NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, july 2, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Refugees

Agence France Presse ("NORTH KOREA ACCUSES SOUTH OF MANIPULATING ASYLUM-SEEKING FAMILY," Tokyo, 6/30/01) reported that the DPRK accused the ROK on June 30 of granting a family from the DPRK asylum in order to derail reconciliation on the peninsula. The DPRK said that the ROK had encouraged the family of seven to enter the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Beijing on Tuesday and to request asylum in the ROK. A DPRK foreign ministry spokesman told the official KCNA news agency, "To be honest Jang Kil-su and his family are not refugees but those who illegally crossed the border. The dishonest forces and intelligence agents of South Korea, displeased with the North-South reconciliation, have long employed every base means to take such border transgressions to South Korea so as to use them for an insidious political purpose." The spokesman warned that tension on the peninsula could increase. He said, "Such an anti-DPRK smear campaign has been launched at a time when the desire of all the Koreans for national reconciliation, unity and reunification is growing stronger. We cannot but maintain heightened vigilance over this dishonest action." He also dismissed fears expressed by the UNHCR that the family would face persecution if they returned to the DPRK. The spokesman condemned the UNHCR for acting beyond its mandate.

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2. DPRK-PRC Relations

The Associated Press ("N. KOREAN LEADER VISITS CHINA EMBASSY," Seoul, 7/2/01) reported that the DPRK's official media KCNA said Monday that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il visited the PRC Embassy in Pyongyang and praised the PRC leadership. The DPRK did not criticize the PRC for recently allowing a DPRK family that took refuge in a UN building in Beijing to relocate to the ROK. Kim attended a July 1 evening party celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Kim, accompanied by top party and military officials, extended "warmest congratulations" to PRC leaders and lauded "proud achievements made by the CPC in leading the revolution and construction for the past 80 years."

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3. Cross-Straits Talks

Agence France Presse ("TAIWAN READY TO TALK WITH CHINA VIA OFFICIAL CHANNELS," Taipei, 7/2/01) reported that the China Times reported on Monday that Taiwan would be willing to hold government-level talks with the PRC to thaw years of deadlock in cross-strait relations. Taiwanese cabinet secretary general Chiou I-jen was quoted as saying, "We welcome dialogue with China via official channels if the existing semi-official mechanism hits a bottleneck." Chiu told a seminar on national security joined by high-ranking officials on June 30, "(We are) deliberating whether a breakthrough can be achieved." He added that discussions between government-level units would avoid confusion and misjudgments. Chiou said that Taiwan did not rule out the possibility of opening direct contacts between the cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council and the PRC's Taiwan Affairs Office if the mainland agreed to such an arrangement.

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4. PRC Policy toward Taiwan

Agence France Presse ("JIANG PLEDGES TO TAKE ARMY TO WAR TO LIBERATE TAIWAN," Beijing, 7/1/01) stated that a report on the PRC's official Qianlong website said on July 1 that PRC President Jiang Zemin promised to lead the People's Liberation Army (PLA) into war if Taiwan formally declared independence. The statement came only hours after Jiang listed the reunification of Taiwan as one of the "historic tasks" facing the party in the new century in a speech marking the 80th anniversary of the founding of the China Communist Party (CCP). Jiang said, "If (Taiwan President) Chen Shui-bian has the audacity to go in for Taiwan independence, then I will lead you to liberate Taiwan." The official report said that Jiang "made it clear to the generals that the military exercises were to show the entire nation and the entire world that if Chen Shui-bian dared to go in for Taiwan independence, then China would pay any price to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity." Jiang was quoted as saying, "Chen Shui-bian should harbor no illusions ... on the state of cross-strait relations during the rule of his Democratic Progressive Party and he should harbor no illusions on the new US administration's capacity to interfere in China's affairs."

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5. PRC-Indian Relations

The Washington Post published an opinion article by Jim Hoagland ("RETHINKING ASIA IN INDIA'S FAVOR," 7/1/01) which said the US Bush Administration's push for missile defense is a separating factor in India-China relations. Hoagland wrote, "The chances of serious conflict between India and China may now outrank the more obvious antagonisms between China and Taiwan as a threat to global stability." Hoagland wrote that the standoff in the Taiwan Strait is carefully studied and calculated by each side and by the US, but there are fewer established rules of the game between India and the PRC. He added, "danger arises not from plans by either side to go to war but from the miscalculation and misunderstanding that could emerge as China seeks a sphere of influence in Asia commensurate with its new power." Hoagland noted that Pakistan, now a borderline failed state, is largely a problem of the past for India, and Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee's nuclear strategy is centered wholly on the PRC. He wrote, "Missile defense could reinforce India's declared strategy of minimal deterrence -- to deploy just enough warheads to ward off Chinese attack. On paper that resembles Bush's hope to cut U.S. offensive nuclear weapons." Therefore, Hoagland continued, "A re-weighting of America's Asia strategy in India's favor is long overdue and is possible under Vajpayee and Bush. But the United States will need to develop a first-class diplomatic strategy to accompany the defense programs on which this administration lavishes so much attention. The emerging emphasis of the administration's war planners on Asia as a major source of future global instability makes sense. But that is only the beginning of wisdom. Geography and muscle alone do not qualify as strategy." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 2, 2001.]

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6. Japanese Remilitarization

The Honolulu Advertiser published an opinion article by Thomas Plate, a professor at UCLA, ("WOULD A MILITARIZED JAPAN BENEFIT ASIA?" 7/1/01) which said that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's announced intention to revise Article 9 of the Japanese constitution has raised many alarms in Japan. However, US officials believe that a greater Japanese military involvement in regional peacekeeping is not only inevitable, but beneficial. US Admiral Dennis Blair, head of the US Pacific Command, stated, "If Japan can proceed in a careful, consultative and deliberate manner, that would be very welcome." Blair emphasized that his views are not policy statements, but his own, explaining that he worried more about an Asia that lacks multilateral cooperation than the reappearance of ghosts from Japan's militaristic past. He continued, "Countries in Asia are becoming more imaginative and they well appreciate the meat-and-potatoes value of soldiers and sailors from different nations working side by side." Plate noted that Japan is more worrisome to many Asians than even the PRC's military modernization. And, Plate added, can countries in Asia get past Japan's history of wartime atrocities? If they can, he concluded, it would mean that Asia, as a region, finally decided to limit past animosities from getting in the way of a new cooperative future. "That's an inspiring thought, but, alas, not a particularly good bet." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 2, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Defectors

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N. KOREAN DEFECTORS ARRIVE IN SEOUL, REUNITED WITH KIN," Seoul, 06/29/01) reported that a family of seven DPRK defectors arrived in Seoul Saturday after more than two years in the PRC. Their arrival, which followed brief stopovers in Singapore and Manila, ended a weeklong diplomatic emergency among the involved governments on the fate of the family of 16-year-old Jang Gil-su. ROK officials said that Jang's family was reunited with three more family members, including Jang's brother, at an intelligence agency building in Seoul later in the day. The DPRK expressed its unhappiness with the handling of the asylum-seekers Saturday, accusing the ROK of taking the defectors to "use them for an insidious political purpose." It also warned that the move would damage the relationship between the two Koreas.

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2. ROK on Inter-Korean Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Ahn Hye-ri, "U.S. READY TO DISCUSS WITH N.K. ON SATELLITE LAUNCH," Seoul, 06/29/01) reported that Richard Armitage, US Deputy Secretary of State, said that the US President George W. Bush administration is ready to discuss satellite launches with the DPRK in return for the DPRK giving up the long-range ballistic missile program. Armitage continued that it is the US position to resume talks with the DPRK without any preconditions and that the administration is ready to discuss satellite issue by the DPRK's request. Armitage said, however, that in order to recover mutual confidence between the US and the DPRK, the DPRK must accept the International Atomic Energy Agency's nuclear inspection. Although the administration also wishes to bring reduction of conventional weapons to the table, Armitage said that that issue is perceived as more of a problem that should be tackled between the two Koreas, acknowledging the ROK's leading role for easing military tensions.

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3. US Missile Test

Chosun Ilbo (Joo Yong-joong, "US MISSILE DEFENSE TEST SITE FACTORS IN NK," Seoul, 06/29/01) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced Thursday that the reason the US chose Alaska as the test site for the Missile Defense (MD) system was that it factored in a potential threat from the DPRK. Rumsfeld, while attending a meeting on the 2002 Pentagon budget at the Senate Committee on Armed Services, said that Alaska was considered the test site from the initial stage of the MD research and development during the Clinton Administration.

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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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