NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, may 15, 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. ROK Presses US-DPRK Relations

Agence France Presse ("SOUTH KOREA TO PRESS US AFTER EU AGREES TO TIES WITH NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 5/15/01) reported that ROK officials said Tuesday that they want the US to follow the lead of the European Union and move towards normalization of relations with the DPRK. However, the US administration has insisted it will only renew its engagement with the DPRK when it is ready. ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-Won, one of the architects of a historic inter-Korean summit last year, said he had urged a top US official to resume talks with the aim of setting up normal relations with the DPRK. In a speech in Seoul on May 14, Edwin J. Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, said reducing the number of DPRK troops near the de-militarized zone (DMZ) dividing the DPRK and the ROK should be a priority in talks. Feulner said, "Relocating the troops to where they came from should be number one agenda in (US-North Korea) talks or at least one of the top five."

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2. New Zealand Aid to DPRK

Agence France Presse ("NEW ZEALAND TO DONATE 84,000 DOLLARS FOR CHILDREN IN NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 5/15/01) reported that ROK officials said New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said on Tuesday her country will donate US$84,000 to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the DPRK. ROK presidential spokesman Park Joon-Young said the pledge came as Clark promised support for the ROK peace initiative towards the DPRK during a summit with ROK President Kim Dae-Jung. During the talks, Clark promised continued support for the ROK's "Sunshine Policy" of engaging the DPRK in peace talks, which Kim expressed gratitude for.

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3. US Military Focus in Asia

Associated Press (Robert Burns, "STUDY: CHANGE MILITARY FOCUS IN ASIA," Washington, 5/15/01) reported that according to a US Defense Department sponsored study by the Rand Corporation released on May 14, the US should shift the focus of its military presence in Asia toward the Philippines and other nations closer to Taiwan. Citing the potential for armed conflict between Taiwan and the PRC as a key US security concern, the study recommended creating new arrangements in Southeast Asia to give the US military access to ports and airfields that could be used to support Taiwan if PRC attacked. It recommended maintaining traditional military ties with Japan and the ROK. The study said the US Pacific territory of Guam should be developed into a major hub from which the Air Force and Navy could project power into the South China Sea and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. The lead author of the study is Zalmay Khalilzad, head of the Bush administration's transition team at the US Defense Department before joining the White House staff on May 14 as a senior director at the National Security Council. One of the Rand study's recommendations already has been adopted by the Bush administration: to more explicitly state US intentions to defend Taiwan against attack from the PRC, while continuing to oppose Taiwanese moves toward independence from the PRC. Another of the study's recommendations - that the US Air Force expand its fleet of long-range bombers - is believed to be an option that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is considering as he reviews US military strategy and structure. The Rand study said that while the US should strive to avoid making an enemy of the PRC, the US military must consider how it would carry out war plans in eastern Asia in the face of PRC opposition. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 15, 2001.]

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4. US-PRC Missile Defense Talks

New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "U.S. DIPLOMAT IN BEIJING TO CALM FEARS ON ANTIMISSILE PROJECT," Beijing, 5/15/01) and Agence France Presse ("US ENVOY TRIES TO REASSURE SKEPTICAL CHINA OVER MISSILE SHIELD," Beijing, 5/15/01) reported that US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly on Tuesday held talks with PRC officials in a bid to convince them that US plans for a missile defense shield were not aimed at containing the PRC military power. The two parties struck a positive note after wrapping up two rounds of discussions, although there were no signs his mission would dampen PRC hostility to the project. Kelly described his meetings as "excellent" as he returned to the US embassy after talks with PRC's top arms control official Sha Zukang, as well as vice foreign ministers Wang Yi and Li Zhaoxing. However, Kelly declined to say if he had achieved any concrete results. China did not comment directly on the talks but issued a new condemnation of US President George W. Bush's National Missile Defence (NMD) plans. Kelly declined to say if he discussed the fate of the US plane stranded on Hainan. Kelly is due to leave China for Vietnam early Wednesday.

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5. US Spy-plane Incident

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "BEIJING GETS VOICE DATA FROM PLANE," 5/15/01) reported that the Washington Times has learned that the PRC learned important US intelligence-gathering capabilities from the downed US Navy reconnaissance plane, including that US eavesdroppers can identify individual PRC military officers by the sound of their voices. US defense officials with access to classified reports said the PRC did not know about the US intelligence community's ability to recognize individual voices from intercepted communications until after they began studying the EP-3E and its equipment. US Defense Department sources explained that military and civilian linguists have been trained to distinguish among individual "targets" of electronic eavesdropping and to make the voice identifications. Another U.S. intelligence official explained it is the linguists and technicians of the National Security Agency, who are able to identify the voices of foreign officials whose conversations are intercepted. James Bamford, author of a new book on the National Security Agency, "Body of Secrets," said the US intelligence community has been able to identify specific voices from communications for many years. CBS News reported on May 14 that the US Defense Department is proposing to cut the wings off the EP-3E and then load the pieces onto a large transport aircraft. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 15, 2001.]

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6. Cross-Strait Relations

New York Times (Craig S. Smith, "SIGNS IN CHINA AND TAIWAN OF MAKING MONEY, NOT WAR," Kunshan, 5/15/01) reported that despite the threats of war across the Taiwan Strait, the social and economic integration between the PRC and Taiwan is stronger than ever, and growing. Some experts say that if the trend continues, Taiwan's government will soon be unable to afford antagonizing the PRC, and that the cost to the PRC of attacking Taiwan may become prohibitive. Orville Schell, a longtime China watcher now at the University of California at Berkeley, said, "What we may be seeing in cross- strait relations is a kind of Hong Kong-ization of Taiwan-mainland relations." He noted that the economic promise of friendly ties with the PRC had earlier eroded the anti- Communism of Hong Kong's business elite and smoothed the territory's 1997 return to mainland rule. Schell said, "Simply put, the tension of politics may be cut by the imperatives of business and trade." He also said that growing economic ties to Taiwan's business community could even work against political reforms as that community becomes increasingly reliant on a stable government in the PRC to protect its investments and interests. Schell continued, "In cross-strait relations, we are in something of a race between the forces of economic integration and political separation. Barring some really nasty bump in the road, I would bet on integration." Cross-strait trade reached US$30 billion in 2000, making Taiwan the PRC's sixth-largest trading partner. Lin Chong-ping, vice chairman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said, "Over the long run I believe that economic integration will lead to some kind of social and political integration." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for May 15, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US on DPRK

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "HERITAGE FOUNDATION CALLS FOR REDUCTION IN N. KOREAN ARMS ALONG DMZ," Seoul, 05/15/01) reported that Edwin J. Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, said Monday that reduction in the number of DPRK troops deployed along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) should lead the agenda for future talks between the US and the DPRK. Feulner also stressed a new US policy toward the DPRK should shift from Bill Clinton's "strategic ambiguity" to "strategic certainty," a policy firmly based on the principles of reciprocity, transparency, predictability and consistency. Feulner said, "Bringing back the troops to where they came from should be No. 1 agenda in the talks (between the United States and North Korea), or at least one of the top five of the agenda." He noted that the number of ROK troops along the DMZ has been stable for a long period of time, whereas the frontline troops of the DPRK have been increasing. He denounced the DPRK's troop deployment as "equally dangerous and destabilizing as their ballistic missiles." He said, "Reduction in both kinds of forces should be a central aim of a U.S. policy based on reciprocity." Feulner added that reciprocity is one of key principles that should be the basis of the new US policy toward the DPRK.

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2. DPRK-PRC Talks Expected

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "CHINA-NORTH KOREA SUMMIT MEETING EXPECTED THIS FALL," California, 05/14/01) reported that the schedule coordination is underway for PRC President Jiang Zemin to visit the DPRK this fall. An ROK state official said on Sunday May 13, "The two nations decided on the summit talks when Zeng Qinghong, head of the Organization Department of the Chinese Communist Party entered Pyongyang this March. It seems like our side was notified of the fact until Chinese liaison chief Dai Bingguo dropped by us last month. Taking in the account the circumstances, Jiang's visit is most likely to take place sometime around mid September in conjunction with the 53rd anniversary of the North Korea government, or in mid October that celebrates another 56th anniversary of the founding of the Workers Party." Another official said that Jiang and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il are likely to discuss the latest on the Korean Peninsula, the US missile defense program, mutual cooperation as well as other issues.

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3. Inter-Korean Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "SEOUL MOVES TO RESTART TALKS," Seoul, 05/14/01) reported that the ROK government is busily preparing to resume the inter-Korean dialogue that has been stalled since the cancellation of the fifth cabinet-level talks on March 13. The target date set by the ROK Ministry of Unification and other ministries is late May. A senior ROK government official said, "We will try to arrange more talks for the end of May when U.S. policy toward North Korea has taken shape and when the transportation of 200,000 tons of fertilizer donated to the North will be in its final stages. The United States is also expected to pursue dialogue at the vice-ministerial level with the North just before or after the end of May when it finishes reviewing its North Korea policies. The inter-Korean dialogue would also naturally find a resolution with these developments and with preparations to commemorate the June 15 inter-Korean Joint Declaration." Lee Bong-jo, director of the policy office at the ROK Ministry of Unification, emphasized, "Although remarks made by Chairman Kim fall short of our government's expectations that the U.S.-North Korea and inter-Korean dialogue should run parallel, he puts an equal emphasis on his desire to hold a second summit meeting with President Kim Dae-jung, which can be seen in, for example, his repeated positive assessments of President Kim." In advance of the return visit, the government is said to be actively working on behind-the-scenes contact lines with the DPRK in order to re- ignite bilateral dialogue. It is reportedly trying to persuade the DPRK, that engaging in inter-Korean talks at an early date would be beneficial to developments in its relations with the US.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK Agriculture Development

People's Daily (Zhang Jingfang, Li Zhengyu, "AGRICULTURE STRESSED IN DPRK," Pyongyang, 05/12/01, P3) reported that while inspecting the DPRK countryside, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il said the country should implement an "agriculture first" policy. Kim said the DPRK is in the process of developing into a strong and prosperous country, in which agriculture is fundamental. He instructed that the country adhere to "agriculture first" policy to develop its agriculture; amass national resources to push forward farm production according to farmers will; and organize farm production with Korean agriculture cultivating characteristics.

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2. DPRK-US Talks

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "US INTENDS TO RESUME TALKS WITH DPRK," Seoul, 05/10/01, P3 ) reported that the ROK welcomed signs that US was nearing an end to a policy review on the DPRK and might soon resume talks with the country. Speaking after US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held talks with ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won on May 10, ROK Director of Policy Lee Bong-jo said that ROK was pleased with the outcome. Lee said, "These talks were important because we received confirmation that US talks with DPRK would resume and US has shown strong support for ROK's Sunshine Policy. This confirmation itself is a message to DPRK. We will have to wait for DPRK's response." He also said Armitage reiterated that US would abide by a landmark 1994 "Agreed Framework" in which DPRK pledged to freeze a nuclear program suspected of developing weapons in exchange for free power.

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4. ROK Media on US Human Rights Policy

People's Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "ROK ATTACKS US HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY," Seoul, 05/12/01, P3) reported that ROK Joint News Agency published a commentary on US human rights policy. It said the US should draw lessons from its failure in the UN Human Rights Committee election. It noted that the US failed because it has taken national egoistic activity.

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5. US Strengthening Space Military Force

People's Daily (Tang Shuifu, Xinhua News Agency, "US PROPOSES TO STRENGTHEN SPACE MILITARY FORCE," Washington, 05/10/01, P3) reported that US Defense Minister Rumsfeld on May 8 submitted a letter to US Congress, proposing to adjust and strengthen the US space military force to protect US space military and communication systems. Rumsfeld wrote in his letter that he will expand the management sphere of US Navy Space-flight Headquarter concerning the space military force, aiming to harmonize and integrate the management of US space reconnaissance, communication and military activities. He will appoint a 4-star general to be responsible for US space program and activity. The US Defense Department's paramount task is to cater for the need of US national security in the 21st century and maintain US leading position in space force.

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6. US-Russian Talks over NMD

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "RUSSIA AND US STILL DIVERGE ON NMD TALKS," Moscow, 05/12/01, P4) reported that US delegation held talks with Russia over US deployment of the NMD system on May 11, but failed to persuade Russia to accept the program. According to the Russian Itar-Tass News Agency, the Russian and US delegation were led respectively by Director of Security and Disarmament Bureau of Russian Foreign Ministry, and US Deputy Defense Minister. The US side introduced some details relevant to the development of NMD system, and answered questions raised by the Russians. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said after the talks that there still exists a lot of problems. The spokesman noted that the US did not provide clear answers on how to solve international security problems if it was giving up the international disarmament regime based on the 1972 ABM treaty. He said the two countries will continue their negotiations when Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov visits the US on May 18. The Deputy National Security Assistant to US President was quoted as saying that the talk itself was a big step forward. and that it was just the beginning of the negotiation process. In the future talks, both sides will discuss issues having touched upon in this talk, he said, and will discuss the Russian proposal on establishing European non-strategic missile defense system.

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7. PRC View on NMD

China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, "PRC CRITICIZES US MISSILE DEFENCE PLAN," 05/11/01, P1) reported that on May 10, the PRC re-stressed its firm opposition to the proposed missile shield. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi said at a regular press conference, "We believe the ABM treaty is the cornerstone of global strategic balance and stability. If such a treaty is undermined, the global strategic balance will be undermined, the international disarmament process will end, non- proliferation efforts will be obstructed and a new military arms race will commence." Sun said the PRC hoped the US will continue to abide by the ABM treaty and other existing international treaties on disarmament and arms control. Sun added, "If the US decides to send a special envoy here, we are willing to have consultations on the issue."

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8. World Opinion on Missile Defense

People's Daily (Zhang Zhen'an, Xinhua News Agency, "UK QUESTIONS ON US MISSILE DEFENSE," London, 05/10/01, P3) reported that according to British Defense Ministry, the US NMD program is far from maturity. The UK Government said it wished to get more details concerning the program, and hoped the US will continue to consult with its allies.

People Daily (Huai Chengbo, Xinhua News Agency, "TURKEY QUESTIONS ON US MISSILE DEFENSE," Ankara, 05/10/01, P3) reported that Turkish Daily News published an article written by a Turkish international relations scholar which pointed out that the US NMD program will pose severe challenges to the existing nuclear nonproliferation regimes. He said there was a widely acknowledged view among Turkish security experts that the strengthening of nonproliferation regimes of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons can not only bring greater security to Turkey, and the region surrounding it.

People's Daily (Li Xuejiang, "AUSTRALIA QUESTIONS ON US MISSILE DEFENSE," Canberra, 05/10/01, P3) reported that Australian former Prime Minister Hawke expressed his opposition to an Australian participation in the US missile defense system. Last week, it was reported that Australian Foreign Minister and Defense Minister both expressed that Australia understood and supported the US missile defense system.

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9. PRC View on Air Collision

China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, "PRC CRITICIZES US MISSILE DEFENCE PLAN," 05/11/01, P1) reported that at a regular press conference on May 10, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi revealed that PRC and the US are planning to hold additional talks on the US EP-3 spy plane. Sun said, "The US plane will not be allowed to fly back, but this does not mean the plane will not be returned." He said the interception and following of US spy planes by PRC jets is "necessary and very reasonable" and not without precedent in international practice. Sun repeated the PRC request that the US stop such flights to avoid the recurrence of a similar incident in the future.

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10. Japanese Constitution Revision

China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "JAPAN HINTS CONSTITUTION COULD BE REVISED," Tokyo, 05/11/01, P12) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on May 10 that Japan's anti-war constitution was not immutable and promised to take a hard look at the controversial question of expanding the role of Japan's military. Koizumi made the remarks in parliament, where he faced questions from opposition lawmakers two weeks after winning Japan's top job on a platform calling for sweeping economic and political reforms. Koizumi said, "I do not think the constitution is forever immutable and without prejudging the matter, I will adopt a flexible approach to the question of the need to amend it." His comments on the constitution emphasized his willingness to consider seriously one of the most bitterly divisive questions in Japanese politics: what role Japan's military should play and how closely it should co-operate with it allies. Article 9 of the 1947 constitution, written by US occupation officials after the war, bars Japan from using military force as a means of settling international disputes. The Japanese Government has always interpreted that document to mean that the nation can possess armed forces for self-defense. But in recent years - encouraged by the US - some ruling-party politicians have begun pushing for amendments that would allow the military to participate in collective defense with its allies.

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