NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, august 20, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Inter-Korean Railway

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "NORTH KOREA UPBEAT ABOUT RAIL LINK," Seoul, 08/20/01) reported that the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday said that the project to build a railroad linking the two Koreas with Europe made progress at Kim Jong-il's recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The KCNA said that Kim and Putin "reached a consensus of views on all the matters discussed."

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2. US-DPRK Talks

The New York Times (Don Kirk, "NORTH KOREAN LEADER DEPARTS RUSSIA," Seoul, 08/18/01) and Reuters ("NORTH KOREA RULES OUT TALKS WHILE U.S. CONDITIONS EXIST," Seoul, 08/18/01) reported that the DPRK's Rodong Sinmun said Saturday that it would be difficult for the US and the DPRK to resume dialogue. It said, "The DPRK and the U.S. cannot sit at the negotiating table as long as the latter has a dagger in its belt and no success can be expected even if such dialogue takes place." It added that the US proposal for talks to include nuclear and conventional weapons as well as missiles was "a precondition for dialogue that the United States unilaterally imposed."

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3. ROK-DPRK Relations

Reuters ("S.KOREA DISCUSSES NORTH AS U.S. LAUNCHES WAR GAMES," Seoul, 08/20/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung on Monday vowed to boost security and strengthen diplomatic ties with major powers to underpin his effort to revive talks with the DPRK. Kim told a special meeting of the National Security Council of senior cabinet ministers that the ROK must "prepare a solid security system while forging a peace process through dialogue." He said that ROK security could be assured with a combination of ROK-US military cooperation and stronger diplomatic ties with the PRC, Japan, Russia and the US. ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo was quoted as telling a luncheon with domestic journalists that he remained optimistic that Kim Jong-il would visit Seoul.

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4. US-ROK Military Exercises

The Associated Press ("S. KOREA, US BEGIN MILITARY EXERCISE," Seoul, 08/20/01) reported that the ROK and the US began the 12-day joint Ulchi Focus Lens military exercise on Monday. The exercise is largely a computer- simulated war game that has been conducted annually since 1976.

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5. ROK-DPRK Joint Celebration

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT IN A QUANDARY OVER CIVIC DELEGATION IN NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 08/20/01) reported that some of a civic delegation that traveled to Pyongyang for joint liberation day celebrations may face questioning by prosecutors on possible violations of the National Security Law. ROK Cabinet ministers on Monday discussed how to deal with the delegates, but made no announcements. Hong Kwan-hee, analyst at the state-run Korean Institute of National Unification, stated, "If the government doesn't deal with this issue very firmly and effectively and quickly, then it could be a seed for problems in the future." Among those possibly facing charges is Kim Jong-su, a Roman Catholic priest who delivered a sermon at a Mass in Jangchung cathedral in Pyongyang. The DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) stated, "The mass underscored the need to put an end to the bitter sufferings from the national division caused by outside forces." KCNA said that ROK delegates also prayed at Pongsu church, one of two Protestant churches in Pyongyang. Others gathered with Northern Buddhists at a mountain temple and attended a service of the indigenous Korean religion, Chondo.

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6. US Military Participation in Air Show

Defense News (Robert Holzer and Amy Svitak, "PENTAGON TO ASSESS FUTURE ROLE IN AIR SHOWS," Washington, 08/20-26/01, 3) reported that a US government official in the ROK said Friday that the US Defense Department has not yet given clearance for the US military to take part in the Seoul Air Show. The department's new Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas Feith, is reviewing US military participation in international armaments shows. A US defense official said that the review was prompted in part by press criticism of sending uniformed personnel to help private companies sell their products. One US defense official stated, "It's not a crackdown. We're not expecting any major policy shift. He's simply looking for more detailed justification for [Defense Department] participation." Chris Lombardi, manager for international affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group that represents major US defense and aerospace firms, argued, "The potential to lose those sales by not having a U.S. military presence in that air show is significant." He warned that a lack of US participation would also be an insult to the ROK, adding, "The worst thing we could do right now is offend the Koreans, even unintentionally." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 20.]

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7. Military Exercises in South China Sea

Agence France-Press ("US NAVY STAGES BIG SHOW OF FORCE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA," Hong Kong, 08/18/01) and the Associated Press (Helen Luk, "U.S. NAVY MOUNTS HUGE DRILL OFF COAST," Hong Kong, 08/18/01) reported that the US aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson and USS Constellation led one-day exercise in the South China Sea on Friday involving 13 other vessels including three submarines, about 150 aircraft, and more than 15,000 personnel. An official report on the US 7th Fleet's Internet website said that the exercise was a "rare meeting at sea" for two US battle groups. It added, "Along with the valuable training benefits achieved during the exercise, the meeting of the two aircraft carrier battle groups on the high seas demonstrates a commitment to providing peace and cooperation in the region while preserving the right to freedom of navigation." Analysts quoted by the South China Morning Post said that the exercise was a pointed message to the PRC as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts large war games on the southern coast facing Taiwan. Paul Beaver, an independent defense analyst in Britain, stated, "There are no coincidences around the Taiwan Strait and the Americans would have been fully aware of the PLA exercises when they planned this. They are demonstrating to the PLA that they have an interest in the future of Taiwan." The pro-PRC Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po said Sunday that the PRC has begun final preparations for its largest-ever military exercises, which would simulate an invasion of the Taiwan-controlled Penghu islands. PLA troops would try to "strongly resist US intervention" over Taiwan and are aimed at "fighting off an aircraft carrier." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 20.]

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8. US Military Visits in Hong Kong

The Associated Press (Helen Luk, "7 U.S. WARSHIPS ARRIVE IN HONG KONG," Hong Kong, 08/20/01) reported that seven US warships visited Hong Kong on Monday. Since last April's spy plane collision, the only US port call allowed was in July by two small anti-mine ships.

The Associated Press ("CHINA BARS U.S. NAVY PLANE," Hong Kong, 08/19/01) and the South China Morning Post (Marcal Joanilho, "BEIJING BARS US SPY PLANE FROM SAR TRIP," 08/20/01) reported that Barbara Zigli, spokeswoman for the US Consulate in Hong Kong, said that the PRC barred the US Navy patrol plane P-3C Orion from visiting Hong Kong last week on a training mission. The PRC's official Xinhua News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi as saying that the PRC took into account unspecified "related factors" in deciding on such requests. Sun stated, "We ratify them case by case." Analysts said that one factor for the refusal was that the P- 3C is equipped to track submarines and the PRC is conducting a large-sale exercise in the region. They also said the timing of the visit was highly sensitive, especially at a time when the Chinese people felt their leaders were showing weakness towards the US and Japan. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 20.]

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9. Ethnic Separatists in PRC

The Washington Post (John Pomfret, "CHINA FLEXES MUSCLES AT ETHNIC SEPARATISTS," 08/19/01, Kashgar, A17) reported that the PRC People's Liberation Army (PLA) has conducted more than 10 days of war games in Xinjiang region, home of Uighur ethnic separatists. Dru Gladney, a professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, stated, "There is a feeling that the Chinese government has given and given and given to Xinjiang, and all they get is criticism. Now they have abandoned that tactic and are studying how America settled the West and decimated the Indians. They risk making the same mistakes we made." The Shanghai Cooperative Organization, which includes four central Asian nations, the PRC and Russia, has backed the PRC's policies, and Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan now routinely extradite alleged separatists back to the PRC. The PRC has granted aid to the militaries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and has invested millions in Kazakhstan's oil industry. The PRC has also begun development projects designed to speed the settlement of Xinjiang by Han Chinese and the extraction of Xinjiang's mineral resources.

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10. Japan-Russian Island Dispute

The BBC World Service ("JAPAN WARNS RUSSIA OVER ISLANDS," 08/20/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wrote Russian President Vladimir Putin to urge him to avoid a worsening of the dispute over four small islands claimed by both countries. Koizumi said that Japan could not accept the Russian action in granting fishing rights around the islands to DPRK and Ukrainian vessels and that if the issue remained unresolved, it could seriously affect Japanese-Russian relations.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Kim Jung-il's Visit to ROK

Joongang Ilbo ("CHAIRMAN KIM'S RETURN VISIT LIKELY TO BE WITHIN THIS YEAR," Moscow, 08/19/01) reported that DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il is likely to make a return visit to Seoul within this year at the earliest, reported the Voice of Russia (VOR), citing diplomatic source in Pyongyang last Friday on the 17th. VOR then added that a high-level delegation is likely to make visit to Seoul beforehand. "Back in first inter-Korean summit meeting in Pyongyang the leaders of the North and South, after agreeing to let the issue of reunification be addressed solely between the two Koreas, then decided on high-level officials' meeting that would proceed the summit talks," VOR said. "However preparations for the meeting is yet to be completed."

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2. WFP Director Visits DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("N.K. FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH WFP CHIEF," Moscow, 08/19/01) reported that DPRK Foreign Affairs Minister Paek Nam-sun met with Executive Director of World Food Program (WFP) Catherine Bertini on Saturday. The two sides exchanged pleasant conversation at Mansudae Hall in Pyongyang reported the DPRK's state-run media Sunday but did not disclose on what exactly went between the two sides. Also present at the talks with other officials was David Morton the representative of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and WFP at Pyongyang according to the news. Bertini who arrived at Pyongyang for four-day stay aims to make thorough investigation on the nation's dire food condition for next three days.

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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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