NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, january 24, 2003

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea

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I. United States

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1. ROK Criticism on DPRK-US Relations

The Associated Press ("ROK PRESIDENT EVOKES REAGAN AND NIXON LEGACY IN CALLING FOR DIALOGUE WITH NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 01/24/03) and the Washington Post (Doug Struck, "ROK LEADER CRITICIZES BUSH APPROACH OUTGOING PRESIDENT CALLS FOR DIALOGUE WITH NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 01/24/03) reported that outgoing ROK president Kim Dae Jung offered veiled criticism of President Bush's motivations in resisting talks with the DPRK today, and dispatched an envoy to the DPRK capital to discuss the nuclear weapons impasse. The DPRK's agreement to receive the envoy to discuss the issue may indicate its willingness to have the ROK help mediate a dispute that, until now, the DPRK has insisted must be a matter dealt with directly by the US. The envoy will fly to Pyongyang on Monday and likely will carry a letter from Kim, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House said. The incoming president, Roh Moo Hyun, also today repeated his offer to meet DPRK leader Kim Jong Il for a summit after Roh takes office Feb. 25. The moves underline the ROK's efforts to become an intermediary in the standoff over the DPRK's program to obtain nuclear weapons-grade uranium. "We are looking for some peaceful way of solving this through dialogue," the presidential spokesman said.

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2. Inter-Korean Nuclear Diplomacy

The New York Times (James Brooke, "KOREAN TALKS MAKE LITTLE PROGRESS ON ARMS ISSUE," Seoul, 01/24/03), the Associated Press (Joseph Coleman, "ROK ENVOYS TO HEAD NORTH FOR TALKS," Seoul, 01/24/03) and the Washington Post ("TWO KOREAS VOW TO SEEK END TO NUCLEAR CRISIS," Seoul, 01/24/03) and the Associated Press (Soo-Jeoung Lee, "KOREAS AGREE TO PEACEFUL NUKE RESOLUTION," Seoul, 01/24/03) reported that the ROK and the DPRK agreed early Friday to peacefully resolve the international standoff over the DPRK's nuclear programs, according to a joint declaration released after Cabinet-level talks. But the ROK acknowledged it had not been able to draw any compromises from the DPRK over its nuclear programs during the two days of talks in Seoul. In the joint declaration, the two sides said they had "sufficiently exchanged" positions on the nuclear issue and "agreed to actively cooperate to resolve this issue peacefully." They agreed to hold the next round of inter-Korean ministerial talks April 7-10 in Pyongyang and another round of inter-Korean economic talks February 11-14 in Seoul. Both sides also pledged to work toward reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.

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3. United Nations Emergency DPRK Meeting

BBC News ("UN WATCHDOG CALLS NORTH KOREA CRISIS TALKS," 01/24/03) reported that the United Nations nuclear watchdog will hold an emergency meeting on 3 February to assess the DPRK crisis and possibly report the issue to the UN Security Council. The 35-nation board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will meet in Vienna, Austria, diplomatic sources said. If reported to the Security Council, the DPRK could consequently face sanctions or other punitive measures. But the PRC and Russia are likely to block such a move and press for a diplomatic solution. The news comes as a senior US envoy, John Bolton, said on Friday that the US still wanted the DPRK's withdrawal from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty referred to the Security Council, but would continue to pursue diplomatic means to resolve the crisis.

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4. DPRK-ROK Presidential Summit

CNN News ("SOUTH KOREA'S NEW LEADER PLANS SUMMIT WITH NORTH," Seoul, 01/24/03) reported ROK President-elect Roh Moo-hyun has told CNN he plans to propose a summit meeting with DPRK leader Kim Jong Il soon after he takes office in an effort to end the on-going nuclear standoff. Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNN's Senior Asia Correspondent Mike Chinoy, Roh said he believed face-to-face dialogue was the only way to resolve the crisis. "We can solve a difficult problem," he said. "It is important to meet in person without any preconditions and have dialogues." Nonetheless Roh, who will be sworn into office February 25, said reaching out could be politically risky. "I will propose to meet with Chairman Kim Jong Il even if I lose face in the eyes of my people, because I value dialogue and I think dialogue is the key," he said. "I don't really care about the form and ceremony of the encounter," said Roh, who is a backer of his predecessor's so-called 'Sunshine Policy' of engagement with Pyongyang.

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5. Japan on DPRK Sanctions

Reuters ("JAPAN CAUTIOUS ABOUT SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 01/24/03) reported that Japan told the US on Friday it wanted a cautious approach to the idea of imposing economic sanctions against the DPRK as punishment for its withdrawal from a treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear arms. The DPRK, in the midst of a tense stand-off with the West over its nuclear ambitions, has said it would consider the imposition of sanctions as tantamount to a declaration of war. "We should consider this (economic sanctions) cautiously," Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi was quoted telling US Undersecretary of State John Bolton in talks in Tokyo. Bolton, the US' top arms control diplomat, said in Seoul Wednesday that the United Nations Security Council would take up the crisis over DPRK's nuclear ambitions this week, a move that would escalate tensions with the DPRK. But diplomats in Vienna, headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, cast doubt on that scenario.

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6. Japan DPRK Pre-Emptive Strike

The Associated Press ("JAPANESE DEFENSE CHIEF SAYS TOKYO CAN STRIKE TO PREVENT DPRK MISSILE ATTACK," Tokyo, 01/24/03) reported that Japan would be entitled to strike a DPRK missile base to prevent an attack if Pyongyang loads fuel into missiles targeted at Japan, Japan's defense chief said Friday. "North Korea in the past has said it can turn Tokyo into a sea of fire. So we consider it (a strike) possible if (North Korea) starts fueling a missile," Shigeru Ishiba told a Parliament committee. He was replying to a question from Yoshinori Suematsu, a member of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, about how Japan would respond if the DPRK prepared to launch a missile attack on Japan. Suematsu's aide Yukiko Matsuda confirmed Ishiba's remarks. Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, meanwhile, told the same committee that such a strike would be an act of self-defense. "If we see there is no alternative, striking bases - such as missile bases - would be within the legal framework of our country's self-defense," Kawaguchi said. Such an attack, however, would not likely be carried out by the Japanese themselves. Ishiba said that under the Japan-US security treaty, the US is expected to handle attacks on the military bases of enemies. He said he expected the US would fulfill this role in the event the DPRK began to fuel its missiles and directed them at Japan for an attack.

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7. US-Japan DPRK Diplomacy

The Associated Press (Kenji Hall, "US ENVOY, TOKYO OFFICIALS DISCUSS NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 01/24/03) and the Associated Press (Kenji Hall, "US ENVOY TRIES TO DISPELL TOKYO'S CONCERNS OVER SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA," Tokyo, 01/24/03) reported that a senior US envoy told Japan's foreign minister Friday that U.N Security Council involvement in pressuring the DPRK to scrap its nuclear weapons program would not necessarily mean sanctions against the DPRK, an official said. US Undersecretary of State John Bolton's three-day visit to Japan came as the DPRK and the ROK agreed early Friday in Cabinet-level talks to try to peacefully resolve the standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear programs. The ROK also said it will send a presidential envoy to the DPRK on Monday to discuss the dispute over the DPRK's nuclear development. Bolton, who is in charge of arms control issues and international security, said the U.N. Security Council debate and discussions of economic sanctions against the DPRK are two separate issues, according to ministry spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi told Bolton she supports the US' stance, but also stressed the need to find a solution through dialogue, Takashima said. The issue of sanctions, however, should be approached carefully, Takashima quoted Kawaguchi as saying. Tokyo worries about a nuclear-armed North Korea.

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8. Russia on DPRK-US Diplomacy

The Associated Press ("RUSSIAN ENVOY THINKS US, NORTH KOREA COULD HOLD DIRECT TALKS WITHIN DAYS," Moscow, 01/24/03) reported that a top Russian diplomat who returned from Pyongyang this week said Friday that the US and the DPRK could be ready for talks over the nuclear crisis "within the near future ... maybe in the next few days." Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov told reporters in Moscow that he believed diplomatic efforts to solve the DPRK nuclear crisis had not been exhausted and that it would be premature for the US to bring the issue before the U.N. Security Council. He supported the DPRK's objection to attempts to internationalize the crisis. "Pyongyang believes in the first place that representatives of North Korea and the US must talk," Losyukov said. Russia will continue to work as an intermediary, the diplomat said, adding that he was optimistic that through a series of small steps, tensions could be reduced and a solution found.

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9. DPRK on US War

CNN News ("KIM JONG IL: 'WE CAN DEFEAT US,'" Seoul, 01/24/03) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il visited troops deployed near the border with the ROK and told them he was confident they would triumph in any war with the US, the DPRK's state news agency said Friday. "Our socialist motherland is sure to win as our soldiers who have grown to be one-match-for-a hundred fighters in the crucible of the arduous revolution are firmly standing guard of the forefront with arms in hands to wipe out the enemy," KCNA quoted Kim as saying during his front-line visit Thursday. KCNA described Kim as "feasting his eyes for a long while on the defense theaters firmly guarded by dependable soldiers" before addressing the troops of the Korean People's Army Unit 230.

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10. PRC Human Rights

The Associated Press (Joe McDonald, "US 'DISAPPOINTED' THAT CHINA DIDN'T DISCLOSE TIBETAN ARRESTS DURING HUMAN RIGHTS TALKS," Beijing, 01/24/03) reported that the US government expressed concern Friday over reports that the PRC has detained as many as 10 Tibetans in recent months, and said it was disappointed that PRC officials failed to tell US diplomats about the cases during human rights talks in December. A PRC official this week confirmed accounts by Tibet activists that at least one more Tibetan was imprisoned and others detained in connection with a case that provoked foreign criticism when another Tibetan was sentenced to death last month for a fatal series of bombings. The cases are unusually sensitive because word of the death sentence came just before talks in Beijing attended by US Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner, the State Department's top human rights official. The US Embassy in Beijing said PRCofficials did not mention the additional cases to Craner. It said he expressed "deep concern" about the severity of the sentence imposed on the condemned man, Lobsang Dhondup, and the possible lack of a fair trial for him and a Buddhist leader convicted with him. "We are disturbed by reports that as many as 10 additional Tibetans were arrested," said an embassy statement.

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11. PRC-Taiwan Internet Attack

The Associated Press ("SENSITIVE TAIWANESE GOVERNMENT E-MAIL ADDRESSES FOR SALE IN RIVAL CHINA, LAWMAKER SAYS," Taipei, Taiwan, 01/24/03) reported that a lawmaker said Friday that confidential Taiwanese government e-mail addresses were on sale over the Internet in the PRC, raising the specter of a possible crippling cyber attack by hackers. The e-mail list had 2.25 million addresses, including several from Taiwanese government units involved in high technology work, said Chou Hsi-wei, of the opposition People First Party. The information was being sold on the Internet by a PRC citizen for 35 million New Taiwan dollars (about US$1 million), the legislator told reporters. Chou didn't say how he obtained the list, which he displayed at a news conference. Chou said that e-mail sent to the government addresses could "introduce virus software that could extract passwords and data files." The Mainland Affairs Council, responsible for Taiwan's China policy, said that it was not aware of the issue.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks

Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, Lee Young-jong, "2 KOREAS STRUGGLE TO END TALKS," Seoul, 01/24/03) reported that after more than two days of meetings, ministerial delegations of the ROK and DPRK remained far apart on how to put down in writing the results of their talks. Working-level officials were settling in for perhaps an all-night session to narrow the differences in the two sides' drafts of the statement that would cap the talks. The issue that dwarfed all other was that of DPRK's nuclear program. ROK wanted language that would commit DPRK to a conscientious effort by DPRK to soothe the jangled nerves of the international community because of its nuclear steps; DPRK wants the statement to call for a joint DPRK-ROK effort toward "national cooperation." Although officials had said earlier that an agreement was near on the question of jurisdiction over movements through the Demilitarized Zone, an issue that the United Nations Command in ROK claims control over, that issue has apparently reached an impasse. ROK wanted agreement to a compromise proposal, but DPRK said it wanted to shelve the matter for now. Military-to-military talks to arrange for the use of cross-border railroads and roads are stalled because of the impasse.

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2. DPRK Defectors in Impending Situation

Joongang Ilbo ("CHINA HINTS AT FREEDOM FOR NORTH BOAT PEOPLE," Beijing, 01/24/03) reported that the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhang Qiyue, said Thursday that a group of North Korean defectors who tried to flee PRC by boat would be handled according to international and domestic law and humanitarian principles. In the past, a reference to "humanitarian principles" has meant that PRC planned to allow defectors to travel to ROK via a third country. Civic groups in ROK and Japan had raised concerns that the group, captured as they tried to depart for ROK and Japan in boats, would be sent back to DPRK. The spokesman said two South Koreans were among those arrested and that authorities are investigating them on charges of aiding the North Koreans. ROK has asked PRC for clemency for the group.

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3. Diplomatic or UNSC Solutions

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Young-sae, "ATOM AGENCY POSTPONES A MEETING ON NORTH KOREA," Seoul, 01/24/03) reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency will defer its meeting to consider the North Korean nuclear issue again by at least a week, officials in ROK said Thursday. US officials had called on the agency to refer DPRK's rejection of nuclear safeguards to the United Nations Security Council, and the group's governing board had been expected to do so. The agency cited scheduling problems for the delay but officials here said Russia had asked for more time to continue its diplomatic efforts to persuade DPRK to back down from its defiance of international condemnation of its nuclear program. Officials here said the postponement does not reflect serious disagreement on referring the matter to the UN security body. Seoul has said it was not opposed to the referral, although some officials added that it saw no need for haste in shifting the focus of diplomacy to the council. ROK and US officials have stressed that the Security Council is very unlikely to move quickly to impose sanctions on DPRK, although it has the authority to do so.

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4. ROK Special Envoy to DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Min-bai, "PRESIDENT ENVOY TO VISIT NK ON MONDAY," Seoul, 01/24/03) reported that Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Park Sun-sook announced Friday that Special Adviser on Diplomacy, Security and Unification Lim Dong-won will visit the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Monday. The visit was agreed on with DPRK and Lim will discuss pending issues such as DPRK's nuclear program and inter-Korean projects. Accompanying Lim will be Lee Jong-seok, a member of President-elect Roh Moo-hyun's Presidential Transition Committee. The special adviser is expected to meet North Korean leader Chairman Kim Jong Il and deliver a letter from incumbent President Kim Dae-jung. Lim will travel via a direct flight Monday morning and is scheduled to return on January 29.

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5. Russia's Efforts to arbitrate

Chosun Ilbo ("RUSSIAN ENVOY SAYS KIM JONG IL POISED FOR DIALOGUE," Seoul, 01/24/03) reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has shown deep interest in Russian President Vladimir Putin's "package plan," which calls for security guarantees and a resumption of economic aid to the DPRK in return for a commitment to keep the Korean peninsula nuclear-free. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov reported this upon returning home from Pyongyang on Wednesday. The special envoy was quoted by the Itar-Tass News Agency as saying in a press conference that DPRK is willing to resume dialogue for a peaceful resolution to the nuclear crisis. Deputy Minister Losyukov also hinted at the possibility of bilateral talks between Russia and US, to draw up a new mediation plan.

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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

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