NAPSNET Week in Review 17 May, 2002

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"NAPSNET Week in Review 17 May, 2002", NAPSNet Weekly Report, May 17, 2002,

United States

1. US-Russia Arms Treaty

Russia backed down over a key demand in nuclear arms talks with the US to ensure that a treaty slashing arsenals was ready for a summit next week, a senior US administration official said Tuesday. He said Russia had focused on the core issue — cutting deployed nuclear warheads to 1,700 to 2,200 each — and stripped the accord of sensitive matters on which there was no agreement. With the summit due next week, the deal had stumbled on Russia’s opposition to what it branded “virtual cuts” — the Pentagon’s insistence that US nuclear warheads could be stored rather than scrapped. On Monday, President Bush announced that he would sign a four-page arms reduction treaty with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Moscow and St. Petersburg which gets under way on May 23.
“Russia-US Arms Reduction Treaty” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)
“US-Russia Arms Treaty” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)

2. Russia-US Missile Defense

US President George W. Bush intends to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to cooperate with the US in joint projects to defend against missile attack. If the Russian leader accepts the offer, it would mean a turnabout in Putin’s skepticism about missile defenses and would accelerate cooperation between the US and Russia on a number of fronts. According to a senior US official, Bush also will offer to share US technology with Russia, a move first proposed by President Reagan two decades ago as part of his space-defense dream. Bush’s intention is to enshrine anti-missile cooperation in a document of strategic cooperation that will be issued when he meets Putin in Moscow.
“Russia-US Missile Defense” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)

3. US Missile Defense

Work on underground silos for missile interceptors will begin in Alaska on June 14, the first day the government will be freed from a 1972 treaty that bans major missile defenses, the head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said Tuesday. Withdrawal from the treaty also gives the US military more freedom to explore the use of additional radars as part of a missile defense system, Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish. The plan is to build five missile interceptor silos and associated communications systems this summer so that by September 2004 the site, at Fort Greely near Fairbanks, could be available in an emergency.
“US-Russia Missile Defense” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)

4. Russia NATO Deal

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) approved an agreement today accepting Russia into a new partnership with the allies on terrorism, arms control and international crisis management in a post-Sept. 11 world. “Together, the countries that spent four decades glowering at each other across the wall of hatred and fear now have the opportunity to transform Euro-Atlantic security for the better,” the NATO secretary general, Lord Robertson, said at a meeting of foreign ministers here. The British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, called the agreement “the funeral of the cold war,” which he pronounced “kaput.” However, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that Russia has no interest in formally joining NATO.
“Russia on NATO” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)
“Russia NATO Deal” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, US)

Korean Peninsula

1. DPRK World Cup Defectors

Hundreds of DPRK defectors hiding in the PRC will try to reach the ROK on boats during the World Cup, stated German human rights activist Nobert Vollertsen said. The boat people-style campaign will be the latest attempt by Vollertsen, a doctor who was thrown out of the DPRK last year. “We will create boat people actions in international waters in front of the North Korean, South Korean and Chinese coasts,” Vollertsen said on May 17. The DPRK defectors will then be moved to larger boats in international waters to travel to the ROK, he said. He said up to 1,500 asylum seekers could try to enter the ROK during the World Cup, which runs from May 31 to June 30 in the ROK and Japan.
“DPRK World Cup Defectors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)

2. DPRK Asylum Seekers

Five DPRK defectors in the US and Canadian missions in PRC will arrive in ROK as early as Wednesday, a government source said Monday night. The two persons in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing will join the three on their trip to the ROK Tuesday. Another five DPRK defectors in the custody of the PRC police are still seeking asylum to the US and declining to go to ROK. The five, including a 2-year-old girl, Kim Han-mi, were aided by international nongovernmental groups, which had carefully planned the five DPRK defectors’ attempt.
“State of DPRK Defectors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)
“North Korean Asylum Seekers” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, ROK)
“DPRK Defectors: Global Diplomatic Problem” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, ROK)
“North Korean Asylum Seeker” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, ROK)

3. DPRK-US Relations

Foreign minister of the DPRK was quoted as saying on May 14 that conditions were not yet ripe for resuming talks with the US. Paek Nam-sum also said the DPRK wanted to improve ties with Japan provided Japan was willing to invest and adopt an “objective and fair view” of the history of their relations.
“DPRK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, PRC)
“DPRK-US Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)

4. Inter Korean Economic Relations

The trade volume between the two Koreas continues to increase every month, reported the Unification Ministry Wednesday. The recent report from the ministry has it the total volume of inter-Korean trade for last April was 41.971 million, which is 31.6 percent increase from its previous month. So far inter-Korean trade from January to April this year recorded $129.987 million, 21.4 percent increase from same time last year. ROK’s import from DPRK recorded $65.357 million, a 57.4 percent increase from last year while export slightly declined by 1.4 percent yielding $64.63 million.
“Inter Korean Economic Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, ROK)

5. Inter-Korean Rail

The ROK offered Wednesday to provide US$30 million worth of rails and ties to the DPRK to help build a railway line across their heavily armed border. The ROK and the DPRK last month agreed to restart inter-Korean projects including work on the Kyong-ui rail line that will connect Seoul and Pyongyang. They also agreed to build another rail line along the east coast. “The delay in the construction of the Kyong-ui line is partly due to a lack of equipment and material in North Korea. We are willing to provide ties and rails to expedite construction,” said Unification Minister Chung Se-hyun during a news conference. Although The DPRK didn’t ask for such aid, Chung said, it will “be beneficial for the nation’s future” as the cross-border railways will help expand exchanges between the ROK and the DPRK.
“The Inter Korean Railway” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, ROK)
“Inter-Korean Rail” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, US)

6. DPRK-ROK Relations

The DPRK abruptly cancelled plans for economic cooperation talks between the two countries last week after saying it had taken offense at remarks by the ROK’s foreign minister. ROK analysts said that the DPRK could have decided to focus on preparing for talks with the US, although there is no sign yet those negotiations will happen soon. They also said that the DPRK might simply not have been ready for the talks because they cover projects such as a railway it cannot afford to start, let alone finish. But Jeong said Seoul was sure the DPRK would come back to the table soon. “I am very confident that (North-South) relations will again improve,” Jeong said.
“DPRK-ROK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, US)

7. ROK Domestic Politics

ROK prosecutors questioned the youngest son of President Kim Dae-Jung over an alleged graft scandal, dealing a blow to the leader’s image as a reform crusader. Kim Hong-Gul, 39, apologized for the cash-for-contracts scandal, which has rocked the ROK for months. All major television stations cancelled their regular programs to cover the son’s tearful apology live. “I am sorry. I feel ashamed before my parents and apologize to the people,” Kim Hong-Gul said as he walked with his head bowed into the Seoul district prosecutors office. Prosecutors have summoned Kim Hong-Gul for questioning over allegations he took 2.8 billion won (US$2.2 million) in bribes from businessmen. He returned home from the US on Tuesday.
“ROK Domestic Politics” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, US)
“ROK Domestic Politics” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)

8. DPRK-ROK Relations

The daughter of former ROK President Park Chung-Hee received a warm welcome on the first day of her five-day trip to the DPRK. Park Geun-Hye, 50, was invited to a dinner, attended by high-ranking DPRK officials, soon after she arrived in Pyongyang Saturday. Kim Yong-Sun, a key associate of the North’s supreme leader Kim Jong-Il, hosted the dinner. Park Geun-Hye, a possible candidate in this year’s presidential election in ROK, has said she would seek to meet the DPRK’s leader.
“A ROK Lawmaker to visit Kim Jong Il” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, ROK)
“Park Chung-hee in DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)
“DPRK-ROK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, US)

9. DPRK Economic Growth

The DPRK’s economy grew an estimated 3.7 percent last year, the third consecutive year of growth after a decade of contraction, the ROK’s central bank said Tuesday. The Bank of Korea attributed the continued growth to good agricultural production including an 8.2 percent estimated rise in the grain harvest. The ROK officials calculated their estimates on the DPRK economy with data collected from international aid groups and other sources. The DPRK’s overall agriculture, forestry and fishing industries grew a combined 6.8 percent in 2001, the Bank of Korea said. Its construction sector grew 7 percent, while the mining and manufacturing industries expanded 8.3 percent, the bank said.
“DPRK Economic Growth” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)

10. DPRK-ROK Relations

DPRK leader Kim Jong Il said he was willing to keep a promise to visit the ROK, but did not say when nor under what conditions, an ROK lawmaker said Tuesday on return from a five day trip to the DPRK. Independent lawmaker Park Geun-hye, quoted Kim Jong II as saying “I will make the trip at an appropriate time.” As part of an inter-Korean agreement made in 2000, Kim Jong Il promised to visit the ROK for a second summit with President Kim Dae-jung, whose term ends in February. “Although no specific dates were mentioned, the North’s leader said he would keep his promise,” Park said at a news conference in Seoul.
“DPRK-ROK Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)

11. The Ariring Festival

The Arirang festival has been a foreign currency-spinner in Pyongyang. The leadership’s expectations for the festival were high, the number of currency exchange booths has increased and competition between souvenir shops has become more fierce. A reporter told his guide that the US$300 price tag for special seats to watch mass gymnastics at the May 1 Stadium, was the equivalent of the price tag for a first-rate opera in ROK. The guide remarked that the price of the tickets was reasonable because 100,000 people prepared for the event for months. A Korean-American who said he spent US$1,700 for a six-day tour remarked that the price was in line with his perception of international standards.
“The Ariring Festival” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, ROK)

12. F-15K Project

Boeing, the US winner of the ROK Air Force’s next-generation fighter jet project, is willing to cut the cost of the F-15K jets, according to a senior National Defense Ministry official on Sunday. “Boeing accepted the government’s demand to cut the price of the 40 fighters, which they had priced at US$4.46 billion.” The official, who requested anonymity, said price negotiations have begun in earnest. The ministry decided in early May to hold off signing a formal contract with Boeing unless the company lowered the price to the same level, US$4.27 billion, proposed by Dassault of France, a rival bidder for the contract.
“F-15K Project” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, ROK)

13. DPRK Terror List

The US Department of State will announce its yearly terror report, which includes a list of terrorist supporting countries, on May 21 and a government source said Sunday that it will include DPRK. He said after the September 11 attack, DPRK has shown no active efforts to prevent terrorism or share terrorist information and was therefore filed as a terrorist supporting country. However, in the report the US will evaluate some affirmative measures such as DPRK’s signing the agreement of seizing terrorists’ funds.
“DPRK Terror List” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, ROK)

14. The “Main Enemy” Issue

The DPRK has again demanded the ROK do away with the “main enemy” tag, just prior to its release of the 2002 White Paper from the National Defense Ministry in the ROK on Wednesday. The DPRK claims that phrase not only runs counter to the June 15 Joint Declaration, but also contradicts the recent April 5 joint press release aiming to improve the temporarily frozen inter-Korean ties.
“The “Main Enemy” Issue” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, ROK)

15. ROK-PRC Relations

Two warships of the navy of the PRC People’s Liberation Army concluded the three-day visit to the ROK and returned to the PRC on May 11. This was the first visit by the Chinese navy to the ROK.
“ROK-PRC Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, PRC)

People’s Republic of China

1. PRC-Japan DPRK Defectors

The PRC has refused to hand over to Japan the five DPRK citizens it detained from a Japanese consulate in northeast PRC, a Japanese diplomat said. “They said they cannot do that because there is no international or domestic legal basis for that,” an unnamed Japanese diplomat stated. Japan’s call for the PRC to hand over five DPRK asylum seekers appeared to be undermined by reports that Japan’s ambassador to the PRC had ordered would-be refugees to be expelled from the embassy. Japanese media reported the orders were given in an embassy staff meeting only hours before the five DPRK defectors ran into a Japanese consulate in northeast PRC and were dragged out by PRC police. The reports, quoting Japanese diplomatic sources, said ambassador Koreshige Anami had told his staff to expel any “suspicious individuals” who entered the embassy grounds.
“PRC-Japanese Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, PRC)
“PRC-Japan DPRK Defectors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, US)
“PRC-Japan DPRK Defectors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, US)
“PRC-Japan DPRK Defectors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 14, US)
“PRC-Japan DPRK Defectors” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, US)

2. Canadian Embassy DPRK Refugees

In the third asylum bids in the PRC a week, two DPRK citizens have sought refuge in the Canadian embassy in Beijing, an embassy spokeswoman said. “We’ve got a man and a woman. They’re both probably (in their) late 20s, early 30s,” said spokeswoman Jennifer May. “They arrived Saturday morning and we’ve been looking after them since then.” May refused to say how the two got in, citing security reasons. May said Canadian embassy officials had been negotiating with PRC officials in the hope that the PRC would let the two leave for a third country.
“Canadian Embassy DPRK Refugees” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, US)

3. PRC Protest US Sanctions

The PRC protested on Friday over US sanctions imposed on PRC firms and business people. “China expresses its opposition and dissatisfaction with the United States’ unreasonable sanctions,” the PRC Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The US imposed sanctions on Thursday against eight PRC, two Moldovan and two Armenian entities accused of aiding what it says is an effort by Iran to build weapons of mass destruction. The PRC denies the accusations, saying either the technology is for civilian use or the exporters are beyond its control, and wants the US to lift all sanctions on PRC entities, especially over cooperation in the space industry.
“PRC Protest US Sanctions” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)

4. PRC’s View of US-Russia Nuclear Pact

The PRC welcomed a pact between the US and Russia to slash their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds, but called for more reductions. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan laid out the PRC’s position in a phone call Thursday night with US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Tang “expressed the hope that the two countries will continue their efforts to reduce their nuclear arsenals in this manner, so as to further advance the process of international nuclear disarmament.”
“PRC’s View of US-Russia Nuclear Pact” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)

5. Taiwan-WHO Membership

The PRC on May 13 reiterated that Taiwan has no qualifications to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO) after a WHO assembly rejected a proposal to invite Taiwan to the assembly as an observer. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said at a press conference that the WHO is one of the UN’s special organizations whose membership is open only to sovereign states, pointing out that Taiwan, as part of the PRC, is not qualified to participate in the WHO. He said the real reason that the Taiwan authorities persuades a few countries to raise the proposal year after year is to realize its attempt to have “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” in the WHO.
“Across-Taiwan Straits Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, PRC)

6. PRC Satellite Launch

The PRC’s Long March IV-B Carrier Rocket successfully launched a marine exploratory satellite and a meteorological satellite into space at around 09:50 on May 15. Launched from the satellite launch center based in Taiyuan, capital of north PRC’s Shanxi Province, Haiyang-1 (Ocean-1) is the first marine-surveying satellite independently developed by the PRC, and the Fengyun-1D lead the way to comprehensive weather services and monitoring the global environment, said the report.
“PRC Satellite Launch” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, PRC)

7. Jiang on PRC Leadership Transition

PRC President Jiang Zemin, widely expected to retire as head of the Chinese Communist Party this fall, called on the nation’s younger generation of leaders to blaze new trails in the PRC’s modernization drive, state press reported. However, in a speech marking the 80th anniversary of the Communist Party Youth League, Jiang also implied that the next generation of leaders must continue to obey party policies and traditions. “Only as new generations surpass earlier generations and the next generation supercedes the present can matters develop and society improve,” Jiang said.
“Jiang on PRC Leadership Transition” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, US)

8. Cross-Straits Relations

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian stated on CNN Wednesday that as long as the PRC’s military threatens Taiwan, unification will be impossible for the two sides. Chen expressed, “They point missiles and guns at us. This can’t be tolerated by anyone,” Chen said, according to CNN’s English translation of its interview with the president. President Chen also accused PRC leaders of seeking to influence elections in Taiwan by backing certain candidates. Chen said that there was evidence that the PRC had spent money on “candidates they were fond of… in order to manipulate the elections.”
“Cross-Straits Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, US)
“Cross-Straits Relations” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, US)

9. Cross-Straits Oil Exploration

Taiwan’s state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) and its PRC counterpart signed a landmark agreement on Thursday for joint oil exploration, sidestepping political wrangling between Taiwan and the PRC. The deal provides for CPC and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) to invest a total of US$25 million over four years to hunt for oil — one of the boldest moves to tear down obstacles to trade and investment since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. The move also paves the way for both state firms to jointly develop the exploration block. “As far as I know it’s the first large-scale cooperation between two state-owned enterprises across the Strait,” said CNOOC President Wei Liucheng after signing the agreement.
“Cross-Straits Oil Exploration” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, US)

10. PRC Internet Freedom

The PRC appears to have lifted long-standing blocks on the Web sites of several Western news organizations that were freely accessible through local Internet connections in Beijing and Shanghai on Thursday. There was no official announcement explaining why normally censored Web sites, which included those of Reuters, CNN and the Washington Post, were accessible, some as early as Wednesday evening. Nor was there any immediate indication of a change in policy.
“PRC Internet Freedom” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, US)

11. Taiwan Domestic Politics

Two lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party suggested on Sunday that the party shelve a part of its platform that calls for Taiwan’s formal independence from the PRC. The platform, adopted more than a decade ago, is outdated and no longer reflects reality, DPP lawmaker Lee Wen-chung declared. Lee said that he expects that President Chen Shui-bian will help approve the change when DPP leaders meet in July. Another DPP legislator, Chen Chi-mai, said the change could help Taiwan improve its trade and political relations with the PRC, a vital step to prevent the island from being marginalized amid the trend toward globalization.
“Taiwan Domestic Politics” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 13, US)


1. Japanese Security Legislation

The Japanese Diet debate on the new defense bills has raised the question of what kinds of situations would the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) be mobilized? The package says the SDF will go into action in a “military attack situation.” Generally, this situation refers to the following three cases: (1) Japan has been attacked from abroad; (2) an attack is imminent; or (3) an attack is anticipated. However, official answers given so far are vague.
“Japanese Security Legislation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, Japan)
“Japanese Security Legislation” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, Japan)

2. Japan Anti-terror War

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has endorsed an administration proposal to extend Japanese support for US-led anti-terrorist effort until Nov. 19, beyond the original deadline of May 19, party legislators said Thursday. There will be no change in the Japanese mission, which is limited to support activities such as supplying fuel and materials carried by the Maritime Self-Defense Forces vessels to US Navy vessels in the Indian Ocean.
“Japan Anti-terror War” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)
“Japanese Logistical Support for US” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, Japan)
“Anti-Terror Finance Bill” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, Japan)

3. Japan-DPRK Humanitarian Aid

Japan is withholding humanitarian assistance to the DPRK as it weighs diplomatic disputes including allegations that its citizens were abducted by DPRK spies, a Japanese official said on May 17. The UN’s World Food Program has issued an urgent appeal for 610,000 tons of rice to prevent the DPRK from sinking deeper into famine. But Japan, which last gave aid to the DPRK in 2000, will not grant any more until it has carefully considered aspects of bilateral relations such as the kidnapping dispute, a Foreign Ministry official stated on condition of anonymity. “Japan is sitting on the rice the W.F.P. needs and is playing a game of chicken with North Korea over these issues,” said Thomas McCarthy, an international agriculture and relief consultant who has often worked in the DPRK.
“Japan-DPRK Humanitarian Aid” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 17, US)

4. Japan’s Rejection to Refugees

Just hours before the asylum bids of a DPRK family last week, Japan’s ambassador to PRC Koreshige Anami ordered his staff to expel any DPRK defectors from embassy grounds, Japanese media reported Wednesday. Anami reported said, “It is better to drive them out than to let them enter and cause trouble.” Kyodo News also reported that Mr. Anami had made similar remarks in 1996, citing sources who then worked with him at the embassy.

“Japan’s Rejection to Refugees” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 16, ROK)
“Defectors from DPRK” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, Japan)

5. Okinawa 30 Year Anniversary

Okinawa marked the 30th anniversary of its return to Japanese control with a fresh appeal for more help in hosting US military bases that are unpopular with the local population. Keiichi Inamine, the governor of Japan’s southernmost province, said he would continue to argue to the government that the rest of the country should share the burden. “Every opportunity I get, I will continue to tell the national government that the problem … is an important national issue, and the burden of hosting the bases must be carried equally by the entire Japanese public,” he said.
“Okinawa 30 Year Anniversary” (NAPSNet Daily Report, May 15, US)

Nuclear Issues

1. Related News and Analysis

According to Bruce Riedel, a senior adviser to Bill Clinton, Pakistani army had mobilized its nuclear arsenal against India in July, 1999, without the knowledge of the then Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. Writing in response to reports that Pakistan is planning missile tests, M. V. Ramana argues that such tests would only serve to increase tensions between Pakistan and India. Shaukat Qadir’s article in the Daily Times argues that the real danger in South Asia is “that of a nuclear exchange through accidental use, unauthorized use, or through misperceptions.” Columnist Praful Bidwai argues that there are “no worthy arguments” for India and Pakistan to keep their nuclear weapons.
“Related News and Analysis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)


1. Current Situation

Unknown assailants fired two rockets at an airfield in eastern Afghanistan. Both US and British troops have launched new operations around Khost. At least 10 persons, reportedly participating in a wedding, were killed when a US warplane bombed a village in the eastern Afghan province of Khost. Afghan and coalition troops seized control of a local radio station in Khost from the supporters of warlord Padshad Khan. According to a spokesman for the British forces in Afghanistan, coalition forces have discovered another major ammunition and weaponry cache in eastern Afghanistan.
“Current Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

2. Reconstruction

Afghan interim ruler Hamid Karzai is scheduled to hold talks with his Pakistani and Turkman counterparts about plans for building a pipeline to export oil and gas from Turkmenistan to the Indian sub-continent.
“Reconstruction” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

India-Pakistan Tensions

1. News

The murder of over thirty people in Jammu (see Kashmir section below) has heightened tensions between India and Pakistan. India has asked Pakistan to recall its High Commissioner. There is concern that India might, among other actions, launch a limited strike across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. At least 12 people have been killed in heavy gunfire across the LoC. A Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson has stated that in case of a military action by India, Pakistan will “hit back with full force.” Unconfirmed reports indicate that the US might send Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to the region. The just concluded visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca was apparently unsuccessful in reducing tensions between India and Pakistan.
“India-Pakistan Tensions” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

2. Analysis

Atul Aneja of the daily Hindu reports that “India may not have the option of engaging Pakistan in a full-scale war.” According to P. R. Chari India does not have a military strategy; “they do and say things ad hoc.”
“Analysis” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

3. Kashmir

Militant extremist in Jammu killed thirty people, most of them children. There were also other reports of violence and killing in Jammu and Kashmir. United Jihad Council, an alliance of militant Islamic groups, has pledged to continue the “armed struggle” until India “no longer occupy the land of Kashmir.” Seema Guha’s article in the daily Telegraph examines how the Indian authorities calculate figures of armed militants infiltrating into Kashmir.
“Internal Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

Pakistan and India

1. Pakistan: Domestic Situation

French experts investigating the recent bomb attack in Karachi that killed 11 French nationals believe that Islamic extremist in Pakistan carried out the attack. Pakistan Police has claimed that it has found a clue to the suspects allegedly involved in the suicide bombing. Over 400 people have so far been arrested in connection with the investigations. The government has started cracking down on militant Islamic groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and has arrested its leader Hafiz Saeed. Many illegal, mostly Afghan, immigrants have also been arrested. Kamran Khan’s report in the daily News indicates that there were serious lapses in security procedures for the French navy technicians working in Karachi.
“Pakistan: Domestic Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

2. Campaign Against al-Qaeda

The presence of Pakistani and US troops in Pakistan’s federally administrated tribal agencies is causing resentment in the area. The US forces in the area have reportedly come under rocket attack. An unspecified number of people have been arrested in the area. The daily News reports that Pakistan has requested the US to avoid direct operations in the tribal areas.
“Campaign Against al-Qaeda” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

3. Daniel Pearl Case

Pakistani authorities have recovered a body believed to be of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Kamran Khan’s report in the daily News details the events that led to the discovery of the body.
“Daniel Pearl Case” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

4. India: Domestic Situation

Sporadic communal violence continued in Gujarat. An essay by Asghar Ali Engineer derives some hope from “examples of communal harmony in the midst of communal frenzy.” In an essay that originally appeared in the daily Hindustan Times, Rajni Kothari argues that events in Gujarat have “led to a polarization that goes far beyond a mere Hindu-Muslim divide.” Hemant Babu’s essay in Frontline suggests that violence in Gujarat “is a consequence of the political recasting of social identities.”
“India: Domestic Situation” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

Regional News

1. Sri Lanka

J.N.Dixit, former Foreign Secretary of India, argues that “India must …view the forthcoming negotiations [between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE] with caution and limited optimism.”
“Regional News” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

2. Nepal

The Communist Party of Nepal has declared a temporary unilateral ceasefire in both Nepal and India.
“Nepal” (SANDNet Weekly Update, V.3 #18)

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