NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, october 26, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. DPRK-US Talks

Reuters (Martin Nesirky, "NORTH KOREA LASHES BUSH, WON'T TALK TO US," Seoul, 10/26/01) and the Associated Press (Christopher Torchia, "N. KOREA: NOT INTERESTED IN US TALKS," Seoul, 10/26/01) reported that the DPRK flatly rejected US President George W. Bush 's call for renewed talks and told him on Friday he would "pay dearly" for remarks he made about the country and its leader Kim Jong-il. DPRK's official newspaper Minju Joson said, "His remarks prove that he does not know any elementary etiquette and has no common sense as a statesman, not to speak of a head of state. The Bush administration should make a sincere apology to the Korean people for Bush's reckless remarks." Minju Joson said Bush was to blame for the stalemate in talks and described the his policy toward the DPRK as "vicious" and "hostile," particularly given that the US wanted to discuss the DPRK's conventional weapons capability. The newspaper said, "Now that the U.S. tries to disarm the DPRK, while persistently pursuing the hostile policy toward the DPRK, the DPRK is not interested in any dialogue and improvement of relations with the US." A separate KCNA commentary said the DPRK "will further increase its capability for self-defense to wipe out the U.S. and its followers at one swoop if they dare ignite a war." It called for the withdrawal of the 37,000 US troops in the ROK, calling them "a cancer-like threat to the peace on the Korean peninsula and the stability in Northeast Asia."

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2. Taiwan on Sino-US Relations

The Associated Press (William Foreman, "TAIWAN FEARS NEW CHINA INFLUENCE," Taipei, 10/26/01) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said in an interview Friday that the PRC might use the US-led war on terrorism to advance long-standing plans to take over Taiwan, but the US has pledged to help protect the democratic island's interests. Chen said he hopes the US and the PRC will be partners in the battle against terrorists. He added, "We view such cooperation as necessary, and we have no objections." However, he said he believes the PRC hopes to link the Taiwan issue with the anti-terrorist campaign - a scheme he said the US opposes. Chen said, "We are comforted to know that the US has taken a very clear position" on the issue, adding that US Secretary of State Colin Powell and US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice have recently said US support for Taiwan will not change. Chen was also optimistic that after the December 1 legislative elections, his Democratic Progressive Party would become the legislature's biggest party. He also repeated a pledge to form a coalition government and carry out reforms but didn't provide details.

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3. Japanese Sanctions Against India and Pakistan

The Associated Press ("JAPAN LIFTS ECONOMIC SANCTIONS," Tokyo, 10/26/01) reported that Japan lifted economic sanctions against India and Pakistan on Friday. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said the government hopes the change will help ensure that Pakistan is not engulfed by domestic problems as it supports US-led action in Afghanistan. Fukuda said, "In our fight against terrorism, Pakistan's stability and cooperation are extremely important. It is necessary for Japan to support the country, which has big problems domestically." Fukuda added that Japan also expects India to play a big role in the war against terror. He said Japan still wants Pakistan and India to sign nuclear nonproliferation treaties and added that sanctions may be reconsidered if the two nations make moves to strengthen their nuclear capabilities.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "S.K. SUGGESTS MT. MYOHYANG AS VENUE FOR S-N TALKS," Seoul, 10/26/01) reported that the ROK made a compromise proposal to the DPRK October 25, saying the two sides could hold ministerial talks, scheduled for October 28-31, at Mount Myohyang near Pyongyang if the DPRK doesn't want to open its capital. ROK Unification Minister Hong Soon-young said that if the DPRK has any reason to refuse the ROK, however, "It doesn't matter even if the talks open at Mount Myohyang."

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "NORTH KOREA NOTIFIES SUSPENSION OF CABINET TALKS," Seoul, 10/26/01) reported that the DPRK notified the ROK that it would suspend the meeting until the ROK accepts the DPRK's request to hold the sixth inter-Korean meeting in its resort mountain of Kumgang, indicating a likely stalemate in inter-Korean relations once more. The message was addressed from DPRK's chief delegate Kim Ryong-song to ROK's Unification Minister Hong Soon-young. The ROK said it would adopt a cool-off period and look for other alternatives meanwhile.

III. Japan

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1. Measure against Nuclear-terrorism

The Japan Times ("BILL AIMS TO PUNISH NECLEAR TERRORISM," Tokyo, 10/24/01) reported that there would be a bill submitted to the Diet later this month making it a crime to use any type of nuclear fuel substance or nuclear waste in a way that endangers people. The amendment to the law regulating nuclear reactors is part of package of domestic legislation aimed at paving the way for Japan to ratify the 1997 United Nations Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. The law on nuclear reactors stipulates punishment only for those who endanger people or assets by using specified nuclear fuel substances that emit high energy, such as uranium and thorium. The bill would extend those penalties to cover improper use of all nuclear substances and nuclear waste.

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2. Japanese Participation in the Peace Keeping Operations

The Asahi Shimbun ("SDF ENGINEERS SET FOR PEACE MISSION IN E. TIMOR," Tokyo, 10/24/01) reported that sources said that the Japanese government would dispatch Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to take part in the UN peacekeeping operations in East Timor. Japanese General Nakatani, Defense Agency director-general, and UN undersecretary-general of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guehenno, agreed October 21 to send SDF personnel to East Timor. The sources said that the 600 member engineering battalion will be ordered to prepare next month for missions such as repairing roads and other infrastructure.

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3. Self-Defense Forces' Weapons Use

The Asahi Shimbun ("ROCKET LAUNCHERS ON SDF ARMS LIST," Tokyo, 10/25/01) reported that according to Defense Agency director-general General Nakatani, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) members sent abroad to support the US-led fight against terrorism will be permitted to use shoulder-fired anti-tank weapons. In the past, the SDF members deployed aboard were only allowed to carry rifles and machine guns to protect themselves or fellow SDF members. Nakatani said, "In instances when there is a threat from weapons with a long range, such as rocket launchers and sniper rifles, the provisions of the bill do not exclude the carrying of the weapons that would be able to appropriately respond to such a threat." He also said the provision authorizing the use of weapons in self-defense would allow SDF members to use their weapons against attackers who move elsewhere to reload after firing at SDF personnel.

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4. Revision of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) Law

The Asahi Shimbun ("BILL LABELS RESEARCH A DEFENSE SECRET," Tokyo, 10/25/01) reported that defense research projects including war simulations will fall under the category of national secrets, according to a bill aimed at imprisoning those who leak such information. Shingo Shuto, director-general of the Bureau of Defense Policy at the Defense Agency said in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun that people who disclose information about defense projects or abet in such leaks face a maximum five-year prison term. Shuto was asked if journalists who uncover secret information during interviews with SDF officials would be charged with abetting in the leakage of defense secrets, and responded, "There will of course be no penalties for news gatherings on topics that are of interest to the public. The only instance prohibited under the law is when threats are used to obtain information. Individuals who obtain secrets through unapproved methods will also be punished." However, Shuto said there are cases in which news-gathering activities could be construed as abetting an SDF officer to reveal defense secrets. In those instances, the journalist could face charges. Under the new bill, the Defense Agency director-general would decide what information need to be protected. Shuto said that after the SDF Law is revised the government would try to distinguish which items of information are agency secrets.

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5. Japan-ROK Relations

Yomiuri Shinbun (Yoshikazu Shirakawa, "ROK PHASED LIFTING OF COUNTERMEASURES," Seoul, 10/23/01) reported that the ROK government on October 23 decided to lift countermeasures taken against Japanese history textbook and the Japanese prime minister's controversial visit to Yasukuni Shrine. The ROK, as a first step to normalize Japan-ROK relationships, intends to resume consultations for the World Cup Soccer 2002 between the ministries in charge. Reopening Japanese culture will be also examined which is dependent on development of the Joint History Research, which was established by Japanese and ROK government. However, the ROK is asking for a revision of the textbook in the joint research, whereas Japan has the position of recognizing the joint research separately from revision of textbook.

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6. Fishery disputes around the Northern Territories

Yomiuri Shinbun (Takushi, Kawada, "SECURING ROK FISHERY," Shanghai, 10/20/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae Jung demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin maintain ROK fishermen's vested benefits. Putin responded favorably by saying that Russia is interested in negotiation with Japan over the territorial rights, and securing the ROK fishery around the Northern Territories.

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7. Japan-PRC Disputes on History Textbook

Asahi Shinbun (Masakazu Higashino, "JIANG SKIPS HISTORY ISSUE," Shanghai, 10/23/01) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin did not directly address the issue of history and how it is viewed by the two nations in the meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on October 21. Jiang and Koizumi agreed the two nations should try to resolve their bilateral trade disputes through negotiations as quickly as possible.

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8. Detained Japanese Man in the Afghanistan

Yomiuri Shinbun (Futoshi Mori, "ARRESTED JAPANESE," Islamabad, 10/24/01, 1) and Asahi Shinbun (TALIBAN GRABS JAPANESE JOURNALIST FOR ILLEGAL ENTRY, Islamabad, 10/25/01) reported that military sources in Pakistan made clear on October 22 that the Taliban regime is detaining a Japanese photographer suspected of illegally entering Afghanistan. He is being investigated under suspicions of espionage due to his belongings such as a camera and satellite phone. The Taliban-affiliated Afghan Islamic Press said that the man identified himself as a Japanese journalist. Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said there was no independent confirmation of the report. The Japanese embassy in Pakistan intends to ask that the man be handed over to Japan as soon as the Japanese embassy confirms his arrest.

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9. ASEAN Reaction to Anti-Terrorism

Yomiuri Shinbun (Keiko Iizuka, "ANNOUNCING ANTI-TERRORISM STATEMENT," Shanghai, 10/22/01) reported that the coming ASEAN meeting to be held next month will announce anti-terrorism measures to strengthen the co-operations against terrorism in Southeast Asia.

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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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