NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, february 5, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. US-Philippines Anti-terrorism

Agence France-Presse ("PHILIPPINE MUSLIM REBELS WARN THEY WILL ATTACK US TROOPS IN THEIR AREAS," 02/03/02), Agence France-Presse ("PHILIPPINE MILITARY WARNS MUSLIM REBELS OVER THREAT TO AMERICANS," 02/04/02) and Agence France-Presse ("REBEL GROUP TOLD TO MARK BORDERS TO AVOID CLASH WITH US TROOPS," 02/05/02) reported that the largest Muslim separatist group in the Philippines was asked to demarcate its territories to avoid clashes with US and Filipino troops pursuing another Muslim guerilla group. Some leaders of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which has signed a ceasefire pact with the government pending peace talks, have warned they would fire on US soldiers who enter their zones of influence. The Philippines military warned that armed attacks against US troops in the Philippines will bring swift retribution. The 12,500-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's biggest Muslim separatist group, had warned on Sunday that its fighters would shoot American soldiers who strayed into their areas on Basilan island. "I hope the MILF will not get involved in this exercise but if this will happen, the MILF will be dealt with accordingly," military southern command spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Servando said

Agence France-Presse ("PHILIPPINE LEADER VOWS RENEWED EFFORT IN ANTI- TERROR WAR," 02/05/02) reported that Philippine President Gloria Arroyo returned from a three-nation tour, vowing to forge ahead in the war against terrorism despite domestic criticism. "The leaders and people of the world have seen our sense of sacrifice, our discipline and our universal ethics. They know and appreciate our unswerving stand against terrorism and poverty," Arroyo said Tuesday. Arroyo said she frequently brought up the link between terrorism and poverty in her speeches to foreign groups. She said she also discussed terrorism issues with King Abdullah of Jordan and he offered to provide the Philippines with intelligence on "international terrorists who maintain cells all over the region."

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2. US Domestic Politics

Reuters ("BUSH ASIAN ADVISER RESIGNS AHEAD OF KEY TRIP," Washington, 02/02/02) reported that top US White House adviser on Asia Torkel Patterson has resigned his post just weeks before President George W. Bush makes a major trip to the region. Torkel served as the National Security Council's senior director for Asian affairs for less than one year. He left his position "for personal reasons" a week ago, an NSC spokesperson said. The spokesperson did not elaborate and Patterson was not immediately available for comment.

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3. PRC Response to "Axis of Evil"

Reuters ("CHINA SLAMS U.S. PRESIDENT OVER 'EVIL AXIS' SPEECH," Beijing, 02/03/02) reported that the PRC said on Sunday that US President George W. Bush's comments calling the DPRK, Iran, and Iraq an "axis of evil" suggested the US was preparing the ground for widening its "war on terrorism." An article carried by the PRC's Xinhua news agency said, "No small number of people suspect that by labeling Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an 'axis of evil' the United States seeks to prepare public opinion for possible strikes against those countries under the banner of anti-terrorism." Last week, a PRC foreign ministry spokesperson berated Bush for his use of such strong language in international diplomacy and said that all countries should be treated equally. "The Chinese side does not advocate using this kind of language in international relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a news conference.

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4. ROK Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER SACKED ON FLIGHT FROM US TALKS," 02/04/02) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung- Soo was dismissed as he flew back to Seoul from key talks with US officials on the DPRK. The office of President Kim Dae-Jung announced that Han would be replaced by Vice Foreign Minister Choi Sung-Hong before the foreign minister's plane from Washington had landed. ROK Presidential spokesman Park Sun-Sook said Han had chosen to resign last week after President Kim carried out a major reshuffle. She said his replacement "had nothing to do with" worsening US-North Korean relations.

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5. ROK's View of DPRK-US Relations

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN LEADER WARNS OF NEW THREAT OF WAR," 02/05/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-Jung appealed for international efforts to stop mounting tensions with the DPRK from turning into a new conflict. "Inter-Korean ties are at a standstill now. We have to think about the horrendous damage a war on the Korean Peninsula would bring," Kim told a ceremony to swear in new vice ministers on Tuesday. "We cannot subject our 70 million people to threats of war. We must relax tensions through inter-Korean dialogue and at least stop the situation from developing into a war. If inter- Korean relations deteriorate, then our economic basis falls into trouble," said President Kim.

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIAL RULES OUT US-NORTH KOREA STANDOFF," 02/03/02) reported that senior ROK official Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun denied there was a standoff between the DPRK and the US despite a trade of rhetoric between them. Jeong stated, "The Korean peninsula is not in a dangerous situation despite the North's aggressive reaction to Bush's address. The North appears to be showing self-restraint," said the minister. "There exists a gap in North Korea policy, but we can narrow the difference through consultations," he said.

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6. Japan Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse ("PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR JAPAN PREMIER PLUNGES: POLLS," 02/04/02) reported that recent opinion polls show that public support for Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet has plummeted after he fired foreign minister Makiko Tanaka. The Asahi Shimbun said Monday that the cabinet's approval rating fell to 49 percent. The figure compared with the 72 percent approval rate registered in the previous survey taken on January 26 and 27 two days before Tanaka was dismissed. Meanwhile, a separate poll by the Mainichi Shimbun found support for the cabinet had fallen to 53 percent, down from 77 percent in its January survey. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said that the Koizumi cabinet would continue to push its reform initiatives. "Even if such a trend (weakening poll results) continues, we cannot stop our drive for reform. If we stop that, there will be no reason (for the Koizumi cabinet) to exist," Fukuda said. About 70 percent of respondents in the Asahi poll were pessimistic about Koizumi's prospects for pushing through structural reform, saying he would now have difficulty overcoming resistance from the LDP old guard.

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7. Japan-Russia Diplomatic Relations

Agence France-Presse ("JAPANESE, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS GET DOWN TO TALKS," 02/02/02) reported that Japan's new Foreign Minister, Yoriko Kawaguchi, and her Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, began talks centering on territorial issues and the fight against global terrorism. The Ivanov-Kawaguchi meeting is the first full-fledged foreign ministerial conference between Japan and Russia since Koizumi took office in April last year. On Friday, Ivanov met with Koizumi and the two pledged continued efforts to find a solution to the long-drawn territorial dispute which has prevented the two nations from signing a post-war peace treaty.

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8. Japan-ROK Diplomatic Relations

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN'S PM TO VISIT SOUTH KOREA IN MARCH: REPORT," 02/01/02) reported that Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is planning to visit the ROK right in late March. A Japanese foreign ministry spokesperson said, "The prime minister has been saying he wants to go as soon as possible. But when he's going to go has not been decided. It's not as if he's definitely going to go, but he's said he wants to go so we are trying to arrange it." Koizumi is expected to meet ROK President Kim Dae Jung and other ROK leaders during his trip, which will be aimed at improving relations ahead of the World Cup.

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9. PRC Economic Growth

Reuters ("CHINA PREDICTED WORLD'S SECOND BIGGEST ECONOMY BY 2030," Beijing, 02/03/02) reported that US investment bank Lehman Brothers forecast on Friday that the PRC's economy will grow six percent annually over the next 20 years and become the world's second largest after the US by 2030. Lehman Brothers's senior economist Robert Subbaraman announced, "We're optimistic that China will achieve a six percent growth trajectory over the next 20 years and, in our estimates, will rise to become the second largest economy in the world before 2030." The PRC's gross domestic product rose 7.3 percent year on year in 2001, according to a preliminary estimate, and the government has forecast seven percent annual growth from 2001 to 2005. Paul Sheard, Lehman's chief economist for Asia said, "In the short term, China's growth will pose challenges for the rest of Asia."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US-DPRK Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, "U.S., NORTH KOREA CHILL IS DEEPNING," Seoul, 02/04/02) predicted that the situation on the Korean Peninsula will soon hit some turbulence. US President George W. Bush called DPRK a locus of the "axis of evil," and the DPRK shot back that the remark was little short of a declaration of war. The Bush administration has called for steps to prevent nuclear proliferation and to clarify the scope and purpose of the DPRK's nuclear program. The DPRK says its missile program is a matter of exercising sovereignty and demands compensation for stopping missile exports.

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2. US-ROK relations

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin, "POWELL VOICES RESERVATIONS ONO 'SUNSHINE' POLICY RESULTS," Washington, 02/04/02) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed doubts about President Kim Dae-jung's "sunshine" policy toward the DPRK in his meeting with ROK Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo in New York. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that the US had expressed support for the sunshine policy, but does not feel that it has elicited a favorable reaction from DPRK. "Secretary Powell maintained that there will be no changes in the United States' policy that it is willing to hold talks with North Korea unconditionally," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a public announcement after the meeting.

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3. DPRK Refusal to Talk

Joongang Ilbo (Choi Won-ki, "NORTH KOREA REFUSED VICE-MINISTERIAL-LEVEL TALKS WITH US, Seoul, 02/04/02) reported that prior to US President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address, one foreign source revealed that the DPRK rejected US calls for vice-ministerial level talks. According to the source, the US proposed to arrange bilateral talks between US special envoy to Korean Peninsula Jack Prichard and the DPRK's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gwe-gwan. Experts view such attitude has only succeeded in hardening Bush administration's suspicion toward the DPRK.

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4. Comfort Women Issue

Joongang Ilbo (Namkoong Wook, "JAPAN'S COMFORT WOMEN INCLUDED SOME SPOUSES," Seoul, 02/04/02) reported a recent survey of witnesses concluded that the Japanese colonial government in Korea, which governed the peninsula from 1910-1945, drafted married Korean women into sexual slavery and abducted some of the so-called "comfort women." The Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, along with the Ministry of Gender Equality, surveyed the 192 surviving Korean women who were forced by the Japanese to serve as sex slaves for its imperial army. While 11 of the women were married when they were forced into sexual servitude, 93 said they never married due to their fears of sexual intercourse, guilt about their ordeal or sexually transmitted diseases. Over 40 percent of the women said they were tricked by Japanese authorities with promises of jobs; 56 said they were kidnapped. Over 95 percent said that they were threatened or beaten. "Based on this report, we will call the Japanese government to account for its infringement of human rights," said Kim Yun-ok, leader of the council.

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5. DPRK Response to US

Korea Times (Seo Soo-min, "NK LEADER INSPECTS MILITARY UNITS," Seoul, 02/04/02) reported that in response to US President George W. Bush's remark calling the DPRK a part of an "axis of evil," DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has resumed public activities after three weeks by paying consecutive visits to military compounds. During his visit to a military unit whose location was undisclosed Friday, Kim, in his first public remarks after Bush's State of the Union address, said that he will reinforce his 1.1 million-strong armed forces. The army, Kim said, is "standing in the front line" of a "grim class struggle" weathering out "the raging wind raised by imperialists with a violent revolutionary storm."

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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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