NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, september 5, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Inter-Korean Relations

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREAN MINISTER SAYS ENGAGING NORTH KOREA IS A MUST," Seoul, 9/5/01) and Reuters (Paul Eckert, " S.KOREA TO PUSH NORTH POLICY DESPITE KIM SETBACK," Seoul, 9/5/01) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo said Wednesday that ROK President Kim Dae-jung's engagement policy toward the DPRK is the "best option," despite political turmoil that has weakened his mandate. Han said the ROK government would strive to insulate inter-Korean ties from political problems at home. Han said, "It is in everybody's interests, including Pyongyang's, to prevent the engagement process from backsliding." The ROK National Assembly voted on September 4 for the dismissal of ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won, who had been criticized by opposition lawmakers as too lenient toward the DPRK government. The vote broke up Kim's ruling coalition because its junior partner, the United Liberal Democrats, sided with the opposition and voted against Lim. Cho Woong-kyu, a legislator with the main opposition Grand National Party, said about inter-Korean relations, "Rather than giving concessions unconditionally, we propose, as an alternative, a give-and-take policy with the North on the basis of reciprocity and verification."

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2. DPRK-PRC Relations

The Associated Press ("CHINA'S PRESIDENT JIANG NEWLY CONFIDENT ON TIES AFTER VISIT TO NORTH KOREA," Beijing, 9/5/01) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin declared renewed confidence Wednesday in PRC relations with the DPRK after his first visit to the nation in 11 years. The PRC's official Xinhua News Agency cited Jiang as saying in a message of thanks to Kim, "The Chinese side is fully confident in the long-term and steady development" of ties with the DPRK. Jiang said, "The flower of China-DPRK friendship will blossom more colorfully and yield more fruits with the joint efforts by both sides." Liu Hongcai, an upper-level Communist Party official who accompanied Jiang to Pyongyang, said, "We support North-South efforts to engage in further dialogues to improve their relationship. China will, as always, support the efforts of North Korea toward independent and peaceful reunification." Liu and Wang Jiarui, another party official who accompanied Jiang, said the three formal meetings and several informal discussions between the two leaders further what they called the crucial relationship between two communist allies. Wang said, "North Korea definitely still faces some difficulties, but we believe the country's hardworking and brave people will succeed in their efforts."

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3. PRC Views on US Missile Defense

The Washington Post (Philip P. Pan, "BEIJING OPEN TO TALKS ON U.S. PLAN," Beijing, 9/5/01) reported that the PRC said on September 4 that that despite continuing opposition to US missile defense plans, it is willing to engage in a "serious dialogue" with the Bush administration and consider a new US offer to share details about the system. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said the government is aware of the proposals reported in Washington but will not respond in detail because it has not received a formal request for talks. Zhu said, "We are opposed to missile defense, but we are also in favor of dialogue to seek a solution." An editorial on the Web site of the state-run China Daily newspaper was more enthusiastic, saying the Bush administration's proposal "raised the level" of Sino-US discussions and outlining a possible deal. The editorial was written by Zhu Feng, a leading security strategist who directs a team of researchers studying the impact of US missile defense plans on PRC national security. Zhu said in a telephone interview, "I think the chances for an understanding are getting better." He added that he was not speaking for the PRC government, but that the PRC news organizations are careful not to publish opinions that contradict the central leadership's views. Zhu's editorial said the PRC might accept the missile defense system if the US agreed not to protect Taiwan with it and recognized the PRC's need to preserve its ability to deter a nuclear attack. In return, Zhu wrote, the PRC could take steps to "increase transparency and strengthen mutual trust," and to reassure the US that the PRC is not a threat. In the interview, he added that the PRC could do so by refraining from a radical buildup of its nuclear forces and promising not to help other countries obtain technology to penetrate a US shield, such as decoys and countermeasures. Zhu said PRC leaders are interested in a deal in part because they do not want to be isolated if US President George W. Bush succeeds in persuading Russian President Vladimir Putin to accept the missile defense system. He added that the PRC also does not want to engage in an expensive nuclear arms race that might weaken its economy. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 5, 2001.]

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4. US Restates Missile Defense Policy

The New York Times (David E. Sanger, "U.S. RESTATES ITS STAND ON MISSILES IN CHINA," Washington, 9/5/01) reported that the US Bush administration issued a new set of statements on September 4 about how it views the buildup of PRC nuclear forces. White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said that the US would not "seek to overcome China's opposition" to US President George W. Bush's missile defense plan by dropping any objections to the modernization of the PRC nuclear forces. He added that the US would not "acquiesce" in the resumption of nuclear testing by the PRC. The statement said, "The United States will not seek to overcome China's opposition to missile defense by telling the Chinese that we do not object to an expansion of their nuclear ballistic missile force. Nor will we acquiesce in any resumption of nuclear testing by China. We are respecting the nuclear testing moratorium and all other nations should as well." Speaking on background, however, several US administration officials have repeated in recent days that the PRC may decide it needs to test its new weapons to assure their safety and reliability. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 5, 2001.]

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "US DENIES TRADE-OFF WITH CHINA," 9/5/01) reported that Douglas J. Feith, US undersecretary of defense for policy, said on September 3 that the US Bush administration does not plan to lessen its objections to PRC strategic nuclear arms buildup in exchange for its backing of a US missile defense shield. Feith said that recent news reports suggesting such a trade-off were "not correct." He added, "We have concerns about the Chinese development of long-range nuclear capabilities." He said the US Defense Department also does not plan to discuss with the PRC a mutual resumption of underground nuclear testing. Victoria Clarke, the new US assistant defense secretary for public affairs, was also asked if the US intended to tell the PRC that the US administration is not opposed to an increase in PRC nuclear warheads. Clarke said, "Absolutely not. The president's policy is to seek to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, offensive weapons around the world. He has made this one of the priorities of his administration. He wants to lessen the risk of nuclear war. He wants missile defense as one part of a broader deterrent strategy." However, Clarke said, the administration will provide a briefing to the PRC on US missile defense plans, as it has done with US friends and allies and Russia. She continued, "Our position on missile defense is that we intend to do an aggressive, robust research and development program with the intent to test and deploy a limited system that protects us, and our forces deployed abroad, and our friends and allies from the threat of missile attack from rogue nations or an accidental launch. And the only ones who should be worried about that, or concerned about that, are those who have less than the best of intent toward us." [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 5, 2001.]

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5. US-ROK Military Talks

Korea Times ("ADM. CHANG MEETS US COUNTERPART," 9/5/01) reported that Admiral Chang Jeong-kil, ROK chief of naval operations, will meet with Admiral Vern E. Clark, his US counterpart visiting Seoul on September 6, to exchange opinions on recent political changes and national security on the Korean peninsula. The ROK Navy said the two nations' Navy heads will review an honor guard ceremony at the Keryongdae drill grounds and discuss ways to deepen the US-ROK alliance and bolster bilateral naval cooperation. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 5, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK Sunshine Policy

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "SEOUL MUST CONTINUE WITH ENGAGEMENT POLICY: LIM D.W.," Seoul, 09/04/01) reported that outgoing ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won said on September 4 that despite his resignation, the ROK should proceed with the "sunshine policy" of engaging the DPRK. Lim said, "There's no alternative to the reconciliation and cooperation policy." Lim failed to survive a parliamentary no-confidence bill on September 3, which the opposition Grand National Party (GNP) engineered to weaken US President Kim Dae-jung's leadership and taint his reconciliatory DPRK policy. Lim said, "I cannot agree with the opposition's view that the sunshine policy has failed" He noted that the engagement policy helped encourage the DPRK to embark on an open-door policy, a process that may appear slow but which is significant.

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2. Trilateral Talks on DPRK

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "KOREA, U.S., JAPAN TO DISCUSS NORTH KOREA POLICY IN TOKYO," Seoul, 09/05/01) reported that senior officials from the ROK, the US and Japan will open a two- day meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday to discuss policies on the DPRK and reaffirm their cooperation in dealing with the DPRK. The Trilateral Coordination Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting will focus on reviewing recent developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the DPRK's move to restore ties with Russia and the PRC as well as its proposal Sunday to reopen government-level dialogue with the ROK. ROK officials expect the latest meeting to serve as an occasion to confirm the three nations' close coordination at a time when the DPRK is trying to improve relations with its two Cold War allies.

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3. ROK to Continue with Sunshine Policy

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "PRESIDENT KIM VOWS TO STICK TO 'SUNSHINE' POLICY TOWARD N.K. DESPITE CONTROVERSY," Seoul, 09/05/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung promised on September 4 to stick to his engagement policy toward the DPRK, despite the controversies surrounding the resignation of ROK Unification Minister Lim Dong-won. Kim said, "I will continue to push for inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation to prevent relations between the two Koreas from going backwards." ROK officials are concerned that Lim's removal might slow down Kim's "sunshine" policy of engaging the DPRK.

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4. DPRK-PRC Summit Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "JIANG ADVISES NORTH KOREA," Beijing, 09/05/01) reported that the PRC encouraged the DPRK on September 4 to take part in a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders next month. It also advocated better relations between the DPRK and the ROK. PRC's official Xinhua news agency said PRC President Jiang Zemin told DPRK's number 2 leader Kim Yong Nam, in their meeting that the PRC wanted to see more inter-Korean talks. Jiang told Kim that the PRC will "support all rational proposals to this end.". Jiang also offered PRC grain to help feed DPRK's hungry people and other assistance. Xinhua said Jiang encouraged DPRK Kim Jong Il to increase DPRK contacts with the US and Japan with an eye toward ties that would "eventually normalize relations."

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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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