NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, november 7, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. US Policy toward DPRK

The US Department of State's Office of International Information Programs ("PRITCHARD BRIEFS SENATE PANEL ON U.S. POLICY TOWARD N. KOREA," 11/6/01) published the confirmation hearing statement by Charles L. Pritchard before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on November 6. US President George W. Bush has nominated Pritchard, the Special Envoy for Negotiations with the DPRK and US Representative to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, for the rank of Ambassador. Pritchard told the committee that Bush had directed his national security team to undertake serious discussions with the DPRK on a broad agenda which would include improved implementation of the Agreed Framework; verifiable constraints on the DPRK missile programs and a ban on its missile exports; and a less threatening conventional military posture. He noted that a fourth meeting of the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group meeting with the ROK and Japan is scheduled for later this month. Pritchard concluded by saying that there is important work to be done in support of the Agreed Framework and directly with the DPRK.

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2. ROK-US Terrorism Talks

Reuters ("SOUTH KOREA, US CONSULT ON TERRORISM," 11/7/01) reported that during talks on Wednesday with US Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, US Commander-in-Chief in Korea General Thomas Schwartz, ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin and Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo underscored ROK support for US efforts to eradicate terrorism. The two countries also promised to boost anti- terrorism policy coordination and work together at engaging the DPRK. The ROK Defense Ministry said in a statement, "The two sides affirmed their common recognition that Korea-US policy coordination is more important than ever in the security environment brought about by the terrorism." The ROK ministers also updated the US on a new anti-terrorism program that the ROK set up on November 6.

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3. ROK-PRC Relations

The Associated Press (Soo-Jeong Lee, "SKOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER APOLOGIZES," Seoul, 11/06/01) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo apologized to the nation Wednesday for a consular gaffe committed in connection with the execution of a convicted ROK criminal in the PRC. The ROK acknowledged last week that it had received notifications from the PRC on the execution, but insisted that some of the information was "insufficient" or "too late." Han stated, "The Foreign Ministry apologizes for failing to take sufficient and appropriate measures to protect our citizen abroad."

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4. Cross-Strait Economic Relations

The Associated Press ("TAIWAN SCRAPS TIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON INVESTMENT IN RIVAL CHINA," Taipei, 11/7/01) reported that Taiwan eased limits on investing in the PRC on Wednesday. Critics have warned that the new trade policy would speed up an exodus of capital to the PRC and make Taiwan dangerously dependent on the PRC. Supporters of the changes have argued that they will make Taiwanese firms more competitive and ease cross-straits political relations. The PRC did not immediately comment on the new policy. Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Hsin-yi said that the government will form a special task force to determine which industries should remain restricted from investing in the PRC. It is hoped that the changes will be implemented by January.

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5. Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

U.S. Newswire ("TEST BAN TREATY CONFERENCE EXPECTED TO APPROVE CALL FOR HOLDOUTS TO SIGN AND RATIFY AGREEMENT," New York, 11/07/01) reported that the Arms Control Association said Wednesday that the second "Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty" (CTBT) scheduled for November 11-13 at United Nations Headquarters in New York is expected to approve a final document that calls on CTBT holdout states to sign and/or ratify the agreement in order to facilitate entry into force. Three of the 44 nuclear-capable states--India, Pakistan, and the DPRK--have not signed the treaty, and thirteen have not ratified it, including the US and the PRC.

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6. US-Philippines Military Cooperation

The New York Times (Mark Landler Otabato, "THE TEMPERATURE'S A LOT WARMER BUT THE MISSION'S THE SAME: HUNTING DOWN TERRORISTS," Philippines, 11/04/01) reported that US officials said that the Philippine Muslim separatist group Abu Sayyaf has links to Osama bin Laden. However, Nur Masuari, a former Muslim separatist leader who is now governor of the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao stated, "Knowing bin Laden, I don't think he would attach himself to such dirty people." Philippine National Security Adviser Roilo Golez stated, "We have no evidence that Abu Sayyaf has gotten financing from bin Laden recently. Otherwise, they would not have had to resort to kidnapping." Parouk Hussin, another one-time separatist leader, said Abu Sayyaf's tactics indicate that it has neither the money nor the training that one would expect from an affiliate of Al Qaeda. A US Defense Department spokesman said that US military advisers who visited the Philippines would report to Admiral Dennis C. Blair, US Pacific commander, with recommendations on how the US can help the Philippines with equipment or training. Father Eliseo R. Mercado Jr., the president of Notre Dame University in the Philippines, warned, "The war in Afghanistan has seemed very far away from the Philippines. But now you've got American troops in camouflage uniforms going into Muslim villages. In the long run, that will radicalize the Muslims."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-ASEAN Talks

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "ASEAN LEADERS RE-AFFIRM SUPPORT FOR INTER-KOREAN PEACE," Bandar Seri Begawan, 11/07/01) reported that leaders of Southeast Asian nations reaffirmed their support on November 6 for ROK efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula through reconciliation and cooperation with the DPRK. ROK presidential spokesman Oh Hong-keun said that ROK President Kim Dae-jung briefed the ASEAN leaders on the recent development in inter-Korean relations and expressed gratitude for their support for the ROK government's engagement policy toward the DPRK. Kim promised to provide continued assistance to Southeast Asian nations in an effort to narrow the "digital divide" in the region and to develop human resources.

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2. DPRK Official's Trip Cancellation

The Korea Herald ("N.K. NO. 2 CANCELLED MIDDLE EAST TRIP," Seoul, 11/07/01) reported that ROK officials said on November 6 that the DPRK's nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam cancelled his planned visit to the Middle East last month due to the US-led attacks on Afghanistan and consequent tension across the region. The official said that Kim had planned to visit Libya and other Middle Eastern nations in October to discuss oil delivery issues, adding that the cancellation showed how sensitive the DPRK is about the ongoing war against terrorism.

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3. Japanese Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "JAPAN POSTPONES RICE AID FOR THIS YEAR," Seoul, 11/07/01) reported that the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun reported on November 7 that the Japanese government decided to delay its humanitarian rice aid shipment to the DPRK this year. Japan has agreed to send 200,000 tons of rice to the DPRK but determined to put off the donation facing opposition from some lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

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4. Alleged DPRK Terrorism Connections

Joongang Ilbo ("NO REPORTS ON NORTH KOREA'S LINKAGE WITH BIN LADEN," Seoul, 11/07/01) reported that ROK Minister of National Defense Kim Dong-shin said on November 6 that he has received no evidence linking the DPRK and Osama Bin Laden. In his report to the National Defense Committee, Kim also said that although Japan's special anti-terror pact comes as part of joint measures to uproot global terror, the ROK Ministry would nevertheless act prudently toward Japan's expansion of its military deployments abroad.

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5. Joint ROK-US Military Exercises

Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "S. KOREA, U.S. DELAY WAR GAMES," 11/7/01) reported that the ROK-US Combined Forces Command said on November 6 that ROK and US militaries have decided to put off their joint military exercise, code-named "Foal Eagle," to next spring. It was slated to begin in late October. The CFC said that the joint field-training exercise would be held next spring in conjunction with another joint command post drill, "Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration." Military analysts said that the postponement was apparently made in a bid not to provoke the DPRK. Last year, the joint Foal Eagle exercise was scaled down after ROK President Kim Dae-jung held a summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang. However, the ROK Defense Ministry said there would be no change in the number of soldiers participating in next year's combined exercise. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 7, 2001.]

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6. US Request for ROK Troops

Chosun Ilbo (Yoo Yong-won, "US ASKS FOR KOREAN COMBAT TROOPS," Seoul, 11/07/01) reported that a high-ranking source said on November 6 that US Force-Korea officials had indirectly mentioned the possibility of the ROK sending a Special Warfare Unit to join US, UK, Australian and Turkish special forces in Afghanistan, noting that its soldiers had experience in mountain fighting. The source said that no official request had been made. Given the US government's restraint in requesting combat troops from other countries, however, the comments could be interpreted to mean that the US wants the offer to be made. Another source said that it is highly likely that an official request would be made in the near future and that the government was mulling over how to deal with this due to possible negative public opinions. The ROK administration feels that the US will raise the matter officially at the annual Security Conference Meeting in Washington.

III. Japan

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1. Compensation for Ehime Maru

Kyodo ("FATHER OF EHIME MARU VICTIM UNDECIDED ON SUING, Honolulu, 11/03/01) reported that Ryosuke Terata, the father of a student who died when the Ehime Maru was sunk, said on November 1 that he is undecided whether to sue the US government over the accident. Yusuke's family and that of another high school student who was killed in the collision appointed the team of lawyers in June to determine the facts of the collision and consider filing a damages suit against US. The group of lawyers will confirm as early as mid-November whether the group will sue the US and, if so, determine the amount of damages and other demands they will seek. The lawyers held their fourth negotiation session with US authorities on October 30, but the meeting broke down.

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2. Japanese Logistical Support for US

The Japan Times ("MSDF IS LIKELY TO SEE ACTION MORE THAN GSDF, BAKER SAYS, Osaka, 11/06/01) reported that US ambassador to Japan Howard Baker said on November 5 that he sees an active support role for the Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) in the US-led attacks on Afghanistan, but that constitutional constraints will limit the Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) to more of a peacekeeping role. He said, "Japan is a great naval power, and stability in the Pacific depends on the American and Japanese navies. In Afghanistan, the GSDF might be involved in the kind of role they played in Cambodia. But it is unlikely that they will be directly involved in combat."

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3. Revision of Peacekeeping Operations Law

The Japan Times ("PKO REVISION SCRATCHED OFF LDP'S DIET AGENDA, Tokyo, 11/06/01) reported that the Japanese government and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on November 5 effectively gave up revising the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) Law. The government and ruling LDP officials decided that there was not enough time to deliberate the issue during the session, which runs through December 7, since other important bills need to be deliberated first. Secretary generals and policy affairs chiefs of the LDP will meet later in the week to formally decide whether to carry the issue over to the next Diet session. However, the LDP may seek to revise the PKO Law within the current Diet session so that the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) can engage in core peacekeeping activities, such as monitoring disarmament and collecting abandoned weapons. The current PKO Law limits the SDF's activities to logistical support.

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4. Japanese Participation in Peacekeeping Operations

The Japan Times ("NAKATANI INSTRUCTS SDF CHIEFS TO DISPATCH 700 TO EAST TIMOR," Tokyo, 11/07/01) reported that Japanese Defense Agency director-general Gen Nakatani told the heads of Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces on November 6 to send some 700 service members to East Timor in March to assist with UN peacekeeping operations. Defense officials said that Nakatani issued the instruction after the Cabinet decided in the morning to dispatch GSDF personnel to East Timor before it gains full independence. In East Timor, GSDF personnel will construct and repair roads and bridges. The MSDF and ASDF will form units to transport GSDF personnel and supplies and equipment. Japan is expected to send a fact-finding mission made up of personnel from the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Agency and the GSDF to East Timor by the end of this month. Before troops are dispatched, the Diet is likely to debate whether regulations on weapons use by SDF personnel should be eased. The GSDF troops are expected to take over operations currently conducted by Pakistani and Bangladeshi forces in areas bordering Indonesia's West Timor. They will be on station for about two years.

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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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