NAPSNet Daily Report
january 25, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

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I. United States

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1. US-PRC Military Exchanges

Associated Press (Robert Burns, "CHINA, U.S. DISCUSS DEFENSE ISSUES," Washington, 1/25/00) reported that US and PRC officials met at the US Defense Department on Tuesday to discuss defense and security issues. US Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon said the session was delayed slightly by a morning snowstorm but continued through the day, and was to finish with a dinner. A wrap-up session on January 26 will conclude with a half-hour meeting between Xiong and US Defense Secretary William Cohen. Bacon said the expected topics are military-to-military exchanges, the situation in North Korea, US plans for ballistic missile defenses, and expansion of the NATO alliance and Asia-Pacific regional issues.

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2. PRC on DPRK Missile Threat

Reuters ("CHINA BLAMES U.S. FOR NORTH KOREA MISSILE THREAT," Beijing, 1/25/00) reported that the PRC reproached the US on Tuesday for DPRK's threat to reconsider its missile test moratorium. Regarding the DPRK threat, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told a news conference, "North Korea raised its point of view because the United States carried out the test in question. We have always held that the United States' development of this system, which violates the anti-missile defense treaty, does no good to the global and regional strategic peace and stability. We urge the U.S. side to handle this problem with great care."

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3. Cross Strait Relations

Reuters ("CHINA REJECTS INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM IN TAIWAN," Beijing, 1/25/00) reported that the PRC on Tuesday underlined its opposition to any referendum on independence for Taiwan. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, "China's 1.2 billion people cannot agree to a split by Taiwan through a so-called 'referendum'." Zhu reiterated that there is only one China in the world and that the People's Republic of China is the sole, legitimate government representing that China. Zhu said the PRC is willing to resume talks with Taiwan only under the principle of "one China." Chen Shui-bian, candidate for Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party which advocates holding a referendum to decide the island's political future, is running second in public opinion polls.

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4. Spratly Islands Dispute

Agence France Presse ("TWO CHINESE FISHING BOATS TRAPPED BY PHILIPPINE NAVY IN DISPUTED SHOAL," Manila, 1/25/00) reported that official Philippine sources said two PRC fishing boats were trapped in shallow waters of the disputed Scarborough Shoal on January 24 by a Philippine navy vessel. The foreign department sources said the two vessels were trapped after they and two other PRC fishing boats were chased by a Filipino navy patrol craft on Tuesday morning. Anonymous sources said the Philippine military has yet to decide whether to board the two vessels or to let them leave the area. The navy accused the fishing vessels of illegally gathering seaweed on Philippine territory. Asked to comment on the incident, Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Lauro Baja told reporters, "if this is true, then the frequency of the Chinese presence in Scarborough Shoal is disturbing. The series of presence lends credence to our legislators' fears in reference to China's creeping invasion in the South China Sea." Baja warned on Tuesday that the situation would not create a favorable climate ahead of Philippine President Joseph Estrada's visit to the PRC next May.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K.'S THREAT NOT LIKELY TO DERAIL TALKS ON IMPROVING TIES WITH U.S." Seoul, 01/25/00) reported that ROK officials said on January 24 that despite the DPRK's threat to reconsider its decision to declare a moratorium on missile testing, the US and the DPRK are likely to agree on some details of a high-level DPRK official's visit to Washington, as neither side wants to squander the new "momentum" to create bilateral ties. ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Jang Jai-ryong said, "the United States and North Korea made no breakthroughs in the previous rounds of their discussions. If they fail to make progress in the ongoing round in Berlin, the desire for better ties that is necessary for both sides is likely to disappear." DPRK watchers in the ROK said that the DPRK would call for the US to lift further economic sanctions imposed on the DPRK and provide broader aid before it gives the go-ahead to the landmark diplomatic visit. Jang continued, "however, as hardline sentiment is rampant in the United States in the run up to the presidential elections, it will be difficult for North Korea to milk more benefits from the American side. North Korea also understands the situation in the United States, and therefore has few alternatives to accepting the high-level official's visit in the Berlin talks." He cautioned it was too early to predict if the US would make further concessions in return for the high-level talks.

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2. EU Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald ("EU TO SEND N.K. 800,000 EUROS WORTH OF AID," Seoul, 01/25/00) reported that an ROK government source said on January 24 that the European Union (EU) will give 800,000 Euros ($880,000) in aid to the DPRK for a public health project. The fund, collected by non-governmental organizations like CAD of Britain, CONCERN of Ireland and CESVI of Italy, will go to public health centers and hospitals and to buy clothing and coal, the source said.

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3. UN Protests to Russia on DPRK Defectors' Issue

Chosun Ilbo (Jung Kwon-hyun, "UN HEAD TO VISIT RUSSIA TO PROTEST DEPORTATION.," Seoul, 01/24/00) reported that United Nation's secretary-general Kofi Anan will visit Russia within the week and meet with acting Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and other high ranking government officials to protest the deportation of seven DPRK escapees. The DPRK Nationals were granted the status of 'refugees' to the PRC by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), but were still returned to the DPRK. Anan asked assurance that such deportations would not recur. A diplomatic source stated that the UN regards the recent deportations by Russia and then by the PRC, both of whom signed the International Refugee Treaty in 1951, as an act damaging the authority of the UN.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
International Policy Studies Institute Seoul, Republic of Korea
The Center for Global Communications, Tokyo, Japan
Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Asian Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Leanne Paton:
Clayton, Australia

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