NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, august 20, 2002

I. United States

II. Japan

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I. United States

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1. PRC New Ambassadors

Asia Pulse ("CHINA APPOINTS NEW AMBASSADORS," Beijing, 08/20/02) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin announced on August 20 the appointment of new ambassadors to the East Timor and nine other countries, in accordance with a decision made by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. Shao Guanfu was appointed ambassador to the Democratic Republic of East Timor. Zhao Huimin replaced Zhou Xiuhua as ambassador to the State of Qatar. Zhou Xiuhua is now ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic, replacing Shi Yanchun. Zhou Guobin, ambassador to the Republic of Yemen, gave his position to Gao Yusheng. Yin Yubiao, ambassador to the Republic of Togo, is replaced by Zhang Shixian. Zha Peixin is appointed new ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, replacing Ma Zhengang. Zhang Xiaokang, ambassador to Ireland, gave her position to Sha Hailin. Sun Rongmin replaces Ding Baohua as the new ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Tang Zhenqi is appointed new ambassador to the Republic of Greece, replacing Zhen Jianguo. Zhen Jianguo is now ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark, replacing Wang Qiliang.

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2. ROK DPRK Defector Return

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREA TO RETURN ENGINEER USED BY NORTH'S DEFECTORS," 08/20/02) reported that the ROK will return the engineer of a fishing boat used by a group of DPRK defectors in their escape, ROK officials said. Li Kyong-Song, 33, was detained in the hull by the group of defectors off the country's southwestern coast on Sunday, they said. Officials at the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the ROK's spy agency, said it was possible Li was forced to the ROK against his will. "It is true that the engineer was under a brief detention," an NIS spokesman stated, adding that a probe was underway to confirm "what he really intended to do." Li initially said he wanted to return to the DPRK, according to police investigators. "I have my wife and kids living in the North. I have no reason whatsoever to defect to the South," he was quoted as telling police investigators. The official Yonhap news agency quoted an unnamed government official as saying: "The government plans to allow Li to return home in respect to his free will." Six DPRK fishermen who drifted into southern waters in sea accidents this year were all allowed to return home.

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3. DPRK-US War Remains

The Associated Press (Han Greimel, "POSSIBLE AMERICAN WAR REMAINS REPATRIATED FROM NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 08/20/02) reported that remains recently unearthed in the DPRK and believed to be those of seven US soldiers missing in action from the Korea War were repatriated Tuesday to the moan of bagpipes and the crack of a 21-gun salute. A bugler blew taps as the caskets, draped in powder blue United Nations flags, were carried by full-dress military honor guards under a full moon and into a hangar at Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo. A US Air Force cargo plane picked up the remains in Pyongyang earlier in the day. On Wednesday, they are scheduled to be flown to the U.S. Army's Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii for forensic examination. "They will try to determine who these people were," Yokota's Captain Michael Braibish said after Tuesday's memorial ceremony. The recoveries were made in the first of three searches scheduled this year in North Korea by US teams with help from the DPRK army. The second search is scheduled to start August 24 and end one month later. The final search will be in October.

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4. DPRK response to Annual US-ROK Military Drill

The Associated Press (Yoo Jae-suk, "NORTH KOREA WARNS ANNUAL U.S.-SOUTH KOREA MILITARY DRILL MAY HURT KOREAN RECONCILIATION," Seoul, 08/20/02) reported that the DPRK warned Tuesday that a joint US-ROK military exercise may hurt reconciliation efforts between the ROK and DPRK. US and ROK forces began their annual Ulchi Focus Lens military exercise Monday. Speaking through the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency, a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman accused the US of staging the drill to disrupt inter-Korean dialogue that restarted last week following months of tension. "The military exercise launched by the U.S. ... clearly proves that the US is, in fact, leaving no means untried to chill the Koreans' desire for reconciliation and unity between the North and the South and scuttle the process of dialogue," he said. Last week, the two Koreas held their first Cabinet-level talks in nine months and agreed to hold more reunions of families divided by the fortified Korean border and resume talks for more economic and other exchanges. They also hoped to resume military talks soon. In a separate commentary, KCNA said the exercise "throws a wet blanket over all the dialogues between the North and the South including the proposed talks between the military authorities."

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5. ROK Supersonic Trainer Jet

Reuters ("SOUTH KOREA DEVELOPS SUPERSONIC TRAINER JET," Seoul, 08/20/02) reported that the ROK's air force conducted a successful test flight of its first supersonic trainer jet on Tuesday. The T-50 Golden Eagle, designed and built by the government-funded Korea Aerospace Industries Co. with technological assistance from the U.S.-based Lockheed Martin Corp., will be used to train ROK pilots, the air force said in a news release. The trainer can fly at a speed of up to Mach 1.4 and can double as a lightly armed attack plane. The ROK has been building the trainer jet since late 1997. The 40-minute test flight took place at an air force base in Sacheon on the south coast. The ROK plans to build 800 Golden Eagles by 2030 for domestic use and exports. In June, the ROK signed a US $4.2 billion deal with Boeing Co. of the United States to build 40 F-15K fighter jets by 2009 to join its fleet of F-16 jets that currently form the backbone of the South Korean air force.

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6. ROK Family Reunions

Reuters ("SOUTH KOREA SELECTS 300 CANDIDATES FOR FAMILY REUNIONS," Seoul, 08/20/02) reported that the ROK has selected 300 candidates for temporary reunions next month of family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. During their Cabinet-minister talks in Seoul last week, the two Koreas agreed to resume family reunions and discuss other projects aimed at reconciliation on the divided Korean peninsula. The candidates were chosen by a computerized draw Monday from 103,000 applicants who want to travel to Diamond Mountain on the DPRK's east coast around September 21 to meet relatives they haven't seen since the war. The list will be cut down to 200 after authorities check whether the aging people are healthy enough for the trip. The names of 200 people will be forwarded to the DPRK next week so that DPRK officials will track down the whereabouts of relatives the ROK citizens are seeking. After the DPRK search for relatives, the list will be reduced again and only 100 ROK citizens will be allowed to meet relatives.

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7. US Missile Defense Test

The Associated Press ("MISSILE DEFENSE TEST POSTPONED," Washington, 08/20/02) reported that the Pentagon postponed a missile defense test scheduled for Saturday because of problems with the interceptor rocket. Workers discovered problems with seals on the nozzles that help steer two stages of the three-stage rocket, the Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency said in a statement Tuesday. The test scheduled for Saturday would have been the seventh test for a system to knock down enemy intercontinental missiles with interceptor rockets fired from silos on the ground. Two previous tests have been failures, but in the other four tests the interceptor knocked out a dummy warhead more than 140 miles above the Pacific. The tests, which cost about $100 million each, are part of the military's drive to develop a series of missile defenses. The Bush administration hopes to have a permanent test site built in Alaska within four years which could provide some basic missile defense for the United States.

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8. PRC Top Japan Exporter

The Associated Press (Hans Greimel, "CHINA SOON TOP EXPORTER TO JAPAN," Tokyo, 08/20/02) reported that the PRC is on pace to replace the US as the top exporter to Japan and could do it as early as this year, the Japan government said Tuesday. The news comes as Japan reported that total trade with the PRC, imports and exports, rose 3.4 percent to a record $45.12 billion in the first half of the year. The PRC is still Japan's No. 2 trading partner behind the US. But the figures indicated the PRC is rapidly passing the US as the top exporter to Japan. The US Commerce Department announced Tuesday that the US trade deficit narrowed only slightly in June to US$37.2 billion, the second biggest deficit on record. Roughly 17.8 percent of all good imported to Japan came from the PRC during the first half of 2002, according to the Japan External Trade Organization. That's just behind the US, which accounted for 18.2 percent of Japan's imports over the period. But whereas imports from the PRC increased over the period, imports from the US decreased - narrowing the gap. "It is possible that, in terms of imports, China will surpass the United States in the very near future, perhaps as early as the second half of this year," said Masaki Yabuuchi, director of JETRO's PRC division.

II. Japan

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1. DPJ's View on US Attack on Iraq

Kyodo ("DPJ WON'T BACK ATTACK ON IRAQ IF PROOF LACKS: KAN," New York, 08/15/02) reported that Naoto Kan, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest opposition party, said that the party cannot support US plans to attack Iraq without sufficient proof it is developing weapons of mass destruction. During a speech to the Japan Society in New York, Kan also said that concrete evidence of Iraq's "alleged assistance to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda" is also necessary.

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2. Kan's View on US Bases in Japan

Kyodo ("KAN SEES NEED FOR U.S. BASES, UNLIKE HATOYAMA," Washington, 08/16/02) reported that Naoto Kan, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), stressed the need for a US military presence in Japan, distancing himself from DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama's call for an alliance without the stationing of US forces in the country. "Over a period of at least 10 to 20 years, the Japan-US security treaty is necessary for Japan," Kan said at a luncheon held by the United States Institute of Peace, a Washington think tank. "To maintain the treaty, it is necessary for Japan to provide a certain number of bases." Kan said the 7th Fleet and the 5th Air Force should remain stationed in Japan, but called on the US to move its 3rd Marine Corps from Okinawa to somewhere else in Asia or back to the US. Most marine bases in Okinawa are for training recruits, and their withdrawal to Hawaii or Saipan should not adversely affect the military balance in Asia, he said. Hatoyama, in a recent magazine essay, wrote, "Although Japan-US ties should be based on the foundation of the Japan-US alliance, we should not assume that the US military presence in Japan will continue forever."

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3. Yasukuni Shrine Visit

The Asahi Shimbun ("RELATIVES SUE OVER KOIZUMI SHRINE VISIT," Matsuyama, 08/16/02) reported that the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was sued in Matsuyama District Court by two religious groups and relatives of war dead who say his visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine in April violated the constitutional separation of state and religion. The class-action suit names the central government, the prime minister and Yasukuni Shrine as defendants. They want a restraining order against official visits to Yasukuni by the prime minister and compensation of 10,000 yen for each of the complaining parties in the suit. The group said theirs is the first suit involving Koizumi's visit during the spring memorial period at Yasukuni.

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4. Japanese Plan on Spy Satellite

The Japan Times ("JAPAN PROCEEDS WITH SPY SATELLITE PLAN DESPITE U.S. CONCERNS," 08/17/02) reported that Japan's plan to deploy reconnaissance satellites to monitor military movements in East Asia will get off the ground in November, when the Cabinet Satellite Information Center starts up the system's nerve center in Tokyo. The government plans to launch one optical satellite and one radar satellite in February, and then a similar pair in July, from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. Officials involved in the program said the areas to be subject to surveillance are China, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, Russia and Japan. The Japanese government decided to launch its own intelligence-gathering satellites after the DPRK fired a Taepodong ballistic missile over Japan in 1998. An accord to share military intelligence between Japan and the US was then already in place. It was under the terms of the agreement that the US military in Japan informed the Defense Agency of the Taepodong firing. Japan and the US concluded the bilateral accord on early warning information systems in secret, but some Defense Agency officials are skeptical of the agreement. The official underlined the importance of Japan gathering intelligence on its own, saying, "The US would not give information when Japanese national interests conflict with US national interests."

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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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