NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, august 7, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. Kim Jong-il's Seoul Visit

The Washington Times (Nicholas Kralev, "PUTIN URGES KIM TO TRAVEL TO SEOUL," 8/7/01) reported that the US said on August 6 that it was pleased that Russian President Vladimir Putin urged DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to visit the ROK. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said, "We do note with pleasure that the Russian president stressed to Chairman Kim the importance of making a visit to South Korea, resuming the North-South dialogue." He added, "Without knowing the complete details of the conversations, I don't know that I would characterize the Russian role in any particular way at this point. But one of the elements that we had encouraged them to do was to raise this issue of resuming the North-South dialogue." Boucher said that the US welcomes the "international engagement of North Korea with other nations" and has watched Kim's trip to Russia "with great interest." Regarding possible US-DPRK talks, Boucher said, " we are prepared to undertake serious discussions with the North Koreans without preconditions." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 7, 2001.]

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2. US Troops in ROK

New York Times (Don Kirk, "SOUTH KOREANS CHALLENGE NORTHERNER ON U.S. TROOPS," Seoul, 8/7/01) reported that the ROK on Tuesday rebuffed a statement by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il during his weekend visit to Moscow on the presence of US troops in the Korean Peninsula. Kim Euy-taek, an ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman, called the presence of US troops in the ROK "a bilateral issue between the United States and the Republic of Korea." Officials and political analysts offered a range of reasons why Kim might have wanted the wording about the US troops included in the DPRK-Russia joint declaration even though he has been widely reported as having told ROK president Kim Dae-jung that he would not object if the US troops stayed on. Kim, the ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that the wording in the Moscow declaration, was "intended more for domestic consumption than anything else." The implication was that the DPRK leader had called for withdrawal of the troops during his Moscow visit in order to mollify hardliners in the DPRK, on whom he relies to maintain his power. Nonetheless, said Moon Chung-in, dean of international studies at Yonsei University, "the Moscow declaration defies Chairman Kim Jong-il's tacit acceptance of American forces in South Korea." Moon called the DPRK demand "a setback for President Kim Dae-jung" even though he said that the DPRK leader's trip to Russia seemed to make it more likely that he will pay a return visit to Seoul. He added that a summit meeting in Seoul would be likely to lead to reopening the rail link between the DPRK and the ROK, in keeping with the Moscow declaration's commitment. Lee Hoi-chang, leader of the opposition Grand National Party, said that the declaration showed that Kim Dae-jung had "either lied to the people or was deceived by the North" on the topic of US troop withdrawal. Kim Song-han, professor at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, an adjunct of the ROK Foreign Ministry, said that Putin and Kim "are touching the guts" of the ROK's relationship with the US "by raising the question of U.S. forces in Korea. That is the tactical strategy of North Korea." Choi Jin-wook, director of DPRK Studies at the Korea Institute of National Unification, said that Kim Jong-il's shift reflected the change in the DPRK's relations with the US under President George W. Bush. He said, "North Korea still wants to talk to the United States, but North Korea is trying to strengthen its own position." [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 7, 2001.]

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3. US Policy toward Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal (Jason Dean, "US SENATOR MINIMIZES CHINA'S STRENGTH, SUPPORTS TAIWAN IN BRIEF TAIPEI STOPOVER," Taipei, 8/7/01) reported that Joseph Biden, Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and three senior colleagues met for more than 90 minutes on August 6 with Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian. The delegation praised Chen for his efforts to improve relations across the Taiwan Strait. Biden stressed that US policy toward Taiwan remains unchanged despite comments earlier this year from US President George W. Bush. Biden, along with fellow Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes and Republican Senators Arlen Specter and Fred Thompson, travels Tuesday to the PRC for four days of visits with PRC leaders and US businessmen before heading to the ROK on August 11. In talks with PRC President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji at Beidaihe, the senators plan to take up several issues, including allegations of PRC weapons proliferation, and arrests of US citizens and permanent residents of Chinese descent. In a news conference after meeting with Chen, Biden acknowledged the PRC's human rights record but said that more engagement will only hasten progress on politics and human rights in the PRC. He warned of a growing PRC missile threat against Taiwan and other parts of the region, and said that he supported the Bush administration's weapons offer and other efforts to ensure Taiwan's ability to defend itself. However, he said that he made clear to Chen that "there has been no change in America's position relative to Taiwan," despite Bush's suggestion in a television interview that the US would do "whatever it took" in that effort. [Ed. note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 7, 2001.]

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4. Alleged PRC Missile Sales

Agence France Presse ("US SENATORS URGE CHINA TO ABIDE BY MISSILE PACT," Shanghai, 8/7/01) reported that a US Senate Foreign Relations Committee delegation led by US Senator Joseph Biden began a four-day visit to the PRC on Tuesday. Regarding a report that the PRC sold missile components to Pakistan, Biden stated, "We want to know that China is willing to abide by whatever agreements that they make, not only to the letter of the law but in the spirit of the agreement. There is little disagreement among us as to whether an agreement was made to refrain from such activity that appears to have been broken." The PRC foreign ministry on Tuesday denied the alleged sales in a statement that dismissed the report as "not worth commenting on." Biden said that US senators would urge PRC President Jiang Zemin to pressure DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il to abandon his nuclear ambitions, and work with US to prevent an arms race on the Korean peninsula or between India and Pakistan. He said, "Jiang Zemin must understand that it is not in China's interest, in our interest or in North Korea's interest to have a long-range nuclear capability." Biden said that if the DPRK were to acquire such a capability it would likely upset the balance of power in the region, prompting Japan to question its current military status and making it easier for US President George Bush to get domestic approval for a missile defense shield. He added that Bush was not intent on unilaterally abrogating the Anti- Ballistic Missile (ABM) agreement but that if the DPRK were able to expand its nuclear arsenal, the US Congress would be more likely to look favorably on Bush's missile defense plans.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-Russia Talks

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS PUTIN MAY HAVE URGED KIM TO VISIT SEOUL," Moscow, 08/07/01) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo said Monday that it is likely that Russian President Vladimir Putin advised DPRK leader Kim Jong-il during their summit in Moscow Saturday to visit Seoul. "Putin clearly expressed his support for reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, and Russia knows well that talks between two leaders are crucial to the peace process," Han said. "We have not yet confirmed this, but I believe Putin stressed the importance of the inter-Korean summit for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula," he said. Han welcomed the result of the Kim-Putin summit saying that he hopes the talks will have a positive effect in reinvigorating inter-Korean rapprochement.

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2. Aid to DPRK

The Korea Herald ("RED CROSS OFFICIAL APPEALS FOR CONTINUATION OF AID TO N. KOREA," Seoul, 08/07/01) reported that Didier J. Cherpitel, secretary-general of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), appealed to the international community on Monday to continue to provide aid to the DPRK. Cherpitel, who visited the DPRK from July 30 to August 3, said that DPRK officials blame the complicated US policy toward the DPRK for the current deadlock in inter-Korean Red Cross talks. Red Cross officials from the two Koreas, however, must continue to hold discussions on the issue of separated families, Cherpitel said at a press conference held at Korea Red Cross building in downtown Seoul.

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3. DPRK's Troop Withdrawal Demand

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH'S CRY FOR USFK WITHDRAWAL IS A MIXED SIGNAL- PRESIDENT DJ," Seoul, 08/06/01) reported that the DPRK's latest call for withdrawal of US troops comes from its desire to hold dialogue with the US, said ROK President Kim Dae-jung in his meeting with former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday. "North Korea was sending one of its usual mixed-up signal to Washington displaying its wish to hold talks," Kim explained.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-Russian Relations

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "MOSCOW DECLARATION'HELPS TO IMPROVE SOUTH-NORTH RELATIONS ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA," Seoul, 08/06/01, P3) reported that an official who asked not to be identified in the ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said on August 5 that the Moscow Declaration, signed by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and Russian President Putin, will help to improve ROK-DPRK relations on the Peninsula. The official said that the Moscow Declaration backs up the South-North Common Declaration signed last June, expressing its support to the proposals to realize unification in a peaceful and independent way. The Declaration also says, according to the official, that Russia will play a constructive and responsible role in the ROK-DPRK dialogue, which will bring a positive effect to the improvement of ROK-DPRK relations. The official pointed out that another issue of ROK concern is that the DPRK and Russia proposed to build a railway connecting the Korean Peninsula to Russia and to Europe.

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2. ROK View of DPRK-US Relations

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "ROK: US SHOULD ENGAGE WITH DPRK," Seoul, 08/07/01, P4) reported that on August 6 in talks with former US President Carter, ROK President Kim Dae-jong stressed that the US and the DPRK should trust and engage with each other. Kim said that the DPRK wishes to improve relations with the US in order to acquire a security guarantee and develop its economy. Now the DPRK still holds the hope, Kim added. The DPRK-Russia summit meeting held recently also reveals that the DPRK wants to improve its relations with the US, Kim said. The DPRK, Kim pointed out, in the first step wishes not to confront with the US but cooperate in economic field and in the international community. The missile problem is a follow-up issue, he said. Carter expressed his support to the ROK's reconciliation and cooperation policy toward the DPRK. He considered that the US and the DPRK should establish General Consulates or Liaison Offices in Pyongyang and Washington, D. C. respectively.

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3. PRC Military Development

China Daily (Jin Baicheng, "NATION BUILDING MODERN ARMY," 08/01/01) reported that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is speeding up its technological modernization, according to a senior army officer. During an exclusive interview with China Daily, Senior Colonel Su Zhirong, who is also a research fellow with the Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA, hailed the remarkable achievements of the army. Promoting military technologies is the top priority of the military modernization, Su said, emphasizing that the aim is purely to promote self-defense. In 1999, the PRC restructured its national defense industry and established 10 sectors including the nuclear industry, aviation, shipping and weaponry. According to Su, the PLA has made many breakthroughs in fields such as missile technology, astronautics and information technology. Around 1,000 award-winning scientific breakthroughs have been introduced to the ground forces, greatly promoting their self-defense capabilities and the accuracy of long-distance strikes. The navy and air forces have also improved their readiness by employing high-tech systems. Su said that the PLA will not pose a threat to other countries. "The Chinese army will never take part in any arms race, nor will it seek hegemony or external expansion," Su said. He said that the army has been pursuing a principle of safeguarding sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity and safety. "The use of military force is only to secure a stable internal and external environment for national economic development, and to safeguard national interests and dignity. All these fall into the category of self-defense," Su said. He said that the country's military budget has been increasing at 6.2 percent annually for the last decade and a half, even slower than the average yearly inflation of 7.3 percent. Besides promoting its technology, the PLA is also improving the quality of its soldiers. To realize this goal, the army is relying on civilian institutions of higher learning to supply officers. Su said that the army has signed contracts with top universities such as Peking University and Tsinghua University. According to the contracts, the army gives financial aid to university students who in turn agree to join the army after graduation. In 1999 and 2000, more than 2,000 university graduates entered the army, thanks to this financial aid program. The PLA is also sending its officers with bachelor's degree to graduate school.

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4. US-Russia Relations

People Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "IVANOV: RUSSIA WILL NOT CONCEDE TO THE US OVER SECURITY ISSUES," Moscow, 08/02/01, P3) reported that on July 31, Russian Defense Minister Ivanov told journalists that on issues that relate to national security like anti-ballistic missiles, Russia will not make concessions to the US during bilateral negotiations. He denounced the rumors saying otherwise. Ivanov said that the two countries have not touched upon the core content of the negotiations on the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and further reduction of offensive strategic weapons. Russia and the US reached consensus only on the proposal to combine the two issues together during negotiation. He pointed out that Russia has proposed to cut both sides' nuclear warheads to 1500. Russia is waiting for the US's clear explanation of its plans for a limited missile defense system.

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5. US Joint Research on TMD

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "US AND ITS ALLIES HASTEN TO DEVELOP TMD," Washington, 08/06/01, P3) reported that the US is cooperating closely with at least six of its allies including Germany, Japan, Italy and Israel to conduct joint research and development of a theatre missile defense system (TMD). These research programs will play an important role in the US's comprehensive, multi-layer missile defense system. The Washington Post reported on August 4 that last month the US Defense Ministry signed with Italy a contract on the joint research on "Inter- medium extended air-defense system," and has decided to invest US$216 million in designing this system. This mobile air-defense system is reported to be able to intercept short-range missiles and will be mainly used to protect the US and its allies' mobile forces deployed around the world. The US Navy Department is also conducting joint research on sea- based missile defense systems with Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Besides, the Navy Departments in the US and Britain have negotiated on carrying out joint research of a new radar software, which not only can discover in time the missiles launching from the enemy, but also can distinguish multiple objects in a sophisticated environment. According to the Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Japan signed in August 1999, Japanese technicians will take part in the technological exploration of a sea-based missile defense system. The US is also cooperating with Israel on the joint research of laser weapons.

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6. Weapons Deployment in Outer Space

People's Daily (Hu Xiaoming, "US WILL PROBABLY DEPLOY WEAPONS IN THE OUTER SPACE," Washington, 08/03/01, P3) reported that on August 1, the former Chief of Staff of US Air Force Michael Ryan declared that the US is likely to deploy offensive and defensive weapons in outer space to protect its interests there. He pointed out that due to the fact that the US is becoming more and more dependent on satellites in terms of reconnaissance, communication and commercial use, there is increasing necessity to develop outer space weapons. He said that he himself tends to support the development of anti-satellite weapons, because the US dominates in the field of military and commercial satellites and should manage to protect these assets from electronic interruption and destruction. He said that the US will have to make a decision whether to deploy weapons in the outer space. He noted that the US Air Force is conducting research and development on outer space weapons, including a Boeing-747 that carries laser weapons. The US is also, he added, exploring possibilities to develop a bomber that can fly to the outer space quickly to attack ground targets. However, he stressed, the Bush Government has not made decision on whether or not to deploy weapons in outer space.

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7. PRC on Powell's Beijing Visit

Jiefang Daily ("ON POWELL'S BEIJING VISIT," Shanghai, 08/02/01) carried a news story summarizing Shanghai experts' views on US Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit to China. They have four main points on this visit. Firstly, Powell's visit reined in the descending tendency of PRC-US relations. In the first six months since Bush took his power, mutual suspicion and distrust has accelerated this descending tendency. But the fact of Powell's visit to China itself shows that the US Government has realized the importance of stable and healthy Sino-US relations. From this perspective, Powell's visit is successful. Secondly, this visit also marks the resumption of the high-level exchange mechanism between the two countries, which spares more time and space for the two countries to solve their divergences in a better way. Thirdly, Powell's visit is aimed to prepare for President Bush's October visit to China, when the summit meeting between China and the US can be a turning point for the improvement of bilateral relations. Finally, also a very important one, the new US Secretary of State's visit signals the commencement of normalization of Sino-US relations, and reveals the necessity and possibility for dialogue and cooperation between the two countries. On future bilateral relations, all experts expressed their prudent optimism. They stressed that three tendencies should be specially noted. One tendency is that the China policy debate inside the US Government has not finished yet. Even inside the Republican Party, big divergences exist on how to define PRC-US relations. Under this condition, bilateral relations will inevitably meet conflicts and ups and downs. Another tendency that should be realized is that although the new Government has started to pay attention to the importance of bilateral relations, especially economic and trade relations, currently the Bush Government's Asia-Pacific strategy still put security as a priority, and economy follows. Both the proposed US military strategic adjustment and new military revolution will have negative effects on bilateral relations. Thirdly, the US Government's external strategic mentality has experienced a clear shift from liberalism to political realism stressing power, alliances and deterrence.

IV. Russian Federation

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1. DPRK Leader's RF Visit

Sovetskaya Rossiya's Vasily Safronchuk ("A TEA-PARTY NEAR SOCHI," Moscow, 3, 08/07/01) published his regular international survey. Under a subtitle "Kim Jong-il's Return Visit," he reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il arrived on August 3 in Moscow on his official visit. The RF and Western mass media derided the fact that he traveled from the RF-DPRK border to Moscow in nine days and that extreme security measures were taken, making RF citizens' life inconvenient. The author argued, however, "there is nothing sensational in Kim Jong-il's desire to get more substantially familiar with a friendly neighboring country. Possibly Kim Jong-il's wish to travel the Trans-Siberian Railway was dictated by the plans to create a railway to link Europe and Asia." As for the security measures, they are "more than justified by the fact that he is the leader of a state that the United States included in a category of rogue- states. It is known that US special services carry out a regular hunt for those state's leaders." The RF mass media reported much more about the outside features than about the contents of negotiations and documents signed. "Some of newspapers, for instance 'Izvestia', covered the visit in a hostile spirit. The Kremlin services did nothing to ensure a favorable coverage. The results of the visit to a large extent strengthen Russia's foreign policy positions. The Declaration signed by the two countries' leaders emphasizes that the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty of 1972 is the corner stone of strategic stability, international security and a basis for further reductions of strategic arms. It says that the DPRK missile program is of a peaceful nature and does not threaten countries that respect its sovereignty. In a narrow-circle conversation, Kim Jong-il confirmed that Pyongyang intended to observe its moratorium on ballistic missile launching till 2003. Those assurances leave no grounds under the feet of Bush Administration striving to get Congressional sanction to create NMD (National Missile Defense). It was reported Defense Minister S. Ivanov promptly informed by phone Condoleeza Rice, National Security Advisor to President Bush, of the negotiations' results. The Moscow Declaration touches on the problem of inter- Korean settlement. The North Korean party stressed that the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea was an urgent problem. The Russian party spoke on the issue more carefully--it stated that peace and stability on Korean Peninsula must be ensured by peaceful means. The declaration also stated that both parties would promote the formation of a new just system of world order and confirmed the right of any state to have an equal degree of security."

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Yelena Shesternina ("'THE BIG TRIP' IS CLOSE TO THE END," Moscow, 6, 08/07/01) reported that on Wednesday DPRK leader Kim Jong-il was to return to Moscow from Saint Petersburg to travel through Siberia back to the DPRK. The Moscow Declaration he signed with RF President Vladimir Putin is "similar in general" to the Pyongyang Declaration signed during Putin's visit to the DPRK a year ago. "Moscow can be glad with the results of the negotiations. It's obvious that by developing its relations with DPRK Moscow is in a position to influence the contents of North Korean missile programs allegedly so frightening to the adherents of US NMD plan. The task of Kim Jong-il's visit to Moscow evidently was not limited to strengthening and developing relations with Russia. One of the goals was to consult with Russia on the issue of resumption of the dialogue with South Korea and response to a proposal by Bush to resume talks with the US. The are grounds to expect that after the Moscow trip there will be shifts emerging in DPRK-ROK and DPRK-USA contacts." Also modernization of railway network in the Korean Peninsula and linking it to the Trans-Siberian Railway, restoration of industrial and energy facilities in the DPRK, joint extraction of natural resources including magnesium, and prospects of realization of an energy facility in the DPRK within the KEDO framework were discussed. RF diplomatic sources said however, "Moscow was not going 'to give (the DPRK) anything for free, out of ideological considerations.' Neither is Moscow going 'to forgive' Pyongyang its debts left since the times of the USSR." On Sunday, Kim Jong-il visited the Korolyov Space Flight Control Center and the Khrunichev State Space Science and Production Center, where he inspected "Proton," "Rokot" and "Angara" carrier-missiles, as well as a space platform for small space communication devices. In Saint Petersburg he visited the Leningrad Metal plant and the Kirov Plant. In ten days he was to return to Pyongyang.

Yulia Kantor of Izvestia ("A RAIN MAN," Moscow, 4, 08/07/01) reported on DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's visit to Saint Petersburg. The report covered almost entirely the cultural program of the visit. An unsigned box under the report covered world media reports on Kim Jong-il's visit to RF, varying from allegations of RF-DPRK intentions to establish a strategic alliance ("Washington Post") to statements that in Moscow he "failed to sign any treaties concerning either deliveries of arms, namely the most modern anti-missile complexes S-300, or cooperation in the nuclear energy field" ("Liberacion").

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2. RF-DPRK Nuclear Cooperation

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Andrey Vaganov ("KIM JONG-IL'S ATOMIC INSPECTION," Moscow, 1, 6, 08/07/01) reported that on August 6 DPRK leader Kim Jong-il planned to inspect the Leningrad Metal Plant (LMP) in Saint Petersburg. He was to be shown a unique turbine made there for the Lianyungang nuclear plant in the PRC. By 2000 the RF Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom) had signed 4 inter-governmental and 6 inter-ministerial agreements with the PRC. Minatom Press service reported that they did not rule out a possibility of resumption of cooperation with DPRK in the nuclear energy field. Full-fledged cooperation was stopped more than 10 years ago. "The 'Finmarket' agency reported that a relevant agreement could be reached at the talks that were held in Moscow between the Russian leaders and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Russia could help Pyongyang in building of nuclear power stations, especially in view of the fact that the relevant agreements of North Korea with western countries still have not been implemented. It's interesting that the LMP is in fact a firm with foreign participation--as of December last year 10 percent of the LMP shares belonged to 'Siemens', a German electric technology concern. In the opinion of Ivan Safranchuk, Director of the Moscow Representative Office of the Defense Information Center, in the Northeast Asian region the DPRK is second after China in terms of missile-nuclear potential. Yet RF Minatom is optimistic. In Russian experts' opinion, a construction of a nuclear power plant in Russian territory in an area close to the DPRK border might become the most real and promising joint project. The plant would supply electricity to North Korea. Simultaneously the nuclear technologies non-proliferation problem would be solved. The nuclear power plant construction could be financed form the funds now being spent on KEDO. Russian specialists cast doubt on the feasibility of the implementation of the KEDO project. RF Minatom failed either to confirm or to deny the information on participation of Russia's Atomic Energy Minister Aleksandr Rumyantsev in the talks with the North Korean leader."

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3. DPRK-ROK Talks

Mikhail Skibin of Izvestia ("EX-PRESIDENT WILL RECONCILE THE TWO COUNTRIES," Moscow, 8, 08/07/01) reported that Jimmy Carter, ex-President of the US, announced on Monday his readiness to facilitate the resumption of DPRK-ROK talks

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4. RF-PRC Relations

Nezavisimaya gazeta ("RUSSIA-CHINA: FRIENDS OF RIVALS?," Moscow, 6, 08/03/01) published an article by political scientist Aleksandr Lukin on RF-PRC relations. He believes that the extremist assessments of the RF-PRC Treaty on Good-Neighborhood, Friendship and Cooperation signed this mid-July in Moscow are wrong, both those claiming that it leads to a new anti-USA alliance and those arguing that the treaty is of a purely decorative nature. In Lukin's opinion, the treaty is a full-fledged program to preserve the postwar system of international law threatened by certain acts of the US and NATO. Both the RF, the PRC and other large but not strong enough countries, such as India, Iran and others, aspire to coordinate efforts to preserve the world beneficial to them, that is the world of sovereign states and its bodies, primarily the UN. Presently none of the two countries wish to worsen relations with the US. "A rather unnatural RF-PRC alliance against the US is possible only in case the threat from the US is perceived by them as more dangerous than the threat caused by renunciation of cooperation with the West." The US also cannot afford to have cool relations for a long time with the PRC. Lukin criticized both RF attempts to teach the PRC "democracy" in the early 1990s and local authorities in bordering areas for disorder in economic and migration policies disguised by pseudo-patriotic slogans. Some are concerned with RF arms deliveries to the PRC, but the People's Liberation Army (PLA) so far is not strong enough to pose a threat to the RF and, besides, the PRC is mainly paying attention to the problem of Taiwan, which might take decades to solve. The military technology gap, however, should be narrowed rapidly. As for the threat of massive migration from the PRC, Lukin believes that the solution lies only in successful economic development of the RF Far East and Siberia. Altogether, without reliance on real mutual economic interests, RF-PRC "strategic interaction" might turn out short-lived.

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Yevgeny Galushko ("A NEW BRIDGE OVER AMUR WILL LINK RUSSIA AND CHINA," Khabarovsk, 2, 08/07/01) reported that an agreement to build a highway bridge over the Amur River was reached during a visit of a delegation of the Jewish Autonomous Region to a city of Hegang in PRC. Hegang authorities are prepared to provide manpower and equipment to cover a 150 kilometers long road in RF territory with concrete, getting timber and other deliveries in return. The final decision is in exclusive competence of the two countries' governments.

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5. Joint RF-PRC Border Exercises

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Yevgeny Galushko ("RUSSIAN-CHINESE EXERCISES HELD NEAR BLAGOVESHCHENSK," Khabarovsk, 2, 07/28/01) reported that joint exercises of RF border guards and a crew of a border patrol boat and PRC border guards were held at the Blagoveshchensk part of the RF-PRC border to improve interaction in apprehension of border violators. The commanders on both sides believe the exercises were a success.

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6. PRC Threat to Taiwan

Aleksandr Shumilin of Izvestia ("ANOTHER CHINESE THREAT," Moscow, 6, 08/02/01) reported that PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian on August 1 in his greeting message to the servicemen of the PRC People's Liberation Army (PLA) on its anniversary again threatened Taiwan with military force if politicians there would dare to proclaim the island's independence. He said, "China will never renounce the use of force and will never allow any foreign states to interfere in Taiwan's affairs." The Air Force and Navy of PRC will soon hold large-scale exercises near Taiwan with participation of amphibious troops preparing for landing on Taiwan. In March the PRC parliament approved 17.7 percent increase in defense spending equal to US$17 billion. Yet analysts are sure that the real defense budget is some four times bigger. RF Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov on an inspection trip in Khabarovsk said that the RF was not concerned about the military activities of the PRC in the Far East and added that his ministry "maintained normal relations with PLA."

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7. RF-Japan Border Cooperation

Oleg Zhunusov of Izvestia ("NEIGHBORING BORDER GUARDS WILL TRAIN TOGETHER," Vladivostok, 3, 08/07/01) reported that RF border guards in Vladivostok were for the first time to host "Tsugaru" and "Esana," ships of the Japanese Maritime Security Agency. The Press Center of the Pacific Directorate of the RF Federal Border Guard Service reported that they were to rehearse joint efforts to provide for functionality of a vessel and life rescue at sea, as well as to apprehend border violators, including poaching vessels. The Japanese party prefers not to give publicity to the latter part. The visit is the first one of that kind. In the past RF Pacific Fleet Command four times hosted Japanese colleagues and their ships, including "Tsugaru" in 1994.

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8. RF Proposals at ARF

Aleksandr Shumilin of Izvestia ("STRATEGIC MANEUVERS," Moscow, 8, 07/28/01) reported that on July 27 the ASEAN Regional Forum was concluded in Hanoi. As different from RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, US State Secretary Colin Powell, who served in Vietnam 30 years ago, had no meeting with Nguen Van An, the Vietnamese leader, although US-Vietnam trade and business exchanges have been growing. "Strategic partnership" and multifaceted cooperation between RF and Vietnam that has been often mentioned after RF President Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Hanoi seems to become ever peaceful, as testified by the RF Naval command's intention to abandon its naval base in Kamrahn. Ivanov at the ASEAN Forum said that it was time for RF and the ASEAN member countries to turn to large-scale joint projects, first of all to use Far Eastern and Siberian natural resources of RF in the interests of regional energy security by means of building a network of oil and gas pipe-lines and energy bridges linking the RF with the PRC, India, the Korean Peninsula, Japan and other countries of the region. Using RF railways as the shortcut to Europe from Asia was mentioned. In Hanoi the RF Foreign Minister for the first time made public a new RF initiative to use ASEAN as an example for creating a similar forum for Northeast Asia. By that the RF hopes to increase its influence, while presently Northeast Asia security issues are dealt with, in Ivanov's words, "within the narrow framework" of four-party talks between the DPRK, the ROK, the US, and the PRC.

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Clayton, Australia

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