NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, may 14, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Canada-DPRK E-Clipping Service

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I. United States

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1. US-Russia Arms Treaty

Reuters (Jon Boyle, "US: RUSSIA 'BLINKED' ON ARMS TO SAVE SUMMIT TREATY," Moscow, 05/14/02) reported that Russia backed down over a key demand in nuclear arms talks with the US to ensure that a treaty slashing arsenals was ready for a summit next week, a senior US administration official said Tuesday. He said Russia had focused on the core issue -- cutting deployed nuclear warheads to 1,700 to 2,200 each -- and stripped the accord of sensitive matters on which there was no agreement. With the summit due next week, the deal had stumbled on Russia's opposition to what it branded "virtual cuts" -- the Pentagon's insistence that US nuclear warheads could be stored rather than scrapped. On Monday, President Bush announced that he would sign a four-page arms reduction treaty with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit in Moscow and St. Petersburg which gets under way on May 23. "A lot of the credit is due really to the Russian side for concluding that the road we were traveling was not necessarily going to get us to an agreement by the summit," said the US official, who asked not to be identified. "They decided analytically that it was only going to be possible to agree on the kind of measures the two presidents had talked about, so a lot of these other issues ... they decided were not central to the objectives of their president. "That enabled us to respond very quickly ... (and agree on the main issue of) how many warheads are really available to the sides at any particular point in time over this 10-year period." Had both sides refused to compromise it would have been "entirely possible we would not have reached agreement in time for the summit," he said.

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2. US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, "MISSILE DEFENSE WORK BEGINS IN JUNE," Washington, 05/14/02) reported that work on underground silos for missile interceptors will begin in Alaska on June 14, the first day the government will be freed from a 1972 treaty that bans major missile defenses, the head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said Tuesday. Withdrawal from the treaty also gives the US military more freedom to explore the use of additional radars as part of a missile defense system, Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish. For example, a ship-borne Aegis radar will be used in a July missile intercept test. The timing of the actions suggests an urgency within the administration to get moving on a missile defense system. In January President Bush gave the required six-months notice of US intent to withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, despite strong objections by Russia and doubts among US allies. The radar test "was specifically prohibited by the treaty, so it's never been done before," said Kadish. Withdrawal from the ABM treaty puts Kadish's agency at an important crossroads. It opens new possibilities for missile defense technologies but without a blueprint for how the pieces might be put together. The plan is to build five missile interceptor silos and associated communications systems this summer so that by September 2004 the site, at Fort Greely near Fairbanks, could be available in an emergency.

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3. PRC-Japan DPRK Defectors

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA REFUSES TO HAND FIVE NORTH KOREANS TO JAPAN: DIPLOMAT," 05/14/02) reported that the PRC has refused to hand over to Japan the five DPRK citizens it detained from a Japanese consulate in northeast PRC, a Japanese diplomat said. "They said they cannot do that because there is no international or domestic legal basis for that," an unnamed Japanese diplomat stated. The PRC's refusal was communicated to Masaaki Ono, chief of the Japanese foreign ministry's consular and immigration department, during a meeting between Ono and his PRC counterpart here Wednesday.

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4. State of DPRK Defectors

Reuters ("THREE N.KOREAN DEFECTORS ARRIVE IN SOUTH KOREA," Inchon, 05/14/02) reported that three DPRK defectors who entered a US consulate in the PRC last week seeking asylum arrived in the ROK on Tuesday, witnesses said. The three DPRK defectors entered the US consulate in the PRC's northern city of Shenyang last week and arrived in Singapore on Tuesday en route to the ROK. Seven other DPRK defectors who made separate dashes into Japanese and Canadian diplomatic missions are still in the PRC.

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5. ROK Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse ("PROSECUTORS SUMMON PRESIDENT KIM'S SON OVER CORRUPTION," 05/14/02) reported that ROK prosecution authorities summoned a US-based son of President Kim Dae-Jung for questioning on corruption accusations, prosecutors said. Kim Hong-Gul, the youngest of Kim Dae-Jung's three sons, was ordered to appear at the Seoul district prosecutors' office on Wednesday, they said. "We have notified him through his lawyer that he is requested to present himself to the prosecution tomorrow afternoon," a prosecution official told journalists. Kim Hong-Gul is suspected of links to an influence-peddling scandal currently engulfing the ROK. Hong-Gul is suspected of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in return for using his influence in helping a business firm obtain a lucrative lottery license. President Kim's second son, Hong-Up, is also at the centre of an influence-peddling case and may be summoned by prosecutors.

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6. Park Chung-hee in DPRK

Agence France-Presse ("STALINIST RED CARPET FOR SOUTH KOREAN DICTATOR'S DAUGHTER," 05/14/02) reported that daughter of former ROK President Park Chung-hee had a surprise meeting with DPRK supreme leader Kim Jong-Il during her landmark visit to the DPRK. Park, who is reportedly preparing a bid to stand in the ROK's presidential election in December, had a "cordial conversation" with Kim over dinner on Monday night, the DPRK's Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. "The dinner proceeded in an amicable atmosphere overflowing with compatriotic feelings," said KCNA. Kim promised to send the DPRK football team to the ROK after the May 31-June 30 World Cup finals, Park told journalists after arriving back in the ROK on Tuesday. She said the supreme leader also agreed to a joint DPRK-ROK inspection of a DPRK dam which experts in the ROK has said is dangerous and could unleash a torrent of water across the frontier. But the main surprise was the way Kim rolled out the red carpet for Park.

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7. DPRK-US Relations

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA SAYS CONDITIONS NOT RIPE FOR US TALKS," Moscow, 05/14/02) reported that the DPRK's foreign minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday that conditions were not yet ripe for resuming talks with the US. Paek Nam-sun also said that the DPRK wanted to improve ties with Japan provided they were willing to invest and adopt an "objective and fair view" of the history of their relations. Paek expressed that the DPRK wanted to resume contacts it had with the US during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, but the time was not yet right. "The conditions and atmosphere have not yet been created," he said. "Korean-American talks are, of course, vital to improve current relations. They can take place at any time, but the appropriate conditions must be created for this."

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8. DPRK Economic Growth

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, "NORTH KOREAN GROWS 3.7 PERCENT," Seouk, 05/14/02) reported that the DPRK's economy grew an estimated 3.7 percent last year, the third consecutive year of growth after a decade of contraction, the ROK's central bank said Tuesday. The Bank of Korea attributed the continued growth to good agricultural production including an 8.2 percent estimated rise in the grain harvest. The ROK officials calculated their estimates on the DPRK economy with data collected from international aid groups and other sources. The DPRK's overall agriculture, forestry and fishing industries grew a combined 6.8 percent in 2001, the Bank of Korea said. Its construction sector grew 7 percent, while the mining and manufacturing industries expanded 8.3 percent, the bank said.

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9. DPRK-ROK Relations

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, "SOUTH KOREAN LAWMAKER SAYS NORTH KOREAN LEADER WILLING TO VISIT SEOUL, BUT NO DETAILS," Seoul, 05/14/02) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il said he was willing to keep a promise to visit the ROK, but did not say when nor under what conditions, an ROK lawmaker said Tuesday on return from a five day trip to the DPRK. Independent lawmaker Park Geun-hye, quoted Kim Jong II as saying "I will make the trip at an appropriate time." As part of an inter-Korean agreement made in 2000, Kim Jong Il promised to visit the ROK for a second summit with President Kim Dae-jung, whose term ends in February. "Although no specific dates were mentioned, the North's leader said he would keep his promise," Park said at a news conference in Seoul.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. North Korean Asylum Seekers

Joongang Ilbo (Shin Joong-don, "5 REFUGEES IN CHINA TO BE SENT TO SEOUL," Seoul, 05/14/02) reported that five DPRK defectors in the US and Canadian missions in PRC will arrive in ROK as early as Wednesday, a government source said Monday night. The two persons in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing will join the three on their trip to the ROK Tuesday. Another five DPRK defectors in the custody of the PRC police are still seeking asylum to the US and declining to go to ROK. The five, including a 2-year-old girl, Kim Han-mi, were aided by international nongovernmental groups, which had carefully planned the five DPRK defectors' attempt. The activists even located a relative of Han-mi's family living in the US. In a telephone interview with the JoongAng Ilbo Sunday, Nam Sin-u, Han-mi's mother's maternal uncle praised the nongovernmental groups' efforts. "I was informed a month before their asylum bids," Nam said. "I have agreed to help bring them to the United States."

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2. A ROK Lawmaker to visit Kim Jong Il

Chosun Ilbo (Heo Yong-beom, "LAWMAKER PARK MAY MEET KIM JONG," Seoul, 05/14/02) reported that Park Keun-hye, the daughter of assassinated president Park Chung-hee and preparatory committee head for Korea Future Alliances is expected to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong Il at a banquet, Monday, a source close to her said. The. DPRK welcomed Park, referring to her as Lady and airing her story daily, while Workers Party Secretary Kim Yong Sun hosted a welcoming banquet on her arrival. Park said at the banquet the principle for unification was established in the July 4 joint statement, adding that ROK and DPRK can achieve peace on the peninsula and mutual development by gathering forces and implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration, according to domestic broadcasters and newspapers. Park returns to the ROK on May 14.

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3. North Korean Defectors: Global Diplomatic Problem

The Korea Herald (Seo Hyun-jin, "NK DEFECTOR IN CHINA POSE DIPLOMATIC QUANDARIES," Seoul, 05/14/02) reported that the growing number of DPRK defectors taking refuge in foreign missions in PRC is posing a diplomatic challenge to governments unwittingly involved in the issue, analysts in ROK said Monday. They noted that although a fundamental solution to the problem is elusive for now, the issue has become part of the international agenda, commanding attention from the global community and media. Activists claim there are up to 300,000 North Korean escapees in PRC. The Washington Post editorial called on Japan, the US and other Western governments to make clear to PRC that "the way to avoid further incidents around consulates and embassies is to use the UNHCR, rather than its security thugs, to manage a problem that will not go away." Experts here said, however, the UNHCR cannot be a "cure-all" since international laws consider only those who flee their home country for political reasons as legal refugees.

III. Canada-DPRK E-Clipping Service

Headlines from the latest CANKOR News Clipping Service CanKor issue # 83, May 3, 2002.










Back issues of CanKor are available at:

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Brandon Yu:
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Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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