NAPSNet Daily Report 14 January, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 14 January, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, January 14, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-14-january-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Japan-DPRK “Mystery Ship” Incident
2. US-Russia Nuclear Relations
3. Japan SDF Revision
4. Japan-ASEAN Relations
5. US-ROK Relations
6. PRC-India Relations
7. Cross-Straits Relations
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK President New Year’s Address
2. US President Bush Asia Tour
3. DPRK Response to Missile Defense
4. New Witness of Nogeunri Massacre

I. United States

1. Japan-DPRK “Mystery Ship” Incident

Agence France-Presse (“US OFFICIAL LINKS NORTH KOREA TO SUSPECT SPY SHIP,” 01/13/02) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has linked the DPRK to a suspected spy ship which sank in after an exchange of gunfire with the Japanese coastguard in the East China Sea last month. Armitage, who is the first high-ranking US official to assert that the ship was from the DPRK, stated, “I believe the ship to be North Korean. I salute the government of Japan and the guardians of Japan for having taken this resolute action.” Armitage also said that it was not the first time that a suspected DPRK spy vessel violated Japan’s waters and that US forces in Japan would help Japan block such intrusion. “Should the government of Japan request any assistance from the United States, you can be absolutely sure we will provide it.” Presently, the mystery ship has yet to be conclusively identified as DPRK in origin.

2. US-Russia Nuclear Relations

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, “Russians to Start Nuclear Arms Cuts Talks,” Washington, 01/14/02) and the Associated Press (“RUSSIA SEEKS NEW ARMS PACT WITH US MOSCOW,” 01/12/02) reported that Senior US and Russian defense officials will meet Tuesday to begin planning joint deep cuts in nuclear arms and discuss Russia’s objections to US plans to store unused warheads instead of destroying them. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith will hold two days of talks at the Pentagon with a team headed by Russia’s first deputy chief of staff, Colonel-General Yuri Baluyevsky. The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged the US to fulfill pledges to proceed with “real cuts,” saying, “That means strategic nuclear weapons must be cut not only ‘on paper.'” However, a senior US diplomat expressed confidence that a deal would be reached with Russia that could quell fears about the US plans. “The Russians have fired their opening salvo on the issue but I think we’ll be able to wrestle it to the ground,” the diplomat told reporters Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

3. Japan SDF Revision

Reuters (“JAPAN CONSIDERS REVISING DEFENCE FORCES LAW,” Tokyo, 01/13/02) reported that Defence Agency sources have said that they are considering revising the 1954 law governing self-defense forces to allow Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) ships to respond to emergencies without a prior request from the coast guard, as is now required. It took 10 hours for MSDF ships to reach the site of last month’s “mystery ship” incident, by which time the unidentified ship had already sunk. The revision of the law would include a “standby order” for the MSDF, which will authorize it to launch its ships at its own discretion so that it can respond promptly when unidentified ships intrude into Japanese waters. If preparations were completed in time, the law could be submitted to parliament as early as January 21.

4. Japan-ASEAN Relations

Agence France-Presse (“JAPANESE PREMIER ENDS INDONESIA VISIT,” Jakarta, 01/13/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Sunday ended his first visit to Indonesia and flew to Singapore, his fifth and last stop on his Southeast Asia tour. Koizumi, who won Indonesia’s full support for Japan’s plan to form a new economic partnership with Southeast Asia, laid a wreath at the Kalibata state hero’s cemetery in South Jakarta and met with House Speaker Akbar Tanjung. “Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koisumi expressed the commitment of the Japanese government to continue to assist Indonesia in its economic recovery and in its development,” Tanjung told journalists after the meeting. During Koizumi’s talks with Indonesia President Megawati Sukarnoputri, he briefed her on his proposed comprehensive economic partnership between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The partnership, which Koizumi said may include free trade accords between Japan and the 10-member ASEAN, should be expanded to other regional countries such as the PRC, the ROK, Australia and New Zealand.

5. US-ROK Relations

Agence France-Presse (“BUSH TRIP TO SOUTH KOREA TO FOCUS ON TERRORISM, NORTH KOREAN MISSILES,” Seoul, 01/13/02) reported that terrorism and weapons of mass destruction in the DPRK will be issues discussed when US President George W. Bush visits the ROK next month. White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer announced that Bush is to arrive on February 19 for a two-day visit following a trip to Tokyo. Professor Ryu Suk-Ryul from the ROK’s foreign ministry’s Institute of Foreign Affairs predicted that Bush and President Kim Dae-Jung would most likely call on the DPRK to take concrete action to convince the international community that it has no links to terrorism. “They will also express international concern over the North’s weapons of mass destruction,” he said. ROK officials here hinted that Kim would also use Bush’s first official trip to Seoul to ask the US to be more active in finding ways to warm ties with the DPRK so as to jumpstart the stalled inter-Korean talks.

6. PRC-India Relations

Reuters (Sanjeev Miglani, “ZHU BEGINS CONCILIATORY TALKS WITH INDIAN LEADERS,” New Delhi, 01/14/02) Agence France-Presse (“CHINESE PREMIER BEGINS STATE VISIT TO INDIA, BUT MEDIATION NOT EXPECTED,” 01/14/02) that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji began talks with Indian leaders on Monday in which he was expected to try to reassure India of a more even-handed approach in the future. Zhu, the first PRC premier to visit India in a decade, is set to hold talks later with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to “discuss bilateral and international issues which are of interest to both countries.” India’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Nirupama Rao said that Zhu had held talks with Indian Vice President Krishan Kant and conveyed his personal sympathies over the attack on parliament. Rao also commented, “Our relationship with China has improved. It is acquiring the dimensions of a multifaceted relationship. The visit of Zhu is a reflection of this perceptible improvement.” However, India has ruled out any mediation attempt by Zhu. Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh stated, “China has neither any intention, nor shall it play any mediatory role between India and Pakistan.”

7. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse (“CHANGES IN TAIWAN PASSPORTS FAIL TO GAIN SUPPORT AT HOME, ANGER CHINA,” 01/14/02) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian’s recent decision to add the word “Taiwan” to the cover of Taiwan’s passports has not only upset the PRC but drew strong criticism at home. Opposition parties criticized the move to add “Issued In Taiwan” to the passport as unnecessary and potentially illegal. “His action is clearly trying to change the name of the country,” which would violate the constitution, said Lee Cheng-chong, a lawmaker from the opposition Kuomintang. The PRC is claiming that Chen’s passport alteration is yet another step in the island’s bid for eventual independence. The new version of the passport is expected to be released in November, according to Taiwan’s foreign ministry.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK President New Year’s Address

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, “PRESIDENT KIM PLEDGES TO FIGHT CORRUPTION,” Seoul, 01/14/02) reported that in his new year’s address president Kim Dae-jung pledged to do all he can to revive the economy and successfully host the World Cup Finals during his remaining term in office. President Kim also said that he hoped to break the current deadlock in inter-Korean relations and US-DPRK relations. Kim commented that he thought the US should allow the DPRK to “save face

2. US President Bush Asia Tour

Joongang Ilbo (“BUSH TO VISIT SEOUL FEB. 19 IN ASIA TOUR,” 01/14/02) reported that ROK Blue House spokesman Oh Hong-keun announced Saturday that US President George W. Bush will visit the ROK from February 19-21. President Kim Dae-Jung and President Bush will meet to discuss ROK-DPRK relations, US-DPRK relations and anti-terrorism measures in connection with the World Cup games. President Bush will travel to Japan and the PRC as well. In a separate announcement, an ROK official said that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s planned visit to the ROK this month will be postponed until May, “due to affairs connected with the war against terrorism.”

3. DPRK Response to Missile Defense

Joongang Ilbo (“PYONGYANG WARNS SOUTH KOREAN MILITARY NOT TO TAKE PART IN MD PLAN,” Seoul, 01/14/02) reported that the DPRK warned that there would be “grave and complicated” consequences if the ROK military joins in the US missile defense plan. DPRK newspaper Rodong Sinmun criticized the US for intentionally provoking war with its missile defense shield.” The paper asserted that the US scheme to build missile defense shield will trigger a new arms race and will only result in bringing about bigger threats to the US.

4. New Witness of Nogeunri Massacre

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Su-hye, “NEW U.S. WITNESS APPEARS IN NOGEUNRI AFFAIR,” Seoul, 01/14/02) reported that a US soldier present at the Nogeunri Massacre, where a retreating US army unit opened fire on civilians killing many of them, wrote in a letter to surviving victim Seo Jeong-gab that a squad commander ordered troops to fire on the villagers. The letter was released by the Nogeunri Truth Finding Committee. The committee stated that Early was nearly killed for disobeying the commander’s order to fire at the civilians. Early apologized for not stopping the killing of Korean villagers, adding that he has spent the last 52 years suffering from guilt.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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: hibikiy@dh.mbn.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

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

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
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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