NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, august 30, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Famine and Food Aid (George Wehrfritz "FEEDING NORTH KOREA," 8/28/01) reported that Newsweek interviewed Catherine Bertini, executive director of the UN World Food Program, regarding the present situation in the DPRK. Asked whether the argument that all food aid should be stopped because it is enabling DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's regime and preventing the kind of change that will ultimately be necessary to fix the DPRK, Bertini said, "People would starve to death because we don't like the government? That's an immoral position." Describing her recent trip to the DPRK, she noted that there was an immense difference, in terms of the health of the children especially, since 1997. Asked about her or her colleagues sense of whether any reform effort is afoot to revive agriculture in the DPRK, Bertini replied, "No." She noted that there were small, incremental changes, but not enough to help. Bertini concluded that the DPRK "will need food aid over the long term." The DPRK, she noted, could undergo major economic change only if it can over come its ideological barrier against importing food. However, she noted, "there may be many barriers: political, ideological, commercial. Humanitarians can do this lifesaving work that I believe we are doing, but it is left to the political leadership of North Korea and other countries to make the difference over the long term. That relates to peace and stability and growth."

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2. Global Military Spending

Reuters (Michael Christie, "GLOBAL WEAPONS PURCHASES ON THE RISE - UN," Sydney, 8/30/01) reported that the United Nations said on Thursday that a decade-long slump in military spending that followed the end of the Cold War has been reversed and global weapons purchases are rising again. Jayantha Dhanapala, U.N. Under-Secretary General for disarmament, said in a speech in Sydney, Australia, "Whether one looks at the big weapons or the little ones, the facts are alarming." According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, global military spending last year reached US$800 billion, or US$130 for every person in the world. Dhanapala said that that represented a "major increase" from 1999. He said the biggest increases in spending were by developing nations and "Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia are two major sub regions of concern." Dhanapala said earlier on Thursday that a palpable sense of a "certain harmony, a certain unity" that existed among UN Security Council members just after the end of the Cold War, when everyone agreed over Iraq for instance, had "worn thin. We are beginning to see disagreements." Dhanapala noted that the US alone was responsible for half of last year's arms trades. He added, "It is true that we are facing a number of challenges particularly to multilateral disarmament. But I do know that the United States upholds the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, it upholds several other treaties, it would want to continue in several of our disarmament fora." Dhanapala said "a la carte multilateralism" was the popular word in Washington and the US Bush administration was likely to pick and choose which multilateral agreements it would like to adhere to. However, he added, "It will soon be realized that that is a game that other countries can also play and therefore it is not in the global interest for countries to limit their engagement."

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3. Japanese Prime Minister's Tour of Asia

The South China Morning Post (Jake Lloyd-Smith, "PM'S TOUR OF ASIA AIMED AT REPAIRING RELATIONS," Singapore, 8/30/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is planning a four-nation tour of Southeast Asia in September in an effort to repair relations strained by his visit to a Japanese war shrine. Japanese media reported that government sources said that Koizumi intended to visit Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia between September 16 and 23. The proposal was confirmed on August 29 by Japanese government spokesman Hsutomu Himeno who told reporters that the initiative "will be along those lines."

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4. Smuggling of Encryption Devices into PRC

The New York Times (Christopher Marquis, "2 MEN ARRESTED TRYING TO EXPORT ENCRYPTION DEVICES," Washington, 8/29/01) reported that the US Customs Service announced on August 29 the arrests of two men suspected of trying to export highly sophisticated encryption devices to the PRC. The units, produced by Mykotronx Incorporated, a technology company in Columbia, Maryland, are used by the US government and its allies to transmit secret information by telephone or fax. Officials said that the devices are only about US$8,000 a unit, but are so important that their sale must be approved by the US National Security Agency. Violators of the Arms Export Control Act face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a US$1 million fine. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for August 30, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Hee-sung, "NORTH PROPOSES INTER-KOREAN WORKING-LEVEL TALKS," Seoul, 08/29/01) reported that the DPRK Korea Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC) proposed holding the inter-Korean working-level talks initially agreed to at the August 15 joint festival held in Pyongyang two weeks ago. KCRC said in a statement released on August 28, "We greatly value our agreements sealed between the committees of the two Koreas back in the August 15 Festival and we shall sincerely put all our efforts to realize the ultimate goal of the two sides. For the moment we acknowledge it is important to hold successful inter-Korean talks, the sooner the better, in order to quickly implement the provisions as stipulated in the joint report issued by the two Korean groups during the ceremony. Furthermore we wish this could be an opportunity for other South Korea civic groups to hold in-depth discussions on the subject. We also hope this proposal could bring a favorable response from other South Korean civic organizations and dignitaries of various circles."

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2. DPRK Ideological Education

Joongang Ilbo ("IDEOLOGY EDUCATION INTENSIFIED IN N.K. IN FEAR OF OUTSIDE WORLD," Seoul, 08/29/01) reported that the DPRK has been intensifying its internal ideological education since June 2000 in order to brace up for the influence from abroad. The textbook titled "To Sharpen Our Class Struggle for the Upcoming Change" is being distributed to members of the workers party and common people nationwide. The book gives definitions for US imperialists, Japanese militarists, ROK anti-forces and the anti-regime forces within its own nation as the top class enemy and directs people "to block foreign enemies before establishing firm footing in the nation and smash down if such people are found within the regime."

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3. Meeting between FAO and DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("FAO GENERAL DIRECTOR MEETS WITH N.K. NO.2 MAN KIM YONG-NAM," Seoul, 08/29/01) reported that the DPRK's state media stated August 29 that the DPRK's nominal head of the state, Kim Yong-nam, met with UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General Jacques Diouf at Mansudae Assembly Hall. Diouf expressed high regards for DPRK's struggle to overcome the country's natural disasters but gave no further details of the conversation.

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4. Russian View on DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("N.K. NEEDS SECURITY GUARANTEE, RUSSIAN EXPERT SAYS," Seoul, 08/29/01) reported that Georgi Toloraya, Deputy Director-General of the First Asian Department in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on August 28 that in order to see progress in the stalemate between the DPRK and the US, the US must first guarantee the safety of the DPRK. Toloraya said in an international seminar on the DPRK economy, "North Korea wants to hold dialogue with the U.S. in equal terms. Unless North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-il gets his full guarantee from his neighboring nations reform of the Stalinist State is impossible. The change the North went through for past few years was more than was made for the last five decades, but it is the U.S. that holds a key to which direction the North will choose. Chairman Kim wants to improve relations with the international society, including the U.S."

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5. DPRK on Civilian Exchange

The Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, "NK OFFERS CONTACT ON CIVILIAN EXCHANGE," Seoul, 08/29/01) reported that in an apparent move to assuage criticism in the ROK regarding the disputed inter-Korean Liberation Day festivities, the DPRK proposed on August 28 that festival organizers from the ROK and the DPRK soon hold a meeting to implement civilian exchange programs. The statement released by the DPRK's Council of National Reconciliation emphasized how the DPRK values the agreement struck up during the August 15-21 inter-Korean festivities in Pyongyang, in which 337 ROK citizens participated. The statement said, "We will make every effort to implement them."

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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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