NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, october 10, 2002

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK on SEZ Chief

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA AGREES TO SACK GOVERNOR OF CAPITALIST ENCLAVE," 10/09/02) reported that the DPRK has worked out a compromise with the PRC to sack Chinese-born Dutch businessman Yang Bin from his post of governor of the DPRK's fledgling capitalist enclave. The deal was aimed at defusing a diplomatic row as DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il plans to visit Beijing this year for a summit with PRC President Jiang Zemin, newspapers in Seoul said Wednesday. Yonhap news agency quoted PRC sources as saying that the DPRK may have to select a new governor for its Sinuiju free-trade zone on the border with the PRC. The PRC confirmed Tuesday that Yang, appointed to head the zone, had been placed under house arrest but denied this indicated a rift with the DPRK. "We have been told by relevant departments that Yang Bin and his enterprises in China are suspected of involvement in various illegal activities," PRC foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said. The two allies are currently discussing the next step but Yang could be expelled from the PRC, it said. "The Chinese government considered indicting him for trial, but is now thinking of deporting him in consideration of Sino-North Korea relations and the possible political ramifications indicting him would bring about," an unidentified source was quoted as saying.

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2. PRC-Germany DPRK Asylum Seekers

Reuters ("CHINA SAYS IN TALKS WITH GERMANY OVER ASYLUM SEEKERS," Beijing, 10/09/02) reported that the PRC's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it was negotiating with German diplomats on the fate of three DPRK asylum seekers who entered a German school in Beijing this week. "Yesterday, three unidentified people intruded into the German school in Beijing. The case is still being dealt with now," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told a news conference. The asylum attempt was the third by DPRK citizens in five weeks at the lightly guarded compound housing the school and apartments for German diplomats and one in a string at foreign missions this year. Zhang said cases of DPRK citizens seeking asylum at foreign missions in the PRC would be dealt with according to international and domestic law and in a humanitarian spirit. The PRC has so far let some 120 DPRK defectors who entered foreign missions leave for the ROK despite an agreement with the DPRK to send back escapees. Zhang said security needed to be bolstered at the German school but stopped short of saying whether that responsibility fell to the PRC authorities -- in charge of providing security at diplomatic missions -- or to the school. "As for who is responsible, I think the relevant parties are consulting with each other. The important thing is that efforts should be made to ensure the smooth running of the German school and its classes," she said.

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3. DPRK-Canada Relations

Reuters ("CANADIAN MINISTER TO VISIT NORTH KOREA THIS MONTH," Ottawa, 10/10/02) reported that a junior Canadian foreign minister will make a groundbreaking visit to the DPRK later this month, the first such trip by a member of Prime Minister Jean Chretien's government, officials said on Thursday. David Kilgour, Canada's Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, will be in the DPRK from October 22-26 to officially open a privately-operated Canadian aid project in the famine-struck Asian country. "It's meant to be a very low-key fits in the overall context of normalization (of ties) with North Korea," said one official. Canada established diplomatic ties with the DPRK in February 2001, saying this would help pursue its goals of economic development and trade and promote "Canadian values" such as human rights, democracy and assistance to the poor. Kilgour would raise these topics and talk about nuclear nonproliferation if the chance arose to have discussions with DPRK political figures, the official said. "We assume they will make overtures to meet him but we don't have any (meetings) planned at this time," the official stated.

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4. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse ("TAIWAN PRESIDENT DEMANDS CHINA REMOVE MISSILES," 10/10/02) reported that Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian again demanded the PRC remove "immediately" the 400 missiles it has targeted at Taiwan and renounce the use of force against his country. The renewed call Thursday comes ahead of the Sino-US summit on October 25 between PRC President Ziang Zemin and US President George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas. Last month, on the eve of September 11, Chen insisted the PRC remove the missiles which he said were "terrorizing 23 million people". In his National Day message, Chen also urged the PRC to reopen dialogue with Taiwan through joint negotiations to bring about an easing of tensions between the two long-time rivals. "Our government will continue efforts to push for a normalization of cross-strait ties based on our belief in friendly reconciliation, active cooperation and everlasting peace," Chen said in front of top Taiwanese military and government officials at the presidential office as part of the National Day celebrations. But Chen also reinterated Taiwan's independent existence, saying the Taiwanese people's desire for freedom, democracy and peace "must not be compromised under communist China's continuing military threat and the intimidation aimed at our our country in the international community." "I solmenly urge leaders of the People's Republic of China to remove immediately the 400 missiles deployed across the strait and openly renounce the use of force against Taiwan. Only by reopening cross-strait dialogue through rational negotations can (we) break the confrontation," he said.

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5. PRC-US Relations

The Associated Press ("CHINA'S JIANG VISIT TO UNITED STATES SET FOR OCT. 22-25," Beijing, 10/10/02) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin will visit the US from October 22 to 25, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday, confirming the PRC leader's trip schedule. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue, at a regular briefing, announced the dates but said she had no details about Jiang's itinerary. "This is a big event in China-US bilateral relations, and both sides are working hard to ensure the visit builds trust and understanding and advances constructive cooperative relations between the sides," Zhang said. Among other events, Jiang is expected to visit US President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, during his time in the US. That would be the third meeting between the two men within the last 12 months, following a pair of visits to the PRC by Bush.

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6. Japanese Abduction Homecoming

The Associated Press (Audrey McAvoy, "JAPAN PREPARES HOMECOMING FOR FIVE JAPANESE KIDNAPPED BY NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 10/10/02) carried a story that wrote that it is a homecoming Yuko Hamamoto has awaited for decades. Next week his sister will be coming home to Japan for the first time since she was abducted by DPRK spies nearly a quarter century ago. But it is a homecoming fraught with uncertainty for Hamamoto and the four other families to be reunited with their kin. The visitors will be allowed to stay only a week or two before being taken back to the DPRK and are unable to bring their children, and in one case an US husband, along. According to Japan's government, the DPRK said the survivors themselves wanted to leave their children behind. Japan said it is pushing for another return - with family members - in the future. Foreign Ministry official Hitoshi Tanaka said Japan was prepared to issue Japanese passports to the survivors before they return to the DPRK, which would facilitate future travel.

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7. US Soldiers ROK Sensitivity Training

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-jeong, "MOST U.S. SOLDIERS IN SOUTH KOREA GO OFF-DUTY TO LEARN ABOUT BETTER TIES WITH THEIR ALLY," Seoul, 10/10/02) reported that for the first time in half a century, the US military in the ROK ordered most of its 37,000 troops off-duty Thursday to promote better ties with its host ally. About 32,000 8th US Army soldiers spent the day attending lectures and watching videos about alcohol and drug abuse, road safety, and allegations of prostitution at bars frequented by American military personnel. An army spokeswoman said the stand-down, which followed a series of incidents that triggered ROK resentment toward the US military, did not affect the defense readiness of forces on the divided peninsula. "The peninsula is well-protected," Major Holly Pierce said. All but 10 percent of army soldiers attended the sessions and the remainder will do so on Friday, Pierce said. Navy and Air Force personnel did not take part, and US units at the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas remained on alert. The unprecedented stand-down came after the deaths of two South Korean teenage girls who were run over by a US armored military vehicle in June. Since then, ROK complaints about the conduct of US soldiers have swelled. The army said the educational sessions, titled "New Horizons Day," was to promote better understanding and bolster the US-South Korean alliance. The program will be held every January and July starting next year. The U.S. military said it was using the June 13 incident involving the two teenage girls as an example to teach soldiers ways to avoid such accidents. Kim Pan-tae, an anti-U.S. activist, said such programs would be "meaningless" if the U.S. military fails to implement safety measures on the road. The two US soldiers whose armored vehicle killed the two teenage girls were arraigned last month at a US military court on charges of negligent homicide.

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8. Taiwan Domestic Politics

The Associated Press ("TAIWANESE OPPOSITION LEADER OFFERS TO MEET PRESIDENT TO SEEK A WAY TO START DIALOGUE WITH CHINA," Taipei, 10/10/02) reported that a senior opposition figure Thursday offered to meet the president to help resolve a prolonged stalemate with the PRC that, he said, had dragged down Taiwan's economy. President Chen Shui-bian has repeatedly offered to meet leaders of opposition parties in an attempt to end their boycott of government initiatives. But many have rejected the invitation. On Thursday, James Soong, president of the People First Party, said a meeting was necessary because the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's vague stance toward the PRC has dragged down Taiwan's economy. "Our nation is facing a major crisis," Soong told reporters. "We must have a good talk on the issue of national identity before we can find a way to boost the economy." Huang Chih-fang, spokesman of the presidential office, said Soong's offer is welcome but an agenda for the meeting would have to be worked out. On Thursday, Soong said Chen must "honestly face history and pragmatically look at the future" before he could jump-start the much delayed dialogue with China. Taiwanese business people are eagerly waiting for the sides to discuss ending a half-a-century ban and establishing direct air and shipping links, a step vital to Taiwan's continued economic growth, Soong said.

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Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
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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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