NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, june 26, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Australia

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I. United States

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1. US Troops in ROK

Reuters ("N.KOREA UNDERSTANDS NEED FOR U.S. TROOPS," Seoul, 6/24/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said that the DPRK understood the ROK's rationale for keeping US troops on the peninsula. He said that he told DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, "If the 100,000 U.S. troops in Korea and Japan withdraw, the security and balance of power on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia and the Pacific will be seriously affected. I have to say to you the continued presence of the U.S. troops in Korea is compatible with our national interests." He also said that the ROK would maintain "firm coordination with the U.S. and Japan. At the same time, we will keep our closer partnerships with China and Russia. There is no reason why North Korea should not become friends with all four."

Reuters (Elaine Monaghan, "ALBRIGHT FLIES U.S. FLAG IN S.KOREA, DEFENDS TROOPS," 6/23/00) and Reuters (ALBRIGHT DOES NOT RULE OUT MEETING N.KOREA MINISTER," Seoul, 6/23/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told a news conference that US troops must stay on the peninsula despite the DPRK's recent re-engagement. She said, "I think it is very clear that the United States is a Pacific power as well as an Atlantic power ... that our forces, when they are stationed somewhere, provide the evidence of American interest." She did not rule out meeting DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun if he attends an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Thailand next month. She said, "There is some thought that the foreign minister of the DPRK will be at the ASEAN Regional Forum and we'll see how that progresses."

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, "S. KOREANS PROTEST AGAINST US," Seoul, 6/25/00) reported that 2,500 people in Seoul and another 1,000 at Maehyang-ri target range marked the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean War on Sunday with a protest calling for withdrawal of US troops from the ROK. They marched from a park in Seoul chanting and carrying signs protesting the presence of US troops.

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2. ROK-DPRK Red Cross Talks

The Associated Press ("KOREAN RED CROSS GROUPS TO MEET," Seoul, 6/23/00; and "S. KOREA RED CROSS HEADS TO N. KOREA," Seoul, 6/26/00) reported that a delegation from the ROK Red Cross left June 26 for the DPRK to hold talks for four days on reuniting separated families. The meeting will be held on Mt. Kumgang.

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3. US-DPRK Missile Talks

The Los Angeles Times (Bob Drogin, "U.S. EXPECTS TO REVIVE N. KOREA MISSILE TALKS," Beijing, 6/22/00) reported that US State Department officials said that they expect to soon resume talks aimed at persuading the DPRK to halt the development, testing, deployment and export of ballistic missiles. A State Department official called the extension of the 9-month-old DPRK moratorium on missile testing "very important" because it "is self-imposed and not legally required." The official added, "Now there have been suggestions that there's some sense of urgency or emergency about these consultations and that we're rushing off in the wake of the [Korean] summit to somehow assess what is the U.S. role. I want to assure you that really nothing could be further from reality."

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State ("SECRETARY OF STATE'S REMARKS ON U.S. FOREIGN POLICY," 6/22/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said that the US remains concerned about the nuclear and missile potential of the DPRK. Albright stated, "It is the responsibility that the President has asked us all to try to figure out whether a national missile defense, which would protect all 50 states against this kind of a threat, should be put into place. And the threat that we have seen is primarily from North Korea and a little later from Iran."

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4. ROK Missile Development

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, "AS RELATIONS THAW, SEOUL SUSPENDS ARMS PLAN," Seoul, 6/25/00, P. A20) reported that the success of the recent inter-Korean summit and the DPRK's promise to suspend its own missile development has prompted the ROK to hesitate to produce longer-range missiles as agreed upon with the US earlier this year. An unnamed ROK expert stated, "We've got the technical capacity to go to 500 kilometers [310 miles] and beyond." An agreement between the US and ROK keeps the ROK to ranges that are within internationally set guidelines for other countries. An ROK source said, "We've got the summit now. If we go ahead with the missiles, it could screw up the summit track." Yasuhiko Yoshida, a Japanese university professor and head of a humanitarian group, said, "Pyongyang has changed its strategy. Washington has been manipulating the Japanese government with a fabricated threat to draw out Japanese money to help finance missile defense" research.

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5. US-ROK-Japan Policy Coordination

The Associated Press ("KOREA, JAPAN, U.S. TALKS SET," Washington, 6/22/00) and the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State ("STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 22, 2000," 6/22/00) reported that US State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip Reeker said that delegations from the US, the ROK, and Japan would meet for trilateral consultations in Honolulu June 29-30 as part of the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group. Reeker said that the delegations will be led by US Ambassador Wendy Sherman, ROK Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Jang Jai-ryong, and Japanese Deputy Vice Minister for Foreign Policy Yukio Takeuchi. He added that the two-day meeting will be used to discuss a "range of issues in our ongoing coordination of policy toward" the DPRK.

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6. ROK-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "US AMBASSADOR: KOREA TIES PROCEEDING," Seoul, 6/26/00) reported that US Ambassador Stephen Bosworth said that the DPRK is sincere about improving ties with the ROK and that rapprochement could proceed more swiftly than expected. He said, "It could take less time than many of us wise pundits on the outside now believe. North Korea does not have a vested interest in delay and will be interested in moving this process forward." He also said, "The problems will be great, patience will be required. We hope to announce in the next few days the date for the resumption of our missile negotiations."

The Associated Press (Seok Kyong-hwa, "S. KOREAN URGES MILITARY VIGILANCE," Seoul, 6/25/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Sunday urged the ROK military to remain alert despite moves toward reconciliation with the DPRK. He said, "Until unification is actually fully achieved and a firm guarantee of peace is arranged, we cannot afford to relax. Firm security should be sustained; peace can be guaranteed only through a tight defense posture." He also said, "If [war] happened the whole nation would be decimated by the use of extremely advanced weapons of mass destruction. We should never dream of unification by force or absorbing the other side."

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7. Korean War Anniversary

Reuters (Randall Mikkelsen, "U.S. SEES END TO KOREAN WAR 50 YEARS AFTER START," Washington, 6/25/00) reported that at US commemorations of the start of the Korean War, Vice President Al Gore proclaimed that an end to the technically unresolved conflict was in sight. He said, "With the meeting that took place at Pyongyang it is possible for us to imagine that within three years, when the 50th anniversary of the armistice is commemorated, we will be able to say, 'mission accomplished.'"

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State ("PRESIDENT CLINTON'S JUNE 23 PROCLAMATION ON KOREAN WAR," 6/23/00) reported that US President Clinton issued a proclamation on June 23 to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War 50 years ago. He stated, "Over the next 3-1/2 years, Americans will gather to observe the 50th anniversary of the Korean War and honor our veterans."

The New York Times (Calvin Sims, "SEOUL MUTES WAR'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY," Seoul, 6/25/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung paid tribute Sunday to the soldiers who fought in the Korean War in subdued ceremonies. The opening ceremony was attended by about 10,000 people, including veterans from 21 countries who participated in the conflict, but the war anniversary went largely unnoticed in the ROK. The DPRK made no comment on the war anniversary, unlike previous years when it used the occasion to denounce the ROK's celebrations.

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8. US-PRC Relations

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State ("ALBRIGHT JUNE 22 PRESS CONFERENCE IN BEIJING," Beijing, 6/22/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said that Clinton Administration support for granting the PRC Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status and World Trade Organization (WTO) accession was the focus of a recent meeting between Albright, PRC Premier Zhu Rongji, Vice Premier Qian Qichen, and Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan. She said that the PRC has made progress on issues such as non- proliferation, the environment, the rule of law, and counter-terrorism, but said that the U.S. agenda is also concerned with "areas where we have sharp differences with China," such as human rights and Tibet. She said that she also pushed for the resumption of dialogue between the PRC and Taiwan, and reconfirmed the US position in support of the "One China" and "Three No's" principles.

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9. PRC Military Planning

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "PENTAGON: CHINA IS PREPARING FOR HIGH- TECH WAR WITH U.S.," 6/23/00) reported that a US Defense Department report said that the PRC is building up military forces in preparation for a possible conflict with the US over Taiwan involving high-technology warfare. It reported that the unclassified version of the annual report to the US Congress stated that "a cross-strait conflict between China and Taiwan involving the United States has emerged as the dominant scenario guiding [People's Liberation Army] force planning, military training and war preparation." It said that the PRC is discussing ways to "offset U.S. power, to include accelerating military modernization, pursuing strategic cooperation with Russia, and increasing China's proliferation activities abroad."

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10. PRC Threat to Taiwan

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, "U.S. REPORT CONCLUDES CHINA UNLIKELY TO ATTACK TAIWAN," 6/23/00) reported that a new US Defense Department assessment of security strategy concludes that the PRC is unlikely to attack Taiwan because doing so would jeopardize its world standing and economic growth. While the PRC is strengthening its military in a broad sense and is gradually closing a qualitative gap with Taiwan's smaller military, it will have "only a limited capability" to conduct coordinated offensive operations against Taiwan. The assessment said that the People's Liberation Army's naval, air and ground troops are not fully integrated into a cohesive combat force. The report said that in the longer term, from 2010 to 2020, the PRC could gain a greater edge over Taiwan in both the quality and quantity of its military forces and that Taiwan's success in deterring the PRC will depend on its ability to acquire and operate modern arms and technology. The report also said that the PRC's leadership appears committed to achieving "medium-sized great power" status by 2050.

The Associated Press ("TAIWAN BEGINS SEASON OF WAR GAMES MONDAY," Taipei, 6/26/00) reported that the Hong Kong Mail newspaper said on June 26 that the PRC has decided to use economic sanctions, instead of military threats, to force Taiwan to the negotiation table. The article added that PRC authorities were drafting plans ranging from partial sanctions on selected businesses to an overall embargo, and accessing the measures' impact on Hong Kong.

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11. PRC Military Exercises

The Associated Press ("CHINA TESTS ARTILLERY NEAR TAIWAN," Taipei, 6/22/00) reported that the Defense Ministry said that the PRC began live- fire artillery tests off its southeast coast directly across from Taiwan, but that the exercises were routine and not a threat to the island. Without citing its sources, the ministry said that the tests would continue through Friday at Fujian Province's Quanzhou Bay and Shenlu Bay.

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12. Taiwan Military Exercises

The Associated Press ("TAIWAN BEGINS SEASON OF WAR GAMES MONDAY," Taipei, 6/26/00) reported that the Taiwanese military reported that it began its routine summer season of war games Monday, drills designed to prepare troops to defend the island from a possible PRC invasion. The war games are taking place near Hualien, in east-central Taiwan, and involved an unspecified number of soldiers, US-made F-16 fighter jets, and navy anti- submarine helicopters.

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13. PRC News Agency in Washington

The Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State ("PENTAGON SPOKESMAN'S REGULAR BRIEFING, JUNE 22, 2000," 6/23/00; and "STATE DEPARTMENT NOON BRIEFING, JUNE 22, 2000," 6/22/00) reported that US Defense Department Spokesman Ken Bacon said that the Defense Department will evaluate the pros and cons of the PRC's Xinhua News Agency's occupation of a building overlooking the Pentagon and make a recommendation to the State Department. Bacon added, "On the broader point, I think I should point out that we are mature enough to realize and realistic enough to realize that this building is subject to surveillance from a number of different directions, and has been for more than 50 years."

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14. US Troops in Japan

The Los Angeles Times (Chalmers Johnson, "LIBERATE OKINAWA FROM A 'ROGUE SUPERPOWER,'" 6/23/00) published an editorial by Chalmers Johnson, former professor of political science at UC San Diego and currently President of the Japan Policy Research Institute, which argued that it would be premature to begin withdrawing US forces from the ROK until asked to do so by the ROK. Johnson stated, "But the Pentagon should do three things quickly: Withdraw the 3rd Marine Division from Okinawa and probably demobilize it; return Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to Okinawa as President Clinton promised in 1996; and cancel plans to build a new military airfield at Nago in northern Okinawa. If these things aren't done, the United States and Japan are certain to be humiliated at the G8 summit meeting to be held in Okinawa next month." He also argued, "Koreans themselves are ending the Cold War in the Pacific without any help from the superpowers that originally divided their country and fought over it during the Korean War. The main security problem for northeastern Asia today is not a rogue state in its midst but a rogue superpower across the Pacific," referring to the US.

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15. Japanese Elections

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "JAPAN'S GOVERNING PARTY SUFFERS SEVERE ELECTION SETBACK," Tokyo, 6/26/00) and Reuters (Kazunori Takada, "JAPAN PM RALLIES CHASTENED FORCES AFTER TOUGH POLL," Tokyo, 6/26/00) reported that Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party barely retained control over the lower house of the Diet in a surprisingly weak showing. Many analysts are already expecting calls for a replacement of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori after Japan hosts the summit meeting of the Group of 8 (G-8) next month. The governing coalition finished with 271 seats in the lower house, or 56 percent, compared with a 65 percent before the vote. The opposition Democratic Party increased from 95 seats in the last lower-house elections, in 1996, to 127 in the new Parliament.

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16. US-Russian Defense Talks

The Associated Press (Judith Ingram, "RUSSIA REJECTS US MISSILE ASSURANCE," Moscow, 6/23/00) reported that Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said that the planned US missile defense program was intended to give the US the ability to destroy Russia's strategic nuclear potential by a pre-emptive strike. Sergeyev stated, "The true reasons for the missile shield deployment are not in alleged threats from rogue nations. Such a comprehensive defense system will be primarily aimed against the deterrent potential of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China." US and Russian military officials were to continue talks on the missile shield and other defense issues on Saturday in Solnechnogorsk, outside Moscow. The delegations were headed by General Valery Manilov, first deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, and Edward Warner III, US assistant secretary of defense for strategy and threat reduction.

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17. US Congressional Security Panel

Reuters ("REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS SET UP SECURITY PANEL," Washington, 6/22/00) reported that US House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert and US Senate Republican leader Trent Lott said on June 22 that they have formed a national security panel to advise them on foreign policy and security. In a joint statement with Hastert, Lott said, "The need for a strong congressional role in safeguarding our national security is greater now than it has been in many years." The panel will include former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz; former Defense Secretaries Donald Rumsfeld, Caspar Weinberger and Dick Cheney; former CIA Director James Woolsey, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Military Hotline

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "S-N LEADERS AGREE TO OPEN MILITARY HOT LINES, UNIFICATION MINISTER SAYS," Seoul, 06/23/00), Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "SOUTH-NORTH RED CROSS TO HOLD TALKS AT MT.KUMGANG HOTEL ON JUNE 27," Seoul, 06/23/00) and Chosun Ilbo ("MILITARY HOT LINE MAY LINK TO NK," Seoul, 06/23/00) reported that a top ROK official said on Thursday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK top leader Kim Jong-il agreed in principle during their summit last week to open military hot lines to prevent accidental armed clashes. "The two leaders agreed on the need to connect direct phone lines as a safeguard against accidental military collisions, as it is vital to prevent even a minor clash," Unification Minister Park said at a breakfast meeting with the heads of local print and broadcast media outlets. The unification minister said that to the best of his knowledge, the two leaders did not talk about which side was responsible for the Korean War, but agreed that any recurrence of such a conflict would lead to their mutual destruction and should therefore be avoided.

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2. Family Reunion

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "RED CROSS TALKS ON DIVIDED FAMILIES SLATED FOR NEXT WEEK AT MT. KUMGANG," Seoul, 06/23/00), Chosun Ilbo ("SOUTH, NORTH RED CROSS TO MEET AT MT. KUMGANG," Seoul, 06/23/00) and The Korea Times ("SEOUL ACCEPTS NK OVERTURE FOR MT. KUMGANG TALKS," Seoul, 06/22/00) reported that the ROK on Thursday accepted the DPRK's counterproposal to hold the inter-Korean Red Cross talks on the proposed reunions of divided family members at the DPRK's Mt. Kumgang instead of at Panmunjom. The ROK, which initially proposed that the talks begin on Friday, also adjusted the opening date to Tuesday. The revised venue and schedule came in response to the DPRK's Wednesday counterproposal. The two sides will discuss preparations for exchange visits by about 100 separated family members from each side.

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3. ROK Security Law

The Korea Herald (Lee Joon-seung, "INTER-KOREAN RECONCILIATION PROMPTS MOVES TO REVISE RELATED LAWS," Seoul, 06/23/00) reported that the ROK ruling party is busy streamlining outdated laws and regulations that are ill-suited to the new environment, officials said on Thursday. Expert advisors assigned to related standing committees of the National Assembly said that up to 120 laws and regulations may need to be revised to effectively implement various follow-up measures to the June 15 ROK-DPRK Joint Declaration. Included in the list of laws that may be revised are the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act, The Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund Act, and the Foreign Trade Act. Legislation related to taxes and foreign currency transactions is also subject to amendment. Some ruling party lawmakers are also planning to draft a special law on ROK-DPRK relations to a provide a legal foundation for the return of the 59 pro-DPRK prisoners serving long-term sentences in ROK jails, as agreed on in the joint declaration.

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4. Alterations of DPRK Law

Chosun Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA TO ALTER PARTY CHARTER," Seoul, 06/22/00) reported that in an off the record meeting held June 19, ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) head Lim Dong-won briefed media heads on the fact that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il was to change the People's Workers Party Charter to remove the section calling for unification of the Korean peninsula under communism. The part of the charter to be deleted states; "our party's immediate objective is to complete national liberation under a revolutionary people's democracy and to build a self reliant (juche) society under communism." Lim added that Kim Jong-il also agreed that US Forces in Korea (USFK) were necessary for the security of Northeast Asia.

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5. Inter-Korean Railway

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, "PRESIDENT EMPHASIZES SOUTH-NORTH RAILWAY LINK," Seoul, 06/23/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on Thursday that while the intensification of inter-Korea exchange will begin in the areas of sports and culture, economic cooperation and exchange remains as the most important area in developing relations between the two countries. The president made his remarks at a luncheon for National Assembly committee chairs, where he told those gathered that the government would work steadily to establish railroad connections between the two countries as well as to attract foreign capital for ROK- DPRK projects. Kim said that the government would push forward for ROK- DPRK cooperation by building and connecting two inter-Korea railways, one between Seoul and Shinuiju on the DPRK's western border with the PRC, and another between Seoul and the northeastern port city of Wonsan. According to Kim, a connection between the DPRK's rail system and the trans-Siberian railroad would greatly expand the ROK's export to European countries and reduce transport costs by about 30 percent.

III. Australia

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1. Australian Views of Summit

The Australian (Greg Sheridan, "HANDSHAKE MARKS A NEW SUNRISE", Sydney, 06/14/00) argued that the extraordinary pictures of Kim Jong-il greeting Kim Dae-jung at Pyongyang airport offer the best hope for decades that substantial change may be about to occur in the DPRK. The article stated, "That the meeting took place at all represents a huge triumph for Kim Dae-jung and another astonishing episode in his unbelievable life.... He has attempted to bathe the North Koreans in the warm glow of sunshine and goodwill. Eventually, propelled by their own systemic crisis, the North Koreans had to take yes for an answer and open a dialogue." It added that it is extremely unlikely that Kim Jong-il would have engaged in the grand drama and high symbolism of this summit if he did not mean it to signal, to his own people and to the world at large, a fundamental shift in orientation. Short-term results are likely to be modest, but any movement at all would represent a decisive break with the past 10 years.

The Australian (Kevin Rudd, "HANDS ACROSS THE DMZ", Sydney, 06/14/00) suggested that the Korean summit marks a welcome thaw. The article stated, "What is certain is that something has begun to fundamentally shift in the firmament of inter-Korean relations, with potentially profound implications for the rest of the region. Could this be the last, extraordinary gasp in the Cold War saga, or are the world's expectations of this event grossly in excess of the meagre realities that it is likely to yield?" It argued that part of the reason for the summit lies with the personality of Kim Dae-jung. "But what's in all of this for the North? Answer: avoiding systemic regime collapse." The article said that while there may be some initial movement on the question of family reunions and some advance on the economic front, "as for the most intractable set of issues (reunification, US troop withdrawal, the cessation of North Korea's missile and nuclear programs) we are still likely to be a long way off."

The Australian (Greg Sheridan, "KOREAN DESTINY TIED TO OUR OWN", Sydney, 06/16/00) wrote that it is impossible not to be moved by the "extraordinary" summit. The article stated, "It is an unambiguous triumph of Kim Dae-jung's sunshine policy towards the North." It added that there is a clear agreement among the ROK, the US, Japan and Australia as to the desired outcome: "it is for North Korea not to collapse, because the human and financial costs would be huge and regionally destabilising, but to undergo a lengthy period of Chinese- style economic reform. But, and this is a terrible but, no other nation has actually been able to emulate China's model of centralised authoritarian political control combined with rapid economic growth, decentralisation and modernisation." In every other Asian nation that has tried, either the political regime has collapsed or economic reform has come to a halt. "Even so, if North Korea could even manage minimal economic reform, even as much as Vietnam managed in the early 1990s, it could grow enough to stabilise its food situation and move its now derelict industrial economy back into the modern world." Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il now actually share a common strategic interest in trying to stabilise the North Korean economy and even maintain the regime for the moment. "The question is whether Kim Jong-il at least feels he can risk the political loosening which would come from greater contact with the outside world." Australia's interests in all this are huge. "That Australia recently agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations with North Korea is a small but valuable contribution to the process of normalisation. The whole process demonstrates once more how in almost every way our destiny is intimately tied up with that of our northern neighbours."

The Australian (Editorial, "HOPE AND FEAR AS KOREAS MOVE CLOSER", Sydney, 06/16/00) suggested there is an unfettered sense of optimism surrounding the meeting of the two Koreas in Pyongyang. Notwithstanding the promise of the agreement, expectations must be grounded in history. Similar attempts in 1972 and 1991 both failed and led to renewed hostility. While some important issues have been addressed, the toughest and most important questions of regional security remain to be broached. "Yet such questions should not overwhelm this week's tremendous achievements by both leaders. The focus now should be on consolidating this important step forward."

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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

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

Leanne Payton:
Clayton, Australia

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