NAPSNet Daily Report 12 April, 2002

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 12 April, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 12, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-12-april-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. PRC-Taliban Artillery
2. Asia Boao Forum
3. Hu US Visit
4. US Taiwan Caucus
5. DPRK-ROK Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. US-DPRK Relations
2. PRC countermeasure to DPRK Defectors
3. US Forces In ROK
4. New Leader of US Troops in ROK
5. DPRK-Japan Relations
6. Inter Korean Relations
III. Japan 1. Accident of Ehime Maru
2. Suspicious Ship and MSDF

I. United States

1. PRC-Taliban Artillery

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINA-MADE ARTILLERY SEIZED IN AFGHANISTAN,” 04/12/02) reported that more than 100 PRC artillery rockets found in Afghanistan were either smuggled into the country from the PRC or sent years ago during the Soviet military occupation, US officials said yesterday. The discovery raises new questions about the PRC’s past support of the Taliban militia and its al Qaeda terrorist allies. A US defense official identified the weapons found Wednesday near Kabul as multiple-rocket launchers. Another US official said the weapons included PRC-made rocket-propelled grenades. “These are things that could have come in during the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, or they could have come in recently,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. US intelligence agencies stated in classified reports last year that the PRC continued to supply arms to al Qaeda terrorists after the September 11 attacks. A defense official said other PRC arms have been found by US forces since military operations began October 7. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in December that a large stockpile of Chinese- made arms had been found in some caves used by al Qaeda fighters. However, “These are not necessarily from the Chinese government,” the official said. “I’m not sure the Chinese are very comfortable with having that kind of terrorism on their border. But this could have been from people just selling weapons to make money.” A PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman said at the time Rumsfeld made the remarks that he had no idea what the defense secretary was talking about and insisted that the PRC had observed a UN arms embargo against the Taliban regime.

2. Asia Boao Forum Agence France-Presse (“ZHU, JAPAN’S KOIZUMI STRESS CHINA’S DEVELOPMENT IS NO THREAT,” 04/12/02) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told the opening of an Asian economic forum here that the PRC’s emerging economy was not a threat to the rest of the world. “The Chinese people love peace and China’s development needs peace,” Zhu told delegates of the Boao Forum for Asia on the island of Hainan. “An economically developed China will pose no threat to any country or region.” The premier, introduced to the audience as “the CEO of China’s economic modernization,” said reforming the economy of the world’s most populous country would bring benefits both at home and abroad. “The new leap forward in China’s economic reform, opening up and modernization drive will not only bring enormous benefits to the Chinese people,” he said in a keynote speech. The two-day forum brings together top officials from governments, companies and academia. It is designed as an Asian alternative to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

3. Hu US Visit

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA ANNOUNCES HU VISIT TO US BUT KEEPS UP TAIWAN OFFENSIVE,” 04/12/02) reported that the PRC announced that Vice President Hu Jintao would visit Washington later this month for talks expected to focus on a perceived shift in US policy on Taiwan epitomized by recent talks on the political and military fronts. The announcement that the trip by Hu would go ahead ended weeks of speculation that Beijing was on the verge of canceling it in anger at recent US overtures to Taiwan. A US official confirmed the visit and said Hu was scheduled to meet with top US officials including Vice President Dick Cheney on May 1. “He will be coming. The vice president did invite him,” the official, who declined to be identified. The official Xinhua news agency said Hu would be visiting Malaysia, Singapore and the US from April 23 to May 5, but did not give the specific dates of each visit. It would mark Hu’s first foray into direct discussions with the US leadership on Taiwan, which the PRC calls the “most important and most sensitive issue facing Sino-US relations.”

4. US Taiwan Caucus

The China Post (Chris Cockel, “ALL NEW U.S. TAIWAN CAUCUS INAUGURATED IN WASHINGTON,” 04/11/02) reported that on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), members of the ROC (Taiwan)-USA Inter-Parliamentary Amity Association, led by Trong Chai of the Democratic Progressive Party, joined representatives of the US Congress in Washington on Tuesday to mark the inauguration of the US Congressional Taiwan Caucus. Founded by US Democrat representatives Robert Wexler and Sherrod Brown and Republicans Dana Rohrabacher and Steve Cabot, the caucus will aim to be an advocate for Taiwan in Congress and to strengthen the US-Taiwan relationship. “The caucus is a direct line of communication between your best friends in Congress and members of your parliament in Taipei,” said Rohrabacher. “The formation of this caucus is a clear statement of Congress’ growing support for Taiwan and all it stands for,” said Brown. As of Tuesday the bipartisan caucus consisted of 85 members of the House and was said to have greatly exceeded the expectations of the founding members. Participants at the launch of the caucus made no secret of their desire to see an independent Taiwan. Having worked on the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979, Republican Representative Benjamin Gilman expressed his hope “to eventually see Taiwan as an independent nation.” “The reality is there should be a one China, one Taiwan and a one Tibet policy,” said Brown.

5. DPRK-ROK Relations

Reuters (Martin Nesirky, “SOUTH KOREA TELLS NORTH IT COULD BE U.S. MILITARY TARGET,” Cheju City, 04/12/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung bluntly told the DPRK that it could be a US military target if diplomatic non-proliferation efforts fail. In unusually candid remarks, ROK envoy Lim Dong-won told the Cheju Peace Forum conference on North- South relations he had taken a “very long and detailed letter” from President Kim to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il when he visited Pyongyang last week. “In the letter, President Kim first of all emphasized that Chairman Kim must accept and understand that the global strategy of the United States has fundamentally changed,” Lim said, referring to world security and the US-led war on terrorism since the September 11 attacks on the US. “He went on to point out that when diplomatic efforts at non-proliferation fails, then the United States is prepared to resort to military means of counter-proliferation and that Chairman Kim must fully, and clearly, understand that North Korea itself is also included in the possible targets for such military efforts by the United States.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. US-DPRK Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Chun Young-gi, “US-NORTH TALKS APPEAR ON TRACK,” Seoul. 04/12/2002) reported that US and DPRK will try to settle details of the agenda and schedule for government-to-government talks through diplomatic channels next week, a US special envoy for Korean peace talks said Thursday. Jack Pritchard, the US special envoy, also told reporters that things were moving in the direction of a visit to Pyongyang next month. ROK and US worked on coordinating their policies Thursday as official and unofficial diplomacy bubbled. Donald Gregg, a former U.S. ambassador to ROK, also spoke optimistically about a resumption of talks with ROK in a seminar in Seoul on Thursday. Gregg visited Pyongyang from Saturday to Tuesday.

2. PRC countermeasure to DPRK Defectors

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “CHINA SAID TO STEP UP DEFECTOR WATCH,” Seoul, 04/11/02) reported that a DPRK support group in Seoul on Thursday said that the PRC government has installed cameras along the PRC-DPRK border to deter DPRK defectors. The DPRK support group, the Citizens’ Alliance for DPRK Human Rights, official added that there are signs that the PRC are employing more technical means to catch Koreans fleeing the DPRK to the PRC; some instruments that appear to be audio sensors were also spotted.

3. US Forces In ROK

Joongang Ilbo (Ahn Jang-won, “DELIGHT AND DISMAY OVER BASE LAND PLANS,” Seoul, 04/12/02) reported that the agreement by the US military to return over the next decade 13,500 hectares of land it now occupies, but in return for a much smaller amount of new land, has drawn a mixed reaction. Local governments and residents of the 31 sites to be returned are happily deliberating what to do with the restored land, but residents of the eight areas where the government has said it will give new land to the US military are up in arms. Local governments in other areas where US bases will be shut down or relocated are making plans for roads, parks or other types of development. In contrast to some cities’ anticipation of land development, gripes have spread in the eight cities where 509 hectares of new land would be given to the US forces. Residents of Uijeongbu are trying to gather 50,000 signatures on petitions to the city government. Civic groups are also demanding environmental damage compensation from the US troops and additional compensation to the private owners of the land to be returned

4. New Leader of US Troops in ROK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin, “US TROOPS GET NEW LEADER,” Washington, 04/12/02) reported that Lieutenant General Leon J. LaPorte, deputy commanding general and chief of staff of the US Army Forces Command, was named the next commander-in-chief of the ROK-US Combined Forces Command by President George W. Bush on Wednesday. He will succeed General Thomas Schwartz in May after being promoted to the rank of general in April. The lieutenant general, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, was commissioned a second lieutenant in armor after graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 1968. Nearly 10 of his 34 years in the army were with the 1st Cavalry Division based in Fort Hood, Texas. General LaPorte served as a platoon commander and company executive officer during the Vietnam War, and was the army’s chief of staff during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He also served as an instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. This will be his first time serving in ROK.

5. DPRK-Japan Relations

Joongang Ilbo (“N.K.-JAPAN TALKS LIKELY THIS MONTH,” 04/11/02) reported that a senior official of Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry predicted Thursday in an interview with the Tokyo Shimbun that the Red Cross talks between DPRK and Japan are likely to take place soon, possibly within this month. The main issue on the table for the talks is likely to be determining the whereabouts of 11 Japanese nationals Tokyo believes were abducted to DPRK in the 1970s and 1980s. The Red Cross talks have been suspended since the last meeting in Beijing in March 2000.

6. Inter Korean Relations

Joongang Ilbo (“SEOUL TO PROVIDE FERTILIZER TO NORTH,” 04/11/02) reported that acting on a request from the DPRK, ROKl has decided to provide the famine-stricken country with 200,000 tons of fertilizer as relief aid this year, a ROK government source said Thursday. The first shipment is reportedly to be made this month. Prior to the decision Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun had disclosed that the government intends to provide about the same amount of aid as last year if DPRK requests it. Hong Jae-hyung, director of humanitarian aid at the Unification Ministry, said no specific schedule for delivering the fertilizer has been set yet. He said other inter-Korean arrangements, such as getting ready for the inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Committee meeting in Seoul scheduled for May 7-10, are the ministry’s focus for now. Meanwhile another 300,000 tons of food aid from the government is expected to be addressed at the meeting in May as a form of loan to DPRK.

III. Japan

1. Accident of Ehime Maru

The Asahi Shimbun (“U.S. NAVY TO PAY OVER EHIME MARU,” 04/11/02) reported that the US Navy agreed Wednesday to pay about 1.52 billion yen in compensation for the sinking of the Ehime Maru in which nine Japanese lost their lives. Ehime Prefecture’s Vice Governor Nobuyoshi Yano attended a ceremony at the US Embassy in Tokyo to formalize the settlement. It had already been signed by a US Navy justice official. Yano later paid a courtesy call on US Ambassador Howard Baker. Under the settlement, the US Navy agreed to pay 1.17 billion yen, or US$8.8 million, for the cost of the ship and 90 million yen, or US$680,000, in consultation fees for post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by survivors. Bereaved families and relatives of the survivors also arranged two compensation groups through lawyers, but neither has reached an agreement yet.

2. Suspicious Ship and MSDF

The Asahi Shimbun (“MSDF TO RESPOND AT ONCE TO TRESPASS,” Tokyo, 04/12/02) reported that the Japanese government revealed Thursday it plans to deploy Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels immediately in the event a suspicious and possibly armed vessel enters Japanese waters. The decision is intended to solve coordination problems that surfaced late last year between the Japan Coast Guard and the MSDF following the detection of a mysterious ship off the coast of Amami Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture. To clarify response measures, the government decided that MSDF vessels should be sent immediately in such circumstances.

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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< /a>
Clayton, Australia

 


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