NAPSNet Daily Report 12 July, 2002

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Pentagon PRC Military Report
2. ROK Cabinet Shake-Up
3. Russia Nuclear Fuel Recovery
4. Japan-ROK DPRK Policy
5. PRC Bounty on DPRK Asylum Seekers
II. Republic of Korea 1. Power Plants Constructed in DPRK
2. UN Aids to DPRK
3. DPRK Asylum-Seekers to ROK
4. USFK Road Accident
III. Japan 1. Japanese Logistic Support for US
2. Defense of Sea Lanes
3. US Bases in Japan
4. Japan Disarmament Diplomacy

I. United States

1. Pentagon PRC Military Report

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, “REPORT: CHINA MOVES ENDANGER TAIWAN,” Washington, 07/12/02) and Reuters (Jim Wolf, “PENTAGON PAINTS PICTURE OF MENACING CHINA,” Washington, 07/13/02) reported that the US Defence Department has concluded that the PRC is honing forces aimed at “bringing Taiwan to its knees,” if that is what is needed to unite it with the mainland, while keeping US aircraft carriers at bay, Pentagon officials said Friday. The assessment is detailed in a report to Congress on PRC military power due for release late Friday. It represents the first such comprehensive US look at the issue since President George W. Bush took power in January last year. “The report is factual and sober,” said Navy Lieutenant Commander Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. Detailing what the survey calls Beijing’s coercive approach, officials said the PRC was on track to deploying 600 ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan by 2005. Growing at a rate of 50 per year in recent years, these missiles appeared designed to sow fear and undermine Taiwan’s will to fight if the PRC opted to use force, said the officials, who spoke on condition they not be named. Under President Bill Clinton, the Pentagon’s annual assessments of Chinese military power emphasized the PRC’s inability to take and hold Taiwan by conventional force such as an amphibious invasion. Bush’s Pentagon, on the other hand, said the PRC’s submarine force gave it the potential to blockade Taiwan while using Russian-built “Sunburn” missiles deployed on Sovremmeny-class destroyers to deter any US response. Shirely Kan, an expert on China’s military at the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, said Beijing’s growing military clout posed challenges for the region, not just for Taiwan. “The challenge posed by a rising China and its military modernization has not changed despite the antiterrorism war after 9/11,” she said.

2. ROK Cabinet Shake-Up

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “SEVEN SOUTH KOREAN CABINET MEMBERS REPLACED FOLLOWING DEADLY NAVAL CLASH WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/11/02) reported that ROK president Kim Dae-Jung has overhauled his Cabinet, bringing on seven new ministers – including a female prime minister, an appointment that reflects a major departure from tradition in this male-dominated society. Outgoing Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin was criticized for not taking a resolute stand in the clash along the poorly marked western sea border. Kim Dae-jung brought on retired Gen. Lee Jun, former commander of the ROK’s largest field army, as the new defense minister. Chang Sang, a former university president, was named prime minister, the first woman to hold the post. Chang, who takes over from Lee Han-dong, must still gain the approval of the National Assembly. Though the prime minister post is largely ceremonial, the appointment of a woman was considered important. “The role of women is very important in the 21st century,” presidential chief of staff Park Jie-won said of the move. . The new prime minister said a priority of her Cabinet was to help Kim’s presidency end on a positive note. “A good finishing touch to this government is directly linked to the opening of a new era,” she told reporters.

3. Russia Nuclear Fuel Recovery

The Associated Press (Eric Engleman, “RUSSIA VOWS TO RECOVER NUCLEAR FUEL,” Moscow, 07/12/02) reported that Russia’s atomic energy minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Friday that Moscow would take back spent nuclear fuel from a Russian-built nuclear power station in Iran. Russia is helping Iran build a 1,000-megawatt pressurized water reactor at Bushehr in a deal worth US$800 million. US officials fear spent fuel from the project could provide Iran with weapons-grade radioactive material and boost its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Atomic Energy Minister said Russia worked out a protocol with Iran in November 1998 specifying that Russia would take back the spent nuclear fuel from Bushehr. But because Russia at the time didn’t have a law allowing the import of such material, it could not be put into force, he said. Now that the Russian parliament passed a law last year allowing the import of spent nuclear fuel, Russia and Iran will formally sign the protocol in September or October of this year – paving the way for the spent fuel to be returned to Russia, Rumyantsev said. “We’ll provide them with fresh fuel and take back the spent” material, Rumyantsev said, adding that Russia would not provide any fuel at all “until the signed regulations are in place.” The Bushehr reactor is due to be completed by December 2003 and ready for operation by 2005, Russian officials have said. Rumyantsev said work at the plant is moving ahead.

4. Japan-ROK DPRK Policy

The Associated Press (“JAPAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER ARRIVES IN SOUTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/12/02) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi arrived in Seoul on Friday to discuss a joint policy toward the DPRK following a deadly sea skirmish between the two Koreas. Kawaguchi planned to meet her ROK counterpart, Choi Sung-hong, on Saturday for talks that will focus on the June 29 gunbattle between DPRK and ROK patrol boats. During her three-day visit, Kawaguchi will also pay a courtesy visit to President Kim Dae-jung and tour Panmunjom, a border village inside the Demilitarized Zone.

5. PRC Bounty on DPRK Asylum Seekers

Reuters (“CHINA OFFERS BOUNTY ON N.KOREAN REFUGEES, ACTIVIST,” Seoul, 07/12/02) Reported that the PRC is offering bounty payments to citizens who denounce DPRK refugees and the missionaries and aid workers helping them seek asylum in foreign embassies, a human rights activist said on Friday. The PRC has allowed 64 DPRK asylum-seekers to fly to the ROK via a third country since March despite an agreement with the DPRK to repatriate them, but has hardened its stance since the asylum bids at the ROK consulate began in May. American Timothy Peters, who has been in the PRC helping the refugees, told a seminar in Seoul that the PRC was offering bounty payments to encourage its citizens to spot DPRK asylum-seekers. “Any Chinese citizen who is willing to give information as to an individual, foreign or domestic, who is helping North Korean refugees, is given a bounty of 10 times the amount for giving information on North Korean refugees — the equivalent of $700,” Peters said.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Power Plants Constructed in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“N.K. IN PROCESS OF CONSTRUCTING OVER 100 PLANTS,” Seoul, 07/12/02) reported that the DPRK is in the middle of constructing over 100 middle and small power plants to resolve electricity shortage, reported the Voice of Russia Thursday. “The mid and small plants are especially being concentrated in northern regions nearby lakes and other water courses and north eastern region of highlands,” the Russian news agency said. “The construction process actively participated by army soldiers is under strict control of experts dispatched from local authorities.”

2. UN Aids to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“UN SECURES 61% OF AIDS TO NORTH,” Seoul, 07/12/02) reported that the UN has secured 61 percent of the needed aid for the DPRK so far. According to the estimates of Korea Rural Economic Institute Thursday the 14 UN relief agencies succeeded in raising US$160 million for aid to DPRK, 61.3 percent of the targeted US$258 million. One of the major collectors includes Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that raised US$603,000 and World Food Program with US$150 million. UN agencies are now aiming to raise another $110 million for next six months to fill the quota.

3. DPRK Asylum-Seekers to ROK

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, “3 DEFECOTRS WILL LEAVE BEIJING,” Seoul, 07/12/02) reported that three DPRK defectors are expected to come to the ROK Saturday via a third country, government sources said Thursday. One defector is in PRC custody after being arrested trying to enter the ROK Embassy in Beijing July 2. A DPRK defector identified by the surname Park succeeded in entering the embassy at the same time and joined a second already there. “Beijing and Seoul still have to finalize the deportation,” a South Korean government source said. “But we see progress in our negotiations.” The two governments agreed last month to deal with DPRK asylum-seekers according to PRC and international laws and humanitarian principles.

4. USFK Road Accident

Chosun Ilbo (Yu Yong-won, “USFK MULLS WAINING JURISDICTION IN FATAL ROAD ACCIDENT,” Seoul, 07/12/02) reported that USFK Command announced, Thursday, it was carefully assessing whether to waive jurisdiction over two US soldiers whose armored personnel carrier fatally struck two South Korean teen-agers last month, as requested by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). MOJ requested the US army to give up the jurisdiction in consideration the accident killed two teenage girls had not acceded to prosecution requests to interview the two. This is the time for the ministry to ask the US to waive its rights concerning an accident that occurred while soldiers were performing their duties since the October 1967 signing of the Status of Forces Agreement.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Logistic Support for US

Kyodo (“SUIT CHALLENGES WAR ON TERROR EFFORT,” Saitama, 07/12/02) reported that more than 250 people filed a lawsuit Thursday with the Saitama District Court to challenge the constitutionality of an antiterrorism law that allows the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to lend non-combat support to the US-led military campaign against terrorism. According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, it is the first civil suit to seek nullification of the law, which was enacted October 29 in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. The plaintiffs argue the law violates the Constitution’s recognition of the right of people around the world to live in peace and its renunciation of war as a means of settling international disputes. The plaintiffs also said Japan’s support of military action in and around Afghanistan violates an international convention on the rights of children, charging that the US and British bombing of the country has worsened the living conditions of children there. They demanded that the government not dispatch any more SDF units to the Arabian Sea and other areas, and order SDF ships currently in the area to return to Japan. In addition, the plaintiffs demanded the government pay each of them 10,000 yen in compensation, saying the antiterrorism law violates their constitutional right to live in peace.

2. Defense of Sea Lanes

The Asahi Shimbun (“NAKATANI: JOINT SEA DEFENSE ‘DIFFICULT’,” Tokyo, 07/11/02) reported that Japanese Defense Agency head Gen Nakatani said Tuesday it would be difficult to jointly defense sea lanes as suggested by Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes. Nakatani said the Japanese military is equipped to defend up to 1000 nautical miles from Japan and relies on the US after that. “There are historical details involved, and it’s difficult,” he said, adding he hopes to continue discussions on the issue.

3. US Bases in Japan

Kyodo (“YOKOHAMA MAYOR SUED OVER BASE,” Yokohama, 07/11/02) reported that residents and groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday with the Yokohama District Court to confirm the illegality of the Yokohama mayor’s failure to retrieve part of the land used by a US Navy communications facility. According to the suit filed by 130 Yokohama residents and 22 organizations, about 22.6 hectares of the roughly 242 hectares of the Kamiseya communications facility belong to the city of Yokohama. Under an agreement, the Yokohama Municipal Government had leased the tract to the national government, which has provided it to the US military since 1978, according to the suit. The plaintiffs charge that the US Navy facility has not been needed since the end of the Cold War and after the development of new communications technology, and that the property has stood idle since 1995.

The Japan Times (“KOIZUMI OKS OKINAWA BUSINESS PLAN,” 07/11/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi formally approved on Wednesday a plan to promote business activities in Okinawa, including establishment of a special financial zone in Nago. Based on a special law on promotion and development of Okinawa that took effect April 1, the plan aims to create an independent economy led by the sightseeing and resort industries. It features promotion of education and research through a new science and technology graduate school, and effective use of land vacated by the US military. It also calls for consolidating and reducing military facilities in Okinawa in line with a final report issued by the Japan-US Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO).

4. Japan Disarmament Diplomacy

The Japan Times (“KOIZUMI BACKS INDIA’S SELF-RESTRAINT,” Tokyo, 07/10/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed support Tuesday for India’s policy of self-restraint in its dispute over Kashmir with Pakistan, underlining Japan’s concern about the tension between the two nuclear powers. Koizumi’s remark came during an afternoon meeting with Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes, who paid a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, according to Japanese government officials.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
Department of Political Science, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

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

Kim Young-soo: yskim328@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy84@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata: saiko@akira.ne.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@online.ru
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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