NAPSNet Daily Report 30 March, 2004

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 30 March, 2004", NAPSNet Daily Report, March 30, 2004, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-30-march-2004/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK on Nuclear Freeze Compensation
2. ROK Presidential Impeachment Hearing
3. US-Japan Missile Defense
4. Cross-Straits Relations
5. ROK German Scholar Arrest
6. PRC on US Fingerprinting
7. PRC on Human Rights
8. PRC Middle Class
9. Japan Domestic Economy

I. United States

1. DPRK on Nuclear Freeze Compensation

Donga Ilbo (Yoo-Seong Hwang, “NORTH KOREA EXPRESSES INTEREST IN COMPENSATION FOR NUCLEAR FREEZE,” 03/30/04) reported that DPRK Minister of Foreign Affairs Ban Ki-moon, who is currently visiting the PRC, stated on March 30, “According to the PRC Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, North Korea has expressed intentions to accept the US’ demand for ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling (CVID)’ of its nuclear programs.” At a social gathering with Korean correspondents stationed in Beijing on that day, Minister Ban said, “During his stay in North Korea on March 23-25, Mr. Li held a discussion with Chairman of the National Defense Commission Kim Jong-il for an hour and a half, and held a lengthy conversation with DPRK leaders on issues of nuclear arms programs and the perspective of the community of nations.” He added, “North Korea especially expressed the usefulness of a six-party talk and participation in working group conferences, and emphasized ‘economic compensation and security guarantees’ in exchange of freezing its nuclear programs.” Minister Ban also stated, “It is difficult for us to accept the Geneva agreement standard as North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear programs during the 1994 Geneva agreement”, and added, “(Addressed to Mr. Li) we emphasized the fact that a plus alpha, which expresses intentions to abolish the essence of nuclear programs, is needed.” He continued, “In case North Korea agrees to freeze its nuclear programs and ultimately abolish its nuclear arms according to the CVID principle, the US has reconfirmed its position to provide security compensation. In addition, South Korea as well is making every effort concerning the compensation in exchange for the freeze.”

2. ROK Presidential Impeachment Hearing

Agence France-Presse (“CONSTITUTIONAL COURT POSTPONES IMPEACHMENT HEARING AS ROH FAILS TO APPEAR,” 03/30/04) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun has failed to appear in person at the Constitutional Court’s first hearing on his impeachment, forcing a postponement of the case. The nine justices of the court suspended the session after 15 minutes and said they would ask Roh to attend a new hearing on April 2. If Roh again fails to attend, the court is expected to proceed in his absence. Roh, 57, was suspended from office following an unprecedented impeachment motion passed by the opposition-controlled National Assembly on March 12. The Constitutional Court has up to 180 days to decide whether to endorse or reject the impeachment for alleged election law violations, corruption and incompetence. Roh refused to attend Tuesday’s hearing on the advice of his legal advisors who said his presence would offer an opportunity to opposition parties to attack him in the court. Roh, 13 months into a five-year term, will be banned from holding public office for five years if his impeachment is upheld by at least six of the nine judges.

3. US-Japan Missile Defense

Yomiui Shimbun (“SUCCESSFUL MISSILE DEFENSE REQUIRES CLOSE US SUPPORT,” 03/30/04) reported that in order to better intercept ballistic missiles, it is essential that the country’s new missile defense system, to be phased in starting in fiscal 2007, be operated not by Japan alone, but in tandem with the US. Missiles launched from the DPRK would take a mere 10 minutes to arrive at their targets in Japan. Even if a missile strike were to be detected during the early stages of launch procedures, successful interception of the missile would depend on an accurate analysis of its flight path. The strategy of sharing intelligence with the US came about from a statement made by Adm. Toru Ishikawa, chairman of the Joint Staff Council of the Self-Defense Forces. “If Japan and the US were to exchange information quickly enough, the system would be a success,” he said. As part of the defense system, an advanced early-warning radar system, known as FPS-XX, will be used to regularly monitor areas adjacent to Japan. In response to the sharing of information with US forces, the Cabinet Legislation Bureau said: “It’s necessary to share intelligence between our two countries to guarantee Japan’s security. Doing so does not constitute an attempt to gather intelligence for the purposes of supporting US military actions.”

4. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, “TAIWAN’S CHEN SEES CHINA TIES DEADLOCKED FOREVER,” Taipei, 03/30/04) reported that Taiwan’s ties with the PRC would forever be deadlocked if the PRC refused to recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty, President Chen Shui-bian said Tuesday, and he vowed to adopt a new constitution despite the risk of war. Just days after Chen narrowly won a second four-year term in an election that faces an opposition challenge, the PRC further isolated the island it claims as a rebel province by winning over one of Taiwan’s few diplomatic allies, Dominica. As a result of the Caribbean island’s switch, only 26 countries now recognize Taipei instead of Beijing. “If it is made a principle or a precondition, the two sides may forever be unable to really sit down and talk,” Chen said, according to a transcript of the interview issued by his office. Chen held out a chance for reconciliation, saying he wanted to put aside differences to improve relations, including establishing political ties, lifting a decades-old ban on direct air and shipping links and preventing military conflict. “For us, the ‘one China’ issue can be discussed, but definitely not now, maybe in the future,” said Chen.

5. ROK German Scholar Arrest

Agence France-Presse (“SKOREAN COURT JAILS GERMAN SCHOLAR FOR PYONGYANG LINKS,” 03/30/04) reported that an ROK court sentenced Song Doo-Yul, a German scholar of Korean origin, to seven years in prison here for maintaining unauthorized links with the DPRK’s Stalinist leadership. Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year jail term for Song, 60, charged under the ROK’s national security law for unauthorized visits to the DPRK and taking a senior position in the DPRK’s ruling politburo. “The court confirms the fact that the accused has acted as an alternate member of the politburo of the Korean Workers’ Party,” Seoul District Criminal Court said in a statement. It is necessary for the court to hand down a heavy sentence on the accused who recklessly spread the ideology of (late DPRK leader) Kim Il-Sung and his son (Kim Jong-Il) in the ROK, thus harming the cause of a peaceful unification of the South and the North.” Song’s legal team, which argued for acquittal, denounced the proceedings as a “political show trial” and said an appeal would be filed. “This is a shame on Korea, which is supposed to be a democratic society,” Song’s wife, Chung Jung-Hee, told a press conference. Song himself was “calm and proud” when he received the sentence, she added.

6. PRC on US Fingerprinting

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA RETALIATES AGAINST US FINGERPRINTING OF ITS CITIZENS,” 03/30/04) reported that the PRC said it would retaliate against a US decision to fingerprint PRC citizens applying for non-immigrant visas by imposing its own series of tightened rules for Americans visiting the PRC. US holders of diplomatic passports will have to apply for ordinary visas, and pay visa fees, when wishing to visit the PRC in a private capacity, the foreign ministry said on its website. Consular staff at PRC diplomatic representations in the US will also ask some US visa applicants to appear for personal interviews, the website said Tuesday. The ministry also announced an end to visa on arrival for US citizens, which has previously been provided at selected points of entry, such as the city of Shenzhen north of Hong Kong. The PRC move came after the US turned down a PRC request to review its fingerprinting policies and argued electronic fingerprinting was a global requirement for applicants of US visas.

7. PRC on Human Rights

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA TRUMPETS IMPROVEMENTS IN HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD,” 03/30/04) reported that in an apparent attempt to waylay a controversial anti-PRC resolution at the UN Human Rights Commission, the PRC has admitted to having a poor record but pledged to improve protection of human rights. Publication of a white paper on human rights came after PRC police jailed three women whose videotaped testimony on their efforts to seek justice for loved ones killed in the 1989 Tiananmen massacre was to be put before the commission. Ding Zilin, Zhang Xianling and Huang Jinping, whose teenage sons or husbands were shot during the bloody crushing of the democracy protests, were arrested Sunday after police found out their testimony would be brought before the commission, the New York-based group Human Rights in the PRC said. “Despite the fact that China has made great efforts to promote and safeguard human rights, there is still much room for improvement of the human rights conditions,” said the white paper issued by the State Council, PRC’s cabinet. “The PRC government … will continue to take active and effective measures to steadily improve China’s human rights conditions and earnestly raise the level of human rights.”

8. PRC Middle Class

Agence France-Presse (“NEARLY ONE FIFTH OF CHINA’S POPULATION IS MIDDLE CLASS,” 03/30/04) reported that nearly one fifth of the PRC’s population of 1.3 billion is classified as being middle class, according to state media. At the end of 2003, 19 percent of all PRC were characterized as middle class, up from 15 percent in 1999, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the PRC Academy of Social Sciences, the nation’s top think tank. “Prices on property and food are low in China,” said Andy Xie, PRC economist with Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong. “This is why so many people fit into the category in China.” The figure was based on the academy’s standard, which counts a person as a member of the middle classes if his family has assets of between 150,000 and 300,000 yuan (18,000 and 36,000 dollars), Xinhua said. With growing house and car ownership, in recent years a growing number of PRC city dwellers have moved into the middle class and now make up 49 percent of the country’s urban population, according to the think tank. Given the current pace of growth — where the proportion of rises by one percentage point each year – the PRC’s middle class population could make up close to 40 percent of the total in 2020, Xinhua said.

9. Japan Domestic Economy

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, “JAPAN’S JOBLESS RATE STAYS AT 5.0 PERCENT,” Tokyo, 03/29/04) reported that Japan’s unemployment rate stayed at 5 percent in February, the government said Tuesday, amid signs that a gradual recovery appears to be taking hold in the world’s second largest economy. Japan’s economy has marked a rebound over the last year largely atop exports fueled by an upturn in the US and the rest of Asia. The jobless rate fell to its lowest level in two years in December at 4.9 percent, down from 5.1 percent in November. It inched up to 5 percent in January. Japanese officials have said the labor market has yet to make a complete rebound because the recovery is still weak. But in recent months, private sector investments have risen mostly at exporters marking better profitability. Consumer spending in Japan, long the weak spot in the economy, also is showing a moderate recovery as people snatch up flat-panel TVs, DVD recorders and other digital gadgets.

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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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