NAPSNet Daily Report 19 February, 2002

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 19 February, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 19, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-19-february-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Bush Japan Visit
2. Bush ROK Visit
3. ROK Domestic Politics
4. Taiwan-US Relations
5. Taiwan-US Military Relations
6. PRC-US Relations
7. Russia-US Arms Control Talks
II. Republic of Korea 1. Security for Bush’s Visit
2. Anti-Bush Protest
3. Civic Movement Against U.S.
4. DMZ Arms Issues
5. DPRK Conventional Weaponry
6. Separated Family Issue
III. Japan 1. ASDF Documents Lost
2. Japan’s View on Subcritical Nuclear Test
3. Japan’s View on “Axis of Evil”

I. United States

1. Bush Japan Visit

The LA Times (Robin Wright and Mark Magnier, “BUSH IS DOGGED BY ‘AXIS OF EVIL’ IN VISIT TO JAPAN,” Tokyo, 02/19/02) carried an analytical article that reported that President Bush’s “axis of evil” comment is increasingly shaping his visit. Bush and his senior staff are increasingly on the defensive as they are deluged with questions about the administration’s plans for dealing with of Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Demonstrators are protesting the possibility of a new US military campaign. Student, labor and civic group protesters voiced their own disapproval of Bush’s comment Monday in a series of modest demonstrations in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Osaka. In an editorial, the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun charged that Bush’s comments have increased regional tensions and displayed a complete disregard for local sensitivities, while the Okinawa Times said the US is following a misguided law-of-the-jungle approach. At the news conference in Japan, Bush continued to declare the US intent to deal with the “axis” countries, “There should be no mistake about it. We will defend our interests. We cannot allow nations that aren’t transparent, nations with a terrible history, nations that are so dictatorial they’re willing to starve their people, to mate up with terrorist organizations.” Kazuto Suzuki, a professor at the University of Tsukuba, responded, “It underscores the rather childish U.S. diplomacy. He’s thrown up a stereotype, but there’s no hard evidence behind his charges.”

Agence France-Presse (“PRAISING US-JAPAN TIES, BUSH HEADS TO KOREA,” 02/19/02) reported that US President George W. Bush reaffirmed the importance of the US-Japan alliance and praised Japan before heading to South Korea on the second leg of his Asian tour. With security forces keeping demonstrators well away from Seoul military air base, Bush and his wife Laura were met inside Tuesday by ROK Foreign Minister Choi Sung-Hong. Some 15,000 riot police were also on duty in Seoul to counter anti-US protests. Some demonstrators were detained by police outside the Seoul military air base where Bush’s plane arrived from Tokyo, witnesses said.

The Associated Press (Ron Fournier, “U.S. SEEKS A ‘PEACEFUL’ ASIA,” Tokyo, 02/18/02) and Agence France-Presse (“BUSH LAYS OUT VISION FOR ‘PACIFIC CENTURY,'” 02/19/02) reported that in just the third speech by a US president to the Japanese Diet, US President George W. Bush declared that Japan will play an “indispensable” global role in what he predicted will be the “Pacific century.” Bush declared, “We stand more committed than ever to a forward presence in this region. The success of this region is essential to the entire world, and I am convinced the 21st century will be the Pacific century.” Bush also stated, “We will continue to show American power and purpose in support of the Philippines … Australia … and Thailand. We will deter aggression against the Republic of Korea. Together, Japan and the United States will strengthen our ties of security. America will remember our commitments to the people on Taiwan.”

Chicago Tribune (Bob Kemper, “BUSH ASKS JAPAN TO ACT AS INTERMEDIARY WITH IRAN,” Tokyo, 02/19/02) reported that US President Bush asked Japan to carry the message to reform-minded members of Iran’s government that they can avoid US confrontation by turning Iran away from the development of weapons of mass destruction and “meddling” in Afghanistan. White House aides said that Bush wants to encourage Iranian officials who wish to re-establish diplomatic ties with the US to be more assertive in their efforts to reverse the policies of anti-US government factions. “We are saying [to Japan] that we know you have diplomatic relations with Iran and we would appreciate in the course of your dialogue with them that you make it clear that we are serious about changing their behavior,” said a White House aide who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi indicated a willingness to act as a broker. “Japan, together with the US and the international community, will, on its own initiative, cooperate very actively” in the war against terrorism, Koizumi said.

2. Bush ROK Visit

The Associated Press (Sandra Sobieraj, “BUSH: WEAPONS DON’T BELONG IN KOREA,” Seoul, 02/19/02), the Associated Press (Ron Fournier, “BUSH TO VISIT KOREAN PENINSULA,” Seoul, 02/19/02) and Reuters (Randall Mikkelsen, “BUSH VISITS SOUTH KOREA, STAYS TOUGH ON NORTH,” Seoul, 02/19/02) reported that US President George W. Bush arrived in the ROK on Tuesday. Bush arrived from Japan, where he renewed pledges to defend the ROK and keep a military presence in Asia. Bush assured the Diet that he seeks an Asia “where military force is not used to resolve political disputes.” “We seek a peaceful region where the proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction do not threaten humanity,” Bush said. Hundreds of police were on high alert for Bush’s visit to the ROK, during which he will told talks with ROK President Kim Dae-jung and look across the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The near- finished text of Bush’s address to be delivered near the DMZ did not mention the “axis of evil” label he referred to during his State of the Union address. However, senior adviser Karen Hughes denied that Bush was backing off his statement and said that he would forcefully reiterate his contention that the DPRK is one of the world’s most dangerous and repressive regimes. “We seek a region in which demilitarized zones and missile batteries no longer separate people with a common heritage and a common future,” Bush said Tuesday. The White House was sanguine about the risk of fresh protests, which are likely to be audible from the US ambassador’s residence where Bush will stay in central Seoul. “There aren’t any protests in North Korea,” Hughes told reporters on the flight to Seoul. “That’s a celebration of freedom itself.”

Agence France-Passe (“VIOLENT PROTESTS IN SOUTH KOREA AHEAD OF BUSH VISIT,” 02/18/02) reported that angry anti-US protests erupted in Seoul on Monday ahead of the arrival of US President George W. Bush, with police storming one US business office occupied by radical students. Police detained 32 students at the American Chamber of Commerce office and another 14 demonstrators were hauled away as they scuffled with security forces outside the US embassy. Groups have vowed to stage more protests during Bush’s three-day visit starting Tuesday, particularly during his summit with President Kim Dae-Jung on Wednesday. Police commandos with axes and hammers broke down barricades at the Amcham office to end the three-hour occupation. No serious injuries were reported. During the occupation, protesters hurled leaflets — proclaiming Bush to be a “war freak” — from the shattered window of the 45th floor office of the 53 story Trade Tower into the streets of the busy Gangnam business district. Students also shouted slogans out of the window vowing to oppose the US.

3. ROK Domestic Politics

The Associated Press (Choe Sang-hun, “BUSH’S `AXIS OF EVIL’ REMARK IMPACTS ON SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN,” Seoul, 02/19/02) reported that at an ROK parliamentary session Monday, lawmaker Song Suk- chan described Bush as an “incarnation of evil who plots to perpetuate the division of the Korean peninsula by lumping North Korea into an ‘axis of evil.'” Though the lawmaker was quickly reprimanded by President Kim Dae-jung, his comment in the National Assembly highlighted how US-South Korean ties have emerged as a campaign issue in a presidential election year. Bush’s blunt language has unnerved the ROK government, which fears such tough talk will further undermine Kim’s engagement policy toward the DPRK. Kim has a year left in his five-year term, and cannot run again. Song also targeted opposition leader Lee Hoi-chang, whom he accused of siding with Bush to undercut Kim’s “sunshine” policy toward the DPRK and boost his chances of becoming president. After Song spoke, two opposition legislators grabbed his speech text and pushed him off the rostrum. On Tuesday, the opposition Grand National Party, which holds a majority in the Assembly, called Song a “spokesman for North Korea.”

4. Taiwan-US Relations

Reuters (“TAIWAN WELCOMES BUSH’S PLEDGE BUT STAYS ON GUARD,” Taipei, 02/19/02) and Reuters (“TAIWAN EXPECTS NO SURPRISES FROM BUSH’S CHINA VISIT,” Taipei, 02/18/02) reported that Taiwan Foreign Minister Eugene Chien said on Monday that he did not expect any significant change in US policy coming from US President George W. Bush’s February 21-22 visit to the PRC. “The United States has more than once briefed us on President Bush’s visit and repeatedly guaranteed there will be no surprise,” Chien told a news conference. “There is no need to be nervous,” Nevertheless, Chien said a special taskforce, headed by Vice Foreign Minister Michael Kau, is working around the clock to monitor Bush’s visit to Japan, the ROK and the PRC this week. In the early days of his presidency, Bush vowed to do “whatever it took” to defend Taiwan but has not repeated the statement recently. Bush told PRC’s official Xinhua news agency in an interview published on Saturday that he hoped to create an open dialogue with the PRC, adding it was the best way to approach the Taiwan issue. Xinhua said Bush advocated a peaceful resolution to the stand-off.

5. Taiwan-US Military Relations

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN, US TO HOLD RARE MILITARY SUMMIT,” 02/18/02) reported that Taiwan and the US are to hold a military summit next month to discuss the island’s defense needs and arms sales processes, it was reported. The three-day seminar and a roundtable, rare since the US switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, will be held in Florida on March 10-12. Scheduled speakers include US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and a group of senior generals from the two countries including Li Chieh, Taiwan’s chief of the General Staff. On the agenda will be Taiwan’s defense needs in the years ahead, particularly in the so-called C4I — command, control, communication, computer and intelligence, the report said. Taiwan’s defense ministry declined to comment on the report.

6. PRC-US Relations

Reuters (Jeremy Page, “BUSH SEEN PRESSING CHINA ON LINKS TO ‘Axis,'” Beijing, 02/18/02) published an analytical article that predicted that when US President George W. Bush flies into Beijing on Thursday, he is expected to demand PRC’s leaders curb transfers of weapons technology to the nations he has branded “rogue states” sponsoring terrorism, especially Iran and the DPRK. However, the PRC wants the US to curb arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a rebel province, and to lift sanctions on PRC entities accused of breaking non-proliferation pacts. Even before the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, US officials had highlighted weapons proliferation as their number one priority in relations with the PRC. “China is very, very deeply implicated in the axis of evil, even though it’s not part of it in Bush’s definition,” said Ross Munro of the Centre for Security Studies in Washington. A CIA report submitted to the US Congress on January 30 accused the PRC of taking “a very narrow interpretation of its bilateral non-proliferation commitments with the United States” according to data gathered in the first half of last year. “Firms in China have provided dual-use missile-related items, raw materials, and/or assistance to several other countries of proliferation concern — such as Iran, North Korea and Libya,” it said. To clear up any grey area, the US has urged the PRC to issue a list of materials covered by non-proliferation pacts. Some diplomats say that the PRC was planning to publish the list last year but changed its mind after US sanctions were imposed. They now expect it to emerge following Bush’s visit. “I think we are likely to see that list in the next six months,” one Western diplomat said.

7. Russia-US Arms Control Talks

The Associated Press (“Vladimir Isachenkov, “RUSSIA, US COMPLETE TALKS ON ARMS CUTS,” Moscow, 02/19/02) reported that US and Russian officials on Tuesday wrapped up consultations on nuclear arms cuts and other issues, paving the way for a presidential summit in May. Delegations led by U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov focused on issues relating to “strengthening strategic stability and international security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “The parties agreed to step up efforts to prepare Russian-US documents, in particular a legally-binding agreement on radical cuts in strategic offensive weapons and a declaration on forging a new strategic relationship…” the statement said. In a step toward compromise, US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that Washington was willing to sign a legally binding agreement on the cuts. Russia has opposed the Pentagon’s intention to stockpile the decommissioned nuclear weapons rather than destroy them. “Real and irreversible liquidation of nuclear weapons will show the world community how reliable and serious the course for nuclear disarmament is,” Putin’s military adviser, Igor Sergeyev, said Tuesday.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Security for Bush’s Visit

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Min-seok, “SECURITY FIGHT FOR BUSH VISIT AMID PROTESTS,” Seoul, 02/18/02) reported that security preparations are nearly complete in Seoul for US President George W. Bush’s first-ever visit to Korea starting Tuesday. Security officials from Seoul and Washington say they are working together closely to ensure that the US leader’s visit is trouble-free. A joint security team of White House and Blue House security staff has been mobilized for the visit, while the US Forces in ROK and the ROK Army have increased the number of security support personnel. Reconnaissance satellites have been keeping an eye out for any unusual movements of troops or weapons in the northern part of the peninsula. Security will reach its peak when Bush visits Dorasan Station near the Demilitarized Zone on Wednesday.

2. Anti-Bush Protest

Joongang Ilbo (Sung Ho-jun, “BUSH TO ARRIVE IN SEOUL FOR A 2-DAY VISIT,” Seoul, 02/19/02) reported that a group of 28 college students protesting against US President George W. Bush’s visit to Seoul took over the office of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. The students, who are members of Hanchonryon, a nationwide student organization, entered the Trade Tower building in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, at 1:15 p.m. and took the elevator to the 45th floor, where the chamber office is located. After overpowering the police officers securing the office and forcing the employees out, the students barricaded themselves in by stacking office furniture. Smashing an office window, they hung out a banner denouncing Bush’s visit and accusing him of war threats in his recent description of DPRK as a member of an “axis of evil.” The occupation of the office lasted for three hours.

3. Civic Movement Against U.S.

Joongang Ilbo (“700 REPRESENTATIVES TO URGE U.S. FOR DIALOGUE WITH N.K” Seoul, 02/19/02) reported that the 700 representatives from civic, social and religious groups in the ROK released a peace declaration and urged US President George W. Bush to seek dialogue with the DPRK, Monday. “We, as citizens living in Korean Peninsula are enraged by the Bush administration and the president’s blatant attitude toward our nation,” the declaration read. “Therefore we strongly urge Bush administration to convert their North Korea policy to make peace and search better ways to engage the North for a dialogue,” “President George W. Bush and the U.S. administration must stop the unjustified intervention on the affairs of South Korean government and show support and express cooperation of two Koreas engagement for peaceful reunification in peninsula,” argued the declaration. The 700 participants of peace declaration that included Kang Man-gil, president of Sangji University and Choi Yeol, general secretary to Korean Federation to Environment Movement conveyed their message to the US embassy based in Seoul.

4. DMZ Arms Issues

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, “DMZ ARMS KEY TO ANY TALKS,” Seoul, 02/18/02) reported that US President George W. Bush stressed the importance of “moving back” the DPRK’s conventional weapons from the DMZ. ROK military authorities say DPRK’s long-range artillery and Scud- B and -C missiles are capable of inflicting heavy losses on US and ROK forces on the peninsula. The officials said the DPRK’s 1,000 long-range artillery pieces positioned along the DMZ could reach targets as far south as Suwon, Gyeonggi province. The ROK government said Bush’s statement is nothing new; a pull back of the DPRK’s conventional weapons was included in an agenda outlined by the White House last June.

5. DPRK Conventional Weaponry

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, “TIFF OVER CONVENTIONAL ARMS?” Seoul, 02/18/02) reported an ROK government official said Sunday that measures to induce DPRK to move its conventional weapons back from its forward positions would not be discussed at the ROK-US summit on Wednesday. “These issues should be discussed at the working level talks,” said the unnamed government official. The Blue House and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade went on round-the-clock duty Sunday, putting the final touches on the points President Kim Dae-jung will make during his meeting with Bush. An official said they that are preparing talking points for the president on the weapons issue despite their expectation of its absence from the agenda.

6. Separated Family Issue

Joongang Ilbo (“FAMILY MEETING PLACE TO BE INSTALLED AT DORASAN STATION,” Seoul, 02/19/02) reported that ROK Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun said the government plans to utilize Dorasan Station to install family meeting place for separated family members in both Koreas. “US President Bush will be issuing special message at Dorasan Station for the world and North Korea to hear upon his arrival to Seoul for summit meeting,” Minister Jeong said. “We shall go even further by establishing family meeting place for families scattered in the North and the South.” Minister Jeong added that the station would also be open for ceremonies at every national occasion including Lunar New Year and traditional Thanksgiving Day.

III. Japan

1. ASDF Documents Lost

The Japan Times (“SECRET ASDF DOCUMENTS MISSING; CARELESSNESS SUSPECTED OVER FOUL PLAY,” Tokyo, 02/15/02) reported that secret documents on the Air Self-Defense Force’s (ASDF) aircraft control and warning radar system have recently disappeared at the Misawa ASDF base, Japanese Defense Agency officials said last Thursday. ASDF official checking the security of key information found on January 18 that classified documents kept in a safe at the Northern Air Defense Force base were missing, and a later search failed to find them. The agency officials said they believe the document could have been mistakenly shredded, adding that they do not think the information was leaked to outsiders. According to the agency, the missing documents were assigned midlevel secrecy among the three categories of confidential internal documents.

2. Japan’s View on Subcritical Nuclear Test

The Japan Times (“FUKUDA VAGUE ON U.S.-BRITISH NUCLEAR TEST PLAN,” Tokyo, 02/15/02) reported that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda gave a nebulous response last Thursday to a plan by the US and Britain to jointly conduct a subcritical nuclear test in the US. “Japan would never recommend such a test, but we cannot say ‘no’ to all such tests, either,” Fukuda said. He added, “If the test is banned, it is possible that any country could demand that the world allows it to conduct a real test.” On the idea of nuclear deterrence, Fukuda said subcritical nuclear tests should be discussed, taking into account the goal of global nuclear disarmament.

3. Japan’s View on “Axis of Evil”

The Japan Times (“U.S., JAPAN UNITED ON PYONGYANG,” Tokyo, 02/18/02) reported that Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said last Saturday that Japan understands US President George W. Bush’s position that the DPRK poses a serious threat to international security. “Relations between the US and the North Korea are different from those of between Japan and North Korea. But our basic understanding is same,” Abe said on a Fuji TV program. Commenting on Bush’s labeling of the DPRK as part of an “axis of evil” along with Iran and Iraq, Abe said, “I think the US designated Pyongyang as such because it is suspected of developing of weapons of mass destruction and its domestic system is suppressing its people.” But he noted, “An ally has its own role to play as an ally. It is better to have various approaches in foreign policy.”

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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@glas.apc.org
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< /a>
Clayton, Australia

 


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