NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, may 9, 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. US Policy toward DPRK

Agence France Presse ("CRUCIAL QUESTIONS AS US POLICY REVIEW ON NORTH KOREA NEARS END," Washington, 5/9/01) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Wednesday in the ROK that the review of US policy toward the DPRK would be finished in a "few weeks." He said, "I suspect that we will (be talking with the DPRK) in the near future," but the likely scope of any dialogue is unclear. Many analysts believe that US President George W. Bush may try to prevent DPRK leader Kim Jong-il from dictating the terms and pace of engagement by ceding a primary role in the process to the ROK. Bush's team could redouble support for Kim Dae- jung's personal engagement and relegate missile talks to a back seat for a time to allow the focus to rest on forging a permanent peace on the peninsula and reductions in conventional armies. US security expert Michael McDevitt said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies forum that in that scenario, the ROK "should be the leader and the US should be the follower." McDevitt also said that Bush aides will also be concerned with preventing Kim Jong-il from using foreign aid to feed the populace while maintaining large military expenditures. McDevitt also said that the role of the US military in Asia and the impact on the security architecture in the region has to be considered. He stated, "We need to hedge against a China that has the facility to exert itself militarily throughout East Asia," adding that the US must act now to ensure a much closer future axis between Japan and the ROK. Victor Cha, assistant professor at Georgetown University's Department of Government and School of foreign service, said, "It is still very difficult for me to discern between tactical North Korean behavior and what represents a true change in underlying preferences." Cha said the administration could use adherence to the 1994 Agreed Framework as an "important window on North Korean intentions" before moving on other issues.

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2. ROK View of US Missile Defense

Agence France Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT EXPRESSES 'UNDERSTANDING' OF US MISSILE PLAN," Seoul, 5/9/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-Jung on Wednesday expressed "understanding" about a proposed US missile defense plan but urged the US to consult closely with other countries. ROK presidential spokesman Park Joon-Young said, "The president expressed an understanding of the US seeking a missile defense for new security threats in the post-Cold War era. The president expected the US government to push the plan through close consultation with its allies and other nations concerned in a way that promotes world peace and security." Park did not clarify whether Kim's remarks meant he supported or opposed the US missile shield plan. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage's visit sparked anti-US protests by activists opposed to the US missile shield plan.

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3. US-Japan Relations

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "TOP BUSH AIDE URGES JAPAN TO FORM IN-DEPTH TIES WITH U.S.," Tokyo, 5/9/01) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage on May 8 referred to Japan as the US's "most important alliance in Asia." In an interview after meeting Japanese leaders, Armitage said, "As a lot more of U.S. thinking turns toward Asia, I'd like to see a relationship with Japan that is like that of the relationship with Great Britain, in that it is taken for granted that of course we will consult on all matters, and of course we have a very in-depth, warm and personal relationship regardless of which party comes to power. That's the kind of thing we want. We don't want a relationship with Japan where people are constantly having to remind themselves of the need to consult." Asked what Japan would have to do to create this, Armitage said, "The lack of consensus on collective self- defense is an obstacle. And the lack of an ability to participate in collective self-defense, although they are signatories to a defense treaty, is an obstacle. I think it is a healthy thing for the Japanese to look at some of these things and see what is reasonable and what is not." Armitage said that he had carried a letter from US President George W. Bush to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, inviting him to visit the US "as early as possible." Armitage pointed out that his agenda in Japan and in successive stops in the ROK and India was not to sell the US NMD plan but to share the idea with US friends and allies in Asia. Armitage said, "It was a message that this is the beginning of a process of consultations. We are not in a position to present any final decision and didn't come here with any fait accompli. We want to make it clear that the president has asked us to come to seek the views of friends and allies in the region." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 9, 2001.]

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4. PRC-Pakistan Military Cooperation

Agence France Presse ("CHINA VOWS TO STICK TO NON-PROLIFERATION AHEAD OF ZHU'S PAKISTAN TRIP," Beijing, 5/9/01) reported that the PRC promised Wednesday that despite deteriorating ties with the US, the PRC said it would not violate its commitments on military cooperation with Pakistan. A ranking PRC foreign ministry official said on Wednesday, "As far as our relationship with Pakistan is concerned, we do not link it with our relations with other countries. Our military cooperation with Pakistan is within the framework of China's commitments regarding military cooperation, and that basic principle will remain unchanged, whatever our relationship with other countries." The remarks also appeared to qualify remarks by PRC Vice Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing last month that the Taiwan arms sale would "seriously affect cooperation between China and the United States in the area of non- proliferation." According to Yongjin Zhang, an international relations expert at the Australian National University in Canberra, statements like Li's are mainly "bluff" as the PRC would not risk jeopardizing US relations by stepping up arms sales to Pakistan. Zhang said, "If China sold arms to Pakistan in response, it would be a kind of tit-for-tat that I don't think China would engage in."

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5. Jiang-Clinton Talks ("CLINTON, JIANG TALKS CORDIAL," 5/9/01) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin at a meeting with former US President Bill Clinton on Wednesday affirmed his commitment to work on Sino-US relations. Although few details of the meeting was made public, Clinton spokesman P.J. Crowley said the meeting was "very cordial" and involved a "wide-ranging discussion focused on China." Crowley also stressed that the meeting was private and that Clinton was not carrying a specific message from the Bush administration.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. France-DPRK Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "FRANCE DECIDES TO OPEN TIES WITH N.K.," Seoul, 05/09/01) reported that France has decided to recognize the DPRK government, ROK and French sources in Seoul said Tuesday. "The formal announcement of the establishment of diplomatic ties between France and the North will most likely be made ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers slated for early next week in Brussels," a source said. France's decision to form full ties with the DPRK means that Ireland is the only nation of the EU's 15 members yet to establish relations with the DPRK. France called on the DPRK to accept its calls for the opening of its political prisoner camps to the outside world and the disclosure of inmates' names, the sources said. "France is waiting for a reply from the North to demands regarding human rights conditions. The North is expected to make a positive response because its leader, Kim Jong-il, wants to open ties with France," a source said. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, noted that France and the DPRK discussed these and other issues when DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon visited Paris early last month.

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2. Human Rights in DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Hong Seok-jun, "NK HUMAN RIGHTS LIKE NAZI GERMANY," Seoul, 05/08/01) reported that Doctor Norbert Vollertsen of "Cap Anamur," a German association that is providing medical aid to the DPRK, told the National Assembly Human Rights Forum Discussion Tuesday that the gap between the elite and the common people in the DPRK is huge. Vollertsen stated, "In North Korea, there are two different worlds. One is the luxurious world for the high ranking military officials and privileged, and the other is hell in its true sense." Vollertsen was expelled from the DPRK for commenting on its human rights violation situation. Vollertsen testified that children's hospitals near Pyongyang were incredibly poorly equipped lacking bandages, scalpels and antibiotics. He said that all that was there for children was death from starvation on broken wooden beds, adding that the children reminded him of those in concentration camps during Hitler's rule. However, when a high-ranking military official was injured or became ill, he would be sent to a hospital as modern as those in Germany. He also recalled that workers' lives were miserable and lacking completely in basic human rights, while party members and military officials enjoyed luxurious lives at restaurants, nightclubs, and casinos.

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3. Whereabouts of Kim Jong Il's Son

Chosun Ilbo ("KIM JONG NAM RETURNS TO PYONGYANG," Beijing, 05/08/01) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's son Kim Jong-nam returned to Pyongyang on Koryo Airlines flight JS152 from Beijing at 12:23pm Tuesday, according to a source in the PRC capital. The source said that two vehicles, a white Mercedes with DPRK Embassy plates and a black one with foreign resident registration, were seen parking at the entrance to the embarkation gate for Koryo Airlines, something restricted to diplomats and foreign VIPs. The two vehicles left the airport with four to five embassy staff at 11:50am after apparently escorting Kim directly to the flight.

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4. DPRK Head Visits Power Plant

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Won-ki, "CHAIRMAN KIM CHECKS OUT POWER PLANT DURING MILITARY INSPECTION," Seoul, 05/09/01) reported that DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il on Monday paid a visit to military unit no.415 and no.567 to make an on-sport guidance, reported the DPRK's state-run news on Tuesday May 8. Accompanying the Chairman were Hyon Chol-hae and Park Jae-gyong, both deputy chiefs of General Political Bureau, Kim Kuk-thae Secretary of the Central Committee of Worker's Party, Li Yong-chol first deputy chief of the Party Central Committee department, and other top military officials. Chairman Kim upon his arrival on military unit 415 was reported on the current situation and in return, urged the soldiers to become more strong. After posing for a group photo, the Chairman went through his usual inspection procedure, looking around the living facilities of the servicemen, and later presenting the troops with gifts of binoculars and automatic rifles. Chairman Kim then went on to visit a power plant named "Imjin River Plant No.1" constructed by unit no.567 and inspected the actual power supply of the plant, going through rooms that supply and distribute electricity, reported the state media.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-European Relations

People's Daily (Zhang Xinghua, "KIM JONG-IL MEETS WITH EU DELEGATION," Pyongyang, 05/03/01, P3) reported that on May 2, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il met with the visiting European Union (EU) delegation led by Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson. At the press conference after their meeting, Persson said that they had a "lively, open discussion" in the first of three scheduled meetings with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. Both sides touched upon human rights issue and the Korean Peninsula situation, but not missile problem, he added. Persson, EU foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana and Commissioner for External Affairs Chris Patten represent the highest-level Western diplomatic mission ever to travel to the DPRK. At their brief meeting, Kim told the EU delegation: "Thank you for visiting our country, representing the good will of the 15 members of the EU." Persson said that the EU aimed to foster reconciliation between the DPRK and the ROK, but did not plan to become involved in the US-DPRK missile talks. He said that the DPRK and others should not exaggerate or overreact to US President George W. Bush's review of his predecessor's policies. The EU mission would be "sending a signal from us that we do not have any intention to interfere in the discussions between the US and the DPRK," Persson told a news conference in Pyongyang.

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2. DPRK Position on Missile Test and US Response

China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "DPRK TO WAIT FOR US REVIEW TO END CESSATION OF TESTS," Pyongyang, 05/04/01, P8) and China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "KIM DAE-JUNG WANTS EARLY RETURN TO TALKS," Seoul, 05/5-6/01, P8) reported that when meeting a EU delegation on May 3, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il said that he would maintain his country's moratorium on missile tests, according to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson. "Kim Jong-il said the moratorium on testing would last until 2003, during which period they would wait and see," Persson told a news conference in Pyongyang. The US responded positively on May 3 to the DPRK's missile test moratorium. A US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "If Chairman Kim Jong-il said the DPRK missile launch moratorium would remain in effect until at least 2003, we would welcome such a statement." "We have not ruled out contact with the North Koreans. It is a matter of how we carry things forward. We are not opposed in principle to talking to the North Koreans," the official added.

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3. ROK Position on Peninsula Reconciliation

China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "KIM DAE-JUNG WANTS EARLY RETURN TO TALKS," Seoul, 05/5-6/01, P8) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on May 4 called on the US to wrap up its policy review on the DPRK promptly to enable a new peace-making summit between leaders of the Korean Peninsula. "We very much hope the US policy review is concluded and US-DPRK dialogue is resumed very soon," Kim told a news conference after talks with top EU officials. The EU delegation leader, Swedish PM Persson, said that he had relayed to Kim Dae-jung a "constructive message" from DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. He said that Kim Jong-il told the European delegation that DPRK was committed to reciprocating Kim Dae-jung's trip to Pyongyang last June. Kim Jong-il told the EU delegation that the next summit with the ROK President would only take place once US President Bush had completed his policy review on the DPRK, Persson said.

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4. PRC Position on EP-3 Plane

People's Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "PRC SPEAKS ON EP-3 PLANE," Beijing, 05/09/01, P4) reported that at a press conference on May 8, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi expressed that the US side should adopt a pragmatic and constructive attitude to properly solve the US EP-3 spy plane issue. Sun stressed that the US EP-3 surveillance plane cannot leave the airport in Hainan Province by means of flight. "The Chinese side has made it clear several times during Sino-US negotiations that it is impossible for the US EP-3 plane to fly back to the US from Hainan Island," Sun responded when questioned on the report that US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had expressed the hope that the EP-3 plane could be repaired and flown back to the US from Hainan Island.

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5. PRC Position on US Reconnaissance Activity

People's Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "PRC OPPOSES TO US RESUMING SURVEILLANCE FLIGHTS OFF THE CHINESE COAST," Beijing, 05/09/01, P4) reported that when asked to comment on reports that the US military has resumed surveillance flights off the Chinese coast, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said on May 8 that the PRC's opposition to such spy flights is "consistent and clear." He urged the US to draw a lesson from the collision accident and correct its wrongdoings. The PRC will continue to lodge serious representations with the US on the resumption of such flights, Sun said.

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6. PRC-Japanese Relations

China Daily ("KOIZUMI WRITES TO PRC," 05/04/01, P1) reported that the new Japanese cabinet's attitude towards relations with PRC remains unchanged, new Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said in letters addressed to PRC President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji. Koizumi noted that the relationship with China is one of the most important bilateral relationships for Japan. The Japanese Prime Minister added that on this point, the new cabinet will make no changes. Koizumi said that although some worrisome problems have arisen between the two countries recently, Japan's stance as expressed in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration has undergone not even the slightest change. He said the new cabinet will further promote the mutual understanding and mutual trust between the two countries.

People's Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "JAPANESE AND PRC FOREIGN MINISTERS TALK ON PHONE," Beijing, 05/08/01, P4) reported that on May 7, in a phone conversation with PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, Japanese new Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka stressed that the Japanese Government will take China's stance on the issue of the history textbook seriously, and will continue to adhere to the one-China principle, not supporting Taiwan's "independence." She said the Japanese-PRC friendship is one of the most important bilateral relations of Japan, and the Japan-China Joint Statement, which was signed by her father, Kakuei Tanaka, and Chinese leaders, laid a foundation for the relations between the two countries. On the history issue, Tanaka said that Japan made solemn statements in this regard in the Japan-China Joint Statement and in the talks made by former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on behalf of the Japanese Government in 1995, adding that Japan will abide by the statements. Tanaka noted that young people should learn from the disasters of the past, and the recent issue of the history textbook has harmed bilateral relations, for which she feels regret. The Japanese side will treat the Chinese side's stance and demands seriously, taking appropriate measures to properly handle the issue, she added. On the Taiwan question, Tanaka said the Japanese Government will adhere to the one-China principle, not participate in any activity supporting "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" and will not support Taiwan's "independence." On the issue of Lee Teng- hui's visit to Japan, she said that Japan will deal with it seriously according to the above-mentioned principles. Tang echoed the importance of Sino-Japanese relations. However, he pointed out, the current issues of the history textbook and Lee Teng-hui's Japan visit have harmed Sino-Japanese relations. Tang pointed out that the essence of the history textbook issue is whether Japan can have a correct understanding of history and ensure that the past is represented correctly. He voiced the hope that Japan would take practical measures to treat China's demands seriously so as to earn the trust of Asian people, and stick to peace and development on the basis of learning from history. Tang noted that the Taiwan question has relation to the political foundation of Sino-Japanese ties, and he urged Japan to honor its commitments and do something to safeguard the relations between the two countries.

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7. US NMD Program

China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "POWELL: US TO CONSIDER RUSSIAN NMD CONCERNS," Moscow, 05/5- 6/01, P8) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said in an interview published on May 4 that he wanted to examine ways to cooperate with Russia on anti-missile defense. Powell reiterated in the interview with Interfax news agency that the US would take into account Russia's security concerns when drafting its NMD plan. The interview was published by the daily newspaper Izvestia in its Friday edition. Russia is concerned that US plans to cover its territory with a missile shield will violate the 1972 ABM treaty, which it sees as a cornerstone of international nuclear deterrence over the past 30 years.

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8. PRC Position on US NMD Program

People's Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "PRC SPEAKS ON US NMD PROGRAM," Beijing, 05/04/01, P2) reported that on May 3 PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao made remarks on the US development of an NMD system. Zhu said that the PRC has noticed US President Bush's May 1 remarks on the development of a missile defence system. He warned that the destruction of the 1972 ABM treaty would spark a new arms race, which will be unfavorable for world peace, development and stability. "We believe that the ABM treaty is the cornerstone for safeguarding the global strategic balance and stability," Zhu said. If the treaty is destroyed, the global strategic balance and stability will be broken and the international arms control process and non-proliferation efforts will be impeded, Zhu stressed.

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Timothy L. Savage:
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Gee Gee Wong:
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Kim Hee-sun:
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Hiroyasu Akutsu:
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Yunxia Cao:
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Dingli Shen:
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