NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, august 19, 2002

I. United States

II. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. Cross-Strait Relations

Agence France-Presse ("TAIWAN WINS 'BATTLE WITHOUT SOUND OF GUNS': VICE PRESIDENT LU," reported that Taiwan Vice President Annette Lu has hailed her just completed trip to Indonesia, saying Taiwan had upstaged the PRC in a fresh round of diplomatic battles. Reports said she had offered to buy three million tonnes of liquefied natural gas from Indonesia for 400 billion Taiwan dollars (11.8 billion US) over 25 years. Just days before her visit, the PRC had awarded a massive LNG contract to Australia rather than Indonesia, sparking uproar in Jakarta. The paper said the gas would supply the Tatan thermo-powered generation plant in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan. Australia, the United States, Brunei, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Qatar are also vying to supply the gas. The paper said the offer was made during a meeting with seven vice chairs of former Indonesian ruling party Golkar. At a press conference Sunday, a day after returning to Taipei following the controversial four-day visit, Lu said her clandestine mission had caught the PRC off guard. "The Chinese communist embassy officials were not aware of my visit until a domestic evening newspaper reported the story and I boarded the plane flying to Indonesia," a smiling Lu said. She described the trip as "a battle without sound of guns." "The Chinese leaders ... even threatened to break off ties with Indonesia," said Lu.

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2. PRC Human Rights

Reuters (Tamora Vidaillet, "U.N.'S ROBINSON EXPRESSES DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT CHINA RIGHTS," Beijing, 08/19/02) reported that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson said on Monday that the PRC needed to rely on political reform rather than repression to deal with growing social unrest. Robinson, on her seventh and final visit to Beijing after five years as rights chief, said the PRC had made progress on legal reform but the human rights picture -- from treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims to detention of labour activists -- remained worrying. In a country that arbitrarily jailed people for labour unrest and imposed death sentences in cases unrelated to violence, the government needed to loosen political controls to appease those facing wrenching economic change, she said. "At the moment there is heightened labour unrest," Robinson told reporters after opening a workshop on judges and the judicial system. "It's all the more necessary that China embraces the kind of political reform and opening up of society which will also be better for human rights and prepare China to ratify the covenant on civil and political rights," she said.

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3. DPRK-Japan Red Cross Talks

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN, NORTH KOREA ENTER SECOND DAY OF RED CROSS TALKS,) 08/19/02) reported that Japanese and DPRK Red Cross officials are due to enter the final day of two-day talks in Pyongyang aimed at making progress on humanitarian issues, the Japanese foreign ministry said. The issues include Japan's request for the DPRK to search for 11 Japanese nationals believed kidnapped by DPRK agents in the 1970s and 1980s and ways to help Japanese women married to North Koreans make home-coming visits. Before the second round of talks get underway, the Japanese delegation was to meet with officials of the DPRK government bodies that handle the search for the missing Japanese. These include the DPRK Ministry of People's Security and the Municipal People's Committee of the city of Pyongyang. "It is very rare for them to hold a meeting with us," said the Japanese foreign ministry official. The meeting was arranged after the Japanese delegation demanded the DPRK show evidence of its probe on the missing nationals, the official said. The DPRK has denied any abductions but offered from time to time in recent years to search for any "missing" Japanese.

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4. Japan-DPRK Wartime Missing

Agence France-Presse "JAPAN CONFIRMS SURVIVAL OF WARTIME MISSING KOREANS," 08/16/02) reported that the Japanese Red Cross Society said it had confirmed the survival in Japan of several Koreans who were forcibly taken to the country before the end of World War II. The search was one of the requests made by the DPRK Red Cross Society in a series of talks between the two sides. Details of the tracing results will be unveiled when Japanese Red Cross officials meet their DPRK counterparts in Pyongyang on August 18 and 19. "We have successfully traced several missing Koreans," a Japanese Red Cross official said Friday in Tokyo. "Some of them were found alive and some of them have already passed away," the official said. "We will inform North Korean Red Cross officials of the search results, including the number and their conditions, when we hold talks this weekend in Pyongyang." The DPRK's Red Cross has demanded Japan search for a total of 314 Koreans still missing after being forcibly taken to Japan as laborers for the Japanese military and private companies before the end of World War II.

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5. ROK President Recovery

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT BACK FROM WEEK-LONG SICK LEAVE," 08/19/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-Jung has returned to work after a week off for treatment of pneumonia, his spokeswoman said. Kim is to chair two cabinet meetings Monday, although doctors recommended that the 76-year-old president avoid heavy work, spokeswoman Park Sun-Sook said. "President Kim's condition is better," she said. The president, who must stand down next February at the end of his single permissible five-year term, spent two days at the hospital last week and cancelled his official schedule. Kim was hospitalized for seven days in April for exhaustion and stomach problems.

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6. ROK-US Cyber War Games

Agence France-Presse ("US AND SOUTH KOREAN TROOPS KICK OFF MASSIVE CYBER WAR GAMES," 08/19/02) reported that US and ROK troops have kicked off massive cyber war games to test joint security postures aimed at countering any threat from the DPRK. The annual 12-day joint operation, called "Ulchi Focus Lens (UFL)," began on Monday following high-level talks between the ROK and the DPRK which put their frozen rapprochement back on track. The exercise, which has been described by the US as the world's largest computer-assisted war games, involves US experts from Japan, Guam and the US. The ROK government agencies staged simultaneous "command post" drills to test preparations for military conflicts and natural disasters. The ROK government officials would learn how to combat terrorist attacks on-line and off-line.

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7. DPRK Boat Refugees

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREAN BOAT PEOPLE ARRIVE IN SOUTH KOREA," 08/19/02) reported that twenty-one DPRK boat people arrived in the ROK after a dramatic two-day journey for freedom aboard a small fishing boat in the Yellow Sea. It is the biggest group of DPRK boat people to flee the DPRK. The defectors, comprised of three families, included 10 children. "I wanted to see my hometown before I die," 76-year-old group leader Sun Jong-Shik told reporters as he arrived in the western port of Incheon on Monday. "I have prepared for the defection for a long time," he said, adding he was born in the ROK. The defectors aboard a 20-tonne boat with salt and cooking equipment left a port in Sonchon county near the border between the DPRK and the PRC early Saturday, police said. Their boat was spotted sailing into ROK territory off the west coast at 6:30 pm (0930 GMT) Sunday and rescued by a ROK patrol boat.

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA DENOUNCES US-SOUTH KOREA JOINT DRILL," 08/17/02) reported that the DPRK hs criticized an annual US-ROK military drill as "dangerous sabre-rattling" as the ROK pushed ahead with the recently renewed reconciliation process by offering its rival financial aid. Minju Joson, an official daily newspaper of the DPRK's government, said Saturday the joint military exercise, Ulji Focus Lens, was intended "to strain the situation on the Korean peninsula and mount a surprise attack" on the DPRK. "Sabre-rattling cannot go with dialogue," the daily said in an editorial, as quoted by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). It said "US warmongers" were seeking to destroy the DPRK by force. "The DPRK (North Korea) is ready for both dialogue and war.

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8. Inter-Korean Railway Development

Agence France-Presse (SOUTH KOREA TO GIVE NORTH FINANCIAL AID FOR RAILWAY LINK," 08/17/02) reported that the ROK plans to give the DPRK millions of dollars in financial aid to help restore cross-border railways that have been closed for more than 50 years, a senior cabinet minister said. Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun told state radio, KBS, on Friday that an estimated 30 billion won (25 million dollars) would be needed to supply rails and sleepers to relink two railways that had been cut since 1948. "It would be little harm for the South to spend that amount for this project as the project is a symbol of cooperation and reconciliation between the North and South," he said. He said the restoration of the railway links will "help bring inter-Korean ties to a new height." The reopening of railway and road connections was one of the key agreements when the two Koreas held a landmark summit in June 2000, but the links have yet to be completed. The two Koreas agreed during high-level discussions on Wednesday to hold military talks in a bid to speed up measures to reopen the rail and road connections. The DPRK had previously rejected these military talks, which would discuss measures to avoid accidental border clashes around the construction work.

II. People's Republic of China

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1. DPRK-ROK Relations

People's Liberation Army Daily (Zhang Li, "TEN AGREEMENT ACHIEVED IN INTER-KOREAN MINISTERIAL TALKS," Seoul, 08/16/02,P5) reported that the last session of the seventh inter-Korean ministerial talks concluded with a Joint Press Communique containing ten main agreements. The report listed briefly the ten agreements including the time and place of the eighth inter-Korean ministerial talks, the second inter-Korean economic talks, the working-level talks to discuss the joint survey of An Byun power plant and dam of DPRK by the two sides, the fifth reunions of the separated families, and of the fourth Red Cross talks of the two sides concerning the issue of building a reunion center, etc. The two delegations coordinated their stands on the above issues in the spirit of implementation of the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration of 2000, said the report.

China Daily ("KOREAN DIALOGUE MAKES PROGRESS," Seoul, 08/15/02, Seoul, P1) reported that DPRK and ROK agreed on Aug. 14 to hold economic talks and briefly reunite families, but failed to bridge the biggest gap -- when to hold military talks to help build a railway across the world's most fortified border. The report said there released a statement in which two sides agreed to arrange temporary reunions next month for families split and hold economic talks from Aug. 26 to 29 in Seoul. The report also said that they failed to specify a date for military talks. "But Pyongyang's agreement to hold military talks as soon as possible reflects its seriousness about the issue," said Lee Tae-sik, the South's foreign minister in the report.

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2. PRC Commentary on DPRK-ROK Relations

China Daily (Kao La, "TALKS BETWEEN TWO KOREAS OPTIMISTIC," 08/13/2002, P4) made comments that the negotiations achieved in the ministerial talks have great significance. The peace process in the Korean Peninsula since the end of Korean War has never been a smooth one, the commentary said, but since the historical summit meeting between two Korean leaders in June 2000, there has been great progress in easing bilateral relations. The commentary also mentioned that the US hard-line policy hindered the peace progress in Korea Peninsula. But it is quite optimistic about the future, based on the fact that Pyongyang's recent active diplomacy further helped the re-opening of talks on bilateral relations between the two Koreas. A warning from the commentary comes as the future of the bilateral relations relies on both co-operating internal and external elements.

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3. DPRK-Russia Relations

People's Daily (Zhao Jiaming, "KIM JONG-IL TO VISIT RUSSIA," Pyongyang, 08/16/02, P3) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il would pay a visit to Russia this month, which will be the second time since last year, when he visited Russia by train, with the Moscow Declaration released after his visit. It gave no detail in this report, but made a guess that the visit is likely to include stops in the port city of Vladivostok, where he is expected to meet Putin.

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4. ROK-Russia Relations

China Daily ("RUSSIA TO REPAY SOVIET-ERA DEBT TO SEOUL WITH ARMS," Seoul, 08/14/2002, P12) reported that ROK Defense Ministry officials said that ROK was likely to sign a deal to acquire Russian tanks, assault ships and other armaments in return for scrubbing part of at least US$1.95 billion in debt owed by Moscow. The precise total amount is not yet clear, with no idea of the interests might be. But it is clear, according to the report, that "the move is part of Seoul's efforts to retrieve loans extended to the former Soviet Union in 1991 to assist Russia's transformation into a market economy".

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5. US-DPRK Relations

People's Daily (Yan Feng, "US URGES DPRK TO ABIDE BY NUCLEAR AGREEMENT," 08/15/02, P3) reported that State Department spokesman Philip Reeker on Aug. 13 urged the DPRK to abide by a nuclear framework sighed in Geneva in 1994. Reeker stressed that the DPRK's cooperation with the IAEA and compliance with the Nonproliferation Treaty is a "necessary and critical step" for full implementation of the Agreed Framework, said the report. On the other hand, according to the report, DPRK has been accusing the US of dragging its feet on implementing the Agreed Framework and demanding US compensation for losses arising from delay in building alternative nuclear power plants. The report also reviewed the history of the nuclear issue between the US and DPRK.

People's Daily (Zhao Jiaming, "DPRK URGES WASHINGTON TO DEFUSE HOSTILITY AND COMPENSATE ELECTRIC POWER LOSS," Pyongyang, 08/14/02, P3) reported that DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Aug. 13 that the most attention should be paid by both countries to how to abide by the Nuclear Agreement, rather than the so called "nuclear exam". In the report, he stressed that the core of the Agreed Framework is to freeze DPRK's nuclear program and require the US to provide LWRs to DPRK in 2003. But the delay by US in building alternative nuclear power plants has caused large electric power losses to Korea, even threatening the living rights of DPRK people, said the report. On urging the US to compensate as soon as possible the losses arising from delay, the spokesman asked the US to defuse its hostility and to make out practical compensations, according to the report.

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6. US-PRC Relations

People's Liberation Army Daily ("WE ADHERE TO ONE-CHINA POLICY, US OFFICIAL REITERATES," Washington, 08/09/02, P4) reported that US National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormak said to the press on Aug. 7 that the Unites States recognizes the long-standing one-China policy and does not support Taiwan independence. However, the report said, he mentioned that US would continue following the Taiwan Relations Act. In this report, the official also stressed the importance of US-Chinese relations and said President George W. Bush expected Chinese President Jiang Zemin visit his hometown. The two leaders will discuss a series of important questions, according to the report.

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7. Across Taiwan Strait Relations

People's Liberation Army Daily ("FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN SPEAKS ON TAIWAN'S UN ENTRY PROPOSAL," 08/10/02, P4) reported that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan on Aug. 9 expressed strong indignation and resolute opposition in a letter to the UN secretary-general to a proposal by a small number of countries for the so-called "Taiwan representation" in the United Nations. Kong said in the report that as a province of China, Taiwan has absolutely no qualifications whatsoever to join the UN and its special organizations in any name or in any form. Kong also raised facts that the General Committees of the successive sessions of the General Assembly since 1993 have all refused to include the so-called question of Taiwan's "participation" in the UN on the agenda of the General Assembly. "What the Taiwan authorities have done is unpopular and is bound to fail again," Kong said according to the report.

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8. Russia's Nuclear Policy

People's Daily ("RUSSIA TO DEVELOP STRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES: Ivanov," Moscow, 08/18/02, P3) reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Aug. 16 that Russia would develop its own strategic nuclear forces no matter how its relations with the United States and other states would go on. In this report, the development of Russia's strategic nuclear forces had no links to the US plan to establish its national missile defense (NMD) system, said the minister in southern Ural region. According to the news from Itar-tass, he explained that Russia creates and develops its nuclear shield in order to safeguard its military security. Ivanov also commented on the nuclear balance between Russia and the US, and said Russia need not possess more missiles and nuclear warheads than others, as it has enough military capability to protect itself and its allies, said the report.

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9. Japan-DPRK Relations

China Daily ("RED CROSS TALKS MAKE HEADWAY," Pyongyang, 08/19/02, P12) reported that Japanese and DPRK Red Cross officials hailed rare progress on humanitarian issues in talks yesterday. According to the report, the DPRK officials agreed to a meeting between the Japanese Red Cross delegation and police investigating Japanese charges that agents from Pyongyang have abducted some missing Japanese citizens. "This is the first time in history that the Red Cross societies of Japan and DPRK are meeting in Pyongyang," said the head of the DPRK delegation in the report. Commenting on the progress, the report said that the talks could serve as a prelude to talks between senior foreign ministry officials set on August 25-26. Japanese officials said that a joint statement might be released today and Japanese women who moved to the DPRK with their ethnic husbands might be allowed to visit home, said the report.

People's Daily (Zhao Jiaming, "DPRK, JAPAN TO HOLD FOREIGN RELATIONS TALKS," Pyongyang, 08/15/02, P3) reported that DPRK and Japan decided to hold Foreign Ministry bureau-chief level talks on Aug.25-26, to discuss all the matters related to establishing diplomatic relations and other issues of mutual concern. The report said that the two countries had had inter-governmental talks in 2000 in Beijing, but could not agree on some issues such as history and missing Japanese. Commenting on the significance of the oncoming talks, the report said that this is the first talk of its kind being held between the two countries' Foreign Ministry during the past two years. The Red Cross societies of Japan and DPRK will meet in Pyongyang on Aug.18-19 to discuss humanitarian issues, said the report.

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Kim Young-soo:
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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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