NAPSNet Daily Report 22 January, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 22 January, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, January 22, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-22-january-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il Visit to PRC
2. Analysis of DPRK Policy
3. New PRC Destroyer
4. Taiwan Arms Sales
II. Japan 1. Japanese-DPRK Abduction Issue
2. Rice Aid to DPRK
3. PRC Naval Activities
4. Li Peng’s Possible Visit to Japan
5. Postponement of Japanese-Russian Summit Talk

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-il Visit to PRC

New York Times (Erik Eckholm, “NORTH KOREAN PLACED FOCUS ON BUSINESS IN CHINA VISIT,” Beijing, 1/21/01) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il returned to his country on January 20 after a secretive five-day visit to the PRC. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, “Mr. Kim stressed that the big changes that have taken place in China, and Shanghai in particular, since China began its reform and opening-up have proved that the policies pursued by the Chinese Communist Party and people are correct.” PRC diplomats said they considered Kim’s remarks significant, especially because he had visited Shanghai in 1983, when the market reforms were just getting started, and criticized the PRC at the time for “revisionism.” Foreign experts noted that earlier this month, the DRPK official news media featured unusual editorials that called for “new ways of thinking” about the economy. Foreign experts said that whether Kim has the power and skill to push through deep reforms is unclear, but one reason he was accompanied on his visit this week by senior military officers may have been to help convince them that it is possible to loosen the economy while preserving the ruling party’s grip on power. In the briefing on January 20, Zhu did not comment on whether the PRC has urged the DPRK to curb their missile program, but did say that “China is opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and sincerely hopes to see a relaxation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.” He also stressed the PRC support for the recent steps between the DPRK and the ROK toward reconciliation. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 22, 2001.]

Agence France Presse (“SOUTH KOREA SEES KIM JONG-IL’S CHINA VISIT AS HERALDING REFORM,” Seoul, 1/21/01), Associated Press (Martin Fackler, “CHINA ACKNOWLEDGES NKOREA’S KIM,” Beijing, 1/21/01), and Reuters (“NORTH KOREA’S KIM ENDS CHINA TOUR, LAUDS REFORMS,” Beijing, 1/21/01) reported that the ROK welcomed DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il’s visit to the PRC as an important sign that the country may follow the PRC’s reform path. The ROK foreign ministry said in a statement on January 20, “It is very meaningful that Kim Jong-Il visited China to inspect Shanghai, the symbol of China’s economic reform, and meet with Chinese leaders. We see reform and openness as a trend of the era and believe that the development the Chinese government achieved through economic reform policy will serve as a reference to North Korea’s economic development.” The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency said, “The two leaders informed each other of the situation in their countries in a friendly atmosphere and exchanged views on the issue of further developing the relations between the two countries and on major international matters of mutual concern and reached a consensus of views on them. Kim Jong-Il expressed the belief that the Chinese people will certainly score new achievements in realising the targets for development set in the tenth five-year plan.” DPRK television stations also extensively advertised Kim’s economic fact-finding tour of Shanghai.

2. Analysis of DPRK Policy

The International Herald Tribune published an opinion article by Han Sung Joo, a professor of political science at Korea University and a former foreign minister, (“RULES FOR LIVING WITH NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 1/19/01) which said there are three key areas to consider as the administration of George W. Bush formulates its Korea policies. The first, Han points out, is whether to support ROK President Kim Dae-jung’s “sunshine policy” in seeking better relations with the DPRK. The second is what to do about the DPRK’s nuclear and missile threats. Third is that the US has to gauge how fast and how extensively it should improve relations with the DPRK. Han wrote, “The only legitimate concern for America, given its role in safeguarding the Korean Peninsula, is that the operational capability of its military forces should not be compromised as a result of exaggerated South Korean expectations from the reconciliation efforts.” As for the Bush administration’s agenda on the DPRK nuclear issue, Han wrote, “In the absence of a new formula and the means to apply it, sticking with the existing agreement serves the interests of both the United States and South Korea.” He also said that the Clinton administration appeared to be making some headway in its missile negotiations with the DPRK and the Bush administration “should pick up in earnest where its predecessor left off.” Han noted that the US should be able to negotiate on missiles with the DPRK without “necessarily hastening diplomatic normalization” and it is in the US interest “to make North Korea increasingly more dependent on the outside world for its development and even survival.” Therefore, Han wrote, the Bush administration should take advantage of the situation DPRK’s current eagerness to expand external relationships and seek assistance from the outside world. He also said that the new administration “should use deliberate speed and do it in full and close consultation with its allies, particularly South Korea and Japan. There is no need to rush into a major policy shift. The success of the Bush administration’s policy will depend on how well it can keep North Korea engaged even while keeping its threatening behavior in check.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 19, 2001.]

3. New PRC Destroyer

Washington Times (“NEW CHINA DESTROYER STIRS TAIWAN ANXIETY,” Taipei, 1/20/01) reported that the Taipei Times quoted Taiwan Defense Minister Wu Shih-wen as saying that a new Russian-built Sovremenny-class destroyer has been delivered to the PRC. Wu said the destroyer cruised through the Taiwan Strait last week on its way to a naval base in Qingdao in northeast PRC. An anonymous US Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed that the ship, built in Saint Petersburg, Russia, passed through the Taiwan Strait, but would not elaborate. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for January 22, 2001.]

4. Taiwan Arms Sales

Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN PRESIDENT APPEALS TO BUSH FOR SALE OF AEGIS DESTROYERS: REPORT,” Taipei, 1/21/01) reported that Taiwan’s state-funded Central News Agency (CNA) said on January 21 that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian sent a letter of appeal to US President George W. Bush to sell the island Aegis class destroyers to fend off a potential threat from the PRC. Kuomintang legislator Lee Shang-ren and New Party legislator Lai Shih-pao confirmed Chen’s call. CNA reported that Lai said Chen urged the new US administration to “reconsider” a proposal to sell four Kidd class destroyers as an alternative after the Clinton administration postponed the sale of the Aegis destroyer last year.

II. Japan

1. Japanese-DPRK Abduction Issue

The Asahi Shimbun (“JAPANESE CABINET SAYS THAT NORMALIZATION WITH DPRK CANNOT PROCEED WITHOUT SOLVING ABDUCTION ISSUE,” 01/14/2001) reported that the Japanese government decided on January 12 that the issue of the DPRK’s abduction of Japanese civilians cannot be avoided before normalization with the DPRK. The decision takes the form of written reply to the question by Liberal Party Diet member Shingo Nishimura. The written reply also states, “The (abduction) issue is an important one because it is concerned with our people’s lives.” Regarding Japan’s policy for the future normalization talks with the DPRK, the reply states, “We will painstakingly strive to solve the abduction issue while promoting the normalization talks and other occasion of dialogue with the DPRK.”

2. Rice Aid to DPRK

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“RICE FOR NORTH KOREA READY,” 01/18/2001) reported that a DPRK freighter arrived at Osaka Port on January 18 to transport the first batch of 500,000 tons of rice aid to the DPRK. The DPRK-registered freighter Dok Chon is expected to leave the port shortly after loading 10,000 tons of Japan-grown rice and to arrive in the DPRK two days later. The rest of the rice will be shipped to the DPRK by this summer in shipments of about 10,000 tons each. Japan agreed in October 2000 to send rice to the DPRK through the United Nation World Food Program. Japan last sent large-scale rice aid to the DPRK in1995, when it shipped 500,000 tons of rice in two phases, said the report.

3. PRC Naval Activities

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN-CHINA TALKS ON ZONE SET,” 01/17/2001) reported that the Japanese government plans to resume negotiations with the PRC to settle by the end of January the issue of PRC boats in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The report said that the dispute, involving what the PRC terms as “research” of marine resources, must be solved quickly to prevent the issue from adversely affecting Japan-PRC relations, according to officials, who declined to be identified. Japan’s proposal to resolve the dispute centers on a plan to clarify in a written agreement that both countries must obtain prior approval to engage in marine resources research in each other’s exclusive economic zone, the officials said. The number of PRC vessels that have engaged in marine research operations in Japan’s exclusive economic zone has rapidly increased since 1998, leading to growing friction between the two countries. In a move to settle the issue, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono agreed in talks with his PRC counterpart last August to hold negotiations on a framework governing the proposed prior consent system. The Japanese government subsequently attempted to finalize the issue on the occasion of the visit to Japan in October by PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. The report added, however, that the PRC was wary of the proposal.

4. Li Peng’s Possible Visit to Japan

The Japan Times (Hisane Masaki, “LI PENG TO VISIT JAPAN AS EARLY AS APRIL,” 01/19/2001) reported that the PRC’s former premier and current chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Li Peng may visit Japan in the spring as part of bilateral efforts to secure medium- and long-term stability in the often prickly relations between the two nations. Li was invited by Japanese House of Representatives Speaker Tamisuke Watanuki. Li would arrive, at the earliest, in early April. Li’s planned visit would come at a delicate time in triangular relations between Japan, the US and the PRC, which are widely seen as the key to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

5. Postponement of Japanese-Russian Summit Talk

The Japan Times (“MORI-PUTIN TALKS PUSHED BACK A MONTH,” 01/19/2001) reported that Russia asked to postpone until March a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Russian President Vladimir Putin that had been set for late February, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono announced on January 18. After returning from Moscow on January 17 after meeting with his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, to arrange the date of the meeting, Kono told reporters that he does not know the reason behind the request. Kono only said that he was notified by the Russian government of the request on the plane on his way home. Kono stated, “I had notice from Russia saying that Feb. 25 and 26 would be difficult…We had reached a general agreement (on the schedule). I must ask about the reason behind this.” Government sources said that Russia proposed holding the talks on March 25 or 26. Kono added that that the decision to change the date was reached in a meeting between Putin and Ivanov shortly after he left Moscow. Mori also said to reporters, “They (Russians) appear to be busy and we ourselves are at one of the busiest times. So we should not take it in a bad way.”

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

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

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

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

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.