NAPSNet Daily Report 24 February, 2003

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 24 February, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, February 24, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-24-february-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Japan Missile Test
2. ROK-US Military Relations
3. US-Asia Relations
4. PRC-US Relations
5. US-DPRK Direct Talks?
6. DPRK Response to Global Call for Return to Treaty
7. ROK Subway Attack
8. ROK Domestic Politics
9. Japan DPRK Drug Smuggling Assistance
II. Republic of Korea 1. Koizumi’s Warming Ties with ROK and DPRK
2. Powell’s Visit to Three Asian Countries
3. Initial Overland Kumgang Tour
III. People’s Republic of China 1. Russia, PRC and US’s Attitudes towards DPRK Issue
2. US-PRC Anti-terror Talks
3. Mass of PRC, ROK and Japan Condemned Koizumi
4. PRC’s Commentary on DPRK’s Diplomacy
5. Japan-US Relations
6. DPRK-US Relations
7. DPRK-ROK Relations
8. PRC’s Non-proliferation Policy
9. PRC-DPRK Relations
IV. Japan 1. Japan’s View on US Attack to Iraq
2. Japan’s Role in Afghan Reconstruction

I. United States

1. DPRK Japan Missile Test

BBC News (“North Korea ‘fires missile into sea,'” 02/25/03) reported that DPRK has fired a missile into the Sea of Japan, between Japan and the Korean peninsula, reports say. The ROK military has gone on alert as a result of the incident, the AFP news agency said, citing military officials in Seoul. News of the missile incident comes just before the ROK’s new President, Roh Moo-hyun, is due formally to take office. The JoongAng Ilbo added that the missile, which it said was tested on Monday, was a land-to-ship variety. However defence officials in the US and Japan told the Reuters news agency that they had no information about such a launch.

2. ROK-US Military Relations

The Associated Press (Soo-Jeong Lee, “US TO EXTEND TROOP DUTY IN SOUTH KOREA, COMMUNIST NORTH CONDEMNS JOINT MANEUVERS,” Seoul, 2/24/03) reported that the US extended the tours of duty Monday for 2,800 US soldiers in the ROK. The move comes amid mounting DPRK criticism of upcoming joint US-RPL military drills that Pyongyang accuses of “escalating the military threat” toward the DPRK and sabotaging reconciliation projects with the ROK. To maintain a stable troop presence in the ROK, the Eighth US Army said it would keep 2,800 soldiers in the ROK past their normal assignment dates. Extending their tours was necessary because their replacement troops were being diverted to the military buildup in the Gulf or elsewhere, Lt. Col. Steven Boylan said. “This has nothing to do with the perceived nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, but has everything to do with our ability to perform our main mission of deterrence,” he said. There are 37,000 US troops in the ROK. Troops previously scheduled to leave between March 1 and May 31 will have their stays extended by three months.

3. US-Asia Relations

The New York Times (Howard French, “US APPROACH ON NORTH KOREA STRAINS ALLIANCES IN ASIA,” Seoul, 2/24/03) carried an analytical story that reported that in recent weeks, senior officials in Japan have spoken of mounting a “pre-emptive strike” against the DPRK, if it appeared that the heavily armed DPRK intended to use its ballistic missiles against Japan. For many Japanese commentators, Ishiba’s statement was meant to draw attention to the fact that Japan in reality has no strike ability. More than as a credible threat against the DPRK, it was intended to influence a debate that has gathered momentum during the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi over giving the country’s armed forces, which face sharp constitutional limits on their action, a larger role in the country’s defense, and in making Japan a player in international security again. When Secretary of State Colin L. Powell arrives in Seoul on Monday for the inauguration of Roh Moo Hyun as president of the ROK, he will try to narrow differences with a man whose response to tensions with the DPRK has been virtually the opposite of Japan’s and, if anything, even more radical. Roh has given strong indications that he intends to accelerate the ROK’s embrace of the DPRK, even as the US looks for ways to ratchet up pressure on the DPRK. While Japan looks nervously at the DPRK and is beginning to explore ways to augment its alliance with the US, the ROK is contemplating the end of the five-decade-old alliance between the countries, at least as it has existed, with 37,000 American troops on the front lines here. “The Japanese are on the spot because the US alliance with South Korea is defunct, and there is no point in insisting on it any more,” said Robyn Lim, a regional security expert at Nanzan University in Japan. “The US alliance with Japan is integrally linked with the US alliance with South Korea. Indeed, since the Korean War, the American presence in South Korea has been as much about protecting Japan as it was about South Korea.” In a private conversation here last week, a senior US military analyst here said there were profound doubts about what the new ROK government would do if the US struck at the DPRK’s nuclear facilities

4. PRC-US Relations

The New York Times (James Dao, “POWELL SEEKS CHINA’S HELP, AND, AT UN, ITS ABSTENTION,” Beijing, 2/24/03), Reuters (“POWELL BRINGS HOT DOG DIPLOMACY TO CHINA,” Beijing, 2/24/03) and the Associated Press (George Gedda, “CHINA REJECTS US APPEAL ON NORTH KOREA,” Beijing, 2/24/03) reported that PRC officials rejected US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s appeal Monday for a regional approach to the DPRK nuclear standoff and called for direct talks between the US and the DPRK to resolve concerns over the communist nation’s nuclear weapons programs. US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell emerged from four hours of meetings with senior PRC officials today praising the strong relationship between the PRC and the US, but indicating that he had made no breakthrough in winning PRC support for US efforts to disarm Iraq and the DPRK. During meetings this morning with President Jiang Zemin and the man who will soon replace him, Vice President Hu Jintao, Powell said he had discussed the “need for us to take action in the near future with respect to Iraq.” Though the PRC have supported keeping the Korean peninsula nuclear free, they have been less urgent about pushing the DPRK to begin dismantling their nuclear program than the US has wished. Powell did not offer any evidence that the PRC, who are the principal suppliers of food and fuel aid to Pyongyang, were prepared to play the more assertive role with the DPRK that the US has urged. “I think they are anxious to play as helpful a role as they can,” Powell said. “I think they will play that role quietly.”

5. US-DPRK Direct Talks?

Reuters (Paul Eckert, “US FACES GROWING PRESSURE TO TALK TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 2/24/03) reported that the US is facing growing pressure to hold direct talks with the DPRK as the only way to defuse a crisis over the DPRK nuclear intentions. With the Bush administration focusing on Iraq and Secretary of State Colin Powell touring Asia, the ROK’s outgoing president, Australia and the PRC all backed one-on-one talks as the best way forward. “More than anything, dialogue between North Korea and the US is the important key to a solution,” South Korea’s Kim Dae-jung, 78, said in an address to the nation on his last day in office. “China hopes the US and the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) will conduct direct dialogues as soon as possible,” Xinhua quoted Hu as telling Powell. Australia, one of the few Western countries to have diplomatic relations with the DPRK, said Washington should reassure Pyongyang on its security.

6. DPRK Response to Global Call for Return to Treaty

The Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “NORTH KOREA RESISTS CALLS FROM NON-ALIGNED NATIONS TO RETURN TO KEY NUCLEAR TREATY,” Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2/24/03) reported that the DPRK on Monday successfully blocked the 115 other countries in the Non-Aligned Movement from urging the DPRK to return to a key nuclear treaty in their summit declaration, according to a draft of the document. “Yes, we are satisfied. What else?” said a DPRK delegate, who refused to give his name. The US confrontations over alleged programs of weapons of mass destruction by the DPRK, as well as Iraq, dominated the run-up to Monday’s summit. Diplomats worked to draft compromise texts to be adopted by heads of state before the summit ends Tuesday. The DPRK delegation had initially agreed to a statement that “underlined the importance” of the DPRK’s participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, delegates said. But after prolonged negotiations with the DPRK rejecting text after text, the final draft omitted such phrasing. The latest version said merely that the Non-Aligned Movement “noted the withdrawal” of the DPRK from the nuclear arms-control pact, and called for peaceful resolution to the standoff over the DPRK’s nuclear development. “It’s not a matter of being satisfied, or otherwise. We are just being realistic. This is what we can achieve at this time,” said Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa.

7. ROK Subway Attack

The Washington Post (Paul Shin, “ARSON SUSPECT FORMALLY DETAINED IN SOUTH KOREAN BLAZE,” Seoul, 2/24/03) reported that police investigating a subway fire that killed at least 133 people last week sought arrest warrants Monday for nine subway officials and the man accused of starting the blaze. The 10 suspects were detained late Sunday and early Monday, said Lt. Choi Woong-ju of the Daegu city police department. Two of the subway officials and the arson suspect remain hospitalized with injuries from the February 18 fire. The actions of train operators who allowed the second train to arrive are being investigated, and police said they will also look into suspicions that the subway corporation tried to cover up or destroy evidence of a possibly bungled response. Authorities intend to file charges of negligent manslaughter – an offense that carries a maximum of five years in prison – against the nine officials, another police officer said on condition of anonymity. The main suspect who allegedly started the fire when he ignited a carton filled with gasoline faces a charge of manslaughter by arson and could be executed if found guilty, the official said. There is no limit on how long suspects can be detained after a warrant application is filed with a court.

8. ROK Domestic Politics

BBC News (Caroline Gluck, “CHALLENGES FOR S KOREA’S NEW LEADER,” Seoul, 2/24/03) and The Washington Post (Doug Struck, “FROM POVERTY TO PRESIDENCY INCOMING LEADER IS NEW BREED FOR SOUTH KOREA — AND AN UNCERTAINTY FOR US,” Seoul, 2/24/03) reported that Roh Moo-hyun, due to be sworn into office on Tuesday as the ROK’s 16th president, will come to power at a sobering time. The country is still trying to come to grips with one of its worst disasters – last week’s underground train fires at the city of Daegu, in which more than 130 people died. It is also facing a deepening crisis over the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions, and a political scandal over revelations that hundreds of millions of dollars were secretly paid to the DPRK just before a historic inter-Korean summit three years ago. The DPRK’s alleged nuclear programme is likely to be the biggest test of Roh’s early days in office. Roh has said he does not agree with the US’ hardline policy of isolating DPRK still further, and he has publicly opposed the use of force in resolving the stand-off. Roh – who has never visited the US and once called for the withdrawal of US troops from t, a view he now says was misguided – stood for office promising to work for a more balanced relationship between Seoul and Washington. Since his election victory, Roh has been making clear he values the traditional alliance with the US. He recently dispatched envoys to Washington to try to repair damaged ties, and plans to travel to Washington soon for a meeting with President George W Bush. The slogan for his new administration is “Participatory Government” – signaling his belief and hope that the Korean people will play more of an active role in shaping state affairs.

9. Japan DPRK Drug Smuggling Assistance

The Associated Press (“JAPAN ASKS UN FOR HELP IN CURBING NORTH KOREA’S SUSPECTED DRUG SMUGGLING,” Tokyo, 2/24/03) reported that Japan’s top diplomat on Monday urged a United Nations envoy to confront the DPRK about its suspected smuggling of methamphetamines and other stimulants, and coax the isolated communist nation to halt its illicit trade. Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi asked Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, to approach Pyongyang with an offer to join international anti-drug treaties, the Foreign Ministry said. “We want (the United Nations) to expand its dialogue with North Korea to find a solution to the country’s trade in stimulants in Northeast Asia,” Kawaguchi was quoted as telling Costa, who was visiting Tokyo from the agency’s headquarters in Vienna. Japan and the DPRK have no diplomatic relations, and Tokyo’s efforts to get Pyongyang to stop its suspected drug trade have gone nowhere. The DPRK denies it sponsors such trade.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Koizumi’s Warming Ties with ROK and DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, “KOIZUMI WANTS TO WARM KOREAN TIES,” Seoul, 02/24/03) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Sunday said that Japan wants to deal peacefully with DPRK nuclear problem and to normalize Japan-DPRK relations. He also emphasized that advanced ROK-Japan relations are very important for the prosperity of Northeast Asia in a letter interview with the JoongAng Ilbo. He said Japan, with the cooperation of US and ROK, would continue to urge DPRK to abandon its nuclear program. “Japan’s intention to normalize Japanese-North Korean relations has not changed,” Mr. Koizumi said when asked how he would develop bilateral talks. When asked about the continuance of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, Mr. Koizumi said, “The future of KEDO will not be decided hastily. I think it is important for the countries concerned to review the project carefully.” Mr. Koizumi said ROK-Japan relations are warming and he plans to develop the ties further saying the two countries share such basic principles as democracy and market economy. He also said that forming a Free Trade Area between the two countries would be an important task to advance future relations of the two countries.

2. Powell’s Visit to Three Asian Countries

Joongang Ilbo (“US MAY RESUME AID TO NORHT , POWELL SAYS,” Washington, 02/24/03) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday that US might resume food aid to DPRK soon. Mr. Powell suggested he was likely to announce on his trip of three Asian countries that US would provide new food assistance to DPRK through the World Food Program, stressing that it does not use such aid as a political tool. US stopped the food aid in December because it had spent its budget from Congress and because it faced much criticism that DPRK misappropriates the aid. Mr. Powell visited Japan Sunday to discuss DPRK nuclear problem and will head for PRC Monday. He will attend the inauguration of Roh Moo-hyun as president Tuesday.

3. Initial Overland Kumgang Tour

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Hui-seop, “OVERLAND KUMAGANG TOUR FINALLY LEAVES,” Seoul, 02/24/03) reported that Hyundai Asan announced Sunday that an overland trip by 364 paying tourists to DPRK’s Mount Kumgang had finally crossed the border after being delayed from Friday, when DPRK began blasting alongside the road to lay the base for railway lines. An official said that Hyundai Asan would begin negotiations concerning the 15 trips planned for March to which 30,000 people have applied. The first Mount Kumgang land tours for civilians were to have started on Friday, but because DPRK notified that passing through the expressway was difficult because of railway construction, the trip was postponed.

4. Russian Delegation in ROK for Inaguaration

Chosun Ilbo (Chung Byeong-seon, “RUSSIAN DELEGATES ARRIVE FOR INAGUARATION,” Moscow, 02/24/03) reported that Sergei Mironov, chairman of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament, and Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, the Russian delegates participating in President-elect Roh Moo-hyun’s inauguration ceremony will arrive in Seoul on Monday. Vice Minister Losyukov is known to be carrying a letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin with a message hoping for an inter-Korean meeting in the near future, and the resumption of DPRK and US negotiations. President Putin is said to hope that the president-elect visit him in Russia before July. The Russian emissary will also meet Kim Hang-kyung, the vice minister of foreign affairs and trade, on Monday. A Russian diplomatic source said that Chairman Mironov and Vice-minister Losyukov will also have contact with US delegation lead by US Secretary of State Colin Powell. They are to deliver the Russian position on a peaceful solution to DPRK nuclear problem, and request that US make active efforts for the achievement of negotiations. The source said that after the vice-minister returns he will deliver ROK and US positions on the DPRK nuclear problem in a visit to DPRK.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. Russia, PRC and US’s Attitudes towards DPRK Issue

China Daily (“POWELL ARRIVES IN BEIJING,” 02/24/03, P1) reported with a photo showing that US Secretary of State Colin Powell waves to reporters upon his arrival in Beijing on February 23, starting an official visit to PRC. Invited by Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, Powell is here for his second PRC tour since assuming the post of secretary of state, said the report.

China Daily (Shao Zongwei, “FM BRIEFS ON DPRK AND VISIT BY POWELL,” 02/19/03, P1) reported that PRC and DPRK have agreed that dialogue is the right way to resolve the current US-DPRK nuclear stand-off, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue on February 18. Zhang told a regular briefing that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun and Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi met and exchanged views on bilateral relations and nuclear issue on February 18. “We hope related parties will keep on with their efforts to bring about conditions for dialogue and prevent the escalation of tension,” said Zhang. Zhang also confirmed on February 18 that US Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit PRC shortly, but declined to release the schedule of the visit, said the report.

China Daily (Hu Qihua and Shao Zongwei, “RUSSIAN FM TO VISIT FOLLOWING US’ POWELL,” 02/21/03, P1) reported that Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on February 20 that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is set to visit PRC next week to meet Chinese leaders and discuss major international issues of common concern. Ivanov is scheduled to meet his counterpart Tang Jiaxuan and other senior officials during the three-day visit, which will run from Wednesday through Friday, following a weekend stopover by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, explained Zhang. Powell’s three-nation Asia tour, which will take him to Japan, PRC and the ROK, will mainly focus on talks to ease increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula as well as the Iraqi issue, analysts said. “If the US makes some concessions, the DPRK will not be as tough as they imagined,” said Pan Shaozhong, a professor with the Beijing-based Foreign Affairs College, noting that the DPRK’s security concerns must be considered. Pan added that great efforts are required to bring the US and the DPRK face-to-face talks on this issue. As well as discussions on the DPRK question, Pan said Powell is also expected to seek Beijing’s understanding of the US’ stance on using military action against Iraq and not to use its right of veto in the UN. Yet, PRC is unlikely to change its position on the issue, insisting on a political solution within the framework of the UN, Pan said.

2. US-PRC Anti-terror Talks

China Daily (Hu Qihua and Shao Zongwei, “ANTI-TERROR TALKS,” 02/21/03, P1) reported that PRC’s foreign ministry on February 20 commended the progress made in this week’s anti-terrorism consultations between PRC and the US, saying the talks will contribute to the further development of bilateral co-operation in the fight against terror. The ministry said the progress made between the two sides during the talks would enhance joint efforts to squash global terrorism as well as strengthen Sino-US ties. Led by US State Department co-ordinator for counter-terrorism J. Cofer Black, the US delegation arrived in Beijing on February 18 to participate in the third session of Sino-US anti-terrorism consultation and the second consultation of the Sino-US Financial Counter-Terrorism Working Group. In what the foreign ministry described as “positive, pragmatic and fruitful” consultations, officials from the two countries exchanged their views on international and regional counter-terror conditions and their co-operation in the financial sector to fight against terrorism. The next round of consultations will be held in the US during the second half of this year and next year, said ministry sources. Black praised PRC for taking “active steps” in fighting against terror, adding that PRC has “a key role to play” in countering terror with its large population and its influence in the region.

3. Mass of PRC, ROK and Japan Condemned Koizumi

People’s Daily (Le Shaoyan, “JAPANESE PM SUED BY MASS OF CHINESE, ROK AND JAPANESE PEOPLE,” Tokyo, 02/18/03, P3) reported that 236 plaintiffs from PRC, ROK and Japan filed a lawsuit Junichiro Koizumi on February 17 over the infringement of their nationality rights and violation of the Japanese constitution entailed from three consecutive homage paid to Yasukuni Shrine since August 2001, demanding an compensation of 2.36 million yen in total for psychological sufferings. Among them, 124 plaintiffs came from Taiwan (China), 111 from Japan and one From ROK. The Taiwanese dependants held that, Junichiro Koizumi deceived the Taiwanese victims by paying homage to both criminals and victims, which infringed their nationality rights and rights of religious independence. The Japanese plaintiffs argued Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to the shrine violated Japan’s constitution. As learned, Osaka District Court has accepted the case, said the report.

4. PRC’s Commentary on DPRK’s Diplomacy

China Daily (Wang Yong, “DPRK REFORM IS OTHER SIDE OF STORY,” 02/19/03, P4) carried a commentary article noting that as the Korea crisis unfolds, the international community has turned its attention only to the issue of nuclear proliferation, but unfortunately overlooked the fact that the country is evidently working hard to try out new economic reform and opening-up policies. It is reasonable to assume that the crisis may move Pyongyang and Washington towards armed confrontation and is likely to lead to the spread of nuclear weapons and great disorder in Northeast Asia, the article said. But, if the players in the crisis could shift their attention to the important policy adjustments made by DPRK, we will have more reasons to be optimistic about a peaceful solution, it noted. The article raised much evidence, proving that the DPRK leadership is determined to open up and pursue economic reform. The international community should closely watch these policy changes in the DPRK, because it is natural for it to target the security of the state as top priorities. In recent years, the DPRK leadership has made a lot of efforts to create such a friendly and encouraging external environment. However, Pyongyang has encountered obvious obstacles, mainly from the US, as it abandoned its support for Seoul’s “sunshine” policy, halted the process of normalization of US-DPRK relations and, more seriously, labeled the DPRK as one of three states in an “axis of evil.” Currently, the US only treats the crisis in the Korean peninsula as an issue of proliferation and has not yet seriously considered DPRK’s concerns about security and reform, the article commended. And also, US must know that threats to use force can only harvest the opposite result. The international community, including the US, has the responsibility to give serious consideration to the DPRK’s security concerns to boost its experimental programs of opening-up and reform, concluded the article.

5. Japan-US Relations

China Daily (“JAPAN TO JOIN US IN MISSILE MANOEUVRES,” Tokyo, 02/18/03, P12) reported that Japan has decided to start joint experiments with the US on shooting down ballistic missiles from the financial year starting in April 2004, a Japanese newspaper reported on February 17. Japan and the US have been jointly studying a theatre missile defense system aimed at shielding US troops in Asia and its allies, but they have not yet conducted tests aimed at intercepting incoming ballistic missiles. A Japanese Defense Ministry official declined to comment on the report. The paper said Japan and US will decide whether to move to full-scale development of the system after completing the joint experiments, to be held in Hawaii for two years, said the report.

6. DPRK-US Relations

China Daily (“DPRK SLAMS US FOR TURNING DOWN PLAN,” Pyongyang, 02/20/03, P12) reported that a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry on February 18 slammed US for persistently turning down its proposal on signing a non-aggression treaty to find a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue, thus pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the phase of confrontation. Meanwhile, the ROK’s President-elect Roh Moo-hyun said on February 19 he differed with the US because he would rule out a military attack on the DPRK over its nuclear brinkmanship. “We have never had a difference of opinion with the US on an international level. But we have one now on how we plan to counter the DPRK,” he said in the report.

People’s Daily (Zhao Jiaming, “DPRK WARNS OF POSSIBLE WITHDRAWAL FROM ARMISTICE AGREEMENT,” Pyongyang, 02/19/03, P3) reported that the Korean People’s Army (KPA) of the DPRK warned of a possible withdrawal from its obligations under the Armistice Agreement, a spokesman for the Panmujom Mission of the KPA as saying on February 17. Accusing the US of using the agreement to implement its hostile policy against the DPRK, the spokesman said in a statement that the KPA side “will be left with no option but to take a decisive step to abandon its commitment to implement the Armistice Agreement as a signatory to it and free itself from the binding force of all its provisions”. There would be no obligation for the DPRK to remain bound to the agreement if the US continues violating and misusing it, he said, adding that the future of the agreement depends entirely on the US side.

7. DPRK-ROK Relations

China Daily (Xu Baokang, “DPRK PLANE PASSES SKY OVER NLL: S. KOREA MEDIA,” Seoul, 02/21/03, P3) reported that an fighter plane of DPRK’s flew passing the sky above the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea on February 20, according to the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The DPRK’s fighter plane MIG-19 flew to the southern side sky over the NLL at 10:03 a.m. (01:03 GMT) and then retreated two minutes later, said JCS. South Korean airforce rightly dispatched 6 F-5E planes to survey the situation, and the ballistic aerial defense troops were ordered prepared for possible attack, said JCS in a release. It was the first time that the DPRK’s fighter plane flew passing the sky over the NLL since 1983, it said. The JCS said the DPRK’s action may aim at several forthcoming US-ROK joint war games.

8. PRC’s Non-proliferation Policy

China Daily (“Export Control,” Beijing, 02/20/03, P2) reported that an official with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) said on February 19 that PRC always attaches great importance to controlling the export of nonproliferation goods and technology. PRC has built up all-round legal systems concerning nuclear, biological, chemical and missile goods and technology, he added in the report.

9. PRC-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“TANG HAILS ENDURING SIN0-DPRK FRIENDSHIP,” 02/24/03, P2) reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan pledged to strengthen the traditional ties of friendship and co-operation with the DPRK at a meeting with top DPRK leader Kim Yong-nam on February 22. PRC attaches great importance to the friendly and co-operative ties between PRC and the DPRK, Tang told Kim. He said PRC will push forward such ties to achieve new progress in accordance with the consensus on enhancing traditional friendship and co-operation. Kim said his country also values highly the DPRK-PRC traditional friendship that has withstood the test of time, and the DPRK will exert every effort to consolidate and develop DPRK-PRC friendship. The two also exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula and other issues of common concern, said the report.

IV. Japan

1. Japan’s View on US Attack to Iraq

The Asahi Shinbun (“POWELL: EARLY UN VOTE CRUCIAL,”02/24/03) reported that on Saturday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and other senior government officials. Koizumi told Powell that he prayed for a peaceful resolution to the issue, but noted that future events depend to a large extent on what Iraq does. Koizumi also urged the Bush administration to continue seeking the cooperation of other UN Security Council members for the resolution in an effort to achieve international consensus on the use of military force by the US against Baghdad. Koizumi, alluding to recent massive anti-demonstrations in Europe and elsewhere, said: “There is a need for serious discussions in order to steer international opinion (toward the US position). The US position has not yet gained the understanding of the international community.” Kawaguchi said the new UN Security Council resolution should demonstrate the determination of the international community. Japan expressed its backing at the UN Security Council for a new resolution on Feb. 18. While the specifics of the resolution being drawn up by the US remained under wraps, Powell sought Japan’s cooperation in trying to persuade other Security Council members to go along with it. Although Japan is not currently a member of the Security Council, U.S. officials noted its close diplomatic ties to a number of current members. The Tokyo talks also took up the issue of rebuilding Iraq once the US-led military campaign is finished. Koizumi made clear that this was one area where Japan could actively contribute along with helping to treat the exodus of refugees anticipated if hostilities erupt. There was also discussion on DPRK’s nuclear weapons development program, which Powell said was a matter to be dealt with in a multilateral forum.

2. Japan’s Role in Afghan Reconstruction

The Asahi Shinbun (“RECONSTRUCTION PLEDGE:AFGHAN AID TOPS 6 BILLION,” 02/24/03) reported that the international community pledged $50.7 million (6.08 billion yen) in aid over the weekend to help Afghan warlords, their followers, soldiers and others to reintegrate into society. Japan’s contribution of $35 million was followed by the US with $10 million, Britain $3.5 million, and Canada $2.2 million. The money will fund the first year of a United Nations Development Program project aimed at helping a large segment of the population to disarm and make the transition back into society. The three-year project will cost an estimated $134 million. Achieving disarmament, demobilization and reintegration “answers the deepest aspirations of the Afghan people, who are eager to move away from war and violence toward a peaceful, safe and civil society,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai told the Tokyo gathering Saturday. But conference Chairman Mutsuyoshi Nishimura, Japan’s ambassador for assistance and coordination of Afghan issues, said more funds are needed. “(Conference participants) emphasized that additional financial aid is necessary,” said Nishimura, adding that Japan will continue to play a central role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and could host another similar conference. Delegates from more than 30 donor nations, the European Union and 10 international organizations attended the conference.

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