NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, september 20, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Defectors

Agence France-Presse ("KOREA DEFECTORS FLEE FROM NORTH," 9/20/01) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service said on September 19 that twelve DPRK Nationals recently arrived in Seoul fleeting their country. The defectors hid in unidentified countries between May 1997 and May this year, waiting to travel to the ROK. Three of them had relatives who earlier defected to the ROK. The agency gave no further information. The defections brought to 359 the number of DPRK Nationals who have fled to the ROK this year.

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2. Reunion of Separated Families

Agencies in Seoul ("KOREA SCANDAL ALLEGATIONS UNITE SOUTH'S OPPOSITION," 9/20/01) reported that the ROK will hold a computerized draw on September 21 to select 300 candidates for temporary reunions next month of family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The ROK Red Cross said the number will be whittled down to 100 after officials sort out those whose families have died or cannot be found in the DPRK. Those who are chosen will travel to Pyongyang to meet loved ones. The DPRK will send 100 of its own citizens to Seoul for the October 16- 18 reunions.

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3. Bush's Asia Tour

Reuters ("BUSH'S OCTOBER TRIP STILL ON," Washington, 9/20/01) reported that US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said on September 19 that the White House is still planning for US President George W. Bush to visit the PRC in October. Rice said, "It is our plan, at this point, to continue with our trip planning." US officials have sought to convey the impression that Bush will make the trip, saying he is looking forward to meeting other Asian leaders, but leaving themselves an out in case the September 11 attacks lead him to change his mind. After Bush spoke to ROK President Kim Dae-jung by telephone on September 19, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters, "They both look forward to meeting in Seoul next month." Bush is scheduled to travel in October to Japan, the ROK, and the PRC- making stops in Shanghai and Beijing - for his first presidential trip to Asia.

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4. World War II Reparations

The Associated Press (David Kravets, "JUDGE: FOREIGN POWS CANNOT SUE JAPAN," San Francisco, 9/20/01) reported that thousands of people from the PRC, the ROK, and the Philippines have been denied the right to pursue lawsuits in US courts against Japanese companies they say enslaved them during World War II. The lawsuits were filed by former prisoners of war who said they were forced to work in mines, dig roads, and perform other hazardous duties. US District Judge Vaughn Walker said on September 19 that Filipinos could not sue because their country was a signatory to the Treaty of Peace, which had also been signed by the US and Japan. He said allowing the suits to proceed could "unsettle half a century of diplomacy" between the nations that signed the treaty in the 1950s. The judge also nullified a California law under which PRC and Korean former prisoners had sued the Japanese companies. The law had allowed victims of World War II atrocities from anywhere in the world to sue for damages in California. The judge said the law "infringes on the federal government's exclusive power over foreign affairs." Companies targeted in the slave-labor suits included Mitsubishi Corporation, Nippon Steel Corporation, and Japan Energy Corporation. Officials of the targeted companies said they had no comment on the ruling.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Kim Jong-il's Army Inspection

The Korea Herald (Kim Hee-sung, "CHAIRMAN INSPECTS ARMY UNIT NO.535 & NO. 211," Seoul, 09/19/01) reported that the Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) said DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il visited the Korea People's Army Unit number 535 and number 211 on September 18. Upon his visit to unit 535, Kim made a close watch on soldiers' technology education and paid compliments for their superb achievements in dealing with weaponry and military strategy said the news. Kim then directed the army to continue with the good job to enhance battle skills. He also inspected the army barracks, fishery grounds, cattle shed and reportedly expressed satisfaction. Automatic rifles were distributed as gifts to the army officials and group photo was taken as the usual procedure.

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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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