NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, december 6, 2001

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Japan

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I. United States

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1. ROK-DPRK-US Relations

The Wall Street Journal (John Larkin, "U.S. WAR AGAINST TERRORISM COULD FUEL TENSIONS IN KOREA," Seoul, 12/06/01) reported that ROK officials expressed fears that the Bush administration's moves to link the DPRK to its war on terror could lead to renewed hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. While ROK officials support the US opposition to the DPRK's suspected biological-weapons program, an unnamed senior ROK Foreign Ministry official said that the US stance has "created unnecessary concern not only for the South Korean public but also in North Korea that the Korean Peninsula can be a battleground again. Bush is not sensitive to North Korea's possible responses." [Ed. note: This article appeared in the US Department of Defense's Early Bird news service for December 6, 2001.]

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2. ROK President on World Peace

The Associated Press (Matti Huuhtanen, "NOBEL WINNER WARNS OF GLOBAL THREATS," Oslo, 12/06/01) reported that Nobel Peace laureate and ROK President Kim Dae-jung warned of new global threats in a speech Thursday at the Norwegian Nobel Institute's centennial celebration of people working for world peace. Kim said, "We have witnessed anger caused by the gap between rich and poor in a worldwide digital divide of the information era." Kim also stated, "Peace on the Korean peninsula is not only the wish of the 70 million people there, it is the wish of the world."

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3. PRC View on Afghanistan

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA WELCOMES INTERIM AFGHAN GOVERNMENT, PLEDGES ASSISTANCE," 12/06/01) and Deutsche Presse-Agentur ("CHINA WELCOMES BONN ACCORD, URGES AFGHAN COOPERATION," Beijing, 12/06/01) reported that on Thursday, the PRC welcomed the Bonn agreement on a new Afghanistan government as a "good beginning" and urged all parties to work together to build peace and stability. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said, "We hope that the various elements can take their national cause above everything else, implement the agreement with real commitment and with the leadership of the interim government, so as to enable the Afghan people to live in peace and tranquility at an early date." Zhang also stated that the PRC plans to "actively develop" relations with the new government and would provide necessary assistance "within its capability."

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4. PRC-US Counter-terrorism

The Associated Press (Joe McDonald, "CHINA, U.S. COOPERATE ON TERROR FIGHT," Beijing, 12/06/01), Reuters (Tamora Vidaillet, "U.S. ENVOY SAYS CHINA MAY ALLOW FBI AGENTS IN BEIJING," Beijing, 12/06/01), and Deutsche Presse-Agentur ("U.S. ENVOY HAILS 'RESOLUTE' CHINA BUT DENIES XINJIANG TERROR CLAIMS," Beijing, 12/06/01) reported that after a two-day visit to Beijing, top U.S. envoy on counter-terrorism General Francis X. Taylor stated that the PRC have agreed to "actively consider" the US request to open a law-enforcement liaison office in Beijing. Taylor stated, "We anticipate posting FBI personnel to that office if approved, which will greatly improve the efficiency of our law enforcement cooperation." However, differences over the issue of Muslim fighters in Xinjiang remain unresolved. Taylor said, "We accept the fact that there are people from western China that are involved in terrorist activities in Afghanistan, [but] legitimate economic and social issues in Xinjiang are not necessarily counter-terrorist issues and should be resolved politically."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-KEDO Talks

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "N.K. NUCLEAR PROJECT ESSENTIAL: UNIFICATION MINISTER," Seoul, 12/06/01) reported that ROK ministry officials said that on Wednesday ROK Unification Minister Hong Soon-young asked the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) to faithfully carry out its construction of nuclear power plants in the DPRK despite possible obstacles. In a meeting with KEDO Executive Director Charles Kartman, Hong said the nuclear project is "essential to maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula." Kartman came to Seoul on Tuesday after a four-day visit to the DPRK.

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2. DPRK-Russia Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "CHAIRMAN KIM TO RECEIVE NEW RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR KARLOV," Seoul, 12/06/01) reported that DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-il received new Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov in Pyongyang on Wednesday. The Korean Central Broadcast news said that the two sides exchanged a warm and friendly conversation, but declined from divulging the contents of the talks and the meeting place. A luncheon meeting also took place attended by related Russian officials and other top aides of Chairman Kim, namely: Kim Yong-chon, chief of the general staff of the Korea People's Army; Kang Sok-ju, first vice minister of foreign affairs; Park Jae-gyong, deputy chief of general political bureau; and Ji Jae-ryong, vice-director of the International Department. Brent Choi of the ROK's Unification Research Institute said, "We should take a note that there were army officials at the 'friendly' gathering. Kim Yong-chun for one, is one of the important leader in the military sector and his attendance shows the latest meeting could be just more than diplomatic engagement."

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3. Inter-Korean Law Revision

Joongang Ilbo ("INTER-KOREAN LAW TO BE REVISED SOON," Seoul, 12/06/01) reported that the government plans to revise four kinds of regulations related to inter-Korean exchange in line with the change of time. "We plan to simplify the overall procedure for inter-Korean trade, revise aid-regulations for economic cooperation projects, renew standards for license approval of shipment operations, and draw up additional laws to aid socio-cultural projects between the two Koreas," an unnamed ROK state official said Wednesday. The new regulation is expected to be finalized by next week at the earliest after going through inspection by the South-North Exchange Cooperation Promotion Committee. In the process, authorities would re-select possible trade items for inter-Korean transactions and lower the interest rate to support other aid projects.

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4. US-DPRK Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Won-ki, "NORTH KOREA TO RESUME HIGH-LEVEL TALKS WITH U.S. SOON, SAYS KARTMAN," Seoul, 12/05/01) reported that the US and the DPRK may soon open a new round of high-level talks, Charles Kartman, the executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, said Wednesday in Seoul. Kartman said that he got the impression that the DPRK would resume a dialogue with the US through a channel other than the DPRK diplomats associated with the UN in New York. "Kim Gye-kwan, the DPRK vice foreign minister, and U.S. special envoy John Prichard are likely to become the logical partners if the dialogue does take place," Kartman added.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-US Relations

Wen Hui Daily (Li Zhengyu, "DPRK NEWSPAPER REQUIRES THE US TO CANCEL HOSTILE POLICY," Pyongyang, 12/05/01, P3) reported that the DPRK's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun published an article on December 4 to require the US to cancel its antagonist policy toward the DPRK and to push forward the dialogues between the two countries. The article said that under the situation that the US further strengthens its policy of strangling the DPRK, the DPRK will correspondingly speed up the development of its defensive national defense capability.

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2. DPRK-UN Relations

People's Daily (Zhao Jiaming, "DPRK TO STRENGTHEN HUMANITARIAN COOPERATION WITH UN," Pyongyang, 12/04/01, P3) reported that on December 3 an unnamed DPRK spokesman for the committee on countermeasures to floods said in Pyongyang that the DPRK appreciated the humanitarian aid provided by the international community, and will continuously strengthen its cooperation with the UN in humanitarian issues. The spokesman made the remarks when commenting on the recent UN appeal to the international community for humanistic aid to countries such as the DPRK.

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3. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily (Wang Fa'en, "CHINA, US HOLD ARMS CONTROL CONSULTATIONS," Washington, 12/02/01, P2) reported that PRC Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Guangya held arms control and non-proliferation consultations with his US counterpart John Bolton in Washington on November 30, and met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell afterwards. During the meeting, the PRC detailed its stance on the Taiwan issue. Other issues discussed included: Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, the Middle East, the situation in South Asia and other matters of common concern.

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4. PRC View of US NMD Test

China Daily (Feng Qihua, "MISSILE TEST WON'T BRING SECURITY," 12/06/01, P4) carried an article on December 6 saying that the US Missile Defense test will certainly bring more tension and instability to the current world. It is likely that the missile test will not only trigger a new arms race, but will also stimulate a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the article said. The article also said that in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, it is time for the US to review the original reasons behind such a "disturbing" program. It is irrational to rely on such a costly and far from technically perfect missile defense system to ward off some phantom threat, the article said. The article concluded that only conforming to bilateral and multilateral treaties and cutting overloaded arsenals can peace and stability be achieved.

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5. PRC-Russian Relations

China Daily ("SINO-RUSSIAN ANTI-TERRORISM TEAM PLEDGES SUPPORT," 12/01-02/01, P1) reported that a Sino-Russian working group on combating terrorism stressed that such evil acts cannot be equated with any certain religion, ethnic group or civilization, and no one should apply double standards to the anti-terrorism issue. The meeting group held its first meeting from November 28-29 in Beijing. PRC Vice-Foreign Minister Li Zhao Xing and his Russian counterpart, Anatoliy Safonov, co-chaired the meeting, the report said. According to the report, both sides pledged to support each other on the issue. They agreed that combating terrorism is a long-term battle, and all nations should take all measures to cooperate against terrorism on the basis of the UN Charter and other international laws, the report said.

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6. Cross-Straits Relations

China Daily (Zhi Gang and Qi Hua, "ONE-CHINA PRINCIPLE REITERATED," 12/06/01, P1) reported that the PRC on December 5 ruled out any possibility of entering cross-Straits talks with Taiwan's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration. "It is utterly impossible at present for us to have contact with them, because the DPP still upholds its pro-independence platform, refuses to accept the one-China principle and denies the 1992 consensus," said Zhang Mingqing, spokesman with the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of China. Zhang made the comments in response to Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's remark that the PRC should deal with his administration because the ruling DPP has emerged as the largest party in the "parliament," having won 87 seats in the 225-member chamber. In response to the recent results of Taiwan's parliamentary elections, Zhang said that the PRC will keep close watch on future developments in Taiwan's mainland policy.

China Daily (Xing Zhigang, "VICTORY UNLIKELY TO WORSEN RELATIONS," 12/03/01, P1) reported that PRC experts on Taiwan studies do not expect cross-Straits relations to drastically worsen despite major gains for the island's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan's "parliamentary" elections on Dec. 1. Li Jiaquan, a researcher at the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the PRC Academy of Social Sciences, said that although the DPP's electoral triumph makes it comfortable in the "legislature," the DPP still cannot afford to act tough against the mainland by disrupting the status quo. Director of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University Fan Xizhou said, "It is totally impossible for Taiwan to walk out of the existing one-China framework" despite the electoral result." However, Fan also warned that the reduced presence of opposition parties in Taiwan's "parliament" may make the DPP administration led by Chen Shui-bian more determined to reject the one-China principle.

People's Daily ("QIAN QICHEN MEETS WITH US COMMITTEE OF 100," Beijing, 12/05/01, P4) reported that PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen met in Beijing on December 4 with a US delegation group from the Committee of 100. Qian stated that if the Taiwan authorities accept the "one-China" policy, negotiations across the Straits will be renewed. Qian also said that he hopes that direct mail service, trade, air and shipping across the Straits will be realized as soon as possible, in order to promote all types of exchanges. Moreover, Qian expressed that Taiwan authorities should abolish the limitations on investment in the PRC to promote the economic development of both sides while the PRC will further encourage and protect Taiwan business people to invest in the PRC.

IV. Japan

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1. Japan-DPRK Relations

The Asahi Shinbun ("CHOGIN NETWORK CHIEFS ARRESTED," Kobe, 12/06/01) reported that the chairman of the de facto head office of the Chogin credit unions Li Jong-ho was arrested on Wednesday on counts of questionable loans extended by the now-defunct Chogin Kinki Credit Union. The Unions' Association in Japan denied giving directions to its member credit unions, but Chogin sources said that the association functioned as the head office for Chogin credit unions and exerted strong influence on its members.

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2. Japanese View of Afghan Reconstruction

Yomiuri Shinbun ("TANAKA WELCOMES BONN AGREEMENT," 12/06/01, 03) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka welcomed the Bonn agreement and its establishment of a provisional authority in Afghanistan. Tanaka announced her continuous support for Afghan reconstruction.

Yomiuri Shinbun ("OGATA'S GLOBAL CLOUT PAYS OFF," 12/03/01, 04) reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda played a key role in securing the appointment of former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata as the prime minister's special representative on Afghanistan issues. Fukuda said, "Ms. Ogata is the only Japanese I could think of who can represent Japan in the international efforts to reconstruct war-torn Afghanistan."

The Japan Times ("GROUP TO RALLY NGOS NEXT WEEK OVER AFGHAN AID," Tokyo, 12/06/01) reported that Japan Platform, a Japanese nonprofit organization that links Japanese non-government organizations (NGOs) and business groups with the Foreign Ministry, will hold a three-day conference for non-governmental organizations in Tokyo next week to discuss ways to provide assistance to Afghanistan. Officials of 27 NGOs operating in Afghanistan will be invited to give their opinions on what is needed in the country and come up with the necessary support. The conference is expected to gather more than 50 NGOs from Japan and NGOs from the US and Europe. It will also be attended by officials from the Japanese government and United Nations. The conference is to submit a proposal for Afghan support to an international ministerial-level conference on rebuilding Afghanistan to be held in Tokyo in January.

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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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