NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, july 29 2003

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. US-ROK on DPRK Diplomacy

Agence France-Presse ("SENIOR US AND S KOREAN OFFICIALS INDICATE N KOREAN DIPLOMACY STALLED," 07/29/03) reported that senior US and ROK officials indicated the diplomatic drive to bring the DPRK to the negotiating table had stalled after a recent flurry of activity. John Bolton, US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said there was little reason for optimism after discussions with PRC vice foreign minister Zhang Yesui. "Am I any more optimistic, no. I'm not any more pessimistic either. I don't know if I've learnt anything that affects my optimism scale one way or the other," he said after day-long discussions Monday on the nine-month-old standoff. He said the PRC, the DPRK's closest ally, had done all it could to facilitate a resumption of talks. "I'm not sure that there's anything else specifically that we could think of that the government here could do that they haven't already tried," said Bolton, in Beijing en route to ROK and Japan. Asked if progress had been made on setting a date for a resumption of talks following a first round of trilateral discussions in April, he replied: "I don't think there is anything on a date one way or the other that I could really indicate." In Seoul, the ROK's foreign minister also poured cold water on any early resumption of dialogue after a recent spate of shuttle diplomacy that has seen a PRC envoy go to Pyongyang and then Washington. "At the beginning I believed it was possible to resume the talks at an early date," Yoon Young-Kwan told ROK journalists. "But as time passes, the DPRK-PRC consultation is slowing down, rather than speeding up. We need to wait."

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2. Japan Troop Dispatch Law

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN TO STUDY PERMANENT LAW ENABLING TROOP DISPATCH," 07/29/03) reported that Japan is studying a permanent legal framework to allow the dispatch of its troops overseas after late-night filibustering delayed the passage of a law allowing troops to help in the reconstruction of Iraq, the government said. While not confirming reports the government planned to create a preparatory office charged with drafting the bill, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said the issue of a legal framework was being discussed internally Monday. "This is a very important matter, so I would like the party to debate this fully," the government's top spokesman told a news conference. "It is important for the people of Japan, and it could become a pillar of our nation's foreign policy, so we must proceed with caution," he said later. Japan's Kyodo and Jiji news agencies said the government will on Friday set up a preparatory office charged with drafting the bill. The government aims to complete the draft legislation this year and submit it to the regular session of parliament next year, the top-selling Yomiuri newspaper said, citing government sources. But Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters the timeline was too rushed: "I don't think it will occur that quickly. I want to take the time to study the matter," he was quoted by the Nihon Keizai newspaper as saying. The envisaged bill would allow Japan's Self-Defence Forces (SDF) troops to provide rear echelon support to international forces as long as there is a UN mandate, and would ease the rules for use of weapons for self-defence, reports said. The bill would also allow the government to dispatch troops where there is no UN mandate, even during an ongoing war subject to parliamentary approval, the Yomiuri said, citing unnamed government sources.

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3. US-ROK DPRK Talks

Reuters (Frances Yoon, "US OFFICIAL ARRIVES IN SEOUL FOR N.KOREA TALKS," Seoul, 07/29/03) reported that US Undersecretary of State John Bolton arrived in the ROK on Tuesday on the second leg of a three-city tour to seek ways to resolve the festering crisis over the DPRK's nuclear weapons ambitions. The US embassy in Seoul said Bolton would meet on Wednesday with presidential Blue House officials and ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan, who has said negotiations between Pyongyang and Beijing on restarting talks have bogged down. Bolton -- the top US arms negotiator and widely seen as a "hawk" on the DPRK -- arrived at Inchon international airport from Beijing, where he had met PRC Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. There was no immediate word on the outcome. On a trip to Seoul last August, Bolton delivered a hard-line speech which presaged the nuclear crisis that unfolded two months later. In the speech, he described the DPRK as the world's foremost peddler of ballistic missile technology. After discussions with Li's deputies on Monday, Bolton told reporters he was no more optimistic than before about the DPRK's willingness to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs and he had little progress to report. "Am I any more optimistic? No. I'm not any more pessimistic either. I don't know if I've learned anything that affects my optimism scale one way or the other," he said. He declined comment on arrival in the ROK.

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4. PRC US Activist PRC Trial

The Associated Press (Lolica C. Baldor, "BOSTON ACTIVIST TO BE TRIED IN CHINA," Washington, 07/29/03) reported that a pro-democracy activist from the Boston area will go on trial for espionage next week in the PRC, where he has been jailed for more than a year, a lawyer for his wife said Tuesday. Yang Jianli, who was indicted July 17, will be tried Monday on charges of entering the country illegally and acting as a spy for Taiwan. The case will be closed because it reportedly involves "state secrets," according to Jared Genser, a lawyer for Yang's wife, Christina Fu. The trial, in Beijing Number Two People's Court, is expected to last a day and the court has about two months to issue a verdict. Genser said Yang's attorney in the PRC, Mo Shaoping, is prohibited from speaking about the evidence in the case "but our understanding, based on information we have gathered and what we have heard through diplomatic channels and other sources, is that there is no evidence that Dr. Yang was a spy for Taiwan." Yang's family and supporters say the Massachusetts scholar is being punished for pro-democracy activities. A PRC citizen with permanent US residency, Yang is founder of the Boston-based Foundation for China in the 21st Century. He was detained by PRC police in April 2002, while trying to board a plane in Kunming using false papers. Genser said he and Fu have been in touch with the White House and State Department about the case and are hoping US officials raise the issue with senior PRC representatives who are in the US this week. According to documents from the Beijing Bureau of National Security Prosecution obtained by The Associated Press, Yang is charged with working with a group from the Taiwan Nationalist Party to promote democracy and human rights. PRC authorities allege Yang was assigned to collect inside information on Taiwan policy and living conditions on the China mainland. Genser said the charges involve innocuous work Yang did 10 years ago through the PRC Youth Development Foundation, which he ran in California. Yang's case has gotten the attention of Congress and the State Department. The House passed a resolution calling for his release, and officials - including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice - have brought the matter up in discussion with the PRC.

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5. PRC SARS Death

Associated Press (Joe McDonald, "REPORT: CHINA HAD A SARS DEATH LAST WEEK," Beijing, 07/29/03) reported that the PRC recorded one new SARS death in Beijing last weekend, a day before President Hu Jintao publicly declared victory over the disease, according to the Web site of the Health Ministry. The Web site said the death was reported between 10 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, but not when it occurred. A World Health Organization spokeswoman said Tuesday that Beijing hadn't told the agency about it, but she said most governments now report new SARS data only once a week. Word of the new death didn't appear in state media, which reported prominently on Hu's speech Monday declaring the end of the outbreak a victory for the PRC. The fatality would raise the PRC's reported mainland death toll to 349, with more than half of those in the capital, the hardest-hit city in the world. More than 5,300 people were sickened. On Tuesday, state media said the final 12 patients in Beijing, which had the mainland's last SARS cases, had been declared free of the disease, though they still are hospitalized. "This appears to be the tail end of SARS in China," said Bob Dietz, the WHO spokesman in Beijing, in response to the report. But the patients' recovery "doesn't mean we're finished dealing with SARS," he said. "We, as ever, remain vigilant."

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6. US-PRC Maritime Screening

The Associated Press (Rebecca Carroll, "US TO SCREEN US-BOUND CARGO IN CHINA," Washington, 07/29/03) reported that US inspectors will screen US-bound cargo containers before they leave PRC ports at Shanghai and Shenzhen. Under the agreement signed Tuesday in Beijing, small teams of US customs inspectors will work with PRC officers to target and prescreen sea containers destined for the US. The agreement is part of the Homeland Security Department's Container Security Initiative, which aims to prevent terrorists from smuggling nuclear and other weapons into US. "This agreement with the People's Republic of China is important for our efforts to protect not only the US, but also our global system of trade," said Robert Bonner, commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Bonner signed the agreement with China's customs commissioner, Mu Xinsheng. The terms were reached last October when the PRC's former president Jiang Zemin visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas. With the addition of the two PRC ports, 19 of the world's top 20 ports have agreed to join the US initiative, which was developed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. US inspectors are already working under the initiative at 15 ports, including Antwerp, Belgium; Genoa, Italy; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Hamburg, Germany; Hong Kong, Montreal, Singapore, Vancouver and Yokohama, Japan. Seven million trailer-truck size containers are unloaded at US ports each year, and about 68 percent come from ports staffed by US inspectors. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced last month that the container initiative would be expanded to ports in an additional 20 to 25 countries, including Dubai, Malaysia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

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7. PRC Domestic Politics

Reuters (John Ruwitch, "CHINA'S NEW LEADERS SKIP HISTORIC BEACH TALKS," Beijing, 07/29/03) reported that PRC Chairman Mao Zedong started the communist tradition of secret summer retreats to the sea at Beidaihe in the 1950s. His successors Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin kept it alive through the 1980s and 1990s. But the PRC's new leaders headed by President Hu Jintao appear to be putting a stop to the exclusive beach gathering, which over the years saw secret debates over how to retake Taiwan, unfolding power struggles and even discussions about a coup. "They haven't requested that we make any preparations. We hear they aren't coming," a Beidaihe government official told Reuters from the oceanside district in Hebei province, 190 miles east of Beijing. The Web site of the People's Daily ( said recently officials would not be meeting there this summer and they were not allowed to go there without approval, but did not mention the future. The move is in keeping with the "man of the people" image the new leadership has put forward, staking their tenuous but tightening grip on power on public perception to a greater extent than their predecessors. "The new leadership is very image conscious," said a diplomat in Beijing. "The trend does look like they are trying to project an image of something new." Analysts say the new leadership has much to lose if it allows behind-the-scene activities. Canceling or at least scaling back Beidaihe this year may give Hu time to find his feet after being thrown a major health crisis just weeks after taking office in March. A Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak, festering in the South since November, exploded in Beijing in March

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International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
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Saiko Iwata:
Tokyo, Japan

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Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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Clayton, Australia

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