NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, february 18, 2003

I. United States

II. People's Republic of China III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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I. United States

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1. DPRK 1953 Armistice Withdrawal

Reuters (Lee Jae-won, "NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO SCRAP TRUCE, SOUTH NOT ALARMED," Panmunjom, South Korea, 02/18/03), the Washington Post (Sang Hun Choe, "NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO WITHDRAW FROM 1953 ARMISTICE," Seoul, 02/18/03) and BBC News ("NORTH KOREA THREATENS TO SCRAP TRUCE," 02/18/03) reported that the DPRK threatened today to abandon the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and accused the US of plotting an attack. A spokesman for the Korean People's Army asserted that the US was building up reinforcements around the Korean Peninsula in preparation for an attack, said the Korean Central News Agency. "The situation is, therefore, getting more serious as the days go by as it is putting its plan for preemptive attacks on the [North] into practice," the agency quoted the unidentified spokesman as saying. A DPRK withdrawal from the armistice would remove the main mechanism that is helping to keep an uneasy peace on the peninsula. The frontier between the two Koreas is the most heavily armed border in the world. The announcement is the latest move in a crisis over the DPRK's recent decision to restart nuclear programs that are in violation of international treaties. The DPRK's threat came a day after a declaration by the DPRK that it would triumph in the nuclear standoff. That bluster also came as the ROK's outgoing president, Kim Dae Jung, warned that the DPRK's production of atomic weapons could force his country and Japan to build nuclear bombs as well.

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2. ROK on Inter-Korean War

CNN News ("SOUTH KOREA: NO CHANCE OF KOREAN WAR," 02/18/03) reported that the DPRK ratcheted up tensions in its four-month nuclear dispute with the US by warning it would quit the armistice, which ended the Korean War. The ROK's Kim told his cabinet that although the crisis had forced the government to reconsider the threat posed by the DPRK, the risk of war was nonexistent. "My conclusion is that I believe the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula is slight -- in fact, non-existent," said Kim, according to comments published by his office. The ROK president repeated a call for prompt US-North Korea talks, saying they were "the only way to solve this problem." Kim steps down next week after a five-year term to make way for incoming president Roh Moo-hyun.

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3. Japan on DPRK Armistice Withdrawal

The Japan Times ("FUKUDA CALLS FOR CALM AFTER PYONGYANG THREAT," 02/18/03) reported that DPRK Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda called for calm Tuesday following the DPRK's threat to abandon the Korean War armistice if the US imposes sanctions on it. "It is in line with (Pyongyang's) way of thinking, that views sanctions as an act of war," the government spokesman told a news conference. "We must take it calmly." Earlier Tuesday, the DPRK said it has "no option but to take a decisive step to abandon its commitment" to the 1953 Korean War armistice if the US imposes sanctions in retaliation for its development of nuclear weapons.

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4. US-Japan Missile Defense System

The Associated Press (Kozo Mizoguchi, "JAPAN, US TO TEST JOINT MISSILE SYSTEM," Tokyo, 02/18/03) reported that Japan and the US will test a missile-defense system that aims to repel a potential attack by the DPRK, the Defense Agency said Monday. The system would launch ship-based missiles against enemy warheads fired at Japan, intending to knock them out of the sky, agency spokesman Ichiro Imaizumi said. "Missile testing will be carried out in due course," Imaizumi said. A report in Monday's Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper said the nations will begin testing the missile-defense system in Hawaii next year. Japan has no missile-testing range. The push to develop a new system began in 1999, a year after the DPRK test-fired a missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean. The total cost of the project was not immediately known, but the newspaper said Japan would shoulder about $165 million of the development costs. Imaizumi said the issues of cost-sharing and testing dates have not been decided. Japan and US currently are working on four parts of the new missile - the nose cone, kinetic warhead, infrared seeker and second-stage rocket, he said. Japan has spent $124 million on the project in the past five years, with $15.7 million earmarked for the fiscal year 2003 that starts in April, Imaizumi said. The DPRK already has about 100 Nodong missiles, each with a range of about 800 miles - far enough to reach most of Japan, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported.

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5. US on DPRK Economic Sanctions

The New York Times (James Dao, "US PLANNING SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA," Washington, 02/18/03) reported that the Bush administration is developing plans for sanctions against the DPRK, that would include halting its weapons shipments and cutting off money sent there by Koreans living in Japan, in the event that the DPRK continues its march toward developing nuclear weapons, senior administration officials say. The officials said late last week the administration had no plans to push for the sanctions soon, since the US' Pacific allies still oppose the idea and the United Nations Security Council is likely to remain focused on Iraq for weeks. But the Pentagon and State Department are developing detailed plans for sanctions, and perhaps other actions, so that the US has a forceful response ready in case the DPRK takes aggressive new steps toward developing nuclear weapons, senior officials said. Many administration officials believe that it is just a matter of time before the DPRK resumes testing long-range missiles, for example, or starts reprocessing nuclear fuel for weapons production. Many officials also worry that if the US attacks Iraq, the DPRK will use the opportunity to push forward with weapons production. "If they start to dismantle their weapons programs, then we can talk about incentives," a senior administration official said. "But if they torque up the pressure, you're looking at the other direction. That's when sanctions become much more likely." The officials said the possibility of sanctions would be part of a broader diplomatic campaign intended to get the DPRK to step back from its nuclear programs.

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6. PRC-DPRK Nuclear Diplomacy

CNN News (Lisa Rose Weaver, "CHINA, NORTH KOREA MEET OVER NUCLEAR DEADLOCK," Beijing, 02/18/03) reported that PRC Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi has met with the DPRK's Foreign Minister Paek Namsun to discuss the nuclear standoff unfolding on the Korean Peninsula. While the PRC declined to say whether they talked about the DPRK'sthreat to drop out of the 1953 Armistice which ended the Korean War, a PRC Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the meeting looked at resolving the current crisis through diplomacy and dialogue. "Both sides had a deep and broad discussion on the nuclear issue in North Korea, and exchanged views on the issue. Each side also said they want to see the issue resolved through peaceful means and through dialogue," said PRC Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue. Although the meeting occurred only hours after the DPRK's threat to withdraw from the 1953 Armistice, it was not clear if the meeting had been called in reaction to the news. According to the Foreign Ministry, Paek was passing through Beijing en route to a meeting of non-aligned nations in Kuala Lumpur. The DPRK embassy in Beijing would not comment.

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7. ROK Subway Arson Attack

The Washington Post (Soo-Jeong Lee, "DEATH TOLL IN ARSON ATTACK IN SOUTH KOREAN SUBWAY EXPECTED TO REACH 120," Daegu, South Korea, 02/18/03) reported that fire raced through two subway trains packed with people in the ROK on Tuesday after a man ignited a carton filled with flammable material, officials said. The total death toll will be about 120, firefighting and rescue officials said. A suspect was under interrogation in Daegu, the ROK's third-largest city, but police still did not know what motivated the attack. Rescue workers had given up the search for survivors by the afternoon, and many of the more than 135 injured were seriously hurt. Authorities reported removing 70 bodies from one of the two trains destroyed in the attack. Combined with the more than 50 already confirmed dead, the final toll will be about 120, said Lim Dae-yoon, the chief of Daegu city's east district municipal government. "The total death toll is expected to rise to about 120. We believe the death toll will not rise drastically from that," Lim said. Earlier, fire department officials and media reports said there were about 100 charred bodies in the incinerated subway train. Many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, and officials said they would have to wait for DNA tests that could take weeks to determine an exact number. The fire started in one six-car train at a station, igniting seats and spreading to another train also stopped at the station, officials said. The fire killed people by the dozens, burning its victims or asphyxiating them with deadly fumes. Officials refused to speculate at a final tally.

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8. DPRK Asylum Seekers

The Associated Press (Hans Greimel, "DUCKING EMBASSIES, NORTH KOREA ASYLUM SEEKERS ENTER FOREIGN SCHOOL IN CHINA," Tokyo, 02/18/03) reported that in a new twist on DPRK asylum seeking in the PRC, four people who fled the DPRK entered a Japanese school in Beijing on Tuesday to apparently ask Japan for political protection, the Japanese government said. The PRC has barricaded foreign embassies and consulates with barbed wire after a rash of DPRK asylum seekers ran through lightly guarded embassy entrances last year. Tuesday's asylum seekers sidestepped the tightly guarded diplomatic quarters and focused on the Japanese School, which is run by Japan's Education Ministry for Japanese nationals in Beijing. Japanese Embassy officials then picked the people up in an embassy car and drove them back to the Japanese Embassy for interviewing, said Foreign Ministry Assistant Press Secretary Jiro Okuyama. It was still unclear whether they were Japanese nationals who had moved to the DPRK, former Korean residents of Japan or DPRK citizens, Okuyama said. It was also uncertain whether they were seeking refugee status or asylum, he added.

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9. Kim Jong Il Birthday Celebration

The Washington Post (Joohee Cho and Doug Struck, "'DEAR LEADER' FETED IN NORTH KOREA, KIM'S BIRTHDAY FEATURES DISPLAYS OF LOYALTY, MILITARY READINESS THEMES," Seoul, 02/18/03) reported that the DPRK turned out by the millions today to praise Kim Jong Il's birthday. Fireworks, nationwide displays of loyalty and huge musical and art performances marked the birthday today of Kim Jong Il, 61, the man at the center of an extraordinary personality cult in his isolated nation. A new song written for Kim's birthday is titled "The Road of the Military-First Long March." The Rodung newspaper picked up the theme today, saying the US was pushing the country "to the brink of war" and urging DPRK citizens to "burn with hatred and hostility in their heart" toward the US. Descriptions of Kim's past birthday celebrations by DPRK refugees who have left the country provide a glimpse of that zealous mix. "For the children, it's more joyful than Christmas," said Lee, a farmer who fled to China with her grown son when life became unbearable. "Every child up to junior high school gets a boxed present. You'd have cookies and candies, good enough for the whole year. "The children are told it is the present from our Dear Leader because he loves all children. This is the most awaited day of the year, not just for the children, but for the adults as well. "If it is some kind of [five-year] anniversary, we got special presents, like blankets for every household," she said. "Blankets might not mean much here in South Korea, but in North Korea, it is a very precious commodity. We once got a clock for the house, too. And for the military, the soldiers would get more valuable presents like an electronic wristwatch. They would come home and flash those presents to their families. It makes you feel important and special. So for the soldiers, too, it's a great celebration."

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10. PRC-Japan-US Trade

The Associated Press ("CHINA BEATS US AS TOP EXPORTER TO JAPAN," Tokyo, 02/18/03) reported that the PRC overtook the US as the world's leading exporter to Japan last year, reflecting the rising importance of Sino-Japanese trade, a government-backed trade group said Tuesday. Imports to Japan from the PRC in 2002 totaled $61.7 billion, up 6.1 percent from the previous year, making the PRC the world's top exporter to Japan for the first time, the Japan External Trade Organization, or Jetro, said. All told, the PRCnow accounts for 18.3 percent of Japan's total imports. The US accounted for 17 percent of Japan's imports at $57.5 billion, down 9.5 percent from the previous year for the second straight year of decline, it said. Japan's major imports from the PRC include machinery, textiles and computer parts, according to Tokyo-based Jetro, while Japan's exports to the PRC were up in computer chips and other electronic parts, machinery, cranes, cars and steel. The PRC was the world's second biggest market for Japanese exports after the US last year. The PRC accounted for 9.6 percent of Japan's exports last year at $39.9 billion, up 28 percent from the previous year.

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11. PRC Anti-Corruption

BBC News ("CHINESE OFFICIAL VOWS TO END CORRUPTION," 02/18/03) reported that a senior PRC Communist Party official has warned of the "extreme danger" posed to the Party by corruption. Wu Guanzheng, chairman of the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, urged committee members to seek new ways to fight the problem. "All commission members must realise the difficulty, and raise their vigilance and awareness of the extreme danger of corruption," Wu said on Tuesday, according to the official newspaper People's Daily. There is mounting concern in the PRC that official corruption is eroding the Communist Party's authority. In late January, a meeting of the party's key Politburo reportedly decided that officials at all levels should submit to public supervision.

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12. Japan Emperor Status

The Associated Press ("JAPAN EMPEROR BACK TO WORK AFTER SURGERY," Tokyo, 02/18/03) reported that Japan's Emperor Akihito resumed his official duties Tuesday after taking a one-month rest to undergo cancer surgery. Officials said the 69-year-old monarch's recovery from the surgery on Jan. 18 for prostate cancer has been better than expected. He was released early from the hospital and is expected to fully recover. During Akihito's hospitalization, his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, took over all official duties. Akihito's return to his official role was approved Tuesday morning by a Cabinet vote. One of his first duties will be to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday. The last time the emperor was hospitalized was in June 1995, when he had surgery to remove a benign polyp in his large intestine. Under Japan's postwar constitution, the royal family has no official political powers and its role is largely symbolic. They frequently travel abroad, sign government documents, greet dignitaries and bestow various cultural awards.

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13. Inter-Korean Relations

The LA Times (Barbara Demick, "NORTH KOREA TRYING HARD TO BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR," Mt. Kumgang, North Korea, 02/18/03) carried a story that read it is so cold inside the restaurant that the waitresses are sporting long underwear beneath the short green polyester skirts of their uniforms. When customers inquire about heat, a waitress with a brisk military demeanor snaps that there is only an air conditioner. No apologies are offered. Such kinks still need to be worked out at the newly opened Kumgang Hall restaurant. Even at midday, the interior, decorated with dark wood paneling and beaded curtains, doesn't have enough light to illuminate a menu -- not that there is one. Still, the $9 lunch of steamed crab, dumplings and bibimbap, a rice and vegetable dish, is surprisingly tasty. And the mere fact that the restaurant exists is an achievement. Kumgang Hall is one of the first DPRK-run restaurants devoted exclusively to ROK tourists, and it is part of a new wave of cooperation projects between the estranged halves of the peninsula. Even as a dispute has been raging with the US over the DPRK's nuclear program, The DPRK and ROK have been making huge strides in their relations. Last week, they opened the first civilian road through the demilitarized zone that separates them. The thoroughfare is expected to bring more than 300,000 visitors annually to a 4-year-old tourist enclave around Mt. Kumgang, on the southeastern coast of North Korea. In recent weeks, two DPRK-run restaurants have opened here for the ROK. A third is scheduled to open soon. Development is expected to begin in a few months on a golf course and a ski lift. Estranged DPRK and ROK relatives are scheduled to meet here next weekend. Groundbreaking is also expected soon for a huge ROK-run industrial park in Kaesong, a city 32 miles into DPRK.

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14. PRC on US-Iraq Situation

Reuters ("CHINA SAYS PEACE OPTIONS NOT EXHAUSTED ON IRAQ," Beijing, 02/18/03) reported that the PRC

The PRC said on Tuesday not all options have been exhausted to prevent a US attack on Iraq and called on the international community to push for a peaceful solution. "We've not yet reached the stage 'where the hills and streams end'," PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told a news conference, quoting a PRC proverb. The PRC has called for weapons inspectors in Iraq to be given more time and welcomed an appeal by France, Germany and Russia for greater efforts to disarm Iraq peacefully. "We think all sides concerned should exert their utmost effort and endeavor to ensure a peaceful resolution," Zhang said when asked to comment on 15 European Union leaders declaring for the first time that war should be used as a last resort. But Zhang dismissed talk of a PRC alliance with Russia and France, saying peace was the common aspiration of the international community.

II. People's Republic of China

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1. ROK-DPRK Relations

China Daily ("DPRK OPENS ITS BORDER," Seoul, 02/15-16/03, P8) reported that the ROK and the DPRK on February 14 opened their heavily fortified border for the first time in five decades to allow hundreds of civilians to travel overland to the DPRK. The report said that DPRK decided to allow ROK citizens to use a recently opened temporary road along its east coast for the sixth reunion of separated families and relatives to be held in Mount Kumgang. A group of 498 ROK people embarked on an overland trial tour to Mount Kumgang in the DPRK aboard 20 or so buses through a temporary road on February 14. Before the departure, the ROK government held a celebratory ceremony to mark the opening of the temporary road which links the ROK Gangwon Province to the DPRK resort passing through the demilitarized zone. The pilot trip will last three days, and the tourists will return to the ROK on February 16 also through the road, according to the program. In another development, ROK President Kim Dae-jung apologized to his people over a controversial cash transfer by the Hyundai Group to the DPRK, said the report.

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2. ROK-US Relations

China Daily (Seoul, 02/15-16/03, P8) reported in one sentence that a US military tribunal in ROK has jailed a US soldier for 30 year for charges including sodomy and assault against a ROK soldier, the US army said in a statement on February 14, according to the report.

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3. Development of DPRK's Nuke Issue

People's Daily (Zhao Jiaming, "DPRK ACCUSES IAEA OF INTERFERING IN ITS INTERNAL AFFAIRS," Pyongyang, 02/15/03, P3) reported that the DPRK on February 14 condemned the IAEA for referring the rift over its nuclear issue to the UN Security Council, branding the IAEA's decision as an interference in its internal affairs. "The IAEA interfered the nuclear issue of the DPRK," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the country's official agency, said in a lengthy commentary. The IAEA has no right to discuss the DPRK's nuclear issue as Pyongyang withdrew from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and declared its effectuation, the commentary said, adding that there isn't any legal relationship between the IAEA and DPRK. The commentary urged the IAEA to refer the US to the UN for "violating the basic spirit of the NPT and all the agreements between the DPRK and US, and sparking the present nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula" in order to restore the confidence as an international organization, said the report.

China Daily ("COUNTRIES DIFFER ON IAEA'S DECISION," Seoul, 02/14/03, P12) reported that US on February 12 welcomed a decision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take the nuclear issue of the DPRK to the UN Security Council, while Russia, PRC and ROK responded cautiously. It reported that the DPRK has rejected any third party role in its dispute with US over its alleged nuclear program. However, US insisted that dialogue with DPRK be held in "a multilateral setting". The decision of the IAEA to take the nuclear issue of the DPRK to the UN Security Council is premature, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on February 12. ROK's representative to the IAEA's board issued a statement describing the agency's decision as "a direct and inevitable consequence" of the DPRK's withdrawal from the NPT announced on January 10. As for DPRK, a senior foreign ministry of it warned on February 13 and insisted DPRK had a right to self-defense, saying it has the ability to strike US targets anywhere in the world if provoked. Japanese Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said that Japan would launch a military strike against DPRK if it had firm evidence that the state was ready to attack with ballistic missiles, said the report.

China Daily ("EU CHIEF PREPARES TO PACK BAGS FOR DPRK," Tokyo, 02/11/03, P12) reported that EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after meeting with Japan's foreign minister on February 9, that Japan was against imposing sanctions on DPRK for restarting frozen nuclear facilities and ending its moratorium on missile testing. Meanwhile, the ROK highlighted on February 10 how it differs from US in its view of the DPRK when the ROK's prime minister said it had never been confirmed that the DPRK has nuclear weapons. At the same time, US Secretary of State Colin Powell reiterated on February 9 that US believes DPRK has already produced one or two nuclear weapons and that the present stand-off was aimed at thwarting the DPRK's efforts to make more, said the report.

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4. PRC-ROK Relations on DPRK Nuke Issue

China Daily (Hu Xiao, "SEOUL ENVOY: LET'S WORK TO PREVENT WAR," 02/14/03, P1) reported that Lee Hae-chan, the ROK special envoy to PRC, stressed on February 13 the need to use every means possible to avoid war on the Korean Peninsula and told PRC President Jiang Zemin that his country was willing to work with PRC to peacefully resolve the peninsula's nuclear issue, when meeting with Jiang on February 13. Jiang said PRC had consistently stood for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula to ensure its peace, stability and development, and PRC still wanted to peacefully resolve the issue through dialogue and would continue its efforts towards this end. According to the report, President-elect Roh dispatched high-level delegations led by Lee Hae-chan and Chough Soon-hyung to PRC and Russia before his inauguration on February 25 to map out a joint strategy to peacefully address the nuclear issue. Lee said the president-elect attaches great importance to promoting the ROK-PRC partnership, and ROK will continue to promote the development of the ROK-DPRK relations. PRC hopes to see improvements in and a relaxation of South-North relations, Jiang said in the report.

China Daily (Hu Xiao, "QIAN MEETS SPECIAL ENVOY OF ROK," 02/13/03, P1) reported that Lee Hae-chan, the ROK's special envoy to PRC, said on February 12 that his country will continue to seek a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Lee held meetings with PRC Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi, exchanging views on bilateral relations and situation on the peninsula. Lee briefed Qian on the internal and external policies of the ROK's incoming government, saying the president-elect attaches great importance to promoting the ROK-PRC partnership. Qian said PRC welcomed ROK's announcement that it will continue the policy of reconciliation and cooperation with DPRK, which was proposed and implemented by retiring President Kim Dae-jung, said the report.

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5. PRC's Attitude towards DPRK Nuclear Issue

People's Daily ("CHINA URGES TALKS HELD BETWEEN US AND DPRK," Beijing, 02/12/03, P4) reported that PRC foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue told a press conference on February 11 that PRC hopes to see the bilateral talks between US and DPRK be held as soon as possible, and to make efforts to promote the peaceful resolution to the issue. The key to the nuke issue lies in guaranteeing the denuclearization of the peninsula, which was all along supported by PRC Government, she added. The only correct and effective approach to the solution of the DPRK nuclear issue is through a peaceful and political way, said Zhang in the report.

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6. US's Security Policy

China Daily ("US SPY PLANES ACTIVE IN OKINAWA: REPORT," Tokyo, 02/11/03, P11) reported that as the nuclear crisis in the DPRK escalates, US spy planes are stepping up activities around the strategic Japanese island of Okinawa. The only US air force WC-135W plane, which helps collect and identify debris from nuclear weapons detonations, landed at Okinawa's Kadena airbase six days earlier. An E-6 Mercury, which provides command and communications in controlling bombers, also flew into Kadena for the first time in about five years and stayed there for five days until February 8, the report added.

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7. PRC's Commentary on Japan's Diplomatic Policy

China Daily (Jin Xide, "DIPLOMATIC REPORT REVEALS JAPAN'S DILEMMA," 02/14/03, P4) carried an article commenting that the recent report by the Japanese Government shows the country's foreign policies are ambiguous, demonstrating intrinsic contradictions in its complicated national sentiment and different foreign lines. According to the article, the report on Japanese basic diplomatic strategy in the 21st century, claims Japan should immediately draw up a clear-cut diplomatic strategy based upon its national interests. A heavy proportion of the report is dedicated to how Japan should deal with PRC's emergence as an economic power, and it is one of Japan's important goals in the 21st century to cope with the rise of PRC. The report betrays that Japan has now fallen into a deep dilemma on how to adapt itself to PRC's rapid economic development, the article said. However, it seems the report has made hard work to avert plunging into a conventional pattern of the "China threat" theory, and it appeals to Japan to look upon its relation with PRC in a calm mood, but not with blind nationalist sentiment. The article commented that the whole report is still permeated with a heavy tone of a "China threat" in fact. It even suggests Japan should strengthen diplomatic ties with Taiwan Province and its security alliance with US will best serve Japan's national security within the foreseeable future and therefore gives lavish praise on its largest ally. The report also suggests issues on the collective self-defense power should be discussed and Japan's playing a "world police" role in maintaining world security. But at the same time, it expresses concerns about the "serious anti-Japanese" sentiment among young PRC people, said the article. At last, the article commented that the report fully demonstrates Japan's dilemma in diplomatic decision-making.

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8. Russia's Response to DPRK's Nuke Issue

People's Daily ("RUSSIA TO BACK UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON DPRK ISSUE," Moscow, 02/15/03, P3) reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said in an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia that Moscow will support a UN Security Council's resolution on the nuclear crisis in the DPRK, should a direct dialogue shape up between Pyongyang and Washington. "The Russian delegation abstained from voting on the draft resolution passed by the IAEA yesterday to denounce The DPRK. We believe that if the issue is moved to the United Nations, this will not contribute to inducing a constructive and trustful dialogue between the two sides," said the official in the report.

III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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1. Issue #94

Canada urges Pyongyang to show restraint in an increasingly tense nuclear standoff with the United States but will not send a delegation to the DPRK. Sweden, on the other hand, intends to send an economic delegation in the near future and one from DPRK is set to visit Sweden in May. Noting that it will continue development aid to the DPRK, the Swedish government's position is that criticism should be treated separately from economic support. An envoy of South Korean President-elect Roh Moo-hyun is quoted as saying during a dinner conversation that the incoming government would prefer North Korean nuclear weapons to North Korean collapse. The IAEA declares the DPRK in breach of nuclear safeguards and sends the issue to the UN Security Council. EU foreign policy chief Solana warns that UN sanctions will only serve to escalate tensions rather than defuse the crisis.

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