NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, may 13, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. PRC-Japan DPRK Defectors

Agence France-Presse ("POLICE ACTED OUT OF CONCERN FOR JAPAN'S CONSULATE: CHINESE OFFICIAL," 05/14/02) and Reuters (Elaine Lies, "CHINA SAYS JAPAN OVER-REACTING TO ASYLUM INCIDENT," Tokyo, 05/11/02) reported that the PRC on Saturday accused Japan of over-reacting to action by PRC police who were filmed dragging away five DPRK citizens kicking and screaming from Japan's consulate in Shenyang. The row over the incident intensified earlier when Japan, which has demanded an apology from the PRC, dismissed a PRC assertion that Japanese diplomats had allowed police to enter the compound to grab the five, who were apparently seeking asylum. The PRC has said it was acting to protect the consulate, and a CPRCembassy official in Tokyo reiterated on Saturday that police were acting on permission from the Japanese consul who had consented to the police action after consulting his superiors. Japan responded that there was no truth to PRC allegations that Japanese consular officials had given their consent for the five to be seized inside the consulate. "We have investigated the incident, and Japan did not agree to the entrance of the police to the consulate and the removal of the five people," the Foreign Ministry said. "We reiterate and strongly request that they be speedily handed over, and that China apologise and provide guarantees such an incident will not happen again," said the statement.

The Associated Press (John Leicester, "AS CHINA AND FOREIGN DIPLOMATS TALK, SOUTH KOREA OFFERS TO TAKE ASYLUM SEEKERS," Beijing, 05/13/02) reported that the ROK said Monday it is willing to grant refuge to five people said to be DPRK asylum seekers who were detained by the PRC police at a Japanese consulate. The statement by a ROK Foreign Ministry spokesman offered a way out of a stalemate over the five, who are said to want to go to the US. "If their desire is to come to (South) Korea, there is no reason why we should refuse them," said Kim Euy-taek, a spokesman for the ministry in Seoul. Japan said the ROK has told the PRC of its offer, although the Foreign Ministry in ROK would not confirm that. The PRC's Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment.

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2. Canadian Embassy DPRK Refugees Agence France-Presse ("CANADIAN DIPLOMATS IN TALKS WITH CHINA ON NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES," 05/13/02)and Agence France-Presse ("TWO MORE N. KOREANS SEEK REFUGE IN CANADIAN EMBASSY IN BEIJING," 05/13/02) reported that in the third asylum bids in the PRC this week, two DPRK citizens have sought refuge in the Canadian embassy in Beijing, an embassy spokeswoman said. "We've got a man and a woman. They're both probably (in their) late 20s, early 30s," said spokeswoman Jennifer May. "They arrived Saturday morning and we've been looking after them since then." May refused to say how the two got in, citing security reasons. May said Canadian embassy officials had been negotiating with PRC officials in the hope that the PRC would let the two leave for a third country. "We've been in touch with the Chinese authorities and we're trying to get them out of here as fast as they can," May said, declining to say where the two want to go.

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3. US-Russia Arms Treaty

The Associated Press (Ron Fournier, "BUSH ANNOUNCES NUCLEAR ARMS REDUCTION DEAL WITH RUSSIA; TREATY SIGNING NEXT WEEK," Washington, 05/13/02) and The Associated Press (Tom Raum, "ARMS PACT HELPS BOTH U.S., RUSSIA, WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE UNTIL RECENTLY," Washington, 05/13/02) and Reuters (Randall Mikkelsen, "BUSH SAYS US AND RUSSIA AGREE ON ARMS CUTS," Washington, 05/13/02) reported that US President George W. Bush said on Monday he would sign a treaty with Russia later this month to cut the two countries' long-range nuclear weapons by two-thirds and "liquidate the legacy of the Cold War." Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the agreement. It gives Russia a binding treaty politically important to Putin, and gives the US the flexibility to store some weapons rather than dismantle them and to withdraw on short notice. "What you have here is a deal in which Russia got a treaty and we got everything else," said Brookings Institution arms control analyst Ivo Daalder. The treaty must be ratified by the US Senate and Russian parliament. Bush announced the agreement in a surprise statement at the White House and said he would sign it at a Moscow summit with Putin, set for May 24. Under the new arms treaty -- unusually slim at three pages -- the world's biggest nuclear powers will cut their deployed strategic nuclear warheads by the year 2012 to 1,700-2,200 from current levels of about 5,000 to 6,000. The pact would effectively supersede the 1993 START 2 arms treaty which mandates ceilings of 3,000 to 3,500 warheads, a senior US official said.

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4. Taiwan Domestic Politics

The Associated Press (Annie Huang, "TAIWAN'S RULING PARTY SHOULD SHELVE ITS PLATFORM THAT SUPPORTS FORMAL INDEPENDENCE FROM CHINA, LAWMAKERS SAY," Taipei, 05/12/02) reported that two lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party suggested on Sunday that the party shelve a part of its platform that calls for Taiwan's formal independence from the PRC. The platform, adopted more than a decade ago, is outdated and no longer reflects reality, DPP lawmaker Lee Wen-chung declared. Lee said that he expects that President Chen Shui-bian will help approve the change when DPP leaders meet in July. "The party platform will naturally become a historical document," he said. Another DPP legislator, Chen Chi-mai, said the change could help Taiwan improve its trade and political relations with the PRC, a vital step to prevent the island from being marginalized amid the trend toward globalization.

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5. DPRK-ROK Relations

Agence France-Presse ("EX-DICTATOR'S DAUGHTER RECEIVES WARM WELCOME IN NORTH KOREA," 05/12/02) reported that the daughter of former ROK President Park Chung-Hee received a warm welcome on the first day of her five-day trip to the DPRK. Park Geun-Hye, 50, was invited to a dinner, attended by high-ranking DPRK officials, soon after she arrived in Pyongyang Saturday. Kim Yong-Sun, a key associate of the North's supreme leader Kim Jong-Il, hosted the dinner. Park Geun-Hye, a possible candidate in this year's presidential election in ROK, has said she would seek to meet the DPRK's leader.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. North Korean Asylum Seeker

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Day-young, "NOW IT'S CANADA'S TURN FOR ASYLUM," Seoul, 05/13/02) reported that two more asylum-seekers have entered the Canadian Embassy in PRC seeking asylum. A spokesman gave no further information on the new asylum attempt. ROK also said it would welcome the original eight defectors -- three at the US Consulate and five in Chinese police custody. But the New York Times said Saturday that it had received a copy of a letter that all eight defectors carried in which they asked for asylum in US, not in ROK. The letter, provided by a group helping Northern defectors, said they feared they would become targets of North Korean agents if they came to ROK.

2. The Ariring Festival

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "A BIT OF CAPITALISM INVADES NORTH," Pyongyang, 05/13/02) reported that the Arirang festival has been a foreign currency-spinner in Pyongyang. The leadership's expectations for the festival were high, the number of currency exchange booths has increased and competition between souvenir shops has become more fierce. A reporter told his guide that the US$300 price tag for special seats to watch mass gymnastics at the May 1 Stadium, was the equivalent of the price tag for a first-rate opera in ROK. The guide remarked that the price of the tickets was reasonable because 100,000 people prepared for the event for months. A Korean-American who said he spent US$1,700 for a six-day tour remarked that the price was in line with his perception of international standards.

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3. F-15K Project

Joongang Ilbo ("PRICE HAGGLING STARTS ON F-15 FIGHTER JETS," Seoul, 05/13/02) reported that Boeing Corp., the US winner of the ROK Air Force's next-generation fighter jet project, is willing to cut the cost of the F-15K jets, according to a senior National Defense Ministry official on Sunday. "Boeing accepted the government's demand to cut the price of the 40 fighters, which they had priced at US$4.46 billion." The official, who requested anonymity, said price negotiations have begun in earnest. The ministry decided in early May to hold off signing a formal contract with Boeing unless the company lowered the price to the same level, US$4.27 billion, proposed by Dassault of France, a rival bidder for the contract.

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4. DPRK Terror List

Chosun Ilbo (Kwon Kyung-bok, "NK REMAINS ON US TERRORIST SUPPORTING LIST," Seoul, 05/13/02) reported that the US Department of State will announce its yearly terror report, which includes a list of terrorist supporting countries, on May 21 and a government source said Sunday that it will include DPRK. He said after the September 11 attack, DPRK has shown no active efforts to prevent terrorism or share terrorist information and was therefore filed as a terrorist supporting country. However, in the report the US will evaluate some affirmative measures such as DPRK's signing the agreement of seizing terrorists' funds.

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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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