NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, january 11, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan IV. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. Inter-Korean Talks

Reuters ("N.KOREA PROPOSES RED CROSS TALKS WITH SOUTH IN JAN," Seoul, 1/11/01) reported that the DPRK on Thursday proposed holding a third round of Red Cross talks with the ROK in January to discuss humanitarian issues, including family reunions. The DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, "It is our stand to hold in January the third round of Red Cross talks which had been suspended in order to smoothly discuss and settle all the humanitarian issues high on the agenda." The DPRK did not specify when and where the meeting could take place, but the ROK Red Cross said both sides would liaise to fix them soon. The DPRK said both sides should also discuss issues such as confirming the whereabouts of separated families, exchanges of letters and setting up a permanent meeting place.

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2. US Statement on No Gun Ri

The White House Office of the Press Secretary released the following statement from US President Bill Clinton (STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT, 1/11/01): "On behalf of the United States of America, I deeply regret that Korean civilians lost their lives at No Gun Ri in late July, 1950. The intensive, yearlong investigation into this incident has served as a painful reminder of the tragedies of war and the scars they leave behind on people and on nations. Although we have been unable to determine precisely the events that occurred at No Gun Ri, the U.S. and South Korean governments have concluded in the Statement of Mutual Understanding that an unconfirmed number of innocent Korean refugees were killed or injured there. To those Koreans who lost loved ones at No Gun Ri, I offer my condolences. Many Americans have experienced the anguish of innocent casualties of war. We understand and sympathize with the sense of loss and sorrow that remains even after a half a century has passed. I sincerely hope that the memorial the United States will construct to these and all other innocent Korean civilians killed during the war will bring a measure of solace and closure. The commemorative scholarship fund that we will launch will serve as a living tribute to their memory. As we honor those civilians who fell victim to this conflict, let us not forget that pain is not the only legacy of the Korean War. American and Korean veterans fought shoulder to shoulder in the harshest of conditions for the cause of freedom, and they prevailed. The vibrancy of democracy in the Republic of Korea, the strong alliance between our two countries, and the closeness of our two peoples today is a testament to the sacrifices made by both of our nations fifty years ago."

Washington Post (Roberto Suro and Thomas E. Ricks, "CLINTON TO EXPRESS KOREAN WAR REGRET," 1/11/01) reported that US President Bill Clinton's statement of regret regarding the incident in No Gun Ri will be accompanied by the release of a report from the US Army's inspector general that formally concludes, for the first time, that US troops shot Korean civilians during the incident. According to US Defense Department officials, the report depicts ill-trained US soldiers panicking during a chaotic retreat in the early days of the Korean war and opened fire on refugees who had gathered under a railroad bridge because the soldiers had been warned that DPRK troops were infiltrating their lines disguised as refugees. Officials said that as an expression of US regret, the US Defense Department will pay US$1 million for the construction of a monument to the dead near No Gun Ri and US$750,000 to create a memorial scholarship for Korean students to attend US and ROK universities. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for January 11, 2001.]

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3. US-China Policy

Reuters ("CHINA/TAIWAN POLICY SAME UNDER BUSH, U.S. ADMIRAL SAYS," Kuala Lumpur, 1/11/01) reported that US Pacific Command chief Admiral Dennis Blair said on Thursday, after meetings with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and other ministers, that US policy on the PRC/Taiwan issue would be unchanged when George W. Bush becomes president. Blair said, "The U.S. policy towards China has been pretty consistent through about six administrations, of both parties, and that's that we recognize one China and we say that the Taiwan issue should be resolved by peaceful means. I think that's a pretty solid policy that I expect to continue in the future and that is in the best interests of the Chinese and the Taiwanese."

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4. PRC Missile Sales

Agence France Presse ("CHINA SLAMS "IRRESPONSIBLE" PENTAGON WEAPONS REPORT," Beijing, 1/11/01) reported that the PRC on Thursday rejected a US Defense Department report entitled "Proliferation: Threat and Response" which accused PRC "entities" of selling ballistic missile or nuclear technology in defiance of non-proliferation agreements. The report said around a dozen countries were pursuing offensive biological and chemical weapons programs, mainly with help emanating from Russia and the PRC. The report said there had been some improvements in the PRC behavior over sensitive arms sales, but it said PRC firms had exported weapons or technology to Iran, Libya and the DPRK in recent years. It said, "Although China has ratified several key non-proliferation treaties and regimes and made numerous non- proliferation pledges, it likely will continue to take advantage of those ambiguities in those commitments to advance its strategic and economic interests." However, PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao dismissed the report's findings, saying, "The accusations in the reports are groundless and highly irresponsible. I think you all know who is the biggest weapons dealer in the world. China has always stood for the comprehensive prohibition and thorough destruction of all weapons of mass destruction and has abided by international obligations and commitments." The report concluded that "The United States continues to have concerns about possible Chinese nuclear assistance to Pakistan. Chinese behavior, in this regard, is likely to be driven by strategic interests in South Asia and the Middle East, as well as by domestic economic pressures."

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5. Cross-strait Relations

Reuters ("FRUSTRATED TAIWAN URGES CHINA TO RESUME DIALOGUE," Taipei, 1/11/01) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's top PRC policy adviser on policy towards the PRC, Lee Yuan-tseh, urged the PRC on Thursday to deal directly with Chen's government instead of wooing the island's opposition parties. Lee said, "I have been saying the mainland should start talking to our new government. Nothing will be resolved if they only talk to opposition parties instead of the ruling party." His comments were broadcast by cable news networks. Lee was also quoted by Taiwan media as saying that the PRC refusal to deal with Chen has encouraged the island's opposition parties to boycott the new government and destabilize domestic politics. However, Lee denied he had asked his US friends to relay any message to the authorities in the PRC.

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6. Sino-Indian Relations

Agence France Presse ("CHINA AND INDIA MUST WORK TOGETHER FOR WORLD PEACE: LI PENG," New Delhi, 1/11/01) reported that Li Peng, chairman of the PRC's National People's Congress, started off talks with Indian politicians on Thursday by saying the world's two most populous countries had to work together for global peace. Li told the Indian parliamentarians, "China and India do not pose any threat to each other as they share similar views on a multi-polar world in which both can play their roles for world peace and development. It is China's consistent stand that a multi-polar world is better than a unipolar world. India has the potential to grow into a pole herself." Li also told the Indian parliamentarians that there was no nuclear assistance to Pakistan. Indian parliamentary speaker G.M Balayogi told Li that India was not engaged in "an arms race" and her nuclear tests in 1998 were "not directed against any country" but aimed at building a nuclear deterrent. Li is the highest-ranking PRC official to visit since India's nuclear tests two years ago.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Shipping Agreement

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL TO PUSH FOR SHIPPING ACCORD WITH PYONGYANG," Seoul, 01/11/01) reported that the ROK will propose to sign a marine transportation accord this year to prevent problems in inter-Korean maritime trade. A senior ROK Unification Ministry official said, "We will try to coordinate the different policies between the two Koreas to conclude the sea transportation agreement soon at ministerial talks and economic cooperation committee meetings." The official said the proposed treaty would help stem business disputes between the two sides. He said, "The agreement will act as a fundamental measure to resolve the problems and greatly help boost inter-Korean economic exchanges. Although we have not yet begun consultations with the North on this issue, we will do our utmost to promote the project by the end of this year."

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2. DPRK-Canada Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "N.K., CANADA SAID TO OPEN DIPLOMATIC TIES SOON," Seoul, 01/11/01) reported that an ROK government source said Wednesday that Canada will likely establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK in February at the latest. Canada and the DPRK recently agreed to open ambassadorial-level ties before the end of next month and are preparing for an announcement, said the source. However, the Canadian Embassy in Seoul said it has yet to be informed of the alleged agreement from its government. The source said that unlike Britain, Canada will unlikely have a resident embassy in Pyongyang and appoint the ambassador to the PRC to concurrently serve as the DPRK envoy.

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3. Red Cross Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "RED CROSS NEGOTIATOR HINTS AT CONCESSION ON REUNION CENTER SITE," Seoul, 01/11/01) reported that the new ROK chief negotiator said Wednesday that the ROK would be willing to establish reunion centers in the DPRK instead of the ROK. The reunion center, which would enable families separated for the past five decades to meet their relatives regularly, has been one of the most urgent issues between the DPRK and the ROK. The ROK has sought to resolve this issue ahead of all other matters to allow as many old people as possible to meet their long-lost relatives before they pass away. Lee suggested some possible sites in the DPRK, including Mount Kumgang and the two major ports of Nampo and Chongjin.

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4. DPRK Production of Grain Crop

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Jun, "NK'S GRAIN CROP FALLS 15 percent." Seoul, 01/10/01) reported that according to the Rural Development Administration on Wednesday, the DPRK's grain crop fell to 3.59 million tons in 2000, down 15 percent from a year earlier. In detail, the rice yield dropped to 1.42 million tons in 2000 from 1.63 million in 1999, and the production of corns and beans contracted to 1.44 million and 120,000 tons from 1.92 million and 130,000 tons, respectively, in the same period. Sweet potatoes output rose to 390,000 tons in 2000, up 25.8 percent from the previous year. The RDA cited bad weather for the overall shortfall as drought was severe from May to July, hurting seeding, followed by flooding that continued to early September.

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5. DPRK Food Situation

Chosun Ilbo ("NORTH KOREANS ARE "STARVING TO DEATH"," Seoul, 01/10/01) reported that according to a BBC report Wednesday, people in the DPRK are literally starving to death with nearly all adults being afflicted with chronic depression and being addicted to alcohol. The report cited Doctor Norbert Vollersten, a German doctor who has been thrown out of the DPRK after criticizing its human rights abuses, had worked in a Pyongyang hospital for 18 months for the aid group, Komitee Cap Anamur. Vollersten talked about desperate people driven to alcoholism and living in a constant state of fear. He also said that people were "burn-out" with widespread alcoholism adding to crippling food and power shortages Aid agencies have estimated that up to two million people have died since the mid-1990s as a result of acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement. He said that while conditions in the capital, Pyongyang, had improved, the plight of some people in rural areas was now desperate. Vollersten accused the DPRK government for not distributing food aid properly.

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6. Family Reunion

Joongang Ilbo ("FAMILY REUNIONS SOUGHT FEB. 26-28," Seoul, 01/ 10/01) reported that the head of ROK's Red Cross proposed to the DPRK on Wednesday that the third reunion of families be held February 26-28. In a phone message to his DPRK counterpart, Jang Jae-on, the ROK Red Cross president, Suh Young-hoon, said, "Let's discuss the details of the reunion, including when we will exchange the candidate list, on Friday in Panmunjom." On Friday, the ROK Red Cross will select 300 candidates for the reunion after setting up eligibility criteria on Thursday. One hundred people will finally be chosen on each side.

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7. ROK Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH SEEKING COMPUTER AID," Seoul, 01/ 09/01) reported that a domestic Internet company is promoting a plan to have ROK computer specialists provide information technology training to DPRK citizens. Cho Hyun-jung, the president of the Internet solutions company Bitcomputer, said, "A North Korean software developer, Korea Computer Center, asked us to train its work force. The company already invited us to visit them in the North." Cho said that some of his company's managers are planning to visit the DPRK later this month for discussions. The DPRK software maker has proposed that computer experts from Bitcomputer be sent to either the DPRK or a third country such as the PRC to provide the skills development to the DPRK citizens. Bitcomputer said that its managers during the forthcoming trip would discuss what the ROK company would receive in exchange for the training, which will probably include the right to sell products later developed.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese-ROK History Issue

The Sankei Shimbun ("JAPANSE AND ROK FOREIGN MINISTERS TALK OVBER PHONE ABOUT JAPANESE HISTORY TEXTBOOK SCHREENING," 01/06/2001) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Lee Jong-binn expressed his hope over the phone to his Japanese counterpart, Yohei Kono, on January 6 that the Japanese government's screening of junior high school history textbooks this year will go smoothly. Lee told Kono, "There is much interest among the people in the ROK in (the screening of history textbooks in Japan). I hope that (the screening process) will go smoothly so as not to undermine good Japanese-ROK relations." Kono responded, "Our Education Ministry is working on (the screening) under our textbook screening system."

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2. Japanese-ROK Policy Toward DPRK

The Sankei Shimbun ("JAPANSE AND ROK FOREIGN MINISTERS TALK OVBER PHONE ABOUT JAPANESE HISTORY TEXTBOOK SCHREENING," 01/06/2001) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and ROK Foreign Minister Lee Jong-binn agreed that Japan, the ROK and the US should continue close ties in dealing with the DPRK despite the change in US administration.

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3. Japanese Contingency Legislation

The Nikkei Shimbun ("RULING PARTIES TO BEGIN WORKING ON CONTIGENCY LEGISLATION," 01/03/2001) reported that the Japanese government will begin working on the long-overdue contingency legislation this year. Fumiaki Ibuki, chairman of the National Security Committee, and the Defense Agency will start studying contingency legislation. However, there is concern among the ruling parties that legislation might invite opposition in the current Diet. The report added that the ruling parties, including the Liberal Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, and Komeito, agreed in March, 2000, to begin examining contingency legislation without precluding the possibility of actual legislation. However, any specific move toward legislation has not been visible since then.

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4. PRC View on Tension Reduction on Korean Peninsula

The Asahi Shimbun ("SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRPERSON TAKAKO DOI MET WITH PRC MILITARY LEADERS," 01/09/2001) reported that during the meeting with visiting Japanese Social Democratic Party Chairperson Takako Doi on January 8, 2001, PRC Liberation Army Deputy Chief of Staff Xiong Gwang Kai said that regarding the prospect for tension reduction on the Korean Peninsula, "Inter- Korean relations would take a winding road, not a straight one, but would eventually evolve. There are still 1,500,000 soldiers in such a small space, and (the peninsula) is still a long way from tension reduction."

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5. PRC View on Denuclearization of Northeast Asia

The Asahi Shimbun ("SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRPERSON TAKAKO DOI MET WITH PRC MILITARY LEADERS," 01/09/2001) reported that during the meeting with visiting Japanese Social Democratic Party Chairperson Takako Doi on January 8, 2001, PRC Liberation Army Deputy Chief of Staff Xiong Gwang Kai stated in response to an idea of establishing a non-nuclear zone in Northeast Asia, "I agree to the idea. The PRC does not support nuclear proliferation. We are insisting on eventual total elimination of nuclear weapons. We support the state of no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula."

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6. PRC View on PRC-US Relaitons

The Nikkei/Nihonkeizai Shimbun ("JIANG ZEMIN IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT PRC-US RELAITONS," 01/10/2001) reported that during his meeting with visiting Japanese Social Democratic Party Chairperson Takako Doi on January 9, PRC leader Jiang Zemin said his view of the new US administration, "We cannot say that the change of US administrations will not affect PRC-US relations, but I am seeing the relations optimistically. It is necessary for a politician to have a comprehensive view of the 21st century. Strategically speaking, PRC-US relations would develop, I think."

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7. Prime Minister's Visit to Russia

The Yomiuri Shimbun ("MORI, PUTIN TO HOLD TALKS ON FEBRUARY 17- 18 IN IRKUTSK," 01/10/2001) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Russian President Vladimir Putin plan to hold summit talks in Irkutsk, Siberia, on February 17 and 18. During the talks, the Japanese and Russian governments are expected to announce what has been tentatively dubbed the "Irkutsk Declaration," which will list the efforts to be made by both countries in the new century to reinforce bilateral ties and realize the conclusion of a peace treaty. Both sides are also expected to make a formal confirmation of the summit talks schedule and confirm the outline of the Irkutsk declaration. The draft declaration is a document corresponding to the so-called new approach toward the conclusion of the peace treaty that Mori and Putin agreed to adopt during their summit talks in September. The report also said that the document contains three key aims, including building a strategic partnership in dealing with international issues, strengthening cooperative ties in economic and trade areas, and concluding the peace treaty.

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8. Japanese-US Security Cooperation

The Nikkei Shimbun (Ken Sato, "PRIME MINISTER HAS BEGAN WORKING ON JAPAN-US SECURITY COOPERATION ON PRIVATE AND OFFICIAL LEVES," Nairobi, 01/11/2001) reported that according to sources close to the Prime Minister on January 10, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori have already decided to set up a security policy consultation group and began coordination with the US. The group will likely discuss lifting restrictions on exercising the right of collective self-defense and full participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations, which were requested to Japan by a group of American experts of Japan last October. Both Japanese and US sides will reflect the group's discussion on actual security policy between the two countries and that this would influence security arrangements in East Asia. Japan would likely include Foreign Ministry official Ryozo Kato, Tokyo University professors Akihiko Tanaka and Shinichi Kitaoka, and Ushio Electric Corp. President Jiro Ushio, while the US side would involve the Bush Administration's foreign security policy advisor Richard Armitage.

IV. Russian Federation

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1. RF Strategic Nuclear Forces Development

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye (Sergey Sokut, "'TOPOL' NUMBERS INCREASE", Moscow, 1, 12/29/00-01-11/01, #49(222)) reported that the third missile regiment armed with "Topol-M" Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICMB) had entered into combat duty in the Red Banner Taman Division of RF Strategic Nuclear Forces. The regiment's three missiles are combat-ready, while the fourth is undergoing final technological operations. The "Topol-M" replaced RT-23UTTH missiles discharged from the Forces.

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2. RF Air Force Readiness Doubted

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("AIR FORCE IS NOT READY?", Moscow, 1, 12/29/00-01/11/01, #49(222)) reported that RF Air Force Commander-in-Chief Anatoly Kornukov presented a report to a college meeting of RF Defense Ministry. The participants concluded that the state of combat readiness of the crews of RF Air Force had reached a level after which the Air Force might lose the ability to perform its tasks. The most important was to preserve crew personnel and to increase the skills of young pilots.

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3. RF Navy Endangered

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("THE NAVY UNDER THE DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION", Moscow, 1, 12/29/00-01/11/01, #49(222)) reported that a widely representative operative mobilization conference of the RF Navy top officers had taken place in Saint Petersburg. It was addressed by RF Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov. He believed that as a result of "institutional approach" of the recent years, inadequate financing and neglect of the Navy on the part of the authorities the Navy had been gradually losing the ability to perform its tasks. He said the RF Navy "approaches a level of disintegration and in a number of spheres irreversible processes have begun". Kuroyedov also said a final rearmament of RF Navy should be expected in 2020s.

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4. RF-PRC Friendship Treaty Discussed

Dipkuryer ("MOSCOW AND BEIJING DISCUSS A FRIENDSHIP TREATY", Moscow, 1, 12/28/00, #20/20) reported that RF-PRC foreign ministry level consultations took place in Moscow during the week of December 21. Discussion of the process of drafting of an intergovernmental treaty on friendship and cooperation was an item on the agenda. The PRC was represented by Lyu Guchang, Assistant to PRC Foreign Minister. If all paragraphs of the draft treaty are successfully negotiated, it might be signed during PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin's visit to Moscow in 2001.

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5. RF Delivered Fighters to PRC

Nezavisimaya gazeta (Sergey Sokut, "HISTORICAL FLIGHT", Moscow, 1, 12/21/00) reported that on December 20, ten Su-30MMK fighters took off from an airstrip in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Siberia, and flew to a base a division of PRC Air Force. Thus, RF started implementing the plan for the delivery of 40 (according to other sources, 45) modern aircraft to PRC as stipulated by a contract signed in 1999. The total deal is worth US$1.8 billion. Su- 30MKK is the first RF-made serial combat aircraft of "4 plus" generation. Unlike the 4th generation, it is multifunctional and capable to use a wide range of high-precision weapons against both land and sea targets. Like the Su-30, it has been optimized for a long-range air combat. It will allow PRC Air Force to solve a principally new task of winning superiority in the air space over not only the PRC mainland, but distant land and sea military operations theaters as well. The RF Air Force the program of modernization of the 4th generation fighters has just begun. In the author's view, the contract implementation will allow for the two countries to undertake larger-scale projects beyond their resources taken separately, one them being creation of a 5th generation combat aircraft.

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6. ROK Ambassador to RF on ROK-DPRK-RF Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta (Gennady Charodeyev, "KOREA WILL BE UNITED BY A RAILWAY AND WOMEN", Moscow, 7, 12/27/00) interviewed Li Je- chung, ROK Ambassador in Moscow, who spoke about the benefits to be created by the proposed restoration of ROK-DPRK railway transportation. The project would require expenses of US$78 million. Presently all inter-Korean trade of about US$300 million a year is carried across the sea. With the railway restored, the trade turnover is to be greatly increased, and if the railway is connected with the Trans-Siberian railway of RF, cost of trade with Europe will be decreased a lot. Li also said bilateral talks are being held about selling RF-made Su-35 and Ka-52 "Black Shark" helicopters. In his words, the final decision should be expected by the middle of 2001. Regarding national re- unification, Li said it was necessary bring economic systems, ways of thinking, and ideals to the same level. Li said that might take 10 or 20 or more years and added, "Do not believe those who say they allegedly know the exact date of re- unification."

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