NAPSNet Daily Report 27 May, 2004

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"NAPSNet Daily Report 27 May, 2004", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 27, 2004, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-27-may-2004/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK Six-Way Talks
2. DPRK-ROK Naval Security Talks
3. ROK-DPRK Military Relations
4. DPRK Iran Missile test Data?
5. Japan Al-Qaeda Suspects Arrests
6. US-DPRK War Remains Joint Recovery Project
7. ROK on DPRK Military Hackers
8. ROK Response to US Army Statement on USFK
9. Taiwan-US Relations
10. Hong Kong Democratization
11. PRC Tiananmen Square Anniversary Harassment
II. Japan 1. Japan Military Emergency Bills
2. Japan Iraq Troops Dispatch
3. Japan Logistic Support for the US War in Afghanistan
4. US Bases in Japan
5. Japan Nuclear Energy Policy
6. DPJ New Leader
7. Japan-DPRK Abduction Cases
8. Japan Al-Qaeda Network

I. United States

1. DPRK Six-Way Talks

Yonhap News (“DATE FOR THIRD 6-PARTY TALKS YET TO BE DECIDED, SAYS S KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER,” Seoul, 05/27/04) reported that the date of a next round of six-way talks aimed at resolving tension over the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program has not been set yet, the ROK’s foreign minister said Thursday. Ban Ki-moon, in Vladivostok on a leg of a Russian visit, said the six countries involved in the talks were discussing when to hold the next meeting. At the second six-way meeting in Beijing in February, the six parties agreed to convene the next and third session before June but decided to set a date later through diplomatic contacts. “I think more time will be needed in coming to an agreement on the date,” Ban told Yonhap News Agency. “We still hope to have the meeting by the end of next month, but other countries have a lot of diplomatic schedules set for the month. So there are still a lot of possibilities left.”

2. DPRK-ROK Naval Security Talks

Bloomberg (“NORTH KOREA, SOUTH KOREA EXTEND NAVY SECURITY TALKS,” 05/27/04) reported that the DPRK and ROK agreed to hold another round of talks early next month on naval security after a meeting between their military commanders, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported. The DPRK also agreed to study a ROK proposal to improve communication between their armed forces, especially their navies, the BBC reported from the ROK capital, Seoul, without saying where it obtained the information. Yesterday’s talks were aimed at avoiding a repeat of naval clashes that occurred in 1999 and 2002 during the crab-fishing season, which begins this month. The ROK’s proposals include the sharing of radio frequencies and signals among naval vessels to avoid clashes in the fishing grounds.

3. ROK-DPRK Military Relations

Washington Times (Andrew Salmon, “KOREANS AGREE TO MORE DIALOGUE,” Seoul, 05/27/04) reported that the first-ever meeting between general-level military officers of the two Koreas ended yesterday without significant breakthroughs, but with an agreement to hold further talks next week. At a six-hour meeting in the DPRK’s Mount Kumgang tourist resort, delegations from the two sides discussed the establishment of a communications infrastructure to forestall naval clashes off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula. The ROK delegation at yesterday’s talks was headed by Rear Adm. Park Cheong-hwa, and Rear Adm. Ahn Ik-san led the DPRK team. Previously, the DPRK had allowed only colonel-level talks between the militaries of the two countries. Further talks are to take place in the ROK mountain resort of Mount Sorak on June 3. Observers here hope the meetings will become a regular fixture, as such a format would offer a venue for the resolution of military flare-ups.

4. DPRK Iran Missile test Data?

Kyodo News (“N. KOREA MAY BE GETTING MISSILE TEST DATA FROM IRAN: US OFFICIAL,” Washington, 05/27/04) reported that the US is concerned that the DPRK may be getting missile test data from Iran, making the effectiveness of the DPRK’s moratorium on missile test-launches doubtful, a senior US administration official said Thursday. “We’ve been concerned that maybe the Iranians are sharing data about their test with North Korea, perhaps in exchange for nuclear technology,” the official told Kyodo News on condition of anonymity. DPRK leader Kim Jong Il reaffirmed that the DPRK will continue its moratorium on missile test-firing when he met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Pyongyang last Saturday. The US official said the moratorium ‘isn’t very significant’ if the DPRK is getting Iranian missile test data.

5. Japan Al-Qaeda Suspects Arrests

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN POLICE ARREST TWO FOREIGNERS ALLEGEDLY LINKED TO AL-QAEDA SUSPECT,” 05/26/04) reported that Japanese police said they arrested two foreign nationals as press reports said they were suspected of having contacted a Frenchman linked to Al-Qaeda who stayed in Japan after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. A spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said a 26-year-old Bangladeshi identified as Ahmed Faishal, and Kane Yaya, a 41-year-old man from Mali, were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of violating immigration laws. “We arrested two foreign national men today on suspicion of violation of the immigration law,” the spokesman said. “Both men overstayed in Japan without proper immigration documents.” Four foreigners in all — two from Bangladesh, one from India and another from Mali — were arrested, suspected of having had frequent contact with Lionel Dumont, 33, a Frenchman linked by the US to Al-Qaeda, Jiji Press and Kyodo News agencies said. Dumont belonged to Al-Qaeda’s logistics arm and police suspect he was engaged in raising funds, money laundering and forming a terrorist network while hiding here between July 2002 and September 2003, according to earlier reports. The arrest of several foreign nationals during raids at more than 10 locations, was aimed at “getting to the bottom of Dumont’s fundraising activities in Japan,” Jiji Press said, quoting police. The police spokesman declined to confirm that the arrest of the two men was related to Dumont.

6. US-DPRK War Remains Joint Recovery Project

The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA HANDS OVER REMAINS OF AS MANY AS 19 US TROOPS,” Seoul, 05/24/04) reported that the DPRK turned over 19 sets of remains to the US Army on Thursday, part of a project to find the thousands of US soldiers who went missing in the Korean War. The remains, in caskets draped with powder-blue United Nations flag, were loaded into black hearses after a ceremony outside the 8th US Army headquarters in Seoul that included a 21-gun salute and “Taps.” The remains were brought overland across the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone that has divided rival North and South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 conflict. They will be flown to Hawaii for identification. US and DPRK teams recovered the remains as part of a joint search project that began in 1996 and has so far recovered more than 180 remains thought to be of US soldiers. “Most important is that we will be taking missing Americans from the Korean War back to American soil so they are no longer lost in the hills in North Korea,” said Lt. Col. Jerry O’Hara, a spokesman for the US military’s Hawaii-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory.

7. ROK on DPRK Military Hackers

Agence France-Presse (“NKOREAN MILITARY HACKERS UNLEASH ‘CYBER-TERROR’ ON SKOREAN COMPUTERS,” 05/27/04) reported that the ROK’s top military intelligence official said the DPRK is operating an elite military unit specializing in hacking into ROK computer networks. Song Young-Keun, commanding general of the Defense Security Comand, said at a conference here that the DPRK was building up its “cyber-terror” capability on orders from its leader, Kim Jong-Il. “Following orders from Chairman Kim Jong-Il, North Korea has been operating a crack unit specializing in computer hacking and strengthening its cyber-terror ability,” he said in a keynote speech. The conference was organized by the Korea Information Security Agency of the Ministry of Information and Communication to discuss the protection of security related intelligence. He said the DPRK military hackers were breaking into the computer networks of ROK government agencies and research institutes to steal classified information. Yonhap news agency quoted DSC officials as saying that top graduates from Kim Il-Sung Military Academy, a military intelligence college, are handpicked and given intensive training in computer-related skills before being assigned to the hackers’ unit. Their tasks are to get into the computer networks run by ROK government agencies and research institutes and to attack computer systems when necessary, according to Defense Security Command officers.

8. ROK Response to US Army Statement on USFK

Chosun Ilbo (“GOV’T STRONGLY PROTESTS 8TH US ARMY COMMANDER’S STATEMENTS,” 05/27/04) reported that the government strongly protested on Thursday statements made by 8th US Army commander Lt. Gen. Charles Campbell during a Tuesday press conference. Campbell talked of being able to insert USFK anywhere in the world, having Korea-US allied forces engage in international humanitarian operations and conducting peacekeeping missions in Northeast Asia. The government issued its protests because Campbell’s statements, which dealt with topics of a sensitive nature to Korean security, were made without any prior discussions at all. It is known that the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and other national security related government bureaus went into emergency mode trying to understand the intentions behind the general’s statements. A core government official said Thursday, “Right after Gen. Campbell uttered those statements, a high-ranking Korean government official protested to USFK saying, ‘Gen. Campbell’s statement contain much basis for misunderstandings and are mistaken’… After making our protests, USFK explained, “[Campbell] just pointed to a hypothetical path of development.” The official said, “From our position, because of China, peacekeeping activities in Northeast Asia and USFK serving as a mobile Northeast Asian strike force are burdensome… We are now considering plans stipulating systemic provisions for the US to deliberate with out government prior to sending USFK anywhere.” Another government official said, “USFK exists for defense on the Korean Peninsula, and while the DPRK nuclear crisis isn’t being resolved, how can one talk of changes in the character of USFK?” He added, “Gen. Campbell might have to take responsibility for what he said.”

9. Taiwan-US Relations

Reuters (“TAIWAN VP SET FOR US VISIT, IGNORES CHINA PROTEST,” Taipei, 05/27/04) reported that Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu on Thursday shrugged off angry protests by the PRC over her planned transit stops in the US and thanked Washington for allowing the layovers. The PRC has denounced Lu’s plans to stop over in Las Vegas and San Francisco on the way to and from Central America as a move designed to split the PRC and hurt Sino-US relations. Lu, labeled by the PRC as the “scum of the nation” for her pro-independence stance, dismissed the PRC’s strong reaction. “Communist China always tries to mobilize its resources to block every trip of mine and to insult me personally. But that only helps put me in the international spotlight,” Lu said. “We do what we must do,” said the vice president, who is set to leave for El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala on Friday. The three are among the 26 countries that recognize Taiwan instead of the PRC.

10. Hong Kong Democratization

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA PRESSURED ME TO QUIT, HK TALKSHOW HOST TELLS LEGISLATORS,” 05/27/04) reported that an outspoken radio talkshow host told Hong Kong legislators he quit his show because PRC officials told him he would be in danger if he did not stop airing anti-Beijing comments. Allen Lee, also a veteran politician, said he refused to give in to the threats. “A lot of people, including mainland officials pressured me to keep quiet,” Lee told a specially convened legislative panel meeting. “I refused to soften my views … so I quit.” Lee resigned from his “Teacup in a Storm” radio show soon after two other high-profile talkshow hosts stepped down saying they had received threats of violence because of their anti-Beijing views. The resignations sparked fears in the largely-autonomous former British colony that the PRC had launched a crackdown on subversive media figures. Lee said a “retired PRC official” and other “people” including a friend had tried to persuade him to tone down his comments. “This mainland friend wanted to see me but I refused … because he wanted to speak to me about the matters about my show,” Lee said. “I felt that there was no need to talk about it because … there was nothing more to talk about.”

11. PRC Tiananmen Square Anniversary Harassment

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA STEPS UP HARASSMENT OF TIANANMEN DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS AHEAD OF JUNE 4,” 05/26/04) reported that the PRC has stepped up harassment of relatives of people who lost their lives in the 1989 crackdown on democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square in an apparent effort to control dissent ahead of the 15th anniversary, they said. “Police came to my house this morning,” Huang Jinping, whose husband was killed in the massacre, told AFP Wednesday. “They wanted to know what I planned to do on June 4. I told them I would go out for a walk and visit the cemetery as I do every year.” Huang, who was detained without charges for a week in March, said state security police have visited her regularly in recent weeks. Long-time activist Ding Zilin and her husband Jiang Peikun, whose son was killed during the crackdown, was also visited by state security police on Tuesday, the US-based International Federation of PRC Students and Scholars (IFCSS), said on its website.

II. Japan

1. Japan Military Emergency Bills

The Japan Times (Nao Shimoyachi, “WAR BILL SEEKS ‘VOLUNTARY’ COOPERATION DURING CRISIS,” 05/20/04) reported that a month of debate about Japan’s war-contingency package in the Lower House suggests the government may be trying to emphasize “voluntary” efforts by the people to protect themselves, instead of the state’s responsibility to defend them. The citizen protection bill obliges the central and local governments to take steps to evacuate and rescue citizens. The central government would issue public warnings, initiate evacuation and rescue plans, and protect nuclear plants and other key installations, especially those that handle highly dangerous substances. When the government drew up the bill, there were arguments over whether to establish a civil defense system in which, for example, trained civilians play a lead role in evacuating the public to safe locations and protecting basic “lifeline” infrastructure, like water supplies. The government hopes the voluntary civilian networks designed to cope with natural disasters can also be used if Japan comes under attack. While the citizen protection bill stopped short of legally binding people to prepare for a “foreign military attack,” some lawmakers, mainly in the ruling camp but also some from the opposition, openly advocate obliging the public to heed evacuation and rescue orders during emergencies. The Diet deliberations on the war-contingency legislation that kicked off April 13 in the Lower House coincided with the crisis in Iraq in which five Japanese civilians were taken hostage. “I think the hostage incident has changed the conventional assumption that people should only be asked to cooperate” with government policy, said Yosuke Ezaki, a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker on the special committee. “I think there are cases in which laws should go one step further and stipulate people’s obligations,” Ezaki said.

2. Japan Iraq Troops Dispatch

Kyodo (“GSDF TROOPS RETURN AFTER SAMAWAH TOUR OF DUTY,” Asahikawa, 05/18/04) reported that some 110 Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops returned to Japan on May 17 after serving three months in Samawah, southern Iraq. The troops, part of a first contingent of about 460 GSDF members sent in February to help rebuild Iraq, arrived at Asahikawa airport in Hokkaido aboard a chartered jet. Lt. Col. Osamu Fujiwara, 42, who served as deputy commander in Samawah and headed the troops, told reporters the troops felt their efforts were accepted by the people of Samawah. “I think we were able to give them hope” for the future, he added.

The Asahi Shimbun (Yasunori Kawakami, “LAND MINE FOUND NEAR SDF BASE,” Baghdad, 05/20/04) reported that an anti-tank land mine was found and removed from a road near the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) camp in Samawah, but Iraqi police did not inform the Japanese about the device, police sources said. The mine was discovered on May 18 about 500 meters west of the GSDF camp, sources said. An Iraqi anti-explosive team safely removed the mine in about 30 minutes as Dutch troops watched. A GSDF representative in Samawah told The Asahi Shimbun that although those in the area should be informed of such events, “no word had come.” The provincial police had ordered officials on the night not to tell media about the mine, fearing it would incite anxiety among the Japanese, sources said.

3. Japan Logistic Support for the US War in Afghanistan

Kyodo (“WAR ON TERROR DISPATCH,” Sasebo, 05/18/04) reported that two Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) ships left Sasebo for the Arabian Sea on May 17, tasked with supporting US-led antiterrorism operations in the region. The 7,250-ton destroyer Kongo, equipped with the Aegis advanced air-defense system, and the 4,550-ton destroyer Ariake will arrive in the Arabian Sea in two weeks. They will be involved in operations to refuel US and other foreign warships involved in operations in and around Afghanistan.

4. US Bases in Japan

The Japan Times (“U.S. FORCES MUST HAVE VALID PARKING,” 05/19/04) reported that Japan will urge the US to ensure that US military personnel and their family members in Japan comply with a domestic law requiring car owners to file a certificate verifying an exclusive parking space at the time of vehicle registration, government officials said. There are about 58,000 private vehicles that belong to US military personnel and their dependents at US bases nationwide, but only some 2,300 at Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture have the required parking certificates. In 1998, the then Transport Ministry issued a written notice to US military authorities in Japan asking them to comply with the law by June that year. But the notice has been virtually ignored, according to officials.

5. Japan Nuclear Energy Policy

The Japan Times (“AGENCY EYES BUILDING 10 NEW NUCLEAR REACTORS BY FISCAL 2030,” 05/18/04) reported that the Japan’s energy agency envisions a need to build about 10 nuclear reactors by fiscal 2030, according to a draft long-term outlook on energy supply and demand. The Natural Resources and Energy Agency presented the draft to the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, an advisory panel to the minister of economy, trade and industry. The panel is expected to finalize the report in June. Compared with the outlook report revised in 2001, the latest draft lowered the projection of the number of reactors that would start operations by fiscal 2010 to four, less than a half its initial target. The energy agency foresees difficulty in gaining consent from local residents for the construction of nuclear reactors and expects energy demand to taper off after peaking in fiscal 2021. Breaking down projected primary energy supply in Japan in fiscal 2030, the draft says petroleum will account for 42 percent, natural gas 18 percent and nuclear energy 15 percent.

6. DPJ New Leader

The Japan Times (Tetsushi Kajimoto, “OZAWA BACKS AWAY FROM BID FOR DPJ PRESIDENCY,” 05/18/04) reported that Ichiro Ozawa on May 17 retracted his earlier consent to become president of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), saying he failed to pay into the National Pension Program for six years before it became mandatory for lawmakers to join the system in 1986. His announcement sent shock waves among DPJ leaders, who had managed to win his consent to take over from departing party chief Naoto Kan. Ozawa’s announcement came just one day before he was to be formally elected chief of the DPJ in a joint assembly of the party’s members in both chambers of the Diet.

The Japan Times (Tetsushi Kajimoto, “OKADA TAKES DPJ HELM UNOPPOSED,” 05/19/04) reported that Katsuya Okada, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), was chosen uncontested on May 18 as the new chief of the opposition party. Okada, 50, said he has selected Hirohisa Fujii, a veteran lawmaker and a close aide to Ichiro Ozawa, as the new DPJ secretary general. Okada was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990 as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party after resigning from his elite post at the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry. He left the LDP in 1993, along with Ozawa and Tsutomu Hata, to establish the now-defunct Shinseito, paving the way for the establishment of the nation’s first non-LDP-led government since 1955. Joining the newly formed DPJ in April 1998, Okada has served as secretary general since December 2002, when Kan took office.

7. Japan-DPRK Abduction Cases

The Japan Times (Eric Johnston, “NEVER IN JAPAN, CAN KIN ‘RETURN’ HERE?” Osaka, 05/20/04) reported that many Japanese newspapers, magazines and TV stations were reporting that the offspring of five Japanese who were abducted to the DPRK in 1978 and repatriated in October 2002 will be “returning” to Japan if the DPRK lets them leave. But “returning” can hardly be the appropriate term for people born and raised in the DPRK, who carry the DPRK passports and who have never set foot in Japan. The Japanese media are using the term “kikoku suru,” which means to return to one’s country. But whatever the legal arguments for claiming the children are Japanese because their parents are Japanese, the term seems off the mark, said Lee Young Hwa of the Rescue the North Korean People Urgent Action Network (RENK). “North Korea is the only country these children know.” Kenichi Asano, a journalism professor at Doshisha University and a former reporter with Kyodo News, said editors and broadcasters should be telling people the offspring, if the DPRK allows them to leave, will be flown to Japan or are simply coming to Japan, not returning home. “By using kikoku suru, the media are just repeating the vocabulary used by the abductees’ families in Japan, their supporters and the Japanese government, without thinking about the actual situation of the children themselves,” he said.

8. Japan Al-Qaeda Network

The Japan Times (“AL-QAEDA OPERATIVE HID OUT IN NIIGATA,” 05/20/04) reported that a French national believed to be a senior member of al-Qaeda entered Japan on a fake passport in July 2002, traveled abroad frequently, and made the city of Niigata his hideout for more than a year while he was being hunted by Interpol, according to investigative sources. The latest revelation about Lionel Dumont — who was arrested in Germany in December — has come as a shock to authorities in Japan because his arrival here coincided with stepped-up immigration controls following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US. It is the first time that Japanese authorities have uncovered evidence of a network in Japan centered around a senior member of al-Qaeda. According to information earlier provided to Japan by US security authorities, an arrested senior al-Qaeda member has testified that there was a plan to launch a terrorist attack on Japan during the 2002 World Cup soccer but it was scrapped because al-Qaeda lacked a support network here.

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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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