NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, july 27, 2000

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK Participation in ARF

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, "N. KOREA JOINS ASIA SECURITY FORUM," Bangkok, 7/27/00) reported that the DRPK was formally inducted Thursday into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF). DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun said, "I think that our country's admission to the ARF reflects the common desire ... to establish normal relations and promote amity and harmony."

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, "NORTH KOREA'S DIPLOMATIC STRIDES PAY OFF," Tokyo, 7/27/00) reported that Japanese analysts said that it is unclear how much DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun can offer during his diplomatic contacts at the Associated of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) in Bangkok. The analysts said that Paek is not a political heavyweight who can speak authoritatively for the DPRK regime. Yasuhiko Yoshida, a Korean specialist at Saitama University, said, "Paek will not come out with any decisive responses. He will take back all their proposals, questions and requests back to his bosses in Pyongyang." Tsutomi Nishioka, editor of Modern Korea magazine, said, "Some Japanese say, 'Don't miss the bus on North Korea.' But I think North Korea has to stop its missile development first and make concessions with Japan on other issues before there can be normalization." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 27, 2000.]

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2. DPRK Missile Program

The New York Times published an editorial ("A MISSILE MESSAGE FROM NORTH KOREA," 7/27/00) which said that the DPRK has reached out in recent months with words and gestures of reconciliation and appears to be in the early stages of a transformation that the US should actively encourage. However, the article said, it is too soon to conclude that the DPRK has joined the community of peaceful nations because its nuclear weapons and missile programs have been suspended, not abandoned, and foreign missile sales and human rights abuses continue. The editorial said, "America must use caution in engaging North Korea. Past experience with North Korea suggests that its initial bargaining proposals can be vague and unreliable." The editorial said that the US needs to find out whether the satellites that the DPRK wants would be used for military and intelligence purposes and who would pay the launching costs. It added that the US should also seek a DPRK commitment to stop exporting missile technology. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 27, 2000.]

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3. DPRK-Canada Relations

Agence France Presse ("CANADA RECOGNIZES NORTH KOREA BUT HAS LITTLE CONFIDENCE IN PYONGYANG," Bangkok, 7/27/00) reported that after meeting with DRPK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun on Wednesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy announced that Canada formally recognized the DPRK as a state and member of the international community. However, Axworthy said, "We're a long way from having any confidence over North Korea's actions.... There's going to be a very steep learning curve for them. North Korea, in this region, has been a problem, remains a problem. We will use this (recognition) to raise a couple of tough, honest questions, in typical Canadian fashion. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a clear outreach choice. But there is still a long way to go in what they're prepared to put into the pipeline. Diplomatic relations carry no conditions. We're not carrying banners and bunting."

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4. EU Aid to DPRK

The Associated Press ("EU TO SUGGEST ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO N KOREA," Bangkok, 7/26/00) reported that Chris Patten, chief of external relations for the European Commission, said on July 26 that the European Union (EU) will discuss with the DPRK this week the possibility of helping it open up its economy. Patten said that he would raise the issue in a meeting Thursday with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun while they are both in Bangkok for the ASEAN Regional Forum. Patten said that the technical cooperation would be to help open up the DPRK's economy to the world, "to modernize and learn about markets." He added that the assistance would not be on a very large scale. He said that since 1995, the EU has provided about EUR180 million in humanitarian assistance to the DPRK and is considering a further EUR20 million of aid, mainly for agriculture.

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5. Japanese Aid to DPRK

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN MULLS FOOD AID FOR NORTH KOREA AFTER LANDMARK MEET," Tokyo, 7/27/00) reported that the Japanese government said on Thursday that Japan will consider sending food aid to the DRPK. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa said, "While keeping an eye on the progress of normalization talks between Japan and North Korea and of multinational talks at the World Food Programme (WFP), we will seriously consider it. We will consider what would be the most appropriate measure in this regard."

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6. Japanese Aid to PRC

The Wall Street Journal (Masayoshi Kanabayashi, "JAPAN RE-EXAMINES POLICY DIRECTING AID FLOW TO CHINA," 7/27/00) reported that Japan has taken the first steps toward modifying, and perhaps scaling back, its financial assistance to the PRC, amid rising complaints that the PRC has increased military spending and itself become a significant overseas aid donor. Japan's Foreign Ministry last week established a study group consisting of representatives from the private sector to review the country's official development aid to the PRC. A spokesman for the government agency denied that the move has any direct relation to these complaints in Japan, saying that it is part of a government program to work out a foreign-aid plan specifically for each recipient country and also to help form a basic policy of Japan's official aid to the PRC in the new century. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 27, 2000.]

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7. Taiwan Military Spending

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN PLANS TO HIKE MILITARY SPENDING BY 9 PERCENT," Taipei, 7/27/00) reported that Taiwan officials said on Thursday that Taiwan plans to raise military expenditures by nine percent to a total of 270.3 billion Taiwan dollars (US$8.7 billion) in 2001 to face the threat from the PRC. The island's cabinet, known as the Executive Yuan, on July 26 worked out a draft for the government's budget for next year. The final version of the budget requires parliamentary approval. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said, "Deterring war is the primary task for soldiers. To achieve the mission, they need strong combat power. Strengthening the navy's combat readiness is meant to prevent war and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait." However, opposition parties have voiced doubts that the increase in military spending would be passed by parliament.

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8. PRC, Russian View of Missile Defense

Agence France Presse ("CHINA, RUSSIA TAKE AIM AT US MISSILE DEFENCE PROGRAM," Bangkok, 7/27/00) reported that the PRC and Russia criticized the US at the ASEAN Regional Forum on Thursday. Foreign ministers from both nations singled out the US Theater Missile Defense (TMD) program for attack. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said, "The Cold War mentality is still affecting the way some countries perceive world politics and international relations. Some people are hawking the Theater Missile Defense program against the tide of our times. Such developments are compromising the regional confidence-building effects and aggravating the instability of regional security." Russia's Foreign Prime Minister Igor Ivanov said that US moves to develop and deploy the anti-missile shield in Northeast Asia and a similar national shield threatened to spark a new global arms race. Ivanov said, "The US plan to develop the National Missile Defense are a matter of deep concern. As a result, further strategic offensive arms reduction would become impossible and the entire system of arms reduction and limitation agreements would be revised (and) would inevitably lead to an new arms race."

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Robert Brown:
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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