NAPSNet Daily Report 13 November, 1997

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 13 November, 1997", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 13, 1997,


I. United States

I. United States

1. Four-Party Peace Talks

Reuters (“ALBRIGHT SAYS KOREA TALKS POSSIBLE NEXT MONTH,” Washington, 11/13/97) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Wednesday stated that four-party peace negotiations for the Korean peninsula may begin next month. Albright told the Joint Armed Forces Wives League, “Although these talks have been slow to get off the ground, a series of preliminary meetings have set the stage for a plenary discussion, which we hope will begin next month.” Later, State Department spokesman James Rubin indicated that a specific date for the start of peace talks had not yet been determined. “We are still working on trying to make that plenary happen as soon as possible and that’s what we’ve been discussing in those working groups,” Rubin stated. He said that the four parties held previously unannounced working-level talks in New York on November 10. [Ed. note: See “Four-Party Peace Talks” in the ROK Section of the November 12 Daily Report.] “We can’t give you a readout of those discussions. But as we said in late October, the North Koreans have indicated a willingness to resume discussions and the four parties are exploring how to proceed,” he stated.

2. Japan-DPRK Normalization Talks

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“JAPAN, NORTH KOREA AGREE TO HOLD NORMALIZATION TALKS,” Seoul, 11/13/97) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency said that ruling party officials of Japan and the DPRK Thursday reaffirmed plans to hold governmental talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations. No date was given for the talks.

Agence France-Presse (“JAPANESE LEADER PRAISES BREAKTHROUGH WITH NORTH KOREA,” Tokyo, 11/13/97) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on Thursday praised an agreement between Japan and the DPRK to resume diplomatic normalization talks. “It is a really good thing that this aberrant relationship is moving towards the right path,” Hashimoto said. Japan’s Jiji Press reported that, in addition to the agreement on normalization talks, the two sides pledged Thursday to solve “humanitarian problems” and to allow greater movement of citizens between them.

3. ROK Presidential Election

The Washington Post (Kevin Sullivan, “FINALLY, A S. KOREAN HORSE RACE,” Seoul, 11/13/97, A25) reported that the most recent polls on the upcoming ROK presidential election show Kim Dae-jung to be the choice of up to 38 percent of voters, as much as 12 points ahead of the other candidates: former Kyonggi-do governor Rhee In-je, and the ruling party candidate, former Supreme Court justice Lee Hoi-chang. The article pointed out that Kim would be the first opposition candidate to win the presidency in more than 35 years. Kim has formed a new coalition with Kim Jong-pil, another veteran opposition leader, and Park Tae-joon, the founder and former chairman of Pohang Iron and Steel Co., the world’s second-largest steel manufacturer. However, many ROK analysts caution that Kim Dae-jung’s support has not increased dramatically from the 30- plus percent of the vote that he has always controlled, mainly from his home area of Cholla Province. They also say that many voters are tired of the “three Kims”: Kim Dae-jung, Kim Jong-pil, and ROK President Kim Young-sam. Hyun Hong-choo, a former ROK ambassador to the US who is now a close adviser to Lee Hoi-chang, said that Kim Dae-jung “simply is not representing the mainstream establishment in Korea.” Kim dismissed such charges, saying that if he is elected, he would have no trouble presiding over the Agency for National Security Planning, the successor to the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, whose agents are believed to have plotted to kill him several times. He also said he would treat the military fairly, even though one general warned during Kim’s 1987 presidential campaign that the military might have to kill him or stage a coup if he took office.

4. Regional Security Talks

The AP-Dow Jones News Service (“CHINA: EAST ASIAN LEADERS PLANNING ECON, SECURITY TALKS,” Beijing, 11/13/97) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang said Thursday that leaders of the PRC, Japan, the ROK and Southeast Asian countries will meet later this year to discuss regional security and economic stability. He stated that the date of the meeting has not been set, but it may be in December. He declined to say where it would be held.

5. PRC-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (Chester Dawson, “CHINA’S PREMIER MEETS JAPAN LEADERS,” Tokyo, 11/12/97) reported that PRC Premier Li Peng on Wednesday paid a courtesy call on Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo. Japan’s NHK television reported that Li also met New Frontier Party president Ichiro Ozawa, the leaders of two other opposition parties, and five former prime ministers, and expressed concern over post-Cold War defense ties between the US and Japan. Li also urged Japan to leave Taiwan out of its security planning. He also criticized Japan for its reluctance to apologize for atrocities committed in China during World War II, saying, “To make the bilateral friendship last for generations, we should educate younger generations with an accurate understanding of history.”

6. PRC-Taiwan Relations

Taiwan’s Central News Agency (Flor Wang, “SIEW URGES RESUMPTION OF CROSS-STRAIT TALKS WITHOUT PRECONDITIONS,” Taipei, 11/13/97) reported that Taiwan Premier Vincent Siew said in the latest issue of Asiaweek magazine that Taiwan is seeking the peaceful unification of China and wishes to reopen talks with the PRC. Siew said that, as the PRC has never ruled Taiwan and has never agreed to relinquish the use of force against Taiwan, the ROC government cannot accept the PRC’s “one China” policy. He called on the PRC to quickly respond to Taiwan’s overtures, saying that the door for negotiations on the Taiwan side is always open. Speaking of the recent meeting between US President Bill Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin, Siew said that the ROC government has always advocated Taiwan-US relations and US-PRC relations running in parallel instead of in a triangular manner. Taiwan will not interfere in US dealings with the PRC, nor should a third party meddle in the relations between Taiwan and the US, he added. Clarifying recent remarks by ROC President Lee Teng-hui that “Taiwan is an independent sovereign country,” Siew explained that President Lee was merely trying to clearly point out that Taiwan is a political entity.

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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Shin Dong-bom:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Choi Chung-moon:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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