NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, august 22, 2001

I. United States

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

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I. United States

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1. Escape of ROK POW from DPRK

The Associated Press ("SKOREAN EX-SOLDIER FLEES NORTH," Seoul, 08/22/01) reported that Shin Sung-soo, a former ROK soldier who was captured by the DPRK during the Korean War, was among 13 people who arrived recently in the ROK after escaping the DPRK. The ROK National Intelligence Service did not say when the latest group of defectors arrived, nor did it provide details of their journey. It said that Shin was taken prisoner a month after the Korean War broke out and worked for decades at a coalmine before escaping. The agency plans to hold Shin for questioning for as long as a month.

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2. US-ROK Jurisdiction Dispute

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, "U.S., S. KOREA FIGHT OVER COURT CASE," Seoul, 08/22/01) reported that the US military on Wednesday rejected an ROK court order for a US civilian employee to stand trial on charges of dumping toxic chemicals into a river. The US military said that the Status of Forces Agreement allows the US side to have jurisdiction in this case. Lee Ferguson, a US military spokeswoman, stated, "When a person violates both the U.S. and South Korean laws, and if his act or omission occurred in his duty, SOFA says the U.S. side has the right to exercise primary jurisdiction." The person in question, Albert McFarland, an employee at a US military mortuary, was accused of ordering the dumping of 24 gallons of formaldehyde into the Han River early last year.

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3. Japanese Satellite Launches

The Associated Press ("JAPAN SPACE PROGRAM MISFIRES," Tokyo, 08/22/01) reported that a mechanical glitch forced officials at Japan's National Space Development to delay the launch of an H2-A rocket originally planned for Saturday until at least next week. The rocket is designed to send a four-ton satellite into orbit.

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4. US-PRC Military Exchanges

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "PENTAGON RESUMES EXCHANGES WITH CHINA," 08/22/01, 4) reported that Peter Rodman, US Assistant Defense Secretary for International Security Affairs, said that the Defense Department is resuming limited military exchanges with the PRC, but has no schedule for resuming a high-level strategic dialogue with the PRC military. Rodman stated, "It's still case-by-case." [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 22.]

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5. US-Russia Missile Defense Talks

The Washington Post (Peter Baker, "RUSSIA SIGNALS COMPROMISE POSSIBLE ON ABM TREATY," Moscow, 08/22/01), the New York Times (Patrick E. Tyler, "U.S. SETS DEADLINE FOR SETTLEMENT OF ABM ARGUMENT," Moscow, 08/22/01, 1) and the Associated Press (Sarah Karush, "U.S. MAY EXIT 1972 MISSILE TREATY," Moscow, 08/22/01) reported that Russia on Tuesday rejected a US proposal to withdraw jointly from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, but said that that it was willing to make "certain amendments" to the agreement. US envoy John R. Bolton warned that the US would withdraw unilaterally from the ABM Treaty if it could not reach an agreement with Russia. Bolton said that he hopes the two sides can settle the matter by November when Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit the US, but stressed he did not intend that to be a "hard deadline." Diplomatic sources said that the two sides were working to arrange a Friday meeting between Bolton and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. An unnamed Russian official stated, "During the consultations, Russia expressed its firm and unequivocal stance - we favor the preservation of the ABM treaty. Of course, we realize that we live in a post-Cold War age and are ready to agree with our American counterparts that certain amendments should be made to the existing system of treaties on strategic stability." An unnamed senior US defense official said that it is conceivable that a decision could be made to give Russia the required six-month notice in November for withdrawing from the treaty, if missile defense activities planned for the spring of 2002 warranted notification, but the official stressed that the issue of ABM compliance is being studied by a review group, which has not yet reached any firm conclusions. [Ed. Note: This article was included in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 22.]

II. People's Republic of China

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1. ROK on Japanese History Textbook

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "ROK GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF JAPANESE HISTORY TEXTBOOK ISSUE AND SHRINE VISIT," Seoul, 08/18/01, P4) reported that on August 17, a ROK official who refused to be identified said that although the newly revised Japanese history textbook has not been widely adopted, this does not mean that the textbook issue has been solved between ROK and Japan. The ROK will continue to request Japan to take sincere measures to revise the distorted history textbook, he added. According to the local media, the official said that the adoption rate of the new textbook is less than 1 percent, which can be partly attributed to the ROK Government and people's persistent and rational effort. At the same time, he added, this also explains the fact that most Japanese people have consciousness. The official pointed out that Japanese right-wing groups have said that they will continue to compile history textbooks, to which the ROK Government will pay close attention.

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2. ROK-Japan Summit Talks

People Daily (Xinhua News Agency, Gao Haorong, "ROK POSITION ON ROK- JAPANESE SUMMIT TALKS," Seoul, 08/21/01, P3) reported that on August 20, ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Han Seung-soo said that the preconditions for ROK and Japan to hold bilateral summit talks are that the Japanese Government accept the proper voice among Japanese people during the process of adopting the revised history textbook, and that Japanese Government accepts the "Common Declaration of New ROK-Japanese Partnership in the 21st Century" issued in 1998. He made the remarks in a meeting named "Special Committee on Correcting Japanese Textbooks Distorting History" in the Congress. He said that the development of bilateral relations between ROK and Japan should be based on the guideline of correctly looking back the history and look toward the future. The deteriorated bilateral relations, he added, should be attributed to the fact that Japan cannot face its history correctly. He pointed out that the ROK will bring forward the Japanese textbook issue and its morality issue in international conferences. The people's perspectives on history between the two countries will help to block the distorting perspective on history.

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3. PRC-US Relations

People Daily (Xinhua News Agency, Che Yuming, "LI PENG MEETS US SENATORS," Beidaihe, Hebei, 08/21/01, P1) reported that Li Peng, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the PRC National People's Congress (NPC), insisted on August 20 that there is more common ground than disagreement between the PRC and the US, adding that the two sides should develop a constructive relationship. Li made the remarks at a 90-minute meeting with US Senator Richard Shelby, who is leading a delegation of US Congressman on a visit to the PRC. Li said that the PRC is glad to see improvements in Sino-US relations after a period of hard times between the two countries. Li said that the PRC and the US share common responsibilities in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, in promoting global economic development, in dealing with the worsening environment, and in fighting terrorism. On the issue of Taiwan, Li told the US delegation that the PRC upholds the principle of "one country, two systems" and peaceful reunification. In response, Shelby stressed that the US maintains there is only one China and Taiwan is part of China, and the Taiwanese people are Chinese people. The US does not support Taiwan independence and considers the future of Taiwan to be connected with the Chinese mainland, he added.

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4. PRC-US Payment Dispute

China Daily (Guo Nei, "US URGED TO RETHINK PAYMENT," 08/16/01, P1) reported that the PRC strongly urged the US to correct its "paltry" payment for the Sino-US mid-air collision in April and give PRC proper explanations swiftly to settle the issue properly. On August 15, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi made the remarks when asked to confirm whether the US has offered the PRC a formal reply on the spy plane issue through its embassy, and the PRC's reaction to the reply. Sun noted that the US notified the PRC recently of its decision on the payment issue through its embassy, pointing out that the decision is unacceptable in both content and form. The PRC has firmly refused such a decision and reiterated its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the payment. The previous report said that the US had agreed to pay only US$34,000 for expenses related to the PRC's storage of its spy plane.

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5. PRC-Russian Relations

Global Times (Xu Tao, "PRC-RUSSIAN COOPERATIONS ARE PROSPEROUS," Anhui, 08/17/01, P4) reported that a Global Times reader argued that it is mutual need externally that pushed the PRC and Russia together, rather than internally mutual need as argued in an article in the "Global Forum" of August 10. He elaborated that the article said that between the PRC and Russia there exists complementarities in the field of market, economy, energy and others, which has appeared in the USSR era. However, the reader pointed out that the bilateral cooperation between the PRC and Russia has not completely developed under the situation of internally mutual need. It is an incremental process from the 1992 "viewing each other as friendly countries" to the 2001 "Sino-Russia Good Neighboring and Friendly Cooperation Treaty." But, the internally mutual need does play a role in bilateral relations, he noted. It is the driving force for Sino-Russia sustainable development. He finally said that the mutual needs are the same between China and Russia in essence. However, in terms of capacity, it is unbalanced between the two sides. To achieve a balanced capacity mutual need, he added, more cooperative fields should be explored.

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6. Japanese Participation in Missile Defense

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "JAPAN WILL BUILD MORE AEGIS FRIGATES," Tokyo, 08/18/01, P4) reported that according to a report in Tokyo News on August 17, the Japanese Navy will build two more Ageis frigates with strong capabilities for theatre missile defense within the next two years. Japanese Ocean Defense Forces are reported to have had 4 Aegis frigates so far. The report said that Japan will purchase the core system from the US. Tokyo News pointed out that the implementation of this program by Japanese Ocean Defense Forces would likely violate the relevant items of the Constitution.

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7. Japanese Self-Defense Forces

Jiefang Daily (Xinhua News Agency, Zhang Huanli, "DELIQUESCING JAPANESE SDF' FROZEN MISSION,") reported that according to Japanese media reports on August 19, the Japanese Government made a decision the previous day that Japan will restart the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' (SDF) frozen mission to participate in UN peacekeeping, and loosen the limits on weapons use by the SDF during UN peacekeeping missions. It is reported that this decision was made after much research on Japanese SDF's participation in UN peacekeeping activities. Based on this guideline, the report said, it can be estimated that the modified Act on SDF's Collaboration in UN Peacekeeping Activities will be put forward in the temporary congress of this fall. In the wake of the eliminating the frozen mission, the Japanese Government will modify the five principles while participating in peacekeeping activities.

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8. Europeans on US Foreign Policy

People Daily (Xinhua News Agency, Tan Weibing, "MOST EUROPEANS OPPOSE BUSH'S FOREIGN POLICY," Washington, 08/17/01, P3) and China Daily (Xinhua News Agency, "BUSH WHACKED BY EUROPEANS OVER SKILLS AND US POLICY," Washington, 08/17/01, P12) reported that according to a multinational poll released on August 15, a majority of Western Europeans disapprove of most of US President George W. Bush's foreign policy positions and have little confidence in the US's leader's handling of world affairs. Seventy percent of nearly 4,000 adults polled in Germany, France, Britain and Italy said that Bush made his decisions based entirely on US interests and understood less about Europe than other US Presidents. Not only do most Europeans reject key elements of Bush's foreign policy, they have little confidence in the President, the survey found. Only about a third of British and Italian respondents said they had a fair amount of confidence in Bush's handling of world affairs. Germans gave Bush better marks, with 51 percent saying they had some confidence in his abilities. The respondents came down firmly against Bush on the issues that stirred the most controversy during his recent travels to Europe--his rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and his plan to build a missile defense system. The poll found that 83 percent of Germans disapproved of Bush's plan to develop a missile defense program if it meant US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. The opposition was nearly as large in the other countries, according to the survey.

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9. Cross-Straits Relations

China Daily (Xiao Xing, "LU'S SEPARATIST EFFORTS DENOUNCED," 08/18- 19/01, P1) reported that on August 17, the PRC strongly condemned Taiwan's "Vice-President" Annette Lu for comments and political moves she has made to promote Taiwan independence. Lu organized the "2001 Global Peace Assembly" on the island from August 13-16, but a spokesman from the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council claimed her image as a "peace envoy" was a thin attempt to mask her dangerous desire to separate Taiwan from the Chinese territory. Lu has been strongly opposed to abandonment of the "go slow, be patient" policy and opening- up of the three links across the Taiwan Straits. She has also described the one-China principle and "one country, two systems" policy advocated by the PRC to promote reunification of the motherland as a "trap." The spokesman stressed that moves by pro-independence forces are the sole factor causing tension in cross-Straits ties, adding that such moves will benefit neither the Taiwan people nor peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

III. Russian Federation

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1. DPRK Leader's Visit to RF

Nezavisimaya gazeta ("WHAT FOR DID YOU COME, DEAR GUESTS?," Moscow, 3, 08/21/01) published comments of Sergey Kazennov, Geostrategic Problems Sector Chief, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, and Vladimir Kumachyov, Vice President, Institute of National Security and Strategic Problems, on DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's recent visit to the RF. They believe that the RF is becoming "an element of the emerging important pole of the future multipolar world." The one-sided West- oriented RF foreign policies of the early 1990s are criticized, as the sudden break with DPRK then did not pay any dividends to RF, but rather made it of less interest to the partners in Northeast Asia. On the contrary, this time just the talks about RF participation in the DPRK- ROK railway restoration and its link to the Trans-Siberian railway increased the international rating of the RF and President Vladimir Putin personally. "The role of an effective mediator between 'the clean' and (in Western view) 'the unclean' countries and regimes may prove extremely advantageous to Russia."

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2. PRC Leader to Visit DPRK

Izvestia ("JIANG ZEMIN WILL GO TO KIM JONG-IL," Moscow, 9, 08/22/01) reported that PRC Chairman Jiang Zemin was planning to visit DPRK on September 3, as reported by Reuters witth reference to the ROK media

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3. RF Warplanes for Myanmar

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("WE ARE ARMING MYANMAR," Moscow 6, 08/17-22/01, #30(252)) reported that Japanese media reported Myanmar decided to buy 10 RF-made MiG-29 planes worth US$150 million. The pre- contract talks had been going since 1996.

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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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