NAPSNET Week in Review 10 January, 2003

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"NAPSNET Week in Review 10 January, 2003", NAPSNet Weekly Report, January 10, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-weekly/napsnet-week-in-review-10-january-2003/

United States


1. US Missile Defense

The US Pentagon that is developing defenses against missile attack has decided to skip two tests of its ability to intercept mock warheads in space, saving about US$200 million, an official said Wednesday. The tests were to have been held this winter and spring. Pentagon officials have said they are confident that their basic approach to intercepting enemy warheads during their flight through space – known as “hit to kill” technology – has been proven to work in previous tests. What has been lacking is the new booster that launches the “hit to kill” technology into space. The Pentagon has been successful in four of its last five missile intercept tests and five of its last eight.

“US Missile Defense” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US)

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Moscow has proposed a new agreement with United States on missile defense, while a top Russian general warned that the missile shield the US administration wants to build would pose a potential threat to Russia. Referring to US officials’ statements that the two nations could cooperate in developing defenses against ballistic missiles, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko voiced hope that the US would agree to a draft “political agreement” on missile defense that he said Russia has submitted.

“RF on US Missile Defense” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US)


2. US Asymmetric DPRK / Iraq Policy

A senior US official on Thursday defended the US’ differing policies toward Iraq and the DPRK – saying different circumstances required different approaches. Responding to criticism that the US was taking a softer stance against the DPRK than Iraq, Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton said that the US viewed the DPRK’s nuclear aspirations as “very serious.” “And the reason that the DPRK matter is being handled differently from the Iraq matter is the factual circumstances of the two cases are different. That is not to say that we don’t view the DPRK effort as something very serious,” Bolton told reporters at the end of a one-day visit to Manila.

“US Asymmetric DPRK / Iraq Policy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US)


3. US Assessment DPRK Military

The DPRK’s massive military is probably backed up by one or two nuclear weapons and would present a greater challenge to US forces than Iraq’s, US defense officials say. With 1.2 million troops, the DPRK is considered the world’s most militarized nation: it has more soldiers, per capita, than any other. Its military is the fourth or fifth largest in the world, and more than 30 percent of its gross domestic product is spent on its military, according to CIA estimates. But for all its size, the DPRK’s conventional military can’t match US technology, despite an effort to modernize, officials said. It is short on fuel and sometimes food, even though it receives both before the civilian populace does. However, US military planners still fear the DPRK’s ability to wreak havoc in a fast-moving conflict on the peninsula. Some of its forces are stationed just 30 miles from Seoul, and could quickly bombard civilian areas using artillery.

“US Assessment DPRK Military” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US)


Korean Peninsula


1. DPRK Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Withdrawal

The DPRK announced its immediate withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty on January 10, 2003, but said it may reverse its decision if the US agreed to resume oil supplies. “The government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in a statement today declared its withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and its total freedom from the binding force of the safeguards accord with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency said. “The DPRK government vehemently rejected the January 6 ‘resolution’ of the IAEA, considering it as a grave encroachment upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and the dignity of the Korean nation. “As it has become clear once again that the US persistently seeks to stifle the DPRK at any cost and the IAEA is used as a tool for executing the US hostile policy towards the DPRK, we can no longer remain bound to the NPT.” The DPRK also pledged that it had no intention of producing nuclear weapons and said “Though we pull out of the NPT, we have no intention to produce nuclear weapons and our nuclear activities at this stage will be confined only to peaceful purposes such as the production of electricity,” the statement added.
“DPRK Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Withdrawal” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US) “DPRK on NPT Withdrawal” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN10.html#item2


2. US, ROK, Russian Response to DPRK Nuclear Crisis

China Daily (“DPRK CALLS FOR TALKS WITH US,” Seoul, 01/06/03, P8) reported that the DPRK on January 5 called for negotiations with the US to end the stand-off over its nuclear program, as diplomatic moves to solve the crisis gathered momentum. The DPRK has consistently called for talks and a non-aggression pact with US but Washington says it will not talk or bargain with the DPRK, said the report. The commentary appears to reflect a toning-down of the rhetoric from DPRK, which said on January 4 that the US was “entirely to blame” for the stalemate. Also on January 5, top ROK officials headed to US for three-way talks with Japan and US. Meanwhile, a ROK delegation currently in Moscow also secured a pledge from Russia “to co-operate with all the parties involved” to find a peaceful solution. The two countries on January 5 pledged joint efforts in defusing tension over the nuclear bid of DPRK. The delegation to US is headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Tae-Shik and includes officials from the foreign, defense and reunification ministries. It was to arrive in the US capital late on January 5 local time. US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly will host the Trilateral Co-ordination and Oversight Group before traveling to northeast Asia at the end of the week. Yim Sung-Joon, senior national security adviser to ROK’s outgoing President Kim Dae-jung, was to fly to US tomorrow for talks with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice, officials in Seoul said.


3. DPRK-US Diplomatic Relations

DPRK envoys met in Santa Fe last night with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a diplomatic troubleshooter for President Bill Clinton. Richardson and two DPRK officials held what was described as a working dinner in the governor’s mansion. Neither Richardson nor the DPRK officials made any comments to reporters after the session. They were to meet again today. Speaking before the DPRK announced last night its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Donald P. Gregg, who is president of the Korea Society in New York, said he perceived a significant shift in tone this week. “I think we are about to turn a corner with North Korea,” he said. “I am feeling infinitely better than I did 72 hours ago.” US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell held out the prospect yesterday of a settlement with the DPRK over its nuclear weapons programs that would include formal assurances the US has no plans to attack the the DPRK. “We have made it clear we have no aggressive intent,” Powell said, one day after the Bush administration said it is willing to have face-to-face talks with the government in Pyongyang. the Bush administration said yesterday that it would agree to direct talks with the DPRK on how the they could meet its nuclear obligations, a subtle shift in position designed to give both sides a face-saving way to resolve the standoff over the DPRK’s weapons programs. In a statement issued after a meeting in Washington with Japanese and ROK diplomats, the State Department stressed that the talks would not be a negotiation and that “the United States will not provide quid pro quos to North Korea to live up to its existing obligations” to shut down its nuclear programs. Even so, the statement suggested that the administration is eager to find a way out of the diplomatic box created by its uncompromising stance on striking a deal with the DPRK government.

“DPRK-US Diplomatic Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US) “Powell on DPRK Diplomacy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US)”DPRK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN09.html#item3
“US, ROK, Russian Response to DPRK Nuclear Crisis” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, PRC) “US on DPRK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN08.html#item2

“DPRK Response to US Talk Offer” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US) “US Stance to DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, ROK) “Bush on DPRK Approach” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, US) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN07.html#item3

“US-DPRK Relations on DPRK Nuclear Crisis” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, PRC)


4. DPRK on US Sanctions

The DPRK said on Tuesday economic sanctions over its atomic program would mean war as the UN nuclear agency said the DPRK had “only a matter of weeks” to readmit inspectors expelled last week. In Washington, US, Japanese and ROK officials began a meeting on how to deal with the DPRK’s nuclear threat. The DPRK’s KCNA news agency denounced the brief seizure last month of a shipload of DPRK scud missiles bound for Yemen, calling it “part of the US-tailored containment strategy against the DPRK. “The strategy means total economic sanctions aimed at isolating and stifling the DPRK,” the agency said on Tuesday. “Sanctions mean a war and the war knows no mercy. The US should opt for dialogue with the DPRK, not for war, clearly aware that it will have to pay a very high price for such reckless acts,” KCNA added.

“DPRK on US Sanctions” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, US)


5. DPRK-ROK Diplomacy

The Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA OFFERS TALKS WITH SOUTH AMID INTENSE NUCLEAR DIPLOMACY,” 01/10/03) reported that the ROK said that the DPRK had offered to hold high-level talks later this month, as the US admitted verbal assurances that it has no plans to attack Pyongyang may not be enough to end the nuclear crisis. The DPRK’soffer of four-day talks from January 21 came in response to an ROK proposal for a cabinet-level meeting to discuss inter-Korean rapprochement and the nuclear issue. “In accordance with time-old practices, it is highly likely that South Korea will accept the new date proposed by Pyongyang,” an ROK unification ministry official told AFP. Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun said last week that the ROK would urge the DPRK to scrap its nuclear weapons program at the talks. The announcement came after an envoy for ROK President Kim Dae-Jung said he had received backing for mediation attempts after meeting US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Washington. US Secretary of State Colin Powell also acknowledged that the US may have to go beyond its previous verbal assurances that it has no plans to attack the DPRK. “We have made it clear we have no aggressive intent,” Powell told The Washington Post. “Apparently, they want something more than a passing statement.”

The Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA “WILL NOT OPT FOR SUICIDE” IN NUCLEAR CRISIS: ROH,” 01/10/03) reported that the DPRK nuclear crisis is likely to be resolved peacefully as the DPRK “would not opt for suicide”, South Korea’s president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun was quoted as saying. “My conviction that North Korea’s nuclear program can be resolved is based on the belief that the North would not opt for suicide,” Roh said in a speech late Thursday in Seoul, the Joong Ang Daily reported. “Senior military officials should be prepared for emergencies involving the withdrawal of US forces,” Roh said in an echo of previous comments. “Someone should be thinking about self-sufficiency even if it takes 10, 20 or 30 years.”


6. DPRK-ROK Nuclear Talks

The DPRK has agreed to hold talks with the ROK Government, at which the ROK says it will put pressure on the DPRK over its nuclear program. The meeting will be the latest in a series of rapprochement talks between the two sides since their historic summit in 2000. The ministerial-level meeting will be the first since the DPRK began reactivating a nuclear plant, which is believed to be capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. But so far, the DPRK has made no response to a US offer of talks, or to demands by the United Nations nuclear watchdog to allow its inspectors – expelled last week – back into the country. ROK officials said the DPRK had proposed starting the four-day meeting on January 21 – a week later than the ROK had suggested. The talks would be the highest level of inter-Korean dialogue since shortly after it was revealed last fall that the DPRK had a secret nuclear weapons program.

“DPRK-ROK Diplomacy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US) “DPRK-ROK Nuclear Talks” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US) “ROK on DPRK Nuclear Dialogue” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN09.html#item2

“ROK on DPRK Situation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US) “ROK-DPRK Relations on DPRK Nuclear Issue” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, PRC)


7. IAEA on DPRK Compliance

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors today gave the DPRK “one last chance” to abandon its plans to build nuclear weapons. The ultimatum, followed a resolution by its board, including Russia and the DPRC, condemning the DPRK’s “unilateral acts” and pointedly rejecting its attempts to depict the crisis as a standoff with the US. Leaving open the possibility of further diplomatic maneuvering in coming weeks, the agency declined to send the matter immediately to the UN Security Council. Instead, the agency said the DPRK, which expelled nuclear monitors last month and dismantled UN equipment monitoring its ability to produce weapons-grade plutonium, must “urgently” resume compliance with its obligations under international agreements. And the agency’s director general warned there would be no negotiation with the DPRK on its economic and security concerns until the impoverished but heavily armed country makes the first move to end its “nuclear brinkmanship.”

“DPRK Following IAEA Directions?” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, ROK) “IAEA on DPRK Compliance” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, US)


8. Global Response to DPRK NPT Withdrawal

Faced with news that the DPRK has quit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the ROK on Friday called for dialogue with the DPRK as a matter of “life and death” while neighboring Japan demanded the DPRK reverse its decision. The PRC, one of the DPRK’s few strong allies, promised to continue efforts to solve the problem peacefully. “We are concerned about (North Korea’s) announcement to withdraw from the treaty, as well as consequences possibly caused by the withdrawal,” PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. Australia, a close US ally, said it would send a diplomatic team to Pyongyang next week. Financial markets in the ROK and Japan reacted nervously. The ROK’s government convened an emergency meeting of its security council. President Kim Dae-jung, who leaves office next month after years of trying to build bridges with the DPRK, said talks would be key to a solution. “The nuclear issue is tied to our life and death,” Kim said. “We must have the patience to resolve the issue peacefully.” French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, on a visit to the PRC, said Asia, the US and Europe must stand together. “France condemns North Korea’s decision,” de Villepin said in a speech to students at Shanghai’s Fudan University. “North Korea must understand that it has no other choice but to denounce its nuclear program.” German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said his government was deeply concerned about the move and said Berlin “urgently calls on North Korea to reconsider and reverse this step.” Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh called the DPRK’s decision counterproductive and said it “aggravates the already serious situation on the Korean peninsula.” The EU’s Foreign and Security Policy Chief Javier Solana expressed “grave concern.” “I strongly urge the authorities in the DPRK to reconsider their decision and to restate their commitment to (nuclear) nonproliferation and to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Solana said in a statement. “I hope that the North Korean government will seek the path of dialogue over that of confrontation.”

“Global Response to DPRK NPT Withdrawal” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US)


9. ROK-Japan-US Joint Statement on DPRK

High-level delegations from the US, ROK and Japan said in a joint statement January 7 that the DPRK’s relations with the entire international community depend on its taking “prompt and verifiable action” to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs and comply with its nuclear safeguards commitments. The officials, meeting in Washington as the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group, expressed strong support for the January 6 International Atomic Energy Agency resolution calling on Pyongyang to come into full compliance with its nuclear nonproliferation agreements. They said “the unanimous passage of the resolution underscores the broad international consensus that the North Korean actions are unacceptable.” The three delegations said they continue to support ROK-DPRK dialogue and Japan-DPRK dialogue.

The full text of the joint statement can be found:
“ROK-Japan-US Joint Statement on DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US) “US-ROK-Japan on DPRK Situation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, US) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN07.html#item1

“Trilateral Cooperation on DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, ROK) “Japan-US-ROK Cooperation toward DPRK Issues” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, JAPAN) “Japan-US-ROK Politics over DPRK Issues” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, JAPAN) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN07.html#item15


10. DPRK Defectors on DPRK Diplomacy

Three recent defectors from the DPRK drew on their experiences to give their own proposals for how to deal with the unpredictable government of their impoverished homeland. The proposals included closing the PRC’s five border bridges and imposing an economic quarantine; undermining the leadership cult by smuggling in radios tuned to ROK stations; and, in the words of one woman, by “bombing the North with ladies’ handbags.” “My eyes were opened when, through a trader friend, I got hold of some South Korean clothing,” recounted the woman, Lee Ji Young, 31. “I was surprised that they were very good clothes. I had to scissor off the labels, of course.”

“DPRK Defectors on DPRK Diplomacy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US)


11. Anti-US Sentiment in ROK

“Candlelight vigils are not an anti-U.S. protest, and it is wrong simply to address it as such,” said President Kim Dae-jung Tuesday at the first cabinet meeting of the year. President Kim said that recent polls clearly show that the majority of South Koreans oppose a pullout of the 37,000 US troops stationed in ROK. “It is only logical that demands for the revision of the SOFA are based on the fact that U.S. military is stationed in Korea,” Kim stressed. The president also asked cabinet members to work with the utmost diligence and prudence during their remaining term of office to solve pending issues such as the North Korean nuclear program, the economy and living standards.
“Comment of ROK President on Anti US Movement” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, ROK) “ROK Anti-US Sentiments” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN09.html#item5

“Anti-US Sentiment in ROK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, ROK) “US Troops in ROK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US)


12. PRO USFK Rally in ROK

Some 900 members of veterans, civic, and Christian groups held an “Anti-North Korean Nuclear Weapons, Opposition to USFK Withdrawal March” in Pyeongtek, Gyeonggi Province, in front of Osan US Air Force Base, Wednesday. The leaders of the march said that serious consequences would be brought about by a USFK withdrawal, and that DPRK should abandon its nuclear weapons program immediately to ensure peace on the Korean peninsula. Min Se-gi, who organized the march said that he was worried that the recent candlelight demonstrations had been seen as anti-American protests.

“PRO USFK Rally in ROK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, ROK) “No Ill Will toward USFK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, ROK)


13. Food Aid Needed to DPRK

The World Food Program repeated its calls Tuesday for food aid for DPRK. The UN agency said it needs 80,000 tons of grain immediately to avoid a new crisis. At a press briefing in Geneva, Christiane Berthiaume, the World Food Program spokeswoman, said the agency has received pledges of only 35,000 tons of food for the first quarter of this year, less than one-third of the food it needs to keep starvation at bay. Unless new aid is provided, the agency said, it would have to cut back its programs for the second time since September. The World Food Program said it had failed to attract its food aid quota for DPRK last year for the first time since it began working in DPRK in 1995.

“Food Aid Needed to DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, ROK)


14. Inter-Korean Family Separation

The DPRK’s push to reactivate its nuclear facilities has undercut a fragile family reunion reconciliation process with the ROK. Shin Hee-yeon pores over the remnants of a fractured family — faded photographs of brothers whisked away for duty by communist troops at the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. Just last month, the 74-year-old thought she’d might soon have a chance to see them. But like many ROK citizens awaiting temporary reunions with relatives in the DPRK, her hopes have been all but dashed by the nuclear standoff with the DPRK. Plans for the next round of reunions, originally slated for next month, are on hold, and even talks about restarting them are in limbo, the Red Cross said Monday.

“Inter-Korean Family Separation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US)


15. Inter Korean Flight Increased

The Ministry of Construction and Transportation announced Tuesday that a total of 69 flights occurred between DPRK and ROK last year, a fivefold increase from 2001. The number of inter-Korean flights has shown a drastic increase after the inter-Korean summit on June 15, 2000. DPRK’s Air Koryo flew the inter-Korean air route 32 times, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, 30 times and there were seven special flights carrying envoys such as Lim Dong-won and James Kelly. 55 of the inter-Korean flights traveled via the Yellow Sea and 14 flights that carried members of the Busan Asian Games and Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) used a route crossing the East Sea.

“Inter Korean Flight Increased” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, ROK)


Japan


1. Japan-RF DPRK Nuclear Concerns

The leaders of Russia and Japan have expressed “disappointment and profound concern” at the DPRK’s decision to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However at a later news conference Putin said that both countries had studied the DPRK’s statement announcing its withdrawal from the NPT and found that the country’s leadership “is keeping the door open for talks”; expressing hope that the escalating crisis could be resolved. “We expect that during such talks, all questions and concerns of both parties can and will be solved,” Putin said.

“Japan-RF DPRK Nuclear Concerns” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US)


2. Japan on DPRK NPT Withdrawal

Japan demanded January 10 that the DPRK reverse its decision to quit the global nuclear arms control treaty and address growing fears in the region about its suspected weapons program. “Our nation will strongly demand from North Korea a quick retraction of its statement and a positive response to solving the nuclear weapons problem,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said in Tokyo. Fukuda said Japan will work closely with the US, the ROK, and other nations as well as the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency to address the crisis.

“Japan on DPRK NPT Withdrawal” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US) “Japan-France DPRK Condemnation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US)


3. Japan on possible US Attack on Iraq

The Japanese government informed the US earlier last month that it will back the US if it launches military operations against Iraq. The sources said the government conveyed its message to US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage when he met with officials during a three-day visit to Tokyo beginning December 8. Japan has not officially announced support for such operations. At the meeting with Armitage, the government officials urged the US to create an environment in which the international community can jointly back the US if it launches an attack against Iraq, the sources said. New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki said Sunday it is in Japan’s interest to see whether the UN adopts a new resolution prior to a possible US attack on Iraq before Japan begins discussing how to deal with the issue. “The situation is different depending on whether the US moves with or without a new UN resolution,” Kanzaki said on a TV talk show. As for Japan’s aid for any postwar reconstruction, Kanzaki said, “It’s an issue that must be considered by looking into the situation when the time comes.”

“Japan on possible US Attack on Iraq” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, JAPAN)


4. Japan-RF Relations

Japan and Russia will try to push aside their dispute over the ownership of four barren islands this week, focusing instead on the more pressing issues of a troublesome DPRK and stronger economic ties. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi heads to Russia Thursday for a four-day trip, the first state visit by a Japanese leader since 1998, including talks with President Vladimir Putin on January 10 and a visit to the far eastern city of Khabarovsk. While both sides remain stubborn over the islands, which has prevented them signing a formal peace treaty, the relationship is showing new signs of maturity, analysts say. “Things are different now,” said diplomatic commentator Tetsuya Ozeki. “The peace treaty is important, but there are bigger issues to deal with, such as terrorism and North Korea.” Japan said in the past that a close relationship would be difficult if the islands weren’t returned, which was extremely unrealistic,” he added. “Now, both sides are taking steps that are quieter but more productive.”

“Japan-RF Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US) “Japan-RF Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US) “Japan-RF Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, JAPAN) http://nautilus.org/napsnet/dr/0301/JAN07.html#item16


5. Japan Domestic Economy

Japanese Finance Ministry earmarked about 10.7 billion yen in its draft for the fiscal 2003 budget to procure seven high-speed patrol boats for the Japan Coast Guard to deal with intruding North Korean spy ships and unidentified vessels. The government appropriated 6.6 billion yen for such boats in fiscal 2002. The coast guard had requested a 1,800-ton patrol boat equipped with 40-mm machineguns and a helipad, and a 770-ton high-speed boat capable of cruising at about 50 knots.

“Japan 2003 Budget” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, JAPAN)


6. SDF’s Peacekeeping Operation

A decade after Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) first took part in peacekeeping operations in Cambodia, Defense Agency officials are taking steps toward a legal revision that would upgrade SDF participation in UN-sponsored peacekeeping operations from an auxiliary to a principal duty. Article 3 of the SDF Law states that defending the nation is the SDF’s main duty, with secondary duties being preserving public safety and dealing with natural disasters. Among the auxiliary duties as outlined by law are civil engineering work and the transportation of state guests. Though classified as an auxiliary duty, peacekeeping activities have increased in scale and importance over the years. Such a review would better prepare the GSDF to take part in a wider range of peacekeeping activities, sources say.

“SDF’s Peacekeeping Operation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, JAPAN)


7. Japanese Spy Satellite

Japan’s information-gathering satellites to be launched by a domestically developed H-IIA rocket in February 2003 are likely to be of poorer quality than commercial US equivalents, government sources said. The picture-taking capability of the spy satellites is expected to be inferior to US commercial satellites, such as IKONOS of Lockheed Martin Corp., mainly due to their poor focusing ability toward objects on the ground, the sources said. Japan has developed the domestic spy satellites at a cost of 250 billion yen, apparently to gather military information in neighboring countries, particularly the DPRK. The government once considered purchasing satellites from Lockheed Martin, but later opted for domestic development to try to boost Japanese industry.

“Japanese Spy Satellite” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, JAPAN)


People’s Republic of China


1. DPRK-PRC Relations

Two days after Christmas, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan paid a visit to the DPRK Korean Embassy in Beijing, ostensibly to attend a New Year’s celebration. In a routine statement, the Foreign Ministry said Tang and the ambassador congratulated each other on the past year’s achievements and “exchanged views on issues of common concern.” But the visit was anything but routine. Tang had never attended New Year’s events at the embassy before. He went to this one to quietly convey the PRC’s concerns about the DPRK’s nuclear program, according to PRC specialists who advise the government on Korean affairs. Two days later, the DPRK issued a statement in Pyongyang that said, in part: If “other countries” are worried about its nuclear activities, they should urge the United States to open a dialogue and guarantee North Korea’s security. If they do not intend to do that, “it is better for them just to sit idle.”

“DPRK-PRC Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 10, US)


2. PRC on US-DPRK Tension

The PRC appealed for a negotiated settlement to tensions over the DPRK nuclear program on Tuesday, but a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman wouldn’t say whether the PRC is willing to intervene with the DPRK. “We hope to see a settlement of the issue through dialogue,” said ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue. However, asked several times at a news briefing about what the PRC would do to encourage the DPRK to seek such a settlement, she would say only that the PRC “maintains contact with all sides.” The PRC is the North’s last major ally and a major donor of food and fuel aid. Yet despite repeated appeals to use its influence, the PRC has so far refrained from publicly committing itself to diplomatic action.

“PRC on US-DPRK Tension” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, US) “PRC Commentary on DPRK Nuclear Issue” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, PRC)


3. PRC on US-Iraq Conflict

The PRC called Tuesday for tensions with Iraq to be settled through the UN, saying it wants the UN Security Council to be given time to review the work of weapons inspectors before taking any action. The appeal reflected PRC anxiety over mounting US pressure to invade Iraq. The PRC opposes an attack, and involving the United Nations would provide a diplomatic means to restrain military action. “We maintain that the question should be solved through political and diplomatic means within the UN framework,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said at a news briefing.

“PRC on US-Iraq Conflict” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, US)


4. PRC-Japan Relations

PRC vice-minister of foreign affairs Wang Yi summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami on January 4 and made a formal representation to Japan about the issue of the Diaoyu Island. Wang Yi noted that the Diaoyu Island and adjacent islets have been an integral part of Chinese territory since ancient times. Wang demanded the Japanese side correct its wrongdoings and stop any actions harmful to PRC’s terrirorial sovereignty and the PRC-Japan relationship.

“PRC-Japan Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07,PRC)


5. PRC Call for Democratization

A former PRC secretary to Mao has published a strikingly forthright call for change in a Beijing magazine this month, the latest sign of growing demands for open discussion of political reform. The retired official, Li Rui, 85, warned in a speech published in the magazine China Chronicle that the country must embrace democratic politics and free speech to avoid stagnation and possible collapse. “Only with democratization can there be modernization,” he said. “This has been a global tide since the 20th century, especially the Second World War, and those who join it will prosper while those who resist will perish.”

“PRC Call for Democratization” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 08, US)


6. PRC Domestic Economy

The PRC is pushing ahead with plans to smash one of its last “iron rice bowls” by ending cradle-to-grave jobs for its 30 million employees at hospitals, universities and other state-funded institutions. But analysts said Thursday the planned reform is likely to run into stiff opposition from the cultural elite and a class Beijing can ill afford to upset: intellectuals. The scheme calls for state-funded institutions, including think tanks and publishing houses, to sign contracts with their employees over the next three years, ending lifelong job tenures, a Ministry of Personnel official said. As a result, “many employees” at the country’s 1.3 million state-funded institutions would be laid off, the official Xinhua news agency said. It did not give a figure. Analysts were skeptical. “I don’t believe it,” Yang Fan, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the top government think tank, said in an interview. “It’s not conducive to social stability,” Yang said.

“PRC Domestic Economy” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US) “PRC Domestic Economics” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 07, US)


7. PRC Public Demonstration

Some 10,000 people took the streets in the eastern city of Hefei this week in what appears to have been the largest student demonstration since the Tiananmen Square human rights protests of 1989. But the students had a much narrower agenda: traffic safety. They were protesting the government’s failure to provide a safe way to cross a busy thoroughfare near Hefei Industrial University. The protests developed after three students were knocked down by a truck that ran a red light, killing two and putting one in a coma, students involved in the protest said. “There is no background to this other than telling the government that traffic safety must be a priority,” Li Pan, a student at the college, expressed.

“PRC Public Demonstration” (NAPSNet Daily Report, January 09, US)

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