NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, october 15, 2003

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. US Pritchard on US DPRK Policy

Agence France-Presse ("FORMER US NKOREA ENVOY TAKES NEW SHOT AT BUSH POLICY", Washington, 10/15/03) reported that six-nation talks will not ease the DPRK Korea nuclear crisis unless Washington also launches a parallel one-on-one track with Pyongyang, a just-retired US envoy to the DPRK said. Jack Pritchard, who left the State Department in August, issued a new critique of the US refusal to hold direct talks with Pyongyang, days before President George W. Bush is due to launch his most extensive Asian tour. "There will need to be a parallel, bilateral sustained engagement", said Pritchard at a forum of Korea experts on Capitol Hill, arguing multilateral talks could not solve the crisis alone. "The idea that a plenary session of some six separate delegates, with a minimum of 24 interpreters, plus strap hangers in a big room solving this in the kind of detail that is required is not going to happen. "It's not going to happen at all", he said, while nevertheless expressing strong support for the six-way talks involving the US, The PRC, Russia, South Korea, North Korea and Japan. "There needs to be parallel engagement by all the parties involved, most particularly by the US." Pritchard was considered part of a wing of the Bush administration keen on engaging Pyongyang, at odds with hawks in the Pentagon and the vice president's office deeply skeptical of talking to the Stalinist state. Pritchard said the administration needed a full-time negotiator to coordinate with North Korea and the other four parties to the talks.

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2. DPRK-ROK Nuclear Diplomacy

Agence France-Presse ("NKOREA REJECTS SKOREAN CALL FOR NEW SIX-WAY TALKS", 10/15/03) reported that the DPRK and ROK opened cabinet-level talks in Pyongyang with the Stalinist leadership rejecting Seoul's call for a commitment to a new round of six-way nuclear crisis talks. South Korea delegation head, Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun, called for renewed talks and a change of heart from North Korea. "I come here with hope that North Korea will have talks on the nuclear problem in a more progressive way and thus create a favorable atmosphere for inter-Korean relations", Jeong was quoted as saying in ROK media pool reports from Pyongyang. But the DPRK's head delegate Kim Ryong-Song said that efforts to resolve the crisis depended solely on the US and urged the ROK to offer full support to the DPRK in a show of national unity. "It entirely depends on the US attitude whether or not to resolve the nuclear issue. I will not discuss this matter further", Kim said. "National unity is the only way for the entire Korea to survive and the driving force for the unification", Pak said in his dinner speech. Jeong is insisting that the high-level inter-Korean talks, to run until Friday, offer Seoul an opportunity to convince Pyongyang to agree to a new round of six-nation nuclear crisis talks. "The hardship over the nuclear problem can be overcome if dialogue is maintained", Jeong said at the dinner, according to pool reports.

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3. DPRK on ROK Referendum

Chosun Ilbo ("NORTH VOICES CONCERN ABOUT REFERENDUM", 10/15/03) reported that one of the main issues focused on Wednesday by delegates at the inter-Korea ministerial-level talks in Pyonyang was President Roh Moo-hyun's proposal that a vote of confidence in him be held. North Korea seemed especially concerned that it could hurt North-South relations. "Just before the South's representatives arrived, we didn't know whether they would make the date due to the circumstances", said the DPRK's chief delegate, Kim Ryung-sung. Also, at the Tuesday welcome dinner hosted by Park Bong-ju, head of the DPRK's cabinet, North Korea's vice representative Choi Young-gun said to ROK Vice Finance Minister Kim Gwang-lim, "Mr. Kim, please do not resign. Let us work things out well together." The DPRK officials also had many questions for the support agents and joint reporting teams both in and outside the talks. The DPRK was worried that the turmoil surrounding Roh would bring great changes to DPRK-ROK relations. They were also concerned about the possibilities of a new presidential race and who would be the candidates. The DPRK delegates also urged the ROK to return the rest of the unconverted long-term prisoners, or "unswerving communists", and to complete construction of the Mount Kumgang meeting place for separated families. They also asked for the ROK government to actively support the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the DPRK.

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4. APEC and the DPRK

Reuters ("ABSENT N. KOREA SET FOR LIMELIGHT AT APEC SUMMIT BY JANE MACARTNEY, ASIAN DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT", Singapore, 10/15/03) reported that when the Asia-Pacific region gather in Thailand next week for an economic summit, one regional state will be absent. The DPRK may not be a member of the club, but its nuclear program is likely to be on the minds of those taking part in the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. "Last year the US, South Korea and Japan signed up to a very strong statement", said Ralph Cossa, head of the Pacific Forum CSIS think-tank in Hawaii. "We are going to have to see no weakening in that." But the DPRK must be hoping that elections or domestic crises gripping its chief political foes -- the US, the ROK and Japan -- will deflect attention from the dispute over its nuclear ambitions. ROK President Roh Moo-hyun, in the grip of a political crisis and eager to promote a policy of engaging the DPRK, may be the weakest link, analysts say. Since inconclusive six-party talks involving the DPRK and the ROK, Japan, the US, Russia and Japan in Beijing last August, the DPRK has been reluctant to set a date for another round.

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5. ROK Domestic Economy

Asia Pulse ("ECONOMIST URGES IMPROVEMENT IN KOREA'S CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY", Seoul, 10/15/03) reported that a visiting US political economist today stressed that South Korea needs to do more to dispel its "murky" corporate transparency image in order to contend for the title of Northeast Asian business hub. Francis Fukuyama of Johns Hopkins University said the country has been working to adopt clearly defined and understood rules since the late 1980s, but outsiders still tend to think that vagueness exists in the judicial system and that the government politicizes business decisions. The professor, who authored "The End of History and the Last Man", said that unless these issues were settled, the country may be hard-pressed to compete with rivals like China and Hong Kong. In particular, he said he was impressed with the level of knowledge and commitment to adopt international business practices in Shanghai. On the topic of labor-management disputes in South Korea, he said they were part of the process of becoming a full-fledged market oriented country, but the government, companies and unions must consider competitiveness when formulating their views. The professor also said he did not think a referendum was a good idea in a presidential system, and that it would be desirable, as a rule, to create a party system which can support the president and his agenda.

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6. PRC Manned Rocket Launch

Agence France-Presse ("FACTS ON THE PRC'S SHENZHOU SPACECRAFT", 10/15/03) reported that the PRC's Shenzhou V spacecraft that carried Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei into orbit is an updated copy of the Russian vessel Soyuz, which the Soviets first launched some 36 years ago. Here are some details about Shenzhou. -- Shenzhou means Divine Ship (God Vessel or Magic Vessel). It has a dome-shaped design and is comprised of three modules; a forward orbital module, a re-entry module and a service module at the back. The orbital module has a hatch where astronauts can exit, and carry out a spacewalk if required. -- The ship can seat up to three people. The first Shenzhou was launched on November 19, 1999 and orbited the Earth 14 times before landing under parachute. -- Three subsequent Shenzhou spacecrafts have been launched, leading up to the manned mission. -- Shenzhou capsules have flown at altitudes from 122 to 207 miles (196-334 kilometres). The capsules are built by the state-run the PRC's Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. Shenzhou is said to have been named by former president Jiang Zemin. The Shenzhou V spacecraft has been launched by a Long March 2F rocket which have been been used for years to ferry Earth orbit satellites. Agence France-Presse ("CHINA PUTS MAN IN SPACE TO JOIN ELITE CLUB WITH RUSSIA AND US", 10/15/03) reported that the PRC launched an astronaut into space aboard the Shenzou V craft in a historic mission which catapults the country into an elite club alongside Russia and the US. The Long March II F rocket carrying the capsule blasted into clear skies from the remote Gobi desert in north China's Inner Mongolia at 9:00 a.m. (0100 GMT) for a 21-hour flight that will see the craft orbit the Earth 14 times. Shenzou V went into preset orbit 10 minutes after take-off as the PRC became just the third country after the US and the former Soviet Union to put a man in space 42 years. People's Liberation Army Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei, 38, was at the controls Wednesday and reported 34 minutes into the flight that he "feels good" and that the craft was operating normally. "I feel good, see you tomorrow", Yang, a fighter pilot with more than 1,300 hours flight time, was quoted as saying. PRC President Hu Jintao, who watched the blast-off at the Jiuquan Launch Center, hailed the successful launch as "the glory of our great motherland" and an "historic step" for the PRC people. The Xinhua news agency quoted PRC space officials as saying the maiden manned flight was a "success." "The spacecraft and the carrier rocket separated at around 9:10 a.m. and the spacecraft entered its present orbit", said an official in charge of the manned space program. Hu Shixiang, vice director-general of China's manned space program, said: "Today, our long-held manned space flight dream has finally come true." State media said Shenzhou V is expected to land near Siziwang, some 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of the Inner Mongolian capital Hohhot, early Thursday. The mission caps a highly secretive 11-year manned space program codenamed Project 921 that has cost billions of dollars.

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7. PRC Economic Liberalization

Asia Pulse ("CHINA'S RULING PARTY VOWS TO FURTHER IMPROVE MARKET ECONOMY", Beijing, 10/15/03) reported that the Third Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which closed yesterday, outlined major tasks to further improve the market economy to build a well-off society in the country. The plenum deliberated and approved two documents - a decision of the CPC Central Committee on issues regarding the improvement of the socialist market economic system and a proposal of the CPC Central Committee on revising part of the country's Constitution. A communique passed at plenum defined these tasks as follows: - Improving the basic economic system of keeping public ownership as the mainstay of the economy and allowing diverse forms of ownership to develop side by side; - Narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas; - Promoting coordinated development of different regions; - Establishing a unified, open and orderly modern market system; and - Improving employment, income distribution and social security systems; - Establishing a mechanism to promote sustainable social and economic development. The communique called for actively promoting the development of diversified forms of public ownership, noting that a shareholding system that absorbs investment from various channels should be the major form of public ownership. The communique called for vigorously promoting and guiding the private sector of the economy and granting private enterprises the same treatment in investment, financing, taxation, land use and foreign trade. "Non-public capital should be allowed to enter infrastructure, public utilities and other sectors not prohibited by laws and regulations", the communique said.

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8. US on "One China Policy"

Agence France-Presse ("RICE REAFFIRMS 'ONE CHINA POLICY' ON TAIWAN", 10/15/03) reported that on the eve of President George W. Bush's trip to Asia and Australia, his national security adviser reaffirmed the US "one China" policy towards Taiwan and warned against destabilizing action or rhetoric. "The US is very clear on our policy about Taiwan, one-China policy", Condoleezza Rice told reporters a day before Bush leaves Washington for his third trip to Asia, a whirlwind six-nation tour ending in Canberra. "It is our very strong belief that nobody, nobody should try unilaterally to change the status quo here, that this will come to a peaceful resolution. There must be a peaceful resolution of the cross-straits issue", she said. Her comments came after a journalist asked about Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's rejection of the "one China" policy, which opposes independence for Taiwan. "The US will continue to remind all parties that that is the position of the US government and that it is a position to which we expect everyone to adhere", said Bush's adviser. Rice also said that "the basic blocks of American policy" remained the three communiques that laid the foundation for Sino-US diplomatic relations and the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which requires US presidents to offer Taiwan the means to defend itself.

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9. Japan DPRK Ferry Arrival

The Associated Press ("N KOREAN FERRY ARRIVES IN JAPAN ON 5TH TRIP SINCE AUGUST", Tokyo, 10/15/03) reported that a DPRK ferry suspected of smuggling missile parts and drugs arrived in Japan's northern port on Wednesday for the fifth time since resuming service in August. The Mangyongbong-92 entered the port of Niigata with 149 passengers, 70 crew and 13 tons of cargo, a local Coast Guard spokesman Eiichi Sato said. The ship, whose arrival was delayed by one day due to bad weather, was to leave later Wednesday for its home port of Wonsan. The ferry has been at the center of a dispute between the DPRK and Japan. A DPRK defector said in Washington earlier this year that the Mangyongbong carried home key parts used in the communist country's missile program. The arrival of the ship coincided with the first anniversary of the return of five Japanese citizens abducted to the DPRK. Japanese demonstrators have condemned the ship's entry into port each time to protest against the DPRK's abduction of Japanese citizens decades ago to have them train spies in Japanese culture and language. On Wednesday, about 600 police were mobilized. During the ferry's August visit, its first after a seven-month hiatus, Japanese authorities detained it on minor safety violations before allowing it to leave hours behind schedule. The problems were rectified by its second visit Sept. 4. Authorities are also considering pressing criminal charges against the ship's captain for exceeding its 220-passenger limit during the third trip on Sept. 17. If convicted, the captain could face a year in prison or a fine up to Y500,000.

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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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