NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, june 8, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. ROK Warns DPRK on Maritime Violation

The New York Times ("SEOUL WARNS NORTH ON SHIPS," Seoul, 6/8/01) reported that ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong Shin warned on June 7 that DPRK vessels risked military confrontation if they ventured into waters claimed by the ROK. He issued the warning after a DPRK ship carrying rice from Japan crossed the northern demarcation line separating the seas of the two Koreas off the western end of the demilitarized zone. ROK ships were also ordered to challenge DPRK ships if they sailed without permission into the Cheju Strait between the ROK island of Cheju and the southern tip of the Korean peninsula. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for June 8, 2001.]

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2. DPRK Criticize Japan over Textbooks

Reuters ("N.KOREA BLASTS JAPAN FOR REFUSING VISAS FOR RALLY," Tokyo, 6/8/01) reported that the DPRK on Friday criticized Japan's refusal to grant DPRK officials visas to attend a protest in Tokyo against the publication of history textbooks which critics say gloss over Japan's wartime aggression. Tokyo-based monitoring agency Radiopress quoted DPRK's official Radio Pyongyang and Korean Central Radio as saying, "It runs counter to basic morals and customs regarding international relations and is an outrageously hostile action toward the Republic (North Korea)." A Japanese official told Reuters on June 7 that Japan will not permit entry to the DPRK members of the ruling party. Three officials from the DPRK ruling party had requested visas to visit Japan from June 9-11 to join a rally against the junior high school textbooks. In the radio broadcasts, the DPRK also said Japan was wrong to assume that it can justify its moves to distort history by refusing the officials' visas.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK Warns DPRK on Maritime Violation

The Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "DEFENSE CHIEF WARNS STERN ACTION ON N.K. SHIPS VIOLATING MARITIME BORDER," Seoul, 06/08/01) reported that ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin Thursday vowed to take strong action, including the use of force, against any DPRK ships violating ROK territorial waters and the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a de-facto maritime border between the ROK and the DPRK. Kim said in a meeting of the National Assembly's National Defense Committee, "In accordance with wartime regulations and rules of engagement, our military will use force and other stern measures if North Korean unarmed vessels violate our territorial waters again." Kim said the military would adhere strictly to the rules of engagement to safeguard the NLL at any cost. He said the military refrained from using force in recent incidents to avoid drawing international criticism. Kim's remarks came hours after a DPRK commercial ship crossed the NLL in the West Sea to return to her homeport.

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2. DPRK on Missile Moratorium

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K. RENEWS PROMISE ON MISSILE MORATORIUM, SPANISH OFFICIAL SAYS," Seoul, 06/08/01) reported that a visiting Spanish official said Thursday that senior DPRK officials have reaffirmed their leader's previous promise to maintain the country's moratorium on missile tests until 2003. Spanish Vice Foreign Minister Miguel Nadal made the remarks during a news conference held in Seoul to explain the results of his trip to Pyongyang June 2-5. Nadal said, "During our meetings, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon and Yang Hyong-sop, vice chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, renewed the promise."

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3. ROK- US Talks

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "BUSH TO RESUME TALKS WITH N. KOREA," Washington, 06/08/01) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo and US Secretary of State Colin Powell met Thursday to discuss US plans to reopen diplomatic negotiations with the DPRK. Han and Powell met here after US President George Bush announced plans to resume talks with the DPRK on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile issues and conventional military threats. Han's aides said that the two reaffirmed that the ROK and the US would maintain close consultations in engaging the DPRK and handling issues related to Pyongyang's nuclear and missiles programs. During the one-hour luncheon with Han, Powell explained details of the US government's plan to resume talks with the DPRK, which is part of the Bush administration's new approach toward the DPRK, an ROK official said. He said that Han and Powell exchanged their views on the timing, agenda and level of participating officials for the upcoming US- DPRK talks.

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4. ROK on US-DPRK Relations

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "SEOUL WELCOMES BUSH'S DECISION TO REOPEN TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 06/08/01) reported that the ROK government Thursday welcomed US President George W. Bush's decision to resume talks with the DPRK, but experts here expect a rough sailing before the two sides reap productive results from any upcoming talks. "Our government welcomes President Bush's direction to his administration to hold serious talks with North Korea," presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said in a statement. The Seoul government also hoped that the DPRK will take a sincere attitude in future negotiations with the US so that the talks can make substantial progress, Park said. "We anticipate that through this process, relations between North Korea and the United States will improve, contributing to establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula," the spokesman said. ROK officials took note of the fact that Bush's statement included the US government's intention to provide political and economic incentives to the DPRK.

III. Japan

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1. Inter-Korean Summit Meeting

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Chiharu Mori, "KIM JONG-IL REJECTED INPLEMENTATION OF 1991 BASIC AGREEMENT," Seoul, 06/06/2001) reported that according to a source from the ROK delegation to the summit meeting on June 5, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il rejected implementation of the 1991 Inter-Korean Basic Agreement at the inter-Korean summit meeting with ROK President Kim Dae-jung, and that the rejection is a serious consequence because it means that there is no security agreement between the two Koreas. In response to Kim Dae-jung's suggestion that the Basic Agreement be implemented, Kim Jong-il said, "Why should you be sticking to such a document full of "beautiful" decorations? We should begin with what we can." The report said that this led the ROK to concentrate on working on an Inter-Korean joint statement. The ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade said to the Yomiuri Shimbun, "(Regarding the DPRK's threat of its conventional weapons,) we would seek to solve it though the Basic Agreement at the second Inter-Korean summit meeting." The report added that the ROK sees the Basic Agreement as important to show the ROK's agreement with the US Bush administration regarding reduction of the threat from the DPRK's conventional weapons.

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2. US Military Policy in Asia

The Mainichi Shimbun (Atsushi Nakamura, "US NATIONAL SUECIRYT COUNCIL OFFICIAL SAYS US WILL MAINTAIN 100,000 TROOPS IN ASIA- PACIFIC," Washington, 06/01/2001) reported that US National Security Council senior official Torkel Patterson told visiting Japanese Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Taku Yamazaki on May 31 that the US would maintain its 100,000 troops in Asia- Pacific. Patterson told Yamazaki, "Whether to increase or decrease the number will be flexibly dealt with according to the situation. But given the present situation, we cannot reduce the number." After emphasizing the importance of the Japanese-US alliance, Patterson added, "After the (US-PRC) mid-air collision incident, feelings toward the PRC in the US are severer. The PRC is increasing its military power, and trying to threaten Taiwan."

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3. Foreign Minister's Criticism against US

The Daily Yomiuri ("TANAKA SAID TO HAVE INSULTED US PRESIDENT," 06/03/2001) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka made remarks that could be interpreted as insulting to US President George W. Bush, in addition to voicing criticism of the US government's missile defense plan. Tanaka reportedly said during talks with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on May 28 that Bush's positive stance toward the missile shield plan is perhaps "influenced by the oil industry of his home state of Texas." The reported remarks are at odds with the government's policy to show understanding of the US missile defense plan, and could be interpreted as an insult to Bush. Some government officials have voiced concern that Tanaka's reported remarks might adversely affect the Japan-US alliance. In addition, she criticized Bush by citing the president's personal circumstances in his election campaigns. Tanaka reportedly stated, "President Bush is surrounded by people who were advisers to his father (former US President George Bush), as well as other conservatives. The president may have been influenced by his supporters, such as people in the oil industry of his home state of Texas." Meanwhile, in Washington, Richard Boucher, spokesman for the US State Department, declined to comment on Tanaka's reported remarks critical of the US missile defense plan. Boucher said that since the news reports concerned a private conversation between Tanaka and her Australian counterpart Alexander Downer and the US State Department did not consider it appropriate to comment.

The Sankei Shimbun (Toru Maeda, "US SEES TANAKA'S STATEMENTS AS REPRESENTING ANTI-AMERICAN FEELINGS IN JAPAN," Washington, 06/08/2001) reported that although the mainstream in the US administration still sees Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka's series of statements against national missile defenses (NMD) and the Japanese-US alliance as separate from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's stance, more officials in the administration are beginning to think that Tanaka's statements may reflect anti- American feelings in Japan. According to the officials, Tanaka's statements are not necessarily logical and rather emotional, but the statements are close to the stances held by the PRC. The officials also pointed out that Koizumi would have taken sacking Tanaka more seriously if she had made critical statements against the PRC because of the PRC's pressure, although Koizumi did nothing when Tanaka criticized the US.

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4. Japanese-Russian Territorial Issue

The Daily Yomiuri ("RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR MULLS MORI PLAN," 06/07/2001) reported that Russian Ambassador Alexander Panov praised former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's proposal on June 5 that would see Russia hand over two of the four Russian- held islands off eastern Hokkaido and allow both countries to concurrently explore a compromise on the other two. Panov said in an exclusive interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun, "(Russia) finds it worthwhile to study and analyze the proposal." Mori reportedly made the proposal to Russian President Vladimir Putin during talks on March 25. In the proposal, Mori called on Russia to return Shikotan Island and the Habomai group of islets to Japanese sovereignty and, at the same time, negotiate a solution to the disputed sovereignty of Kunashiri and Etorofu islands. Panov said that experts in Russia had already started looking into the proposal. However, he raised questions about the future of the proposal. Panov stated, "The new Japanese administration lacks the initiative to develop the Mori proposal. It is dragging its feet. The ball is in the Japanese court. Russia is waiting to see what ideas will come from that side." He appeared to be suggesting that Japan explicitly state the government policy on the territorial issues and make it clear how or whether the new administration will adopt the Mori proposal. Panov also stated, "It's not sensible and it's unrealistic for Japan to keep insisting on the return of the four islands in one fell swoop. That's just what we have been through over the past 50 years or more. The most appropriate stance is a step-by-step approach." He said one viable option would be for Tokyo and Moscow to take 10 or 15 years to transfer the sovereignty of the two islands and then begin to negotiate the "destiny" of the other two islands. In another option, he said the two countries might consider jointly developing or governing the four islands.

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5. Japanese Collective Self-Defense

The Asahi Shimbun ("KOIZUMI SAYS HE WOULD NOT CHANGE TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION ON COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE," 06/07/2001) reported that regarding Japan's assistance to the US forces in areas surrounding Japan, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the he would not change the existing interpretation on Japan's collective self-defense right. Koizumi said during a meeting among political party leaders, "Japan cannot do what the preceding governments said Japan cannot do." The report noted that Koizumi has been open-minded about reviewing the interpretation, but that his statement indicates some constraint on doing so.

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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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