NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, july 17, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Taiwan on PRC Military Build-up

Reuters ("TAIWAN SAYS CHINA'S ARMS BUILD-UP THREATENS PEACE," Taipei, 07/16/02) and Agence France-Presse ("TAIWAN TAKES CHINA'S MILITARY THREAT," 07/16/02) reported that Taiwan's military said on Tuesday that the PRC's recent arms build-up threatens peace in the region, but boasted that the island is capable of thwarting any PRC invasion. "The peace in the Taiwan Strait is facing a tough challenge," military spokesman Huang Suey-sheng said in the island's first public comments on the recent Pentagon report. "Communist China has never renounced the use of force against Taiwan and its military expansion is an indisputable fact," Huang told reporters. The Pentagon report stated that the PRC is exploring coercive strategies designed to bring Taiwan to terms quickly, such as possible air and missile campaigns or a naval blockade. The military spokesman said Taiwan had no intention of entering into an arms race with the PRC or starting a war. "But the nation's armed forces have comprehensive plans to thwart any invasion attempt by Communist China," Huang said.

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2. Taiwan Missile Defense

The Associated Press ("TAIWAN NEEDS ISLANDWIDE MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM TO COMBAT GROWING THREAT FROM CHINA: DEFENSE OFFICIAL," Taipei, 07/16/02) reported that Taiwan needs an island-wide missile defense system to counter a perceived growing threat from the PRC, which has over 300 missiles pointed at the island, a defense official said on Tuesday. Taiwan needs to improve its ability to stop missiles, and to boost its radar capability to give earlier warning of attack and minimize possible damage, Defense Ministry spokesman Huang Suey-sheng said at a news conference. "In the future we'll need to buy systems from overseas or domestically manufacture them so we can aggressively create an islandwide missile defense system," Huang said. Huang's comments were the Defense Ministry's first public reaction after the release late last week of a US Pentagon assessment of the PRC's military modernization.

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3. US Domestic View of PRC

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, "PANEL ASKS U.S. CONGRESS TO ADOPT TOUGH CHINA STANCE," Washington, 07/16/02) reported that a special US commission that advocates tougher US policies toward China said on Monday it has asked Congress to enact some of its ideas into law, including tightening access of PRC firms to US capital markets. Voting 11-1, the commission concluded that the PRC's leaders believe the US is a declining power with important military vulnerabilities that can be exploited, Chairman Richard D'Amato told a news conference. The report also concluded that the US has been a major contributor, through trade and investment, to the PRC's rise as an economic power, and said this raises serious national security concerns for the US. William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, the sole dissenter among the panel members, faulted the report for "implicitly repudiating engagement" with the PRC. "What this report says is we should be more suspicious (of China). I think that's the wrong way to go," he expressed.

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4. PRC Response to Pentagon Report

Reuters (Jeremy Page, "CHINA SLAMS HAWKISH U.S. REPORTS TO CONGRESS," Beijing, 07/06/02) and the Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, "CHINA ATTACKS U.S. REPORT ALLEGING GROWTH OF CHINESE MILITARY POWER AS 'VERY EVIL,'" Beijing, 07/16/02) reported that for the second straight day, the PRC criticized a US Defense Department report alleging its military is growing rapidly, saying Tuesday that the document had "very evil motives." PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan accused the report's authors of having an "outdated Cold War mentality" and of "groundlessly playing up the concept of a China threat." "China hopes that that all U.S. people of insight could have a clear idea about the detrimental effect of the report," Kong said in a statement issued by the official Xinhua News Agency. He said it had "very evil motives." Kong said the PRC requested that the US government take "concrete measures to eliminate the negative impact brought about by the report so as to avoid damages to bilateral relations and the common interests of the two countries." Kong had dismissed the Pentagon report Monday, saying the PRC's defense budget is the lowest among the world's major countries and the PRC has never taken part in the global arms race.

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5. Russia-ROK-DPRK Relations

The Associated Press ("RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 07/16/02 and Agence France-Presse ("RUSSIAN FM TO VISIT TWO KOREAS AMID TENSION OVER NAVAL CLASH," 07/16/02) reported that Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov will visit the ROK and DPRK this month amid tension over a recent gunbattle in disputed Korean waters, officials said. Ivanov is due to visit Seoul from July 26-28 before heading to Pyongyang, according to foreign ministry officials in Seoul. Ivanov is to hold talks with Foreign Minister Choi Sung-Hong and meet President Kim Dae-Jung during his three-day stay.

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6. US Domestic View on Missile Agency

The Associated Press (Matt Kelley, "CRITICS: MISSILE AGENCY WILL HIDE DATA," Washington, 07/16/02) reported that US Congressional critics of the multibillion-dollar missile defense program say the Bush administration's plan to reorganize the agency will give Congress inadequate information to gauge whether it is taking too long, costing too much or failing too often. "Now we have no way of knowing whether the program measures up or not," said Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass. The head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency replied that the project must be freed from rigid guidelines to take advantage of the most modern technologies. "I'm not asking for a blank check," Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish said at a House Government Reform subcommittee hearing. The argument centers on a reorganization of missile defense efforts ordered this year by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. The reorganization folded several separate missile defense programs into the Missile Defense Agency and freed the agency from previous requirements to provide budget projections, performance objectives and development deadlines. President Bush is seeking US$7.6 billion next year for work on the systems to protect the United States and its military from incoming missiles.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter Korean Relations

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH AGREE TO WEEKEND MEETINNG FOR AUGUST 15 FESTIVAL," Seoul, 07/16/02) reported that DPRK sent a fax Monday that agreed to the ROK's proposal to hold working level talks in preparation for the August 15 festival next week from July 20-23, said ROK's headquarters for DPRK-ROK joint function. The ROK Preparatory Committee for 2002 DPRK-ROK Joint Festival is planning to fax DPRK with the basic outline for August 15 Liberation Festival slated to be held in Seoul. "We won't have much trouble with working level contacts since we have already applied for inter-Korean contacts much earlier," one of the officials of ROK's Committee said.

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2. DPRK-Japan Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "JAPAN BRACING FOR FUTURE DEALING WITH NK," Seoul, 07/16/02) reported that Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported Sunday that an investigation team discovered Korean writing on a rocket launcher found aboard the sunken unidentified ship Japanese authorities are salvaging in the East China Sea. The rocket launcher, reportedly a Soviet-designed RPG7, also bears familiar star designs used on DPRK-made Soviet weaponry. The same day, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported Japanese coast guards and navy are conducting their first joint drill on the open sea near Maizuri on Tuesday. High-speed missile and special patrol boats will be used for the drill. The boats were specially designed after losing a DPRK boat that intruded Japanese waters near the Noto Peninsula in 1999.

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3. Western Diplomat's Criticism of DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("WESTERN DIPLOMATICS CYNICAL TOWARD NK," Seoul, 07/16/02) reported that many of western diplomats involved in diplomatic affairs with DPRK are cynical about their operations there, the House Committee on International Relations said Monday. The report was based on the findings of its investigation team at a border region dividing DPRK and PRC. The report revealed just how frustrated western diplomats are over DPRK's rigid policies. "It seems the country is only intent on raising extra income through diplomacy." Another diplomat put it more bluntly: "They're not interested in dialogue. They only want cold, hard cash." The diplomat also said hardly any progress was made in dialogue between DPRK and the European Union on the issue of human rights, which they have been discussing for the past year or so. One PRC diplomat, who has been posted in DPRK for the past five years, said, "The situation is getting worse with more North Korean officials expecting gifts for attending the meeting. The more expensive, the better." DPRK so far has embassies from Sweden, Germany and Britain in the country.

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4. DPRK-Libya Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Hee-sung, "NK TO STRENGTHEN STRATEGIC, ECONOMIC TIES WITH LIBYA," Seoul, 07/16/02) reported that DPRK and Libya agreed to extend economic and strategic ties during the state visit to Tripoli of DPRK's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, Libya's state-run Jana news agency reported Saturday. Kim, chairman of the Presidium of DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly, and Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Mohammed Shalgam said the two countries agreed to extend economic and trade relations and increase exchanges of experts and state officials. Kim also stressed at a banquet hosted by Mustafa al-Kharoubi, member of Libya's Revolution Command Council, that DPRK is determined to continue developing its strategic ties with Libya and to effectively contribute to building a new independent and prosperous world.

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5. DPRK-Indonesia Relations

Joongang Ilbo ("NK DECLINED JAKARTA OFFER TO ARRANGE INTER-KOREAN DIALOGUE," Seoul, 07/16/02) reported that DPRK made clear that it doesn't need Jakarta's help to patch up relations with ROK, according to belated reports Monday from a source in Indonesia's Foreign Ministry. The source said when President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia said last week she would be willing to facilitate a meeting of the two Koreas to restart talks Kim Yong-nam, DPRK's nominal head of state, politely declined. He said inter-Korean issues should be resolved solely between the two Koreas. DPRK's Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun, who accompanied Kim, also rejected the offer during separate talks with his Indonesian counterpart Hassan Wirayuda. Apart from inter-Korean issues Hassan also elaborated the counterpart on the proceedings of ASEAN+3 and Indonesia's defenses against terrorism. Kim meanwhile assured Minister Paek would participate in forthcoming ASEAN Regional Forum slated end of this month in Brunei. After wrapping up three-day schedule in Indonesia Kim's delegation took off to Libya last Friday.

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6. 3 Defectors in Seoul

The Koreaherald ("NK DEFECTORS ARRIVE IN SEOUL," Seoul, 06/17/.02) reported that three North Koreans who sought refuge in the ROK Embassy in Beijing June 24 arrived at Incheon International Airport via a third country Monady. The three, who include a 24-year-old woman, arrived at the airport on a Korean Air flight from Bangkok at 8:50 a.m. The woman, whose family names is Im, was a member of the DPRK women's soccer team for the past six years, and the other two were a laborer and a soldier. "While staying in the embassy, I was so concerned about my fate, but I am very happy that I have finally arrived in South Korea," Im said.

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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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