NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, november 15, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Australian Foreign Minister's DPRK Visit

Agence France Presse ("AUSTRALIAN MINISTER HOPES FOR KOREAN REUNIFICATION: REPORT," Seoul, 11/15/00) reported that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer expressed hope after his arrival in the DPRK that the two Koreas could reunite. The DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency said that Downer arrived in Pyongyang on November 14 and immediately held talks with the DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun. The two sides also signed an agriculture cooperation accord. KCNA said, "At the talks both sides exchanged views on the need to develop the friendly relations between the two countries and a series of issues of mutual concern." Paek said in his speech that Downer's visit "marks an important occasion of promoting mutual understanding and confidence and giving impetus to the development of the bilateral relations." Downer's office has said he planned to emphasize world concerns about the DPRK's nuclear capacity and its missiles during the visit.

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2. ROK-DPRK Naval Incident

The Associated Press ("NKOREA: SKOREA SHIPS VIOLATED WATERS," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency reported late on November 14 that four ROK navy patrol boats, escorting a number of fishing boats, penetrated deep into its waters in the Yellow Sea earlier in the day. The DPRK accused the ROK military of trying to sabotage improving relations on the Korean peninsula by sending navy vessels into its territorial waters. The ROK denied the charge. KCNA said, "We cannot but construe this as a deliberate attempt by South Korea's military to reverse the amicable situation shaping up on the peninsula." General Cho Young- gil, ROK chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, stated, "A North Korean patrol boat approached the restricted Northern Limit Line, to which three navy vessels from our side responded. None of the ships crossed the line." The KCNA report also said that similar ROK naval violations had occurred in the area twice last week and once on November 13. The report said, "Incidents like this are reminiscent of the tense situation that led to the 'West Sea incident' in June last year."

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3. ROK-Japan Policy Coordination

Reuters ("JAPAN, S.KOREA AGREE TO COORDINATE N.KOREA POLICY," Bandar Seri Bagawan, 11/15/00) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and ROK President Kim Dae-jung agreed during talks on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Brunei that the leaders of Japan and the ROK agreed on Wednesday that the US, Japan, and the ROK should coordinate their policies on the DPRK to ensure peace and stability in the region. A Japanese official quoted Mori as telling Kim, "It is important that the three countries -- United States, Japan and South Korea -- coordinate their policies on North Korea in an effort to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia." The official said that Kim told Mori that the US and its two key Asian allies should support one another improve relations with the DPRK. Mori also briefed Kim on the latest round of normalization talks between Japan and the DPRK. Mori said, "We will continue to negotiate with North Korea patiently."

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4. Cross-Straits Talks

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN OFFICIALS TO VISIT CHINA FOR DIRECT LINK TALKS," Taipei, 11/15/00) reported that Taiwanese officials said on Wednesday that local Taiwan lawmakers and officials will visit the PRC late this month to help pave way for direct trade and shipping links. The group, to be composed of 16 council councilors and government officials including Kinmen magistrate Chen Shui-tsai, will leave on November 27 for five days. The PRC has yet to officially respond to a proposal for direct links from Taiwan. Chang Yung-shan, head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), said, "Beijing is not anticipated to respond to the opening before Taiwan unveils details of the implementation measures in mid-December. Beijing may wait to see any results of the direct links." Chang added that whatever the PRC's reaction, trade would be normalized on January 1.

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5. Russia-PRC Missile Defense Talks

The ITAR-TASS news agency ("RUSSIA, CHINA DISCUSS U.S. ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE PLANS," Beijing, 11/15/00) reported that Russia and the PRC are discussing the US plans to build up national and regional antimissile defense systems and their effect on the security of the two countries. First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Colonel-General Valeriy Manilov, who is in Beijing for a visit, stated, "this subject, naturally enough, will be considered at the current negotiations too. This is one of the most important problems concerning strategic stability, which is impossible without the observance of all the basic treaties and agreements, including the 1972 ABM Treaty." He added, "We are unanimous on this point with China and with our comrades in the People's Liberation Army of China." Manilov noted that the PRC was disturbed by the plans to set up a theater antimissile defense system. He said, "There are some points, on which our efforts should be coordinated."

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6. PRC Views of US

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "U.S. NOW A 'THREAT' IN CHINA'S EYES," Beijing, 11/15/00) reported that a shift in the PRC view of the US was seen in PRC's most recent white paper on defense. Last year's PRC white paper mentioned the US ten times, each time positively. Last month, the PRC white paper mentioned the US thirteen times and all but two of the references were negative. Strategists writing in the China Military Science are grappling publicly with the possibility that the US and the PRC could go to war, specifically over Taiwan. Liu Jiangjia, an officer in the People's Liberation Army, wrote in the magazine, "A new arms race has started to develop. War is not far from us now." Shen Dingli, an arms control expert at Fudan University in Shanghai, said, "China's public view of the United States has changed quite seriously since 1998. The U.S. has been painted as a threat to Asian-Pacific security. We've never said it so bluntly before.... I think China is more clearly preparing for a major clash with the United States." Despite the increasingly united view of the US as a possible adversary, the PRC leadership does not appear united on how to deal with the challenge. Shi Yinhong, an international relations specialist, said, "There is no clear sense of direction. Positing the U.S. as a threat is too simple. It gives us no answers on how we are going to deal with continued U.S. dominance, how we are to deal with the worldwide trend in democratization, how we are to deal with globalization and with the loss of sovereignty implied by our accession into the WTO." Evan Medeiros, a senior research associate at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, said that he believed that the PRC leadership is now paying more attention to military modernization--mainly as a result of troubled ties with the US and problems with Taiwan. Domestic political currents have also played a role. According to a Western security expert, a PRC research institute run by the Ministry of State Security forecast last year that the gap between the PRC and the US in key indicators of comprehensive national power would continue to widen for the next 35 years. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 15, 2000.]

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7. PRC-US Talks

Agence France Presse ("U.S. REAFFIRMS 'ONE CHINA' POLICY," Bandar Seri Begawan, 11/15/00) reported that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Wednesday assured her PRC counterpart that the US would continue recognizing the PRC rather than Taiwan. Albright held talks of more than an hour with PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on the sidelines of a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Brunei. Zhang Qiyue, a deputy director general of the PRC foreign ministry, said, "Minister Tang Jiaxuan said the Taiwan issue has been one of the most important and sensitive issues in Sino-U.S. relations. Tang hoped the U.S. would continue to abide by the three communiques and to pursue the one China policy, and Albright said that the U.S. would continue to pursue the one China policy." Zhang said that Albright and Tang also agreed that relations between their nations were in a healthy state. He added, "Both sides agreed that Sino-U.S. relations are extremely important," she said. "Over the years we've had many open and constructive dialogues."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-UNC Talks

The Korea Herald ("N. KOREA, UNC HOLD TALKS ON DMZ JURISDICTION," Seoul, 11/15/00) and The Korea Times (Sah Dong-seok, "INTER-KOREAN MILITARY CONTACTS DELAYED AMID CONFLICT OVER DMZ JURISDICTION," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that the DPRK and the UN Command (UNC) met at Panmunjom on Tuesday to discuss jurisdiction over a section of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). During the talks, led by the DPRK's senior liaison officer, Gwak Chol-hee, and US army Colonel Martin Glasser, the UNC expressed its intention to hand over administration of one area in the southern section to ROK forces. The DPRK, however, insisted that the UNC give ROK forces complete jurisdiction as well as negotiating and administrative rights over the area. On October 10, the DPRK sent a message taking the same stance to the UNC via Panmunjom. The UNC, however, responded that it could only transfer administrative powers to the ROK, not surrender its jurisdiction. The UNC allegedly said that it could not give up its jurisdiction over the DMZ because to do so would destroy the armistice structure on the Korean peninsula. UNC officials said that they are in no position to forsake their authority at a time when substantial measures, aimed at easing military confrontation, have yet to be taken by the two Koreas.

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2. DPRK Criticizes US Ambassador

The Korea Times ("NORTH CRITICIZES US AMBASSADOR BOSWORTH," Seoul, 11/14/00) reported that the DPRK criticized Stephen Bosworth, the US ambassador to the ROK, Tuesday for his remarks on the DPRK at the Council on US-Korea Security Studies on October 27. Ambassador Bosworth said that despite the progress in US- DPRK ties, the US recognizes that in a system so dependent on the decisions of a single individual, decisions can be changed as quickly as they have been made. He added however that the more engagement advances, the greater the potential cost to the DPRK of a reversal of course. The Central News Agency in the DPRK said that Bosworth's remarks were intended to weigh the DPRK's efforts and faith in improving the DPRK-US relationship and that there must be political motivation behind them. Pointing to the delay in the construction of the light water reactors, the DPRK argued that the US, not the DPRK, had the problem of keeping promises and staying committed.

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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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