NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, september 6, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan

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I. United States

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1. US Freedom of Information

Reuters (Alan Elsner, "BUSH EXPANDS GOVERNMENT SECRECY, AROUSES CRITICS," Washington, 09/03/02) carried an analytical article that wrote as part of its "war on terrorism," the Bush administration has vastly expanded government secrecy, removing information from the public domain, limiting its disclosures to Congress and allowing law enforcement agencies to operate in the shadows. Its policies are beginning to stir growing criticism from the courts, Congress and even from some conservatives. "For whatever reason, this administration has gone way way too far in its pursuit of secrecy in some particularly worrying ways," said Mark Tapscott, head of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation. Administration officials, from the president down, have justified their policy on the needs of fighting terrorism. "We can't have leaks of classified information. It's not in our nation's interest," Bush said last October. But the policy goes beyond classified information. A March 19 memorandum from White House Chief of Staff Andy Card urged government agencies to more aggressively protect "sensitive but unclassified" information. "This administration is the most secretive of our lifetime, even more secretive than the Nixon administration. They don't believe the American people or Congress have any right to information," said last week Larry Klayman, chairman of Judicial Watch, a conservative group that is suing the administration to force it to reveal the members of the energy task force. Gary Bass of OMB Watch, a private group which monitors government spending and legislation, said the change represented a dramatic reversal of decades of open government. "We are moving from a right to know to a need to know society," Bass said.

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2. DPRK-ROK Red Cross Talks

The Associated Press (Yoo Jae-suk, "SOUTH AND NORTH KOREA BEGIN RED CROSS TALKS," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that the ROK's Red Cross chief arrived in the DPRK on Friday for an unprecedented meeting with his DPRK counterpart to discuss building a permanent meeting place for reunions of families separated more than 50 years ago. Suh Young-hoon, accompanied by four negotiators, arrived at the Mount Kumgang resort where he was to hold talks with the DPRK's Red Cross chief Chang Jae On, officials said. "In these first-ever talks between South-North Red Cross chiefs, we will try to find a fundamental resolution to the separated family issue," Suh said before departing for the three-days of talks. "There is a consensus between the South and the North on the need for a permanent meeting place," he said. "We must now refrain from one-time reunions. More people should be able to meet more often at a certain meeting place."

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3. ROK Presidential Health

Reuters (Martin Nesirky, "S.KOREA'S KIM SAYS HE'S FIT; ECONOMY AND NORTH KEY," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung brushed aside recent health concerns on Friday, vowing to devote the last six months of his presidency to economic reforms and his core project of improving long-blighted ties with the DPRK. At a lunch with foreign correspondents at his Blue House presidential compound, Kim also said that the Bush administration had yet to sound out the ROK on a potential US strike on Iraq and that the biggest misfortune of his life was an influence-peddling scandal that landed two of his sons in jail. "You can see I have no health problems at all," he said in a question-and-answer session after the meal. "This room is kind of hot. My room was kind of hot and I turned on my air conditioner and that's how I got my cold," he said, referring to his illness last month. He also had a spell in hospital with fatigue in May. "It developed into pneumonia. For an aged person like myself that could be quite risky. But my doctors were very good and based on their comments I am 100 percent healthy."

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4. ROK on DPRK-Japan Relations

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT FORESEES SUCCESS OF KOIZUMI'S VISIT TO NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung said Friday he believes that the upcoming visit to the DPRK by Japan's prime minister will spur a breakthrough in turbulent relations between the two countries. In a luncheon meeting with foreign reporters, Kim hinted that he had played a role in arranging Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's historic one-day visit to the DPRK on September 17. "I actively support Prime Minister Koizumi's visit and anticipate that it will make a breakthrough in diplomatic relations between the two countries," Kim said. Kim said he believes that Koizumi's trip to North Korea and meeting with leader Kim Jong Il will break the stalemate in relations between the two countries. "I don't think North Korea has invited the prime minister and arranged his visit only to send him back without any successful results," he said.

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5. US-Japan-ROK Security Talks

Reuters (Paul Shin, "U.S., JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA OPEN HIGH-LEVEL SECURITY TALKS," Seoul, 09/05/02) reported that the US, Japan, and the ROK opened two days of talks in Seoul on Friday to coordinate their policies toward the DPRK. "The meeting is part of routine, periodic contacts between the three countries to discuss North Korea," said Shim Yun-jo, a director-general in charge of North American affairs at the ROK Foreign Ministry. Shim said the three allies planned to hold bilateral talks between themselves before meeting together on Saturday. The ROK, he said, planned to explain the recently revived inter-Korean dialogue. Japan, he said, was expected to explain a planned visit to the DPRK by its prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi. Attending the meeting were US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, Assistant ROK Foreign Minister Lee Tae-shik and Hitoshi Tanaka, the Japanese Foreign Ministry's chief of Asian affairs.

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6. US-Taiwan Missile Sales

Reuters ("U.S. AGENCY APPROVES TAIWAN'S SHOPPING LIST FOR MISSILES, OTHER WEAPONS," Taipei, 09/06/02) reported that a US agency has approved the sale of 17.8 billion Taiwan dollars (US$520 million) worth of weapons to Taiwan, a package that includes 631 missiles for helicopters and jets. The agency endorsed Taiwan's proposed purchase of the missiles and other equipment, saying the arms "will not affect the basic military balance in the region." But the agency added that the sale has not been completed. The agency said that the proposed package also included: _449 Hellfire II air-to-surface missiles for Super Cobra and OH-58D helicopters. The primary supplier of the missiles and related equipment - worth about 2.05 billion Taiwan dollars (US$ 60 million) - would be Lockheed Martin Electronics and Missiles of Orlando, Florida.

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7. US-Egypt Missile Sales

Reuters ("US MOVES TO SELL EGYPT MISSILES, RADAR, AIRCRAFT," Washington, 09/05/02) reported that the Bush Administration said it planned to sell Egypt up to US$315 million worth of anti-tank missiles and radar sets along with helicopters and aircraft that could be used to ferry top commanders. In notices to Congress dated Wednesday but released on Thursday, the Pentagon said the proposed sales would boost the security of a friendly country that continued to be "an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East." Egypt is seeking 459 Lockheed Martin Corp. Hellfire II air-to-ground anti-armor missiles plus high-mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles valued at up to $122 million if all options are exercised, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said. Congress has 30 days to review the proposals; no foreign military sale formally presented by the Defense Department has ever been rejected by US lawmakers.

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8. PRC Aids Crisis

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, "CHINA: YEAR END AIDS CASES AT 1M," Beijing, 09/06/02) reported that

Fri Sep 6, 1:32 PM ET By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer BEIJING (AP) - The number of people in the PRC infected with the AIDS virus will soar to 1 million this year, but the rate of new infections seems to be falling, a Health Ministry official said Friday. The announcement was the highest estimate given yet by the PRC government, which activists and foreign health experts accuse of failing to do enough to combat the epidemic. The number of infected people in the PRC jumped 58 percent from 2000 to 2001, but the rate of increase this year dropped to 16.7 percent, said Qi Xiaoqiu, director general of the ministry's Department of Disease Control. Previous estimates put the PRC's population with the virus at 850,000 at the end of last year, though health officials say they have confirmed only 30,736 cases in the PRC's 1.3 billion people. Qi gave no explanation for the reported fall in the rate of new infections.

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9. PRC DPRK Asylum Seekers

Reuters (John Ruwitch, "CHINA PROCESSING N.KOREAN ASYLUM SEEKERS-DIPLOMATS," Beijing, 09/06/02) reported that thirty six DPRK defectors who sneaked into a German school and the ROK consulate in Beijing may get their wish to go to Seoul in the next few days once checks and paperwork are complete, diplomats said on Friday. PRC police are checking the records of 21 North Koreans asylum seekers holed up in Seoul's consulate, the final step before they were allowed to leave the country. The paperwork for the departure of a group of 15 DPRK citizens who scrambled over the wall of the German compound was being processed following a Sino-German agreement announced on Thursday on how to deal with them, a second diplomat said. Some of the asylum seekers, the latest in a string of DPRK asylum seekers who have fled their impoverished homeland and sought asylum in foreign diplomatic compounds in the PRC, may leave for the ROK via a third country next week, they said. "The police are now checking, verifying them. Basically, I know that when the Chinese police finish, they can leave for Seoul," one of the diplomats said of the group in the ROK consulate. "I cannot tell when they will leave, but we expect soon, very soon," he said.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter Korean Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "DIVIDED KIN WATCH, WAIT," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that Red Cross officials from the ROK and the DPRK will meet Friday to discuss measures for a better solution to the problems faced by families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The three-day meeting will take place at DPRK's Mount Kumgang resort. The delegations will try to resolve longstanding issues, even though there is no immediate hope for permanent reunification of divided Korean family members. One high priority for ROK's delegation is to open a permanent meeting place to allow temporary meetings of divided kin on an ongoing basis. The ROK Red Cross and the government want to open such a meeting point at Mount Kumgang before the end of this year. Liaison officers exchanged the final lists of 100 candidates from each side for this month's reunion at the truce village of Panmunjeom Thursday. The schedule for this reunion, the fifth, is also on the meeting agenda. In other intra-Korean news, the Unification Ministry said Thursday it will supply 200.6 billion won ($167 million) in rice and fertilizer aid to DPRK. The aid package includes 400,000 tons of rice and 100,000 tons of fertilizer.

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2. DPRK's Ship to Japan

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Day-young, "A NEW 'MYSTERY SHIP' FLAP WILL NOT SCUTTLE MEETING IN PYEONGYANG, JAPAN SAYS," Tokyo, 09/06/02) reported that an unidentified ship resembling a DPRK spy vessel appeared near Japanese waters on Wednesday, stirring new concern before the first meeting of heads of the two countries. Japan will urge DPRK to stop spy operations in Japanese waters, the Japanese Jiji Press reported Thursday, at the September 17 meeting in Pyongyang between Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. A 36-meter, 100-ton ship was spotted at about 4 p.m. Wednesday in waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, about 400 kilometers from Japan's Noto Peninsula near the nation's exclusive economic zone, the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reported. It was quoting a spokesman of the Japanese Coast Guard. The Japanese Defense Agency dispatched a destroyer and an antisubmarine aircraft immediately after the sighting; 15 patrol boats were also sent to the area. Japanese media, however, said Korean writing was spotted on the hull of the unidentified ship. Digital photos taken by the Japanese aircraft reportedly showed insignia that suggested it was a DPRK craft, the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

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3. ROK Food Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("OVER $150 MILLION WORTH-FOOD AID FIXED FOR THE NORTH," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that ROK government will hold special meeting this Saturday to finalize terms for food aid and other humanitarian exchanges with DPRK. The Inter-Korean Exchange Cooperation Promotion Committee meeting which will be presided by Unification Minster Jeong Se-hyun will first conclude on 400,000 metric tons of food aid on loans and other following cost for transportation and monitoring process that adds up to 167.6 billion won. That added with cost for 100,000 metric tons of fertilizer (33 billion won) from Red Cross plus separate expenditures for transportation and personnel cost and other arrangements for the fifth family meeting (800 million won) slated for next Friday added up to around $154 million. The PRC announced Thursday it would supply DPRK with 20,000 tons of diesel fuel for free.

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4. DPRK-Japan Relations

Joongang Ilbo ("BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR N.K.-JAPAN SUMMIT LAID OUT," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that Japan's Asahi Shimbun reported Friday that a basic outline for the DPRK-Japan joint declaration to be presented at the end of the summit meeting has emerged. The document will reportedly cover Japan's apology for its 36 year-long colonization of Korea based on the statement made in 1995 by former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama; mutual dropping of claims on assets from colonial times by resolving them through economic cooperation; and DPRK's maintenance of missile moratorium. Hindering factors remain, the paper added. On issues of DPRK's alleged abduction of Japanese citizens, although the two countries agreed to tackle the matter in a humanitarian way, there is disagreement on the exact timetable for implementation. Also, DPRK is still vehemently denying charges of sending unauthorized ships -- presumably for spying or smuggling -- to Japanese waters despite the mounting evidence. The paper said it would be a miracle if the two sides actually reached a compromise any time soon.

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5. DPRK Defectors in PRC

Joongang Ilbo ("CHINA INDICATES PUNISHMENT FOR 7 DEFECTORS THAT SOUGHT REFUGEE STATUS," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry hinted Thursday that it would penalize the seven DPRK defectors that attempted to make way into the ministry building last Monday in demand of refugee status. "Their actions posed a serious threat to the Chinese law of assembly and demonstration," said Kong Quan, the Foreign Ministry spokesman at the daily press briefing. "We will not let such violation take place ever again." The seven defectors will likely face temporary prison terms in PRC for now, said observers. The same day Germany and PRC agreed to send 16 DPRK defectors to ROK via third country, revealed German sources. The defectors managed to run into German Embassy compound based in Beijing on Tuesday. The defectors spent three days within German school operated by the embassy with sufficient supplies of sheets, food, water and other basic necessities.

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6. Japan's Economic Compensation to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo ("JAPANESE AID NOT WITHOUT CONDITION," Seoul, 09/06/02) reported that the Japanese government decided to extend economic assistance to DPRK under the strict condition that the resources would not be diverted for military purposes, Japanese government sources said Friday. The sources added the decision is part of Japan's efforts to resolve bilateral issues as the DPRK-Japan summit meeting slated for Sept. 17 nears. Japan reportedly hopes the funds, provided as a form of contribution to DPRK's economy, make up some part of DPRK's demand for an apology for colonizing Korea in the first half of the 20th century and related compensations for the damage. Instead of directly compensating DPRK for past "atrocities," Japan intends to provide economic aid and thoroughly monitor the process of how it is being used, explained the sources. The US and ROK have expressed their concerns over DPRK's possible misuse of Japanese funds. The experts also point out the need to come up with a comprehensive package to cover the issues concerning DPRK's deadly weapons before any forms of economic support.

III. Japan

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1. Japan Nuclear Industry Scandal

The Asahi Shimbun ("TEPCO EXECS LINKED TO COVER-UP AS 100 INVESTIGATED FROM WITHIN," 09/02/02) reported that the scandal embroiling Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) likely involves up to 100 employees, including senior executives, according to sources close to public and in-house investigations. Thirty of about 100 TEPCO officials suspected of involvement had been questioned in an in-house company probe as of this weekend, sources said. They are believed to include former heads of the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants and the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata, as well as senior officials of the nuclear power headquarters at head office. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, meanwhile, will start a three-day on-the-spot probe at TEPCO's three nuclear power plants in Fukushima and Niigata prefectures for evidence of false reports.

The Asahi Shimbun ("TEPCO HEADS TO ROLL; INSPECTIONS START," 09/03/02) reported that the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) president and chairman said Monday they will resign over a long series of cover-ups that has forced emergency inspections of cracks around the company's nuclear reactors. President Nobuya Minami, 66, will step down in mid-October while Chairman Hiroshi Araki, 71, will resign at the end of this month. Minami on Monday did not attempt to defend the company's long-running system of faking repair reports about faulty equipment in three TEPCO nuclear plants. "There is no room for excuses. I suspect there was a lack of communication among workers of our company and departments behind the cover-up," Minami told a news conference in Tokyo. Tsunehisa Katsumata, 62, a vice president, will likely take over Minami's post. TEPCO also said it plans to shut down the potentially faulty reactors from this week to late October for emergency checks involving government inspectors. They are the Unit 4 reactor at the Fukushima First Nuclear Power Station, as well as Units 2, 3 and 4 at the Fukushima Second Nuclear Power Station. The company has already said it would shut down the Unit 1 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station in Niigata Prefecture. These five reactors are among the eight reactors in need of thorough inspection.

The Japan Times ("HIRANUMA SORRY FOR DELAY IN PROBE OF TEPCO SCANDAL," 09/04/02) reported that Takeo Hiranuma, the minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry apologized Tuesday for the government's failure to quickly announce the results of its probe into Tokyo Electric Power Co., which is suspected of falsifying damage reports on its nuclear power plants. "Taking two years (for the government investigation) is too long in light of common sense. It should have been done more swiftly," Hiranuma said in a news conference. The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency began looking into allegations of false reporting in July 2000, but TEPCO's refusal to admit to the cover-ups until last month prevented the agency from disclosing the results until last Thursday.

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2. JCO Lawsuit

Kyodo ("JCO EXECS FACE UP TO FOUR YEARS," Mito, 09/03/02) reported that prosecutors sought prison terms of up to four years for six officials of JCO Co. in connection with the nation's worst nuclear accident, which left two people dead and exposed 600 others to radiation. The accident occurred at a JCO uranium processing facility in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture on September 30, 1999. The six officials are charged with negligence resulting in death, while the firm is charged with violating the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law. It is the first time criminal liability for an atomic accident has been contested in court. The prosecutors' demands came in their closing arguments before the Mito District Court. "The accident greatly shocked local residents, and had great impact as it damaged the public's trust in the safety of the nuclear energy industry," prosecutors said in a statement. Prosecutors have demanded a four-year prison term and a 500,000 fine for Kenzo Koshijima, who was head of the uranium processing plant at the time, and shorter sentences are being sought for the other five. They also demanded that the firm pay a 1 million fine. The defense lawyers, while owning up to the charges, maintain that the state bears some responsibility for the accident. They said examinations of the plant by the then Science and Technology Agency were flawed and that Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp., now known as Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute, made unreasonable demands that put undue pressure on the firm.

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3. Japan-US Relations

The Japan Times (Sayuri Daimon, "U.S. EMBASSY IN TOKYO TO HOLD SEPT. 11 CEREMONY, PLANT MAPLE," 09/03/02) reported that the US Embassy in Tokyo will hold a memorial candlelight gathering on the first anniversary of September 11 terrorist attacks to express its appreciation for Japan's warm response immediately after the attacks, the US government sources said recently. A candlelight service will be held at 9:46 p.m. exactly a year from when the first airliner crashed into the World Trade Center in New York outside the embassy in remembrance of those who died in the attacks and their next of kin.

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4. Koizumi's Visit to the Earth Summit

The Daily Yomiuri ("Human resources essential," 09/04/02) reported that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday pledged that Japan would help developing nations nurture human resources in their fight against poverty and the degradation of natural resources at a plenary session of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The plenary session of more than 100 heads of state and heads of governments started on Monday morning with an opening address by South African Prime Minister Thabo Mbeki, who is the president of the summit. "The key to achieving sustainable development is people," Koizumi said. "Although Japan is not rich with natural resources, the country attained its present status based on human resources," he said. Koizumi, who arrived South Africa this morning, also delivered the government's plan of educating a total of 5,000 people over five years in developing nations in areas concerning environmental protection. Koizumi also mentioned Japan's past industrial pollution problems, urging developing countries not to follow the country's "dark experience." "This is what the developed countries can do for achieving sustainable development," Koizumi said.

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International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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Monash Asia Institute,
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Brandon Yu:
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Timothy L. Savage:
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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:
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