NAPSNet Daily Report 26 July, 2002

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. PRC Response to Pentagon Report
2. ROK Response to DPRK Apology
3. ROK-DPRK Relations
4. DPRK View on Japanese Red Army
5. US-Russian Nuclear Relations
6. ROK-Russia Relations
7. PRC-US Trade Relations
8. PRC-ROK Deportation
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK -US Cooperative Salvage Work
2. Inter Korean Ministerial Talks
3. DPRK Economic Change
4. DPRK’s Attitude on NLL
5. Trans Siberian Railway Conference
6. President’s Comment on Inter Korean Relations
III. Japan 1. Moves toward Nuclear Abolition
2. Japanese Military Emergency Bills
3. Japan-US Military Cooperation
4. US Bases in Japan
5. Foreign Ministry Reform

I. United States

1. PRC Response to Pentagon Report

Agence France-Presse (“BEIJING INVITES AUTHORS OF CRITICAL US REPORTS TO VISIT CHINA,” 07/26/02) reported that the PRC announced it wants to invite the authors of two US strategic reports labeling the PRC a threat to world peace to visit the country in an attempt to clear up “misconceptions.” The invitation will be extended by the foreign affairs committee of the country’s parliament, the National People’s Congress. “We’d like to invite them so they can look at China from a different perspective and address any misconceptions they have about the country,” senior legislator Zeng Jianhui told Friday’s official China Daily newspaper. Some members of the US Congress simply “did not understand China well enough” lamented Zeng, chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee. “They misunderstand the rise of China and we need to provide them with a chance to take a better look at our goodwill for world peace.”

2. ROK Response to DPRK Apology

Reuters (“S.KOREANS GIVE NORTH’S GESTURE MIXED REVIEWS,” Seoul, 07/26/02) reported that the DPRK’s message of regret for a deadly sea attack and offer to restart talks with the ROK drew mixed reviews in the ROK media on Friday, reflecting sharp divisions in the ROK and wariness about the DPRK. Skeptics said the DPRK’s cabinet’s expression of regret was half-hearted and did not come from the DPRK military, which the ROK believes sparked the June 29 naval clash that killed five ROK sailors and injured 19. Media voices more sympathetic to the DPRK saw good news in what the ROK government called a “de facto apology” and urged the ROK to seize upon the DPRK’s offer to restart talks. On Thursday, DPRK cabinet official Kim Ryong-song sent a telephone message to ROK Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun expressing regret and offering talks. “Feeling regretful for the unforeseen armed clash that occurred in the west sea recently, we are of the view that both sides should make joint efforts to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in future,” the message said.

3. ROK-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, “SOUTH KOREA SAYS NORTH KOREAN PROPOSAL FOR DIALOGUE COULD BREAK DEADLOCK,” Seoul, 07/26/02) reported that the ROK welcomed a DPRK proposal for dialogue in the wake of a deadly naval clash, and Russia’s foreign minister arrived in Seoul on Friday to discuss inter-Korean reconciliation efforts. “The North’s proposal is meaningful in that it could set the stage for settling a deadlock in inter-Korean relations,” said Park Sun-sook, spokeswoman for ROK President Kim Dae-jung. Also Friday, the DPRK repeated an earlier statement that it would accept a visit to Pyongyang by an envoy from the US. “The (North Korean) side accepted the US recent proposal to send its special envoy to Pyongyang to explain its stand on the resumption of the dialogue,” the DPRK official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, quoted an official as saying.

4. DPRK View on Japanese Red Army

Reuters (“NORTH KOREA SAYS IT PLAYED NO PART IN DECISION OF FOUR JAPANESE RED ARMY MEMBERS TO RETURN HOME,” Seoul, 07/26/02) reported that the DPRK on Friday rejected reports that it played a role in prompting four Japanese Red Army members, wanted for a 1970 hijacking, to decide they would return home. Japanese media reported early this month that the four men were planning to return home. They are among nine members of the ultra-left terrorist group accused of hijacking a Japan Airlines Boeing 727 with 129 people aboard and flying it to North Korea on March 31, 1970. Media speculated that the DPRK was trying to get rid of the four in order to shed its image as a sponsor of terrorism. The DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency, reported that its government dismissed the reports. “Their decision to go back home is their own choice and the Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea, therefore, has nothing to do with it,” KCNA quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

5. US-Russian Nuclear Relations

The Associated Press (Matt Kelley, “U.S. SEEKS MORE RUSSIA NUCLEAR INFO,” Washington, 07/25/02) reported that US officials want to press Russia for greater access to information about Russia’s nuclear weapons programs as the countries reduce their nuclear arsenals, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday. Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee he was confident Russia would make the two-thirds reduction in its deployed nuclear warheads called for under the treaty signed in May by President Bush and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Bush wants the Senate to ratify quickly the treaty, which calls for reducing each side’s strategic nuclear arsenal from about 6,000 warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 by 2012. Rumsfeld said US officials still want more information about Russia’s nuclear program – especially its hoard of smaller, battlefield weapons. He said the Americans would work to get more access to that information through further negotiations with Russia. “There’s no question that, even today, Russia is not transparent. They have a very secretive approach to a great deal of things,” Rumsfeld said. “It is a concern. We’re a good distance from feeling comfortable.”

6. ROK-Russia Relations

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, “RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS SOUTH KOREA,” Seoul, 07/26/02) reported that Russia can help promote peace on the Korean peninsula because of its smooth ties with the DPRK, Russia’s foreign minister said Friday. Igor Ivanov made the comments after arriving in the ROK to discuss inter-Korean reconciliation efforts and Russia’s possible role as a facilitator in the process. “Russia can contribute to establishing security on the Korean peninsula because relations between Russia and North Korea are proceeding normally,” Ivanov told local reporters at the airport. On Friday, Ivanov planned talks with ROK Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong and a courtesy call on President Kim Dae-jung. Choi planned to host a dinner for Ivanov. Ivanov is expected to leave Sunday for Pyongyang, where he will meet his DPRK counterpart, Paek Nam Sun, and possibly DPRK leader Kim Jong Il.

7. PRC-US Trade Relations

The Associated Press (“CHINA-U.S. TRADE SURGES IN 2002,” Beijing, 07/26/02) reported that trade between the PRC and the US surged 11.7 percent in the first half of the year to nearly US$42 billion even as US exports to the PRC dropped slightly, the government said Friday. Figures released by the General Administration of Customs showed the United States remained the PRC’s second-largest trading partner after Japan. The PRC exported US$29.9 billion worth of goods to the US, up 19.3 percent. Meanwhile, the PRC imports from the US dropped 3.3 percent to $12.1 billion, the agency said. Major PRC export commodities to the US market include machinery, electronic products, furniture, lamps, toys, footwear and textiles. The PRC’s main imports from the US include optical and medical equipment, chemicals, agricultural and plastic products, and aircraft.

8. PRC-ROK Deportation

Reuters (“CHINA TO DEPORT S. KOREAN FOR AIDING ASYLUM SEEKERS,” 07/26/02) reported that ROK activist, Chun Ki-won, tried in the PRC for helping DPRK asylum seekers leave their impoverished nation was expected to be deported home in the next few days, a diplomatic source said on Friday. Chun Ki-won was fined $6,000 and sentenced to deportation on charges of “organizing people to illegally cross the national border” some 10 days ago, an official at the Hulunbeier Municipal People’s Court in Inner Mongolia said. But an ROK diplomat said he believed Chun was still in Inner Mongolia because he had not yet paid his fine. “He is still in China as far as I know. He hasn’t yet left the country,” he said. “He hadn’t yet paid the money to be released. Once he has paid he can go,” he said. That should happen in the next few days, he added.

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK -US Cooperative Salvage Work

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, “US AGREES TO HELP STAND WATCH OVER SALVAGE WORK,” Seoul, 07/26/02) reported that US agreed Thursday to provide support to the ROK Navy in its planned effort next week to raise an ROK patrol boat sunk by DPRK gunfire in the Yellow Sea near the military demarcation line. The chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lee Nam-shin, met with the commander of US troops here, General Leon LaPorte, Tuesday afternoon to discuss the details of the planned operation. Korean defense officials said the salvage work would begin Tuesday; US and Korean military forces will be in the area to guard against any reaction by DPRK that could threaten the work. The concern about another provocation by DPRK stemmed from a warning on July 9 by DPRK that ROK must give it advance notice of any salvage operation.

2. Inter Korean Ministerial Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “NORTH KOREA OFFERS TO RESUME DIALOGUE WITH SOUTH,” Seoul, 07/26/02) reported that DPRK Thursday proposed a new round of ministerial talks with the ROK. DPRK’s proposal was accompanied by an expression of regret over the shootout, in which four ROK soldiers were killed and one went missing. In a telephone message sent through the border village of Panmunjeom, DPRK said it “regretted the unexpected armed clash that occurred in the West Sea.” DPRK proposed that a working-level meeting take place at its Mt. Geumgang resort early next month to prepare for the new round of cabinet-level talks. It suggested the talks be held in Seoul. The high-level talks have been suspended since last November. ROK officials hailed DPRK’s reconciliatory move. “The message actually corresponds to an apology,” Vice Unification Minister Kim Hyung-ki said. The new round of inter-Korean ministerial talks would be the seventh of its kind since the historic summit between President Kim and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang two years ago.

3. DPRK Economic Change

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH FOLLOWING CHINESE MODEL,” Seoul, 06/27/02) reported that Lim Dong-won, a presidential adviser on national security and foreign policy, said Thursday that DPRK seems to be taking the right path to a market economy, following the example of PRC. “After trips to China and Russia last year, National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il issued directives for the reform of economic management. The gist of the guidelines was to renovate the economic system in a manner to seek practical gains while maintaining socialism,” Lim said in his speech at a special seminar on prospects of inter-Korean relations at Seoul Press Center. “Thus the move is similar to the very early days of China’s economic reforms, shedding the old things to adopt new things appropriate for new times,” he said. Pointing out the graded wages in businesses as one of the noted changes, Mr. Lim said it has helped the companies to take better charge of production. “The country proceeded with reform in consumer prices because they needed to set up a realistic market price,” Mr. Lim said. “We detected the North’s moves to issue a higher-value currency long ago.”

4. DPRK’s Attitude on NLL

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH WARNS OF NEW NAVAL CLASH UNLESS BORDER IS CHANGED,” Seoul, 06/26/02) reported that DPRK released a series of harsh statements Wednesday warning that another inter-Korean naval clash is possible unless ROK and US do something to change the “unfair” maritime boundary. “An undesirable armed clash took place in the West Sea recently, as it did in 1999, and there is a danger of more serious incidents in future,” DPRK’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “All this is attributable to the US insistence on the ‘Northern Limit Line,’ which it illegally drew,” DPRK said, referring to the maritime border established at the end of the Korean War. “To realize true peace on the Korean Peninsula the US must first put an end to its occupation of ROK. The UN Command, which plays a role of justifying the US stay, should go as well.” The statement was released just three days before the 49th anniversary of the end of the Korean War on July 27, 1953.

5. Trans Siberian Railway Conference

Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH MISSES RAILWAY CONFERENCE,” Seoul, 07/26/02) reported that DPRK officials failed to show up in Vladivostok on Wednesday for an international forum called to discuss the construction of a rail link between the Korean rail system and Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway. Forty experts from seven nations, including ROK , Russia, PRC, Japan, Mongolia and Australia were to take part in the conference along with DPRK, officials in Vladivostok said. No reason was given for DPRK’s absence. The meeting was to discuss the economic aspects of the railway that would connect the Asia-Pacific region to Europe. The plan would potentially significantly reduce the costs of shipping cargo from Asia to Europe. Full-fledged talks for the railway took off in August last year when DPRK and Russia agreed at a summit in Moscow on modernizing DPRK’s railways. Russian experts believe the entire project will cost about $3 billion.

6. President’s Comment on Inter Korean Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, “PRESIDENT KIM CALLS FOR NK APOLOGY,” Seoul, 06/26/02) reported that president Kim Dae-jung told a Thursday luncheon meeting, with some 100 senior military commanders, Minister of National Defense Lee Jun and Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lee Nam-shin at Cheong Wa Dae, that the West Sea clash was a result of DPRK’s armed provocation and that he had demanded an apology, punishment of those responsible and a sincere promise of non-recurrence. President Kim also said improvements in inter-Korean relations would be limited unless DPRK fulfills this demand. He added that if DPRK did comply then the two countries would be back on track for eventual peaceful unification in 10 to 20 years time, following peaceful coexistence. Kim said, however, that while remaining strictly alert, ROK forces should refrain from any provocative action.

III. Japan

1. Moves toward Nuclear Abolition

The Asahi Shimbun (Masato Tainaka, “LAWMAKERS TEAM UP TO FIGHT NUCLEAR ARMS,” Tokyo, 07/25/02) reported that fifty legislators from eight parties put aside their political differences to fight for an end to atomic weapons, forming a nonpartisan lawmakers’ group for nuclear disarmament. The group, Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament Japan, is only the second in the world to be linked to the international association Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament (PNND). Lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito, Hoshuto (New Conservative Party), Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Greens Japan Office attended the first meeting of PNND Japan on Wednesday in Tokyo. “Lawmakers should take the lead on the issue of nuclear disarmament, rather than leave it to the Foreign Ministry, which tends to obey without question the United States–a nation currently considering a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iraq,” said LDP lawmaker Taro Kono, secretary-general of PNND Japan. “Despite Japan’s sacred slogan, ‘No more Hiroshima and Nagasaki,’ Japanese lawmakers are ignorant of the current nuclear disarmament process discussed in international conferences,” said Tetsuo Kaneko, an SDP lawmaker representing a constituency in Hiroshima. The group plans to attend the PNND’s first international conference next year in Vancouver.

2. Japanese Military Emergency Bills

The Japan Times (“GOVERNMENT TO OUTLINE LAW TO PROTECT CITIZENS IN CASE OF ATTACK ON JAPAN,” Tokyo, 07/24/02) reported that the Japanese government on Tuesday expressed its intention to outline legislation aimed to protect the life and property of citizens in the event of a foreign attack on Japan, government officials said. Shinzo Abe, deputy chief Cabinet secretary, explained the government’s intention during a meeting with executives of the ruling coalition, they said. A set of bills for the purpose will be submitted to the Diet within two years, instead of two years from the enactment of planned contingency legislation, said Taku Yamasaki, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secretary general, who attended the meeting. The citizen protection legislation is expected to cover evacuations, recovery of damages, transportation and communications, and public order, Yamasaki said. The proposal will be discussed when an extraordinary Diet session convenes in autumn.

3. Japan-US Military Cooperation

Kyodo (“SDF TO STATION OFFICIALS AT U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND,” Washington, 07/25/02) reported that Japan plans to station two Self-Defense Forces (SDF) officials at the US Central Command in Tampa, Fla., as liaison officers, Japanese and US government sources said Wednesday. The dispatch is designed to give the SDF prompt information on moves of the US Central Command, which would be responsible for US military operations against Iraq if President George W. Bush orders an attack. At the same time, however, the dispatch of SDF officials to the US Central Command could raise the possibility that Japan would be requested to provide full support to the US military in the event of an attack on Iraq. According to the Japanese and US sources, US Marine Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong, the deputy commander of the US Central Command, asked Japan to dispatch SDF liaison officers when a group of Diet members, led by former Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga, visited Tampa this spring.

4. US Bases in Japan

The Japan Times (“LDP GROUP PURSUES SOFA CHANGES,” 07/24/02) reported that the Japanese lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) established a group Tuesday to push for revisions of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement. The move came after lawmakers of the LDP and the Social Democratic Party proposed revisions this year to allow US military personnel suspected of committing crimes in Japan to be handed over to Japanese authorities before indictment. The changes would also oblige US forces in Japan to take environmental measures, group members said. “We want to improve the bilateral partnership by revising the agreement,” the group, headed by House of Representatives member Toshio Kojima, said in a statement. The group will map out a set of proposals after consulting with members of local party organizations in all 47 prefectures, it said.

The Asahi Shimbun (“NAGASAKI WANTS TO HALT U.S. NAVY VISITS,” Nagasaki, 07/25/02) reported that Nagasaki Governor Genjiro Kaneko on Wednesday asked the US Navy to stop port calls at the base in Sasebo after the US guided missile destroyer Curtis Wilber called there June 6 over strong protests from local peace groups and objections from the prefecture. Kaneko conveyed his request to Captain Richard Hill, who is leaving as commander of the Sasebo base.

5. Foreign Ministry Reform

The Japan Times (“PANEL SUGGESTS 20% OF AMBASSADORS BE NONMINISTRY STAFF,” Tokyo, 07/23/02) reported that an advisory panel on the Japanese Foreign Ministry reform on Monday called for appointing 20 percent of ambassadors from outside the ministry within three years to increase competition for overseas postings. In its final report submitted to Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi on Monday evening, the panel also urged the government to consider ways to integrate official development assistance work now handled by various ministries but fell short of clearly calling for the establishment of a new aid agency. The panel also recommended the ministry keep written records of conversations between bureaucrats and politicians regarding personnel and money-related matters to eliminate “inappropriate pressure” from politicians. Other recommendations include strengthening consular works by upgrading the consular affairs section to a bureau, extending the term of vice foreign minister to at least three years, establishing a unit of outside advisers to the foreign minister on policy options and enhancing the training system of ministry staff. Kawaguchi thanked Yoshihiko Miyauchi, panel head and Orix Corp. chairman, saying she will make sure the panel’s recommendations are reflected in her action program on reform to be mapped out in August.

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Monash Asia Institute,
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Brandon Yu: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
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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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