NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, july 23 2003

I. United States


Policy Forum Online:
DPRK Briefing Book

DPRK Timeline of Events

Bush Administration's Asia Policy

Special Reports

Week in Review

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

Ethical Governance Of Investment Biweekly Update

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

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

I. United States

next itemcontentscontacts

1. Multilateral DPRK Ship Interceptions

USA Today (Barbara Slavin, "11 NATIONS JOIN PLAN TO STOP N. KOREAN SHIPS," Washington, 07/23/03) reported that the Bush administration is preparing to tighten an economic noose around the DPRK, even as it considers new talks to persuade the regime of Kim Jong Il to give up nuclear weapons. The administration has lined up 10 other nations to join a so-called proliferation security initiative. These countries -- Japan, Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Spain -- have agreed to intercept DPRK ships suspected of carrying weapons and illegal drugs, major sources of hard currency for Kim's government. A State Department official who is familiar with the program but asks not to be named says, "We're ready to rock and roll right now" on the interception program. "All we need is actionable intelligence" on a suspect DPRK shipment, he says. Despite administration assurances that it seeks a diplomatic solution to the crisis, State Department officials are not optimistic about the prospects for new talks, which could take place as early as next month in Beijing. "No one has a good, new solution to this problem," one concedes.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

2. Powell on US DPRK Policy

The Washington File ("POWELL CALLS US POLICY ON NORTH KOREA 'VERY SOLID,'" 07/23/03) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that the US policy on the DPRK is "very solid." Responding to questions from the press on July 22, Powell said: "We will not accept nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and we have very successfully over the last seven or eight months brought together all of North Korea's neighbors to provide that same consistent message to North Korea." Powell made his remarks on Capitol Hill after his meeting with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (Republican of Illinois) and the Task Force For A Drug Free America. The US, he said, has "made it clear that we are going to have a dialogue with a multilateral framework to try to find a solution to the problem" of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

For the full transcript:

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

3. DPRK on 50th Anniversary Armistice Celebration

The BBC ("N KOREA ANGRY AT ARMISTICE PLANS," 07/23/03) reported that Sunday's ceremony is due to be held in the truce village of Panmunjom Pyongyang has criticised US-led plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the armistice which ended the Korean War. North Korea described a ceremony to be held on 27 July in the demilitarized zone which separates North and South Korea as "a very dangerous act". But the UN Command in the ROK said it was confident that the event, due to be attended by about 200 foreign dignitaries as well as veterans, would go ahead safely. The deputy chief of staff of the UN Command, Thomas Kane, said that the DPRK had not been invited to the ceremony. He said the DPRK planned to hold its own commemoration in Pyongyang on Sunday. A statement by the DPRK on Tuesday took issue with the role of the UN in the allies' ceremony. "The US should stop its unseemly farce of holding the commemorative event in the name of the UN Command with no legal justification," the statement said, carried by DPRK news agency KCNA. Brigadier General Kane said he did not expect the D{RL's wrath to disrupt Sunday's ceremony. He said the event in a tent in the truce village of Panmunjom would take place in a "safe and secure environment" that will be "respected by all parties concerned". Dignitaries Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and US Ambassador Thomas Hubbard are among those expected to attend.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

4. PRC on DPRK Talks

Reuters ("CHINA DECLINES TO CONFIRM North Korea TALKS," Beijing, 07/22/03) reported that the PRC was making unremitting efforts toward restarting negotiations with the DPRK on its nuclear weapons programs but would not say if talks were imminent. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman declined Wednesday to confirm a ROK newspaper report that talks would be held on September 6, or British Prime Minister Tony Blair's remarks that talks between the US, the DPRK, and the PRC were likely in the next few weeks. "The PRC side has made unremitting efforts on the DPRK nuclear issue," she told Reuters. The PRC has sent envoys to Pyongyang, Washington and Moscow in recent weeks in a bid to kick start talks.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

5. Taiwan-US Relations

Agence France-Presse ("PM TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL AIDE HEADS FOR US," 07/23/03) reported that a top aide to Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has flown to the US for high-level talks with Washington officials, it was reported here. Chiou I-jen, secretary general to the presidential office, left for Los Angeles Tuesday, the China Times reported. He is accompanied by National Security Council Deputy secretary general Ko Cheng-heng and vice foreign minister Michael Kau as well as two MPs from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, the paper said. The presidential office, which has kept a low profile on official exchanges with the US for fear of irritating the PRC, has remained tight-lipped about the visit. The United Daily News Tuesday said Chiou's delegation was to discuss with high-ranking US officials issues including Taiwan's plan to introduce a controversial referendum system, which the PRC opposes for fear it would encourage Taiwanese to opt for formal independence. Washington's arms sales to the island and barriers to bilateral trade were expected to figure in the talks. The delegation is expected to meet White House Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz during the one-week trip, the paper said.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

6. Hong Kong Security Bill

Agence France-Presse ("HONG KONG GOVERNMENT TO RESUME CONSULTATION ON SECURITY BILL IN SEPTEMBER," 07/23/03) reported that Hong Kong's government announced plans to re-launch public consultation on a new security law which sparked massive protests and the city's worst political crisis since the 1997 handover. Permanent secretary for security Timothy Tong said consultations would re-start in September, adding a draft bill would be released as soon as possible. The government's initial bill, drawn up under Article 23 of Hong Kong's post-1997 constitution, was shelved by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa after more than 500,000 marched through the streets in protest here on July 1. The new legislation will be heavily based on the earlier proposed security bill, but will include several key amendments already agreed by the government, said Tong. The key amendments included the removal of provisions enabling Hong Kong authorities to proscribe organizations banned in the PRC and another giving police power to conduct searches without warrants. In addition, public interest would be made available as a defense for the unlawful disclosure of state secrets by journalists. The three concessions failed to quell international and local concern earlier this month, and Tung bowed to pressure by postponing the bill indefinitely.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

7. PRC Earthquake Victims

Agence France-Presse ("ONE MILLION CHINA QUAKE VICTIMS DESPERATE FOR SUPPLIES AS RESCUE HAMPERED," 07/23/03) reported that one million people affected by a major earthquake in southwest PRC Yunnan province are in desperate need of food and supplies, but rescuers have been forced to travel by horseback due to badly damaged roads, officials said. The deadly 6.2 Richter-scale tremor which happened late Monday killed at least 16 people and injured about 300 others according to the latest tally, a Yunnan seismological bureau official told AFP. "Based on the government in Dayao county, 16 people died, 46 people were seriously injured and 251 slightly injured," the official, surnamed Hu said. Dayao county, located some 180 kilometres (110 miles) from the Yunnan capital Kunming, is the worst-affected county, with the epicenter of the quake located in Tanhua town, where nine were confirmed dead and 38 wounded. The PRC's ministry of civil affairs said altogether one million people have been affected in 10 counties and 70 towns. It estimated the direct economic loss to be around 620 million yuan (74.7 million US dollars). The quake caused 18,000 rooms to collapse and damaged 328,000 other rooms, including 69 schools, while also wrecking hospitals and reservoirs, the ministry said on its website. Landslides caused by the quake, heavy rain, the mountainous terrain as well as hundreds of aftershocks have seriously impeded rescue efforts, officials said.

prev. itemcontentscontacts

8. ROK on PRC Currency Under-valuation

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREA 'VERY MUCH CONCERNED' ABOUT PRC YUAN: TRADE MINISTER," Dalian, 07/23/03) reported that ROK Trade Minister Hwang Doo-Yun said that his country was "very much concerned" about the exchange rate of the PRC currency, the yuan. "The PRC yuan is a very important factor to the trading partners, so we are very much concerned about the yuan exchange rate," Hwang said on the sidelines of a meeting of Asian and European economic ministers in the northeastern PRC city of Dalian. The question of whether the yuan should lose its peg against the US dollar "should be discussed" he said. "Our position is very clear, which is that exchange rates should be decided by the market," he said. The Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) of economic ministers began Tuesday with discussions among senior officials and will continue Wednesday and Thursday with gatherings of ministers or their representatives from 25 Asian and European countries. Delegates have said the yuan exchange rate -- considered by many to be undervalued -- is not on the agenda, although it has a significant impact on several of the participating economies. The yuan has been effectively linked to the US dollar since 1994, allowing PRC exporters to gain competitiveness because of the recent decline of the US currency.

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

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

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

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

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

Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

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