NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, december 5, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Announcements

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I. United States

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1. Clinton's Trip to DPRK

Reuters ("S. KOREA DOES NOT PUSH CLINTON ON N. KOREA TRIP," Washington, 12/04/00) reported that Yang Sung-chul, the ROK's new ambassador to the US, on Monday said that the ROK government would go along with whatever decision US President Bill Clinton makes on a proposed trip to the DPRK. Yang stated, "Whatever President Clinton decides, my government will fully support his decision." Yang also said that ROK President Kim Dae-jung was determined to overcome the constraints placed upon him and carry out economic and political restructuring.

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2. Inter-Korean Railway

The Associated Press ("KOREAS DISCUSS CROSS - BORDER RAILWAY," Panmunjom, 12/05/00) reported that military officers from the two Koreas held talks at Panmunjom on Tuesday on reconnecting a cross-border railway.

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3. US-Japan Alliance

The International Herald Tribune carried an opinion article by three scholars (June Teufel Dreyer, Bruce A. Elleman and Robyn Lim, "TIME TO SOLIDIFY U.S-JAPAN ALLIANCE," Tokyo, 12/05/00) which said that, despite shared interests among Russia and the PRC in opposing US global dominance, much potential for antagonism remains. The article pointed to the effect of Russian military sales to the PRC on Taiwanese security as having the largest implication for US interests. However, they noted that Russia and the PRC are also competing for influence in Mongolia, the DPRK, and India. They argued, "The notion of strategic partnership between Russia and China is unrealistic. There can be no partnership when a collision of interest exists. In Asia, the sole real strategic partnership among the great powers is the U.S.-Japanese alliance. It is based on a congruence of maritime strategic interests." They concluded, "Only in a revitalized alliance with Japan can the United States exploit tensions among the great land powers of Asia that arise from their strategic ambitions and insecurities." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 5.]

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4. Cross-Straits Economic Relations

Reuters ("TAIWAN PINCHED TO LIBERALISE TRADE WITH CHINA," Taipei, 11/26/00) reported that four Taiwan business leaders met with Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian on November 25 and urged him to lift a ban on direct trade and transport links with the PRC. National Taiwan University economics professor Hsu Chen-min stated, however, "It is unlikely President Chen will accept their suggestions totally." Taiwan media said that Chen did not respond to the demands. Central bank deputy governor Chen Shih-meng said earlier that he was opposed to lifting curbs on investments in the PRC in "strategic" industries such as high-end chipmaking or infrastructure. Thomas Lee, chairman of National Chengchi University's banking department, stated, "President Chen is under great pressure from pro-independence advisers and core supporters who are hostile towards the mainland. But he will find a way out for the 'three links'" of trade, transportation, and mail.

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5. Russian View of US Missile Defense

The London Daily Telegraph (Carey Schofield and Michael Smith, "NEW US MISSILES WILL DESTROY OUR PACT, SAYS RUSSIA" Moscow, 12/05/00, 1) reported that General Vladimir Yakovlev, head of Russia's strategic rocket forces, said that Russia would not implement the nuclear reductions called for under START II if the US went ahead with national missile defense (NMD) development. He warned that deploying NMD would galvanize Russia to create "new weapons" to counter it. Yakovlev stated, "You cannot stop the human mind. Unfortunately, men will always be driven to create new weapons. We expend our ingenuity inventing new systems and then have to work to find ways to eliminate them." He added, however, that if the US did not go ahead with NMD and there was agreement on Start III, Russia was prepared to get rid of all its intercontinental ballistic missiles, with the exception of 1,500 new Topol Ms, which have a range of 6,200 miles. He said that Russia was also willing to allow a resumption of the talks between Russian and US nuclear specialists that broke up when NATO attacked Yugoslavia last year, stating, "Only the professionals who handle these weapons understand how dangerous they really are." [Ed note: This article was a top story in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 5.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US Reinforcement Force

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "SOME 690,000 U.S. TROOPS TO BE DEPLOYED IN S. KOREA IN CASE OF WAR," Seoul, 12/05/00) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said Monday that in case of war on the Korean Peninsula, as many as 690,000 US troops would be deployed in the ROK as reinforcements. In its Defense White Paper 2000, the ministry said that the combined ROK-US defense capability could be increased when contingencies arise on the Korean Peninsula under the deployment plan of augmentation forces, which include 690,000 troops, 160 vessels and 1,600 aircraft. The size of US deployment forces rose from 480,000 troops in the early 1990s to 630,000 in the mid-1990s and to 690,000 in 2000, the white paper said. The paper said that the hike was the result of the US military's "win-win strategy," in which it aims to be prepared to fight two wars on two fronts simultaneously--one in the Middle East and the other in Northeast Asia. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 5.]

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2. DPRK Military Posture

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "DEFENSE WHITE PAPER DESIGNATES NORTH KOREA AS NO. 1 THREAT," Seoul, 12/05/00) and the Korea Times (Kim Kwang-tae, "NK MAINTAINS LARGE-SCALE FORWARD DEPLOYMENT," 12/05/00, 1) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry released its Defense White Paper 2000 on Monday, which said that the DPRK is still the primary enemy of the ROK. It said that the DPRK deploys more than 55 percent of its key forces near the frontline. It added that the DPRK's official military budget for next year is US$1.36 billion, which accounts for 14.5 percent of the country's total budget, but that the actual military budget accounts for 30 percent of the total. The report stated, "Despite a steady decline in the economy, the North continues to build weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms, including the development of Taepodong missiles and the deployment of artillery in frontline areas." It also said that the DPRK can launch a surprise attack on the ROK at any time without prior redeployment of its units, and that the DPRK Air Force can launch a surprise attack on any part of the ROK within a short period of time as 40 percent of its 790 fighters are deployed near forward bases. It stated, "North Korea reduced some of its military exercises after July before returning to average levels of military drills at the end of August. This illustrates that the North still poses a military threat to Seoul." [Ed. note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Defense Department's Early Bird news service for December 5.]

The Korea Times carried an analytical article (Oh Young-jin, "ARMED FORCES TAKE NOTE OF GREATER DETENTE," 12/05/00) which said that the ROK Defense Ministry's Defense White Paper 2000 represents a balance between greater detente on the Korean Peninsula as the result of the June 15 inter-Korean summit and the need to remain vigilant for a re-emerging threat from the DPRK. It noted that while the DPRK is defined as the primary enemy, the report dropped such statements as "The members of the Armed Forces should bear in mind who the enemy is and act accordingly in the time of contingency," instead focusing on the need to "deter and defeat any outside threat." It also noted that this year's white paper used the phrase "policy of reconciliation and cooperation" toward the DPRK for the first time, dropping the previous expression, "policy of engagement and appeasement." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 5.]

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3. Regional Security Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "KOREAS TO MEET AT REGIONAL SECURITY TALKS IN MANILA," Seoul, 12/05/00) reported that ROK and DPRK experts will meet at a regional security meeting in Manila December 8-11, the ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said on Monday. Twenty nations, including the two Koreas, will discuss security in Northeast Asia and on the Korean Peninsula at a subgroup meeting of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP). ROK delegates to the CSCAP's North Pacific Working Group talks will include Lee Ho- jin, director general for policy planning at the foreign ministry, and Professor Kim Dal-choong, head of the private Sejong Institute. CSCAP is made up of scholars, security analysts and both former and incumbent government officials from 20 Asia-Pacific countries. Government officials attend the forum in private capacities. "The participants will evaluate the ongoing peace process on the Korean Peninsula and discuss possible effects it will have on the Asian and Pacific region," Director General Lee said.

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4. Inter-Korean Projects

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "INTER-KOREAN PROJECTS TO UNDERGO OVERALL RESCHEDULING, OFFICIALS SAY," Seoul, 12/05/00) and The Korea Times ("THIRD ROUND OF FAMILY REUNION TO BE DELAYED," Seoul, 12/05/00) reported that ROK officials said Monday that with various rapprochement projects between the two Koreas already behind schedule, next week's inter-Korean ministerial talks will likely focus on an overall readjustment of schedules for these programs. The two Koreas, for instance, were initially slated to resume Red Cross talks December 13 to arrange another round of family reunions, but ROK officials said that not only the talks but the additional reunions themselves would inevitably be postponed until next year. "Although it has become impossible to keep some initial timetables, we expect that there will be little difficulties for the two sides to revise them at the fourth minister-level talks scheduled for December 12," said a senior Unification Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Observers, however, said that the two sides could face further difficulties in fixing a revised timetable even at the high-level negotiations, citing the DPRK's "negative attitude" during last week's family reunions.

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5. ROK-US SOFA Talks

The Korea Herald ("KOREA, U.S. HOLD 4TH DAY OF TALKS ON SOFA REVISION," 12/05/00) reported that the ROK and the US on Monday held the fourth day of talks on the revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) governing the legal status of US soldiers in the ROK. In the Track I session covering criminal jurisdiction, the two sides reportedly discussed which crimes ROK courts would have jurisdiction over and whether to stipulate U.S. suspects' rights as agreed to earlier. In the Track II session, covering environmental protection, quarantine of plants and animals, labor rights for ROK employees and the return or granting of property and facilities, the two sides were said to have widely differing opinions. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 5.]

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6. Korean War Massacre

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "SEMINAR ON 'NOGUN-RI KILLING' DRAWS ATTENTION," 12/05/00) reported that an ROK citizens' body on Monday organized a seminar at a conference hall of the National Assembly on the alleged massacre at Nogunri during the Korean War. The seminar was attended by two professors who are members of the ROK government-designated civilian advisory group. According to Chung Koo-do, spokesman of the civic body, all ROK scholars participating in the seminar contended that the massacre was committed by US troops intentionally against unarmed, unresisting civilians in a non-combat situation. Chung said that the ROK advisory group members also decided to join to counterattack the US position attributed to Harvard University Professor Ernest May, a member of the US advisory group, that the incident was an accident requiring no compensation for the victims from the US side. Chung added, "[US President Bill] Clinton made an apology for an American soldier's harassment of a Japanese girl in Okinawa. Why couldn't he do the same thing for this even graver incident?" Professor Park Sun-won of Yonsei University raised the possibility that the order to fire at civilians might have been handed down by US General Douglas MacArthur, pointing to MacArthur's control of Air Force operations in the war. He also cited a memo by Air Force Colonel Rogers saying that the US Army requested that the Air Force strafe "all civilian refugee parties that are noted approaching our positions." Seoul National University Professor Chong Chin-song quoted a US military document as stating, "No refugees are to cross the front line. Fire at everyone trying to cross the lines."

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-ROK Separated Family Reunions

People's Daily (Gao Haorong, "DPRK-ROK FAMILY REUNIONS ENDED," Seoul, 12/03/00, P2) reported that the second 3-day reunion of separated Korean family members ended on December 2. The DPRK delegation leader, the Chairman of DPRK Red Cross Central Committee, made a statement before leaving Seoul that the DPRK-ROK family reunions should follow the spirit set in the June Common Declaration, and that both sides should make great efforts for early national unification. His ROK counterpart spoke highly of this reunion. He stressed that in the future both sides should patiently continue dialogue and reconciliation and institutionalize the family reunions.

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2. DPRK-Japanese Relations

People's Daily (Li Zhengyu, "DPRK AND JAPAN CONSULT ON NORMALIZING RELATIONS," Pyongyang, 12/02/00, P3) reported that a delegation from the DPRK Association of External Culture Liaison and a Japanese delegation led by former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama met on December 1 in Pyongyang to consult over DPRK-Japan relations. The DPRK side pointed out at the meeting that the current state of DPRK-Japanese relations is not consistent with the current era, and lags far behind the wishes of the people of the two countries. Japan should apologize sincerely for its crimes and the historical damages it imposed on the DPRK people and make acceptable reparations. Only on this basis, the DPRK delegation said, can the improvement of bilateral relations be achieved. They stressed that during the past half century, Japan did not expose and criticize its history. Japan should have a clear and correct knowledge of the DPRK Government and people.

People's Daily (Zhang Xinghua, "FORMER JAPANESE PM BACKS UP IMPROVED JAPAN-DPRK RELATIONS," Pyongyang, 12/05/00, P6) reported that former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama expressed on December 4 that Japan should improve relations with the DPRK. Murayama, the Chairman of the National Association of Promoting Japan-DPRK Diplomatic Relations, gave this remark when meeting with Kim Young-nam, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly. He noted that the Japanese Government should improve Japan-DPRK relations guided by the principle of self-reliance. The establishment of the Association is for this goal, he added.

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3. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily (Li Shijia, "CHINA, US ARMY TALKS END," 12/01/00, P4) reported that PRC and the US have agreed that the fourth round of consultations between their respective Defense Departments have enhanced mutual trust and understanding, and will help reduce differences, expand consensus and promote relations between the two armed forces. The fourth defense consultations, held in Beijing on Wednesday and Thursday, were co-chaired by Xiong Guangkai, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, and Walter B. Slocombe, under-secretary of the US Department of Defense. Xiong reiterated the PRC's stand on the Taiwan question and briefed the US visitors on the recently published white paper entitled "China's National Defense in 2000." The two sides made positive comments on the current relationship between the two armed forces and held discussions on military exchanges scheduled for next year. Xiong and Slocombe said that they believe Sino-US ties are of great importance to the two countries, the Asia- Pacific region and the world as a whole. Regular meetings between the two defense departments were established by the two heads of State during President Jiang Zemin's visit to the US in 1997.

Xinhua News Agency (Li Shijia, "CHI HAOTIAN MEETS US GUESTS," Beijing, 11/30/00) reported that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian met US Deputy Defense Chief Slocombe who came to Beijing to attend the fourth round of defense consultations between PRC and US, speaking highly of the consultation mechanism. Slocombe said that the annual consultation between PRC and US defense departments is an effective mechanism to build confidence, and also an important component of the PRC-US military relationship. The US and PRC share common ground in developing stable and healthy bilateral relations, he said, and the engagement policy toward the PRC has gained support from both US political parties. The existing good US-PRC cooperative relations have paved way for the future development of military exchanges and cooperation.

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5. PRC-Japanese Relations

World Economics and Politics (Feng Shaokui, "SOME STRATEGIC THOUGHTS ON SINO-JAPANESE RELATIONS," No. 11, 2000) published an article on PRC-Japanese relations. The writer noted that PRC-Japanese relationship is one of the most sophisticated among PRC foreign relations, but also the hardest and most controversial one in PRC foreign policy studies. Feng wrote that national interests should be the starting point when dealing with other countries, PRC-Japanese bilateral relations are no exception. However, it is not easy to apply this standard to the Japan case because of the historical factor. PRC President Jiang Zemin pointed out in May that the starting point should be "the fundamental interests of people and future generations of the two countries", and "regional and global peace and development." Feng argued optimistically that the development of productive forces will finally break through the binding political contradictions in bilateral relations. This is an objective rule of law, he added. Citing some arguments that the PRC should refuse Japanese technology and economic aid since Japan did not behave well on the historical issue, he commented that the PRC needs Japanese industrial technology and loans and has benefited greatly from them. He added that Japan has too many experiences to be borrowed on its way to surpass the West. Looking back on Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping's Japan policies, he concluded that the quintessence was the clear division between the minority militarists and the majority of the Japanese people. Jiang Zemin follows the suit. Recently however, Feng pointed out, rhetoric against the above-mentioned division appeared in some media and internet news. Facing the reality, the writer warned, the integrity and authority of the Party's third generation's Japan policy should be maintained. Concerning the historical problem, he said, it should be solved in the final analysis by Japanese people themselves.

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6. Taiwan Question

China Daily (Xing Zhigang, "TAIWAN LEADERS BLASTED AS PRO-INDEPENDENCE EXTREMISTS," 12/01/00, P1) reported that the PRC on Thursday strongly criticized an advisory committee of Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian for "playing with words" in its suggestion about cross-Straits talks. Commenting on the advisory committee's suggestion that Chen abide by the island's constitution when addressing the PRC's one-China principle, Zhang Mingqing, spokesman with the office of Taiwan Affairs under the State Council, said that the "dubious" consensus reached by the advisory group "is full of nonsense and empty talks." Zhang told a press conference that the formulation suggested by the so-called "cross-party panel"---composed of 25 lawmakers, scholars and business leaders- --was representative of extremist pro-independence forces and did not reflect the feelings of Taiwan's mainstream. The spokesman said that the PRC is firmly opposed to any panel which rejects the one-China principle and promotes two Chinas. "Our stand on the one-China principle is consistent and long-standing and will never change," Zhang stressed. Zhang accused Chen of "whitewashing" his mainland policy by "showing groundless and excessive optimism over cross-Straits ties." "The Taiwan leader has neglected the basic fact that he has so far failed to break the impasse between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan since he took office on May 20 this year," Zhang said. He told the press conference that Chen's mainland policy has contributed a lot to the current political and economic crisis on the island.

IV. Announcements

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1. Family Reunions for Korean-Americans

"Click2Asia" has an online petition to collect 100,000 signatures calling for reuniting over 500,000 Korean-Americans living in the US with their family members in the DPRK. For more information visit their web page.

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Gee Gee Wong:
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Robert Brown:
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Kim Hee-sun:
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Hiroyasu Akutsu:
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Peter Razvin:
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Yunxia Cao:
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Dingli Shen:
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