NAPSNet Daily Report
 
thursday, october 16, 2003
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CONTENTS

In today's Report

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. People's Republic of China IV. Japan
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I. United States


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1. DPRK Nuclear Demonstration

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA HINTS AT FUTURE NUCLEAR TEST," Seoul, 10/16/03) and The Associated Press (Sang-Hun Choe, "NORTH KOREA HINTS IT MAY TEST NUKES," Seoul, 10/16/03) reported that the DPRK said on Thursday it would display a nuclear deterrent at "an appropriate time" to end debate over its nuclear status if the United States delayed a solution to an impasse over Pyongyang's atomic ambitions. In comments published in English by the official KCNA news agency, a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman also criticized calls for a fresh round of six-way nuclear talks, saying such discussions were meaningless unless Washington dropped its hostility toward Pyongyang. "When an appropriate time comes, the DPRK will take a measure to open its nuclear deterrent to the public as a physical force and then there will be no need to have any more argument," the ministry spokesman said, noting some people doubted the DPRK had nuclear capability. The statement appeared to address comments last week ! by US Secretary of State Colin Powell that Washington had drafted new ideas on security assurances to offer to the DPRK. Powell said the United States envisaged a public written document, preferably signed by some of the DPRK's neighbors, but not the formal non-aggression treaty which Pyongyang demands. The DPRK said it was not sure whether the US idea was "a jugglery intended to shirk its responsibility for settling this issue between the DPRK and the US or an artifice to buy time to win the presidential election in 2004." If the United States put off dealing with the issue, "during that time the DPRK will have enough time to perfect and strengthen necessary means which has already been opened to the public," the spokesman said.


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2. US Response to DPRK Nuclear Threat

Agence France-Presse ("US STEERS CLEAR OF COUNTER-ATTACK TO NORTH KOREA'S LATEST NUCLEAR THREAT," Washington, 10/16/03) reported that US Secretary of State Colin Powellre fused to be drawn into a war of words with the DPRK after their threat to display the "physical force" of its nuclear weapons. But after leading "the coalition of the willing" against Iraq, President George W. Bushnow says a new group, "the coalition of the peaceful," is handling the DPRK nuclear crisis. Powell appeared perplexed by the threat from the DPRK foreign ministry to display its nuclear capability if the US did not meet its demands. "I don't know what they mean. They've said things like that before, and I don't know what they mean," he told reporters. The secretary of state usually avoids getting dragged into public arguments with the DPRK over its claims about its nuclear weapons prowess. Earlier, the DPRK foreign ministry spokesman said: "When an appropriate time comes, the DPRK will take a meas! ure to open its nuclear deterrent to the public as a physical force and then there will be no need to have any more argument."


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3. Inter-Korean Relations

Agence France-Presse ("INTER-KOREAN TALKS STALLED AS NKOREA HITS OUT AT US, JAPAN," 10/16/03) reported that cabinet-level talks between the DPRK and the ROK stalled over the year-long nuclear crisis as Pyongyang lashed out at the US and Japan. Delegates failed to show for a second day of talks in the DPRK capital after no progress was registered in Wednesday's opening session, conducted in a "heavy-hearted atmosphere," according to the ROK. A closed door informal meeting of the leaders of the two delegations failed iron-out difference over a press statement scheduled for release when the talks end on Friday. "North Korea has not yet to respond to South Korea's demand that it should attend a new round of six-way talks at an early date and restrain itself from provocative activities or statements," a ROK delegate was quoted as saying in a pool report from Pyongyang. The ROK is using the talks to urge the DPRK to return to six-party talks on the nuclear crisis, but the DPRK has! so far rebuffed the request and said progress depended entirely on Washington. Official media reports indicated that the DPRK was sticking to a hard-line bargaining position, saying it was building up its nuclear weapons arsenal and insisting that key regional player Japan be excluded from any future nuclear crisis negotiations. The ROK wants to address the nuclear issue in the final press statement, while the DPRK wants to focus on inter-Korean cooperation projects, according to sources in Seoul. "We are neither optimistic nor pessimistic," an unidentified ROK delegate was quoted as saying by media pool reports from Pyongyang. "The real debate has barely started," said Kim Ryong-Song, head of the DPRK delegation.


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4. PRC Legislature Five Draft Laws

Asia Pulse ("CHINA'S LEGISLATURE TO DISCUSS FIVE DRAFT LAWS," Beijing, 10/16/03) reported that the PRC's national legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), will review five draft laws during a six-day legislative session starting Oct. 23. The agenda was adopted at a meeting of the chairman and vice-chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee on Wednesday presided over by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the committee. Lawmakers will continue to deliberate draft laws on road and transportation safety, and on security investment funds. Amendments to the central bank law and commercial bank law, and a draft law on the supervision and management of banking will also be tabled. Also during the session, the State Council will deliver reports on employment and re-employment, on small cities construction and the transfer of rural workers, and on protecting the rights of the elderly. The committee will examine the reports on the implementation of the construc! tion law and on the review of the bills proposed by delegates.


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5. PRC Manned Space Flight Completion

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA COMPLETES MANNED SPACE FLIGHT, VOWS NEW MISSION WITHIN TWO YEARS," Beijing, 10/16/03) reported that the PRC completed its first manned space flight when the Shenzhou V capsule with astronaut Yang Liwei returned safely to Earth, sparking celebrations and a pledge of a new mission within two years. The capsule landed at 6:23 a.m. (2223 GMT Wednesday) just 4.8 kilometres (2.9 miles) off target in the vast grasslands of the Inner Mongolia region some 300 kilometres (186 miles) northwest of Beijing. Lieutenant Colonel Yang, 38, was in good health and the Beijing Space Command and Control Centre and Premier Wen Jiabao announced the mission a "complete success." Yang exited the capsule on his own, looking dazed, and was seen on television waving following his 21-hour flight that covered 600,000 kilometres (372,000 miles). He was immediately steered to a chair outside the module and was carried through a large crowd of jostling officials and media to a n! earby van for a medical before being flown by helicopter to Beijing. "I feel proud of my motherland," Yang said soon after landing. "The spacecraft operated normally. I felt very good." Premier Wen congratulated him by telephone on behalf of government and military officials.


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6. APEC PRC Currency

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA CURRENCY IS BURNING ISSUE FOR US AHEAD OF APEC SUMMIT," 10/17/03) reported that the PRC's currency peg is a hot-button issue for President George W. Bush as he heads to an Asia-Pacific summit pressing for freer exchange rates in a bid to ease the crushing US trade deficit and revive the sagging US labor market. Bush's trip to Asia comes as the PRC is being increasingly vilified -- some say scapegoated -- for the loss of US jobs and exports to foreign competition and the whopping trade deficit. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bangkok October 20-21 is expected to be used by Washington to step up international pressure on the PRC. But while sentiment in the US is boiling over, it remains unclear whether the APEC summit will do anything to spur any change in policy by the PRC. "From the Bush administration point of view, the best scenario would be if the PRC revalued their currency tomorrow," said Wachovia Securities economist ! Jay Bryson. "It would score a lot of political points. It could help manufacturing jobs here. But I don't think they're going to get that. They may end up with some vague promises from the PRC for a revaluation sometime in the future." Bryson said.


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7. US on Japan Iraq Aid

Agence France-Presse ("BUSH APPLAUDS JAPAN AID FOR IRAQ," 10/16/03) reported that US President George W. Bush praised Japan as an example to other nations after Tokyo pledged 1.5 billion dollars to Iraq reconstruction ahead of a donor's conference next week. "I applaud this bold step, which will help mobilize international support for efforts to build a stable, peaceful, and democratic Iraq," Bush said in a statement released here as he raised funds for his 2004 reelection effort. Washington has made the conference in Madrid the centerpiece of its appeal for other countries -- even those that opposed the US-led invasion -- to help shoulder soaring occupation costs reckoned in the billions of dollars. Tokyo's announcement came as Bush geared up to ask for assistance in Iraq during a whirlwind six-nation trip to Asia and Australia that opens Friday when he meets with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The Japanese pledge is intended to cover reconstruction work "for th! e coming one year... It is mostly designed to cope with reconstruction demand for 2004," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a news conference. The Japanese media have reported Japanese aid would reach five billion dollars, mostly in loans, from 2005 to 2007. "Japan recognizes that this effort is critical to security and peace not only in Iraq and the Middle East, but also for Japan and throughout the world," said the US president.


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8. PRC Economic Growth

Reuters ("CHINA SAYS ECONOMY GROWS 9.1 PERCENT," Beijing, 10/16/03) reported that bouncing back from a slump during the SARS outbreak, the PRC's economy grew by 9.1 percent in the third quarter of this year, the government said Friday. Overall, the economy should grow by 8.5 percent this year, said Qiu Xiaohua, deputy director of the National Bureau of Statistics. Growth in the third quarter was 2.4 percentage points above that of the second quarter, when the PRC was in the midst of its outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, the agency said. Travel restrictions and other measures imposed by the PRC to stop the spread of SARS devastated airlines, hotels and other travel-dependent industries. The latest figures suggest "the economy has cast off the impact of" SARS, the statistics agency said. Economic output in the first three quarters of this year totaled $954 billion, Qiu said.


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9. ROK Hyundai CEO DPRK Visit

Yonghap News ("SOUTH KOREAN HYUNDAI CEO VISITS NORTH TO DISCUSS PROJECTS," Seoul, 10/15/03) reported that Hyundai Asan Corp. president Kim Yoon-gyu travelled to the DPRK on Wednesday by an east coast land route for three days of talks on tourism and other inter-Korean projects being pushed by his firm. "Kim and several other company executives will meet DPRK officials to talk about the Kaesong industrial complex and the fifth anniversary of Mt Kumgang tourism before coming back by an overland route to South Korea Friday," an official of the company said.


II. Republic of Korea


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1. Ex-ROK President's Aide Goes DPRK for Pleasure

Joongang Ilbo (Joint Report Team, "KIM AIDE GOES NORTH, THIS TIME FOR PLEASURE", 10/16/03) reported that Lim Dong-won, who served as the national intelligence agency head and the national security advisor for the Kim Dae-jung administration, departed for DPRK's Mount Geumgang resort yesterday. Mr. Lim was the architect of the Kim administration's engagement policy toward DPRK, and had visited Pyeongyang twice as a secret envoy of Mr. Kim. This time, though, Mr. Lim is going to DPRK for sightseeing. "Mr. Lim and his wife left for Geumgang resort after receiving a permit to visit DPRK Monday," an official of Hyundai Asan, the operator of the tour program, said yesterday. A court handed down an 18-month suspended sentence with three years' probation to Mr. Lim for abusing his authority in a secret deal between Hyundai and DPRK before the 2000 inter-Korean summit.


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2. ROK Urges DPRK 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization Compliance

Joongang Ilbo (Joint Press Corps, Pyeongyang, "BICKERING MARS MINISTERIAL TALKS", 10/15/03) reported that at the second day of ministerial-level talks here, ROK & DPRK faced each other in tense bickering over DPRK's nuclear aspirations and ROK's anti-Pyeongyang activists. At the general session of the inter-Korean talks, ROK's chief delegate, Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun, urged that DPRK comply with the 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and agree to resume six-nation talks to resolve DPRK nuclear crisis. In response, DPRK's senior cabinet councillor, Kim Ryong-song, said conservative groups in ROK must be dismantled and communist prisoners who had finished long-term sentences must be repatriated to DPRK. In his keynote speech, Mr. Jeong expressed serious concern about DPRK's recent nuclear activities. Pyeongyang recently said that it had completed reprocessing spent fuel rods and would restart its nuclear reactor in Yeongbyeon. "Reg! ardless of the validity of those statements, they caused distrust of DPRK to grow and ROK public's opinions of DPRK worsened," Mr. Jeong said. "That will eventually hinder the stability of the peninsula." The two sides were slated to begin negotiations but an afternoon meeting was canceled.


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3. DPRK Defector-Mr. Hwang Plans U.S Visit

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Chong-hyuck, Washington, "DEFECTOR PLANS U.S. VISIT-HWANG TO MEET WITH CONGRESSMEN, OFFICIALS", 10/15/03) reported that Hwang Jang-yop, the highest-ranking DPRK defector ever to defect to ROK, will visit U.S. on Oct. 28 at the invitation of a U.S. human rights advocacy group. Mr. Hwang is a former secretary of DPRK's Workers' Party. "We have finished arranging Mr. Hwang's itinerary with ROK government, and Mr. Hwang will visit Washington on Oct. 28 for one week," Suzanne Scholte, president of the Defense Forum Foundation, said Tuesday. "On Oct. 30, Mr. Hwang will speak about DPRK's human rights situation at U.S. Congress." Mr. Hwang defected to ROK in 1997 by seeking asylum at ROK Embassy in Beijing. After he arrived in ROK, the Washington-based human rights group tried to invite Mr. Hwang to testify about DPRK regime's severe human rights abuses. The Kim Dae-jung administration, however, did not allow Mr. Hwang to travel overseas, citing personal safety ! issues. But the Roh Moo-hyun administration in June said that it would be willing to accommodate Mr. Hwang's trip to U.S. once the safety issues were taken care of. "Mr. Hwang will meet with Senator Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas, who has been addressing the human rights issues in DPRK, and other U.S. congressmen," said a spokesman for ROK Embassy in U.S. "He will also meet with other Washington officials." Ms. Scholte said Mr. Hwang would meet with senior officials of U.S. State and Defense Departments. Rejecting speculation that Mr. Hwang might try to defect to U.S. once he is there, Ms. Scholte said Mr. Hwang was going to U.S. only to make public the reality of DPRK and to learn about U.S.. "A DPRK regime change, peaceful unification of the two Koreas and the improvement of the human rights situation in DPRK are Mr. Hwang's goals," Ms. Scholte said. "I have never heard anything about his plan to seek refuge in U.S.." Mr. Hwang's knowledge will help U.S. Congress ! and the Bush administration understand DPRK greatly, she said.


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4. ROK-U.S Officials Discussed Dispatching ROK Troops for Iraq

Joongang Ilbo (Kim Jong-hyuck, Washington, "SEOUL AIDES HUDDLE WITH U.S. OFFICIALS ON TROOPS FOR IRAQ", 10/15/03) reported that President Roh Moo-hyun's national security adviser, Ra Jong-yil, and Seoul's head of delegation at the six-party talks on DPRK nuclear problem, Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck, have returned to Seoul from an unannounced visit to Washington. While in Washington, they met with the U.S. national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and with Assistant U.S. Secretary of State James Kelly. The visit came as the Roh administration was trying to fend off U.S. pressure for a speedy dispatch of ROK troops to Iraq while it tries to assemble a consensus here on whether to agree to the request. U.S. has introduced a revised United Nations Security Council resolution to approve UN participation in Iraq's reconstruction, but the new measure has met with a cool reception from several European nations, including Russia and France, which have vetoes in the body.! Ms. Rice appeared to turn the pressure up gently on Seoul after meeting with Mr. Ra and Mr. Lee over the Columbus Day holiday weekend. She told reporters yesterday that ROK had "said they might be interested in sending troops to Iraq." She added pointedly, "We have no really stronger alliance than the alliance that we have with ROK." While officials here and in Seoul refused to discuss the details of the discussions, diplomatic observers said the vote of confidence called for by Mr. Roh was likely to force the president to delay a decision on sending troops. The referendum would be a test of the survival of the new administration, and Mr. Roh's support base largely ? and vocally ? opposes the dispatch. And trying to assemble a public relations campaign to turn sentiment in favor of the troop dispatch would be difficult over the din of the campaign surrounding the referendum on Mr. Roh's overall leadership. Mr. Roh and U.S. President George W. Bush will meet next week in Ban! gkok at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation annual summit meeting. A few observers read U.S. optimism about the dispatch into Ms. Rice's remarks.


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5. ROK Song DPRK with Secret DPRK passport

Donga Ilbo (Lee Sang-Rok, Lee Tae-Hoon, "SUSPICION THAT SONG DOO-YUL ENTERED NORTH KOREA WITH SECRET PASSPORT ISSUED BY NORTH KOREA", 10/15/03) reported that the first public safety division (Oh Se-hun, superintendent public prosecutor) which scrutinized the event of Song Doo-yul's violating the National Security Law, at the Seoul district public prosecutor's office, on October 15 announced that they were investigating the details of the incident because they concluded that after acquiring German citizenship, Song entered DPRK two or three times by using a passport issued secretly from DPRK. The prosecution said, "When we collectively reviewed the statements by Song, DPRK`s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper's report, and other evidence, it is presumed that Song entered DPRK at a specific day. But a time gap appeared because there was no evidence showing his DPRK visit in his German passport. We doubt that Song used DPRK passport, which was issued with the name of Kim Chul-soo! (candidate in the political division, Rodong party, DPRK) or a third person, together. " The prosecution reported that even though they pressed hard and summoned Song seven times on this day to find out whether he used the passport of DPRK and the details of the affair, Song denied the fact he used DPRK passport. The prosecution considered that it was very possible for Song to use a duplicate passport, judging that if a foreigner visits DPRK informally owing to an invitation from DPRK, the foreigner usually enters DPRK with a DPRK passport under an assumed name by passing through a middle point such as Russia or Beijing as a rule. The prosecution made clear that they found out the fact while investigating Song's visit to DPRK, and they concluded the number of times of Song's visit to DPRK was actually 20, two more than the 18 visits that the National Intelligence Service had indicated. But the defense attorney of Song contradicted these findings, saying, "Though Song entere! d DPRK 18 or 19 times as his German passport records shows, but on protocol it said that he entered DPRK more that twenty times. So I demand a correction. " On the other hand, on that day the prosecution clarified that they were under examination because Song submitted a document titled "I Clear up My Thoughts", which includes leaving the Rodong party and abandoning his German citizenship. The prosecution also collectively examined his background and the attitude with which Song submitted this document. The prosecution will confirm the final policy about the decision to treat Song with a conference with the Ministry of Justice after one more summons investigation this week.

6. ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs - U.S. Department of State Rebuffed the


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report of New York Times

Donga Ilbo (Kwon Sun Taek, Kim Jung Man, "U.S. NEVER CONCEDED NORTH KOREA FOR DISPATCHING FORCES BY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE", 10/15/03) reported that a rare scene was presented on October 14 when ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (FAT) and the U.S. Department of State rebutted the report of New York Times, an influential daily newspaper. The subject report was an article from New York Times, dispatched under the title of "Intelligence Puzzled: DPRK Bombs." The New York Times revealed in this article that Yun Young-Kwan, the minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, had visited New York for the U.N. General assembly and during the talk with Colin Powell on September 25 had said, "President Roh would not consider dispatching its forces to Iraq unless U.S.' administration concede on the matters of Security Treaty demanded by DPRK and a moderate economic support." This enraged the atmosphere of the meeting and sources reported, citing Powell's comment, "That i! s not an attitude toward an ally." The New York Times presented Powell's comment even though it was a sensitive subject, especially for ROK press, who paid a great deal of attention to this article. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued an emergency report and denied the article tenaciously immediately after it was reported on the internet. Ui Seoung-rak, a director of North America explained, "Minister Yun said 'Progress on DPRK's nuclear issues would be helpful to deal with the issues of dispatching forces because an optimistic view on ROK's peace and security is an important element for investigating the issue on dispatching forces.' Times' report was exaggerated and had simplified his comment." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade revealed that they are "planning to demand corrections on the article from the New York Times." Subsequently on October 14, afternoon (local time), the U.S. Department of State also denied the New York Times report. U.S! . Department of State explained, "Neither the conference was enraging nor any words of anger were exchanged. Powell never spoke as cited by the newspaper and Yun's comment was not described correctly either. It was a serious discussion between allies." Meanwhile, on a telephone call with our reporter on October 15, the New York Times responded, "The Washington branch, where the responsible report is engaged, will examine the genuineness of the article and response carefully."


III. People's Republic of China


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1. ROK's President Quits

China Daily ("ROK PRESIDENT QUITS RULING PARTY," Seoul, 09/30/03, P1) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-hyun quit the ruling Millennium Democratic Party (MDP) on September 29 ahead of April's parliamentary elections. The decision was widely expected after 37 lawmakers considered allies of Roh broke away from the party earlier this month and launched a new political group. Roh did not want his party membership to become a political issue and wants to focus on state affairs, presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-young said. Roh didn't say whether he would join the new political group, Yoon said, according to the report.


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2. Trio Talks on DPRK

People's Daily ("MOSCOW ASKS PYONGYANG TO CHANGE NEGATIVE ATTITUDE ON SIX-PARTY TALKS," 10/04/03, P3) reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov on October 3 expressed the hope that Pyongyang would change its negative view on continuing the six-party talks on the nuclear issue, the Interfax reported. Russia has received from Pyongyang a statement indicating that the DPRK "does not see any use in this process," said Losyukov, who held consultations here October 2 with a senior Japanese official on the situation on the Korean peninsula. Although the DPRK has not shown readiness for this second round of six-party talks, the senior Russian official believes that it is still possible to continue such negotiations because there is no alternative. The only alternative would be "a deterioration of the situation, a significant increase of danger on the Korean Peninsula and a threat to security in that region," Losyukov pointed out. He called on the parties i! nvolved to actively participate in the anticipated negotiating process so as to solve a wide range of issues, said the report.

China Daily ("TRIO TO DISCUSS STRATEGY ON DPRK," Tokyo, 09/30/03, P1) reported that diplomats from the US, Japan and the ROK gathered in Tokyo on September 29 to discuss a joint strategy to deal with Pyongyang's nuclear program, including how to reassure the DPRK over its security concerns. The talks are the first among senior diplomats from US and its two key Asian allies since six-way negotiations held in Beijing in August. Taking part in the Tokyo talks were US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, Mitoji Yabunaka, director-general of the Japanese foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and Republic of Korea Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck. Asked by reporters what he expected, Kelly would say only: "A good exchange of views." ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan said on September 29 it seemed that Pyongyang was not opposed to more talks but would cling to its nuclear program under outside threats. Yoon said last week US was working out a detai! led plan to deal with the nuclear issue, including ways to ease Pyongyang's security concerns and ease its economic hardship. Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun daily said the same day that Japan would press the US at the Tokyo talks to state specific terms under which it would provide security guarantees. The three countries are also likely to discuss creating an international inspection system to verify that Pyongyang is dismantling its nuclear arms program once it says it is willing to do so, Kyodo news agency said.


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3. PRC's Commentary on Sino-US Relations

China Daily (Jin Canrong, "WORKING FOR BETTER SINO-US TIES," 09/29/03, P4) carried a commentary saying that currently government officials from both PRC and the US have made positive remarks about the current status of relations between the two countries. Of course, for all the positive comments on bilateral relations, both sides have different perspectives on their relationship and what it means, the article commented. For the US side, PRC has provided valuable co-operation on anti-terrorism and the Korean nuclear issue, along with preventing an escalation of tensions in South Asia; offered responses that are restrained and constructive on the Iraq issue, even though differences exist; and has shown the greatest possible restraint in an effort to maintain cross-Straits stability. For the Chinese side, the US has been meddling less in PRC's internal affairs, thus allowing PRC to concentrate on domestic problems; and the Bush administration has made a not-improper response! on Taiwan's referendum. For the present and foreseeable future, the Sino-US relationship will, by and large, continue to be candid, constructive and co-operative. The fundamental reasons for this are many. First of all, with the US focusing on its fight against terrorism and nuclear proliferation, it has a greater need of PRC's support and less time to concern itself with PRC's internal affairs. While acknowledging positive developments as the main focus, the dissonance that permeates the relationship should not be ignored. The US Government has continued to bludgeon PRC on a variety of issues including human rights and Tibet question. In addition, conflicting interests and divergent positions between the two countries still exist, and the past can still return to haunt them. Even with all these difficulties, future relations between PRC and the US are manageable. In the final analysis, it is up to both countries to nurture the relationship. Both governments should! make this a priority, especially the US Government. Both sides should make an effort to manage differences and expand common interests. Decision-makers and opinion-creators on both sides should keep a dialogue going in order to reduce the chances for misunderstanding and antipathy. On the part of PRC, clarifications about the use of its ever-increasing economic forces would be helpful, while the US should notify PRC of its policies and explain how they will affect PRC.


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4. PRC-US Relations on Taiwan Issue

China Daily (Hu Xuan, "US HOTLINE PLAN HURTS COUNTRY'S INTERESTS," 09/30/03, P4) carried a commentary saying that the upgrading of US-Taiwan military relations seriously threatens China's sovereignty. Taiwan-based newspaper United Daily News recently revealed that a so-called "hotline" for dealing with "military crises," proposed by the US as early as 1996, was eventually established between the Taiwan military and the US Department of Defence in the second half of last year. This mirrored the fact that US-Taiwan military co-operation has gradually been transferring from US arms sales to Taiwan towards tactical co-operation and a strategic alliance, the article commented. The establishment of the "military hotline" is but one of a string of moves by US to upgrade its military relations with Taiwan. It sends the wrong signal to the island's pro-independence forces and jeopardizes the one-China policy as well as the political foundation of Sino-US relations. Despite its e! xplicit commitment made in three Sino-US communiques, the US never severed its military connections with Taipei over the past decades. It has gone even further at a time when the island's separatist forces, led by Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, have been seeking "gradual independence" more boldly and overtly than ever before. Neither its claims to adhere to the one-China policy nor its upgrading of military co-operation with the island have gone beyond US's traditional strategic thinking regarding the Taiwan question. Neither a united China nor a war across the Taiwan Straits fits in with the US's perception of its own interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The mainland has made it crystal clear it would not use force unless the island declares independence or foreign military intervention takes place. It is fully justifiable for a country to defend itself when its territorial integrity is threatened.


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5. PRC-Japan Relations

China Daily (Guo Nei, "WEAPONS VICTIMS WIN CASE TOKYO COURT AWARDS COMPENSATION IN LAWSUIT OVER TOXIC CHEMICALS," 09/30/03, P4) reported that a Tokyo court ordered the Japanese Government on September 29 to pay compensation to 13 Chinese citizens for harm caused by chemical weapons left in PRC by Japanese troops in World War II. The lawsuits, initiated in 1996, involved the leaking of toxic chemical agents and shell explosions between 1974 and 1995. The court ruled the Japanese Government had been neglectful in dealing with chemical weapons abandoned in PRC. Presiding judge Yoshihiro Katayama said it would be "against the notion of justice and fairness" to reject the compensation claim even though some of the claims were raised after the 20-year limit for filing a lawsuit. A Japanese government official called the ruling "harsh." Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Masaaki Yamazaki said: "I think it is a very severe ruling for our country. There is nothing more to say becau! se we haven't sufficiently considered the contents." He declined to say if the government would appeal. Li Chen, a 59-year-old plaintiff, said the ruling "got justice for the Chinese, got justice for the victims."


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6. DPRK Nuke Deterrence Force

People's Daily ("US EXPRESSES (r)SERIOUS CONCERN' OVER DPRK STATEMENT," 10/03/03, P3) reported that the US on October 2 expressed "serious concern" over a statement issued on the same day by the foreign ministry of the DPRK, saying that it had successfully completed the reprocessing of 8,000 spent fuel rods. "I believe that this is a matter of serious concern for the international community, "Secretary of State Colin Powell said at a press conference here. "This is the third time they have told us they have finished reprocessing the rods," the secretary added. Powell said the US will not react to each and every statement from the DPRK while continue to pursue diplomacy in resolving the DPRK nuclear issue, said the report.

People's Daily ("DPRK TO BOOST NUCLEAR DETERRENCE FORCE," 10/03/03, P3) reported that the DPRK said on October 2 that it will consistently maintain and strengthen its nuclear deterrence force as the US has no intention to drop its hostile policy toward the DPRK. A spokesman for DPRK's foreign ministry said his country has successfully completed reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods. "As we have already declared, the DPRK resumed nuclear activities for a peaceful purpose," the spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The statement said the DPRK will reprocess more spent fuel rods from the 5-MW nuclear reactor in Nyongbyon without delay when it is necessary. On the resumption of the six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the statement said the DPRK did not make any promise with anyone at the Beijing talks and the same holds true even after the talks.

People's Daily ("DPRK FEELS SAFE WITH (r)STRONG NUCLEAR DETERRENCE': TOP DIPLOMAT," 10/02/03, P3) reported that a top diplomat of the DPRK said on October 1 that his country will not proliferate its nuclear capabilities. "We has no intention of transferring any means of that nuclear deterrence to other countries," Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon told a group of reporters at the DPRK mission to the UN. But Choe declined to reveal how large the DPRK's nuclear deterrence is. "One thing we can tell you is that we are in possession of nuclear deterrence and we're continuing to strengthen that deterrence," he emphasized. Choe said the DPRK has normalized the operation of "all parts of the nuclear power plant" after the US nullified its framework agreement with Pyongyang last November, under which the US would build a light-water nuclear power plant for the DPRK. Choe, who is here attending the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly, said that the DPRK "has n! o plan with regard to uranium enrichment." Choe also warned against raising the DPRK nuclear issue with the UN Security Council if the six-party talks fail to defuse the crisis. If the issue is put before the Security Council," there will be nothing conducive" to its settlement and the DPRK would "strongly correspond to that pressure," he said in the report.


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7. PRC-Russia Relations

People's Daily ("PRC, RUSSIA ENHANCE COOPERATION IN BORDER AREA," 10/03/03, P3) reported that PRC and Russia have enhanced bilateral cooperation to create a stable political and economic environment and promote prosperity in the border areas. Zhang Zhiqing, deputy head of the foreign affairs office of Heilongjiang Province, said that governor Zhang Zuoji would visit Amurskaya obl., Yevreyskaya ao, Khabarovskiy Kray and Primorskiy Kray at the end of the year and in the first half of next year. Governor Zhang will meet the heads of administrations of the four Russian regions for the first time since they signed the agreements in October and early November last year. They will discuss plans on bilateral exchanges and sign a series of agreements of cooperation during their scheduled meetings. This is the first regular governor-level meeting mechanism that a Chinese province has established with a foreign counterpart. The regular meetings are scheduled to be held at least on! ce every year. Discussions will center on plans for bilateral cooperation, sum up bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields and solve major problems arising from exchanges and cooperation. The regular governor-level meeting mechanism has become an important part of the strategic partnership of cooperation and good neighborly cooperation between PRC and Russia, according to the report.


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8. Sino-US Relations

People's Daily ("FM SPOKESMAN REFUTES REPORT OF US CONGRESS COMMITTEE," 10/05/03, P3) reported that a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed on October 4 strong displeasure and resolute opposition to the interference in PRC's internal affairs contained in a report of the so-called US Congress-executive Committee on PRC. In response to a request for comment on the committee's 2003 annual report, spokesman Kong Quan said the so-called US Congress-executive Committee on PRC's report distorted facts and attacked PRC by using the issues of human rights, religion and the Falun Gong cult in disregard of PRC's great achievements in the fields of human rights and legislation, which only shows the report drafter's arrogance and prejudices. The Chinese people have just celebrated the 54th anniversary of the founding of New China and the country has undergone great changes over the past 54 years, especially since the reform and opening-up drive began, he said. It was for the pr! otection of basic human rights that the Chinese Government has banned the Falun Gong cult in accordance with the law, Kong said, adding that the move has been welcomed and supported by the broad masses of the people. Kong urged US Congress and relevant organizations to focus more on the affairs of their own country, contribute more to the mutual understanding and cooperation between PRC and the US and stop interfering in PRC's internal affairs. The US administrative authorities should take the solemn position of the Chinese side seriously, reject the so-called proposals set forth in the report and take effective measures to eliminate the negative impact of the report, the spokesman said.


IV. Japan


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1. Japan Cabinet Reshuffle

The Japan Times (Reiji Yoshida, "KOIZUMI SHAKES UP LDP LEADERSHIP," 09/22/03) reported that in a bold and surprising bid to ward off a party rebellion, Prime Minister Junichio Koizumi appointed Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe as the No. 2 man in his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Abe's appointment as secretary general, one of the top positions in the LDP, came fresh off Koizumi's re-election as party president. In another move at the top, LDP Deputy Secretary General Fukushiro Nukaga was appointed chairman of the Policy Affairs Research Council. Mitsuo Horiuchi was kept in his current job as Executive Council chairman. Since Abe was elected to the House of Representatives in 1993, he has won only three times in national elections. This is usually too short a political career to hold the party's No. 2 position, considering the strict seniority promotion system that has dominated the LDP for decades. Abe, a close aide to Koizumi, is highly popular with voters thanks! to his tough diplomatic stance against the DPRK. Depending on Abe's solid public support, Koizumi appears to be trying to contain a possible rebellion of party executives who have long called for removal of some of Koizumi's close aides. A sticking point in the shakeup of the LDP executive lineup was whether Abe's predecessor, Taku Yamasaki -- Koizumi's closest ally -- would retain his post. Koizumi appointed Yamasaki as vice president of the LDP. The position, which had been vacant, is considered a honorary post with little power. It is often given to a heavyweight lawmaker who has come out on the short end of a power struggle within the LDP. Some influential LDP executives, including Koizumi opponents who nevertheless voted for him in the presidential election, have vocally called for Yamasaki's removal as secretary general to reduce Koizumi's power and thereby bleed momentum from Koizumi's austere reform drive. It is believed that Abe's appointment as secretary general w! ill offset at least some of the impact of Yamasaki's removal, and possibly further strengthen Koizumi's power. But some LDP members doubt whether the junior Diet member can handle the difficult task of mediating between Koizumi and the anti-Koizumi forces within the party.


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2. Japan Iraq Troop Deployment

The Japan Times (Kanako Takahara, "KAWAGUCHI EYES BIGGER SDF ROLE," 09/24/03) reported that the Japanese government should pursue a more flexible interpretation of the Constitution's war-renouncing Article 9 and allow the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to make a greater contribution to global peacekeeping efforts, according to Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi. "I think we should continue to place importance on Article 9. But perhaps there are other ways to interpret it," Kawaguchi told journalists shortly after her reappointment. The peacekeeping operations law sets tight parameters on Japan's engagement in UN-led military activities on foreign soil. Despite pressure from the US for a prompt dispatch of SDF troops to Iraq, Kawaguchi said Japan would consider the timing and nature of support activities following the return of a government fact-finding team that left for Iraq on Sept. 14. On the issue of Japanese abducted by the DPRK's agents, Kawaguchi said the government still p! lans to do its utmost to resolve the matter, despite the replacement of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe. Meanwhile, Kawaguchi brushed aside accusations that her lack of leadership has allowed staff within the Prime Minister's Official Residence -- led by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda -- to take the initiative in terms of Japan's diplomacy.


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3. A-Bomb Survivors' International Conference Plan

The Japan Times ("HIDANKYO MEET TO SEEK END TO NUKES," 09/22/03) reported that the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hidankyo) plans to organize an international meeting aimed at scrapping nuclear arms to mark the 60th anniversary in 2005 of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The meeting is to be called "No more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis," the group said. Participants will discuss ways to eliminate nuclear weapons and re-examine the damage caused by the two atomic bombs the US dropped at the end of World War II. Hidankyo said it plans to call on numerous foreign peace organizations to take part. The meeting is expected to be held in July or August 2005 in Hiroshima, Nagasaki or Tokyo, and will probably run for about three days.


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4. Japan's Nuclear Reactor Inspection

The Japan Times ("12 TEPCO STAFF TO WORK FOR NUCLEAR SAFETY ENTITY," 09/23/03) reported that twelve Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) employees will begin working from October for an independent administrative entity that will take on some government nuclear plant inspection duties, according to officials. The 12 employees, who have worked at nuclear plants run by the scandal-tainted TEPCO, will be working for an entity tasked with supervising TEPCO and other nuclear power utilities -- a move likely to raise serious doubts about its independence. They will be on loan to the new entity beginning Oct. 1, the day it will be launched with about 420 employees, the officials said. In addition to the 12 from TEPCO, nine other utilities will dispatch a combined 25 employees to the new entity, including eight from Kansai Electric Power Co. A TEPCO official told Kyodo News that it received a request from the government to dispatch employees knowledgeable in nuclear engineering. Apart f! rom being responsible for some reactor facility inspections previously handled by the state, the new body will also monitor checks carried out by companies.


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5. US on Japan's Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing in 1977

Kyodo ("U.S. WITHDREW OPPOSITION TO TOKAI PLANT," Washington, 09/24/03) reported that in the interests of bilateral ties, the US in 1977 decided against telling Japan to refrain from operating a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, according to declassified US government documents. Then President Jimmy Carter had previously advocated halting the launch of operations at the plant in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture. But Mike Mansfield, who had just assumed the post of ambassador to Japan, convinced him to reverse this decision. Mansfield told Carter that halting operations at the plant, operated by the now-defunct Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp., would have a detrimental impact on future Japan-US relations, the documents indicate. The ambassador said it would not look good for the US to allow Britain, France and West Germany to reprocess nuclear fuel but to show a lack of trust in Japan in this regard. He said that the US government should consider! that the energy situation was a vital matter for resource-poor Japan. A memo handwritten by Carter on the margins of the telegram instructed then Secretary of State Cyrus Vance to tell Mansfield that the president would decide quickly on a compromise plan and that it was all right to ask then Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda to present alternatives.


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6. Japan Domestic Politics

The Japan Times (Reiji Yoshida, "ABE DECLARES LDP WILL SEEK MAJORITY IN NEXT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES POLL," 09/25/03) reported that the Liberal Democratic Party's goal for the next House of Representatives election is to secure a single-party majority, LDP Secretary General Shinzo Abe said. The remark by Abe, appointed the LDP's No. 2 man, indicates that the party's new executive lineup will bear responsibility if it fails to achieve this goal. In fact, this target, unveiled during an interview with several media organizations, is rather conservative, given that the LDP already holds 244 of the 480 seats in the House of Representatives. The LDP currently is in a coalition with New Komeito, which has 31 seats in the Lower House, and the New Conservative Party, which has 10. The LDP is eight seats short of a single-party majority in the House of Councilors. During the interview, Abe said he remains an advocate of the theory that Japan should be allowed to exercise its right t! o collective self-defense and revise the pacifist Constitution. Although the party will follow the current government policy of maintaining the war-renouncing Constitution, he will play an active role at the party level in reviewing the country's security policies, Abe added. He has long been regarded as hawk, given his tough stance against the DPRK and his calls for constitutional revisions, as well as other proactive security policies. He argued, however, that terms such as "hawk" or "dove" no longer have significant meaning.

The Japan Times ("DPJ, LIBERAL PARTY SIGN DEAL ON BOLD OPPOSITION MERGER," 09/25/03) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the smaller Liberal Party formally signed a merger deal after managing to agree on candidates for the next House of Representatives general election. The merger, which will see the absorption of the Liberal Party by the DPJ, creates an opposition party large enough to pose a challenge to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. Commenting on the merger, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said the expanded DPJ is "not a force to be taken lightly." At the same time, however, he showed confidence that his LDP can win the upcoming general election, saying: "The next election will one in which the people choose whether they want Koizumi or (DPJ head Naoto) Kan as prime minister. . . . I believe people will support the LDP if they judge that it has become a party for reform." The DPJ and the Liberal Party have a combined 136 members in the 480-member! House of Representatives and 66 seats in the 247-member House of Councilors. The LDP has 244 and 113 members, respectively.


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7. US Bases in Japan

Associated Press ("F-14 SQUADRON FLIES OUT OF ATSUGI TO RETIRE IN U.S.," Atsugi, 09/25/03) reported that a squadron of 11 US F-14 fighters flew out of Atsugi base just south of Tokyo for the last time, ending a 12-year deployment to Japan. Fighter Squadron VF-154, known as the Black Knights, is being relocated to Naval Air Station Lemoore in California in keeping with the US Navy's policy of retiring its aging F-14 Tomcat fleet. According to a navy statement, the squadron was initially deployed to Atsugi in August 1981 to join Carrier Air Wing Five. This year, flying off the deck of the USS Kitty Hawk, it joined coalition forces in the Iraq War, flying nearly 300 combat sorties and dropping more than 350 bombs. It returned to Japan in May.


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8. Japan's Roles in Iraq

Kyodo ("SAMAWA LIKELY T OBE JAPANESE SDF'S BASE IN IRAQ," 10/16/03) reported that Japan will send the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to the southern Iraqi city of Samawa if the ruling coalition wins an upcoming general election, a senior Dutch military officer in Iraq said Wednesday quoting a Japanese fact-finding mission. During a meeting earlier this month, senior SDF and Foreign Ministry members of the mission told the Dutch officer that Japan intends to set up an SDF operational base near the Dutch base in Samawa, the officer said. This is the first time for an official of the U.S.-led occupation forces to mention the location that the Japanese government is considering for the SDF dispatch. The mission returned last week after spending nearly a month in Iraq to study the local security and other conditions. After its return, the government resumed working on its plan to send about 100 SDF troops as an advance team to Iraq by the end of the year to either Nasiriya or Samawa i! n the southern part of the country. Samawa has not experienced any attacks against occupation forces since April and is considered the safest area in Iraq, a senior official of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) for the region said separately. Under a law enacted in July to authorize SDF missions to help rebuild Iraq, activities of the Japanese troops are limited to noncombat zones and their use of weapons restricted to comply with the war-renouncing Constitution. The CPA official, in charge of the province of Al-Muthanna where Samawa is located, said the Japanese mission's interest was "80% to 90%" directed at Samawa. Located on the Euphrates River some 250 kilometers south-southeast of Baghdad, Samawa is a strategic stop in southern Iraq and many members of the 350,000-400,000 population are Shiite Muslims. The Netherlands has deployed more than 1,000 troops to maintain order in the area. In a meeting with Samawa's city council Oct. 2, the Japanese mission! discussed the possibilities of providing water supply and sewage systems as well as repairing and updating old equipment at a hospital built there with Japanese aid in around 1985, a city council official said. The condition of water supply in the province, which is made up of mostly desert terrain, is dire, local officials say. The discussions followed a 14-point request made by the council, also including assistance in building 25 elementary schools, supplying food to schools, providing medical aid for women and children, sheltering orphans, and rebuilding roads in Samawa and the vicinity, according to the official. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's top diplomatic adviser Yukio Okamoto, who visited Samawa on Sept. 11 before the mission arrived, apparently had a favorable impression of the area, the official said, adding the residents there tend to be peaceful and cooperative with foreigners. Japan is expected to soon pick which city it will send the SDF troops t! o. In Japan, the general election for the House of Representatives is set for Nov. 9 in what is expected to be a race to see whether the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan will pose a threat to the ruling tripartite coalition led by Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party.


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9. Japan-Mexico Relations over FTA

Kyodo (Yasushi Azuma, "JAPAN, MEXICO TO CONTINUE TALKS ON FTA," Tokyo, 10/16/03) reorted that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Mexican President Vicente Fox agreed Thursday to continue negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with a view to reaching agreement by the end of the day. "It's 90% complete," Koizumi told a joint press conference with Fox after their summit talks. "There are still parts that we remain a bit apart on," Koizumi said. "We agreed to make efforts to reach an agreement by the end of the day." The development follows four days of intensive ministerial talks on the free trade pact that ended early Thursday without agreement, which left the fate of the treaty up to the two leaders. The main stumbling block has been Mexico's demand for a removal of tariffs on pork, one of its main exports to Japan, but Tokyo has rejected it to protect domestic pig farmers. Mexico's pork exports to Japan account for about 10% of its total value. At ! the summit meeting, Koizumi showed his resolve to conclude an FTA, saying, "We do not intend to postpone difficult issues because of the general election slated for Nov. 9," a Japanese official said. Fox also stressed the importance of achieving a trade accord. The Japanese official quoted Fox as saying that the deal would mark a historical step and serve as a bridge between Latin America and Asia. At the same time, Fox indicated Mexico is still unsatisfied with Japan's final proposal of introducing low-tariff import quotas on pork. "Something is missing," the Mexican president said, but stopped short of naming specific areas or items, according to the Japanese official. Following the summit talks, the two sides will hold ministerial talks in the afternoon in a bid to iron out the remaining gaps, the official said. The ministerial talks will involve three Japanese ministers --Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa and Agricul! ture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshiyuki Kamei -- and Mexican Economy Secretary Fernando Canales and Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez. Japanese and Mexican negotiators have been struggling to hammer out an agreement on the FTA during Fox's four-day visit in Japan that started Wednesday. Japan presented a fresh compromise Wednesday to break the impasse, calling for establishing low-tariff import quotas on pork, targeting their level to around double the current amount of pork imported from Mexico. According to Japanese officials, the proposal offers tariffs of around 2% on pork imports from Mexico, compared with the current 4.3%. Under the plan, the low tariff would be applied to 70,000 to 80,000 tons of Mexican pork sold to Japan a year. But Mexico wants tariff-free import quotas, sources close to the negotiations said. A free trade pact with Mexico would be Japan's second FTA following one with Singapore, signed in January 2002.



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