NAPSNet Daily Report 28 August, 2002

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 28 August, 2002", NAPSNet Daily Report, August 28, 2002, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-28-august-2002/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. PRC Opposition to US Iraq Attack
2. PRC Presidential Succession
3. ROK Prime Minister Veto
4. Japan’s Position on US Iraq Strike
5. DPRK Arms Control
6. RF-DPRK Military Sales
7. DPRK-Japan Talks
8. US on PRC Missile Rules
9. Japan Anti-terror Support
II. Republic of Korea 1. North Korean Defectors in PRC
2. DPRK-Japan Relations
3. Inter Korean Relations
4. US Secretary in ROK
5. US Ambassador’s Comments
III. Japan 1. Japan Nationalist Textbook
2. Japan Domestic Politics
3. US Bases in Japan
4. Japan Military Emergency Legislation
5. Japan Satellite Plan
6. Japan Foreign Ministry Reform
7. Japanese Koreans
8. Japan rejects 30 asylum seekers

I. United States

1. PRC Opposition to US Iraq Attack

Reuters (Tamora Vidaillet, “CHINA OPPOSES FORCE IN IRAQ AND URGES UN SOLUTION,” Beijing, 08/28/02) reported that the PRC said on Wednesday it opposed the use of force against Iraq and repeated its call for a solution through the United Nations, as the US stepped up its war rhetoric. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan made the remarks, repeating a long-standing position, during a meeting with visiting Iraqi counterpart Naji Sabri. “Using force or threats of force is unhelpful in solving the Iraq issue and will increase regional instability and tensions,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Tang as saying. “The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq should also be respected,” Tang said. He also stressed the Iraq issue should be resolved by diplomatic means within the framework of the United Nations, including Iraqi compliance with Security Council resolutions, it said.

2. PRC Presidential Succession

Agence France-Presse (“JIANG’S THEORIES CELEBRATED AGAIN AHEAD OF CRUCIAL PARTY CONGRESS,” 08/28/02) reported that a new book of PRC President Jiang Zemin’s political thinking has been launched with much fanfare, in yet another effort to bolster his status ahead of a crucial Communist Party meeting in November. “Jiang Zemin Theory is Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” was published nationwide by the party’s Central Literary Research Center, the official People’s Daily trumpeted in a front page headline story Wednesday. The book explains Jiang’s “Three Represents” theory, which observers have said he is keen to see set into official party doctrine at the 16th Party Congress beginning on November 8. Jiang has long been expected to step down from power in a process beginning at the Congress, although there has been increasing speculation that he wants to hold on to some of the levers of power. The Three Represents has attracted some controversy, as it states the Communist Party stands for the interests of “advanced production forces” – assumed to be capitalist entrepreneurs – as well as advanced culture and the masses. In parallel, Jiang has proposed that these “production forces” be allowed to join the Communist Party.

3. ROK Prime Minister Veto

Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA’S PARLIAMENT VETOES PREMIER’S NOMINATION,” 08/28/02) reported that the ROK’s parliament has vetoed President Kim Dae-Jung’s second candidate for prime minister. It was the second time the 272-member national assembly rejected Kim’s nomination of prime minister in a month. Kim immediately accepted the resignation of the candidate, former newspaper chief Chang Dae-Hwan, and pledged to nominate another one. From the 266 votes cast Wednesday, 151 were against Chang and 112 for him. Three ballots were declared invalid. “I humbly accept the assembly’s decision,” Chang said. The vote followed a two-day hearing in which lawmakers raised doubts over Chang’s financial practices alleging speculative land deals and improper loans when he headed the Maeil Business Newspaper. The 50-year-old ex-publisher of the Maeil Business Newspaper denied doing anything illegal but admitted possible negligence in paying taxes on real estate that his parents had bought but registered under his name. Kim’s office expressed regret about the veto but said the vote would not sway the president’s will to carry out state affairs in a “stable and firm” manner.

4. Japan’s Position on US Iraq Strike

Reuters (“ARMITAGE LOOKS TO JAPAN FOR BACKING FOR STRIKE ON IRAQ,” 08/28/02) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has met Japanese officials here as part of Washington’s efforts to build support for a possible strike on Iraq as Japanese media expressed serious reservations. Armitage, who arrived Tuesday, met Vice Foreign Minister Yukio Takeuchi Wednesday to discuss medium and long-term diplomatic and security issues. Iraq and the DPRK were expected to be high on the agenda. Ashton Calvert, secretary of the Australian Foreign Affairs and Trade Department, was due to take part in the talks later in the day. Armitage called on Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its government coalition allies Tuesday to consider support for the United States if it moves ahead with military action against Iraq, according to Japanese lawmakers. Armitage told them the US had not yet made a decision on a possible attack. Japanese newspapers said some lawmakers in the ruling coalition doubted that Washington had “just cause” for attacking Iraq. Former premier Yasuhiro Nakasone was one of them, according to the best-selling Yomiuri Shimbun. “In case the United States attacks Iraq, you’d better tell them frankly when you think you need to put the brakes on,” Nakasone was quoted as telling Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi when they met on August 8. The Yomiuri warned in a commentary that it was “far-fetched” to justify an attack on Iraq as part of the post-September 11 war on terrorism and would strain relations with allies. “If the United States goes ahead with striking Iraq, it would be bound to cause a crack in the international community that has united against terrorism,” the article said.

5. DPRK Arms Control

The Associated Press (Yoo Jae-suk, “TOP U.S. ARMS NEGOTIATOR DISCUSSES NORTH KOREA,” Seoul, 08/28/02) reported that the top US arms-control negotiator on Wednesday discussed the DPRK’s missile program – and its suspected development of nuclear weapons – with the ROK officials. US Undersecretary of State John Bolton met with Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong and Yim Sung-joon, presidential secretary for foreign affairs and security. Bolton, who arrived Wednesday for a three-day visit, was also to meet Defense Minister Lee Jun. During his meeting with Choi, Bolton stressed the importance of resolving international concern over the DPRK’s suspected weapons of mass destruction, said Kim Moon-hwan, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official. He did not elaborate. “The best solution is to discuss the issue through early resumption of U.S.-North Korea dialogue,” Kim quoted Choi as saying. Bolton also emphasized the need for an early inspection of the DPRK’s nuclear facilities by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, Kim said.

6. RF-DPRK Military Sales

Reuters (“RUSSIA SELLS MILITARY SPARE PARTS TO NORTH KOREA,” 08/26/02) reported that Russia provides the DPRK with spare parts for its Soviet-built fighter jets and armor and has no intention of giving it any offensive weapons, the Russian defense minister said Monday. “We are supplying some equipment that cannot be called modern, let alone offensive, to North Korea,” Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on a trip to the Buryatia region of southern Siberia, according to the Interfax news agency. He said that Russia is supplying the DPRK with defense systems and spare parts for tanks and fighter planes, but didn’t elaborate. “We have certain plans for developing military-technical cooperation, but not everything depends on us here,” he said. “A lot also depends on the economic and financial capabilities of North Korea.”

7. DPRK-Japan Talks

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, “JAPAN, NORTH KOREA WRAP UP TALKS,” Pyongyang, 08/26/02) reported that Japan and the DPRK agreed to hold more negotiations over the next month but remained far apart on their long-standing differences Monday after their first high-level talks in two years. “I repeatedly told them we must put all our problems on the table without avoiding any of them,” said Hitoshi Tanaka, chief of Asian affairs at the Japanese Foreign Ministry. “This does not mean that specific problems were solved.” Both sides repeated their positions without compromise during the two-day talks in Pyongyang, which began Sunday, between Tanaka and his DPRK counterpart Ma Chol Su. The two nations agreed to hold more talks to feel out the possibility of full-fledged negotiations on establishing diplomatic relations for the first time since the DPRK was founded in 1948. They gave themselves a month to reach at least an initial agreement that would indicate whether some of the differences can be bridged, making a start of normalization talks possible, a joint statement from Ma and Tanaka said. If prospects appear hopeless after one month, there can be no normalization talks, Japanese officials said. “Much will depend on what happens over the next month,” Tanaka told reporters. “But we cannot continue to postpone the problems.”

8. US on PRC Missile Rules

The Associated Press (William Foreman, “U.S. WELCOMES CHINESE MISSILE RULES,” Beijing, 08/27/02) reported that a Senior US diplomat said Monday that the US welcomes the new PRC rules on missile exports but isn’t ready to respond by dropping its ban on launching US commercial satellites on PRC rockets. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage also said he assured PRC leaders that the US would consult with them as it works out its options toward removing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Armitage said US officials have yet to fully review and understand the Chinese regulations and how they will be enforced. He said that the US and the PRC agreed to hold meetings, which have yet to be scheduled, between officials from both sides who will discuss the rules. “I hope the talks that will be upcoming in the very near future will lead to the undoing of some of those (satellite) licenses that have been held up,” he said. In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said US officials want to see what steps the PRC will take on enforcement and “actual real reduction” in missile exports. “We’ve always felt we’ve had commitments from the Chinese … to implement an effective system control on missile exports,” Boucher said. “That continues to be our goal. “Unfortunately, we have not seen that carried out. We have seen activities by Chinese entities that don’t respect international standards, and we’ve looked for action by the Chinese government to stop and curb those activities.”

9. Japan Anti-terror Support

Reuters (“JAPAN MAY EXTEND NON-COMBAT SUPPORT TO U.S.-LED ANTI-TERRORISM CAMPAIGN,” Tokyo, 08/27/02) reported that Japan may extend its non-combat support mission to the US-led anti-terrorism campaign in Afghanistan past its November deadline, the country’s top defense official was quoted as saying Tuesday. Defense Agency Chief Gen Nakatani made the remarks during a meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage in Tokyo, but did not specify how long the mission could be extended, said agency spokesman Ichiro Imaizumi. The country began its six-month mission November 20 last year, when it sent a fleet of ships to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea to transport fuel and supplies to U.S. vessels, but in May decided to continue its involvement until November 19.

II. Republic of Korea

1. North Korean Defectors in PRC

Joongang Ilbo (Yoo Kwang-jong, “7 DEFECTORS SEIZED AT BEIJING FOREIGN MINISTRY,” Beijing, 08/27/02) reported that seven DPRK defectors were arrested Monday while trying to enter the PRC Foreign Ministry building. The group reportedly sought to submit applications for refugee status. It is the first time that the DPRK has officially asked the PRC government for refugee status. The group reportedly planned to distribute written statements and hold a demonstration after entering the ministry. On their refugee applications, they wrote that they had escaped DPRK to win freedom, and that they would be punished under criminal law if they were repatriated to DPRK. The incident was reportedly organized by a group of DPRK defectors in Beijing known as the Young DPRK Defectors League. The group arranged the demonstration to alert international society to the intensified Chinese police crackdown on defectors. PRC has made clear that all cases were treated individually, and stressed that its basic stance remains unchanged that DPRK defectors are economic escapees, thus ineligible under international law for refugee status unless they can prove political persecution in their homeland.

2. DPRK-Japan Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Dae-young, “JAPAN PROPOSES 6-WAY TALKS IN REGION,” Tokyo, 08/27/02) reported that DPRK and Japan on Monday ended their first diplomatic talks in two years with a promise to continue their dialogue within a month, but no substantial agreement on the key issues brought up. The two sides will consider the possibility of resuming talks on normalizing diplomatic ties and other pending issues, according to a joint statement released after the two-day negotiations. Other points in the statement stressed the importance of easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and set up a meeting to discuss atomic bomb survivors living in DPRK. In the discussions of senior foreign policy officials, Japan proposed a six-way dialogue involving the two Koreas, the US, Japan, PRC and Russia. The idea was suggested in 1998 by the then Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, but it had not previously been delivered to the DPRK government.

3. Inter Korean Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, “TALKS TO CENTER ON RAILROADS,” Seoul, 08/27/02) reported that the two Koreas will kick off their first economic talks in 20 months Tuesday evening in Seoul. The inter-Korean economic cooperation committee meeting is expected to draw up a timeline for construction of cross-border railroads and highways. “Restoring the Gyeongui Line, the East Coast Line and the highways will be discussed in the economic talks,” Cho Myoung-gyon, the director general in charge of inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation at the Unification Ministry, said Monday. ROK has said that if DPRK asks, it is willing to provide materials and equipment for the railroad construction. Cho added that the two Koreas are also expected to discuss when to begin the working-level meeting to jointly investigate the status of the Mount Kumgang Dam in DPRK. Satellite pictures earlier revealed cracks in the dam, stirring up safety concerns in ROK about flooding here if the dam collapses. One thing ROK has not openly placed on the agenda is rice aid to DPRK. The ROK government has said it would send 300,000 tons of surplus rice and fertilizers to DPRK depending on DPRK’s attitude in the economic talks and public sentiment in ROK.

4. US Secretary in ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Kyung-bok, “BUSH HAWK TO VISIT SEOUL,” Seoul, 08/27/02) reported that John R. Bolton, the US under secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the State Department will pay a three-day visit to Seoul from Wednesday to meet with Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade Choi Seong-hong, and National Defense Lee Jun, and President Kim Dae-jung’s advisor for foreign affairs and national security, Lim Seong-jun. Bolton will discuss current issues surrounding the Korean peninsula, including DPRK’s development of weapons of mass destruction, the nuclear situation, and the threat from conventional forces. Bolton is regarded as a hard-liner and sources say the US government has asked the State Department to request him to speak tactfully about DPRK for fear of upsetting warming ties. Bolton told reporters and officials in Japan, Monday, he had intelligence that DPRK has been exporting missile parts and technologies as well as producing and keeping nuclear and bio terrorism weapons, and long range ballistic missiles.

5. US Ambassador’s Comments

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Kyung-bok, “US AMBASSADOR NOTES NK TAKING RIGHT STEPS,” Seoul, 08/27/02) reported that US ambassador to ROK Thomas Hubbard said Monday, DPRK’s recent measures to improve economic management were long overdue and were the first steps to developing an economy based on markets. Ambassador Hubbard continued if DPRK takes suitable standpoints on weapons of mass destruction, missiles, human rights, and conventional forces, the US could help its economic reform. Concerning the death of Korean middle school students who were run over by US military armored vehicle last June, he said the fundamental part of SOFA (Status of Force Agreement) lies in the fact that the US holds jurisdiction over cases that happen while soldiers are on duty. Hubbard noted the accident was tragic but since it happened during duty, it was hard to accept requests that the US give up jurisdiction

III. Japan

1. Japan Nationalist Textbook

The Asahi Shimbun (“EHIME NUDGED NATIONALIST TEXTBOOKS,” 08/17/02) reported that the controversial history textbook that will be used in three new schools that will open in April in Ehime Prefecture was chosen over the recommendations of a panel of the prefecture’s own educators who preferred a different book. The textbook published by Fuso-sha for the nationalist Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform came in behind one published by Tokyo Shoseki Co. in recommendations of a 15-member panel of junior high school principals and heads of municipal boards of education. Yoshifumi Tawara, secretary-general of the Children and Textbooks Japan Network 21, criticized the board for overriding the panel’s choice. Prefectural officials said the panel’s recommendations were merely a reference, not a critical evaluation of the textbooks. The latest Ehime decision marks the first time the textbook has been chosen for use in the regular curriculum of a public school system. The prefecture and Tokyo public schools previously adopted the Fuso-sha text for disabled and deaf students.

2. Japan Domestic Politics

The Japan Times (“KAN ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY IN DPJ ELECTION,” 08/20/02) reported that Naoto Kan, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), announced his candidacy for the largest opposition party’s election next month. Kan said the DPJ’s incumbent chief, Yukio Hatoyama, is not the kind of politician who fights relentlessly to persuade people but rather exerts himself on the basis of ideals, and is not particularly strong in debates between party leaders. The election, in which Kan will be up against other party heavyweights including Hatoyama and possibly younger members, is set for September 23.

3. US Bases in Japan

Kyodo (“CARRIER EXITS SASEBO AFTER SHORT STOP,” Sasebo, 08/20/02) reported that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln left Sasebo port in Nagasaki Prefecture on August 19, bound for the Middle East. The 102,00-ton Nimitz-class carrier, with about 5,350 crew members, arrived in Sasebo on August 16 en route to operations in the Middle East, the US Navy said earlier, adding that the stopover is part of US operations worldwide and an effort to highlight the US presence in East Asia. During its stay in Sasebo, the carrier attracted visitors as well as protesters. About 2,000 people toured the ship when it was open to the public for two days, while about 2,000 protesters, including labor union members, held a sit-in on a main street in Sasebo. The 9,800-ton Aegis missile cruiser Shiloh, which is escorting the carrier, docked at Hakata port in Fukuoka. It also departed on August 19.

4. Japan Military Emergency Legislation

Kyodo (“LAWMAKERS VIEW EUROPEAN LAWS ON ATTACK RESPONSE,” Berlin, 08/21/02) reported that a multiparty delegation of Japanese Diet members began a three-nation European tour, starting in Germany, to study war-contingency rules in those countries. The group consists of five members of the House of Representatives committee on proposed legislation to define Japan’s response to foreign military attacks. They include the committee chairman, Tsutomu Kawara, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and former Defense Agency chief, and Eisei Ito, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). The other members are Fumio Kyuma, an LDP member and former Defense Agency chief, Kazuyoshi Kaneko, an LDP member, and Masao Akamatsu, a member of New Komeito. The group will hold talks with officials in Germany, Poland and Switzerland, officials of the parties said.

5. Japan Satellite Plan

The Japan Times (“JAPAN TO PUSH SATELLITE USE AT JOHANNESBURG MEETING,” 08/22/02) reported that during the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) will try to convince other countries to use more of its satellite data to monitor natural disasters, NASDA officials said last Wednesday. On September 2, NASDA representatives will give a presentation at the Japan Pavilion of the Johannesburg summit to global environment researchers and government delegates. NASDA particularly wants to share the data with other parts of Asia that do not have their own satellites, they said. NASDA is to launch the Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS) aboard an H-IIA rocket in September. The DRTS is designed to relay data to Japan from the International Space Station and other satellites orbiting below it.

6. Japan Foreign Ministry Reform

The Japan Times (“FOREIGN MINISTRY TO TIGHTEN BELT, RAISE STANDARDS,” 08/22/02) reported that the Japanese Foreign Ministry will raise the bar for career-track diplomats to become ambassadors and close down seven overseas missions as part of its reform package, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi announced Wednesday. Kawaguchi’s “action plan” for reform sets a new rule under which career-track diplomats who have not served as section heads at the ministry cannot become ambassadors. The plan incorporated 158 of the 166 recommendations made in July by Kawaguchi’s advisory panel. Among the points that were not included were a suggestion to make vice minister a final post and one to disclose how secret diplomatic funds were used after 20 years have passed. Vice foreign ministers have often been appointed as ambassadors to the US and other key countries after serving the usual two-year term. But Kawaguchi said the most suitable people should be ambassadors, with those who have held vice ministerial posts not being excluded. The plan did follow, however, the recommendation to set a target of appointing 20 percent of ambassadors from outside the ministry and another 20 percent from among diplomats not on the career-track.

7. Japanese Koreans

The Japan Times (“KOREAN LAWYERS FORM ASSOCIATION,” 08/28/02) reported that a group of Korean lawyers who are permanent residents of Japan has formed an association in Osaka to provide legal services mainly for Koreans in Japan. The association, the first of its kind in Japan, will provide legal advice on issues such as war compensation and rights in local politics. It is also considering issuing a newsletter and holding symposiums. There are an estimated 40 attorneys in Japan from North or South Korea. Thirty-four from nine prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka, Chiba, Kyoto and Fukuoka, have joined the association. Members hope that by gathering legal professionals from different fields, the association can respond to a broad range of issues and create a better society for both foreigners and Japanese people.

8. Japan rejects 30 asylum seekers

The Asahi Shimbun (“THE GOVERNMENT REJECTS 30 ASYLUM SEEKERS,” 08/28/02) reported that UNHCR investigated foreigners who were not recognized as refugees by the Japanese government. The UNHCR announced that there have been 30 foreigners who should have been treated as refugees since 1999, according to the Convention on Refugees. The Ministry of Justice objected to UNHCR whose condition of refugees is depended upon their own regulations.

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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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