NAPSNet Daily Report 21 January, 2003

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 21 January, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, January 21, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-21-january-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US on UN Security Council Role in DPRK Situation
2. Russia-US DPRK Espionage
3. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Situation
4. PRC-US DPRK Diplomacy Talks
5. United Nations on DPRK Situation
6. DPRK-ROK Relations
7. Pentagon on ROK Force Posture
8. US-ROK Arms Control
9. US DPRK Attack Consideration?
10. ROK New Prime Minister
11. Inter-Korean Family Reunions
12. ASEAN on Terrorism Finance
13. Taiwan Dalai Lama Invitation
II. Republic of Korea 1. North Korean Defectors Attempting to Flee
2. International Responses to DPRK Nuclear
3. Diplomacy of ROK President Elect
4. Inter Korean Talks
5. Russia’s Mediation on DPRK’s Deadlock
III. People’s Republic of China 1. ROK-US Relations
2. Nations’ Response to DPRK Nuke Issue
3. PRC-Japan Relations
4. Japan’s Commentary on Russia’s Role in Korean Crisis
5. DPRK-US Relations
6. ROK-DPRK Relations
IV. CanKor E-Clipping Service 1. Issue #113

I. United States

1. US on UN Security Council Role in DPRK Situation

The Associated Press (Soo-Jeong Lee, “U.S. ENVOY SAYS WASHINGTON PUSHING FOR UN SECURITY COUNCIL ON NORTH KOREA,” Incheon, 01/20/03) reported that US Undersecretary of State John Bolton said Tuesday that the US wants to bring the DPRK nuclear crisis before the UN Security Council and that the US can provide a guarantee it won’t attack the DPRK. Bolton arrived Tuesday in Seoul for talks on ways of getting the DPRK to abandon nuclear programs that the US says can be used to make atomic weapons. Asked whether focus was now shifting toward putting the matter before the UN Security Council, Bolton said that was where the efforts should be. “That’s certainly what we’re aiming to do,” Bolton said. But he sidestepped the issue of whether the US would pursue sanctions, calling that “a very different question.” Bolton also said the US could provide some sort of guarantee it wouldn’t attack the DPRK and said, “certainly we can find ways to record that fact. “As the president said, we are perfectly prepared to talk to the North Koreans about coming back in compliance with their international obligations,” Bolton said. “We will be exploring all kinds of options here in Seoul.” Bolton’s visit coincides with the scheduled opening of high-level inter-Korean talks in Seoul later Tuesday.

The Associated Press (Stephanie Hoo, “US ENVOY: CHINA WOULDN’T OPPOSE U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL INVOLVEMENT IN NORTH KOREA ISSUE,” Beijing, 01/20/03) and The Associated Press (“BUSH ADMINISTRATION MAKES HEADWAY WITH CHINA ON NORTH KOREA,” United Nations, 01/20/03) reported that John Bolton, the US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said Monday he believed the PRC would not oppose involving the UN Security Council in efforts to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Bolton made his assessment after meeting with PRC counterparts, including Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya. “I don’t detect any opposition here, certainly, to moving the matter to the Security Council in an appropriate fashion,” Bolton said. “They are absolutely in agreement with us that they do not want nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula,” he said at a news conference. “That is the true bottom line here.” Bolton was the latest US official to visit the PRC in what is increasingly appearing to be close cooperation between the two nations on the issue of the DPRK.

2. Russia-US DPRK Espionage

The New York Times (James Risen, “RUSSIA HELPED US ON NUCLEAR SPYING INSIDE NORTH KOREA,” Washington, 01/19/03) and Agence France-Presse (“RUSSIANS SPIED FOR CIA IN NORTH KOREA,” 01/21/03) reported that Russian intelligence officers secretly placed sophisticated nuclear detection equipment inside the DPRK at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1990’s, to assist the US in tracking the DPRK nuclear weapons program, intelligence officials say. The Russians placed nuclear monitors provided by the C.I.A. inside the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang to try to detect telltale signs of activity from the DPRK nuclear weapons program. The C.I.A. trained officers from the S.V.R., the Russian intelligence agency, in the operation of the US equipment, and the Russians then shared their findings with the US. The joint operation has since ended, and it is unclear how long it lasted or whether it provided useful intelligence on the state of the DPRK nuclear weapons program. Nor would officials say whether the Russians placed detection equipment in other locations in the DPRK besides their embassy in Pyongyang. Current and former US officials say the fact that the US does not have an embassy in the DPRK has made it difficult for C.I.A. officers to obtain direct access to the country. “It is a very tough country to get data from,” said one person familiar with US intelligence operations concerning North Korea. “We have tried every which way we can to get information.”

Agence France-Presse (“RUSSIA DENIES US REPORT ON SPYING IN N. KOREA NUCLEAR CRISIS,” 01/21/03) reported that the head of Russia’s external intelligence services dismissed the notion that Russian agents secretly helped the Central Intelligence Agency monitor the DPRK nuclear activities by installing radiation detection equipment. A report in The New York Times Monday regarding “purported cooperation between the SVR (Russia’s foreign intelligence) and the CIA against North Korea is false,” SVR chief Boris Labusov said Tuesday. The New York Times, citing unnamed intelligence officials, said Russian agents had placed sophisticated nuclear monitors provided by the CIA inside the Russian embassy in Pyongyang to try to detect telltale signs of activity from the DPRK nuclear weapons program. Labusov noted that “certain forces in the United States specially fabricated this story just at the time that Russia is making intensive efforts to help reduce tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.” A senior Russian envoy, Alexander Losyukov, travelled to Pyongyang at the weekend to present a “package deal” to resolve the crisis.

3. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Situation

Agence France-Presse (“RUSSIAN ENVOY HOLDS ‘USEFUL’ TALKS IN NORTH KOREA,” 01/21/03) and Agence France-Presse (“RUSSIAN ENVOY SAYS ‘SOME OPTIMISM’ NORTH KOREA CRISIS CAN BE SOLVED,” 01/21/03) reported that Russian envoy Alexander Losyukov said there was “some optimism” the DPRK nuclear crisis can be solved peacefully after holding “constructive” talks with DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il. His assessment Tuesday came despite demands from the US that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) refer the DPRK’s violation of a nuclear safeguards treaty to the UN Security Council. This could lead to sanctions that the DPRK has said would be tantamount to a declaration of war. Losyukov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, held six hours of talks with Kim, which he described as “useful and rather constructive” on his arrival in Beijing from Pyongyang after a four-day visit. “There were a number of talks in Pyongyang,” he told reporters ahead of meetings Tuesday with Chinese officials including a vice foreign minister. “But generally speaking, I think that there is some optimism the problem can be resolved providing the preparedness of the sides involved.” He refused to divulge details of his discussions with Kim or Kim’s response to a Russian proposal to solve the near-four month crisis, saying he had to report first to Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, in an interview with Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency he said the DPRK was eager for Russia’s aid in the matter, and “we agreed to keep such contacts constant. This is absolutely required in a crisis situation such as this.” Pyongyang, he added, treated the plan “with interest.” “They are analyzing it, and I think some things from this plan could well be used,” he said.

4. PRC-US DPRK Diplomacy Talks

Agence France-Presse (“TOP US DISARMAMENT OFFICIAL HOLDS TALKS IN CHINA ON N KOREA CRISIS,” 01/20/03) reported that the US pressed ahead with its diplomatic drive to end the DPRK nuclear crisis as its top official on disarmament issues held talks with PRC leaders. US Under Secretary of State for International Security and Arms Control John Bolton entered meetings Monday with senior officials, including vice foreign ministers Wang Guangya and Li Zhaoxing, despite the DPRK’s rejection of world diplomatic efforts to harness its nuclear program. US officials said the purpose of Bolton’s visit was to discuss an agreement reached between US President George W. Bush and PRC President Jiang Zemin last year on holding regular discussions on strategic issues at a senior level. But the DPRK was also expected to figure prominently in the discussions, they added. Bolton declined to speak to reporters Monday but has scheduled a press conference for later in the day. Also travelling with him is Stephen Rademaker, assistant secretary of state for arms control. As the US pursued efforts to involve other nations, the DPRK said it would only negotiate with the US and rejected a UN role in the crisis. The US nevertheless hopes the PRC can persuade the DPRK to not only abandon its nuclear program but become more amenable to working towards an end to the three-month-long standoff. The PRC has said it is ready to work with “all relevant parties”, but has so far given no indication as to what it is doing.

5. United Nations on DPRK Situation

Agence France-Presse (“UN ENVOY SAYS ‘OMINOUS’ RISK N KOREA CRISIS COULD WORSEN,” 01/18/03) reported that Maurice Strong, special envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, after returning from Pyongyang, said Saturday that there is a “serious and ominous” risk that the DPRK nuclear crisis could escalate. “They (North Korea) look to a peaceful resolution, but I have to say my impression of the situation is that it is both encouraging, in the sense that both parties seem to be saying somewhat closely what the other one wants. “And yet they are talking past each other, rather than to each other. “So there is a serious and ominous risk that this crisis could escalate.” Strong, who spent four days in the DPRK, reportedly held talks with the DPRK regime’s number two Kim Yong-Nam, according to the DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency. He declined to say Saturday who he had met but said the DPRK held “very strong” views on its position in the three-month-old nuclear standoff. “I do think that the DRPK (North Korea) does have a very strong view of its position,” he said. “It feels it has been unjustly treated, unjusty accused of abrogating a treaty which they say, and I’m making no value judgement myself, but they say was first abrogated by the United States.”

6. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, “NORTH KOREAN DELEGATION ARRIVES IN SEOUL,” Seoul, 01/21/03) and the Associated Press (“N. KOREA DEEMS NUCLEAR TALKS OFF LIMITS,” Seoul, 01/21/03) reported that the chief DPRK delegate to talks with the ROK hinted Tuesday that he was unwilling to discuss his country’s suspected nuclear weapons program. The comments by Kim Ryong Song raised doubts about whether the ROK would be able to make headway in urging the North to drop its nuclear programs at the four-day talks. “Let’s not care about the situation surrounding us and concentrate on resolving internal issues,” Kim said after arriving with his delegation. He appeared to be referring to the original agenda of the talks, which includes inter-Korean reconciliation plans such as the construction of cross-border railways and roads. The chief ROK delegate, Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun, hosted a dinner at the upscale hotel where Kim and his 29-member entourage are staying, and the two men earlier exchanged diplomatic pleasantries that masked the tension on their divided peninsula. “As we march along together, several problems have popped up all of a sudden,” Jeong said. “We must resolve them wisely, thus removing concerns among our people. Let’s make the talks an internationally welcome event.” ROK Prime Minister Kim Suk-soo was more direct, saying to the DPRK visitors at the banquet: “The agreement to keep the Korean Peninsula nuclear-free must be observed without fail.” The Cabinet-level talks, along with three other sets of inter-Korean meetings this week, continue contacts that began with a North-South summit in June 2000. They are the highest-level regular contacts between the two countries.

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA PUSHES FOR REUNIFICATION OF KOREAN PENINSULA,” Seoul, 01/21/03) and Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA CALLS ON SOUTH TO JOIN ANTI-US STRUGGLE,” 01/21/03) reported that the DPRK urged the ROK on Tuesday to push for a reunification of the divided Korean peninsula and resist “US imperialists.” The appeal, made in a commentary carried by the DPRK’s state-run Korean Central News Agency, argued that national independence for all Korean people was the best way to defend “peace and security of the country.” “The whole nation should have a transparent will for national independence to resolutely reject flunkyism and dependence on foreign forces and smash the US moves for aggression, war and intervention,” KCNA reported. “The Koreans can be united firm as one,” the commentary said. In a separate report, KCNA warned that the anti-US movement in the ROK was gaining momentum and called it “a main trend in the peninsula.”

7. Pentagon on ROK Force Posture

Agence France-Presse (“PENTAGON RETHINKS US FORCE POSTURE IN SOUTH KOREA: OFFICIALS AND ANALYSTS,” 01/19/03) reported that the US Pentagon has been quietly rethinking its military posture in the ROK in ways that would reduce the size and composition of its 37,000-strong force there, according to Pentagon officials and analysts. US troops have become a lightning rod for anti-American sentiment in the ROK, turning a confrontation with the DPRK over nuclear proliferation into a test of the US’ five decade old alliance with the ROK. In the US, anger over perceived ROK ingratitude has sparked calls by some conservative commentators for a withdrawal of all US forces from the south. “We must make clear to the South that while we will honor the terms of our mutual defense treaty, which means that we will respond to any aggression by the North, we will not stay where we are not wanted,” Richard Allen, a former national security adviser to president Ronald Reagan, wrote this week. US Defense Secretary Donald has welcomed a review of the US security relationship with the ROK once ROK President-elect Roh Moo Myun takes office. Pentagon officials say an informal reappraisal already is underway internally. No one is talking about a complete withdrawal of US forces or abandoning the alliance with the ROK, according to the officials who spoke on condition that they neither be identified nor directly quoted. But there is a growing sense that the military arrangements that have been in place in the ROK with little change over the years should be re-examined with an eye to both modernizing and reducing the size of the forces there, they said. Tank-heavy US ground forces now arrayed south of the demilitarized zone could be replaced with a smaller-sized force that relies more on technological advances as well as air power and strategic forces, according to the officials. They said the discussions were still informal and conceptual in nature. But they noted they were consistent with Rumsfeld’s push to use new capabilities — information technologies, long range precision strike, and increasingly sophisticated reconnaissance and surveillance — to transform old Cold War force structures. Any reduction in US forces in Korea, though, is liable to prompt questions in Japan and elsewhere about US staying power. “It’s an inescapable reality, it’s a brute, crude fact that if the United States were to reduce its troop presence in East Asia in a time of heightened tension or crisis, the regional actors would view that as a lessening of American commitment in the area,” Nicholas Eberstadt, a Korea expert, told stated. “It would be hard to blame them.”

8. US-ROK Arms Control

Agence France-Presse (“TOP US ARMS CONTROL OFFICIAL ARRIVES IN SEOUL, MET BY PROTESTS,” 01/21/03) reported that the top US arms control official arrived for talks with the ROK government over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons drive, but his arrival was met by fierce local protests. Under Secretary of State for International Security and Arms Control John Bolton came for three-day talks with officials while a dozen anti-US activists said he was bringing nothing but war on the Korean peninsula. “We oppose the visit to Seoul by John Bolton, a messenger bringing the dark clouds of war here,” the activists chanted Tuesday near the heavily-guarded US embassy in downtown Seoul. Bolton’s visit, they said, was aimed at “pressing Seoul to follow a hardline US policy on North Korea and to support a US war against Iraq.” Prior to his visit to Seoul, Bolton met with top PRC officials on the DPRK nuclear crisis and said the PRC was not opposed to the US push to bring the issue to the UN Security Council. In Seoul, Bolton is to meet with senior ROK officials, including Defense Minister Lee Jun Tuesday and Foreign Minister Choi Sung-Hong Wednesday. The US drive to bring the DPRK nuclear crisis to the UN Security Council body is expected to be a top agenda of talks. The ROK is a firm backer of peaceful resolutions to the standoff over the DPRK’s decision last month to reactivate a mothballed factory capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. Bolton is to travel to Japan Thursday.

9. US DPRK Attack Consideration?

Agence France-Presse (“US CONSIDERED ATTACK ON NORTH KOREA OVER NUKE CRISIS: ROH,” 01/19/03) reported that US officials considered an attack on the DPRK before agreeing to seek a peaceful solution to the ongoing nuclear standoff, according to South Korean president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun. Roh told a conference on Saturday night that there were high-level US discussions about a possible attack on the DPRK when he was elected in December. “When I was elected, the situation was so acute because some US officials, who held considerable responsibility in the administration, talked about the possibility of attacking North Korea,” he said. “I then thought that no matter what differences I might face with the United States, I would stop an attack on North Korea. “Fortunately, opinion in the US started to change to resolving the matter peacefully.” Roh, who will take office on February 25, said that the DPRK may opt for security guarantees and economic aid in return for renouncing its nuclear ambitions. “From past actions, North Korea ardently hopes for security guarantees and is aggressive in its push for reform and openness,” Roh said, while calling for international efforts to end the country’s isolation.

10. ROK New Prime Minister

Agence France-Presse (“VETERAN ADMINISTRATOR DESIGNATED SOUTH KOREAN PM,” 01/21/03) reported that ROK president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun has designated a former prime minister and veteran administrator as the first prime minister of his incoming administration. Roh’s aides were quoted Tuesday as saying the president-elect had already approached Goh Kun, a 65-year-old former Seoul mayor, about the job. “We can neither confirm nor deny it,” Roh’s spokesman Lee Nak-Yon stated. He added that the president-elect may announce his nomination Wednesday when he visits the opposition Grand National Party (GNP). Roh, who takes office on February 25, has promised to enlist support from the GNP because the appointment of key government posts in the next administration must be confirmed by a parliamentary vote. The opposition party controls the National Assembly and provincial governments. “I have nothing to say right now about my appointment,” Goh said. The former Seoul mayor has been dubbed a “master of administration” for his diverse and extensive experiences during a 30-year career in officialdom. Goh held three cabinet posts and served as prime minister in the early 1990s. He stepped down as mayor of Seoul in July last year.

11. Inter-Korean Family Reunions

Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA MOOTS REUNIONS OF SEPARATED FAMILIES IN LATE FEBRUARY,” 01/21/03) reported that the ROK proposed a new round of reunions in late February for families separated since the Korean War at Red Cross talks with the DPRK. “We propose that the two sides arrange the next round of reunions of separated families in late February,” ROK’s chief delegate Lee Byung-Woong said Tuesday at the talks in Mount Kumgang in the DPRK. He also suggested that a joint team tasked with overseeing the construction of a permanent center for reunions be launched by the end of next month, according to pool reports. The two sides agreed in principle in October to arrange another round of reunions involving 100 relatives from each side around Lunar New Year’s Day, which falls on February 1. But tensions over the DPRK’s suspected nuclear ambitions forced the date to be pushed back, according to officials here. The Red Cross authorities of the ROK and the DPRK also agreed to set up a reunion center for separated families at Onjongri at the foot of Mount Kumgang, a renowned tourist attraction on the eastern coast. But they were still divided over the size of the center with the ROK wanting to establish a modest building of some 7,000 square feet (630 square meters) but the DPRK wanting to a facility more than six times that size. The ROK and the DPRK have arranged five rounds of separated family reunions since the historic 2000 summit between President Kim Dae-Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. The DPRK has called for continued rapprochement and exchanges between the two Koreas despite international concerns over its suspected nuclear weapons program. It said the nuclear issue should be settled through direct negotiations between the DPRK and the US.

12. ASEAN on Terrorism Finance

Agence France-Presse (“ASIAN NATIONS DISCUSS WAYS TO CHOKE TERRORIST FUNDING,” 01/21/03) reported that officials from more than 20 countries including the US began a closed-door regional meeting here to coordinate efforts aimed at choking off funding to terrorist groups. The workshop draws representatives from foreign ministries, law enforcement agencies and financial regulatory bodies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). The US and Singapore governments are co-hosting the two-day meeting. “The purpose of the workshop is to promote international cooperation in combating terrorist financing by providing an opportunity for ASEAN and PIF officials to exchange views on our national experiences and strengthen our individual and collective capacities in counter-terrorism finance,” Singapore’s foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday. Participants will discuss compliance with a UN Security Council resolution providing a common legal basis for international action against terrorists and their supporters, and other initiatives to curb terrorist financing.

13. Taiwan Dalai Lama Invitation

Agence France-Presse “TAIWAN INVITES DALAI LAMA FOR THIRD VISIT,” 01/21/03) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian invited Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for a third visit to the island, a presidential statement said. The official invitation was extended to Tsegyam, the new director of the Tibet Religious Foundation of the Dalai Lama, which has operated in Taipei since 1997 to improve bilateral ties, the statement said Tuesday. Chen met with Tsegyam and his predecesor Tenzinphuntsok Atisha and expressed hope that Taiwan’s relations with Tibet would further improve in further bilateral exchanges, it said. “Bilateral relations will be upgraded since we no longer consider Tibetans as ‘mainland Chinese’,” Chen said. The Dalai Lama visited Taiwan in March 1997 and March 2001, triggering strong condemnation from the PRC.

II. Republic of Korea

1. North Korean Defectors Attempting to Flee

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Young-sae, “50 KOREANS ARRESTED IN ESCAPTE BID IN CHINA,” Seoul, 01/21/03) reported that forty-eight DPRK defectors and two ROK citizens helping them were arrested by the PRC authorities Saturday as they prepared to leave the Shandong province port of Yantai, a Seoul-based organization helping DPRK fugitives said Monday. Those arrested were among more than 80 people who assembled from several parts of PRC, hoping to leave the country in two boats with the aid of international organizations, the Seoul group, Durihana Mission, said. The arrests followed four days of raids. The defectors began to gather in Yantai Jan. 11 to board the boats, one of which was to head for a ROK port and the other for Japan. Twelve persons escaped arrest, and about 20 remain unaccounted-for but are believed to have escaped, the group said. A local guide in PRC said that those arrested were taken to Jilin province, north of the border with DPRK, before being deported. The attempt had been planned by international groups since December, the group said.

2. International Responses to DPRK Nuclear

Joongang Ilbo (“POWELL TRIES TO MOVE NORTH ISSUE TO UN,” Seoul, 01/21/03) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that he was consulting with the United Nations Security Council member countries on whether to bring DPRK’s nuclear program to the organization. Speaking on CNN before meeting foreign ministers of those countries, Mr. Powell expressed hope that the governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency would meet soon and refer the matter to the Security Council. US undersecretary for arms control, John Bolton, said in Beijing that PRC did not appear to oppose taking the issue to the Security Council. In Pyeongyang, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov met the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to propose suggestions for resolving the issue, the Associated Press reported.

3. Diplomacy of ROK President Elect

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, ” ROH TO SEND ENVOYS TO CHINA, RUSSIA,” Seoul, 01/21/03) reported that president-elect Roh Moo-hyun will send high-level delegations to PRC and Russia next month as part of stepped-up diplomatic efforts to help defuse the DPRK nuclear standoff, aides said Monday. In addition, Roh’s special envoy to US and Japan plans to embark on an eight-day trip Feb. 2. Reps. Lee Hae-chan and Chough Soon-hyung, senior members of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), will visit Beijing and Moscow before Roh takes office Feb. 25. Rep. Chyung Dai-chul of the MDP, Roh’s special envoy to US and Japan, is scheduled to leave for US February 2, the day after the lunar New Year’s holiday.

4. Inter Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Seo Hyun-jin, “TWO KOREAS OPEN CABINET-LEVEL TALKS TODAY,” Seoul, 01/21/03) reported that ROK and DPRK opened Monday the first of three sets of bilateral talks scheduled this week as the international community tries to defuse nuclear tension on the Korean Peninsula. ROK officials said ROK will use the inter-Korean talks to encourage DPRK to immediately dismantle its nuclear programs and begin dialogue with US to find a satisfactory solution to the nuclear problem. Red Cross officials from ROK and DPRK began their three-day talks at DPRK’s Mt. Geumgang Monday to discuss the next round of reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War and the establishment of a permanent reunion post for them. The highlight of ROK-DPRK contacts will come today when they hold the ministerial talks in Seoul. This is the highest-level negotiations between the two sides since DPRK announced its decision to reactivate its nuclear facilities and withdraw from the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty last month. ROK and DPRK will handle the reconnection of inter-Korean railways and roads at another working-level meeting in Pyongyang Jan. 22 to 25.

5. Russia’s Mediation on DPRK’s Deadlock

Chosun Ilbo (Chung Byung-seon, “RUSSIA OFFERS NUCLEAR PACKAGE TO KIM JONG IL,” Seoul, 01/21/03) reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, the Russian special envoy to DPRK, met with Kim Jong Il, DPRK’s National Defense Commission Chairman and conferred on a nuclear package plan suggested by Russia, the Itartass News Agency reported, Monday. The Russian package plan is known to include humanitarian and economic assistance proposals for the guarantee of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, compliance with the 1994 Agreed Framework, and talks between DPRK and US, and other parties. Deputy Minister Losyukov is the first foreign high-level official to meet Chairman Kim since DPRK announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Russian news agencies reported that the meeting, which took place in the guesthouse “Baikhwawon,” lasted more than one hour and that Losyukov delivered Russian President Vladimir Putin’s position on the subject. The reports said that the North Korean leader expressed his gratification for Russia’s mediation efforts, however, they did not state what Kim’s reaction to the plan was.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. ROK-US Relations

China Daily (“PRESIDENT-ELECT ROH VISITS US MILITARY BASE,” 01/16/03, P11) reported that ROK President-elect Roh Moo-hyun was escorted by US General Leon J. LaPorte, commander of the Korea-US Combined Forces Command, at the Yongsan US military base in Seoul on January 15. Roh visited the headquarters of the UN Command, Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea, and announced the need for US forces to remain in ROK to help secure peace and stability in Northeast Asia, the report said.

2. Nations’ Response to DPRK Nuke Issue

China Daily (“DPRK RESOLVE ‘STRONG’ ON ISSUE,” Seoul, 01/20/03) reported that DPRK said on January 19 it would not allow the US to “internationalize” the dispute over its nuclear programs and the UN should not be involved in trying to resolve the issue. The comments came just one day before the UN Security Council was due to discuss the issue in New York and a day after UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s special envoy, Maurice Strong, ended a four-day visit to Pyongyang. “The DPRK and the US should sit face-to-face to solve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula,” first Vice-Foreign Minister Kang Sok-Ju said in Pyongyang. And in a rare public comment made the same day, DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il warned international pressure would not break his resolve. As DPRK’s verbal barrages continued, the US ambassador to the ROK, Thomas Hubbard, said the US would offer the DPRK economic co-operation if it abandoned its nuclear plans. In Japan, Kelly, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, met with Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi to forge a united stance in dealing with the DPRK. Also that day, the top US official on disarmament issues, John Bolton, arrived in Beijing, ahead of talks with senior officials, said the report.

China Daily (“COUNTRIES CALL FOR RESTRAINT,” 01/18-19/03, P8) reported that PRC and Russian officials on January 17 urged all parties concerned “to keep calm and exercise restraint” over the nuclear issue of the DPRK. The report said that Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Yang Wenchang and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losiukov had a luncheon, during which they called on the parties to continue seeking a peaceful solution through dialogue under the current complicated situation. According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue, both Yang and Losiukov called for efforts “to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, support a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and settle the nuclear issue through dialogue”. Two officials “exchanged views on Sino-Russian relations, the DPRK nuclear issue and other issues of common concern,” Zhang said in the report.

China Daily (“ROK URGES US TO OPEN DIALOGUE WITH DPRK,” Seoul, 01/18-19/03, P8) reported that President-elect of ROK Roh Moo-hyun urged US on January 17 to open talks with DPRK to try to solve the nuclear crisis. Roh said he saw “no need to worry” too much and said that “I will closely consult with Japan, China, Russia and the EU and other countries while continuing to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program”. Returning to his campaign theme that ROK’s 50-year-old alliance with US needed to be updated, Roh said recent anti-US demonstrations were “voices aspiring for a more mature relationship.” Roh also said even after peace on the Korean Peninsula, “US forces in ROK will still play an important role in achieving a balance of power in the Northeast Asian region.” The news came the same day as the ROK agreed to the DPRK’s proposal for talks next week on stalled projects to relink cross-border railways and roads, the ROK’s unification ministry said.

China Daily (Guo Nei, “CHINA BACKS NON-NUCLEARIZATION OF PENINSULA,” 01/16/03, P1) reported that PRC’s vice-Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing pledged that PRC stands willing to work with all relevant parties to find out a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula at an early date, while meeting visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly. Li reiterated PRC’s support of the non-nuclearization of the Peninsula, adding that PRC does not support the emergence of nuclear weapons on the peninsula. Li also voiced the nation’s opposition to the DPRK’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Kelly said that US is seriously concerned about the increasing level of tension resulting from the DPRK’s withdrawal from the NPT. Li and Kelly also exchanged views on bilateral relations, with Li stressing that the proper handling of the Taiwan question is key to the sound ongoing development of Sino-US ties, the report said.

3. PRC-Japan Relations

People’s Daily (“VICE-MINISTER SOLEMNLY OBJECTS TO JAPAN,” Beijing, 01/15/03, P4) reported that PRC lodged solemn objections on January 14 regarding Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s surprising visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. The objections were made through Vice-Foreign Minister Yang Wenchang who urgently summoned Anami Koreshige, the Japanese ambassador to PRC, to discuss the visit. Noting that Koizumi visited the shrine, that has memorial tablets to 14 class-A war criminals of the second World War, despite repeated objections and strong opposition from PRC, Yang said the Chinese Government and the Chinese people feel strong dissatisfaction and indignation over Koizumi’s move. Noting that the extremely cruel chapter in history should never be forgotten, Yang underscored that only a correct understanding of history can avoid a replay of historical tragedies and only a correct attitude towards history can ensure the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region. According to the report, Yang urged Koizumi to seriously listen to the just call of the Chinese Government and people as well as the people of other Asian countries, and take concrete actions to correct the wrongdoing. Such movers would eliminate the pernicious influence of the shrine visit so as to put PRC-Japan relations back on the right track, characterized by “taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future.”

4. Japan’s Commentary on Russia’s Role in Korean Crisis

China Daily (“RUSSIA MAY HAVE KEY ROLE IN SOLVING KOREAN CRISIS,” Tokyo, 01/14/03, P4) carried a commentary article commenting that Russian President Vladimir Putin took a step closer to helping mediate the Korean nuclear crisis when he and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi issued a joint statement criticizing the DPRK’s withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Hideshi Takesada, professor at the National Institute for Defense Studies in Tokyo said that Putin, who has had three meetings with DPRK’s Kim Jong-il over the last three years, may play a key role in the unfolding drama as US President George W. Bush had his hands full with war preparations against Iraq. Takesada added that he thought Putin’s meetings played a key role in bringing about the success of the Japan-DPRK summit last September, at which Kim signed a declaration vowing to obey all international treaties. Takehiko Yamamoto, political-science professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University, said the joint statement by Koizumi and Putin would make DPRK wake up to the fact that there are other players in the crisis besides the US, ROK and Japan. Shinkichi Eto, president of Tokyo’s Toyo Eiwa Joshi Gakuin University, said the strongest card that Russia could play in resolving the crisis would be to stop food and military aid to pressure DPRK into giving up its nuclear ambitions, but that Moscow would need to wait for the Security Council to impose sanctions before moving ahead.

5. DPRK-US Relations

China Daily (“KELLY: NO QUICK FIX FOR NUKE ISSUE,” Seoul, 01/17/03, P12) reported that US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly warned on January 16 that the search for a peaceful resolution to the standoff between US and the DPRK over its nuclear program will be a “very slow process”. The call for patience was made following the DPRK’s angry rejection of American offers to consider energy and agricultural aid to the country if it gives up its nuclear efforts. According to Kelly, there was no quick-fix solution to the issue and that it would take time to secure a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It reported that US has taken a more conciliatory stance toward the DPRK in recent days, offering to consider energy, agricultural and other aid if the country gives up its nuclear program, which was regarded as “pie in the sky” by a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman. The government of ROK also dampened any illusions of a quick solution to the impasse on January 16. Meanwhile, the DPRK wants to pursue joint projects with the ROK and the latter hopes to use the talks to raise its concerns over the nuclear issue, said the report.

6. ROK-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“ROK INVITES DPRK FOR NUCLEAR TALKS,” Seoul, 01/16/03, P12) reported that ROK on January 15 invited a cabinet-level delegation from DPRK for talks in Seoul next week amid hopes for a breakthrough in DPRK’s nuclear issue. The two sides are to convene from January 21-24 for the first such talks since the DPRK moved to revive a nuclear plant. The report said that developments in the past few days have seen both the DPRK and the US apparently backing away from their rigid positions, leading the ROK to say there were grounds for optimism that a resolution was in sight.

IV. CanKor E-Clipping Service

1. Issue #113

A surge of diplomatic activity follows the DPRK’s announcement of withdrawal from the Non-proliferation Treaty: the two Koreas schedule inter-ministerial talks on the issue for 21 to 24 January; senior diplomats from Australia and France consult with allies on their way to Pyongyang; China offers to host US-DPRK talks; US envoy James Kelly returns to Seoul with incentives for the DPRK; Canada offers to help through the established diplomatic channels if “useful”. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reveals further details regarding a former DPR Korean diplomat who has applied for refugee status in Canada. The United Nations dispatches Canadian Maurice Strong to investigate the humanitarian situation in the DPRK. After the death of Kim Il Sung in 1994, his annual New Year’s message was replaced by a “joint editorial” in the newspapers of the Worker’s Party, the army and the national youth organization. Each year’s joint editorial is a major educational piece that summarizes projected DPRK policies. It is not merely read, but studied meticulously by the entire North Korean population during mass educational campaigns. Analysts looking for trends in DPRK attitudes, as well as changes and developments in social, economic and military policies also examine it closely. CanKor presents the full text of this year’s joint editorial and an analysis from the RO Korean newspaper The Korea Times.

For back issues: http://www.cankor.ca

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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

 


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