NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, february 8, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. Inter-Korean Railway

The Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, "KOREAS AGREE ON RAILWAY CONNECTION," Seoul, 2/8/01) reported that the militaries of the DPRK and the ROK reached full agreement on Thursday on arrangements to reconnect a cross-border railway. The 41-point agreement also calls for opening a hotline between the two militaries. A statement from the ROK Defense Ministry said, "By resolving all related military issues, South and North have laid the most important foundation for the railway project." Also Thursday, economic officials of the two Koreas opened three days of talks in Pyongyang on measures to help ease the DPRK's chronic energy shortages. ROK officials proposed Thursday that both sides jointly survey the entire peninsula's energy situation.

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2. Japanese View of Missile Defense

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, "JAPAN DIVIDED ON U.S. CALL FOR MISSILE DEFENSE," Tokyo, 2/8/01) reported that analysts said that the national missile defense system advocated by the US administration is pushing Japan toward a stronger military stance. Takako Doi, leader of Japan's opposition Social Democratic Party, said that a missile defense that involves Japan would "increase Japan's military power. In all the polls, the majority of the population is against strengthening the military. It's important to say no to what we cannot do." Futoshi Shibayama, a military affairs specialist at Aichi Gakuin University in Nagoya, said, "Suppose a missile was launched from North Korea aimed at the United States. If we didn't shoot it down, that would break up the alliance with the United Sates. But to shoot it down would be unconstitutional. I think we should try to introduce a new interpretation of the Japanese constitution. But this would be a big domestic controversy." Seiji Maehara, a legislator and missile defense expert for the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said, "We don't know where this will take us. We consider the alliance very important. But we have to convey the Japanese people's anxiety about where we will be taken by the Americans." Toshiro Ozawa, head of the government-sponsored Japan Institute of International Affairs, said, "The problem is the road map from where we are today to a new world is unclear. I think this is the point where many people have reservations." Shinichi Ogawa, senior research fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies, said, "If the Bush administration tries to merge the TMD [Theatre Missile Defense] and NMD [National Missile Defense], that will be a big challenge for Japan." Hisahiko Okazaki, a longtime diplomat and now head of a research organization in Tokyo, said, "We don't need [a missile defense for Japan.] But America wants the cooperation, and we should always show we are reliable allies. If it costs money, we pay money. For Japan, the supreme target should be the maintenance of the U.S.-Japan alliance." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 8, 2001.]

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3. Australian View of Missile Defense

Reuters ("AUSTRALIA REBUFFS SHIELD FOES," Canberra, 2/8/01) reported that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on February 7dismissed PRC concerns about US plans for a missile defense system. He discounted threats from the PRC that it would react to the program by increasing its stock of missiles, noting that the PRC had already said it would modernize its ballistic-missile capacity, which "presumably means to expand it." Downer said, "A lot of the debate here is directed at the United States. I frankly think, an awful lot of the debate should instead be directed not only toward those countries that have got or are developing these missile systems but the countries that have been transferring that missile technology to those countries." For example, he said, Russia has expressed concern, "but Russia is a country that has been involved in the proliferation of missile technology. If there were no missiles, there would be no need for a missile defense system." The Australian opposition Labour Party criticized what it said it viewed as a strengthening of Prime Minister John Howard's support for US plans to develop the missile defense system. Labour's foreign affairs spokesman, Laurie Brereton, said that Downer's comments "leave little doubt that the Howard government is prepared to subordinate its strategic thinking to that of the Bush administration. Missile proliferation is a serious problem, but pushing ahead with national missile defense will leave the world less, rather than more, secure." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 8, 2001.]

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4. Visit of Lee Teng-hui to US

Agence France Presse ("BEIJING SLAMS PLANNED VISIT TO THE US BY TAIWAN'S LEE TENG-HUI," Beijing, 2/8/01) reported that the PRC on Thursday criticized former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui as an "out and out trouble maker," and strongly warned the US not to allow Lee to visit the US. PRC foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, "The Chinese side firmly opposes the US side allowing Lee Teng-hui to engage in activities in the United States in whatever pretext, in whatever capacity and under whatever name. He is trying once again to visit the United States, it is obvious that he has vicious political purposes aimed at disrupting the relations across the Taiwan Strait and China-US bilateral relations." Liu Tai-ying, former chairman of the Kuomintang party's business management committee during Lee's tenure as party chairman, said last week that Lee had been invited to the US by his alma mater Cornell University.

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5. PRC-India Nuclear Talks

Agence France Presse ("INDIA AND CHINA MOVE TO END HOSTILITY WITH SECURITY DIALOGUE," New Delhi, 2/8/01) and Reuters ("INDIA, CHINA START TALKS ON NUCLEAR ISSUES," New Delhi, 2/8/01) reported that Indian foreign ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said that India and the PRC on Thursday concluded a second round of security. The talks were led by Wang Yi, Assistant Minister in the PRC foreign ministry, and Indian Additional Secretary T.C.A. Rangachari. Jassal said that the meeting ended on a "forward-looking" note and "It is in a spirit of friendship that the two sides discussed their anxieties and worries.... They discussed regional and international security concerns, disarmament and export control policies." Foreign affairs expert C. Raja Mohan said that India remained "deeply troubled" over PRC military help to Pakistan which. Mohan said, "The big question is whether New Delhi will try and find a way to manage their nuclear divergence better, which has cast a shadow on their ties."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Reactors

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "KEDO CONSIDERS NUCLEAR REGULATORY SYSTEM FOR NORTH KOREA REACTORS," Seoul, 02/07/01) reported that the DPRK and the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) are discussing establishing a nuclear regulatory system to ensure the safe operation of atomic power plants being built in the DPRK, outgoing US Ambassador to the ROK Stephen Bosworth said Tuesday.

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2. DPRK-Canada Relations

The Korea Times (Son Key-young, "N. KOREA TO OPEN EMBASSY IN OTTAWA," Seoul, 02/07/01) reported that the DPRK is poised to open a resident embassy in Ottawa soon, as it established diplomatic ties with Canada Tuesday, an ROK Foreign Affairs-Trade Ministry official said Tuesday. "The North Korean side is set to establish a resident mission in Canada. The Canadian side decided not to open an embassy there, while designating its mission in Beijing to take care of North Korean affairs," he said. However, the two sides are expected to launch further discussions on the timing of the embassy's opening and its size, he added. Welcoming the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Seoul government hopes that the new diplomatic ties will positively contribute to inter-Korean reconciliation, he said.

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3. EU Mission Visits DPRK

The Korea Times (Oh Young-jin, "EU ECONOMIC MISSION ARRIVES IN PYONGYANG," Seoul, 02/05/01) reported that an economic mission from the European Union (EU) arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday, the DPRK Central Broadcasting reported. However, the broadcaster did not give further details. The three-member group will reportedly stay for about two weeks to inspect the DPRK's agricultural and energy industries. EU officials said on Monday that the European Commission will study the possibility of providing technical assistance to the DPRK based on the outcome of the team's inspection.

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4. US-ROK Policy Coordination

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Dae-yeol, "US TO FORM JOINT CONSULTATIVE BODY ON NK," Seoul, 02/06/01) reported that Lee Jong-binn, the ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, held talks on Wednesday and agreed to establish an ROK-US senior consultative body to promote cooperation in policies toward the DPRK and to hold summit talks between the two nations in the near future. The two will issue a joint statement. An ROK government official said that Lee and Powell agreed that the summit meeting between Presidents Kim Dae-jung and George W. Bush will take place in March.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. IT Development in DPRK

People's Daily ("DPRK SETS UP NATIONAL COMPUTER NET," 02/01/01, P7) reported that the DPRK in the recent years has devoted great efforts to developing a computer net. Xinhua News Agency said that its "Light" Science and Technology Net has covered the whole nation and its scale and size continues to spread. According to DPRK media, the "Light" is mainly supported by the DPRK Central S and T News Agency, Kim Il-sung University and all level of governmental departments' nets. Computers in research institutes, universities and enterprises are also linked to the "Light".

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2. DPRK-ROK Talks

Xinhua News Agency ("REUNION ISSUE STALLS TALKS," Seoul, 01/31/01) reported that a second day of Red Cross talks between the DPRK and ROK stalled on January 30 over differences on agreeing a regular meeting place for separated families. DPRK news reports said there was a consensus on the need for a permanent meeting place for separated families. The ROK favors Panmunjom, but the DPRK opts for Mt Kumgang. However, Xinhua reported that the Red Cross meeting agreed on January 29 to hold a third round of reunions for separated families on February 26-28 and to exchange letters on March 15.

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3. US View of Korean Reconciliation

China Daily ("ENGAGEMENT POLICY BACKED," Seoul, 02/01/01, P8) reported that the new team in the US Republican administration vowed to support the ROK's reconciliation with the DPRK. New US Secretary of State Colin Powell said recently that the US would support the "historic reconciliation" that the ROK has begun with the DPRK. He added, that US will thoroughly review its relationship with the DPRK. Xinhua News Agency said that ROK Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn will meet Powell in Washington next week to discuss those issues ahead of a visit by President Kim in March. "We are not contemplating rapid reunification, but reconciliation over a long period of time. The ROK is playing for reunification on the installment plan," said Stephen Bosworth, US ambassador to the ROK, whose three-year term ends next month. According to foreign analysts' estimation, rapid reunification would cost anywhere from US$100 billion to 10 times that figure. International aid and investment will in large part be funneled into the DPRK through the ROK. Bosworth commented that "this means the ROK economy itself must be strong, transparent and market based." "The North needs to create a set of conditions that allows foreign companies to go there and make a legitimate return on their investments," he added. The ROK public also needs to see greater advantages to go with the costs in the form of reduced military tensions, increased people contacts and economic benefits, Bosworth said.

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4. US-Russian Relations

Xinhua News Agency ("IVANOV TO MEET POWELL SOON," Moscow, 02/01/00) reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry said on January 31 that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will meet new US Secretary of State Colin Powell in the near future. The Ministry said in a statement that the two men had spoken on the telephone and agreed to meet to exchange views on all areas of US-Russian cooperation. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters in Washington that the two men had a good conversation but declined to say what topics they discussed.

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5. Russia-Japanese Summit

Xinhua News Agency ("PUTIN-MORI MARCH MEETING POSTPONED: JAPAN MEDIA," Tokyo, 01/31/01) reported that, according to Japanese media reports on January 30, hopes are fading for a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia next month. The March summit could be delayed until at least May, Kyodo news agency said, quoting Japanese government sources. Analysts said the delay was most likely due to a lack of progress toward resolving a territorial dispute involving four tiny Russian-held islands just north of Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido.

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6. Russian Position on NMD

People's Daily (Huang Yong, "RUSSIA REITERATES ITS OPPOSITION TO US NMD," Munich, 02/06/01, P3) reported that in the 37th Munich Security Policy Conference on February 4, Secretary of the Russian Security Commission Sergei Ivanov reiterated Russia's position on US National Missile Defense (NMD) development. He said that the most important factor of international security in the new century is to maintain strategic stability, and that the ABM Treaty is the base of this stability. However, he pointed out, the US system was liable to destroy the balance of strategic, defensive and offensive weapons and lead to a new arms race. Colonel-General Valery Manilov, Russia's first Deputy Chief of Staff, told Itar-Tass News Agency that an alternative Russian system involving NATO and the European Union would leave the military balance untouched and serve the same purpose of eliminating the threat of missile strikes by "so-called rogue regimes."

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7. German Position on NMD

Xinhua News Agency ("US ARMS MOVE TOPS AGENDA AT RUSSIA-GERMAN MEETINGS," Moscow, 01/31/01) reported that German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping opened a day of talks in Moscow on January 30 with Russian officials, making it plain that their top concern is the proposed US missile defense program. Scharping shares the reservations of most European NATO members about the Bush administration proposal to build an anti- missile shield and the amendments it will almost certainly require to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Sharping told a German newspaper last week that he viewed NMD as unrealistic. He has called on Bush to discuss the proposal with US European allies.

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8. PRC View of ABM

Jiefang Daily (Shen Dingli, "WILL THE US WITHDRAW FROM ABM?" 02/06/01, P3) carried a commentary on the fate of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. On the one hand, Russia strongly opposes US NMD deployment, warning that it would stimulate a new round of arms race. Meanwhile, Russia does not want to see the US quit the ABM, as this would enable the US to develop and deploy NMD freely. Under such circumstances, Russia has indicated that it is desirable to reach consensus with the US on ABM issue if nuclear disarmament could be furthered. If there is a compromise between the two, the US would have no need to withdraw. On the other hand, the US is unlikely to implement NMD deployment if it cannot secure support from major allies. US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has already placed the work to convince NATO allies on his agenda. It has been circulated across the Atlantic that opposition from NATO would be lessened should missile defense be extended to European NATO countries. In this connection, whether the US needs to withdraw from ABM depends upon what it could provide to NATO allies in terms of security protection.

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9. Peaceful Uses of Space

Jiefang Daily ("RUSSIA SUGGESTS TO HOLD MEETINGS ON PAROS," Geneva, 02/02/00, P5) reported that in a speech to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on February 1, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that Russian President Putin suggested to hold an international conference led by the UN on PAROS (Preventing Arms Race in Outer Space) this spring. He said that Russia is preparing to negotiate with the US on START III. He stressed that Russia is willing to cut down its nuclear warheads to 1500 or even less on the precondition that the 1972 ABM Treaty should be preserved and strengthened. Russia suggested a set of constructive political and diplomatic measures as an alternative to the US shield, which include establishing a data exchange center in Moscow for missile launching, setting up a global control system to prevent missile and technology proliferation, and cooperating widely and internationally in the missile defense field.

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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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