NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, april 5, 2001

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK Parliamentary Session

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, "N. KOREA SEEKS DIPLOMATIC TIES," Seoul, 04/05/01) reported that the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly on Thursday adopted a new budget and policy guidelines. Premier Hong Song- nam stated, "The DPRK will expand and develop relations with all those countries which are friendly to our country." He added, "The most urgent task facing the Cabinet this year is to improve the standard of the people's living. Every effort should be exerted to develop agriculture to resolve the food problem of the people." He said that the DPRK needs to develop foreign trade and "decisively" expand its exports. The Korean Central News Agency said that the Assembly later enacted laws on trade and copyrights. It also approved a 2001 budget of US$9.9 billion, up 2.9 percent from last year.

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2. DPRK-EU Relations

The Associated Press ("GERMAN LAWMAKERS CANCEL N KOREA TRIP AFTER ROW OVER ROUTE," Berlin, 04/05/01) reported that Christian Democrat lawmaker Hartmut Koschyk said Thursday that a seven-member delegation of German lawmakers have canceled a planned trip to the DPRK next month because the DPRK refused the group entry across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Koschyk said that the DPRK insisted that the group take a charter flight via the PRC. He added that the DPRK was also unwilling to let media representatives accompany the delegation. The delegation said in a statement that it regretted the decision, particularly in the light of Germany's decision to establish full diplomatic ties with the DPRK and its approval Wednesday of shipments of beef to the DPRK. The delegation will go ahead with an April 28-May 5 visit to the Seoul for talks with ROK officials including President Kim Dae-jung and Prime Minister Lee Han-dong, as well as business leaders. The lawmakers will also visit the DMZ.

Reuters ("FRANCE SEES NO CHANGE IN NORTH KOREAN POSITIONS," Paris, 05/04/01) reported that a French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday that DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Su-hon met with the ministry's Asia director, Dominique Girard, to discuss the establishment of diplomatic ties. The spokeswoman said that it was too early for a decision. She added that the French side raised the issues of human rights, rapprochement with the ROK, and ballistic missiles, but they heard nothing new in the positions that Choi expressed.

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3. National Security Law

The Associated Press ("KOREAN-AMERICAN INDICTED IN SEOUL," Seoul, 04/05/01) reported that Song Hak- sam, an ROK-born US citizen, was indicted Thursday on charges of helping publish a book in the ROK praising DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. The book was titled "Kim Jong Il's Unification Strategy" and was written by Kim Myong Chol, a member of the Japanese-based Chochongryon. [Ed. Note: For Kim Myong Chol's contributions to the Nautilus Policy Forum Online, please visit:]. ROK prosecutors accused Song of discussing the book's publication with DPRK officials during a visit to his brother in the DPRK.

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4. Korean Veterans of Japanese Army

The Associated Press ("JAPAN SUPREME CRT REJECTS PENSION FOR S KOREAN VETERANS," Tokyo, 05/05/01) reported that the Japanese Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a demand by two ROK citizens that Japan pay disability pensions for wartime injuries suffered fighting for the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. In upholding two lower court rulings, Supreme Court judge Kazutomo Ijima said that the plaintiffs had no right to seek the payment because the disability pension is for Japanese only. He said that Koreans who fought in World War II were Japanese nationals at the time, but automatically became Koreans after the war, thereby losing eligibility for pensions. The court noted, however, "We must admit the Korean veterans in Japan have been discriminated against in compensation," and that therefore the constitutionality of the government's failure to provide support should be further examined. The Japanese government pays lifetime pensions and other compensation annually to its own war veterans and their families, including those of convicted war criminals. The Diet last year passed a law that would give injured non-Japanese veterans a one-time payment of up to Y4 million each, equal to less than a year's pension for a Japanese recipient.

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5. ROK-PRC Fisheries Treaty

The Associated Press ("CHINA, S KOREA NEW FISHERIES TREATY TO GO INTO EFFECT JUNE 30," Seoul, 04/05/01) reported that ROK government officials said Thursday that the first fisheries treaty between the PRC and the ROK will take effect on June 30. The two countries signed the treaty last August setting out fishing boundaries, quotas and other rules for fishing boats operating near each others coastal waters, but had failed to agree on when to put the treaty into effect until ROK vice minister of maritime affairs Hong Seoung-yong met his PRC counterpart, Qi Jingfa, in Beijing on Thursday.

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6. US-PRC Plane Collision

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "FIGHTER JET FLEW BELOW U.S. PLANE BEFORE IMPACT," Beijing, 04/05/01, A01) reported that Western sources said Wednesday that the midair collision occurred after a PRC F-8 interceptor started to fly directly below a US surveillance plane and the US aircraft executed a banking maneuver to the left. Following the collision, the US plane plummeted 8,000 feet before the pilot succeeded in righting it. An unnamed US Defense Department official said that the pilot came into Lingshui air base on Hainan Island extremely fast, without slowing the plane by extending its wing flaps, as he was concerned that his controls might be damaged and that the flaps might work on only one side of the aircraft. Representative Mark Kirk, Republican-Illinois, said that there has been a "considerable" loss of intelligence due to the crash. [Ed. Note: This article was one of the top stories in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 5.]

The Associated Press (John Leicester, "CHINA TO QUESTION SPY PLANE CREW," Beijing, 04/05/01) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi welcomed US Secretary of State Colin Powell's expression of regret for the loss of the pilot of the PRC fighter in the crash with the US spy plane. Sun stated, "The regret expressed by the U.S. side is a step in the right direction to solving this question. As for the next step in handling this issue, the key is for the U.S. side to adopt a cooperative attitude, admit its mistakes and make a formal apology." Sun said that the collision was still being investigated, but added, "The U.S. crew violated international law." He stated, "They have caused this air collision incident and they also entered illegally into China's airspace. It is fully natural for competent authorities in China to question them about this incident." Sun said that the crew were safe and well and that the PRC would consider another visit to them by US diplomats "if the U.S. side takes a cooperative approach." Brigadier General Neal Sealock, the US Embassy defense attache, stated, "We're working hard for the immediate release of the crew. We're working hard for access." Shen Guofang, PRC deputy ambassador to the UN, said that a US apology was not a precondition for starting talks on the incident, "But this is what they should do." Winston Lord, former US ambassador to the PRC, warned, "The longer they hold onto this crew, the more the pressure's going to build up on the president. I don't think we've quite crossed the line into a crisis, but every day and every development gets us a lot closer to it."

The New York Times (David E. Sanger and Jane Perlez, "POWELL OFFERS CHINA AIDES OUTLINE FOR STANDOFF'S END," Washington, 04/05/01) reported that US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell sent a letter Wednesday to PRC Deputy Prime Minister Qian Qichen outlining ways that the two countries could resolve the standoff over the crewmembers of a US spy plane held in the PRC since Sunday. An unnamed senior State Department official declined to outline the proposals. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 5.]

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7. US Arms Sales to Taiwan

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz and Dave Boyer, "INCIDENT INCREASES LIKELIHOOD OF WEAPONS SALES TO TAIWAN," 04/05/01) reported that US defense officials said Wednesday that the PRC's tailing of EP-3E surveillance planes and the collision on Sunday with an F-8 interceptor are part of the PRC's larger effort to influence US arms sales to Taiwan. An unnamed US defense official stated, "It seems rather obvious that the message [from the PRC] in this for Taiwan is, 'You may buy this aircraft, but don't think you'll be able to operate it.' Is there a message here for Taiwan? I'd say yes." US lawmakers, however, said that the incident has galvanized congressional support for sales of advanced weapons to Taiwan. US administration officials said that the crisis has hardened US President George W. Bush's position on the issue, and that as a result of the detention of the crew, Bush is more likely to approve sales of advanced missile destroyers equipped with Aegis battle management system, diesel submarines, Patriot PAC-3 missile systems and P-3 surveillance aircraft. One unnamed military official stated, "It is no secret the P-3 with similar capabilities has been requested by Taiwan. That sale is going to be granted." US National Security Council spokeswoman Mary Ellen Countryman, however, said that the incident and the arms sales are not connected. Countryman stated, "The president believes in the Taiwan Relations Act and he will base his decision on the defensive needs of Taiwan." US Senator John McCain, Republican-Arizona, stated, "I would be more inclined to make sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself, given this intransigence on the part of China. I would be much more inclined to support a larger package for Taiwan as a result of this crisis. I think the president would get more support." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for April 5.]

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8. Effect of Collision on US-PRC Relations

Dow Jones Newswires ("WHITE HOUSE IN 'INTENSIVE DIPLOMACY' WITH CHINA," Washington, 04/05/01) reported that White House spokesman Ari Fleischer on Thursday refused to commit to backing normal trade relations with the PRC in the light of the recent airplane collision. Fleischer said that while US President George W. Bush still favors normal trade relations, the administration is taking the issue "one step at a time." He also would not say that the US is prepared to support the PRC's bid to host the Olympics in 2008. Fleischer stated, "There is intensive diplomacy under way. The United States and China are heavily engaged in their discussions."

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9. Plane Collision's Effect on Okinawa

The Associated Press (Daniel Smith, "TENSIONS OVER PLANE WORRY OKINAWA," Kadena Air Base, 04/04/01) reported that the US Kadena Air Base on Okinawa has long been a base for US spying on other countries in the region. An editorial Tuesday in the local newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo warned, "We should not let the latest accident develop into a new seed of dispute between the United States and China." US military officials in Okinawa stressed that the EP-3Es are not based at Kadena, although the planes fly out of this and other US bases in Japan periodically. Navy spokeswoman Melody Scalfone said Wednesday, "It's more unusual than usual for us to have EP-3Es here." Kazuhisa Ogawa, a Japanese military analyst, said that US intelligence activities off the PRC coast have been increasing over the past two months. Ogawa stated, "There is a high possibility that China, with its nuclear weapons, could be a threat. If the relationship between the United States and China becomes tense, it is natural that Okinawa's importance will come under close scrutiny." He added that the increased US intelligence activities have "the element of a dangerous game."

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10. Japanese Politics

The Associated Press (Eric Talmadge, "DATE PROPOSED TO REPLACE MORI," Tokyo, 04/05/01) reported that Japan's Liberal Democratic Party began preparations to hold elections on April 24 for a new party president to replace Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. The election date was proposed by Makoto Koga, the secretary-general, after a morning meeting with Mori. Party spokesman Makoto Tsuji said that the date still needs to be approved by other party officials and a final decision was scheduled for next Tuesday. Former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto appears to have become the front-runner to replace Mori, while Junichiro Koizumi, a former health minister, appeared to be losing support. A poll released by a major newspaper on Thursday found that nearly 31 percent of Japanese voters preferred Makiko Tanaka, the daughter of the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. Koizumi was second with almost 18 percent.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:
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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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