NAPSNet Daily Report 19 October, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 19 October, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 19, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-19-october-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US Reissues Invitation for DPRK Talks
2. DPRK Demands Withdrawal of USFK
3. Bush-Jiang Talks
4. NE Asian Regional Security
5. PRC Role in Asia
6. Taiwan Boycotts APEC
7. Japanese Military Support of US
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK’s Participation on War Against Terrorism
2. APEC Forum
3. DPRK Report on Terrorism
4. Family Reunion
5. Inter-Korean Talks Put Off
6. UN Aid to DPRK Debated
7. ROK Navy to Visit PRC
8. DPRK Requests Aid

I. United States

1. US Reissues Invitation for DPRK Talks

The Associated Press (“BUSH SEEKS MEETING WITH N.KOREA LEADER,” Shanghai, 10/19/01) reported that US President George W. Bush pressed the DPRK on Friday to accept his invitation to meet with US representatives. Bush said at a news conference with ROK President Kim Dae-jung, “My administration wishes to begin a dialogue with the government of Kim Jong-il. Yet he has refused to accept our invitation. I would hope that he would accept not only our invitation, but seize the opportunity to bring more peaceful relations to the Korean peninsula. This is a moment in history where he can prove his worth.” Bush complimented Kim’s effort to reach out to the DPRK, saying, “I will reaffirm our support for the president’s sunshine policy with North Korea. I appreciate his leadership on this very important issue.” Bush said the administration, having reviewed its policy toward the DPRK as he had told the ROK leader it would, still looked forward to hearing a positive response from Kim Jong-Il. Bush added that DPRK leaders should keep their agreement to open talks with the ROK government. He added, “I must tell you that I’ve been disappointed in Kim Jong Il not rising to the occasion, being so suspicious, so secretive.”

2. DPRK Demands Withdrawal of USFK

Reuters (“N.KOREA CALLS FOR U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM SOUTH,” Seoul, 10/19/01) reported that the DPRK made a new call on Friday for the US to remove its troops from the ROK, blaming the US for the half-century-long division of the peninsula. The DPRK’s official Minju Joson newspaper said, “The withdrawal of the U.S. forces from South Korea is a prerequisite for national reunification because Korea was divided by their occupation of South Korea and they are still present there. If the U.S. forces pull out of South Korea and stop obstructing Korea’s reunification, the Korean nation is fully capable of achieving the country’s reunification by its own efforts.”

3. Bush-Jiang Talks

Agence France-Presse (“BUSH AND JIANG VOW TO COOPERATE IN ANTI- TERROR WAR,” Shanghai, 10/19/01) and Reuters (Steve Holland, “BUSH, JIANG SIDE BY SIDE AGAINST TERRORISM,” Shanghia, 10/19/01) reported that US President George W. Bush said Friday that the PRC had made a “firm commitment” to the war on terrorism and publicly downplayed usual differences with the PRC after his first face-to-face meeting with PRC President Jiang Zemin. Bush told a joint news conference with Jiang, “There’s a firm commitment by this (Chinese) government to cooperate in intelligence matters and to help interdict financing of terrorist organizations.” A senior US official said, “We’ve been getting very good support from the Chinese government in information and intelligence-sharing. They sealed their border with Afghanistan … So he’s very satisfied with the support.” Jiang said it was “not surprising” some issues divided the two nations, but he stressed they were both intent on “working together with the rest of the international community to combat terrorism.” Bush alluded to US concerns about human rights in the PRC, sales of arms and military technology, warning the war on terrorism “must never be an excuse to persecute minorities” and stressing “the need to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technology.” Jiang said he and Bush “had an in-depth exchange of views and reached a consensus on a number of important issues such as Sino-US relations, the fight against terrorism and safeguarding world peace and stability.” He said there had been an improvement in bilateral ties. He added that the volatile issue of Taiwan, if “properly handled” according to bilateral accords, would not blot the “bright future” in bilateral relations. Bush said he had “explained” his views on Taiwan, offering no details. Later, Bush won an unequivocal endorsement of US reprisals for the September 11 terror attacks from ROK President Kim Dae-Jung, who said he knew “no country, nobody on this earth is safe” from such assaults. Kim said, “The Republic of Korea will continue to take active participation in this war against terrorism. We will render all the necessary cooperation and assistance that they might need.” Senior US administration officials, who declined to be named, said bin Laden’s name never came up during the Jiang meeting and the two leaders did not mention the April spy plane standoff or Taiwan’s withdrawal from the forum.

4. NE Asian Regional Security

The Washington Post (Doug Struck and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, “NATIONS ACROSS ASIA KEEP WATCH ON CHINA,” Tokyo, 10/19/01) reported that as the PRC emerges from a half-century of internal struggles and poverty to extend its reach across Asia, its neighbors and the US see a looming struggle for power. US military planners brood over scenarios in which the PRC blockades the Taiwan Strait shipping lanes to cut off the world’s second- largest economy. They envision PRC submarines sailing along undersea routes mapped and they worry over PRC nuclear missiles pointed at Japan, and about PRC influence on the Korean peninsula. Similar visions of the future worry military, government and corporate offices throughout much of Asia. Gen Nakatani, Japan’s minister of defense, said, “There’s an increase in Chinese military power. They have national strength from economic growth. And now they are enlarging their sphere and radiating.” In response, some Asian countries have joined a new arms race. Asian countries have started to seek new alliances that will help them survive if a clash took place between the PRC, the US, Japan and India in what some see as an inevitable struggle to be the preeminent power in the region – militarily, economically and politically. A clear process of taking sides has been interrupted by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US. However, the current calculations seem unlikely to dilute what Asian countries regard as the most powerful antidote to expanding PRC military power: a continued and powerful US presence in the region. Faith in a US counterweight to the PRC is what leads Japanese political leaders to constantly reiterate its loyalty to the US and explains why even DPRK Kim Jong-il acknowledged it is better to keep US forces on the Korean peninsula indefinitely. Tomoyuki Kojima, a professor at Japan’s Keio University, said, “By 2050, China thinks they will catch up to the level of the United States. We don’t want to see a China which tries to claim hegemony over this region and the world.” Japan counts on an umbrella of US protection for its security, and in theory has no military of its own. It is worried about other potential threats – principally, the DPRK – but analysts acknowledge the military buildup is a hedge against PRC’s ambitions and the possibility the US could prove unreliable. The most prominent flash point in Asia for conflict involving the PRC remains Taiwan. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 19, 2001.]

5. PRC Role in Asia

Wall Street Journal (Andrew Higgins and Charles Hutzler, “CHINESE GOALS TAKE A BACKSEAT AS US RISES TO THE FORE IN ASIA,” Shanghai, 10/19/01) reported that alarmed by Afghanistan long before the September 11 attacks in the US, leaders from the PRC, Russia and four other states had gathered this summer in Shanghai to forge a new bloc against militant Islam. Now, the APEC summit in Shanghai that the PRC had hoped would further boost its status as an alternative pole of diplomatic and economic power has instead put the US at center stage. It has also shown how the attacks are undermining the labor of both the PRC and Russia to carve out diplomatic space of their own. Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the three countries earlier enlisted by the PRC as partners in a PRC-led front against extremism, are now all providing robust support to a US-led campaign. Pakistan, another linchpin in PRC strategic designs, has drawn closer to the US as well. A PRC security analyst with a military-backed think-tank in Beijing said, “Perhaps after the war on terrorism, this newly mobilized order will re-aim at China.” PRC President Jiang Zemin spoke of a “growing trend” toward a multipolar world in his speech Thursday night. Shen Dingli, a professor at the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the PRC believes “there should be more than one center of power in the world, and China deserves to be one of those centers.” The PRC has also sought to balance US might by strengthening ties with Russia. Many in Russia share the PRC’s alarm at US power, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent tilt toward the West has discomforted much of Russia’s political and military establishment, who viewed Russia’s growing relationship with the PRC not as a harbinger of a new military axis but as a useful counterweight to the US. Putin, says Alexei Arbatov, deputy head of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, has staked out a “position of the minority. He wants to go further in cooperating [with the US] but everyone else is pulling him back and saying we don’t need this.” Among politicians and officials, said Arbatov, “there is not very much trust for America.” [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 19, 2001.]

6. Taiwan Boycotts APEC

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN BOYCOTT MARS ASIA-PACIFIC SUMMIT AS BUSH MEETS JIANG,” Shanghai, 10/19/01) reported that the entire Taiwan delegation walked out of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on Friday in protest to PRC refusal to let the island send its envoy of choice to the summit. Yang Wei- li, the chief spokesman for the Taiwan delegation in Shanghai, said, “We protest the treatment we received here by the host country very strongly and we will be returning to Taiwan as early as possible. There will be no representative at all from Taiwan at the leaders’ meeting.” The boycott was announced after the PRC refused to allow the island to send former vice president Li Yuan-zu to the APEC summit. The spokesman also cited an extraordinary scene at a news conference of APEC foreign and trade ministers on Thursday, attended by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, as a reason for the boycott. Taiwan’s Economics Minister Lin Hsin-i repeatedly raised his hand to speak on the envoy issue but was ignored by a visibly irritated PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, who said: “Let’s not waste more time on this.”

7. Japanese Military Support of US

The Washington Post (Kathryn Tolbert and Doug Struck, “JAPAN EXPANDS MILITARY ROLE TO SUPPORT US,” Tokyo, 10/19/01) reported that Japan’s House of Representatives approved an anti-terrorism bill Friday that defines a narrow role for the country’s military in supporting the US attacks in Afghanistan. While the bill says that Japan can provide only logistical support in non-combat areas, it is widely seen as a turning point in Japan’s security policy. For the first time, the Self-Defense Forces would take part in military action clearly beyond areas surrounding Japan. Two related bills approved also Friday allow the Self-Defense Forces to protect US military facilities in Japan and give the coast guard the right to use weapons against suspicious ships in Japanese waters. Toshiyuki Shikata, professor of crisis management at Teikyo University, “This is an important step toward Japan becoming a normal country.” [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for October 19, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK’s Participation on War Against Terrorism

The Korea Herald (“AID SHIPMENT FOR AFGHANISTAN TODAY,” Seoul, 10/19/01) reported that the ROK Air Force said October 18 that five C-130 military transport planes carrying US$1 million in relief goods destined for Afghan refugees will leave for Pakistan on the morning of October 19. Officials said the relief supplies include 7,500 blankets, 2,000 tents, 1,000 sets of winter clothes and medicine. The planes will land at an air base in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, on the afternoon of October 20.

2. APEC Forum

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, “KIM TO TACKLE N.K., TERRORISM AT APEC,” China, 10/19/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae- jung arrived in Shanghai on October 18, where he will hold separate talks October 19 with the leaders of the US, the PRC and Russia to discuss antiterrorism and inter-Korean relations, ROK officials said. The three individual talks kick off Kim’s five- day summit diplomacy, which coincides with the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Kim’s aides said that in talks with US President George W. Bush, the ROK leader will renew his pledge to provide support to the US-led war against terrorism and reaffirm the strong military alliance between the two countries. ROK officials also said that Bush is expected to reaffirm his commitment to supporting ROK’s engagement policy toward the DPRK and express hope for the DPRK to reopen talks with the ROK and the US. Analysts said that in Shanghai, Kim may face the same challenge to persuade Bush to ease his hard-line stance toward the DPRK.

3. DPRK Report on Terrorism

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH KOREA BROADCASTS ON U.S. STRIKE AND ANTHRAX FEAR,” Seoul, 10/18/01) reported that DPRK’s state-run Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) gave out a detailed picture of the US strike against Afghanistan without any commentary today. KCBS, citing the words of the foreign press said that the war continues and that the US and British forces are conducting intensive attack toward capital city of Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan almost everyday since the start of the attack. KCBS also mentioned of the Taliban administration’s ‘strong challenge’ toward the US, making outright criticism toward the US military actions that slaughter innocent people. The DPRK then went further on to make first mention of the anthrax fear in the US spreading nationwide the same day. In the mean time, the DPRK’s broadcast expressed concern over the possibility that the US retaliatory process will extend to other nations apart from Afghanistan.

4. Family Reunion

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH KOREA MAY FEAR AFTER-EFFECT OF FAMILY EXCHANGE, SAYS HONG,” Seoul, 10/18/01) reported that ROK Unification Minister Hong Soon-young suggested on October 18 that fear of the aftermath of the family exchange might have prevented the DPRK from holding the reunion event. Minister Hong said, “North Korea may have realized that family meeting could be more than just humanitarian exchange, something with powerful influence culturally and politically and is trying to shun such after effect.” He also added that discussion of a unified constitution or unification treaty is too early at this point when the two Koreas have not yet confirmed anything about a peaceful settlement.

5. Inter-Korean Talks Put Off

Joongang Ilbo (“N.K. HOLDS ON TO MT. GEUMGANG FOR MEETING PLACE, GOVERNMENT NOT HAPPY,” Seoul, 10/18/01) reported that after a day-long silence, the DPRK rose to urge the ROK once more to hold the upcoming inter-Korean talks at its Geumgang Mountain slated for October 19th and 25th. Kim Ryong-song, chief delegate of the inter-Korean talks on the DPRK’s side, reiterated the request of the DPRK government and also suggested new schedules for the meeting. The bilateral Mt. Geumgang talks, which are slated for October 18 or October 19, would be postponed to next Thursday on October 25. The inter-Korean Cooperation Promotion Committee meeting slated for October 23 would be shifted to next month on November 5, also at Mt. Geumgang. The sixth inter-Korean Cabinet talks on October 28 will be the only meeting to proceed as originally planned.

6. UN Aid to DPRK Debated

Joongang Ilbo (“U.N. IN DISPUTE OVER NORTH KOREA’S DIVERSION OF AIDS,” Seoul, 10/18/01) reported that a dispute between U.N. agencies over suspicions surrounding DPRK’s possible manipulation of international food aid is likely to develop further at the U.N. General Assembly. On October 9, the DPRK sent an official letter of protest to Jean Ziegler, a special rapporteur for the Commission on Human Rights, who submitted a report in April stating that it was becoming increasingly obvious that Pyongyang was distributing most of the international food aid it received to its military, intelligence and government agencies, and not for its starving citizens as intended. The DPRK in its protest argued that its transparency in food distribution was confirmed by various government delegation and civic groups, stating that the latest suspicion comes as a serious insult to its regime. The letter of protest went on that it is Ms. Bertini who has recently traveled to the DPRK that gave fair account of the DPRK’s situation with her firsthand experience. As for Ziegler, it claimed that its argument is simply based on the complaints of few NGOs that withdrew from its nation. In response, Mr. Ziegler expressed strong displeasure on the contents, saying that such a letter is a violation to his rights as a special rapporteur on human rights. Informing his superior Mary Robinson High Commissioner for UNHCR, Mr. Ziegler said he is ready to fully confront the DPRK if necessary. Meanwhile the Swiss press reported that some relief groups including Medecins Sans Frontieres Research (MSM), CARE and OXFAM did gave out a contradicting version of the food aid distribution, pointing out they decided to quit rather than take part in the crime of unfair practice within the place.

7. ROK Navy to Visit PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Yu Yong-won, “ROK NAVY TO MAKE PORT CALL TO CHINA,” Seoul, 10/18/01) reported that three naval vessels, including the 3,800-ton KDX-I ‘Euljimundeok’ will make their first official visit to the PRC. An ROK Navy spokesman said the ‘Euljimundeok,’ the 1,800-ton frigate ‘Busan’ and the 9,000-ton supply vessel ‘Hwacheon,’ along with a delegation of some 160 Naval cadets and 800 crew, will leave the port of Jinhae on October 22 on a tour of some ten countries, including the PRC, Vietnam and Indonesia. The vessels will anchor in Shanghai, the PRC, from October 24 to 28, marking the first visit to mainland China of naval ships.

8. DPRK Requests Aid

Chosun Ilbo (Yu Yong-won, “NORTH KOREA ASKS FOR INTERNATIONAL FLOOD RELIEF,” Seoul, 10/18/01) reported that the DPRK asked the international community for emergency relief on October 18 to repair damage and help victims of floods that swept its eastern coastal region last week. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 80 people died and 84 more were seriously injured from the floods, which also hit sewage systems and inundated paddy fields.

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International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
Center for American Studies,
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International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan
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

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

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy@dh.mbn.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Rumiko Seya: rumiko-seya@geocities.co.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
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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