NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, march 5, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Agreed Framework

The Washington Post (Steven Mufson, "FLEXIBILITY URGED ON N. KOREA," 3/3/01, P.A16) reported that in a letter to US President George W. Bush, House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde, House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Christopher Cox, and Representative Edward J. Markey urged Bush to not commit himself to the 1994 Agreed Framework with the DPRK, to retain the flexibility to renegotiate the agreement, and to provide conventional power plants instead of nuclear facilities.

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2. US-ROK Summit

The Associate Press (Christopher Torchia, "U.S., S. KOREA TO DISCUSS N. KOREA," Seoul, 3/2/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung heads to the US to meet with US President George W. Bush to discuss US plans for a missile defense system, US policy toward the DPRK, and US-ROK trade. A coalition of ROK religious, environmental and other community groups said in a statement released Monday in Seoul that the US government's approach toward the DPRK "gives the impression that the Bush administration's goal is a return to the era of high tension and confrontations at the expense of sound steps taken toward peace and Korean reunification."

Reuters (Bill Tarrant, "KIM VISITS U.S. AS BIG POWER RIVALRY UNFOLDS," Seoul, 3/5/01) reported that analysts expected that the upcoming US-ROK summit will reveal differences over how to proceed with relations with the DPRK. Yonsei University Professor of International Relations Lee Jung-hoon said it was widely viewed that the ROK's support for Russia's position on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty "definitely has a link with the" National Missile Defense, and is causing great consternation in Washington. The ROK and US may also be at odds over electricity aid for the DPRK, as the ROK and DPRK have been discussing the DPRK's request for power plants with a combined capacity of two million kilowatts. ROK President Kim Dae-jung may also discuss the US President George W. Bush administration's emphasis on "reciprocity" and "verification" in its dealings with the DPRK. Robert Manning, director of Asian Studies at the US-based Council on Foreign Relations, said it is unclear if the DPRK is prepared "to open and revive its moribund economy" and "trade its military threat for economic assistance and security assurances." He said, "Until the Pyongyang leadership comes to terms with these difficult choices, both Seoul and Washington will face a North Korea pursuing a 'muddling through' policy of risk avoidance, unable to face the future."

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3. Inter-Korean Railway

The Associated Press (Kyong-Hwa Seok, "S. KOREA RESUMES RAILWAY WORK," Seoul, 3/5/01) reported that ROK Defense Ministry spokesman Yoon Won-jae stated that the ROK resumed work on reconnecting a railway and highway that will link it with the DPRK. The DPRK has not said whether it started work on its side but ROK officials expect the work to be completed by Autumn.

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4. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "CHINA LOBBIES TO BLOCK AN ARMS SALE TO TAIWAN," Beijing, 3/3/01) reported that the PRC is seeking to convince the US not to provide Taiwan with the advanced Aegis air defense and battle management system. The PRC sent two delegations to the US and is preparing to send a third. Yan Xuetong, executive director of the Institute of International Studies at Beijing's Qinghua University, said, "The political significance is very, very rich. A sale would show us the Bush administration does not care about a strategic relationship between China and the United States." The article argued that this current push may be working, and stated that PRC diplomats are now lobbying against specific systems, such as the Aegis and submarines, while keeping relatively quiet about others, such as a proposed US$600 million deal for four former US Navy Kidd-class guided missile destroyers.

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5. US-Japan Submarine Accident

The Washington Post (Edward Walsh, "NAVY BEGINS INQUIRY INTO SUB INCIDENT," 3/5/01, P.A3) reported that the US Navy on Monday began a court of inquiry into the sinking of the Japanese fishing boat Ehime Maru by the nuclear submarine USS Greeneville. The process includes calling officers, crew and civilians as witnesses and, while it is not a criminal prosecution, it could lead to a court-martial. The article said that questions are being raised regarding the surfacing procedure, including the use of only two out of four detection methods to determine if the area was safe for a rapid resurfacing maneuver.

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6. Japanese Political Situation

The Associate Press (Joseph Coleman, "MORI SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE," Tokyo, 3/5/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori survived a second no-confidence motion Monday, but faced persistent calls to resign. After the vote, Mori said, "Doesn't that mean that the Cabinet is trusted? Doesn't that mean that I must continue working responsibly?" Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the opposition Democrats party, said, "A person like you could be described with the phrase, 'He doesn't know what shame is.'"

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7. Japanese History Textbook

The Associate Press ("JAPANESE HISTORY TEXTBOOK REVISED," Tokyo, 3/5/01) reported that a history textbook to be used in Japan will be revised following criticism from other Asian states. The text of the textbook had been leaked prior to publication. Other countries took offense at such statements as, "Japan's annexation of the Korean Peninsula in 1910 was supported by the United States and European powers as a measure to stabilize East Asia ... the annexation was undertaken legally at that time following the fundamental rules of international relations."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK President's Visit to US

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM TO SEEK U.S. OPINION LEADERS' SUPPORT FOR HIS NORTH KOREA, ECONOMIC POLICY," Seoul, 03/05/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung will meet a variety of US leaders in Washington as part of his efforts to secure US opinion leaders' support for his approach toward the DPRK and his economic reform policy, aides said Sunday. Kim will leave for Washington Tuesday for a six-day trip, which will be highlighted by a summit with US President George W. Bush on Wednesday. The ROK leader's prime mission during the trip is to persuade the new US president and congressional leaders to back his reconciliatory policy toward the DPRK as the Clinton administration did. The aide said Kim is scheduled to begin his activities in Washington with Secretary of State Colin Powell. Kim's discussions with Powell, along with talks with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, will be focused on the DPRK, the aide said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. Issues surrounding the DPRK and the situation in Northeast Asia will also be the major topic of discussion when President Kim holds a group meeting with US Representative Henry J. Hyde, chairman of the House Committee on International Relations, and Senator Jesse Helms, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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2. ROK-DPRK Energy Cooperation

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Ha-won, "SEOUL AND WASHINGTON AT ODDS OVER ELECTRICITY AID," Seoul, 03/04/01) reported that the US and ROK governments are at odds over the provision of electricity to the DPRK, it was reported Sunday, with the US taking the position that it should be linked to implementation of the Geneva Accord, while the ROK believes it is an inter-Korean issue. According to records of discussions between officials of the two countries held in February and March last year, the US said that its position in nuclear discussions with the DPRK would be weakened if the aid were not linked to implementation of the agreement. However, the ROK government, after National Security Council meetings, concluded that it was an inter-Korean matter unrelated to the Geneva Accord and notified the US of this.

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3. ROK Position on NMD The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "S. KOREA URGES CONSULTATIONS WITH U.S. GOV'T OVER NMD," Seoul, 03/04/01) reported that the ROK government on Saturday called on the US to have prior consultations with the ROK before pushing its National Missile Defense (NMD) program. The ROK government however avoided revealing its clear-cut position on whether to support or oppose the project. "The global security environment today is different from that during the Cold War and thus requires a different approach. We have confidence in the leadership of President Bush as he pursues and develops this issue," Foreign Minister Lee Joung- binn said in a press meeting. An ROK Foreign Ministry official said that Lee's remarks shows that the ROK government is taking a "cautious stance" on the issue. ROK reports said that President Kim will likely just hear what Bush has to say on the US missile defense shield without expressing his support or opposition to the matter.

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4. Sweden-DPRK Relations The Korea Herald ("SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER LIKELY TO VISIT N. KOREA," Seoul, 03/05/01) reported that an ROK government official said Sunday that Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson will likely soon visit Pyongyang for summit talks with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. "Sweden and North Korea recently agreed in principle on the visit by Persson to Pyongyang in the first half of this year," said the official, asking for anonymity. Kim Chun-guk, director general for European affairs at the DPRK's Foreign Ministry and who is currently on a European tour, will soon visit Sweden to discuss the details about Persson's trip, according to the ROK official. "Persson appears to be pushing for a visit to Pyongyang to play a mediation role in relations between the European Union (EU) and the North and contribute to progress in inter-Korean relations," the official said.

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5. Inter-Korean Project

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "WORK TO RESUME ON INTER-KOREAN RAIL, ROAD PROJECTS," Seoul, 03/04/01) reported that the ROK military will resume road-clearing work on Monday for the planned inter-Korean railway and road projects after two and a half months of suspension, the Defense Ministry said on Saturday. "The road work inside the DMZ will begin shortly after the two Koreas exchange their agreed joint regulations on the cross-border projects," the official said. The two sides agreed on 41-point joint regulations governing the inter-Korean projects at the DMZ last month, but failed to implement the accord as the DPRK is delaying the delivery of its agreement signed by its defense chief. The ventures are scheduled for completion this September.

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6. DPRK Economic Policy

Chosun Ilbo (Jee Hae-bom, "NORTH KOREA TO INTRODUCE FARMERS' CONTRACT," Beijing, 03/03/01) reported that the DPRK is set to expand its farmers' contract system, similar to PRC's, nationwide following the success of a limited test, according to a PRC source Sunday. The system allows farmers to use part of their produce instead of selling it all to the state at fixed prices. The DPRK had previously criticized the system as being capitalistic. The source said that Kim Jong-il was shocked by the agricultural reform and level of technology in the PRC when he visited Shanghai in January. Kim then decided to adopt the PRC policy to the DPRK's cooperative system on a gradual basis. The system had been on a trial run in Hwasong and Kilchu in Hanbuk Province, and apparently has been a success. As a result DPRK authorities will expand it nationwide, to solve falling production and other structural defects in the sector.

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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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