NAPSNet Daily Report 17 July, 2003

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 17 July, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, July 17, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-17-july-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Relations
2. DPRK on Tri-lateral Negotiations
3. Japan on Tri-lateral Talks
4. Japan on DPRK Sanctions
5. DPRK-Japanese Relations
6. PRC on DPRK-US Nuclear Conflict
7. PRC Anti-Subversion Law
8. ROK-Australian Relations
9. Russian Currency Smuggling Charges
II. Japan 1. Japan’s Role in Iraq Reconstruction
2. US Bases in Japan
3. Japan Citizens’ War Crime Tribunal
4. Lawsuit on Anti-terrorism Law
5. Japan Nuclear Reactor Restart

I. United States

1. ROK-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (“KOREAS TRADE MACHINE-GUN FIRE AT BORDER,” Seoul, 07/17/03) reported that ROK and DPRK soldiers briefly traded machine-gun fire in their border zone Thursday, raising tensions even as Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed optimism about diplomatic efforts to resolve the DPRK nuclear standoff. The ROK military said it did not suffer casualties in the shooting between two guard posts a half mile apart in the heavily mined Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, the buffer created at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War to keep opposing armies apart. There was no comment from the DPRK on the exchange. ROK military officials said the DPRK soldiers shot first. The ROK was investigating whether the shooting was inadvertent or a scheme to rattle nerves, possibly to gain leverage in the dispute over the North’s suspected development of nuclear weapons. “We need to clarify whether it’s intentional or accidental before we can say anything about its impact on the nuclear issue,” said Lee Jihyun, a spokeswoman for ROK President Roh Moo-hyun. A team from the U.S.-led United Nations Command, which oversees the southern half of the DMZ, inspected the site of the shooting near the ROK town of Yonchon, 35 miles north of Seoul. The Pentagon said it was aware of the incident, but had no comment.

2. DPRK on Tri-lateral Negotiations

The Washington Post (Glenn Kessler, “N. KOREA OPEN TO 3-WAY TALKS, OFFICIALS SAY: CHINESE INFORM U.S. OF NEW CONDITIONS,” Page A09, 07/17/03) reported that the PRC government informed US officials that the DPRK had agreed to drop its demand for initial one-on-one talks with the US to resolve the impasse over the DPRK development of nuclear arms, but said the US must abandon its insistence that the talks also include Japan and the ROK, US officials said Wednesday. Instead, the talks would involve only the DPRK, PRC and the US, a return to the format for the single set of talks that have taken place since the crisis over the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions erupted last October. The PRC has suggested the three-way talks as a route out of the standoff. US officials said they would continue to press for five-party talks, though they have not ruled out agreeing to a three-way meeting. “We think five is the right formula and will keep pressing for that,” a senior State Department official said. The DPRK offered a proposal to end the crisis at the last meeting, so the US would be expected to make a counteroffer at any future encounter. Bush administration officials, however, have not agreed on a precise formula, and in fact have resisted the idea that they are engaging in any negotiations with the DPRK.

3. Japan on Tri-lateral Talks

Kyodo news, (“JAPAN CAN ACCEPT CONDITIONAL 3-WAY TALKS ON N. KOREA,” Tokyo, 07/17/03) reported that Japan can accept a three-nation framework involving the US, PRC and DPRK for talks aimed at breaking the impasse over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program on the condition that it and the ROK are allowed to join later talks, a Foreign Ministry official said Thursday. Bringing the DPRK to the negotiation table should be a priority, the official, who asked not to be named, said.

4. Japan on DPRK Sanctions

Kyodo News, (LDP POLICY BOARD APPROVES BILL TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA,” Tokyo, 07/17/03) reported that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s policy board approved a bill Thursday to revise a law to enable Japan to impose economic sanctions against the DPRK by itself, even without a UN resolution or an international agreement. The LDP will finish preparing to present the bill to the Diet, if the decision-making General Council approves it Friday. The New Conservative Party supports the bill, but some lawmakers from the other ruling coalition partner, the New Komeito party, think more time is needed to discuss the bill.

5. DPRK-Japanese Relations

Associated Press (“JAPAN TEMPORARILY BARS N KOREAN SHIP FROM LEAVING PORT,” Tokyo, 07/17/03) reported that a DPRK cargo ship was barred from leaving a Japanese port Thursday until its crew fixed several safety violations, as Tokyo steps up ship inspections amid concerns about North Korea drugs and weapons smuggling. The 2,705-ton Hwang Kum San entered the Naoetsu port in Niigata Prefecture, in northern Japan, in the morning to carry home used cars. About 30 immigration, coast guard and customs officials inspected the ship and found four safety violations, authorities said. “We ordered the ship to fix them before leaving port,” said Shinichi Fushimi, a Japan Transport Ministry official in charge of port controls. Japanese authorities have inspected 104 visiting DPRK vessels this year, and ordered violations be remedied on 76. Inspections were tightened after a DPRK defector told U.S. lawmakers that a DPRK ferry to Niigata had been used to smuggle missile parts. DPRK denies smuggling weapons, drugs or illicit money. Violations found Thursday included problems with high pressure fuel tubes to the engines, a hole in a cargo bay ceiling, a fuel leak in the lifeboat, and a faulty boarding ladder. The boat was originally scheduled to leave Friday evening, Kyodo News said. Inspectors found safety problems in the ship’s emergency measures during a previous visit in February.

6. PRC on DPRK-US Nuclear Conflict

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA URGES N KOREA AND US TO REVERT TO 1994 AGREED FRAMEWORK,” 7/17/03) reported that the PRC urged the DPRK and the US to revert to the 1994 Agreed Framework as a way out of the festering nuclear crisis. “The 1994 Agreed Framework is an agreement between the United States and North Korea and has had a role on how to resolve this,” said foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan. “This agreement didn’t come easy and we hope it is continued.” Under the deal, the US and its allies agreed to supply the DPRK with 500,000 tonnes of fuel oil annually and two light water reactors if the DPRK shut down its heavy water nuclear reactor and scrapped efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

7. PRC Anti-Subversion Law

The Associated Press (Dirk Beveridge, “HONG KONG LEADER ADMITS ERRORS IN CRISIS,” Hong Kong, 7/17/03) reported that embattled Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa admitted Thursday he had made mistakes and asked citizens for a second chance, after mass protests over a national security bill stirred the territory’s biggest crisis since its handover to the PRC. He ruled out resigning, however, as demanded by critics who said the proposed anti-subversion law was an assault on freedoms of speech, press and assembly that could introduce mainland-style suppression through the back door. Tung’s opponents immediately voiced doubts about whether the unpopular chief executive could truly reform and regain credibility. Unprecedented in Hong Kong, the rapidly unfolding political drama has become a test of the “one country, two systems” model put in place when Hong Kong was returned from Britain in 1997. The PRC has stayed largely silent on the volatile situation – which exploded anew Wednesday night with the resignations of Tung’s security and finance chiefs. The territory’s mini-constitution guarantees that Hong Kong people can enjoy Western-style civil liberties unheard of in mainland PRC but also requires the anti-subversion legislation that stirred the crisis. After a half-million people marched in Hong Kong on July 1 to protest the bill, Tung was forced into an embarrassing series of retreats. The legislation is now on hold. Tung’s news conference Thursday appeared aimed partly at dispelling speculation he might soon quit, but he also said he wanted a fresh start after being chastened by protests. “I was left sleepless the whole night,” Tung said. “The public reminded me to adopt a more humble, sincere attitude to address their demands.” “In the past six years, I have made mistakes,” he said. “I understand people’s criticisms and discontent toward me. But faced with such criticisms, what should my attitude be? I think I should actively face them and make improvements.” Lawmaker Margaret Ng, a persistent government critic, said it would take more than words for Tung to overcome his “blind spots” toward public opinion. “I don’t think it’s going to work,” Ng said. “I think it would be very, very difficult for him to change, and if he is bad for Hong Kong, we really have to let him go.” Critics say Tung has lost the ability to govern, but that authorities in the Chinese capital are unlikely to seek his removal. “Beijing needs time to make decisions,” said Ivan Choy of the City University of Hong Kong. “If you have a political vacuum, it will take time to fill.”

8. ROK-Australian Relations

Korea Herald (“ROH, HOWARD TO DISCUSS N.K. IN SUMMIT TODAY 07/18/03) reported that President Roh Moo-hyun and Australian Prime Minister John Howard will hold a summit today to discuss ways to resolve the DPRK nuclear arms program peacefully, Seoul officials said. Howard arrived in Seoul yesterday evening from Tokyo, where he met Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and agreed to work together to defuse the DPRK’s nuclear threat. In summit talks with Howard at Cheong Wa Dae, Roh is expected to request Australia’s continued support to find a peaceful solution to the DPRK’s nuclear standoff with the US. Australia has maintained a hard-line stance on the DPRK. The Oceanian country has committed its military, police and intelligence services to participate in maritime exercises – probably starting in September – as part of a US-led 11-nation alliance aimed at stopping the trade in illicit arms and drugs principally by the DPRK. Roh and Howard are also expected to discuss bilateral cooperation in trade and other fields such as information technology, Seoul officials said. “The two leaders will explore measures to boost cooperation in terms of bilateral trade, such as removing trade barriers and expanding ties in science, technology and research and development, ” a Cheong Wa Dae official said.

9. Russian Currency Smuggling Charges

Kyodo News, (“N. KOREA AIRLINE EMPLOYEE SMUGGLES JAPANESE YEN INTO RUSSIA,” Vladivostok, 07/18/03) reported that customs authorities in Khabarovsk have confiscated 2 million yen in Japanese currency from a flight attendant of the DPRK’s state-run airline Air Koryo on suspicion of illegally taking the money into Russia, the Russian media said Thursday. The attendant reportedly tried to hand the cash to an Air Koryo employee at the Khabarovsk airport without submitting a customs declaration. Under Russian law, travelers bringing a large sum of cash into Russia are required to notify customs authorities.

II. Japan

1. Japan’s Role in Iraq Reconstruction

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “IS BAGHDAD SAFE ENOUGH FOR SDF? DEPENDS ON WHICH PARTY YOU ASK,” 07/02/03) reported that the ruling bloc and the opposition parties are presenting completely conflicting reports on their respective fact-finding missions to Iraq, with the opposition arguing the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) should not be dispatched to the area due to deteriorating security. The opposition also said rebuilding work could be done by civilians. Seiken Sugiura of the Liberal Democratic Party, who headed the coalition team, said the security situation is improving day by day, and that security in Baghdad has reached a level on par with “any other big city.” “All the people we met said there is no combat zone in Iraq,” Sugiura said, adding that shootings by Iraqis toward US troops are “unorganized and isolated cases.” However, the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) mission, Yoshinori Suematsu, presented a different picture, saying many Iraqis see the US forces as their enemy, and some remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party are even calling for a rebellion against the occupation forces. Yasuo Ogata, who headed the Japanese Communist Party’s team, argued that uniformed SDF personnel could become targets for resentful Iraqis, while civilians would not. However, Sugiura countered that sending the SDF is necessary because they are armed and can protect themselves, and would be self-sufficient in their daily necessities such as power and food. Specifically, Sugiura said the SDF will be useful for providing clean water for coalition troops stationed at Baghdad International Airport. Suematsu, on the other hand, said water purification can be done by NGOs. Other work that has been suggested for the SDF, such as rebuilding infrastructure, should also be done by NGOs through hiring unemployed Iraqis, he said.

The Japan Times (Reiji Yoshida, “DPJ DECIDES TO OPPOSE SENDING SDF TO IRAQ, CITING CONCERNS OVER SECURITY,” 07/02/03) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided on July 1 to oppose any dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to help reconstruct Iraq. “Large-scale fighting is over in Iraq, but we are still seeing smaller conflicts,” DPJ leader Naoto Kan told a news conference. “We cannot tolerate the SDF joining an occupation force.” The DPJ said it will also demand that all mention of three UN resolutions, which the government used to justify the US-led invasion of Iraq, should be dropped from the bill. The DPJ has argued that the war was unilaterally waged by the US in violation of international law and that it was not a war of self-defense and was not supported by international consensus. The DPJ will submit its own version of the dispatch bill. Its amendments will include the reduction of the term of activities of Japanese staff in Iraq to two years from the proposed four years. The DPJ meanwhile agreed that Japan should play an active role in Iraq by dispatching nonmilitary personnel. The ruling triumvirate, for its part, indicated it would not bend to the DPJ.

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “DISPATCH BILL PASSES THE LOWER CHAMBER,” 07/05/03) reported that the House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces (SDF) elements to Iraq. The three ruling parties supported the bill while all members of the opposition camp voted against it. Hiromu Nonaka and Makoto Koga, two heavyweights of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, abstained from voting in an apparent protest over the standing vote taken on the bill. They argued that a bill which puts the lives of SDF personnel on the line should have been voted on in an open ballot. The bill will now be sent to the House of Councilors. The government hopes to have it endorsed by the full Diet before the current session adjourns July 28. The bill allows for SDF personnel to be dispatched to “noncombat” areas in Iraq. It stipulates that they are to engage in humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, and provide logistic support for US and British forces in the country. Once enacted, the Iraq law will be in effect for four years. Following the vote, LDP Secretary General Taku Yamasaki said the party hopes to pass a permanent law stipulating the SDF’s role in postconflict reconstruction assistance so special laws will not be necessary every time Japan wants to offer aid in one of the globe’s many hot spots.

2. US Bases in Japan

The Japan Times (Kanako Takahara, “JAPAN, U.S. BEGIN DISCUSSIONS ON SOFA,” 07/03/03) reported that Japan and the US began negotiations over the conditions under which American servicemen suspected of crimes in this country are questioned by Japanese authorities before indictment. Foreign Ministry officials say the talks will likely not produce immediate results, given the sharp differences between the two sides. The key point is whether US military personnel stationed overseas who commit crimes outside military bases should be exposed to the legal system of the host nation or be granted the same rights guaranteed by American laws. During the talks, Japan is expected to urge the US government to expand the scope of criminal acts for which US servicemen can be handed over to Japanese authorities before indictment, which is now effectively limited to murder and rape. Under the bilateral Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the US military is not required to hand over its personnel suspected of crimes to Japanese authorities until they are indicted. The government hopes to reach a compromise without making any revision to SOFA, which governs the activities of the US military in Japan. The official pointed out that the Japan-US SOFA is the only bilateral status-of-forces accord in which the US has agreed to such pre-indictment handovers of its military personnel.

3. Japan Citizens’ War Crime Tribunal

The Japan Times (“BUSH ‘INDICTED’ OVER WAR CRIMES,” 07/01/03) reported that a group of Japanese lawyers unveiled documents “indicting” US President George W. Bush for war crimes allegedly committed against the Afghan people since the US-led coalition began its antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan in October 2001. “This is an act that breaks international rules, such as the idea of (honoring) human rights, that have been formed over so many years,” said Koken Tsuchiya, former president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and head of the 11-member prosecutors’ team in the tribunal. A civic tribunal will be held in Tokyo, with the first hearing scheduled for July 21. The charges against Bush, according to the indictment, include aggression, attacks against civilians and nonmilitary facilities and the torturing and execution of prisoners. They said the indictment will be handed to the US Embassy in Tokyo next week. The tribunal is being organized by Tokyo Zokei University professor Akira Maeda and others.

4. Lawsuit on Anti-terrorism Law

The Japan Times (“OPPONENTS OF ANTITERROR LAW FIGHT ON,” 07/08/03) reported that about 250 plaintiffs seeking nullification of the special antiterrorism law filed an appeal with the Tokyo High Court against a district court ruling that dismissed their claims. They are demanding that the law, enacted in 2001 following the Sept. 11 attacks on the US, be nullified. They argue that the law violates the Constitution’s recognition of the right of people around the world to live in peace and its renunciation of war as a means of settling international disputes. They are also demanding in the suit, which was filed 12 months ago, that the government order Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels dispatched to the Indian Ocean under the law to return home.

5. Japan Nuclear Reactor Restart

Kyodo (“TEPCO SEEKS OK TO REACTIVATE REACTOR,” Kashiwazaki, 07/03/03) reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) asked Kashiwazaki Mayor Masazumi Saikawa for permission to restart a nuclear reactor now that the utility has finished repairing cracks in its coolant pipes. The No. 4 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture is the first reactor that TEPCO is ready to restart that actually had defects. TEPCO shut down all of its reactors following revelations that it falsified nuclear safety reports to cover up faults in some. The No. 4 reactor was shut down for safety checks in January. TEPCO hopes to obtain local approval to restart the No. 4 reactor as soon as possible so it can meet the soaring summer demand for electricity, the officials said. But Niigata Gov. Ikuo Hirayama has said he will decide whether to give the go-ahead after the local assembly session ends July 11, and on condition that Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma guarantees the reactor’s safety.

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.