NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, february 15, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. ROK-US Summit

The Associated Press ("SKOREAN PRESIDENT TO MEET BUSH," Seoul, 02/14/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung's office announced on Thursday that Kim will meet US President George W. Bush in Washington on March 7 for talks focusing on the DPRK. ROK presidential spokesman Park Joon-young stated, "The two leaders will have wide-ranging discussions on their countries' joint policy toward North Korea and ways of strengthening traditional alliance." He added, "various measures will be discussed to help a permanent peace take root on the Korean peninsula."

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2. Russian Arms Sales to PRC

The Associated Press ("RUSSIA TOP ARMS BUYER: CHINA," Moscow, 02/15/01) reported that, according to government figures released Wednesday by the Interfax news agency, the PRC was Russia's biggest customer for military equipment last year, accounting for 39 percent of exports. Vladimir Belukov, who heads the export control department of the Russian Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, was quoted as saying that 74 percent of Russia's military exports went to Asian-Pacific countries, of which 52.6 percent went to the PRC and 18.2 percent to India. Russia exported nearly US$4 billion worth of weapons last year, according to Rosoboronexport, the leading state-run arms exporter. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 15, 2001.]

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3. PRC View of US Missile Defense

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA OPEN TO DIALOGUE ON US MISSILE PLANS," Beijing, 02/15/01) and Reuters ("CHINA SAYS TALKS WON'T CHANGE OPPOSITION TO NMD," Beijing, 02/15/01) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Thursday that the PRC was prepared to engage in dialogue over US plans to build a National Missile Defense (NMD) system. Zhu added, however, "We maintain the issue of missile proliferation can only be solved on the basis of the observation of the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] treaty and on the maintenance of global strategic balance." He stated, "China ... is willing to have discussions with all countries, the United States included, so as to safeguard the ABM treaty and make concerted efforts for the further progress of the international disarmament and arms control process." Zhu said, "We have also heard reports that the US side is willing to hold talks with other countries on this issue, and we have taken note of the positions expressed by the US side." Visiting Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien on Tuesday told PRC President Jiang Zemin that the US is willing to increase dialogue on NMD, according to a senior Canadian official.

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4. Arms Race in Space

Reuters ("U.S. AND CHINA LOCK HORNS ON MISSILE DEFENSE," Geneva, 02/15/01) reported that U.S. ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) Robert Grey reaffirmed that the US was not ready to agree to launch full negotiations aimed at preventing an arms race in outer space. He reiterated that the US top priority was to launch global negotiations aimed at halting production of nuclear bomb-making fissile material. Grey stated, "there is no arms race in outer space, nor any prospect of an arms race for as far down the road as anyone can see. Although the new Administration will review these issues over the coming weeks, it would not be premature to point out that missile defense can enhance strategic stability and further reduce the danger that nuclear weapons will ever be used." PRC Ambassador Hu Xiaodi said that the most urgent task was to "check the trend of weaponization of outer space" and preserve the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. Hu stated, "We are seriously concerned about the report of a space war exercise that took place late last month. The exercise used outer space as the battlefield and its scenario was set to happen in 2017. Anti-satellite weapons, strategic missile defense systems and land-based laser weapons were envisaged in the exercise to attack targets in space, and space weapons to launch preventive strikes. This has irrefutably demonstrated that the weaponization of space is imminent."

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5. PRC Human Rights

Agence France-Presse ("BEIJING SAYS 'ANTI-CHINA' UN MOTIONS NOT THE WAY TO HELP HUMAN RIGHTS," 02/15/01) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on Thursday that tabling "anti- China" motions at the UN was not the right way to advance human rights. Zhu stated, "Dialogue and exchange on the basis of equality and mutual respect is the only way to solve differences between countries on the question of human rights. It is no use to engage in confrontation." Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California, supported the introduction of a UN resolution condemning the PRC's human rights record, stating, "The world looks to our new president to declare his commitment to promoting democratic values.... Now it is more important than ever for the United States to organize and win the vote in Geneva."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Kim Jong Il's Visit to ROK

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "N. KOREAN LEADER'S VISIT TO SEOUL IS NOT IMMINENT," Seoul, 02/14/01) reported that high-ranking Seoul officials ruled out Wednesday the possibility that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il may visit the ROK as early as this month or March. "It is impossible for Chairman Kim to come to Seoul in March, let alone later this month," a senior Chong Wa Dae official said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that what is important is not when Kim Jong-il comes to Seoul but what agreement he and President Kim can reach in their second summit meeting. "The Seoul meeting should produce substantial agreement on peace on the Korean Peninsula and to do so, the two sides should make sufficient preparations in advance," the official said. He noted that President Kim said that the ROK government would not hurry to arrange Kim Jong-il's visit and that full negotiations should precede the second inter-Korean meeting. "In view of this, we are not yet ready to receive Chairman Kim in the very near future," the official said.

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2. ROK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "INTELLIGENCE CHIEF LIM ON SECRET VISIT TO U.S. TO DISCUSS N. KOREA POLICY," Seoul, 02/15/01) reported that ROK officials said on Wednesday that Lim Dong-won, director general of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), is on a secret trip to the US for talks with officials there on the DPRK. Lim, who left Seoul on Sunday, will stay in the US until this weekend, the officials said. "Lim will meet George Tenet, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and other senior officials during his stay in the United States," a senior official said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. The official declined to comment on the purpose of Lim's trip, saying that it is improper to talk about the activities of the chief of a spy agency. The official also said that Lim's trip to the US has little to do with President Kim Dae-jung's planned trip to Washington next month. "The groundwork for President Kim's trip to the United States had already been laid by Foreign Minister Lee Joung-binn, who visited Washington Feb. 5-10," the official added.

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3. ROK-US Summit

Chosun Ilbo ("KIM-BUSH SUMMIT SET ON MARCH 7," Seoul, 02/15/01) reported that Cheong Wa Dae announced on Wednesday that President Kim Dae-jung will leave Seoul for Washington DC on March 6 to have a meeting with US President George Bush the next day. Spokesman Park Joon-young said that wide-ranging issues, including DPRK policies, plans to establish ongoing peace on the Korean peninsula, and measures to strengthen alliance between the two countries will be discussed at the meeting. After a White House lunch, President Kim will meet officials from the US administration, Congress and scholars of Korean issues to exchange views on the peninsula situation, Park said. President Kim is expected to return to Seoul on March 10.

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4. Policy towards DPRK

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "FRAMEWORK OF 3-WAY N. KOREA COORDINATION EXPECTED TO CHANGE," Seoul, 02/15/01) reported that ROK analysts said Wednesday that the current framework of the three-way alliance between the ROK, the US and Japan in dealing with the DPRK is expected to change as the US favors bilateral consultations. The three allies had maintained close consultations over their DPRK policies through the senior-level Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) under the Bill Clinton administration. But the George Bush administration wants to review the name and role of the TCOG, although it agrees on the need for the existence of a three-way consultative body. In this context, the observers said, the US will likely focus on bilateral talks with the ROK and Japan to coordinate their major DPRK policies while having three-way meetings play a limited role. "The Republicans' diplomatic pattern has showed that they prefer one-to-one negotiations to a multilateral approach in resolving pending issues," said an expert in US affairs.

III. Russian Federation

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1. RF Arms for ROK

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("WEAPONS FOR SEOUL," Moscow, 6, 02/9-15/01, #5(227)) reported that ROK made a decision to buy US$500 million worth of armaments from the RF, planning to obtain transport and training planes, helicopters and hovercraft ships.

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2. Inter-Korean Railway Izvestia ("RESTORATION OF RAILWAY POSTPONED," Moscow, 8, 02/13/01) reported that DPRK authorities announced that due to "administrative reasons" they postponed the work to de-mine a border area between DPRK and ROK in order to restore railway to connect the two countries, thus unilaterally breaching the relevant agreement concluded a week ago.

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3. Reunions of Separated Families Izvestia's Gennadiy Charodeyev ("SEPARATION, SEPARATION," Moscow, 7, 02/09/01) reported that the whole DPRK was getting ready to celebrate its leader Kim Jong-il's 59th birthday and DPRK diplomats being a part of the people prepared him a gift as well. Operating through the Red Cross they reached an arrangement with the ROK to make possible a meeting of divided families and exchange of letters between them. According to some estimates, about 15 million DPRK citizens have got some relatives in the ROK. The meeting of 100 persons per each side is planned for late February. In the ROK the candidates for the previous meeting were selected by means of a lottery from 76,000 applicants. DPRK delegation consisted of a well-known poet, a writer, a moviemaker and other "respectable people." The selection criteria was not revealed. Kim Jong-il thanked DPRK diplomats and promised that he "will try to make it possible for members of divided families to visit their native places in the near future."

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4. US CIA Director on RF

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Dmitriy Gornostayev ("C.I.A. BELIEVES RUSSIA POSES A THREAT TO AMERICA," Moscow, 1, 6, 02/09/01) reported that US CIA Director George Tenet spoke at hearings before the US Senate Committee on Intelligence. His report indicated that the RF and the PRC were the only two countries of the world seeking superpower status and by their behavior endangering US interests. The RF was mentioned after the PRC in that context, therefore, Nezavisimaya gazeta's author concluded, the RF was not seen as the main threat. Yet, RF-PRC cooperation, military in particular, was also seen as a threat to the US. The newspaper published a Russian translation of the RF-related part of the CIA Director's report titled "Global Threat 2001: National Security in the Changing World."

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5. PRC Counterfeiters

Segodnya ("RECORD-BREAKING COUNTERFEITERS," Moscow, 7, 02/09/01) reported that PRC police arrested 7 persons who possessed US$77 million worth of counterfeit US dollars, the biggest amount ever confiscated in PRC.

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6. Japanese Premier's Position

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Yelena Shesternina ("GOVERNMENTAL CRISIS IS POSSIBLE IN JAPAN," Moscow, 6, 02/14/01) reported that Japanese Premier Yoshiro Mori's political position may suffer due to the recent incident when a US Los Angeles class submarine sank a Japanese vessel. Japanese mass media stress the fact that Mori upon receiving the news continued to play golf and returned to Tokyo only two hours later. Public opinion polls show his popularity presently is just 14-16 percent. The incident happening at the time of demands to reduce US troops on Okinawa may also aggravate US-Japanese relations, although US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld conveyed apologies to Japanese Self-Defense Agency Chief Tositsugu Saito, and US State Secretary Colin Powell promised aid to the victims' families.

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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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