NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, february 28, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. ROK-Russian Summit

The New York Times (Patrick E. Tyler, "SOUTH KOREA TAKES RUSSIA'S SIDE IN DISPUTE OVER U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE PLAN," Seoul, 2/27/01) reported that a joint communique issued by ROK President Kim Dae-jung with visiting Russian President Vladimir V. Putin declared that the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty was a "cornerstone of strategic stability and an important foundation of international efforts on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation." Tyler stated that this showed that Kim publicly took Russia's side in the debate over the proposed US missile defense system, and argues that this position is likely due to Russia picking up the slack in promoting inter-Korean reconciliation left by a more hard-line US administration. Putin is also promoting the advantages of an inter-Korean railway linked to Russia's Vladivostok. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 28.]

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2. US Policy on DPRK

The Los Angeles Times (Jim Mann, "CLINTON'S KOREA DEAL A TEST FOR BUSH," Washington, 2/28/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will visit the US next week to meet with US President George W. Bush. Kim will reportedly push Bush to reaffirm the 1994 Agreed Framework and he wants the Bush administration to complete a proposed deal that would halt the DPRK's missile program. Mann stated that the Bush team is eager to slow the pace of the Clinton rapprochement with the DPRK, but is willing to finish the missile negotiations only when it can nail down the verification procedures guaranteeing that missile program has ended.

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3. Alleged PRC-Iraq Defense Cooperation

The Wall Street Journal (John Pomfret, "CHINA SHIFTS STANCE, MAY PROBE U.S. CLAIMS THAT IT ASSISTED IRAQ," Beijing, 2/28/01) reported that the PRC Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was ready to investigate US complaints that a PRC company and its technicians may have assisted Iraq in rebuilding its air defenses. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, "Regarding the situation raised by the U.S. side, China can conduct an investigation." The PRC's willingness to investigate was seen as an acknowledgment that the government does not have control over all of the country's companies.

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4. PRC Human Rights

The Wall Street Journal ("CHINA RATIFIES HUMAN RIGHTS TREATY," Beijing, 2/28/01) reported that the PRC's Xinhua News Agency reported that the PRC National People's Congress ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a key UN human rights treaty, two weeks before the its human rights record was expected to be scrutinized at an upcoming international conference.

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5. Cross-Straits Relations

The Wall Street Journal (George Gedda, "CHINA CAUTIONS U.S. ON TAIWAN," Washington, 2/28/01) reported that Zhou Mingei, a senior Taiwan expert, said that the US has a greater interest in avoiding conflict between the PRC and Taiwan than a decade ago because of the many US-based businesses that now have investments in the PRC mainland. Zhou is heading a delegation of PRC experts on Taiwan who have been meeting with US officials, congressional leaders and East Asia specialists to try to discourage the possibility of additional weapons sales in April.

The Office of International Information Programs at the US Department of State ("TEXT: SEN. BAUCUS OFFERS 'CONTOURS OF A BIPARTISAN CHINA POLICY'," 2/28/01) reported on a speech by US Senator Max Baucus before the Nixon Center on Tuesday. Baucus stated that the US should support Taiwan's membership in international organizations where statehood is not a requirement for membership, and "work creatively for Taiwan's involvement when statehood is a requirement." He emphasized continued support for the three Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, which govern U.S.-Taiwan relations, but also noted that times have changed. He said, "To Taiwan, I say that there can be no attempt to change the framework unilaterally. To Beijing, I say that you should not underestimate American support for the democracy and market economy on Taiwan. You should not try to test American resolve; you will not like the results."

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6. US-Japan Submarine Accident

The Wall Street Journal (Doug Struck, "JAPAN IS GIVEN LETTER OF APOLOGY FROM BUSH," Tokyo, 2/28/01) reported that the US Navy's second-ranking officer, Admiral William J. Fallon, delivered a letter of apology from President Bush and moved the US closer to a commitment to trying to raise the Ehime Maru, sunk by the nuclear submarine USS Greeneville on February 9.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-Russia Summit

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM, PUTIN AGREE ON SUPPORT FOR S-N DETENTE, ARMS CONTROL," Seoul, 02/28/01) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his support for the ongoing detente. Putin also agreed with President Kim on the need to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including missiles and nuclear arms. Kim and Putin specifically mentioned the need for the DPRK to abide by its 1994 agreement with the US. The two leaders agreed to push for economic projects involving the Koreas and Russia. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 28.]

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2. Russian Arms Sales to ROK

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "KOREA, RUSSIA SEEN TO BUILD DEFENSE TIES," Seoul, 02/28/01) reported that with Russian President Vladimir Putin visiting Seoul, the ROK and Russia are expected to continue to accelerate their military exchanges and cooperation, especially in the defense sector, officials said Tuesday. The ROK is now negotiating with Russia to purchase US$500 million worth of Russian weapons as part of its efforts to retrieve some of its outstanding US$1.8 billion loan to Russia. ROK military analysts predict that Putin's visit to the ROK would work favorably in terms of Russia's efforts to become involved in ROK projects. "We plan to visit Russia in April or May for an on-the- site evaluation of Russian weapons and the final list of purchase items would come out at the end of this year," said Army Colonel Kim Yong- hwan, director of the Defense Ministry's Acquisition Policy Division. Among the most probable weapons items on the purchase list will be transport planes, trainers for cadets, hovercrafts and transport helicopters as well as refueling aircraft, Kim said. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 28.]

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3. ROK-US Military Trade

The Korea Herald ("U.S. TO SELL KOREA MISSILES ON CONDITION IT OPTS FOR BOEING'S JETS," 2/28/01) reported that an ROK Defense Ministry official stated that the US has notified it that if the ROK buys Boeing's F-15 fighter jets for its next-generation fighter project, the US would sell US$1.5 billion worth of guided missiles and avionics systems, including joint directed area munitions (JDAM), AGM (air-to-ground)-154 joint stand-off weapons (JSOW), AGM-84L Block-II Harpoon missiles and 500 pound-class laser guided missiles (LGD). The official said, "We received a letter from the U.S. Department of Defense Feb. 15 in which it expressed its willingness to sell advanced guided missiles and avionics systems to Korea on the condition that Seoul purchases Boeing F-15 fighter jets." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 28.]

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4. Status of Forces Agreement

The Korea Times (Kim Kwang-tae, "OPPOSITION LAWMAKERS OPPOSE REVISED SOFA," 2/28/01) reported that during a ROK National Assembly Foreign Affairs-Trade Committee meeting, members of the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) called on the government to hold another round of negotiations with the US to revise the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), clarifying their objections to the ratification of the revised SOFA signed on January 19. Representative Kim Won-wung said, "A host of core clauses that infringe upon Korea's sovereignty remain intact in the SOFA revision bill." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for February 28.]

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5. Inter-Korean High-level Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL PROPOSES HIGH-LEVEL TALKS WITH PYONGYANG," Seoul, 02/28/01) reported that the ROK on Tuesday proposed that the ROK and the DPRK hold the fifth round of high-level talks in Seoul March 13-15. In a telegraph sent through Panmunjom, Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu made the proposal to his DPRK counterpart, Jon Kum-jin.

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6. DPRK-German Talks

The Korea Times ("GERMANY, NK BEGIN NORMALIZATION TALKS," Seoul, 02/27/01) reported that talks began between the DPRK and Germany in Berlin Monday for the establishment of diplomatic relations, an ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman said. The spokesman stated, "Delegates of Germany and North Korea started talks to discuss detailed procedures and working-level issues for resuming their diplomatic relations." During the talks, which lasted for about two hours at the German Foreign Ministry in the morning, German delegates asked the DPRK to guarantee free movement for its diplomats, aid organization officials and journalists. The spokesman, however, said that the demand was not a precondition for resuming the bilateral relations but a mutual understanding on working-level practices.

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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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