NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, august 9, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. Tanaka Parliament Resignation

Agence France-Presse ("FORMER JAPANESE FM TANAKA RESIGNS PARLIAMENT SEAT," 08/09/02) reported that Japan's popular former foreign minister Makiko Tanaka has resigned her seat in parliament, seven weeks after being suspended from the ruling party over corruption allegations. "I for my part intend to resign as a member of the House of Representatives as of August 9," Tanaka said in a letter to House of Representatives speaker Tamisuke Watanuki. The letter, which was handed to journalists on Friday, gave no reason for her decision to leave parliament. However the move followed 58-year-old Tanaka's two-year suspension from the Liberal Democratic Party in June amid lingering allegations that she misused state salaries intended for her secretaries. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. "She said that she wanted to resign as a member of parliament because, regrettably, suspicions have yet to be cleared in parliament," Watanuki said. "There were criticisms that her explanations were not adequate. It is believed that she has decided to take political responsibility for the suspicion," Jiji Press commented. An opinion poll published by Kyodo News agency earlier this week showed that almost 90 percent of the public were dissatisfied with Tanaka's explanation to parliament when she denied misuse of the state-paid salaries.

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2. DPRK on Naval Clash Probe

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA PROMISES TO STAY OUT OF SEA CLASH PROBE," 08/09/02) reported that the DPRK has promised not to interfere with an investigation by the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) into the inter-Korean naval skirmish, the UNC said. The assurance from the DPRK that it will avoid creating tension during the investigation boosted warming ties between the ROK and the DPRK, which are to resume high-level talks in Seoul on Monday. "Tuesday's general officer talks were constructive and the North Koreans provided us assurances they will not interfere with the UNC armistice investigation," said Major General James N. Soligan, deputy chief of staff. "I see this as a positive step forward as we continue our efforts to enforce the (1953) armistice agreement and reduce tension on the Korean peninsula," he said in a UNC press release.

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3. ROK Parliament Elections and Prime Minister Appointment

Agence France Presse ("SKOREAN LEADER APPOINTS NEW PM AFTER POLL DEBACLE," 08/09/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-Jung has appointed a reform-minded newspaper publisher as the ROK's prime minister as his ruling party announced a change of name a day after election defeat. Chang Dae-Hwan, president and publisher of the Maeil Business Newspaper, will now have to face confirmation hearings in a parliament dominated by the opposition following Thursday's polls. The Grand National Party won 11 of the 13 seats up for grabs in the by-elections, giving the party an overall majority of 139 seats in the 273-member national assembly. The appointment of 50-year-old career chief executive Chang came just nine days after parliament vetoed Kim's first choice, university dean Chang Sang who would have become the country's first female premier. "Premier designate Chang has been in the vanguard of the campaign to make this country a knowledge-based society in this age of information," said Park Jie-Won, chief secretary to the president.

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4. Japan on US-Iraw War

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN'S KOIZUMI SAYS US MUST SHOW "RESTRAINT" AGAINST IRAQ: REPORT," 08/09/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told a meeting of former Japanese premiers the US should exercise restraint as fears grow it will unleash military strikes on Iraq. Koizumi met with five former Japanese prime ministers for an evening discussion at a Tokyo restaurant Thursday night, Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported. Former prime ministers Yasuhiro Nakasone and Kiichi Miyazawa both told Koizumi that it was necessary to tell US President George W. Bush to exercise "self-restraint" when it comes to military action against Iraq. "I think so too," Koizumi was quoted as saying by Jiji. Miyazawa added that Koizumi should act as a consultant to Washington to help prevent the US from being isolated in the international community, Kyodo reported.

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5. Taiwan-US Relations

Agence France-Presse ("TOP TAIWANESE POLICYMAKER MEETS US OFFICIALS," 08/09/02) reported that Taiwan's top policymaker on relations with the PRC held highly secretive talks with US officials, defying the PRC's protests that such encounters infringe bedrock agreements of Sino-US relations. Tsai Ing-wen traveled to Washington from New York after she was dispatched to the US to explain President Chen Shui-bian's remarks that a referendum may be the only way to decide the nationalist island's future. Tsai, chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, decided to keep details of her program in Washington "confidential," said an official at Taiwan's de-facto embassy, the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative's (TECRO) Office. Taiwanese diplomats confirmed she was meeting Bush administration officials, but did not divulge exactly who she had seen, in keeping with protocol which outlaws any formal meetings between US and Taiwanese leaders. There had been speculation that Tsai would have informal talks with Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs James Kelly or Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage Thursday or Friday. She was also expected to meet an official of the National Security Council.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-PRC Relations

Joongang Ilbo ("NK-CHINA TO CLINCH TREATY ON QUALITY AND STANDARD," Seoul, 08/09/02) reported that DPRK's bureau for quality control has signed a treaty with the PRC that pledged cooperation in the field of standard and quality control in Beijing, Tuesday. The treaty was signed by vice director of DPRK's quality control bureau Choe Kwang-hae and his PRC counterparts. Prior to the event, the PRC dispatched its own delegation related to the field to meet with DPRK's Vice Premier Kwak Pom-ki in Pyongyang last month to discuss the arrangements.

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2. Separated Family Reunion

Joongang Ilbo ("UNIFICATION MINISTER TO ORGANIZE ANOTHER FAMILY REUNION BY SEPTEMBER," Seoul, 08/09/02) reported that ROK Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun said Friday that he'll suggest another family reunion for Chusok Holiday during the forthcoming inter-Korean ministerial talks slated for next week in Seoul. Chusok Holiday is a Korean traditional Thanksgiving day slated for September 21. The DPRK will be dispatching its high-level delegates through direct air route Monday at 9 a.m. taking off from Sunan Airport in Pyeongyang and reaching Incheon International Airport in ROK an hour later. The talks will last till Wednesday.

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3. DPRK-Russia Relations

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH'S KIM, PUTIN EXPECTED TO CONFER," Moscow, 08/09/02) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to hold talks in the Pacific port of Vladivostok in the second half of August. For security reasons, however, the Russian government did not disclose the dates of the meeting. It is considered a custom not to disclose the schedule of the Russian president, the government said. Last week the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Kim's possible visit to Russia this month. International media saw Kim's visit as an attempt to plant an impression in the global community of the firm relationship between DPRK and Russia before DPRK resumes talks with US.

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4. Naval Skirmish by DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Yu Yong-won, "NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF NK PROVOCATION: USFK, Seoul, 08/09/02) reported that in a press conference, Friday, USFK Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-general Daniel R. Zanini said that neither the US nor the ROK military had prior warning about the June 29 naval clash with DPRK. Lieutenant-general Zanini continued that they had no idea who ordered the DPRK patrol boat to open fire against the ROK naval vessel. He added the two sides considered DPRK to have committed the premeditated provocation to call attention to its wish to change the disputed Northern Limit Line. Meanwhile, USFK Commander General Leon LaPorte repeated an apology for the accidental deaths of two teenage girls crushed by a US armored vehicle, to bereaved family members and friends, saying the US and ROK government and military were studying measures to prevent a similar accident.

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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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