NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, august 4, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Japan

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Missile Program

The Washington Post (David Hoffman, "N. KOREA AFFIRMS PROPOSAL TO END MISSILE PROGRAM IN LETTER TO PUTIN," Moscow, 8/4/00) reported that well-informed sources said on August 3 that in a confidential exchange of letters between Russian President Vladimir Putin and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, the DPRK has reaffirmed to Russia that it will drop its intercontinental ballistic missile program if other countries will launch two or three satellites a year for the DPRK at their expense. A US State Department spokesman in Washington said on August 3 that the US has not been notified of the letters and therefore has no comment. Alexandre Mansourov, a visiting fellow at the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution said that the offer, and now the clarifications, were an important diplomatic breakthrough for Russia, improving its chances of playing an intermediary role as the DPRK begins to look outward. Mansourov said that the request to have other countries pay for satellite launches was not directed at Russia, "It is an idea for the United States to consider." Well-informed sources in Moscow said that the DPRK went a step further than what was earlier disclosed by asking in the letter that the "concerned countries" -- those that have criticized its missile program -- pay for the two or three satellite launches a year that the DPRK is requesting. Asked about the exchange of letters with the DPRK, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Yakovenko, had no comment. Mansourov said that the DPRK essentially seems to be proposing to repeat the pattern of the nuclear reactor deal with the missile program. He noted that the DPRK is not offering to curtail shorter-range missiles, only the continent-spanning ones. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 4, 2000.]

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2. Taiwan President's US Visit

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CHINA OBJECTS TO TAIWAN LEADER'S U.S. VISIT," 8/4/00) reported that US administration officials said on Thursday that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian will stay in the US overnight on August 13, the night before the start of the Democratic National Convention, on his way to visit some of the countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Chen will be greeted by Richard Bush, the US de facto representative to the island. US officials said that the US State Department calls the visit a "transit stop" and does not expect the new president to do public appearances or media interviews. Zhang Yuanyuan, press spokesman for the PRC Embassy, said that the PRC government opposes the one-day visit and has expressed its views to US officials. Zhang said, "Of course we're opposed to this kind of action on the part of the US government. Especially when the new Taiwanese leader, since his coming to power last March, has not embraced the one-China principle. This kind of action might send out some wrong signals to the forces in Taiwan that promote separatism and independence." Eric Chiang, director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington, said that the PRC "always make this kind of comment. We don't think that helps to promote the atmosphere between the two sides." Officials said that the visit is not expected to touch off another Taiwan crisis, as occurred following the 1995 visit to the US by former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui. [Ed. note: This article was included as a Top Story in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 4, 2000.]

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3. Taiwan Arms Purchases

The New York Times (Craig S. Smith, "TAIWAN'S LEADER CONSIDERS PURCHASE OF UPDATED JET FIGHTERS," Shanghai, 8/4/00) reported that Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian said on Friday that the island should begin considering new fighter aircraft purchases, warning that in five years the PRC could threaten Taiwan's ability to control the skies over the Taiwan Strait. Some analysts said that the timing of Chen's statement during the Republican Party's convention suggested that he hoped to interject the issue into the US presidential campaign. Jonathan Pollack, a PRC specialist at the Rand Corporation in California, said, "Chen may be trying to smoke out the United States and have some sort of bidding war on reassurances from both candidates." Bates Gill, a military expert at the Brookings Institution, said it is natural that the reports of PRC purchases of Sukhoi-30 fighters from Russia should inspire Taiwan's air force to look for a next generation aircraft itself. Gill said, "Given the aging of the F-16 and the lead times needed to get next-generation aircraft in fighting shape, these decisions need to be made within the next three to five years at the latest." Other analysts said that Chen may simply be raising the issue generally to put the next US administration on notice that the shopping list will be longer than usual when the island makes its annual arms purchase requests in the spring. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 4, 2000.]

Reuters ("TAIWAN SAYS CHINA ARMS BUILD-UP COULD TIP SCALES," Taipei, 8/4/00) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said on August 3 that an air force build-up by the PRC could upset the island's dominance of the air space over the Taiwan Strait by 2005. Chen said, "We should repair the house before it rains. We should take precaution at an early date." He added that the island should look into fighters for 2010 to 2020 and upgrade its weapons systems. Robert Karniol, Bangkok-based Asia Pacific correspondent of Jane's Defence Weekly, said, "China has a virtually useless air force though they have about 6,000 airplanes. All but about 50 of them are garbage." Karniol said that the PRC's and Taiwan's air fleets would become more balanced following the People's Liberation Army's build-up. He said, "In the longer term, the scale starts to tip in China's favor."

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4. Taiwan Membership in UN

The Associated Press (Annie Huang, "TAIWAN RENEWS BID FOR UN MEMBERSHIP," Taipei, 8/4/00) reported that Taiwan's Vice Foreign Minister Wu Tzu-dan said on Friday that Taiwan is making a new push to join the UN, arguing that the world body could be a good forum for Taiwan and the PRC to settle their differences. Wu said, "We called on the United Nations to regard the recent goodwill we have demonstrated to the People's Republic of China and to provide a forum for reconciliation between the sides." Wu added that since the UN is dedicated to resolving international disputes, it should admit the island and let the PRC face the reality of Taiwan's existence. According to the PRC's official Xinhua News Agency, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao denounced Taiwan's bid as an attempt to formalize the separation between the two. Xinhua said that the move by Taiwan's allies constitutes a "flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the UN charter, a distortion of the nature of the UN and a gross interference in China's internal affairs."

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5. PRC Military Exercises

Reuters ("CHINA MUSTERS 110,000 TROOPS IN WAR GAMES," Beijing, 8/4/00) reported that the PRC's People's Daily reported on August 3 that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting war games involving 110,000 troops along a wide arc of its eastern coast opposite Taiwan. The paper reported that combined land, air and sea forces of the Nanjing military district were holding drills along a 6,000 km (3,700 mile) length of the east coast provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian. The paper quoted a military spokesman as saying that such exercises were "rarely seen in recent years in terms of scope, number of participating troops and thoroughness." The spokesman said that maritime, amphibious and land drills involving submarines, frogmen, gunboats, paratroopers and attack helicopters were "necessary to prevail in future local wars under high-technology conditions." While the PRC did not link the exercises to its dispute with Taiwan, Hong Kong media said that they were clearly aimed at putting pressure on the island and reflected the PRC's impatience with Taiwan's new president, Chen Shiu-bian. The US State Department official said that the US was monitoring the situation but was not alarmed. He said, "As with all such exercises we are alert for any indicators that warrant concern. So far we have seen no indicators that raise our level of concern. We have and will continue to urge both sides to avoid any actions, which might increase tensions in the Strait (of Taiwan)."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Railway

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "TRAIN LINK TO NORTH KOREA COULD BE OPERATING WITHIN ONE YEAR, OFFICIALS SAY," Seoul, 08/04/00) reported that ROK government officials said on August 3 that the suspended portion of the inter-Korean railway between Seoul and Shinuiju in the DPRK will likely be reconnected as early as fall next year. A detailed schedule for the railway project will be discussed during the second inter-Korean ministerial meeting, slated to open in Pyongyang on August 29. If the two inter-Korean railways are reconnected, it would mark a breakthrough in relations between the two Koreas.

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2. Vietnamese Foreign Minister's Korean Visits

The Korea Herald (Yong-bae Shin, "VIETNAM'S FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT SEOUL, PYONGYANG LATER THIS MONTH," Seoul, 08/04/00) reported that an ROK diplomatic source said on August 3 that Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien will visit Seoul from August 17-19 at the invitation of his ROK counterpart, Lee Joung-binn. Before visiting the ROK, Nguyen is scheduled to travel to the DPRK for a four-day official visit, starting Saturday, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. During his stay in the DPRK, Nguyen will meet his DPRK counterpart, Paek Nam-sun, and other officials, to discuss matters of mutual concern, including the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula.

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3. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Times (Son Key-young "MILITARY HOTLINE TO BE MAIN TOPIC IN P'YANG TALKS," Seoul, 08/03/00) reported that ROK officials said that the installment of a military hot line between the two Koreas will be a major topic in the second round of ministerial talks, set for August 29-31 in Pyongyang. A government official, who took part in the two-day meeting, said, "During the just-ended talks in Seoul, North Korean negotiators have refrained from touching on many pending issues, apparently in consideration that the next Pyongyang meeting should be a major occasion in producing crucial agreements." Therefore, he said, it is expected that the DPRK would form a different lineup of negotiators, which might include military experts. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 4, 2000.]

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-ROK Relations

People's Daily (Sun Wei, "DPRK, ROK FOREIGN MINISTERS HOLD FIRST TALK," Bangkok, 07/27/00, P6) and China Daily ("DPRK, ROK VOW TO DEEPEN RELATIONS," 07/27/00, P12) reported that, at an Asian regional security conference on July 26, DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun and his ROK counterpart Lee Joung-binn met for the first time and pledged to deepen relations. The two ministers said in a joint statement that they "agree to cooperate on matters of external relations in the international arena so as to enhance inter-Korean reconciliation." Xinhua News Agencies quoted an ROK foreign ministry spokesman as saying, "this meeting was about an exchange of views but not negotiations." He added, "This is a precious opportunity for us and we have to nurture and cherish this." However, officials commented that many of the thorny issues that divide the Korean peninsula were not discussed.

China Daily ("DPRK, ROK HOLD LANDMARK TALKS," Seoul, 07/31/00) and ("DPRK, ROK TAKE STEP FORWARD," Seoul, 08/01/00, P11) reported that the DPRK and ROK agreed to reopen liaison offices in Panmunjom and to hold a new round of peace talks. The two sides announced the measures on Monday, together with plans to hold a national reconciliation week, in a joint statement following ministerial level talks in Seoul over the weekend. The statement said, "On the occasion of the 15th of August, 2000, the South and North shall resume the operations of the South-North liaison office at Panmunjom." It also said that the two sides agreed to hold new talks from August 29-31 in Pyongyang, and to hold reconciliation events to coincide with the August 15 Liberation Day.

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2. DPRK's Admission to ARF

People's Daily (Xu Naiyue, Yuan Li, Yang Qing, "CLOSING OF ARF MEETING", Bangkok, 07/28/00, P6) and China Daily ("DPRK'S LANDMARK MOVE TO SECURITY FORUM," Bangkok, 07/28/00, P4) reported that the DPRK's presence at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) received generally good remarks. It reported that a statement by ARF released on July 27 expressed welcome to the DPRK's participation in the Forum as a new member state. The Director of Thailand's Institute of Security and International Studies Pranee Tsipparat said that ASEAN should "not expect too much" from the DPRK's presence. However, she added, "it's a positive sign because we are bringing in a country which could be a potential flash-point in the region instead of leaving it out." New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff expressed his warm welcome to the DPRK's return to the concert of nations. He said that the DPRK's admission to the ARF was a "positive step towards reconciliation on the peninsula." Goff pointed out that "dialogues will be more productive than any other measure" to address the ongoing concerns about weapons of mass destruction and other issues in the DPRK. M.C. Abad, a senior official at the ASEAN Secretariat based in Jakarta, said, "it is definitely an important development because ARF is here to promote regional stability and the Korean Peninsula issue is one of the areas of concern."

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3. PRC's View on DPRK's Admission to ARF

China Daily ("TANG: ASEAN CO-OP THRIVES," Bangkok, 07/27/00, P1) and People's Daily (Sun Wei, "TANG JIAXUAN MEETS DPRK AND RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS," Bangkok, 07/28/00, P6) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan expressed his warm welcome to the DPRK's first ever participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum. Tang said that it is another important achievement that the DPRK has made recently in the international diplomatic arena.

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4. DPRK-Japan Relations

China Daily ("DPRK'S LANDMARK MOVE TO SECURITY FORUM," Bangkok, 07/28/00, P4) reported that a Japanese foreign ministry official was quoted as saying in Bangkok that Japan would welcome an agreement to reopen talks on establishing diplomatic ties with the DPRK. He said, "we are really more interested in establishing a friendly relationship with the DPRK."

China Daily ("JAPAN, DPRK TO RESUME TALKS," Bangkok, 07/28/00, P1) reported that Japan and the DPRK have agreed to a meeting next month of their foreign ministers to resume stalled talks on normalizing relations after Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and his DPRK counterpart Paek Nam-sun met on the sidelines of ARF. According to a statement issued by Japan's Foreign Ministry, after the 30-minute meeting the two foreign ministers signed a four-point declaration calling for mutual efforts to improve ties. It reported that the most concrete part of the meeting was a decision to hold a new round of talks scheduled for August 21-25 in Tokyo to normalize relations. Kyodo News Agency quoted Paek as saying that he hopes ties can be normalized while the two foreign ministers are in their current posts. However, the two foreign ministers said that they realize that numerous problems remained to be resolved.

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5. DPRK-US Relations

China Daily ("HIGH-LEVEL TALKS WARM CHILLY DPRK, US LINKS," Bangkok, 07/29/00, P8) reported that DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun held talks with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--the highest level talks between the two countries since the Korean War. Albright was quoted as saying that the talk left her more hopeful about the prospects for peace in Korean Peninsula. She said that her meeting with Paek "constitutes a substantively modest but symbolically historic step away from the sterility and hostility of the past." Albright said that she was "direct in stating American concerns about all aspects of the missile threat, nuclear weapons-related activities and the importance of achieving the goals of the agreed framework." She gave no details on Paek's replies.

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6. DPRK-Russian Relations

China Daily ("TOP LEADERS OF DPRK WILL TRAVEL TO RUSSIA," Moscow, 07/27/00, P12) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on July 26 that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has agreed to travel by train from Pyongyang to Moscow via Russia's Far East port of Vladivostok. ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Ivanov as saying at an ASEAN meeting in Thailand that the dates for Kim's trip had not yet been finalized. He said that Kim would first stop in Vladivostok before arriving in Moscow for talks.

People's Liberation Army Daily (Liang Min, Meng Xianjun, "RUSSIA, DPRK SHAKE HANDS AGAIN," 07/29/00, P4) carried a commentary on Russian leader's visit to the DPRK and the scheduled visit by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to Russia. It said that visits show the sign of normalization of DPRK-Russian relations after 10 years of cooling. The improvement of bilateral relations is beneficial to both sides, the article said. Russia, which has long been kept outside of the "Four Party Talks," sees the urgency to strengthen its role in resolving problems in the Korean Peninsula. For the DPRK, to develop good relations with Russia can increase its leverage in dealing with the outside world, especially relations with the US and Japan.

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7. PRC-Russian Relations

People's Daily ("JIANG ZEMIN, PUTIN TALK THROUGH HOT LINE," Beijing, 07/27/00, P1) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin, on July 26, called PRC President Jiang Zemin through the hot line to send his gratitude for Jiang's hospitality during Putin's visit to the PRC. Jiang responded that Putin's successful visit to PRC will facilitate the overall development, in the new millennium, of the strategic partnership between the two countries. They both expressed willingness to meet again later this year.

People's Daily (Sun Wei, "TANG JIAXUAN MEETS DPRK AND RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS," Bangkok, 07/28/00, P6) reported that, in the talk with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, PRC's Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said PRC attaches great importance to PRC- Russian strategic partnership. It reported that Tang thought highly of Russian President Putin's visit to PRC. It is of great necessity for leaders of the two countries to strengthen contacts, Tang said.

China Daily ("PLA BUILDING MILITARY CONTACTS IN ASIA, EUROPE AND AMERICAS," 08/01/00, P4) carried an article saying that the PRC and its largest neighbor, Russia, have kept up good military ties and maintained all-around, multi-level relations. The Chinese and Russian heads of state signed a statement on anti-ballistic missiles during Russian President Vladimir Putin's first state visit in Beijing last month, and Defense Ministers from the two countries have met three times in six months, the article said. It quoted a senior expert on international relations with the Chinese Military Science Academy as saying that "development of the PRC-Russian strategic and co-operative partnership is undoubtedly conducive to global strategic balance."

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8. PRC-US Relations

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "US NAVY CRUISER TO VISIT QINGDAO," 07/27/00, P1) reported that a PRC Defense Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday that the US Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville will visit the port city of Qingdao in Shandong Province from August 2-5. "It is part of a series of such visits between the two countries," the spokesperson said, noting that some courtesy calls between the two militaries will be held during the visit. It reported that this is the first visit to the PRC by the US Navy since the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May 1999. According to a US Defense Department source, the visit by the Chancellorsville to Qingdao will coincide with a visit to Beijing and Qingdao by Admiral Thomas Fargo, Commander of the US Pacific Fleet. The US Navy, in cooperation with the PRC's People's Liberation Army, has developed a series of events and meetings to build mutual understanding in maritime safety, communications, and search and rescue, the source said.

China Daily ("PLA BUILDING MILITARY CONTACTS IN ASIA, EUROPE AND AMERICAS," 08/01/00, P4) reported that a senior expert on international relations with the Chinese Military Science Academy said "the resumption of Sino-US military relations will play a positive role in the security and stability of the region and the world," for "PRC and US have shared a common interest and responsibility in maintaining world peace and development." However, the expert pointed out that Sino-US relations remain tense. She stressed, "Sino-US military relations have been developed within the framework of the whole Chinese foreign policy. Only if the US earnestly observes joint communiqu¨¦s between the two countries and honors all its commitments on the Taiwan question, the most important and sensitive one for bilateral ties, can Sino-US relations develop in a healthy way."

People's Daily (Huang Qing, "BEHIND THE 'EVALUATION'," 08/01/00, P6) carried a commentary on the US Department of Defense's "Annual Report on the PRC's Military Capability". The commentary said that the issuing of the report is due to US rightists' pressure, while the report per se is the result of US bipartisan politics. It said that there exist always two extreme tendencies of perception on the China issue in the US, both of which will definitely lead the US to a strategic misperception. Furthermore, the article concluded, if the US really implements the proposals listed in the "Report," such as selling more hi-tech weapons to Taiwan, it is doomed to make the same historic mistakes as it did in the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

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9. PRC's View of Missile Defense

People's Daily (Sun Wei, "TANG JIAXUAN SPEAKS ON ARF," Bangkok, 07/28/00, P6) and China Daily ("CHINA OUTLINES FOR ASEAN ITS POSITION ON NMD, TMD," Bangkok, 07/31/00, P2) reported that the PRC opposes the US's NMD and TMD systems. Tang Jiaxuan, PRC Foreign Minister, when speaking at the seventh ARF meeting, said that NMD and TMD development will surely disrupt the global strategic balance and lead to a new round of arms race, which will produce widespread and penetrating negative influences on efforts for international peace, security, disarmament and non-proliferation. Wang Yi, PRC Assistant Foreign Minister, said in Bangkok on Saturday that the PRC opposes US development of any kind of NMD or TMD system. He pointed out that the NMD and TMD issue is not an issue existing between PRC and US only. Rather it is an issue between the international community and the US.

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10. PRC-Japanese Relations

People's Daily (Wang Dajun, "WU YI SPEAKS IN TOKYO," Tokyo, 07/29/00, P3) reported that Madame Wu Yi, member of the PRC State Council, delivered a speech on the PRC's economic development and PRC-Japanese economic and trade relations on July 28 during her official visit to Japan. She said that bilateral economic and trade relations are very important to both countries' foreign relations. Japan has been PRC's biggest trade partners for 7 consecutive years. The PRC is also Japan's second largest trading country. Wu stressed that the strengthening of cooperation in economic, trade and investment fields constitutes the most important part in PRC-Japanese relations under the new historic situation.

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11. PRC's attitude to Taiwan

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "TAIWAN URGED TO FOLLOW 'BRIGHT' REUNIFICATION PATH," Beijing, 08/01/00, P1) reported that Chi Haotian, at the reception to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army on July 31, made a remark on the reunification of Taiwan. Chi, PRC Defense Minister and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, said, "The PLA is steadfastly against any attempt to split the motherland in whatever form." Chi stated, "The Taiwan authorities should size up the situation and go along with the people's will to subscribe to the one-China principle and take the bright path of peaceful reunification." He also noted, "to resolve the Taiwan question and realize the complete reunification of the motherland represents the aspirations of the people." He pointed out, "we have the greatest sincerity for it, and also the firm determination and necessary means to stop all the separatist activities for 'Taiwan independence'."

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12. PRC-ROK Trade Dispute

China Daily (Meng Yan, "TRADE ROW OVER GARLIC SETTLED WITH ROK," 08/02/00, P1) reported that PRC officials have confirmed that the PRC and the ROK have settled a trade dispute over the PRC's garlic exports and imports of ROK mobile telephones and polythene. Sources with the PRC's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) said on Tuesday that the two sides finalized a preliminary agreement reached in mid-July, which takes effect on August 2. It reported that both ROK and PRC officials declined to give any details.

IV. Japan

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1. Japanese-DPRK Relations

The Asahi Shimbun ("KIM JONG-IL INSTRUCTED TO ALLOW JAPANESE TO VISIT MT. KUMGANGSAN," 08/01/2000) reported that a preliminary group of Japanese visitors would likely to visit Mount Kumgang in late August at the invitation of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. The group aims to explore the possibility of tourism-related investment in the DPRK, but ordinary Japanese tourists would be able to visit the mountain in October at the earliest. The DPRK expects Japanese investors to help develop the area designated as a "special economic area," which the DPRK and ROK Hyundai Group had already agreed to develop. Hyundai also expects Japanese companies to participate in the development of tourism in the Kumgangsan area.

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2. Japanese-US Talks on DPRK

The Nikkei Shimbun/The Nihon Keizai Shimbun ("JAPAN AND US COMFIRM THAT JAPAN, US AND ROK SHOULD MAINTAIN TIES IN DEALING WITH DPRK," 07/31/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met at the Prime Ministerial Official Residence on July 31 and confirmed that Japan, the US, and the ROK should closely be tied to deal with the DPRK. Albright said, "To deal with the DPRK, it is necessary to cautiously keep a balance by always telling them (the DPRK) our (Japanese, US and ROK) concerns...The US always brings up the issue of the DPRK's abduction of Japanese civilians when meeting with the DPRK. I would like Japan and the ROK to bring up the DPRK's missile development, too." Mori, meanwhile, said, "We should not underestimate the DPRK issue," stressing that Japan, the US, and the ROK should fall in and pull together in dealing with the DPRK.

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3. Japanese-ROK Talks

The Daily Yomiuri ("MORI, KIM DISCUSS STRENGTHENING TIES," 08/02/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and ROK President Kim Dae-jung confirmed over the phone on August 1 their agreement to strengthen Japanese-ROK ties to implement policies toward the DPRK. The two presidents exchanged reports on their respective recent dealings with the DPRK. Kim reported on the inter-Korean ministerial meeting that ended on July 31 in Seoul and said that DPRK officials took an active part in the meeting and have been more responsive since the last summit meeting in Pyongyang in June. Mori reported on Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono's accomplishments at his meeting with DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun in Bangkok last month. Mori said, "Headway is being made in North Korea's relationships with Japan, the United States and South Korea, so the three ties should have a mutually beneficial effect on each other." Mori and Kim also agreed to work out details of Kim's visit to Japan, slated for late September this year.

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4. Pro-DPRK Residents' Visit to ROK

The Daily Yomiuri ("CHONGRYON PLANS VISIT," 08/02/2000) reported that the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon/Chosensoren) is preparing to send a group of elderly association members in Japan to the DPRK as early as August 15. The visit, if realized, would be the first of its kind since the Korean Peninsula was divided. An official said that the decision follows the agreement reached at a ministerial meeting held by the DPRK and the ROK in Seoul on July 31 to allow Chongryon members to visit their hometowns in the ROK. Chongryon First Vice Chairman So Man-sul said that the association is planning to send the first delegation on August 15, the anniversary of the end of the Pacific War and the liberation of the Korean homeland. The association's prefecture headquarters have received a flood of inquiries from people wishing to take part in the first delegation. So said, "First- generation (Koreans living in Japan) should be given top priority." The association plans to hold talks on the visit with ROK officials through the ROK embassy in Tokyo.

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5. Inter-Korean Railway

The Asahi Shimbun ("PUTIN ASKS MORI FOR JAPAN'S COOPERATION IN INTER-KOREAN RAILWAY," 08/04/2000) reported that it was revealed on August 3 that during the July Japanese-Russian summit meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to cooperate in the Kyongwi railway project, which was already agreed on between the ROK and the DPRK. Putin said to Mori, "We have an idea of doing some economic projects with the DPRK, including the Kyongwi railway project. The railway may extend to the PRC and Russia. Russia and Japan are directly related to the Korean Peninsula. We should promote the project together." He also expressed his desire to deal with the project on a multilateral basis. Mori said in response, "The project is significant because it may link Asia with Europe in the future." However, Mori did not clearly answer whether or not Japan would cooperate in the project.

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6. Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue

The Sankei Shimbun ("MORI SAYS PEACE TREATY SHOULD BE CONCLUDED AFTER SOLUTION OF TERRITORIAL ISSUE," 08/3/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori stated at a House of Councilors budgetary committee session on August 2 regarding a peace treaty between Japan and Russia, "I am doing my best to implement our consistent policy to conclude a peace treaty (with Russia) after solving the Northern Territorial issue." The report said that his statement signified that the Japanese government has not changed its policy to solve the issue and reach a peace treaty at the upcoming summit meeting between Mori and Russian President Vladimir Putin in September. Regarding the statement by Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Hiromu Nonaka that it is possible to separate the issue of peace treaty from the territorial issue, Mori said, "I think his statement only indicates his enthusiasm toward developing Japanese-Russian relations. His statement is derived from the government's official statement."

The Daily Yomiuri ("PUTIN: TERRITORIAL ISSUE SHOULD BE POSTPONED," 08/04/2000) reported that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa said to reporters on August 3 that Japan's position on the territorial dispute would remain unchanged. Nakagawa said, "Although President Putin mentioned the difficulty of signing a peace treaty, he did not make any specific proposal to postpone the solution of the territorial dispute or to sign an interim treaty." He added, "The government has not changed its stance toward resolving the territorial dispute first based on the Krasnoyarsk agreement, and then to sign a peace treaty."

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7. Japanese Stance on US Missile Defense

The Daily Yomiuri ("MORI UNDERSTANDS US NMD PROGRAM," 08/02/2000) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori expressed his understanding of the US national missile defense (NMD) program at a House of Councilors plenary session on August 1. Mori said, "The United States sees the spread of ballistic missiles as a serious threat (to global peace), so I understand why it has been considering the feasibility of the NMD plan." The report suggested that Mori's remark put an end to Japan's neutral stance on the issue.

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8. Japanese-PRC Relations

The Japan Times (Kyodo, "KONO TO VISIT CHINA AUG. 28 TO SET UP ZHU'S G-8 SUMMIT TRIP TO JAPAN," Bangkok, 07/30/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono would visit the PRC in late August to help pave the way for PRC Premier Zhu Rongji's planned visit to Japan in the fall. Kono and PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan agreed during a breakfast meeting in Bangkok on July 29 that Kono would make the visit August 28-31 and use the opportunity to also discuss issues of bilateral and regional concern. Kono said that he would like to take up the issues of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and PRC vessels during his visit to the PRC next month.

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9. Japanese-PRC Talks on CTBT

The Japan Times (Kyodo, "KONO TO VISIT CHINA AUG. 28 TO SET UP ZHU'S G-8 SUMMIT TRIP TO JAPAN," Bangkok, 07/30/2000) reported that during his meeting with his PRC counterpart Tang Jiaxuan in Bangkok on July 29, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono urged the PRC to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) on nuclear arms at an early date. In response, Tang said that the matter has been submitted to the PRC parliament for deliberation and expressed confidence that it will be approved in the near future. However, he said, the US Senate's refusal to sign the treaty, as well as the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998, have delayed the PRC's decision. Tang asked Japan to push the US to sign the CTBT. Kono said that Japan has been discussing the matter with the US and indicated that the PRC's delay in ratifying the treaty may, in turn, be preventing the US from becoming a signatory state.

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10. PRC Naval Activities

The Japan Times (Kyodo, "KONO TO VISIT CHINA AUG. 28 TO SET UP ZHU'S G-8 SUMMIT TRIP TO JAPAN," Bangkok, 07/30/2000) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan discussed in Bangkok on July 29 the issue of PRC naval and intelligence-gathering ships that have been spotted near or within Japanese territorial waters in recent years. In response to Tang's suggestion that the issue involves setting a boundary in the East China Sea, Kono said, "This is not something that can be left alone." He also said that PRC intelligence-gathering ships had been spotted quite recently in waters that are clearly within Japan's exclusive economic zone and that "there is no reason" Japan cannot ask for an explanation. He also asked that, in the future, the PRC inform Japan before its naval vessels approach Japanese waters, and suggested holding exchanges between military ships of the two countries to build trust. Tang said that he understood that the Japanese people are concerned about the matter and emphasized that it should be resolved through discussions.

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11. US Nuclear Carriage into Japan

The Asahi Shimbun ("NAKASONE SUPPORTED US CARRIAGE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS INTO JAPAN IN 1970," 08/02/2000) reported that it was revealed that Yasuhiro Nakasone, Japanese Defense Agency Director General from January to July in 1970 and Prime Minister from 1982 to 1987, made a statement during his visit to the US in September, 1970, supporting US carriage of nuclear weapons into Japanese territory during times of contingencies. Nakasone's statement was found in US official documents at the US National Archive and the Johnson Library. According to the documents, Nakasone said to then US Secretary of State Alexis Johnson, "As long as US deterrence effectively functions, Japan does not need nuclear weapons at all. We don't have to say this publicly, but although Japan maintains a non-nuclear policy now, I think that Japan should have the right to allow the US to carry nuclear weapons into Japan in times of contingencies in the future. As long as Japan is protected by the US, Japan has no worries." The report noted that given that the US administration's focus was on how to have Japan agree to allow US carriage of nuclear weapons into Japan during the Japanese-US negotiations on the return of Ogaswara in 1968, Nakasone's statement in 1970 can be seen to signify Japan's acceptance of the secret agreement between Japan and the US on US carriage of nuclear weapons into Japan. Asked about the matter, Nakasone said, "I don't recall well."

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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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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