NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, december 20, 2002

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan IV. Can-Kor E-Clipping

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I. United States

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1. ROK-Japan DPRK Policy

The Agence France-Press ("ROH SEEKS COOPERATION WITH US, JAPAN OVER NORTH KOREA," 12/20/02) reported that ROK president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun said he would closely cooperate with the US on the DPRK's nuclear program. Roh emphatically ruled out any drastic changes in the five decades old alliance that has served as a key pillar of security in North East Asia since the 1950-53 Korean War. "In order to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully, I will seek, together with our leading roles, close cooperation with the United States and Japan," Roh told journalists on Friday following his election as South Korea's new president. During his campaign Roh stressed his opposition to the US policy of isolating the DPRK to force them to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions. He advocates continuing the policy of engagement pursued by President Kim Dae-Jung under his "sunshine" policy. Japan, also seeking reconciliation with the DPRK, has joined the United States and ROK in demanding that the DPRK scrap its nuclear program. But Kim's engagement policy has met with disapproval in the US under the administration of US President George W. Bush. Analysts predicted Seoul-Washington ties could be further strained after Roh's victory. "Roh wants to see the United States and North Korea return to the Agreed Framework, with the United States resuming fuel shipments and the North clearing suspicion about its nuclear program based on enriching uranium," said Professor Koh Yu-Hwan of Dong-Guk University.

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2. ROK-US Relations

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "SEOUL MAY LOOSEN ITS TIES TO THE US," Seoul, 12/20/02) and The Agence France-Presse ("NO DRASTIC CHANGE IN SEOUL-WASHINGTON TIES, SAYS PRESIDENT-ELECT," 12/20/02) reported that ROK president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun said he expected no drastic changes in US-ROK ties following his election victory. "Nothing will be drastically changing," said Roh, 56, the ruling Millennium Democratic Party candidate who beat conservative opposition leader Lee Hoi-Chang in a tight race. He pledged to maintain the broad foreign policy framework of the current Kim Dae-Jung administration. Roh obtained 48.9 percent of the vote, winning by a 2.3 percent margin, or some 574,000 ballots. "The traditional alliance and friendship between South Korea and the United States should mature and develop further in the 21st century," he said. "The South Korea-US ties should move beyond the government level and deepen through true understanding and cooperation between the peoples of the two countries." He said there had been "outpourings of emotions" by ROK citizens over the controversial acquittal of two US soldiers charged with homicide in killing two teenagers in a road accident in June. "But they did not demand any sudden changes to South Korea-US ties ... The basic tone of the bilateral ties will continue," he said. "I will seek to develop South Korea-US ties gradually into cooperative and equal relations based on mutual respect for each other's pride and dignity," he said.

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3. Japan on ROK President Elect

Reuters (Linda Sieg, "JAPAN GREETS SOUTH KOREA'S ROH WITH RELIEF AND CONCERN," Tokyo, 12/20/02) reported that Japan Friday greeted ROK president-elect Roh Moo-hyun with a mixture of relief that the ROK would keep open dialogue with the DPRK and concern that anti-US sentiment could make coordination with US tough. "We supported (outgoing President) Kim Dae-jung's 'sunshine policy' and I think the new president will also go with that policy," Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters, adding that three-way coordination among Japan, ROK and the US was vital. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said questions remained about how Roh, an unknown quantity with few personal links to Japan, would fulfill his pledge to pursue a policy of engagement. "The 'sunshine policy' may be his (Roh's) basic thinking, but we don't know whether it will be exactly the same or whether there might be a slight change," he told a news conference.

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4. US on ROK President Elect

The Associated Press (George Gedda, "US SEES CLOSE TIES WITH SOUTH KOREA," Washington, 12/20/02) reported that dismissing the anti-US criticism of the ROK's new president-elect, a top State Department official said Thursday he sees the possibility of an even stronger relationship between the two countries. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly said the US hopes "to further modernize and improve this alliance." Kelly spoke to reporters after Roh Moo-hyun defeated conservative Lee Hoi-chang in the presidential election. During the election campaign, Roh said he was not anti-American, but insisted he would not "kowtow" to his country's chief ally. But Roh promised at a news conference Friday he would cooperate with the US on the issue of North Korea and nuclear weapons. He said the friendship between ROK and the US must "mature and advance." Kelly said it would be a mistake to pass judgment on Roh based on negative comments he has made about the US, particularly during the campaign. "There are statements made in the heat of the campaign that may emphasize disagreement and there are others that emphasize a very strong convergence of views about a lot of things," Kelly said.

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5. Japan Development Assistance

Reuters (Shinichi Kishima, "JAPAN 03/04 DEVELOPMENT AID HIT BY BUDGET DEFICIT," Tokyo, 12/20/02) reported that Japan plans to slash official development assistance (ODA) by 5.8 percent next year as worries about a snowballing budget deficit outweigh the consequences of slipping to second place in the world donors league. The cuts, outlined in the Finance Ministry's draft for for the fiscal 2003/04 budget presented to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet on Friday, follow a 10.3 percent cut in the current year to end-March. The government put on a brave face, saying the leaner aid budget of 857.8 billion yen ($7 billion) was a result of cuts in wasteful spending and that help for the needy would not be compromised. "We have secured a scale that is necessary to sufficiently and appropriately carry out our international responsibilities," a Finance Ministry official told reporters. Japan has slipped to second place after the US as a disperser of global aid but still tops the list in Asia, doling out 57 percent of the region's total official aid. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said earlier this year that Japan lost its position as the world's leading aid donor in 2001, partly due to a weaker yen.

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6. PRC-Russia Military Relations

CNN News (Willy Wo-Lap Lam, "CHINA BEEFS UP MILITARY TIES WITH RUSSIA," Hong Kong, 12/20/02) reported that the PRC has enhanced military cooperation with Russia even as it has continued to voice opposition to the US' planned deployment of a national missile defense (NMD) system. The PRC Foreign Ministry has disclosed that a top Russian general was in Beijing earlier this week to discuss defense cooperation and regional security issues. The official press on Friday quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao as saying Russian First Vice-Chief of the General Staff General Uriy Nikolaevich Baluyevskiy had held talks with PRC Vice-Chief of Staff General Xiong Guangkai. Liu said both sides reached "comprehensive consensus" on issues including Sino-Russian military relationship, regional and global security, and the anti-terrorist campaign. The Foreign Ministry spokesman added regular consultation between the general staff departments of the two forces would boost the Sino-Russian strategic partnership as well as cooperation between both armies. Baluyevskiy also met with Defense Minister General Chi Haotian and Chief of the General Staff General Liang Guanglie. Liu did not say whether both sides had discussed the US' recent decision to deploy NMD by 2004.

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7. PRC "Political Reform Zones"

The Agence France-Presse ("SHENZHEN TO PIONEER LIMITED POLITICAL REFORM IN CHINA," 12/20/02) reported that PRC authorities have decided to use the southern economic zone of Shenzhen as a testing ground for limited political reforms, a Beijing-backed newspaper said. A three-tiered administration system in the local government will be introduced in Shenzhen, one of the PRC's special economic zones, according to the Chinese-language Ta Kung Pao. "Shenzhen has been selected as a testing ground for the central government's newly compiled administrative system," the Ta Kung Pao said on Friday, citing unidentified Shenzhen government sources. It said Shenzhen's local government will be divided into three divisions: policy-making, execution and supervision, but did not say when this would take place. The three branches of administration would replace the traditional communist government structure, where there is no such division of power. The newspaper said the reforms would face some resistance. "But as long as the economic reform deepens, it will naturally hasten reform in the political system," the Ta Kung Pao said. According to the report, the reforms were decided after more than a year studying the government structure in neighboring Hong Kong.

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8. PRC Urban Population The Agence France-Presse ("CHINA URBAN POPULATION TO DOUBLE IN SIZE WITHIN 50 YEARS," 12/20/02) reported the PRC's urban population is set to double in size within the next 50 years as economic development accelerates, state press said. The country's first report on urban development said the population in cities and towns would reach between 1.1 and 1.2 billion within the next five decades, the China Daily said Friday. The PRC'ss current population is 1.3 billion. The report said a "well-organised, complementary and optimised urban system" would be set up. Around 100 PRC and foreign experts compiled the report, which said only 11 percent of the population currently lives in cities with populations of one million or more. This compares with a world average of 16 percent. The PRC's mainland has 662 cities and 20,000 towns with a combined population of more than 480 million, the report added. "China's current low degree of urbanization, its insufficient urban population and economic scale in many large cities have limited economic development and affected national competitiveness," said one of the report's main authors, Niu Wenyuan.

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9. PRC-Japan War Time Orphans

The Associated Press (Kozo Mizoguchi, "HUNDREDS OF ORPHANS IN CHINA SUE JAPAN," Tokyo, 12/20/02) reported that hundreds of orphans left behind by Japanese troops fleeing the PRC at the end of World War II sued the Japanese government on Friday. A total of 637 plaintiffs in two groups filed a lawsuit seeking $173 million in compensation and an apology, Tokyo District Court spokesman Hideyuki Ito said. The smaller group, comprised of 40 older plaintiffs, is hoping for quicker proceedings by filing separately. Each plaintiff is seeking $273,000. The orphans are also demanding more government help with Japanese language education and job training. About 500 of them marched through Tokyo on Friday with banners saying, "Secure our living." "We have been discarded by the state for the past 40 years, plaintiff Sumie Ikeda told reporters after the march. "We want the state to apologize and compensate us for its irresponsible policy." Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry refused to comment on the lawsuit. Japanese colonizers fled their empire in the PRC province of Manchuria as Soviet forces closed in at the end of the war, leaving behind homes, belongings and thousands of children. The plaintiffs claim the government neglected its responsibility by closing its doors to the orphans, presuming them dead despite evidence they were alive. In 1981, Japan began spending tens of millions of dollars a year helping orphans come to Japan by paying for their visits and providing support services for those who wanted to live here permanently. But many who came to Japan have found it hard to adapt and make ends meet. They receive monthly welfare payments of $164 to $248 per person. That amount is about one-tenth the average monthly cost of living for a single person in Tokyo. Out of 2,455 orphans, 1,072 were successfully reunited with relatives at the end of November, Kobayashi said. Most were too young when orphaned to remember their Japanese names or their natural parents' faces. As many are now in their 60s and 70s, the likelihood of finding family members fades each year.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. New ROK Resident remaining the same

Joongang Ilbo ("ROH: FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD N.K., US TO REMAIN THE SAME," Seoul, 12/20/02) reported that Roh Moo-hyun the ROK President-elect said Friday there's not going to be much difference in foreign policy from incumbent Kim Dae-jung administration when it comes to relations with US and DPRK. He said the nation had just made a "revolutionary change in politics" with the people electing for the first time the president who advocated national unity and political revolution. Roh said the major task facing his new government will be reforming politics, administration, economy, media, judiciary and other social systems to catch up with the maturing consciousness of the people. Speaking at the press conference held in grand hall of National Assembly Roh pointed out the biggest question at the moment would probably be what kind of change ahead in future ROK-US ties. "I shall work on to develop a cooperative ties based on mutual respect of the two nations." He also promised to keep up the ongoing market restructure to ensure free and fair market economy system and stabilize common people's economy by resolving the problems of ever-arising consumer price and that of real estate.

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2. Failure of Economic Revolution in DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Oh Day-young, "COMPLAINTS IN NORTH ON REFORMS REPORTED," Tokyo, 12/20/02) reported that y December 20, 2002 an apparently official DPRK document obtained by a Japanese nongovernmental group describes domestic dissatisfactions over new economic reforms in the famine-stricken communist state, a Japanese newspaper said Thursday. The Japanese group Rescue the DPRK People Urgent Action Network identified the document as a confidential report by the publisher for DPRK's Workers Party. It was intended to encourage heads of companies and schools to promote the July economic reform, the Mainichi Shimbun reported. It admitted that criticisms of the economic reform have arisen and spread among the public. The document also frankly admitted the failure of DPRK's price control policy. "The price control policy, thus, was not implemented properly and had negative impacts on the DPRK economy." DPRK leader Kim Jong-il ordered economic reform measures in July that included wage and price increases and ending rationing of rice.

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3. Japan-Russia Collaboration toward DPRK's Nuclear

Joongang Ilbo ("RUSSIA TALKS TO NORTH ABOUT NUCLEAR ISSUE," Seoul, 12/20/02) reported that Russia has begun talks with DPRK to resolve issues concerning DPRK's nuclear programs, the Japanese Kyodo News Agency reported Thursday, quoting a visiting senior Russian official. Alexander Losyukov, the Russian deputy foreign minister in charge of the Asia-Pacific region, told Kyodo that Russia had initiated contact with DPRK in an attempt to eliminate threats posed by DPRK's nuclear weapons development programs. Japan and Russia vowed Wednesday to collaborate in their efforts for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, after a meeting in Tokyo between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Japanese Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko.

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4. Inter Korean Rail Way Linking

Chosun Ilbo (Kim In-ku, "DMZ RAIL LINK TARGETED FOR YEAR-END," Seoul, 12/20/02) reported that Cho Myung-kyun, head of ROK delegation just back from working level talks held at DPRK's Mount Kumgang resort on cross border rail and road connections, said Wednesday the connection of the Seoul-Sinuiju line should be completed by the end of December at the earliest. Cho added that the latest connection target was January next year if there were technical problems. He continued that a temporary road across the demilitarized zone to transport equipment and material for the groundbreaking ceremony at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, scheduled for between December 26 and 30, will be finished by December 25

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5. Nuclear Facilities in DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Lee Kyo-kwan, "DIA: NORTH KOREA HAS TWO NUCLEAR WEAPONS," Seoul, 12/20/02) reported that US Defense Intelligence Agency told the chairman of ROK's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lee Nam-shin that DPRK had carried out more than 70 high-explosive tests related to its nuclear weapons development program since 1998, according to a government official Wednesday. The DIA briefed Lee concerning this on December 5, while he was in Washington to take part in the annual Security Consultative Meeting. There have been reports DPRK conducted 70 similar tests from 1983 to 1993 at its Yongbyun nuclear facility, and three to four experiments near Kusong in Pyongbuk Province. The DIA also told Lee, DPRK had already extracted 10-12kg of plutonium before the Geneva agreement was signed, and has apparently made two nuclear warheads that can be attached to missiles. It added DPRK has been constructing gas centrifuges since 2000, with equipment supplied by Pakistan, for uranium enrichment, which are expected to be completed by 2005, the source said.

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6. US Military Options?

Chosun Ilbo (Ju Yong-jung, "US HAWK WARNS NOT TO RULE OUT MILITARY OPTION," Washington, 12//20/02) reported that Richard Perle, the chairman of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board (DPB) advisory panel said in a December 17 (local time) interview with the Chosun Ilbo, that the option of using military tactics should not be eliminated in dealing with DPRK. Perle said, "The Bush administration will consider all the alternatives, because the dangers involved are so substantial." He also said those who thought "resolution through diplomatic means" meant something other than resolution were mistaken, and that "the danger to be brought upon us by DPRK's nuclear development is so great that it will result in a quarantine of unprecedented comprehensiveness." On the subject of the interception of DPRK Scud missiles headed toward Yemen, he said, "The recurrence of such an incident might have the same meaning to lawyers but will actually have different and important aspects." The DPB chairman said that dealing with DPRK had different elements, in that it could inflict considerable harm on ROK, and that there was no country in the world that supported the rogue nation. DPB chairman Perle is considered one of the "hawks" in US President George W. Bush's foreign policy advisory council.

III. Japan

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1. Japan-US "2+2" Meeting

Kyodo ("JAPAN, U.S. URGE NORTH KOREA TO SCRAP ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS," Washington, 12/18/02) reported that Japan and the US stepped up pressure on the DPRK to scrap its nuclear arms program, warning that any use of weapons of mass destruction would bring upon it the "gravest consequences." Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and Defense Agency Director General Shigeru Ishiba represented Japan in the so-called two-plus-two meeting at the State Department. The US side was led by Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was sick and unable to attend the meeting, Pentagon officials said. On other security issues, Japan and the US called for "full and unconditional compliance" by Iraq on the resolution adopted in November by UN Security Council to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Japan voiced readiness to consider support measures, including military logistics, if an US-led attack on Iraq goes ahead. At the joint news conference, Kawaguchi cited support for refugees and neighboring countries around Iraq as some of the measures Japan may take in case of an US-led attack on Iraq. Referring to the US-proposed missile defense initiative, Japan indicated it will decide next year whether to move a bilateral missile defense program from the current research phase to the development stage. The security meeting also addressed issues surrounding the use of US military bases in Japan. Japanese officials said Japan sought US "understanding" of Okinawa's call for a 15-year limit on the use of a new military-civilian airport to be built in the northern part of the island prefecture. Japan also stressed the need to "improve the implementation" of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). In other words, Japan wants the US to give more consideration to turning over to Japanese police US service members suspected of having committed crimes in Japan, before they are indicted, which is not required under the current SOFA. Officials said there was no progress in the Okinawa-related base issues.

Kyodo ("JAPAN MULLS NEXT MISSILE DEFENSE STAGE," Washington, 12/18/02) reported that the Japanese Defense Agency chief Shigeru Ishiba told the US on Monday that he will consider advancing from the current joint research on a missile defense system to development and deployment, a senior Japanese official said. Ishiba conveyed the position during a meeting with US Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, chief of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, the official said. It is the first time the agency chief has mentioned advancing to those stages in the project. According to Japanese officials, Kadish said the joint study is progressing smoothly and voiced hope that Japan will advance to the development and deployment stages. Kadish also expressed concern over the DPRK's proliferation of missiles and their technologies, the officials said. The DPRK is selling missiles and parts to other countries and plans to sell longer-range missile technology, Kadish was quoted as saying.

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2. Armitage's Asian Tour

The Japan Times ("ARMITAGE SEES BIG JAPAN ROLE IN POST-HUSSEIN IRAQ SUPPORT," 12/11/02) reported that US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has voiced expectation that Japan will play a leading role in supporting a provisional post-Saddam Hussein government and restoring Iraq after anticipated US attacks on the country, a Japanese government source said. Armitage met Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and Defense Agency chief Shigeru Ishiba on Dec. 9. On his expectations regarding Japan's role, Armitage mentioned Japanese government's hosting of an international conference in January to support Afghanistan's restoration following the US-led attacks against terrorist targets. But he discussed no concrete role to be played by Japan and he stopped short of spelling out the nature of a post-Hussein interim government, the source said. Japan has begun preparations for legislation enabling it to deploy the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to help rebuild Iraq if US-led forces remove Hussein from power.

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3. A-Bomb Survivors' Call for Nuclear Use Restraint

Kyodo ("A-BOMB SURVIVORS DEMAND RESTRAINT," Nagoya, 12/17/02) reported that a regional chapter of one of Japan's largest organizations for atomic bomb survivors demanded Monday that the US refrain from using nuclear weapons. The Tokai and Hokuriku bloc of the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations sent a letter with the demand to US President George W. Bush. In the letter, the group said that the use of nuclear weapons in Iraq could lead to their unlimited use worldwide.

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4. Overseas A-Bomb Survivors

Kyodo ("HOSPITAL ADMITS KOREAN HIBAKUSHA," Hiroshima, 12/12/02) reported that three South Korean survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima were admitted to a hospital in Hiroshima to undergo medical treatment, city officials said. The three women, all in their 70s, arrived from the ROK and received official health cards formally recognizing them as atomic bomb survivors and monetary aid covering transportation expenses, including round-trip airfare, the officials said. Each has received about 64,000 yen, the officials said, and the city will cover the women's accommodation expenses before they leave Japan. The three are the first A-bomb survivors to visit Hiroshima for treatment after the city recently approved a plan to cover travel and accommodation expenses for overseas survivors in line with a national government program to support atomic bomb survivors living overseas. Nagasaki has already provided such expenses to overseas survivors.

The Japan Times ("GOVERNMENT ACCEPTS RULING TO HELP A-BOMB SURVIVOR ABROAD," 12/19/02) reported that the Japanese government accepted Wednesday a high court ruling ordering it and Osaka prefectural government to pay medical allowances to Kwak Kwi Hoon, a Korean atomic-bomb survivor who left Japan to return to his home in the ROK, according to welfare minister Chikara Sakaguchi. The decision not to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court marks the first case among lawsuits by atomic-bomb sufferers living abroad in which the state's defeat has been finalized. Based on the decision, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will retroactively pay medical allowances for five years to holders of atomic-bomb survivor health cards living outside Japan, according to ministry officials. The ministry also plans to continue paying such allowances in accordance with the Atomic Bomb Victims Relief Law to overseas individuals the government recognizes as suffering from atomic bomb-related illnesses. "This decision was made in light of the fact that one facet of the law to provide aid (to the bomb survivors) is that it is legislation with humanitarian objectives," Sakaguchi said in announcing the government decision. Last week, Osaka Gov. Fusae Ohta indicated the prefectural government would accept the high court ruling. Prefectural governments are commissioned by the state to handle the actual payments of relief allowances.

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5. Ehime Maru Incident

Kyodo ("WADDLE VISITS EHIME MEMORIAL," Matsuyama, 12/16/02) reported that the former skipper of a US Navy submarine involved in a fatal collision with a Japanese vessel off Hawaii last year expressed his apologies and placed flowers at a memorial for the victims. Retired US Navy Cmdr. Scott Waddle pays his respects before a memorial at a high school in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, honoring the victims of the February 2001 collision off Hawaii between his submarine, the USS Greeneville, and the Ehime Maru, the school's fisheries training ship. None of the survivors or bereaved families were present, apparently because the school had rejected his offer to visit the memorial. No school officials came to greet him. Waddle also met with four of the student survivors and their families at a hotel in the city of Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, in the afternoon and apologized to them, presenting them with letters. A doctor who was present at the meeting said Waddle was tearful, and quoted the former navy officer as telling them that he wished he were on the vessel when it went down.

IV. Can-Kor E-Clipping

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1. Issue #111

Pro-engagement Roh Moo-Hyun wins South Korea's presidential race by a slim margin. An interview from last May outlines his views on inter-Korean relations. A DPRK freighter transporting Scud missiles is boarded by Spanish and US forces, then permitted to proceed to Yemen, the legal purchaser of the missiles. The DPRK announces it will resume operation and construction of plutonium- producing nuclear power plants as a counter-measure to KEDO's suspension of heavy oil deliveries. An address on US East Asia policy by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, James A. Kelly is excerpted in this week's FOCUS, which also contains a Russian-Chinese statement on strategic stability on the Korean Peninsula. In this week's Bulletin, Dr. Stephen Endicott, senior scholar at York University in Toronto, shares his impressions of a week spent in the DPRK with a Canadian documentary film crew.

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