NAPSNet Daily Report
 
thursday, may 9, 2002
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I. United States

II. Japan
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I. United States


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1. US 2003 Defense Spending

The Associated Press (Jennifer Loven, "HOUSE PREPARES TO PASS $383 BILLION BILL AUTHORIZING 2003 DEFENSE SPENDING," Washington, 05/09/02) reported that US House Republicans pushed for approval of the biggest increase in military spending in a generation on Thursday. US lawmakers moved toward a vote even as Democrats objected to provisions in the US$383 billion measure outlining 2003 defense spending that would exempt the military from major environmental laws. Also, the White House Budget Office said President Bush's advisers would recommend a veto if the spending bill tells him not to cancel the politically popular US$11 billion Crusader cannon now in development. The House's Republican leaders beat back a Democratic attempt to force votes on the environmental provisions and on various other proposals concerning US nuclear weapons policy, base closures and missile defense. While lamenting the lack of wider discussion, Democrats mindful of the war on terror were eager to show support for the overall bill's increased military spending. "This legislation will allow us to wage war effectively in the year ahead," said House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., but "this is symptomatic of a pattern we have seen in the last few months, with a majority that wants to close down debate on issues that are critical to the American people."


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2. New DPRK Defectors in PRC

Agence France-Presse ("NEW NORTH KOREAN ENTERS US CONSULATE IN CHINA," 05/09/02) reported that another DPRK defector entered the US consulate in the PRC city of Shenyang. US embassy and consular officials in the PRC declined to immediately confirm the report. Thursday's reported asylum bid comes a day after two DPRK defectors entered the US consulate and five tried to enter the Japanese mission in the same northern city. The latest bid happened at 9:05 am (0105 GMT), the Yonhap News Agency reported. Choe Kwang-Chol was in a visa line outside the consulate and took security by surprise by suddenly scaling a wall into the compound. Yonhap said Choe was now asking for asylum in the United States as had the pair who entered the mission on Wednesday. "At this moment, I have nothing to say," a spokeswoman at the US consulate in Shenyang said.

Agence France-Presse ("ROW ERUPTS BETWEEN CHINA AND JAPAN OVER NKOREAN ASYLUM SEEKERS," 05/09/02) and the Associated Press ("CHINA DEFENDS CONSULATE ACTIONS," Beijing, 05/09/02) and Reuters (Tamora Vidaillet, "NORTH KOREAN DEFECTIONS GIVE CHINA DIPLOMATIC HEADACHE," Beijing, 05/09/02) reported that a major diplomatic row was threatening to erupt after Japan protested vigorously over allegations that PRC police dragged two DRPK asylum seekers out of a Japanese consular compound. Japan says that the PRC police entered the Japanese mission in Shenyang without authorization to remove two North Koreans, part of a group of five who had attempted to burst in. The other three were detained without getting inside. The PRC insists that its police were just offering protection when they burst into a Japanese consulate to extract two suspected DPRK asylum-seekers. Japan has demanded an explanation. Kong Quan, a PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that when police entered the Japanese consulate in Shenyang on Wednesday, they were being diligent given "the backdrop of the international fight against terrorism." "The Chinese guards did their duty," he said. "It was totally out of concern for the consul-general." But Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, told parliament that he had strongly protested the PRC police action. Japan said the two people inside its consulate, said to be members of a DPRK family, were removed despite pleas from Japanese staff. Three other apparent asylum-seekers were caught outside. Koizumi met Thursday with Hu Qili, a high-ranking PRC official visiting Tokyo, and asked that the PRC "deal with this issue sincerely," according to Koizumi's spokesperson. "Our embassy in China immediately protested to the Chinese government and we are waiting for a reply," Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said. "I think it is a violation of the Vienna Convention, and that's why we are protesting," Koizumi said. Diplomatic offices are foreign territory under international treaty, and PRC authorities are not supposed to enter them without permission.


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3. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (Alice Hung, "TAIWAN PRESIDENT TO SEND NEGOTIATORS TO CHINA," 05/09/02) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said on Thursday he will send a delegation from his ruling party to the PRC later this year to jump start negotiations between the PRC and Taiwan. "The two sides must reopen the door to negotiation so as to reduce misunderstanding and miscalculation," Chen said during a visit to the front-line island of Quemoy. "The first step to resume talks is to exchange visits." Chen said he planned to send his Democratic Progressive Party's director of PRC affairs department to the mainland after he takes over as party chairman on August 1. It was not immediately clear if Chen would retain the present PRC affairs chief or name a new one. It was also uncertain whether the director would be acceptable to the PRC.


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4. DPRK-ROK Visitations

Reuters ("HUNDREDS OF SOUTH KOREANS TO VISIT NORTH ON FRIDAY," Seoul, 05/09/02) reported that more than 200 ROK citizens will visit the DPRK on Friday, the ROK's unification ministry said, a move which comes despite the DPRK canceling economic cooperation talks planned for this week in Seoul. The DPRK invited 255 farmers from the resort island of Cheju in appreciation for tangerines and carrots they had donated over the past four years, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday. "The (South Korean) government has approved the 255 Cheju citizens' visit to the North," the ministry said in a statement. It said they would depart the Cheju Airport at 11:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) and arrive at the Sunan Airport. During the stay, the ROK citizens would visit resort places, such as the Paektu Mountain and the Myohyang Mountain. Cheju, a resort popular with honeymooners, had provided 13,572 tons of tangerines and 6,000 tons of carrots since 1998, the ministry said. The ROK's Foreign Minister Choi Sung-hong was quoted as saying in Washington in April that the DPRK had edged back toward talks in part because of the "stern attitude" of US President George W. Bush's administration toward the DPRK. On Monday, the DPRK daily Rodong Sinmun described Choi as a "sycophantic traitor."


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5. US-Russia Joint Effort Against Dirty Bombs

Reuters ("U.S., RUSSIA PLAN JOINT EFFORT AGAINST DIRTY BOMBS," Washington, 05/09/02) reported that the US and Russia, laying ground for a presidential summit later this month, on Thursday agreed to try jointly to tighten security on radioactive material that could be used in "dirty bombs." US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said that after nearly three days of talks with Alexander Rumyantsev, head of Russia's Atomic Energy Agency, the two governments would establish a task force to examine the issue and recommend remedies. "Perhaps the most important step we took this week was an agreement to work together to protect the security of radiological sources that might be used to develop so-called dirty bombs. This will be a new logical extension of the work we're already doing together in protecting nuclear materials" in Russia, Abraham said.


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6. PRC Response to US Sanctions

Reuters ("CHINA BRANDS U.S. SANCTIONS OVER IRAN UNREASONABLE," Beijing, 05/09/02) reported that the PRC lashed out on Thursday at a US decision to slap sanctions on its companies for alleged weapons transactions with Iran, calling the move unreasonable. The Bush administration plans to slap new sanctions on the PRC, Armenian and Moldovan companies accused of aiding Iran's alleged weapons of mass destruction programs, a senior US official stated Wednesday. "We oppose the unreasonable sanctions by the US, if the news is for real," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan told a news conference. The US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US Congress would be formally notified soon of the decision but did not disclose the names or numbers of the companies affected or the nature of their activities.


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7. PRC-US Relations

Reuters (Jonathan Ansfield, "CHINA ANNOYED BY U.S. PLANS FOR TAIWAN INVITE," Beijing, 05/09/02) reported that the PRC reacted sharply on Thursday to a move by pro-Taiwan members of the US Congress to invite the Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, to Washington. An invitation could spark a new diplomatic row over Taiwan. The last visit to the United States by a Taiwan president, Li Teng-hui in 1995, moved the PRC to stage war games off the coast of the island. PRC spokesperson Kong Quan said on Thursday that an invitation would contradict official US backing for the one-China principle, which states Taiwan is a part of China. "The position of the Chinese government on this question is very clear: There are three joint communiques between China and the United States, and US leaders have repeated for many times that they will honour the one-China principle," he told a news conference. "During Vice President Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S., President Bush and Vice President Cheney and other U.S. leaders all reiterated this position," he said. "Therefore, we ask the United States to honour its words with concrete deeds and stick to its commitments to China, so as to ensure the healthy and smooth development of bilateral relations."


II. Japan


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1. Japanese New Envoy to CD

The Asahi Shimbun (Masako Tainaka, "KUNIKO INOGUCHI: U.S. SHOULD BE A 'FLAG-CARRIER' FOR DISARMAMENT," 05/03/02) reported that Kuniko Inoguchi, Japan's newly appointed ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, discusses in an interview with Asahi Shimbun the multilateral disarmament process and her hope to persuade the US to be a "flag-carrier" for disarmament, instead of beefing up its military. Inoguchi said, "As a scholar-turned-diplomat, I would like to give a new wind or an intellectual impact to the conference, proposing new concepts or framework for disarmament. For example, I propose a triad of "3Ds"-disarmament, development and democracy. Disarmament is not an issue for military specialists. It also has to have links with surrounding fields." Commenting on the impasse in CD, mainly due to a clash of opinion between the US and PRC, she stated, "In the US administration, many scholars including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice were recruited. I believe they seek a reasonable solution. The US is currently trying to contain terrorist groups as well as countries harboring them using its overwhelming military superiority. However, this strategy is likely to be ineffective in this globalized world. The more the United States enlarges its military, the more opportunity terrorist groups will have to obtain arms on the globalized market. I want the United States to make another choice to prevent terrorism. It should be a 'flag-carrier' for disarmament and arms control." She also said, "I hope a perfect disarmament regime is functioning for biological and chemical weapons in 2020. As for nuclear weapons, I don't think total abolition will be accomplished by that time. But we have to achieve a universal agreement of no-first-use of nuclear weapons and entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. I hope nuclear abolition will be achieved earlier than my prediction."


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2. DPRK Asylum-Seekers

The Japan Times ("ASYLUM-SEEKERS DRAGGED OUT OF JAPAN CONSULATE," Beijing, 05/09/02) reported that two DPRK asylum-seekers managed to enter the visa-application area of the Japanese Consulate in Shenyang, northeastern China, on Wednesday, but according to Japanese officials were apprehended by trespassing PRC authorities and dragged out. Later reports quoted embassy officials as saying that consulate general staff did notice the PRC officers and asked them not to take the asylum-seekers but were ignored. Kunio Takahashi, a minister at the embassy, visited the PRC Foreign Ministry later in the day to protest the PRC authorities' violation of the extraterritorial status of the consulate general, as stipulated in the Vienna Convention. Takahashi also demanded that the detained people be handed over to the Japanese Embassy. A PRC Foreign Ministry official who met Takahashi said the protest will be conveyed to a senior official. The official also said PRC security authorities are confirming the identities of the detainees. In Tokyo, Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi later instructed the Foreign Ministry to look into the incident in a careful and calm manner.


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3. Japan-DPRK Relations

The Japan Times ("NORTH KOREA WILLING TO RESUME TALKS WITH JAPAN," 05/09/02) reported that DPRK has indicated its willingness to resume suspended normalization talks with Japan through unofficial meetings, government sources said Wednesday. Tokyo and Pyongyang have maintained unofficial contact at various levels intermittently since November, and DPRK has suggested that resumption in negotiations would be possible if certain conditions are met.



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Center for American Studies,
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International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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Monash Asia Institute,
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Brandon Yu: napsnet@nautilus.org
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Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo: yskim328@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy84@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata: saiko@akira.ne.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@online.ru
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 
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