NAPSNet Daily Report 26 April, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 26 April, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 26, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-26-april-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. Hu Jintao Tour
2. DPRK Refugees
3. ROK Presidential Candidate
II. Republic of Korea 1. Korean family reunion details agreed
2. DPRK-Japan Relations
3. US Army in Seoul
4. FSAM- X Project
III. Japan 1. Japanese Logistical Support for US
2. Japan-US Relations
3. Japan-PRC Relations
4. Japan’s Role in Afghan Reconstruction
5. Japan’s Roles in the Middle East

I. United States

1. Hu Jintao Tour

Reuters (“CHINA’S HU LANDS IN SINGAPORE EN ROUTE TO U.S.,” Singapore, 04/26/02) and Agence France-Presse (“CHINA’S LEADER-IN-WAITING ARRIVES IN SINGAPORE ON WAY TO US,” 04/26/02) reported that PRC Vice President Hu Jintao arrived in Singapore today. The PRC’s heir apparent began his overnight visit by meeting Singapore’s Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, to be followed by talks with President S. R. Nathan, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. In an arrival statement, Hu said relations between the PRC and Singapore had made “enormous headway” since diplomatic ties were established in 1990. “I look forward to in-depth exchanges of views with the Singaporean leaders on the furtherance of bilateral cooperation and on international and regional issues of common interest,” he said. Hu will fly this weekend to the United States, where he will meet President George W. Bush and other top US officials in his most significant appearance on the international stage so far. Hu is also scheduled to meet with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and World Bank president James Wolfensohn.

2. DPRK Refugees

Agence France-Presse (“N KOREAN REFUGEE SET TO LEAVE GERMAN EMBASSY IN BEIJING FOR PHILIPPINES,” 04/26/02) reported that a DPRK refugee who scaled the wall of the German embassy in Beijing and claimed asylum will be allowed to leave for the ROK via the Philippines, officials said. The swiftly-brokered deal ends a potential diplomatic headache for the PRC just hours after the man clambered into the embassy compound and pronounced himself, according to an embassy spokesman, “unwilling to leave.” His arrival on Thursday evening came little more than a month after 25 DPRK defectors burst into the Spanish embassy in the Beijing and sought refuge, threatening suicide if they were sent home. Philippine foreign ministry spokesman Victoriano Lecaros said that as “a humanitarian gesture,” the man, whom it named as 23-year-old Hae Jon, would be allowed to transit through Manila. According to a German doctor who has campaigned on behalf of DPRK refugees, and has said he was involved in organizing the Spanish embassy asylum bid, “More North Korean refugees are on their way,” Norbert Vollertsen said in a statement.

3. ROK Presidential Candidate

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, “SOUTH KOREA’S RULING PARTY READY TO NAME REFORMER AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE,” Seoul, 04/26/02) reported that Roh Moo-hyun, 55-year-old human rights campaigner and self-taught lawyer, is almost certain to be picked Saturday by the ruling party as its candidate for this year’s presidential election. Roh says he is part of a new political wave rising across the ROK. Opinion polls have consistently put him ahead as the likely successor to incumbent President Kim Dae-jung, whose single five-year term ends February. “Under the leadership of the new generation, South Korea-US relations will have to be different,” Roh said in an interview with SBS-Radio this week. “Relations between the two countries should be on a more equal footing.” Roh says he used to demand an end to the US military presence in the ROK, because he believed the US supported past successive military dictators. Now he says he’s changed those views, and supports its presence. But he wants the ROK’s foreign policy to be more independent of the US. Roh has never been to the United States, but has visited Japan, Canada and England.

II. Republic of Korea

1. Korean family reunion details agreed

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “KOREAN FAMILY REUNION DETAILS AGREED,” Seoul, 04/26/02) reported that on Sunday, 100 ROK citizens will meet for two nights and three days with 186 family members living in DPRK, Lee Byung-woong, special aide to the ROK Red Cross chief, said Thursday. Then, on Wednesday, another group of 470 ROK citizens will meet their 100 DPRK relatives at the mountain, Lee said. There will be 6 meeting sessions, each lasting 12 hours, for each group. Lee said the sides had agreed upon the reunion agenda through talks arranged by the Red Cross. This is the first time, however, that the ROK and the DPRK will allow the family members to take a brief excursion together. They will make a three-hour tour of Haegeumgang, a mountain and beach resort on DPRK’s east coast.

2. DPRK-Japan Relations

Joongnang Ilbo (“PYONGYANG, JAPAN TACKLE SPOUSE ISSUE,” Tokyo, 04/26/02) reported that Red Cross officials of the DPRK and Japan will meet Monday in Beijing to work out an agreement to allow Japanese-born spouses living in DPRK to visit their homes in Japan, the Tokyo Shimbun reported Thursday. The two sides met unofficially to set up the meeting, the Tokyo daily reported. Calls for a new investigation into missing Japanese citizens suspected to be in DPRK will also be made in the meeting, the newspaper said. DPRK and Japan had agreed, during the preparatory negotiations in 1997 for establishing diplomatic ties that Japanese spouses would be allowed to visit their homes. Three rounds of visits followed, but they were phased out in September 2000.

3. US Army in Seoul

Joongang Ilbo (“US GENERAL TO TALK OF MOVING YONGSAN,” Washington, 04/26/02) reported that General Richard Myers, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that he understands the concerns on transportation and environmental problems caused by the US military base in Yongsan, downtown Seoul. Speaking at a press briefing, General Myers said he would discuss relocation of the garrison in his visit to Seoul next week. General Myers will begin a tour of ROK, Japan and the Philippines next week.

4. FSAM- X Project

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, “FSAM-X PROJECT TO BE DELAYED DUE TO FIGHTER SELECTION,” Seoul, 04/26/02) reported that the Ministry of National Defense and ROK Air Force have decided to delay the W2 trillion SAM-X project scheduled for this year until 2004, due to a budgetary deficit because of the FX project. A high-ranking ministry source said since the F-15K was selected for ROK’s next generation fighter and is more expensive than its competitors, the ROKAF will have to cover the W1.8 trillion extra by canceling or delaying other projects. The source continued that the ministry was also considering halving the number of “Patriot” SAM systems it was to have bought from 48 to 24 for introduction in 2004, bringing the cost down to W1.3 trillion.

III. Japan

1. Japanese Logistical Support for US

Kyodo (“MSDF SHIPS RETURN FROM ARABIAN SEA,” Sasebo, 04/26/02) reported that two of the five Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels deployed to the Arabian Sea to support the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan returned Thursday to Japan for maintenance. The 3,550-ton destroyer Sawagiri, with a crew of some 200, returned to the MSDF base in Sasebo, while the 8,100-ton supply ship Towada, with some 150 crew members, returned to Kure. Both left Japan on Nov. 25. The Defense Agency is not planning to dispatch other MSDF ships to replace the two vessels. Supplying US and British warships with fuel and commodities will be undertaken for the time being by the three MSDF ships remaining in the area: a supply vessel and two destroyers, agency officials said earlier. The US has not pressed Japan to maintain five ships in the area because its military campaign in Afghanistan has apparently already peaked, agency sources said.

2. Japan-US Relations

Kyodo (“TERRORIST ATTACKS: JAPAN URGED TO BE BETTER PREPARED,” Washington, 04/26/02) reported that Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, urged Japan on Wednesday to be better prepared for possible terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction. “I’ll leave it to Japan to decide what the right answer is, but I think you get the idea that I believe we need to fundamentally re-examine how we’re organized and to deal with this threat,” Myers said at a news conference before departing Thursday for a tour of Japan, the ROK and the Philippines. Myers’ remarks highlight the gap between Japan and the US in the recognition of national security threats. “In 1995, sarin gas was used in Tokyo, and in 2001 airliners were used to attack (US) buildings. We know for sure that terrorist groups are very interested in other weapons of mass destruction: chemical and biological and even nuclear.” He also voiced strong concern over DPRK’s efforts to develop missiles and weapons of mass destruction and sell them to other countries.

3. Japan-PRC Relations

The Asahi Shinbun (“SHIP SALVAGE DELAYED,” 04/26/02) reported that Japan’s prime minister Junichiro Koizumi’s sudden visit Sunday to Yasukuni Shrine more than muddied the diplomatic waters between Japan and the PRC. It also is being blamed for Beijing’s delay in giving the go-ahead to salvage a suspected the DPRK spy ship in the East China Sea. The government had originally planned to send a team of divers by the end of April to finalize technicalities involved in salvaging the mystery vessel. Officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Japan Coast Guard visited China from April 18 to 19 to explain the underwater probe procedures. They were awaiting PRC’s final approval when Koizumi sprung his surprise visit to the controversial shrine for Japan’s war dead. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda kept up a brave face, telling a news conference Wednesday that Koizumi’s visit “will not affect the mystery ship issue at all.” Well-placed sources, however, said delays were not only probable but also inevitable. Since the ship sank in PRC’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, Beijing’s say-so on the salvage operation is imperative. China helped coordinate efforts to locate the wreck.

4. Japan’s Role in Afghan Reconstruction

The Japan Times (“KAWAGUCHI OUTLINES PRIORITIES AHEAD OF VISIT TO AFGHANISTANT,” 04/26/02) reported that ahead of her visit to Afghanistan next week, Japan’s foreign minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said Thursday that Japan’s assistance measures will focus on helping with the upcoming regional election process, ensuring security and reconstruction, and meeting humanitarian needs. In a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Kawaguchi said the Loya Jirga national assembly in July, which will elect the head of state and select the members of the transitional authority, is “absolutely essential to establish a democracy and move toward a lasting peace in Afghanistan. “As part of Japan’s aid of $500 million pledged at an Afghan reconstruction conference in Tokyo in January, Kawaguchi said Japan will offer $2.7 million for monitoring the election process and offer technical assistance for nationwide broadcasting of the Loya Jirga. Job creation, by hiring 20,000 unskilled citizens for rebuilding schools and roads, is a part of reconstruction assistance, Kawaguchi said. “They have to stand on their own feet to take part in the reconstruction of their own country.”

5. Japan’s Roles in the Middle East

The Japan Times (“KAWAGUCHI OUTLINES PRIORITIES AHEAD OF VISIT TO AFGHANISTAN,” 04/26/02) reported that Japan’s foreign minister, Yoriko Kawaguchi, will visit Iran after a two day stop in Afghanistan from Wednesday. In the visit, Kawaguchi sad she will express her “strong support” for Iran’s reforms while also discussing “the international community’s concern” about the proliferation and development of weapons of mass destruction. However, in contrast to US president George W. Bush’s labeling of Iran as par t of an “axis of evil,” Kawaguchi stressed that she will go to Tehran “as a friend of Iran” and will talk about “everything and anything,” including US-Iran relations and the situation in the Middle East. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, Kawaguchi said Japan intends to use its “unique” position of neutrality to hold an international conference in Japan on the peace process and reconstruction after Israelis and Palestinians reach a ceasefire.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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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< /a>
Clayton, Australia

 


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