NAPSNet Daily Report 25 April, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 25 April, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 25, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-25-april-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Russia-US Arms Control
2. US Response of PRC Missile Build-up
3. Philippines-US Anti-terror War
4. PRC Approves US Warship Hong Kong Visit
5. “Mysterious” Hu
6. DPRK Army Day
7. Russia-PRC Relations
8. CIA Assessment of PRC Cyber-attack Capability
9. ROK-DPRK Fertilizer Shipments
II. Republic of Korea 1. Misunderstanding Recognition of DPRK
2. DPRK-US Relations
3. DPRK’s Response to Japan
4. US Chairman’s posture on DPRK
III. People’s Republic of China 1. ROK-DPRK Relations
2. PRC-US Relations
3. PRC-Japan Relations
4. PRC-Russian Relations
5. Cross-strait Relations

I. United States

1. Russia-US Arms Control

The Associated Press (Angela Charlton, “RUSSIA’S FOREIGN MINISTER PLAYS DOWN DEPARTURE OF US ARMS CONTROL NEGOTIATOR,” Moscow, 04/25/02) reported that Russia’s foreign minister on Thursday played down the abrupt departure of top US arms control negotiator US Undersecretary of State John Bolton from negotiations in Moscow, and said that complex talks were still under way. Bolton left Russia on Wednesday morning after one day of talks instead of the scheduled two. The US Embassy said it had no information about why he left when he did, though Russian news reports said he would return this weekend for more discussions. Bolton’s Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov, said after the departure that doubts remained about whether the sides can reach an agreement on nuclear arms cuts before a presidential summit next month. Mamedov met Thursday with US Under Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones to discuss a draft statement on the two countries’ strategic relationship, which the presidents are due to sign in May, the Foreign Ministry said. Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov was quoted by the ITAR-Tass news agency as saying Thursday that there was “nothing unexpected” in Bolton’s departure. He dismissed Russian news reports that Bolton had left because of new initiatives proposed by the Russian side that required him to consult with superiors in the UD. “It’s too early to talk of any initiatives, a complicated process of negotiations is under way,” Ivanov was quoted as saying.

2. US Response of PRC Missile Build-up

Reuters (Jim Wolf, “U.S., WARY OF CHINA, OUTLINES MILITARY BUILD-UP IN ASIA,” Washing, 04/25/02) reported that the US worried by the PRC’s missile build-up opposite Taiwan, is pushing ahead with plans to boost its forces in the region, according to the Pentagon’s top policymaker on East Asia. In previously undisclosed remarks to a conference last month, Peter Brookes, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, said that the US was seeking “contingency basing options” and more access in Asia, the Pacific and beyond to be able to respond more readily to a crisis. Brookes made his remarks at a closed-door conference on US arms sales to Taiwan. In his remarks to the conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 12, Brookes said that the US was moving to expand the presence of US aircraft carrier battle groups in the Western Pacific. Until now, US Navy policy has been to maintain only one carrier battle group at all times in the Western Pacific. It is currently built around the Kitty Hawk, which is based in Yokosuka, Japan, headquarters of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. “We are exploring options to homeport three to four additional surface combatants in the region, as well as guided-missile submarines to improve our forward deterrent posture,” Brookes said, without specifying where the additional vessels might be based. “These changes mean a US presence in Asia that will be more capable, more flexible and able to respond more quickly and capably when needed,” he said. Brookes, in his prepared remarks, said the US did not view the PRC as an adversary, “but we must be honest about our differences such as human rights, proliferation and Taiwan arms sales. We are concerned about China’s continued deployment of offensive missiles near Taiwan, and its growing naval and air forces that seems focused on building capabilities that could inflict harm on Taiwan and undermine peace across the Taiwan Strait.”

3. Philippines-US Anti-terror War

Agence France-Presse (“PHILIPPINES CONSIDERS PLAN FOR US MILITARY ADVISERS ON BASILAN,” 04/25/02) reported that US military advisers may join Filipino troops on combat patrols in the southern Philippines island of Basilan if their respective governments approve a plan now under discussion. The proposal, which calls for embedding US special operations forces with Filipino troops at the company level, was raised with Manila last week by Admiral Dennis Blair, the commander of US forces in the Pacific, US defense officials said Wednesday. “That’s being contemplated,” said Air Force General John Rosa, deputy director of operations of the Joint Staff. “That’s one of the areas they talked about when he was out there last week.” By exposing US troops to possible combat, such a move would significantly deepen the US military involvement in the politically volatile southern Philippines. Currently there are more than 900 US troops in the south, mostly on Basilan island and neighboring Mindanao, providing advice and assistance to the Filipino forces hunting down Abu Sayyaf rebels.

4. PRC Approves US Warship Hong Kong Visit

The Associated Press (Verna Yu, “CHINA APPROVES U.S. WARSHIP VISIT TO HONG KONG, BEFORE VICE PRESIDENT’S AMERICA TRIP,” Hong Kong, 04/25/02) reported that days before PRC Vice President Hu Jintao begins his US tour, the PRC approved port calls by US warships to Hong Kong, an official said Thursday. PRC authorities refused to let the guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur stop in Hong Kong in early April, shortly after the PRC was angered by a US decision to let Taiwan’s defense minister, Tang Yiau-ming, attend a private defense convention in Florida.

5. “Mysterious” Hu

Reuters (Jalil Hamid, “CHINA’S HU SAYS HE’S NOT A MYSTERY MAN,” Penang, 04/26/02) reported that PRC Vice-President Hu Jintao said on Thursday it was unfair for the media to label him as “mysterious.” “That description is not fair to me,” Hu said in an off-the-cuff remark to reporters, after touring a dam in Malaysia’s northern resort island of Penang. Looking relaxed in an open-neck shirt, the heir-apparent to PRC President Jiang Zemin even posed with a group of PRC reporters at an impromptu photo session at the Telok Bahang dam, catching security officials by surprise.

6. DPRK Army Day

Reuters (Teruaki Ueno, “NORTH KOREA HAILS ARMY AND ‘IMPREGNABLE FORTRESS,'” Pyongyang, 04/25/02) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il made a rare public appearance on Thursday to mark army day and his defense chief told troops to deal “merciless blows” if the US or other forces put so much as a toe over the border. The DPRK celebrated the 70th anniversary of its 1.2-million-strong army as one of the most important festivals in honoring the achievements of state founder Kim Il-sung, father of leader and supreme army commander Kim Jong-il. As the climax to a 90-minute parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), Kim walked slowly along the raised dais, smiling and raising both hands above his head to wave at tens of thousands of assembled troops. The huge crowd roared their approval, shouting: “May our comrade General Kim Jong-il live 10,000 years.”

7. Russia-PRC Relations

The Dow Jones (“RUSSIA’S PUTIN TO VISIT CHINA BY END OF YEAR,” New York, 04/25/02) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Thursday that President Vladimir Putin was planning to visit the PRC before the end of the year. According to the report, Ivanov said after talks with his PRC counterpart, Tang Jiaxuan, “The date of the visit is being coordinated and will be announced later.” Ivanov also stressed that “the leaders of Russia and China will meet several times this year,” Itar-Tass reported. “The next meeting of Vladimir Putin and PRC President Jiang Zemin will take place within the June summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in St. Petersburg,” he added. The two leaders will also meet within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, scheduled for Mexico in October.

8. CIA Assessment of PRC Cyber-attack Capability

Reuters (“CIA ASSESSES CHINA CYBERATTACK CAPABILITY,” Washington, 04/25/02) reported that a CIA analysis says that the PRC government may have the goal of using cyber attacks to disrupt Taiwanese and US military systems, but it does not currently have the capability, a US official said on Thursday. “The view is that they don’t have that capability — being able to disrupt Taiwan’s infrastructure, US military systems — but you have to be mindful of it and concerned that it may be their goal,” the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “The mission of Chinese special forces includes physical sabotage” of vulnerable systems. “The People’s Liberation Army does not yet have the capability to carry out its intended goal of disrupting Taiwanese military and civilian infrastructures or US military logistics using computer virus attacks,” the CIA analysis said. The brief analysis was distributed to policymakers as part of a broader national security report during the past week.

9. ROK-DPRK Fertilizer Shipments

The Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA BEGINS SHIPMENT OF FREE FERTILIZER TO NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 04/25/02) reported that the a cargo ship left for the DPRK on Thursday with 15,000 tons of fertilizer, the first of 200,000 tons the ROK has promised to donate. The ROK ship, which departed the southern port of Yosu, was to arrive at the DPRK port of Nampo on Friday, said ROK’s National Red Cross. The ROK plans to finish the shipment of all 200,000 tons by the end of next month, in time for the rice-planting season in the DPRK that begins in mid-May. The DPRK requested fertilizer aid during a visit by ROK envoy to Pyongyang early this month. The ROK gave the DPRK 300,000 tons of fertilizer in 2000 and 200,000 tons in 2001.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Misunderstanding Recognition of DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, “US PAPER DRAWS SEOUL REBUKE OVER ‘BIG STICK’ POLICY ON NORTH,” Seoul, 04/25/02) reported that the ROK’s embassy in Washington has complained that a Washington Post opinion column on inter-Korean affairs distorted remarks by the ROK foreign minister. Tuesday’s issue of the US daily carried an article by Fred Hiatt titled “N. Korea: What a Big Stick Can Do.” Hiatt, a regular Post columnist, suggested that Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong had spoken positively about US’s tough line toward DPRK. He quoted Choi as saying during a visit to Washington last week, “Sometimes carrying a big stick works in forcing North Korea to come forward.” Choi spent three days in Washington to brief the Bush administration about the ROK special envoy’s recent visit to DPRK. In the meeting with the daily, Choi cited former US President Theodore Roosevelt’s phrase, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick,” to emphasize that ROK and US should resolve all matters with DPRK by “speaking softly,” through dialogue, the embassy’s statement read.

2. DPRK-US Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “US TO TEST NORTH’S SINCERITY FOR TALKS, SAYS HUBBARD,” Seoul, 04/25/02) reported that Thomas C. Hubbard, US ambassador to ROK said the US intends to provide “numerous opportunities” to test the DPRK’s sincerity in resuming the talks for next few weeks in his speech Thursday. “We are pleased that the ROK and the DPRK are once again in contact, and have agreed upon the resumption of reunions of divided families and other steps,” Hubbard said in his speech at the Freedom forum presided by the Korea Freedom League. “The United States, for our part will continue to stand by South Korea. The coming days and weeks will offer numerous opportunities to test the DPRK’s sincerity at the table,” he said.

3. DPRK’s Response to Japan

Joongang Ilbo (“PYEONGYANG JOINS OUTCRY ON YASUKUNI,” Seoul. 04/25/02) reported that the DPRK blasted the Japanese prime minister’s Sunday visit to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, the DPRK’s Central News Agency reported Tuesday. The DPRK’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Tuesday, condemning Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s homage to the war dead as “a blatant challenge to the peace-loving people in Asia and the rest of the world standing against Japan’s militarization.” The spokesman stressed, “Any visit to the Yasukuni shrine by an incumbent prime minister of Japan can never be pardoned regardless of its timing and form, as it is little short of the Japanese government’s action to justify the past crimes of Japan.”

4. US Chairman’s posture on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“JCS CHAIRMAN EXPRESSES 4CONCERNS TOWARD NK,” Seoul, 04/25/02) reported that General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday thaqt there are four main US concerns involving the DPRK that could destabilize the Korean Peninsula. In a press conference to announce his plans to visit ROK, Japan and the Philippines April 25-May 3, Myers said the US is concerned about the DPRK’s missile threat, it’s suspected development weapons of mass destruction, it’s export of missile technology, and it’s heavy deployment of its conventional troops alongside the borderline. The general pointed out that the DPRK possesses about 1.1 million regular troops at the DMZ that go through a tough training which almost matches the intensity of the actual combat. Describing the DPRK as an extremely oppressive regime that starves its people, he indicated that the DPRK needs a stable administration, which would also be a great relief to maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

III. People’s Republic of China

1. ROK-DPRK Relations

China Daily (“F-15 DEAL ‘CLOUDS KOREAN TIES’,” Seoul, 04/25/02, P11) reported that the DPRK criticized the ROK military on April 24 for deciding to buy 40 US-made F-15 fighter jets, saying the arms purchase ran counter to a recent thaw in inter-Korean ties. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency called the long-anticipated arms purchase “an action going against the positive trend towards warming up the temporarily frozen inter-Korean relations,” said the report. But the agency’s criticism of the ROK’s decision last week to award a US$4-billion fighter contract to US aviation giant Boeing Co carried no threat to reverse renewed efforts at inter-Korean rapprochement gathering steam this month, it said.

China Daily (“SEOUL READY TO HELP PYONGYANG,” Seoul, 04/23/02, P11) reported that the ROK said on April 22 that it was ready to provide building materials to the DPRK to help the DPRK complete its part of a railway through the Demilitarized Zone bisecting the Korean Peninsula by October. According to the report, the ROK has already built a track right up to the heavily mined and fortified zone, following a route that once ran from Seoul to the PRC border.

2. PRC-US Relations

China Daily (“MILITARY COOPERATION ENHANCES UNDERSTANDING,” Hong Kong, 04/19/02, P1) reported that US Commander-in-Chief Admiral Dennis Cutler Blair on April 18 described the recent military cooperative activities between the US and the PRC as “very positive.” Blair said that the US-Sino talks on the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement in Shanghai last week were “a very good set of talks,” which focused on the way both sides cooperate in tracking the movements of ships and aircraft in this part of the world. “We need to have an understanding on both sides,” Blair said. He said the follow-up activities are also very positive. The forces of the US Pacific Command will take part in a search and rescue exercise with the Hong Kong Garrison and the People’s Liberation Army, to work out ways in which the two sides can co-ordinate their responses of people in distress. Blair believes that there will be more military and cross-border contacts in US military relations with the PRC.

3. PRC-Japan Relations

People’s Daily (“CHINA EXPRESSES STRONG DISSATISFACTION OVER JAPANESE PM’S SHRINE VISIT,” Beijing, 04/22/02, P4) and China Daily (“EXCHANGES WITH JAPAN POSTPONED,” 04/24/02, P1) reported that the PRC has postponed a visit by Japan’s defense chief and a port call in Japan of a PRC warship to protest Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to a controversial war shrine, a PRC Foreign Ministry official said on April 23. “The Japanese leader’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has hurt the Chinese people’s feelings and harmed Sino-Japanese relations,” the official said. “China believes that at this time it is not appropriate to carry out these activities.” A PRC trip by the head of the Japan Defense Agency, Gen Nakatani, was originally scheduled for late April, while a vessel of the People’s Liberation Army Navy was set to have visited Japan in mid-may, he said.

People’s Daily (“CHINA SHOWS CONCERN AS JAPAN REVIEWS MILITARY ROLE,” Beijing, 04/19/02, P4) reported that the PRC on April 18 voiced its concerns over Japan’s move to expand its military role by endorsing three new bills, urging Japan to abide by its commitment not to be a military power. When answering a reporter’s question that Japan’s cabinet on April 16 endorsed the bills which were designed to give the Japanese government and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) more power in the case of foreign attack, and submitted them to the Diet on April 17, PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, “China is concerned about the act, so are other Asian countries.” Zhang said that as a result of historical reasons, Japan should sincerely abide by its commitments to limit its defense power to its own territory and coastal waters, and not to seek to be a big military power. She urged Japan to stay on the track of peaceful development because “it is not only in the interests of Japan, but also vital to peace and stability in the region where it is located”.

4. PRC-Russian Relations

People’s Daily (Yu Zheng, “LI RUIHUAN MEETS RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER,” Beijing, 04/23/02, P4) reported that Li Ruihuan, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), met on April 22 with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko and his party. Li said that the consensus between PRC State Councilor Wu Yi and Khristenko, the PRC and Russian chairpersons of the Joint Commission for the Regular Meetings of Heads of Government of PRC and Russia, in a meeting on April 19 would speed up bilateral relations in trade and economic cooperation. He said that as two good neighbors, the PRC and Russia worked to expand their trade and economic relations, which met the two countries’ common interests and benefited world peace. Noting that the two countries were economically complementary, Li said they had made substantial progress in their economic relationship in recent years. He expressed the belief that with the joint efforts made by the two governments, business circles from both countries would find new opportunities for further cooperation. Khristenko agreed with Li and said that the two countries had kept a good momentum going in their trade and economic relationship. Russia would continue its efforts to strengthen cooperation with China in order to contribute to their common development and prosperity and a lasting peace for society.

5. Cross-strait Relations

People’s Daily (Wu Yaming, “NEWS CONFERENCE OF TAIWAN AFFAIRS OFFICE,” Beijing, 04/25/02, P4) reported that the Taiwan Affairs Office of the PRC State Council on April 24 urged Taiwan to reopen dialogue with the PRC on the basis of “1992 consensus.” Office spokesman Li Weiyi made the remarks on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the constructive “Wang-Koo Meeting” held in Singapore on April 27-29 in 1993. Li expressed the hope that Taiwan may work to break the political deadlock and improve cross-Straits relations on the basis of admitting the “1992 consensus.” The PRC on April 24 also urged Taiwan authorities to allow its bankers, insurers, securities brokers as well as airlines and shipping firms to set up representative offices in Taiwan, the report said.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

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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