NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, september 2, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Russian Federation

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I. United States

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1. US Missile Defense

Reuters (Charles Aldinger, "BUSH URGED TO NARROW MISSILE DEFENSE FOCUS," Washington, 08/03/02) reported that a Pentagon advisory board has recommended that the Bush administration narrow the focus of its missile defense program and concentrate development on two approaches to an anti-missile shield, US officials said on Tuesday. Pentagon officials stated that the Defense Science Board made the preliminary recommendation in a draft report in August, but stressed that the board had not completed an in-depth study of the ballistic missile defense program. They said the panel, following a summer meeting in California, had called for concentrating current efforts in the multibillion dollar program in two areas of maturing technology: -- Land-based interceptors aimed at hitting warheads as they speed through space in mid-course toward a target. -- Warship-based interceptors that would be targeted at missiles in their launch and ascent phases. The officials, who asked not to be identified, confirmed that the board had concluded that enough information was known about the two systems to narrow the choices and perhaps accelerate the overall architecture for a missile defense system. The Bush administration is moving quickly to build a ground-based antimissile "test bed" centered in Alaska that it says could provide a rudimentary bulwark against a limited number of incoming missile warheads by the end of September 2004. In addition to the ground-based antimissile system designed to shoot down incoming warheads as they hurtle through space, the Pentagon is developing ship-based and space-based defenses as well as a modified, laser-firing Boeing 747 airliner. The Defense Department declined comment on the report, noting that the science board was not expected to complete a study of the anti-missile research efforts until next year.

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2. PRC Party Succession

Reuters ("CHINA'S HU OUTLINES TOP ISSUES FOR PARTY CONGRESS," Beijing, 08/03/02) reported that PRC Vice-President Hu Jintao called on Communist Party officials on Monday to back President Jiang Zemin's political vision ahead of a congress at which he is expected to take over from the 76-year-old leader. Diplomats said the speech -- opening the autumn semester at the Central Party School where the PRC's political elite receive mid-career training on the major tenets of Communism -- would be routine at any other time, since Hu is school president. But the event marked Hu's first major speech since the November 8 start of the 16th Party Congress was announced last week. In the speech, reported by the Xinhua news agency, Hu also stressed "Party building;" maintaining stability, fighting corruption, forging ahead with economic development and helping those in poverty -- all familiar planks of the party's agenda in the build-up to the leadership reshuffle. Hu's speech got prominent play as the longest item on the evening television news on Monday, following a daily update on "Three Represents" study sessions throughout the country, and another on an overseas visit by Premier Zhu Rongji. Seated near Hu on the dais at the Party School was Zeng Qinghong, Jiang's protege and a leading candidate for a spot in the country's top decision-making body, the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. Analysts said the speech was designed to show unity amid reports of a power struggle that emerged in secretive talks last month by PRC's leaders at the beachside Beidaihe resort, and rumours that Jiang wanted to retain his post as party boss.

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3. Cross-Straits Relations

Reuters (Alice Hung, "TAIWAN'S CHEN REJECTS CHINA TERMS FOR REUNIFICATION," Taipei, 08/03/02) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian flatly rejected the PRC's terms for reunification on Monday, saying the self-ruled island will never give up its freedom and democracy. Chen, in an address televised from the deck of a warship on the eve of the Armed Forces Day, said the military should know the enemy and fight for the survival of the island. "In short, whoever tries to invade Taiwan, Penghu, Quemoy and Matsu, whoever wants to annihilate the Republic of China is our enemy," Chen said, to using Taiwan's official title and referring to its main islands. Chen did not repeat his comments of last month that holding a referendum was a basic human right and that Taiwan and the PRC were "one country on each side" of the Taiwan Strait.

The China Post ("SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON ARMED FORCES, ECONOMY: PRESIDENT," 08/03/02) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian yesterday said Taiwan's survival depends on its economic development and strong armed forces in the face of threats from the PRC. "Taiwan must stand up, depending on the democratic system, on economic development, and on strong national defense," Chen told the navy on board a frigate recently. Only when Taiwan is standing up can peace and stability be maintained in the Asia-Pacific region, contributing actively to the international community... We must not harbor any fantasies with the Chinese communists, we cannot dwarf ourselves to beg unrealistically for peace," he maintained. Dismissing perennial doubts about the military's allegiance, Chen asserted: "Whoever wants to invade Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, whoever wants to eliminate the Republic of China, is the enemy. This does not allow any ambiguities and doubts."

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4. Northeast Asia Security Forum

Agence France ("KOIZUMI TO PROPOSE SIX-NATION TALKS AT KIM JONG-IL MEETING," 08/02/02) reported that Japan plans to propose creating a six-nation forum to discuss security issues in Northeast Asia when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi meets with DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il this month. The forum would group Japan, DPRK, PRC, Russia, ROK and the US, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Monday. It is not the first time for Japan to propose such a six-way forum: then prime minister Keizo Obuchi floated the idea when he met with ROK President Kim Dae-Jung in October 1998. At the time Japan obtained approval for the idea from all related countries except North Korea, the Nihon Keizai said. The idea was also brought up at talks held between senior Japanese and DPRK officials over the weekend to pave the way for the two nations' first-ever summit on September 17, the economic daily said. The Yomiuri said it was still unclear whether the DPRK would accept the proposal this time.

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5. PRC DPRK Asylum Seekers

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREANS BREAK INTO GERMAN EMBASSY SCHOOL IN CHINA," 08/03/02) reported that fifteen DPRK citizens have broken into a school run by the Germany embassy in Beijing in an apparent attempt to claim asylum, witnesses said. Tuesday's dash for freedom came a day after a dozen others tried to enter another diplomatic compound in the PRC capital. The DPRK asylum seekers climbed over the two-meter (6.6 feet) high wall into the German Embassy School as classes were being held around 3:20 pm (0720 GMT), witnesses said. They were seen sitting on the stairs outside one of the school buildings an hour after the incident as scores of police ringed the school and told journalists to leave. On Monday, 12 DPRK asylum apparently tried to get into the Ecuadorean embassy inside the compound, but were all caught, according to police at the scene.

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6. Japan DPRK Spy Ship Salvage

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN TO SALVAGE SUSPECTED NKOREAN SPY SHIP," 08/03/02) reported that Japan's government expects to raise a suspected DPRK spy ship from the bottom of the East China Sea as early as September 11. Officials said, though, the work to identify the ship would finish after September 17, when Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is scheduled to make a landmark visit to DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il. The announcement prompted media speculation that Japan was delaying the work to avoid clouding the historic summit, a suggestion top Japanese politicians were quick to deny. "We are not taking political considerations into account as part of the salvage operation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said. "The work has been delayed due to several typhoons. To say that (the delay in identifying the ship) was made out of political considerations is clearly wrong," he told a regular press conference. The mystery boat, apparently camouflaged as a fishing vessel and carrying a crew of about 15 people, sank on December 22 with the presumed loss of all on board after a firefight with Japanese coast guard patrol vessels. The salvage work, which started at the end of June, had initially been expected to take a month and finish in late July.

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7. Trilateral Consultation and Oversight Group Meeting

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "U.S., JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA TO DISCUSS NORTH KOREA THIS WEEK," Seoul, 08/03/02) reported that the US, Japan and the ROK will hold a high-level security consultative meeting in Seoul this week to discuss the DPRK, ROK officials said Tuesday. The two-day meeting, scheduled to begin on Friday, comes as the DPRK is moving anew to reach out to the rest of the world, including the US and Japan. It will be attended by US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, Assistant South Korean Foreign Minister Lee Tae-shik and Hitoshi Tanaka, the Japanese Foreign Ministry's chief of Asian affairs, said Kim Euy-taek, a spokesman for the ROK Foreign Ministry. Topics expected to be discussed at this week's talks in Seoul include a Japanese proposal to open a six-party meeting on the Korean peninsula, involving the US, the PRC, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas.

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8. Japan Domestic Politics

The Associated Press ("KOIZUMI'S POPULARITY UP AFTER ANNOUNCEMENT OF NORTH KOREA VISIT, POLL SHOWS," Tokyo, 08/02/02) reported that Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's popularity got a much-needed boost by his announcement last week that he intends to make an unprecedented visit to the DPRK, a poll indicated Tuesday. A weekend survey conducted by the Asahi, a major newspaper, after the Friday announcement found support for Koizumi's Cabinet had jumped 8 points since a similar poll just a week earlier. The Asahi found 51 percent of those polled support the Koizumi administration. The number of those who don't fell 10 points to 32 percent, it said in its morning edition Tuesday. The poll also found hopes are high for Koizumi's visit to the DPRK, scheduled for September 17. Some 53 percent said they expect relations with the DPRK to warm "greatly" or "somewhat."

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9. DPRK Missile Program

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA DEFENDS ITS MISSILE PROGRAM, BERATES WASHINGTON," Seoul, 08/31/02) reported that the ROK said Saturday that it runs its missile program "for a peaceful purpose," condemning Washington's move to impose sanctions against it for allegedly exporting missile parts and technology. "The missile issue of the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea allows no linkage with sanctions," said the DPRK's official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA. The US' "persistent misrepresentation of the DPRK's missile program for a peaceful purpose proves that it does not trust the DPRK and its hostile policy toward the DPRK still remains unchanged," KCNA said. Visiting Seoul on Thursday, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton called the DPRK the world's foremost vendor of missile technology. Bolton said the DPRK has been selling missile parts and technology to "notable rogue state clients such as Syria, Libya and Iran." "Known as a standard-bearer among the notorious hard-line hawks of the Bush administration, Bolton never opens his mouth without making anti-DPRK remarks, bereft of reason," a separate KCNA dispatch quoted a spokesman of the DPRK's Foreign Ministry as saying.

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10. Taiwan Missile Development

The Associated Press ("REPORT: TAIWAN DEVELOPING CRUISE MISSILES," Taipei, 08/01/02) reported that Taiwan is in the final stage of developing a cruise missile aimed at deterring a PRC naval invasion, a newspaper reported Sunday. The "Hsiung Feng 3," or Brave Wind 3, would have a range of 300 kilometers (180 miles) - making it able to reach the PRC's southern and eastern coasts, the Liberty Times quoted unidentified officials as saying. The missile would surpass in both range and speed the Russian-built Sunburn missiles that equip the Sovremenny-class destroyers acquired recently by the PRC, the report said. Taiwan's cruise missile is expected to be mass produced in about two years after more tests, the newspaper said. In earlier tests, the missile showed problems with reliability and stability - but the glitches have been resolved, the report said. The Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report. Taiwan has acquired Harpoon anti-ship missiles from the US in recent years and is also developing similar missiles of its own, as the island would be vulnerable to a naval blockade by the PRC.

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11. Japan DPRK Apology

Reuters (Masayuki Kitano "JAPAN PM PLANS TO APOLOGIZE TO N.KOREA-REPORT," Tokyo, 08/03/02) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi plans to apologize for Japan's 36-year colonisation of the Korean peninsula when he meets DPRK leader Kim Jong-il this month. An apology, along with compensation for Japan's colonial rule between 1910 and 1945, have long been demanded by the DPRK as a condition to progress long-stalled talks on establishment of diplomatic relations. Koizumi is expected to say: "I express sincere remorse and heartfelt apology for considerable damage and pain" caused by Japan. The sources said it was hoped the statement would set the stage for progress on issues dividing the countries, including the issue of 11 Japanese that Japan believes were abducted by the DPRK in the 1970s and 1980s to train spies. Koizumi will be the first Japanese prime minister to visit the DPRK when he travels to Pyongyang on September 17, but he will not be the first to issue a statement of regret about Japan's colonial past. Koizumi's statement would be similar to one made in 1995 by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, the sources said. In 1998, Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi also expressed remorse and an apology in a Japan-ROK joint declaration.

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12. ROK Typhoon Catastrophe

Agence France-Presse "SOUTH KOREA TYPHOON CASUALTIES SOAR, TROOPS MOBILIZED FOR REPAIRS," 08/02/02) reported that tens of thousands of ROK soldiers have been mobilized to mop up towns ravaged by a devastating typhoon that left some 80 people dead or missing, officials said. Typhoon Rusa, the ROK's worst storm in 43 years, destroyed thousands of houses and paralyzed transport in many parts. The government's National Disaster Prevention and Countermeasure Headquarters (NDPCH) said Monday that 47 people were confirmed dead and 33 were officially missing. "We expect a higher death toll, as rescue workers are making desperate attempts to retrive bodies swept away by landslides and floods," an NDPCH official announced. The anti-disaster agency estimated property losses would reach 256 billion won (213 million dollars). The typhoon washed away 202 bridges and severely damaged railways and roads in 174 places, transportation ministry officials said. With thousands of electricity poles ripped up, many households were still without power two days after the typhoon hit the Korean peninsula early Saturday. High waves swept away 126 fishing boats and wrecked mooring facilities in 24 ports, the NDPCH said. About 17,000 houses remained inundated, leaving 27,470 people homeless. Agriculture and forestry ministry officials said 85,000 hectares (210,000 acres) of farmland were ruined, triggering worries about a steep hike in food prices. Thousands of soldiers were mobilized for rescue and repair operations in the eastern port city of Gangneung, which was battered by a record 890 millimeters (35 inches) of rain Friday and Saturday.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK-Japan Relations

People's Daily (Sun Dongmin and Guan Kejiang, "JAPAN ANNOUNCES PM'S VISIT TO DPRK", 08/31/02, P3) reported that Japan announced on August 30 that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit the DPRK on September 17 for talks with its top leader Kim Jong Il. According to the report, this will be the first-ever Japanese prime minister's DPRK visit and be a breakthrough in the two countries' bilateral relations. Koizumi said in the report as "anticipating no settlement of all the issues between the two countries", while "this is the only way to break the ice". Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said that Koizumi is expected to show Japan's basic standpoint on security safeguards in hope of the DPRK response. Besides, issues related to colonial history, missing Japanese nationals, the DPRK nuclear and missile development are expected to be discussed, said the report.

China Daily ("DPRK, JAPAN TO CONSIDER FURTHER TALKS", Pyongyang, 08/27/02, P12) reported that the DPRK and Japan wound up their highest-level talks in two years on August 26, agreeing to consider more talks aimed at normalizing ties but failing to make any real breakthroughs in long-running disputes. The report said that a joint statement was issued after the two-day meeting but no headway was made on key obstacles that have blocked the normalization of ties, including the thorny issue of Japanese citizens that Japan says were abducted by the DPRK in the 1970s and 1980s. According to the report, Japan said it would urge US to open dialogue with the DPRK, as required by the latter, who seeks Japan's help in bettering US ties. The US had said it would wait for the outcome of the talks between Japan and the DPRK before deciding whether to send a delegation to the DPRK, said the report.

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2. PRC Commentary on Japan-DPRK Relations

China Daily (Hu xuan, "JAPAN, DPRK TALKS WELCOMED", 09/02/02, P4) carried a commentary on the upcoming meeting between the top leaders of Japan and the DPRK. The article said that this is the first-ever visit by a Japanese prime minister and must be seen as a breakthrough in the two countries' bilateral relations. The article commented that Koizumi's visit is part of Japan's overall diplomacy and could help Koizumi to win back some of lost domestic support, as the much-concerned issue of missing Japanese nationals is expected to be discussed. It is also in Pyongyang's interests to seek rapprochement with neighboring countries and to obtain a peaceful environment and foreign capital. The article also said that the international community, including the PRC, Russia and the ROK, has expressed their approval of the Japan-DPRK reconciliation, although it may be too early to expect any breakthroughs.

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3. Japan-US Relations

China Daily (Tokyo, 08/29/02, P11) reported briefly in one sentence that Japanese Vice-Foreign Minister Yukio Takeuchi and visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage agreed on August 28 to keep close contact over the US possible military strike against Iraq, reported by Japan's Kyodo News.

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4.PRC-US Relations

People's Daily ("CHINA APPRECIATES US DECISION TO PUT ETIM ON TERROR LIST", Beijing, 08/28/02, P4) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on August 27 that the PRC appreciates the US decision to put the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) on its list of terrorist organizations. Kong said the US has officially informed the PRC about the decision, which visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage revealed on August 26. It reported that Kong said that the PRC and the US share extensive common interests in the field of anti-terrorism and the PRC is ready to make joint efforts, enhance mutual consultation and deepen bilateral co-operation with the US in the fight against terror. ETIM and other East Turkistan organizations have joined international terrorist forces to create violent terrorist incidents inside and outside of the PRC for a long time, posing severe threats to regional security and stability, said Kong in the report. According to the report, there is evidence connecting East Turkistan organizations with international terrorist forces.

China Daily ("HU, ARMITAGE DISCUSS RELATIONS", 08/27/02, P1) reported that PRC Vice-President Hu Jintao told US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on August 26 that President Jiang Zemin's upcoming visit to US is significant for the further development of constructive and co-operative Sino-US ties. The report said that Armitage was in Beijing to hold consultations with PRC Vice-Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. In talks with Armitage, Hu praised the co-operation between the two countries and said they share extensive common interests, despite differences. He also urges US to adhere to the one-China policy and the principles set forth in the three Sino-US joint communiques. According to Armitage in the report, US attaches importance to Jiang's visit and is ready to make full preparations along with the Chinese side. PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told Armitage that China welcomed the US decision to put "East Turkistan" separatists on the list of terrorist organizations, said the report.

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5. US-DPRK Relations

People's Daily (Zhang Li, "US URGES DPRK TO ACCEPT ATOMIC INSPECTIONS", Seoul, 08/30/02, P3) reported that visiting US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton iterated on August 29 that the DPRK should accept IAEA inspectors as soon as possible in accordance with the 1994 Agreed Framework that was signed between US and the DPRK in Geneva.

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6. Russian Military Policy

People's Daily ("RUSSIA TO REEQUIP Navy, Moscow, 08/27/02, P3) reported that Russian president Putin said on August 26 that Russian government is working on a plan to re-equip navy. Putin said that Russian government has all along paid much attention to the issue of navy construction and development. Last year a marine strategy that spanned until 2020 has been made, as well as a plan made to build new style warships. According to the report, Putin stressed that the Pacific Armada is an important safeguard to Russia's far-east interests and even to its interests in the whole Pacific Region.

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7. DPRK-ROK Relations

China Daily ("KOREAN DIALOGUE DELAYED", Seoul, 08/30/02, P12) reported that negotiators from the DPRK and ROK struggled to find a way to breach the Demilitarized Zone by rebuilding rail and road links cut for half a century but the talks were delayed on August 29. The delay happened while officials tried to narrow differences that were bound to include when the DPRK's military will agree to talk about how to rebuild transport links in the border zone safely. The report said that delegates from both sides were working behind the scenes to narrow the gap. Seoul is keen to complete the reconnection ahead of a presidential election in December but the government faces pressure to ensure any advance in talks with the DPRK to hold military talks on how to safely link rail lines and roads through the border. "The key is whether the North would accept our proposal and agree to hold military talks to ensure the process", said an official from Seoul in the report.

People's Daily (Zhang Li, "DPRK ROK PREPARING FOR BUILDING PERMANENT REUNION CENTER", 08/30/02, P3) reported that DPRK Red Cross Chairman Jang Jae-on notified ROK in a telephone message on August 29 of the DPRK delegation candidate lists to the fourth Red Cross talks, and "acknowledge" the ROK position that the fourth inter-Korean Red Cross talks should agree on ways to fundamentally and institutionally deal with separated family issues, including the setup of a reunion center. The report said that DPRK delegation would have five members, with Jang Jae-on as the chief negotiator. The ROK has informed DPRK of its list of Red Cross talks delegates on August 24, whose chief negotiator is Suh Yong-hoon. The two sides exchanged the candidate lists of the reunions of the separated family members on the same day, said the report.

III. Russian Federation

Russian Federation

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1. RF-DPRK Summit and RF-PRC Relations

Nezavisimaya Gazeta's Georgiy Bulychyov and Aleksandr Vorontsov ("NORTH KOREAN CARD PLAYING," Moscow, 6, 08/26/02) commented on RF-DPRK summit in RF Far East. In their opinion, DPRK is successfully playing on contradictions between RF, USA and PRC. In particular he tries to demonstrate to PRC that it has got "a Russian alternative," and RF seems to be eager to assist DPRK in that. RF in its turn got an opportunity to play a middleman between DPRK and USA, Japan and even ROK.

Sovetskaya Rossiya's Vasiliy Safronchuk ("MANEUVERS AROUND THE AXIS OF EVIL," Moscow, 1, 08/27/02) commented on RF-DPRK summit in Vladivostok and the fact that mainly economic cooperation issues were discussed that, although RF corporations are interested in economic projects, they should not be too eager about capitalist-style reforms in DPRK and opportunities to make money there. DPRK is much more inclined to replicate some reforms of PRC or Vietnam, rather than those of RF. Also the author argued that the importance of RF Premier Mikhail Kasyanov's visit should not be exaggerated PRC is not yet ready to open the road to WTO for RF and puts some demands concerning economic relations.

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2. DPRK-Japan Relations

Izvestia's Vasiliy Golovnin ("LOANS, NOT REPARATIONS," Moscow, 7, 08/27/02) reported that DPRK and Japanese representatives who met for the first time in three years made a joint statement after their meeting in DPRK. They agreed to continue negotiations with the aim of establishment of diplomatic relations. Still Japan is ready to provide loans and other assistance to DPRK, but would not agree to use the term "reparations".

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