NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, september 17, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. DPRK-ROK Talks

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "DIVIDED KOREAS DISCUSS REVIVING TALKS," Seoul, 9/16/01) and Reuters (Paul Eckert, "SOUTH KOREA URGES NORTH TO IMPLEMENT SUMMIT PROJECTS," Seoul, 9/16/01) reported that the ROK and the DPRK talked on September 16 about reviving a host of stalled projects aimed at promoting peace on the peninsula. DPRK chief delegate Kim Ryong-song proposed discussing the possible supply of ROK electricity to the DPRK, as well as the repatriation of a handful of former pro-communist prisoners who are barred from leaving the ROK. ROK chief negotiator Unification Minister Hong Soon-young proposed that inter- Korean Red Cross talks be held as soon as possible to help reunite separated families. The ROK urged the DPRK to honor earlier agreements to open sections of the Demilitarized Zone to reconnect a railway. The ROK also called on the DPRK to build a road for ROK tourists to visit Mt. Kumgang and urged speedy implementation of an agreement to build an industrial park in Kaesong for garment, footwear and other labor-intensive ROK businesses. The DPRK's official KCNA news agency reported, "The North side favored the South side's proposals and responded to the discussion on them to meet the common interests of the nation." KCNA quoted Kim Ryong-song, as saying "fresh energy should be injected" into reconciliation efforts. He also said "foreign forces and conservative elements" had been responsible for the suspension of contacts. The talks did not address a possible visit by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to Seoul. The delegates planned to hold more talks on Monday.

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2. DPRK-ROK Condemnation of Terrorism

The Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "KOREANS UNITE TO CONDEMN ATTACKS," Seoul, 9/15/01) reported that the ROK and DPRK united on September 15 in their condemnation of the terrorist acts in the US. Arriving in Seoul for talks, DPRK's top envoy, Kim Ryong-song, said that the attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were "shocking" and "very regrettable." Kim, a senior councilor in the DPRK Cabinet, and 26 other delegates traveled from Pyongyang via Beijing for four days of talks. Kim discussed the attacks in the US with ROK officials. He said, "It is a shocking incident which we think is very regrettable. I think the incident will have nothing to do with the South-North talks, which are supposed to handle internal national issues." Earlier, the ROK's main opposition party rejected a proposal by ROK President Kim Dae-jung that negotiators from the two Koreas adopt a joint statement against terrorism because of the recent attacks.

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3. DPRK Demands US Troop Withdrawal

Reuters ("N.KOREA DEMANDS U.S. TROOP PULLOUT ON EVE OF TALKS," Seoul, 9/15/01) reported that the DPRK on September 15 repeated its demand that the US make a political decision to pull its troops out of the ROK as soon as possible. In a commentary issued just hours after DPRK envoys arrived in Seoul, the DPRK accused the US of trying to block reconciliation on the peninsula. The Rodong Shinmun newspaper, in an editorial carried by the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), called the withdrawal of the US troops stationed in the ROK "the master key to converting the state of armistice on the Korean peninsula into peace." The statement said, "The fulfillment of this task brooks not a moment's delay."

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4. Cross-Strait Relations

The Associated Press ("TAIWAN PARTIES CALL FOR CHINA TALKS," Taipei, 9/15/01) reported that the leaders of Taiwan's three main political parties agreed on September 15 to try to resume a dialogue with the PRC. While failing to agree on specifics, the leaders decided to ask the PRC to resume discussions, charting a similar course that led to a historic meeting eight years ago. The two-hour meeting on September 15 was the first between leaders of the ruling party and the two main opposition parties since Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian was elected last year.

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5. PRC Relationship to Taliban

Reuters (Andrew Browne, "CHINA DENIES REPORTS OF LINKS TO TALIBAN," Beijing, 9/15/01) reported that the PRC on September 15 denied reports it had offered Aghanistan economic and technical assistance. A Pakistani newspaper reported that the PRC had signed a memorandum of understanding on economic and technical cooperation with the Taliban. However, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, "The reports seriously deviated from the facts. The accusations are groundless." He denied reports that PRC officials visited Kabul last year to try prevent Islamic separatists from the northwestern PRC region of Xinjiang from being trained in Afghanistan. Zhu said, "China already closed down its embassy in Kabul in 1993. Since that time no Chinese diplomats have been to Kabul."

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6. US Naval Movements from Japan

Reuters ("US MISSILE CRUISER LEFT JAPAN HOME PORT-KYODO," Tokyo, 9/15/01) reported that the Japanese Kyodo agency reported that a US guided missile cruiser left Japan on September 15, the first to leave its base in Yokosuka southwest of Tokyo since the recent US terrorist attacks. Kyodo said that US Navy officials had confirmed the departure of Cowpens, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, which it said was equipped with an Aegis air defense system allowing simultaneous attacks on multiple targets. It added that US officials had declined to disclose its objective or destination. Military experts have said it would be difficult to make firm deductions about the imminence of an attack merely from movements of US vessels based in Japan.

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8. Russian View of US Retaliatory Strikes

The Washington Post (Susan B. Glasser, "RUSSIA REJECTS JOINT MILITARY ACTION WITH UNITED STATES," Moscow, 9/15/01) reported that Russia rejected participation in any US-led retaliatory strike against terrorists on September 14 and said the US should not use countries in Central Asia as a staging ground for an assault against neighboring Afghanistan. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said, "I see absolutely no basis for even hypothetical suppositions about the possibility of NATO military operations on the territory of Central Asian nations." A day earlier, Ivanov also expressed skepticism about an active role in the US response, telling reporters, "Russia is not planning any kind of military actions or strikes." General Anatoly Kvashnin, head of the Russian general staff, said Russia will not likely take part "in the retaliatory acts" planned by the US. According to the Interfax news agency, Kvashnin said, "The U.S. armed forces are powerful enough to deal with this task alone." However, the statements do not rule out far more extensive cooperation between Russia and the US than in the past. Both Western and Russian sources in Moscow said that high-level bilateral talks are continuing with the aim of "constructive" cooperation that could go well beyond sharing intelligence information. US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is to arrive in Moscow next week for meetings on joint anti-terrorist operations. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 15, 2001.]

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9. US Withdrawal from ABM

The Washington Post (Susan B. Glasser, "US TO PURSUE WITHDRAWAL FROM ABM PACT," Moscow, 9/17/01) reported that according to a US senior administration official, the US Bush administration will inform Russia Monday that it is prepared to press ahead with a unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty to build a missile defense system. The official said the US administration plans to tell Russia that, "if anything, the likelihood of unilateral withdrawal has increased" as a result of recent terrorist attacks. The official said, "Missile defense will not fade as a priority of the administration. These incidents prove that there are people in the world for whom the concept of deterrence doesn't mean a thing. This was high-tech terrorism; these people had jet plane pilots. And if these same people had access to ballistic missiles, do you think they wouldn't have used them?" US Undersecretary of State John Bolton arrived in Moscow on September 16 for the talks, which were to be held in London last week but were postponed after the attacks. He is to meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov on Monday, and sources said the two would also likely discuss potential Russian cooperation with US-led retaliatory strikes following the attacks. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is due in Washington on September 19 for talks on missile defense with US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, and US sources said they are expecting new proposals from the Russians then. At the same time, in Moscow, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is slated for meetings on enlisting Russia in the anti-terrorism fight, and specifically on what support Russia can provide for possible US strikes in Afghanistan. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 17, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK on Terrorism

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K.'S POSITION UNCLEAR ON ANTI-TERRORISM DECLARATION," Seoul, 09/17/01) reported that the inter-Korean talks that opened in Seoul on September 16 are drawing attention to the position of the DPRK delegates on terrorism. ROK officials believe that an inter-Korean declaration on terrorism would not only contribute to inter-Korean peace, but will also help the DPRK improve its international image on terrorism. DPRK delegates to the ministerial talks did not clearly disclose their position on the issue. Asked about the terrorist attacks in the US, the chief DPRK delegate, Kim Ryong-song, said, "We feel it is regrettable. But I believe the incident is unrelated to this meeting, which is supposed to be a discussion of internal national issues."

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2. ROK-US Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Hee-sung, "HAN TO MEET POWELL ON TERRORISM, NORTH KOREA," Washington, 09/17/01) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry said on September 16 that ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo will meet with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington on September 18 to discuss the DPRK and terrorism. An ROK ministry official said that Powell is likely to request the ROK's support for its planned military campaign against Afghanistan.

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3. Kim Jong-il's Inspection

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "ON-SPOT-GUIDANCE TO SOUTH HAMGYONG PROVINCE," Seoul, 09/17/01) reported that the state-run Korean Central Broadcasting Station reported Monday that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il made inspections to various economic sites in South Hamgyong Province from September 14-16. The news said Kim traveled from factory to factory urging the workers to actively embrace advanced technology and promote extensive technological innovation. During the past two days he visited the July 6 Railway Factory, Rahung Concrete Crosstie Factory, Sungchon River Plant number 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27, YongGwang Youth Fishery Ground, Jungpyong Collective Farm and others places. Aiding Kim on his trip was Party Secretary Kim Kuk-thae, Kim Ki-nam, Jong Ha- chol, Minister of Railways Kim Yong-sam, first deputy chiefs of the Party Central Committee Jang Song-thaek and other top officials.

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4. ROK Military Purchases

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "FRANCE TO GIVE CRUISE MISSILES IF IT WINS FIGHTER CONTRACT," 9/17/01) reported that the French Ambassador to the ROK Francois Descoueyte and corporate executives said France has proposed that it will provide the ROK with key technology to build long-range cruise missiles if its jet fighter maker, Dassault Aviation, wins the ROK's major fighter acquisition project. The ROK is expected to announce the winning bidder of the fighter project, code-named "F-X," in November, four months later than originally scheduled. The successful bidder will supply 40 advanced fighter jets to the ROK Air Force by 2008. An ROK Defense Ministry official said that the French proposal includes very important basic technology that the ROK needs in order to develop next-generation missiles. However, the official said, "the French side demands too high an evaluation of the missile technology. We are negotiating to narrow the gap." Experts said that the French company appears to be trying to make up for the alleged shortcoming with generous weapon technology transfer. ROK Defense Minister Kim said last week that technology transfer will be a priority in deciding the winner, as the ROK is aiming to build its own advanced fighters in the future. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 17, 2001.]

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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
International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan
Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Gee Gee Wong:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Hee-sun:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Rumiko Seya:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
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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