NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, january 24, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. UN Head's DPRK Visit

The Associated Press ("ANNAN INTENDS TO VISIT NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 1/24/01) and Reuters ("U.N.'S ANNAN HAILS N. KOREA MOVES, HOPES TO VISIT," Tokyo, 1/24/01) reported that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday that he will try to visit the DPRK this year to help in the movement toward warmer ties on the Korean peninsula. Annan had tentative plans to meet with officials in Pyongyang this month, but the arrangements fell through.

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2. US-Japan Relations

Agence France Presse ("BUSH TO TURN US ASIAN FOCUS TOWARDS JAPAN," Washington, 1/24/01) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono will meet with US Secretary of State Colin Powell on January 26 and hold private events with members of the US national security establishment and prominent academics during his three-day stay in Washington. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday, "The US-Japan security alliance remains the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region." Patrick Cronin of the US Institute of Peace, said, "You have to work with your friends and allies before you can implement your policy with the rest of the world." Observers said the new US strategy will start with behind-the-scenes security discussions intended to frame closer common positions on policy towards the PRC, the DPRK, and other key questions.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Kim Jong-il's PRC Visit

Choson Ilbo ("SOUTH KOREAN PAPER ANALYZES NORTH'S DELEGATION TO CHINA," 1/21/01) reported that nine officials accompanied DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] Chairman Kim Jong-il on his visit to the PRC, which ended on January 20. The officials were: Chief of General Staff Kim Yong-chun; Yon Hyong-muk, a NDC member and also chief secretary to Workers' Party of Korea [WPK] Chagang Provincial Committee; WPK Secretary Kim Kuk-thae; Jong Ha-chol, director of the WPK Propaganda and Agitation Department; First Foreign Vice Minister Kang Sok-ju; WPK International Department Director Kim Yang-gon; WPK First Vice-Director Pak Song- bong; Hyon Chol-hae and Pak Jae-gyong, vice-directors of the Korean People's Army General Political Bureau. Particular attention was drawn to the inclusion of the three military leaders: Kim Yong-chun, Hyon Chol-hae, and Pak Jae-gyong. The inclusion of First Vice-Foreign Minister Kang Sok-ju, who personally participated and commanded negotiations with the US Clinton administration for eight years, also allows conjectures that one of the critical goals during Kim Jong-il's visit to the PRC was consulting about DPRK-US relations. By contrast, Secretary Kim Yong-sun, who accompanied Kim Jong-il on his May visit, did not accompany him this time. This seems to hint that the inter- Korean issue was not an important agenda item.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. PRC-DPRK Relations

People's Daily ("JIANG ZEMIN MET WITH KIM JONG-IL," 01/21/01, P1) carried the news story that Kim Jong-il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korean (WPK) Central Committee and Chairman of the National Defense Commission of DPRK, paid an unofficial visit to China between January 15-20. Kim made the visit at the invitation of Jiang Zemin, general secretary of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and PRC president. Talks between the two leaders were held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, after Kim made a four-day tour of Shanghai. Premier Zhu Rongji met Kim in Shanghai. Zhu accompanied him on a visit to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Shanghai GM Automobile Co, and Shanghai Huahong NEC Electronic Co. Huang J., secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the CPC, briefed the delegation on Shanghai's reform and opening-up drive, and accompanied Kim and other DPRK guests to visit the Pudong New District, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shanghai Bao Steel, Zhangjiang High-tech Park and Sunqiao Modern Agricultural Development Zone. PRC and DPRK leaders briefed each other on their domestic situations in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, exchanging views on the further development of bilateral relations, as well as major international issues of common interest. The two sides agreed that the tradition of mutual contact between party and state leaders should be maintained. Kim was pleased to meet Jiang and other Chinese party and state leaders after an interval of seven months, and to personally see the development of Shanghai. Both sides held that the relevant departments of the two countries have made a great effort to implement the consensus reached between Jiang and Kim during Kim's previous Chinese tour last May. They agreed that good relations were vital for the fundamental interests of the two countries and conducive to peace, stability and prosperity. Jiang was delighted to see the substantial progress and achievements made by the people of the DPRK in pushing economic development, national reunification and foreign affairs. Kim stressed that the big changes that have taken place in the PRC, and Shanghai in particular, since the reform opening-up drive, proved that policies adopted by the CPC were correct.

Global Times (Zhang Xinghua, "KIM JONG-IL VISITS SHANGAI SECRETLY," 01/23/01, P2) carried an article on the DPRK leader's visit to the PRC. Kim Jong-il's secret visit last week was arranged according to an agreement between the two countries. Therefore, the PRC and the DPRK closely guarded the relevant information in regard to the visit, and the security measures taken were very tight. The DPRK media continued to report Kim's various activities, so it did not seem that he was abroad. A Japanese news agency, however, immediately reported his visit on January 15 when Kim was to leave his country. It was said that at the Dandong train station, which is on the PRC side of the border, security was strengthened on January 14. As Kim's visit was close to China's traditional holiday (lunar New Year), the choice of timing was favorable for keeping the secret, as no one would expect that the PRC would receive Kim during that period. Last year Kim expressed a number of times his interest in visiting Shanghai. He put forward his desire last year when receiving General Chi Haotian on the occasion of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the PRC's entry to the Korean War. His urgent need to visit Shanghai is out of the consideration of adjusting the DPRK's development strategy. On January 1, the DPRK's Party newspaper, army newspaper and Youth Daily published a joint editorial proposing to change perception and develop the economy. The foremost aim of Kim's visit this time is to understand the achievements of the PRC's reform and opening, and to learn from the PRC's experience. It could not excluded that he might request economic aid. After the visit Kim reportedly said, "Shanghai has had unbelievable change and attracted worldwide attention." In addition, the timing of the visit prior to US President George W. Bush's inauguration may not be accidental.

Xinmin Evening News (KOREAN-CHINESE FRIENDSHIP WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP, 01/24/01, P16) reported that Nodong News published an editorial on January 23, which stressed that Kim Jong-il's recent visit to the PRC is an important event in the history of Korean-Chinese relations. The editorial said that the successful visit will consolidate and deepen the traditional friendly relations between the two countries. It also mentioned that under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the PRC has achieved social stability and unity while increasingly improving its international standing. The DPRK sincerely wishes that all moves of the PRC would be successful.

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2. Taiwan Question

Xinhua News Agency ("FORUM MARKS 8-POINT TAIWAN PROPOSAL," Beijing, 01/23/01) reported that a forum was held on January 22 in Beijing to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the issuance of the Eight-Point Proposal on Peaceful Reunification of the Motherland, put forward by President Jiang Zemin. Vice Premier Qian Qichen spoke highly of the historic and practical significance of the eight-point proposal, saying that the proposals are bound to improve cross-Straits relations in the new century and benefit the great cause of peaceful reunification. He said that compatriots from both sides of the Taiwan Straits are Chinese and both the mainland and Taiwan are territories of China. "The reunification of the motherland is our responsibility, peaceful reunification is what we want, and the joint development and invigoration of China is our goal," said Qian. He added that any question could be discussed so long as the two sides stick to the principle that they belong to one nation. He also stressed that the Taiwan question is entirely China's internal affairs and should be settled by the Chinese themselves. The realization of China's reunification will benefit the stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region and will make a great contribution to the peace and development of the world as a whole in the new century, he stated. The Chinese people will not tolerate any foreign power obstructing or undermining China's peaceful reunification process, he added.

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3. Taiwan Tourism Proposal

China Daily (Xing Zhigang, "NO OFFICIAL WORD ON TAIWAN TOURIST PROPOSAL," 01/18/01, P1) reported that Taiwan's widely publicized plan to open the island to PRC tourists has still not been confirmed due to "an absence of concrete arrangements between the two sides." Officials said that it is uncertain whether mainland residents will be able to visit Taiwan from July 1 as suggested, although Taiwan said it is planning to lift a decades-old ban on visits. A spokesperson at the Information Department of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council said that neither Taiwanese authorities nor non-government bodies have contacted her office about the unilateral tourism plan. She indicated that her organization is ready to help if Taipei officially puts forward the proposal. Up to 500,000 tourists from the mainland will be permitted to visit Taiwan after July 1 under the plan to "adjust cross-Straits ties," according to press reports. Related government "ministries" and agencies were still drafting details of the new policy, media reports said. Industrial analysts forecast that a flood of mainland tourists would generate an annual income of at least 4 billion Taiwan dollars (US$120 million). Taiwan allowed its residents to visit the mainland in 1987, but it currently allows mainland residents to visit the island only to attend conferences or to visit relatives, citing security reasons. More than 2.4 million Taiwan compatriots visited the mainland for tourism, business, family reunions or higher education during the January-November period last year.

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4. PRC-Japan Relations

China Daily (Feng Qihua, "MORI MUST LEARN SLIPS LEAD TO FALLS," 01/19/01, P4) carried an opinion piece on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's recent speech. Feng Qihua commented that one would not imagine that a politician as sophisticated as the Japanese Prime Minister could trip over the same tone twice. During a recent trip to South Africa, Mori referred to Japan's invasion of China in the 1930s as the "Shina" incident, an old and derogatory Japanese term for China. He must have totally forgotten what happened last April, when he used the word "Shina" in his inaugural speech as prime minister. Chief cabinet secretary Yasuo Fukuda came to Mori's defense this time, saying such wording only reflected the language of his generation and that no offence was intended. He attributed Mori's choice of words to his pre-war education. But for people who have known his long list of gaffes and listened to his apology and explanations time and again in years past, the excuse obviously does not hold water. The experiences should have been enough to teach him a lesson, but Mori continues to blurt out these controversial words without exercising any caution. Yoshiro Mori undoubtedly does belong to an older generation, but this cannot exempt him from facing history fairly and squarely. Whether his blunder is caused by his ignorance or arrogance is hard to say, but one thing is certain: the remarks revive Japan's jingoistic imperialist past and hurt the feelings of people in Asian countries. It certainly will add fuel to die-hard extreme nationalist sentiments in Japan, and there is a great danger that relations between the PRC and Japan will be damaged thereby. When a top politician can repeatedly make such mistakes, it seems that the Japanese Government really needs to work harder to inform the nation's citizens of the truth about its past instead of covering over or watering down its wartime crimes in the nation's school books. One good thing is that Mori's popularity usually plunges sharply after such controversial comments. This should serve as a lesson for his successors. If they want to win the public, they should brush up their knowledge of history first.

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5. PRC-UN Relations

China Daily ("JIANG VOWS SUPPORT FOR UN ACTIVITIES," 01/23/01, P1) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin met with the visiting UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Monday in Beijing, and said that the PRC will continue to take an active part in various activities of the United Nations. Jiang stated, "China attaches importance to the role of the UN and supports the organization to perform its functions in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter." The President said that the UN "has done a lot of useful work in keeping world peace, in helping solving regional conflicts, in enhancing the awareness among the international community on economic and social development, and in pushing forward the talks on disarmament," over the past 55 years. Annan said that he is happy to visit the PRC on the eve of the traditional Lunar New Year. He said that the documents agreed upon at the Millennium Summit will serve as a blueprint for the UN in the coming century and that it is important for leaders of UN member countries to reaffirm their commitments. Annan's three-day visit ended Monday afternoon, and he arrived in Japan in the evening.

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6. US Compensation for Embassy Bombing

PLA Daily ("US FORKS OUT COMPENSATION FOR PROPERTY," 01/21/01, P4) reported that the US Government paid a total of US$28 million to the PRC Government on January 19 for property losses caused by the US bombing of the PRC Embassy in Yugoslavia on May 8, 1999. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhu Bangzao said on Saturday that the payment was made according to an agreement reached last year. The US-led NATO bombing of the PRC Embassy grossly violated international law and the norms that govern international relations, and it was the responsibility of the US side to come through with just compensation, Zhu said. The PRC has demanded that the US side conduct a comprehensive and thorough investigation into the bombing, after which they must severely punish the perpetrators and give a satisfactory account of the incident to the Chinese people, the spokesperson said.

IV. Russian Federation

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1. DPRK Leader's Possible Visit to RF

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Igor Rotar ("WILL KIM JONG-IL COME TO RUSSIA," Moscow, 1, 01/19/01) reported that it was possible that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il would go to the RF directly from the PRC. According to sources in the PRC, his special train suddenly changed direction and went to Harbin close to the PRC-RF border instead of to Pyongyang. Yet, so far the DPRK Foreign Ministry had been denying even the reports about his visit to PRC. The reason for the secrecy is security. The special train is considered more secure as well, as it can accommodate up to a battalion of armed soldiers. On the other hand, the DPRK Ambassador in the RF, who usually rarely meets with the press, suddenly gave a press conference on January 15 at the DPRK Embassy in Moscow. RF President Vladimir Putin is expected in Beijing on February 28, and RF Security Council Secretary Sergey Ivanov already stated that in Moscow they wanted to see Kim Jong-il prior to that date. Kim Jong-il is to go to Seoul this March, therefore it would seem logical for him to gain additional support both from the PRC and the RF before then. At the same time, "all those sure- proof explanations might prove to be just nice inventions.... A high-ranking Russian official in irritation even called those inventions 'a duck cooked the Beijing way'."

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2. New RF Ambassador to ROK

Dipkuryer ("NEW RUSSIAN AMBASSADORS," Moscow, 9, 01/18/01, #1(21)) reported that Teimuraz Ramishvili was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the RF to the ROK. Ramishvili was born in 1955, graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) of Foreign Ministry. He has been working at the Ministry since 1981, becoming the Director of Department of International Humanitarian Cooperation and Human Rights there in 1999. He speaks English and Spanish.

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3. DPRK Leader in PRC

Nezavisimaya gazeta's M.Yu. ("KIM JONG-IL STUDIES CHINESE EXPERIENCE," Moscow, 6, 01/18/01) reported that DPRK Foreign Ministry had continued to claim that reports of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's visit to PRC were false. Information on his previous visit there last year was not released till the end of the visit. ROK sources said that he went to PRC accompanied by 200 high ranking DPRK officials on a special train used by his late father Kim Il-sung. Most probably he started his trip with Shanghai in order to get familiar with the experiences of the largest industrial center of PRC with a view to use them for reconstruction of the DPRK economy. Kim paid special attention to attraction of foreign investments to the state sector. He was expected to meet with PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin and to stay in the PRC till January 20. Izvestia ("KIM JONG-IL STUDIES THE CHINESE MODEL," Moscow, 6, 01/19/01) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il visited the stock exchange of Shanghai, a semiconductor factory and the Shanghai General Motors joint US- PRC car-making plant. He was accompanied by PRC Premier Zhu Rongji. On January 19 he was to meet with PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin in Beijing.

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4. RF-Japan Summit

Vasiliy Golovnin of Izvestia ("KONO-SAN WAS TOLD 'NO'," Moscow, 6, 01/19/01) reported that RF President Vladimir Putin's decision not to have a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono "due to his tight schedule" came as a symbol of the failure of Mr. Kono's visit to the RF. The parties failed to negotiate the date of the would-be RF-Japanese summit in Irkutsk, although that was the main goal of the visit. Also Kono heard "a long string of 'no's" from RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov concerning the means of territorial settlement. In the author's view, "Moscow obviously again has not worked out a clear-cut position on the isles. However, it seems that the Japanese are again given a hint at a hard choice: either to carry on a talk about all South Kurils without slightest hopes for success, or to accept the Declaration of 1956. It is possible to sign a treaty on this basis, but not a single Japanese politician will content himself with a small peace after decades of struggle for all the 'Northern Territories'."

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5. RF Debts to Japan

Segodnya ("TOKYO EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT RUSSIA'S REFUSAL TO PAY BACK A PART OF ITS DEBT," Moscow, 4, 01/18/01) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono during his meeting in Moscow with RF Deputy Premier Viktor Khristenko expressed Japan's concerns about the RF's declared refusal to pay back a part of its official debt. Khristenko explained that the payments as regards 2000 would be made, but as concerns payments after 2000 there was "no international agreement" on the subject yet.

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6. Japan and Security in C.I.S. Area

Segodnya ("JAPANESE ARE DISCOURAGED TO GO TO GEORGIA," Moscow, 4, 01/18/01) reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry declared the Republic of Georgia "danger zone #2," a country on the verge of war, considering the fact that Georgian Government had no control over its formally incorporated territories of Abkhasia and South Ossetia and that Chechen terrorist could freely pass across the border. Japan's authorities discouraged its citizens from visiting the country for fear of abduction. Japan considers, for instance, Afghanistan to be "danger zone #1."

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7. RF Scholar's Book on Taiwan

Dipkuryer's Viktor Usov ("DISCOVERING TAIWAN," Moscow, 10, 01/18/01, #1(21)) reported that a book was published by Academia Publishing House titled "Two Presidents or Taiwan's Path to Democracy." The author is Aleksandr Larin. The book compares the policies of Taiwan's first President Chiang Kaishek and his son and successor. The book contains "many materials unknown to our readers," is based on many sources including, those from archives, and has a long reference list.

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8. RF Media on Taiwan

Dipkuryer's Dmitriy Kosyrev ("A DRIFTING ISLAND," Moscow, 12, 01/18/01, #1(21)) published a full page article on Taiwanese economics and politics containing interviews with political and scholarly figures of Taiwan. As concerns Taiwan-PRC relations, the author quoted Dr. Li Gosyung, Deputy Director, Institute of International Relations, as saying that 15-16 percent of Taiwanese wished for the island to be independent, 18-20 percent wished to reunite with PRC and the rest preferred the status quo. "Independence, by the way, is highly improbable without support and consent of big countries of the world - USA, Japan and others," Dr.Li said. In the author's opinion, "in some sense Beijing has already won.... The PRC has been more and more obviously winning the economic competition" with its 8.2 percent GNP growth last year against Taiwan's 5.4 percent, and its US$240 billion annual exports against Taiwan's US$142 billion. The PRC has also outstripped Taiwan in terms of computer hardware production and become the third greatest world producer after the US and Japan. One should take into account, though, the fact that Taiwan itself has been of much assistance to the PRC economy, with Taiwanese investments increasing two-fold in 2000. In total Taiwan invested US$20-50 billion there. Li believes that "since the early 1990s the Taiwanese economy has been becoming more and more dependent on exports to the mainland China.... And it's very improbable that in the future the Taiwanese economy will continue to grow without smooth relations with Beijing.... But unfortunately after the advent of the new government the relations have been stuck. Presently the situation is described with a formula 'neither negotiations, nor war, nor peace.' Another point: since May the economy has been going down. And more and more businessmen escape from the island to the mainland.... Beijing seemly decided to wait and see: well, for how long will you manage to drag on this way? The are surprisingly calm in Beijing: no threats, no threatening maneuvers.... And that's the difficulty." "It is unnecessary to wait for the Chinese to finally clarify the question of how many Chinas there are. It would be sensible to develop ties not only with Taiwan, but also with Chinese provinces," concluded the author.

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9. Indian Missile Launch

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Ilya Kedrov ("ANOTHER LAUNCH OF INDIAN MISSILE," Moscow, 6, 01/18/01) reported that on January 17 India carried out a successful test launch of the Agni-2 operative tactical missile at the test launch site on the island of Villar near the coast of the state of Orissa. Agni-2 is a mobile missile complex. The missile's range is 2,500 kilometers. It can carry a load of up to 1 ton, including a 200 kilotons nuclear warhead equal to 10 Hiroshima bombs. It can reach a large part of the PRC, all states of Southeast Asia, Central Asian republics of the CIS, Afghanistan, Iran and even a small part of the RF. The cost of production of one missile costs US$4.5-8 million, and India can deploy up to 20 Agni-2 complexes. A 3.5 kilometers range Agni-3 missile is under development. Pakistan has developed its own 2,500 kilometer range Haider-1 missile with nuclear warhead capacity.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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Monash Asia Institute,
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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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