NAPSNet Daily Report
july 8, 2003

I. United States

II. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. US Congressman DPRK Visit

Agence France-Presse ("US CONGRESSMAN UNVEILS PEACE PLAN AFTER VISIT TO NORTH KOREA," Washington, 07/08/03) reported that a senior US congressman has unveiled a 10-point plan to defuse growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula that calls for a non-aggression pact between the United States and the DPRK and Washington's official recognition of the DPRK. Republican Representative Curt Weldon, who led a congressional delegation to Pyongyang in late May-early June, said failure to resolve the crisis now could result in the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology, possibly to terrorist organizations. He said leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea were convinced that the administration of President George W. Bush had found the concept of regime change very attractive and were unlikely to strike a deal without a security guarantee. "They see the issue of regime change as the determining factor in whether a peaceful resolution to the current standoff is possible," Weldon said. The first five steps of the two-phase plan must be implemented within one year, according to the congressman, a pragmatic moderate who chairs the House Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee. They include an interim one-year non-aggression pact between the United States and the DPRK and Pyongyang's official and verifiable renunciation of its entire nuclear weapons and research program. "The inspections should result in a full inventory of DPRK nuclear facilities and locations including underground facilities," Weldon said. The DPRK will have to rejoin the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while the US, ROK, Japan, Russia and the PRC will be expected to negotiate with the DPRK a Korean development plan that would require annual investment of between three and five billion dollars into the regional economy. The United States will also have to officially recognize the government of the DPRK and open a mission in Pyongyang, according to the plan. Following these initial steps, the non-aggression pact must become permanent while Pyongyang will adhere to the Missile Technology Control Regime, an international agreement designed to stem missile proliferation. Furthermore, the DPRK must agree to observer status with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which ostensibly will force it to abide by a series of international conventions on confidence building measures and human rights. It will have to agree to return all Japanese citizens currently being held against their will in DPRK and account for the fate of others. A multi-lateral cooperative threat reduction program will be developed with the goal of removing all of the DPRK's nuclear capabilities within two years. At the same time, the plan calls for the US Congress to establish a direct relationship with members of DPRK's Supreme Peoples Assembly. After his return from Pyongyang, Weldon said his ideas had received an positive response from DPRK leaders. He has also briefed on his plan Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has made no public comment.

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2. PRC-ROK Summit

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREA'S ROH SAYS STABILITY CRUCIAL TO DEVELOPMENT, HAILS SUMMIT TALKS," 07/08/03) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun said stability on the Korean peninsula was crucial for Northeast Asia's economic development and hailed summit talks with PRC counterpart Hu Jintao. "This summit has been very successful," he said after meeting parliamentary head Wu Bangguo and Vice President Zeng Qinghong. "My meeting with Hu Jintao yesterday was of very deep significance." He said the two men had agreed to "promote peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia". "I came away from the meeting with a renewed conviction about the development of relations between Korea and China as well as the bright future of the Northeast Asian economy." The two sides agreed to work to bring Pyongyang into multilateral talks as soon as possible and avoid the North Korean nuclear issue spinning out of control, although Hu said North Korea's security concerns must also be taken into consideration. Roh Tuesday said working towards a closer Northeast Asian economic community was essential to keep pace with globalisation, and that taming the DPRK's nuclear ambitions was vital for this to happen. "Building a peace system on the Korean peninsula is an essential prerequisite for economic cooperation and stability in Northeast Asia," he said in a speech to business leaders from the ROK and the PRC. "I am confident that the North Korean nuclear problem will be resolved peacefully without fail through coordination among related countries and cooperation of the international community. "In that way Korea-China cooperation and regional cooperation in Northeast Asia will be vitalised."

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3. ROK and PRC on DPRK Multilateral Negotiations

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREA AND CHINA VOW TO BRING N KOREA TO MULTILATERAL TABLE," 07/08/03) reported that the PRC and the ROK vowed to work to bring the DPRK into multilateral talks at the earliest opportunity and avoid the DPRK nuclear issue getting out of hand. "(Chinese) President Hu Jintao and I agreed to make efforts for the early resumption of direct talks among concerned parties in the North Korean nuclear issue," ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun said at a joint press conference after two hours of talks. "I agreed with President Hu that in order to fully and satisfactorily resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, we must open up channels between all concerned parties as soon as possible and in order to reach a consensus all sides need to make relentless efforts." Hu said it was agreed that peace must be maintained on the Korean peninsula, but said North Korea's security concerns must also be factored in. "The Chinese side all along has stood for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. We support dialogue to peacefully resolve the problem on the peninsula," he said. "At the same time we think we must earnestly consider and resolve the security concerns of North Korea. This is our principled position." China wants to "avoid the situation getting out of hand," Hu added. "So we need to deepen our efforts to make a breakthrough and progress in bringing the North Korean nuclear issue back to the correct method of peaceful resolution through dialogue."

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4. Japan-ROK-US on KEDO and DPRK

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN, SKOREA, US MAY HALT KEDO IF NKOREA KEEPS NUCLEAR PROGRAMME," 07/08/03) reported that Japan and the ROK have agreed with the United States to halt the construction of light-water reactors in the DPRK if the DPRK fails to drop its nuclear ambitions, a report said. The agreement was reached during informal talks among senior diplomats from the three nations, who met in Washington on July 2 and 3, Jiji Press agency said citing a senior Japanese source. The trio decided to "monitor the situation for another month," but also confirmed they would stop making the reactors should the DPRK maintain its nuclear programme, Jiji reported. Japanese foreign ministry officials in charge of the project were unavailable for immediate comment Tuesday. Following the talks among the senior diplomats, the US State Department said last Thursday they had reached no specific conclusions and characterised the meeting as "a brainstorming session." Construction of the reactors started in August under a 1994 framework agreement between Pyongyang and Washington designed to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions. The Asahi newspaper said last month the United States may halt the KEDO project to press Pyongyang to drop its nuclear goals, even if Japan and South Korea did not agree.

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5. ROK Video Game World Cup

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREA FAVOURED TO SCOOP VIDEO GAMES WORLD CUP IN FRANCE," France, 07/08/03) reported that some 400 cyber-athletes from 37 countries sat down to six days of championship video-gaming with South Koreans tipped as the favorites to scoop the first ever Electronic Sports World Cup. Held at the Futuroscope theme park near this central-western French town, gamers aged from 18 to 25 will compete in teams of five on three of the current online favourites -- "Counter strike", "Warcraft 3" and "Unreal Tournament". The competition, ending Sunday and expected to draw some 30,000 people, was organised by a French firm, Ligarena. The ROK is said to have 25,000 video games centers, has been holding "World Cyber Games" for several years.

II. People's Republic of China

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1. PRC-Russian Ties

China Daily (Hu Xiao, 07/04/03, P1) reported that Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan in Beijing at a regular briefing referred to the ongoing three-day visit by Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo to Russia, saying that Dai would have an exchange of views with the Russian side on the situation in the Korean Peninsula. Kong said that Dai's visit shows that PRC and Russia maintain close co-ordination and co-operation on the major international issues, adding that the two countries agreed to solve the DPRK nuclear issue through peaceful means. "We welcome the opinions from various parties on the peaceful resolution of issue," the spokesman said, noting that PRC was open and flexible to the type of the dialogue.

People's Daily ("HU EXTENDS CONDOLENCES TO VICTIMS OF MOSCOW BOMBINGS", Beijing, 07/07/03, P1) reported that Chinese President Hu Jintao on July 6 expressed deep sadness over the suicide bombing attacks in Moscow and extended heartfelt condolences to the victims of the attacks and their families. In a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hu, on behalf of the Chinese government and the people, reiterated that the Chinese government is determined to fight against terrorism in all forms. The Chinese government is willing to join hands with the international community, including Russia, to combat terrorism, Hu said.

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2. PRC-ROK Summit

China Daily (Hu Xiao, "NUCLEAR ISSUE TO BE 'KEY TOPIC' OF TALKS", 07/04/03, P1) reported that PRC affirmed on July 3 that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula will be one of the key topics of discussion during ROK President Roh Moo-hyun's visit to PRC next week. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said in Beijing at a regular briefing that a peaceful resolution of the issue was of great importance to peace and stability of the peninsula, Northeast Asia and the whole of Asia. Roh's visit to PRC, from July 7 to 10, is the first since his election in last December. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet and have talks with Roh on July 7.

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3. Japan-US Relations

China Daily (Tokyo, 07/04/03, P11) reported that Japan and the US failed to bridge differences over the treatment of US servicemen accused of crimes in Japan on July 3, weeks after a US Marine's arrest on rape charges stirred fresh resentment against the US military presence.

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4. Suspension of US Aid

China Daily ("WAR CRIMES DISPUTE SIGNALS SUSPENSION OF US AID", Washington, 07/03/03, P12) reported that the US will suspend military aid to about 35 countries that didn't meet a deadline for exempting Americans from prosecution before the new UN international war crimes tribunal. Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said the military aid cutoffs are "a reflection of the United States' priorities to protect" its troops. Congress set a July 1 deadline for most recipients of US military aid to exempt US soldiers and other personnel from prosecution before the new International Criminal Court. US diplomats have pressed allies to approve bilateral agreements exempting Americans. Advocates of the court have accused the Bush administration of trying to bully weaker nations, and of undermining an important advancement in human rights, said the report.

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5. DPRK-US Relations

China Daily ("ARMS DEAL WARRANTED: DPRK PRESS", Seoul, 07/03/03, P1) reported that the DPRK ruling party newspaper on July 2 dismissed US criticism of its missile exports as interference in the state's internal affairs, saying the arms sales were legitimate commerce. The commentary by the Rodong Sinmun daily came amid renewed focus on the DPRK's alleged sales of weapons of mass production and a fresh flurry of diplomatic consultations aimed at halting Pyongyang's attempts to build nuclear weapons. Also that day, the ROK confirmed it would host ministerial talks with DPRK next week, but said the 11th round of cabinet-level talks since 2000 would be scaled down in view of the lack of progress on the nuclear dispute. And an announcement from the DPRK's army stated that despite the tensions, it had accepted a US proposal for working-level talks on excavating and repatriating the remains of some of the 8,000 American soldiers missing since the 1950-53 Korean War. On July 1, DPRK representatives threatened to abandon the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and warned that it will take "strong and merciless retaliatory measures" in response to any economic blockade. Meanwhile, a US intelligence report about a DPRK's nuclear testing site drew skepticism yesterday from ROK's experts, who said the information appeared to be dated. One analyst said the US might be trying to rally support for its campaign to pressure DPRK. The New York Times reported this week that US officials believe that the DPRK is developing technology to make nuclear warheads that are small enough to fit on its missiles. The Times said CIA officials have shared information with ROK, Japan and other allies about the testing site in the DPRK's area of Youngdoktong. The newspaper report drew heavy coverage in ROK's media, but the government in Seoul has declined to comment, said the report.

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6. DPRK-ROK Relations

People's Daily ("SEOUL, PYONGYANG TO HOLD NEW ROUND OF MINISTERIAL LEVEL MEETING", 07/04/03) reported that ROK and the DPRK confirmed an earlier plan on July 4 to hold the Eleventh Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting in Seoul next week. The two sides confirmed that agreement through contacts by their liaison officials working at the border village of Panmunjomon Wednesday, reported South Korean national news agency Yonhap News. The two countries agreed in the Tenth Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting held in Pyongyang in April to hold the new round of such cabinet-level meeting on July 9-12 in Seoul, said the report.

China Daily ("KOREAS BREAK GROUND FOR INDUSTRIAL ZONE", Kaesong, 07/01/03, P1) reported that amid green paddies and corn fields, officials from the DPRK and the ROK broke ground on June 30 for a joint industrial park, a symbol of reconciliation despite tension over the DPRK's suspected nuclear activities. The ceremony was held in Kaesong, a city of 400,000 just north of the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily guarded buffer area formed to separate the two Koreas at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. About 120 people from the ROK travelled across the border to the ceremony in Kaesong, an ancient Korean capital 70 kilometres north of Seoul. The delegation included government officials, lawmakers and Chung Mong-hun, the head of the Hyundai business group that is at the forefront of the project. The DPRK says it will promote light and high-tech industries at Kaesong. However, many details have yet to be worked out, and construction is not expected to begin until the first half of next year.

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7. PRC-US Relations

China Daily (Meng Yan, "VICE-FOREIGN MINISTER EMBARKS ON US TOUR", 07/02/03, P1) reported that Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits the US from July 1-4, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on July 1. Wang is there to exchange views with the US side on various Asian issues, particularly the current situation in the Korean Peninsula, Kong said at a regular press briefing.

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8. Japan's Military Building Measures

China Daily ("JAPAN PASSES LAW FOR IRAQ TROOP DEPLOYMENT", Tokyo, 07/05-06/03, P1) reported that Japan's Lower House of parliament gave the go-ahead for the nation's biggest foreign troop deployment since World War II on July 4, passing a law that allows the government to send soldiers to help rebuild Iraq. The law, the latest in a series of steps boosting the military that critics say is undermining Japan's pacifist constitution, paves the way for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to send about 1,000 troops to Iraq in the near future. The bill is expected to become law later this month upon endorsement by Upper House. Critics, including some ruling party heavyweights, have raised their voices against the plan, saying it would violate the 1947 constitution that forbids the use of force to settle international conflicts except in self-defense. Koizumi and his cabinet ministers have insisted the troops will only be sent to areas "free of military conflict." But critics have argued that it is almost impossible to designate such areas given a string of attacks on US and British soldiers since May, said the report.

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9. PRC's Commentary on Japan's Military Building Measures

China Daily ("JAPAN BUILDING UP ITS ARSENAL", 07/05/03, P4) carried a commentary on Japan's extensive military building, saying that over the past month, Japan has erected a number of military milestones by passing three war contingency bills, voting to dispatch its Self-Defense Forces (SDFs) to Iraq, and making a decision to participate in the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program. Recently, the Japanese Government made a further step forward in its long-pursued anti-missile plan, said the article. In particular, it will intercept or destroy missiles flying over its territory even if these missiles are not targeted at its territory, which will inevitably exert great significance upon the country's military prospects. On June 23, Japan's Ministry of Defense said its NMD system would not merely protect Japan from possible missile attacks, but also intercept missiles passing over Japan that are targeted at the US. This means Japan will take action to destroy missiles fired by a hostile state and targeted solely at the US, a move it considers completely in keeping with its constitution. In addition to the deployment of the missile defense system on its islands, Japan also plans to equip its marine SDFs with missile defense system. So equipped, its Aegis destroyers will intercept, on the high seas, missiles flying over its northern or northwestern territories and targeting Guam and Hawaii in the US. To ensure the two kinds of advanced missiles can be in place by 2007, the Japanese Government is making efforts to include the expenditure for the deployment into the military budget for the 2004 fiscal year. Last May, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and US President George W. Bush reached a consensus that the two countries should strengthen bilateral co-operation on the NMD program. The US has two purposes behind its push for Japan's participation in its Theater of Missiles Defense (TMD) system. One is to extend the US defense network to Asia by taking advantage of Japan's geographic position and their close bilateral ties, the other is that the US needs Japan's strong economic strength for its costly missile defense system. With support from the US administration, the Japanese Government will draw up a new defense outline with the missile defense system program included, and it will also revise its mid-term defense forces armament plan from 2001-05. The substantial expenditure will exert a heavy fiscal burden upon the Japanese Government, the article said. More important, Japan's missile defense system is closely linked to the Bush administration's missile program, which is aimed at constructing a global security guarantee strategy for the US. Undoubtedly, Japan's security guarantee system will be further incorporated into the global security strategy of the US, which will make it impossible for Japan to independently apply its missile defense system due to a lack of necessary early warning and intelligence systems, the article commented in the article.

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Brandon Yu:
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Timothy L. Savage:
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Kim Young-soo:
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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
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