NAPSNet Daily Report 16 August, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 16 August, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 16, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-16-august-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks
2. ROK-DPRK Joint Celebration
3. DPRK Floods
4. DPRK Refugees in PRC
5. ROK-Russian Spying Row
6. US Spy Plane in PRC
7. Alleged PRC Arms Sales
8. PRC-Taiwan Shipping Links
9. Japanese World War II Commemoration
10. Japanese History Textbook
11. US Policy in Asia
II. Republic of Korea 1. Korean Independence Day
2. DPRK-Russia Railway Pact
III. Russian Federation 1. DPRK Leader’s Visit to RF
2. DPRK Leader’s Interview
3. RF Followers of DPRK Ideology
4. DPRK-US Relations
5. PRC Migration to RF
6. Dalai-Lama
7. RF-Japanese Fishing Dispute
8. Japanese History Textbooks
9. Japan’s Premier’s Visit to Yasukuni
10. RF Nuclear Submarines

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

The New York Times (Don Kirk, “SOUTH KOREA ASKS U.S. FOR HELP IN TALKS,” Seoul, 08/16/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Wednesday called on the US to “make its best efforts to resume talks” with the DPRK. Noting that the DPRK-ROK reconciliation process was “stalemated,” Kim argued, “South- North talks are inextricably related to North Korea-United States relations.” Kim promised that the ROK would “make its best effort to resume talks with Pyongyang,” but added that the DPRK should also show “a sense of responsibility.” [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for August 16.]

2. ROK-DPRK Joint Celebration

The Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “S. KOREANS AVOID N. KOREA CEREMONY,” Seoul, 08/16/01) reported that the ROK delegation of religious, labor, and civic activists to a joint celebration in the DPRK of the anniversary of liberation from Japan refused to attend the closing ceremony on Thursday at the “Monument to Three Chapters for National Unification.” Sixty of the 311 ROK delegates attended a party at the monument after the closing ceremony, however. A third of the delegates also defied the ROK government and visited the monument for the opening ceremony on Wednesday. The four leaders of the ROK delegation had pledged not to visit any communist monuments in Pyongyang, while other delegates did not sign such a promise.

3. DPRK Floods

Reuters (“NORTH KOREA DETAILS EARLY AUGUST FLOOD DAMAGE,” Seoul, 08/15/01) reported that the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said that torrential rains in early August killed more than 10 people. The report stated, “Thousands of hectares of cultivated land, hundreds of dwelling houses and public buildings went under water or buried under silt.” It added, “No harvest is expected from many fields. Railways and roads were destroyed to paralyze transport and communications.” The district of Hyesan was hit by 12.6 inches of rain in the first several days of August, while Kangwon Province was hit with 468.6 mm (18.5 inches) of rain in three days beginning late on July 31.

4. DPRK Refugees in PRC

Reuters (“U.N. RIGHTS BODY URGES CHINA, U.S. TO COMBAT RACISM,” Geneva, 08/16/01) reported that the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Thursday expressed concern about the PRC’s refusal to grant asylum to DPRK refugees. Luis Valencia Rodriguez, an Ecuadoran expert on the Committee, stated, “We are asking China for information about what were the reasons to refuse this granting of asylum to all these North Koreans, some of whose lives are endangered.”

5. ROK-Russian Spying Row

Reuters (“RUSSIA CONVICTS MAN OF SPYING FOR SOUTH KOREA,” Moscow, 08/14/01) reported that a Moscow court sentenced former diplomat Valentin Moiseyev to four-and-a-half years in jail on Tuesday for handing the ROK state secrets about Russia’s relations with the DPRK. Interfax quoted Moiseyev’s wife as saying after the verdict, “We have to appeal this decision and are prepared to take it to the European Court for Human Rights.” Moiseyev, a former official in the Russian embassy in Seoul and head of the Foreign Ministry’s Korea department, was first found guilty in December 1999 and sentenced to 12 years in jail but Russia’s Supreme Court overturned the decision in June 2000, ordering a retrial.

6. US Spy Plane in PRC

US Deputy State Department Spokesman Philip Reeker (“STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, AUGUST 15, 2001,” 08/16/01) said that the PRC rejected the US offer to pay “reasonable costs” associated with the recovery of the US EP-3 during talks in Beijing Wednesday between US Embassy officials and their counterparts at the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Reeker stated, “We made quite clear that we are only going to pay reasonable, tangible costs associated with the recovery of the aircraft, and we believe that our calculation was a reasonable calculation. We have presented the offer for reimbursement of costs for the recovery operation to the Chinese; it remains on the table, and it is up to the Chinese as to whether they choose to accept it.”

7. Alleged PRC Arms Sales

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, “SENATORS URGE NEW SANCTIONS ON CHINESE ENTITIES,” Washington, 08/15/01) reported that Senator Joseph Biden, Democrat-Delaware and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Fred Thompson, Republican-Tennessee, urged the US government on Wednesday to impose sanctions on PRC entities for transferring missile components to Pakistan. Biden stated, “I think what we should do … (is) identify those entities within the Chinese government that have transferred whatever technology meets the requirement of breaching the deal that they have made with us and sanction those companies from being able to do business.” Thompson stated, “As far as proliferation was concerned, it was basic denial (by the PRC) even though we know what they are doing and we made it pretty clear that we did. Sometimes they just gave a flat denial” and other times they suggested “rogue companies” made the transfers without the government’s knowledge. Thompson also said that the PRC officials stated, “as long as you (the United States) have a missile defense program and … assist Taiwan, we’re essentially going to continue doing what we want to do.” Biden, however, said that there was a “maturing attitude” in the PRC on proliferation as shown by its declining involvement with Iran and its disinterest in allowing the DPRK to gain additional weapons capability. He said that working with the PRC on nonproliferation “is a process but that doesn’t mean we should stand by and wait for the process to unfold.”

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINESE REBUFF SENATORS’ QUERIES,” 08/16/01) reported that US Senator Arlen Specter, Republican-Pennsylvania, said that PRC President Jiang Zemin and Prime Minister Zhu Rongji engaged in “stonewalling” on discussions about PRC arms and weapons-related exports to Pakistan, Iran and the DPRK. Specter stated, “Their denials were flat-out wrong.” He added, “We told them rather bluntly the evidence was powerful that came from our intelligence sources.” He speculated, however, “I think they will [be more open] when they get down to specifics and we present concrete evidence.”

8. PRC-Taiwan Shipping Links

The Associated Press (“TAIWAN EXPANDS CHINA SHIPPING LINKS,” Taipei, 08/16/01) reported that Taiwan will allow PRC goods arriving at the southern port of Kaohsiung to be taken to an airport for shipment off the island. The cargo still cannot pass Taiwanese customs and cannot be unloaded on the island.

9. Japanese World War II Commemoration

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, “JAPAN MARKS WORLD WAR II SURRENDER,” Tokyo, 08/15/01) and the Washington Post (Doug Struck, PROTESTS UNLEASHED AS JAPAN MARKS WAR SURRENDER Tokyo, 08/16/01, A16) reported that Japanese Cabinet ministers and conservative politicians joined tens of thousands of citizens on Wednesday in silent prayer at the Yasukuni shrine to mark the 56th anniversary of the nation’s World War II surrender. In a secular ceremony in Tokyo attended by Emperor Akihito honoring both military and civilian dead, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stated, “Our country has caused many countries, especially our Asian neighbors, significant damage and pain.” He suggested meeting with both the ROK and PRC leaders, stating, “Although there are differences in the view of history among countries, I think we share the feeling that we want to promote friendly relations.” He also stated, “We have a responsibility to not be isolated from the international society. We must maintain and develop friendly relations with our neighboring countries to build eternal peace in the world.”

10. Japanese History Textbook

The Washington Post (Doug Struck and Shigehiko Togo, “JAPANESE SCHOOLS REJECTING TEXTBOOK,” Tokyo, 08/15/01, A14) and the Los Angeles Times (Mark Magnier, “SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN JAPAN REJECT CONTROVERSIAL HISTORY TEXTBOOK,” Tokyo, 08/16/01) reported that at least 532 of Japan’s 542 school districts have refused to adopt a controversial history textbook. Six state-run schools for the disabled in Tokyo and the Ehime prefecture have said they will use the book. Yoshifumi Tawara, head of the Children and Textbooks Japan Network, stated, “We know the result for 98 percent of the [public] schools, and none has adopted the textbook. I think the belief that we cannot let this dangerous textbook be handed to our children touched the hearts of many people, and they worked against it.” Tawara added, “This book approves of war of aggression and beautifies it. It institutionalizes colonization and draws Japanese history with the emperor at its core. The whole movement and content of this textbook are parts of an effort to shift Japan to become a country that can fight in wars.” ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo predicted that the action by local school boards would partly defuse the controversy. Han stated, “From the beginning of this issue we knew there were many Japanese who did not agree with this textbook. It shows the Japanese people are wise enough not to accept the Japanese government version.” Fukuo Matsuda, a history teacher at Sayama Junior High School, said educators rejected it largely on principle. Matsuda stated, “This textbook is so different from others. It’s difficult to read, difficult to use and extremely vague about Japan’s war responsibility.”

11. US Policy in Asia

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, “U.S. RETHINKING TIES TO ASIA GROUPS,” Washington, 08/15/01) reported that US officials said that the US President George W. Bush administration is rethinking its relationship to regional organizations in Asia. The officials said that there are no plans to withdraw from the main regional groupings–the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC)–but they are considering ways in which the US might strengthen ASEAN and improve US ties to the region’s democracies. One anonymous senior official stated, “We’re having a battle for influence in Asia” with the PRC on one side and the US and Japan on the other side. He added, “ASEAN plays the field in the middle.” Another official said that there is a “general sense” in the administration that ASEAN “expanded too quickly and incorporated countries that lag behind the other ASEAN states in terms of economic, political and social development. This has made it difficult for ASEAN to do things concretely.” Admiral Dennis Blair, commander in chief of US forces in the Pacific, has been promoting the idea of developing a “hub and spokes series of bilateral relationships into a network of multilateral relationships, which have a strong bilateral basis but then go on to new forms.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. Korean Independence Day

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE COULD COMPLICATE TALKS WITH PYONGYANG: U.S. SENATOR,” Pyongyang, 08/016/01) reported that a group of ROK citizens joined DPRK citizens in Pyongyang to begin celebrations of the peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule 56 years ago. The 337 ROK citizens, members of civic and religious groups, will stay in the DPRK capital for a week. They compose the largest ROK delegation ever to visit the DPRK. Government officials in Seoul hope that the joint celebrations will help to end a months-long hiatus in official contacts between the two Korean governments. After joining the festivities in Pyongyang, the delegation is scheduled to visit Mt. Myohyang and Mt. Baekdu August 17-21.

Joongang Ilbo (“KIM JONG-IL TO CELEBRATE LIBERATION DAY IN TRAIN,” Seoul, 08/14/01) reported that the DPRK would celebrate the 56th anniversary of Korea’s National Liberation Day without their leader for the first time. Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency reported Tuesday that Chairman Kim Jong-il’s special train will pass Habarobsk region on August 15, and thus would have its own private celebration on the railway.

2. DPRK-Russia Railway Pact

Chosun Ilbo (Hwang Seong-jun, “NORTH KOREA AND RUSSIA SIGNED THE NORTH KOREA-RUSSIA RAILWAY AGREEMENT ON TUESDAY,” Moscow, 08/14/01) reported that Russian railway authorities announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin and DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il had agreed on the signing of the agreement during summit talks on August 4, adding that concrete steps could now be taken to link railways between the two Koreas. According to the agreement, Russia will participate in the modernization and operation of DPRK railways and in the training of railway engineers. Russia also expects to take part in the de-mining of the DMZ to link railroads between the ROK and the DPRK.

III. Russian Federation

1. DPRK Leader’s Visit to RF

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Yelena Shesternina (“CONSULTATIONS WITH U.S.A. WILL GIVE NOTHING,” Moscow, 6, 08/14/01) published an interview with Aleksey Arbatov, Deputy Chairman of RF State Duma Committee on Defense. While chiefly dealing with US-RF strategic relations, Arbatov commented on DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s recent visit to Moscow. He assessed the results as “bad.” Considering the outward circumstances of the visit, “an impression emerges that it is not just a diplomatic game to put pressure in Americans, but that there are some genuine feeling existing. No European country would arrange such agitation for the sake of receiving such an odious figure. What Russia did out of that visit will both shy away South Korea and relevantly condition Americans. We will not facilitate DPRK-ROK dialogue, but make Russia-South Korea and Russia-USA dialogues more difficult. We want to use the North Korean card. In fact Kim Jong-il begins to use the Russian card. A tail starts wagging a dog.”

2. DPRK Leader’s Interview

Zavtra (“KIM JONG-IL: TO THE RUSSIAN BROTHERS,” Moscow, 1, August, 2001, #32(401)) published DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s interview to ITAR-TASS news agency in which he, in particular, said, “We cherish Russian- Korean friendship. The meeting in Moscow, I think, will serve as a new important moment in deepening the relations between the two countries’ leaders. The US attempt to create a missile defense may cause a new stage of the arms race. We support Russia’s position, that is to preserve strategic stability by means of the AMD Treaty. American cries about ‘a missile threat’ on the part of our country are totally groundless. Nobody believes that. Even more so, considering that the new US administration now has started unreasonably complaining about our conventional armed forces, branding them as ‘a threat.’ It’s totally absurd, it’s an arrogant challenge to us. As for the prospect for normalization of our country’s relations with the US and Japan, that totally depends on the positions of the US and Japan. Our duty is to build a socialist, strong and prosperous power on our land, to carry a reunification of our Motherland as Kim Il-sung wished. As for my habits, I prefer to go among masses of people and military servicemen, to spend time with them. Also I like reading and listening to music. I send friendly greetings to Russia’s people and wish them success in the struggle to build strong Russia and to create beautiful life.”

3. RF Followers of DPRK Ideology

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Grigory Nekhoroshev (“JUCHE ADHERENTS IN MOSCOW,” Moscow, 8, 08/09/01) reported on the activities of the Moscow Youth Society for Juche Ideas Study that was created in December, 1993 by young radicals and anarchists. Dmitry Kostenko, the leader, told the author that at that time “there was no money to be given for Mao,” meaning propaganda of Mao Zedong’s ideas, ” and here there was Juche and a military uniform almost the same.” The DPRK Embassy in Moscow started inviting young Juche students to lectures. Oleg Kireyev, a leader of the Movement of Ultra-Radical Anarchists-Experts on Local Places, recalled, “It was an unusual impression in itself: the ideology of the last totalitarian country brought to the extreme degree of primitive madness expressed in monumental propaganda images; officials; carpets; semi-religious movies about ‘Great Comrades Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. Marijuana made the visits especially charming. The environment invited a psychedelic perception of the world.” With DPRK money a couple of propaganda booklets were published. Kostenko said, “It was a mutual admiration. They needed us for reports, we needed them for revolutionary exotics.” Some leaders even visited Pyongyang and were driven in a Mercedes car there. But a year ago a movement member was convicted for trying to explode a monument to the Romanoffs dynasty in Moscow and, while in prison, asked for a political asylum in the DPRK. “They refused. But they got very frightened. Relations have become very strained. They even refused to take greetings message to Kim Jong- il who came to Moscow, advising us to fax it.”

4. DPRK-US Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Ye.Sh. (“U.S.A. READY FOR TALKS WITH D.P.R.K.,” Moscow, 6, 08/10/01) reported that in reply to world media reports that the DPRK rejected a US proposal to hold talks. US State Department Official Spokesperson Richard Boucher said that the US was ready for “serious negotiations with North Korea any time any place and with no preliminary conditions. There is a number of issues we’d like to discuss.”

5. PRC Migration to RF

Nezavisimaya gazeta (“CHINA IS UNAVOIDABLE,” Moscow, 3, 08/14/01) published an article by Andrey Piontkovsky, a political scientist, who compared two documents: a report “Siberia and Far East in Russia of 21st Century” by the Council on Foreign and Defense Policies, dated June, 2001, and a text by Thomas Graham, who has just been named to the Strategic Planning Division of US State Department. While Graham wrote that “a dogmatic application of radical market reforms recommended to Russia by the West might lead to Russia losing its Far Eastern region,” the other document advises, “Policies toward Siberia and Far East must incorporate new realities of liberal market transformation.” Admitting that a marketization of those areas will push a great part of the local population out, the Council authors stress that they “can avoid depopulation only by means of migration from outside. As such migration has already possibly started from Asia-Pacific countries and primarily from China, it must be assessed as a socially important and welcomed by the state. An explanatory propaganda work must be organized to change the public opinion in order to remove fears of a ‘yellow threat’ and to shape a positive image of the migrants.” The author sharply criticized the Council, saying that it served the interests of the ruling elite who, after they fill their coffers by means of exploiting Siberia and Far East with cheap labor from the PRC and the RF loses those areas in 10-15 years, would go to the West “taking together with them in the last wagon their ideological servants.” Graham believes that in such case security in Northeast Asia would be endangered and that the RF and the US should think how to restore the RF economy in those areas “in such a way as to strengthen its sovereignty in that region.” The author believes that alongside with Graham’s view there are political scientists in the US who would prefer a US-PRC condominium and believe that the US should not prevent the PRC from expanding its influence zone in Asia. The Council’s report provides that “Chinese lobby” in the US with strong arguments.

6. Dalai-Lama

Izvestia (“A DALAI-LAMA ‘A LA BEIJING’ TO APPEAR,” Moscow, 9, 08/11/01) reported that the Dalai-Lama was much surprised upon learning that PRC leaders, who called him actually an outlaw and persecuted his followers, now were going to elect a new person to that spiritual position. The PRC authorities’ statement was not welcome either by the Tibetans, nor even Chinese Buddhists.

7. RF-Japanese Fishing Dispute

Vitaly Golovnin of Izvestia (“A BIG FISHING,” Tokyo, 2, 08/11/01) reported that RF-Japanese relations had again got aggravated. Japan learned that in late June the RF gave 26 ROK shipping vessels the right to fish near the disputed South Kurils, with a quota of 15,000 tons of “saira” fish at a price of US$15 per ton. An official Japanese protest to the RF and the ROK followed. Now the news is that a Ukrainian firm bought from the RF a quota concerning the same kind of fish in the same area and promptly resold it to Taiwan. With no official RF-Taiwan relations existing, “the enterprising fishermen of the non-recognized ‘Republic of China’ prefer to fish using ships under the yellow- blue [Ukrainian] banners and with mixed ‘Asian-Russian-speaking crews.’ Yet, Tokyo was finally shocked by the fact that Moscow had sold a 8,000-tons quota for saira-fishing in its ‘original Northern Territories’ to North Koreans as well.” After that Japan decided that official protests were not adequate. Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said that more and more countries were being involved, therefore endless protests might just turn Japan into a world laughing- stock. She said that the issue of foreign vessels in the disputed area was to be discussed only with RF by means of deputy foreign minister level consultations and then a foreign ministers’ meeting.

8. Japanese History Textbooks

Izvestia (“LET’S CORRECT THE DEFORMED HISTORY,” Moscow, 7, 08/14/01) reported that 20 people in Seoul on Monday cut off their small fingers in protest against a new interpretation of World War II as given in new Japanese history textbooks wherein Japan’s annexation of Korea is justified and nothing is said about Japanese atrocities in Korea. Protesters chanted, “Let’s Correct the Deformed History!”

9. Japan’s Premier’s Visit to Yasukuni

Izvestia (“PREMIER CONDEMNED BY ALL ,” Moscow, 10, 08/15/01) reported that both the ROK and the PRC officially protested against Japanese Premier Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to Yasukuni temple in Tokyo. He was the first one to do that in 16 years.

10. RF Nuclear Submarines

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye’s Igor Korotchenko (“UTILIZATION UNDER U.S. PATRONAGE,” Bolshoy Kamen-Vladivostok-Moscow, 8, 08/10- 16/01 #29(251)) reported on “utilization”–that is part dismantling, part elimination and part recycling of some components–of RF nuclear submarines in the RF Far East that has been carried out with US money and technical assistance under the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program. The author listed the companies involved and described the technological process in some detail. At present five project 667BDR (Delta-III in Western classification) ICBM-carrying nuclear submarines are being processed at a specially built “Zvezda” (“Star” in Russian) plant. Before that two project 667 submarines were dismantled. “Zvezda” capacities allow the processing of 8 submarines a year, and according to estimates the plant will have job to do for 6-7 years. As for the future, there is no definite answer. “Zvezda” chiefs believe it expedient to work on the first-generation multi- purpose and ICBM-carrying nuclear submarines written off by the RF Pacific Fleet. The RF Atomic Energy Ministry has already prepared proposals on the subject to RF Government to be passed to the US party. It is possible that Japan may join the financial aspect of the enterprise. “Anyway one thing is clear: at present Russia is incapable to independently cope with the problem.”

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

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

Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
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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