NAPSNet Daily Report 27 April, 2001

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 27 April, 2001", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 27, 2001, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-27-april-2001/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK-Russia Military Deal
2. EU-DPRK Relations
3. Inter-Korean Railway
4. ROK Aid to DPRK
5. Japanese History Textbook
6. Colin Powell’s Asian Trip
7. US-PRC Surveillance Talks
8. US Policy toward Taiwan
9. US Defense of Taiwan
10. Lee Teng-Hui’s US Visit
11. US Arms Sales to Taiwan
12. US Missile Defense
II. Republic of Korea 1. ROK-US Talks
2. Swedish P.M.’s Visit
3. Aid to DPRK
4. DPRK Defectors to ROK
5. 3-Way-Talk on DPRK
6. Bush to Visit ROK
III. Japan 1. Postponement of Li Peng’s Visit to Japan
2. Lee Teng-hui’s Visit to Japan
3. Japanese Policy Toward PRC-Taiwan Relations
4. Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue
5. US Base Issue
6. Contingency Legislation
7. New Prime Minister’s Position on Constitution

I. United States

1. DPRK-Russia Military Deal

Reuters (“RUSSIA SIGNS DEAL TO UPGRADE NORTH KOREA’S WEAPONS,” Moscow, 04/27/01) reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov signed an agreement with DPRK Defense Minister Kim Il-chol on Friday to upgrade weapons supplied during the Soviet era. Klebanov said that he did not expect the agreement to harm Russian relations with the ROK, adding, “Russia’s main aim is successful negotiations between North and South Korea.” The deal was officially called a “framework agreement” on cooperation in the defense industry and military equipment. Kim arrived in Moscow on Thursday, but no details of his visit have been disclosed.

2. EU-DPRK Relations

Reuters (Peter Starck, “EU CHIEFS TO BACK WARMER TIES BETWEEN TWO KOREAS,” Stockholm, 04/26/01) reported that Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson said Thursday that he and top European Union (EU) officials intend to express the international community’s support for warmer ties between the two Koreas during their visit to the peninsula May 2-4. Persson added that they will also discuss the DPRK’s missile program, economic reforms, human rights and foreign aid. He emphasized that he was not seeking to mediate between the DPRK and the ROK. He stated, “I don’t anticipate any quick solutions. I see in front of me a process that will take some years but it has started and it is important to support the peaceful process of reconciliation.” Persson added, “This is the last remaining conflict of the Cold War and to be able to find a good atmosphere between the North and South side is of course a huge political challenge.” He said that the EU’s role would be marginal at best, noting, “Decisive in this context will be whether North and South want to go on with this process.” He said that the US is firmly in favor of the EU’s initiative.

3. Inter-Korean Railway

Reuters (“KOREA SAYS HARD TO RESTORE RAILWAY LINK THIS YEAR,” Seoul, 04/27/01) reported that ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won told a committee at the National Assembly on Friday that it would be hard to relink a railway between the DPRK and the ROK this year. Lim stated, “The inter-Korean project has hit a snag as North Korea has stopped working on it. If the work stoppage continues through next month, it would be hard to reopen the railway this year.”

4. ROK Aid to DPRK

The Associated Press (“SEOUL TO DONATE TONS OF FERTILIZER,” Seoul, 04/26/01) reported that the ROK decided on Thursday to donate 200,000 tons of fertilizer to the DPRK. ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hong-jae stated, “The fertilizer will show that we want to continue reconciliation.” Kim said that the fertilizer was humanitarian aid that the DPRK needs to help ease its food shortage.

5. Japanese History Textbook

The Associated Press (“JAPAN PM TELLS S KOREA PRES HE’LL COOPERATE ON TEXT ISSUE,” Tokyo, 04/27/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Friday called ROK President Kim Dae-jung government and promised to work closely to solve the controversy over the new Japanese history textbook. Koizumi said that he acknowledged the ROK’s severe public sentiment and understood Kim’s concerns that the issue threatened to undermine an improving bilateral relationship. Koizuma’s spokesman Kazuhiko Koshikawa said that both leaders agreed to meet soon, although no specifics were discussed. Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka also spoke by telephone with her ROK counterpart, Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo, and said that Japan’s 1998 apology for the “great suffering” it brought to the Korean people was in line with her “political principles.”

6. Colin Powell’s Asian Trip

Reuters (“POWELL MAY MAKE FIRST ASIA TRIP IN JUNE,” Tokyo, 04/27/01) reported that Japanese media said Friday that US Secretary of State Colin Powell may visit Japan and the ROK as early as June. The Mainichi Shimbun national daily, citing sources in the US State Department, said that Powell would hold talks with new Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka before leaving for Seoul.

7. US-PRC Surveillance Talks

Reuters (“U.S. GIVES CHINA PROPOSALS FOR MEETING ON PLANES,” Washington, 04/27/01) reported that US State Department spokesman Charles Hunter said that the US on Friday gave the PRC its proposals for a special meeting on how to avoid conflict between PRC fighters and US surveillance planes. Hunter gave no details of the proposed “terms of reference.” The meeting is separate from diplomatic contacts on the future of the US plane.

8. US Policy toward Taiwan

The Washington Post (Philip P. Pan, “CHINA ‘CONCERNED’ BY BUSH REMARKS,” Beijing, 04/27/01, A19) reported that PRC analysts disagreed on whether US President George W. Bush’s remarks on Taiwan represented a shift in US policy. Wu Xinbo, a professor at Fudan University’s Center for American Studies in Shanghai, stated, “I think basically even the most optimistic people here are very much concerned about this administration, about the fact that they’re so conservative and so pro-Taiwan and so anti-China. Given this background, how can you believe there’s going to be a wiser and more sound policy toward China?” Wu added, “At this moment, it’s very difficult to argue that there’s still a high prospect for a peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue. I think Bush’s remark and the decision on arms sales sends a signal to the PLA (People’s Liberation Army).” The anonymous editor of a publication focusing on foreign affairs stated, “Here, we have always been led to believe that U.S.-China relations were somewhat of a constant: They’d never get too bad; they’d never get too good. Now, Bush comes along and says he is willing to send troops to defend Taiwan. Even if he modified his words later on, it still means a lot to us…. Why do you want to have us as an enemy?”

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “U.S. TAIWAN POLICY HITS NEW LEVEL OF AMBIGUITY,” 04/27/01, A20) reported that US experts on China said that US President George W. Bush’s statements on Taiwan cast doubt on the traditional policy of strategic ambiguity. Kenneth Lieberthal, Asia director of former President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council, argued, “This is one of those things you can walk back partway but never completely, because it’s part of the mind-set. It is very hard to erase the memory of a startling statement on a keenly sensitive issue made by the president of the United States to a national television audience.” He added, “One has to ask whether the administration consulted with Japan before making this public statement by the president. There are clear, potentially major implications for our alliance with Japan of a firm U.S. commitment to use all available means to defend Taiwan.” The article noted that the US military already has detailed plans for the defense of Taiwan, but those plans exclude Taiwanese forces. However, Joseph A. Bosco of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service said that for the US to say that intervention would depend on circumstances is no longer enough. Bosco said that the PRC has “been probing what those circumstances are. If the game was to keep them guessing and keep them from doing anything rash, it has just the opposite effect.”

9. US Defense of Taiwan

InsideDefense.com (Elaine M. Grossman, “SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIAL: U.S. COULD MEET OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES DEFENDING TAIWAN.” 04/26/01) reported that a senior US defense official said Thursday that the US could fight the PRC in defense of Taiwan using currently available military forces. He said that coalition wartime experience has left the US military with “a desire to be able to pull all our forces together in a seamless manner and hit the ground running, so to speak. That is not the case” with Taiwan. He stated, “We don’t train with the Taiwanese, and so there would be an issue there with types of standard operating procedures — tactics, techniques and procedures, as we call it. But that’s not to say we could not operate together. We just have to have certain rules.” Regarding communications equipment, the official stated, “We have similar types of systems. But I wouldn’t want to be quoted as saying that we are interoperable in the true sense of the word. There’d be a lot of work required there.” The official also stated, “As we look long-term … I don’t think that the threats in the future are going to be Pyongyang or Baghdad. I think that we have to be more concerned about emerging threats, about the potential combination of states that are opposed to what we see as America’s vital interests in different areas of the world.” He concluded, “I see an emerging China that we don’t know which way it will go at this time…. We think engaging them is the right answer, military-to- military, as well as economically and diplomatically and politically. But the future is a little foggy on where we will be 15 years from now. And therefore, we need to make sure that we don’t sell ourselves short in the area of what’s important for our national security.” [Ed note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense’s Early Bird news service for April 27.]

10. Lee Teng-Hui’s US Visit

The Associated Press (“EX-TAIWAN LEADER PUTS OFF U.S. TRIP,” Taipei, 04/26/01) reported that former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui said that he has postponed a US visit next month for medical reasons. Lee stated, “Maybe I’m too tired. A long trip would not be good.”

11. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The International Herald Tribune (Joseph Fitchett, “EUROPEANS REJECT ROLE IN TAIWAN ARMS DEAL,” Paris, 04/27/01) reported that European and US officials and experts said Thursday that the US failure to consult in advance with Germany or the Netherlands on its offer to sell Taiwan submarines using those countries’ technology has irritated the two governments. Both Germany and the Netherlands publicly offered assurances to the PRC that they would not export advanced weapons directly or indirectly to Taiwan. An unnamed Dutch diplomat ruled out licensing the technology to a US manufacturer, stating, “Licensing or any other form of assistance would be tantamount to selling the actual submarines and contradicts our pledges to Beijing.”

12. US Missile Defense

Reuters (Patricia Wilson, “BUSH TO CONSULT ALLIES ON MISSILE DEFENSE NEXT WEEK,” Washington, 04/27/01) reported that US presidential counselor Karen Hughes said on Friday that US President George W. Bush will begin consulting US allies next week on his plans for a missile defense system. She said that Bush would lay the groundwork for the talks with a speech in Washington next Tuesday in which he would link deployment of a defense shield for the US and its allies with reductions in the US nuclear arsenal. She added that administration officials would then be sent to “consult with and listen to” allies. She stated, “He may make some phone calls himself, but we’ll begin the process of having some of our people travel and meet with different leaders.”

II. Republic of Korea

1. ROK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, “FOREIGN MINISTER HAN SEUNG-SOO CALLS FOR SPEEDY U.S. REVIEW OF N.K. POLICY,” Seoul, 04/27/01) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo on Thursday expressed his wish to the US for it to speed up its review of DPRK policy to clear up uncertainties hanging over inter- Korean relations. “We hope the United States will come out with a swift decision on its North Korea policy and put Seoul-Washington cooperation on track,” he was quoted as saying during a consultation meeting with senior US security officials. The “two plus two” meeting was attended by ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin, US Charge d’Affaires Evans Revere and US Forces Korea (USFK) Commander General Thomas Schwartz. The two sides also agreed that there is no difference between them in assessing Pyongyang’s military threat. “Both sides confirmed that they share the same information, standards and assessment, our appraisals have been seen as disparate to some because they were done at different times,” said Kim Sung-hwan, director general of North American Affairs Bureau at the Korean Foreign Ministry.

2. Swedish P.M.’s Visit

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “N.K. TO ALLOW 75 FOREIGN JOURNALISTS TO COVER SWEDISH P.M’S VISIT,” Seoul, 04/27/01) reported that as the DPRK decided to allow a record contingent of 75 foreign journalists to enter into the country, a total of eight ROK reporters will cover the news on Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson’s trip to Pyongyang next week. Swedish Foreign Ministry officials said Thursday that Persson will have a courtesy meeting with Kim Jong-il on arrival in Pyongyang May 2. Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy and security chief, and Chris Patten, EU’s external relations commissioner, will accompany him in the first tete-a-tete between the two leaders. Later in the evening, the EU delegation will attend a welcoming dinner hosted by Kim. On May 3, Kim and Persson will hold official talks, in which they are expected to discuss how to enhance the EU’s role in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “FERTILIZER SHIPMENTS TO N.K. TO BEGIN MAY 2,” Seoul, 04/27/01) reported that the ROK Thursday made a final decision on its provision of 200,000 tons of fertilizer, worth US$52 million, to the DPRK, with the first fertilizer shipment scheduled for May 2. During an interagency meeting presided over by Unification Minister Lim Dong-won, participants also decided to appropriate the Inter-Korean Cooperation Funds for the fertilizer aid, ministry officials said. “We will begin the shipment as soon as the North guarantees the safety of our transportation staff,” said Hong Yang-ho, director-general for the ministry’s Humanitarian Affairs Bureau. The seed- planting season begins in May in the DPRK, during which the use of chemical fertilizer peaks. “Despite concerns over a hasty decision on the fertilizer aid, the government has concluded that the timing of the provision is more important that any other factors,” Hong said.

4. DPRK Defectors to ROK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “SIX N.K. DEFECTORS ENTER SOUTH,” Seoul, 04/26/01) reported that officials are interviewing six recent defectors from the DPRK about their motives and identity, the ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) said Thursday. The defectors include those who claim they have been working as automobile mechanics and factory workers in Onsong and Kimchaek in the DPRK’s Hamkyong Province, the NIS said.

5. 3-Way-Talk on DPRK

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, “3-WAY TALKS ON N.K. TO OPEN IN MAY,” Seoul, 04/27/01) reported that the ROK, the US and Japan will hold trilateral consultation on their DPRK policies in May as was agreed during their meeting in late March, an ROK foreign ministry official said Thursday. “The May Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting will be the second of its kind since U.S. President George W. Bush took office in January,” the official said. “The specific date and venue have yet to be fixed.” During the possible TCOG meeting, the three sides will discuss the results of European Union President Goeran Persson’s visit to the DPRK May 2-3 and the US administration’s DPRK policy whose formulation is now in its last stage.

6. Bush to Visit ROK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, “THE US PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH IS TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA THIS OCTOBER,” Seoul, 04/27/01) reported that. a reliable source in Washington disclosing President Bush’s intention to attend the upcoming APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Forum) meeting slated for Oct.20-21 said the Mr. Bush will come to Seoul prior to his visit to Shanghai, the PRC during as part of his tour around the Northeast Asia region on Wednesday. The White House too informed that the President will first stop for Seoul and Tokyo before reaching Shanghai. “If that be the case the President is likely to visit Seoul from Oct. 17-19” pointed out the diplomatic source. Once Mr. Bush arrives in Seoul he is expected to meet with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung in the Blue House and hold an in-depth discussion on the general atmosphere of the Korean Peninsula and coordinate on the DPRK Policy of two nations. The significance of expected ROK-US summit lies in the fact that it would give the US President to learn about the general situation in Korean Peninsula first-hand and re-confirm the long-established alliance between the two nations. The two summits would be provided a chance to work over the coordination process together, this time.

III. Japan

1. Postponement of Li Peng’s Visit to Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“CHIEF CABINT SECRETARY HOPES LI PENG’S EARLY VISIT,” 04/26/2001) reported that in response to the PRC government’s decision on April 25 to postpone Li Peng’s visit to Japan, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said to reporters, “It is a regret that he cannot come to Japan. I hope he will be able to visit as soon as possible. I will wait.” Regarding the reason for the postponement, Fukuda said, “What the PRC government is saying is that the decision was made in light of the current situation of Japanese-PRC relations. They did not mention the link between the decision and former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui’s visit to Japan.” The Japanese Foreign Ministry also stated, “The fact that the PRC government did not say ‘cancellation’ indicates that they don’t want Japanese-PRC relations to further deteriorate.”

2. Lee Teng-hui’s Visit to Japan

The Daily Yomiuri (“LEE FLIES HOME AFTER THANKING JAPAN,” 04/27/2001) reported that former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui returned to Taiwan on April 26 after undergoing medical tests and treatment during a five-day private visit to Japan. Lee, 78, and his wife, Tseng Wen-fui, thanked and waved to well-wishers before boarding their flight at Kansai International Airport. Lee arrived on April 15 after the Japanese government ignored protests from the PRC and agreed to grant him a visa on condition that he did not engage in political activity during his visit. Sources said that Lee had abided by the terms of the visa. Lee did not give a press conference, but commented on his visit in an open letter. Lee, who has a heart problem, said that the checkup and treatment had gone smoothly and that he had fulfilled the purpose of his visit. He said that he was very grateful to the government and people of Japan.

3. Japanese Policy Toward PRC-Taiwan Relations

The Japan Times (“TANAKA OUTLINES FOREIGN POLICY GOALS IN MAIDEN SPEECH,” 04/27/2001) reported that newly appointed Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said on April 26 that Japan should avoid actions that could lead to deterioration in ties between Taiwan and the PRC, an apparent reference to Japan’s approval of a visit by former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui. Tanaka stated, “How China-Taiwan relations will improve … has global implications.”

4. Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue

The Japan Times (“TANAKA OUTLINES FOREIGN POLICY GOALS IN MAIDEN SPEECH,” 04/27/2001) reported that newly appointed Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said on April 26 that Japan should continue seeking the return of all four disputed islands off Hokkaido in bilateral territorial talks with Russia. Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in March the validity of a 1956 pact that stipulates the return of the Habomai group of islets and Shikotan after a peace treaty is concluded. While some Japanese politicians and Foreign Ministry officials advocate the return of the two islands first, Tanaka said that Japan should continue to push for the return of all four islands.

5. US Base Issue

The Japan Times (“TANAKA OUTLINES FOREIGN POLICY GOALS IN MAIDEN SPEECH,” 04/27/2001) reported that newly appointed Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said on April 26 that, regarding the matter of US military forces in Okinawa, revision of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement “may be necessary” after a series of incidents involving US military personnel upset Okinawans. However, Koji Omi, minister in charge of Okinawa and northern territory affairs, said that the issue should be handled through better implementation of the existing agreement. Omi said that Okinawa’s demand for a 15-year time limit on a new airport to be constructed in Nago, northern Okinawa, “will be taken up appropriately” in Japan-US talks.

6. Contingency Legislation

The Japan Times (“TANAKA OUTLINES FOREIGN POLICY GOALS IN MAIDEN SPEECH,” 04/27/2001) reported that newly appointed Defense Agency Director General Gen Nakatani said on April 26 that he would proceed with examining the introduction of emergency defense legislation to ensure public safety during wartime. The report also said that Nakatani, well-versed in defense affairs as a former Self-Defense Force (SDF) officer and a leading lawmaker in national defense, said that he would seek ways for the SDF to contribute to world peace and security so that Japan can win greater respect.

7. New Prime Minister’s Position on Constitution

The Daily Yomiuri (“KOIZUMI WOULD REVISE ARTICLE 9,” 04/25/2001) reported that elected LDP President Junichiro Koizumi said during a press conference held at party headquarters in Tokyo on April 24 that the war- renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution “should be revised in the future.” Koizumi also said, “An article whereby the existence of the nation’s Self-Defense Forces can be interpreted as running counter to the Constitution is absurd.” Koizumi also emphasized that he intended to make an official visit to the Yasukuni Shrine if he becomes prime minister. The article added that a prime minister’s visit to the shrine–a Shinto memorial often viewed as a symbol of Japan’s militaristic past–is likely to draw strong opposition from Asian neighbors, including the PRC and the ROK.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Robert Brown: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun: khs688@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu: akutsu@glocomnet.or.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@glas.apc.org
Moscow, Russian Federation

Yunxia Cao: yule111@sina.com
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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