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tuesday, january 9, 2001
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I. United States

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I. United States


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1. DPRK Defectors

The Associated Press ("TEN NORTH KOREANS DEFECT," Seoul, 1/9/01) reported that the ROK intelligence agency said Tuesday that ten DPRK Nationals, including two infants, defected to the ROK. The National Intelligence Service said they were the first reported DPRK defectors so far this year. The service said the group recently arrived at Seoul's Kimpo Airport from a "third country." The defectors were being questioned on how and why they escaped the DPRK.


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2. ROK-US Missile Accord

Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "ANNOUNCEMENT OF ACCORD ON SEOUL'S MISSILE RANGE LIKELY TO COME SOON," 1/9/01) reported that an ROK Foreign Ministry official said on January 8 that the ROK and the US will likely announce their agreement on ROK's bid to boost its missile range before US President Bill Clinton leaves office. The accord would enable the ROK to produce and deploy missiles with a 300 km range and 500 kg warhead, and also build missiles with a range of up to 500 km for research purposes. ROK chief negotiator Song Min-soon, outgoing director general for North American affairs at the Foreign Ministry, plans to meet with his US counterpart, Robert Einhorn, as soon as Tuesday. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for January 9, 2001.]


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3. PRC Criticizes US Security Policy

Reuters ("CHINA REPORT TARGETS U.S. SECURITY POLICIES," Beijing, 1/9/01) reported that the PRC criticized the incoming George W. Bush administration on Tuesday, saying the US missile defense proposals will have "formidable, adverse global impacts". A report in the PRC's official China Daily also criticized the US military alliances and arms sales to Taiwan. The report quoted People's Liberation Army (PLA) security expert Luo Yuan as saying, "Such growing power politics is poisoning the trend towards multipolarity, undermining the conditions necessary for establishing new political and economic orders and breeding the potential danger of a new arms race." Luo also listed "nationalities splittism" as threat to Asia-Pacific security - a reference to separatist ambitions in Taiwan, Tibet and other regions. He also said that there was no reason for the US to continue to sell arms to Taiwan. Sha Zukang, the PRC Foreign Ministry's top arms control official, wrote in the official Beijing Review this month that the PRC would focus on the US National Missile Defense (NMD) in 2001. He said, "We expect that the new U.S. government will weigh the pros and cons carefully and make a sensible judgment."


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4. PRC-India Relations

Agence France Presse ("CHINA'S LI PENG ARRIVES IN INDIA," Bombay, 1/9/01) reported that Li Peng, chairman of the PRC's National People's Congress, arrived in India on Tuesday for a nine-day visit that will cement the normalization of ties between the PRC and India. His trip is expected to pave the way for a visit by PRC Premier Zhu Rongji later this year. Analyst K.K. Katyal said, "Li is number two in the Chinese hierarchy and the very fact of his decision to undertake the India visit is highly significant. Given to conveying messages through its actions, Beijing has clearly suggested through this step the end of the slump in bilateral relations. The visit will help India and China gauge each other's thinking on global issues." Analyst Praful Bidwai said, "An Indo-China joint expert group charged with resolving the long-running border issue has exchanged maps of the LAC ... Much more is expected from Li's visit towards reconciling the differences."


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5. US Role in Cross-strait Relations

The Washington Times released an opinion editorial by Jesse Helms, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the US Senate International Relations Committee, ("DEFENDING TAIWAN," 1/9/01) which said that President-elect George W. Bush will have a lot of work to do in the realm of foreign policy. Helms wrote that perhaps the most sensitive issue will be the confrontation with the PRC over Taiwan. He wrote, "While it is commonly assumed that the Korean peninsula is the likeliest place for US forces to be involved in hostilities (at least in East Asia), the chances of war in Taiwan are probably greater. This is true for several reasons." Helms noted that while the DPRK threat "remains very real," but it is a failing power and is "probably less able to wage sustained combat operations today than it was seven or eight years ago." Second, Helms wrote, the US has in place "a very powerful deterrent" in the ROK with 37,000 troops and the US- South Korean Mutual Defense Treaty. In the Taiwan Strait, however, Helms noted that the PRC is a rising power, "embarked on a massive military buildup." He said that for 11 years running, "China's military budget has increased by double digit percentages, subsidized by trade dollars from the United States and cheap loans from the World Bank, are being used to procure a raft of advanced and dangerous weaponry." And, Helms continued, "the increased threat is not being countered by an adequate deterrent." He continued by pointing to the lack of US troop for Taiwan, the denial of Taiwan's defense requests, and the maintenance of "several outmoded restrictions on military contacts." In conclusion, Helms wrote, "this is a classic recipe for war" if the problem is not corrected soon. However, Helms said, the actions of US President-elect George W. Bush in restoring the "overall US military power and early implementation of the provisions of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act" will be "vital" in lowering the chances war in the Taiwan Strait. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for January 9, 2001.]


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