NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, september 28, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Shots Fired in DMZ

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "S. KOREA GUARDS FIRE SHOTS AT BORDER," Seoul, 9/28/01) and Reuters (Jason Neely, "S.KOREA SAYS FIRED WARNING SHOTS IN DMZ INCIDENTS," Seoul, 9/28/01) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said Friday that ROK security guards fired warning shots twice this week to repel DPRK soldiers who accidentally crossed the border. There were no casualties in the incidents, which occurred at two places in the eastern sector of the Demilitarized Zone on September 26 and 27. The Ministry said that the US-led UN Command concluded that the DPRK violations were "accidental" and had no hostile intentions. The DPRK soldiers retreated into their sector 25 minutes later after ROK guards fired nine warning shots. The UN Command proposed a meeting with DPRK military to discuss the incidents, but the DPRK military has rejected the suggestion.

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2. DPRK on Japan's Rocket Launch

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA WARNS JAPAN ON ROCKET LAUNCH," Seoul, 9/28/01) reported that the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) criticized Japan on Friday for what it called a bid to develop nuclear missiles by stealth and warned Japan that the DPRK would be "merciless to those who infringe upon its dignity and sovereignty." The warning came in a statement by a spokesman for DPRK's Anti-Nuke Peace Committee. It did not say what specific measures would be taken. The statement said, "The Japanese reactionaries are ridiculous enough to describe their recent test-fire of (the) large-size carrier rocket H-2A as one for 'space development'. Even the Japanese authorities do not hide the fact that this rocket can be used for military purposes as it is ... easily convertible into an intercontinental ballistic missile."

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3. PRC Relation to Taliban

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "CHINESE FIRMS HELPING PUT PHONE SYSTEM IN KABUL," 9/28/01) reported that according to US intelligence officials, two PRC state-run telecommunications companies, Zhongxing Telecom and Huawei Technologies, are helping the Taliban militia install a telephone system in Kabul. The officials said that the companies have been working on the telephone system for the past two years. The system was described as a switching network to handle up to 130,000 users. Huawei Technologies was identified by US intelligence as one of three PRC telecommunications companies that violated UN sanctions against Iraq by building a fiber-optic communications network there. Zhongxing Telecom has been building telephone networks in Serbia. Both companies are located in the special economic zone of Shenzhen, PRC. According to US officials, Huawei was founded by at least one official of the PRC military and has developed communications networks for the People's Liberation Army. A US State Department official declined to comment on the two companies' activities in Afghanistan. However, the official said: "We're looking for Chinese cooperation against those who are engaged in terrorism and those who harbor and support them." PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said on September 18 that PRC contacts with the Taliban are limited to "the working level." He added that the PRC "does not have any kind of formal relations with the Taliban" and reports that the PRC has assisted in building telephone networks and constructing a dam are "unfounded rumors." [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 28, 2001.]

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4. Japanese Role in US Retaliation

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, "AS ALLIANCES SHIFT, JAPAN'S MILITARY ROLE IS WIDENING," Tokyo, 9/28/01) reported that Japan is preparing for its most expansive military role since World War II. Japan has turned its attention from India to court Pakistan, which had been seen as moving closer to the PRC. Soh Chang-rok, an international relations specialist at the ROK's Korea University, said, "There's enormous international pressure to help out the U.S., so we have to keep our lips sealed. For Japan, this is a great opportunity to kick-start its military buildup." Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called on the Diet, Japan's parliament, on September 27 to swiftly enact his seven-point plan to allow Japan's Self-Defense Forces to provide rear-guard support for an expected US military action in Afghanistan. Peter Sato, former Japanese ambassador to the PRC, said, "Certainly, on this issue of terrorism, these countries appear to be uniting. This is an issue that we can deal with together with any country." However, he noted that by resuming aid to Pakistan, Japan gives up diplomatic leverage on nuclear nonproliferation. Chang Dal-joong, a professor at Seoul National University, said, "For Japan to send troops that would do more than peacekeeping will have a tremendous destabilizing effect in northeast Asian relations. This is a bone in our throat." Chikako Sekiba, a professor of international politics at Sacred Heart University in Tokyo, said, "We are being tested as to how we will act as an ally of the United States, and how we will act as a member of the international community." Yasuhiro Okudaira, a professor emeritus at Tokyo University, warned, "This expansion of the Self-Defense Forces is eroding the whole significance and reason [of the constitutional prohibitions on use of military force.] I am very worried." [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for September 28, 2001.]

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Defectors in ROK

The Korea Herald ("18 NORTH KOREANS ARRIVE IN SEOUL," Seoul, 09/27/01) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) said Thursday that eighteen DPRK defectors arrived in the ROK recently after fleeing their home country. Officials said that the DPRK defectors, who came to Seoul via a third country, include seven workers, a teacher and a child. This brings the number of DPRK defectors who have settled in the ROK so far this year to 378

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2. DPRK Corn Production

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "NORTH'S CORN PRODUCTION TO INCREASE BY 30%," Seoul, 09/27/01) reported that the DPRK is likely to see a 30 percent increase in its corn production, a great relief to the DPRK long suffering under the poverty and still expecting one ahead for this year. Professor Kim Soon-kwon of the ROK's Kyungppok National University who has just returned from his 10-day trip to the DPRK, made the prediction. Kim said, "According to what I've witnessed in the corn fields of nine collective farms in the North's various provinces, there's a good chance of 30 percent increase in the Notch's corn production compared to same time last year. North Korea is likely to reap the largest corn yield since the launch of inter-Korean corn cooperation in 1998." Calling this year's achievement as a success that actually reduced the corn-research period by 2-3 years, Kim went on to add he plans to spread the super corn seed throughout the nation and proceed with experimental cultivation in over 100 collective farms in the DPRK.

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3. UK-DPRK Relations

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH URGES TO CRUSH DOWN ANTI-REUNIFICATION FORCES," Seoul, 09/27/01) reported that the DPRK urged the ROK on September 26 to crush down the anti-reunification forces both at home and abroad, holding them responsible for threatening the national reunification of the two Koreas. The DPRK's state- controlled Radio Pyongyang said, "It is the demand of our times to smash the enemies of reunification all to protect the interest of the fatherland. Now is the time to for people of the two Koreas to reunite under the banner of June 15 Joint Declaration independent spirit to deal a decisive counterattack to our enemies." The US, Japan and the ROK's opposition Grand National Party (GNP) and other conservative voices and military forces were given as the examples of the anti-reunification forces. One expert in the ROK said, "This kind of denouncement from Pyongyang has become such a cliche that the criticism is hardly going anywhere. It's high time for policymakers in the North to try understanding South Korea in a different perspective."

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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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