NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, may 8, 2002

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK Asylum Seekers

The Associated Press ("DIPLOMATS: UNIDENTIFIED INTRUDERS TRY TO ENTER JAPANESE, U.S. CONSULATES IN CHINA," Beijing, 05/08/02) and Reuters ("JAPAN SAYS NORTH KOREAN TRESPASSERS DETAINED BY CHINA," Tokyo, 05/08/02) reported that PRC police, on alert for asylum-seekers from the DPRK, thwarted an attempt Wednesday by an unidentified group of people to rush into the Japanese Consulate in the northeastern city of Shenyang, Japanese diplomats said. Two other people also scaled the wall and entered the compound of the US Consulate in Shenyang, the US Embassy in Beijing said. An embassy spokesperson said he had no other details. The number of people involved in the attempt to enter the Japanese consulate, as well as their names and nationalities, were unknown, said a Japanese diplomat and an office worker at the consulate. The people were caught by the paramilitary People's Armed Police.

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2. PRC Navy Ships in ROK

Agence France-Presse ("CHINESE NAVY SHIPS IN SOUTH KOREA FOR FIRST TIME," 05/08/02) reported that two frigates became the first PRC military vessels ever to make a port call in the ROK. The maiden stopover by the 2,393-ton ships in this western ROK port comes as the ROK and the PRC mark the 10th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The four-day visit was in return for the first visit by ROK navy ships to Shanghai last October. "Let's be a messenger of peace and lay a bridge of friendship," said a statement released by the PRC navy delegation which was welcomed by ROK navy officials and ethnic Chinese. The two ships, Jiasing and Lian Yun Gang, carrying missiles and helicopters, will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday.

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3. Japan Anti-terrorism

Asia Pulse, "JAPAN GOVT UNVEILS LIAISON COMMITTEE TO FREEZE TERRORIST ASSETS," Tokyo, 05/08/02) reported that eight ministries and agencies including the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced Tuesday the formation of an intragovernmental liaison committee to coordinate moves to freeze the assets of terrorist groups. The committee is expected to promote more efficient sharing of information about terrorist groups, giving the ministries and agencies that handle financial and economic affairs ready access to data gleaned from investigations conducted by the National Police Agency and the Public Security Investigation Agency. The committee will involve bureau director-general-level representatives from all eight ministries and agencies, including the Financial Services Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Secretariat. (Nikkei)

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4. Russia-US Nuclear Arms Reduction

The Associated Press (Judith Ingram, "TOP U.S. DIPLOMAT HEADS TO MOSCOW," Moscow, 05/08/02) reported that U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton will return to Moscow next week to try to hammer out final details of the nuclear arms reduction agreement Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President George W. Bush hope to sign at their summit later this month, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. Bolton is scheduled to meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov on Monday to work on the arms deal as well as a joint statement on shared strategic goals. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Secretary of State Colin Powell will continue the talks next Tuesday and Wednesday in Reykjavik, Iceland, where they will attend a meeting intended to discuss a new relationship between NATO and Russia. Retired General Leonid Ivashov told a news conference that the arms control agreement would set ceilings for reductions and provide for a working group to deal with further details. One looming difference is the fate of the warheads to be taken out of service under the agreement, which will call for cuts from 1,700 to 2,200 long-range warheads per side. Each country is currently allowed 6,000 warheads under the 1991 START I treaty. Moscow wants the decommissioned warheads to be destroyed, while Washington says it wants to store them in case of radical changes in the security environment in the future. Ivashov said he strongly doubted the US argument. "First, the American media have raised the possibility that tactical nuclear weapons could be used in the war against terrorism. Second, if the Clinton administration used to talk about limiting the missile defense program ... today the U.S. administration won't be constrained by any limitations. There's a suspicion that the United States isn't excluding the use of the warheads in its missile defense shield," Ivashov said. He played down the significance of the arms reduction agreement, which US and Russian officials have hailed as an important element in a new strategic partnership. "Objectively, the number of nuclear warheads already has been decreasing both in the United States and Russia. What is happening now is the juridical recording of this process - but there's no breakthrough here," Ivashov said. "Especially if you look at it in the context of the U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the uncontrolled U.S. actions of force in the whole world."

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5. DPRK Mystery Boat

The Associated Press (Hans Greimel, "JAPAN ENDS PROBE, BUT QUESTIONS REMAIN OVER SUSPECTED NORTH KOREAN SPY BOAT," Japanese ships returned from the wreck site of a sunken suspected DPRK spy boat on Wednesday, finishing a weeklong investigation that found weapons and bodies and could further complicate the already difficult relations between Japan and the DPRK. During the search, which began May 1, divers found two corpses, four guns and an undisclosed number of ammunition cartridges. Japan suspects the boat was a DPRK spy vessel or drug runner, and had hoped the investigation would provide conclusive evidence. Japan Coast Guard spokeswoman Hisako Nakabayashi declined comment Wednesday on whether clear links had been made with the DPRK however. Japan's transportation minister, Chikage Ogi, said Tuesday she wanted to raise the hulk from the bottom of the East China Sea to determine its origin. But Japan needs the PRC's approval for salvage. Japan Foreign Ministry official Kotaro Katsuki said the PRC would be consulted if Japan opts for salvage. He would not give a timeline but said, "making a decision about raising the ship is the next step." Katsuki also denied part of a newspaper report that said the Japanese government had concluded the boat came from the DPRK, saying there was no "concrete evidence." He added it was too early to talk about possible punitive measures.

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6. US Sanctions on PRC

Reuters ("U.S. TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON CHINA, OTHERS OVER IRAN," Washington, 05/08/02) reported that underscoring growing concerns about Iran, the Bush administration has decided to impose new sanctions on PRC, Armenian and Moldovan companies accused of aiding Iran's alleged weapons of mass destruction programs, a senior US official said on Wednesday. The US Congress would be formally notified soon of the decision, which is being taken under the 2000 Iran Nonproliferation Act. The sanctions are imposed because of "weapons transactions with Iran" -- part of what President Bush calls the "axis of evil" along with Iraq and the DPRK -- and to demonstrate "we're paying increased attention to the Iran Nonproliferation Act," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He did not disclose the names or numbers of the companies affected nor the exact nature of their activities. But he said both the number of sanctions imposed and the number of companies penalized are "going up."

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7. ROK Domestic Politics

Reuters (Kim Myong-hwan, "KOREA'S OPPOSITION LEADER LEE WINS PRIMARIES," Seoul, 05/08/02) reported that former prime minister Lee Hoi-chang has sewn up the presidential nomination of the ROK's main opposition party ahead of the final primary on Thursday, party officials said. As scandals surround incumbent President Kim Dae-jung's ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), Lee has already won around 73 percent of the total votes in the race for the conservative Grand National Party ticket in the December poll. Kim is barred from running for another term, but his MDP candidate, Roh Moo-hyun, had been enjoying a double-digit lead over Lee until allegations of influence peddling by Kim's three sons surfaced. But despite Kim's apology for his sons' behavior and resignation from the ruling MDP party earlier this week, his favored candidate, Roh, is losing ground in opinion polls as fresh allegations surface. A poll by the daily newspaper Hankook Ilbo on Monday showed Roh, a lawyer-turned politician, earned 44.7 percent, while Lee gained 36.7 percent. "Roh's strength has been his detachment from the old political establishment riddled with corruption," Lim Sung-ho, a political science professor at Kyunghee University. "But this time he seems to be struggling to distance himself from President Kim."

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8. Jiang on Bush's View of Taiwan

Reuters ("CHINA'S JIANG WELCOMES BUSH COMMENTS ON TAIWAN," Beijing, 05/08/02) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin said on Tuesday he was pleased with US President George W. Bush's recent comments on Taiwan to PRC's leader-in-waiting Hu Jintao, state media said. Jiang told Bush's father, former US President George Bush, that Vice President Hu's much-anticipated US tour last week had been a success. "I am very glad to hear that President Bush and his chief aides reiterated that the US government would abide by the one China policy and abide by the principles of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques," Jiang expressed.

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

Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
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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