NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, january 28, 2002

I. United States

II. Japan

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I. United States

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1. ROK Domestic Politics

Reuters (Lee Suwan and Matin Nesirky, "SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT TO RESHUFFLE CABINET," Seoul, 01/28/02), The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "SOUTH KOREA'S KIM TO SHAKE UP CABINET THIS WEEK TO DEFUSE POLITICAL TENSION," Seoul, 01/27/02) and Agence France-Presse ("PRESSURE MOUNTS ON SOUTH KOREA LEADER OVER SCANDALS," 01/28/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung plans to reshuffle his government this week but a meeting at which ministers were to have resigned en masse has been postponed. It was not immediately clear how many ministers would be reappointed in the changes, which Kim has been under pressure to make because of a spate of political scandals and corruption charges. A senior aide to Kim said that the president would name new ministers this week in a new attempt to ease public anger. Kim made the fight against corruption one of his key tasks when he took office in early 1998, but his administration has been shaken by several scandals, which have led to the resignation of top finance, intelligence and even presidential officials in recent months.

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2. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse ("TAIWAN'S VP READIES TO TAKE ON BEIJING'S OFFER ON CHINA VISIT," 01/27/02) reported that Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu has volunteered to be the first Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member to take on the PRC's recent invitation to visit. According to a statement from the presidential office, Lu stated that she was very happy to see that that the PRC has finally softened its stance towards Taiwan and its ruling party.

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3. PRC's View of Anti-Terror War

Deutsche Presse-Agentur ("CHINA OPPOSES WIDENING OF ANTI-TERROR WAR, IRAQ LEADER TOLD," Beijing, 01/28/02) reported that PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen told visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz on Monday that the PRC opposes any expansion of the US-led international military action against terrorism. "China does not support the expansion of anti-terror military action. At the same time (China) hopes that Iraq will cooperate with the UN, to avoid new and complicated situations which might emerge." Aziz praised the PRC's "principled position" on Iraq and said he hoped the PRC would "play a more active role" in settling the issue of UN sanctions against Iraq "in a just and rational way." The PRC "sympathized deeply with the Iraqi suffering caused by the long-standing sanctions", Qian told Aziz.

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4. PRC-US Plane Incident

The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, "CHINA CHANGES APPROACH IN ESPIONAGE INCIDENT," 01/27/02) carried an analytical article that commented that the PRC has said little after the recent discovery of PRC President Jiang Zemin's newly delivered Boeing 767 had been surreptitiously loaded with dozens of listening devices. The article also said that PRC Foreign Ministry officials were distinctly low-key, noting that the bugging, which they called "a stupid action," would have no effect on President Bush's trip to the PRC that begins February 21. The PRC's relationship with the US has been changing dramatically, in tone if not substance, in the last eight months, and the most recent espionage accusations have served as a barometer of that shift. Admiral Joseph W. Prueher, who was the US ambassador to the PRC when planes collided last spring, stated "I don't know if I'd be so vain as to say the PRC learned from events of last April, but I think there is now a desire to prevent every event from becoming a crisis and to handle conflict in a less volatile way."

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5. PRC-US-Taiwan Relations

Reuters (Alice Hung, "BUSH VISIT TO CHINA WON'T HURT TAIWAN, U.S. SAYS," Taipei, 01/28/02) reported that Richard Bush, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, which handles the US' unofficial ties with Taiwan responded to fears that US President George W. Bush's visit to the PRC next month would hurt Taiwan's interests. "Let me assure you as categorically as I can: it will not happen. I, of course, cannot rule out the possibility that there will be an attempt to exercise that kind of leverage. But I can categorically rule out that any such attempt will be successful." Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian met Richard Bush on Monday and said that he hoped the visit would help cross-Strait ties. Chen urged the US to play the role of a "stabilizer, balancer, and facilitator" in cross-Straits ties. Chen also stated, "There is a big gap between 'peaceful resolution' and 'peaceful unification.'"

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6. PRC's View of South Asia

Agence France-Presse, ("CHINA CALLS FOR PEACE IN SOUTH ASIA AFTER INDIAN MISSILE TEST," 01/26/02) reported that the PRC appealed for peace and stability in South Asia but stopped short of condemning India's latest test of a nuclear-capable missile. An unnamed PRC foreign ministry spokesman stated, "We hope all the countries will take more measures favorable to the protection of peace and stability in South Asia."

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7. PRC Bible Smuggler

The Associated Press (Joe McDonald, "CHINA SENTENCES H.K. BIBLE SMUGGLER," Beijing, 01/28/02), Reuters (Tan Ee Lyn, "CHINA JAILS BIBLE- SMUGGLING HONG KONG MAN FOR TWO YEARS," Hong Kong, 01/28/02) and Agence France-Presse ("CHINA JAILS HONG KONG CHRISTIAN FOR TWO YEARS FOR SMUGGLING BIBLES," 01/28/02) reported that Hong Kong businessman Li Guangqiang who brought Bibles to a banned PRC religious group was sentenced on Monday to two years in prison. Li was convicted of charges of "illegal operation." Li originally faced a possible death sentence in the case. Li, also known as Lai Kwong-keung, was detained last May after bringing 33,080 Bibles into PRC for a group known as the Shouters. Based in southeastern PRC, it has some 500,000 members. The group was banned in 1995 as a cult. Rose Wu, director of the Hong Kong Christian Institute in Hong Kong, commented that PRC concern about the imminent visit of US President George W. Bush was the reason that Lai's prison term was so short. "It is not an indication of greater religious tolerance in China," said Wu.

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8. DPRK Refugees

Agence France-Presse ("TEN NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES ALLOWED TO SETTLE IN SOUTH KOREA," 01/27/02) reported that ten DPRK refugees have defected to the ROK. The latest defection put the total number of DPRK citizens to have sought asylum in the ROK at 31 for this year. The ROK received 312 North Korean defectors in 2000 and 583 in 2001.

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9. DPRK-US MIA Talks

The Associated Press ("U.S.-NORTH KOREA TALKS ON MIA END," Bangkok, 01/28/02) reported that US and DPRK negotiators failed to reach agreement in their latest talks on recovering remains of US servicemen missing in action from the Korean War. Larry Greer, spokesperson for the US Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office stated that the four days of US-DPRK talks ended inconclusively on Saturday. Greer said that no dates were set for a resumption of talks. The North Koreans side did not comment. More than 8,000 US military personnel remain missing and unaccounted for from the 1950-53 Korean War.

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10. ROK-DPRK Mount Kumgang Tours

The New York Times (Don Kirk, "SOUTH KOREA SALVAGES TOURS OF NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 01/27/02) reported that the ROK announced this week that it was offering a package of incentives for a private company to enable it to keep operating tours to the DPRK. The ROK Unification Ministry said that the plan reflected the vital role played by the tours to Mount Kumgang as "a peace project linking South and North Korea." A spokesperson for Hyundai Asan, an arm of the Hyundai group that operates the tours, said the package was enough to persuade it to go on with the program even though it had lost $400 million on the venture since it began in November 1998. Hyundai Asan said 423,000 people had gone to Mount Kumkang so far. The program peaked at 212,021 tourists in 2000, but only 56,680 people went last year.

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11. US Missile Defense

Reuters (Jim Wolf, "U.S. SUCCESSFULLY TESTS SEA-BASED MISSILE DEFENSE," Washington, 01/26/02) reported that the US military on Friday knocked out a target missile using a sea-launched interceptor that could be part of US President George W. Bush's planned ballistic missile defense. In the test, the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie's Aegis combat system tracked the Aries target missile, then launched the Standard Missile-3 tipped with the fourth-stage kinetic warhead. The interceptor missile, and the Aries target missile collided in space over the US Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. A Pentagon spokesperson announced, "It was not a primary objective to result in a hit, however, it did that as well." The primary objective had been to demonstrate the navigation and control capabilities of the Raytheon-built Standard Missile-3 warhead. It was the first operational flight outside the Earth's atmosphere of the "LEAP" kinetic warhead designed to knock out an incoming medium- or long-range ballistic missile outside the atmosphere. The sea-based test took place at 9:18 p.m. EST.

II. Japan

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1. Japan's Role in Afghan Reconstruction

The Asahi Shinbun (Yoichi Nishimura, "TOKYO PUT TO THE TEST," 01/24/02) carried an analytical article on the two-day Tokyo conference that ended on Tuesday. It was judged a huge success, with pledges around US$4.5 billion to empower Afghanistan's 26 million population to rebuild. For Japan, it marked the beginning of a new diplomatic initiative and long- term commitment to the region. However, the real challenge for Japan lies in the days and months ahead. A senior Foreign Ministry official said that Japan's approach should focus on both reconstruction and a political process that includes the establishment of a new government through elections in 2004, the article said. For that, Japan's pressing task is to nurture specialists and diplomats of its own who can actively get involved in the reconstruction process. Presently, Japan has only a handful of people who are up to the task, the article said.

The Yomiuri Shinbun ("RESEARCH GROUP TO AFGHAN," 01/25/01) reported that Kinichi Komano who is Japan's special deputy ambassador for Afghanistan announced that a research group in which Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) take leading parts will enter Afghanistan in the next month. After exploring the prior targets in: resettlement of refugees; education; welfare and; women's positions, the research group will be dispatched in order to hash out the concrete projects for Afghan rehabilitation.

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2. Japan-ROK Relations

The Yomiuri Shinbun (Yoshiharu Asano, "PROVISIONAL SIGNITURE OF EXTRADITION," 01/25/02) reported that Japan and the ROK reached provisional signature of extradition treaty in Seoul on January 24. The formal signature will be in March when Japan's prime minister Junichiro Koizumi visits Seoul.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
Department of Political Science, Korea University, 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

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

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