NAPSNet Daily Report 18 June, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 18 June, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 18, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-18-june-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks
2. US Troops in ROK
3. Inter-Korean Sports Exchanges
4. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
5. Submarine Accident
6. UN Peacekeeping Role
7. Textbook Issue
8. Cross-Straits Relations
9. PRC Nuclear Program

I. United States

1. US-DPRK Talks

The Associate Press (Paul Shin, “N. Korea Demands U.S. Compensation,” Seoul, 6/18/01) and the New York Times (Howard French, “North Korea Dismisses Offer by the U.S. to Resume Talks,” Tokyo, 6/18/01) report that a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that US-DPRK talks should begin by discussing US compensation to the DPRK for economic losses suffered as a result of delays caused by the US in the building of two light-water reactors in the DPRK. “The electricity loss from the delay in building light-water reactors should be taken up as a priority agenda in the talks,” said the spokesman. US President George Bush recently said discussions should focus on the DPRK’s missile program and its deployment of troops near the border. “We cannot but evaluate the U.S. proposal as unilateral and conditional in its nature and hostile in its intentions,” the spokesman said, adding, “The U.S.-proposed agenda concerns our nuclear, missile and conventional armaments and this all is nothing but an attempt to disarm us.” The spokesman stated that DPRK troop deployments will not be discussed until the US withdraws its troops from the ROK. Rhee Bong-jo, an assistant minister at Seoul’s Unification Ministry, said, “By proposing its own agenda, North Korea has expressed its intentions to accept the U.S. offer of dialogue, although it is discontent with the U.S.-proposed topics.” Koh Yu- hwan, a DPRK specialist at Dongguk University, said the DPRK’s response “is rather pragmatic, indicating that the North is prepared to negotiate with the U.S.” US officials had described last week’s talks with the DPRK as “a good beginning to the dialogue process” and said they were expected to continue.

2. US Troops in ROK

Reuters (Bill Tarrant, “N.Korea Sees Role for U.S. Troops in Korea,” Cheju Island, 6/16/01) reports that ROK President Kim Dae- jung stated that the most important achievement of last year’s inter-Korean summit was the DPRK’s agreement to keep US troops on the Korean peninsula. He said that he expected DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to disagree, “But to my great surprise, Chairman Kim Jong- il replied, ‘I already know President Kim’s thinking on this issue through South Korean newspapers. I also thought to myself how can President Kim think exactly like me? The continued presence of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula serves the interest of the Korean people.'” The DPRK has not confirmed or denied Kim Dae- jung’s description of the two leaders talks.

3. Inter-Korean Sports Exchanges

The Associate Press (“S. Korea Sports Chief to Visit Seoul,” Seoul, 6/16/01) reports that the ROK’s Korea Sports Council said in a news release that Council leader Kim Un-yong, who is also active with the International Olympic Committee, will travel to the DPRK next week to discuss inter-Korean sports exchanges with DPRK counterpart Jang Ung. The Council stated that they hoped the visit, which comes at the request of the DPRK, will lead to a resumption of contacts which have stopped due to US-DPRK tensions.

4. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

Reuters (Elaine Lies, “Japan, U.S. Reaffirm Ties Despite Differences,” Washington, 6/18/01) reports that Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka met in Washington with US officials, including meetings with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, as well as a brief meeting with US President George Bush. Tanaka said, “We are at a good point to take a new look at our mutual benefits and burdens.” She said her talks were partly preparatory for the June 30 visit by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, but also focused on boosting relations between the two countries. Tanaka said that after 50 years it was time to take stock of the ties between the two countries. Tanaka said she told US officials that Japan “understood” US arguments for researching a missile defense system. While Japan is researching a theater missile defense system with the US, it has not endorsed National Missile Defense. Japanese Defense Minister General Nakatani said on Sunday that while Japan will continue studying the theater missile defense system, it has no plans to join the US in a new missile defense initiative.

5. Submarine Accident

The Washington Post (Rene Sanchez, “Navy Set to Raise Japanese Trawler,” Los Angeles, 6/17/01) reports that according to a US Navy statement, the US Navy will attempt to move to shallower waters the Ehime Maru, a Japanese fishing trawler that sunk after colliding with a US submarine, in hopes of recovering the bodies of the nine Japanese sailors and students still believed to be aboard. Offshore construction vessels will lift the Ehime Maru off the seafloor, tow it 14 miles to a depth of less than 150 feet, search for the bodies and then return it to deep water about 12 miles off the coast. Before the plan was announced, US Admiral Robert Chaplin traveled to the Japanese town of Uwajima to explain the plan to victim’s surviving relatives.

6. UN Peacekeeping Role

The Associate Press (“Japan Drafts U.N. Peacekeeping Bill,” Tokyo, 6/17/01) and Reuters (“Japan Govt, LDP Seek Active U.N. Peacekeeping Role,” Tokyo, 6/17/01) report that the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is proposing revisions to a 1992 law to allow Japan to send troops with permission only from the host country for United Nations peacekeeping operations. The current law requires the government to get permission from all parties involved in a conflict before sending peacekeepers and restricts Japanese troops to playing a purely self-defense role. The Nihon Keizai reported that the revisions would also give Japanese peacekeepers broader discretion in using their weapons, permitting them to protect the lives of Japanese citizens and peacekeepers from other nations. Reuters reports that there are concerns by Japan’s neighbors that revisions such as these could lead to a revision of Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which renounces war as a foreign policy tool.

7. Textbook Issue

The Associate Press (“Japan to Use Controversial Textbook,” Tokyo, 6/16/01) reports that Tsuda Gakuen Junior High School, a private school in Japan’s Mie Prefecture, is the first school to state that it plans to use a controversial history textbook that many Asian countries say whitewashes wartime atrocities. School officials reportedly said that the book is in line with the school’s objective of giving students a sense of pride in being Japanese.

8. Cross-Straits Relations

The Washington Post (Philip P. Pan, “China Dealt a Blow on Taiwan,” Beijing, 6/18/01) reports that former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, who led the Nationalist Party for more than decade, has indicated that he will abandon the party to support President Chen Shui-bian’s Democratic Progressive Party during the legislative elections in December. According to the Post, this would be a set-back to the PRC’s attempts to politically isolate Chen and force Taiwan towards policies more favorable to the PRC and unification. Lee’s defection could strengthen Chen’s embattled presidency and weaken the Nationalists, but may also polarize public opinion over unification with or greater independence from the PRC.

9. PRC Nuclear Program

The New York Times (William J. Broad, “Author to Sue U.S. Over Book on China’s Nuclear Advances,” 6/18/01) reports that Danny B. Stillman, former director of intelligence at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and an expert on the PRC’s nuclear arms establishment, plans to sue the US government today to end its 18- month delay on publication of his 500-page memoir. The US has stated the book contains federal secrets. Stillman argues that the US is blocking its publication because he argues that the PRC made its nuclear breakthroughs on its own, contrary to US accusations that it used stolen US secrets advance its nuclear program. Stillman based his findings on his experience with the US nuclear program, and extensive contacts with PRC nuclear institutes and scientists.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

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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