NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, march 27, 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. DPRK View of US Policy

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, "N. KOREA: U.S. INCREASING TENSIONS," Seoul, 3/27/01) reported that the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of DPRK's ruling Workers Party, criticized the Bush administration on Tuesday for accusing the DPRK of posing a threat to the region. The newspaper said that the US was trying to derail rapprochement between the ROK and the DPRK. Rodong said in a commentary carried by the DPRK's official foreign news outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, "They are getting seriously on our nerves in a bid to plant a time bomb in the bilateral relations. It is the invariable strategy of the U.S. imperialists to stifle the DPRK by means of war and invade and dominate Asia, taking the whole of Korea as a springboard."

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2. Trilateral Coordination Committee

The US Department of State's Office of International Information Programs released a statement ("US-REPUBLIC OF KOREA-JAPAN JOINT PRESS STATEMENT," 3/27/01) which said that officials from Japan, the ROK, and the US reiterated their strong support for continued engagement with the DPRK at a March 26 meeting of the ROK-US-Japan Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) in Seoul. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that the three leaders "expressed their strong continued support for Republic of Korea's policy of engagement with North Korea and President Kim's leading role in resolving inter-Korean issues." The statement said that the Japanese delegation expressed its readiness to continue Japan-DPRK normalization talks and the policy of engagement towards the DPRK and that the US side described US President George W. Bush administration's ongoing review of policy toward the DPRK and its intention to take into account the views of key allies in this review. The delegations also reaffirmed their commitment to continue the 1994 Agreed Framework. The next round of the trilateral consultations will be in May 2001, or earlier if necessary.

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3. ROK Cabinet Reshuffle

Agence France Presse ("SOUTH KOREA'S NEW SECURITY AND FOREIGN TEAM STRESSES TIES WITH US," Seoul, 3/27/01) reported that the ROK's new security and foreign policy team of Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin and Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo on Tuesday gave closer ties with the US administration as its policy priority. Kim said during an inaugural statement, "On the security front, our priority must be given to ties with the United States." Han also called for close cooperation between the ROK and the US, saying, "We are required to cement our alliance with the United States through close cooperation with the Bush administration by managing inter-Korean relations wisely through engagement." In his farewell speech on March 26, outgoing Foreign Minister Lee Joung-Binn urged the ROK not to sacrifice its national pride to protect relations with the US. Lee said, "We cannot sacrifice and hurt our pride in our contacts with other countries. What matters is to put our national pride ahead of US-South Korea ties."

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4. ROK Adherence to MTCR

The Associated Press ("S. KOREA AGREES TO MISSILE RULES," Seoul, 3/27/01) reported that Moon Dong-hoo, an official at the ROK Foreign Ministry's arms control bureau, said Tuesday that the ROK's participation in the Missile Technology Control Regime was approved on March 26 at a meeting of the world organization in Paris. Under the guidelines, the ROK agrees not give any other country technology to build missiles with a range longer than 187 miles. The ROK acceptance has been anticipated since January, when it obtained US approval to develop missiles with a range of up to 187 miles.

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5. PRC Missiles

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CHINA BEEFS UP MISSILE STOCKS," 3/27/01) reported that US intelligence officials said that a spy satellite in the past two weeks photographed CSS-7 missiles being loaded aboard a train from a factory in central PRC to a CSS-7 base at Yongan. The shipment followed two earlier trainloads of CSS-7s sent from a production facility at Yuanan, about 175 miles west of the provincial capital of Wuhan, to a second base opposite Taiwan at Xianyou. Officials familiar with the intelligence reports said that a fourth missile shipment is expected to leave the Yuanan factory in the next few days for Yongan. The officials also said that the satellite photographs show that the PRC is expanding the Yuanan missile factory. One official said, "The construction indicates they're getting ready to increase production." US officials would not comment on the report. Al Santoli, a national security aide to US Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, said that the ongoing missile deployments appear to be part of a PRC government attempt to "test the mettle of the Bush administration." Santoli said, "The Chinese are trying to see how far they can go in terms of their unprecedented military buildup, especially the ongoing deployments of missiles. If the administration should blink at this point, it will set a precedent for the possibility of conflict occurring in the Taiwan Strait sooner." Richard Fisher, a specialist on the PRC military with the Jamestown Foundation, said that the latest shipments may indicate that the PRC are adding missiles to two existing brigades of CSS-7s or are forming a third brigade. Fisher said, "The Chinese missile threat is very quickly making the U.S. policy response obsolete. Even the consideration of four Aegis ships have to be viewed as woefully insufficient to deter Beijing." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for March 27, 2001.]

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6. Cross-Straits Military Balance

Agence France Presse ("US REGIONAL COMMANDER SAYS CHINA-TAIWAN BALANCE OF POWER 'STABLE'," Washington, 3/27/01) reported that Admiral Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Command, told the US Senate armed services committee on Tuesday that the military balance of power between the PRC and Taiwan had remained unchanged over the past year. Blair said, "In the near term, the balance across the (Taiwan) Straits is stable. There are certain trends that have to be addressed in order to keep it stable. My recommendation is to take the actions necessary to maintain that balance." Blair reminded the committee that Taiwan's military capabilities were "a combination of what they buy from us, what they manufacture themselves, and what they buy from others." He also said that it was in the interests of the PRC, Taiwan and the US to "emphasize those things which lead to a peaceful solution, and to de-emphasize those things which tend to raise tension [because the goal was] the long-term development of some sort of political arrangement between China and Taiwan." Blair told the committee that recent reports that the PRC planned to increase its military spending by 17.7 percent did not necessarily mean its spending on weapons would rise by that amount. He added, "I do not translate that directly into weapons. [In China,] I was told at many different levels, not just Beijing, but field commanders, that (the increased spending) would largely go for personnel expenses, maintenance, and then a certain amount to acquisition." In response to questions from the committee, Blair said that the PRC should show "restraint" in its own arms purchases " which has not been shown yet."

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7. Japanese View of US Asia Policy

Reuters ("JAPAN HAS SCANT SCOPE TO TACKLE U.S. ASIA STRATEGY," Tokyo, 3/27/01) reported that US policy changes that would put Asia at the center of US security strategy present Japan with both opportunities and pitfalls, but Japan's domestic problems could hinder its ability to respond. University of Tokyo political science professor Takashi Inoguchi noted, "Japan is in a great transition and can't do much. An internal political power struggle--that's priority number one, and there is no priority two or three." Inoguchi said, "The Japanese government should say that we need a solid alliance with the United States, but at the same time we need a friendly China and very threatening statements by the U.S. government may not be good. But the Japanese government's approach is to just keep quiet. I'm not sure that is the right approach." Senior US officials said that US President George W. Bush has agreed with the thrust of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's stress on the PRC's growing military and economic importance as well as his emphasis on Asia as a key region. Japan has also welcomed Bush's decision to return it to the position of the most important US Asian ally, but the decision could be a double-edged sword for Japan. Former Japanese diplomat Satoshi Morimoto said, "The 'good story' is there would be an opportunity to improve the bilateral (Japan-US) relationship, which has worsened for several years. The 'bad story' would be greater China-Taiwan tensions. And if Sino-US relations get tenser, we can't expect a breakthrough in terms of China's constructive cooperation to deal with North Korea, and that is not necessarily good for Japan." Another Japanese diplomatic source said, "China is our neighbor and while there are various concerns, they are proceeding along the path of reform and liberalization. So what is important is to encourage them along that path as a member of international society. For that, US-Japan cooperation is vital."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK Cabinet Reshuffle

The Korea Herald (Chon Shi-yong, "KIM'S RESHUFFLE AIMED AT BOOSTING U.S., N.K. TIES," Seoul, 03/27/01) reported that ROK aides said Monday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung's decision to overhaul his foreign policy and security team is designed to keep the recent diplomatic controversies with the US from damaging his efforts to induce the DPRK to improve relations with both the ROK and the US. Kim's decision to send Lim Dong-won, chief of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) back to the Unification Ministry also reflects the President's desire to consistently pursue his reconciliatory policy toward the DPRK, the aides said. They noted that the latest cabinet shakeup centered on the foreign policy team, which is made up of the foreign, defense and unification ministers and the NIS chief.

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2. Trilateral Coordination Committee

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "KOREA, U.S., JAPAN REAFFIRM CLOSE COOPERATION IN DEALING WITH N.K.," Seoul, 03/27/01) reported that the ROK, the US and Japan on Monday reaffirmed the importance of their three-way cooperation for approaching the DPRK in their first senior-level consultative meeting on the DPRK under the Bush administration. "We shared the importance of tension reduction and peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula," chief ROK delegate Yim Sung-joon said after attending the trilateral meeting in Seoul. The three nations also agreed to maintain close consultations to create a favorable atmosphere for an early resumption of dialogue between the US and the DPRK aimed at improving bilateral relations, Deputy Foreign Minister Yim said.

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3. Inter-Korean Red Cross Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL PROPOSES RED CROSS TALKS," Seoul, 03/27/01) reported that the ROK on Monday proposed that Red Cross officials from the two Koreas hold talks in Seoul April 3-5 to discuss arranging more reunions between separated family members. In January, the two sides agreed to hold the Red Cross meeting next month, the fourth of its kind since last June, but could not decide on the venue at the time. ROK officials have said that at the upcoming negotiations they would focus on setting up permanent reunion centers for the relatives split by the Korean War.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. PRC-DPRK Relations

People's Daily (Zhang Xinghua, "DPRK LEADER MEETS WITH PRC CPC MEMBER," Pyongyang, 03/23/01, P3) and China Daily ("PRESIDENT TO VISIT DPRK THIS YEAR," Pyongyang, 03/24/01, P1) reported that Kim Jong-il, leader of the DPRK, met with Zeng Qinghong, alternate member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China on Thursday. The two sides briefed each other on their respective domestic situations and exchanged views on the further development of friendly relations between the two parties and the two countries. The two sides agreed that at the invitation of Kim, President Jiang Zemin will pay an official visit to the DPRK this year. Kim stressed that the Workers' Party of Korea and the Korean people cherish their friendship with PRC, initiated and nurtured by the past leaders of the two countries. Zeng noted that PRC-DPRK relations have entered a new stage of development at the beginning of the new century, thanks to the efforts of the leaders of the two countries.

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2. PRC Position on PRC-US Relations

China Daily ("SOUND SINO-US RELATIONS TO BENEFIT THE WORLD," 03/21/01, P1) and China Daily ("JIANG TALKS TO US JOURNALISTS," 03/27/01, P4) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin told visiting former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that the PRC and the US should concentrate on the common interests of the two nations and push forward PRC-US relations in the 21st century. "The Chinese Government and I myself attach great importance to Sino-US ties," Jiang said, expressing the hope that the two sides will enhance communication and cooperation. "I look forward to making joint efforts with President Bush in this regard," he said. Looking back at the 20th century, Jiang said despite twists and turns, Sino-US relations are at a critical stage, he said. Facts have proven that sound Sino-US relations will benefit both sides, and contribute to peace, stability and development in the Asia- Pacific region as well as the world, he added. Jiang said, "As mankind steps into the 21st century, Sino-US relations face new opportunities as well as challenges. China and the US share extensive common interests in many major international issues." When interviewed on March 23 by three senior journalists from the US newspaper, the Washington Post, Jiang Zemin pointed out that the single thing President Bush can do to most improve bilateral relations is the Taiwan question. He said as long as the US side honors its commitments and handles the question of Taiwan appropriately, this major obstacle to the stable development of bilateral relations will be removed.

PLA Daily (Liu Jiang, Yan Feng, "QIAN MEETS WITH US PRESIDENT," Washington, 03/24/01, P4) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen met with US President George W. Bush on Thursday for talks focusing on how to best handle differences between the two countries. "Where we have shared interests, we can advance our relationship forward. Where we disagree, we can have a very good exchange of views," Qian told journalists. On the issue of human rights, Qian said that the PRC has made remarkable achievements over the past years, stressing that it is not strange for the PRC and the US to have differences on human rights, because of the two countries' respective situations.

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3. PRC Position on Taiwan Question

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "TAIWAN AT CORE OF TIES WITH US," New York, 03/22/01, P1) reported that at a luncheon organized by the Asian Society on March 21, visiting PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen reiterated that the Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue in PRC-US relations and one that must be taken seriously and handled properly. "We will try to resolve the Taiwan question through peaceful means," Qian said, "But we cannot achieve it alone." Explaining that the PRC's "one country, two systems" policy respects the history of Taiwan and the desire of people in Taiwan to manage their own affairs, Qian stressed that Taiwan's current social and economic systems, way of life and judicial independence would remain unchanged after reunification.

China Daily ("JIANG TALKS TO US JOURNALISTS," 03/27/01, P4) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin was interviewed on March 23 by three senior journalists from the US newspaper, the Washington Post, and answered their questions on the Taiwan question and other issues. Jiang said that the reason why Taiwan question has remained unresolved for so long is largely due to the US. He said, "We hope the US Government will faithfully and strictly abide by the three China-US Joint Communiques and the relevant commitments it has made and handle the Taiwan issue properly from a strategic and long-term perspective." "This is of critical importance to stability across the Taiwan Straits and the healthy development of China-US relations," he added. On the peaceful means of resolving Taiwan question, Jiang noted, the mainland side has demonstrated its sincerity for a peaceful reunification. However, he said, "We stated long ago that we would not undertake to renounce the use of force. But this is by no means targeted at our compatriots in Taiwan. Rather it is directed against any foreign attempt against the reunification of China and directed against Taiwan independence. We will spare no effort in achieving peaceful reunification. We have full confidence and capabilities to stop any activities for Taiwan independence and safeguard China's State sovereignty and territorial integrity."

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4. PRC Position on US Arms Sales to Taiwan

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "QIAN EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER US ARMS SALES," Washington, 03/23/01, P1) reported that during meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell on March 22, PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said that he hoped the US would deal with the issue of arms sales to Taiwan in a "cautious" manner and expressed strong reservations about its plan for a theatre missile defense shield that could be extended to cover the island. Qian also indicated that sales of US-made arms to Taiwan would violate agreements contained in the three communiques that form the foundation of current relations between the two countries.

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5. US Position on US Arms Sales

PLA Daily (Liu Jiang, "US MEDIA CALLS FOR NO ARMS SALES TO TAIWAN," Washington, 03/25/01, P4) reported that New York Times published an editorial on Wednesday over the upcoming PRC Vice-Premier's US visit. It said that Vice-Premier Qian Qichen's visit has rendered for US President Bush an opportunity to set a constructive course with China. The editorial warned that sales of advanced weapons to Taiwan could severely hurt US-PRC relations. It urged the Bush administration to stand firm against Republican conservatives in their demand for sales to Taiwan of the four AEGIS-equipped destroyers. The paper described arms sales to Taiwan as the most volatile issue in the US relationship with the PRC and the first subject that Mr. Bush faces. It said that the US must understand that the PRC's determination not to let Taiwan become an independent nation is deeply rooted. It called for Bush to honor his promise to maintain adherence to the one-China policy.

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6. US Position on US-PRC Relations

People's Daily ("US REAFFIRMS ITS ONE-CHINA POLICY," Washington, 03/21/01, P3) reported that on March 20, US President George W. Bush reaffirmed that the new US Government continues to adhere to its one-China policy, regard the PRC as its trading partner, and welcome the PRC's entry into the WTO as early as possible. Bush made these remarks during a meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. Japanese officials was quoted as saying that when talking with Mori, Bush stressed that "China is a big country. We should set up constructive and open ties with it." In the meantime, he said, the US's China policy should be fair and consistent.

PLA Daily (Liu Jiang, Yan Feng, "QIAN MEETS WITH US PRESIDENT," Washington, 03/24/01, P4) reported that PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen met with US President George W. Bush on Thursday for talks focusing on how to best handle differences between the two countries. Bush said that the US-PRC relationship will be a complex one, in which the two sides can find common ground in some areas while disagreeing in others. "Any disagreements we will have, we will conduct ourselves with mutual respect," he added. Bush, who has confirmed his visit to the PRC in October, said that the most important thing for him is to get to know the Chinese leaders and hold face-to-face meetings on the basis of mutual understanding.

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