NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, january 10, 2003

I. United States

II. Japan

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Withdrawal

The Washington Post (Peter S. Goodman, "NORTH KOREA QUITS NUCLEAR ARMS TREATY," Seoul, 01/10/03) and The Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA WITHDRAWS FROM NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY," 01/10/03) reported that the DPRK announced its immediate withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty but said it may reverse its decision if the US agreed to resume oil supplies. The DPRK's latest act of brinkmanship came as senior regime officials held talks on its standoff with the US with a close ally of former US President Bill Clinton. It also followed comments by ROK president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun expressing confidence that the regime in the DPRK would not "opt for suicide" by pushing its dispute with the US over the edge. "The government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in a statement today declared its withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and its total freedom from the binding force of the safeguards accord with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency said. "The DPRK government vehemently rejected the January 6 'resolution' of the IAEA, considering it as a grave encroachment upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and the dignity of the Korean nation. "As it has become clear once again that the US persistently seeks to stifle the DPRK at any cost and the IAEA is used as a tool for executing the US hostile policy towards the DPRK, we can no longer remain bound to the NPT." The DPRK also pledged that it had no intention of producing nuclear weapons and said it could allow the US to "verify" that it had not produced any weapons if it dropped its "hostile policy". "Though we pull out of the NPT, we have no intention to produce nuclear weapons and our nuclear activities at this stage will be confined only to peaceful purposes such as the production of electricity," the statement added.

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2. DPRK on NPT Withdrawal

BBC News ("NORTH KOREA BLAMES US FOR TREATY WITHDRAWAL," 01/10/03) reported DPRK ambassador Pak Gil-yon Pyongyang's ambassador to the United Nations said the decision to scrap its commitment not to spread nuclear technology was a "product of the US hostile policy towards the DPRK [North Korea]". But if the US dropped that approach, Pak Gil-yon said, his country would allow the US to verify its claim that it is not producing nuclear weapons. A White House spokesman said that the "ball was in North Korea's court" to defuse the crisis, adding that "bad behavior" would not be rewarded. But the UN has said the DPRK must be given assurances that it would get something in return for good behavior. The DPRK's withdrawal, announced on Friday, has unleashed a storm of international outrage, with US President George W Bush saying it was a "concern to the entire international community." At a news conference at the UN, Pak said the UN nuclear agency - the IAEA which had been inspecting his country's nuclear plants - was being manipulated by the US. "The IAEA remains a spokesman for the United States and the NPT is being used as a tool for implementing the US hostile policy to the DPRK," he said. "The US wrecks peace and security on the Korean peninsula," he said. Pak said the withdrawal from the treaty was an act of "self-defence" in the face of the US approach, as well as a response to the "unreasonable behavior" of the IAEA. He said the DPRK did not intend to produce nuclear weapons, adding its nuclear activities were confined to "peaceful purposes" such as the production of electricity. But, leaving the door open for negotiations, he said that if there was a change of tune from the US, the DPRK would be prepared to prove to the US - though not the UN - that it does not make nuclear weapons.

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3. DPRK-US Diplomatic Relations

The Agence France-Presse ("FORMER US BIG-GUN MEETS NORTH KOREANS IN UNLIKELY SETTING OF US WEST," 01/10/03) and the Washington Post (Glenn Kessler, "NORTH KOREANS MEET WITH RICHARDSON," 01/10/03) reported that DPRK envoys met in Santa Fe last night with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a diplomatic troubleshooter for President Bill Clinton. Richardson and two DPRK officials held what was described as a working dinner in the governor's mansion. Neither Richardson nor the DPRK officials made any comments to reporters after the session. They were to meet again today. Officials believe the DPRK would deliver a message in response to the administration's announcement Tuesday that it was willing to hold direct talks with the government in Pyongyang. The DPRK's ambassador to the United Nations, Pak Gil-Yon, contacted Richardson shortly after the Tuesday announcement. DPRK envoys are not permitted to travel beyond a 25-mile radius of Columbus Circle in New York unless they receive permission from the State Department. US officials emphasized that Richardson is not acting as an envoy or a negotiator and plans to convey the administration's position that it will not negotiate a new weapons agreement. Speaking before the DPRK announced last night its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Donald P. Gregg, who is president of the Korea Society in New York, said he perceived a significant shift in tone this week. "I think we are about to turn a corner with North Korea," he said. "I am feeling infinitely better than I did 72 hours ago."

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4. DPRK-ROK Diplomacy

The Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA OFFERS TALKS WITH SOUTH AMID INTENSE NUCLEAR DIPLOMACY," 01/10/03) reported that the ROK said that the DPRK had offered to hold high-level talks later this month, as the US admitted verbal assurances that it has no plans to attack Pyongyang may not be enough to end the nuclear crisis. The DPRK'soffer of four-day talks from January 21 came in response to an ROK proposal for a cabinet-level meeting to discuss inter-Korean rapprochement and the nuclear issue. "In accordance with time-old practices, it is highly likely that South Korea will accept the new date proposed by Pyongyang," an ROK unification ministry official told AFP. Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun said last week that the ROK would urge the DPRK to scrap its nuclear weapons program at the talks. The announcement came after an envoy for ROK President Kim Dae-Jung said he had received backing for mediation attempts after meeting US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Washington. US Secretary of State Colin Powell also acknowledged that the US may have to go beyond its previous verbal assurances that it has no plans to attack the DPRK. "We have made it clear we have no aggressive intent," Powell told The Washington Post. "Apparently, they want something more than a passing statement."

The Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA "WILL NOT OPT FOR SUICIDE" IN NUCLEAR CRISIS: ROH," 01/10/03) reported that the DPRK nuclear crisis is likely to be resolved peacefully as the DPRK "would not opt for suicide", South Korea's president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun was quoted as saying. "My conviction that North Korea's nuclear program can be resolved is based on the belief that the North would not opt for suicide," Roh said in a speech late Thursday in Seoul, the Joong Ang Daily reported. "Senior military officials should be prepared for emergencies involving the withdrawal of US forces," Roh said in an echo of previous comments. "Someone should be thinking about self-sufficiency even if it takes 10, 20 or 30 years."

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5. DPRK-PRC Relations

The Washington Post (Philip P. Pan, "CHINA TREADS CAREFULLY AROUND NORTH KOREA," Beijing, 01/10/03) reported that Two days after Christmas, PRC Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan paid a visit to the DPRK Korean Embassy in Beijing, ostensibly to attend a New Year's celebration. In a routine statement, the Foreign Ministry said Tang and the ambassador congratulated each other on the past year's achievements and "exchanged views on issues of common concern." But the visit was anything but routine. Tang had never attended New Year's events at the embassy before. He went to this one to quietly convey the PRC's concerns about the DPRK's nuclear program, according to PRC specialists who advise the government on Korean affairs. Two days later, the DPRK issued a statement in Pyongyang that said, in part: If "other countries" are worried about its nuclear activities, they should urge the United States to open a dialogue and guarantee North Korea's security. If they do not intend to do that, "it is better for them just to sit idle." The exchange illustrated the delicate relations between the PRC and the DPRK and raises questions about the PRC's ability and willingness to break a dangerous impasse by pressuring Kim Jong Il, into abandoning plans to develop nuclear weapons -- as the Bush administration has repeatedly urged it to do. Relations are already strained, and the PRC say they are worried about provoking the DPRK by pushing it into a corner. "China's role is to make sure North Korea doesn't lose all hope, not to threaten or pressure it," said Qi Baoliang, an analyst on Korean affairs at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a research institute for China's intelligence services. "If everybody puts pressure on North Korea, it will despair. And if it doesn't see a way out, it will go ahead and develop nuclear weapons. That's not good for anybody."

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6. DPRK Defectors on DPRK Diplomacy

The New York Times (James Brooke, "DEFECTORS WANT TO PRY OPEN NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 01/09/03) reported that in interviews, three recent defectors from the DPRK drew on their experiences to give their own proposals for how to deal with the unpredictable government of their impoverished homeland. The proposals included closing the PRC's five border bridges and imposing an economic quarantine; undermining the leadership cult by smuggling in radios tuned to ROK stations; and, in the words of one woman, by "bombing the North with ladies' handbags." "My eyes were opened when, through a trader friend, I got hold of some South Korean clothing," recounted the woman, Lee Ji Young, 31. "I was surprised that they were very good clothes. I had to scissor off the labels, of course." "Before, I had believed what they told us about the food donations from South Korea and the United States: `Because we are so strong militarily and strong ideologically, they send us all this tribute,'" Lee said, smiling at the memory.

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7. Japan-RF DPRK Nuclear Concerns

The Agence-France Presse ("JAPAN'S KOIZUMI SAYS RUSSIA "VITAL" IN RESOLVING NORTH KOREA CRISIS," 01/10/03) and BBC News ("KOIZUMI JOINS RUSSIA IN N KOREA 'CONCERN,'" 01/10/03) reported that the leaders of Russia and Japan have expressed "disappointment and profound concern" at the DPRK's decision to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The DPRK crisis has overshadowed the countries' meeting In a joint statement released following talks in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi also called on all sides to find a peaceful solution to the standoff. "[Russia and Japan] support a peaceful resolution of all questions linked to the DPRK's nuclear program, in the interest of supporting non-proliferation and securing the Korean Peninsula's non-nuclear status," the leaders said. However at a later news conference Putin said that both countries had studied the DPRK's statement announcing its withdrawal from the NPT and found that the country's leadership "is keeping the door open for talks"; expressing hope that the escalating crisis could be resolved. "We expect that during such talks, all questions and concerns of both parties can and will be solved," Putin said.

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8. Japan-France DPRK Condemnation

The Agence France-Presse ("FRANCE AND JAPAN LEAD CONDEMNATION OF NORTH KOREA TREATY PULL-OUT," 01/10/03) reported that France and Japan led condemnation of the DPRK's decision to pull out of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty as ROK said the crisis had moved from bad to worse. France, which holds the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council, said the move underscored the need for more urgent international action to de-escalate a boiling nuclear issue. "France condemns this decision which underlines the need for continuing the bilateral, regional and multilateral efforts (to solve the crisis)," Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said in Shanghai. "It is a serious decision, heavy with consequences that has to be dealt with by the United Nations Security Council. This major development underscores the necessity and the urgency of international mobilisation." Japan issued a statement calling the DPRK's announcement "extremely regrettable" and demanded the DPRK back down. "The Japanese government finds it is extremely regrettable that North Korea declared to pull itself out of the NPT today," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said. "The government of Japan expresses its great concern. We strongly urge and demand that North Korea swiftly withdraw the declaration."

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9. Japan on DPRK NPT Withdrawal

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, "JAPAN DEMANDS NORTH KOREA TO HONOR TREATY," Tokyo, 01/10/03) reported that Japan demanded Friday that the DPRK reverse its decision to quit the global nuclear arms control treaty and address growing fears in the region about its suspected weapons program. "Our nation will strongly demand from North Korea a quick retraction of its statement and a positive response to solving the nuclear weapons problem," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said in Tokyo. Fukuda said Japan will work closely with the US, the ROK, and other nations as well as the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency to address the crisis. Shinichi Kitaoka, a DPRK expert and professor at the University of Tokyo, said the DPRK was trying to win international food aid and shake the US into a compromise when the US is preoccupied with preparing for a possible war in Iraq. While ruling out threat of imminent attack from the DPRK, Kitaoka said the increasingly hard-line approach reflects the country's severe food shortage and desperate need for aid in the next couple of months. "An immediate risk is small overall, but we can't be too optimistic. It's a crazy nation," Kitaoka said in a telephone interview.

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10. Global Response to DPRK NPT Withdrawal

The Associated Press (Michael McDonough, "SOUTH KOREA WANTS DIALOGUE, JAPAN CALLS ON NORTH KOREA TO REVERSE TREATY PULLOUT," London, 01/10/03) reported that faced with news that the DPRK has quit the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the ROK on Friday called for dialogue with the DPRK as a matter of "life and death" while neighboring Japan demanded the DPRK reverse its decision. The PRC, one of the DPRK's few strong allies, promised to continue efforts to solve the problem peacefully. "We are concerned about (North Korea's) announcement to withdraw from the treaty, as well as consequences possibly caused by the withdrawal," PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. Australia, a close US ally, said it would send a diplomatic team to Pyongyang next week. Financial markets in the ROK and Japan reacted nervously. The ROK's government convened an emergency meeting of its security council. President Kim Dae-jung, who leaves office next month after years of trying to build bridges with the DPRK, said talks would be key to a solution. "The nuclear issue is tied to our life and death," Kim said. "We must have the patience to resolve the issue peacefully." French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, on a visit to the PRC, said Asia, the US and Europe must stand together. "France condemns North Korea's decision," de Villepin said in a speech to students at Shanghai's Fudan University. "North Korea must understand that it has no other choice but to denounce its nuclear program." German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said his government was deeply concerned about the move and said Berlin "urgently calls on North Korea to reconsider and reverse this step." Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh called the DPRK's decision counterproductive and said it "aggravates the already serious situation on the Korean peninsula." The EU's Foreign and Security Policy Chief Javier Solana expressed "grave concern." "I strongly urge the authorities in the DPRK to reconsider their decision and to restate their commitment to (nuclear) nonproliferation and to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," Solana said in a statement. "I hope that the North Korean government will seek the path of dialogue over that of confrontation."

II. Japan

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1. Japan on possible US Attack on Iraq

The Japan Times ("JAPAN HAS VOWED TO BACK U.S. STRIKE ON IRAQ: SOURCES," 12/23/02) reported that the Japanese government informed the US earlier last month that it will back the US if it launches military operations against Iraq. The sources said the government conveyed its message to US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage when he met with officials during a three-day visit to Tokyo beginning Dec. 8. Japan has not officially announced support for such operations. At the meeting with Armitage, the government officials urged the US to create an environment in which the international community can jointly back the US if it launches an attack against Iraq, the sources said.

The Japan Times ("WAIT AND SEE ON IRAQ: NEW KOMEITO," 01/06/03) reported that New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki said Sunday it is in Japan's interest to see whether the UN adopts a new resolution prior to a possible US attack on Iraq before Japan begins discussing how to deal with the issue. "The situation is different depending on whether the US moves with or without a new UN resolution," Kanzaki said on a TV talk show. As for Japan's aid for any postwar reconstruction, Kanzaki said, "It's an issue that must be considered by looking into the situation when the time comes."

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2. Japan 2003 Budget

The Japan Times ("COAST GUARD TO GET FUNDS FOR SPEEDY PATROL BOATS," 12/21/02) reported that the Japanese Finance Ministry earmarked about 10.7 billion yen in its draft for the fiscal 2003 budget to procure seven high-speed patrol boats for the Japan Coast Guard to deal with intruding North Korean spy ships and unidentified vessels. The government appropriated 6.6 billion yen for such boats in fiscal 2002. The coast guard had requested a 1,800-ton patrol boat equipped with 40-mm machineguns and a helipad, and a 770-ton high-speed boat capable of cruising at about 50 knots.

The Japan Times ("FIRST REDUCTION IN FOUR YEARS: CABINET OKS 0.1% CUT IN DEFENSE BUDGET," 12/25/02) reported that the Japanese Cabinet approved a 0.1 percent reduction in the fiscal 2003 defense budget, down for the first time in four years. Defense spending for the year beginning next April amounts to 4.95 trillion yen, down 3 billion yen from the record-high initial budget for the current fiscal year, Finance Ministry officials said. The reduction will be achieved through cost-cutting in personnel and equipment procurement expenses, they said. The agency received an extra 66 million yen over the weekend to fund steps to bolster online security. It was also allocated 157.8 billion yen to build a high-speed information technology network, up 27.6 percent from the initial share set aside for the current fiscal year. The ministry approved the establishment of a special force at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Narashino post in Chiba Prefecture to deal with terrorist and guerrilla attacks. The budget sets aside 26.5 billion yen for consolidating US military bases in Okinawa, up 60.6 percent, and also includes a cut in Japan's contribution to the cost of stationing US troops, down 1.6 percent to 246 billion yen. It was also allocated 1.9 billion yen for continued joint research with the US on a ballistic missile defense system. , down 72.5 percent from the current fiscal year.

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3. SDF's Peacekeeping Operation

The Asahi Shimbun ("LEGAL REVISION SOUGHT TO UPGRADE SDF PEACE DUTY," 01/04/03) reported that a decade after Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) first took part in peacekeeping operations in Cambodia, Defense Agency officials are taking steps toward a legal revision that would upgrade SDF participation in UN-sponsored peacekeeping operations from an auxiliary to a principal duty. Article 3 of the SDF Law states that defending the nation is the SDF's main duty, with secondary duties being preserving public safety and dealing with natural disasters. Among the auxiliary duties as outlined by law are civil engineering work and the transportation of state guests. Though classified as an auxiliary duty, peacekeeping activities have increased in scale and importance over the years. Such a review would better prepare the GSDF to take part in a wider range of peacekeeping activities, sources say. Among the new equipment required by SDF peacekeepers would be large long-range transport aircraft. In the future, units would be kept on standby to deal with peacekeeping activities rather than formed as the need arises, as is the case now.

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4. Japanese Spy Satellite

The Japan Times ("JAPAN'S SPY SATELLITES INFERIOR TO U.S. COMMERCIAL SATELLITES," 12/30/02) reported that Japan's information-gathering satellites to be launched by a domestically developed H-IIA rocket in February 2003 are likely to be of poorer quality than commercial US equivalents, government sources said. The picture-taking capability of the spy satellites is expected to be inferior to US commercial satellites, such as IKONOS of Lockheed Martin Corp., mainly due to their poor focusing ability toward objects on the ground, the sources said. Japan has developed the domestic spy satellites at a cost of 250 billion yen, apparently to gather military information in neighboring countries, particularly the DPRK. The government once considered purchasing satellites from Lockheed Martin, but later opted for domestic development to try to boost Japanese industry.

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Brandon Yu:
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Timothy L. Savage:
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Kim Young-soo:
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Hibiki Yamaguchi:
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Saiko Iwata:
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Hiroya Takagi:
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Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
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