NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, april 2, 2003

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. CanKor E-Clipping

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Pakistan Missile Export?

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA EXPORTED SCUD MISSILES TO PAKISTAN IN MARCH: JAPANESE REPORT," Tokyo, 04/02/03) reported that the DPRK exported some 10 Scud missiles to Pakistan last month possibly in return for Islamabad's nuclear technology, a Japanese newspaper reported, quoting an unnamed US security official. The Scud B missiles with the range of 300 kilometres (185 miles) were loaded on a Pakistan-flagged cargo ship in North Korea's southwestern port of Nampo in mid-March, the Sankei Shimbun said. The vessel was refuelled at a PRC port and entered Pakistani territory in late March, it said, quoting the US official and other anonymous sources. The US detected the missile export with satellite information from the National Reconnaissance Office and as a result of Central Intelligence Agency espionage, it said. The US has slapped sanctions on a Pakistani firm and the DPRK over an alleged barter deal in which it is claimed the DPRK swapped missile components for expertise in developing a nuclear program. Pakistan has vehemently denied the allegations.

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2. ROK Stance on DPRK Missile Firing

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA UNSURE ON NORTH KOREA LAUNCH," Seoul, 04/02/03) reported that in an apparent bow to allies, the ROK changed its stance Wednesday and said it could not rule out that the DPRK test-fired an anti-ship missile the day before. However, the ROK maintained that a missile launch was unlikely. On Tuesday, an ROK Defense Ministry spokesman said that ROK and US military intelligence "concluded that there was no missile launch." The debate over whether there was a missile launch seemed to have less to with the threat posed by the actual event than with three allies - the ROK, Japan and the US - taking a unified stance on their intelligence reports. The US Defense Department says for certain that the DPRK fired the missile Tuesday. Japan initially agreed and then said it could not confirm the launch. The ROK said there was no firing. But on Wednesday, an ROK Defense Ministry spokesman said Seoul could not say for sure there was no launch. He did not elaborate. "Chances are low that North Korea launched a ground-to-ship missile, but we cannot totally rule it out," the spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

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3. ROK Parliament on US-Led War on Iraq

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREA PRESIDENT URGES BACKING FOR TROOP DISPATCH TO IRAQ," 04/02/03) and BBC News ("SOUTH KOREA BACKS IRAQ WAR MOVE," 04/02/03) reported that the ROK National Assembly has approved a government proposal to send 700 non-combatant troops to support the US-led war on Iraq. The vote was a victory for President Roh Moo-hyun, who had told parliament that the deployment was essential for pragmatic reasons. He said sending the troops - mainly medical and engineering experts - would strengthen ties with Washington, which he argued was essential for a peaceful solution to the DPRK nuclear crisis. The vote in parliament on the issue had been postponed twice following serious public opposition to the decision. As the president spoke on Wednesday, thousands of people protested outside the National Assembly building in the latest of several rallies across the country. The decision to send ROK troops to Iraq was overwhelmingly endorsed, with 179 in favour, 68 against, and nine abstentions, officials said. The National Assembly had been expected to pass the vote, as the conservative GNP, which holds a majority in parliament, supports the president's pledge. Earlier on Wednesday, Roh appealed for the country's backing, in an address to parliament. "I have decided to send troops. It is because the fate of this country and the nation are at stake," Roh said. The ROK leader acknowledged that many in the country were opposed to war in Iraq. But, he said, "regretfully, international politics are swayed by the power of reality, not by principles."

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4. US Stealth Fighter Jets in ROK

The Washington Post (Daniel Cooney, "US PLANES IN SOUTH KOREA WILL REMAIN AS DETERRENT," Seoul, 04/02/03) reported US stealth fighter jets and other warplanes brought to the ROK for joint war games will remain to act as a deterrent against the DPRK, the US military said today. The planes are the newest part of an increase of US military force in the region during heightened tensions with the DPRK over its nuclear program. A statement from the US military said that an unspecified number of radar-evading F-117s, some F-15E Strike Eagle fighters and a small Army task force that were brought to the ROK for exercises with the ROK military will stay in the country. More than 85 percent of the forces deployed to the ROK for the exercise will leave, the statement said. They include the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and thousands of soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel. A spokesman for the ROK's Unification Ministry said retaining the stealth aircraft would send a message to Pyongyang, that it must not threaten its neighbors while US forces are focused on Iraq. But some analysts said that DPRK might see the planes as a significant threat. The F-117s would be capable of attacking a broad variety of targets in the DPRK, including the Yongbyon nuclear plant. The last time the US based stealth fighters in the ROK indefinitely was in 1994 when the US was embroiled in a similar dispute with the DPRK about its nuclear program. President Bill Clinton considered a surgical strike on Yongbyon, but the crisis ended peacefully.

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5. Japan on Korean Peninsula

Reuters ("JAPAN PM SEES LITTLE CHANCE OF NORTH KOREA CONFLICT," Tokyo, 04/02/03) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he believed the danger of hostilities breaking out over the DPRK's nuclear program were extremely small, according to an interview in the Washington Post released on Wednesday. Koizumi also said he felt that the DPRK would not launch a ballistic missile over Japan, as happened in 1998, and that the administration of President Bush was handling the nuclear crisis appropriately. "I believe the Bush administration is handling this matter appropriately," Koizumi was quoted as saying. "As far as I can judge in directly talking to President Bush and Secretary (of State Colin) Powell, I positively believe they are responding very judiciously and gently."

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6. Japan on US-Led War on Iraq

The Washington Post (Doug Struck, "IN INTERVIEW, KOIZUMI DEFENDS SUPPORT FOR WAR," Tokyo, 04/02/03) reported that Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi predicted today that the Japanese public would come to understand his decision to support the US in the war with Iraq, but he acknowledged that for now people in his country remain "overwhelmingly against" his position. Koizumi expressed confidence in his decision, which some analysts and policymakers here say is undermining Japan's decades-long efforts to play the role of pacifist nation in world affairs and strong supporter of the United Nations. "I believe it's possible to make them compatible," Koizumi said of the choice between the US and the United Nations, which some in his government had desperately sought to avoid. Opinion polls show opposition to the war at 65 percent or more, and there have been scattered antiwar demonstrations. "The people fully understand what kind of danger you're exposed to when the weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological weapons, fall in the hands of a dangerous despot," Koizumi said in the interview in his office Monday. "Also, considering Japan's own defense and security, the public knows the importance of the Japan-US alliance," he said. "The Japanese defense capability is not adequate, and with the security pact with the US, Japan is defending itself."

#. DPRK Response to US-Led War on Iraq

The New York Times (Howard W. French, "NORTH KOREA'S REACTION ON IRAQ IS SUBDUED SO FAR," Seoul, 04/02/03) carried an analytical piece reported that since the start of the Iraq war, this country and the neighboring region have been nervously awaiting some new action by the DPRK that could set the Korean Peninsula on a course toward war. Many observers expected the DPRK to begin reprocessing plutonium in a race to produce nuclear weapons, but so far there is no sign of that happening. After Japan launched a spy satellite last week, others expected the DPRK to make good on a threat to test another long-range ballistic missile like the one it fired over Japan and into the North Pacific in 1998. The DPRK has for months insisted that its aim is to reach a settlement with the US that will guarantee its security while meeting the US demand that it not build unconventional weapons. Although predicting DPRK behavior is often a perilous exercise, more analysts are concluding that the DPRK's relative restraint in recent weeks reflects an understanding that any combination of nuclear-weapon production or threatening missile tests would ruin any chance of an accord. The DPRK's temperance so far has been encouraged by a variety of factors. It is less widely known, but potentially just as important, that the PRC has stepped up its warnings to the DPRK. Last month during a visit to Beijing senior PRC officials reportedly warned the DPRK foreign minister that renewed provocations by the North could harm its relationship with the PRC. Shortly afterward, as if to drive the message home, PRC oil supplies by pipeline to the DPRK were interrupted for several days.

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8. Asia Response to SARS

BBC News ("ASIA ACTS TO CONTAIN DEADLY VIRUS," 04/02/03) and the Agence France-Presse ("KILLER RESPIRATORY VIRUS A NIGHTMARE FOR REGIONAL EXHIBITORS," 04/02/03) reported that Asia-Pacific countries are attempting to stem the spread of the virulent disease which has already hit several areas in the region, including Hong Kong and the PRC. Thailand said that all visitors arriving from countries affected by SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) must wear masks at all times or face a fine of up to 10,000 baht ($233) or a six-month jail term. The move came as Thailand suffered its second death from the disease on Wednesday. And Malaysia said it was temporarily banning the hiring of foreign workers from affected countries. Thai Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan told a news conference that visitors from the PRC, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam would be screened by doctors on arrival in Thailand and would be immediately deported if they showed symptoms of SARS. Health ministry officials said masks would be provided at Thai ports of entry. Several governments have advised their citizens against travel to countries affected by the virus. Hong Kong, one of the most affected areas, is requiring visitors to fill in health declarations and pass through quarantine inspection centers.

Reuters ("CHINA'S HEALTH MINISTER SAYS SARS UNDER CONTROL," Beijing, 04/02/03) and Agence France-Presse ("CHINA ALLOWS WHO TEAM TO VISIT PNEUMONIA OUTBREAK PROVINCE," 04/02/03) reported that the PRC agreed to allow a World Health Organization (WHO) team to enter Guangdong province, the presumed source of the outbreak of killer pneumonia, WHO regional chief Shigeru Omi told AFP. "Aside from allowing the visit, China has also agreed to provide the WHO daily reports and updates of the illness," said Omi, director of the Manila-based WHO Western Pacific regional office. "This is a very positive development for controlling the spread of SARS," he said. A WHO team has been in the PRC for about a week awaiting a green light from the PRC authorities to visit Guangdong in the south where the SARS outbreak is believed to have started in November. The PRC's reporting on the disease has been widely criticized as it differs vastly from the rest of the world, where new cases and fatalities have been reported almost daily since the outbreak spread worldwide in earnest in February.

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9. PRC Response to Human Rights Report

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA READYING RESPONSE TO US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT," 04/02/03) reported that the PRC is preparing a response to a US government report on human rights that blasted Beijing for having a poor record in the field, an official said. The US State Department angered the PRC by the release earlier this week of its annual human rights report which said the PRC government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses. "We'll make an appropriate response," said an official at the Cabinet's Information Office, who gave his surname as Chen. He declined to be more specific, saying the PRC government was currently "studying" the situation. Over the past three years the PRC has responded to the State Department's report by issuing its own report on human rights problems in the US.

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10. Philippines on DPRK Impact on Regional Stability

AsiaPulse ("PHILIPPINES FM WARNS OF NORTH KOREAN THREAT TO ASIAN STABILITY," MANILA, PHILIPPINES, 04/02/03) reported that Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople warned that peace and stability of East Asia is seriously threatened by the refusal of the DPRK to allow the return and inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Ople's call for the DPRK to allow the return of inspectors and engage in peaceful dialogue came after the DPRK announced that it will resist all international demands to allow nuclear inspections or agree to disarm. The Philippines is a member of the Governing Board of the IAEA and has supported two recently strong-worded resolutions of the board on North Korea. "I would like to reiterate the call of the Philippines for the DPRK to fully comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow full inspections of its nuclear facilities. The peace, security and stability of East Asia is seriously threatened by DPRK's refusal to allows these inspections," Ople said in a statement Monday. Ople stressed that the nations in East Asia believed that the tensions in the DPRK could be properly addressed by peaceful dialogue and that ASEAN is willing and able to do its part." "The situation in the Korean Peninsula concerns us all and we must all be ready to do what we can to bring greater confidence and understanding to bear on the issue," he said.

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11. DPRK Human Rights

The Washington File ("EXCERPT: HUMAN RIGHTS NORMS ARE "ALIEN CONCEPTS" IN NORTH KOREA," Washington, 04/02/03) reported that the dictatorship that rules the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) views international human rights norms, particularly individual rights, as "illegitimate, alien, and subversive to the goals of the State and Party," according to the State Department's 2002 Human Rights Report on North Korea. The annual report harshly criticizes the Kim Jong Il regime for gross violations of basic human rights in 2002. The State Department document recounts reports of extrajudicial killings and disappearances along with arbitrary detainment of citizens. An estimated 200,000 political prisoners are detained under harsh conditions in the DPRK's prisons. "Female prisoners underwent forced abortion, and in other cases babies reportedly were killed upon birth in prisons," the report says. Execution is a common punishment for petty crimes. According to the report: "Capital punishment and confiscation of assets for a wide variety of 'crimes against the revolution,' including defection, attempted defection, slander of the policies of the Party or State, and listening to foreign broadcasts." Civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and association, are all under the tight control of Party.

The complete Department of State report on North Korea can be found online at:

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12. US ROK Troop Realignment

The LA Times (Barbara Demick, "A 'LESS INTRUSIVE' PRESENCE FOR TROOPS IN SOUTH KOREA," 04/02/03) reported that according to several sources, the Pentagon would now like to see the realignment started in the 2004 fiscal year, which begins in October, with a move out of the Yongsan headquarters in Seoul to be followed by a redeployment of troops near the DMZ. "We would like to execute this as quickly as possible," said one diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. New South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun does not want to see any changes until the North Korean nuclear crisis is resolved. But, said the diplomat, "that timetable is probably too slow for us." Another source said Adm. Thomas Fargo, head of the US Pacific Command, has been saying, in effect, "I'd like to be out yesterday." "The train is really running very quickly in the bureaucracy, but the speed is making Seoul uncomfortable," this source said. The concern among ROK citizen sis that a sudden redeployment of US troops would send confusing and possibly alarming signals to the DPRK during this volatile period. A movement away from the DMZ, in particular, might make it appear that the US is weakening its commitment to the defense of ROK -- or alternatively, moving its troops out of harm's way in preparation for a preemptive strike against the DPRK nuclear facilities. US officials say that there is no such ulterior motive. Rather, they say, the changes would be part of a worldwide restructuring designed to make US forces more flexible and more mobile. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is said to be particularly intent on moving the Army's 2nd Infantry troops, who he believes no longer need to be stuck in place near the DMZ -- where they could not be readily deployed, for example, if they were needed in Iraq.

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13. KCNA on US Human Rights Report

The Korean Central News Agency of DPRK ("KCNA REFUTES ANTI-DPRK BILL ADOPTED AT US CONGRESS," Pyongyang, 04/02/03) reported that the US continues interfering in the internal affairs of the DPRK, talking about its "suppression of religion" and "human rights issue." The US not only groundlessly accused the DPRK of "suppressing religion" but adopted a "bill on the human rights in North Korea" at congress and referred it to the UN commission on human rights recently. The DPRK strongly protests against these actions. The US is citing the "nuclear issue" and "religious and human rights issues" in the DPRK, fictions, as pretexts to increase pressure upon the DPRK and launch a military attack on it. Such crafty trick can never be tolerated. The people of the DPRK are single-heartedly united as a big harmonious family because religious freedom and human rights are fully guaranteed by law. With nothing can the US justify its groundless accusation against the DPRK and it will only invite condemnation of unbiased world public.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. Sending ROK Troops to Iraq?

Joogang Ilbo (Lee Sang-il, Choi Hoon, "ROH TO STATE CASE FOR AIDING US IN IRAQ," Seoul, 04/02/03) reported that Blue House officials said Tuesday that President Roh Moo-hyun will use his state of the nation address wednesday at the National Assembly to stress the need to send troops to the war on Iraq. But as key lawmakers worked to round up the votes to pass the authorization for the troops, members on both sides of the aisle were uncertain late Tuesday whether the item would be put to a vote wednesday, much less whether it would be approved. A senior Blue House official said that Mr. Roh will say that the decision to send 700 engineering troops and medics to Iraq was made with much anguish in view of its possible impact on the national interest. He will ask the National Assembly to pass the resolution at the earliest date, the aide said. The governing Millennium Democratic Party was pushing the opposition Grand National Party to put the resolution to a vote immediately after the president¡¯s address. The National Assembly opens a special session wednesday. But the GNP remained set on waiting another day or two to gauge public opinion. A Blue House official said Mr. Roh is likely to spend a considerable amount of time recounting the justification for the decision as a matter of national interest. There is a realization, the official said, that momentary popularity cannot be the basis of a major national decision such as this, and Mr. Roh understands that what he needs is a positive assessment about the decision a year from now.

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2. Longer Station of US Forces for Drill

Joongang Ilbo ("3 week extension set for some US forces," Seoul, 04/02/03) reported that some selected US forces and equipment, including F-117 Stealth bombers and F-15E fighter jets, will remain on the peninsula for three weeks after the end of joint military exercises between US and ROK. More than 85 percent of the forces that were deployed to the peninsula to participate in the drills will depart by Friday, USFK said. Some personnel and equipment will stay in ROK to extend familiarization training, it said. "The forces¡¯ remaining on the peninsula has no connection with the condition of the peninsula or the Iraq war," a source with the US forces said. Over the past month, ROK and US conducted two military drills in which 5,000 additional US troops and a US Pacific Fleet aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, were mobilized.

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3. EUCCK toward DPRK for Investment

Chosun Ilbo (Song Eui-dal, "EUCCK TO SEND DELEGATIONS TO NK," Seoul, 04/02/03) reported that the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea (EUCCK) is to dispatch a delegation to DPRK at the end of this month and next month, to explore investment opportunities there. Jean-Jacques Grauhar, chairman of EUCCK's North Korea Committee, said Wednesday that an EUCCK delegation would visit DPRK at the end of this month, to host a seminar there on practices of international customs at the request of North Korean authorities. The chairman also said that another EUCCK delegation, comprising about 10 businesspersons from EUCCK member firms, would make another trip to DPRK to participate in an international trade exhibition in Pyongyang slated for the middle of May. Grauhar said he believes DPRK's initiative to request that the organization sponsor the seminar on global customs practices is a positive step to a solution to the mounting tension in East Asia over DPRK's nuclear program. Meanwhile, Frans Hempsink, chairman of EUCCK, said that the organization has been maintaining a positive stance toward ROK government's Sunshine policy in dealing with DPRK. He added that the EUCCK would continue trying to develop investment projects in DPRK.

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4. Human Rights Report on Two Koreas

Chosun Ilbo (Ju Yong-joong, "HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT CITES NORTH¡¯S ABUSE," Washington, 04/02/03) reported that DPRK got plenty of ink for its human rights violations in the US Department of State's annual report on human rights situations worldwide, released Monday. In its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the State Department cited DPRK for continued extrajudicial killings and disappearances and the trafficking of women and young girls among the refugees and workers crossing the Chinese border. The report said that in women's prisons, forced abortion and infanticides were standard practice. It pointed out that North Koreans are unable to change their government peacefully, and that DPRK's leaders consider most accepted human rights norms, particularly individual rights, as "illegitimate, alien, and subversive to the goals of the state and the party." On human rights conditions in ROK, the report said that while the government generally respects the human rights of its citizens, problems still exist in some areas. Police at times physically and verbally abuse detainees - though such cases are on the decline, according to human rights groups. The National Security Law continues to infringe on civil liberties, and domestic violence, rape, and child abuse remain serious problems, the report said. The report also said that ethnic minorities, while very small in number, suffer from legal and social discrimination.

III. CanKor E-Clipping

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1. Issue #119

Trade between Canada and the DPRK grew by 326% last year, although exports from DPRK to Canada shrank by 58%. A second surface-to-ship missile was tested by the DPRK in early March, but little significance was attached to these tests by ROK and USA. Despite US-DPRK tensions, a delegation of North Korean academics and diplomats traveled to the University of California in Berkeley to take part in a meeting of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). An offer from the United Nations Command (UNC) for general officer-level talks was turned down by the DPRK, citing the US-ROK annual Foal Eagle military exercizes. The same issue prompted the DPRK to cancel scheduled inter-Korean economic talks, saying the military drills are driving the peninsula to the "brink of a nuclear war." Children cannot wait for a cooling of tensions, warns UNICEF Asia-Pacific director Mehr Khan after a visit to the DPRK. Continued shortfalls in donations will mean a suspension of health and nutrition programmes for nurseries and clinics. The threat of sanctions worries some South Koreans who have invested in the DPRK, although inter-Korean trade is up 73% over the previous year. These and other stories in the FOCUS section: engagement on the economic front.

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