NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, november 10, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. Reunion of Separated Families

Agence France-Presse ("KOREAS EXCHANGE LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR FAMILY REUINONS," Seoul, 11/10/00) reported that Park Hyong-joon, a spokesman for the ROK Red Cross, said that the ROK and the DPRK on Friday exchanged relatives for the next round of family reunions this month. Park stated, "Both sides exchanged the lists at the border village of Panmunjom at 4 p.m., which was delayed by an hour." Park said that the lists contained the whereabouts of the relatives of 200 people from each side, out of whom 100 people from each list will be selected for reunions over three days from November 30. The DPRK Red Cross on Thursday sent a message to the ROK asking it to limit cash gifts to relatives in the next round of reunions to US$500 per person.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Economic Talks

The Korea Herald ("SEOUL PROPOSES ON-SITE INSPECTION FOR TRANSPARENCY IN FOOD DISTRIBUTION," Pyongyang, 11/10/00) and Chosun Ilbo ("INTER KOREAN ECONOMIC TALKS GET UNDERWAY," Seoul, 11/09/00) reported that the ROK called for the DPRK to allow a group of ROK inspectors to monitor the distribution of food aid to the DPRK at two or three grain warehouses near Pyongyang, officials said. At the second round of working-level economic talks, the ROK delegation stressed that such a measure is necessary to ensure the 500,000 tons of food loan from Seoul are used to feed DPRK civilians instead of its military, they said. "We should prepare measures to guarantee transparent distribution of food," said Lee Keun-kyung, chief ROK delegate. Lee, ROK assistant minister of finance and economy, arrived in Pyongyang Wednesday for a four-day meeting, accompanied by three other delegates, 12 supporting personnel and six reporters. Lee's DPRK counterpart, Jong Un- up, positively responded to the ROK proposal, pledging to consider necessary measures for transparent distribution, the officials said. Jong, however, was unlikely to give any definite reply to the ROK's call for on-site monitoring until Friday, they added. DPRK negotiators indicated instead that they could brief ROK officials about the food distribution if the ROK requests it, they said. The ROK also proposed to conclude two more pacts, one for settling possible disputes stemming from inter-Korean business projects and the other for trade settlements, as soon as possible, the officials said.

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2. ROK-US-Japan Policy Coordination

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "3-WAY COORDINATION ON N.K. MAY BE ON HOLD," Seoul, 11/10/00) reported that the close and frequent coordination between the ROK, the US and Japan on their DPRK policies may be temporarily suspended in the aftermath of the US presidential election, ROK analysts said Thursday. "Consultations among the three allied nations or between Seoul and Washington will likely be revived after the new U.S. government completes its line-up of key officials," said Paik Hak-soon, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute. "About 3,000 political appointees will likely be replaced with fresh figures in the wake of the inauguration of the new government on January 20," said a government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. It is being speculated that the chief DPRK negotiators for the US, including DPRK policy coordinator Wendy Sherman and special envoy for Korean affairs Charles Kartman will be replaced. Furthermore, Paik said, the new US administration will likely resume consultations with the ROK or Japan on the DPRK after it reviews the US policy on the DPRK pursued under the Clinton government.

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3. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "NORTH SEEN TO HOLD FAMILY REUNIONS AS SCHEDULED," Seoul, 11/10/00), Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-mok "NORTH WANTS TO LIMIT GIFTS AT FAMILY REUNIONS," Seoul, 11/09/00), The Korea Times ("DEFENSE MIN. DELIVERS LETTER TO NK OVER 2ND TALKS," Seoul, 11/09/00) and Chosun Ilbo ("NK REFUSES TO ACCEPT KNRC CHIEF'S APOLOGY," Seoul, 11/09/00) reported that the DPRK on Thursday clearly indicated it would arrange temporary reunions for separated families as scheduled. In a letter to his ROK counterpart, the DPRK Red Cross head proposed that both sides limit the amount of cash and gifts to be exchanged between relatives when they meet each other November 30. "Starting from the second round of exchange visits beginning November 30, we will take necessary measures to restrict the amount of souvenirs and cash gifts," said the letter. On Wednesday, the DPRK Red Cross rejected an apology by ROK National Red Cross President Chang Choong-sik, saying it was not an "honest" apology. Chang expressed regret on Saturday for his remarks while claiming some of them had been distorted. ROK officials welcomed the DPRK's change of mind. "It clearly reveals the North's willingness to promote the family reunions as scheduled," said a senior Unification Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official, however, did not completely rule out the possibility that the DPRK may delay preparations for the meeting.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese-DPRK Normalization Talks

The Asahi Shimbun ("GROWING OPPOSITION TO JAPANSESE-DPRK NORMALIZATION TALKS FROM RULING AND OPPOSITION PARTIES," 11/09/2000) reported that opposition is growing against the government's current approach to the Japanese-DPRK normalization talks from both the ruling and opposition parties. Opposition has emerged because the 11th round of the plenary talks at the end of October was deadlocked over the issue of past, because no specific date of the next round was decided, and because the Japanese government has not officially revealed the content of the talks, allegedly due to the DPRK's demands. In response to the question by an opposition Democratic Party Diet member, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said, "Just sending 500,000 tons of rice aid (to the DPRK) would not solve the issue (of the past). It is not that simple. If you consider the long history, the various processes leading to the present, and each other's emotions, you will realize that we have to promote our talks slowly." Asked whether the government's rice aid to the DPRK last time had led the DPRK to change its stance toward Japan and to what "significant" talks the government really had with the DPRK side, Japanese Ambassador to the talks Kojiro Takano responded, "I can tell you only what we agreed to reveal."

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2. Russian-DPRK Railway Agreement

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Toshikazu Seguchi, "RUSSIA AND DPRK AGREE TO LINK SIBERIA RAILWAY TO KYONGUI RAILWAY," Moscow, 11/04/2000) reported that visiting Russian Railway Ministry official Alexander Tzerinko revealed in Pyongyang on November 2 that Russia and the DPRK agreed to link the Siberia Railway to the Kyongui Railway, now under construction by the DPRK and the ROK, in the future. According to the agreement, the railway would run from Vladiostok, one end of the Siberia Railway, through Wonsan to Pyongyang, which would be located roughly in the middle of the Kyongui Railway. The Russian official said that the date of the completion of the construction is not yet clear, but that the ROK government also agreed to support the project. The official added that Russian experts will soon begin investigating the site of the construction of the Kyongui Railway.

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3. EU Contribution to KEDO

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mina Mitsui, "EU TO DOUBLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR KEDO," Brussels, 11/09/2000) reported that former European Commission president Jacques Santer told the Yomiuri Shimbun after his visit to Pyongyang, which ended November 5, that the European Union (EU) is likely to double its financial contribution to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). According to the report, Santer led an EU delegation to Pyongyang to discuss the EU's financial contribution to KEDO and aid to the DPRK. The report said that if EU really doubled its financial contribution to KEDO, the amount of the contribution would be approximately 30,000,000 euro. The report also concluded that the EU's decision reflects its intention to further engage with the DPRK.

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4. EU-DPRK Missile Talks

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mina Mitsui, "EU TO DOUBLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR KEDO," Brussels, 11/09/2000) reported that reported that former European Commission president Jacques Santer told the Yomiuri Shimbun after leading an EU delegation to Pyongyang that they met with Kim Yong-nam, the DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly Chairman, and Paek Nam-sun, DPRK Foreign Minister, and discussed the issue of the DPRK's missile development and export. According to Santer, Choi Su-hoen, DPRK Vice Foreign Minister, stated, "The export of our missiles occupies 35 percent of our total export. To buy rice from foreign countries, we have to continue to export the missiles. To stop the export, somebody else has to compensate for it." Santer said, "In addition to conventional food aid to the DPRK, the EU is ready to provide agricultural and energy technology aid next year." The report added that the EU and the DPRK will have their third political dialogue at the end of this month.

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5. PRC View on US Policy

The Asahi Shimbun ("ZHU SAYS US SHOULD REAFFIRM PROMISE," 11/10/2000) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Ronji told the Asahi Shimbun in Chunnanhai on November 9 that the US should reaffirm all the promises it has made with the PRC. Zhu stated, "The US should reaffirm the series of promises it has made in the past with the PRC because doing so is a basis of friendly relations between the US and the PRC." As for the delaying process of the US Presidential election, Zhu said, "The PRC's policy toward the US will not change.... US policy toward the PRC would not change."

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6. PRC View on Korean Peninsula

The Asahi Shimbun ("ZHU SAYS US SHOULD REAFFIRM PROMISES," 11/10/2000) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Ronji told the said that he sees DPRK Kim Jong-il and DPRK political developments positively. Regarding his impression of Kim Jong-il during his visit to Pyongyang in May, Zhu stated, "(Kim Jong-il) is enthusiastic, straightforward and modest." Kim, according to Zhu, was very interested in the PRC's experience of opening up and reform policy. As for the recent developments in the Korean Peninsula, Zhu said, "The PRC regards the wishes of both the South and the North and fully strive to help promote the (reconciliation) process."

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7. Japanese-US Relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Takeshi Shibata, "JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON SAYS NEW US ADMINISTRATION WOULD BE RESULT-ORIENTED," Washington, 11/09/2000) reported that Japanese Ambassador to the US Shunji Yanai said to reporters regarding the "ongoing" US Presidential election on November 8, "Whichever side (George Bush or Al Gore) wins, the new administration would soon begin thinking about the next election four years from now and seek for short-term results.... Even if Bush, who gives more priority to Japan than Gore does, were elected President, he would ask Japan for more burden-sharing. Especially, (the new administration) would request Japan's increased contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and to other international humanitarian issues."

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8. Japanese View on US DPRK Policy

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Takeshi Shibata, "JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON SAYS NEW US ADMINISTRATION WOULD BE RESULT-ORIENTED," Washington, 11/09/2000) reported that when asked about his prospect for the next US administration's policy toward the Korean Peninsula, Japanese Ambassador to the US Shunji Yanai said, "If the Bush Administration were established, it would be more cautious toward the DPRK."

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