NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, november 29, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Japan-DPRK Talks

Reuters ("JAPAN-N.KOREA TALKS MAY RESUME IN JAN-REPORT," Tokyo, 11/29/00) reported that the Japanese media said Wednesday that the next round of talks between Japan and the DPRK to normalize diplomatic ties may take place in January. The Kyodo news agency quoted a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official as saying that because Japan faces a cabinet reshuffle in early December and a reorganization of central government ministries early in January, the talks would likely not begin until after those changes. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the schedule was far from set. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori told reporters last week that the two nations still have deep differences to overcome before they can normalize diplomatic ties.

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2. DPRK Famine

The Associated Press ("US CONGRESSMAN SAYS CONDITIONS IN NORTH KOREA ARE AS GRIM AS EVER," Seoul, 11/29/00) reported that US Representative Tony Hall, Democrat of Ohio, said Wednesday that food and power shortages remain as dire as ever in parts of the DPRK outside Pyongyang. Hall said at a news conference in Seoul, a day after finishing his four-day trip to the DPRK, "You need to travel outside the capital and into the countryside and you'll discover that things are very bleak and very cold." Hall said a DPRK official told him: "It can't get any worse because we are at the rock bottom." [Ed. note: The full text of Hall's speech will be released today as a Special Report.]

Agence France Presse ("UN TO LAUNCH LARGEST AID APPEAL FOR NORTH KOREA," Beijing, 11/29/00) reported that Doctor Dilawar Ali Khan, UNICEF representative to the DPRK, said that Catherine Bertini, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), will launch an inter-agency appeal for aid to Africa and the DPRK in Stockholm later Wednesday. Khan said that the appeal for the DPRK, the sixth such appeal since 1996, would be larger than the 600,000 tons of grain delivered as part of a 1999 aid appeal. Khan said, "We need to get the message across to the donor nations that the aid should be spread across the four major concerns of food, health, water and sanitation. If we expect to see a sustainable recovery by North Korea from its difficulties then we need to address all these areas together." He said that Bertini would announce the specifics of the package from Stockholm. Khan predicted that international aid to the DPRK would need to continue until "the development of its external relations will help to sustain the country in the long term." He also acknowledged there were wide-ranging estimates as to how many lives the seven years of food shortages in the DPRK had taken.

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3. US-PRC Military Talks

Agence France Presse ("PENTAGON DELEGATION IN BEIJING FOR MILITARY TALKS," Washington, 11/29/00) reported that the US Defense Department said on November 28 that Walter Slocombe, under secretary of defense for policy, has arrived in Beijing for two days of talks with RPC military leaders in the latest of a series of contacts aimed at improving relations between the two countries. Slocombe will also visit Qingdao naval base and meet with the commander of the PRC's North Sea Fleet. The US Defense Department also said, "Slocombe will discuss the U.S. strategy in the Asia Pacific region, our overall China policy, and present U.S. views on a range of current security issues affecting our bilateral relations." The PRC delegation was to be led by General Xiong Guangkai, deputy chief of the general staff. Slocombe was also to meet with PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian; People's Liberation Army chief of general staff General Fu Quanyou; and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi.

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4. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters ("CHINA BRUSHES OFF TAIWAN BID AT RECONCILIATION," Beijing, 11/29/00) and the Associated Press ("CHINA PRESSURES TAIWAN PRESIDENT ," Beijing, 11/29/00) reported that the PRC indicated on Wednesday that it was not impressed with Taiwan's latest effort to move toward restarting official contacts with the PRC. It also demanded that Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian commit to unification by endorsing an eight-year-old agreement that facilitated earlier talks. The call was the longest of recent criticisms of Chen. In a report issued by the PRC's official Xinhua News Agency, an official from the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) was quoted as saying, "The new leader of Taiwan should not play on technicalities on the issue." The official said that Taiwan must "give a clear recognition" to a 1992 consensus which enabled landmark talks in 1993. The article recounted the early exchanges over the "one China" issue, which it said concluded with a Taiwanese commitment that "Taiwan is a part of China and peaceful reunification is to be sought." The report also said that while the sides maintained different interpretations, the "differences are the ways of expression, not the contents of the consensus."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Reunion of Separated Families

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "FAMILY REUNIONS TO BEGIN TOMORROW AMID LESS MEDIA ATTENTION," Seoul, 11/29/00) reported that ROK officials said Tuesday that a total of 200 ROK and DPRK citizens will visit each other's capital on Thursday for the second round of family reunions this year. A total of 738 reporters from 83 domestic news outlets and 197 foreign journalists have applied for press cards to cover the event, the Government Information Agency (GIA) said. Officials said that the family members would meet for eight and a half hours on five separate occasions during their three-day stays in each other's capital.

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2. ROK View of DPRK-Japan Normalization

The Korea Herald ("LAWMAKERS ISSUE RESOLUTION ON N.K.-JAPAN NORMALIZATION," Seoul, 11/29/00) reported that lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties said on Wednesday that Japan must apologize for its 35 years of colonial rule of Korea and make appropriate compensations before it normalizes ties with the DPRK. In a nonbinding parliamentary resolution, the lawmakers also said that Japan must declare that all treaties leading up to the 1910 annexation of Korea are null and void and express remorse for the pain and suffering it inflicted on Koreans during their rule. They also said that Japan should prosecute leaders who took part in the deportation of Korean slave laborers and the selection of comfort women, and make an effort to return cultural artifacts that its citizens stole from Korea during the colonial period (1910-1945). Representative Kim Won-wung of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) said that ROK lawmakers were forwarding the resolution because they felt the issue of setting up diplomatic ties between the DPRK and Japan involved all Koreans.

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3. US Policy towards DPRK

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "BUSH UNLIKELY TO PURSUE ISOLATIONISM ON N.K., SAYS SENIOR CAMPAIGN MANAGER," Seoul, 11/29/00) reported that a Bush administration will not pursue isolationism in dealing with the DPRK and other "rogue" states, a senior campaign manager for US presidential candidate George Bush indicated here on Wednesday. "The new Bush administration is not going to swing toward an isolationist foreign policy," Daron Shaw said in a seminar organized by the Center for International Studies of Yonsei University in Seoul. Shaw added that the new US administration would strongly support the policies of US allies in Asia and the Pacific, including the ROK and Japan. Citing Bush's campaign pledge to pay greater attention to the role of US military abroad, Shaw said that his administration would favor strengthened US military readiness and capability to meet challenges in the new global security order. On international affairs, Shaw said that Bush is placing key priorities on containment of rogue states supporting terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 29, 2000.]

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4. Four-way Peace Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "U.S., JAPAN ENVOYS STRESS 4-WAY PEACE TALKS," Seoul, 11/29/00) reported that top foreign diplomatic envoys in Seoul on Wednesday dispelled doubts about the validity of the four-way talks on Korean peace and reiterated the need for their continuation. "Although South and North Korea now have varied active channels for official dialogue, we believe the four-party process remains an important component of the overall drive for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," said US Ambassador to South Korea Stephen Bosworth. A senior Japanese Embassy official here also echoed the US ambassador's call for the continuation of the four-party talks. "In the new environment on the Korean Peninsula, the talks can play an even more important role. They can further contribute to strengthening the peace and stability in the region through dialogues on security issues," said Katori Yoshinori, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. The foreign envoys' emphasis on the importance of the four-way meeting came a day after ROK President Kim Dae-jung revealed that the ROK will soon propose the resumption of the talks to the DPRK, saying that the US and the PRC showed support for the proposal. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 29, 2000.]

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5. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "2 KOREAS HOLD WORKING-LEVEL TALKS ON CROSS- BORDER PROJECTS," Seoul, 11/29/00) reported that ROK and DPRK officials agreed to continue discussions on military cooperation for the planned reconnection of a severed inter- Korean rail link and the construction of an adjacent road. Agreeing on the importance of the landmark cross-border projects, the two sides agreed to hold the second round of working-level military talks next Tuesday at the Peace House on the southern side of Panmunjom, it said. It said the two Koreas also discussed matters concerning the establishment of their respective administrative sections in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) through which the inter-Korean railway and road will pass, while touching on the safety of soldiers, civilians, equipment and materials to be mobilized within the DMZ for the cross-border ventures.

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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

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