NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, august 30, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. Japan Prime Minister DPRK Visit

The Associated Press (Hans Greimel, "JAPAN'S PM PLANS NORTH KOREA VISIT," Tokyo, 08/30/02) reported that Japan's prime minister announced Friday he will go to the DPRK next month for an unprecedented meeting with Kim Jong Il. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit would be the first to the DPRK by a Japanese leader and a rare visit by a major head of state. The DPRK welcomed Koizumi's planned visit as "an important occasion." The ROK was optimistic it could push the US and the DPRK closer to dialogue. But analysts warned against high expectations. Koizumi acknowledged that disputes between the countries remain "serious" but said a visit is key to normalizing relations between the two countries. "If the leaders don't talk, we can't move forward even one step," Koizumi said. Planned for September 17, the one-day trip to Pyongyang has a limited scope - laying groundwork for further talks. Koizumi stressed that he had discussed the visit with both Bush and ROK President Kim Dae-jung before making his decision.

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2. US on Koizumi DPRK Visit

Reuters ("U.S. WELCOMES KOIZUMI VISIT TO NORTH KOREA," Washington, 08/30/02) reported that the US welcomed on Friday the announcement that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit the DPRK next month. "We welcome Prime Minister Koizumi's diplomatic efforts to engage North Korea," said a State Department official. Koizumi will meet DPRK leader Kim Jong-il on September 17. "We hope that the prime minister's visit will lead to an early resolution of the important issues between the two countries and contribute to North Korea's becoming a responsible member of the international community," said the US official, who asked not to be named. "The United States and Japan share concerns about broad issues involving North Korea and we look forward to continued close coordination with Tokyo in dealing with them," she said.

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3. DPRK Rail Line Reconnection

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "NORTH KOREA TO RECONNECT RAIL LINE," Seoul, 08/30/02) reported that the DPRK has agreed to reconnect severed road and rail links with the ROK this year in return for food and fertilizer, a joint statement said Friday. The agreement wrapped up three days of inter-Korean economic talks that ended in Seoul on Friday - the latest step toward reconciliation. If plans go smoothly, the first road connection would be completed as early as November and the first railway before year's end. Plans to build a railway and a parallel road across the western sector of the border were originally included in an agreement reached at a historic inter-Korean summit in the summer of 2000. The ROK completed work on its side of the border, but the DPRK stopped construction early last year amid tension with the US.

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4. US on PRC-Israel Arms Deals

Reuters (Carol Giacomo, "CONCERNS IN U.S. ABOUT ISRAEL-CHINA ARMS DEALS," Washington, 08/30/02) reported that the PRC and Russia have faced repeated US sanctions for their arms sales, but a largely unheralded player in what the US considers the troubling proliferation game is Israel, one of the closest US allies. Some experts fear sensitive US technology may show up via Israel in systems sold by the PRC to Iran and the DPRK. "Israel ranks second only to Russia as a weapons system provider to China and as a conduit for sophisticated military technology, followed by France and Germany," according to a recent report by the US-China Security Review Commission, a panel established by Congress to examine security and economic relations between the two countries. "Recent upgrades in target acquisition and fire control, probably provided by Israeli weapons specialists, have enhanced the capabilities of the older guided missile destroyers and frigates" in the Chinese navy's inventory, it said.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter Korean Economic Talks

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "RAILWAY WORK TO NK TO START SEPTEMBER 18," Seoul, 08/30/02) reported that wrapping up a four-day inter-Korean economic cooperation meeting in Seoul officials from ROK and DPRK agreed, Friday, to commence re-linking the Seoul-Shinuiju railway from September 18 for completion by the end of the year. In addition the two will commence construction of a road link in the same area on the same day to be completed by spring 2003. Road (14.2km) and rail (27km) links will also be established on the east coast between Jijin and Onjongni to be finished within one year. A temporary 1.5km road will also be constructed for over ground tourism to Mount Kumgang and family reunions. ROK will supply all the equipment for the construction projects and provide 400,000 tons of rice on deferred credit and 100,000 tons of fertilizer for free. One called for setting up an industrial base in the DPRK city of Kaesong. Also joint efforts will start in November on anti-flood measures along the cross-border Imjin River, including planting trees in denuded areas. The next meeting will take place in Pyongyang from November 6 to 9.

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2. DPRK's Nuclear Weapon

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, "US OFFICIAL SAYS NORTH RISKS LOSING REACTOR PACT," Seoul, 08/30/02) reported that a senior US arms control negotiator warned DPRK on Thursday to comply fully with nuclear inspections or risk losing a 1994 agreement to build nuclear reactors in DPRK. In a speech here to government officials, scholars and businessmen, John Bolton, the US undersecretary of state for arms control, repeated the Bush administration's earlier criticism of DPRK. It is "an evil regime that is armed to the teeth, including with weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles," Bolton said. "If the DPRK fails to do so promptly, the future of the Agreed Framework will be in serious doubt." He noted the US offer of unconditional dialogue with DPRK, repeating that the Bush administration has no intention of invading DPRK.

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3. Trans-Siberian Project of Russia

Joongang Ilbo (Kang Kap-seang, "RUSSIA IN HURRY TO LINK KOREAS TO THE TRANS-SIBERIA RAILWAY," Seoul, 08/30/02) reported that Russia has been leaning toward a final decision to link its Trans-Siberian Railway to the Gyeongui and Cheongnyeon Icheon lines in a railroad project that will eventually connect Europe and the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, an ROK researcher said Thursday. "Sergey Sharapov, the deputy director of Russia's State Technical and Economics Institute for Railway Research and Design, told me about the plan when I visited Russia last month," said Ahn Byong-Min, a research fellow at the Korea Transport Institute. Ahn said Russia plans to link Seoul to Pyeongsan, north of the industrial city Gaeseong, DPRK, via the Gyeongui Line. A number of shorter lines would then link the Gyeongui Line to the east coast. Russia reportedly conducted two site surveys in DPRK last year to assess the feasibility of the plan. The details of the studies were not made public. Russia is reportedly considering forming a consortium with the two Koreas and Japan to raise the money for the project.

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4. DPRK-Japan Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, "KOISUMI TO VISIT PYEONYANG ON SEPTEMBER 17," Seoul, 08/30/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi spoke to DPRK President Kim Dae-jung, Friday, and informed on details of a visit he will make to Pyongyang. Prime Minister Koizumi told President Kim he was making the visit because there was no other way to solve problems than through dialogue with related countries in Northeast Asia. He said he would encourage DPRK to commit to sincere dialogue with Japan, ROK and US. Earlier the Japanese government announced Koizumi would visit DPRK for one day to meet Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader. The meeting was proposed by Japan during talks from August 25 to 26 and DPRK agreed, though no specific topics have been set. However, government spokesman Yasuo Fukuda said the normalization of ties was an historic duty of the government

III. Japan

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1. US Bases in Japan

Kyodo ("OKINAWA ASKS U.S. FORCES TO HALT F-15 FLIGHTS," Naha, 08/23/02) reported that the Okinawa Prefectural Government on August 22 asked the US forces in the prefecture to halt F-15 flights until a probe is completed into a crash on August 21 in which an F-15 crashed into the sea about 100km south of the main island during a training mission off the main island of Okinawa. The pilot was rescued unharmed and no one was hurt. In a written request to the US military and the US Consulate General in Okinawa, the prefecture asked that F-15s be grounded until the investigation into the cause of the accident is completed. "With such repeated occurrences of aircraft-related incidents and accidents, the situation is indeed outrageous. --- We feel a strong distrust toward the way US forces carry out their safety management and also we have to question how the US forces recognize aircraft-related incidents in general," the letter says.

Kyodo ("MILITARY VESSELS TO DOCK IN YOKOHAMA," Yokohama, 08/24/02) reported that the Yokohama Municipal Government said that the US military will begin storing about 30 ships, barges and towboats at a facility at Yokohama port, despite objections by the municipality. The vessels will be stored at the US Army's Yokohama North Dock for about a year, city officials said, adding the first five vessels will be moved to the facility by a military transport ship on August 25. The US military has declined to disclose further details of the transportation or the purpose of the storage, according to the officials. City authorities have objected to the move as it reinforces the function of the military dock and may lead to making the US military base permanent, the officials said. The city has asked the Foreign Ministry to urge the US Army to take all possible measures to ensure safety at the facility and the surrounding area.

Kyodo ("U.S. FORCES TO JOIN OKINAWA DRILLS," Naha, 08/24/02) reported that US military forces stationed in Okinawa Prefecture this week will participate in comprehensive disaster preparedness drills, Okinawa Governor Keiichi Inamine said. It will be the first time for US forces to take part in such drills. During the drills, the US forces will receive telephone and fax reports outlining disaster conditions. They will participate in air traffic control -- making contact with aircraft from the Japan Self Defense Forces (SDF), the Japan Coast Guard and prefectural police -- using Kadena RAPCON, a radar approach control system, at the US Air Force Kadena Base. The US forces will not deploy vehicles or aircraft during the drills, which are expected to feature around 2,000 participants.

Kyodo ("U.S. SERVICEMEN HELD IN OKINAWA," Naha, 08/25/02) reported that Okinawa police said on August 24 they had arrested two US Marines in two separate incidents that took place early in the morning. The police arrested Jay Lock, 22, a lance corporal, at Camp Hansen, at 1:55 a.m. on suspicion of forced entry into a house in the city of Okinawa. He was drunk at the time of his arrest. They also arrested Sergeant Jonathan Brown, 20, around 3:20 a.m. at the Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station for allegedly attempting to steal a car.

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2. US Pacific Force

Kyodo ("U.S. COMMANDER WANTS GUAM MILITARY BUILDUP," Washington, 08/25/02) reported that the commander of the US Pacific Air Force said he is seeking a buildup on the island of Guam amid concerns that the PRC is becoming a growing threat. General William Begert told reporters at the Pentagon that the buildup would be in line with last year's Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The report, which addressed maintaining a stable balance of power in Asia, did not mention the PRC by name but voiced concerns over its military buildup. "I hope what it (the review) means is we'll get some force structure back into Guam -- a US territory in that neighborhood that would be a great source of stability," Begert said. He said he is pushing for a plan to deploy radar-evading F-22 fighters, Boeing 767 tankers and C-17 cargo and troop transports at Guam's Anderson Air Force Base. He said he is also seeking to put bombers and Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance airplanes at the base. But it now serves mainly as a refueling stop.

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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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