NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, august 6, 2003

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. Japan on US Nuclear Weapons Policy

Agence France-Presse ("HIROSHIMA MAYOR LASHES OUT AT BUSH ON ATOMIC BOMBING ANNIVERSARY," 08/06/03) reported that Hiroshima's mayor lashed out at the US' nuclear weapons policy during ceremonies marking the 58th anniversary of the city's atomic bombing, which caused the deaths of over 230,000 people. Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said the US worshipped nuclear weapons as "God" and blamed it for jeopardising the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. "The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the central international agreement guiding the elimination of nuclear weapons, is on the verge of collapse," Akiba said Wednesday in an address to some 40,000 people. "The chief cause is US nuclear policy that, by openly declaring the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear first strike and calling for resumed research into mini-nukes and other so-called 'useable nuclear weapons,' appears to worship nuclear weapons as God," he said. The mayor also slammed as unjust the US-led war on Iraq, which he blamed for killing innocent civilians. "The weapons of mass destruction that served as the excuse for the war have yet to be found," he said. Akiba strongly urged US President George W. Bush and DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il to personally visit Hiroshima and "confront the reality of nuclear war".

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2. Japan-US Legal Treaty

Agence France-Presse ("US, JAPAN SIGN NEW LEGAL TREATY," 08/06/03) reported that the US and Japan signed a treaty to help combat drug trafficking, fraud, terrorism, white collar crime, and other offenses, the first such pact signed by Tokyo. Attorney General John Ashcroft inked the pact, along with Japan's Minister of Justice Mayumi Moriyama, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Sadakazu Tanigaki, and Japanese Ambassador to the US Ryozo Kato. The mutual legal assistance treaty will help law enforcement professionals in both countries combine efforts in taking testimony, examining evidence, locating fugitives and swapping bank, business records and personal information on suspects. "The ministers, ambassador and I recognize the need to work together to see that justice is done and that no criminal hides evidence of wrongdoing behind international borders," said Ashcroft.

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3. DPRK Iraq Missile Exports Reuters ("PAPER: N.KOREA PLANS TO EXPORT MISSILES TO IRAN," Tokyo, 08/05/03) reported that the DPRK is in talks to export its Taepodong 2 long-range ballistic missile to Iran and to jointly develop nuclear warheads with Tehran, a Japanese newspaper reported on Wednesday. The conservative Sankei Shimbun, quoting military sources familiar with the DPRK, said that the DPRK planned to export components and Iran would then assemble the Taepodongs at a factory near Tehran. The paper, known for its hardline stance on Pyongyang, said the DPRK would also send experts to provide Iran with assistance on missile technology and would jointly develop nuclear warheads. They have been discussing the plans for about a year and are expected to reach an agreement in mid-October, the Sankei added. If Iran acquires the Taepodong 2, which has a range of over 6,000 km (3,700 miles), it would be able to hit targets in Europe, the paper said. Missile exports are a vital source of foreign currency for cash-strapped DPRK and it is widely believed that Pyongyang has had dealings with countries in the Middle East as well as with Pakistan. Iran said last month that it had completed tests on its Shahab 3 ballistic missiles, based on the DPRK Rodong 1. The Japanese report is likely to fuel suspicions that Tehran is using its commercial nuclear program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied any plans to build nuclear weapons, saying its program is for civilian use.

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4. US-Japan-ROK DPRK Policy

Reuters ("US, JAPAN, S.KOREA DIPLOMATS MEET SOON ON N.KOREA," Tokyo, 08/06/03) reported that diplomats from the US, Japan and the ROK would meet soon to coordinate their policy on the DPRK ahead of six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, a senior Japanese government official said on Wednesday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the informal meeting would be held "in the latter half of next week or the week after next." The venue has not been set. The DPRK and the US said on Friday they had agreed to six-country talks on the nuclear standoff. The PRC, Japan, Russia and the ROK will also attend the talks, which are expected to take place in Beijing later this month or early in September. Neither the date nor the venue has been formally announced but the Japanese official said the talks may take place this month. "Late August has not been ruled out," he told reporters.

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5. PRC-US Trade Relations

Reuters (Glen Somerville, "CHINA UNDER US SCRUTINY AS TRADE ANGER GROWS," Washington, Washington, 08/06/03) reported that a shrinking US job market has put China under an increasingly harsh spotlight as manufacturers and labor unions complain about the Asian giant's trade practices and currency policy. With the 2004 presidential election looming, the rumblings are an uncomfortable reminder for President Bush of a staggering loss of jobs in his tenure -- some 2.6 million in manufacturing alone since mid-2000. The issue is unlikely to go away. "My sense is that things are going to get worse," said economist Sung Won Sohn of Wells Fargo Bank in Minneapolis. "We're going to see more jobs continue shifting to China, and its manufacturing sophistication will keep increasing," given China's vast work force and expanding design and engineering skills, he predicted. Three Bush cabinet members -- Treasury Secretary John Snow, Commerce Secretary Don Evans and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao -- heard a multitude of grievances about China from suppliers and employees of companies such as motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson on a tour of Wisconsin and Minnesota last week. Protesters brandished signs saying, "Read Bush's lips -- no new jobs."

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6. PRC SARS Research

The Associated Press (Lawrence K. Altman, "CHINA LAGS IN SHARING SARS CLUES, OFFICIALS SAY," Geneva, 08/02/03) reported that the PRC's crash research program into SARS has yielded important new clues. But little of that information has been widely shared, dismaying World Health Organization officials, who worry that opportunities to prevent a possible return of the disease in the fall could be missed. In May, the PRC government put SARS research on a fast track and invested millions of dollars in 95 projects. The scientist who played a crucial role in the W.H.O.'s investigation of SARS, Dr. Klaus Stohr, just spent three weeks in the PRC to review with the PRC researchers what they have accomplished so far. While much of the PRC research is first-rate, Dr. Stohr said, "many groups are working on SARS, but do not know what the others are doing except by reading PRC newspaper accounts, and many accounts do not provide the necessary scientific information." The PRC had more than 3,000 cases of SARS, the most reported anywhere, and was probably the point of origin for the epidemic last year. Given that experience, the PRC could yield significant research for its own public health officials and for the rest of the world. "Too little of this important information is being reported from the research teams in China" in international scientific journals, said Dr. Stohr, whose meetings with more than 100 SARS researchers and health officials in the PRC have provided him with the most comprehensive overview of the country's research on SARS outside the PRC and possibly within it. "We need to harvest the fruit."

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7. PRC-Russia Strategic Cooperative Relations

People's Daily "CHINA TO WORK WITH RUSSIA TO ENRICH STRATEGIC COOPERATIVE RELATIONS," Beijing, 08/06/03) reported that the PRC is ready to work with Russia to add to the "strategic cooperative partnership" between the two countries, PRC President Hu Jintao said Tuesday during a meeting with Sergei Mironov, chairman of the Federation Council (Upper House) of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. PRC President Hu Jintao said Tuesday that China is ready to work with Russia to add to the "strategic cooperative partnership" between the two countries. Hu told Sergei Mironov, chairman of the Federation Council (Upper House) of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, during a brief meeting, that a new China-Russia relationship for the 21st century could be created. It would contribute to the common development and prosperity and to the peace and stability of the region and the world if China and Russia could strengthen political trust and expand mutually-beneficial cooperation, Hu said. Hu paid a state visit to Russia last May. He and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement, stressing their intention to enhance relations and the strategic cooperative partnership. Hu described the current China-Russia relations as "increasingly mature" following the development in the past decade. The relationship was characterized by regular and close top-level exchanges, the constant consolidation of the political and legal basis of bilateral relations, and the evident results in the areas of economy and trade, science and technology, and culture.

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8. PRC Desert Storm

Environment News Service, "CHINA LOSING WAR WITH ADVANCING DESERTS," Washington, 08/06/04) reported that the PRC is now at war. It is not invading armies that are claiming its territory, but expanding deserts. Old deserts are advancing and new ones are forming, like guerrilla forces striking unexpectedly, forcing Beijing to fight on several fronts. And worse, the growing deserts are gaining momentum, occupying an ever-larger piece of the PRC's territory each year. Desert expansion has accelerated with each successive decade since 1950. The PRC's Environmental Protection Agency reports that the Gobi Desert expanded by 52,400 square kilometers (20,240 square miles) from 1994 to 1999, an area half the size of Pennsylvania. With the advancing Gobi now within 150 miles of Beijing, China's leaders are beginning to sense the gravity of the situation. Overplowing and overgrazing are converging to create a dust bowl of historic dimensions. With little vegetation remaining in parts of northern and western China, the strong winds of late winter and early spring can remove literally millions of tons of topsoil in a single day--soil that can take centuries to replace. For the outside world, it is these dust storms that draw attention to the deserts that are forming in the PRC. On April 12, 2002, for instance, the ROK was engulfed by a huge dust storm from the PRC that left people in Seoul literally gasping for breath. Schools were closed, airline flights were cancelled, and clinics were overrun with patients having difficulty breathing. Retail sales fell. The ROK has come to dread the arrival of what they now call "the fifth season," the dust storms of late winter and early spring. Japan also suffers from dust storms originating in the PRC. The PRC is taking some of the right steps to halt the advancing desert, but it has a long way to go to reduce livestock numbers to a sustainable level. At this point, there is no plan in place or on the drawing board that will halt the advancing deserts. The entire world has a stake in the PRC's winning the war with the advancing deserts given its economic leadership role. But winning will not be easy. Qu Geping, the Chairman of the Environment and Resources Committee of the National People's Congress, estimates that the remediation of land in the areas where it is technically feasible would cost $28.3 billion. Halting the advancing deserts will require a massive commitment of financial and human resources, one that may force the government to make a hard choice: either build costly proposed south-north water diversion projects or battle the advancing deserts that are marching eastward and could eventually occupy Beijing.

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9. DPRK on DPRK US Talks

Korean Central News Agency ("KCNA ON DPRK-US TALKS PYONGYANG," 08/05/03) reported that a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement released on August 1 referred to the DPRK's new proposal for starting the six-party talks and holding the bilateral talks within their framework to discuss the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the US It is a reflection of the DPRK's sincere and patient efforts to peacefully settle the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the US through dialogue at any cost. It is gratifying that the countries concerned and the world public unanimously welcomed the DPRK's principled and fair proposal. The US has deliberately sidestepped a peaceful negotiated settlement of the issue while insisting on the absurd assertion that "north Korea should scrap its nuclear program before dialogue" and raising such secondary issues as format of dialogue. This created a serious hurdle in the way of settling the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and pushed the nuclear stand-off between the DPRK and the US to an extreme pitch of tension. As a result, the situation has led to such a dangerous phase that a war may break out any moment. A new format of dialogue has been decided upon thanks to the DPRK's magnanimity and bold decision to remove the danger of a war from the Korean peninsula and peacefully settle the nuclear issue. So, everything depends on the US attitude. As already known, what is essential for settling the DPRK-US nuclear issue, a product of the US hostile policy toward the DPRK, is whether the US has a bold intention to make a switchover in its policy to stifle the DPRK and a firm political will to prove it in practice. A fundamental settlement of the nuclear issue would be unthinkable without the US switchover in its policy toward the DPRK.

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10. CanKor Issue #129

The DPRK and the US agree to hold bilateral dialogue within a multilateral setting. In addition to the ROK, Japan and China, as proposed by the USA, the meetings will also include Russia, as proposed by the DPRK. The much- anticipated talks are expected to take place early September. Military action against the DPRK could result in "casualties that would shock the world" leaving negotiation the only viable option, argues William Perry, US secretary of defence from 1994 to 1997, and Clinton's DPRK policy coordinator from 1998 to 2000, in a commentary in the Washington Post. But US strategy is "to not negotiate, just wait", writes Larry Niksch, in the Far Eastern Economic Review. A specialist in Asian Affairs at the Congressional Research Service in Washington, Niksch states that regime change is indeed the Bush administration's policy objective, and American military planning appears to have moved to "a broader plan of massive strikes against multiple targets". A top Canadian military official offers Canada's full cooperation to help settle the nuclear crisis on the peninsula during a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul.

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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

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