NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, october 23, 2002

I. United States

II. CanKor E-Clipping

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Response to US Nuclear Relations

Korean Central News Agence ("U.S. URGED TO DROP STRONG-ARM POLICY PYONGYANG," KCNA, 10/22/02) carried a short article buried beneath several news items that finally commented for the first time on recent DPRK-US developments. It read: the US ruling quarters are now resorting to highhanded practices and war to retrieve their foreign and domestic policy setbacks. They should stop such criminal attempts and behave themselves, lending an ear to the demand of the world people for peace. Rodong Sinmun today says this in a signed article as regards the strong-arm policy still pursued by the US in the international arena in a bid to dominate the world. Proceeding from the hegemonistic way of thinking based on upperhand in strength, the US arrogantly insists that all other countries should accept its demand and unconditionally carry out what it dictates, whether they like or not. The US strong-arm policy was manifested in what Kelly did while visiting Pyongyang some time ago in the capacity of the US President's special envoy. Kelly made an ultimatum-style notice that the DPRK-US dialogue cannot be expected and the favorably developing inter-Korean relations and DPRK-Japan relations might collapse unless the DPRK clears the US of its "security concerns". Such threatening and highhanded practice of the envoy was a vivid expression of the US imperialists' brigandish and arrogant nature. The full report can be found:

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2. DPRK Nuclear Arms Talks

Reuters (Paul Eckert, "N. KOREA CALLS FOR TALKS ON ARMS; 'TOUGH COUNTERACTION' IS THREATENED IF U.S. WON'T AGREE," Seoul, 10/22/02) reported that the DPRK, facing pressure to scrap a nuclear weapons program, warned the US today that it would take unspecified "tougher counteraction" if the US did not accept talks on the issue. Breaking its silence about the US disclosure last week that the DPRK had acknowledged it was secretly pursuing a uranium-reprocessing program, the DPRK said Washington must "opt for reconciliation and peace." In Moscow, US Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton sought to step up the diplomatic pressure on the DPRK, saying its uranium-enrichment program was "real and dangerous." "I should tell you that our very careful, very deliberate, very prudent assessment of the information we have is enough to convince us that this program is real and dangerous, no matter what the North Koreans say," he said. On Monday, DPRK number two leader, Kim Yong Nam, told ROK's visiting unification minister that the DPRK was ready for dialogue. The US ambassador in Seoul, Thomas C. Hubbard, said today that the US sought to preempt a crisis through diplomacy, but that the DPRK had exhausted its credibility with the secret nuclear program, which violated a previous negotiated settlement. "We have very little basis for trust in North Korea, very little basis for confidence that further dialogue will lead to a solution," he said.

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3. DPRK-ROK Nuclear Relations

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH FAILS TO EXTRACT NUCLEAR PLEDGE FROM NORTH," 10/23/02) and Agence France-Presse ("NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA AGREE ON NUCLEAR DIALOGUE," 10/23/02) reported that the ROK failed to extract a promise from the DPRK that it would scrap its nuclear weapons program following talks in Pyongyang. "South and North Korea will make joint efforts to guarantee peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, and actively cooperate to solve nuclear and all other issues via a means of dialogue," the two sides said in a statement Wednesday. The DPRK rebuffed ROK pressure to include in the statement a pledge that it would abolish its plan to enrich uranium revealed by the US last week. "We hope this agreement will lead to the resolution of the North's nuclear issue," said Park Sun-Sook, spokeswoman for ROK President Kim Dae-Jung. "It is signficant that the North and South have agreed to resolve all issues through dialogue." An ROK spokesman pointed out that this was the first time that the DPRK had addressed the nuclear issue in dialogue with the ROK. "This is the best deal we could get under the circumstances," said spokesman Kim Jong-Ro. "The North Koreans didn't even want to talk about the issue. So in some sense it is encouraging that they did, but not to the extent that we can be fully satisfied." The statement was released after five days of talks between cabinet-level delegations from both sides in Pyongyang.

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-jeong, "NORTH KOREA AGREES TO DIALOGUE TO RESOLVE NUCLEAR FUROR," Seoul, 10/23/02) reported that the DPRK agreed Wednesday to resolve international concerns over its nuclear weapons program through dialogue but gave no indication that it would accept a US demand to scrap it immediately. After marathon talks which ended early Wednesday in Pyongyang, delegates from the two Koreas adopted an eight-point statement in which the DPRK said it will use dialogue to resolve its nuclear issue. "In order to guarantee peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the South and North will actively cooperate in resolving all the issues, including the nuclear issue, through dialogue," said the joint statement. ROK President Kim Dae-jung stressed the importance of dialogue in dealing with the DPRK's nuclear weapons program, saying that military action or economic sanctions could backfire. "All know how horrible war is, and no one wants it," Kim said in a meeting with political leaders. "Economic sanctions would free North Korea from international obligations and help it make nuclear weapons." But the agreement contained no clear-cut DPRK promise to give up its nuclear weapons program and honor its agreements with the US, the ROK, and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, which bar it from developing or possessing nuclear bombs.

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4. DPRK-US Relations

The Washington Post (Mike Allen and Glenn Kessler, "U.S. ALLOWS DELIVERY OF OIL TO NORTH KOREA," 10/23/02) reported that the Bush administration allowed a previously scheduled delivery of heavy fuel oil to the DPRK last week after the DPRK admitted it was violating an arms control agreement by trying to build a nuclear bomb, administration officials said yesterday. The decision not to abort the delivery reflected US restrained reaction to the DPRK confession, a stance that will continue over the next week as President Bush meets with leaders of the PRC, Japan, Russia and the ROK to work out an acceptable way to increase pressure on DPRK leader Kim Jong Il. The White House had vowed to go after Iraq alone if necessary. But a senior administration official told reporters that the US will enlist the cooperation of other powers in the region to try to force the DPRK to destroy its nuclear weapons program. The official said Washington will not formally renounce its 1994 arms agreement with the US, nor cut off oil shipments, without making an effort to "ensure that we are in lockstep with our northeast Asian allies." [This article of the Washington Post appeared in today's edition of the US Department of the Defense's Early Bird news summary.]

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5. RF Response to DPRK Nuclear Weapons Development

The New York Times (Michael Wines, "RUSSIANS, OPENLY SKEPTICAL BEFORE, ARE SILENT AFTER NORTH KOREA BRIEF," Moscow, 10/23/020 reported that US Under Secretary of State John R. Bolton briefed Russian officials for a second day today on US intelligence evidence that the DPRK has an active nuclear weapons program. Russian officials, who indicated on Monday that the initial evidence fell short of proof, were silent after today's presentation. But it was not clear whether that silence signaled continued skepticism or Russian agreement that the program - which the DPRK has admitted to the US - must face united opposition, as the White House has urged. Bolton left Moscow today after talking with Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov about the DPRK, Iran and other issues that are likely to dominate talks this weekend in Mexico between President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Bush. US diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said before that meeting that Russian officials "concur that what North Korea is doing in the uranium enrichment field amounts to a clear violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty" and a brace of other nuclear agreements. But Ivanov had nothing to say today about his meeting with Bolton. [This article from the New York Times appeared in today's edition of the US Department of the Defense's Early Bird news summary.]

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6. PRC-US Relations

Reuters (Andrew Stern, "CHINA PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN OPTIMISTIC ON U.S.," Chicago, 10/23/02) reported that PRC President Jiang Zemin expressed hope for improving relations with the US on Tuesday as he arrived for a meeting with President George W. Bush -- a session likely to produce a show of unity despite hot issues ranging from nuclear arms proliferation to Iraq. "I look forward to my visit with President Bush to exchange views on serious and important subjects ... to help move forward our cooperative relationship," the 76-year-old Jiang said during a toast at a dinner in Chicago attended by political and business leaders. His remarks were short on specifics but he did mention combating transnational crime, promoting global and regional economic growth and "fighting terrorism." Jiang leaves Chicago on Wednesday for Texas ahead of Friday's informal summit at Bush's ranch. Later he will attend an annual meeting of Asia-Pacific economic leaders in Mexico along with the US president. White House officials said Bush would discuss with Jiang the DPRK's newly disclosed nuclear weapons program as well as Iraq and cooperation in the war on terrorism.

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7. ROK and Japan Response to US DPRK Nuclear Stance

Agence France-Presse ("SEOUL DISPUTE US STANCE ON NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR PACT," Tokyo, 10/21/02) reported that the ROK and Japan appeared to be at odds with the US over the DPRK nuclear situation, working to keep afloat an arms control pact pronounced dead by the US. The ROK said on Monday consultations were needed to rescue the so-called 1994 Agreed Framework under which the DPRK vowed to freeze its suspected nuclear weapons program in return for economic and other benefits. Japan has also pledged to keep the pact alive. "Consultations are under way between Seoul and Washington on the issue," a foreign ministry official stated. US officials say US views the 1994 deal as "nullified" following the DPRK's admission it has violated the accord. "As far as we are concerned, it's nullified," Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday. But he stressed that the US would "not take immediate, precipitous" steps. In response to the DPRK's reported admission of its enriched uranium program, the EU said it may review "the entirety of its relations" with the DPRK and its participation in the consortium's multi-billion-dollar project. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi supported the ROK in saying Japan hoped to keep alive the 1994 deal. "As for KEDO my recognition that it is a realistic framework to prevent the North Korean nuclear development has not changed," Koizumi said in parliament. "I hope Japan, the United States and South Korea, through close consultation, will utilise KEDO and bring about a solution." Chang Sun-Sup, South Korea's head delegate to the consortium, said the LWR project faces "the most difficult situation" after about 24 percent of work was now completed. Pyongyang's confession has raised questions about whether the KEDO project should continue. Chang insisted it should. "I hope the KEDO project, which has contributed peace and stability to the Korean peninsula, will continue," he said.

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8. PRC-US Summit

The Associated Press (George Gedda, "NORTH KOREA TO DOMINATE US-CHINA SUMMIT," Washington, 10/23/02) reported that US President George W. Bush and PRC President Jiang Zemin will be searching for common ground when they meet Friday to discuss their shared concerns over the DPRK's determination to acquire nuclear weapons. Since the disclosure of the DPRK's intentions, the US has asserted that the PRC, much like the US, is unalterably opposed to a nuclear armed DPRK. And when the two leaders meet on Friday at the president's ranch in Texas, Bush will be eager to learn just what measures the PRC has in mind to induce the DPRK to meet the PRC's concerns. It is not clear whether Beijing will want to use its economic leverage to pressure Pyongyang. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker reaffirmed on Wednesday the US view that the DPRK "must immediately and visibly dismantle its nuclear program. We seek to resolve our concerns through a peaceful and diplomatic solution."

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9. ROK Calls for DPRK Dialogue

The Associated Press (Lee Soo-Jeong, "AHEAD OF MEETING WITH US LEADER, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR DIALOGUE TO RESOLVE NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR ISSUE," Seoul, 10/23/02) reported that days before meeting with US President George W. Bush, ROK President Kim Dae-jung said Wednesday that dialogue is the best way to resolve the issue of the DPRK's nuclear program and warned that military action or sanctions could backfire. "We all know how horrible war is, and no one wants it," Kim said in a meeting with ROK political leaders. "Economic sanctions would free North Korea from international obligations and help it make nuclear weapons." The ROK president is scheduled to meet Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sidelines of a summit of Asian and Pacific rim countries in Mexico this weekend. The DPRK is expected to dominate the agenda of the three-way meeting. The three allies already have expressed support for dialogue in dealing with the DPRK's nuclear issue but have yet to agree on how to carry it out.

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10. Japan Abduction Issue

The Associated Press ("JAPAN REPORTEDLY ASKS WASHINGTON TO PARDON FORMER U.S. SOLDIER IN NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 10/22/02) reported that Japan has suggested Washington grant a special pardon to a former US soldier believed to have defected to the DPRK in the 1960s so that he can accompany his Japanese wife on future visits here, a local newspaper reported Wednesday. The woman, Hitomi Soga, was kidnapped and taken to the DPRK in 1978. She is currently visiting Japan for the first time since her abduction, and officials are negotiating with the DPRK for her and four other abduction survivors to be allowed to return permanently. The Mainichi, a major daily, said Deputy Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe suggested the pardon of her husband, Charles Robert Jenkins, at a meeting with Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly earlier this week. Kelly replied he would consider the matter, the report said. According to the Mainichi, Japan is concerned that Jenkins' status, and the possibility of his arrest were he to leave the DPRK, could make it impossible for Soga to return. Officials in Tokyo refused to comment on the report, which cited anonymous government sources. The U. Army has sought Jenkins after determining that he had participated in DPRK propaganda broadcasts in the 1960s in which he said he enjoyed life in the DPRK and urged US soldiers in the ROK to desert. Jenkins, now 62, told a Japanese Foreign Ministry official in Pyongyang earlier this month it wouldn't be easy for him to visit Japan with his wife now "given his situation." Jenkins, of Rich Square, North Carolina, is one of four US soldiers who allegedly deserted their army posts in the ROK in the 1960s. Soga and Jenkins, who married in the DPRK in 1980, currently have two daughters in Pyongyang, aged 19 and 17.

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11. DPRK Taekwondo Demonstration Team ROK Arrival

The Associated Press ("NORTH KOREAN TAEKWONDO DEMONSTRATION TEAM ARRIVES IN SOUTH KOREA," Seoul, 10/23/02) reported that a 41-member DPRK taekwondo delegation arrived in the ROK on Wednesday for an exhibition as part of sports exchanges between the ROK and DPRK. The DPRK visitors included 21 players and 20 officials and journalists. They are the first DPRK taekwondoists to visit the ROK. The demonstration is scheduled for Thursday and Friday at a gym at Seoul's Olympic Park. They will return home Saturday. As part of an accord reached in August, the Koreas agreed to exchange taekwondo demonstration teams. An ROK team visited the DPRK in September. Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. The Koreas employ different scoring rules. ROK taekwondo allows only kicks to score, while DPRK players are allowed to use punches as well.

II. CanKor E-Clipping

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1. CanKor Issue #102

Humanitarian agencies working in the DPRK, and a succession of Western nations that have normalized relations with the country have tried to convince DPRK authorities that there are rewards for good behaviour. If only the DPRK would desist from aggressive posturing, open it doors to the rest of the world, reform its economy in line with market principles, and make concrete moves toward peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula, sanctions would be lifted and economic assistance would flow in substantial amounts. What the DPRK has learned instead is that good behaviour rarely makes the headlines, and without headlines the international community loses interest. A week after the World Food Programme raised alarms about the lack of donor response for the North Korean famine, the DPRK confessed to US envoy James A. Kelly that it has maintained a secret programme to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. Two more weeks elapsed before the Bush Administration released this information to the public earlier this week. The announcement certainly got the world's attention. Media response has been immediate and prolific, if somewhat alarmist. While experts and policy makers debate the timing and meaning of this latest revelation, all other news of the Korean peninsula has been sidelined. The entire issue of CanKor this week focuses on the immediate fallout of the new Korean nuclear crisis.

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

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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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