missile shield. He said that the PRC and Russia were discussing possible cooperation in developing techniques “to restore strategic stability,” including methods “to defeat your system,” but he declined to be more specific. He continued, “to defeat your defenses we’ll have to spend a lot of money, and we don’t want to do this. But otherwise, the United States will feel it can attack anyone at any time, and that isn’t tolerable.” Regarding theater missile defense, Sha said that putting long-range radars and other advanced devices in East Asia would give the US the ability to detect and destroy Russian or PRC missiles as they were launched, “so this theater missile defense could be even more dangerous for Russia and China than the national missile defense.” Sha described US fears of nuclear attack from countries like the DPRK and Iraq as “ridiculous.” He said that the PRC estimates that it will be at least 15 years before DPRK can develop a missile able to reach the US. [Ed. note: The New York Times article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 11, 2000.]

The Los Angeles Times published a column by Tom Plate (“SUMMIT LONGSHOT: PEACE WITH CHINA,” 5/10/00) which said that if the DPRK threat could be properly managed and somehow cooled down, the arguments for a US missile- defense system would begin to lose urgency. Plate noted that conservatives in the US Congress and the ROK have criticized the effort by ROK president Kim Dae-jung to engage the DPRK as naive, but “in reality there’s little alternative to Kim’s basic plan other than some sort of military re-tensioning that few wanted.” Therefore, Plate wrote, there is no doubt that the Asian region would benefit enormously from the June inter-Korean summit. After the summit, Plate continues, “a regionwide missile defense system might then begin to look more like a risk than a necessity. China’s fear – that the missile shield would be a smoke screen hiding the West’s desire to increase military ties with Taiwan – would vanish were the system actually never to be built. Currently, the suspicion of Western ill intent erodes long-range stability in East Asia: A hostile China, if convinced that Japan and the U.S. were conspiring to cook up a Taiwanese separatist plot, would probably throw all caution to the wind and take dead aim at Taiwan.” Therefore, Plate continued, Taiwan’s president-elect Chen Shui-bian should forcefully engage his PRC counterparts in a vigorous new cross- strait diplomacy that somehow satisfies the latter’s desire “for theological affirmation of some notion of China someday under one theoretical roof, without selling his people out to the rule of an alien regime.” However, Plate noted, the success of Chen’s diplomacy will also depend on the willingness of the PRC to take the long view and realize there is no way it is going to be able “to shoot its way into the hearts and minds of the people of Taiwan. Besides, there’s no military solution for the Beijing regime that doesn’t risk toppling it from power as long as the United States is watching, even cooing, over that cute little baby democracy in Taipei. That’s why the smart play for Beijing is to negotiate, negotiate and negotiate some more; otherwise it puts itself behind the eight-ball at the very time South Korea’s Kim may be ginning up a more sophisticated Korean dialogue that could spill over onto the rest of the region as the ultimate peace-reinforcing longshot.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 10, 2000.]

12. US Missile Defense

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State (“DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY TALKS TO PRESS ABOUT MISSILE DEFENSE,” 5/9/00) reported that US Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy de Leon discussed the proposed national missile defense (NMD) program with broadcast media correspondents at the US Department of Defense on May 1. Regarding NMD, de Leon said, “this is not a system designed to check the Russian strategic arsenal.” He repeatedly stressed that the system is designed to protect the 50 states from “rogue” threats and the proliferation of missile technology among nations such as the DPRK. De Leon said that there are “three tracks” in progress on the missile defense system: the diplomatic track, involving talks with the Russians; further testing of the system; and “site preparation for the interior of Alaska and then Shemya Island at the end of the Aleutians in terms of the locations where the radar and the missile field are tentatively scheduled for.” In the discussions with the Russians, he said, “they have really focused on a description of what the system is and how it works, and then the fact that the system is really not designed to check the Russian strategic arsenal.”

13. US Security Strategy in Asia

The Office of International Information Programs, US Department of State (“ADMIRAL BLAIR MAY 10 PRESS ROUNDTABLE ON SECURITY,” 5/10/00) reported that Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Command, reported that the military situation around Taiwan is quiet, with only normal deployments by the PRC, Taiwan, and the US. Blair said at a May 10 press roundtable in Bangkok, Thailand, “I can tell you, from the military point of view, the situation is very quiet.” Blair also cited Indonesia, East Timor, the DPRK and the ROK as places where the US has security concerns. Blair suggested that perhaps the greatest “near- term military danger is Korea.” He said the Korean Peninsula, is where “heavily armed forces face each other across the border with a very closed and difficult regime on the North Korean side.” Blair noted that the key for US policy in the ROK “is a strong deterrent posture of South Korea, the United States and other members of the United Nations who are committed to that country.” Blair said that the US has as its goal to “keep a secure environment” in the Asia-Pacific region, “so that trade, diplomacy, cultural relations can improve. I think we have the capability to do that.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-DPRK Summit

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K.’S DISTRUST OF S. KOREAN MEDIA HAS DEEP ROOTS, EXPERTS SAY,” Seoul, 05/10/00) reported that DPRK’s insistence that a relatively small press corps should cover the June inter-Korean summit indicates its discomfort with direct media exposure, but also stems from the nation’s deep-rooted distrust of ROK journalists, ROK observers said. The officials said that the DPRK delegation complained that ROK media reports were often “overly sensitive.” DPRK watchers noted that the DPRK has long viewed the activities of ROK reporters with suspicion, as they have often humiliated its residents and intruded into off-limit areas while covering the DPRK. A DPRK reporter at the truce village of Panmumjom covering the recent preparatory talks echoed this sentiment. “The exaggerated reports in the South Korean newspapers confuse us,” he told his ROK counterparts on April 22, when correspondents from the two Koreas mingled over snacks. On Thursday, the DPRK’s official Radio Pyongyang sent warnings to the ROK press, saying, “We are keeping a close eye on some South Korean media outlets that are reporting the provocative remarks of their diplomats.”

2. ROK Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SOUTH PROPOSES BORDER CONTACT TO DISCUSS FERTILIZER AID SHIPMENT TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 05/10/00) and Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “SUMMIT PROCEDURAL AGREEMENT TALKS ENCOUNTER OBSTACLES,” Seoul, 05/10/00) reported that the ROK on Tuesday formally delivered its plan to provide 200,000 tons of fertilizer aid to the DPRK, proposing another border contact to discuss procedures for its shipment. In a telephone message, Chung Won-shik, president of the ROK National Red Cross, called for Red Cross officials from both sides to meet at the truce village of Panmumjom as early as this week. “We have already launched preparations for the shipments of the fertilizer, which will be completed by June,” said the message sent to Chung’s DPRK counterpart, Jang Jae-on. To the disappointment of ROK officials, the DPRK did not comment on the resumption of summit preparatory talks in Tuesday’s telephone contact, they said. Officials and analysts expect the fertilizer aid to help smooth preparations for the summit. Opposition parties, however, are concerned that the government is making a concession that is unlikely to be reciprocated by the DPRK. The leader of the largest opposition party reiterated his calls for the government to follow the principle of “reciprocity” in dealing with the DPRK.

3. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yol, “HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST FOR DPRK REFUGEES KILLED,” Seoul, 05/10/00) reported that Kim Young-dal, a professor at Kansai University and a human rights activist for DPRK refugees in the PRC, was found dead in his home in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan on Monday. Police are currently investigating his death, which is regarded as suspicious. Lee Young-hwa, an assistant of Kim, said that he last met with the professor on April 29 and that he seemed in good health. He went on to say that Kim had not received any death threats, but would not rule out the possibility of foul play by interests opposed to Kim’s activities. The Japanese police said that Kim’s body had multiple stab wounds in the abdomen and that a blood stained sushi knife was found by his head. The death apparently took place two weeks prior to the discovery and police are treating the case as a murder investigation. Officials at the ROK embassy in Tokyo said that the death had not been linked with pro-DPRK groups to date and that they would not be taking any action until the official investigation has been concluded.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. ROK-DPRK Summit

People’s Daily (Gao Haorong, “ROK, DPRK TO DISCUSS PROCEDURAL MATTERS THROUGH PHONE AND LETTERS,” Seoul, 05/10/00, P6) reported that the ROK and the DPRK agreed on May 9 that they will discuss some procedural issues of the summit by telephone and letters. The agreement was reached by telephone by the two sides, the report said. It added that consultations of this kind would be regarded as the continuation of the fourth preparatory meeting of the summit. An official from the ROK Unification Ministry said that the two sides would discuss several remaining questions. After the discussion, the official said, the two sides will hold the fifth preparatory meeting and sign an agreement on the procedural issues of the summit.

2. ROK Aid to DPRK

People’s Daily (“ROK PROVIDES CHEMICAL FERTILIZER TO DPRK,” 05/06/00, P6) reported that the spokesman for the ROK Unification Ministry stated on May 6 that the ROK will provide 200,000 tons of chemical fertilizer to the DPRK. The spokesman said that the ROK decided to provide the chemical fertilizer out of humanitarian concern and compatriotic feeling. The fertilizer aid is to be transported to the DPRK from mid-May, the report said. The details about transportation will be decided by the red-cross organizations of the two sides.

3. DPRK-US Relations

People’s Daily (Zhang Xinghua, “DPRK CONDEMNS THE US,” Pyongyang, 05/06/00, p3) reported that according to the Korean Central News Agency, a spokesman for the DPRK foreign ministry said at a news conference on May 5 that the DPRK strongly opposes the US action of putting the DPRK on the list of countries supporting terrorism in its annual report on terrorism activities. The DPRK has always been cherishing justice and peace and opposing terrorism in any forms and any assistance to it, the spokesman said. At a time when bilateral relations are improving and some suspended problems are under negotiation, the US again uses this issue to irritate the DPRK. This indicates that the US continues carrying out a policy of isolation, containment and confrontation toward the DPRK, the spokesman stated. The US should stop immediately its action of putting the DPRK on the list of countries supporting terrorism and realize that its confrontation policy toward the DPRK will bring about serious consequences, the spokesman pointed out.

4. PRC View of DPRK-Australian Relations

People’s Daily (Li Xuejiang, “RESUMING DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WELCOMED,” 05/10/00, p6) carried an article saying that the resumption of relations between the DPRK and Australia is popularly welcomed by the international community, including the ROK. According to the article, the warming of DPRK-Australian relations began in April 1999, when the DPRK foreign minister wrote to his Australian counterpart to express his will to improve bilateral relations. The Australian government believes that, the article said, the situation on Korean Peninsula is relevant to its national interests. Firstly, it refers to Australia’s security interest, the article said, because of Australian concerns about the DPRK’s research on nuclear energy. Economic benefits are another consideration of the Australian government, according to the article. Australia does not want to see its trade with the ROK interrupted by the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and expects that its economic exchanges with the DPRK will be increased. Australia hopes that the resumption of its diplomatic relationship with the DPRK will be conducive to dialogue and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, the article said, adding that it also conforms to the interests of the countries in the region.

5. PRC-US Trade Relations

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “FM: PNTR, NO PRECONDITIONS,” 5/10/00, P1) reported that the PRC on May 9 urged the US to grant the PRC permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) without any preconditions. “The Sino-US agreement on China’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a win-win deal based on equality, mutual benefit and mutual understanding,” said PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue. The US Government has made a commitment to grant the PRC PNTR, which was the basis of last year’s Sino-US agreement, Zhang said.

6. PRC-Japanese Relations

People’s Daily (“TANG JIAXUAN TO VISIT JAPAN,” Beijing, 5/10/00, P4) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue at a regular press conference on May 9 announced that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan will pay an official visit to Japan from May 10 to 13 at the invitation of Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono. During the visit, Tang will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and hold formal talks with his counterpart Yohei Kono, Zhang said. Tang will also have extensive meetings with non-governmental organizations friendly to the PRC, leading economic groups, and leaders of major political parties of Japan, she said.

7. The Taiwan Issue

China Daily (Sun Shangwu, “ONE-CHINA POLICY REITERATED,” Xiamen, 5/10/00, P1) reported that Tang Shubei, vice-president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, said on May 9 that the PRC cannot make any concessions on the one-China principle. Upholding the principle is crucial to ensuring the integrity of China’s sovereignty and territory, said Tang. “On such a fundamental question, the Chinese Government and people do not have room to make concessions,” said Tang. He made the remarks at a seminar on cross-Straits relations. Whether cross-Straits relations can be improved all depends on if Taiwan authorities adhere to the one-China principle and admit that Taiwan is part of China, said Tang. At a separate press conference held later on May 9, Tang urged Chen Shui-bian to take a clear stance on cross-Straits relations, instead of sending out mixed messages, the report said.

8. Japan-India Military Exercises

China Daily (Hu Qihua, “FM: PNTR, NO PRECONDITIONS,” 5/10/00, P1) reported that when commenting on the recent military exercises taken by Japan and India in South China Sea, PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said at a regular news briefing on May 9 that the PRC hopes that those countries will make efforts to maintain the peace and stability in the area; rather than taking actions to hurt regional stability.

IV. Australia

1. Australia-Indonesia Relations

The Australian Financial Review (Katharine Murphy, “COME SEE US, HOWARD TELLS WAHID,” 5/10/00) reported that Australian Prime Minister John Howard has written personally to Indonesian President Abdurahaman Wahid to invite him to Australia, in what is considered a significant thaw in relations. The move follows Howard’s statement last month that the bilateral relationship would never be the same, and Wahid’s postponement of his visit to Australia. Howard praised the Indonesian President’s role in restoring democracy and his economic leadership, saying that even though bilateral relations had been fundamentally altered, it was possible to restore a positive dialogue.

2. Alleged Australian Spying on Indonesia

The Australian Financial Review (Geoffrey Barker, “RAAF SPY PLANES SECRETLY WATCH INDONESIA”, 5/11/00) reported that specially modified aircraft are flying secret electronic spy missions against Indonesia. According to the report, the Australian Defense Signals Directorate has fitted two of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) PC3 Orions with sophisticated monitoring and recording equipment. The Orions have been monitoring Indonesian military and other communications from flights in international airspace, under cover of regular RAAF reconnaissance flights. Indonesian officials have repeatedly claimed that Australia has been making spy flights and incursions into Indonesian airspace, since the end of last year’s INTERFET peacekeeping mission in East Timor. The Australian government has denied any unauthorized penetration of Indonesian airspace, but Foreign Minister Alexander Downer remained silent on intelligence collection from international airspace. The leak follows the interception late last month of Australian craft by Indonesian jets. The article also said that senior government officials are concerned that Indonesia will take countermeasures to reduce the ability of the Orions to monitor and record Indonesian communications.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu: 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

Leanne Payton: lbpat1@smtp.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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