NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, august 16, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan IV. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. Taiwan Independence Referendum

Reuters ("TAIWAN PREMIER REPORTEDLY SAYS NO INDEPENDENCE VOTE," Taipei, 08/16/02) reported that Taiwan Premier Yu Shyi-kun told his US host that Taiwan has no immediate plans to hold a referendum on formal independence from the PRC, the official Central News Agency said on Friday, in an apparent bid to reassure the US. PRC's state media have warned that Taiwan risked attack if the island of 23 million presses ahead with a referendum on statehood. Yu sought to reassure the United States that the island would not do anything drastic. "Even if Taiwan has a referendum law, we may not necessarily use a referendum to decide whether to reunify (with China) or (declare) independence," Yu told Los Angeles county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky this week. "Furthermore, President Chen (Shui-bian) has pledged there will absolutely be no reunification versus independence referendum during his term of office," said Yu, who made a two-day stopover in Los Angeles on his way home from Latin America. Pro-independence legislators are expected to attempt to put a referendum bill on the agenda of parliament, which is currently in recess and due to begin a new session in September. Of four referendum bills before parliament, the most radical was proposed by the tiny Taiwan Solidarity Union and calls for a vote on changing the island's national flag, anthem and official name -- to "Taiwan" from "Republic of China".

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2. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA ACCUSES TAIWAN VP OF TRYING TO 'SPLIT' CHINA," reported that the PRC attacked Taiwan's Vice President Annette Lu over her current visit to Indonesia, accusing her of trying to "split" the PRC and increase tensions between the PRC and Taiwan. Lu's actions would "increase tension across the Taiwan Straits", Beijing's foreign ministry said in a statement Friday. "It's apparent that she wants to split China by carrying out Taiwanese independence activities and wants to damage relations between China and other countries with which China has diplomatic relations," it said. The statement came after Lu was on Wednesday blocked from visiting Jakarta "for vacation" as planned.

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3. PRC on DPRK Asylum Seekers

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA SAYS N KOREANS CAN LEAVE BUT FATE OF 'SACRIFICE' MOTHER UNKNOWN," 08/16/02) reported that the PRC will allow two DPRK brothers sheltering inside the Albanian embassy in Beijing to leave the country, but the fate of their mother, who seemingly sacrificed herself for her sons, is unknown, the Albanian ambassador said. PRC authorities told the embassy that the brothers, aged 22 and 26, will be allowed to leave following police checks to see if they have committed any serious crimes while in the PRC, Ambassador Kujtim Xhani stated Friday. "They will be allowed to leave China and they are in the process of having their identity verified by the police," Xhani said. But the pair told embassy officials they fear their mother might be in serious trouble, Xhani said. She obstructed police outside the Albanian embassy when officers noticed her sons trying to climb over a fence into the compound on Tuesday afternoon, Xhani said. "They said their mother was supporting them... She blocked the police while they were climbing the fence," Xhani said. The men were unable to see what happened to their mother, and did not even know whether she had been detained.

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4. ROK-DPRK on Japanese Militarism

Agence France-Presse ("KOREAS WARN JAPAN AGAINST RETURN TO MILITARISM," 08/16/02) reported that scholars from the DPRK and ROK warned against Japan's military rearmament as new friction emerged over long-standing territorial disputes. The warning came at a seminar Friday which was part of two days of joint celebrations for the 57th anniversary of the end of Japanese colonial rule. The DPRK sent 116 pro-unification activists for the festival. The joint statement said: "Today, Japan is committing fresh wrongs by distorting historical facts, worshipping executed war criminals, seeking to dispatch its troops abroad and building up its arsenal." The statement came as Japan expressed opposition to an ROK plan to make a small island claimed by both countries into a national park. Dokdo, which is known as Takeshima in Japanese, has been a recurring source of conflict. The island is in the sea between the rival states known as the East Sea by Koreans and the Sea of Japan by Japanese. The statement urged Koreans to oppose Japan's textbooks that critics say gloss over Japanese wartime atrocities and reject its claim to Dokdo Island and "Japan's rearmament into a military power."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter Korean Relations

The Korea Herald (Seo Hyun-jin, "KOREAS FETE LIBERATION DAY TOGETHER," Seoul, 08/16/02) reported that civic representatives from the two Koreas officially kicked off their two-day joint celebration of Liberation Day at the Sheraton Walker Hill Hotel in eastern Seoul, Thursday. Some 500 ROK and DPRK citizens gathered at a garden and chanted "One nation!" when the Korean Peninsula flag, emblazoned with a blue silhouette of the peninsula, was raised to start the joint fete, which marks the 57th anniversary of Korea's liberation from the 1910-1945 Japanese colonial rule. The event, the second such joint celebration since the historic inter-Korean summit in June 2000, brought the largest-ever delegation of DPRK citizens to Seoul. Following the opening ceremony, dance troupes from ROK and DPRK put on a two-hour performance at the hotel. The cultural performances featured popular DPRK singers and dancers. The festivities also include art and photo exhibitions which feature about 240 pieces of ceramic ware and paintings, and 120 photos from DPRK. The two sides will also attend an academic forum on retaining sovereignty over the Dokdo islets in the East Sea and national tasks in relation to Japan's wartime atrocities. The DPRK delegation will leave Seoul for Pyongyang via a direct inter-Korean air route tomorrow morning.

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2. ROK-US Relations

The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, "US ASKS SOUTH KOREA TO PROVIDE MORE SUPPORT FOR WAR ON TERRORISM," Seoul, 08/16/02) reported that the US has asked ROK to provide additional assistance for its war on terrorism, the Defense Ministry said Thursday. ROK sent medical, logistic and other noncombat military contributions to assist the US-led military campaigns in Afghanistan. US Undersecretary of Defense Dov S. Zakheim, the Pentagon's comptroller, requested more financial contributions when he met with Defense Minister Lee Jun and Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hang-kyung in Seoul on Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Hwang Eui-don, a ministry spokesman said. The top Pentagon official left Seoul Thursday after a four-day visit during which he also met with U.S. Amb. Thomas Hubbard and US Forces Korea Commander Leon LaPorte. ROK dispatched more than 500 noncombat personnel and equipment to help support the US war on terrorism in the central Asian nation.

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3. US-DPRK Relations

The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-ho, "US PLEASED WITH OUTCOME OF TALKS, BUT NOT READY TO SEND ENVOY TO NORTH," Seoul, 08/16/02) reported that US welcomed agreements made by ROK and DPRK in their ministerial talks, but said it still needs to see progress in upcoming negotiations between DPRK and Japan before sending an envoy to Pyongyang. The US State Department said this week's inter-Korean talks "produced movement" in economic and humanitarian issues, but that it was still reviewing the plan to send a high-level delegation to Pyongyang. DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun, during his meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell in Brunei last month, said his government would welcome a US envoy. DPRK plans to hold Red Cross talks and a government-level meeting on normalizing relations with Japan this month. Government officials and analysts in Seoul and Washington previously said the Aug. 12-14 inter-Korean talks would be the deciding factor for a resumption of US-DPRK dialogue. US still appears to need to see more convincing change in DPRK's attitude.

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4. DPRK Defector In PRC

Chosun Ilbo (Yeo Shi-dong, "CHINA TO LET TWO DEFECTORS DEPART," Beijing, 08/16/02) reported that PRC government is reportedly allowing two DPRK defectors who took refuge in the Albanian embassy in Beijing last Tuesday to leave for a third nation. An Albanian embassy official said PRC would allow their departure. The defector brothers climbed over the wall of the diplomatic compound on August 13 in the afternoon. In the course of their entering into the compound, their mother was apparently arrested by Chinese police.

III. Japan

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1. US Bases in Japan

Kyodo ("OKINAWA ISSUES RESOLUTION CONDEMNING U.S. ACCIDENTS," Naha, 08/13/02) reported that the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly passed a unanimous resolution Monday protesting a spate of recent incidents involving the US military that it claims threatened residents in the prefecture and calling for an end to machinegun drills in the city of Nago. At an extraordinary session held in response to incidents that have occurred since late last month, the assembly criticized the resumption of live-fire exercises by US forces for causing tremendous anxiety in the civilian population, officials said. US service members engaged in target practice at the No. 10 range in Nago on the main island of Okinawa are believed to have fired rounds into nearby farm fields. Requests to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and US Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker to set up a communications system about reports of military drills and for a drastic revision of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement were included in the resolution and opinion letters adopted Monday.

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2. MSDF's Secrecy

The Japan Times ("MSDF CONSIDERED NEWS RESTRICTIONS," 08/14/02) reported that the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) considered asking news organizations not to report on its response to a military attack under a scenario it prepared in 2000, sources said Tuesday. It also toyed with a plan to censor dispatches, they said. The scenario involved a weeklong series of meetings that began September 28, 2000. Senior MSDF officials considered having the Maritime Staff Office ask the Defense Agency press club to use pool coverage if war broke out to ensure smooth operations and the safety of MSDF personnel, they said. Under the plan, reporters would not be allowed to interview MSDF personnel and their families, and military officials would try to censor reports, they said. The MSDF declined to comment on its plan to restrict press activities. On July 3, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a House of Representatives special committee discussing legislation on Japan's response to a military attack that the government may ask news media to restrict their coverage.

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3. MacArthur's view on Japanese Economy

Kyodo ("MACARTHUR FEARED JAPAN 'WAR VIA TRADE'," Geneva, 08/11/02) reported that Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in occupied Japan, worried that the nation would wage a "new economic aggression" by flooding other Asian markets with cheap products, according to a Swiss document obtained by Kyodo News. To avoid this aggression, MacArthur emphasized to Camille Gorge, a Swiss minister in Tokyo, that General Headquarters needed to help organize labor unions in Japan. This would lead to higher wages and prices when the country exported products. MacArthur, therefore, ordered newly appointed Prime Minister Kijuro Shidehara on October 11 that year to embark on "five major reforms," which included organizing labor unions. The document, a cable from Gorge to the Swiss Foreign Ministry dated October 5, 1945, is one of many telegrams describing the last days of World War II and the early days of the occupation.

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4. Secret Pact on Okinawa Reversion

The Japan Times ("INFO ON SECRET OKINAWA PACT PLACED ON WEB," 08/13/02) reported that copies of official documents that confirm a secret pact between Japan and the US concerning the 1972 reversion of Okinawa to Japanese rule have been placed on the Web site of Diet member Kinya Narazaki of the Democratic Party of Japan. Under the secret pact, Japan assumed the $4 million cost the US was supposed to pay to restore Okinawa land to its original state, the lawmaker said. The Japanese government has flatly denied the existence of the pact over the last 30 years, ever since the reversion of Okinawa.

IV. Russian Federation

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1. RF Arms Sales to PRC

Nezavisimaya gazeta's (Igor Korotchenko, "A STRATEGIC PARTNER OF RUSSIAN DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX", Moscow, 3, 08/01/02) reported that PRC Embassy in Moscow held a huge reception to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army of China (PLAC). The main "gifts" are several big contracts. In addition to the submarines PRC already has RF will sell it eight diesel-electric project 636 "Kilo" submarines equipped with "Club" missile systems. "Club" incorporates precision anti-ship (3M-54E), 3M-54E1) and anti-sub (91RE1) missiles with no analogues elsewhere in the world. Secondly, Saint Petersburg "Northern Shipyard" has started building for PRC the 3rd and 4th (1st and 2nd were delivered in 1999-2000) project 956EM ("Sovremenniy" - "Modern") destroyers armed with 3M-80E cruise missiles. Thirdly, second agreement is being prepared to sell PRC a shipment of anti-aircraft-missile systems of S-300PMU family. Finally, negotiations are at the final stage to sell the first shipment of 30 to 40 multifunctional Su-30MKK fighters armed in particular with supersonic anti-ship H-31A missiles. The latter contract is to be US$1.4 billion worth.

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2. RF Security Council Delegation in PRC

Nezavisimaya gazeta's (Salavat Suleimyonov, "THEY WILL PROBABLY CREATE A SECURITY COUNCIL IN CHINA", Moscow, 6, 07/17/02) reported that yesterday RF Security Council delegation headed by its head Vladimir Rushailo, former Interior Affairs Minister, and including RF Presidential Advisor on Strategic Stability Marshal Igor Sergeyev, former Defense Minister. The visit coincides with an anniversary of RF-PRC friendship treaty and one of its task is to prepare for RF President Vladimir Putin's visit to PRC this fall. Discussions on international issues are planned. Also, RF SC experience is to be presented. There is no similar agency in PRC, but it might be created after PRC Communist party Congress this fall, when decisions to change the structure of governing bodies are expected to be taken.

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3. RF Far Eastern Flood Blamed on PRC

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Igor Verba and Polina Shmelyova ("PROMORYE LOOKS FOR THE GUILTY OF THE EMERGENCY", Moscow, 10, 07/23/02) and Izvestia's Maria Beloklokova and Oleg Zhunusov ("CHINESE ARE SUSPECTED OF FLOODS", Vladivostok-Moscow, 2, 07/23/02) reported that a flood happened in RF Far Eastern region of Primorye. In some areas the residents had to be evacuated. Although there had been heavy rains, Primorye Governor Sergey Darkin speculated that local PRC authorities across the border were negligent and opened some water-gates. He said: "Chinese party does not confirm that water drop, but offers its help."

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4. RF Demographic Situation and PRC

Nezavisimaya gazeta's Andrey Vaganov ("YES, WE ARE ASIANS...", Moscow, 1-11, 08/06/02) reported that RF population as of 01/01/02 was 144.8 million. It decreased by 3.5 million since 1992. Since 1999 the decrease accelerated, becoming 0.5% annually, as opposed to 0.2-0.35 in 1995-1998. If nothing changes, in 2010 it will be 130 million, and in 2050 - just 70 millions. As of life expectancy, RF is the last in Europe, and 143rd in the world. "It is a death spell to our reforms," said Natalia Rimashevskaya, Director, Institute of Socio-Economic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences. An UNDP report indicated that in 1993-2001 alcoholism in RF grew 2.2, toxicomania - 3, drug addiction - 20 and syphilis - 65 times in RF. Experts are concerned, that in the Far east the population is only 20 millions and still decreasing due to bad birth-death ratio and departures, while in PRC close to RF border 300 million live and "Chinese believe 50-70 millions of their compatriots could well settle in Siberia and the Far East... The country has to continuously create tens of millions of jobs... Otherwise the country will face an unprecedented social upheaval."

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5. PRC Socio-Economic Developments

Izvestia's Yuriy Savenkov ("A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE", Moscow, 6, 07/29/02) reported that PRC authorities seemly had started a campaign to integrate PRC private businessmen into the party system. Recently the All-China Trade Union Federation awarded 4 big businessmen with the medal "For Labor Dignity." 17 businessmen were officially called "exemplary workers." One of those, a big pharmaceutics businessman, commented: "The state has finally recognized the social status of a businessman and our political clout in the society." The ruling Communist Party sends a signal: "We are ready to open doors for 'red capitalists'." PRC private sector accounts for a half of the country's GDP. With rural collective enterprises and joint stock companies the figure might be 75%.

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6. PRC-Taiwan Confrontation

Izvestia's Maksim Yusin ("LOBSTER AGAINST COBRA", Moscow, 6, 08/03/02) published a page-log article on PRC-Taiwan confrontation. In particular, Taiwanese are worried about 350 ballistic missiles PRC has stationed across the Straits. Each year 50 more are added. By 2005 there will be 600. Also in 2005 PRC will get Su-27 and Su-30, "Kilo" submarines ad "Sovremenniy" destroyers it ordered from RF. Taiwan and USA believe it will be the time the balance will be broken. USA has already promised to deliver 8 diesel submarines and 4 destroyers to Taiwan. Taiwanese strategists believe that, in case a war, PRC will make its stake on a sudden strike. A US businessman living in Taiwan said: "They will just launch a couple of missiles, and the Taiwanese will surrender. They are pragmatists." There are other opinions, though, but even they concede that a victory for Taiwan will be "a Pyrrhic one", that is far too expensive in all terms.

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7. RF and Japan to Fight RF Timber Smuggling

Izvestia's Yekaterina Vykhukholeva ("PIRATE WOOD DELIVERIES", Moscow, 5, 07/24/02) reported that RF and Japan soon would continue their joint anti-smuggling campaign. While so far it has concerned sea-food, now it is aimed at illegal exports of RF wood to Japan. According to World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) half of RF wood exports to Japan are illegal, of which 50% consist of rare types on principle forbidden to be cut and sold. RF official reports estimate RF wood exports to Japan at 7,22 million cubic meters annually, while Japanese sources name 5,51 million. The difference is believed to be smuggled.

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8. Japan-ROK Dispute Over An Island

Izvestia's Vasiliy Golovnin ("JAPANESE DEMAND ONE MORE ISLAND", Tokyo, 4, 08/14/02) reported that the ROK decision to create a maritime national park including Takeshima ("bamboo" in Japanese) or Dokto ("solitary" in Korean) island caused deterioration of ROK-Japanese relations, which somewhat improved after the jointly held World Cup 2002. The dispute has been going on since the 18th century, same as those concerning South Kurils claimed by Japan from RF and Senkaku/Diaoyuidao claimed by both PRC and Taiwan from Japan. No way out of the dispute is seen so far. Anti- Japanese feelings still exist. At an international symposium in Vladivostok experts from both DPRK and ROK demanded the sea of Japan to be renamed the eastern Sea

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9. DPRK-ROK Relations and ASEAN Regional Forum

Izvestia's Svetlana Babayeva("MORNING IS WISER THAN EVENING", Bandar Seri Begawan, 4, 08/01/02) reported, with a subtitle "[RF Foreign Minister] Igor Ivanov Has Restored Inter-Korean- Dialogue", that US State Secretary Colin Powell and DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sung had 15 minutes meeting in Brunei on the Eve of ASEAN Regional Forum session. Afterwards it was reported that a DPRK-ROK expert meeting would take place in DPRK on 08/02/02, meaning a break through after late June DPRK-ROK naval clash.

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Kim Young-soo:
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Wu Chunsi:
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