NAPSNet Daily Report
 
monday, november 20, 2000
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I. United States

II. Republic of Korea
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I. United States


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1. IAEA Inspections in DPRK

Nucleonics Week (Mark Hibbs, "IAEA MAKING SOME QUIET PROGRESS IN VERIFICATION TALKS WITH DPRK," Seoul and Vienna, 11/02/00) reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been obtaining some access to safeguards-related data on nuclear installations in the DPRK, including the operating history of the reactor and reprocessing plant at Yongbyon. The originals of the documents remain in the possession of the DPRK, so that the IAEA has been unable to conduct forensic tests to determine their authenticity. However, an unnamed senior IAEA official stated last month, "It is not likely that the DPRK will give us access to the waste sites," as finding that undeclared reprocessing had taken place "would show that they had lied."


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2. Light-Water Reactor Project

Nucleonics Week (Mark Hibbs, "IT'S UP TO DPRK TO MAKE SURE GRID WORKS, KEPCO AND KEDO SAY," Seoul, 11/02/00) reported that Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) chief counsel Edward Lynch confirmed that the DPRK power grid is far too weak to accept two 1,000 megawatt nuclear reactors under construction at Kumho. Lynch stated, "We've known that since day one." He added, however, "This is not KEDO's responsibility; it never will be. They never asked us to build a power grid for North Korea." Lee Joong-jae, senior vice president at the ROK's Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO), stated, "We asked the DPRK to provide grid data. We evaluated it, and we are still looking at the solution, but the grid is bad, and we're still talking to the DPRK. But the electricity supply situation in the DPRK is the DPRK's sole responsibility." Chang Sun-sup, head of the Light-Water Reactor (LWR) Project Office in the ROK Ministry of Unification, confirmed that the US and the ROK had discussed replacing one of the reactors with a fossil-fueled plant to deal with the grid problem. He added, however, "These are only suggestions as far as KEDO is concerned. Our objective is to construct LWRs, and we have no interest to revise the (1994 Agreed Framework) not to construct the two reactors." He added that the discussion on a fossil-fueled plant "concluded that in practice, this cannot be realized, given the current situation." An unnamed US official stated, "the way the Agreed Framework was set up, the US unwittingly took it upon itself the risk that we might have to pay for this forever."


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3. Reunions of Separated Families

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, "KOREANS GEAR UP FOR MORE REUNIONS," Seoul, 11/18/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK will hold the second reunion this year of separated families from November 30 to December 2. The Red Cross selected 300 out of almost 100,000 registered candidates through a lottery and gave the list to the DPRK last month to search for relatives. The list was later trimmed to 100, giving priority to those who are older and have immediate family in the DPRK. In order to cut costs, the ROK has shortened the reunion visits from four days to three, eliminated scheduled tours, and will not pay for airline tickets to the DPRK.


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4. DPRK-Japan Relations

The Associated Press ("N.KOREA URGES JAPAN ON COMPENSATION," Seoul, 11/18/00) reported that the DPRK's state-run newspaper, Minju Joson, said on Saturday that the DPRK will not improve relations with Japan unless the Japanese pay compensation for their colonization of Korea. The paper stated, "Japan should bear in mind that as long as Japan does not settle its past crimes committed against the Korean people, it will remain an eternal sworn enemy of the Korean people."


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5. Korean Residents in Japan

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "FOREVER KOREAN: ONCE SCORNED, ALWAYS SCORNED," Kawasaki City, 11/20/00) reported that proposals to allow Koreans in Japan to vote in local elections have led to divisions within the governing coalition, and within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Akira Nishino, an LDP member who has led support for the proposal, stated, "The Constitution says that to vote for Parliament, you must be a citizen, but in the case of election for local governments, it is up to the residents to decide who votes. Many foreigners have the right to stay in Japan for life. Since they pay taxes here, they live the same lifestyle as Japanese, they use the same language we do and they bury their ashes here, I think that's the least we can do." Lee Iljee, a Korean-Japanese homemaker, stated, "This is the only country I have ever known. My family has been here since my grandparents were brought here. But without suffrage, it feels like our existence here is meaningless." However, Katsuei Hirasawa, a member of Parliament, stated, "Let's face it, the bulk of the foreigners here are from the Koreas, and there could be a clash of interests between Japanese people and Korean people. It is very strange to talk about this issue as if it were some kind of war compensation, making up for our colonization, or because [ROK] President Kim [Dae-jung] wants it. If the Koreans want to vote, let them naturalize. Otherwise, if they push this bill, we will stop it.'" Naturalization requires the adoption of a Japanese name and home visits and interviews with neighbors to ensure that the candidate has properly assimilated Japanese ways. So Chung-on, chief of the international affairs bureau of the pro-DPRK Chosen Soren, stated, "Some people are trying to hide the fact that they are Korean because they are suffering discrimination in Japan.... But we try to teach people that Koreans are Koreans, and however close we may feel toward other people, we should never obscure our identity." Seo Won-chol, leader of the pro-ROK Mindan, stated, "My elderly parents, who were born in Japan, were denied a pension because they were Korean. I respect my parents' heritage and don't wish to become something else. Voting is not the only thing at stake here. We feel that we have been deprived of many of our rights, and want to be recognized as normal residents, rather than being looked down upon like some second-class population."


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6. Japanese No-Confidence Vote

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SURVIVES OUSTER ATTEMPT," Tokyo, 11/20/00) Reuters (Linda Sieg, "JAPAN PM MORI REPELS RIVAL, BUT FUTURE IN DOUBT," Tokyo, 11/20/00) and The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, "JAPAN AVERTS PREMIER'S OUSTER," Tokyo, 11/20/00) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori escaped a no-confidence vote when a key faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) decided to abstain shortly before the vote. The motion failed by a vote of 237-190. However, many political observers in Japan said that LDP party leaders will likely ease Mori from office in the near future. Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, stated, "Far more than 70 percent of the people in this country ... want the Mori government to step down just as quickly as possible."


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7. Japanese Nuclear Power

The Associated Press ("JAPANESE NUCLEAR PLANT REOPENS," Tokyo, 11/20/00) reported that a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Tokaimura near Tokyo reopened Monday for the first time since an accident in 1997. Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute, the new operator of the plant, promised tighter safety procedures in the reopened plant.


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8. PRC Planning for Taiwan

Agence France Presse ("WAR IN TAIWAN STRAIT IN FIVE YEARS," Hong Kong, 11/19/00) reported that the Oriental Daily News said Sunday that Zhang Wannian, vice chairman of the central military commission, predicted last month that war will break out in the Taiwan strait within the coming five years. Zhang, who also heads the communist party's office of Taiwan affairs, said that in order to guarantee a victory, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will take the initiative by striking first. He added that the PLA will first paralyze the power installations and the combat ability of Taiwanese fighter jets, but it will not hit Taiwan's nuclear plants.


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9. Cross-Straits Visits

Taiwan's Central News Agency (Sofia Wu, "KMT VICE CHAIR, EX-DPP CHAIR LEAVE FOR MAINLAND VISIT," 11/18/00) reported that Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung left for the PRC Friday to attend a world Hakka amity meeting to be held in Xiamen, a port city in Fujian province. Wu, who had been Taipei mayor, interior minister and Presidential Office secretary-general under the previous KMT government, is the highest-level KMT official to visit the PRC. Wu was accompanied by more than 40 other local politicians and business executives, including Hsu Hsin-liang, a former chairman of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In addition to attending the world Hakka meeting, the delegation will also visit several other major PRC cities, including Nanjing, Shanghai and Beijing.


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10. "One-China" Principle

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN RULING PARTY CHIEF HINTS AT EMBRACING 'ONE CHINA' NORM," Taipei, 11/19/00) reported that Frank Hsieh, chairman of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said that Taiwanese must obey the constitution based on the principle of "one China." Hsieh said that while he himself was not fully satisfied with the constitution, "the constitution should be acceptable to people of different political stance.... After all the constitution has been interpreted with different definitions." However, DPP parliamentarian Chou Po-lun stated, "The constitution does not comply with the existing practice. It is known to the world that the 'one China' refers to the PRC. Therefore I don't think it works if we unilaterally accept the constitution and assume it is the 'one China' we want."


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11. Taiwanese Political Situation

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "SEX CHARGES AT THE CENTER OF A STANDOFF IN TAIWAN," Beijing, 11/19/00, 5) reported that moves by Taiwan's opposition parties to force an election to recall Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian were enhanced by unproven charges that Chen had had an affair with a female advisor. Both Chen and the woman have denied the charges. Lu Ya-li, a political scientist at National Taiwan University, said that the opposition's true goal may not be to force Chen from office. Lu stated, "The Nationalists want to use the threat to force the president to make deep concessions," including power sharing.

The Washington Times carried an editorial ("SHOWDOWN IN TAIWAN," 11/20/00) which said that the political crisis in Taiwan could force the next US president to take a more definitive stance on Taiwan's sovereignty. The article stated, "It is not as though we do not have political issues enough to worry about in this country, and Taiwan's constitutional crisis could hardly have come at a more inopportune moment. A new U.S. president might have to give Taiwan unambiguous support at the risk of infuriating Beijing."


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12. Russian Radar Sales to PRC

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "RUSSIA LIKELY TO SELL RADAR TO CHINA," Beijing, 11/19/00, 24) reported that sources in the PRC said Saturday that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov discussed the sale of four to six Beriev A-50E advanced radar aircraft earlier this month with PRC General Zhang Wannian and Prime Minister Zhu Rongji. Klebanov said that the sale would occur. On Saturday, Colonel General Valery Manilov, first deputy chief of the Russian armed forces general staff, stated, "The current staff talks enabled us to make headway in all areas of military and military-technological cooperation." He added that Russia was ready to supply the PRC armed forces with everything required for the PRC's national security. Russian media said that Russia could begin delivering the A-50 planes to the PRC by 2005. Western military experts said that the airborne radar system could also be integrated into the PRC's land- and sea-based missile launching systems, increasing the accuracy of PRC missiles against Taiwan.


II. Republic of Korea


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1. DPRK Foreign Relations

The Korea Herald (Kil Byung-ok, "N.Z., LUXEMBOURG CALL ON P'YANG TO FULFILL CTBT FOR TIES," Seoul, 11/20/00) reported that two foreign diplomatic envoys have called for the DPRK to adhere to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and arms control to further promote diplomatic relations. "North Korea should fulfill a number of New Zealand's key foreign policy concerns such as disarmament, arms control, regional security and human rights for the two countries to form closer ties," said New Zealand Ambassador to the ROK Roy Ferguson. Ferguson cited some significant issues over which New Zealand and the DPRK have deep and fundamental differences of view. "One example of such differences is the CTBT, a major milestone in international disarmament efforts, and North Korea is one of the countries blocking the treaty from coming into effect," the ambassador said. "That would be a major point of diplomatic disagreement between New Zealand and North Korea," the envoy stressed, adding that it may prove to be the last major obstacle before both countries pursue diplomatic relations.


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2. Inter-Korean Military Talks

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "N.K. PROPOSES WORKING-LEVEL MILITARY TALKS," Seoul, 11/20/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said that the DPRK has proposed holding working-level military talks with the ROK at Panmunjom on Tuesday to discuss the cross-border railway and highway projects. In a telephone message, the DPRK suggested the meeting be held at its Tongilgak pavilion on the northern side of Panmunjom. It said that the talks would focus on the re-linking of the severed railway and the construction of a four-lane road alongside it. The DPRK also notified the DPRK that it would send a six-member delegation for the talks, to be headed by a brigadier general. In response to the DPRK proposal, the ministry said on Sunday that it would deliver its answer to the DPRK after consultations with relevant government agencies scheduled for Monday. "Considering the short period of time left to prepare for the proposed meeting, our side is likely to make a counterproposal to the North that the working-level talks be held a day or two later than the North suggested," said Army Brigadier General Yoon Il-young, the spokesman for the ministry. "We will need more time to form a delegation for the working-level military talks." Yoon said that during the talks, the two sides are expected to discuss how to divide the administrative sections in the Demilitarized Zone, install military hot lines, and work out joint regulations to prevent military accidents during construction works.


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3. EU Contributions to KEDO

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "EU TO EXPAND CONTRIBUTION TO KEDO PROJECT," Seoul, 11/20/00) reported that the European Union (EU) will increase its contribution to the project to construct nuclear power plants in the DPRK. The 15-member EU plans to contribute 150 million euros (US$130 million) to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) over the next five years, said an ROK Foreign Ministry official. The yearly contribution of 30 million euros doubles the 15 million euros that it has given annually since 1997. The EU's moves to increase its financial support for the nuclear project followed its recent decision to renew its five-year-old term as a member of the KEDO Executive Board.


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4. DPRK-UNC Talks

The Korea Herald (Sah Dong-seok, "UNC-NK PACT TO ALLOW ROK PARTIAL CONTROL OF DMZ," Seoul, 11/20/00) reported that the United Nations Command (UNC) and the DPRK on Thursday signed a border agreement paving the way for the ROK to assume nearly full responsibility for military and other matters inside the Demilitarized Zone during the construction of the cross-border railway and road links. Under the agreement signed at Panmunjom, military authorities from the two Koreas will deal with military as well as technical and working matters for the construction project through consultations. The accord cleared legal obstacles for both Koreas to cooperate on building the railway and an adjacent four-lane highway. US Air Force Major General Michael Dunn, deputy chief of staff at the UNC, and Colonel Pak Im-su, DPRK's acting representative at Panmunjom, signed the accord during the general officers' meeting, which resumed after a suspension of 14 months. The accord called for the two Koreas to open a section of the DMZ before designating the district as a S-N administrative zone, where the two Koreas will undertake construction work to restore the severed rail and road links.


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5. Reunion of Separated Families

Chosun Ilbo ("TWO KOREAS EXCHANGE REUNION LISTS," Seoul, 11/20/00) reported that the second round of family reunions will be held from November 30 through December 2, with the two Koreas exchanging the list of participants on Sunday. The ROK delegation will be led by Bong Du-whan, vice president of the National Red Cross, and will be composed of 151 people, including the 100 separated family members. The 136 people delegation of the DPRK will be led by Jang Jae-won, president of the DPRK's Red Cross. The group reunion will be held at the Millennium Hall in Banpo, Seoul. ROK visitors will be staying at the DPRK's Koryo Hotel, where both individual and group meetings are expected to be held. On the first day of the visit, November 30, group meeting will take place and the second day will be reserved for individual meetings. The Ministry of Unification announced that the two sides still have to reach an agreement on whether family members of the visitors will be allowed to join the grand dinner. Also, the DPRK is reluctant to allow the family members to stay at the same hotel or to allow its people to visit the homes of their family members. The ROK delegation will leave for Pyongyang early in the morning of November 30, and the DPRK delegation will take the same plane back to Seoul.


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