NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, february 5, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. ROK-US Talks

Agence-France Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN FM LEAVES FOR US TO HOLD KEY TALKS ON NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 02/05/01) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn left for Washington on Monday to hold talks on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Colin Powell on coordinating policy toward the DPRK. An ROK foreign ministry official stated, "Minister Lee will seek continued US support for Seoul's engagement policy towards North Korea."

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2. DPRK View of US Defense Report

European Stars and Stripes ("NORTH KOREA BLASTS PENTAGON'S DEFENSE REPORT," 02/05/01, 6) reported that the DPRK Worker's Party's official newspaper criticized the US Defense Department's 2001 Annual Defense Report as an attempt to "threaten and stifle" the DPRK. It said that the report is an attempt "to hide the U.S. true aim to stay in this region and maintain a military edge" to establish "political and military domination" in the region. The report had said that while there have been positive developments toward establishing a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, the DPRK still poses a significant threat to the ROK. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 5, 2001.]

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3. PRC Missile Deployment

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CHINA ADDING MISSILES AIMED TOWARD TAIWAN," 02/05/01, 1) reported that an anonymous senior US military official said that the PRC is continuing a buildup of short-range missiles opposite Taiwan and now has up to 300 missiles deployed. The official stated, "And just as important as the number, is the accuracy. Right now they are mostly inertial [guidance], which give them [circular error probabilities] in the Scud range. But they are working on more precision guidance, which will make a big difference." He added that PRC military leaders have refused to draw down the missile force, despite US protests that the missiles are increasing instability and the danger of conflict across the Taiwan Strait. He warned, "If the Chinese keep on doing what they're doing, we're going to make theater missile systems available to the Taiwanese." He argued, "It's clear that the PLA, both because they believe it and because it's a wonderful bureaucratic strategy, continues to pump up the American threat. They clearly justify the requirements for increases in military budgets based on the Taiwan scenario, keeping the United States out, and damaging Taiwan. And they're having some success in getting budget increases." The official also stated, "The Russians will sell anything to the Chinese that the Chinese want to buy, and that's what bothers me." He said, "It's one thing if they want to help [the PRC] screw the United States, which is in their common interest right now, but this just seems to be mindless. I think it's stupidity on the Russians' part; it is going to hurt them in the long term." He added that the PRC appears to be having problems integrating high-technology weapons, like domestic versions of the Russian Su-27. He said that PRC forces could fight well on their territory but would be no match for the US in a conflict over Taiwan. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 5, 2001.]

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4. US-PRC Talks

Agence France Presse ("U.S. SAYS IT WILL CONTINUE TO BACK HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHINA, HELP TAIWAN DEFEND ITSELF," Washington, 02/05/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin said Sunday said that he told PRC Ambassador to the US Li Zhaoxing that the US remained committed to supporting human rights in the PRC as well as to ensuring that Taiwan can defend itself. He stated, "I wanted there to be no mistake with our Chinese interlocutors that there is an interest in human rights." He added, "I think we have to make sure that we remain strong in the region. But a nation such as China, that has the wherewithal to improve its military, I would expect it to improve its military, I'm more interested in policies it may adopt that affect stability in the region." US National security advisor Condoleezza Rice stated, "As China tries to join the world community, tries to become a member of the World Trade Organization, tries to improve its diplomatic position, it has to treat its own people well. So I think you will not see any diminution of the importance for human rights in China. In fact you'll see a renewed emphasis on it."

The Los Angeles Times (Jim Mann, "CHINA SEEKS TO CHECK TAIWAN IN U.S. TALKS," Washington, 02/03/01, 1) reported that a senior US administration official confirmed that PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen will visit Washington next month. Qian's visit will precede the annual decision on US arms sales to Taiwan. Bonnie Glaser, a Washington consultant, stated, "I think they want to be in [Washington] early enough to have an influence on the arms sales decision." An unnamed congressional Republican staff member stated, "We should get this over with now, rather than let the decision hang out over the next few years. I do expect that the Pentagon is going to come down strongly in favor of a robust package [of arms] for Taiwan. I think there's going to be a battle royal within the administration on this issue." One PRC source stated, "If the United States goes ahead with Aegis, China will have a stronger response than it did for [then-Taiwanese President] Lee Teng-hui's visit in 1995." Stanford University professor Michel Oksenberg predicted that the PRC "will try to shift the blame, but their own behavior over the last three or four years has made it very hard for the United States to accept how the Chinese are approaching a whole set of issues." He added, "There'll be a big debate and a big brouhaha, and in the end we're going to end up with more arms sales than the Clinton folks would have made. And there'll be an element of risk involved. But there's not much the Chinese can do about it. They're going to huff and puff, but in the final analysis, where can they go?" [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 5, 2001.]

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5. Taiwanese Missile Test

Agence France-Press ("TAIWAN TO TEST-FIRE SUPERSONIC SHIP-TO-SHIP MISSILE: REPORT," Taipei, 02/04/01) reported that Taiwan's China Times Express evening newspaper said Sunday that Taiwanese weapons researchers plan to test-fire the supersonic Hsiungfeng III anti-ship missiles at a military exercise in April. The test, to coincide with the island's biggest annual military exercise codenamed "Hankuang 17 (Han Glory)," would be conducted at the military base of Chiupeng in the southern-most county of Pingtung. The paper quoted sources at the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology as saying, "If the project goes well, mass production would kickstart before the year's end." It added, "Powered by a thrust engine and with a range of 500 kilometers (300 miles), the missile would be able to reach Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, as well as waters east of Guangdong province."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US on ROK Economic Aid

The Korea Herald ("U.S. FORCES DENY PROTESTING HYUNDAI'S N.K. SUPPORT," Seoul, 02/05/01) reported that US Forces Korea (USFK) on Sunday denied reports in a Japanese economic daily, Sankei Shimbun, that USFK met with ranking Hyundai Group executives last November to protest the group's financial aid to the DPRK. "Such reports are totally groundless as there was no such meeting between USFK and Hyundai," said Kim Hyung-kyu, a spokesman for USFK. Quoting sources in Washington, the Japanese daily said the US had growing concern over Hyundai's cash payment to the DPRK for its ongoing Mt. Kumgang tourism project. "I know that military experts at home and abroad are concerned about Pyongyang's possible diversion of the cash for military purposes," Kim said. "As far as the issue is concerned, USFK is not in a position to directly contact Hyundai to deliver a protest. It's a matter that should be dealt with between the two governments."

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2. ROK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "LEE J.B. TO MEET POWELL, COORDINATE N.K. POLICY," Seoul, 02/05/01) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn left for a three-day visit to Washington on Monday to meet with US Secretary of State Colin Powell. ROK officials and analysts believe this to be a crucial opportunity for the two to fine-tune their DPRK policies. "Minister Lee will seek Washington's continued support for our policy of engagement with the North during his meeting with Powell," said a senior Foreign Ministry official, asking to remain anonymous. Lee is also expected to ask that the Bush administration take the ROK's position on the DPRK into account in its new DPRK policy, he said. Professor Kim Sung-han of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) affiliated with the Foreign Ministry said the key point of the Lee-Powell meeting will be ways to harmonize the ROK's "sunshine" policy with the Bush administration's policy based on strict reciprocity. Ministry officials and analysts did not expect any agreements to be finalized during the one-day talks, saying the two foreign ministers will likely just coordinate their countries' DPRK policies.

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3. Alleged ROK Bribes to DPRK

The Korea Times (Oh Young-jin, "NK BRIBERY ARTICLE LIKELY TO TEST GOV'T WILL," Seoul, 02/05/01) reported that a recent article by a foreign newspaper indicating that the ROK had paid the DPRK to consummate the landmark inter-Korean summit last year is putting the government's level of tolerance regarding freedom of the press to a test. "We take extra care when dealing with inaccurate and misleading articles appearing in foreign mass media because they are guests," a Chong Wa Dae official said. "But the article went too far, being not only inaccurate but also libelous." The article in question appeared in the January 31 edition of the International Herald Tribune which claimed that National Intelligence Service director Lim Dong-won was at the beck and call of the DPRK in one part and that, in another, former culture-tourism minister Park Jie-won, who had secretly contacted DPRK officials in the PRC to arrange the June summit, may have sent money to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il while in Singapore to persuade him to agree to the summit. "We are considering all options including legal action against the Paris- based newspaper," the Chong Wa Dae official said. The Korea Information Service (KOIS), the government's mouthpiece overseas, has sent a letter of protest to the newspaper. The latest case might determine how far the government is willing to go in order to correct what it thinks are wrong reports in foreign press.

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4. DPRK Special Economic Zone

The Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, "WHERE WILL N. KOREA BUILD SEZ? ," Seoul, 02/05/01) reported that amid speculation on the DPRK's city of choice for a special economic zone (SEZ), the Unification Ministry on Saturday suggested four cities as possible candidates. In the report titled "Comprehensive Analysis of the North Korean Economy in 2000," the ministry named Nampo, Kaesong, Tanchon and Shinuiju as candidates for the SEZ to be designated by the DPRK. The report predicted that the DPRK could bolster business in the existing Rajin-Sonbong free trade zone. "With the help of South Korea, the North could also make overtures to expand its economic activities abroad," the report said. While the names of other cities have been brought up as likely sites for the SEZ, Tanchon has rarely been mentioned as a possible choice. There have been widespread speculations on the location of North's SEZ since DPRK National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il visited the PRC last week. At the time, Kim reportedly said that the DPRK "will build a Shanghai-style economic zone."

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5. Kim Jong-il's Visit to ROK

Chosun Ilbo ("KIM JONG IL'S VISIT DELAYED UNTIL MAY," Seoul, 02/05/01) reported that a high-ranking government official said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's visit to Seoul is likely to be delayed until May or June, adding that it will be preceded by a trip to Russia. A source at the Korean embassy in Moscow said that Kim would visit the Russian capital in April. He added that Kim is waiting to see the results of Russia's President Vladimir Putin's trip to Seoul in February and President Kim Dae-jung's visit to Washington in March.

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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
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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