NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, november 12, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. Inter-Korean Talks Extended

Reuters ("SOUTH, NORTH EXTEND TALKS OVER SECURITY ALERT," 11/12/01) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry said on Monday that the ROK and the DPRK agreed to extend talks by one day to discuss the ROK's emergency alert against terrorism. A report quoted ROK delegation spokesman Rhee Bong-jo as telling reporters, "The family reunion issue was on track for an agreement but the North abruptly raised the security issue again overnight." The DPRK had postponed a fourth round of family reunions in October, linking the move to the ROK's anti-terror security measures since the September 11 attacks on the US.

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2. Reunion of Separated Families

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "KOREAS AGREE TO HOLD MORE REUNIONS," Seoul, 11/11/01) reported that ROK media reports said Monday that ROK and DPRK negotiators agreed to stage a new round of reunions for 200 separated family members by the end of the year. However, the DPRK insisted that the reunions take place at Mount Kumgang. ROK officials said they would accept Mount Kumgang as a reunion venue if the DPRK drops its objection to ROK's anti-terrorism measures. The Cabinet-level officials at the Inter-Korean talks in Mount Kumgang have yet to work out the details, but full agreement was expected by November 12. The talks had been scheduled to end Monday but both sides have decided to extend the four-day gathering by one day.

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3. ROK Military Purchase

Korea Times (Sohn Suk-joo, "SEOUL TO ANNOUNCE WINNER OF JET PROJECT IN MARCH," 11/12/01) reported that according to informed sources, ROK Defense Minister Kim Dong-shin reported to ROK President Kim Dae-jung last week that the ministry would be unable to choose the winning bidder of the 4 trillion won (US$3.1 billion) F-X fighter program until the end of next March. A ranking ministry official also confirmed that the ROK Defense Ministry would be unable to select the winner for the contract by the end of this year. However, he denied that the ministry would be set to announce the winner in March. The continuous delay of the fighter project has allegedly touched off strong resistance from the ROK Air Force, which is insisting that the winner of the project be announced by the end of this year. An ROK Air Force official said, "I don't understand what more they have on the checklist. The ministry has already achieved quite satisfactory results after several months of negotiations with the bidders in the project. Ministry officials are wary of the political repercussions that could arise from selecting the winner as President Kim's tenure is entering its final stage." [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 12, 2001.]

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4. PRC Entry into WTO

Reuters (Bill Savadove, "WTO APPROVES CHINA'S MEMBERSHIP AFTER 15-YEAR QUEST," 11/11/01) reported that on November 10, after waiting 15 years, the PRC joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Despite the euphoria, there is some fear that the PRC may fail to implement its pledges out of deliberate intent or simply ignorance since millions of local officials must now learn WTO rules. WTO membership will open more markets for the PRC's rapidly expanding economy, but will also expose its industries to foreign competition as tariffs are lowered and trade barriers gradually torn down. Tens of millions of people could be thrown out of work, risking social upheaval.

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5. Taiwan Entry into WTO

Reuters (Bill Savadove, "WTO APPROVES TAIWAN'S ENTRY," 11/12/01) reported that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) approved Taiwan's entry on November 11, a day after welcoming the PRC into the trade body. Minutes after the approval, PRC's foreign trade minister welcomed Taiwan's entry, but ruled out direct trade links unless Taiwan acknowledged PRC's sovereignty over the island. To dodge the sensitive political issue, Taiwan will formally enter the WTO as the "separate customs territory" of Taiwan and its offshore islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Officials said Taiwan aims to enter the WTO in January after legislative approval.

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6. PRC Business with Rogue Nations

The New York Times (Jennifer Lee, "COMPLAINTS THAT CHINESE COMPANIES SUPPLY ROGUE NATIONS," 11/12/01) reported that the PRC's high technology industry have become suppliers of advanced communications equipment to nations that Western companies avoid, or are barred from doing business with. These countries include the governments of Cuba, Iraq, the DPRK and Yugoslavia and, before September 11, the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. Aside from the PRC's dealings with Iraq, which were a violation of UN sanctions and were halted by the PRC government after the US complained, PRC companies have done nothing that violates international trade agreements or diplomatic strictures. According to industry analysts and US trade officials, the PRC government has been responsive to efforts by the US State Department to help them set up a system of export controls to regulate businesses. The installation of digital fiber optic cables in rogue nations - or those considered potential rogue nations - raises concerns in intelligence agencies because the cables are nearly impossible to monitor with conventional ground, air or space surveillance systems. However, as with almost all telecommunications systems, the digital equipment has both military and civilian uses. But the Chinese are not the only ones willing to do business where the US will not; Alcatel, of France, has agreed to rebuild some of Iraq's civilian telecommunications network. US officials say, though, that there is no evidence of any arms-related work by PRC companies in Afghanistan and that the uncompleted telecommunications projects were only rudimentary in a country whose infrastructure has been ravaged by two decades of war. US officials say that any work by PRC companies in Afghanistan before September 11 more likely grew out of the PRC's desire to keep an eye on Afghanistan, a bordering country. The PRC government is concerned about Muslim separatists in its western provinces and any relationship that they may have with Osama bin Laden's Qaeda network. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 12, 2001.]

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7. Cross-Strait Relations

China Post ("LEE REFUTES EXISTENCE OF '1992 CONSENSUS'," 11/8/01) reported that former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui on November 7 said the so-called "1992 consensus" never existed, demanding those backing it produce proof that an agreement was in fact reached between the PRC and Taiwan. Lee said that those who claim to possess the documents proving that a "consensus" was actually reached never took part in the 1992 cross-strait talks. Lee's remarks come as support for Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian on one hand, and as a rebuke to Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan on the other. While Chen rejects the "consensus" as a dangerous fantasy that could lead to the collapse of Taiwan, Lien accuses the president of being inconsistent in dismissing it. Lee said the "consensus" should not be an issue, because it never existed.

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8. Japanese Military Deployment

Associated Press ("JAPAN SENDS WARSHIPS TO BACK US," 11/9/01) reported that in the first military operation of its kind since World War II, Japan sent warships toward the Indian Ocean on November 9 to support the US-led campaign against terrorism. The three ships will scout sea lanes and gather information that will be used by military planners to dispatch other Japanese units under a new law allowing the nation's armed forces to transport supplies and provide other non-combat assistance for the US-led campaign in Afghanistan. Polls show that a majority of Japanese favor what Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has termed "rear-area support" for the war on terrorism. On November 9, major Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri, in response to the idea that participation in the US-led campaign represented a dangerous step toward loosening the tight constraints placed on the nation's armed forces by its constitution, wrote in an editorial, "Japan is a democracy governed under the principles of civilian rule. It would be impossible for Japan to return to its prewar militarism." Analysts say that the Japanese public is gradually getting used to the idea of its armed forces contributing to international peacekeeping operations.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US-ROK Defense Ministers Talks

Korea Herald (Kang Seok-jae, "KOREA, U.S. TO HOLD ANNUAL SECURITY TALKS IN WASHINGTON," 11/12/01) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said the ROK and the US will hold their annual Security Consultative Meeting on November 15 in Washington. ROK Army Major General Cha Young-koo said, "At the meeting, the two sides are highly likely to sign a letter of intent on the Land Partnership Plan, which calls for a complete review of land usage for U.S. soldiers on the Korean Peninsula. Another big issue at the Washington meeting is Seoul's defense cost-sharing for the upkeep of U.S. soldiers in South Korea in 2001 and after. We want to sign a final agreement on the problem this time, but find it difficult, given wide gaps in opinions on the amount and method." Cha also said the two sides are scheduled to issue a joint communique at the end of the one-day meeting. Also high on the agenda will be the ROK's proposed dispatch of non-combat troops to support the US military campaign against terrorism. [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for November 12, 2001.]

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2. DPRK Envoy UN Appointment

The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "N.K. VICE FOREIGN MINISTER PAK TAPPED AS ENVOY TO UN," Seoul, 11/11/01) reported that a diplomatic source in the ROK said on November 10 that the DPRK has named Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon as new ambassador to the United Nations. Ri Hyong-chol will be replaced by DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Pak after Ri's four-year term in the post expires this month. Pak, 58, is a career diplomat who has served as vice foreign minister dealing with Middle East since 1996. He started his foreign service in 1969 and served as ambassador to the UN from 1985 to 1991. DPRK watchers in the ROK said that the DPRK decision to reappoint Pak as envoy to the UN reflects the DPRK's wishes to improve relations with the US.

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3. Inter-Korean Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "INTER-KOREAN TALKS MAKE LITTLE PROGRESS," Mt. Geumgang, 11/12/01) reported that disputes over ROK's anti-terrorism measures continued to cripple inter-Korean cabinet-level talks on November 11. ROK officials said that its negotiators demanded that a postponed reunion of 200 families in the two Koreas take place this month, and that the next round of ministerial talks be held in Seoul next month. However, the DPRK insisted that the ROK lift its counter-terrorism military alert before promoting any exchange programs, the officials said. DPRK chief delegate, Kim Ryong-song, also indirectly criticized ROK President Kim Dae-jung for calling on the international community to help the DPRK adopt reforms and an open-door policy. The ROK also offered to resume military talks in a near future and begin construction works for cross-border rail and road links as soon as possible.

III. Japan

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1. Opinion on Japanese Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun ("GLOBAL-COEXISTENCE MUST BE RESPECTED," Tokyo, 11/08/01) reported that Japanese Liberal Party leader Ichiro Ozawa said that the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) should not be involved this time in what is essentially a US war of self-defense. On the measure to be taken against the terrorist attacks in US, Ozawa said, "In taking armed action against terrorism, the US should have first sought a UN resolution. A UN resolution would have made it easier for the rest of the world to support the US, and this in turn would have broadened America's options beyond air strikes." He also criticized the Japanese government, saying, "The government claims that the new anti-terrorism legislation has not changed its interpretation of the Constitution, that the nation is still banned from exercising its right to collective defense, and that the SDF cannot participate in combat even if the UN passed a resolution on military sanctions. No matter what rhetoric Prime Minister Koizumi uses, deploying the SDF is nothing short of using arms and participating in war. If that is not a violation for the Constitution, what is? If we must deploy the SDF, the government must change its interpretation of the Constitution and recognize the nation's right to participate in collective self-defense. This is the only logical and above-board way of going about it."

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2. Analysis of Japanese Logistical Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun ("WHY THE BIG HURRY IN SENDING THE MSDF?," Tokyo, 11/10-11/01) carried an analytical article which analyzed why the Japanese government had decided to send three Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) vessels to the Indian Ocean before the approval of its basic plan for deployment. The Japanese Cabinet is expected to approve the plan on November 16. However, that is not apparently soon enough for some government officials, who wanted to make good on Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's pledge to the US of an early deployment. The three MSDF ships were sent off on the questionable legal grounds they will engage in "investigation and research," under the provision of the Defense Agency Establishment Law. With the first MSDF ships expected to take about two weeks to reach their destination of Diego Garcia island, they will not be able to accomplish their objective of gathering information for the formulation of the basic plan. The article said that if their mission is to gather information to ensure they can safely carry out the details of the plan, it makes no sense to send them before those details have been decided upon.

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3. Salvage of Ehime Maru

The Asahi Shimbun ("US NAVY ENDS SEARCH OF EHIME MARU, Honolulu, 11/09/01) reported that the US Navy has ended its search for the ninth and last missing crew member of the Ehime Maru. Rear Admiral William Klemm of the US Pacific Fleet said the US Navy had made its best effort to find all of the missing and even if the search continued, there was only a very small possibility the final body would be found. About 30 Maritime Self-Defense Forces divers are making preparations for a final inspection of the sunken Ehime Maru on November 15. The ship will then have its fuel tanks drained and it will be towed to international waters and sunk.

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4. Reconstruction of Afghanistan

The Japan Times ("JAPAN, U.S. PLAN AFGHAN RECOVERY TALKS," Tokyo, 11/11/01) reported that Japan plans to jointly host an international conference with the US in New York on November 20 to discuss measures to assist Afghanistan's recovery. The concept of an international conference was initially proposed by Hisashi Owada, then Japanese Ambassador to the UN, in October 1996. It is feared a number of Islamic countries will react strongly against the US if the US-led airstrikes continue after Ramadan begins. The Japanese government has sounded out European nations and Russia for ministerial-level participation and are negotiating with those countries. A number of nations, including Britain, France, Italy and Russia have agreed to the planned meeting.

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5. Revision of Peacekeeping Operations Law

The Japan Times ("NEW KOMEITO BACKS DOWN ON USE OF WEAPONS BY SDF," Tokyo, 11/11/01) reported that Japan's New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki agreed on November 10 to ease conditions on the use of weapons by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel participating in peacekeeping operations during the current Diet session. However, he was reluctant to revise the remaining four principles of the 1992 Peace-keeping Operations Law. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) hoped to ease the principle so that the government can dispatch SDF personnel to conflict zones simply with the approval of the country in which the operations are to be staged. However, LDP officials had recently conceded that they may have to give up efforts to revise the law due to New Komeito's opposition.

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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

Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

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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