NAPSNet Daily Report 28 October, 2002

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

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. APEC on DPRK Weapons Program
2. DPRK on Nuclear Weapons
3. Japan-DPRK Relations
4. RF on DPRK Nuclear Weapons
5. Powell on ‘Global Unity’ on DPRK Nuclear Issue
6. DPRK Nuclear Speculation
7. PRC Domestic Politics
8. DPRK US Soldier Remains
9. PRC Yasukuni Shrine Warning
10. Cross-Straits Relations
11. DPRK Food Production
12. Japanese Abduction Issue
II. Republic of Korea 1. APEC Statement on DPRK
2. Nuclear Bombs in DPRK
3. Inter-Korean Economic Exchange

I. United States

1. APEC on DPRK Weapons Program

Reuters (“JAPAN, U.S. AND SOUTH KOREA PRESSURE NORTH ON NUCLEAR ARMS,” Los Cabos, 10/28/02) and the Wall Street Journal (Jeanne Cummings and Christopher Cooper, “APEC CALLS FOR NORTH KOREA TO HALT WEAPONS PROGRAM,” Los Cabos, 10/28/02) reported that at US urging, the 21 nation members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation called on the DPRK to abandon its nuclear-weapons program, but the statement fell short of the sort of “condemnation” Bush administration officials said they were seeking. Despite two days of talks, the US and its Asian allies appeared to make little ground on opening a discussion about what, if any, sanctions should be imposed if the DPRK doesn’t abandon its program. As a result, President Bush left the APEC sessions Sunday no closer to achieving a clear framework for confronting the DPRK’s surprising admission it is trying to build a nuclear weapon than when he arrived here Friday. After a trilateral meeting on Saturday, President Bush, ROK President Kim Dae Jung and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi issued a statement calling on the DPRK to “dismantle this program in prompt and verifiable manner,” and it said the DPRK’s “relations with the international community” hang in the balance. PRC President Jiang Zemin issued a similar joint statement with President Bush on Friday after their meeting at the president’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. [This Wall Street Journal Article appeared in in today’s edition of the US Department of the Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

2. DPRK on Nuclear Weapons

The Associated Press (“NUKES DEFENDED AS CHECK TO ‘U.S. IMPERIALISTS,'” Seoul, 10/28/02) reported that the DPRK,under fire from the US, Japan and the ROK for breaking its promise to give up nuclear weapons, said yesterday that it needed its weapons to fight the “US imperialists.” The statement from the DPRK came one day after US, Japanese and ROK leaders demanded the DPRK stop trying to make fuel for atom bombs. It was not clear whether the statement in the DPRK’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper was a response to leaders from the three nations, who met during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Mexico. Another DPRK paper said yesterday that the DPRK government was willing to talk with the US to allay fears about the nuclear weapons program, but only under certain conditions. The statement said, “U.S. imperialism looks down upon those countries weak in military power, forces them to accept its brigandish demands and makes them a target of its military intervention and aggression. As a stick is the best to beat a wolf, so are arms to fight with the imperialists,” said the paper. It is essential to readily cope with the moves of the reactionaries all the time.” [This Associated Press article appeared in in today’s edition of the US Department of the Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

Korean Central News Agency (“BEST SETTLEMENT OF NUCLEAR ISSUE,” Pyongyang, 10/28/02) reported that the best way of solving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula under the present situation is to hold negotiations in the wake of removal of threat to the DPRK. This is an expression of the DPRK’s greatest magnanimity based on its principled and consistent stand, says Minju Joson in a signed commentary today. It goes on: The proposed conclusion of the non-aggression treaty between the DPRK and the US serves as the reasonable and realistic step to bridge over the grave situation prevailing in the Korean Peninsula. The US unilateral and high-handed attitude toward the DPRK over the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula makes it more difficult to settle the issue. Our criterion of the settlement of all the issues is the preservation of our sovereignty and right to existence. There may be negotiations and use of deterrent forces to this end. We are prepared for all of them. If the US truly wants the settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, it should adopt practical measures to do away with threat to the DPRK, including the conclusion of the non-aggression treaty between the DPRK and the US If the US gives legal assurances of non-aggression including the nonuse of nukes against the DPRK through the non-aggression treaty, the DPRK will be ready to clear the U.S. of its security concerns. The US is well advised to have a good understanding of the DPRK’s stand over the nuclear issue and make a proper choice. The ball is in the US court.

Korean Central News Agency (“HALT TO HOSTILE POLICY TOWARD DPRK URGED,” Pyongyang, 10/27/02) reported that a seminar under the title “Doing Away With Obstacles To Peaceful Reunification Of Korea” was held at a university in California, U.S., on Oct. 11 and 12. Present were a US Congressman, ex-professor Ri Yong Hui at Hanyang University in the ROK, teachers and students of the university. Present on invitation were officials of the DPRK permanent mission to the UN. Speeches were made by the congressman and other figures of the US and South Korea. Noting that the US hostile policy toward the DPRK is the chief obstacle to Korea’s reunification at a time when the publication of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration has brought about the good prospects for Korea’s reunification, they called for the rectification of the policy. They said that the anti-US spirit has grown stronger as the days go by in the ROK, and urged the Bush administration to make an apology for GI excesses. Referring to the DPRK-U.S. relations, they stressed that the Bush administration’s present hostile policy toward the DPRK should be brought to an end.

3. Japan-DPRK Relations

Reuters (Linda Seig, “JAPAN: NO NORTH KOREA TIES IF NUKES BEING DEVELOPED,” Tokyo, 10/28/02) reported that Japan’s foreign minister said on Monday that Japan would not normalize ties with the DPRK or give it economic aid unless the DPRK scrapped its nuclear weapons program. But Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi added that Japan — which is eager for progress on the emotional issue of Japanese citizens abducted by DPRK — would do its best to keep DPRK engaged in dialogue. “We are asking them to dismantle the program promptly and also in a verifiable manner,” Kawaguchi said in an interview. “Unless they do it quickly, we are saying that our talks will not move forward,” she stated. Japan has not, however, set a specific deadline for Pyongyang to respond to the demand to abandon its nuclear arms program, Kawaguchi said. She also acknowledged that talking tough with the DPRK carried risks, including the possibility of endangering discussions on the fate of five surviving abductees now visiting Japan and of their families back in DPRK. “Of course, there is concern on the part of many people that, depending on the way that the negotiations go, we may have to incur some risk,” said Kawaguchi.

4. RF on DPRK Nuclear Weapons

The Associated Press (“REPORT: MOSCOW UNCONVINCED NORTH KOREA IS PURSUING A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM,” Moscow, 10/28/02) reported that Russia remains unconvinced that the DPRK is secretly pursuing a program to build nuclear weapons, a senior Russian official said Monday, according to ITAR-Tass news agency. “We have not received any documented evidence about the existence of such a program either from the North Korean or the American sides,” Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov was quoted as saying. US Undersecretary of State John Bolton came to Russia last week to present Russian officials with evidence of the alleged uranium enrichment program. On Friday, DPRK Ambassador Pak Gil Yon told the United Nations that the DPRK “was entitled to possess not only nuclear weapons but any type of weapon more powerful than that so as to defend its sovereignty and right to existence.” Pak refused to elaborate and wouldn’t answer any questions on the nature of the DPRK’s nuclear program. “To our mind, this wording does not mean the existence of the program,” Losyukov said, referring to Pak’s statement. He added that the US also had not confirmed its allegations “with documented evidence.” “Therefore there is uncertainty in this question,” Losyukov said. “The existence or nonexistence of a nuclear program in North Korea remains unclear.” Russia reaffirmed, however, its support of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, which is “in the interests of all members of the region,” Losyukov said.

5. Powell on ‘Global Unity’ on DPRK Nuclear Issue

The US State Department Information Services carried a transcript of US Secretary of State Colin Powell on the DPRK Nuclear Issue which read: Secretary of State Colin Powell says he believes there is global agreement on the need to exert pressure on the DPRK for violating its 1994 Agreed Framework with the US, under which the DPRK government agreed to forego nuclear weapons development. “The entire international community, I think, is unified in applying pressure on North Korea to dismantle this program,” Powell told reporters October 26. The US has engaged its allies — both within the Asia-Pacific region and around the world — on the kinds of pressure that might be applied on the DPRK but no decision has been reached, he said. “I think it’s early for that,” he added. At the same time, Powell said the US and its allies are determined to find a timely solution to the problem. “There is one thing that is absolutely clear,” he said of the DPRK. “They violated agreements they had entered into. And so that violation has to be dealt with.”

The full transcript can be found here: http://usinfo.state.gov/admin/022/powell1026.html

6. DPRK Nuclear Speculation

The London Sunday Times (Michael Sheridan, “KOREANS MAY HAVE FIVE NUCLEAR MISSILES,” Seoul, 10/27/02) reported that the US has been warned by the PRC that the DPRK may have between three and five working nuclear weapons, twice the CIA’s estimate. Diplomatic sources say the PRC based their figure on intelligence reports and told US officials last week that a confrontation with the DPRK would spell disaster. The PRC appear to have concluded that the DPRK obtained enough uranium from a second clandestine program to make several more devices. Evidence has emerged to suggest the CIA is coming round to this theory. Experts believe the DPRK has succeeded in miniaturizing their weapons to make warheads for their ballistic missiles. The latest generation of DPRK missiles is capable of hitting anywhere in Japan. Although the missiles could also reach Alaska, the chief worry for US planners is that 37,000 troops in the ROK and bases in Japan could be prime targets. [This London Sunday Times Article appeared in in today’s edition of the US Department of the Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

7. PRC Domestic Politics

The Wall Street Journal (Susan V. Lawrence and Charles Hutzler, “JIANG ALLIES NAMED TO TOP POSTS; CHINA LEADER MAY RETAIN POWER,” Beijing, 10/28/02) carried an analytical article that stated that PRC President Jiang Zemin intends to stay on as the PRC’s leader in all but name, judging by a flurry of appointments installing his close allies in important positions. ORC officials say the party’s most-senior decision-making body, the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee, met to hammer out an agreement on high-level personnel arrangements before Jiang left October 22 for a trip to the US and Mexico. With nearly two weeks to go before the Nov. 8 opening of the party congress, more bargaining is possible, even likely, after Jiang’s return to China following his North American visit. With the personnel announcements of the past week, Hu’s predicament is becoming clear. Positions that have gone in recent days to men associated with Jiang include the heads of party personnel and propaganda, and the party chiefs of Shanghai and Beijing. The last two come with automatic seats on the party’s second-most senior decision-making body, the 23-member Politburo. These appointments suggest Jiang’s allies will oversee much of the day-to-day business that enforces party rule — political appointments, policy proposals, memos and directions to the influential state media. [This Wall Street Journal article appeared in in today’s edition of the US Department of the Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

8. DPRK US Soldier Remains

The Chicago Tribune, “WARTIME REMAINS FOUND IN NORTH SAID TO BE 11 U.S. SOLDIERS,” Seoul, 10/27/02) reported that eleven sets of remains believed to be from US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War have been recovered in the DPRK and will be repatriated this week, the US military said. The remains will be flown Tuesday from Pyongyang to a US base in Japan, the US military command in Seoul said late Saturday in a news release. Joint US and Korean teams recovered the remains near the Chosin Reservoir and nearby Unsan county, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. The US and DPRK agreed in June to hold three excavation operations this year. The coming repatriation marks the last of this year’s operations. [This Chicago Tribune article appeared in in today’s edition of the US Department of the Defense’s Early Bird news summary.]

9. PRC Yasukuni Shrine Warning

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA WARNS JAPANESE LEADER NEVER TO VISIT WAR SHRINE AGAIN,” 10/28/02) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin warned Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi never again to visit a shrine in Tokyo that honors fallen soldiers including convicted World War II criminals. Jiang said he would back Japanese efforts to resolve a nuclear weapons crisis in DPRK through dialogue, but he warned that the PRC population as a whole was disturbed by the homage paid to the Yasukuni shrine. On what could be his last appearance on the world stage, Jiang rammed home the point three times during the meeting, forcing the two leaders to extend their scheduled 20-minute meeting by half an hour, said a Japanese official who was present. The war shrine had not been on the Japanese agenda, officials said.

10. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (“TAIWAN ENVOY INVITES CHINA’S JIANG ZEMIN TO VISIT,” Los Cabos, 10/28/02) reported that Taiwan’s delegate to an annual summit of Pacific Rim economies said on Sunday he got the cold shoulder from PRC President Jiang Zemin when he informally invited him to visit the island. “I invited him to visit,” Nobel Prize-winning chemist Lee Yuan-tseh, president of the Academia Sinica that is Taiwan’s top academic institution, said after the close of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting of leaders. “He said that he couldn’t because of the ‘one China’ principle’,” he said. Lee spoke to Jiang Zemin in a rare brief encounter when they crossed paths during the meeting of leaders from the 21 APEC economies on Saturday and Sunday, and said he had passed on best wishes and the invitation on behalf of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian.

11. DPRK Food Production

Reuters (“NORTH KOREAN FOOD OUTPUT RISES BUT SITUATION STILL DIRE,” Rome, 10/29/02) reported that the DPRK raised its cereal production this year but is still desperate for food aid, the United Nations said on Monday. “In spite of an increased harvest, a significant number of families in North Korea are still unable to meet their food needs,” two U.N. food agencies said in a special report. “The country will again have to depend on substantial external food assistance,” the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Food Programme said. Separately on Monday, the WFP — the world’s largest food aid agency — said it was struggling to feed 6.5 million people in the DPRK as funding shortages had forced it to suspend some emergency relief operations there. A joint FAO-WFP mission, which visited North Korea from September 24 to October 5, forecast 2002/03 cereal production at 3.84 million ton, the best harvest since 1995/96 and up 4.9 percent from last year. Favourable rains during July and August benefited the main crops in 2002, and international aid agencies provided farmers with fertilizers and pesticides, FAO and WFP said. The mission estimated the cereal deficit in 2002/03 (November/October) at 1.084 million tons and said the DPRK could only fill a fraction of the gap with commercial imports.

12. Japanese Abduction Issue

Reuters (“JAPAN ASKS NORTH KOREA FOR KIDNAP COMPENSATION,” Tokyo, 10/27/02) reported that Japan is likely to ask the DPRK for compensation this week for the abduction of Japanese citizens and the activities of DPRK spy ships, a major Japanese newspaper reported on Sunday. Japan has already said its will press the DPRK to abandon its nuclear program in normalization talks that resume on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur, or face the possibility of not receiving economic aid. No further details were given, and officials were not immediately available for comment.

II. Republic of Korea

1. APEC Statement on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Chong-hyuk, “3 LEADERS BID NORTH DISMENTLE PROGRAM,” Los Cabos, 10/28/02) reported that leaders of ROK, US and Japan pledged to work together for a “peaceful Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.” Meeting on the sidelines of the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering here, ROK president Kim Dae-jung, US President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called upon DPRK to dismantle its nuclear program in “a prompt and verifiable manner.” The joint statement issued Saturday by the three countries echoed the agreement between President Bush and PRC President Jiang Zemin reached in Texas on Friday. PRC, long the major ally of DPRK, supports “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and wants peace and stability there,” DPRK’s Foreign Ministry asserted Friday that US had made a “declaration of war” by describing it as part of an “axis of evil” and by targeting DPRK for a nuclear attack. The DPRK’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Pak Gil-yon, repeated in a press conference Saturday that DPRK is ready to seek a negotiated settlement of the issue provided that US recognized its sovereignty and assured nonaggression.

2. Nuclear Bombs in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, “NORTH STORE PUT AT 3-5 BOMBS,” Seoul, 10/28/02) reported that RPC has warned US that DPRK may possess between three and five working nuclear weapons, twice the estimate of the US intelligence community, a British newspaper reported Sunday. Quoting unnamed diplomatic sources, the Sunday Times reported that the figure was based on Chinese intelligence reports. The information was passed to US officials last week with a warning that “a confrontation with DPRK’s erratic dictator, Kim Jong-il, would spell disaster,” the newspaper said. The Central Intelligence Agency of US has long suggested that DPRK had obtained enough plutonium to build one or two weapons before the 1994 Geneva Agreed Framework froze DPRK’s program. According to the daily, PRC appeared to have concluded that DPRK acquired enough uranium from a new program to make several more devices.

3. Inter-Korean Economic Exchange

Chosun Ilbo (“NK ECONOMIC DELEGATION ARRIVES IN SEOUL,” Seoul, 10/28/02) reported that State Planning Committee Chairman Park Nam Ki, head of a North Korean economic delegation visiting the country, proposed holding a ground breaking ceremony for the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) in early December, Sunday. In a welcoming banquet held in the Shilla Hotel, Seoul and hosted by Prime Minister Kim Suk-soo, Park called for the promotion of inter-Korean exchanges and investment. The visit is part of a broad agreement reached with ROK, to spur cross-border economic cooperation. The North Korean delegates are scheduled to tour semiconductor, auto, chemical and steel factories among others during their stay. Park said when the basic law for the KIC is announced legal requirements will be met, adding that he expects the economic exchange and investment by ROK to be brisk. In response, Prime Minister Kim said he understood the past ministerial-level meeting saw progress in discussions on the industrial complexion.

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Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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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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