NAPSNet Daily Report
friday, october 3, 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. DPRK Nuclear Situation

The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, "NORTH KOREA ESCALATES NUCLEAR STANDOFF," Seoul, 10/03/03) and Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA SAYS TECHNICAL HITCH OVERCOME IN ATOMIC BOMB-BUILDING," Seoul, 10/03/03) reported that the DPRK said Friday it had solved "all the technological matters" involved in using plutonium from nuclear fuel rods to build atomic bombs, a brazen statement prompting more international hand-wringing over Pyongyang's intentions. The DPRK's announcement appeared to be part of a calculated effort to escalate tension in the standoff with the US and its allies, possibly to gain leverage in any negotiations on the nuclear issue. "All the technological matters have been solved fully in the process of making a switchover in the use of plutonium," said the DPRK's official news agency, KCNA. It was impossible to independently verify the claim because the country has expelled international inspectors from its nuclear facilities. Friday's statement came a day after the DPRK said it finished reprocessing the rods and had started using plutonium to make nuclear weapons as a deterrent against what it calls a US plan to invade.

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA WOULD DROP ARMS FOR SECURITY -UN ENVOY," United Nations, 10/02/03) reported that Veteran U.N. diplomat Maurice Strong said on Thursday a senior DPRK official told him Pyongyang would give up its nuclear weapons program if its security concerns were satisfactorily addressed. Strong, an adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the DPRK, spoke to reporters after talks with DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon. Choe "made it very clear that his government is committed to abandoning its nuclear weapons program, to subjecting itself to internationally agreed inspection and verification procedures, and that their primary concern is their security," he said. "I have to take the North Koreans at their word," he added. "They have openly said that they will continue to develop their nuclear weapons program until there is a settlement of these issues."

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

2. US-PRC DPRK Refugees Talks

Agence France-Presse ("US IN 'DELICATE' TALKS WITH CHINA OVER DPRK REFUGEES," 10/03/03) reported that the US may for the first time admit DPRK refugees for resettlement this year and is trying to convince the PRC in "sensitive" and "delicate" talks to ease their entry, a senior State Department official said. "We are at a delicate point in discussions," said Arthur "Gene" Dewey, the assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration. Dewey, who traveled to Beijing earlier in August for talks on the refugee issue with the PRC, said negotiations on the matter were at a "sensitive stage." But he said if a "breakthrough" were reached, the US would be ready to accept the DPRK in fiscal 2004, which began on Wednesday, under what is called an "unreserved allocation" of 20,000 refugee slots Washington had proposed to Congress. "We would be prepared to," Dewey said. "We'll be ready to do our part to solve that problem if it's possible."

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

3. US Naval Aircraft Carrier Re-alignment

The Associated Press (Robert Burns, "NAVY MAY MOVE 1 OF ITS AIRCRAFT CARRIERS," Washington, 10/03/03) reported that one aircraft carrier may be moved permanently from the continental United States to Hawaii or Guam so that the Navy could respond more quickly to a crisis in North Korea or elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, the Pacific Fleet commander said Wednesday. Adm. Walter F. Doran, who is responsible for all Navy ships in the Pacific, said it is unclear whether the carrier would move from an East Coast or a West Coast base, and that no decisions have been made. The Navy has five carriers based on the West Coast, six on the East Coast and one in Japan. The possibility of a carrier move is part of a broader Pentagon study on repositioning forces around the world to reflect new priorities. Although the war on terrorism is currently focused mainly on the Persian Gulf region and Central Asia, the Asia-Pacific region is attracting more terrorist groups, Doran said. The Bush administration also is concerned about the DPRK and its potential for exporting the nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities it acknowledges it is developing. The case of Navy aircraft carriers is complicated by the fact that creating a new homeport in Hawaii or Guam would involve considerable cost and raise political and environmental issues. It also would affect thousands of Navy families and would require moving a carrier air wing. Doran said he was in Washington this week to meet with Navy leaders on two high-priority issues: improving the Navy's ability to track submarines in the Pacific and getting ready to maintain a continuous ship presence in the Sea of Japan to detect a potential missile launch from the DPRK. Regarding the missile detection mission, he said, "If asked, we will be ready to do it." He said it was possible that he could be ordered to do it as soon as Oct. 1, 2004, but no final decision has been made.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

4. PRC Social Unrest

Agence France-Presse ("SECOND MAN ATTEMPTS SUICIDE ON TIANANMEN SQUARE," Beijing, 10/03/03) reported that a second PRC man has tried to commit suicide in central Tiananmen Square during ongoing National Day celebrations as police rounded up political dissidents, religious activists and evicted homeowners, family sources said. "On Oct 1, at 10 in the morning, my uncle Ye Guoqiang went to Tiananmen Square to protest and he jumped off Jinshui bridge into the moat in an attempt to commit suicide," Ye Mingjun told AFP. "He said he wanted to commit suicide, but didn't succeed and the police took him away." Later, "the police informed us that Ye Guoqiang had planned to commit suicide on Jinshui bridge," the nephew said. Jinshui bridge connects Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City, and is directly under the portrait of famous revolutionary Mao Zedong who since the 1950s has served as a powerful symbol of new China. Police refused to confirm or deny the suicide attempt. "I am not empowered to tell you about this incident," a policeman at the Tiananmen Square public security bureau told AFP. The suicide attempt was the second on China's National Day, after laid off worker Yang Peiquan, 49, set himself ablaze Wednesday morning as hundreds of thousands of tourists thronged the vast square for the 54th anniversary of the founding of communist-ruled China.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

5. Japan Iraq SDF Troops

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN MAY SEND ADVANCE TEAM TO IRAQ IN DECEMBER," 10/03/03) reported that Japan is considering sending about 150 Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) personnel as an advance party to southern Iraq in December, a news report said. The team, to be sent only if the security situation does not deteriorate, will be followed by early next year by a main force of about 550 GSDF personnel, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said, citing unnamed sources. The Japanese troops will be in charge of supplying water and electricity and providing medical support, the sources told the Yomiuri. Before the dispatch of the advance party, the government plans to send a 40-member GSDF investigation team to Iraq, probably in late October, to discuss the duties of the personnel and areas of their activities, the Yomiuri said. The government was also considering sending three C-130 transportation planes of the Air Self-Defense Forces at the end of this year to carry materials needed for the work entailed, the Yomiuri said. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will tell US President George W. Bush during talks in Tokyo on October 17 that Japan was prepared to send troops to Iraq, the Yomiuri said. The government plans to decide at a cabinet meeting in mid-November a basic plan for the forces' activities, duration of stay and details of their activities, the Yomiuri said. Despite the report, Koizumi said at a parliamentary committee session Friday morning that he would send troops "only if necessary."

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

6. German Scholar DPRK Espionage

Agence France-Presse ("GERMAN SCHOLAR ACCUSED OF SPYING FOR NORTH KOREA FACES PROSECUTORS," 10/03/03) reported that a German professor of ROK origin appeared before prosecutors here for questioning on his alleged links to the DPRK's elite. "The truth will prevail," said Song Doo-Yul as he entered the Seoul district prosecution office. The probe is likely to focus on whether Song, 59, is a member of the powerful politburo of the DPRK's ruling Korean Workers Party and his alleged pro-DPRK activities in Germany. After questioning Song for three days, the ROK's counter-espionage National Intelligence Service (NIS) said earlier this week he had admitted to being a politburo member under the alias of Kim Chul-Su. Communism is banned under the National Security Laws of South Korea. Song denied at a press conference on Thursday that he had been informed by the DPRK of his appointment as a politburo member and that he had accepted an offer to join the party's top decision-making body. Song appeared for NIS questioning voluntarily after returning to the ROK last week after 37 years in exile. An exit ban preventing him from leaving the country has been extended until November 3. Song had been wanted by the ROK's spy agency since the early 1970s when he made a flurry of secret visits to the DPRK, beginning with a trip to Pyongyang in 1973. Song admitted to reporters that he had joined the Korean Workers Party during his first visit to Pyongyang, but said "it was merely part of obligatory procedures for those who entered the North at that time to join the Workers Party." Song said his initial trip to Pyongyang was to get a first-hand look at the DPRK, which at that time was showing signs of sustainable development to many overseas scholars. He has made at least 10 trips to the DPRK since.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

7. Japan on PRC Poison Gas Ruling

Reuters ("JAPAN APPEALS PRC POISON GAS RULING," Tokyo, 10/03/03) reported that Japan's government on Friday appealed a court decision awarding $1.7 million in damages to a group of PRC for injuries and deaths caused by chemical weapons abandoned in the PRC by the Japanese army after World War II. The PRC's Foreign Ministry responded quickly with a statement urging Japan to "treat seriously" what it called the "solemn and just" original verdict." In a related development, the PRC's Foreign Minister summoned the Japanese ambassador in Beijing over complaints that Japan wasn't honoring commitments to aid those killed and injured by abandoned weapons uncovered in northeastern PRC in August. Japan's appeal cited a "discrepancy" between rulings on two recent compensation cases involving abandoned weapons, said a Japanese Foreign Ministry official who declined to be identified.

prev. itemcontentscontacts

8. Japan Lower House on US-led Afghan Military Force

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN'S LOWER HOUSE BACKS CONTINUED SUPPORT TO US-LED AFGHAN MILITARY FORCE," Tokyo, 10/03/03) reported that Japan's ruling coalition rammed through the key lower house of parliament a bill to extend by two years Japan's logistical support for a US-led military coalition in Afghanistan. The bill is expected to be cleared by the upper house for enactment on Friday next week when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is expected to dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election on November 9. "The fight against terrorism is not over yet," Koizumi said in closing debate on the bill at a lower house special committee on anti-terror measures. "Japan cannot opt to pull out." The ruling three-party coalition, led by Koizumi's conservative LDP, used its comfortable majority in the lower house to pass the bill, despite objections from the opposition camp. The bill will take over from a two-year law expiring on November 1 under which Japan sent naval ships to the Indian Ocean to refuel US and other warships in military action following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Japan is considering sending an advance party of about 150 Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) personnel to southern Iraq in December, followed by a main contingent of about 550 troops early next year, the mass circulation Yomiuri Shimbun daily said Friday citing unnamed sources. The December dispatch would only go ahead if the security situation does not deteriorate, and would be preceded by a 40-member GSDF investigation team which would probably go to Iraq in late October, the Yomiuri said.

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