NAPSNet Daily Report
thursday, november 14, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Nuclear Issue

Reuters (Eric Hall, "NORTH KOREA WON'T GIVE GROUND IN NUCLEAR FLAP," Hong Kong, 11/13/02) reported that the DPRK said on Wednesday it would not make the first move to defuse a dispute over its nuclear weapons program, and insisted Washington sign a non-aggression pact first. Consul General Ri To Sop, North Korea's top diplomat in Hong Kong, also told Reuters that any move to halt crucial shipments of oil to Pyongyang would be considered a hostile act. He did not elaborate. "We want the United States to legally guarantee a non-aggression treaty, then our side is ready to address the U.S. security concerns," Ri said in an interview. His statement was a strong reassertion of the DPRK's position ahead of a key meeting on the oil shipments issue on Thursday between the US, the ROK, Japan, and the European Union. At the meeting in New York, the US will try to halt essential oil exports to North Korea for its admission that it still had an active nuclear weapons program, in abrogation of a 1994 agreement. Asked whether the DPRK would withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty if oil shipments were stopped, Ri said: "I cannot give you an exact answer but I can say this is another hostile act... the neighboring countries are talking about not stopping."

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2. ROK on DPRK Oil Shipments

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA HOPED US OIL SHIPMENTS TO NORTH KOREA WILL CONTINUE UNTIL AT LEAST JANUARY," Seoul, 11/12/02) reported that the ROK believes the US should continue oil shipments to the DPRK until at least January despite US accusations that the communist nation is violating a nuclear disarmament deal. The ROK statement came one day before a New York meeting by an international group to discuss a possible suspension of US oil shipments to the DPRK. The measure would be a penalty for the DPRK's recent revelation to US officials that it was enriching uranium as part of a nuclear weapons program. "While the United States believes that some measures must be taken against North Korea, our position is that US oil shipments should at least be made until January," Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun said Wednesday at a forum in Seoul. The ROK and Japan have expressed concerns that halting oil deliveries could give the DPRK an excuse to revive an earlier, plutonium-based nuclear program. The United States has been providing 500,000 metric tons of heavy oil to the DPRK annually under a 1994 deal with the DPRK.

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3. DPRK on DPRK-US Relations

Korean Central News Agency ("US MOVES TO ESCALATE TENSIONS ON KOREAN PENINSULA FLAILED IN S KOREA," Pyongyang, 11/12/02) carried an article that read "The reunification solidarity for the implementation of the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration and peace on the Korean Peninsula reportedly called a press conference in Seoul on November 9 denouncing the U.S. for escalating the tensions on the Korean Peninsula under the pretext of the north's nuclear issue. A statement released at the conference said that if one calculated that the U.S. would drop its plan for a preemptive nuclear attack on the north, failing to see through the U.S. unilateral policy of strength, this would be a dangerous way of thinking that might plunge the Korean Peninsula into a scourge of a nuclear war. It continued: We hope for the true denuclearization, peace and security of the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework should be observed. The U.S. should drop its policy to isolate and stifle the DPRK. We call for the DPRK-U.S. political negotiations."

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4. PRC Domestic Politics

The New York Times (Erik Eckholm, "CHINA'S PARTY TALKS NEAR END AND JIANG LOOKS SET TO STEP DOWN," Beijing, 11/13/02) and the Agence France-Presse ("CHINA CONGRESS TAKES FIRST STEP IN LEADERSHIP CHANGEOVER," 11/14/02) and Reuters ("CHINA'S JIANG TO RETIRE AS COMMUNIST PARTY CHIEF," Beijing, 11/13/02) reported that the PRC marked the first major step in a generational change of leaders when a new elite Communist Party committee was provisionally elected without President Jiang Zemin and other elderly bosses. Jiang, 76, was among six of the PRC's current seven top leaders not returned in an initial vote for the party's new Central Committee, to which all leaders must belong. "Those six people are not on the new Central Committee list. They were not on the candidates' list," said one delegate from an eastern province, who asked not to be named. The departing leaders, also including Premier Zhu Rongji and party number two Li Peng, both 74, form virtually all the PRC's currently seven-member top ruling body, the party's Politburo Standing Committee. Hu Jintao has been widely expected to take over as party head at the end of the Congress on Thursday, and then as president at the annual meeting of PRC's parliament next spring, when other leaders would also give up their state positions.

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5. Cross-Straits Direct Transport Links

Reuters ("CHINA URGES HASTE IN DIRECT TRANSPORT LINKS WITH TAIWAN," Bejing, 11/14/02) reported that the PRC's foreign trade minister urged Taiwan on Wednesday to start the ball rolling on opening direct air and shipping links with the mainland. Shi Guangsheng also warned of unspecified "serious political trouble" if the PRC's diplomatic allies entered into free trade agreements with Taiwan. "Let's not talk about it anymore. Let's do it," Shi told a news conference on the sidelines of 16th Congress of the Communist Party, referring to direct trade, transport and communication links. "It's a domestic issue, a cross-strait issue. Let it be done on a non-governmental and business level. It should be free from any political interference," he said. The PRC and Taiwan are split over whether direct flights should be considered domestic or international and whether talks should be official or non-governmental. Last week, PRC president and party chief, Jiang Zemin, called for the two sides to put aside their differences and return to the negotiating table. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has called repeatedly for direct links with the PRC, but has dragged his feet for fear of Taiwan becoming an economic hostage to the PRC.

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6. Taiwan Military Developments

The Agence France-Presse ("CHINA STEPPING UP OPERATIONS EAST OF TAIWAN: TAIWAN DEFENSE CHIEF," 11/13/02) reported that Taiwan has stepped up air and naval patrols off the east of the island amid reports that the PRC is increasing its military operations there, Taiwan's defense minister said. "The defense ministry has ordered the air force and navy to increase their patrols as part of our efforts to keep a close eye on the area," defense minister Tang Yao-ming told the parliament. But he said Taiwan would not be able to check PRC operations if it does not buy Kidd-class destroyers from the US. "The navy's combat capability would be boosted fivefold once it is joined by the fleet of Kidd-class destroyers," Tang said. The parliament's defense committee last month approved the budget for four second-hand Kidd-class destroyers from the US, with the arms sale pending the parliament's final approval. The 9,600-tonne destroyers would be armed with Standard II-3A surface-to-air missiles, which have a range of 144 kilometers (90 miles) and vastly outperform Standard I missiles currently installed on Taiwan's Perry-class frigates. Tang's directive came barely a week after a 2,894-tonne PRC spy ship was found operating off Lanyu, a scenic islet off the eastern Taitung county, in the second such incident in a month. The vessel was chased away by the navy and coastguard. Military analysts believed the Xiangyanghong No. 14 had been collecting military-related information about Taiwan. In May the same ship sailed into territory claimed by Taiwan some 25 nautical miles off Chiupeng base, where most of Taiwan's missile tests have been conducted. Taiwan was carrying out its biggest military exercises of the year at the time.

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7. PRC on Taiwan Economic relations

The Associated Press ("CHINA WARNS COUNTRIES AGAINS FORMAL TRADE TIES WITH TAIWAN," Beijing, 11/13/02) reported that the PRF warned other countries Wednesday that they could face "political trouble" if they seek official trade relations with rival Taiwan, even as Beijing tried to reassure Asian neighbors that they have nothing to fear from China's growing economic might. "China is totally against any country having diplomatic relations with China to develop official relationships with Taiwan," said Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng. "Otherwise, it will create political trouble for that country." Shi, speaking at a news conference, appeared to be reacting to a recommendation by a US Senate committee last month that the US start free-trade talks with Taiwan.

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8. PRC-US Talks

The Associated Press (Nicky De Blois, "US ENVOY WINDS UP TALKS IN CHINA," Beijing, 11/13/02) reported that a US envoy said Wednesday he had a "very good exchange of views" with PRC diplomats during talks that he hinted included how to deal with Iraq and create a unified approach to the DPRK's nuclear-weapons program. US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly concluded a day of meetings with the PRC government as a stand-in for his boss, Secretary of State Colin Powell, who canceled an Asia trip after the UN Security Council vote on Iraq. "No negotiations - just a very good exchange of views," Kelly said at Beijing's Capital Airport, where US Ambassador Clark T. Randt saw him off. Asked whether he discussed the issue of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, Kelly said, "We had very good talks. We discussed all the issues." Powell had been scheduled to make the trip but canceled because the Iraq issue was coming to a head in the United Nations after weeks of debate, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. He said Powell wants to coordinate Iraq policy with other countries.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Informal Ministerial Conference for Democracy

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Young-sae, "DEMOCRACIES DENOUNCE 'GRAVE THREAT' OF TERROR," Seoul, 11/13/02) reported that reflecting the constraint of being an informal gathering of diplomats rather than a decision-making body, the participants at the Second Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies carefully worded their statements to reflect that they were calls for action, not commitments to make the world a better place to live. Closing their conference Tuesday, the participants strongly condemned terrorism as "a grave threat to democratic societies and the values they embrace." In adopting the Seoul Plan of Action, the delegates agreed that strong actions may be needed, such as suspending aid to states that support terrorism. The statement on terrorism recognized a need for a comprehensive set of actions. The delegates pledged to cooperate in building strong democratic institutions through policies that promote sustainable social and economic development and alleviate poverty. The seven-point action plan also calls for regional cooperation, education for democracy, good governance, the rule of law, volunteerism and assistance for young democracies. The next ministerial conference of the Community of Democracies will be held in Chile in the first quarter of 2005.

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2. DPRK Oil Supply

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Young-sae, "FUTURE OIL TO NORTH HELD UNCERTAIN," Seoul, 11/13/02) reported that while ROK and Japan continued to cast civilian energy aid to DPRK as the best available bait to lure it away from nuclear weapons, other members of the multinational consortium that is providing fuel and building power plants for DPRK were painting a darker prospect for the projects Tuesday. Japanese media reported that Assistant US Secretary of State James Kelly told lawmakers in Tokyo that the US administration will have difficulty in asking Congress for money to supply oil to DPRK next year. The Kyodo News Agency quoted unnamed sources close to US-Japan diplomacy. Kyodo also reported a recent resolution by the European Union member countries urging a complete review of the energy aid project. The EU is the other executive board member of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization. It voted late last month to delay approval of next year's provision of about 20 million euros ($20 million). ROK delegation to the KEDO executive board meeting is in New York for talks beginning Thursday.

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3. Opposition Party's Tough Stance to DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Sang-il, "GNP SLAMS NORTH, CALLS FOR BUREAUCRATIC REFORM," Seoul, 11/13/02) reported that the Grand National Party vowed Tuesday to halt financial assistance to DPRK until its nuclear weapons program is dismantled in a verifiable manner. In a pamphlet outlining 200 campaign pledges by the party's candidate, Lee Hoi-chang, the party said that it would base its DPRK policy on "public consensus," adding that while it would be willing to continue to talk with DPRK, the issue of nuclear and other mass weapons there would be the key to any further financial help. The party platform also said, "We will streamline operations of government offices overseeing the economy in particular. They are now scattered between the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the Financial Supervisory Service and the Financial Supervisory Commission. We will restructure the financial oversight system to make it work more efficiently." A senior party source said, "In order to monitor the soundness of financial institutions, we are considering a plan to merge the Financial Supervisory Service and the Financial Supervisory Commission."

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4. ROK Ratification of the Kyoto Pact

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, "KOREA SENDS RATIFICATION OF THE KYOTO PACT ON UN," Seoul, 11/12/02) reported that ROK government said Monday that it has handed in the instrument of ratification for the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol was approved by the National Assembly last month. Under the framework, which links greenhouse gas emissions and economic development, ROK is required between 2008 and 2012 to draw up and regularly update "national and regional programs containing measures to mitigate climate change and measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change." ROK is not among the 38 developed countries that agreed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, relative to the levels emitted in 1990 by at least 5 percent. The Foreign Ministry expects that ROK will likely be obligated to make reductions between 2013 and 2017. Since 1998, ROK government commission led by the prime minister has been working on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emission here.

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5. Cooperational Efforts for Democaracy

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Young-sae, "DEMOCRACIES CALL FOR ACTION ON POVERTY," Seoul, 11/12/02) reported that an informal gathering of democracies from around the world began two days of discussions Monday at the COEX Convention Center. The conference builds on the inaugural meeting held two years ago in Warsaw. With the theme, "Investing for Peace and Prosperity," the meeting has brought more than 1,000 delegates from 112 countries and international organizations from around the world, including nearly 40 cabinet-level representatives. Roundtable groups took up four topics: democratic institutions, regional cooperation, the media and democracy and assistance for democracy. Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said at a nongovernment forum on democracy held separately in Seoul that sound financial and business practices are almost always found in democracies. Newborn democracies were represented in the Seoul conference. East Timor's president, Xanana Gusmao, attended as a special guest and the foreign minister of Afghanistan is present as an observer. The conference closes Tuesday by adopting a Seoul Plan of Action and possibly a statement against terrorism.

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6. ROK-Russia Military Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo ("SEOUL, MOSCOW VOW MILITARY COOPERATION," Seoul, 11/12/02) reported that ROK and Russia have signed a treaty on military cooperation, the Ministry of National Defense said Monday. The pact was signed by ROK's Defense Minister Lee Jun and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov in Moscow. It calls for measures to prevent dangerous maneuvers in military exercises. The two countries would exchange communication at set frequencies if military equipment or weapons accidentally entered the other's territorial waters or air space. The two countries will cooperate against terrorism and on dealing with DPRK's nuclear program, the defense ministry said. They will also work to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction on the Korean Peninsula.

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7. US Tough Stance on DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Ju Yong-jung, "US TOUGHENS STANCE ON OIL SHIPMENT," Washington, 11/12/02) reported that appearing on ABC, Sunday, White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said DPRK should know things are not going to be the same after violating an international agreement, regarding the fuel oil shipment to DPRK. Rice went on to hint that shipments might be stopped in the near future. As to whether to return the 42,500 tons of the latest oil shipment currently at sea, she avoided a straight answer by saying that this was being discussed with allies and alliances. Rice said the Bush administration would have discussions with KEDO executive board nations and Asian nations to come up with a strategy to deal with DPRK's serious violation of an international agreement. At the same time, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told CNN US has no plans to attack DPRK. Secretary Powell said ROK, Japan, PRC and Russia had joined in a multilateral strategy to pressure DPRK, adding Pyongyang was aware it could not solve its economic problems as long as it continued nuclear weapons development using enriched uranium.

III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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1. CanKor #105

The DPRK threatens to end its moratorium on missile testing if normalization talks with Japan "get prolonged without making any progress." A series of agreements on railroad construction, the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and other cross-border economic cooperation are reached at the third inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Meeting in Pyongyang, despite the fact that South Korea warned of consequences regarding the nuclear issue. An oil tanker leaves for DPRK to deliver 40,000 tons of heavy oil, while diplomats debate whether or not to continue the deliveries promised by the 1994 Agreed Framework. Returning from a four-day visit to Pyongyang, former US Ambassador to Seoul Donald Gregg says in Seoul that the DPRK seems open to "simultaneous steps" with the USA to resolve mutual security concerns. November 22 is the release date of "Die Another Day," the 20th James Bond episode, in which 007 will battle a North Korean nemesis. MGM hit a snag when the Korean actor cast for the part turned it down for political reasons. This week's FOCUS, "Depiction of DPRK in recent films," reproduces a letter in which In-Pyon Cha explains his reasons for doing so. It also examines two recent South Korean films whose production style has garnered international attention. "Joint Security Area" is a murder mystery set in the demilitarized zone. "Shiri" is a spy thriller in which the villains are not who they seem to be.

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