NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, january 17, 2003

I. United States


Policy Forum Online:
Bush Administration's Asia Policy

Special Reports

Week in Review

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

Ethical Governance Of Investment Biweekly Update

Browse Past Reports:
* Preceding Daily Report
* Daily Report Archive
* Search Daily Reports:

Email Services:
* Signup for Email Delivery
* Latest Report Emailed Now
* Send Comments
* Daily Report Credits

I. United States

next itemcontentscontacts

1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Situation

BBC News ("NORTH KOREA READY TO ABANDON NUKES, SEEK PEACE: PRESIDENT-ELECT," 01/17/03) reported that ROK president-elect Roh Moo-Hyun expressed that he felt that the DPRK will respond to diplomatic pressure and abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions as it seeks to open up to the outside world. Roh, who takes office on February 25, said fears that the DPRK would resort to armed force in its standoff with the world community over it nuclear weapons were misplaced. "North Korea does not have the military capability to resolve any issue through its armed forces and North Korea knows this fact very well," Roh told foreign businessmen here. "I think the problem can be resolved through dialogue because North Korea is sincere about its willingness to open up and reform, because it has no other choice. If we consistently talk to North Korea, North Korea will give up its nuclear ambitions," stated Roh.

The Washington Post (Peter S. Goodman, "SOUTH KOREA READY FOR WAR, OFFICIAL SAYS," Seoul, 01/17/03) reported that the ROK is prepared for war in the event that diplomacy fails to defuse an intensifying nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, the country's top defense official said today. "If the North Korean nuclear problem cannot be solved peacefully and America attacks North Korea, war on the Korean Peninsula will be unavoidable," Defense Minister Lee Jun told parliament. "Our army is prepared for the worst-case scenario." Jun added that if the DPRK follows through on restarting its nuclear reactor and proceeds to build nuclear weapons, the weapons likely would be trained at the ROK. His comments served to underscore that, despite the ROK's "sunshine policy" of reconciliation and engagement, the DPRK remains an enemy.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

2. DPRK-US Relations

Reuters (Patricia Wilson, "US BLAMES NORTH KOREA FOR LACK OF NUCLEAR TALKS," Washington, 01/17/03) reported that the White House on Friday blamed the DPRK for an impasse over arms talks, saying President Bush had made clear his willingness to discuss the DPRK's dismantlement of its nuclear programs. White House spokesman Ari told reporters that the DPRK had chosen to isolate itself from the international community. "We have made plain that we will talk to North Korea about dismantlement of their programs," he said. "North Korea has chosen to develop nuclear weapons, to isolate itself from the world and not to talk to the United States." Fleischer welcomed the ROK's willingness to engage the North under the "sunshine policy." "We continue to support, as President Bush made very clear we support South Korea's sunshine policy in talking to North Korea," he said. Adding to a recent flurry of diplomatic activity, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov arrived in Beijing on Friday en route to Pyongyang, saying he was convinced that given time and "quiet diplomacy," the situation could be resolved peacefully. Bush also has expressed optimism that a peaceful solution can be found.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

3. ROK on DPRK-US Diplomacy

The Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, "NEW SOUTH KOREAN LEADER PRODS US ON TALKS," Seoul, 01/17/03) reported that ROK's president-elect encouraged the US on Friday to negotiate with the DPRK to defuse the standoff over its nuclear weapons development. A DPRK official said only the US, not the ROK, could solve the problem. The ROK's call for talks was echoed by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, who visited Beijing to discuss the impasse. Losyukov was expected to later head to Pyongyang for talks with DPRK officials. ROK President-elect Roh Moo-hyun, speaking to US and European chambers of commerce Friday morning, stated, "I would like to persuade the United States to engage actively in dialogue with North Korea." Roh also said he thought the DPRK was serious about reforming its decrepit economic system. "I think North Korea is sincere about opening up and reforming because they have no choice," he said. Roh has said he wants the ROK to play a prominent role in resolving the crisis over the DPRK's nuclear development. The ROK has said it would use its contact with the DPRK to press for an end to its nuclear programs, but a DPRK official was quoted on Friday as saying that the DPRK would refuse to discuss the nuclear issue in Cabinet-level talks in Seoul next week. "The nuclear issue should be resolved through talks between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the United States," Cho Chung-han, deputy bureau chief of the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, was quoted as saying. "It cannot be resolved by South Koreans."

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

4. PRC Role in DPRK Diplomacy

The Associated Press (Ted Anthony, "CHINA BECOMES SPOT FOR NORTH KOREA DIPLOMACY," Beijing, 01/17/03) carried a story that observed, as the US and the DPRK snipe at each other, the PRC is becoming a clearinghouse for shuttle diplomacy. All comers - Americans and Australians, Russians and South Koreans and United Nations representatives - have showed up to talk to Beijing, transit to Pyongyang or both. This casts the PRC's in the role it has long ached to play: a respected nation whose wisdom and influence are pivotal tools to soothe a global crisis. Such a political landscape, experts say, leaves little room for doctrine-spouting. "If you look at China's foreign policy over the last two years or so, it has become distinctly less moralistic and distinctly more pragmatic," said Kenneth Lieberthal, a University of Michigan political scientist who was senior director for Asia on the Clinton administration's National Security Council. "The United States looks to China to control North Korea's behavior," said Je Sung-ho, a professor at Chung Ang University in Seoul. "Both the United States and South Korea do not want this issue too internationalized because that could shrink their roles. But anyone who wants to resolve this issue must recognize a role by China." Perhaps cognizant of that, the PRC this week stated it was willing to help, and even host talks in Beijing if asked. "China is ready to work with other parties to look for an early settlement on this issue, and China will make efforts in its own way to maintain close contact and consultation with relevant parties," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Thursday.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

5. Russia Role in DPRK Nuclear Diplomacy

The Associated Press (Ted Anthony, "RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT EN ROUTE TO NORTH KOREA FOR NUCLEAR TALKS," Beijing, 01/17/03) reported that a Russian diplomat en route the DPRK said Friday the standoff over the DPRK's nuclear program is primarily a dispute between the DPRK and the US, though it is of "major interest" to other nations. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov arrived in Beijing on Friday morning to meet with Yang Wenchang, his PRC counterpart, on the first leg of an Asian tour that the PRC said would involve Russian "mediation." "First of all, this situation needs to be resolved on a bilateral level, between North Korea and the United States," Losyukov said. "This is mainly an issue between the United States and the DPRK, but other countries also have a major interest in the situation." Later, the PRC Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Yang and Losyukov met and expressed support for "the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." "Both sides hope that the parties concerned can exercise calm and restraint and continue to seek the peaceful settlement of the question through dialogue," the ministry said. Losyukov was to travel to the DPRK, probably later in the day, for talks with officials in Pyongyang. "We hope that the mediation will succeed," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue was quoted as saying in the China Daily newspaper. Russia's Interfax news agency quoted the Foreign Ministry's public affairs office as saying that Russia did not intend to play a role as an intermediary in the North Korea crisis. "It is necessary to allow quiet diplomacy to do its job," Losyukov said. "It is important to refrain from loud statements and from further antagonism of the sides."

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

6. DPRK-IAEA Relations

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK ("KCNA ON UNJUST BEHAVIOR OF IAEA," 01/17/03) carried a story that read that the DPRK's decision to completely withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was entirely attributable to the US hostile policy towards the DPRK and the unwarranted attitude of the International Atomic Energy Agency, its tool. As already known, the DPRK, a non-nuclear state, acceded to the NPT and concluded the safeguards agreement with the IAEA mainly for the purpose of removing the danger of a nuclear war to it. It is well-known fact that the DPRK has been exposed to the constant nuclear threat from the US, the world's biggest possessor of nuclear weapons. But the IAEA has behaved menacingly, repeating the US fiction of the DPRK's "nuclear suspicion" since its signing of safeguards agreement early in 1992. The IAEA should strictly identify international justice, equality and impartiality with a basic principle governing its activity as it is a UN body tasked to monitor and control the nuclear activities of other countries. Its rules forbid it from using any information provided by a third country for the inspection of nuclear facilities and commit it to protecting the data obtained through the inspection. Nevertheless, it inspected DPRK nuclear facilities not in line with its rules and the safeguards agreement but at the beck and call of the US. There are too many examples to cite of the biased and tricky acts done by it in dealing with the DPRK it is self-evident that the DPRK can no longer remain bound to the NPT and the IAEA now that they are being used for the US moves to stifle the DPRK. The US and the IAEA can not shirk the blame for compelling the DPRK to withdraw from the NPT in disregard of the DPRK's efforts to peacefully solve the "nuclear issue" through negotiations.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

7. PRC Domestic Economy

BBC News ("CHINESE PREMIER CALLS FOR BETTER WELFARE," 01/17/03) reported that PRC Premier Zhu Rongji has called for better welfare benefits in the north-east of the country, where two labor leaders stood trial this week over large-scale workers' protests. Zhu told a meeting in Liaoning province that the government must set up a welfare system to strengthen social stability as the country continued economic reforms, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The two men on trial, Yao Fuxin and Xiao Yunliang, are awaiting the verdict over accusations they led thousands of laid-off workers in the city of Liaoyang in demonstrations last year against unpaid wages and corruption.

prev. itemcontentscontacts

8. PRC Internet

The Associated Press ("CHINA REPORTS INTERNET USERS AT 59 MILLION AND GROWING," Beijing, 01/17/03) reported that the number of internet users in the PRC surged past 59 million last year and should rise by tens of millions more this year, the government says. The PRC's online population grew by 13.3 million people in the six months ending Dec. 31 to 59.1 million, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC). It said that gives the PRC's the world's second-biggest population of Internet users, after the US. The PRC has aggressively promoted Internet use for business and education, though it tries to block access to foreign sites run by news media and human rights groups. CINIC, whose latest survey results were reported Thursday by the official Xinhua News Agency, said it expects the PRC's online population to rise by 46 percent by the end of this year to 86.3 million. The survey, carried out twice a year, is the most widely watched set of figures on the PRC's Internet, though results can differ widely from surveys carried out by commercial and academic researchers. If the latest figures are accurate, they suggest that China has passed Japan, which a UN report last year said has 58 million Internet users. The US has 140 million users.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today's report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

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

Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
Department of Political Science, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

Global Peace and Security Program Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network DPRK Renewable Energy Project Nuclear Policy Project Non-Nuclear NATO Network Related Nautilus Projects NAPSNet Special Reports NATO Flash Nuclear Policy Update South Asia Nuclear Dialogue Nautilus Institute Publications Policy Forum Online Signup for Nautilus Email Services Nautilus Research Kiosk Send Feedback Global Peace and Security Program Staff Nautilus Institute Home Energy, Security and Environment Globalization and Governance Youth/Pegasus Program Digital Library Search the Nautilus Site