NAPSNet Daily Report 16 October, 2001

Recommended Citation

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Bush Agenda at APEC
2. PRC on US Military Action
3. Japanese Military Support for US
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK- DPRK Family Reunion
2. ROK-Japan Summit
3. ROK on Terrorism
4. DPRK Vice-Chairman Hospitalized Again
5. DPRK Defector Stands on Hearings
III. Japan 1. Japanese Logistic Support for US
2. Japanese Role in Humanitarian Aid
3. Self-Defense Forces’ Weapons Use

I. United States

1. Bush Agenda at APEC

Los Angeles Times (Edwin Chen and Ching-Ching Ni, “WAR TOPS BUSH TRIP AGENDA,” Washington, 10/16/01) reported that US President George W. Bush intends to tell the leaders of Russia, the PRC, and other Asian nations that he supports their anti-terrorism efforts at home, but they must draw a line between legitimate dissent and genuine terrorism and not trample human rights. US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said on October 15 that Bush will deliver that message in person at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this weekend in Shanghai. Although global trade is still on the agenda in Shanghai, the war on terrorism is likely to dominate the discussions. Kenneth Lieberthal, a China expert at the University of Michigan, said, “Clearly the entire framework for the APEC meeting has shifted, and it will now focus overwhelmingly on counter-terrorism. The United States must be highly sensitive to the potential of destabilizing the governments that are friendly to us.” Bush is also expected to lobby the Asian nations to help freeze the financial assets of Bin Laden’s network. Lieberthal said that Bush’s overarching goal should be to persuade the Pacific Rim leaders to declare themselves “collectively committed to the counter-terrorism effort–so that that’s seen as a legitimately regional initiative, rather than something being forced by the United States, to which some in the region may object.” Asked how Bush intends to approach the PRC leadership about the tacit support it seeks from the US on its own struggles against Muslim separatists, Rice responded, “It is clearly our job . . . to make certain that we continue to draw a line in all of our discussions between legitimate dissent or legitimate movements for the rights of minorities and the fact that there may be international terrorists in various parts of the world. We’ve done that in the situation in Chechnya. We would do that in our discussions with the Chinese.” [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 16, 2001.]

2. PRC on US Military Action

The Associated Press (“AMERICA STRIKES BACK, BEIJING CALLS FOR UN INVOLVEMENT,” Beijing, 10/16/01) reported that the PRC called on Tuesday for UN involvement in building a future coalition government for Afghanistan, saying that was the best way to bring peace to the war-torn country. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said, “We call upon the United Nations to play an important part. We have urged a widely based coalition government acceptable to all parties in that country and that can live in peace with its neighbors.” The PRC usually refrains from commenting on other countries’ internal affairs, but Sun said the PRC’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council and its border with Afghanistan make the country of particular concern to the PRC.

3. Japanese Military Support for US

Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “JAPAN PANEL PASSES CONTROVERSIAL U.S. SUPPORT BILL,” Tokyo, 10/16/01) reported that a special Lower House panel of the Japanese parliament on Tuesday passed a controversial bill that would allow Japan’s military to provide non-combat support for the US-led “war on terrorism.” The contentious bill passed despite fierce objections by the main opposition Democratic Party. Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama lashed out at Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s ruling coalition, saying, “This is a unilateral vote without sufficient debate and discussions, and we can never approve of this.” Ruling party officials said the clearance set the stage for approval by the full lower chamber as early as on October 18. The Lower House panel also approved a bill designed to allow Japanese troops to protect US military facilities in Japan. Under the draft legislation, effective for two years and extendable for up to two more years, Japan could dispatch military forces to provide rearguard logistical support, such as medical services and provision of supplies, as well as humanitarian aid for refugees. A survey carried in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper showed that 51 percent of those surveyed supported the legislation while 29 percent said they were opposed. However, analysts warned that support was fragile and could crumble if Japanese forces suffer casualties or if Japan became the target of attacks. They also cautioned that any move by Japan to boost its military role could stir controversy in Asia because of the country’s past imperialism

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK- DPRK Family Reunion

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “GOVERNMENT TO STICK TO SEOUL AS MEETING PLACE,” Seoul, 10/16/01) reported that the ROK government in effect, rejected DPRK’s earlier request by disclosing it would persist in holding the second round of inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee meeting in Seoul as initially scheduled. According to the report however, if the DPRK’s side proposes on the new date for the family exchange or gives out other convincing reasons for the call off, the ROK government too will respond by looking into rescheduling the following economic and aids talks with the DPRK. However, if the DPRK fails to redeem its unilateral measures against the family meeting the ROK’s side will seriously look into delaying the upcoming meeting purposed on helping out the DPRK ‘s situation. The ROK government would reconfirm its principled stance in the meeting that all inter-Korean agreement must be strictly observed save the humanitarian concerns. But even humanitarian concerns should reflect general public opinion when decisions on scale and timing are made.

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, “ENTANGLEMENT ON FAMILY EXCHANGE LIKELY TO BE RESOLVED WITHIN MONTH,” Seoul, 10/16/01) reported that the fourth family reunion event suspended unilaterally by the DPRK is likely to resume soon, hopefully within a month. Suh Young-hoon the Chairman to the Korean National Red Cross (KNRC) and in charge of the inter-Korean family exchange said October 15, “Right now, contacts are underway between the two Koreas in relations to family exchange is what I have heard.” He went on to point out that the DPRK is slated to attend the International Committee of the Red Cross meeting, which will be held in Geneva from November 5-14. “The family exchange will take place either before the meeting or at least, it would have settled on a new date with South Korea by then,” he said. He also added he would proceed with campaigns to supply 2 million garments of humanitarian winter underwear to the DPRK despite the recent disappointment in the family exchange.

2. ROK-Japan Summit

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KIM, KOIZUMI MAKE LIMITED PROGRESS DESPITE APOLOGY,” Seoul, 10/16/01) reported that the ROK and Japan failed to make a breakthrough in their bilateral disputes when President Kim Dae-jung and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met at Cheong Wa Dae October 15. Koizumi stopped short of making clear-cut answers on ROK’s demands that Japan promise not to approve distorted history textbooks in the future and for the prime minister not to visit a controversial war shrine again. Seoul officials said, however, that the two leaders managed to produce some tangible results, which are expected to pave the way for their countries to restore friendly relations ahead of the 2002 World Cup soccer finals.

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin& Kim Ji-ho, “KOREANS PROTEST KOIZUMI’S VISIT,” Seoul, 10/16/01) reported that hundreds of ROK activists protested fiercely amid tight security October 15 to denounce the visiting Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, accusing his government of distorting history and damaging relations with Korea. Outside the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, where Koizumi offered an apology for Japan’s harsh colonial rule of Korea, about 300 civic group members and student activists demonstrated, opposing his visit.

3. ROK on Terrorism

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, “SEOUL GEARS UP FOR THREAT OF BIO-CHEMICAL TERRORISM,” Seoul, 10/16/01) reported that ROK officials said October 15 that it is taking measures against possible biological and chemical attacks. The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs has ordered local governments to strengthen surveillance, training and education to cope with possible bio-terrorist attacks. The National Institute of Health has put hospitals and state health institutions nationwide on special alert against deadly diseases such as anthrax, smallpox and pest. Experts warned that Korea will never be safe from bio-chemical attacks by anti-American terrorists as the nation hosts 37,000 US forces.

4. DPRK Vice-Chairman Hospitalized Again

Joongang Ilbo (Brent Choi, “N.K. VICE-CHAIRMAN JO AGAIN HOSPITALIZED IN PARIS,” Seoul, 10/15/01) reported that Jo Myong-rok (71), first vice-chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and Director of the General Political Department of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) has underwent surgery just last month in a hospital in Paris, France. Jo, otherwise referred as the number two man in the DPRK was admitted to a hospital in Paris late September and had a surgery according to a diplomatic source in Seoul. The source said, “Vice- Chairman Jo went through a surgery from September 26 – October 6 in a hospital in Paris.” Jo is currently suffering renal failure, a disease caused by weakened liver that fails to prevent waste materials from being circulated into the bloodstream.

5. DPRK Defector Stands on Hearings

Joongang Ilbo (“FIRST EXILE HEARINGS ON N.K. DEFECTOR KIM SOON-HEE IN U.S.,” Tokyo, 10/16/01) reported that Kim Soon-hee, a 37-year old female who defected from the DPRK in an attempt to seek refuge in the US had her first hearings on her exile at the Immigration Court and Monday in San Diego, California. If Ms. Kim’s application is accepted, she will be the first DPRK citizen to receive refuge in the US.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Logistic Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun (“KOIZUMI: SKIRT DIET ON SDF,” Tokyo, 10/10/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on October 9 dismissed the need for Diet approval to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) under the proposed anti- terrorism law, a plan that would leave the opposition parties out of the information loop on the touchy issue. Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) has insisted that Diet approval be required. In an attempt to ease concerns that the bill could give the SDF too much leeway, Koizumi said the ongoing Diet debate on the issue represents civilian control over the SDF. A Minshuto member raised another issue concerning the SDF deployments, asking Koizumi to define the banned ‘use of forces’ by SDF members on overseas missions. Koizumi said, ” I will leave the legal definition to experts, but politically, use of force means that troops carry weapons and attack.” Koizumi also said that SDF operations such as transporting weapons, ammunition and medical supplies should not be interpreted as operations involving the use of force prohibited under the Constitution.

The Asahi Shimbun (“DIET DELIBERATES ANTI-TERROR BILL,” Tokyo, 10/11/01) reported that deliberations began on the bill designed to allow Japan to provide rear-echelon support in the US-led retaliation. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said October 10 that the bill could be used to send the SDF personnel to nations other than Pakistan, depending on how the US plans to conduct its fight against terrorism. Being asked in the Diet what Japan should do if the US took its military campaign to nations other than Afghanistan, Koizumi answered, “Japan will consider independently if the US military action is an act to eliminate terrorism.” He added, “If at that time there is need for cooperation, we will provide all the cooperation possible.” The LDP’s Fumio Kyuma also expressed his party’s determination to forge ahead, telling representatives of the opposition parties on October 9th that the ruling coalition was seeking the passage of the bill in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meeting in Shanghai, which Koizumi is to attend on October 20th. Katsuya Okada of Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), however, urged caution in proceeding with the deliberations. Although not totally opposed to the bill, he said there should be deadline placed on deliberations.

The Japan Times (“TANAKA CALLS YANAI’S REQUEST FOR JAPAN AID INAPPROPRIATE, Tokyo, 10/12/01) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka on Thursday said she had received a request from Japanese ambassador to US, Shunji Yanai, asking Japanese government to assist US-led military campaigns against terrorism. It is believed the request was based on US demands. She declined to reveal the contents of the written request but expressed disappointment in Yanai saying he should have not made the request while the issue is being debated in the Diet. Foreign Ministry sources said the four-point request called on the government to swiftly dispatch a Maritime Self-Defense Forces fleet abroad for intelligence gathering. They also said that Yanai called on Japan to promptly set up a bilateral liaison coordination framework to maintain close contact with the US. The sources also said that he said Japan should send SDF personnel as liaison officers to the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

The Japan Times (“OPPOSITION RIDICULES KOIZUMI’S CONCEPT OF PROOF,” Tokyo, 10/13/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was challenged during the House of Representatives committee session October 12 over his idea of what constitutes evidence of guilt. Koizumi was attempting to persuade the Diet to enact bills allowing Japan to assist US military action in Afghanistan by suggesting that Osama bin Laden proved his guilt over the September 11th terrorist attack. Koizumi paraphrased, “On television, Osama bin Laden praised those who damaged New York and Washington as people sent by God, and did not deny his involvement despite the allegation voiced by many countries.” Koizumi went on to note that bin Laden’s alleged terrorist network al-Queda has “predicted” more terrorist attacks in a statement that said the US should know the storm of airplanes will not subside. During the session, Koizumi also listed comments by US officials on bin Laden’s alleged involvement, including remarks by US President George W. Bush on September 20th, and that all proof collected by the US points to the involvement of bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network. After Koizumi made his remarks, however, the opposition remained unconvinced.

2. Japanese Role in Humanitarian Aid

The Asahi Shimbun English edition (“LDP SEEKS DEMINING MISSION FOR SDF,” Tokyo, 10/10/01) reported that Taku Yamazaki, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said on October 9th that he will work to lift the restrictions on the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) taking part in the UN peacekeeping operations (PKO) to pave the way for mine removal operations in Afghanistan. To allow the SDF participation, Yamazaki said the PKO law should be amended during the current extraordinary Diet session, adding that the five principle regulating SDF participation in peacekeeping operation needed review. He also said that it was up to the government to ensure SDF personnel was safe while on peacekeeping missions, and that it could be difficult to meet the cease-fire requirement if the Taliban disintegrates suddenly.

The Asahi Shimbun (“6 ASDF PLANES ARRIVE IN PAKISTAN,” Islamabad, 10/10/01) reported that six C-130 Hercules transport planes arrived at Pakistan on October 9. They left the Air Self-Defense Forces (ASDF) Komaki base on October 6th. They stopped five times for refueling and were scheduled to leave Islamabad later in the day. The Philippines and India were among the refueling stops. Gen Nakatani, director-general of Japanese Defense Agency, said in a Diet session on October 9 that “the SDF’s military police officers and chief pilot were armed with pistols” for their protection under an agreement between the Pakistani and Japanese governments. He said Pakistani authorities would not allow ASDF personnel to carry weapons once they had disembarked from the aircraft.

3. Self-Defense Forces’ Weapons Use

The Asahi Shimbun (“KOIZUMI: TRUST SDF LEADERS,” Tokyo, 10/12/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said during Diet questioning Thursday that the use of weapons by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel should be at the discretion of commanders in the field. Koizumi agreed SDF personnel should be allowed to use their common sense in deciding whether to use weapons to protect themselves, fellow SDF members or others who may be under their control during the course of operations. Japanese Defense Agency director-general Gen Nakatani also said officers in the field would be in the best position to decide what to do, as the situation dictates. Nakatani said, “If politicians begin establishing various restrictions, that will only increase the dangers the SDF members could face.”

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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Tokyo, Japan

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Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

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Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yunxiac@yahoo.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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