NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, november 28, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. Inter-Korean Relations

Reuters ("S.KOREA'S KIM VOICES DISAPPOINTMENT, HOPE ON NORTH," Seoul, 11/28/01) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said on Wednesday that recent setbacks in dealings with the DPRK had disappointed the ROK, but he had not given up on his "Sunshine Policy" of engagement. Kim said, "Although we are disappointed, we are not downright discouraged by it because when we are dealing with the North Koreans of course we will experience setbacks but we also will experience progress as well." Asked about the chances that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il would fulfill a promise to visit Seoul, Kim Dae-jung said: "I cannot be fully certain about it."

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2. ROK Demands Apology

The Associated Press ("APOLOGY DEMANDED OVER BORDER SHOOTING," Seoul, 11/28/01) reported that ROK's ruling and opposition parties demanded that the DPRK apologize for starting an exchange of gunfire along the Demilitarized Zone on November 27. Spokesman for ROK's ruling Millennium Democratic Party Lee Nak- yon said, "The North Korean authorities must explain why and how the incident occurred and sincerely apologize to our side." A statement by the opposition Grand National Party said the ROK government "must lodge a strong protest and receive the DPRK's promise that such an incident will never occur again." The US- led United Nations Command said it remains undetermined whether the DPRK gunfire was intentional or accidental.

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3. Trilateral Coordination Statement

The Associated Press (Jae-suk Yoo, "N.KOREA URGED TO ADDRESS NUKE WORRIES," Seoul, 11/28/01) reported that following the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday, US Japanese and ROK officials released a joint statement urging the DPRK to join the US-led campaign against terrorism and to address concerns about its suspected nuclear weapons program. The three countries took "positive" note of actions taken by the DPRK following the September 11 attacks. However, the officials, said that the DPRK needs to "take further steps to confirm its cooperation with international anti-terrorism initiatives and opposition to international terrorism." The statement also mentioned the breakdown of the latest round of inter-Korean talks, and said "enhanced inter-Korean dialogue was central to efforts to reduce tension and increase stability on the Korean Peninsula."

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4. DPRK Missile Sales

The Associated Press (Barry Schweid, "CONGRESS CHECKS N. KOREA REPORTS," Washington, 11/27/01) reported that a congressional source said on November 27 that the US Congress is looking into reports that the DPRK is providing Egypt with long-range missiles. Administration officials have been asked to testify behind closed doors on November 30 on the reports of a DPRK missile deal. A congressional aide said the deal was outlined in a classified memorandum to US Congress in early November. It surfaced as Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher was arriving in Washington for talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and members of US Congress on November 29.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK Position on US Policy

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "GOVERNMENT DOWNPLAYS BUSH'S NK WARNING," Seoul, 11/28/01) and The Korea Herald (Shin Yong-bae, "U.S. STANCE EXPECTED TO PROLONG LULL IN INTER-KOREAN TIES," Seoul, 11/28/01) reported that ROK Minister of Unification Hong Seung- yong told a cabinet meeting Tuesday, that US President George W. Bush's comments on DPRK's weapons of mass destruction were nothing new. Later the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade added that at the Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group meeting in San Francisco, US State Department's Under Secretary for East Asian Affairs James Kelly had explained that Bush was merely confirming an existing stance. However, ROK government sources said that it was paying keen attention to how the situation develops, as the Bush administration is now linking weapons of mass destruction to terrorist acts. They said that to date, there has been no evidence linking the DPRK to Osama bin Laden or terrorist networks in Afghanistan, but this may happen in the future. In addition, they noted that the DPRK's mass destruction weapons are currently the subject of talks, conceding that they could become the objects of military strikes should links to international terrorism be proved.

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2. DPRK Efforts to Dismantle Armistice

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "SEOUL REJECTS P'YANG'S DEMAND ON ARMISTICE," Seoul, 11/28/01) reported that the ROK on Tuesday rejected a recent DPRK demand that foreign countries withdraw their liaison officers in the United Nations Command (UNC)'s Military Armistice Commission (MAC). The ROK Defense Ministry said in a statement, "There is no change in our position that the commission and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission should be in force under the (1991) Basic South-North Agreement." Brigadier General Hwang Eui-don, the ROK ministry spokesman, said that a DPRK lieutenant general sent a letter to the embassies in Beijing of Australia, the Philippines and other countries that have representatives in the MAC urging them to dismantle the UNC. Hwang said that the DPRK move was the latest in a series of campaigns since 1991 to incapacitate the MAC and justify their demand to replace the Korean armistice accord with a peace treaty with the US that excludes the ROK.

III. Japan

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1. Japanese Logistical Support for US

The Asahi Shimbun ("LOWER HOUSE APPROVES SDF DEPLOYMENT BASIC PLAN," Tokyo, 11/28/01) reported that Japan's Lower House on Tuesday approved the basic plan for deployment of the Self- Defense Forces (SDF) to support the US in the global battle against terrorism. In addition to the ruling coalition, most members of Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) voted for the basic plan, giving it an overwhelming majority. Only a dozen Minshuto members bucked the party line and voted against the plan. Approval in the Lower House was reached after only about five and half-hours of deliberations. Japanese officials, meanwhile, were tight-lipped about the mission. Asked where the SDF contingent would operate, officials and Cabinet ministers declined comment, on the grounds that disclosing such information could be detrimental to the US and other forces.

The Asahi Shimbun ("MINSHUTO SUPPORT FOR SDF MISSION LEADS TO RIFT," Tokyo, 11/28/01) reported that dissension has arisen within Japan's leading opposition party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) over the overseas deployment of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to support the US-led fight against terrorism. About a dozen party members opposed the motion Tuesday to approve the government's basic plan. Following the decision on November 26 by Minshuto's executive board to approve the plan, Minshuto leader Yukio Hatoyama called on all party Diet members to fall into the line. Those opposed to the deployment, meanwhile, decided at a meeting Monday to vote against the basic plan, rather than abstain. Some members said the Lower House committee that deliberated on the plan had not answered any of the important questions about the deployment. They added that the debate did not represent sufficient civilian control over the SDF. The three other opposition parties all opposed the special measures law. Kiyomi Tsujimoto, policy chief of the Social Democratic Party, said Minshuto had entered into an "out-of- Cabinet cooperative relationship with the ruling coalition."

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2. Japanese Participation in the Peacekeeping Operations

The Japan Times ("SDF RULED OUT FOR MINE REMOVAL," Tokyo, 11/28/01) reported that Japanese Defense Agency chief Gen Nakatani told the Lower House Security committee Tuesday, "It is impossible (to dispatch the SDF for mine removal) as a truce has not been established. Besides, the SDF does not have a special unit to remove land mines."

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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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