NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, december 18, 2000

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Clinton's Visit to DPRK

The Associated Press (Deb Riechmann, "CLINTON CONSIDERS N. KOREA VISIT," Washington, 12/18/00) reported that the White House press secretary Jake Siewert said Monday that US President Bill Clinton will likely talk about a possible trip to the DPRK during his meeting with President-elect George W. Bush on Tuesday at the White House. He added, however, "The president will make that decision based on his own assessment of whether a trip will be useful in advancing America's national interest." Siewert said that the possibility of such a trip would also likely surface in a meeting Monday between Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger and Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. He stated, "We're consulting and have been consulting with the president-elect's team on this and those consultations will continue."

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2. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, "U.S., NORTH KOREA AGREE ON EXPANDED MIA SEARCHES," Washington, 12/18/00) and the Associated Press (Sean Yoong, "US, N. KOREA STEP UP MIA MISSIONS," Kuala Lumpur, 12/16/00) reported that the US Defense Department said on Monday that US and DPRK negotiators agreed to expand joint searches next year for the remains of US troops missing in action (MIA) since the Korean War. US military officials said that the expanded operations are a sign of growing cooperation between the US and the DPRK. The Department said that the agreement, reached following four days of negotiations in Kuala Lumpur last week, "significantly expands the size of the U.S. teams, increases the length of U.S. activities and adds areas of operations around the Chosin Reservoir." The increase in the number of search days next year totals 60 more than in the 2000 schedule, and the US component of the joint teams will be expanded to 28 members from the current 20. Operations will include areas of investigation near Kaechon, including an area nicknamed "the Gauntlet", where the US Army's 2nd Infantry Division conducted a fighting withdrawal along a narrow road through 6 miles of PRC military ambush positions during November and December 1950. The chief US negotiator, Alan Liotta, said that the DPRK did not link any economic aid demands to the MIA issue. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 18.]

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3. ROK-DPRK Talks

Reuters ("TWO KOREAS AGREE TO PRESS ON WITH FAMILY REUNIONS," Seoul, 12/16/00) and the Associated Press (Paul Shin, "KOREANS AGREE ON ECONOMIC DIALOGUE," Seoul, 12/15/00) reported that the ROK and the DPRK completed their latest minister-level negotiations on Saturday. In a joint statement, the two sides said that they would establish an economic cooperation panel at an early date and hold the first working-level meeting in Pyongyang on December 26. The delegations, to be led by a vice-minister level official from each side, would discuss a set of issues ranging from the construction of an industrial complex in the DPRK to a build-up of rail and road links. They also agreed to hold a third round of family reunions in February, and to work on the DPRK's proposal to share its fishing zone near the border. The fifth minister-level talks would be held in March, with the venue to be decided later. The talks had reportedly hit a snag on Friday when the DPRK asked the ROK to build power plants with a combined capacity of 2 million kilowatts, starting with a 500,000 kilowatt thermal plant. The ROK reportedly is considering instead providing the DPRK with some of its surplus electricity through a new power line to be built across the Demilitarized Zone. ROK media quoted ROK Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu as saying in Pyongyang, "This round of talks would pave the way for better inter-Korean economic cooperation as both sides reaffirmed their resolve to improve relations and promote reconciliation."

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4. New US President's Korea Policy

The Associated Press (Ginny Parker, "ASIA WELCOMES BUSH NOMINATIONS," Tokyo, 12/18/00) reported that Yoon Dong-min, an analyst at the Institute for Foreign Affairs and National Security, an ROK Foreign Ministry think- tank, warned that a tougher stance on the DPRK by the new US administration might slow reconciliation with the ROK. Yoon stated, "The Clinton administration was idealistic, whereas the Bush administration is realistic. That would affect South Korea's policy of seeking quick rapprochement with the communist North."

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5. Japanese Red Army

The Associated Press (Kozo Mizoguchi, "EX-RED ARMY MEMBER PLEADS GUILTY," Tokyo, 12/15/00) reported that Yoshimi Tanaka, a former member of the Japanese Red Army, pleaded guilty Friday to hijacking charges in the opening session of his trial at Tokyo District Court. Tanaka stated, "I have no intention of contesting the facts. I apologize to the passengers for taking them into a nightmare." Tanaka, who was extradited from Thailand in June, was one of nine Red Army members accused of hijacking a Japan Airlines Boeing 727 with 129 people aboard on March 31, 1970. The flight was forced to fly to the ROK, where all the passengers were freed, and the crewmembers were released after they flew to the DPRK with the hijackers. Police said that Tanaka was arrested in 1996 in Cambodia with more than US$120,000 worth of fake US$100 bills while attempting to flee Cambodia to Vietnam in a DPRK Embassy car accompanied by DPRK diplomats.

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6. Japanese View of US Asia Policy

The International Herald Tribune (Michael Richardson, "JAPAN AND AUSTRALIA EXPECT GAINS IN ASIA- PACIFIC SECURITY," Singapore, 12/18/00) reported that Japanese officials said Sunday that they expected the Republican administration of George W. Bush to strengthen the US alliance with Japan. Bush said on Saturday during a ceremony in which he nominated Colin Powell, former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, as Secretary of State, "Our administration will work with our allies in Europe and in the Far East and around the world to extend the peace." Yasuhisa Shiozaki, head of a foreign policy panel in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, stated "American policy for the last couple of years has put more stress on China." Japanese officials and analysts said that this perceived US tilt had encouraged the PRC to adopt a more assertive policy toward Japan. The International Institute for Strategic Studies in London said in a recent report that the US naval presence in East Asia was diminishing at a time when threats to Japan's maritime security were greater than they have been at any time since the end of the Cold War as a result of both PRC and DPRK incursions and probing. Masashi Nishihara, president of the National Defense Academy of Japan, stated, "To balance China, we need a stronger alliance with Washington. We are not sure where China is going and we worry that it will use its growing economic power to become a very strong military power that would threaten Japan's interests." Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore said recently, "U.S. attention in Asia today is more focused on Northeast Asia, where its fundamental interests are at stake and more pressing. In fact, the single most important relationship underpinning stability in Asia is the triangular U.S.-China-Japan relationship." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 18.]

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7. US Policy toward PRC

The Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, "CHINA EAGER TO WORK WITH BUSH," Beijing, 12/18/00) reported that officials and scholars in the PRC foreign policy establishment have expressed concern recently whether US President- elect George W. Bush might try to rally conservatives with provocative shows of support for Taiwan to make up for his slim electoral victory and a divided Congress. Yan Xuetong, an international security specialist at Tsinghua University, argued that Bush "has to consider having strategic cooperation with China. Without it, it will be impossible to preserve stability in the Asia-Pacific region." He added that a theater missile defense system that Bush supports "will be too disadvantageous to China." Jin Canrong, a US specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed to "two possible conflicts" between the US and the PRC: annual arms sales talks with Taiwan in April, and the reintroduction of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act. Jin stated, "But they can be controlled through hard work."

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "BUSH SEEN LIKELY TO BE TOUGH ON CHINA," 12/18/00) reported that US Secretary of State designate Colin Powell said that the new US administration's approach to the PRC and Russia will be to treat them "not as potential enemies or adversaries, but not yet as strategic partners." The Beijing Review, a magazine published by the PRC State Council, said in a commentary that "the most dangerous aspect of Bush Jr.'s position on U.S.-China policy lies in its destructive role in the tense relations between Taiwan and the mainland," adding that "war would be inevitable" if the US defends Taiwan. According to US officials, among those under consideration for the top National Security Council PRC policymaking post are Chuck Downs, a former Pentagon China specialist who was an aide on the special congressional committee that investigated PRC missile technology acquisition and nuclear espionage. Also being considered is Harry Harding, a George Washington University academic who is reportedly viewed as favoring the current engagement policies toward the PRC, a position reportedly also adhered to by Robert Blackwill, who may become deputy national security adviser. Critics of the PRC are pushing for Paul Wolfowitz, a former defense policymaker, who is said to want the position of defense secretary but could become US ambassador to the UN. James A. Kelly, president of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, may be appointed as assistant secretary of state for East Asia. Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant defense secretary for China during the Clinton administration, could be named assistant defense secretary for international security affairs. Air Force Major Mark Stokes is reportedly being mentioned for deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, along with academic Torkel Paterson. Former US Ambassador to the PRC James Lilley is a candidate to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 18.]

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8. Alleged Taiwan WMD Program

Taipei Times ("DEFENSE MINISTRY DENIES DEVELOPING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION CLAIM," 12/17/00) reported that Taiwan Vice Minister of National Defense Sun Tao-yu denied an analysis report released recently by Canada's national security and intelligence bureau that included Taiwan among some 10 nations suspected of developing chemical or biological weapons. The report said that Taiwan has so far developed 36 types of bacteria to be used for biological warfare. Sun called the report "absolutely wrong," and stressed that Taiwan would not change its policy of not developing nor owning nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Sun added, however, that Taiwan has researched and developed anti-chemical and anti-biological warfare equipment and related know-how in the field of weapons of mass destruction.

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9. Russian Military Sales to PRC

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA BUYS 28 SOVIET FIGHTERS," Moscow, 12/16/00) reported that Russia's Itar-Tass news agency quoted military sources as saying that Russia will sell 28 Su-27UBK jet fighter training planes to the PRC over the next three years. Eight of the planes will be delivered this month, with 10 more delivered over the next two years. Russian air force chief Anatoly Kornukov is due in the PRC on Monday for a four-day visit to discuss delivery of Su-30 planes and Su-30MK multi-functional jet fighters that the PRC has ordered. The delegation will also negotiate sale of up to four Russian A-50 radar planes to the PRC.

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10. Russian View of New US President

Reuters (Aleksandras Budrys, "PUTIN HOPEFUL ON U.S.-RUSSIAN TIES UNDER BUSH," Havana, 12/15/00) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he was optimistic about future US-Russian ties under President-elect George W. Bush. Putin stated, "Currently we have no special grounds to worry about the fate of Russian-American relations." He added, however, that Russia continued to have various "differences" with the US. He stated, "Much will depend on the policy of the new administration. The most important thing is that all the positive things we accumulated in recent years be preserved and increased. We have ground to hope that this development is possible."

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11. Australian View of New US President

The International Herald Tribune (Michael Richardson, "JAPAN AND AUSTRALIA EXPECT GAINS IN ASIA- PACIFIC SECURITY," Singapore, 12/18/00) reported that Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Friday said that, in talks with US President-elect George W. Bush by telephone, the two had agreed that the ties between Australia and the United States "are as close as the relations between any two countries can get." Howard said that Bush had agreed that there should be "some special honoring of that quite unique partnership" at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the ANZUS (Australia-New Zealand-US) Security Treaty next year. He added that continued US engagement in Asia and the Pacific would be "the single most important factor in maintaining security in the region." He said that he believed the Bush administration would show a "broader interest" in the Asia Pacific region.

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12. US Security Challenges

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, "REPORT: U.S. A MILITARY SUPERPOWER," Washington, 12/18/00) reported that the US National Intelligence Council released "Global Trends 2015" on Monday. The report said that the US will remain the world's dominant military power over the next 15 years, while the PRC is likely to expand its influence, and Russia is headed for further decline. It said that the PRC's People's Liberation Army will remain the world's largest but that most of the force will not be fully modernized by 2015. It argued that to achieve more integrated naval and air capabilities against Taiwan and other potential adversaries, the PRC will exploit advanced weapons and production technologies acquired from Russia, Israel, Europe, Japan and the US. The report said that most experts believe that the PRC will seek to avoid conflict in Asia to promote stable economic growth and to ensure internal stability, but added, "estimates of China beyond five years are fraught with unknowables." It also said that Japan will weaken economically, and India will increase its regional power. The report added, "U.S. opponents - state and such nonstate actors as drug lords, terrorists and foreign insurgents - will not want to engage the U.S. military on its terms. They will choose instead political and military strategies designed to dissuade the United States from using force." It said that one such strategy would be a threat to use weapons of mass destruction against US targets, and another would be attacks on US computer networks. It stated, "Such asymmetric approaches - whether undertaken by states or nonstate actors - will become the dominant characteristic of most threats to the U.S. homeland."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Kim Dae-jung's US Visit

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM TO VISIT U.S. FOR TALKS WITH BUSH ON N.K.," 12/18/00) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung's aides said Sunday that Kim will visit the US as early as next March to discuss policies on the DPRK with US President-elect George W. Bush. Chong Wa Dae spokesman Park Joon-young said that Kim and Bush held a telephone conversation Saturday in which "The two leaders agreed to have their aides fix a date for the planned summit talks." Park said that Kim called Bush on Saturday morning to congratulate him on his election and discussed the DPRK and ROK-US bilateral relations in foreign policy, security and the economy. Park stated, "President Kim noted that South Korea, the United States and Japan have been successfully maintaining policy coordination toward North Korea, and this led to the improvement of North Korea's relations with the three countries." Kim expressed hope that the ROK and the US would continue to cooperate on the basis of this three-way alliance. Park added, "President-elect Bush said that he hopes to see positive outcomes from the current policy and that he wanted to closely cooperate with President Kim to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia." On Saturday, Kim said that US-DPRK missile talks are making progress to the point that the DPRK is asking for food aid in compensation for the suspension of its missile development program. He stated, "If this and other matters are resolved, the United States and North Korea will likely establish ambassadorial-level relations." He added that the ROK may provide the DPRK with coal in place of the electricity that the DPRK requested in last week's ministerial talks in Pyongyang.

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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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