NAPSNet Daily Report 14 July, 2003

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 14 July, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 14, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-14-july-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US on UN Role in DPRK Nuclear Standoff
2. US-DPRK MIA Recovery Operations
3. US Senate Proposal on DPRK Interdiction
4. DPRK-US Relations
5. ROK on DPRK Reprocessing
6. ROK-DPRK Relations
7. ROK on UK Involvement in DPRK Nuclear Crisis
8. KEDO LWR project
9. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
10. DPRK on PRC-DPRK Relations
11. Japan-DPRK Relations
12. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
13. ROK-New Zealand Relations
14. PRC Flooding
15. PRC Landslide Tragedy
16. Beijing SARS Outbreak
17. PRC Commercial Corruption
18. PRC Triad Crackdown
19. PRC Media on Hong Kong Protests
20. PRC Domestic Dissent
21. Hong-Kong-PRC Talks
22. PRC Human Rights Arrest
23. PRC AIDS Crisis
24. PRC Celebrates Population Day
25. Tibet Environmental Abuse
26. Japan Historical Revisionism
27. Russian Spying Allegation
II. People’s Republic of China 1. PRC-US Relations on Taiwan Issue
2. ROK-DPRK Relations
3. PRC-Japan Relations
4. DPRK-Japan Relations
5. PRC on DPRK Nuke Issue
6. ROK-PRC Relations

I. United States

1. US on UN Role in DPRK Nuclear Standoff

The Associated Press (Edith M. Lederer “U.S. WANTS U.N. TO CONDEMN N. KOREA NUKES,” 7/11/03) reported that the US still wants the U.N. Security Council to condemn the DPRK’s nuclear program despite the communist country’s efforts to persuade other nations not to take sides on the issue. U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said Friday the Bush administration has no plans to withdraw a draft statement condemning the DPRK’s nuclear program and demanding its immediate destruction. “It’s still on the table,” Negroponte said. The United States, which has included North Korea in an “axis of evil” with Iran and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, said it wants a strong statement from the Security Council expressing concern about the DPRK’s nuclear program.

2. US-DPRK MIA Recovery Operations

The Associated Press (Robert Burns “U.S. TO PAY NORTH KOREA FOR MIA SEARCH,” Washington, 07/14/03) reported that the US will pay the DPRK $2.1 million to conduct four searches this summer and fall for remains of American servicemen missing from the Korean War, the Pentagon said Monday. The deal was struck Saturday after three days of talks in Bangkok, Thailand, between DPRK Col. Gen. Li Chan Bok and an American delegation led by Jerry Jennings, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW-MIA affairs, according to Jennings’ spokesman, Larry Greer. The $2.1 million is reimbursement for services provided by the DPRK government, including the provision of aircraft for potential medical evacuation of US search personnel, Greer said. The sides agreed that the Americans would conduct two searches, each for a month’s duration, at two sites: in the vicinity of the Chongchon River, north of Pyongyang, and in the Chosin Reservoir area, scene of some of the most savage fighting of the war in late November and early December 1950. Greer, the spokesman, said that in addition to working out arrangements for excavations at battlefield sites, the American delegation in Bangkok repeated its request for access to four American servicemen who the Army says deserted their US units in the ROK in the 1960s and are living in the DPRK. In the past the DPRK has said the four do not want to talk to US authorities, and no agreement was reached during last week’s talks, Greer said.

3. US Senate Proposal on DPRK Interdiction

Text of amendment shown below: The Senator from Indiana [Mr. Lugar], for Mr. Kyl, proposes an amendment numbered 1173. (Purpose: Requirement for report on the role of North Korea in the trafficking of illegal narcotics) SEC. 815. REQUIREMENT FOR REPORT ON THE ROLE OF NORTH KOREA IN THE TRAFFICKING OF ILLEGAL NARCOTICS. (a) Requirement.–Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that describes the role of North Korea, since January 1, 2000, in the trafficking of illegal narcotics. (b) Classified Report.–If the President submits the report in a classified form, the President shall also submit an unclassified version of the report. (c) Content.–The report shall– (1) address each aspect of North Korea’s role in the trafficking of illegal narcotics, including any role in the cultivation, sale, or transshipment of such narcotics; (2) identify the origin and destination of all narcotics that are transshipped through North Korea; (3) provide an estimate of the total amount of income received by the Government of North Korea each year as a result of such trafficking and the currencies in which such income is received; (4) describe the role of North Korean government officials and military personnel in such trafficking, including any use of diplomatic channels to facilitate such trafficking; and (5) include an assessment of whether the leadership of the Government of North Korea is aware and approves of such trafficking activities in North Korea. Mr. LUGAR. Mr. President, the amendment requires a report on the role of North Korea in trafficking of illegal narcotics. It has the support of both sides. I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be agreed to. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. The amendment (No. 1173) was agreed to.

4. DPRK-US Relations

Reuters (Irwin Arieff “N. KOREA COMPLAINS ABOUT U.S. ‘HOSTILE ACTS’,” 07/14/03) reported that the DPRK, locked in a nuclear stand-off with the US, has complained to the Security Council that the US was committing hostile acts against his country, Spain’s U.N. ambassador said on Monday. Inocencio Arias, who holds the council’s rotating presidency for July, said the DPRK’s U.N. ambassador, Pak Gil Yon, delivered the message in a July 2 meeting. “He said that the United States was committing unfriendly and hostile acts toward North Korea,” Arias told reporters after briefing the council on their meeting. “According to him, the situation is deteriorating and there should be no pressure on the Security Council about getting any statement or declaration,” Arias said. “He told me he believed the unfriendly acts by the United States should stop.” While the US wants the council to take up the issue, the DPRK has fought hard to prevent this, insisting instead on bilateral talks with Washington. Arias said no other council members had spoken during the closed-door briefing on his meeting with Pak. Asked what steps the council would take next on the DPRK crisis, he responded: “For the time being, no steps.”

5. ROK on DPRK Reprocessing

Reuters, (Paul Eckert “S.KOREA SAYS NORTH REPROCESSING NOT CONFIRMED,” Seoul, 07/14/03) reported that the ROK said on Monday it had “no scientific evidence” to back reports the DPRK has reprocessed all its spent nuclear fuel rods, a development that would enable the DPRK to build five or six new atomic bombs. On Sunday, the ROK’s Yonhap news agency quoted a former presidential intelligence aide as saying U.N.-based DPRK diplomats had told U.S. officials the reprocessing had been completed in June at the North’s Yongbyon nuclear complex. “We’re not at the stage of being able to confirm anything,” President Roh Moo-hyun’s foreign policy adviser, Ban Ki-moon, told a meeting of presidential secretaries. “At present, as we have said, there is no scientific evidence” that Pyongyang had completed reprocessing, he said. Roh’s office released minutes of the meeting. Reprocessing the 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods would enable the DPRK to extract 25 to 30 kg (55 to 66 lb) of plutonium — enough to add five or six bombs to an arsenal US experts estimate already includes one or two such weapons. Analyst Koh Yoo-hwan of Dongkuk University in Seoul said the statements were “North Korea’s card to capture the U.S.’s attention and force them to the negotiating table.” “Because the U.S. has ignored North Korea, I think the North Koreans are getting a bit impatient,” he said.

6. ROK-DPRK Relations

Reuters (“KOREAS AGREE TO ‘APPROPRIATE’ TALKS ON NUCLEAR ROW,” Seoul, 07/11/03) reported that the ROK and DPRK said on Saturday they had agreed to pursue “appropriate dialogue” to resolve the dispute over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programs. “South Korea and North Korea will resolve the nuclear issue peacefully through appropriate dialogue,” said a statement issued after three days of ministerial talks in Seoul. “This is necessary to maintain peace and security on the Korean peninsula,” said the first clause of the six-point statement that also pledged reunions of divided families and new rounds of ministerial and economic talks in coming months. The vague nuclear statement came after marathon overnight negotiations that failed to bridge the gap between the ROK and the DPRK. The ROK wanted multilateral talks involving the Koreas, the US, Japan and the PRC, while the DPRK insisted on direct one-to-one talks with the US. Friday, as the North-South talks went on, Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency quoted a DPRK source in Pyongyang as saying the nuclear crisis could be resolved only through bilateral talks with the US. “The nuclear problem arose entirely through the threats and deceit of the United States,” it quoted the source as saying. “It is possible to remove the grievances between North Korea and the United States only through direct dialogue.”

7. ROK on UK Involvement in DPRK Nuclear Crisis

Asia Pulse (“SEOUL APPEALS FOR BRITAIN’S COOPERATION IN SOLVING NUCLEAR ISSUE,” Seoul, 7/14/03) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-hyun appealed to Britain to play a “more active” role in international efforts to defuse the tension over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program. Roh made the appeal in a personal letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday. The letter was delivered by Rep. Chung Dong-young, a presidential envoy who visited London as part of a 10-day European trip that included a speech at an international forum. Blair is scheduled to visit Seoul on July 20. In the letter, Roh said the nuclear issue is not a matter that concerns the two Koreas and the US only, but is an international issue that needs support from Britain, according to Chung. The ROK backs a US demand that the North’s nuclear issue be resolved through a multilateral dialogue that would involve the PRC, Japan and ROK as well. The DPRK insists on bilateral talks with Washington before expanding the format. Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of Roh at a meeting of “Third-Way Summit,” an international forum in London on July 11-13, Chung also called for more European cooperation to resolve the North’s nuclear issue peacefully. He urged the international community to send “a firmer message to North Korea and to assemble the joint efforts of the global community to this end (the peaceful solution to the nuclear issue).” “A peaceful solution to this problem is to invite North Korea to taste the fruition of international cooperation through a warm hand,” he said.

8. KEDO LWR project

Reuters (“Carol Giacomo “MOMENTUM BUILDS TO END NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR PROJECT,” Washington, 07/14/03) reported that momentum is building to formally suspend a multibillion dollar nuclear power project under construction in the DPRK by the US, the ROK, Japan and the European Union, US and diplomatic sources said on Monday. Members of the Korean Energy Development Organization, the project developer, began working-level talks in New York on Monday on the issue of what suspension would mean and its likely impact on the DPRK, the sources told Reuters. The meeting comes as the US presses the DPRK to abandon its nuclear ambitions by organizing an international crackdown on DPRK counterfeiting and trafficking in narcotics and missiles. “If we’re going to be ordered to suspend, we’d like to see it done in an orderly and safe manner and in a manner that doesn’t make things worse,” one diplomat said. Some analysts say suspension would be seen as effective termination of the project and this could undermine any chance of a peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear crisis. Others say it is a logical and overdue extension of US policy since senior Bush administration officials have long made clear they have no intention of allowing the DPRK to take control of a nuclear power reactor.

9. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program

Reuters (“CHINA URGES CALM IN NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR FLAP,” Beijing, 07/14/03) reported that the PRC urged calm in the DPRK nuclear crisis Monday and called on all sides to avoid making the situation worse after a news report that the DPRK had reprocessed all its 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods. “We hope the relevant sides can keep calm, exercise restraint, resolve mutual concerns through dialogue and negotiation and avoid any actions that will exacerbate the situation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Sunday, the ROK’s Yonhap news agency quoted a former presidential intelligence aide as saying U.N.-based DPRK diplomats had told US officials the reprocessing had been completed in June at the DPRK’s Yongbyon nuclear complex.

10. DPRK on PRC-DPRK Relations

KCNA (“CHINESE SENIOR OFFICIALS ON SINO-KOREAN RELATIONS,” Beijing, 7/11/03) reported that it is the steadfast policy of the PRC to develop the PRC-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations, said Gu Xiulian, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China. Speaking at a reception given at the DPRK embassy here today to mark the 42nd anniversary of the DPRK-PRC treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, Gu said: Over the past years, the two parties and governments of the PRC and the DPRK have pushed ahead with their cause of socialist construction, treating on an equal footing, respecting and supporting and complementing each other in the spirit of the treaty. At the same time, they have dynamically propelled the steady consolidation and development of the bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation and made important contributions to defending the peace and stability of the PRC and Korea and, furthermore, the rest of the world, closely cooperating with each other in the international arena. The Sino-Korean friendship, which was provided and cultivated personally by the leaders of the old generation of the two countries, has stood the trial of history and has already rooted deep in the mind of the two peoples, she said. She expressed belief that the flower of friendship would come into fuller bloom under the guidance of leaders of the two countries and by the joint efforts of the two parties, governments and peoples. Meanwhile, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the China-Korea Friendship Association hosted a reception in Beijing on July 10 on this occasion. Addressing the reception, president of the people’s association Chen Haoxiao said it is of weighty significance in promoting peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and northeast Asia and, furthermore, in the rest of the world to preserve and strengthen the China-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations under the present international situation.

11. Japan-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (Natalie Obiko Pearson “REPORT: JAPAN, NORTH KOREA HELD TALKS,” Tokyo, 07/12/03) reported that United Nations officials from Japan and the DPRK met in New York last month to discuss the impasse over the DPRK’s nuclear program and its past abductions of Japanese citizens, a news report said Saturday. Official dialogue between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic ties, has been stalled since last fall amid growing concern about the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions and disagreement over the abductees. Eiji Yamamoto, minister at Japan’s mission to the United Nations, met with his DPRK counterpart Han Song Ryol in mid-June in attempts to restart communication, the Mainichi newspaper reported, citing unidentified sources. The report said the meeting ended in a stalemate after Japan pushed for multilateral talks to resolve both the nuclear and abductee issues. DPRK insisted on one-on-one talks with the US first.

12. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program

Reuters (“JAPAN WARNS N.KOREA NOT TO ESCALATE NUCLEAR ROW,” Tokyo, 07/14/03) reported that Japan warned the DPRK Monday not to escalate a stand-off with the international community over its nuclear weapons program, but did not confirm a report that the DPRK has reprocessed all its 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods. “It is not desirable for North Korea to escalate the nuclear situation. North Korea should be aware that if they keep it up, it will only lead to one thing — isolation in the international community,” top government spokesman Yasuo Fukuda told a news conference. “We are aware of the media reports, but they are not an official announcement by the U.S. government,” Fukuda said, adding that Japan was constantly exchanging information with the US and ROK but could not disclose the contents.

13. ROK-New Zealand Relations

Asia Pulse (“S. KOREAN PRESIDENT TO MEET NZ PRIME MINISTER FOR SUMMIT JULY 25,” Seoul. 07/14/03) reported that New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will have summit meeting with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun on July 25 and discuss the DPRK’s nuclear issue and bilateral cooperation, Cheong Wa Dae announced today. Clark will make a working visit July 24-28, coinciding the visit with her attendance at the 50th anniversary of the Korean War armistice that falls on July 27, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Tai-young said. Over 6,000 New Zealand soldiers had fought in the Korean War (1950-1953) as U.N.-allied forces, and 43 of them died. Roh and the prime minister will discuss the Korean nuclear issue, regional political situations, ways to enhance bilateral relations and cooperate in the international arena, Yoon said. Clark will visit the U.N. Cemetery on July 26 and attends the 50th armistice anniversary ceremony arranged by the U.N. Command the following day.

14. PRC Flooding

The Associated Press (Audra Ang, “THOUSANDS EVACUATED DUE TO CHINA FLOODS,” Beijing, 07/12/03) reported that more than 55,000 people were being evacuated in eastern PRC on Saturday as authorities rushed to cope with some of the worst flooding in more than a decade, and a mudslide caused by rains left more than 40 people missing. China Central Television showed hundreds of volunteers – some waist-deep in water – feverishly piling sandbags to shore up embankments along Hongze Lake in the eastern province of Jiangsu. Residents around the lake were being moved to safety as officials prepared to divert flood waters, said the head of the Xuyi County propaganda office who would only give his surname, Zhang. “By 6 p.m. Sunday, all the women, children and elderly will be evacuated,” Zhang said. “Young people will be asked to help strengthen dikes.” On Wednesday, 68,000 people in another flood diversion area in Xuyi county were moved in the most serious flooding the lake has seen since 1991, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The mudslide struck Danba County in the southwestern province of Sichuan, cutting off a river and causing waters to rise, Xinhua reported. Aside from the missing, around 90 people were stranded, the agency said without providing further details.

15. PRC Landslide Tragedy

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “HOPES DIM FOR LANDSLIDE VICTIMS IN CHINA,” Beijing, 07/14/03) reported that hopes were fading on Monday for 51 people missing after a rain-triggered landslide in the western PRC, while more than 1.6 million people who escaped flooding in the country’s east were living in temporary shelters, officials said. Rescuers have found no sign of the missing people since the slide of mud and rock struck remote, mountainous Danba county in Sichuan province before dawn Saturday, said a spokeswoman for the provincial disaster headquarters. “Chances of finding them alive are very slim,” said the spokeswoman, who would give only her surname, Tian. More than 500 people have been killed in floods, landslides and other disasters triggered by rains in areas throughout the PRC this year, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. More than 1.6 million people have been evacuated from low-lying areas along the swollen Huai River in the eastern provinces of Anhui and Jiangsu, rescue officials said. Thousands of soldiers and paramilitary police have been laboring to shore up dikes and rescue trapped people. More than 900,000 residents have been evacuated from along the Huai and another 1 million people were stuck in villages surrounded by floods, he said. A disaster-relief official at the Jiangsu Provincial Civil Affairs Bureau said seven people have died in the province from the floods, 744,000 residents have been evacuated and another 699,000 people are stranded by waters.

16. Beijing SARS Outbreak

The Associated Press (“CDC REMOVES SARS TRAVEL ALERT FOR BEIJING,” Atlanta, 07/12/03) reported that US officials have lifted a SARS-related travel alert for Beijing, leaving Taiwan the only area remaining on the list. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that the Beijing alert was lifted because more than 30 days had elapsed since the last SARS case there developed symptoms. A CDC travel alert is not a recommendation against travel to an area, but it advises travelers of a health concern. Hong Kong was dropped from the list Thursday. Earlier this month, the World Health Organization said SARS had been contained, although WHO officials are wary of a re-emergence of the viral disease. The international health agency reported Friday that 8,437 people had become ill with SARS, which has caused 813 deaths in the past year.

17. PRC Commercial Corruption

Reuters (Jonathan Ansfield “CHINA JAILS ORCHID KING FOR 18 YEARS,” Beijing, 07/04/03) reported that the PRC jailed a fallen flower baron once listed as the country’s second-richest man for 18 years Monday for commercial crimes in a case underscoring the precarious position of the PRC’s entrepreneurial elite. The guilty verdict brought to a close a dramatic reversal of fortune for Yang Bin, the orchid-growing Dutch national detained last year just days after the DPRK named him head of a planned free-trade enclave on the PRC border. It also coincided with a brewing corruption scandal over improper loans in Shanghai that has cast a cloud over the empire of detained property tycoon Zhou Zhengyi. “They sentenced him to 18 years,” Yang’s lawyer, Tian Wenchang, told Reuters after hearing the Shenyang Intermediate Court in the northeastern industrial hub pronounce the verdict. “They basically convicted him on all counts,” the lawyer said. The official Xinhua news agency said Yang had been convicted of contract fraud, forging financial instruments, bribery and illegally occupying and using farm land. He was also fined 2.3 million yuan ($278,000).

18. PRC Triad Crackdown

Agence France-Presse (“HONG KONG POLICE ARREST 39 IN ANTI-MAFIA CRACKDOWN,” reported that Hong Kong authorities have arrested 39 people in an anti-mafia crackdown that police said dealt a “severe blow” to the territory’s infamous triad syndicates, the government said. The operation targeted a triad-backed group involved in the illegal sale of cigarettes and pirated pornographic video compact discs, a government website said. Police seized nearly 270,000 cigarettes and 4,300 illegal VCDs, as well as 29 grams of suspected heroin and weapons, including machetes and iron pipes, in the crackdown that began Friday in the territory’s West Kowloon region. Authorities said similar raids will be conducted regularly to keep the area’s triad activities in check. Hong Kong police arrested 121 suspected triad members in a massive daylight operation a year ago to thwart a showdown between rival gangsters in one of the territory’s most popular tourist areas. According to preliminary investigations, the two triad gangs had gathered to take part in “negotiations” relating to a gambling affair, police said. Triad criminal gangs in Hong Kong usually focus on protection rackets, prostitution and gambling.

19. PRC Media on Hong Kong Protests

Agence France-Presse (“BEIJING-RUN NEWSPAPER ATTACKS HONG KONG PROTESTERS,” 07/14/03) reported that a top PRC state-run newspaper launched a strong attack on the recent string of mass demonstrations in Hong Kong, terming them a “vehicle for subverting the political system”. It said pro-democracy campaigners had hijacked the protests and were using Hong Kong people for their own political purposes. “Through their cunning arrangement, the ‘trilogy’ has turned into a vehicle for subverting the political system in Hong Kong,” the paper said in an opinion piece that is the strongest criticism yet of the protests. The China Daily article accused democrats of using “whatever means to incite people to join in the protest”. “What is important is that Hong Kong people must see through their tricks and refuse to become pawns in their political maneuvering,” it said. The paper urged Hong Kong residents to “pull themselves together” and “think carefully what they should do next”. While Monday’s mention of the demonstrations was in the Hong Kong editions of the English-language China Daily, it was not run in those available in the PRC.

20. PRC Domestic Dissent

Reuters (“CHINA OFFICIAL SAYS HK PROTESTERS DESERVE ATTENTION,” Hong Kong, 07/14/03) reported that a visiting PRC official, speaking in the wake of mass Hong Kong street protests, said on Monday that the demonstrators deserved to be taken seriously. Long Yongtu, a former top trade negotiator, indicated that Beijing had registered the shows of “people power.” Hong Kong’s PRC-installed government, meanwhile, pledged public debate on calls for democratic reform. Half a million people marched on July 1, the sixth anniversary of the former British colony’s return to PRC rule, to protest over a planned anti-subversion law and the local government’s handling of the recent SARS epidemic. That march and two more protest rallies within two weeks have raised eyebrows in the PRC, which has dispatched officials to Hong Kong to gauge the public mood. “Hong Kong is a place with a lot of freedom of speech, and it (protests) is one of the ways for Hong Kong people to express their opinions and thoughts,” Long told reporters in the territory. “Any method of expression, so long as allowed under the law, deserves to be taken seriously,” he added. Long, who was the PRC’s chief negotiator in the run-up to World Trade Organization membership in 2001, is now secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia, a Beijing-sponsored regional business group. After an estimated 20,000 rallied at the weekend calling for the resignation of Beijing-backed leader Tung Chee-hwa and for universal suffrage, a senior Hong Kong official promised on Monday to allow the territory’s six million people time to air their views publicly on political reform.

21. Hong-Kong-PRC Talks

Agence France-Presse (“HONG KONG DEMOCRATS MYSTIFIED BY BEIJING DENIAL OF MEETINGS,” 07/14/03) reported that Hong Kong’s Democratic Party is seeking direct talks with representatives from government in Beijing after PRC denials of informal meetings between the two sides, a legislator said. Albert Ho, vice chairman of the Democratic Party, said Monday he believed Beijing had not approved talks between officials and democrats last week and now wanted to put talks on an official level. Ho was among pro-democracy legislators who met mainland officials sent by the PRC to gauge Hong Kong’s political crisis after a massive protest rally on July 1 forced controversial security legislation to be shelved. The PRC’s central government liasion office in Hong Kong has, however, denied the meeting ever took place. The semi-official China News Service cited an official Sunday as saying that reports of meeting were “groundless rumours.” The official was also cited as saying in the report that it was the office’s duty to gather views in Hong Kong and report them to Beijing. “Liaising with all sectors in Hong Kong, raising the communications between mainland and Hong Kong, and reflecting Hong Kong residents’ views to the mainland. are…..among the office’s duties,” the official said. Ho said he believed PRC officials in Hong Kong had been acting independently in setting up the meeting with Democrats. “Looking at the context of the report, it is obvious that the meeting was not arranged by Beijing,” said Ho. “I don’t think Beijing is ready to have official talks with us.” Ho maintained he had met mainland officials who wanted to know more about what was happening in Hong Kong. More than 10 Democrats, including its chairman Yeung Sum, are barred from visiting mainland PRC.

22. PRC Human Rights Arrest

Agence France-Presse (“UN URGES CHINA TO RELEASE PROMINENT DISSIDENT AFTER “ARBITRARY” SENTENCING,” 07/14/03) reported that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has declared the PRC’s arrest and jailing of prominent overseas Chinese dissident Wang Bingzhang a violation of international law, documents said. The commission has urged the PRC to bring the case in line with international human rights standards. “The detention of Wang Bingzhang is arbitrary, being in contravention of articles 9, 10, and 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the ruling, signed Friday by Miguel de la Lama, head of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, said. “The working group requests the (Chinese) Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Wang Bingzhang and bring it into conformity with the standards and principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” it said. Copies of the ruling issued in Geneva on Friday, was faxed to AFP’s Beijing bureau Saturday. Wang was kidnapped in Vietnam near the northern border with China in June 2002 with two other overseas-based PRC dissidents, Yue Wu and Zhang Qi. He was taken to the PRC, where he was tried for terrorism and espionage in a day-long trial in January 2003 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The sudden disappearance of the three outraged the PRC’s dissident community, which immediately accused PRC secret police of kidnapping the three on foreign soil. “We are gratified that the United Nations has declared the unjust and morally reprehensible sentence of life imprisonment handed down by Beijing to Dr. Wang Bingzhang for his so-called ‘terrorist activities’ to be a flagrant violation of international law,” Timothy Cooper of the Free China Movement said. “At last, China’s sinister action has been exposed to the world for what it was and what it is — a serious and continuing violation of international law, unacceptable by any standard of human decency.” Cooper urged the international community to “redouble its diplomatic efforts” to help free Wang from Chinese custody.

23. PRC AIDS Crisis

Agence France-Presse (“AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGES CHINA TO COME CLEAN ON AIDS EPIDEMIC,” 07/14/03) reported that the London-based rights group Amnesty International expressed concerns over indiscriminate beatings and arrests of HIV-positive villagers in central PRC and urged a full and public report on how the people contracted the disease during blood donation drives. The rights group was referring to an incident on June 22, when up to 600 policemen stormed into Xiongqiao village in Wulong township in Henan province and arrested AIDS activists who had protested the government’s treatment of thousands of HIV carriers in the region. Other villages in the area have also been raided and suspected protest leaders rounded up since June 22, rights groups and AIDS activists said. In a statement, Amnesty urged “the Chinese authorities to fully investigate the extent of HIV/AIDS transmission in Henan and other provinces due to the operation of blood-collection centres in the 1990s and to publish the findings of the investigation.” The group also expressed “concern at reports of indiscriminate beatings by police, and others apparently under the command of the police, during the raid on 22 June as well as allegations that five Zhengzhou (city) petitioners were also beaten in custody.” Authorities should clarify the names of all those detained in connection with the police raids and provide immediate guarantees for their safety, the group said. Up to a million farmers are believed to have contracted the HIV virus after selling blood at unsanitary government-approved blood stations beginning in the mid-1980s, leaving whole villages devastated. Human Rights Watch said earlier this week that police in Henan, where many villages are devastated by AIDS, are increasingly using arbitrary arrests and violence against HIV-positive protestors seeking access to treatment. “Persecuting HIV-positive protestors is doubly outrageous given that the state was complicit in their infection in the first place,” said Joanne Csete, director of HRW’s HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Program. “Henan authorities seem to want to sweep their role in the AIDS epidemic under the rug by silencing protestors.” Since the government admitted the problem in 2001 after initial silence, farmers have called for access to effective treatment, care for people with HIV/AIDS, or simply a reduction in taxes. They have also decried alleged official corruption and misappropriation of state AIDS funding.

24. PRC Celebrates Population Day

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA INFLATES “WORLD’S BIGGEST CONDOM” ON POPULATION DAY,” 07/14/03) reported that a PRC contraceptive-maker has claimed that an 80-meter (264 foot) high condom erected on World Population Day in the southern PRC is the world’s biggest and is applying to the Guinness Book of Records to verify its claim, state press reported. The Guilin Latex Co. inflated the huge prophylactic with a 100-meter girth in the tourist city of Guilin, Guangxi province, in commemoration of Friday’s World Population Day, Xinhua news agency said. The yellow polyvinyl chloride (PVC) condom was big enough to envelop the city’s Fragrant River Hotel, it said. The PRC, which boasts the world’s largest population, is promoting condom use as a way of controlling demographic growth and sexually transmitted diseases, which have ravaged the nation in recent years as a once dormant sex industry has come alive with economic reforms.

25. Tibet Environmental Abuse

Agence France-Presse (“TIBETANS WARN OF ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER,” 07/14/03) reported that Tibet’s government-in-exile urged the PRC to rethink its developmental projects in the region as they would have an adverse effect on the environment. Releasing a “white paper” on the state of the environment in Tibet, in response to a similar document issued earlier by the PRC, exiled Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche said the PRC document was a justification for the projects it hopes to undertake in Tibet, especially the railway line linking Lhasa with the PRC. “Whether Tibet’s political issue is resolved or not, the environmental issue cannot be neglected as it is directly related to the welfare of the peoples of India, China and those of other downstream countries,” the prime minister said. “We call upon the new Chinese leaders to reconsider these big projects and replace them with small-scale development projects that materially benefit the Tibetan people and which do not undermine the integrity of Tibet’s eco-system.” “Tibet 2003: state of the environment”, released by Rinpoche, highlights the massive mismanagement of Tibet’s environment over the past 50 years, resulting in biodiversity loss, grassland degradation and devastating floods in the downstream regions of south and south-east Asia. “There is a tendency for the People’s Republic of China to abrogate responsibility for environmental degradation by citing natural factors such as global warming and the general drying up of the Tibetan Plateau and blaming the nomads for irrational and stupid practices,” the report said. The 30-page paper is based on the findings of the United Nations Development Programme, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and other studies.

26. Japan Historical Revisionism

The Associated Press (Gary Schaefer “JAPAN OFFICIAL DECRIED OVER NANKING CLAIM,” Tokyo, 07/13/03) reported that a senior Japanese politician drew rebukes from Beijing and Seoul on Sunday for playing down the so-called Rape of Nanking and Japan’s annexation of Korea – and reopening old wounds from his nation’s militaristic past. The blowup could prove an embarrassment for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s government ahead of the Aug. 15 anniversary of the 1945 end of World War II. Takami Eto, a 78-year-old three-time Cabinet minister who leads the third-largest faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, dismissed as “a big lie” estimates that the Japanese army killed as many as 300,000 civilians during the 1937-38 occupation of the PRC city of Nanjing, then called Nanking. “To say 300,000 people were killed in the Rape of Nanking is a pure fabrication, a big lie,” Eto was quoted as saying Saturday in a speech to a local party chapter, according to the Asahi newspaper and other national dailies. Historians generally agree that at least 150,000 civilians were killed, but estimates can run as high as 300,000. Some Japanese nationalist scholars and conservative lawmakers say the figures are inflated; some even call the entire massacre a hoax. A museum at a shrine to Japan’s war dead says the people of Nanjing were “once again able to live their lives in peace” after the Japanese army took over the city. Eto also was quoted as saying Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of Korea should be not be considered a colonial conquest because both sides signed a treaty of annexation “that was approved unconditionally by the United Nations” – a body that did not come into existence until the end of World War II. The Japanese government made no public comment.

27. Russian Spying Allegation

The Associated Press (Sarah Karush, “RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT FIGHTS SPYING CONVICTION,” Moscow, 07/14/03) reported that Valentin Moiseyev was a successful career diplomat when Russian security agents showed up at his door five years ago and turned his quiet life upside down. More than six months after completing a prison term for spying for the ROK, Moiseyev is fighting to clear his name and says the government he once served never gave him a shot at justice. Moiseyev and his supporters say the case was a product of an unreformed KGB-style security service, a judicial system skewed in favor of the state, and officials’ paranoid belief that Russia is surrounded by enemies. Human rights organizations say the trial was riddled with holes and crude legal violations. Since the end of the Soviet Union, with its show trials and political prisoners, Russia has struggled to build a legal system based on principles such as the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair hearing. Rights groups point to cases like Moiseyev’s as evidence that such reforms – considered key to the success of Russia’s democratic transition – have yet to fully take root. Gray-haired and gaunt from prison, the 57-year-old Moiseyev has turned to the European Court of Human Rights and is suing authorities for violating his rights after his release. “To go through the entire judicial system, you have to be a turtle, to live 300 years,” Moiseyev said during a recent interview, his deep voice breaking into a bitter laugh. Moiseyev was sentenced to 12 years in prison in December 1999, but the Supreme Court granted him a retrial. The second verdict, in August 2001, differed little, but the sentence was cut to 4 1/2 years, in part for health reasons. Before the first conviction, Vladimir Putin – not yet president, but the head of the Federal Security Service – told the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda that Moiseyev’s guilt was beyond doubt. Moiseyev says the Russian government thereby denied him the presumption of innocence. Both trials were behind closed doors, but the verdicts, published on a Russian human rights Web site, provide a glimpse into the thinking of the prosecutors and judges.

II. People’s Republic of China

1. PRC-US Relations on Taiwan Issue

People’s Daily (“CHINA URGES US TO STOP UPGRADING RELATIONS WITH TAIWAN”, Beijing, P4) reported that PRC urged the US to stop upgrading relations with Taiwan, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan on July 8. Kong made the remarks at a regular press conference, when asked to comment on the fact that the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) invited Taiwan’s political figures from the “Executive Yuan” and “Legislative Yuan” to attend a party held on July 3 in Taipei to celebrate the US Independence Day. Kong said AIT’s actions did not conform to its status and function as a non-governmental organization and violated the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiques and the relevant promises made by the US. China has shown strong opposition and dissatisfaction with AIT’s actions and made stern representations to the United States, Kong said. He urged the US to recognize the importance and sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, abide by promises, correct mistakes and stop upgrading relations with Taiwan so as to avoid impairing Sino-US relations and the common interests of the two nations.

2. ROK-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“KOREANS TO TALK OVER DISPUTES”, Seoul, 07/14/03, P12) reported that the DPRK and the ROK said on July 12 they have agreed to pursue “appropriate” talks to end the dispute over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programs in what Seoul called a step towards resolving the crisis. The ROK and the DPRK will resolve the nuclear issue peacefully through an appropriate way of dialogue, said a statement issued after three days of ministerial talks in Seoul. The nuclear statement followed overnight negotiations that failed to bridge the gap between the two neighbors: Seoul wanted multilateral talks involving the ROK, the DPRK, the US, Japan and PRC, while Pyongyang insisted on direct one-to-one talks with the US. Although the three-day talks, scheduled to focus on economic topics, failed to produce a clear solution to the nuclear impasse, Seoul officials appeared satisfied. We can interpret the expression “appropriate talks” as the possibility that the DPRK is tilting towards the acceptance of multilateral talks, said Kim Chong-ro, a Unification Ministry spokesman. The DPRK also said on July 12 it is not opposed to multilateral talks, but it insisted on bilateral talks with the US first. In another development, a ROK news agency said on July 13 that the DPRK has reprocessed all 8,000 spent fuel rods stored at its Yongbyong nuclear complex, giving the country the means to make more atomic weapons.

China Daily (“ROK TRIES FOR MULTILATERAL TALKS ON NUCLEAR ISSUE”, Seoul, 07/12-13/03, P8) reported that the ROK is doing its utmost to hold multilateral talks on the DPRK’s nuclear weapons ambitions within the next month or two, President Roh Moo-hyun’s foreign policy chief said on July 11. Ban Ki-moon told YTN television the venue could be decided for the talks once the parties had agreed to meet. The DPRK has so far insisted the nuclear issue can only be resolved in bilateral talks with Washington, however, Ban said the DPRK had shown a gradual change in its stance and he expected it to seriously consider holding multilateral talks. No change was yet evident as North-South bilateral ministerial talks in Seoul wore on into Friday evening. Ministers at talks whose primary focus is economic haggled over the wording on the nuclear issue to be included in a joint statement. On July 11, Prime Minister Goh Kun told parliament that the current government “believes DPRK has processed enough plutonium to build one or two bombs, but there are various views and no conclusion as to whether they have actually built a bomb.” On July 9, Seoul said its neighbor had reprocessed spent fuel rods and tested triggers for atomic explosions. The report to parliament by the National Intelligence Service was later said to be a repetition of US information. But the news prompted accusations Roh’s predecessor had covered up five years of DPRK explosive tests while continuing to funnel aid to Pyongyang. At the UN, the DPRK ambassador has visited several members of the Security Council in recent days to urge them to act impartially in the nuclear crisis, diplomats said.

China Daily (“ENVOY: DPRK READY FOR TALKS OR WAR”, Seoul, 07/11/03, P1) reported that the DPRK opened talks with the ROK on July 10 saying it was seeking a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue but was prepared for war if the US resorted to the use of force. DPRK Chief Cabinet Councillor Kim Ryong-song did not refer to the US by name as he issued DPRK’s appeal to the ROK to join hands with it against “foreign forces” that were threatening the nation. “We are prepared both for talks if certain foreign forces want dialogue and to go to war if they want war,” Kim said at the start of DRPK-ROK ministerial talks in Seoul. Kim’s remarks in the presence of reporters did not address the assessment issued on July 9 by the ROK’s intelligence agency that the DPRK had recently reprocessed spent nuclear fuel rods and tested devices used to trigger atomic explosions. He said the DPRK’s position was that the nine-month-old nuclear issue should resolved through dialogue. “But if the foreign forces ignore our position or use force, then we will demonstrate our power.” The ROK’s National Intelligence Service said that the DPRK recently reprocessed a small number of its estimated 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods and had also tested devices used to trigger atomic explosions. The talks in Seoul, the 11th round of inter-Korean ministerial meetings since 2000, are expected to focus on implementing DPRK-ROK transport and industrial projects agreed in 2000, but delayed by political disputes.

3. PRC-Japan Relations

China Daily (“CHINA, JAPAN FOCUS ON FUTURE,” 07/12-13/03, P2) reported that Chinese top lawmaker Wu Bangguo said on July 11 that politicians in PRC and Japan should not only focus on existing bilateral ties, but also develop their friendship for generations to come. “Both sides should cherish the hard-won good relations between the two countries,” said Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, PRC’s highest legislature, when he met Ikuo Hirayama, chairman of the Japan-PRC Friendship Association.

4. DPRK-Japan Relations

People’s Daily (“KCNA CONDEMNS JAPAN’S OVERSEAS EXPANSION MOVES”, Pyongyang, 07/10/03, P3) reported that Japan has accelerated its pace for overseas expansion by attempting to dispatch troops of its Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary released on July 9. Japan’s House of Representatives approved a bill last Friday on sending troops to Iraq to provide humanitarian assistance and logistic support for US-led forces. This provided the Japanese reactionaries with a permanent legal guarantee for dispatching the Self-Defense Forces to any combat areas in the world and launching expansion overseas so as to realize their dream of the “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere,” it stressed. The Japanese reactionaries have become more undisguised in their moves to provide a legislation for overseas aggression since the beginning of the new century, including the adoption of “law on special measure on terrorism,” thus legalizing the Self-Defense Forces’ participation in any war of overseas aggression, the commentary said. The Japanese reactionaries’ dangerous moves for overseas expansion are strongly condemned by the Korean and other Asian people, the commentary added in the report.

5. PRC on DPRK Nuke Issue

China Daily (Sun Cheng, “TOUGH MOVES GET NUKE ISSUE NOWHERE”, 07/12-13/03, P4) carried a commentary saying how to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula will have major ramifications not only throughout the Peninsula but all of Northeast Asia. The latest developments have indicated a possible escalation of the nuclear crisis, it said. The US has been deliberating on whether to enforce a blockade against the DPRK while strengthening its forces stationed in the ROK. In response, Pyongyang has threatened to do away with the constraints of its 1953 cease-fire agreement and retaliate upon any moves viewed as violating its sovereignty. Meanwhile, the related parties have also been busy communicating and consulting with one another. On the other side, the trilateral consultations between the US, Japan and the ROK ended with no substantial results, indicating the disparities among the three on taking further hardline measures against Pyongyang. All of these facts have demonstrated that US’s tough moves against Pyongyang can only intensify the contradiction and could not gain the support from the majority of the international community. Given the serious nature of this issue and the possible disastrous consequences, a peaceful settlement through diplomatic channels is still perceived as the best option. First, the relations between the DPRK and the US will become more stable, whether they return to the previous 1994 framework agreement or draw up a new pact following dialogue. Second, the resolution of the nuclear issue can serve as a learning experience and open channels for the security of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. The international mediation and diplomatic efforts related with the nuclear issue will also undoubtedly play a positive role in resolving this issue, which is expected to help set up the security consultation mechanism in this region. Regional stability will be at stake if the nuclear issue is prolonged, the article said. First, the continually escalating DPRK-US tensions can ignite armed conflicts, which will lead to disturbances in a larger scope. Second, it is hard to predict by what means the nuclear issue will be ultimately resolved. Third, if the nuclear issue cannot be solved properly, disarmament of the Korean Peninsula cannot be ensured, which could result in an arms race in the region. Therefore, it is in the interests of all parties concerned to resolve this issue as early as possible through peaceful means, the article concluded.

6. ROK-PRC Relations

China Daily (Meng Yan, “KOREAN PENINSULA PEACE STRESSED IN SPEECH”, 07/10/03, P1) reported that visiting ROK President Roh Moo-hyun said on July 9 in Beijing that peace on the Korean Peninsula is the precondition for the peace and prosperity of Northeast Asia. During a speech at Tsinghua University, the ROK leader portrayed a picture of a prosperous Northeast Asia and underscored the importance of keeping the peace on the peninsula. “Unification of the peninsula is our dream but peace is more important,” Roh said when responding to a question raised by a student after his 40-minute long lecture. The nuclear issue of the DPRK was one of the key topics when Roh met Chinese leaders during his visit, which is due to end on July 10. Roh said the Chinese Government is playing an active and constructive role in trying to resolve the DPRK nuclear issue and maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula. PRC and the ROK issued a joint statement late on Tuesday night. Besides announcing the two countries’ consensus for building an all-round co-operative partnership, the statement says PRC and the ROK agree that peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula should be maintained and the area should be nuclear free. The two sides are also convinced that the DPRK nuclear issue can be settled peacefully through talks. They agree that the Beijing talks should continue.

China Daily (Hu Xiao, “LEADERS VOW TO ENHANCE TIES”, 07/08/03, P1) reported that PRC and the ROK on July 7 vowed to enhance their co-ordination on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and promote continued dialogue. Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting ROK President Roh Moo-hyun stressed that both countries share a wide consensus on the DPRK nuclear issue, to maintain the non-nuclearization of the Peninsula and to peacefully resolve the issue through dialogue. This is the first meeting between Hu and Roh since they both took office. The English-language Korea Times newspaper said Roh’s trip to PRC should be a golden opportunity for Seoul to seek Beijing’s full co-operation on the nuclear issue. Roh, expressing thanks for China’s efforts on the issue, stressed that the ROK highly appraises the “Beijing Talks”, saying the ROK hopes the talks can continue. On bilateral relations, Hu suggested to enhance high-level exchanges between the two countries and deepen mutual co-operation in various fields such as the economy and trade, science, energy, finance, culture and education. He characterized the development of PRC-ROK relations as “rapid growth, remarkable achievements, vast potential and broad prospects.” Hu encouraged both countries to realize the target of US$100 billion bilateral trade volume within five years, said the report.

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.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

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

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.