NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, June 07, 2005", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 07, 2005,

NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I. United States

Preceding NAPSNet Report

I. United States

1. DPRK on Return to Nuclear Talks

The Washington Post (“N.KOREA SAYS IT IS COMMITTED TO TALKS”, 2005-06-06) reported that the DPRK told US officials in a meeting in New York Monday that it is committed to returning to stalled negotiations on its nuclear ambitions but declined to set a date for new talks. The meeting, three weeks after the Bush administration used the same venue to urge the DPRK to renew the talks, was set at the DPRK’s request, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. A US official familiar with the one-hour meeting and two Asian officials briefed by the Americans said the DPRK message was neither negative nor positive. One Asian official said the session may have been timed to lessen any sense of crisis before President Bush meets later this week with ROK President Roh Moo Hyun.

(return to top) Yonhap News (“N.KOREA DEMANDS NUKE DISARMAMENT TALKS WITH U.S.”, 2005-06-07) reported that the DPRK asked the US Tuesday to withdraw its nuclear weapons from the ROK and demanded that six-nation talks on its nuclear program be switched to nuclear disarmament talks. “The six-way talks should be changed into disarmament talks, in which participants resolve issues in equal positions and equal footing as our country has become a nuclear power,” reported the KCNA. (return to top)

2. Japan on DPRK Return to Six-Party Talks

Associated Press (“REPORT: JAPAN BELIEVES NORTH KOREA WANTS TO RETURN TO NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2005-06-06) reported that Japan’s prime minister Junichiro Koizumi said the DPRK appears ready to return to talks. “I believe that North Korea really does want to somehow hold six-party talks and resolve the matter,” he said. The DPRK “was moving” closer toward returning to nuclear negotiations.

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3. DPRK-US Talks

Kyodo News (“N.KOREA GIVES NO DEFINITIVE RESPONSE ON EARLY RETURN TO 6-PARTY TALKS”, 2005-06-06) reported that the DPRK did not give a definitive response to a US request for Pyongyang to promptly return to the six-party talks on its nuclear ambitions during a bilateral contact in New York on Monday. But the two nations agreed to maintain their contact, with the DPRK side calling for an explanation of the US position seeking to resolve the nuclear issue through the six-party talks while recently mentioning economic sanctions by the US Security Council.

(return to top) Yonhap News (“THIS WEEK’S U.S.-N.KOREA CONTACT FALLS SHORT OF REACHING AGREEMENT”, 2005-06-07) reported that an ROK Foreign Ministry official said the second face-to-face meeting this week between the US and the DPRK in less than a month was useful and appeared to have eased to some extent security and other concerns the DPRK may have about US intentions. However, they did not make enough progress to discuss a date for resuming stalled six-nation talks. (return to top)

4. Japan on US-DPRK Talks

Kyodo News (“JAPAN SEES U.S.-N.KOREA CONTACT AS STEP FORWARD FOR 6-WAY TALKS”, 2005-06-06) reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda on Tuesday welcomed Monday’s meeting between US and DPRK officials as “a step forward” for the resumption of six-nation talks on the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions.

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5. DPRK on Talks With PRC, US

Reuters (“NORTH KOREA SAID READY FOR THREE-WAY NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2005-06-07) reported that the DPRK appears ready to resume three-way talks with the PRC and the US, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday. The official said a senior PRC official would visit Washington this week to discuss the issue. Washington still wants to include Japan and the ROK but has not ruled out the possibility of more three-way talks, the official said.

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6. US on UN DPRK Sanctions

Associated Press (“UNITED STATES FLEXIBLE ON POSSIBILITY OF TURNING NORTH KOREA ARMS ISSUE OVER TO UNITED NATIONS”, 2005-06-06) reported that the US says it has no deadline for deciding whether to bring the issue of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program to the UN for possible sanctions, a move Pyongyang has said it would consider a declaration of war. US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Rice worked to minimize the impact of statements by a senior defense official who said earlier that a decision on taking the DPRK to the UN could come within weeks. “There have been no decisions with respect to that at all,” Rumsfeld told reporters.

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7. ROK Military on Effects of Attack on Yongbyon

Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL SIMULATED BOMBING OF N.KOREAN NUCLEAR PLANT “, 2005-06-06) reported that simulations secretly commissioned by the ROK military suggest bombing of the DPRK’s nuclear facilities could in the worst case make the whole of Korea uninhabitable for a decade, it has been revealed. The simulation revealed that destruction of the Yongbyon nuclear plant could cause enormous destruction, with nuclear fallout as far away as the PRC and Japan. US research institutes have conducted similar simulations, but this is the first time it has been confirmed that the ROK military authorities commissioned them.

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8. ROK on DPRK Food Shortage

Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA’S POINT MAN ON PYONGYANG SAYS SEOUL SHOULD HELP EASE FOOD SHORTAGE IN THE NORTH”, 2005-06-07) reported that ROK Unification Minister Chung Dong-young says Seoul should help ease food shortage in the DPRK. “On a humanitarian basis, the food problem is the least we should help to solve, and we can solve this,” he told lawmakers. “North Korea’s children are the No. 1 victims of the food crisis.”

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9. DPRK Crackdown on Telecommunications

JoongAng Ilbo (“NORTH IS SAID TO CUT BACK PHONE USE”, 2005-06-08) reported that the DPRK is aggressively asserting greater control over domestic and international communications, apparently out of fear the US could launch a preemptive military strike on the country. Two sources with close connections to the DPRK have suggested Pyongyang blocked 90 percent of its international phone lines since April, to hinder leaks of information to the outside world. In another measure, the sources said Pyongyang has also impounded 20,000 cell phones since May of last year after DPRK authorities came to believe cell phone calls leaked news of a massive explosion at the rail station in the town of Ryongchon.

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10. Korean Unification Cost

Chosun Ilbo (“KOREAN UNIFICATION COULD COST MUCH MORE THAN GERMANY’S”, 2005-06-06) reported that the Rand Corporation, an independent economic research institute, estimates that the unification cost for the two Koreas could total anywhere from US$50 billion to US$670 billion. The report, titled “North Korean Paradoxes: Circumstances, Costs, and Consequences of Korean Unification,” was commissioned by the US Office of the Secretary of Defense and comes at a time when the ROK and the US are discussing a contingency plan for sudden changes in the DPRK, including collapse of the regime.

(return to top) Yonhap News (“REUNIFICATION COSTS TO REACH US$670 BILLION: REPORT”, 2005-06-06) reported that the unification of the Korean Peninsula by absorption of a collapsed DPRK would cost the ROK up to US$670 billion. “The total cost of reunification would be dependent on how unification would occur, including for example, the costs of meeting humanitarian demands, stabilization requirements, the needs of human capital reeducation, training and replacement and the demands of social integration,” the RAND Corp. said in a monograph prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. (return to top)

11. Inter-Korean Summit Anniversary

Yonhap News (“TWO KOREAS REACH VERBAL ACCORD ON SUMMIT ANNIVERSARY”, 2005-06-07) reported that the Koreas reached a verbal agreement to send some 300 ROK civilians to Pyongyang for joint anniversary celebrations of the historic inter-Korean summit held five years ago, an organizer for the event said Tuesday. The accord, is likely to clear the way for the ROK government to send an official delegation to the summit anniversary events, scheduled for June 14-17 in Pyongyang. “The outcome is not satisfactory, but we made many efforts with the belief that inter-Korean relations cannot be allowed to be suspended, and we reached a certain compromise,” Paik Nak-chung, who headed a nine-member South Korean delegation to the talks, told reporters.

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12. ROK Aid Officials, Civic Leaders Visit DPRK

Yonhap News (“S.KOREAN AID OFFICIALS LEAVE FOR N.KOREA”, 2005-06-07) reported that a delegation of 148 ROK aid officials and civic leaders left for the DPRK on Tuesday aboard an ROK chartered airplane, representing the largest party to venture there since inter-Korean relations soured last July. The delegation is scheduled to attend a ceremony marking the completion of a medicine-producing factory in the DPRK capital of Pyongyang as part of their four-day trip.

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13. Hyundai Asan on Kumgang Tours

Yonhap News (“S.KOREAN VISITORS TO MT. GEUMGANG SURPASSES 1-MILLION MARK”, 2005-06-07) reported that Hyundai Asan Corp., the operator of ROK tours to Mount Kumgang in the DPRK, has sent more than 1 million ROK tourists on the tours as of Tuesday, the company said. “We are sending 1,369 tourists to the North today, surpassing the 1 million mark since the opening of business in 1998,” the company said. The mountain enclave is the only place inside the DPRK that ordinary ROK tourists are allowed to visit.

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14. DPRK Abductee Issue

Chosun Ilbo (“LAW TO GIVE REDRESS TO KIDNAP VICTIMS’ FAMILIES”, 2005-06-06) reported that the ROK government is once again turning the spotlight on abductions of RO Koreans by the DPRK during the 1960s and 1970s, with a bid to classify as human rights abuses the surveillance and blacklisting of victims’ families. The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs said Monday it teamed up with the Unification Ministry to enact a special law to that effect. The law would offer redress for those who suffered abuse ranging from blacklisting to torture at the hands of the ROK governments after a member of their family was kidnapped by the DPRK.

(return to top) Joongang Ilbo (“CAPTIVE IN NORTH IS VIETNAM VET, NEPHEW SAYS”, 2005-06-06) reported that family members of Shin Hyeon-saeng, a 65-year-old South Korean who may be a captive in the DPRK, say he is a Vietnam War veteran who served two tours of duty before being sent to the DPRK on an espionage mission in 1969. “My uncle went to the Vietnam War two times,” Mr. Shin’s nephew, Shin Bok-cheol, told the JoongAng Ilbo. “After he came back from his first tour, he went there again, saying he’d earn money. It seems that he was sent to the DPRK after he came back from Vietnam to complete his mandatory military service.” (return to top)

15. Russian-DPRK Anti-Crime Cooperation

Agence France Presse (“RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA TEAM UP AGAINST DRUGS TRADE, ORGANIZED CRIME”, 2005-06-07) reported that interior ministers from Russia and the DPRK signed an agreement on joint action against cross-border organized crime and drug trafficking, Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said. “The accord provides more efficient regulation of our cooperation in law enforcement,” Nurgaliyev was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying after meeting his counterpart from the DPRK, Ju Sang-song. Nurgaliyev said the agreement focused on training of law enforcement cadres which he described as a priority for both countries.

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16. ROK on ROK-US Summit

Yonhap News (“ROH, BUSH TO RECONFIRM PLEDGE TO RESOLVE N.K. NUKE ISSUE PEACEFULLY: ROH’S AIDE”, 2005-06-07) reported that the ROK and the US will reconfirm their pledge to resolve the DPRK nuclear issue peacefully via six-party talks at an upcoming summit meeting in Washington on Friday, an aide to President Roh Moo-hyun said Tuesday. “The summit meeting will be the venue to reconfirm the two sides’ common goal,” the aide said, requesting anonymity.

(return to top) Yonhap News (“S.KOREAN-U.S. SUMMIT, CRUCIAL POINT IN N.KOREAN NUCLEAR ISSUE”, 2005-06-06) reported that President Roh Moo-hyun said Monday that he will “do his best” to seek a peaceful solution to the DPRK nuclear dispute, when he meets his US counterpart George W. Bush later this week. (return to top)

17. ROK on Yasukuni Shrine Issue

Choson Ilbo (“SEOUL URGES KOIZUMI’S POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD YASUKUNI ISSUE”, 2005-06-07) reported that Japan’s relations with its neighbors have been fraying due to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s repeated remarks that he plans to continue his visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine honoring the war dead. ROK Ambassador to Japan Ra Jong-il has said to usher in a successful summit between Seoul and Tokyo at the end of this month, the Japanese leader should change his stance towards the Yasukuni issue. Mr. Ra’s comments came during a meeting with Takenori Kanzaki, the head of Japan’s ruling coalition New Komeito party.

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18. Russia Nuclear and Chemical Dismantlement

The Associated Press (“AID SOUGHT TO DISMANTLE RUSSIAN NUKES”, 2005-06-07) reported that rich donor nations should offer more financial aid for Russia to dismantle its Soviet-era nuclear and chemical weapons stockpiles and help other countries keep nuclear material from terrorists, experts said at an international weapons conference Tuesday. Weapons specialists from governments and think-tanks around the world assessed progress in eliminating weapons of mass destruction and protecting stored nuclear waste since 2002, when the Group of Eight wealthiest nations promised at least $20 billion over 10 years for the effort. Former Sen. Sam Nunn said the pledges so far of $17 billion fall short of that goal and stressed that only a fraction of that amount had actually been spent. He urged delegates to consider the risks of inaction.

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19. Sino-Japanese Relations

Kyodo News (“CHINA SAYS JAPANESE ODA CANNOT OFFSET ITS WARTIME ACTS”, 2005-06-07) reported that Japan’s official development assistance to the PRC cannot compensate for its occupation of PRC territory in the 1930s and 1940s, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday. Responding to Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura’s May 26 statement that post-World War II aid to Asian countries indicates that Japan has repented for the war era, spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a scheduled press briefing that the two matters should be viewed separately. “I’d like to separate these two issues clearly,” Liu said. “We can’t eliminate the period of history when Japan caused damage and catastrophe to Asian countries just because Japan has provided aid to the relevant countries.”

(return to top) The New York Times (“FOR JAPAN AND CHINA, NEW ERA OF BAD FEELING”, 2005-06-07) reported that never before has East Asia had to contend with a strong PRC and a strong Japan at the same time, and the prospect feeds paranoia and hostility in both countries. The PRC has experienced 25 years of extraordinary economic growth, deeply extending its influence throughout Asia. But just when the PRC’s moment in the sun seems to be arriving, Japan is asserting itself: seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council; transforming its Self-Defense Forces into a real military; and revising its constitution, which currently renounces war. Complicating a relationship that has never been friendly, both countries are encouraging nationalism for their own political purposes – the PRC to shore up loyalty as Marxist ideology fades and Japan to overcome long-held taboos against expanding its military. (return to top)

20. PRC Military

Reuters (“CHINA SLAMS US ACCUSATION OF ARMS BUILD-UP THREAT”, 2005-06-07) reported that the PRC dismissed a US accusation that it was undergoing a military build-up that might change the balance of power in Asia on Tuesday and said such comments threatened world peace. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accused the PRC on Saturday of expanding its missile forces and capabilities and enhancing its ability to project power at a time when it faced no threat. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the PRC was a force for stability in the region and pointed out that Beijing’s military spending was a fraction of that of the US. “Any words or deeds that create and hype up a Chinese military threat are unfavorable to peace and stability of the region and the world,” Liu told a news conference.

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21. PRC Web Site Registry

The Associated Press (“CHINA ORDERS ALL WEB SITES TO REGISTER”, 2005-06-07) reported that authorities have ordered all PRC-based Web sites and blogs to register or be closed down, in the latest effort by the PRC to police the world of cyberspace. Commercial publishers and advertisers can face fines of up to 1 million yuan ($120,000) for failing to register, according to documents posted on the Web site of the Ministry of Information Industry. Private, noncommercial bloggers or Web sites must register the complete identity of the person responsible for the site, it said. The ministry, which has set a June 30 deadline for compliance, said 74 percent of all sites had already registered.

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22. PRC Freedom of the Press

The Associated Press (“SINGAPORE MEDIA COMPANY STILL DENIED ACCESS TO ITS DETAINED REPORTER IN CHINA”, 2005-06-07) reported that a Singapore newspaper said Tuesday it has been denied access to its reporter detained in the PRC for allegedly spying, and called for a fair trial if he is charged. In an editorial, The Straits Times said it had been unable to see reporter Ching Cheong since his detention April 22 in the southern city of Guangzhou, and that it believes he is innocent until proven guilty. The PRC “has to be cognizant of the fact that there is a worldwide expectation … that justice be seen to be served – for the accused no less than for the accuser,” the editorial said.

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23. PRC AIDS Issue

The Associated Press (“CHINA URGES NEEDLE EXCHANGES TO FIGHT AIDS”, 2005-06-07) reported that in an aggressive new anti- AIDS push, the PRC’s Health Ministry is urging the promotion of free condoms and needle exchanges — strategies previously considered taboo by the conservative communist government. The proposed guidelines urge local governments to tailor those measures to high-risk groups in one of the boldest nationwide campaigns yet against the disease. The most striking proposal calls for combining methadone treatment with needle exchanges to promote safe behavior among drug users — a group almost completely ignored in the past.

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24. PRC Environment

The Associated Press (“CHINA SAYS WATER POLLUTION SO SEVERE THAT CITIES COULD LACK SAFE SUPPLIES”, 2005-06-07) reported that the PRC’s booming economy is driving a rapid rise in water pollution so severe that densely crowded cities could be left without adequate supplies, a Cabinet minister said Tuesday. “Limited water resources are threatened by pollution, and water safety in cities is facing severe challenges,” said Qiu Baoxing, deputy minister of construction. The reports emphasize the high environmental cost of the PRC’s surging economy in a dry, crowded country whose ecology already is strained by the demands of sustaining 1.3 billion inhabitants.

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25. Taiwan Constitutional Reform

The Associated Press (“CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM ADOPTED IN TAIWAN”, 2005-06-07) reported that a convention adopted sweeping changes to Taiwan’s constitution Tuesday that favor the top two political parties and require that future amendments go directly before voters — a measure strongly opposed by the PRC. The 300-member National Assembly, chosen by popular ballot last month to address the constitutional changes, approved four amendments with 249 votes — 24 more than the required three-quarters majority. Both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the main opposition Nationalists backed the changes as a way of strengthening the self-governing island’s democracy. However, Beijing opposed the measure allowing direct popular votes on amendments, fearing that the ruling party might try to use such a poll to try to make Taiwan’s de facto independence permanent.

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