NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, august 8, 2003

I. United States

II. Japan

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I. United States

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1. US-Japan-ROK DPRK Pre-Meetings

Agence France-Presse ("US PLANS MEETING WITH JAPAN, SKOREA AHEAD OF SIX-PARTY NKOREA TALKS," 08/08/03) reported that the US will host discussions with Japan and the ROK "in the near future" ahead of six-party talks in the PRC to resolve the crisis over the DPRK's nuclear weapons programs, a State Department official said. "We expect that we will have an informal meeting with the South Koreans and the Japanese in Washington in the near future to prepare for the six-party talks," the official said. However, the official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the date of the meeting had not yet been settled on and depended largely on when the six-party talks would be held. "Nothing is set yet, we're still working on the details," the official said. The meeting would not be a formal gathering of the so-called "Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group" (TCOG), but rather a brain-storming session on a joint strategy to be pursued with the North Koreans, the official said. The official spoke as PRC and DPRK officials expressed hope that the upcoming six-party talks would pave the way for a peaceful solution to the crisis, according to PRC state media.

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2. Powell on DPRK Non-Aggression Pact

Agence France-Presse ("POWELL STANDS FIRM ON NO NON-AGGRESSION PACT FOR NORTH KOREA," Washington, 08/08/03) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell reinforced US opposition to the DPRK's demands for a non-aggression pact, but hinted that Congress could endorse a less formal guarantee if it emerged from nuclear-crisis talks. Powell restated the consistent US refusal to offer the Stalinist state such a formal pact as a way out of the crisis, noting that President George W. Bush has repeatedly said he has no plans to invade the DPRK. But he suggested during a session with foreign reporters that Washington could provide some kind of security assurance to Pyongyang, especially if it eventually emerged from six-party talks on the showdown expected within the next two months. "What we have said is there should be ways to capture assurances to the DPRKs from not only the US, but we believe from other parties in the region that there is no hostile intent among the parties that might be participating in such a discussion," Powell said. "When one comes up with such a document, such a written assurance, there are ways that Congress can take note of it without it being a treaty or some kind of pact," he said. "A resolution taking note of something," Powell said, suggesting a form of action Congress could pursue, short of ratifying a treaty.

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3. Japan Nuclear Arsenal Development

The Associated Press (Yuri Kageyama, "JAPAN PONDERS BUILDING NUCLEAR ARSENAL," Tokyo, 08/08/03) reported that just a few years ago, talk about possessing nuclear weapons would have been the pinnacle of taboo in Japan, the only nation to suffer atomic attacks. But the nuclear ambitions of neighboring the DPRK now have this nation thinking the unthinkable, even as it marks the anniversaries this week of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings - should Japan have its own atomic arsenal? "People are clearly waking up to the idea," lawmaker Shingo Nishimura says of the new willingness to debate the issue. "They feel something is wrong with Japan." Nishimura was forced to resign as a vice minister for defense back in 1999 just for suggesting Japan should consider going nuclear. Now he's a popular opposition lawmaker who gets to air his nuclear views on prime-time TV talk shows. Yasuo Fukuda and Shintaro Abe, two prominent ruling party politicians and top advisers to the prime minister, are among other leaders who have broached the once-shunned issue within the last year, asserting that Japan has the right to bear nuclear arms. "Japan must start saying right now that it might go nuclear," said Tadae Takubo, professor of policy at Kyorin University. "For a nation to entirely forsake nuclear weapons is like taking part in a boxing match and promising not to throw hooks." No polls have been done that weigh public attitudes to going nuclear. But any such move would likely meet powerful resistance. Along with a strong anti-nuclear bloc in the ruling party, all major opposition parties are against it.

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4. PRC on Taiwan UN Bid

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA INDIGNANT AT TAIWAN'S LATEST UN BID," Beijing, 08/08/03) reported that the PRC expressed strong indignation at Taiwan's latest bid through its 15 allies for a seat at the United Nations, calling it a flagrant violation of the UN charter. Through its supporter nations, Taiwan made the proposal to the UN Tuesday, asking that Taipei's representation under the name of Republic of China (Taiwan) be discussed at the next annual session of the 191-member UN General Assembly. The PRC has blocked nine previous attempts by Taipei to join the UN since 1993. In a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan the PRC's new Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya said the purpose of Taiwan's request was "to create 'two China' or 'one China, one Taiwan' in this organization." "It is not only a flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations but also a brazen challenge to the one-China principle widely recognized by the international community," Wang said, the Xinhua news agency reported. "There is but one China in the world, both the mainland and Taiwan are part of that one and same China, and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division." He stressed to Annan that Taiwan "is not eligible to participate, in whatever name and under whatever pretext, in the work or activities of the United Nations or its specialized agencies."

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5. US Military on ROK Anti-US Radicals

Agence France-Presse ("US MILITARY SAYS IT'S TIME TO GET TOUGH WITH ANTI-US RADICALS," 08/08/03) reported that radical ROK students who bSouth Koreane into a US military live-fire training ground should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, the US military said. "This went too far," said Colonel Steve Boylan, chief of public affairs at the US Eighth Army. "These students endangered life. They should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law." About 30 students belonging to a leftist stormed a US army firing range at Pochon late Tuesday, Boylan said. "I heard they burned US flags and shouted slogans saying the US should stop threatening North Korea," Boylan said. Radicals mounted a Bradley fighting vehicle, waving ROK flags, before they were led away by US military police. ROK police said Friday 12 students were detained and were being questioned. "This is a firing range. The protests endangered the lives of soldiers and civilians," Boylan said. The students belong to Hanchongnyeon, a group which supports the DPRK's call for the expulsion of 37,000 US troops based here and is demanding that Washington agree to the DPRK's demand for a non-aggression pact as part of a settlement of the 10-month-old nuclear crisis. The group also wants US-ROK joint military exercises scheduled to start on August 18 to be scrapped.

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6. ROK-DPRK Maritime Warning Shots

Reuters ("SOUTH KOREA REPELS NORTH BOATS WITH WARNING SHOTS," Seoul, 08/08/03) reported that the ROK's navy fired warning shots on Friday to turn back three DPRK boats which had briefly crossed over a disputed sea border, a defense official in Seoul said. The intrusion was the 14th time this year vessels from the DPRK had crossed the so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL) boundary and the third time the ROK has fired shots in the air to repel them. The rich crab fishing grounds west of the divided peninsula was the site of deadly naval gun battles in 2002 and in 1999. A spokesman for the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff said five warning shots fired from a K-6 machine gun quickly ended the violation of the Yellow Sea border. The spokesman said the 43-minute incursion appeared to be accidental, caused by malfunctioning navigation instruments, but the incident was still being investigated.

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7. ROK Chung Mong-hun Last Respects

Agence France-Presse ("SOUTH KOREANS PAY LAST RESPECTS TO HYUNDAI CHAIRMAN," 08/08/03) reported that the ROK paid its final respects to Chung Mong-Hun, the Hyundai executive who killed himself this week while under investigation over illicit money transfers to the DPRK. Beethoven's Eroica symphony played as mourners bowed to a large portrait of Chung decorated with black ribbons and white chrysanthemums. Many wept at the memorial service at a Seoul hospital as Chung's coffin was loaded into a black limousine for the short journey to the Chung family cemetery in the eastern suburbs of the city where he was later buried. Chung, chairman of Hyundai Asan, a unit of the business group established to conduct projects in the DPRK, leapt to his death from his 12th-floor office on Monday. "We all know that you sacrificed yourself to dispel the sadness of the division of Korea with inter-Korean economic exchange and reconciliation," Park Hong, dean of the Sogang University, said in speech to mourners. Before his death Chung Mong-Hun had undergone 42 hours of questioning spanning three days concerning the illicit transfer of 400 million dollars to the DPRK. Chung has said the money was intended as payment for Hyundai's monopoly rights to develop various projects in the DPRK. In one of several suicide notes, Chung said he hoped progress in inter-Korean economic exchanges would continue. He also said he wanted to be cremated and his ashes spread over Mount Kumgang. However, relatives opted for a traditional Confucian funeral and laid Chung to rest close to the grave of his father, Chung Ju-Yung, the founder of the Hyundai business group who died two years ago. Relatives including his brothers Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-Ku and Hyundai Heavy Industries chairman Chong Mong-Jun shed tears as the coffin was lowered into the grave

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8. ROK Domestic Economy

Wall Street Journal, "MOST ASIAN MARKETS OPEN HIGHER; SOUTH KOREA DECLINES," 08/08/03) reported that most Asian-Pacific shares advanced in early trading Friday, reversing several days of losses. However, in the ROK stocks retreated as the Nasdaq stalled on Thursday in New York. Stock prices in Japan moved into positive territory as investors targeted shares oversold during the market's four-day losing streak, as well as select blue chips with solid earnings such as NTT DoCoMo. The Nikkei average gained 0.3%. Buyers in Tokyo also got some encouragement from Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.71 points, or 0.7%, to 9126.45 on better-than- expected retail sales figures. The Nasdaq ended nearly flat. Hong Kong's market staged a modest recovery after its five-session slide, with the Hang Seng Index ahead 0.3%. SHK Properties rose 2.2%, the morning session's best performer, after being heavily shorted during the week. Johnson Electric gained 1% and Li & Fung added 1%, both underpinned by US economic data. China Mobile, however, fell 0.5%, likely on jitters before Tuesday's interim results. In Taiwan, shares rose on positive technology-sector earnings, a slightly improved performance by US shares and a stock-market turnaround Thursday after three days of losses. ROK shares were the region's poorest performers, with local investors focused on losses among US technology stocks. The main index slipped 0.6%.

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9. US-PRC Religious Freedom

The Associated Press ("US RELIGIOUS AGENCY STALLS CHINA VISIT," Washington, 08/08/03) reported that a government commission that monitors religious freedom said Friday it was postponing a visit to the PRC because it could not accept last-minute conditions imposed by PRC authorities. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom accused the PRC of reneging on an earlier promise to allow commission representatives to visit Hong Kong. "This action on the part of the PRC government suggests a degree of PRC control over foreign access to Hong Kong that is unprecedented and in contradiction to the concept of 'one country, two systems,'" the commission said in a statement. It added that the conditions reinforce existing doubts about the autonomy that Hong's Kong was awarded when it was returned to PRC sovereignty six years ago. The visit had been under negotiation for six months and was due to take place next week. "In light of the circumstances and last-minute limitations that the PRC government imposed, the commission could not accede to the conditions and the trip was postponed," the statement said.

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10. PRC Environmental Satellites

Reuters ("CHINA TO LAUNCH ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITES IN '06," Beijing, 08/08/03) reported that the PRC plans to launch three small satellites in 2006 to improve the country's capability to monitor the environment and forecast disasters, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday. The satellites, using optical instruments and radar, will be used to observe atmospheric, soil, vegetation, and water conditions in the PRC, Xinhua quoted a spokesman for the State Environmental Protection Administration as saying. They will also be used to regularly observe the environment to forecast possible changes and provide emergency technical assistance for early warning of major pollution accidents, Xinhua said without elaborating. Natural disasters like earthquakes (news - web sites) and landslides are frequent in the PRC. Abuse of resources and lax environmental standards on industry have led to serious pollution, which some leaders have said threatens economic and social development.

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11. Japan Wedding Traditions

Agence France-Presse ("JAPANESE WEDDINGS SMALLER, MORE WESTERN: GOVERNMENT SURVEY," 08/08/03) reported that wedding ceremonies in Japan have shrunk in size and become more Western in style over the past few years as the long drawn-out recession has prompted more modest nuptial celebrations, a government report showed. A survey of service-sector businesses showed that the number of wedding ceremonies and receptions in 2002 in Japan fell 19.5 percent compared with 1996 to 387,621, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said. The number of ceremonies and receptions costing more than two million yen (16,700 dollars) dipped 33.1 percent to 235,378 while those costing less than two million yen gained 17.7 percent to 152,248, the report said. The number of wedding ceremonies in chapels soared 76.7 percent to 208,715 while traditional-style wedding ceremonies at Shinto shrines tumbled 66.6 percent to 102,370, the report said. Although Christians account for a mere 1.4 percent of Japan's population of some 126 million, ceremonies with the trappings of a Western church wedding are becoming increasingly popular. "In the deflationary economic climate, spending on wedding ceremonies and receptions has been contracting," the report said. The number of ceremonies and receptions with fewer than 50 guests increased 53.8 percent to 79,693 in 2002. On the other hand, those with more than 50 guests decreased 27.8 percent to 296,462. As a result, the revenues of wedding ceremony providers shrank 24.8 percent to 1,005.6 billion yen.

II. Japan

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1. Terrorism on Koreans in Japan

Kyodo ("KOREANS TERRORIZED IN NIIGATA," Niigata, 07/31/03) reported that a shot was fired into a local facility of the pro-DPRK General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun) and a suspected bomb was found near a credit union linked to North Korean residents, police said. Police acted after the daily Asahi Shimbun received a call at around 10:55 p.m. on July 29 from a man who claimed to be a member of a group calling itself Kenkoku Giyugun (Patriotic Corps for Building the Nation). He told the newspaper's head office in Tokyo that a gun had been fired at the Chongryun office and a bomb was planted at the local Korean bank. A similar phone call was made to the headquarters of the local daily Niigata Nippo. About 160 families living near the credit union were evacuated before a police bomb squad removed the bag containing an apparent explosive device. Also late evening, a bullet was fired into a warehouse adjacent to the Chongryun office. No one was reported injured in either incident. The Chongryun office is located close to the pier that used to serve the North Korean passenger-cargo ferry Mangyongbong-92. Chongryun's central standing committee issued a statement later on July 30 denouncing the incidents as terrorist acts, and urged the Japanese authorities to get to the bottom of the issue as swiftly as possible and take responsible measures. Harassment and threats against pro-DPRK Korean residents and Chongryun-linked facilities have continued since the DPRK's admission last September that it had kidnapped more than a dozen Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s. According to committee vice chairman Nam Sung U, there have been around 20 incidents targeting Chongryun facilities since last fall. In November, a bullet and a threatening letter were mailed to the Chongryun headquarters in Tokyo, and in January a shot was fired at the Nagoya branch of the Chogin Chubu Credit Union. A human rights group for Korean residents has reported hundreds of cases of verbal abuse and hate messages against students of Korean schools. Many other cases of attacks have been reported against female students of Korean schools, in which the attackers have slashed the ethnic clothing of the students with a knife.

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2. Japan Iraq Troop Deployment

The Japan Times ("LAWMAKERS ON FACT-FINDING DISPATCH," 08/01/03) reported that a delegation of lawmakers left Japan for Iraq on July 31 to assess conditions there for dispatching Self-Defense Forces (SDF) elements to aid in the country's reconstruction. The delegation from the House of Representatives special committee dealing with support for Iraq's reconstruction will enter the country via Jordan. It will meet with Paul Bremer, the US-appointed civilian administrative chief in Iraq as well as Iraqi members of the provisional US-backed governing council. The delegation, led by the committee's chairman, Masahiko Komura, a former foreign minister, will talk with Bremer and the council about such issues as the reconstruction situation and whether there is a need for SDF ground troops. They will also visit hospitals and the airport in Baghdad. The delegation will also visit the Maritime Self-Defense Force supply ships providing fuel to US and allied vessels in Dubai as part of Japan's support for US-led antiterrorism operations. They will also visit Afghanistan before returning to Japan on Aug. 8.

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3. Japan New Defense Administrative Vice Minister

The Japan Times ("DRAFTER OF SDF-IRAQ LAW GETS TOP BUREAUCRATIC JOB," 08/02/03) reported that a senior Defense Agency bureaucrat who oversaw the drafting of key legislation allowing for the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces (SDF) units to help rebuild Iraq was appointed the agency's top administrative bureaucrat. Effective the same day, 58-year-old Takemasa Moriya, former director general of the defense policy bureau, replaced Yasunari Ito as administrative vice minister. Moriya, a veteran career defense bureaucrat, has been behind pivotal defense policy issues in recent years. As director of the defense policy division and defense councilor, he was involved in the negotiations leading up to the conclusion of the 1997 revised security guidelines with the US, which stepped up bilateral defense cooperation for the post-Cold war era. As head of the defense policy bureau, Moriya also oversaw the drafting of the 2001 antiterrorism law, which saw Maritime Self-Defense Force ships sent to the Indian Ocean to support US forces fighting in Afghanistan, as well as the law to send SDF units to postwar Iraq that was enacted last month.

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4. US on PRC Missiles

Kyodo ("CHINA MISSILES COULD HIT U.S. FORCES IN OKINAWA, PENTAGON REPORT SAYS," Washington, 08/01/03) reported that the PRC greatly expanded its arsenal last year and is developing new models of its short-range ballistic missiles that could enable attacks against Okinawa, the Pentagon said in an annual report. "China has embarked upon a force modernization program intended to diversify its options for use of force against potential targets such as Taiwan, the South China Sea and border defense, and to complicate United States' intervention in a Taiwan Strait conflict," the US Department of Defense report said. China increased the number of short-range ballistic missiles in its deployed inventory to 450, up 100 from the previous year's report and at a pace double that of other increases. This number is expected to increase by over 75 missiles per year for the next few years, the report says. The People's Liberation Army is also developing variants of the CSS-6 missile that will enable attacks against Okinawa when forward-deployed or against Taiwan when deployed further inland, according to the report, which was submitted to the US Congress. The report also said China has about 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of targeting the US. The number could increase to around 30 by 2005 and 60 by 2010, it said.

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5. US Bases in Japan

Kyodo ("U.S. NAVY TO UPGRADE JETS FOR KITTY HAWK FROM FALL," Yokohama, 08/03/03) reported that the US Navy is expected to replace the USS Kitty Hawk's aging Tomcat fighters with state-of-the-art Super Hornets as early as this fall, US military sources said last Saturday. Some experts see the move as a reinforcement of the US forward deployment in light of the nuclear and missile threats from the DPRK -- but people living near the jets' home base are concerned that noise problems will worsen. The Navy will remove the 11 F-14A Tomcat strike fighters from the Naval Air Facility, Atsugi as early as mid-August and is considering deploying the F/A-18 E Super Hornet fighters to replace them, the sources said. An Atsugi base official said the facility has yet to receive orders concerning when replacements will arrive and which model they will be, but admitted a decision has been made to withdraw the Tomcats by the end of this year. The Super Hornet, a multirole attack and fighter aircraft, has 35 percent more engine power than the Hornet and increases the external payload for missiles and bombs by two loads to 11. "I guess noise will be worse as the engine is bigger," said Hiromichi Umebayashi, who represents a base-monitoring citizens' group called Peace Depot. An official of the Yamato city government said, "We will closely monitor US moves from the viewpoint of noise." The Kanagawa Prefectural Government said it received more than 5,000 complaints a year in the three years to 2002 about noise from fighter jets near the Atsugi base, a 50 percent increase over previous years.

Kyodo ("JAPAN, U.S. UNABLE TO AGREE ON REVIEW OF SOFA," Washington, 08/03/03) reported that Japan and the US failed to reach an agreement by their self-imposed deadline of Aug. 1 on a review of criminal procedures for US military personnel suspected of crimes in Japan, Japanese and US officials said. "The 45-day mutually agreed period of intense discussion has ended today," a senior US defense official told reporters, "with the two sides having respective proposals on the table, with certain differences still remaining and a failure of us to reach a common understanding and agreement on several of the provisions within those respective proposals." "The two countries need to continue to work with each other, showing more flexibility," a Japanese official said. The Japanese and US officials stopped short of going into specifics. The negotiators will take the proposals back to their leaderships for further consideration and will discuss how to proceed with the stalled talks on criminal procedures under the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), they said. The Japanese and US officials said the stalled talks have no influence on the so-called "sympathetic consideration" by the US to handing over military personnel suspected of heinous crimes, such as murder or rape, prior to indictment.

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

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