NAPSNet Daily Report 20 November, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 20 November, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 20, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-20-november-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. ROK DPRK Warning Shots
2. US Soldiers in ROK Acquittal
3. PRC Militar Appointments
4. PRC DPRK Refugees
5. US Missile Defense
6. US Conservatives on DPRK
7. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Weapons
II. Republic of Korea 1. Powell’s Remarks on DPRK
2. Mt Geumgang Tourism
3. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Issue
4. ROK Minister’s Urge for DPRK to Change
5. Inter Korean Railway
III. Japan 1. Japanese Logistic Support for US
2. Japan-US Military Cooperation
3. Cooperation between SDF and Police
4. US Forum on Japanese Nationalism
5. Japan’s Nuclear Industry Scandal

I. United States

1. ROK DPRK Warning Shots

The Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREAN NAVY FIRES WARNING SHOTS TO REPEL NORTH KOREAN SHIP,” 11/21/02) reported that an ROK navy vessel fired warning shots to repel a DPRK patrol boat which violated ROK territorial waters. “A North Korean patrol boat briefly intruded into our waters before returning to the North following warning shots from our side,” a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced on Wednesday. The incident occurred at 2:40 pm (0540 GMT) in the disputed waters around Baekryeong island in the Yellow Sea. The DPRK boat crossed the maritime border, known as the Northern Limit Line (NLL), at a point some 5.6 kilometres (3.5 miles) from the island, prompting five ROK navy vessels to move to intercept it. One of the ROK boats fired two warning shots from its 76-millimeter cannon before the DPRK vessel fled to the north. The DPRK ship did not fire back. “It is believed that the North Korean boat had crossed the NLL as it was chasing Chinese fishing boats,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

2. US Soldiers in ROK Acquittal

The Agence France-Presse (“COURT MARTIAL ACQUITS US SOLDIER OF KILLING KOREAN GIRLS,” 11/21/02) reported that a US military court acquitted a US soldier of negligent homicide in the deaths of two ROK schoolgirls in an accident which has sparked nearly daily anti-US protests. US army commander Lieutenant General Charles Campbell urged South Koreans to respect the verdict but angry activists dismissed the trial as “outrageous” and warned of more anti-American demonstrations. The verdict was delivered in a court martial of Sergeant Fernando Nino, the track commander of the vehicle that ran over the 14-year-old girls on June 13. Nino was found “not guilty of criminal misconduct.” The trial of Nino’s driver, Sergeant Mark Walker, also charged with negligent homicide, will begin Thursday. Nino hugged his wife and shook hands with his attorney after the verdict was handed down. If found guily, he would have been jailed for six years. “I’m shocked. I have lost words to speak,” said Yoo Young-Jae, one of the activists. Hundreds of police formed a human barricade and shoved away the protestors amid scuffles near a stage decorated with funeral photographs of the girls. “This is outrageous, and we cannot accept the verdict,” another protestor said.

3. PRC Militar Appointments

The Agence France-Presse (“CHINA FINISHES UP NEW ROUND OF TOP MILITARY APPOINTMENTS,” 11/20/02) reported that the PRC has rounded out new high-level appointments to its vast military following a shake-up of the top brass at the 16th Communist Party Congress, state press reported. At the Congress, which ended Friday, Generals Cao Gangchuan and Guo Boxiong were promoted to vice chairmen of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC), making them China’s top uniformed officers. They serve under President Jiang Zemin, who remained CMC chairman at the Congress despite handing over leadership of the ruling Communist Party to Vice President Hu Jintao. The generals’ appointments have led to a series of lower-level promotions in the PRC’s military, including new top leaders at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) general staff, logistics and armament departments, the PLA Daily reported. The paper named Liang Guanglie as the new chief of the PLA general staff, Xu Caihou as PLA political commissar, Liao Xilong as head of the logistics department and Li Jinai as head of PLA armament.

4. PRC DPRK Refugees

The Associated Press (Martin Fackler, “17 NORTH KOREAN HELD BY CHINA AFTER FAILED ATTEMPT TO ENTER VIETNAM, RIGHTS GROUP SAYS,” Shanghai, 11/20/02) reported that a group of 17 DPRK asylum seekers, including two infants, were being held by PRC authorities after they were caught trying to sneak into Vietnam, a human rights group said Wednesday. PRC and Vietnamese officials would not confirm the report by the Commission to Help North Korean Refugees. The asylum seekers were turned over to the PRC by Vietnamese border guards, who captured the group on November 13 as they tried to enter from the southern PRC region of Guangxi. PRC authorities were holding them in Guangxi’s capital, Nanning, the group said.

5. US Missile Defense

Reuters (Dominic Evans, “US SEES MISSILE DEFENSE IN FIVE YEARS,” London, 11/19/02) reported that the US will have an effective missile defense system up and running within five years, possibly in partnership with NATO or a European agency, the US military officer leading the project said on Tuesday. Lieutenant-General Ronald Kadish said extensive tests had shown the technology behind the missile shield — designed to knock out incoming missiles launched by “rogue states” with interceptor missiles — genuinely worked. “We no longer need to experiment, to demonstrate or prevaricate. We need to get on with this and I’m confident we will,” Kadish told a conference on missile defense in London. “Some time in the next five years or so we will have effective defenses against a multiple range of threats.” Answering charges that the program, which has already cost tens of billions of dollars in research and development, would prove too expensive, he said allies could come under its protective umbrella without a hefty cash payment. “We have offered potential partners government-to-government agreements, in-kind investments — not necessarily monetary,” Kadish said. “Or we could cooperate with entities such as NATO or a European missile defense agency, or some other construct that might arise out of this discussion,” he said. “Our invitation is real for people to join us.”

6. US Conservatives on DPRK

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, “CONSERVATIVES WANT TOUGH ACTION ON NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 11/19/02) reported that conservatives in the US Congress are intensifying pressure on DPRK to end its nuclear weapons program and preparing legislation aimed at scuttling a commitment to provide the DPRK with nuclear power reactors, congressional sources said on Tuesday. The proposed legislation, now in draft form, could be introduced early in 2003 when the new Congress, controlled entirely by President Bush’s Republican Party, convenes. Bush has said he wants to resolve the dispute over DPRK’s nuclear weapons program diplomatically and the proposed bill almost certainly would inflame tensions. The DPRK has said it would view US penalties as a hostile act. Also, the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is Indiana Republican Richard Lugar, a moderate who has advocated negotiations as a way to disarm the DPRK.

7. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Weapons

The Associated Press (“RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER EXPRESSES CONCERN TO NORTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR OVER NUCLEAR WEAPONS CHARGES,” Moscow, 11/20/02) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told the DPRK’s ambassador Wednesday that Russia is concerned about “the aggravation of the situation around Korea in connection with the US allegations that North Korea is developing nuclear weapons,” the Foreign Ministry said. Ivanov met with Ambassador Pak Ui Chun at the DPRK’s request, the ministry said in a statement. Ivanov said Russia favored the “denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula and urged “open dialogue” between the DPRK and the US. He repeated Russia’s position in favor of sticking to the 1994 agreement. On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed serious concern over what it called “contradictory” statements from the DPRK about its right to maintain nuclear weapons. On Wednesday, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia had asked for clarification from DPRK, but had not yet received an answer.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Powell’s Remarks on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Young-sae, “US SAYS IT RECOGNIZES THE NORTH AS ‘SOVEREIGN,'” Seoul, 11/20/02) reported that a shipment of heavy fuel oil, expected to be the last provided through a multinational energy aid program, maneuvered to dock in a DPRK port Monday, as the top US diplomat directed modestly soothing remarks toward DPRK. Secretary of State Colin Powell said US recognized DPRK “as a sovereign nation.” Taking questions from student reporters in Washington Tuesday, he said, “We have no intention to impose our sovereignty upon their sovereignty.” Reiterating what has been repeated as often as the demand that DPRK dismantle its nuclear program, Powell also said US “has no hostile intent toward North Korea; we have no intention to invade.” The issue of sovereignty has been a fixture in official statements by DPRK along with the “right to survival.” In declaring its right to own nuclear and other weapons, DPRK has said that the threat to its sovereignty posed by the US gave it little alternative. The oil shipment that was being unloaded in Nampo, a west coast port of DPRK, was allowed passage in a Friday decision by the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization.

2. Mt Geumgang Tourism

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Tae-jin, “AT 4 YEARS OLD, GEUMGANG TOURS NEED LIFT,” Seoul, 11/20/02) reported that Hyundai Asan Corp. hopes that a special tourism area law for the Mount Geumgang district and an expected opening of a land route to the DPRK region will boost the tourism operation, which Tuesday celebrated its fourth birthday. “The date for an announcement of a special tourism area law was set this week and it will be declared sometime this month,” said Kim Yoon-kyu, chief executive of Hyundai Asan. “Although the relationship between North Korea and the United States has been aggravated because of North Korea’s revelation about its development of nuclear weapons, the series of discussions between North Korea and South Korea will enable the opening of a land route to Mount Geumgang.” The number of travelers exceeded 500,000 on November 11 since the tours began Nov. 18, 1998. The number of the trips rose to 1,026. Hyundai Asan hopes the number of tourists will surge due to a reduction in costs from traveling via a land route, though there are problems to solve.

3. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Issue

Chousn Ilbo (Jeong Byeong-seon, “MOSCOW CONCERNED OVER NK NUKE STANCE,” Moscow, 11/20/02) reported that Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Alexandro Yakovenko delivered Russia’s serious concerns on DPRK’s recent insistence that “it is entitled to possess nuclear weapons,” Tuesday. Yakovenko said Russia expected the DPRK leadership to strictly abide by all regulations in the Non-proliferation Treaty and fulfill all its duties. Yakovenko added that Russia also expects all relevant countries, including the undersigned countries of the 1994 agreed framework, to show self-control and to continue to observe all international obligations. Yakovenko’s statement is a follow-up of Pyongyang Broadcasting Station’s report released on Sunday, justifying DPRK developing nuclear weapons to protect its sovereignty, and survival against the “growing threat of American imperialists.” Russian observers interpret the remark as an open message to DPRK to give up the nuclear weapons development program prior to the Bush-Putin summit scheduled on November 22 in St. Petersburg.

4. ROK Minister’s Urge for DPRK to Change

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Jae-ho, “MINISTER URGES CHANGE IN NORTH,” New York, 11/20/02) reported that Minister of Unification Jeong Se-hyun gave a lecture at the Korea Society breakfast meeting Tuesday, and expressed hopes that DPRK would seek democracy and a market economy, along with ROK for co-existence and co-prosperity of the two Koreas, and further contribute to the peace and stability of the Northeast Asian region. Minister Jeong claimed that DPRK had made significant progress by responding to various dialogues and cooperation offers, since the Kim Dae-jung administration promoted a conciliatory policy towards DPRK. Jeong is the first high-ranking ROK official asking DPRK for change of system. At a meeting with Korean correspondents in New York after the lecture, Minister Jeong was asked whether DPRK’s announcement to give up the nuclear program would be pursued by the international community when the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization executive board meeting, scheduled on December 10, is less than a month away. He replied that words would not be enough, and DPRK needed to show definite action within a month.

5. Inter Korean Railway

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “UNC YIELDS TO DMZ PROCEDURAL DEMAND,” Seoul, 11/20/02) reported that Cha Young-ku, head of the Ministry of National Defense Policy Department, said Tuesday the US had decided to “simplify” the procedure for mutual inspection of mine clearing in the demilitarized zone. Cha said the decision was made at a meeting between him, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Lee Tae-shik Chief of Staff of the United Nations Command Charles Campbell and Deputy US Ambassador to Korea Evans Revere. Cha failed to explain how the procedure has been simplified, but sources said they agreed to allow the ROK side at the DMZ to forward a list of DPRK to the UNC, instead of DPRK doing so directly, something it had refused to do. They continued that the USFK decided to withdraw objections to the UNC concerning the submission of inspection personnel lists, due to some critical opinion in ROK that it was hindering the linking of cross border roads and railways. A ministry official said there was no damage to the Armistice Agreement, as the UNC will receive the DPRK list indirectly. He said DPRK would accept this and construction, halted for ten days, would continue without delay.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Logistic Support for US

The Japan Times (“CIVILIANS SENT TO FIX SDF WARSHIPS,” 11/09/02) reported that the Defense Agency has been dispatching private-sector civilian engineers to carry out maintenance on Self-Defense Forces (SDF) vessels providing logistics support to the US-led antiterrorism campaign in the Indian Ocean, agency officials said. A total of 16 civilian engineers were sent on five occasions in the months of July, August and October to fix equipment, including radar, aboard four SDF vessels during port calls in countries on the Indian Ocean. The agency declined to reveal the names of the private enterprises involved. “The locations of the dispatches were areas where there were no combat activities and the operations were conducted based on contracts and agreements with the private sector,” Defense Agency Counselor Atsushi Oi said.

The Japan Times (“GOVERNMENT EYES DISPATCH OF MSDF AMPHIBIOUS VESSEL,” 11/13/02) reported that the Japanese government plans to dispatch a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) amphibious ship to transport Thai military units en route to Afghanistan under Japan’s special antiterrorism law, sources said. The decision to dispatch the MSDF amphibious vessel was made in response to a request from the US. The Thai forces are expected to oversee repair work on a US air base in the suburbs of Kabul. Because the current basic plan adopted under the antiterrorism law does not cover sending amphibious ships to the Indian Ocean, the program needs to be revised to allow the dispatch. The basic plan expires Nov. 19, although the government plans to extend it by six months.

2. Japan-US Military Cooperation

Kyodo (“U.S. INFORMS JAPAN JOINT MISSILE SHIELD TO BE DEPLOYED IN ’08,” Washington, 11/10/02) reported that the US has told Japan that it plans to begin deploying interceptor missiles in 2008 under the countries’ joint missile-defense initiative, Japanese and US government sources said. The US plan, unofficially conveyed to Japan, is likely to put further pressure on Japanese government to advance to the development stage of the missile-defense initiative at an earlier date. Under the US plan, the missiles would be deployed aboard Aegis destroyers belonging to Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF). This would occur at a later date because it will take time to adapt the systems for integrated operations between the US Navy and the MSDF.

3. Cooperation between SDF and Police

The Japan Times (Takuya Asakura, “GSDF JOINS FORCES WITH POLICE TO COMBAT TERRORISM,” 11/10/02) reported that the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) will begin joint exercises with the National Police Agency (NPA) to help prepare the GSDF for terrorist attacks that are beyond the capabilities of the police. The joint exercise, scheduled for Nov. 18, will be the first of its kind conducted under a bilateral emergency-cooperation agreement on maintaining public order. The agreement was revised for the first time in 46 years in December 2000. The revisions shift the target of the accord from domestic riots and radical demonstrations to terrorism and guerrilla attacks by armed agents. One senior GSDF official stated that the exercise was made possible through the leadership of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who has emphasized the need for closer cooperation between the SDF and police organizations since the Sept. 11, 2001. In the proposed exercise, the GSDF’s Northern Army and the Hokkaido Prefectural Police will set up a command post at Hokkaido police headquarters. Some 20 officials from each organization will participate, according to the Defense Agency. Other GSDF regional armies are also planning to hold similar joint exercises with local police forces, according to Defense Agency officials. After completing command post exercises, the agency hopes to hold field training exercises, they added. In addition, the GSDF plans to set up a special anti-guerrilla force, consisting of some 300 elite troops, in the next fiscal year.

4. US Forum on Japanese Nationalism

Kyodo (“EXCLUSIVE STATE DEPARTMENT-LED FORUM MULLS RESURGENCE OF JAPAN NATIONALISM,” Washington, 11/13/02) reported that the US State Department intelligence bureau recently held a confidential conference on Japan’s rising nationalism and its effects on the country’s foreign, security and economic policies, according to participants and US government officials. Japan experts within and outside the US government, including analysts from the CIA, participated in the Sept. 26 meeting titled “Conference on Nationalism and Identity in Japan” in Washington, according to documents obtained by Kyodo News and accounts by participants. The State Department made no official announcement of the meeting or its date and venue. “It’s part of a series of conferences that our Intelligence and Research Bureau holds,” a State Department official said on condition of anonymity, adding, “It is not that Japan was singled out.” The State Department posed a three-part question to academics at the conference: whether prewar nationalism and national identity have relevance today, how national identity notions have influenced foreign, security, economic and domestic politics, and how they will shape future policy choices. “I think the conference was triggered by such phenomena as Tokyo Gov. (Shintaro) Ishihara’s high popularity and recent debate over history textbooks,” one of the few Japanese participants said. The most interesting presentation was by John Dower, professor of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, some participants said. Dower reportedly told the participants that instead of singling out Japanese nationalism, they should be much more worried about American nationalism. Dower made “interesting parallels” between the kinds of slogans in prewar Japan and some of those that have recently been employed in the US, according to those participants.

5. Japan’s Nuclear Industry Scandal

Kyodo (“GROUP TO HIT TEPCO OFFICIALS WITH CRIMINAL COMPLAINT,” Iwaki, 11/13/02) reported that a citizens’ group said that it plans to file a criminal complaint with investigative authorities against senior officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), accusing the utility firm of various misdemeanors in connection with covering up defects at nuclear power plants. The group told a news conference in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, that it will file the complaint — the first of its kind against officials of the nation’s largest power company — in mid-December. It said it will level five charges — including fraud, destruction of evidence and obstruction of government work — because the firm prevented the government from properly inspecting its facilities by concealing fractures it found in reactor shrouds.

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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

 


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