NAPSNet Daily Report 22 May, 2001

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-Il’s Rumored PRC Visit
2. Mt. Kumgang Tourism Project
3. ROK Views of US Policy
4. Comfort Women Issue
5. PRC-US Relations
6. PRC Security Policy
7. Russian View of Missile Defense
8. US Military on Okinawa
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK on Agreed Framework
2. DPRK View of US Policy
3. DPRK Economic Growth
III. People’s Republic of China 1. PRC on PRC-US Relations
2. PRC Scholar on US’s PRC Policy
3. PRC View on Defense Shields
4. Russian View on Defense Shields
5. PRC on Japanese History Textbook Issue
IV. Announcements 1. Talk on Korean Peninsula Conflicts
2. Conference on Korean Studies
3. Article on US-DPRK Relations

I. United States

1. Kim Jong-Il’s Rumored PRC Visit

Reuters (“NKOREAN LEADER RUMORED TO BE VISITING CHINA-PAPER,” Seoul, 05/18/01) reported that the Chosun Ilbo newspaper on Saturday cited unnamed diplomatic sources as saying that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il was in the PRC. The sources said that Kim had departed Pyongyang by train on Friday and arrived in Dalian. The sources said that Kim may have arrived there for a possible meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Irkutsk, Siberia since Moscow was too far away. An anonymous Unification Ministry spokesman said on Saturday, “At this point, we cannot say that we have verified the report, but we are continuing to watch the situation. We are currently trying to find concrete evidence from China.”

2. Mt. Kumgang Tourism Project

The Associated Press (“HYUNDAI EXECUTIVE TO VISIT N. KOREA,” Seoul, 05/21/01) reported that Hyundai officials said Monday that Hyundai Asan President Kim Yoon-kyu would visit the DPRK for four-days beginning Tuesday to discuss ways to salvage the Mt. Kumgang tourism project. Company spokesman Yoon Suk-joon said that Kim hopes to renegotiate the terms of its tours, which Hyundai says have lost US$340 million because of a lack of tourists. Hyundai is asking the DPRK to halve the US$12 million monthly fee and to approve a land route to the resort. Also Monday, Lee Hae-chan, chief policy-maker of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party, said that the ROK government would discuss ways to assist the project. Lee stated, “Although relations between Hyundai and North Korea are that of a private company and North Korea, the tourism project is a problem of the two Korean governments.”

3. ROK Views of US Policy

The Associated Press (Carolyn Skorneck, “KOREA ANGRY OVER SEX SLAVE CASE,” Washington, 05/18/01) reported that two members of the ROK legislature warned that US President George W. Bush’s plan to build a national missile defense will cause an arms race throughout Asia. They also criticized the administration’s lack of support for the ROK’s reconciliation policy toward the DPRK. Kim Young-jin of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party stated, “The Koreas have been divided against their will for years by the two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States. Now we’re about to heal our wounds. But the United States seems to not be supportive of our effort.”

4. Comfort Women Issue

The Associated Press (Carolyn Skorneck, “KOREA ANGRY OVER SEX SLAVE CASE,” Washington, 05/18/01) reported that two members of the ROK legislature criticized the US State Department on Friday for seeking dismissal of a class action lawsuit brought against Japan by “comfort women” who were forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese military during World War II. Kim Young-jin of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party stated, “Ironically, one week after the United States was not re-elected to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, the United States released a statement in favor of Japan and against the people who were victimized.” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Monday that the US government contends that the US federal court does not have jurisdiction and thus may not hear the case. The position is based in part on the argument that treaties settled claims stemming from Japan’s wartime activities. Boucher added, however, that the US government recognizes and sympathizes with the “terrible suffering that was endured by those who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.”

5. PRC-US Relations

The Associated Press (“CHINA WARNS OF DAMAGE TO U.S. TIES,” Beijing, 5/22/01) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao on Tuesday accused the US of breaking its promises by allowing a visit by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and warned of further damage to already frayed ties. Zhu called the US decision to let Chen make a three-day stopover in New York a sign of a harder US line toward the PRC. Zhu said, “This act violates the commitments that the U.S. side has made. This act will inevitably harm China-U.S. relations. And the harm done is not something that we would like to see. It is something done by the U.S. side.” Zhu also voiced anger over US President George W. Bush’s decision to meet on May 23 with the Dalai Lama, the leader of the Tibetan government in exile. Zhu said, “The U.S. side has taken some hard line attitudes and practices … it has constantly taken some actions interfering in China’s internal affairs and damaging China’s interests and further undermining China-US relations.”

Reuters (“US-CHINESE RELATIONS ‘STABLE,’ BUSH AIDE SAYS,” Washington, 5/22/01) reported that a senior US Bush administration official said Tuesday that relations between the US and the PRC are “stable” and US President George W. Bush is confident the downed US spy plane will be returned. The official said, “Relations with China, I would say, are stable and more positive than not. Stable in that they’re dealing with somebody who’s not going to shift policy. Positive because I know that our interface with the country is substantial, not only in trade but in cultural exchanges and educational exchanges.” The official said that Bush had made several strong statements since he came to office to make sure that the PRC clearly understood the thoughts of the new administration. He said that the administration was a strong supporter of a “one China” policy, but that it also supported the Taiwan Relations Act. The official also said that Bush saw his meeting with the Dalai Lama as one with a spiritual and religious leader.

6. PRC Security Policy

The Washington Times (Arnaud de Borchgrave, “CHINA WANTS RESPECT, NOT TERRITORY, US TOLD,” Hong Kong, 5/22/01) reported that Tung Chee-hwa, the chief executive of Hong Kong, said in an interview that the PRC does not have any territorial ambitions against its neighbors. Tung also said that the PRC is not telling the US to “move over,” but to “make room” for it as “a respected and responsible member of the community of nations.” He added, “You won’t find anyone who wishes to expand and absorb more land and more people. The relationship between the United States and China is, without question, the most important in the world, for both powers and also for Hong Kong and Taiwan. There may be some in America looking for new enemies, trying to portray China as the next Soviet Union, but let me assure you that the (People’s Republic of China) is not an enemy or adversary of the US [and] not even a rival.” [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 22, 2001.]

7. Russian View of Missile Defense

Reuters (“RUSSIA SLAMS U.S. MISSILE PLAN AFTER CHINA TALKS,” Moscow, 5/22/01) reported that Russia attacked US plans for a missile defense system on Tuesday, saying that both Russia and the PRC believed it would jeopardize 30 years of strategic stability. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that both countries restated their strong opposition to the proposed US missile shield at a meeting in Moscow on May 21. The statement said, “Russia and China again asserted that they oppose plans for deployment of a global anti-missile defense system, banned under the 1972 treaty, and do not find convincing the reasoning and arguments of the plan’s supporters.”

8. US Military on Okinawa

The Associated Press (“MORE OKINAWANS BACK U.S. PRESENCE, POLL FINDS,” Tokyo, 5/21/01) reported the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported on May 21 that for the first time, a Japanese government survey found that more Okinawans support keeping the US military on the southern islands of Japan than oppose it. The Japanese Cabinet Office poll, conducted in February, found 45.7 percent of 1,374 residents said that they accept the US military presence there, while 44.4 percent want the troops to leave. The poll, taken every few years since 1974, did not give a margin of error. It was the first time opinions weighed in favor of the US military bases since the Japanese government began asking the question in 1985. The Asahi newspaper carried a similar report. The Yomiuri said that many residents back the US forces because of the job opportunities on the base. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 22, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK on Agreed Framework

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, “SEOUL BRACES FOR REVISION OF AGREED FRAMEWORK,” Seoul, 05/21/01) reported that the ROK is apparently not buying the US idea of rewriting the 1994 Agreed Framework, but might consider the idea if the Bush administration pushes its revision under particular circumstances. . As officials in the ROK and the US have indicated, the possible revision of the Agreed Framework will assume a significant portion of consultations during the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting, set for Saturday in Hawaii, the first since U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly took office last month. “The United States is likely to propose the replacement of light-water reactors (LWRs) with thermal power plants during the forthcoming TCOG meeting,” a government official said. “We are not in a position to oppose the proposal in an outright manner, as long as the United States pursues its goals under certain conditions,” he said. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for May 22, 2001.]

2. DPRK View of US Policy

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Ha-won, “NORTH KOREA CRITICIZES US AT ARF,” 05/21/01) reported that the DPRK’s observer at the Asia Regional Forum (ARF) held in Vietnam, Lee Yong-ho, stated in a report delivered on May 17 that US hard line policy was damaging to reconciliation talks in Northeast Asia, diplomatic sources said Monday. In a National Security session at the ARF, Lee also added that multilateral consultation cannot be proceeded on when relations between the DPRK and the US and Japan have yet to be normalized. The sources said that State Department Under Secretary James Kelly immediately challenged the report. An ROK government official commented that Lee was not critical of the ROK, though sources said that he complained of a change in the administration’s position in emphasizing more reciprocity, saying this was why contacts between the DPRK and the ROK had slowed down. Analysts noted that the ROK government is concerned that the Trilateral Coordination Oversight Group meeting to be held from May 25 in Hawaii will not go smoothly because DPRK’s reaction was harsher than expected in Hanoi.

3. DPRK Economic Growth

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Won-ki, “N.K. RECORDS PLUS GROWTH FOR LAST 2 YEARS,” Seoul, 05/21/01) reported that a source well versed in the DPRK’s economy said on Monday that the DPRK’s economy has risen by 6.2 percent in 1999 and some more 2000. The two major sectors–construction and electricity–are known to have played the biggest part in the improvement. In contrast, the agriculture sector that makes up 30 percent of the DPRK’s economy did not show much gain. The DPRK has recorded 3.3 million tons (according to the UN’s estimation) of grain production, a rapid drop from last year’s 4.22 million tons due to last year’s drought. “Once the nation succeeds in resolving the fertilizer and irrigation matter it would be able to stabilize its growth rate,” Park Seok-sam, the investigator of the North Korea Economy Team at the ROK’s Bank of Korea added.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. PRC on PRC-US Relations

China Review (Zhong Weiping, “NEW CRISES OCCURRED AFTER PRC-US PLANE COLLISION,” May, 2001, pp.5-6) published an article written by Zhong Weiping, a journalist of this magazine based in Hong Kong, on new crises that occurred after the PRC-US plane collision. The article said that crises between the two countries have never disappeared, and “new” means fresh problems that occurred following the mid-air collision accident on the basis of old crises. The writer listed the new crises as follows. First, a confidence crisis occurred in Chinese Government concerning the Bush Administration. Junior Bush was perceived by the PRC Government as not too tough on China policy, considering that he would inherit Senior Bush’s traditional friendship with China and that the US needs China to maintain peace in Asia. Regarding to his definition of relations with China, the PRC Government did not take it seriously, assuring itself by quoting former President Bill Clinton’s rhetoric in the early stage of his administration. The method that the Bush administration used to solve the plane collision issue greatly encouraged the anti-China forces in US, which will continue to assert a negative influence on future bilateral relations. Over a quite-long period, US and PRC leaders will face the problem of how to rebuild confidence. Second, a touch-and-go military conflict was hidden under the surface of the collision accident. The plane collision issue itself was an accident, but the article argued that inevitability lies in contingency because 1) the collision is the result of numerous US military provocations; 2) the PRC has to watch out for US intentions due regarding its NMD and TMD program; and 3) the US intervenes in reunification with Taiwan. The writer concluded that PRC-US military relations are fragile and a military crisis is likely to occur due to some accident. Third, a crisis of security unbalance lurks in the Asia-Pacific region. The Bush administration will most probably adopt a policy of “allying with Japan, backing Southeast Asia and containing China,” which will, if implemented, take Asia-Pacific security to an unstable situation. The other new crisis is PRC-US relations shifting from collaboration to confrontation. The Bush administration did not fully recognize the significance of smooth bilateral relations. Instead, it challenged the relations by adopting tough measures on the collision issue and by selling arms to Taiwan.

2. PRC Scholar on US’s PRC Policy

China Review (Fu Mengzi, “THE FINALIZING US’S CHINA POLICY,” May, 2001, pp.7-10) carried an article on the US’s China policy by Fu Mengzi, Director of the American Department in the China Institute of Contemporary Relations. The article said that US President George W. Bush’s campaign definition of the PRC as a “competitor” of the US was criticized by some Republican foreign relations advisors as “too simple” and “sensitive” when applied to the complicated PRC-US relationship. Bush accepted the advice and did not mention this any more after taking his position. Colin Powell, after being nominated as Secretary of State, also claimed that the PRC is not competitor and not a strategic partner, but a trade partner. Fu stressed that the fact should be fully recognized that although “strategic competitor” is not mentioned any more, its key spirit will continue to influence the US’s China policy. US Defense Minister Rumsfeld said that with the PRC’s rise and Russia’s weakening, the US need to transfer its military deployment from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region. In reality, the US is now widening and deepening its participation in this region. He concluded that duality constitutes the core character of the US’s China policy. The Republican Government has stated that it will modify Clinton’s China policy, but it is the main trend to return to realism. The US media predicted that Bush’s China policy would be similar to Clinton’s–deepening engagement and strengthening containment. Fu concluded that based on his analysis, the Bush government’s China policy will not change dramatically, and to some extent is just a repeat of the past. Its policy of whether to engage or contain or both will depend on specific situations and specific needs.

3. PRC View on Defense Shields

China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, “PRC REITERATES STANCE ON DEFENSE SHIELDS,” 05/16/01, P1) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said at a regular press conference on May 15 that the PRC’s opposition to the US National Missile Defense (NMD) programs remains unchanged. “We oppose the development of NMD because it will damage global strategic balance and stability and induce a new arms race,” Sun said. China is more opposed to the deployment of Theater Missile Defense (TMD) because it strengthens US military alliances in Asia beyond legitimate defense needs and constitutes a bold threat to neighboring nations. “We more strongly oppose calls by some people to involve Taiwan in TMD, which would interfere with China’s internal affairs,” he added.

4. Russian View on Defense Shields

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, “RUSSIA: US EXPLANATIONS NOT CONVINCABLE,” Washington, 05/21/01, P3) reported that on May 19 at a press conference Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that the US’s explanations for its defense shields have failed to convince Russia. However, he added, the upcoming summit meeting between Russia and US would help to improve bilateral relations. He told media before returning to Russia that during his US visit, he had honest talks with US President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condeleeza Rice. He said that the two sides were in agreement on strategic weapons reduction, but still diverged greatly on US missile defense shields programs. The reasons provided by the US side for giving up the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and developing a missile defense system cannot convince Russia and the world, he said.

5. PRC on Japanese History Textbook Issue

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “JAPAN URGED TO BE TRUE TO ITS HISTORY,” 05/18/01, P1) reported that PRC Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Japanese Ambassador to the PRC that Japan’s new prime minister’s plan to pray at the Yasukuni Shrine is dangerous and urged the Japanese Government to abide by relevant commitments it has made. “Obviously, what the Japanese side is doing now will undermine the political basis of Sino-Japanese relations,” said Wang. Wang, terming the shrine as a symbol of Japanese aggression against other countries, said that Japan’s attitude is not only an internal affair but a touchstone of the Japanese Government’s attitude towards it history. He said that recent remarks from the new Japanese Government are a far cry from its commitment to reflect on it history and develop ties with its neighbors. Instead, it constitutes defiance against the feelings of people in the victim countries. Also on May 17, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi again demanded that Japan take effective measures to correct its serious mistakes in a recently approved history textbook. “Instead of reflecting on the Japanese militarists’ war of aggression, the textbook, through distorted historical facts, tries to deny the aggressive nature of the war, mentioning only lightly and even trying to conceal the crimes committed by its militarists,” Sun said. “This will seriously mislead Japanese society and younger generation,” he stressed.

IV. Announcements

1. Talk on Korean Peninsula Conflicts

On Friday, May 25th at 12:00 noon, a delegation of peace and social activists from the ROK will talk about current conflicts on the Korean peninsula–between the DPRK and the ROK, in gender relations, and around public interest disputes. They will also discuss ways of addressing these conflicts constructively. The event will take place at the Mott House, 122 Maryland Ave. N.E. in Washington, D.C. The group of activists are all participants in a year-long conflict resolution training program sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and three Korean organizations (Women Making Peace, Korean Women’s Associations United, and the Korean National Congress for Reunification). The program was designed to provide training in conflict resolution skills, enable the participants to analyze different conflict situations, and teach the trainees how to become trainers themselves. Along the way, the participants have considered how conflict resolution techniques can be adapted to Korea. They have also developed a packet of Korean-language materials to be used in workshops and classrooms. For more information, please contact John Feffer at johnfeffer@aol.com

2. Conference on Korean Studies

The Annual Conference 2001 International Council on Korean Studies (ICKS) will be held on the topic, “The Korean War After Fifty Years: Challenges For Peace And Prosperity,” sponsored by The Institute for Peace Studies, Korea. The conference will be held June 22-24, 2001, at the Sheraton National Hotel, Arlington 900 South Orme Street, Arlington, Virginia 22204. This conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required and space is limited. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.icks.org/conf/conf2001.htm for the conference program and http://www.icks.org/conf/conf2001_reg.htm for registration information.

3. Article on US-DPRK Relations

Leon V. Sigal, director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council, has published an article entitled “North Korea: On Hold . . . Again, in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Sigal argues that the US President George W. Bush administration’s reluctance to anger Congressional Republicans means that it may take several months for the administration to form its policy toward the DPRK. The article is available at http://www.bullatomsci.org/issues/2001/mj01/mj01sigal.html

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Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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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

 


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