NAPSNET Week in Review 12 July, 2002

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"NAPSNET Week in Review 12 July, 2002", NAPSNet Weekly Report, July 12, 2002,

United States

1. Pentagon PRC Military Report

The US Defense Department has concluded that the PRC is honing forces aimed at “bringing Taiwan to its knees,” if that is what is needed to unite it with the mainland, while keeping US aircraft carriers at bay, Pentagon officials stated on July 12. The assessment is detailed in a report to Congress on PRC military power due for release late Friday. Detailing what the survey calls Beijing’s coercive approach, officials said the PRC was on track to deploying 600 ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan by 2005. Growing at a rate of 50 per year in recent years, these missiles appeared designed to sow fear and undermine Taiwan’s will to fight if the PRC opted to use force, said the officials, who spoke on condition they not be named.
“Pentagon PRC Military Report” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 US)

2. US-Russia Relations

Russia and the US must improve cooperation and increase intelligence sharing to prevent Iran from developing the capability to deploy nuclear weapons, US and Russian experts said Thursday. US experts also said Russia needs more resources and better enforcement of export controls to prevent the proliferation of nuclear technology that could help Iran develop weapons of mass destruction. Russia’s nuclear cooperation with Iran has jumped to the very top of the agenda between Russia and the US, which strongly objects to Moscow’s role in completing a civilian nuclear power plant at Bushehr. Russia is the only major nuclear power now assisting Iran in developing atomic energy.
“US-Russia Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

3. US-Russia Arms Treaty

US democratic senators on Tuesday questioned whether President Bush’s arms reduction treaty with Russia could backfire by making more nuclear weapons material available to rogue nations and extremists, though most said they supported the accord. Secretary of State Colin Powell, appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the Senate to move quickly to ratify the accord Bush struck in May with Russian President Vladimir to slash both nations’ nuclear arsenals by some two-thirds over 10 years. But Committee Chairman Senator Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat, said since the treaty allows weapons to be stored instead of destroyed, it might give rogue nations access to more nuclear materials from Russia’s poorly secured facilities.
“US-Russia Arms Treaty” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

4. Russia Nuclear Fuel Recovery

Russia’s atomic energy minister Alexander Rumyantsev said Friday that Russia would take back spent nuclear fuel from a Russian-built nuclear power station in Iran. Russia is helping Iran build a 1,000-megawatt pressurized water reactor at Bushehr in a deal worth US$800 million. US officials fear spent fuel from the project could provide Iran with weapons-grade radioactive material and boost its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Atomic Energy Minister said Russia worked out a protocol with Iran in November 1998 specifying that Russia would take back the spent nuclear fuel from Bushehr. But because Russia at the time didn’t have a law allowing the import of such material, it could not be put into force, he said. Now that the Russian parliament passed a law last year allowing the import of spent nuclear fuel, Russia and Iran will formally sign the protocol in September or October of this year – paving the way for the spent fuel to be returned to Russia, Rumyantsev said.
“Russia Nuclear Fuel Recovery” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 US)

Republic of Korea

1. ROK Domestic Cabinet Reshuffle

ROK President Kim Dae-Jung appointed a woman as prime minister and sacked the defense minister in a reshuffle aimed at rallying his weakened administration. Chang Sang replaced the outgoing prime minister, Lee Han-Dong. Chang currently heads the Ehwa Women’s University. It was the first time in the ROK that a woman has been made premier. President Kim named Lee Jun, a former chairman of the defense ministry’s reform committee, to replace Kim Dong-Shin who faced flak for a naval skirmish with the DPRK in which five ROK soldiers were killed. Other ministries affected by the reshuffle include justice, culture and tourism, information and communication, health and welfare as well as maritime affairs and fisheries.
“ROK Cabinet Shake-Up” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 US)
“ROK Domestic Cabinet Reshuffle” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

2. ROK Domestic Politics

ROK prosecutors indicted a second son of ROK President Kim Dae-Jung on charges of corruption and tax evasion as Kim apologized afresh over the scandal engulfing his family. Kim Hong-Up, 53, who was arrested last month, was charged with receiving a total of 2.58 billion won (US$2.2 million dollars) from six companies through influence peddling. He was also accused of avoiding tax after taking another 2.2 billion won (1.8 million dollars) from businesses including the Hyundai and Samsung groups as political “donations,” prosecutors said Wednesday.
“ROK Domestic Politics” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)

3. DPRK-ROK Naval Clash

The ROK presidential office Monday rebuked the Grand National Party (GNP), which blamed President Kim Dae-jung’s “sunshine policy” for last month’s West Sea skirmish. “It would mislead the public to attribute the North’s provocation to the government’s reconciliation policy. The government has pushed the sunshine policy while maintaining a strong defense posture. The policy is based on our confidence in our military power,” presidential spokeswoman Park Sun-sook said. ROK Culture and Tourism Minister Namgung Jin offered to stand down, as President Kim Dae-Jung faced pressure to overhaul his cabinet over last month’s inter-Korean sea battle.
“DPRK-ROK Naval Clash” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, US)

4. Naval Skirmish Truth

The ROK Defense Ministry acknowledged Sunday that a communications blunder at the height of the naval clash with DPRK made the ROK navy underrate the damage suffered by ROK’s speedboat, causing it to hold back from further attacks on the retreating DPRK boats. Announcing the results of a three-day initial inquiry into the gun battle, the ministry reconfirmed that the skirmish was intentionally provoked by the DPRK. The investigation found that Rear Adm. Chung Byung-chil, commander of the Second Navy Fleet, was misinformed of the scope of damage until 11:25 a.m., 29 minutes after the battle ended at 10:56 a.m.

“Naval Skirmish Truth” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, ROK)
“ROK’s Policy Dispute on DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, ROK)

5. DPRK’s Need to Apologize

The DPRK has demanded that US apologize for the recent inter-Korean fatal clash in the West Sea, renewing its claim that US “orchestrated” the battle. “The United States is well advised to … make an apology for its backstage manipulation of the incident, instead of letting Rumsfeld and other officials be busy with anti-DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) diatribe,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Friday. The DPRK also acknowledged that its navy suffered casualties during the naval firefight, in which at least four ROK sailors were killed. It was the first time the DPRK admitted to having suffered casualties in the incident.
“DPRK’s Need to Apologize” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, ROK)
“DPRK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, PRC)

6. DPRK Asylum-Seekers to ROK

Three DPRK defectors are expected to come to the ROK Saturday via a third country, government sources said Thursday. One defector is in PRC custody after being arrested trying to enter the ROK Embassy in Beijing July 2. A DPRK defector identified by the surname Park succeeded in entering the embassy at the same time and joined a second already there. “Beijing and Seoul still have to finalize the deportation,” an ROK government source said. “But we see progress in our negotiations.” The two governments agreed last month to deal with DPRK asylum-seekers according to PRC and international laws and humanitarian principles.
“DPRK Asylum-Seekers to ROK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 ROK)
“DPRK Asylum Seekers” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)
“North Korean Defectors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, ROK)

7. USFK Road Accident

The ROK asked the US military on Wednesday to give up jurisdiction over two US soldiers whose vehicle fatally struck two ROK teen-agers last month. Since the accident in mid-June, anti-US protests have taken place almost daily, demanding an apology by the US military and a trial in an ROK court of the two soldiers. Reversing its earlier decision not to court-martial the soldiers, the US military indicted Sgt. Mark Walker and Sgt. Fernando Nino on charges of negligent homicide last week. If convicted, the soldiers could face up to six years in prison.
“USFK Road Accident” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 ROK)
“ROK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)

8. DPRK-Japan Relations

Four Japanese Red Army members wanted for the 1970 hijacking of a jetliner to the DPRK, who are reportedly planning to return home, would be arrested on arrival, the government’s top spokesman said Wednesday. The four men are among a group of nine members of the ultra-left terrorist group accused of hijacking a Japan Airlines Boeing 727 with 129 people aboard on March 31, 1970 and forcing it to land in the DPRK. “If they return, the arrest procedure would go forward according to Japanese law,” Fukuda told a nationally televised press conference.
“DPRK-Japan Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 PRC)
“DPRK-Japan Red Army” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)

9. UN Aid to DPRK

The UN has secured 61 percent of the needed aid for the DPRK so far. According to the estimates of Korea Rural Economic Institute Thursday the 14 UN relief agencies succeeded in raising US$160 million for aid to DPRK, 61.3 percent of the targeted US$258 million. One of the major collectors includes Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that raised US$603,000 and World Food Program with US$150 million. UN agencies are now aiming to raise another US$110 million for next six months to fill the quota.
“UN Aids to DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 ROK)

10. Power Plants Constructed in DPRK

The DPRK is in the middle of constructing over 100 middle and small power plants to resolve electricity shortage, reported the Voice of Russia Thursday. “The mid and small plants are especially being concentrated in northern regions nearby lakes and other water courses and north eastern region of highlands,” the Russian news agency said. “The construction process actively participated by army soldiers is under strict control of experts dispatched from local authorities.”
“Power Plants Constructed in DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 ROK)

11. Eighth Anniversary of Demise of Kim Il Sung

General Secretary of DPRK’s Labor Party Kim Jong Il together with leading members of the National Defense Committee of the DPRK and commanding officers of the Korean People’s Army, visited the Kumsusan Memorial Palace and paid homage to Comrade Kim Il Sung, great leader of the Korean people, on July 8, eighth anniversary of demise of late President Kim Il Sung. Then, the report said, Kim Jong Il looked round the orders, medals and honorary titles the president received and the train used by him during his on-site guidance and foreign trips and the car used by him in the last period of his life, remembering him with deep emotion.
“Eighth Anniversary of Demise of Kim Il Sung” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 PRC)

12. DPRK Asian Games Rejection

The DPRK has snubbed approaches to take part in the Asian Games in the ROK in October, with rising military tensions making an appearance almost impossible, Asian sports officials said. “South Korea still hopes, and it would be a great moment if the North took part, but as of now we are preparing for an Asian Games without North Korea,” said a senior member of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) executive committee Wednesday. “If the North expresses a wish to attend the Games by August 31, it would be possible for the North to take part. We have prepared everything including accommodation facilities for the North.”
“DPRK Asian Games Rejection” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)

13. DPRK-ROK Sea Border

The DPRK ratcheted up its verbal attacks on the ROK on Tuesday by demanding a 50-year-old sea border be redrawn. A statement by the DPRK military at the border truce village of Panmunjom, issued by the Korea Central News Agency, reiterated a demand the DPRK first made in 1973 to redraw the line far to the south of the current sea border. “The ‘Northern Limit Line’ is a brigandish line unilaterally drawn by the US and the South Korean military in the inviolable territorial waters of the DPRK,” it said. “In the wake of the recent incident in the west sea, the KPA (Korean People’s Army) side clarified that the issue can be solved only when the military demarcation line in the sea is discussed and fixed,” it said.
“Inter Korean NLL Issue” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 ROK)
“DPRK-ROK Sea Border” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, US)

14. Sunken Vessel Salvage

The DPRK does not oppose the raising of the sunken ROK high-speed patrol boat 357, but insisted that it be notified in advance of the ships and equipment to be used, and the date and position of the operation. DPRK’s Panmujom representative made this statement, as it was necessary to ensure no further incidents occurred in the West Sea and the operation would be taking place in DPRK’s military controlled waters. ROKN Headquarters Spokesman Kim Jong-in said that if the DPRK commits any undesirable action, it would be wholly responsible for what would be considered an armed provocation.
“Sunken Vessel Salvage” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 ROK)

15. DPRK Food Aid

The US General Accounting Office disclosed Tuesday monitoring system for food aid to DPRK is insufficient. In the latest report concerning the food aid operation the Office picked out the food distribution to DPRK as a failed example of proper administration and held US Agency for Development responsible for not doing enough to confirm the process, as told by state official in Seoul. To prevent possible misusage and swindling of goods the Accounting Office stressed the need to enhance expertise in responsible government sectors that including Department of Agriculture in charge of coming up with the actual aid.
“DPRK Food Aid” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 ROK)

16. DPRK-ROK Relations

The DPRK demanded the ROK give prior notice “to avoid a new clash” when the ROK starts salvaging a warship sunk in last month’s naval skirmish between the two countries. Tuesday’s demand was seen here as an outright rejection of the ROK’s call for an apology for the June 29 attack on the ROK patrol boat. The ROK plans to salvage the “Chamsuri 357” which went down off Yeonpyeong island in the Yellow Sea, possibly with the body of the missing sailor. “The Korean People’s Army (KPA) does not oppose the South’s plan to pull up the sunken ship,” a spokesman for KPA representatives at the border truce village of Panmunjom said in a statement. “But the South should inform us in advance of a date, a time, vessels and equipment to be employed and an area for the salvage in order to avoid a new clash,” he said. The spokesman asserted that the place where the ROK boat sank belongs to the DPRK’s “military controlled” waters.
“DPRK-ROK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 PRC)
“DPRK-ROK Maritime Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)
“DPRK-ROK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, US)
“DPRK-ROK Maritime Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, PRC)

17. ROK-Japan Relations

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi will visit Seoul July 12 for talks with her ROK counterpart, Choi Sung-hong, officials in Seoul said Monday. On July 13, Kawaguchi is scheduled to meet Choi and pay a courtesy call on President Kim Dae-jung. It has yet to be determined, however, whether she will return home later in the day or the next day, according to the officials. They said the Japanese minister’s trip to ROK is aimed at reaffirming the two nations’ determination to make another reap in their relations.
“ROK-Japan Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, ROK)
“ROK-Japan Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, PRC)

18. US Ambassador’s Interview

US Ambassador to Seoul, Thomas Hubbard, said Monday that he was sure the June 29 naval battle was a planned attack by the DPRK, although the investigation into the skirmish has yet to find where the order came from. Ambassador Hubbard added that the US stance to solve the DPRK problem with dialogue remained the same. Hubbard said with regard to the death of two middle schoolgirls run over by the US army vehicle, the USFK commander will take care of the tremendously tragic accident with full responsibility. He added the people involved will appear in court and be punished if they are found guilty.
“US Ambassador’s Interview” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, ROK)

19. DPRK Asian Athletic Championship

The DPRK has confirmed it will participate in the Asian Athletic Championships to be held in the Sri Lankan capital in August, the president of the organizing committee said Monday. “We have confirmation that three North Korean athletes and one official will be here,” said Sunil Jayaweera. He said 35 countries, including top sporting nations such as the PRC, Japan and the ROK, have confirmed they join the August 9-12 track and field meet.
“DPRK Asian Athletic Championship” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, US)

20. Retraining Facility in ROK

The ROK will establish a second reception facility for DPRK defectors in Seongnam, Gyeonggi province, to accommodate expected growth in the number of defectors settling here. The new accommodation, now the Saemaul Training Center building, is in the Bundang area, and will house women and families who came here together. The Ministry of Unification’s plan to add a second facility will cost 5.7 billion won (US$4.75 million). Eighty-six defectors arrived here in 1997, 71 in 1999 and 320 in 2001. So far this year, 520 defectors have come.
“Retraining Facility in ROK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, ROK)

21. ROK Opinion of DPRK

Most ROK people consider the West Sea skirmish between DPRK and ROK as a premeditated provocation by DPRK and think the sunshine policy should be used with a toughened security policy according to a Chosun Ilbo/Gallup Korea telephone poll of 1,011 adults nationwide on July 6. Some 70% of respondents called the clash a premeditated provocation, while 20.2%, said it was an accidental clash between the two Korea’s navies. A total of 59.1% said the sunshine policy should continue but with a tougher security stance based on DPRK’s response, whereas 15.8% said a harder line needed to be taken instead.
“ROK Opinion of DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, ROK)

People’s Republic of China

1. PRC on US Taiwan Missile Sales

The PRC slammed the possible sale of advanced US-built air-to-air missiles to Taiwan, while stoutly defending the development of its own sophisticated new weaponry. “We firmly oppose any country interfering in China’s internal affairs, or selling weapons to Taiwan under any excuse,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman in Beijing said Friday. “China has made solemn representations many times to the US side over the provision of US weapons to Taiwan.” The spokeswoman said that it hoped the US would end arms sales “in order to avoid damage to the common interests of the two countries (China and the United States) and the Sino-American relationship.”
“PRC on US Taiwan Missile Sales” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, US)
“US-Taiwan Missile Transfer” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, US)

2. PRC Views on DPRK-ROK Naval Crash

PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said on June 29 that the PRC is concerned about the exchange of fire between the DPRK and the ROK in the Yellow Sea on the morning of June 29. He said, “We’ve taken note of relevant reports,” expressing concern over the exchange of fire between the two sides in the Yellow Sea. The overall situation on the Korean Peninsula tends to ease and the north and south sides are taking measures to improve their relations, Liu said. The PRC hopes that relevant parties would make efforts to safeguard stability on the peninsula, Liu said.
“PRC Views on DPRK-ROK Naval Crash” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, PRC)

3. PRC-US Relations

A US congressional commission, concerned that the PRC is thwarting US efforts to curb the spread of weapons of mass destruction, is expected to propose tougher sanctions to force the PRC to act, congressional sources say. The US-China Security Review Commission, created by Congress to study the Sino-American economic relationship, will advance the recommendations in a new study due to be released on July 15. They are expected to include limiting PRC access to US capital markets and prohibiting transfer of certain US science and technology resources to the PRC, the sources said.
“PRC-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

4. Powell on PRC Military

US Secretary of State Colin Powell and visiting Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer agreed Thursday that the PRC’s military buildup is no cause for concern. With the PRC’s economy growing at a rate of about 7 percent a year, it is only natural that part of the new wealth is used to improve the PRC’s military, Powell and Downer said at a joint news conference. “We are monitoring it very carefully,” Powell said. Powell said the PRC’s new wealth should be used to benefit the Chinese people. “We know some will be used to modernize the military,” he said.
“Powell on PRC Military” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

5. PRC Missile Development

The PRC may well have tested Russian AA-12 missiles, but these have long been expected as part of a package of Su-30 fighter jets and are unlikely to accelerate an arms race with Taiwan, defence analysts said on Thursday. While they would enhance the PRC’s dog-fighting ability, Taiwan would maintain air superiority for the next few years as it already had indigenous and French air-to-air missiles and more than twice as many modern fighters as the PRC.
“PRC Missile Development” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

6. PRC-US Relations

The PRC will permit the US Defense Department to search a site in northeastern PRC for the remains of two US pilots who died 50 years ago on a Korean War-era mission, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. It marks the first time the PRC has cooperated on a search for the remains of US soldiers who died in the PRC during the Cold War. Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news briefing that the PRC decided to permit the search to promote “friendship between the two peoples and in a humanitarian spirit.” The Pentagon and advocates for the missing hope the PRC will provide more information about the fate of others, including US soldiers captured by PRC troops during the 1950-53 Korean War.
“PRC-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 PRC)
“PRC-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 09, US)

7. PRC-US Relations

US Ambassador to the PRC, Clark T. Randt, on behalf of the US government gave the PRC 300,000 US dollars on July 2 to aid flood victims. It said that the American Red Cross recently also donated 100,000 US dollars to the PRC’s flood-ravaged areas. Also, PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian said on June 27 in Beijing that the PRC is ready to work with the US to improve military relations.
“PRC-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, PRC)

8. Cross-Strait Relations

Taiwan’s president on Wednesday accused the PRC of using “bully tactics” to block the island from providing humanitarian aid to Africa and other impoverished regions. President Chen Shui-bian made the comments after returning from a visit of four African nations that are among a small number of countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. “China’s use of bully tactics to block Taiwan’s humanitarian efforts has no chance of winning international approval,” Chen said. During his 10-day Africa trip, the president visited Senegal, Malawi, Swaziland and Sao Tome and Principe.
“Cross-Strait Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)

9. Cross-strait Relations

PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen urged Taiwan on Friday not to let politics interfere with talks on opening direct trade and transport links with the mainland in the latest of several overtures to the self-ruled island. The PRC also stated that it would allow PRC banks to do direct remittance business with Taiwan counterparts rather than send money via banks elsewhere, bank officials said. Lifting the decades-old ban was “basically an economic question and should not be affected or obstructed by political factors,” the PRC’s top Taiwan policy maker stated.
“Cross-strait Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 08, US)

10. PRC Bounty on DPRK Asylum Seekers

The PRC is offering bounty payments to citizens who denounce DPRK refugees and the missionaries and aid workers helping them seek asylum in foreign embassies, a human rights activist said on Friday. US activist, Timothy Peters, who has been in the PRC helping the refugees, told a seminar in Seoul that the PRC was offering bounty payments to encourage its citizens to spot DPRK asylum-seekers. “Any Chinese citizen who is willing to give information as to an individual, foreign or domestic, who is helping North Korean refugees, is given a bounty of 10 times the amount for giving information on North Korean refugees — the equivalent of $700,” Peters said.
“PRC Bounty on DPRK Asylum Seekers” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 12 US)

11. PRC on US Plan to Oust Saddam

The PRC said it is opposed to US plans to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, arguing that the Middle Eastern country’s sovereignty should not be violated. “(Iraq’s) sovereignty and territorial integrity should be completely respected,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a press briefing. “We maintain that in dealing with state-to-state relations we should abide by the UN Charter and norms governing international relations. We are opposed to the willful threat or use of force,” he said. Liu’s comment came after US President George W. Bush vowed Monday to use “all tools” at his disposal to remove Saddam.
“PRC on US Plan to Oust Saddam” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

12. PRC Foreign Direct Investment

The PRC said on Thursday foreign direct investment jumped a year-on-year 18.7 percent in the first half of 2002, showing the country’s cheap labor and promise of more open markets are still irresistible to overseas businesses. The PRC pulled in US$24.58 billion in foreign direct investment, or FDI, from January to June, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade Ma Xiuhong told a news conference in Hong Kong. The figures indicated a huge US$7.66 billion was invested in June alone.
“PRC Foreign Direct Investment” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 11 US)

13. PRC Military Bases

The PRC’s People’s Liberation Army opened two military bases to scores of foreign journalists Wednesday, a show of equipment and soldiers designed to depict a military capable of protecting the world’s most populous nation. More than 100 reporters from 16 countries were shepherded around parts of the PLA’s 196th Brigade and the 24th Air Division in tour buses led by an army convoy. The program included a shooting exhibition, a tour of the barracks, lunch with soldiers and a flying demonstration. “It is the first time in more than 10 years that so many journalists have been let on a military base,” said Kong Quan, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, which coordinated the event.
“PRC Military Bases” (NAPSNet Daily Report, July 10 US)

Nuclear Issues

1. Related News and Analysis

India’s Deputy Chief of Army Staff has claimed that the Indian Army can “cope with a tactical nuclear strike in the battlefield.” Abdul Kalam, one time director of India’s missile development program and the current Indian Presidential nominee, believes that nuclear deterrent helped avert a nuclear war in South Asia. A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suggests that ‘dirty bombs’ are “a real concern, a real threat.”
“Related News and Analysis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)


1. Current Situation

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan has reportedly found “a large stash of guns, mortars and explosives” eastern Afghanistan. A report in the daily News indicate that British troops may have started evacuating from Khost towards Gardez province. Turkey has taken over the command of the ISAF from Britain. US forces believed to be in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan have reportedly come under rocket fire.
“Current Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

2. Humanitarian Crisis

Khaled Mansour, World Food Program (WFP) spokesman, has stated that unless Afghanistan’s need for food and funds are met urgently, the country “could soon be inhabited by walking skeletons.”
“Humanitarian Crisis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

India-Pakistan Tensions

1. News

The easing of tensions between India and Pakistan has not reduced the war of words between the two countries. Meanwhile, there is confusion over whether India has opened its airspace to Pakistani commercial flights.
“India-Pakistan Tensions” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

2. Analysis and Opinions

An editorial in the daily Indian Express believes that it would “erroneous” to assume that terrorist attacks in Pakistan indicate that President Musharraf is not in control of the jihadi fighters. The daily Hindu’s editorial urges India to take “imaginative de-escalatory steps and [start] a renewed dialogue with Pakistan on all issues.”
“Analysis and Opinions” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)


1. Pakistan: Domestic Situation

Ten people were killed and many more wounded when a car bomb exploded outside the US consulate-general in Karachi. Earlier, unknown assailants had fired three missiles at a camp where Iftikhar Hussain Shah, governor of Pakistan’s frontier province, was staying. A report in Outlook, an Indian magazine, states that President Musharraf is “living under siege, retreating behind impregnable security to escape the wrath of jehadis.” The leaders of Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA), a coalition of six Islamic parties, have stated that the “Kashmir Jihad will continue.” In a effort to control religious schools suspected of encouraging extremism, Pakistan government has approved a law to register and regulate the madaris (religious seminaries), and has also arrested activists of militants Islamic groups
“Pakistan: Domestic Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

2. US-Pakistan Relations

President Musharraf has denied giving an “assurance” to the US of permanently ending movements along the border. Writing for the daily Dawn, Iffat Malik suggest that President Bush is using the ‘war on terrorism’ to get out of the “sticky hole of domestic criticism, waning popularity, the prospect of electoral defeat and an unfinished right-wing agenda.” Adrian Husain’s essay in the same newspaper argues that increase in violence by Jihadis is the price Pakistan “has to pay” for aligning itself with the US.
“US-Pakistan Relations” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)


1. India: Domestic Situation

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a right wing Hindu party, has announced its plans to start a movement for starting construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya reversing earlier assurance it had given to the Union Government that it will abide by the court verdict on the Ayodhya issue. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sought to distance itself from the stand taken by VHP. Prominent saints and seers in Ayodhya have demanded a ban on VHP. According to a report in the daily Hindustan Times, the Gujarat Government is reneging on its official assurances that the victims of Hindu communal violence now living in relief camps would not be forced to go back till the process of rehabilitation is complete.
“India: Domestic Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

2. US-India Relations

Shafek Koreshe’s essay in the daily Dawn, and Sudha Ramchandran’s article in Asia Times examine growing military ties between India and Israel.
“US-India Relations” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)


1. Internal Situation

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has decided to keep its ‘parallel election commission’, conceived in January to prove the grouping’s representative character during the Assembly elections, “in abeyance.” The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has backed APHC’s call to Pakistan to limit its support to the political and diplomatic fronts. APHC has also asked the Indian government to allow its leaders to travel to Pakistan to “negotiate peace with [militants and seek] a peaceful resolution to the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.” Meanwhile, there have been reports of continued violence in the state. However, Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest militant group in Kashmir, has vowed to disrupt the upcoming elections in the Jammu and Kashmir.
“Internal Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

2. India, Pakistan, US

A report in the daily Hindu suggests that Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee may be open to discussing “devolution of more powers” to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). VHP has called upon Hindus to “ensure the success of its crusade to safeguard the interests of the minorities (Hindus) in Jammu and Kashmir.” India has ruled out the deployment of foreign troops in J&K to help flush out suspected al Qaeda fighters. Prime Minster Vajpayee has stated that he views US role in J&K as that of ‘facilitator’ not mediator.
“India, Pakistan, US” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

3. Opinion and Analysis

An editorial in the daily Telegraph, India, argues that “there is considerable merit in the demand for autonomy” made by Farooq Abdullah, the Chief Minister of J&K. Writing for the daily Hindu, Harish Khare argues that “it is about time New Delhi realises that the Abdullahs are not the solution but a part of the problem.” Kuldip Nayar’s essay in the daily Dawn argues that it a delusion to believe that “Kashmir has remained a bilateral problem or that we have been able to keep away the association of a third party.” Writing for the daily Hindu, Amitabh Mattoo argues that “converting the LoC into the international border is being seen as the most practical solution to the Kashmir issue.”
“Opinion and Analysis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #22)

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