NAPSNet Daily Report 13 June, 2002

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 13 June, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 13, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-13-june-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US Missile Shield
2. PRC-ROK DPRK Asylum Seekers Incident
3. PRC on DPRK Asylum Seekers
4. US to PRC on DPRK Refugees
5. PRC Detains US Missionary
6. Cross-Straits Espionage
8. ROK Domestic Politics
9. Inter-Korean Relations
10. DPRK Navy Boat Maritime Border Violation
II. Republic of Korea 1. Civilian Inter Korean Relations Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong,
2. North Korean Defectors in PRC
3. Narcotics Control Board in DPRK
4. Food Assistance to DPRK

I. United States

1. US Missile Shield

Reuters (Arshad Mohammed, “US BURIES ABM TREATY, BUSH PRAISES MISSILE DEFENSE,” Washington, 06/13/02) and Reuters (Jim Wolf, “PENTAGON STARTS DASH FOR 2004 MISSILE SHIELD,” Washington, 06/13/02) reported that the death of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty on Thursday cleared the way for digging interceptor silos in Alaska and for missile tests barred by the pact. A groundbreaking ceremony was to take place on Saturday at Fort Greely, Alaska — where President George W. Bush plans a test facility that he hopes could also serve as an emergency defense by September 2004. As the US exit from the treaty was taking effect at midnight Eastern time (0400 GMT on Friday), the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency planned to shoot down a mock warhead launched from Kauai, Hawaii, using the Navy’s Standard Missile-3 interceptor aboard the USS Lake Erie, an Aegis guided missile cruiser. The sea-based bid to smash a ballistic missile-delivered target would have been legal under the ABM treaty, and the timing of the test was “sheer coincidence,” said Chris Taylor, a Missile Defense Agency spokesman. No coincidence, however, was the start of earth work for silos to house future interceptors at Fort Greely, about 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Fairbanks. Breaking ground for a national missile defense base was barred by the treaty. The so-called Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Test Bed “is not intended as a deployment site for an operational system at this time,” the Defense Department said in a statement Thursday. Still, such a central Alaska site would be an “optimum location for an operational system if a decision is made to deploy a GMD interceptor force,” it said. White House spokesman Air Fleischer said Thursday Bush was committed to deploying a missile defense “as soon as possible to protect the American people and our deployed forces from the growing risks of terrorist nations or terrorists possessing weapons of mass destruction.”

2. PRC-ROK DPRK Asylum Seekers Incident

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CHINA DRAGS NORTH KOREAN ASYLUM SEEKER OUT OF SOUTH KOREAN OFFICE, PROMPTING REACTIONS FROM SEOUL, WASHINGTON,” Beijing, 06/13/02) and Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN STAFF TUSSLE WITH CHINESE POLICE IN CONSULATE: REPORT,” 06/13/02) reported that PRC guards on Thursday dragged away a DPRK asylum-seeker from an ROK visa office after punching and kicking diplomats who tried to block them. The incident came barely a month after the PRC settled a row with Japan over a similar incident, and amid tougher PRC government measures to stem a wave of DPRK asylum seekers entering foreign missions in the PRC. A total of 18 DPRK asylum-seekers are currently in the ROK office. A PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman said foreign diplomatic missions have been told that they must hand over to PRC police people who have sought refuge in their offices. Such unauthorized entries “not only harm the security of those embassies and interfere with their normal function, but also pose a challenge to the Chinese law and interfere in security and stability in China,” ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao declared. Liu repeated the PRC’s assurance that cases would be handled “in accordance to international law, the domestic laws of China and humanitarian principles.” Canadian and other foreign missions confirmed they received the note Wednesday evening. Liu denied that the letter indicated any change in policy. However, it appeared to signal an end to a more accommodating attitude. The latest asylum bid began when the father and son entered the visa office a few blocks from Seoul’s embassy Thursday morning. PRC guards entered and took the man outside, where he was held temporarily. Several ROK diplomats tried to block police by forming a line outside a guard post where the man was held, said a Yonhap reporter who witnessed the incident. But about a dozen Beijing municipal police forced their way into the guardhouse, kicking, punching and knocking down diplomats, said the reporter, Lee Sang Min. One diplomat was punched in the mouth in the scuffle, leaving blood stains on the concrete at the office entrance. A videotape shot by a journalist for ROK broadcaster MBC shows police grabbing the man by his arms and legs, dragging him to the van and driving him away. “The Chinese police took him away. We don’t know to where,” said the ROK official. The PRC Foreign Ministry said it had no information about the incident.

3. PRC on DPRK Asylum Seekers

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA ASKS FOREIGN MISSIONS TO HAND OVER NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES,” 06/13/02) reported that the PRC has issued a notice to all foreign embassies requesting they hand over any further DPRK “trespassers” to PRC police, a foreign ministry spokesman said. “Based on international law … China hopes relevant embassies will take the initiative and cooperate,” spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters. “Once they find people illegally breaking into the embassy and consulates, staff members at the missions should notify the foreign ministry’s consular affairs department and also hand over the trespassers to China’s police.” Liu declined to specify how the PRC will deal with the DPRK asylum seekers if they are handed over, saying only that the PRC will handle them in accordance with international law and humanitarian considerations. “These incidents harm relevant embassies’ security and interferes with its normal work and are a provocation of Chinese law. They affect China’s safety and stbility,” Liu said, citing statements in the notice.

4. US to PRC on DPRK Refugees

Agence France-Presse (“US LAWMAKERS URGE BEIJING TO TREAT NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES MORE HUMANELY,” 06/13/02) reported that US House lawmakers called on the PRC to live up to its international obligations and treat DPRK asylum seekers humanely. In a resolution passed 406-0, the legislators said that the PRC should be urged to halt “the forced repatriation of North Koreans who face a well-founded fear of persecution if they are returned to North Korea.” The measure also urged PRC officials to make “genuine efforts to identify and protect the refugees among the North Korean migrants.” This would include “providing refugees with a reasonable opportunity to request asylum.” The resolution also asks the PRC to allow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees “access to all North Korean refugees residing in China” and asks the Secretary of State to work with concerned regional governments to protect DPRK refugees residing in the PRC and facilitate their resettlement.

5. PRC Detains US Missionary

Reuters (“CHINA CHARGES DETAINED U.S. MISSIONARY WITH CHILD-RAPE,” Beijing, 06/13/02) reported that the PRC confirmed on Thursday it had detained a Korean-American missionary on charges of raping children and helping DPRK asylum seekers sneak into the PRC. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters Joseph Choi was detained on May 12 in the PRC’s northeastern province of Jilin, which borders the DPRK. Liu said the PRC notified the US consulate of Choi’s detention in the northeastern city of Shenyang on May 15 and that a US consul had visited Choi two days later. Liu gave no details of the charges against Choi. A US embassy spokesman declined to comment, but said consular officials had been in contact with a US citizen detained in the northeast in May. The spokesman said he could not give further details because of the federal privacy act. “The Chinese side hopes the U.S. side will educate its citizens in China to abide by Chinese laws and to not conduct in illegal activities,” Liu told a news conference. An ROK missionary colleague said last month Choi was not involved in refugee smuggling. The colleague at the time accused the PRC government of trumping up charges in an effort to show that they were cracking down on people helping DPRK asylum seekers get into the PRC.

6. Cross-Straits Espionage

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, “TAIWAN NAVY OFFICER ARRESTED FOR SPYING FOR CHINA,” Taipei, 06/12/02) and Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN’S FORMER AIR FORCE OFFICER ADMITS SPYING FOR CHINA: REPORTS,” 06/13/02) reported that Taiwan has arrested a navy officer on charges of spying for China, a prosecutor and local media said on Wednesday. First Sergeant Liu Yueh-lung, a non-commissioned officer and radio operator, was taken into custody on June 5 for allegedly leaking military secrets and endangering national security, said You Tung-lung, a spokesman for the military prosecutor’s office. “I cannot reveal details because the case is under investigation and involves military secrets. It is highly sensitive,” the spokesman said. Liu, 31, was arrested for sending photographs of military ports, vessels and weapons to China either via the Internet or a family member. Liu faces a possible death sentence if convicted of spying. 7. ROK Accidental Deaths

Agence France-Presse (“TWO SOUTH KOREAN TEENAGERS KILLED BY US MILITARY VEHICLE,” 06/13/02) reported that two ROK teenaged girls were killed after being struck by a US army armored vehicle on an off-base training mission, US authorities said. Lieutenant General Daniel R. Zanini, commander of the Eighth US army in the ROK, was quick to issue a “hearfelt” apology in an attempt to stop the tragedy from fueling anti-US sentiment. “We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the children and pledge our resolve to vigorously investigate this accident,” he said. The incident occurred in Gwangjeok, 30 kilometers north of Seoul. The 3.66 metre wide armored vehicle bridge carrier was in convoy participating in a field exercise. No other details of the accident were given. A joint investigation was started by US and ROK authorities.

8. ROK Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse (“VOTE-BUYING AND FREE MEALS FAIL TO ENTICE SOUTH KOREAN VOTERS,” 06/12/02) reported that even a free meal, a cash gift and a day off will fail to tear ROK citizens away from watching the World Cup to vote in key local elections on Thursday. Rival parties are eagerly awaiting the result of the elections for signs of who could win the presidential elections in December. But the ROK would rather watch the football. The National Election Commission, an independent election watchdog, has predicted the turnout could be the lowest since local polls were revived in 1995. The government — which has made Thursday a national holiday because of the election — and rival parties are trying their hardest though to get support. The National Election Commission (NEC), an independent election watchdog, said it is the worst campaign it has known for vote buying and other election infringements. “Illegal campaigning such as cash gifts have been rampant and worse than before,” NEC spokesman Hong Jong-Yoon told AFP. Up to last weekend, the watchdog had already refered 344 cases to prosecutors for legal action. Giving free meals and gifts to buy votes accounted for 29 percent of cases, the NEC said, adding the number would go up before voting starts Thursday. In Seongjoo county, 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of Seoul, police arrested seven campaigners accused of handing out 52 million won (42,280 US dollars) to 44 supporters. “Politicians are the main culprit for fuelling the lack of public interest, while the World Cup craze has also played a role,” Hong said.

9. Inter-Korean Relations

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, “SOUTH KOREAN ACTIVISTS VISIT NORTH KOREA TO CELEBRATE SUMMIT ACCORD,” Seoul, 06/13/02) reported that some 200 ROK civic and religious activists left for the DPRK by ship Thursday to celebrate the second anniversary of a historic inter-Korean summit. The ROK delegation will meet their DPRK at the North’s scenic Kumgang Mountain resort to mark the occasion with a marathon race, concerts, photo exhibitions, and arts programs, organizers said. The two sides will commemorate an accord issued on June 15, 2000 after a first-ever summit between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong Il in the north’s capital, Pyongyang.

10. DPRK Navy Boat Maritime Border Violation

Reuters (“NORTH KOREAN NAVY BOAT VIOLATES MARITIME BORDER WITH SOUTH KOREA,” Seoul, 06/11/02) reported that a DPRK navy patrol boat briefly crossed the western maritime border with the ROK in the seventh such violation this year, the ROK military said. The DPRK boat appeared to have crossed the border Tuesday evening, the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement issued late Tuesday. The DPRK boat stayed in the area for 50 minutes before ROK navy warships chased it back across the border, it said. The Korean maritime border is not clearly marked. The ROK accused the DPRK of making 12 brief border violations in the western sea last year.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Civilian Inter Korean Relations Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong,

“PYEONGYANG TO RECEIVE A DONOR GROUP FROM SOUTH,” Seoul, 06/11/02) reported that more than 300 ROK citizens will visit the DPRK this week, keeping inter-Korean civilian exchanges alive amid the frozen government talks. “The Korean Welfare Foundation, a private aid donor to North Korea, organized a trip for 317 South Koreans to fly by Korean Air charter to Pyeongyang Friday,” an ROK government official said Tuesday. Although official contacts between DPRK and ROK are suspended, civilian exchanges are more active than ever this year. A group of 255 Jeju residents visited DPRK in May, and another 240 are scheduled to depart for Mount Kumgang Thursday to celebrate the second anniversary of the inter-Korean joint declaration. The organization built a bread plant in Pyongyang that produces 15,000 loaves a day. Thirty-five kindergartens and day-care centers have received the food since 2000. ROK conditioned permission for the trip on the visitors’ not attending the DPRK’s Arirang Festival. The group will return to ROK June 19.

2. North Korean Defectors in PRC

Joongang Ilbo (“CHINA TO DEMAND CUSOTDY OF DEFECOTRS IN ALL FORIGN MISSIONS,” Seoul, 06/12/02) reported that PRC decided to demand all foreign missions in PRC to hand over DPRK defectors who sought asylum to building aside from ROK from now on, spelling more trouble ahead in defectors’ case. Diplomatic sources in ROK said Wednesday that the PRC government’s stance seems to have come from the understanding that its foreign missions including embassies and consulates should not serve as channels for DPRK defectors to flee. “We have reconfirmed our existing stance that we cannot transfer 17 defectors who sought asylum to our embassy unless China guarantees their eventual path to South Korea,” a related official in ROK said. “China too is agonizing over this problem and the problem is not likely to go away soon,” he added.

3. Narcotics Control Board in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD VISITS NORTH,” Seoul, 06/12/02) reported that the DPRK’s state media reported Wednesday a delegation from the International Narcotics Control Board arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday, but did not mention the purpose of the visit. The group reportedly paid tribute to the Kim Il-sung statue on Mansudae Hill in the capital, Korean Central Broadcasting, monitored in Seoul, reported. The board, established in 1968, is an independent, quasi-judicial body charged with implementing the United Nations drug conventions. The Board pointed out two years ago in its 2000 annual report that DPRK and Cambodia are the only two nations in East Asia that have not joined international narcotics pacts and that ships passing through DPRK’s territorial waters carry most of the drugs smuggled into Japan. “The board is conducting inspections of countries in order to block the circulation of illegal drugs,” a government official in Seoul said.

4. Food Assistance to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “NORTH KOREA CONDEMNS “CONDITIONAL” ASSISTANCE,” Seoul, 06/12/02) reported that DPRK on Tuesday blasted countries who only offer assistance with strings attached. DPRK’s agriculture minister, Kim Chang-sik, made the criticism during a short speech at the UN World Food Summit in Rome. “It is hardly fair for governments to overlook the differences between other countries and simply force their own values and development models on them in return for humanitarian aid,” Kim said. “Those nations can never justify their own claims of being concerned about human rights and democracy.” The ROK, US and Japan are the three largest donors of relief supplies to the Stalinist nation. The US has already called for the World Food Program to resume shipments to the poverty-stricken communist sate. Meanwhile, the World Food Program, which has won additional aid from US, continued to call out to international society that it still needs another 150,000 metric tons to help the hungry people in the upper side of the Korean Peninsula.

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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
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

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

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
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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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