NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, june 6, 2001

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK Threatens Missile Tests

Associated Press (Joe McDonald, "N. KOREA WARNS OF ACTION ON MISSILES," Beijing, 6/6/01) reported that Selig S. Harrison, a senior fellow of the Century Foundation in Washington, said Wednesday that the DPRK has warned that it will reconsider its moratorium on missile tests if the Bush administration does not resume contacts aimed at normalizing relations. Harrison said DPRK officials also said the DPRK will restart its nuclear program unless the US makes progress on supplying two reactors promised in a 1994 agreement. Harrison said the DPRK leaders are eager for ties with the US but were dismayed at US President George W. Bush's review of policy toward them and view recent US gestures as confrontational. Harrison said DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Soon told him that commitment was meant to be part of a diplomatic process leading to normalized relations with the US. Harrison quoted Paek as saying, "We will take a fresh look at the whole missile issue in light of the attitude of the new administration and whether it continues to make offensive statements hostile to us." Harrison said he talked with Paek for three hours and met with three other top officials. He spent five hours with DPRK General Ri Chan Bok, the DPRK representative at Panmunjom. Harrison said the Bush administration's reluctance was hurting DPRK officials who favor opening up the country and forming ties with the US. Harrison said a positive first step could be a reaffirmation by US Secretary of State Powell of a joint communique issued by former-US Secretary of State Madeline Albright and DPRK officials during her October. The DPRK news agency KCNA reported the same message Wednesday, saying it was the country's "deserved right and option" to resume construction of graphite-moderated reactors which US officials suspected were used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, unless it receives compensation. KCNA said, "We do not feel any need to abide by the agreed framework allowing its (the North's) right to existence to be infringed upon." Harrison said Ri also told him the DPRK military might reconsider its stance on its need for nuclear weapons. Harrison quoted Ri as saying, "I don't believe there's anybody who has decided we need nuclear weapons at present, but everybody is thinking in that direction in light of the new administration's attitude."

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2. ROK Urges DPRK Visit

Reuters, ("SEOUL URGES NORTH'S KIM TO SET DATE FOR VISIT," Seoul, 6/6/01) and BBC News (Caroline Gluck "PRESIDENT KIM: WANTS FOLLOW- UP SUMMIT," Seoul, 6/6/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae- jung on Wednesday reminded DPRK leader Kim Jong-il of his promise to visit Seoul and urged him to set a date. Kim told an audience at a memorial day ceremony, "Not long ago, I asked North Korea to inform us of when chairman Kim Jong-il will be able to visit Seoul. I want to remind them again today." Kim again underscored the importance of close co-ordination on DPRK policy with the US. Kim said, "I can't think of improved relations between the two Koreas apart from better relations between Washington and Pyongyang."

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3. Cross-strait Relations

Reuters (Bill Savadove, "CHINA SAYS NO TO TAIWAN'S CHEN AT APEC SUMMIT," Zhouzhuang, 6/6/01) reported that the PRC flatly rejected on Wednesday suggestions that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian be allowed to attend an October summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Shanghai. US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, in response to a question from reporters, said on Tuesday that Chen's presence at the summit would be constructive. However, Long Yongtu, PRC vice minister of foreign trade, said Wednesday, "Ever since 1991, we have already reached an understanding regarding Chinese Taipei's participation in APEC activities. There will be no change. Any comments from any individual APEC members will not result in change." Taiwan said on Wednesday it saw no reason why Chen could not attend an APEC summit, but carefully sidestepped comment on Zoellick's remarks.

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4. PRC-Japan Relations

Agence France Presse ("CHINA THREATENS TO SCRAP PLANNED VISIT BY JAPANESE PM," Tokyo, 6/6/01) reported that an anonymous PRC embassy official said the PRC might scrap a trip to the PRC by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi if he goes ahead and visits the controversial Yasukuni war shrine. The official said, "If he visits Yasukuni (shrine), his visit might be scrapped. If Japan has a wish to play more of a role in Asia, Japan has to respect its relations with Asian neighbors ... First of all, you have to respect what your counterpart feels." The official said the PRC has informally told Japan that it might scrap Koizumi's trip. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun economic daily said earlier, Koizumi planned to make a trip to the PRC later this year. A PRC foreign ministry official admitted that the two countries have been exchanging views on Yasukuni issues but denied that Japan had received any message from the PRC saying it would be difficult for the premier to visit the PRC if the trip to the shrine goes ahead.

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5. Japanese View of US Missile Defense

Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, "JAPANESE DIVIDED ON MISSILE PLAN," Tokyo, 6/6/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday that the US missile defense shield plan is worth researching. Pressed in Japan's Parliament to elaborate on his position, Koizumi stopped short of saying that such a shield should be built. He said, "It is worth researching, but doing research is different from development and setting it up." The US and Japan are also researching a separate Theater Missile Defense shield that would be extended beyond US borders, possibly covering Japan and the ROK.

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6. US-Japan Alliance

Japan Times ("TANAKA REPORTEDLY HINTED JAPAN SHOULD RECONSIDER U.S. ALLIANCE," 6/6/01) reported that Japanese government sources said Tuesday that Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka has insinuated that Japan needs to depart from its decades-old security alliance with the US. Sources said that on May 25 in Beijing, Tanaka told Joschka Fischer, German vice chancellor and foreign minister, that the alliance was "an easy way" for Japan to enjoy security under the US nuclear umbrella after World War II. According to the sources, while speaking to Fischer about the Japan-US security arrangement, Tanaka said, "It is necessary for Japan to become more independent in light of its economic power, but reactionary political mentality prevents a change. I know that the U.S. presence in Japan is important. I am not against the U.S. and I like the country, but believe that Japan-U.S. relations are at a turning point, and we need to consider the issue again so that we can switch the course." While the sources indicated her remarks went against the government's stance on the issue, Tanaka later argued that she has never deviated from "understanding" the concept. According to sources, Tanaka echoed Fischer's concern about the US missile defense plan that it could lead to a possible arms race. She told Fischer that European countries should caution US President George W. Bush over the missile issue, as he is approaching it differently from his predecessor, Bill Clinton. The mudslinging has reportedly eliminated Tanaka's plans to visit the US later this month. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 6, 2001.]

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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

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
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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