NAPSNet Daily Report 24 November, 2003

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US DPRK Nuclear Assurances?
3. DPRK Talks
4. UN on DPRK Openness
5. ROK US Troops to Iraq, Afghanistan
6. Korean War POW in the PRC
7. Japan-US Missile Production
8. Japan Terror Alert
9. Hong Kong Domestic Politics
10. Taiwan Economic Development
11. PRC-Taiwan Relations
12. US-PRC Trade Relations
13. Boeing Missile Systems Dismissals
14. Op-Ed: US Nuclear Double Standards
II. Republic of Korea 1. Can DPRK’s Leader Remember His 1,200 Names?
2. DPRK Defector (ROK’s POW in DPRK)’s Case Hit A Blow to ROK’s Credibility
3. KEDO Officially Announces One-Year Suspension of Reactor Project in DPRK
4. U.S. Considers Providing Food Aid to DPRK
5. DPRK Diplomat Are in Beijing for Nuke Talks
6. Second Six-way Talks Will Likely Be Held in Mid-December
7. There Will be No Safety Guarantee Document in Next Six-way Tlaks
III. CanKor E-Clipping Service 1. Issue #143

I. United States

1. US DPRK Nuclear Assurances?

Donga Ilbo: (Hun-Joo Cho, “WE WILL NOT USE NUCLEAR ON NORTH KOREA,” 11/21/03) reported that Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, on November 21, quoted government sources in Washington as saying that the US is not considering including the content of “The US will not use nuclear weapons” in its proposals of security assurances for Pyongyang. The decision seems to have been made because of the perceived possibility that the DPRK have biochemical weapons even if it gives up its nuclear ambition, and the goal of this is to control the DPRK. The Yomiuri Shimbun also reported that the decision reflects Japan’s concern over its security. If Washington mentions that it will not use nuclear weapons, then the security of Japan will be unstable. 2. DPRK on Rumsfeld as “Hitler”

Agence France-Presse (“RUMSFELD WORSE THAN HITLER, NORTH KOREA FUMES,” Seoul, 11/22/03) reported that the DPRK has issued a furious attack on Donald Rumsfeld, describing the US defence secretary as a butcher worse than Hitler after he described the Pyongyang regime as “evil.” The statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Rumsfeld’s comments, made during his visit to ROK this week, “cannot but cast a doubt about the prospect of the six-way talks” on the DPRK’s nuclear crisis. “It is nothing surprising that Rumsfeld talked such nonsense as he put Hitler into the shade in man-killing and war hysteria. But we can never pardon him for malignantly slandering our dignified and inviolable political system whether he is a political dwarf, human scum or hysteric,” the statement said. “His hands are stained with the blood shed by so many people. He is, indeed, a human butcher and fascist tyrant who puts an ogre to shame.”

3. DPRK Talks

Agence France-Presse (“NO DATES SET YET FOR NORTH KOREA TALKS: US,” Washington, 11/24/03) reported that the US denied that a date for new six-way North Korea nuclear talks had already been set, as a senior Russian official conferred with top US policymakers on the crisis. James Kelly, the State Department’s top East Asia policymaker, hosted talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, days after returning from his own mission to East Asia. They met as several Asian media reports said the talks, the last round of which ended inconclusively in August, would reopen in Beijing on December 17. “I think that’s the second or third set of dates I’ve seen out of media in Asia, but no dates have been decided at this point,” said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. “We hope the next round would take place in December, but there are no dates decided at this point.” The Kelly-Losyukov talks are the latest step in a broad diplomatic initiative led by the PRC to reconvene the crisis talks. The PRC, the US, Russia, Japan and ROK are reported to be piecing together a written security guarantee that could be offered to the DPRK if it renounces nuclear weapons. Asian sources close to the negotiations said a copy of the proposed security assurance could be delivered to Pyongyang by a PRC envoy later this month, before a new round of talks takes place.

4. UN on DPRK Openness

New York Times (Mark Magnier, “N. KOREA IS MORE OPEN, U.N. SAYS,” Beijing, 11/21/03) reported that International aid groups operating in the DPRK said Thursday that the DPRK had become slightly more open in recent months as economic reforms show modest signs of taking hold. Humanitarian workers at a news conference here said the shift appeared to go beyond officials in Pyongyang and included school principals, hospital administrators and government workers, even in remote provinces. “It manifests itself in many small ways,” said Richard Corsino, U.N. World Food Program director for North Korea. “You see it in the sort of questions you’re able to ask and the information you get on hunger and employment.” An easing signal probably came from on high, aid workers said. “In a country like [North Korea], people don’t suddenly wake up one day and decide to be more open,” Corsino said. Representatives from five United Nations agencies appealed for $221 million in international aid to fund relief programs next year. About $192 million of that would go to the WFP to feed 6.5 million people, they said. The good news, they said, is that the DPRK economy has stabilized and its harvest is up for the third year in a row. There’s a local market in Pyongyang, more small enterprises, and more consistent power and water supplies, at least in big cities. There’s even a cellphone network. The government’s push to plant two cereal crops a year is yielding more food. And the number of malnourished children has dropped. The bad news is that the DPRK still faces major food shortages and extensive distribution problems, with adverse consequences for children and pregnant women. “One-third of mothers are still malnourished,” said Pierrette Vu Thi, UNICEF’s Pyongyang representative, and “70,000 children are still at immediate risk of death without hospital care.”

5. ROK US Troops to Iraq, Afghanistan

Agence France-Presse (“US TO MOVE TROOPS FROM ROK TO IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN,” Washington, 11/24/03) reported that US plans to relocate troops from ROK to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a wide reorganization of its 37,000 strong garrison in the country, a report quoting military officials said. Washington has been in talks with ROK on a reconfiguration of its forces for months, designed to free up troops for duty elsewhere, and also to ease their impact on the local populace. In a report from Honolulu, the Washington Times quoted unnamed military officials as saying that soldiers currently stationed in ROK could soon find themselves in Iraq or Afghanistan. The paper said Washington was also planning to move most of the 7,000 people in its headquarters in Seoul out of the capital within a year. “Thought also is being given to disbanding the United Nations headquarters in ROK and ending the practice of keeping a four-star general in command of operations in the country,” the paper said. It said the size of the US garrison, which has been in ROK since the end of the Korean War in 1953, would be cut to an as yet undetermined number.

6. Korean War POW in the PRC Reuters (John Ruwitch, “KOREAN WAR POW ESCAPES NORTH, CAUGHT IN CHINA,” Beijing, 11/24/03) reported that the PRC is holding an ROK man who escaped from the DPRK this year — 50 years after being taken prisoner during the Korean War — after he and his wife were caught with fake passports. An ROK embassy official in Beijing said Seoul had asked the PRC to release Jeon Yong-il, 72, and his wife, who were caught in the eastern city of Hangzhou at the airport trying to leave with forged passports. “He is a South Korean national and a war prisoner. There is no doubt about that. We’ve proven his case,” she said. “We hope the PRC authorities will send him to ROK as soon as possible.” Jeon joined the ROK army in June 1951 and was caught about two years later by PRC soldiers helping DPRK leader Kim Il-sung’s troops during the 1950-53 conflict, the embassy official said. The ROK embassy had not been granted permission from the PRC to send a consular official to meet the couple, the official said. The PRC Foreign Ministry said in a statement it was investigating the matter. Jeon slipped into the PRC from the DPRK, probably in April or May this year, and an “assistant” of his came to the ROK embassy in September to ask for help in his return to ROK, the official said. But since Jeon was not on the ROK Defense Department’s list of prisoners of war — he was on the killed-in-action list — nothing was done, she said.

7. Japan-US Missile Production

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN EYES JOINT MISSILE PRODUCTION WITH US: REPORT,” 11/24/04) reported that Japan plans to jointly produce next-generation missiles with the US in a bid to upgrade the country’s competitiveness in defense-industry technology, according to reports. Tokyo and Washington have been studying the development of a ship-to-air missile capable of downing incoming ballistic missiles since 1999 and Japan’s Defense Agency wants to make an advanced ship-to-air missile with the US, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said. The agency is also seeking 134.1 billion yen (1.2 billion dollars) in the next fiscal year starting in April to buy a US missile system that would deploy an Aegis destroyer-based anti-missile Standard Missile 3 (SM3), the daily said. With the US, Japan hopes to produce a ship-to-air missile more advanced than the SM3, it said. But the Asahi said the joint missile project could require a review of Japan’s ban on exports of weapons. In 1976, the government banned arms exports to all nations, but made an exception in 1983, following a request from Washington, to allow only “technology” exports to the US. If Japan and the US launched joint missile production, Japanese manufacturers would very likely export their weapons products to the US, an illegal move under the current policy, the daily said.

The Associated Press (“REPORT: JAPAN AIMS TO MAKE MISSILE SHIELD,” Tokyo, 11/23/03) reported that Japan’s military wants to help produce components of a next-generation missile shield it is studying with the US, a move that could force a rethinking of this pacifist nation’s long-standing ban on weapons exports, a newspaper reported Monday. Japan has been conducting research into ballistic missile defense in conjunction with the US since 1999, prompted by mounting concern about the threat posed by increasingly sophisticated DPRK warheads. The two allies are working on a missile that could replace the Standard Missile-3, a ship-launched interceptor that is one of the key weapons systems in the US ballistic missile shield commissioned a year ago by President Bush. Japan’s Defense Agency expects development of the new missile to be completed in several years and wants Japanese companies to help manufacture it to keep this nation on the cutting edge of defense technology, the nationally circulated Asahi newspaper reported, citing unnamed agency sources. Having Japanese factories produce some parts of the missile would require a review of a 3-decade-old policy under which Japan banned weapons exports to all countries, the newspaper said. The 1976 ban was in line with this country’s pacifist constitution, which renounces the use of force to resolve international disputes.

8. Japan Terror Alert

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN HEIGHTENS TERROR ALERT AFTER NEW THREATS BUT REMAINS SKEPTICAL,” 11/22/03) reported that a skeptical Japan has stepped up its alertness against terrorist attack following a fresh warning from the al-Qaeda network against the US ally’s plan to send troops to Iraq. In a message received by the Saudi Al-Majallah newspaper Friday, a purported al-Qaeda spokesman claimed responsibility for bombing British targets in Istanbul and threatened to attack the US and Japan. “We are aware of the report and are investigating the authenticity of the statement, but we have few sources,” Japanese foreign ministry press secretary Hatsuhisa Takashima told AFP Saturday. “In any case, we are tightening up security precautions.” The message from spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Ablaj threatened the US and Japan with “new operations.” “The moment the first Japanese soldier sets foot in Iraq, al-Qaeda will hit at the very core of Tokyo,” it added. The same person warned in an earlier message to the same publication a week earlier that Al-Qaeda’s attacks will “reach the heart of Tokyo” if Japanese troops come to Iraq, chilling Japanese stock and foreign exchange markets. Japanese intelligence officials have reacted to the alleged al-Qaeda warnings calmly, the Jiji Press news agency reported Saturday. They have received no details from foreign counterparts about planned attacks on Japan and “at present the presence of an al-Qaeda cell or member is not confirmed in the country,” a senior intelligence official was quoted saying. “The message puts the target of an attack as Tokyo and its method as a car bomb. If they want to succeed in an act of terrorism they would not reveal how they would do it,” he added.

9. Hong Kong Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse (“HK VOTERS POST RECORD TURNOUT IN FIRST POLLS SINCE JULY PROTESTS,” 11/24/03) reported that Hong Kong voters posted a record turnout in elections seen as the first test of support for political change since massive July protests sparked the worst political crisis since the territory’s 1997 return to China. “The voter turnout rate and the overall number of votes cast for the 2003 District Council election are the highest among all District Council elections ever held,” said Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam. The District Council election was seen by observers as a chance to gauge support for democratic change in the former British colony four months after the unprecedented rallies rocked Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa’s government. After casting his vote earlier in the day, Tung urged voters “to ensure selection of a candidate who would best reflect their ideas inside the government.” By 10:30 pm (1430 GMT) Sunday 1,065,363 people, or 44.04 percent of eligible voters, had cast their ballots, according to the government’s website. Though total voter figures were still being tallied, results showed that Sunday’s turnout had already eclipsed voter figures from the last election in 1999, when 35.8 percent of the total electorate cast their ballots. “The election has been conducted smoothly and has the broad support of the people of Hong Kong. This has a positive bearing on promoting the future work and development of the District Councils,” Lam was quoted as saying on the government’s website.

10. Taiwan Economic Development

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN TO ‘FLEX MUSCLE’ AND PUMP 14.7 BLN DLRS INTO MEGA PROJECTS,” 11/24/03) reported that Taiwan Premier Yu Shyi-kun said the island will pump 14.7 billion US dollars into massive infrastructure projects in the next five years in a bid to challenge China and other regional rivals. Yu, from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), apparently had China’s fast economic development in mind as he launched what he said were “10 new major construction projects” that would cost the government 500 billion Taiwan dollars (14.7 billion US). “In the face of the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, and at a time when the world is switching its attention to Asia, Taiwan definitely needs to overhaul itself and flex its muscle,” Yu told reporters. He claimed the new projects would enable Taiwan to “perform center stage in East Asia by 2008”. The funds will be spent on mass rapid transit systems for several metropolitan areas and one that links the northern Chiang Kai-shek airport with Taipei, he said. It will also be invested in projects as diverse as sewage, broadband Internet networks, five reservoirs, expansion of the southern Kaohsiung harbour, establishment of world-class research centers and universities, as well museums and music halls. The 10 ambitious projects were mindful of the 10 major construction projects launched in the late 1970s by the then president Chiang Ching-kuo.

11. PRC-Taiwan Relations Agence France-Presse (“CHINA URGES US TO RESTRAIN TAIWAN’S DRIVE FOR INDEPENDENCE,” 11/23/03) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao has urged the US to deter Taiwan from adopting laws that could pave the way for a referendum on the island’s independence, warning that the PRC would “pay any price to safeguard the unity of the motherland,” The Washington Post. The comments, made in an interview with the paper in Beijing, followed increased pro-independence rhetoric by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and other Taiwanese politicians in advance of the island’s March presidential election. “The recent remarks and activities by the leaders of the Taiwan authorities, especially their deliberate provocations on the referendum issue and writing a constitution, show clearly not obstinate position. We will not sit by and do nothing faced with provocative activities aimed at splitting the motherland.” Wen said the PRC government on the mainland completely understood the desire of the Taiwanese to expand democracy, but he warned that “no PRC will agree” with attempts to separate Taiwan from PRC territory. “The PRC people will pay any price to safeguard the unity of the motherland,” said the PRC leader, who is scheduled to visit the US next month.

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA WARNS US AGAINST SENDING ‘WRONG SIGNALS’ TO TAIWAN INDEPENDENCE FORCES,” 11/22/03) reported that the PRC foreign ministry has warned the US against sending the “wrong signals” to Taiwanese politicians advocating independence from the mainland, the ministry’s website said. “American leaders have said many times they oppose ‘Taiwan independence’,” ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao was quoted as saying on the website. “The US should honor its words.” He was speaking at the end of a week when PRC rhetoric on Taiwan reached levels of belligerence not seen for years, triggered by new worries the island, governed separately since 1949, is moving towards independence. The US has again emerged as a key player on the issue, and Liu’s statement was a direct response to remarks made by US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage this week. Armitage told reporters in Washington the US is bound by law “to keep sufficient force in the Asia Pacific area to be able to keep the area calm.” The same legislation, the Taiwan Relations Act, also obliges the US to provide Taiwan with “sufficient defense articles for her self-defense,” Armitage noted.

12. US-PRC Trade Relations Agence France-Presse (“US-CHINA TRADE SPAT MORE THAN A STORM IN A ‘D’ CUP,” 11/23/03) reported that the US decision to snag the PRC with textile import quotas could ignite a brushfire of similar claims from other sectors of American industry and temper the new warmth in Sino-US relations, experts warn. The move, announced last week, came with the Bush administration under severe pressure in key electoral states, and as US critics claim the PRC is artificially manipulating its currency to make its exports more tempting. Washington filed petitions under a provision of the PRC’s accession agreement to the World Trade Organization that allows the US and other WTO members to impose temporary quotas on textile imports from the PRC if they are found to cause market disruption. US officials say they will enter a dialogue with the PRC to cap imports of PRC dressing gowns, knit fabrics and bras. Beijing has already warned the decision will harm Sino-US trade ties. “This is only the beginning,” warned Cass Johnson, interim president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute. The threat of textile quotas sent “a strong signal to PRC officials that they should take immediate steps to cease their attempts to dominate international trade in textiles and apparel, including an immediate end to China’s blatant manipulation of its currency,” he said. But other Washington observers are worried the textiles spat could get out of control. “The great concern is that a torrent of similar complaints will rain down on US government agencies from a wide range of American business sectors,” said Robert Kapp, president of the US-China Business Council. “If that deluge of complains were to become a deluge of trade restricting measures by the US government, there is no question that the implications for US-China trade overall and even for US-China relations overall, could be very serious.”

13. Boeing Missile Systems Dismissals

Reuters (“BOEING DISMISSES CFO AND MISSILE SYSTEMS VP ‘FOR UNETHICAL CONDUCT,'” Chicago, 11/24/03) reported that Boeing has fired its chief financial officer and a vice-president in its missile defence systems division, citing “unethical conduct.” The aerospace company said Monday that executive vice-president and CFO Mike Sears has been dismissed for cause effective immediately over the hiring of Darleen Druyun, a former US government official who was also fired for cause as vice-president and deputy general manager of the missile defence systems unit. “Sears was dismissed for violating company policies by communicating directly and indirectly with Druyun about future employment when she had not disqualified herself from acting in her official government capacity on matters involving Boeing,” the company stated. “In addition, an internally initiated review found both attempted to conceal their misconduct.” Boeing said it has informed the air force and will co-operate with the government investigation, adding that it cannot predict what action the government might take against Sears and Druyun or the company. “Compelling evidence of this misconduct by Mr. Sears and Ms. Druyun came to light over the last two weeks,” stated chairman and CEO Phil Condit. “Upon review of the facts, our board of directors determined that immediate dismissal of both individuals for cause was the appropriate course of action.” Condit said Monday’s action “reflects in no way on the financial condition of the company, which remains excellent.”

14. Op-Ed: US Nuclear Double Standards

Arab News (Hassan Tahsin, “DOUBLE STANDARD AND NUCLEAR ARMS,” 11/24/03) reported that the six-party talks in Beijing to urge the DPRK to halt its military nuclear program have failed. Pyongyang has said it is disappointed and rejected what it calls “harsh” US demands inconsistent with logic or reason. The US wants to rid the DPRK of its weapons, making it an easy target for American designs on the region. The DPRK now says it no longer has any choice but to develop its nuclear program to turn it into a deterrent and a means of defending its sovereignty. That is an overt challenge to the US administration, to which it hasn’t yet been able to respond. Further West, Iran, which in Washington’s eyes is part of the axis of evil, is being kept under pressure, accused of attempting to get hold of nuclear weapons. If it succeeds at doing so, it will change the military balance in the Middle East and also end Israel’s superiority in this field, threatening the US’ strategic interests in the region. The US has put the pressure on the DPRK and Iran under the pretext of eliminating nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, with the ultimate aim of achieving world peace. Yet its real intentions are far removed from these lofty ideals – indeed such ideals are in clear conflict with the current US administration’s aims. On Nov. 6 the US Congress approved a plan that grants the US President $27.2 billion to study new types of small nuclear heads. The project specifies $7.5 million to develop nuclear heads and use them to penetrate deep underground trenches. Six million dollars have been allocated for the studies necessary to develop low radiation nuclear weapons, while $11 million will be used to build a new factory to make the plutonium bars necessary to manufacture nuclear weapons. An amount of $25 million has been allocated to reduce the time needed for nuclear weapons testing from three to two years. The Bush administration had originally requested a reduction to one and a half years. An amount has also been set aside to eliminate nuclear waste and destroy it. This American project corresponds with Israeli ideas (to build up its nuclear arsenal and produce low-level radiation nuclear bombs) which indicates close US-Israeli cooperation while at the same time conflicting entirely with America’s call to rid the world of WMDs. With nothing to go on except its suspicions, Washington accused Iran and Syria of trying to build nuclear weapons while at the same time financially and technologically supporting Israel with its nuclear weapons program. The US’ double standard will create problems in the region, while this latest project will lead to a no-holds-barred nuclear arms race in the Middle East and will drive non-nuclear countries to resort to legal and illegal means of finding a balance of military strength in the region – a region that Washington desires to keep in a constant state of turmoil.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Can DPRK’s Leader Remember His 1,200 Names?

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In , “CAN THE NORTH’S ‘WALKING COMPUTER’ REMEMBER HIS 1,200 NAMES?”, 11/21/03) reported that Since February 1974, when current DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, was unofficially chosen as the successor to his father, Kim Il-sung, DPRK newspapers and broadcasters have used more than 1,200 terms of endearment to refer to the son, according to DPRK’s state-run Korea Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS). Before Kim Jong-il officially emerged as new DPRK leader, at the sixth convention of the Labor Party in October 1980, he was referred to only as the “party center” on newspapers and TV. Later, the title of “Great Leader” was attached to his name in order to distinguish him from his father, who had been called the “Great Chief.” Since the early 90s, however, DPRK began to use the term “chief” for Kim Jong-il as well. Some examples taken by the KCBS on Friday were diverse, sometimes forming whole sentences. Kim’s worshipers get to choose phrases such as “Great Human Veteran,” “Matchless Hero who Rules the World with Virtue,” “Creator and Symbol of the Good-Ruler Philosophy,” “Outstanding Military and Political Activist,” “Great Leader who Opened a New History,” “Top Representative of Revolutionary Integrity,” and the “Eternal Heart with Great Love and Faith.” His military titles include “Marvelous Strategist,” “Perfect Military Expert,” “Strategist for Victories,” “General-like Politician,” “Best General,” “Symbol of Unchallenged Victory,” “World’s Best Military Artist,” and “Invincible Commander.” There are also about 50 titles that use the word “Sun.” Among them are “Sun of Revolution,” “Sun of Life,” “Sun of Hope,” “Guiding Sun,” “Sun of Juche (DPRK’s ideology of self-reliance),” “Sun of Socialism,” “Sun of Humankind,” “Eternal Sun,” “Sun of the Nation.” Not to be though illiterate or a philistine, Kim is called the “Great Master in Philosophy,” “Master in Literature, Art and Architecture,” “Genius of Human Music,” “World’s Great Author,” “Walking Computer Who Surprises Experts,” and more modest labels, as well: “Hero from Heaven,” and “Sky of All the People.”

2. DPRK Defector (ROK’s POW in DPRK)’s Case Hit A Blow to ROK’s Credibility

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won & Yeo Shi-dong, Beijing, “NK DEFECTOR’S CASE A BLOW TO SEOUL’S CREDIBILITY”, 11/21/03) reported that This is the question that many ROK people may have asked themselves after seeing the report that Jeon Yong-il, a 72-year-old ROK prisoner of war who was taken to DPRK during the Korean War and escaped to PRC last June, was in danger of being expatriated to DPRK due to a mistake by ROK Defense Ministry. The case clearly shows that the government’s indifference and insincerity on war prisoners has gone too far. Kwon Young-joon, the director of personnel and welfare at the Ministry of Defense (MOD), said in a press briefing Friday, “At the request on Sept. 24 from ROK Embassy in PRCto check if Jeon was a war prisoner, we checked the list of 500 war prisoners, but we couldn’t find his name on it, so we notified the embassy of the result on Sept. 26.” Since then, the ministry has done nothing about Jeon. Yet after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs repeated the request on Nov. 18, MOD found Jeon’s name on a list of war dead. Given that all war prisoners repatriated to ROK so far have been on the list of war dead, many people are saying that Jeon would not be in such a dangerous situation if the government had paid more attention to his case. “We admit that the responsibility lies with our ministry, and we are now carrying out an inspection of those involved,” Kwon said. As of the end of last month, the officially confirmed number of ROK war prisoners is 1,186, of which 500 are believed to be still alive. After the cease-fire, 507 prisoners were found dead in DPRK, 179 remain unaccounted for and 32 defected to ROK between 1994 and September 2003. Meanwhile, ROK Embassy in PRC said Friday that it was waiting for an official response from the PRC authorities about Jeon’s whereabouts. Unofficially, however, they reportedly confirmed that Jeon had already been transferred to Tumen, a city near the border with DPRK. “We are negotiating with PRC authorities in a very positive mood,” a ROK official said. “It is only a matter of time before Jeon comes to ROK.” Jeon joined the army in June 1951 during the Korean War, and was captured in a battle in Gimhwa, Gangwon Province, in July 1953. According to a source who aided Jeon’s escape from DPRK, Jeon came to PRC last June and sought refuge at ROK Embassy in Beijing on Sept. 15, only to be rejected, and was arrested by PRC security agents on Sept. 17. In relation, ROK Veterans Association issued a statement Friday, reading, “Jeon was put in danger of being sent back to DPRK due to the government’s carelessness. The government should do its best to rescue Jeon and his wife, and repatriate all remaining war prisoners and those abducted to DPRK.”

3. KEDO Officially Announces One-Year Suspension of Reactor Project in DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Arirang TV, “KEDO OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES ONE-YEAR SUSPENSION OF LIGHT-WATER REACTOR PROJECT IN NORTH KOREA”, 11/23/03) reported that The multinational consortium in charge of building two light-water nuclear reactors in DPRK has made it official that it plans to halt the construction for one year. The Executive Board of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization announced Friday a one-year suspension of the light-water reactor project in DPRK. In a statement the New York-based consortium said the suspension would start on December 1st, given that the necessary conditions for continuing the construction have not been met by the DPRK. The statement went on to say that the future of the $4.6 billion project will be assessed and decided before the expiration of the suspension period, adding the process will require preservation and maintenance of the construction site. And for that reason, KEDO officials said they would continue to consult with DPRK while observing the applicable provisions of the agreements and protocols concluded between them. DPRK on the other hand is showing no sign of intentions to talk. Earlier this month Pyeongyang threatened to seize all equipment and material at the construction site, demanding Washington compensate for financial losses. The reactor project, a key agreement included in the 1994 Agreed Framework signed between the U.S. and DPRK, came into question when the communist regime in October, last year admitted to running a covert uranium enrichment project. Since then there have been growing calls from Washington to terminate the project, accusing Pyeongyang of breaking the deal to freeze its nuclear development program.

4. U.S. Considers Providing Food Aid to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Arirang TV, “U.S. CONSIDERS PROVIDING FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA”, 11/23/03) reported that The U.S. is considering sending additional food aid to DPRK to help ease the food shortage problems in the impoverished country. However, State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli said Friday a final decision and details of the aid have not yet been made. The spokesman added Washington needs to further assess its plans to send humanitarian aid to DPRK so that it can be sure the food donations reach those who in need. U.S. officials noted Washington has provided 40,000 metric tons of supplies to Pyeongyang this year and intends to offer 60,000 metric tons more if DPRK meets the aid criteria.

5. DPRK Diplomat Are in Beijing for Nuke Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Yeo Si-dong, Beijing, “NK DIPLOMAT IN BEIJING FOR NUKE TALKS”, 11/23/03) reported that DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Young-il arrived here on Saturday to hold talks with PRC foreign ministry officials, Beijing diplomatic sources said. Kim is DPRK’s representative for the six-party talks, which are aimed at resolving the crisis over DPRK’s nuclear program. Kim is said to have discussed plans with PRC diplomatic officials for a second round of six-party talks. Kim came to PRC after DPRK officially consented to further six-party talks, which followed PRC Vice Premier Wu Bangguo’s visit to DPRK last month. The second round of six-party talks is expected to be held in Beijing in around mid-December. Meanwhile, James Kelly, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, visited Beijing last Tuesday and Wednesday, to further discuss six-party talks with PRC diplomatic officials. PRC Premier Wen Jiabao is to visit U.S. in the beginning of December, the first time since his inauguration. Further talks concerning the DPRK nuclear issue are to be held then.

6. Second Six-way Talks Will Likely Be Held in Mid-December

Chosun Ilbo (Arirang TV, “SECOND MULTILATERAL NUCLEAR TALKS LIKELY IN MID-DECEMBER”, 11/24/03) reported that A senior government official said Sunday there’s a high possibility that the next round of six-nation talks over DPRK’s nuclear issue will take place in Beijing, PRC between December 17th and 19th. If and when those negotiations materialize, the participating nations excluding Pyeongyang are expected to express their willingness to offer the Stalinist regime a written multilateral security guarantee. The official told a local news agency though last-minute coordination talks are still ongoing among the six concerned nations, there is a high possibility the multilateral negotiations will materialize between December 17th and 19th in Beijing. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he indicated that a final timetable is expected to come out after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly meets with Russian Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov in Washington over the matter on Monday. In related news Japan’s leading daily, the Asahi Shimbun reported on Sunday ROK, U.S., Japan, PRC, and Russia are currently looking into making a joint statement or a joint announcement at the next round of nuclear talks.

7. There Will be No Safety Guarantee Document in Next Six-way Tlaks

Donga Ilbo (Cho Hun Joo, “NO SAFETY GUARANTEE DOCUMENT IN NEXT SIX-WAY TALK”, 11/23/03) reported that Asahi Shimbun reported that in the next round of six-ways talk, likely to be held in Beijing, PRC around December 17, any written agreement to secure the safety of DPRK would not be adopted. This newspaper reported, quoting the remarks of the source within the U.S. administration, that the five countries except DPRK will disclose a joint announcement or statement with the promise of, “If DPRK moves forward on its intention to get rid of nuclear weapon entirely and shows concrete solutions, we will write down a safety guarantee in black and white.” According to this decision, the written agreement to guarantee DPRK’s safety is possible during future talks held next year or after that, viewed Asahi. It was also reported that when James Kelly, U.S. assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, visited ROK, PRC and Japan in turn, he explained the U.S.’ standpoint to these countries. On the other hand, Tokyo Shimbun disclosed on November 23 that Kim Young-il, DPRK.’s deputy foreign minister, had visited PRC to discuss about the schedule and the themes of the next six-way talks. The second round of six-ways talk, with the theme of discussing DPRK nuclear problem, will be held in Beijing from December 17 to 19, and it has almost been finalized. “Right now, the related countries are working on the final date and schedule of the six-way talks, but the chance of holding it on December 17 to 19 seems to be most likely,” remarked the source in Blue House, on November 23, adding, “I’ve heard that DPRK is also fine with the second round of the six-ways talk.” This source also explained, “The final decision will happen when James Kelly discusses the problem of holding the six-way talks with Alexandro Roshekov, the Russian deputy foreign minister, in Washington on November 24.” Another source in the government added, “Actually, a definite date has not been decided upon, but the probability of holding the meeting in mid-December is most likely.”

III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

1. Issue #143

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s visit to the ROK this past week gave hints about the changing nature of US military deployments in the region: gradual disengagement of US land forces from Korea, increased reliance on sea power and new technologies that will require fewer soldiers to maintain or even augment America’s security posture in the Northeast Asian region. Increasing security tensions on the Korean peninsula have weakened international response to the North Korean humanitarian crisis. This is the conclusion found in the United Nations Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for 2004, released by UN Agencies and NGOs on 15 November. While there was a relatively good response to food requirements in 2003, the response to projects aimed at improving water, sanitation and health was poor. Without these, much of the benefit of food aid is lost due to the high incidence of digestive diseases. An ecumenical delegation of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCC-USA), and Church World Service (CWS) reports on monitoring and distribution of food aid in the DPRK, a visit to the demilitarized zone, and worship at Chilgol Church and a North Korean house church in Pyongyang. In South Korea, the delegation met President Roh Moo-Hyun and is to brief US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelley on November 26. The recent release of Canadian documentary filmmaker Brian McKenna’s controversial four-hour docudrama, “Korea: The Unfinished War,” inspires this week’s Focus: DPRK on Celluloid – Art Imitating Life? In addition to reviewing documentaries on the DPRK, the collection of articles looks at joint North-South Korean animated films, and the political evolution found in South Korean commercial films dealing with North Korea. [ERROR CORRECTION: CanKor #142 erroneously reported the size of the planned Kaesong Industrial Park at 33,000 square meters. In fact, the area measures 12 million pyong. One pyong equals 3.3 square meters. – Ed.]

For more information: 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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