NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, september 8, 2003

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Long-Range Missile

The Associated Press (Soo-Jeong Lee, "REPORT: N. KOREA HAS LONG-RANGE MISSILE," Seoul, 09/08/03) reported that the DPRK dismissed reports the US was softening its stand on the DPRK's weapons program, saying it retains the option to "increase its nuclear deterrent force." The angry rhetoric followed a report Monday in a ROK newspaper that the DPRK has developed a long-range missile capable of targeting all of Japan and the US territory of Guam. The developments came on the eve of the DPRK's 55th anniversary, which is expected to be celebrated with a military parade amid speculation in Washington that the DPRK might conduct a nuclear test. A leading ROK newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, quoted an unidentified government official as saying that North Korea has developed a ballistic missile with a range of 1,850 miles to 2,470 miles, but has not yet deployed it. The missile's range would make it more powerful than the 1,540-mile Taepodong-1 missile, which can target all but the most far-flung of Japan's islands. The ROK's Defense Ministry said it could not confirm the report. ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan warned that aggravating actions by the DPRK would affect further talks on its suspected development of nuclear weapons. Yoon, who met President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell last week, said Washington expressed concerns that the DPRK might take threatening actions on Tuesday.

Agence France-Presse ("N. KOREA TO DISPLAY NEW MISSILE AT NATIONAL DAY PARADE," 09/09/03) reported that the DPRK may showcase a new ballistic missile at a parade Tuesday to mark the Stalinist state's national day, according to a ROK news report. The Chosun Ilbo said development of the new missile, with a range of up to 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles), had been completed and deployment was imminent. Defense analysts told South Korea's most widely read newspaper that Pyongyang may unveil the missile during celebrations marking the 55th anniversary of the foundation of the communist state. The DPRK will stage a "mammoth" parade to mark the occasion, Pyongyang's official media has announced. According to reports in Seoul, missiles and tanks have been moved to an airport outside the DPRK capital in preparation for the festivities. The ROK's defense ministry declined to comment on the report. Chosun Ilbo indicated that the new missile had a longer range than the Taepodong-1 missile which was test-fired over Japan in 1998, triggering international alarm. Speculation has mounted that the DPRK could choose Tuesday's celebrations to carry out a nuclear or missile test.

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2. US Jack Pritchard on US-DPRK Diplomacy

Reuters (George Gedda, "EX-AIDE URGES US TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA," Washington, 09/08/03) reported that a Korean affairs expert who recently resigned from the US State Department urged the Bush administration Monday to assign a full-time negotiator to work with the DPRK on ending the nuclear weapons impasse. "We've got to get serious about this," said Jack Pritchard, who served as the main State Department link to the DPRK U.N. mission until he stepped down last month. It was widely reported at the time that he left because of policy differences with the administration. At present, the main forum for negotiations with North Korea is a six-nation mechanism that met in Beijing two weeks ago. Pritchard said that forum is too unwieldy to achieve DPRK disarmament. A resolution of the North Korea stalemate "cannot occur without a sustained and serious dialogue between the US and North Korea," Pritchard said in an address at the Brookings Institution, with which he is now affiliated. He recommended the appointment of a full-time negotiator to keep allies and friends in the six-nation process informed on the status of the one-on-one talks.

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3. US on DPRK 'Security Assurance'

Agence France-Presse ("US, ALLIES TO MULL 'ASSURANCE' THAT COULD STOP NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR PROGRAM," Washington, 09/07/03) reported that the US will discuss with its allies what "security assurance" could be offered to North Korea to stop Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said. Talking on ABC television, America's chief diplomat said the US and its allies will have to make a "judgment" call in the next few weeks as to what kind of security assurance would be appropriate. "And we will have to make a judgment with our allies, over the next few weeks, before the next meeting, as to what kind of security assurance would be satisfactory for all of us to provide the DPRK with so that they would feel comfortable in taking this step," Powell said. The US had refused to offer the DPRK a formal non-aggression treaty as a price for ending the diplomatic stalemate over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. But Powell has previously suggested that some form of US statement that it has no plans to attack or invade the DPRK could be noted in some way by Congress, short of a formal treaty ratification.

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4. ROK on US-DPRK Diplomacy

Agence France-Presse ("S. KOREAN FM EXPECTS US TO 'ACTIVELY' ADDRESS N. KOREAN SECURITY CONCERNS," 09/08/03) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-Kwan said he expected the US to "actively" address DPRK security concerns at the next round of six-nation nuclear crisis talks. Yoon, who returned Sunday from Washington following talks with US President George W. Bush and senior US officials, also cautioned the DPRK against taking any provocative steps, amid speculation that it was planning a nuclear test. "I was told that the US was actively considering and preparing to address the issue of North Korea's security concerns," Yoon told reporters. "I think that the US may come up with its proposal at the next round of six-nation talks." Yoon, who also held talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, said that he had urged Washington to prepare "a more detailed and sophisticated proposal" for Pyongyang in the next round. The ROK, DPRK, the PRC, Japan and the US met in Beijing late last month to settle the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. The talks were inconclusive and no date was fixed for the next round.

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5. Japan Domestic Politics

Reuters (George Nishiyama and Linda Sieg, "JAPAN PM VOWS REFORM, SEEN AHEAD IN LDP CHIEF POLL," Tokyo, 09/08/03) reported that popular Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, looking strong in his bid for re-election as ruling party chief, pledged Monday to keep fighting deflation and get a grip on the bulging public debt. The September 20 election for Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president is the first referendum in the ruling party on Koizumi's reforms since the lion-haired leader sprang to power in April 2001 pledging to rein in Japan's huge debt, fix its ailing banks and remove government's heavy hand from the economy. "I will make every effort to forge ahead steadily with my structural reform policies," Koizumi told reporters. Whoever wins the post of LDP chief is virtually assured of the prime ministership, although some have speculated that Koizumi would call a snap election rather than resign if he lost. The victor is also expected to lead the conservative LDP into a general election that must be held by mid-2004 but could come by the year-end. The winner could find his two-year term cut short, however, if the ruling camp fares badly in the national election. Koizumi, 61, was re-elected in an uncontested party poll in September 2001. He has since angered many powerful LDP backers with his reform plans. The three challengers are former LDP policy chief Shizuka Kamei, 66, former Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, 61, and former Transport Minister Takao Fujii, 60.

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6. Dalai Lama US Visit

Agence France-Presse ("AM DALAI LAMA ARRIVES IN WASHINGTON," 09/09/03) reported that Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived in Washington, ahead of an expected meeting with President George W. Bush which would be sure to anger the PRC. During his visit, the Dalai Lama, a frequent visitor to the US, is also expected to meet Secretary of State Colin Powell and leading members of Congress. He will also take part in a ceremony at the National Cathedral in the US capital marking the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington two years ago. The Bush administration has yet to confirm that the president will meet the Dalai Lama, whom he last welcomed to the White House in May 2001. But officials said last week the Dalai Lama would meet "appropriate" officials during his stay in Washington. The PRC has already asked Washington not to welcome him. "The PRC side expresses grave concern over this matter," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement last month. "We have made representation to the American side over this matter, and have requested the US government strictly abide by its promise to recognize Tibet as a part of China, to not support 'Tibet independence,' and to not allow the Dalai Lama to go to the US to engage in activities to split China."

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7. PRC on Falun Gong Crackdown

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA VOWS TO INTENSIFY CRACKDOWN ON FALUN GONG," 09/08/03) reported that the PRC said an ongoing crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual group was a matter of national stability after the movement accused PRC leaders of torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. "We should be fully aware that the fight will be long, arduous and complicated, and therefore, we must be vigilant against the Falun Gong cult and should in no way relax our efforts," a commentary carried by the official Xinhua news agency said. Recently, the cult has intensified its collusion with "Western anti-China forces" to launch attacks against both the government and the people, it said. "Any tolerance toward the cult will lead to extreme harm to the general public," it said, stressing that "to eradicate the Falun Gong cult will help create a harmonious and stable environment for the country's socialist construction and benefit both the country and the people. More and more people have come to see through the anti-scientific, anti-human and anti-social nature of the cult and have devoted themselves to the struggle," the commentary said.

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8. Taiwan Independence Rallies and Protests

Agence France-Presse ("PRO-CHINA SUPPORTERS MARCH IN TAIWAN AFTER INDEPENDENCE RALLY," 09/07/03) reported that around 7,000 people in favor of Taiwan's reunification with China rallied on the island, a day after 30,000 supporters of its independence marched through the streets. About 3,000 people filed through Taipei Sunday morning to show support for the island's official name -- the Republic of China -- after Saturday's demonstrators called for it to be changed to Taiwan. Chanting slogans as patriotic songs played in the background, the pro-unification crowd paraded banners reading "The Republic of China (ROC) is our mother," "Long live the Republic of China" and "Opposing Taiwan independence". The crowd focused much of its anger at president Lee Teng-hui, who led Saturday's massive pro-independence march, and shouted "Down with Lee Teng-hui!" There was a minor clash between the marchers and police, but no injuries were reported. About 10 right-wingers meanwhile burnt an effigy of Lee and a traditional symbol of death outside Lee's residence in the suburbs of Taipei. "Lee Teng-hui is the scumbag of the PRC people ... we hope he will die as soon as possible," an angry demonstrator told reporters. Police stopped the protest. Saturday's march was held under the banner of the Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan, consisting of some 70 pro-independence groups. On Sunday afternoon 4,000 people from radical pro-reunification organizations including The Alliance for the Reunification of China and The Labor Party also demonstrated to show their opposition to independence.

II. Republic of Korea

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1. US Softens Attitude Towards DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Chong-hyuk, Washington, "US EASES STANCE ON NORTH KOREA", 09/06/03) reported that In an apparent easing of US policy toward DPRK, a senior State Department official told reporters yesterday that US was prepared to undertake a gradual approach in negotiations with DPRK in hopes that it would lead to dismantlement of the communist country's nuclear weapons program. The official said US was willing to discuss "a sequence of denuclearization measures with corresponding measures on the part of both sides. "That offer would be based on DPRK refraining from issuing threats to test nuclear weapons, he said." I hope DPRK realizes that provocative actions can and will have consequences," the official said, "whether it be to the atmosphere of the talks or something more." Yesterday's comments supported PRC's announcement after last week's six-way talks in Beijing that DPRK and US ? along with ROK, PRC, Russia and Japan ? had agreed to work toward a "parallel and synchronized" resolution. The talks in Beijing ended with an agreement to hold more negotiations. DPRK had demanded at the talks that US agree to a series of "simultaneous" steps, beginning with the resumption of fuel oil supplies, in return for its willingness to give up its nuclear programs. The senior US official said the proposal designed to kick-start the resolution process was described to DPRK delegates last week in Beijing, but it drew a less than encouraging response. A ROK official has said US was willing to sit down to discussions on "a variety of ideas for the first steps" toward the process. The ideas will likely touch on how and how far DPRK should go in dismantling its nuclear programs, and on corresponding US measures Despite DPRK discrediting more talks, the senior US official said another round would likely be held before the end of the year. Meanwhile, ROK's Foreign Minister, Yoon Young-kwan, continued consultations with top US officials in Washington, meeting with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice yesterday. Speaking to reporters following the meeting, he said the two countries were committed to making the process work.

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Joongang Ilbo(Lee Chul-hee, "Yongsan talks fall short", 09/05/03) reported that Failing to make significant progress in talks over the relocation of the US military base at Yongsan, ROK and US said yesterday they planned more discussions in October to seek an agreement over how much Seoul will pay to move garrison out of the capital. Ending two days of talks yesterday, the two sides agreed to work toward an umbrella agreement to modify two 13-year-old pacts on relocating the US military base outside of downtown Seoul. They have yet to agree on how to adjust controversial clauses in 1990 agreements, seen as "unfavorable" by Seoul. "The National Assembly did not ratify the existing agreements, and they contained flaws," Lieutenant General Cha Young-koo, deputy minister of policy at the Ministry of National Defense and Seoul's chief negotiator for the talks, said yesterday in a press briefing at which no US officials appeared. "The two sides agreed to draw up an umbrella agreement to modify the flaws, and we will ask the Assembly to ratify it before the end of this year." The umbrella agreement will stipulate the outline of the policy involving the relocation of Yongsan Garrison. Any new agreements will not override the existing 1990 pacts, which will remain binding. General Cha said that US had demanded that ROK build housing for US soldiers who will remain to serve their headquarters after the majority of the Yongsan troops relocate to bases outside Seoul. "But whether ROK will pay for it or not is a separate matter," General Cha said. The two sides discussed the planned timeline of transfer of missions from US military to ROK forces. ROK will prepare to take over counter-artillery operations against DPRK's immediately, the two sides agreed. US and ROK will form a joint evaluation team for two annual assessments, starting in August 2005, in order to determine the timeline. The two sides also agreed to reduce the numbers of US guards at the Joint Security Area, an 800 meter (1/2 mile)-wide enclave that bisects the inter-Korean Military Demarcation Line, but postponed the schedule that would have ROK soldiers defending the southern half of the area alone.

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3. ROK-US Military Exercise

Donga Ilbo (Park Jei-Gyoon, "EXERCISE AIMED AT INTERCEPTING THE NORTH'S WMD TAKES PLACE ON SEP. 13 AND 14", 09/05/03) reported that The first joint maritime exercise which aims to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will be staged on September 13 and 14 in the Coral Sea off Australia`s northeast coast. US and 10 nations that participate in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) that US President George W. Bush initiated reached an agreement on the exercise after two days of their third round of talks Wednesday and Thursday in Paris, France. The exercise, however, will get on the nerves of DPRK, which earlier attacked the PSI. DPRK warned last month just before the 6 way talks held in Beijing that PSI is a strategy to isolate its regime and it would step up its nuclear efforts if US did not drop the exercise. Next week`s exercise, in which US, Australia, Japan and France will participate, is dubbed the "Pacific Protector." The participating countries will carry out an intensive exercise aimed at intercepting ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction, The 11 nations` representatives of the talks agreed to conduct an amphibious exercise 10 times altogether until next year. The "Pacific Protector" exercise will be the first of the 10 planned. The representatives of the talks promised in the closing statement Thursday that they would strengthen cooperation between member countries, activate swift intelligence exchange and, if necessary, amend domestic and international laws to beef up efforts to intercept the transportation of WMD or related materials. The talks in Paris, following the talks in Madrid, Spain and in Brisbane, Australia, in June and July, set the guidelines for political, legal and technical ways of cooperation in an effort to prevent proliferation and transfer of WMD and the guidelines will be notified to non-member countries of PSI as well, sources said. John Bolton, US`s top arms control official, the most influential figure of the talks, said after the talks that "PSI does not target any particular country, but we have the greatest concerns over DPRK's nuclear programs." The first tangible success of PSI cooperation was Taiwan authorities' interception of a DPRK ship that appeared to have been carrying materials for making chemical weapons. "US, in particular, hopes PRC and Russia to participate in the PSI," Bolton added. PRC, however, is opposed to PSI, saying, "The best way to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is through dialogue." The member nations in PSI are US, Japan, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The next talks of PSI will be held in London, Britain.

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4. US-DPRK Diplomacy

Donga Ilbo (Kwon Sun Taek, "BUSH HINTS AT COMPROMISE IN N. KOREA TALKS, 09/05/03) reported that the New York Times reported Friday that US President George W. Bush expressed his intention to gradually ease sanctions on DPRK and ultimately to sign a peace treaty with DPRK. The paper reported that this signals a major change in President Bush's approach to DPRK, and that US will employ the new strategy for the next 6 way talks. Citing high-ranking US officials, the paper reported that US president authorized US representatives to send his new message to DPRK delegates at the six-way talks. James Kelly, the Assistant Secretary of State, explained the president`s new message to DPRK. But DPRK, the paper reported, did not show immediate responses. The new negotiation strategy by Mr. Bush has been proposed by the Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Deputy Secretary of State, Richard L. Armitage. The strategy, dubbed as "more for more" is about giving inducements to DPRK in phases only as DPRK starts surrendering its nuclear weapons. The paper said that the position of the Bush administration represents a big change from its attitude earlier this year in which no new aid would be provided to DPRK unless it gave up all its nuclear weapons and dismantled all nuclear facilities. US officials stressed that these inducements would be phased in slowly and only as DPRK starts surrendering its nuclear weapons, dismantling the facilities used to develop them, and permitting inspectors free run of the country, the newspaper reported. In a phone conversation with the New York Times, however, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice disputed the notion that Mr. Bush was making a significant change in strategy. She said that every thing would depend on how DPRK would react. The speaker of the National Security Council said that as long as Mr. Bush firmly expressed his intention not to attack or invade DPRK, DPRK should regard the announcement of Mr. Bush as a guarantee of not attacking DPRK.

III. People's Republic of China

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1. PRC-US Relations

People's Daily ("POWELL SAYS US-CHINA TIES BEST SINCE 1972," 09/07/03, P3) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on September 5 that the US-PRC relations are the best in more than 30 years since former US president Richard Nixon paid his first visit to PRC in 1972. He said despite the differences between the two countries, "the relationship has improved for a reason that transcends all of these particulars". "Neither we nor the Chinese leadership anymore believe that there is anything inevitable about our relationship, either inevitably bad or inevitably good," Powell said. He also said the US welcomes "a global role of China," according to the report.

China Daily (Meng Yan, "US URGED TO HONOR ITS WORD ON TIBET," 09/05/03, P1) reported that PRC on September 4 urged the US to honor its commitment to recognize Tibet as a part of China and not support "Tibet independence." "We have lodged our representation to the US side," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said at a news conference responding to the Dalai Lama's three-week visit to the US, which began on September 4. Noting the importance of mutual high-level exchanges between PRC and the US, Kong said the two nations are still in consultation over upcoming visits by Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-President Dick Cheney. When asked to comment on the US's nuclear proliferation security initiative, Kong said PRC considers consultation and dialogue the best way to prevent proliferation and maintain common security.

China Daily (Wu Yixue, "DALAI'S US VISIT WILL HURT RELATIONS," 09/01/03, P4) carried a commentary saying that talks are under way between the US and the Dalai Lama about the political exile's forthcoming visit to the US. In his 20-day visit to Washington, scheduled to start on September 4, the Dalai Lama will possibly meet with President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and other senior officials. Exactly why the US has taken such a high-profile interest in meeting with an exile is worthy of careful consideration. The Dalai Lama is by no means a purely religious person. He has proven to be a political plotter scheming to separate the Tibet Autonomous Region from China, the US also breaks its past commitment to PRC that it acknowledges Tibet as part of China and does not back an "independent Tibet." It is the central government's long-held stance that the door is open to the Dalai Lama for talks under the basic premise that he gives up "Tibet independence" proposal, stops all separatist activities, and acknowledges that the Tibet Autonomous Region is an inalienable part of China. The US should not confound right from wrong on the Tibet issue and push the Dalai Lama to go along the way of "Tibet independence." The best resolution for the Dalai Lama is to return to the negotiating table with the central government as soon as possible. Anything less will cause damage to Sino-US relations, the article said.

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2. PRC's Disarmament

China Daily ("DISARMAMENT TO CUT 200,000," Changsha, 09/02/03, P1) reported that another 200,000 troops will be cut from PRC's army by 2005, reducing the overall number to 2.3 million, it was announced on September 1. The decision was jointly made by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the Central Military Commission (CMC), and announced by CMC Chairman Jiang Zemin. The chairman said it is a very significant decision which will promote the construction of the nation's army, accelerate the modernization drive of the army, stimulate national economic development and contribute to the peace and development of the whole world. According to a white paper on China's national defense issued in December 2002, the Chinese Government has always been strict in its control, management and supervision of defense spending, and has formed a complete system of relevant laws and regulations for that purpose, said the report.

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3. PRC's AAPP Speech

China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, "WU URGES MAINTENANCE OF PEACE," Manila, 09/02/03, P1) reported that PRC's top legislator Wu Bangguo on September 2 called on all parliaments and governments in Asia to firmly seize opportunities to achieve universal and lasting peace and development in the region. "The maintenance of peace is the main trend in Asia and almost all countries are committed to economic recovery and development as their priority," he said during the opening ceremony of the fourth General Assembly of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace (AAPP). Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) and also outgoing AAPP president, conferred the ceremony with the theme: "Towards a Hundred Years of Peace." Peaceful co-existence of Asian countries, mutual respect for each other's history and culture as well as mutual learning and experience sharing will contribute to peace and development in Asia, Wu said. Wu called to safeguard and strengthen the importance of the UN, noting the UN Charter remains an important legal base for the maintenance of world peace.

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4. Six-Party Talks

China Daily ("DPRK PARLIAMENT SUPPORTS STANCE ON TALKS," Seoul, 09/04/03, P1) reported that the DPRK's parliament said on September 3 it would take "relevant measures" to support its leadership's decision to reject further talks on the country's nuclear program and boost its deterrent capability. The unusual decision by the Supreme People's Assembly echoed a tough Foreign Ministry statement at the weekend on last week's six-way talks in Beijing. But it seemed to contradict comments by the official KCNA news agency this week that Pyongyang still wanted to resolve the dispute through dialogue. It noted that the DPRK Foreign Ministry, with government backing, had said it saw no further point in talks and Pyongyang had no choice but to enhance its deterrent capacity. "I think we should not be swayed by sporadic comments coming out but focus on the bigger picture," ROK Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Jae-sup told reporters in Seoul after meeting Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang said many problems remained. But the ROK's top presidential security adviser said he expected follow-up talks to take place sooner rather than later in Beijing although he gave no specifics.

China Daily ("DPRK TONES DOWN POSITION," 09/03/03, P1) reported that the DPRK, retreating from its initial hostile reaction to last week's talks, said on September 2 it still wanted to resolve the dispute through dialogue. The DPRK's official KCNA news agency commentary marked the first expression of a willingness to hold dialogue after the hostile position issued by the DPRK after the conclusion of the talks last Friday. PRC on September 2 urged all parties concerned with the DPRK's nuclear issue to keep contact and enhance communication to narrow differences and find a peaceful solution to the issue. "We hope all parties keep close contact and carefully study the stance of other parties presented at the talks in order to prepare for a further round," foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan said at a regular press briefing. PRC has a flexible stance on the venue of the second round of the talks, he said.

China Daily ("DPRK SAYS US DEMANDS REMAIN UNACCEPTABLE," Moscow, 09/02/03, P1) reported that keeping up its tough rhetoric, the DPRK's Embassy in Moscow on September 1 released a statement dismissing US demands made during last week's talks in Beijing as a "game even kids won't play." The statement from a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry that was released by the Embassy to the Interfax news agency, said the US demands during the latest talks were even less acceptable to Pyongyang than Washington's earlier stance. The DPRK took an angry, hard-line stance following last week's landmark six-nation talks about the nuclear dispute with the US. Pyongyang on August 30 dismissed the need for more talks and said that it would continue developing a nuclear deterrent force. The US insists that the DPRK scrap its nuclear programs, but the DPRK says the US must first provide security and aid guarantees. Despite angry statements from Pyongyang, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on September 1 voiced hope for further talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov, who represented Russia during Beijing's talks, said the parties had reached a tentative agreement to meet again in October or November, but added that "each country wanted to assess the results before making a decision on the next round," the ITAR-Tass news agency reported yesterday.

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5. Relations Across Taiwan Straits

China Daily (Meng Yan, "TAIWAN PASSPORT PLOY OPPOSED," 09/03/03, P2) reported that Beijing strongly opposes Taipei's decision to add the word "Taiwan" to passports belonging to residents of Taiwan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on September 2. The Taiwan authority started issuing passports on Monday with "Taiwan" printed on the cover, instead of the original "Republic of China," claiming this was to avoid confusion with passport holders from the mainland. Kong warned at a regular briefing that this was an illustration of the Taiwan authority's attempt to seek "gradual independence" and will further damage cross-Straits relations. "Such an interpretation is unacceptable," said Kong according to the report.

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6. PRC-Japan Relations

China Daily (Xiao Cao, "JAPAN TO STAGE CHEMICAL CLEAN-UP," 09/06-07/03, P2) reported that a Japanese Government-appointed task force will start work on September 6 to search for and deal with chemical weapons left over by the Japanese army during the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945) in Shijia-zhuang, capital of North China's Hebei Province, according to sources from the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. Just before the arrival of the task force, Sino-Japanese talks were held in Beijing on the compensation for damage caused by the leakage of toxic mustard gas in Qiqihar, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, in early August. The official with Japanese Embassy said the talks reached no consensus and a new round of discussions was expected. According to a report published in Japan's Daily Yomiuri newspaper, 10 billion Japanese yen (US$86 million) will be used to resolve the issue in the name of "condolence" payments and not "compensation" for those who have suffered from the left-over chemical weapons. But the anonymous embassy official denied such assertions to China Daily.

China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, "NPC CHAIRMAN VISITS JAPAN," Tokyo, 09/05/03, P2) reported that politicians in PRC and Japan should set long term goals in Sino-Japanese ties, enhance the sense of mutual historical mission and be an example to others in steering towards peaceful, friendly and co-operative trends. That was the message delivered on September 4 by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), at a reception hosted by Japanese House of Representatives Speaker Tamisuke Watanuki and House of Councillors President Hiroyuki Kurata. He said the long and steady development of Sino-Japanese relations benefits the two peoples and is conducive to peace in Asia and the world. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between PRC and Japan. In line with increasing understanding and trust and deepening co-operation for common development, Wu said he would like to review, together with the Japanese side, the spirit of the treaty and the course of bilateral relations.

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7. PRC-ROK Relations

People's Daily ("CHINESE TOP LEGISLATOR VISITS ROK," Seoul, 09/03/03, P1) reported that China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said on September 2 his on-going visit to the ROK is aimed to implement the cooperative ideas formulated by the top leaders of the two countries. Wu is on an official goodwill visit to the ROK as guest of the country's National Assembly Speaker Park Kwan-yong. Wu said he is delighted to pay his first visit to the ROK, saying the new Chinese leadership attaches importance to its relations with the ROK. Wu said that Chinese President Hu Jintao and ROK President Roh Moo-hyun agreed to build up an all-round cooperative partnership during Roh's visit to PRC in July. He said his current visit to the ROK is part of PRC's efforts to materialize the cooperation in various fields agreed upon by the heads of state of the two countries. Wu said the Chinese NPC is willing to further cooperation with the South Korean National Assembly in bilateral and multilateral affairs, thus contributing more to the overall growth in the relations between the two countries. Park said he agreed with Wu's appreciation of the relations between PRC and the ROK, saying that mutual respect and trust are among the vital factors that help forge good relations between the two countries, according to the report.

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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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