NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, august 23, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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I. United States

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1. PRC-ROK Relations

Agence France-Presse ("LEADERS OF SOUTH KOREA, CHINA TRADE LETTERS TO MARK 10 YEARS OF TIES," 08/23/02) reported that Presidents Kim Dae-Jung of the ROK and Jiang Zemin of the PRC exchanged letters to celebrate 10 years of diplomatic ties and vowed to boost relations further. In a letter delivered to Jiang Friday through Ambassador Kim Ha-Joong, President Kim said the two sides had made remarkable progress in developing ties in all fields and cooperated closely for regional peace and stability. "The development of South Korea-China ties are crucial not only to mutual interest but to regional stability and prosperity as well," Kim was quoted as saying in the letter. Jiang, for his part said in a letter delivered Friday to Kim by Ambassador Li Bin, that the PRC would continue to boost its cooperative partnership with the ROK, officials said. The PRC leader stressed that the PRC firmly supported any effort aimed at reconciliation, cooperation and peaceful unification in the Korean Peninsula.

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2. Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group

Agence France-Presse ("US, SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN TO DISCUSS POLICY TOWARDS NORTH KOREA," 08/23/02) reported that senior diplomats from Japan, the ROK and the US will meet next month to fine-tune their policy towards the DPRK, the ROK foreign ministry announced. The three-way meeting, due to open in Seoul on September 7, is seen as crucial to determining how to handle the DPRK. The ministry said Friday the three allies would also hold bilateral talks on September 6 on the sidelines of the full-party talks. The Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) meeting is a key consultation channel linking Seoul, Tokyo and Washington. At the upcoming TCOG meeting, attention would be on the US which has been slower than the other two in responding to the overtures from the DPRK, officials at the ROK foreign ministry said. "The United States would debrief South Korea and Japan to make a key decision on North Korea such as if and when to send a special envoy to Pyongyang," a foreign ministry official stated.

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3. Japan-US Relations

Agence France-Presse ("US UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE BOLTON TO VISIT JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA," 08/23/02) reported that the US State Department announced that a top official will head to Japan this weekend, then to the ROK, to discuss defense and security issues. John Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, will visit Tokyo from August 24 to 28, then Seoul from August 28 to 30, the State Department said Friday. The US is in close contact with the two nations on policies relating to the DPRK, branded by the administration of President George W. Bush as part of an "axis of evil" with Iran and Iraq, with its sights on weapons of mass destruction. However, State Department deputy spokesman Philip Reeker denied that the US administration had been locked in a debate as to whether Bolton should make a highly critical speech about the DPRK, as stated Thursday in the Washington Times. On his trip, Bolton will "meet with officials in both capitals to discuss regional and arms control and security matters," said Reeker, adding that he would also be making "public remarks in Seoul."

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4. DPRK Missile Part Sales

The New York Times (Michael R. Gordon, "NORTH KOREA INCURS U.S. PENALTY FOR MISSILE PARTS SALES TO YEMEN," Washington, 08/23/02) reported that the Bush administration has imposed sanctions against the DPRK after concluding that it sold Scud missile components to Yemen before President Bush took office, American officials said today. The timing of the penalties is particularly sensitive given the US' tenuous relations with the DPRK and developments between the DPRK and the ROK. The missile components were sent by Changgwang Sinyong Corporation in the DPRK, the marketing arm for the DPRK's missile export program. The company has been a catalyst for earlier penalties, but in this case it is not their only target. The sanctions, which bar licenses and contracts for high-tech items, also apply to the DPRK government, under an amendment to the Arms Export Control Act sponsored by Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, on nonmarket economies.

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5. DPRK-RF Relations

The Associated Press (Jim Heintz, "NORTH KOREA'S KIM SEES IN RUSSIA WHAT'S ABSENT AT HOME," Vladivostok, 08/23/02) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il capped his second visit to Russia in a year with a long meeting with President Vladimir Putin and a taste of the consumer delights that are in short supply in his hermetic and impoverished country. Putin and Kim talked for about 3 1/2 hours at a government meeting house outside Vladivostok, Russia's main Pacific Coast city. Kim made no comments after the meeting, but as he walked away with Putin he appeared pleased, smiling and spreading his arms wide. The Russian president said little more, giving only a short synopsis of the talks, which he said focused on economic development. In particular, he said the two leaders talked about potential Russian involvement in a proposal to link the rail systems of the ROK and DPRK. Such a linkage would give export-driven ROK an alternative to shipping its goods to Western Europe by sea and would boost Russia's revenues with tariffs for the journey across its sprawling expanse.

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6. ROK US Military Helicopter Crash

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, "SEARCHERS COMB FORESTS FOR MISSING U.S. MILITARY HELICOPTER IN SOUTH KOREA," Seoul, 08/23/02) reported that hundreds of US and ROK soldiers and police searched thick forests in heavy fog Friday for two US pilots of a military helicopter that disappeared during a training flight. The AH-64A Apache helicopter was declared missing early Thursday after taking off from Camp Page, a US military base at Chuncheon, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Seoul. It was heading to Camp Eagle at Wonju, 90 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of the capital. "We will continue our operations, day and night, until we find our air crew and our aircraft," US military spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan said. "The type of terrain we have - dense forest, sheer cliffs and deep ravines and gullies - makes it very difficult to put people on the ground to search. It's a very slow process," he said. The US military identified the missing pilots as 1st Lt. Dustin Shannon, 23, and Chief Warrant Officer James Wallenburg, 40, of B Troop, 1st Battalion, 6th Cavalry Brigade. Their hometowns were not released. "We will do everything we can to locate our two soldiers," said Lt. Gen. Daniel Zanini, commander of the 8th U.S. Army.

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7. ROK Domestic Politics

The Associated Press (Choe Sang-hun, "DEBATE OVER PRESIDENTIAL SUCCESSION STIRS IN SOUTH KOREA," 08/23/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung's nominee for prime minister is already acting the part, giving speeches and attending Cabinet meetings. But critics say his conduct clouds the question of who would succeed Kim if he were incapacitated without an approved deputy. Chang Dae-whan, a former publisher of the Maeil Business Newspaper who was nominated two weeks ago, will act as prime minister until parliament votes on his confirmation next week. The post has been vacant since Lee Han-dong resigned in a Cabinet reshuffle on July 10. Kim has defended the decades-old practice of appointing an acting deputy, saying it ensures government stability. But opposition lawmakers and some analysts say filling in as prime minister is illegal. "As long as this illegal practice goes on, the country could be vulnerable to serious confusion in case the president is incapacitated and there is no consensus on who should take over his duties," said Yoo Jin-shik, a law professor at Kyunghee University in Seoul.

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA'S JUSTICE MINISTER FACES NO-CONFIDENCE MOVE," Seoul, 08/23/02) reported that the ROK's opposition party proposed a no-confidence vote on Justice Minister Kim Jung-kil on Friday, accusing him of orchestrating a prosecution probe into a military draft scandal involving the opposition presidential candidate. The opposition Grand National Party controls 139 seats, three more than a simple majority to pass the no-confidence bill through the 272-member, single-house National Assembly. The Assembly must vote on the bill within three days of its official presentation to the floor scheduled for Wednesday. Otherwise, the bill will be automatically scrapped. The pro-government Millennium Democratic Party, which holds 113 seats, vowed to block the voting, considering the bill a "dangerous and irresponsible political scheme aimed at incapacitating the government," said spokesman Lee Nak-yon.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Engineer to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Young-hwan, Eum Tae-min, "BOAT ENGINEER OF DEFECOTRS SEEKS RETURN TO THE NORTH," Incheon, 08/21/02) reported that the ROK will return the engineer of a fishing boat used by a group of DPRK defectors in their escape from the DPRK, if the man seeks repatriation to DPRK. Lee Gyeong-seong, 33, and 20 other DPRK citizens, mostly members of Sun Yong-beom's family, defected to ROK aboard a small fishing boat, arriving Sunday night. Lee was forced to come to ROK by the Suns, the ROK government said Tuesday. "Mr. Lee was on night duty guarding the boat when the Suns and others were preparing for their exodus with the Saturday dawn," an official said.

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2. DPRK-Russia Relations

Chosun Ilbo ("NK LEADER ARRIVES IN KOMSOMOLSK-ON-AMUR," Vladivotok, 08/21/02) reported that on the second day of his four-day train trip to Russia's Far East early Wednesday, DPRK leader Kim Jong Il arrived in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. In Komsomolsk, Kim is to tour two defense plants including the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association, which produces Sukhoi fighter jets. He will then travel to Khabarovsk on Thursday, where he will tour industrial facilities, namely Dalkhimfarm, the largest pharmaceutical plant in the Russian Far East. Before making his return trip home, the Kim will stop over in Vladivostok early Friday, for an unofficial summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin... to discuss bilateral economic cooperation.

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3. DPRK Criticizing Joint Drill

Joongang Ilbo ("JOINT DRILL THREATENS RECONCILIATION, SAYS N.K. MINISTRY," Seoul, 08/21/02) reported that DPRK continued it's denouncing of the ROK and US conduction of joint military drills. "The U.S. Forces are conducting Ulchi Focus Lens exercise in Korean Peninsula reversing the reconciliation and reunification mood in the region," the DPRK's spokesman to the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Wednesday in his interview with Korean Central News Agency. "It is a serious challenge to the hope and desire of Koreans and the international society." The Ulchi drill is a computer simulation-based war game aimed to exercise, evaluate, and improve crisis action measures. The training will last until next Friday, and be joined by other US units based in Japan and Guam.

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4. North East Asia Economic Forum

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Dong-ho, "AS HUB, KOREA FOUND TO TRAIL JAPAN, CHINA," Seoul, 08/21/02) reported that Tokyo is still the hub city in Northeast Asia, and Shanghai has the biggest growth potential, a survey of 36 multinational corporations found. As for Seoul, volatile labor-management relations is the foremost hurdle preventing it from attracting more investment, along with government passivity and insufficient logistics infrastructure. These are the findings from a joint study by the Northeast Asia Economic Forum, the University of British Columbia and the Korea Transport Institute, which surveyed the chief executive officers of 36 multinationals in North America and Europe in June and July. Of the 36 CEOs, 10 said that Korean labor and management should establish peaceful relations in order to bring in more foreign capital. Six said they would like to see innovation in trade and delivery and a more active investment strategy from the government. Other bars to investing in ROK cited by the multinational chiefs were the Korean way of doing business and the need for strict implementation of laws and regulations.

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5. Family Reunion

The Korea Herald ("RED CROSS SELECTS REUNION CANDIDATES," Seoul, 08/21/02) reported that the ROK National Red Cross (KNRC) said Tuesday that it selected 300 initial candidates for a fifth round of reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War at DPRK's Mount Kumgang next month. The candidates will receive a physical examination before the KNRC draws up a list of 200 to be sent to DPRK so that the DPRK Red Cross can begin locating their long-lost kin. Based on the results of DPRK's efforts to track down the family members, the KNRC will choose the final 100 people lucky enough to travel to the DPRK mountain resort for the reunions, which the two Koreas agreed on during their recent ministerial talks.

III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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1. CanKor Issue #96

Despite numerous ROK reports that a DPRK trade delegation was refused entry into Canada, the group of four was belatedly granted visas and will display their wares at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. In what could be a diplomatic breakthrough, Japanese and DPRK red cross societies issue a joint press release in Pyongyang, confirming that six of the contentious missing Japanese (widely regarded in Japan as "abductees") had been located in the DPRK. After a promising conclusion to the 7th round of ROK-DPRK inter-ministerial talks, 116 North Koreans travel to Seoul for joint celebrations commemorating Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation. US and DPRK military officials meet in Panmunjom to discuss ways to avoid future confrontations, and DPRK Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il leads a group of military, economic, and foreign affairs specialists to Russia. In one of the most dramatic asylum bids yet, 21 DPRK citizens -- including 10 children -- arrive in the ROK aboard a fishing boat. Charging that the group hijacked his vessel, the boat's engineer requests repatriation. "Long live the Dear Leader," he shouts as he crosses the DMZ back to the North. This week's CanKor features an OPINION section with articles by two Canadian columnists, which appeared in the Toronto Sun and the Vancouver Sun.

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International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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Monash Asia Institute,
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Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

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Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
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Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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Clayton, Australia

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