NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, november 18, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Can-Kor E-Clipping

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Nuclear Weapons

The Associated Press (Paul Shin, "NORTH KOREA MEDIA RETRACTS EARLIER REPORT ON WHETHER THE COUNTRY HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS," Seoul, 11/18/02) and Reuters (Paul Eckert, "NORTH KOREA REVISES CONFUSING NUCLEAR REPORT," Seoul, 11/18/02) reported that the DPRK on Monday retracted a controversial weekend radio broadcast that confused and alarmed its neighbors by appearing to confirm for the first time the reclusive communist state has nuclear weapons. The rare DPRK amendment followed its threat to restart missile tests -- highlighting another of the world's worries about the isolated country and its crumbling economy. On Sunday, the official Pyongyang Radio caused confusion with a statement that appeared to declare that the DPRK had nuclear arms -- a development that would sharply raise the stakes in allied efforts to pre-empt a Korean peninsula nuclear crisis. But on Monday, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) stated that the DPRK believed it was "entitled" to have nuclear arms. The initial statement said the country "has come to have nuclear and other strong military weapons to deal with increased nuclear threats by the US imperialists. To safeguard our sovereignty and right to exist we are entitled to have powerful military countermeasures, including nuclear weapons."

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2. US on KEDO HOF Suspension

Washington File ("BUSH BACKS KEDO SUSPENSION OF FUEL OIL TO NORTH KOREA," 11/15/02) President Bush welcomed the strong statement by the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) on the need for North Korea to eliminate its nuclear weapons program and the organization's decision to suspend further shipment of fuel oil to North Korea beginning in December. In a statement released November 15, Bush said the DPRK's pursuit of a nuclear weapons program undermines regional and international security and the international nonproliferation regime. "North Korea's clear violation of its international commitments will not be ignored," he said. "The United States hopes for a different future with North Korea," the President said. "As I made clear during my visit to South Korea in February, the United States has no intention of invading North Korea. This remains the case today. The United States seeks friendship with the people of North Korea."

The full text of President Bush's statement can be found here:

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3. DPRK Missile Testing

The Associated Press ("NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO END MISSILE MORATORIUM," Seoul, 11/18/02) and Reuters ("N KOREA ISSUES NEW MISSILE-TEST THREAT TO JAPAN," Tokyo, 11/18/02) reported that the DPRK kept up its recent threats to resume missile tests Monday, saying it may end its test moratorium if Japan goes ahead with developing a missile defense shield with the US. The official Rodong Sinmun criticized recent comments by the Japanese defense minister suggesting that Japan step up its joint research with Washington on the missile defense system, saying they undermine efforts to improve the bilateral ties. "By doing so, he seeks to torpedo the process of improving the abnormal DPRK-Japan relations and push the situation to confrontation," the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted the paper as saying. "This also prompts the DPRK to take a corresponding measure as it is a new dangerous move to attack and stifle the DPRK by force of arms," the paper added. The latest threat follows a DPRK radio broadcast on Sunday seeming to confirm that the DPRK has nuclear weapons, but which experts said was probably misinterpreted.

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4. ROK Presidential Politics

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "3 VYING TO BE SOUTH KOREA'S PRESIDENT DIFFER OVER US TIES," Seoul, 11/17/02) reorted that the top candidates in the presidential election next month have talked little about their policies. When they do drop the mask of reticence, however, wide differences emerge on the foreign policy issues that will define the nation, including South Korea's alliance with the United States. One of the three leading candidates is the scion of the family that built the Hyundai industrial empire. Another is a pro-labor lawyer, former legislator and cabinet member from the president's party. The third, the acknowledged front-runner for the December 19 election, is a conservative former prime minister and former chief justice. The chief opposition leader, and the leader in the main opinion polls, Lee Hoi Chang, favors a sharply harder line toward the DPRK and close coordination with the US. His two rivals favor continued dialogue with the DPRK and express reservations, even flashes of resentment, toward US policy in the region. Lee, who narrowly lost to Kim five years ago, has been a consistent critic of the government's efforts to broaden political and economic ties with the DPRK by doling out financial aid.

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5. PRC Domestic Politics

The New York Times (Joseph Kahn, "OFFICIALLY, JIANG IS HISTORY; IN NEWS, HE'S STILL ON TOP," Beijing, 11/17/02) reported that Jiang Zemin may have formally retired from his most important position, chief of the PRC's Communist Party, but the state media apparatus he has controlled for 13 years continued this weekend to portray him as the country's paramount leader. Today's People's Daily featured photographs of Jiang and Hu Jintao the top of its front page, both wearing dark suits and red ties. Lower down, the newspaper, printed Jiang's photo first, followed by photos of Hu and the eight people who along with Hu make up the new Politburo Standing Committee. "Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and other leading comrades warmly greet delegates to the Party Congress and give speeches," said the newspaper's headline, printed in bright red. After the closing this week of the 16th Party Congress, the occasion for the most thorough change in the leadership lineup in a generation, the front-page photo lineup is meant to establish political gospel. "There is no question that we are intended to conclude that Jiang Zemin will remain at the core of the new leadership," said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, a senior researcher at the French Center for Research on Contemporary China in Hong Kong. "The question is whether this is for a brief transitional period or for some number of years."

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6. PRC on US Taiwan Defense Bills

The Associated Press ("CHINA DENOUNCES TAIWAN-RELATED PROVISIONS IN US DEFENSE BILL," Beijing, 11/17/02) reported that the PRC is expressing its opposition to a defense bill passed by the US Congress, saying its provisions on Taiwan "wantonly interfere in China's internal affairs." Kong Quan, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, said suggestions that the U.S. military would conduct joint programs with Taiwan's was a violation of principles set forth in three communiques that guide relations between Beijing and Washington. "We therefore express our resolute opposition," Kong said, quoted Saturday by the official Xinhua News Agency.

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7. US Missile Defense

Reuters (Dominic Evans, "US SAYS DECISION TIME LOOMS FOR MISSILE DEFENSE," London, 11/18/02) reported the US warned its allies on Monday time was running out for them to "climb on board" its plans for a missile defense shield. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said the US was talking with NATO and individual US allies about its proposed protective umbrella, which it hopes will thwart missile attack from rogue states, and was impatient to get started. "It is no longer a question of whether missile defense will be implemented," he told a conference on missile defense at London's Royal United Services Institute. "The question is what, how and when. The train is about to pull out of the station. We invite our friends and climb on board," Bolton said.

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8. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Issue

The Associated Press ("RUSSIA EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER NORTH KOREA'S 'CONTRADICTORY' CLAIMS ON NUCLEAR ARMS," Moscow, 11/18/02) reported that Russia expressed serious concern Monday over what it called "contradictory" statements from the DPRK about its right to maintain nuclear weapons and urged a US-led energy consortium to reconsider its decision to cut off fuel shipments to the isolated country. The Foreign Ministry statement followed a report Sunday on the DPRK's state-run radio that they have nuclear weapons. "Russia expects the friendly Korean leadership to strictly observe all North Korea's regulations and obligations on the cornerstone Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which is a guarantee not only of global strategic stability but of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula," the ministry said in a statement. At the same time, it urged the United States not to cut off fuel shipments. "The Russian side expects other interested sides, including the participants in the 1994 agreement, to show restraint and continue to fulfill the international obligations they took on," the ministry said.

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9. ROK-US Accidental Death Incident

Associated Press (Soo-Jeong Lee, "COURT MARTIAL OF US SOLDIER ACCUSED OF NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE OPENS IN SOUTH KOREA," Dongducheon, 11/18/02) reported that the court martial of a US soldier accused of negligent homicide in the road deaths of two ROK girls opened Monday at a U.S. military base. Outside, about 100 anti-US protesters burned a US flag and hurled eggs over the fence. Sgt. Fernando Nino faces up to six years in a US prison if convicted in a case that triggered an outcry in the ROK, which hosts 37,000 US soldiers but does not have jurisdiction over them if they are accused of crimes while on duty. Nino's hometown was not released at his request. Once a verdict is delivered, another soldier, Sgt. Mark Walker of Acworth, Georgia, will go on trial on the same charge. Each trial is expected to last three days. Both men, who belong to the 2nd US Infantry Division, were on a training mission near the border with the DPRK on June 13, when their armored vehicle struck two 14-year-old girls, Shim Mi-son and Shin Hyo-sun. Sgt. Patrick Jones, a gunner in a Bradley fighting vehicle nearby when the girls were hit, told the court that he thought Nino and Walker were at fault. He said he saw vehicle commander Nino smiling down at Walker, the driver, just before the accident. "Drivers need to pay attention on the road all the time," Jones said. "We screamed at the top of our lungs" for Nino and Walker to stop, said Maj. William Rivett, the Bradley commander. He said he also tried to signal the men with his arm. "If I could see them, I expected they could see me," he said. He said Nino's eyes "went wider" after the accident, and he seemed "very surprised." Second Pvt. Kyle Roush, a witness in another U.S. military vehicle who saw the girls shortly before they died, told the court that the victims were walking with their heads down and their fingers in their ears, presumably to block out the din of military traffic. Roush said there was room for the girls to step to the side of the road to avoid the vehicle that killed them.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. No Attack aginst DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, "NO INTERTION TO ATTACK NORTH, US REITERATES," Seoul, 11/18/02) reported that US restated its intention to address the DPRK nuclear program through diplomacy, reiterating earlier statements that it will not seek resolution through military action. The announcement amounts to the US's response to DPRK's demand for a bilateral nonaggression pact. "As I made clear during my visit to South Korea in February, the United States has no intention of invading North Korea. This remains the case today," US President George W. Bush said Friday in a statement a day after the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization decided to suspend shipment of fuel oil to DPRK, beginning next month. Suspension of oil deliveries is the first direct coercive action against DPRK. ROK welcomed the statement, but DPRK was unhappy.

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2. Inter-Korean Railway

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Min-seok, "CITING UN REQUEST, NORTH STOPS DEMINING IN DMZ," Seoul, 11/18/02) reported that the DPRK stopped clearing mines from the Demilitarized Zone between the ROK and the DPRK on November 6, stalling for the time being the reconnection of inter-Korean rail and road links, a source from the National Defense Ministry said Sunday. ROK has responded by stopping its own demining, he added, contradicting a ministry spokesman's assurance Wednesday that the mine removal was continuing. The work stopped over a procedural dispute between DPRK and UN Command, which monitors the Korean War armistice. The command, citing the armistice accord, asked for a list of officials who would cross the military demarcation line to verify the completion of the mine removal. DPRK declined, insisting that it would handle the matter with ROK directly. DPRK's Railroad Ministry complained Saturday that the UN Command was hindering the project by demanding the list.

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3. DPRK's Boat Crossing the Border Line

Joongang Ilbo ("NORTH'S BOAT CROSSES LINE CHASING CHINESE," Seoul, 11/18/02) reported that a DPRK Navy patrol boat violated the inter-Korean sea border Saturday, the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The border violation is the first since the deadly June 29 naval skirmish between the ROK and the DPRK. According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the DPRK boat crossed the Northern Limit Line of the Yellow Sea at 11:55 a.m. Saturday. The boat sailed about 2 kilometers into ROK territorial waters 7.5 kilometers off Baek-nyeong Island. The ship returned to DPRK waters after 13 minutes. The boat reportedly was chasing PRC fishing boats operating illegally in the DPRK zone at the time. The South Korean Navy quickly dispatched six boats to the maritime border. The Joint Chiefs of Staff concluded that the violation was accidental.

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4. US Soldiers Trial

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, "2 GIS ARE SET FOR TRIALS IN GIRL'S DEATH," Seoul, 11/18/02) reported that the courts-martial of two American servicemen charged in the accidental deaths of two South Korean girls in June are scheduled to begin Monday. Sergeant Fernando Nino and Sergeant Mark Walker, both from the engineering battalion of the 2d Infantry Division of the 8th U.S. Army, will be tried at Camp Casey in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi province. The two are each charged with two counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of Sim Mi-son and Shin Hyo-sun. An armored vehicle driven by the two American soldiers ran over the two girls during an exercise in Yangju, Gyeonggi province. "Consistent with the U.S. tradition of public trials, the courts-martial will be open to the public," the 8th U.S. Army Public Affairs Office said. "Access to view the courts-martial will be made available to the parents of the two victims, Republic of Korea governmental officials, local government officials and members of the media who have been granted access."

III. People's Republic of China

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1. PRC Foreign Policy

China Daily (Meng Yan, "NATION WELCOMES IRAQI DECISION: KONG COMMENTS ON KELLY VISIT, JAPAN ATTACHE," 11/15/02, P1) reported that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan spoke on PRC foreign policy at a regular press briefing on November 14. When asked to comment on the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly to Beijing, Kong reiterated the importance of the 1994 Agreed Framework between the US and DPRK. Kelly met Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi on November 13 focusing on the continuation of fuel oil shipments to the DPRK. The framework has played an important role in relaxing tensions on the peninsula, Kong said. In another development, Kong said PRC has demanded that Japan recall Amano Hiromasa, a Japanese military attache who entered a military restricted area in East PRC's Zhejiang Province on October 26. Amano's action "has violated several PRC laws and the evidence is clear," he added. Kong also revealed that Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan will attend the foreign ministers' meeting on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization next Saturday in Moscow.

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2. Across Taiwan Straits Relations

China Daily (Wu Yixue, "DENYING FLIGHTS FRUSTRATES LINKS," 11/15/02, P4) carried an analyzing article on across Taiwan Straits relations. The article said that Taiwan authorities have once again turned a cold shoulder to mainland sincerity over cross-Straits relations, embodied in Jiang Zemin's report to the just-concluded 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. On November 12, the island's ruling Democratic Progressive Party rejected a call for direct charter flights across the Taiwan Straits, which undoubtedly has snubbed the flames of hope to end cross-Straits separation, the article said. It said that people expect Taiwan leader Chen Shuibian's active response to improve cross-Straits relations, but Chen once again disappointed all Chinese, including Taiwan compatriots. With the absence of the three direct links between the PRC and Taiwan, charter flights across the Straits would undeniably serve as an appropriate way to effectively shorten the distance between the two sides during peak times. The article said that the future of Taiwan rests with the motherland and the stubborn stance on this issue by the island's authorities also demonstrates that all Chinese should never relent in their struggle to stop attempts to disconnect and even separate the island from the motherland.

China Daily (Xie Ye, "MINISTER RALLIES FOR THREE LINKS," 11/14/02, P1) reported that PRC Foreign trade minister Shi Guangsheng on November 13 urged the Taiwan authorities to discard political differences and open direct transport, trade and mail service links with the mainland as soon as possible. Shi said that the talk of three direct links has been going on for too long and "now it is time for concrete action". Shi also denied reports that US is talking with Taiwan authorities about a free trade agreement. PRC is "firmly against countries with diplomatic relations with China having official trade relations with Taiwan in any form," Shi said according to the report.

China Daily (Xing Zhigang, "REJECTION OF DIRECT CHARTER FLIGHTS (r)NEGATIVE' MOVE," 11/14/02, P1) reported that PRC on November 13 criticized Taipei's rejection for a call for direct charter flights across the Taiwan Straits as a "negative" and "irresponsible" move. The report said that the Mainland affairs Council (MAC), the island's decision-making body on cross-straits policy recently turned down a call from local "lawmakers" for direct charter flights to the mainland, citing security considerations. A PRC scholar on Taiwan Studies said that, "Chen and his administration have been managing to delay the implementation of the three links because they never give consideration to the immediate interests of the Taiwanese people". According to the report, the MAC said that "the problem raised by direct charter flights and direct flights are very similar. All the problems would need to be solved through negotiations".

China Daily (Wang Hui, "REPORT CONVEYS WARM GESTURE TO TAIWAN," 11/12/02, P1) reported that the message carried in Communist Party of China (CPC) General Secretary Jiang Zemin's report to the ongoing 16th CPC National Congress is one of goodwill and total sincerity to Taiwan Compatriots. Yang Guoqing, president of the All-China Federation of Taiwan compatriots, said that Jiang's message was received warmly by Taiwan compatriots and boosted their confidence in the peaceful reunification of the motherland. The principle of peaceful reunification, the formula of "one country, two systems," and the eight-point proposal put forward by Jiang represent the trend of the modern era and fully accord with the fundamental interests of Taiwan compatriots, Yang said. Jiang reiterated in his report the principle of pinning hopes on the people in Taiwan for the settlement of the Taiwan question and fully respecting the lifestyle and wishes of Taiwan people to be masters of the country, said the report. Listening to the voice of Taiwan compatriots, respecting their wishes and protecting their fundamental interests are the soul of the Party's Taiwan policy, Yang said in the report.

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3. US-Japan Relations

People's Daily (Wang Dajun, "JAPANESE PROTESTS AGAINST US'S MILITARY EXERCISE," Tokyo, 11/15/02, P11) reported that Japanese Foreign Ministry protested against and urged the cancellation of the US's military exercise. The US military carried out an exercise involving underwater explosions on November 14 in a fishing area in the Sea of Japan that apparently took place on the high seas west of Oki islands, the report said. The US military will continue the exercise on November 15 and the next two days, while without informing the Japanese side beforehand. November is the peak season for fishing for queen crabs and squid therefore fishermen from Shimane, Yamaguchi, Tottoriand Hyogo prefectures expressed great indignation and urged Japan government to negotiate with US in all seriousness.

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4. ROK-DPRK Relations

People's Daily ("ROK REJECTS DPRK ACCUSATION OF MILITARY PROVOCATION," 11/13/02, P11) reported that ROK rejected an accusation by the DPRK that the ROK's warships entered the territorial waters of the latter in the Yellow Sea late on November 12. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) accused ROK forces on November 12 of committing military provocation against the DPRK on the Yellow Sea twice the same day. On November 11 and 12, ROK forces also sent an armored vehicle and self-propelled guns to the area near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), DPRK said. The ROK Defense Ministry refuted the DPRK's allegation, quoted as saying that "it is impossible, for transporting heavy weapons into the DMZ is definitely a violation of the armistice agreement signed after the Korean War (1950-1953). And it is unreasonable to do that especially when we are clearing the landmines in the DMZ for the inter-Korean railways and roads." Sources close to the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) were quoted as saying that "the South Korean navy boats definitely confirmed the positions of the north side's fishing boats this afternoon, who were doing fishing near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), and the weather conditions were bad at that time."

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5. PRC Commentary on US-DPRK Relations

China Daily (Hu Qihua, "FM CITES ROLE OF US-DPRK FRAMEWORK," 11/13/02, P1) reported that PRC said on November 12 that the 1994 Agreed Framework between the US and DPRK played an important role in relaxing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and called on concerned sides to abide by the document. Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan made the remarks at a regular briefing when asked whether PRC would provide the DPRK with fuel aid if the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) moved to cut off shipments to the DPRK. Kong said everyone knows fully well that the question of fuel oil "was agreed within the framework document". "It's our view that the parties concerned should continue to implement the framework document faithfully," said Kong in the report.

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6. DPRK-Japan Relations

People's Daily (Zhang Jinfang, "DPRK MAY RECONSIDER MORATORIUM ON MISSILE LAUNCHES," Pyongyang, 11/18/02, P7) reported that DPRK may reconsider its moratorium on missile launches because Japan violated the bilateral agreement on the kidnapping issue, a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry said on November 16. "The people of the DPRK are indignant that Japan made a fuss about the abduction issue while ignoring its criminal rule over the Korean Peninsula from 1910-1945," the spokesman said. The spokesman stressed that an international agreement should be based on mutual promises while the Japan side has gone back on its word. Therefore it is necessary to reconsider the moratorium on missile launches, the spokesman said in the report.

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7. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily ("CHINA RESOLUTELY OPPOSES TAIWAN-RELATED PROVISIONS IN US DEFENSE BILL," Beijing, 11/17/02, P4) reported that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on November 16 that PRC resolutely objects to the Taiwan-related provisions in the US defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2003, which wantonly interfere in PRC's internal affairs. Kong said that PRC had on many occasions made solemn representations to US on the provisions, and the US administration had repeatedly enunciated its objection to the provisions. PRC has taken note of the weakening of the provisions in the passage by the Congress, however, Kong said, the current text still constituted a violation of the principles set forth in the three Sino-US joint communiques and the one-China policy which the US side had reiterated time and again, as well as gross interference in PRC's internal affairs. Kong expressed hope that the US side would realize the sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and the harm the provisions would cause, adhere to the one-China policy, the three Sino-US joint communiques, as well as its commitment to oppose "Taiwan independence," and adopt effective measures to prevent the provisions from passing into law, the report said.

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8. US-DPRK Relations

People's Daily ("US TO SUSPEND OIL SUPPLY TO DPRK," 11/16/02, P6) reported that US decided to suspend fuel oil shipments to the DPRK for the DPRK's alleged development of a nuclear weapons program. The decision was made by US President George W. Bush on November 13, an anonymous US official said the same day. Due to the DPRK "violating" the framework agreement signed with US in 1994, the US side made such decision, the report said.

IV. Can-Kor E-Clipping

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1. Issue #106

After a meeting in which South Korea, Japanese and European partners fail to moderate the USA's hard-line response, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) Executive Board issues a condemnation and a threat to suspend heavy fuel oil deliveries beginning in December, unless the DPRK promptly eliminates its nuclear weapons program. In preparation for further confrontation, the DPRK National Defense Commission has already put the people's armed forces into a "semi-war" status, beefed up Border Guard inspections, and engaged the population in anti-air raid drills and intensified ideological indoctrination. The impending energy crisis could not have come at a worse time for the people of North Korea. The shortage of fuel to heat homes and hospitals becomes acute during winter, especially in the mountain regions, which make up 80 percent of the North Korean countryside. As this week's FOCUS, "Impending crisis in DPRK food supply," documents, the people's increased need for a protein diet during the harsh winter months is unlikely to be met, and continued famine deaths may become inevitable. For several months the United Nations World Food Programme has warned of dire consequences from lagging humanitarian aid this year. Although the FAO crop assessment shows a relatively improved harvest, this year's cereal deficit continues at approximately one quarter of the country's needs.

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