NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, july 18, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. ROK-DPRK Naval Row

The Associated Press ("N KOREA BERATES SOUTH KOREA OVER SEA CONFRONTATION," Seoul," 07/18/01) reported that the DPRK on Wednesday denounced the ROK for blocking its cargo ships from traveling through the strait between the ROK mainland and Cheju Island. The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) stated, "The South Korean military authorities called only the voyage of the DPRK's civilian cargo ships into question to kick up a row. Their behavior will only result in aggravating their inter-Korean relations."

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2. Japanese Textbook Issue

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR BLOCKING JAPAN'S UN BID," 07/18/01) reported that the ROK National Assembly on Wednesday urged the government to campaign against Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Assembly also demanded that the authors of a controversial Japanese history textbook be banned from entering the ROK and proposed that the ROK government start referring to Japan's head of state as King rather than Emperor Akihito. The resolution stated, "The government must actively consider taking steps to block Japan from bidding for permanent membership at the UN Security Council." An official source said that the ROK government would await Japan's next move before deciding what action to take in response to the resolution.

Agence France Presse ("JAPAN CALLS FOR CALM APPROACH TOWARD TEXTBOOK ROW WITH SOUTH KOREA," Tokyo, 7/18/01) reported that Japanese premier Junichiro Koizumi on Wednesday urged calm in an escalating row between his Japan and the ROK over school textbooks after the parliament in the ROK unanimously adopted an anti-Japan resolution. Koizumi said, "I believe there is the need for a calm approach to the matter as there is no change in the principle of friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Korea. The textbook issue is just one thing and there are many areas in which we can cooperate with each other. We should not become emotional." Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda had earlier admitted that the ROK resolution reflected "strong dissatisfaction" with Japan's response.

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3. Japanese Constitution

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, "JAPAN MAY BE FORCED TO DECIDE ON CHARTER," Tokyo, 7/18/01) reported that Howard H. Baker, the new US ambassador to Japan, said on July 17 that Japan's participation in the planned US missile defense system may force it to decide "before very long" whether to revise the pacifist constitution that restricts its military. Baker said in his first extended comments with reporters, "I'm not trying to tell them what they should do. I think the reality of circumstances in the world is going to suggest to the Japanese that they reinterpret or redefine Article 9 of their constitution. I think they are well within their constitutional constraints so far. But, it poses legal as well as practical considerations [that] Article 9 will have to be reconstrued if they go very far with that, and America is sensitive" to the problem. He said that the Japanese constitution "for the last 50 years has been constructive and appropriate." However, he noted, "things like missile defense and international operations with peacekeeping forces will ultimately derive a decision" by Japan on whether to change or reinterpret the constitution. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for July 18, 2001.]

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4. Taiwanese Views on Unification

Agence France Presse ("FEWER TAIWANESE PEOPLE OPPOSE 'ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS': POLL," Taipei, 7/18/01) reported that according to a survey by Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) released Wednesday, fewer people in Taiwan oppose reuniting with the PRC under the "one country, two systems" framework. However, the number of those in favor of reuniting was also dropping. The reason is because of a growing number of people who wanted to maintain the "permanent status quo" for the island. The survey said that of the 1,100 people polled between July 6-9, 70.4 percent rejected the "one country, two systems" policy proposed by the PRC, a 3.5 percentage fall in four months. Those in favor of the policy accounted for only 13.3 percent, a drop of 2.8 percentage points from the previous poll in March. In a separate question, 21.5 percent of the respondents wanted to keep the island's "permanent status quo," a 4.8 percentage-point rise, from the previous survey. About 16.7 percent supported an eventual reunification following a period of status quo, down 4.7 percentage points, and 10.2 percent favored declaring Taiwan an independent state after temporary status quo, a drop of two percentage points.

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5. Taiwan Role in Spratlys

Agence France Presse ("CHINA RULES OUT TAIWAN AS PARTY TO SOUTH CHINA SEA CODE OF CONDUCT," Beijing, 7/18/01) reported that a PRC foreign ministry official said Wednesday that Taiwan will not be allowed to join a code of conduct aimed at easing tensions in the South China Sea. The code of conduct will be discussed at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' meeting in Vietnam next week. The official said, "Taiwan's claims of South China Sea islands are the same as the mainland's claims. I don't see there is a separate claim from Taiwan." The official argued that Taiwan did not have diplomatic ties with any of the 10 ASEAN nations and was not a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Taiwan occupies Taiping Island, the largest of the Spratlys.

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6. US View of Russia-PRC Treaty

The Associated Press (Barry Schweid, "BUSH NOT SWAYED BY RUSSIA-CHINA PACT," Washington, 7/19/01) reported that US State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said Tuesday that a new friendship pact between Russia and the PRC will not deter the US from pursuing a missile defense system. Reeker said that the two countries "obviously have interests in maintaining a solid bilateral relationship, and that's important for us, too." At the same time, he said, "we'll continue to pursue our own relationships, we'll continue to pursue our own interest in a missile defense system. That doesn't change anything in terms of our policies and what the administration is pursuing." Constantine Menges, who advised former US President Ronald Reagan on Latin America and worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, said Tuesday that the administration's reaction reflected "wishful assumptions." He said that the US State Department was ignoring a pledge by the two sides to consult to eliminate any threat of aggression as well as the Shanghai Pact between Russia and the PRC signed last month that calls for mutual defense. Menges said that the accord on July 16 in Moscow and the one in June mark a complete turnabout from the situation in 1992 and 1993, when former Russian President Boris Yeltsin spoke of a strategic partnership with the US and kept the PRC at a distance.

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7. Russia-PRC Response to US MD

Agence France Presse ("PUTIN SAYS NO JOINT RUSSIA-CHINESE RESPONSE TO US MISSILE PLANS," Moscow, 7/18/01) reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia was not planning to present a joint response with the PRC to US plans to abandon the 1972 ABM treaty and build a missile defense shield. Putin said, "As for a possible joint Russo-Chinese response to the US move--each country can decide what to do on its own. It is possible in principle. But in practice, we do not plan a joint response with any country, including China. Russia is strong enough to respond on its own to any changes in the sphere of strategic stability. We are prepared for all developments."

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8. Russian View of US MD

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, "RUSSIA READY FOR DIALOGUE ON U.S. MISSILE PLANS," Rome, 7/18/01) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Wednesday that Russia was ready for intensive dialogue with the US on a proposed new strategic framework. He said that Russia sought more clarity from the US on its plans for a missile defense shield. After a two-hour-long meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Ivanov did not reiterate publicly his government's opposition to the Bush administration's missile defense initiative. Powell, at a joint news conference, promised that the administration would give Russia "in the very near future" more details on which to base its assessment of the US proposals.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-Russia Arms Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Chung Byong-seon, "NK ASKS FOR WEAPONS IN EXCHANGE FOR TSR LINK," Seoul, 07/16/01) reported that the DPRK had asked Russia for more modern weapons in exchange for linking the trans-Korea railroad (TKR) to the trans-Siberian (TSR), an informed ROK government source said Tuesday. The source said that when DPRK Defense Minister Kim Il-chul visited Moscow on April 26, he requested Mig-29 fighters, T-90 main battle tanks and armored combat vehicles. Kim told his Russian counterpart that payment would be made in cash installments and goods. Kim expressed active interest in the IGLA portable anti-aircraft missile and radar systems. Russia is known to have not accepted the requests due to the lack of hard cash in the DPRK. Instead it agreed to supply parts and maintenance of equipment already supplied. The source said that the Russians expressed displeasure to the DPRK linking the joining of the TKR and TSR to weapons provisions. He added that Moscow wanted the DPRK's leader, Kim Jong-il, to visit between May 10-11, but now expect him to go to the Russian capital in October following PRC President Jiang Zemin's to Pyongyang in September.

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2. US Bases in ROK

Joongang Ilbo (Pauline Jelinek, "U.S. MAY START CLOSING KOREA BASES," Washington, 07/17/01) reported that the US military could start closing and consolidating bases in the ROK as early as next year, handing back to the country a substantial amount of land the US has been using for decades, the Pentagon said Tuesday. Officials gave no details, but the military newspaper Stars & Stripes quoted Colonel Robert E. Durbin, assistant deputy chief of staff for the forces in the ROK, as saying that a plan in the final stages of negotiations calls for cutting from 41 to 26 the number of installations used by US forces in the ROK. Durbin was quoted as saying it was too soon to name the 15 installations to be closed under what Cohen called the "Land Partnership Plan." Durbin told the newspaper an agreement was close and could come as early as this fall. ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin discussed the plan with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld during a visit to Washington last month, Stars & Stripes said. US Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley said that he could not confirm the numbers in the article. "I don't think anybody can predict what the final number will be," Quigley said. "But the hope is that at the end of the day you're going to have a more efficient structuring of the U.S. forces that are stationed in South Korea." He stressed that the plan does not include a cut in US troop strength. Asked if the closings could begin next year, Quigley said, "You could see some interim realignments done, but there's no stipulation that some percentage must be done by a certain point in time."

III. Russian Federation

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1. Threats to RF

Versiya's Vadim Saranov ("TEN YEARS TILL THE WAR?," Moscow, 2, 07/03-09/01, #24(148)) reported that his newspaper obtained a tape-recording of a speech made by Anatoly Kvashnin, Chief, General Staff, RF Armed Forces at a conference in the RF Defense Ministry that was not reported by the RF press. Kvashnin named the specific geographic areas from which RF is threatened. In particular, he said, "It is the Middle East area. First, it's Afghanistan." He also mentioned the Balkans, where he believes the events in Macedonia are going beyond control. A possible threat to RF security, in Kvashnin's words, comes from the Far East. In particular, Kvashnin predicted "a naval conflict between North and South Korea." RF military power in the Far East beyond its borders is represented by RF naval base in Kamrahn, Vietnam, where the RF has a few hundred specialists. The lease ends in 2004, but leading experts believe that the agreement will be prolonged. More and more frequently the RF mass media quotes the RF military that soon the base will be closed due to its costs, but this spring military commissions in Primorskiy Krai started inviting civilian specialists of more than 10 professions "to work abroad." Those include medical doctors, teachers, drivers and construction workers. In some military experts' view, the RF thinks about using the base as an intermediate jump-up airfield for strategic bombers. Generals of an unspecified Air Force army have already visited Vietnam. Kvashnin stated, "Russia has got some ten years yet for hard, unified monolithic work at all levels" to get ourselves prepared for the outside threats.

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2. PRC Chairman in RF

Yekaterina Grigoryeva of Izvestia ("THE CHAIRMAN'S UNSUNG SONG," Moscow, 3, 07/18/01) reported that PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin on an official visit to RF visited the Moscow State University (MGU). Unlike most such visits by other foreign dignitaries, RF President Vladimir Putin accompanied him there. Jiang Zemin made a speech before MGU students in Russian, though due to the tight schedule did not sing in Russian. In particular he said that "no country can build its security on the basis of encroachment on other countries' security interests" and that "China will never do anything harmful to Russia's interests." On the same day, PRC Chairman and RF Premier Mikhail Kasyanov signed an agreement on "the main principles of development of technical and economic grounds for construction of a Russia-China oil pipe-line" from Angarsk to Daryin, 1700 kilometers long. Altogether, while the PRC imported only 4 million tons of oil in 1994, it is expected to import 75 million tons in 2005.

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Aleksandr Ivanov and Ksenia Kyurinyan ("CHINA AND RUSSIA - FRIENDSHIP FOREVER," Moscow, 1, 6, 07/17/01) reported that RF President Vladimir Putin and PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin signed the RF-PRC Treaty on good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation. The PRC has not signed such important documents for about 20 years, and for the RF it is very important to register mutual understanding on paper. The treaty is in fact infinite, because after the first 20 years it shall be automatically prolonged if neither party objects. Its 25 articles cover all spheres of relations. The treaty recognizes the territorial issue as a thing of the past. Also it proclaims that the relations between the two countries are built on the basis of no alliances, non-confrontation, and are not directed against the third parties. On the eve of Jiang's visit, Putin told the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Serra" that the treaty "should not be seen as some way of an answer to a possible withdrawal" of the US from the Anti- Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. Also "we do not strive for any military alliance," he said. At the same time, in their joint statement, they confirmed the importance of the ABM Treaty as "a cornerstone of strategic stability and a basis for reduction of strategic offensive weapons." Jiang also met with RF State Duma Chairman Gennady Seleznyov and RF Federation Council Chairman Egor Stroev, as well as with former RF President Boris Yeltsin. He was expected to spend the following day in Volgograd to see the memorials to the Battle of Stalingrad.

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3. RF Media on RF-PRC Relations

Izvestia ("A SIDE OF THE TRIANGLE IS A COMBAT FIELD," Moscow, 4, 07/14/01) published an article by Aleksandr Sharavin, Director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis. He believes that it is faulty logic to think that the PRC can serve as an ally to the RF in confrontation with the US. RF leaders believe that within the RF- PRC-US triangle, the RF and PRC oppose US expansion, but "in fact Russia is not a side of that non-existing triangle, but rather a field of combat between the other two parties. And China is winning. The 'cowboy' methods of the US often cause alienation. Russia still remains 'an evil empire' for Americans. Within that 'triangle' only China is pragmatic and sober. Outwardly it does not impose anything on anybody. It just quietly but surely treads upon American and Russian interests. The infamous National Defense System has become almost a national Russian tragedy. Yet, the US military threat to Russia is of a purely mythical nature. The military threat to Russia on the part of China is quite obvious, but for some reason it is emphatically forbidden to discuss that issue in our country. There is a full set of reasons to expect a Russo-Chinese conflict." Geographically it is very difficult to protect the RF Far East and Trans-Siberian railway and Vladivostok-Khabarovsk highway are close to the border and easy to cut off. Economically, the PRC economy is rapidly growing, yet in many respects remains socialist and cost-intensive, requiring more and more natural resources, which are plentiful in the RF Far East and Siberia. Demographically, the PRC population is 30 times bigger than the RF population in the Far East and Siberia, and "the theory of 'a living space' is still popular with totalitarian regimes. The territorial claims of China to Russia are stubborn and unchanging, but the population of our country is not allowed to know about them." The author quoted an article by Huasheng Chao, Deputy Director, of the Shanghai Institute for International studies, published in a collection of articles of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, containing arguments that "Tsarist Russia unjustly conquered those territories by armed force. Therefore the Chinese in their souls have not given up claims on that territory. In the conditions of a growing Chinese population, the Russian Far East may become a natural destination for migration of PRC citizens. A probability will arise of them outnumbering the local population. In this condition Russia may lose control over the Far Eastern region or that region maybe will be incorporated into China." Izvestia's author claims that the PRC can mobilize an army bigger than the whole population of RF, that army being "absolutely insensitive" to casualties, as different from the US and Europe. The RF itself helps to narrow the military technological gap by its arms sales to PRC. Summarizing, "it is not China that is our ally against America, but America is our ally against China. Not because Americans have some friendly feelings to Russia, but because an unlimited strengthening of China is totally against their interests. For Russia the choice of a strategic ally is not just a political military issue. It concerns the choice of the development strategy for the future."

Nezavisimaya gazeta ("CHINA'S OWN PATH," Moscow, 6, 07/17/01) published an article by Dr. Aleksandr Lukin, which argued that "Russia is much closer to the East, than to the West." Chiefly the article deals with the economic differences between the RF and the PRC. Paradoxically, it's the Communist regime that ensured the economic miracle in PRC, while "attempts to create an exemplary democracy in Russia resulted in economic collapse." However, the author argues, "The Chinese regime has been changing. Of course, it is not a Western democracy, but it is also far from being a classic totalitarian Communist state. As for our Russian democracy, in the field of cruelty it is far ahead of the Chinese Communist regime." The author believes that "in the West they will inevitably consider big and separate power centers as a potential threat, even if those attain ideal democracy and market economy. Western pressure on Russia and China is not a struggle of the west for democracy, but to a much greater extent the consequence of the fact that for the West it is difficult to recognize alternative power centers. The west and the US in particular continue to see both Russia and China as a potential enemy. The difference is that a weakened Russia conceded the role of "the evil empire' to China. If there is a thing Russia should be afraid of, it is not the present 'undemocratic' government in Beijing, but its collapse and another disintegration of China with its multimillion population and nuclear weapons." The author believes that "Russia, while objectively becoming more and more Asiatic both in terms of its interests and problems, would not, nevertheless, recognize the fact. Its attitude toward China is specific. Paradoxically, according to public opinion polls held in the Southern part of Primorskiy Krai, its residents prefer cooperation with anybody--theUS, Japan, South Korea, even Germany--but not with China. China indeed creates a problem for Russia. But it is our problem, not a Chinese one. China is guilty only of having been able to sustain high growth rates for over twenty years. The Chinese question today is a Russian question: whether we will be able to drag our country out of the pit that Communists and pseudo-liberals brought it to. Development of the Asian part of Russia is impossible without a change of Russian mentality toward Asia, and without understanding that there we have got economic partners of no less importance than the European ones. Such turn is unthinkable without a development of a broad program of studies of the languages, history and culture of Eastern countries."

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4. PRC Political Succession

Yuriy Savenkov of Izvestia ("THE FOURTH GENERATION OF CHIEFS," Moscow, 9, 07/18/01) published an article concerning the prospects of changes in the PRC leadership in the near future. In autumn 2002 the 16th Communist Party Congress is expected to elect a new "magnificent seven" of the Permanent Committee of the Politburo, and in spring 2003 the triumvirate of Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Zhu Rongi, all of whom are over 70, are expected to give their posts to other people. Hu Zintao, 58, is expected to become the Secretary general and later the head of the state, while Li Zhuihuan, 66, will head the parliament. As for the premiership, there are three claimants: Vice Premier Wen Jiabao, 59, Vice Premier U Bango, 58, and Guangdun province governor Li Changchun. The other two persons to join the seven are CCP Central Committee Organizing Committee chief Zen Zinhung, 61, and former chief of governmental chancellery Lo Gan, 65.

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5. DPRK 1983 Assassination Attempt

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye's Aleksandr Kharlamov ("A HUNT FOR PRESIDENT," Moscow, 7, 05/13- 19/01, #25(247)) published an big article about the events of autumn 1983, when DPRK commandos made an abortive attempt at ROK President Chung Doo-hwan's life who was on a visit to Yangon, Myanmar, the only case in the world history when agents of a country tried to kill another country's leader in the territory of a third country.

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