NAPSNet Daily Report 22 November, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 22 November, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 22, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-22-november-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Barring KEDO Inspection
2. DPRK on Halting of HOF
3. ROK on DPRK Response to HOF Suspension
4. PRC on Cross-Straits Direct Links
5. Japan Temple Wartime Grave
6. ROK and DPRK Brinkmanship
7. CIA on DPRK Bomb Capacity
II. Republic of Korea 1. US Soldiers Not Guilty
2. DPRK Boats Crossing NLL
3. 17 North Korean Defectors Detained

I. United States

1. DPRK Barring KEDO Inspection

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIAL: NORTH KOREA BARS OIL INSPECTORS,” Seoul, 11/22/02) and the Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, “SOUTH KOREA URGES US, NORTH KOREA TO COOPERATE,” Seoul, 11/22/02) reported that in another blow to a 1994 nuclear deal with the United States, the DPRK, has barred a U.S.-led consortium from inspecting how the DPRK is using deliveries of fuel oil, an ROK official said Friday. The move followed a decision last week by the US and its allies to suspend oil deliveries to the DPRK beginning in December to punish it for a secret nuclear weapons program that violates the 1994 deal. The last shipment of oil arrived in the DPRK earlier this week on a tanker from Singapore. But the DPRK denied access to half a dozen inspectors whose job is to monitor where the oil goes, an ROK Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity. The oil is meant to fuel power plants to alleviate the DPRK’s desperate energy shortages, and there is concern that it could be diverted to the communist country’s massive military. Japan’s Kyodo News said the US-led consortium, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, had planned to send inspectors to the DPRK next week. It cited an unidentified KEDO official. On Thursday, the DPRK said the 1994 Agreed Framework had collapsed, and said the US was at fault because it suspended the oil deliveries. ROK President Kim Dae-jung urged the US and the DPRK to seek a compromise to keep the divided peninsula free of conflict. “The two sides should cooperate,” Kim’s office quoted him as saying. “North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons program and when that happens, the United States should guarantee the North’s right to exist.”

2. DPRK on Halting of HOF

Korean Central News Agency (“DPRK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON US DECISION TO STOP SUPPLYING HEAVY OIL,” Pyongyang, 11/21/02) reported that spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea today issued a statement as regards the fact that on November 14 the US announced a decision to stop supplying heavy oil to the DPRK from the upcoming December. The statement says: The decision is a wanton violation of article 1 of the framework which stipulates that the United States of America, representing the Korean Energy Development Organization in accordance with the October 20, 1994, guarantee message of the US President, shall adopt a measure to make for the loss of energy in return for the freezing of the graphite moderated reactors and their related facilities of the DPRK till the completion of light water reactor no. 1 and it shall supply heavy oil for the use of heat and electricity production as alternative energy. The above-mentioned article is the only one of the four articles of the framework that has been observed. With a view to playing down the responsibility for breaking its international commitment, the U.S. described the decision as “collective will” of KEDO member nations. It is as clear as noonday that in actuality the US Government made a decision to stop supplying heavy oil before forcing it upon KEDO which is not a signatory of the framework. In making public the decision the US claimed that the DPRK violated the framework first. Now that the US unilaterally gave up its last commitment under the framework, the DPRK acknowledges that it is high time to decide upon who is to blame for the collapse of the framework. It is well known to the world that the US has violated the framework and boycotted the implementation of its commitments. The US assertion that the DPRK violated the framework is a burglary logic of America-style superpower chauvinism that a big country may threaten a small country as it wishes but a small country should not try to cope with such threat. The US is seriously mistaken if it thinks this logic will work on the Korean Peninsula.

3. ROK on DPRK Response to HOF Suspension

The Agence France-Presse (“OFFICIALS DIVIDED ON NORTH KOREA RESPONSE ON NUCLEAR DISPUTE,” 11/22/02) reported that ROK officials were divided on the DPRK’s first official response to a decision by the US and its allies to suspend fuel oil shipments to the energy starved nation. “They didn’t threaten to retaliate,” said one official in the foreign ministry, “but nor did they agree to do anything positive.” Analysts and officials said a key phrase in the DPRK foreign ministry statement referred to “the collapse” of a US-DPRK arms control accord at the heart of the nuclear dispute. “Now that the US unilaterally gave up its last commitment under the framework, the DPRK (North Korea) acknowledges that it is high time to decide upon who is to blame for the collapse of the framework,” said the statement carried Friday by the Korean Central News Agency. It was unclear from the statement issued late Thursday whether the DPRK considered that the accord under which it agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons programme was beyond repair. The ROK government is still hoping the DPRK will directly address the nuclear question. So far, the DPRK has said it will resolve “US security concerns” if Washington agreed first to sign a non-aggression pact with the reclusive communist state. Washington has rejected the demand. “The position of the South Korean government is that nuclear development by North Korea must not be tolerated under any circumstances,” Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun said Friday.

4. PRC on Cross-Straits Direct Links

The Agence France-Presse (“CHINA SAYS HOPES FOR DIRECT FLIGHTS TO TAIWAN ALL BUT DASHED,” 11/22/02) reported that the PRC’s official media called hopes for direct chartered flights to Taiwan during an upcoming major holiday all but dashed because of “lack of sincerity” on the part of Taiwan’s authorities. The report in the state-run China Daily came as a senior Taiwanese opposition lawmaker was in Beijing for informal talks on direct chartered flights during the Chinese New Year holiday in early February. “We have to say that the possibility of introducing direct charter flights between the two sides has been dwindling due to Taiwan authorities’ unilateralism and their hesitation to take any practical moves,” said an unnamed source with the PRC aviation authorities. “The future development of the matter hinges on Taiwan’s sincerity rather than empty talks for the benefit of Taiwan compatriots, because time is running out,” the source told the paper, slamming a current “lack of sincerity”.

5. Japan Temple Wartime Grave

The Associated Press (Natalie Obiko Pearson, “JAPAN TEMPLE MAY BE SLAVES’ GRAVE,” Tokyo, 11/22/02) reported that a Buddhist temple in northern Japan has what are believed to be the remains of more than 100 Korean slave laborers, a temple spokesman said Friday, possibly one of the biggest graves of wartime forced laborers found in Japan. The remains, found in three large steel crates buried at Nishihonganji Temple in Sapporo on the northernmost island of Hokkaido, match a registry of Korean forced laborers whose bodies were sent to the temple before and during World War II, temple spokesman Takayuki Hino said. Hino said the finding comes more than three years after the temple launched an investigation to identify the remains and give them a proper burial. The probe began after some priests criticized the temple for handling the remains with disrespect, according to media reports. In the early 1900s, Nishihonganji occasionally received shipments of Korean laborers’ remains from the Sapporo-based construction company Chizaki Kogyo and other companies, Hino said. Temple records show the remains were collected and buried together, he said. But the names of the dead were not known until 1977, when Chizaki Kogyo – which still exists – sent the temple a list of 102 Koreans forcibly taken to Japan, Hino said. The list included laborers’ names, hometowns, dates of death, and the companies where they had worked, he said. Although the temple believes the list is accurate, the remains haven’t been tested yet. Temple officials will consult with the government over how to sort, identify and return the remains to relatives. If confirmed, the grave would be one of the biggest for wartime forced laborers found in Japan, the Hokkaido newspaper reported Friday, quoting historians.

6. ROK and DPRK Brinkmanship

The Associated Press (Audrey McAvoy, “NORTH KOREA WON’T WIN AT ‘BRINKMANSHIP,’ SOUTH’S UNIFICATION MINISTER SAYS,” Tokyo, 11/22/02) reported that the DPRK won’t win concessions from the outside world through nuclear “brinkmanship” because the impoverished nation is more reliant than ever on foreign food and oil, the ROK’s unification minister said Friday. “North Korea’s dependency on food and oil from the outside makes them unable to use brinkmanship,” Jeong Se-hyun told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. “There is that effective leverage working for the international community.” Jeong said the dependancy leaves the isolated communist country in no position to diplomatically strong-arm relations with its neighbors, and added: “North Korea has nothing to gain by threatening the international community with nuclear weapons.” The DPRK has relied on foreign countries for 30 percent of its food supply over the last six years, Jeong said. And roughly half its fuel oil comes from overseas. The situation worsened last week, when a US-led energy consortium decided to halt aid shipments of oil to punish the DPRK for its nuclear weapons program. Jeong held out hope that the deal to supply Pyongyang with 500,000 metric tons of oil a year could be salvaged, although the DPRK has hinted the deal is dead. “I don’t believe this means an end of the framework. They haven’t said it’s the end, nor has the United States,” Jeong said. “It’s part of an ongoing psychological battle.”

7. CIA on DPRK Bomb Capacity

The Associated Press (George Gedda, “CIA SAYS NORTH KOREA HAS MEANS TO BUILD SEVERAL MORE PLUTONIUM-BASED BOMBS,” Washington, 11/21/02) reported that a new CIA estimate says the DPRK has enough stored plutonium to make several more nuclear weapons in addition to the “one or possibly two” it already is believed to possess. The plutonium has been under International Atomic Energy Agency supervision under a 1994 US-DPRK agreement. As for the new weapons program disclosed to U.S. officials last month, the CIA said it recently learned that the DPRK “is constructing a plant that could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two or more nuclear weapons per year when fully operational – which could be as soon as mid-decade.” The analysis said the DPRK began work on a uranium-based bomb about two years ago. DPRK officials told US diplomats last month that it undertook the uranium program early this year in response to hostile rhetoric from the US, including President Bush’s designation of the DPRK as a member of an international “axis of evil.” Henry Sokolsky, of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, said the CIA assessment plus data from other sources suggests that the DPRK could have seven or eight nuclear weapons by the end of next year. He said PRC government figures indicate that the DPRK already has five or six weapons, many more than the CIA estimate. Once two additional plutonium-producing nuclear reactors, now under construction, are completed, Sokolsky said the DPRK’s bomb production capacity would greatly increase. He added that, politically, there is not much difference between one nuclear bomb and eight because an adversary country, such as the ROK would have to take measures to protect against all potential targets, not knowing which one or ones would be attacked.

II. Republic of Korea

1. US Soldiers Not Guilty

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Joon, “COURT FINDS US SOLDIER NOT GUILTY,” Donducheon, 11/21/02) reported that a US Armed Forces in ROK court martial found Sergeant Fernando Nino not guilty of the negligent homicide of two high school girls who wondered into the path of his armored vehicle when it was traveling in a military column, and were killed by the vehicle. The trial was held at Camp Casey Military Court located in Donducheon, Gyeonggi Province. The trial began on November 18 and the military prosecution argued that Nino as commander saw the victims before the incident took place, but did not react fast enough to stop the vehicle. It said that as a result the driver, Sergeant Walker, who could not see the girls, could not stop in time. However, the defense argued that a communications problem in the vehicle and a black-out area prevented direct communication between Nino as commander and Walker, the driver, adding that the accused shouted orders for the vehicle to stop. Many reporters, government officials, and lawyers attended to observe the trial since the first day. After observing the trial, family members of the victims and non-government organizations promised to protest against the USFK.

2. DPRK Boats Crossing NLL

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Min-seok, “WARNING SHOTS FIRED AT NORTHERN SHIP,” Seoul, 11/21/02) reported that ROK naval ships fired warning shots Tuesday afternoon at DPRK naval patrol boat that intruded across the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea. The Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in ROK said the vessel retreated back across the line after 14 minutes. Defense officials said DPRK vessel was probably checking on the activities of 20 PRC fishing vessels in its waters when it intruded three kilometers to ROK. Under new rules of engagement set up after a deadly naval clash in the area last June, a ROK ship fired 76-millimeter guns in warning, a Joint Chiefs spokesman said, adding that four other ROK patrol boats had maneuvered in a show of force before the two warning shots were fired. After the June naval clash, in which five ROK sailors were killed, a military investigation noted several problems in intelligence handling. The modified rules of engagement allow the navy to fire warning shots earlier after an intrusion is seen.

3. 17 North Korean Defectors Detained

Joongang Ilbo (“DEFECTORS FROM NORTH REPORTED HELD IN CHINA,” Seoul, 11/21/02) reported that seventeen DPRK defectors have been detained in PRC for eight days after they were caught trying to flee to Vietnam last week, a human rights group based in Seoul said Wednesday. The Commission to Help DPRK Refugees said it had asked the Foreign Ministry to intervene to ensure that the DPRK asylum seekersare not deported to their homeland. The defectors attempted to cross the Vietnamese border in PRC’s southern Guangxi province. The group is reportedly being held in the provincial capital, Nanning; the organization said one defector succeeded in crossing the border. The Foreign Ministry said it has asked its embassy in PRC to verify the report.

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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
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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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