NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, september 13, 2000

I. United States

II. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. Kim Jong-il Visit to the ROK

The Associated Press ("KIM JONG IL TRIP TO SEOUL SET," Seoul, 9/13/00) reported that the ROK Yonhap news agency said Wednesday that top DPRK officials have agreed to arrange a visit by the DPRK leader, Kim Jong-il, to the ROK next spring. The agreement was reached late September 12 by Kim Yong- sun, a visiting envoy of the DPRK leader, and his ROK counterpart, Lim Dong Won. Yonhap said separately, the two Koreas are expected to hold a first-ever meeting of defense ministers to discuss measures to ease tension late this month or early next month in Hong Kong. They will also hold a new round of Red Cross talks at scenic Diamond Mountain on the DPRK's east coast, perhaps as early as September 18, to discuss more reunions of Koreans separated from relatives since the Korean War. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 13, 2000.]

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2. US Views on DPRK-ROK Relations

Reuters ("PYONGYANG MUST DO MORE FOR PEACE: COHEN," New York, 9/13/00) reported that US Defense Minister William Cohen said on September 11 that the US was encouraged by some of the steps taken by the DPRK. However, Cohen said, "We see some encouraging signs but these are just steps. We need to see much more in the way of a substantive commitment to having a peaceful relationship with the South and see whether the North Korean government is willing to become fully integrated into the international community." He was speaking at a news conference with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and Japanese Defense Minister Kazuo Torashima. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 13, 2000.]

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3. PRC Help to find Missing Korean POWs

Agence France Presse ("CHINA TO HELP US FIND MISSING US SOLDIERS," Beijing, 9/13/00) reported that Robert Jones, US deputy assistant secretary of defense, said Wednesday that the PRC has taken a big step forward in helping the US find US soldiers missing in action and prisoners of war (POW) of the Korean War by allowing officials to interview Chinese who ran POW camps in the DPRK. Jones said the PRC's ministry of foreign affairs this week arranged for him and his staff to interview several Chinese who helped manage the Korean War camps. Jones said, "I believe that the Chinese government holds the key to information about our POWs held during the Korean War." He added that PRC cooperation is crucial to finding out what happened to the US soldiers because PRC operated many POW camps in the DPRK during the war and hold records regarding those soldiers.

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4. Russian-PRC Relations

Reuters ("PUTIN, LI MEET IN KREMLIN, OPPOSE US MISSILE PLAN," Moscow, 9/13/00) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the chairman of China's parliament, Li Peng, met in the Kremlin on Wednesday and reiterated their opposition to a US proposal for a national missile defense (NMD) system. Russian news agencies said the two also talked about their strategic partnership and economic relations. Russia's Itar-Tass news agency said Putin and Li had discussed the "unshakability" of the Anti- ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM). Li said after his arrival on September 11 that the PRC and Russia should be vigilant about the proposed US system, "which is so potentially harmful." Putin told Li the two countries now enjoyed "relations at the highest level."

II. Russian Federation

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1. RF-PRC Parliamentary Contacts

Segodnya (Aleksandr Chudodeyev, "SOUL FESTIVAL OF STRATEGIC PARTNERS", Moscow, 2, 09/13/00) reported that the official visit to Moscow of Li Peng, Chairman of the All-China Assembly of People's Representatives, began with "carbon-copy" meetings in the RF Council of Federation, the RF Parliament's upper chamber, and the RF State Duma. Li's hosts were very vocal in praising PRC economic reforms. Li suggested establishing direct economic ties between the PRC and the Nizhniy Novgorod Region of RF. Li allegedly went to Russia to personally make sure that there had been no changes in Sino- Russian relations after Vladimir Putin became the RF President and that both countries remained "strategic partners." Li is to meet former RF President Boris Yeltsin and then RF President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

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2. RF-Japanese Summit's Aftereffects

The Izvestia (Vasiliy Golovnin, "JAPANESE ARE FULL OF RUMORS", Moscow, 4, 09/08/00) reported that there were rumors circulating in Japan that during the recent talks between RF President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Premier Ioshiro Mori, the latter urged Putin to recall the Soviet-Japanese Declaration of 1956 which provided for the return of Shikotan Island and Habomai uninhabited isles. Mori reportedly agreed to leave Shikotan and Habomai under RF governance, if RF recognized Japanese sovereignty over them. At the same time Mori reportedly said Japan wished for slow talks on the other isles but did not set any deadlines. Foreign ministries of both RF and Japan simultaneously denied the reports. Mori said, "I did not say anything of that kind." However, following Putin's visit, a lot of rumors concerning "a virtual return" of the isles appeared in Japanese mass media, assisted by Mori's unclear hints that Shikotan- Habomai scenario indeed had been talked about without becoming a clear proposal.

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3. DPRK-ROK Border to Be De-Mined

Segodnya (Anna Apostolova, "BORDER BETWEEN KOREAS WILL BE DE- MINED", Moscow, 4, 09/08/00) reported that "the rapprochement between the North and South Koreas has been going at unprecedented rate." The main projects are to build a highway and to resume railroad traffic through the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Works on getting rid of mines in the DMZ are underway. Park Che-gyu, ROK Reunification Minister, said at a conference on security and trade in North Asia, "A peaceful reunification will take place maybe in 30 years, maybe in 40 years, but it won't take place soon. Presently we must build up economic cooperation."

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4. DPRK-US Controversy over Millennium Summit

Segodnya (Yuriy Shtamov, "UNCOVERED SECURITY", Moscow, 3, 09/07/00) and Nezavisimaia gazeta (Yelena Shesternina, "THE SUMMIT IS TO GO WITHOUT D.P.R.K. DELEGATION", Moscow, 6, 09/07/00) reported that Kim Yong-nam, DPRK delegation head, who was heading to the Millennium Summit in UN Headquarters and maybe even more meet with ROK President Kim Dae-jung in New York was subjected to an attempted search by US American Airlines security personnel in Frankfurt, Germany. The delegation refused to be subjected to the searches and returned home. The DPRK Foreign Ministry called the US security service actions "dishonest." It said, "the USA will get an opportunity to feel what it means to insult the dignity of DPRK citizens". US officials later expressed their regrets and called the incident "a misfortunate mix of diplomats' unawareness of US security norms and checking security officers' misunderstanding as regards diplomatic status." The problem was that the DPRK is still on the US list of countries assisting international terrorism, with only DPRK diplomats at the UN being exempt, and the DPRK did not inform the US on the status of its delegation.

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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
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

Yunxia Cao:
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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