NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, september 24, 2002

I. United States

II. Japan III. Republic of Korea IV. CanKor E-Clipping

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I. United States

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1. Three Gorges Dam

Agence France-Presse ("MORE THAN 100,000 TO LOSE JOBS BY END OF YEAR FOR THREE GORGES DAM," 09/23/02) reported that more than 100,000 people will be laid off by the end of the year as their companies shut down to make way for the Three Gorges Dam, state media said. The workers are from more than 500 technologically backward firms in the dam area, which have been ordered to shut down because of their serious pollution problems and outdated production techniques. Businesses in the Three Gorges region which are losing money or are polluting heavily are being closed, rather than relocated. The government will invest five billion yuan (600 million US dollars) in developing industries in the Three Gorges area in the next few years to create jobs for the jobless as well as the other hundreds of thousands of residents moved to higher ground. Some of the money will go towards developing orange groves and animal husbandry industries in the area, the China Daily said. The aim is to improve the lives of residents who were displaced for the world's largest hydroelectric power project and to develop a sustainable economy in the dam area. At the same time, 80,000 rural residents will be moving into new resettlement townships this year, which will further add to the unemployment problem in the area, the report said. More than one million people are to be relocated to make way for the dam project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2009. The 27-billion-dollar project has come under strong criticism, with experts questioning the need for it and warning of the damaging impact on the environment and archaeological treasures. The government argues the dam is necessary to generate electricity which will be needed as China develops and to prevent flooding along the river.

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2. Philippines-PRC Relations

Reuters ("PHILIPPINES SEEKS EXPLANATION ON CHINA ENVOY'S OUTBURST," Manila, Manila, 09/22/02) reported that the Philippine foreign ministry will ask the PRC's envoy to Manila to present his side after a cabinet minister demanded his expulsion from the country for alleged rudeness, a government official said on Sunday. "We will wait for a formal letter from Secretary Perez then we will ask the ambassador to explain. We have to hear him first before we act. We don't start with conclusions," the official, who declined to be named, told reporters. Justice Secretary Hernando Perez has asked the foreign ministry to declare PRC Ambassador Wang Chungui persona non grata, alleging the envoy had shouted at him and pounded on his table when they met to discuss the release of about 120 PRC fishermen detained for allegedly poaching in Philippine waters. "You cannot just ask a person to be booted out or be declared persona non grata. It would require proof on the accusation," foreign undersecretary Franklin Ebdalin said. The PRC embassy in Manila said in a statement on Saturday the remarks by Perez on the incident the day before were "one-sided and inaccurate." "During their meeting, there emerged some differences between the two sides. We think it quite usual, and regard it as a matter that could be settled through patient discussion," it said. "We wish that this matter would not bring negative impact to the friendly, cooperative relations between the two countries." Perez has said the ambassador lost his temper during their meeting after he told the envoy the fishermen had to enter a guilty plea and pay fines before they could be released. The fishermen are held on the southwestern island of Palawan, just east of the Spratly Islands.

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3. PRC Muslim Uighur Crackdown

Agence France-Presse ("CHINESE POLICE EAGER AND READY TO STEP UP FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM," 09/21/02) reported that the PRC police have vowed to expand a crackdown on Muslim Uighur terrorists in its westernmost Xinjiang region following a UN decision to place the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) on its list of terrorist groups, state press said. "The UN Security Council decision has created a good international environment for our country to attack East Turkestan terrorist forces," the People's Daily on Saturday quoted a leading police official as saying. "We will continue to unmask the terrorists and strengthen the scope of our attack," he added. The PRC had established an emergency command system and rapid-response mechanism made up of a multi-agency task force involving police and the armed forces to attack terrorism at national and local levels, he said. Such efforts were to be further beefed up after the UN Security Council added the ETIM to its list of terrorist organizations on the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, he said. East Turkistan terrorist forces, especially the ETIM, were responsible for heavy civilian casualties in a series of bombings, murders and kidnappings in Xinjiang, the official said. The official further welcomed recent US moves to cooperate with Beijing on the crackdown against the ETIM, especially the US promise to freeze the group's assets in America.

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4. DPRK Japanese Kidnapping Issue

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA READY TO EXPLAIN HOW JAPANESE KIDNAP VICTIMS DIED," 09/23/02) reported that the DPRK is ready to reveal how eight Japanese nationals kidnapped by DPRK agents died. "They are saying they will tell us (the causes of their deaths)," the Tokyo Shimbun quoted an unidentified foreign ministry source as saying Sunday. Relatives of the kidnapping victims have strongly urged the Japanese government to demand the DPRK reveal the truth about the fate of the abductees. DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il admitted that DPRK agents kidnapped Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s during the landmark summit with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Pyongyang last week. Speculation that some of the abductees were executed has grown among relatives of the missing and local media after documents provided by the DPRK showed two of the eight had died on the same day. The DPRK Red Cross in Pyongyang has said it had traced 13 Japanese abductees, although a citizens group has said 60 more Japanese were suspected to have been kidnapped. The Red Cross said eight of them had died and five others were still alive in the DPRK and attributed the causes of death vaguely to "diseases and natural disasters, among other things." Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe has suggested that Japan may demand the DPRK compensate for the abduction. "We want to consider (what action we would take on the abduction), including demanding state compensation in line with international law," Abe told a Sunday television program. The two countries held unofficial meetings in Beijing and Dalian over the weekend to prepare for normalization talks to be resumed sometime next month.

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5. Japan Koizumi Approval Ratings

Agence France-Presse ("SUPPORT FOR KOIZUMI CABINET ROCKETS AFTER PYONGYANG SUMMIT," 09/22/02) reported that public support for the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi shot up 24.0 points to 68.2 percent after his landmark summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il this week, according to a new poll. The cabinet's disapproval rating plummeted 19.6 points to 16.6 percent compared to a similar poll in August, TV Asahi said Sunday of its nationwide telephone poll conducted on Friday and Saturday. While 69.6 percent of the 500 respondents called the summit a success, compared to 12.0 percent who called it a failure, public outrage remained over the issue of the DPRK's admitted abduction of at least 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 80s. According to the poll, 61.0 percent said Koizumi should have pursued the issue further at Tuesday's summit, while 26.4 percent were satisfied with his stand. Another 89.2 percent said they did not believe Kim's assertion that he was not involved in the kidnappings, which he has said was carried out by elements in a "special organ" bent on "blind and heroic" ideals without his knowledge. Only 5.8 percent believed Kim. Most polled however supported Koizumi's decision to restart negotiations toward normalizing diplomatic relations, with 63.8 percent in favor against 19.2 percent opposed. On the most important issue for the DPRK, however, that of potentially billions of dollars in Japanese economic aid, 40.0 percent supported giving economic aid to Pyongyang, while 38.4 percent opposed it.

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6. DPRK Nuclear Inspections

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA AGREES TO NUCLEAR INSPECTIONS: JAPAN PM," 09/20/02) reported that Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said that the DPRK had agreed to international inspections of its nuclear program at the landmark summit between the rival nations. "As for security issues and nuclear suspicion ... North Korea went as far as to say (at the summit) it will abide by international law and accept inspections, including those by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Koizumi said in a speech at a Tokyo hotel hosted by the Research Institute of Japan. And he warned crucial Japanese economic aid was conditional upon the DPRK's compliance. "There will be room for considering economic cooperation after we normalize ties, but it would be difficult for Japan to extend economic aid unless the DPRK clears suspicion over nuclear and security issues," he said, speaking two days after his historic visit to Pyongyang. Koizumi said in a later interview with local media that Kim Jong-Il said that the DPRK will observe international law. He also said the DPRK wants to be recognized as an important country in the global community. "That means North Korea will accept international inspections of nuclear facilities, I believe." If the DPRK lives up to what Koizumi said it promised and accepts IAEA inspections, it will be the first time since October 1994 when it reached an agreement with the United States to do so.

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7. Asian Games DPRK Athletes

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH'S ASIAD TEAM ARRIVES IN SOUTH KOREA," 09/23/02) reported that a group of DPRK athletes have arrived here for the Asian Games, the first time the country has entered in any international sports event in the ROK. A special Air Koryo special carrying 159 athletes arrived at the Gimhae airport north of Busan around noon (0200 GMT). DPRK athletes in red ties and black suits carrying communist national flags walked out of the DPRK plane and waved to dozens of ROK citizens holding "unified Korea" flags. The group is part of the 655-strong delegation the DPRK has promised to send to the Asiad, which will be held in Busan in southern ROK. The games will be the DPRK's first international sporting event in the ROK since their separation in 1945. The DPRK has boycotted the 1986 Seoul Asian Games, 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 2002 World Cup jointly hosted by the ROK and Japan.

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8. Inter-Korean Parliamentary Talks

Agence France-Presse ("POLITICIANS OF TWO KOREAS AGREE TO RESUME PARLIAMENTARY TALKS," 09/21/02) reported that politicians from the DPRK and the ROK have agreed "in principle" to resume inter-Korean parliamentary talks at the earliest possible date following 12 years of hiatus, media pool reports said. The agreement came after an eight-member ROK delegation led by Vice National Assembly Speaker Kim Tai-Shik met with Kim Yong-Nam, President of the Presidium of the DPRK's parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly. It added to the momentum for inter-Korean reconciliation after the two Koreas agreed last month to resume dialogue for the first time in 20 months. "I agree in principle to resume the South-North parliamentary talks," Kim Yong-Nam said in response to a proposal from the ROK. He then suggested both sides discuss details before the ROK lawmakers return home Sunday. He stressed the DPRK's position that it will abide by the June 15 inter-Korean declaration for peace and reconciliation, signed by ROK President Kim Dae-Jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il in 2000. "Since the current inter-Korean talks on various fields are going well, the parliamentary exchange will also be possible," he added. ROK and DPRK members of parliament met 12 times between 1985 and 1990 to discuss changing existing laws and legislating new ones to prop up efforts for inter-Korean exchange and dialogue. But the parliamentary talks broke down when the DPRK unilaterally postponed further working meetings, demanding the abolition of the US-ROK military exercise named "Team Spirit."

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9. DPRK-PRC Capitalism

The Associated Press ("NORTH KOREA APPOINTS CHINESE TO LEAD ITS FIRST MAJOR FORAY INTO CAPITALISM," Pyongyang, 09/23/02) reported that the DPRK on Monday introduced the PRC-born entrepreneur who will head its first major experiment in capitalism - a walled-off region designed to stimulate foreign investment in the insular communist nation. Yang Bin, an orchid exporter and property developer, said the "Sinuiju Special Administrative Region" would demonstrate the DPRK's willingness to foster global trade. "The special zone is totally capitalist. It is separated from the socialism," said Yang, speaking at a news conference held in the capital. Waxing enthusiastic about Northeast Asia's economic potential, he said his appointment as chief executive of the experimental zone by DPRK leaders "shows their willingness to be involved in the international community and international politics." The Presidium of North Korea's legislative Supreme People's Assembly issued a decree September 12 setting up the region. The capitalist corner of the DPRK would encompass 132 square kilometers (50 square miles) near the country's northwestern coast, an hour's train ride from Pyongyang. Sinuiju, a city of 400,000 on the banks of the Yalu River, links the DPRK and the PRC by rail and bridge. It has chemical, metal and food factories, and has often been cited as a potential candidate for a free-trade zone as the DPRK experiments with elements of a market economy. The government intends to remove the zone's current residents and replace them with DPRK citizens from elsewhere, Yang said. He didn't give a reason or details, but said it would take place over the next few years.

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10. Sea of Japan Mapping Issues

Reuters ("SOUTH KOREA PROTESTS MAPPING BODY OVER NAMING OF SEA OF JAPAN," Seoul, 09/23/02) reported that the ROK has filed a complaint against a decision by an international ocean mapping agency that favors Japan's name over the traditional Korean name for the sea between the two Asian neighbors, officials said Monday. For decades, the Monaco-based International Hydrographic Organization has identified the sea between Japan and Korea as the Sea of Japan. The ROK and DPRK have campaigned for the past decade to have it renamed the East Sea. The mapping agency proposed in August that the sea have no officially recognized name, and asked its 69 member countries to vote on whether to drop the Sea of Japan name at the end of November. In a sudden reversal, the mapping agency notified its member countries last week that it was withdrawing its earlier decision to vote on the issue, citing opposition from member countries. The mapping agency said it would come up with a revised proposal by early next year. The ROK dispatched its ambassador to France, Jang Jai-ryong, to Monaco on Friday and protested the cancellation of the vote, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. The ministry did not say how the mapping agency responded to the protest. ROK officials have said that they can accept the combination of two names - "East Sea/Sea of Japan" - as a compromise.

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11. Japan and ROK on DPRK-US Relations

Reuters (Natsuko Waki, "JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA URGE U.S. TO TALK TO PYONGYANG," Copenhagen, 09/22/02) reported that Japan and the ROK urged the US Sunday to join their drive for better contacts with the DPRK. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, fresh from a historic trip to Pyongyang, and ROK President Kim Dae-jung discussed developments on the Korean peninsula ahead of a two-day summit of Asian and European leaders in Copenhagen. "Both sides expressed hope that dialogue between the United States and North Korea be resumed," a Japanese government source told reporters after the two leaders met. "Both sides agreed to continue close collaboration and consultation between the United States, Japan and South Korea in order to bring a relaxation of tensions on the Korean peninsula," the source added. US officials have publicly welcomed the recent moves to engage the DPRK, but hawks in the Bush administration generally oppose lifting the US' two-year freeze on contacts with the DPRK. By contrast, Asian and European Union leaders meeting in the Danish capital are expected in a statement Monday to strongly endorse the efforts to coax the DPRK in from the cold.

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12. PRC World Military Cruise

The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, "CHINA ENDS 1ST WORLD MILITARY CRUISE," 09/23/02) reported that two PRC naval ships returned Monday after completing the PRC's first around-the-world military cruise - a four-month voyage to show off the country's growing military power. Relatives waved bouquets as the guided missile destroyer Qingdao and its support ship tied up at a pier in this eastern PRC port. Sailors and officers in white dress uniforms lined the decks. The ships left May 15 on the voyage that took them to a dozen countries, including the US and Russia, and through the Panama and Suez canals. Rear Adm. Ding Yiping, commander of the PRC's East Sea Fleet and senior officer on the voyage, said it was meant to show off the PRC's "powerful and civilized" navy and outward-looking policies. "We were carrying out an important diplomatic and military task on a trip of peace and friendship," Ding said at a press conference on the pier. "If today's China were still a closed-off, backward country, it would be impossible to undertake this sort of round-the-world cruise." The ships also visited Canada, Singapore, Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru during the 132-day trip. During the welcome ceremony, hundreds of dancers and musicians waved red scarves, twirled batons and danced energetically in costumes depicting lions and dragons - traditional images of good luck.

II. Japan

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1. Japan Nuclear Industry Scandal

The Japan Times ("PLANTS AIM FOR OBJECTIVITY FOLLOWING TEPCO FIASCO," 09/16/02) reported that six of nine nuclear power plant operators said they will strive for greater objectivity in reporting, according to a Kyodo News survey released. The operators said they plan to exclude executives in charge of nuclear power from the review bodies when reviewing in-house inspection reports. All are soon expected to conduct confirmation checks of in-house inspections. None has ever checked the results of in-house inspections from the perspective that there may have been falsified reports.

The Asahi Shimbun ("TEPCO REVEALS COVER-UPS, RESIGNATIONS," 09/18/02) reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) submitted its final report, from the investigation of 29 cases in which staff are suspected of having falsified reports to cover up defects that occurred between 1986 and 2001, to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. TEPCO admitted in the report to 16 cover-ups of defects at its nuclear power plants, for which the company's president said he and the chairman would resign their posts. Chairman Hiroshi Araki and President Nobuya Minami will step down on September 30 and in mid-October, respectively, and become advisers. They are among a total of 35 executives who are being demoted. "TEPCO concludes that the responsibility lies with the nuclear power stations as a whole, and with the nuclear power sections of the head office, and, finally, the top management of these sections," the report said. The report spelled out efforts to prevent similar cases in the future, including the establishment of a Nuclear Quality Auditing Department to monitor nuclear plant operations in October under the direct supervision of the president. TEPCO also plans to set up a Corporate Ethics Committee, an organization made up of outside experts and lawyers, in October.

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2. Japan-RF Relations

Kyodo ("KOIZUMI TO VISIT RUSSIA IN JANUARY," New York, 09/17/02) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and her Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, agreed to arrange for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to visit Russia in January, a Japanese official said. In a meeting held in New York, Kawaguchi and Ivanov also agreed that she and Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko would jointly chair a bilateral forum on trade and economic issues in Moscow on Oct. 14. Kawaguchi told Ivanov the two countries should accelerate efforts to draw up an action plan to promote bilateral ties so the initiative can be adopted during Koizumi's visit, according to the Japanese official. Ivanov reiterated Moscow's support for Koizumi's historic summit in the DPRK and said Russia hopes his meeting with Kim Jong Il will help to improve Japan-DPRK ties. He went on to say Kim is aware of the importance for the DPRK to become a modern country and thinks his country should move toward a market economy. Ivanov also said it is important to support Kim, noting that his ideas may not be endorsed by all the people surrounding him. On Iraq, Kawaguchi and Ivanov agreed the international community must press Iraq to comply with UN resolutions and accept weapons inspections.

III. Republic of Korea

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1. DPRK Special Economic Zone

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Young-jong, "SELF-RULE FOR NORTH ZONE," Seoul, 09/23/02) reported that in an unprecedented transfer of authority away from the central government, the DPRK has given the new special economic zone of Sinuiju near-autonomy. DPRK's Central News Agency reported over the weekend that the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly had adopted legislation setting up legislative, judicial and administrative authorities for the northwestern border city. Pyongyang would retain diplomatic and defense functions covering the city, the report said. The law was adopted on September 12, the same day that Sinuiju was designated as the first such special zone in DPRK since the Rajin-Seonbong on the east coast 10 years ago. It said that DPRK's cabinet, assembly and other central government agencies "will not interfere with the Sinuiju special administrative district project." Still, the district will be entitled to conduct external business under its own mandate and will have the power to issue passports. It will also be represented to the world by its own flag. Referring specifically to "investor climate" and "support for economic activities," the agency reported that equality of those who engage in activities in the district will be guaranteed "regardless of their wealth, degree of knowledge and religion." The rights and obligations that belong to residents of the district will be extended to "foreigners," it said. Only DPRK labor will be used in the area, however.

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2. ROK, Japan Cooperation for US-DPRK Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Chong-hyuk, "KIM, KOIZUMI TO WORK FOR A BETTER CLIMATE IN US-NORTH RELATIONS," Copenhagen, 09/23/02) reported that Kim Dae-jung and Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi vowed Sunday to work toward improving the relationship between DPRK and US. In Copenhagen for the fourth Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, the two leaders met privately and agreed that it was important for the security and peace of the Korean Peninsula and of Northeast Asia for three relationships to improve in parallel: DPRK and ROK, DPRK and Japan and DPRK and US. Mr. Kim and Mr. Koizumi agreed to work together for a speedy realization of dialogue between DPRK and US. There was an exchange of positive assessments between the two on visible changes occurring in DPRK, as witnessed in the Japanese prime minister's visit to Pyeongyang last week. Koizumi laid out for Kim the Japanese government's plan to establish diplomatic ties with DPRK.

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3. US-DPRK Relations

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jin, "PYEONYANG ON U.S. 'ROGUE' LIST, IRAN OFF," Washington, 09/23/02) reported that the DPRK remains a "rogue state" along with Iraq in US administration's book. But Iran, the third constituent of US President George W. Bush's "axis of evil," has been dropped from the annual White House report on national security strategy. The report was released Friday. DPRK has in the past decade "become the world's principal purveyor of ballistic missiles," Bush said in the report, "and has tested increasingly capable missiles while developing its own [weapons of mass destruction] arsenal." Without specific references, Bush said other rogue regimes seek nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. "These states' pursuit of, and global trade in, such weapons has become a looming threat to all nations," he said. The Bush administration declared its willingness to strike preemptively before potential enemies act to threaten the US national security.

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4. Japan's Economic Aid to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Day-young, "NO ASSISTANCE TO NORTH UNTIL SECURITY ISSUES ARE RESOLVED, KOIZUMI SAYS," Tokyo, 09/23/02) reported that Japan tightly tied its economic cooperation with DPRK to security issues Thursday, making it clear that DPRK must come clean about its nuclear program to receive economic assistance.Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he had told the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, that Japan sees difficulty with providing economic cooperation to the DPRK unless doubts about DPRK's nuclear program are resolved. Japan's economic aid to DPRK will be at least $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal estimated Thursday, comparing it to Japan's US$500 million support to ROK in 1965. Koizumi's remarks suggest that Japan will collaborate with US in the course of normalizing its diplomatic ties with DPRK. "When bilateral relations between Japan and DPRK are restored, we will provide economic cooperation," Koizumi said, "but I made clear that no cooperation is available unless nuclear and regional security concerns are resolved."

IV. CanKor E-Clipping

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1. CanKor # 99

The DPRK trade delegation arrives in Toronto a month late, missing the opportunity to attend the Canadian National Exhibition. Instead, it is displaying and selling North Korean products at a local Korean restaurant. The export of DPRK textiles to Canada falls sharply this year. An International Economic Technology and Infrastructure Exhibition attracts European participants in Pyongyang. A DPRK delegation is planning to make its first appearance at the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD) in Moscow. A fifth round of family reunions takes place, following an inter-Korean agreement on a permanent reunion facility at Mt. Kumgang. Amid simultaneous ground- breaking ceremonies, de-mining operations begin on both sides of the DMZ in preparation for the re-connection of roads and railways. Koizumi's landmark summit with Kim Jong II is welcomed by the international community, and Japanese polls indicate an 81% approval rating. On his return, however, a backlash develops over North Korea's admission that its agents had abducted Japanese citizens and the fact that the majority of them are dead. North Korean residents in Japan fear for their security amid death threats. This week's FOCUS examines the emotional aftermath of the summit, including an editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press.

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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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