NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, october 13, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. Possible Clinton Visit to DPRK

Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "S. KOREA HOPES CLINTON VISITS NORTH," Seoul, 10/13/00) reported that ROK on Friday welcomed the prospect that US President Clinton might visit the DPRK, saying the US is crucial to any solution to the conflict on their divided peninsula. Nicholas Eberstadt, a Korea expert at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington said, "It would be easier for a lame-duck president to strike a tilted deal in North Korea's favor than it would be for either incoming President Bush or incoming President Gore." Many ROK officials and newspaper columnists said a Clinton trip to the DPRK could only benefit the peace process, regardless of his political status at home. However, some warned that the DPRK may try to gain leverage in negotiations that exclude the ROK. JoongAng Ilbo, a leading ROK newspaper, said in an editorial, "It is possible that North Korea will try to negotiate military matters with the United States while restricting talks with South Korea to unification issues."

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2. Kim Dae-Jung Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Associated Press (Doug Mellgren, "S. KOREAN LEADER WINS NOBEL PRIZE," Oslo, 10/13/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize Friday for efforts toward reconciliation with the DPRK. Gunnar Berge, chairman of the Nobel Institute, said, "He is critical to this process and we are convinced that he will be strengthened by receiving this prize." Kim's spokesman Park Joon-young said Kim wanted to share the honor with his people. Park quoted Kim as saying, "I thank all the citizens who love democracy and human rights, who have supported these efforts with our people. I will keep up my efforts for human rights, democracy and peace on the Korean peninsula, Asia and the world." The Nobel citation said, "His visit to North Korea gave impetus to a process which has reduced tension between the two countries. There may now be hope that the Cold War will also come to an end in Korea." The Nobel announcement was greeted with great fanfare in the ROK. Berge defended the decision not to include DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in the prize, saying he did not think a prize to one side in the Korean conflict would sour the process because "North Korean will be totally dependent on people like Kim Dae-jung." He also pointed out that the committee acknowledged the DPRK leader's role in the last paragraph of the citation. The citation read, "The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to express its recognition of the contributions made by North Korea's and other countries' leaders to advance reconciliation and possible reunification on the Korean peninsula."

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3. DPRK-Japan Talks

Radio Japan ("JAPAN, NORTH KOREA TO HOLD TALKS IN BEIJING OCTOBER 30," 10/13/00) reported that Japan and the DPRK have agreed to hold talks in Beijing on October 30 to discuss normalizing bilateral ties. The upcoming meeting will be the third since talks aimed at normalizing ties resumed in April in Pyongyang for the first time in seven and a half years. The main focus of the upcoming talks is expected to be how the DPRK responds to the issue of alleged abductions of Japanese citizens by DPRK agents.

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4. PRC Military Exercises

Associated Press ("CHINA HOLDS MASSIVE MILITARY DISPLAY," Beijing, 10/13/00) reported that PRC's official Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the PRC's ground forces, missile corps and naval units mobilized 10,000 soldiers Friday for their biggest display of weapons and skills since 1964. Helicopters, small naval vessels, armored vehicles, missile batteries and an array of other weapons systems took part in the demonstrations held at three locations in northern PRC and in the Bohai Gulf. PRC President Jiang Zemin reviewed the display at a training ground in Beijing's western suburbs and issued a call for higher-tech and more realistic training and more creative officers. Xinhua said the four-day display, called a "military training achievements show" was staged to promote the People's Liberation Army's "military strategy for the new era and demonstrate the PLA's preparedness for military struggle."

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5. Sino-Japanese Talks

Reuters ("ZHU RONGJI TAKES DIPLOMATIC TONE ON JAPAN'S WARTIME PAST," Tokyo, 10/13/00) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji met with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori Friday and talked about PRC's history with Japan. Zhu told Mori, "In modern history, we suffered a great misfortune caused by Japan's militarism. But the people of Japan were also the victims and therefore the people of Japan should not be held responsible. Using history as a mirror, we must move forward. We hope that history will not repeat itself." Zhu said at a reception in his honor after the talks with Mori, "There are great changes going on in regional and global affairs, but there should be no change in the friendship between China and Japan, and even more, no change in the goal of both peoples seeking friendly ties for generations to come." Zhu and Mori agreed the rapid warming of DPRK's ties with the West and the ROK was welcome. According to a Japanese foreign ministry statement, the two leaders said, "The easing of tension on the Korean peninsula after the North-South summit in June is a positive development for stability in the region and we view it enthusiastically." The statement said Zhu and Mori also agreed to speed up efforts to work out a promised mutual notification system for maritime activities in waters between Japan and the PRC.

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6. US-Japan Defense Relationship

The Washington Times (Didi Tang, "VITAL ALLIANCE WITH U.S. NEGLECTED, STUDY FINDS," 10/13/00) reported that a report by the National Defense University has concluded that the US-Japan relationship is losing its prominence in the US, with potentially harmful consequences for US economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Richard Armitage, former US assistant secretary of defense, who helped draft the report said, "The U.S.-Japan relationship has not received sufficient attention." The report said major conflicts in Asia may break out at any time and that the US-Japan alliance remains vital to regional security. The report said, "The potential for conflict in Asia is lowered dramatically by a visible and 'real' U.S.-Japan defense relationship." Armitage presented the report along with Joseph Nye, another former assistant secretary of defense and now dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, to lawmakers in Washington on October 11. The report also suggested that while the lifting of Japan's constitutional restrictions on developing its military would allow for more efficient security cooperation with the US, the Japanese public should make the final decision. The report also said the US should consider broader and more flexible deployment and training options for its troops in the region. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for October 13, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-US Relations

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM SAYS N.K. DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH U.S., JAPAN 'MATTER OF TIME," Seoul, 10/12/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on October 12 that it is "a matter of time" before the DPRK establishes diplomatic relations with both the US and Japan. Kim said in an interview with Yeongnam Ilbo, a Taegu-based daily newspaper, "I don't know the exact dates, but it is just a matter of time. North Korea's relations with the United States and North Korea will jump on a swift current late this year or early next year." Kim said only time now stands in the way before the US establishes a liaison office in Pyongyang, since the US is moving to remove the DPRK from its list of terrorism-sponsoring states and thereby lift sanctions on trade and commerce.

Chosun Ilbo ("CLINTON TO VISIT NORTH KOREA BEFORE YEAR'S END," Seoul, 10/13/00) and Chosun Ilbo ("US TO ISSUE JOINT STATEMENT WITH NK," Seoul, 10/11/00) reported that the US and the DPRK issued a joint statement on October 12 heralding an opening of a new chapter in relations between the two countries. The two sides have agreed to exert every effort to put an end to the decades- old hostility and to establish a new bilateral relationship. As part of a move to boost bilateral ties, US President Bill Clinton is expected to visit the DPRK in the near future. The report said, "The two sides reached a full consensus on a visit by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang as early as possible to prepare for the possible visit by President Bill Clinton."

III. Japan

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1. Japanese Reaction to US-DPRK Joint Statement

The Nihonkeizai Shimbun/Nikkei Shimbun ("DIFFICULTY OF JAPAN-US- ROK COOPERATION: RULING PARTIES ARE CONCERNED THAT HASTY MOOVES WOULD UNDERMINE JAPANESE NATIONAL INTEREST," 10/13/2000) reported that despite the improving relations between the US and the DPRK, reflected by the joint statement between the two on October 12, policy coordination among the US, the ROK and Japan has become more difficult. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hideo Nakagawa announced, "(Improving relations between the US and the ROK) would contribute to reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula." However, a Japanese Foreign Ministry high-ranking official said, "If we felt that we are missing the bus and hastened (normalization with the DPRK), this might undermine our national interest. Japan, the US, and the ROK have entered another phase of policy coordination where our relations with the DPRK are more divergent."

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2. Japanese-DPRK Talks

Kyodo News Agency ("JAPAN AND N. KOREA PLAN 3-DAY TALKS FROM OCT. 30 IN BEIJING," Tokyo, 10/12/2000) reported that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa announced on October 12 that Japan and the DPRK are planning to hold their next round of negotiations on normalizing diplomatic ties for three days from October 30 in Beijing. The next round of talks will be the third this year, following negotiations in April and August.

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3. US Military Presence in Asia

The Asahi Shimbun ("US EXPERTS ASK JAPAN TO ACCEPT EXERCISING RIGHT OF COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE," 10/12/2000) and the Yomiuri Shimbun (Takeshi Shibata, "US EXPERTS PROPOSE THAT US RECONSIDER STATIONING 100,000 MILITARY PERSONNEL IN AISA," Washington, 10/12/2000) reported that a nonpartisan group of US security experts proposed on October 11 that the US reconsider the presence of 100,000 military personnel in Asia. A group of US security experts, including former defense assistant deputy secretaries Richard Armitage, Joseph Nye Jr. and Kurt Campbell, announced a report on the next US administration's policy toward Japan. The report said that the US reconsider stationing 100,000 military personnel in the Asia-Pacific region, including those in Japan, while reviewing force and deployment structure in response to the evolving military technology and the changing situation on the Korean Peninsula . The report also pointed out that Japan's policy not to exercise the right of collective self-defense is constraining the Japan-US alliance and suggests that Japan eliminate the constraint by revising Article 9 of the Constitution. They also proposed that Japan should play an increased security role by participating more actively in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKO), technological cooperation with the US in the defense industrial area and the US-led ballistic missile defense (BMD) program. The Yomiuri Shimbun article added that because Richard Armitage would join the Bush Administration, if Presidential candidate George Bush really became the next President, the report is seen to be influential.

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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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