NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, november 16, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Food Shortage

The Associated Press ("UN: N. KOREA FACES FOOD SHORTAGE," Rome, 11/16/00) reported that the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program said in a joint report Thursday that the DPRK is bound to face a seventh straight year of food shortages, since severe drought and typhoons have considerably reduced the nation's cereal production. The report said that the DPRK will need to import 1.8 million tons of cereals in 2000-2001 to meet the population's need of 4.7 million tons. It said, "Over the short term, food aid will continue to play a major role in guaranteeing food security."

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2. US-PRC Missile Talks

The Associated Press (Terence Hunt, "US, CHINA DISCUSS MISSILE EXPORTS," Bandar Seri Begawan, 11/16/00) reported that Stanley Roth, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that US President Clinton and PRC President Jiang Zemin made progress on Thursday toward curtailing PRC missile exports and resuming talks on human rights. Clinton raised long-standing US concerns about PRC missile exports with Jiang on the sidelines of the APEC meeting. Roth said, "There was some progress made but I'm not going to detail it. We'll have more to say in the days to come." He described the missile discussions as general in nature, noting that talks have been held recently among experts from both countries. Clinton told Jiang that it would be helpful if the dialogue could be resumed. Roth said, "Interestingly, President Jiang responded by saying he agreed, that he thought dialogue would be a useful way to go." Roth characterized it as "an agreement in principle rather than a specific agreement that the dialogue was going to be resumed at a specific date."

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3. US-Australian Relations

The Australian published an edited version of a speech given by US Pacific commander-in-chief Admiral Dennis C. Blair to the Asia Society in Melbourne ("MENACED BY ASIAN MIND-SETS," 11/15/00) which said that the alliance of the US and Australia is one of the most important factors in a peaceful and secure Asia-Pacific region. Blair said that he believed that the path to security in the region "ultimately will be through the effects of the information age-- loosening state control of data and opinions--through financial and economic interactions with their prerequisite long- term security, and through diplomacy and cooperation in non-military areas, law enforcement and environmental cooperation." Besides those long-term forces, however, Blair advocated steps to build "habits of cooperation, and to confine and manage points of contention in the region." Blair noted the importance of US military forces operating in the Asia-Pacific as a foundation of regional security. He continued, "One pillar of this foundation is reassuring allies and security partners by deterring armed aggression and intimidation. Another is the extended nuclear deterrence over US treaty partners that both protects them and limits their need to develop their own nuclear forces. But another pillar that has been less recognized and has high potential for the future is the role of armed forces in helping to build trust and cooperation--among the other armed forces and ultimately their governments--by working together on shared interests." The way to proceed, Blair added, is to continue to manage the significant points of friction in the region. He suggested that the region needed to concentrate upon shared interests in peaceful development, and actively promote diplomacy and negotiation to resolve disagreements. Blair added, "All gains will result from diplomacy, financial incentives and market forces, rather than armed conflict. The fundamental security problem resides less in tangible differences than in zero-sum, balance-of-power mind-sets, fuelled by ethnic and religious zeal and historical fears and grievances. In Asia, it seems to me that we have nothing to fear from great-power rivalries except the fear of great- power rivalries themselves. There is a great deal of historical distrust and antagonism in the region. There is a natural tendency to look for short-term, unilateral gain. There is a concern that compromise and negotiation will be interpreted as weakness. However, I am more optimistic than most. If pursued skillfully, I believe efforts to change mind-sets in Asia over time will take hold and build durable security." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 16, 2000.]

II. Republic of Korea

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The Korea Herald (Lee Joon-seung, "FORMER LAWMAKER SAYS 50 SOUTH KOREAN POWS, ABDUCTED PEOPLE LIVING IN RUSSIA," Seoul, 11/16/00) reported that a former ROK lawmaker said on Wednesday that at least 50 prisoners of war (POWs) and other ROK citizens abducted by DPRK agents are now living in the Russian Far East. Jeong Il-young, a former parliamentarian of the United Liberal Democrats (ULD), made the claim, citing an informant who recently visited the Kamchatka Peninsula, Chukotka Autonomous Region, and the Koryakia area. Jeong said that the ROK citizens were taken to the DPRK during the Korean War and placed in concentration camps before being sent to the Soviet Union as menial laborers, loggers and miners in the mid-1950s. The fate and whereabouts of most of the 8,000 ROK citizens sent to these areas remain unknown, he added.

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2. ASEAN Meeting

The Korea Herald (Shin Young-bae, "ASIAN LEADERS LIKELY TO PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR KOREAN PEACE AT ASEAN PLUS THREE TALKS," Seoul, 11/16/00) reported that ROK officials said on Wednesday that as part of its effort to secure global endorsement of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, the ROK government is seeking support for inter-Korean dialogue at the upcoming "ASEAN plus Three" summit talks. The Asian leaders will likely include a pledge supporting inter-Korean rapprochement in their statement to be adopted at the end of the talks, said officials at the ROK Foreign Ministry. Leaders from the 10-member ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and the ROK, the PRC and Japan are scheduled to hold a two-day meeting in Singapore beginning November 24. The annual summit talks are the fourth of their kind.

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3. DPRK-ROK Naval Incident

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "N.K. ACCUSES S. KOREA OF VIOLATING SEA BORDER," Seoul, 11/16/00) and The Korea Times (Sah Dong-seok, "SEOUL DENIES SENDING BOATS INTO NK WATERS," Seoul, 11/16/00) reported that the DPRK has accused the ROK of infiltrating navy warships into its territorial waters. The ROK military denied the charge, saying that none of its navy vessels violated the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL), a de facto borderline on the West Sea. Quoting its military sources, the DPRK's official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Tuesday that four ROK navy ships, along with some fishing vessels, intruded into its waters earlier in the day. Those violators and three other ROK warships that appeared later to protect them retreated as DPRK navy patrol boats quickly moved toward them, the agency said. "This grave military provocation is an obvious scheme by South Korea's military to undermine detente taking shape on the Korean Peninsula after the June inter-Korean summit talks," the agency said. An ROK military spokesman said that its naval ships moved as a DPRK patrol boat approached the NLL but denied that they ever crossed the borderline. The DPRK's strong condemnation sparked concerns in the ROK that the DPRK may be looking for an excuse to abort a new round of talks between defense chiefs from the two Koreas scheduled for later this month.

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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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