NAPSNet Daily Report
 
monday, october 27, 2003
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CONTENTS

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 Third Missile Test Fire?

Reuters ("N. KOREA MAY HAVE TEST-FIRED THIRD MISSILE," Tokyo, 10/25/03) reported that the DPRK may have test-fired a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan on Saturday for the third time in a week, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported. It quoted Japanese Defense Agency sources, citing unconfirmed information, as saying the surface-to-ship missile was believed to be an improved Silkworm with a range of roughly 100 km (60 miles). The sources said the apparent missile firing, which took place on Saturday afternoon, did not pose any threat to Japan's security, Kyodo reported. Japanese government officials could not be reached for comment. Japan said on Tuesday it had information that the DPRK had launched a short-range missile, the second such test in two days. The DPRK on Monday fired a similar missile into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan in what Seoul said appeared to be part of military exercises by the isolated DPRK. The DPRK said on Saturday it was prepared to consider a US offer of security guarantees in return for Pyongyang dropping its nuclear weapons program.


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2. US Congress DPRK Visit Delay

Reuters ("US CONGRESS DELEGATION DELAYS TRIP TO NORTH KOREA," Washington, 10/26/03) reported that a US congressional delegation seeking to ease nuclear tensions with the DPRK has delayed a trip to the DPRK because of White House opposition, the lawmaker heading the delegation said on Sunday. Rep. Curt Weldon, a Pennsylvania Republican set to head the bipartisan delegation, gave no indication when the trip would be rescheduled, but said talks were continuing. The delegation had been set to leave on Sunday but Weldon, vice chairman of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said in a statement it was delayed after the White House withdrew its support "at the 11th hour." The White House, which has been trying to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, said it was important to keep the focus on progress being made through six-way talks involving China, Japan, Russia, the two Koreas and the US. "Given our desire to keep the focus on the six-party process we believe that a congressional delegation visit to North Korea at this time would not be appropriate," a White House official told Reuters. Late on Sunday, the official Korean Central News Agency reported that Weldon's delegation had been scheduled to visit the Yongbyon nuclear complex where Pyongyang has said it has reprocessed fuel rods as part of its atomic arms program. A spokesman for Weldon confirmed the North Koreans had indicated the delegation would have an opportunity to visit the Yongbyon facility. The news agency earlier reported that Weldon had informed the DPRK on Friday that his visit would be delayed. But Weldon expressed confidence it would be rescheduled.


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3. DPRK on US Nuclear Proposal

Reuters (Andrew Ward, "NORTH KOREA TO CONSIDER US NUCLEAR PROPOSAL," 10/26/03) reported that the DPRK said at the weekend that it would consider the US offer of a written security assurance in return for dismantling its nuclear program, raising hopes of a diplomatic breakthrough in the year-old stand-off. The statement was in response to President George W. Bush's proposal last week of a multilateral security agreement involving a written promise from the US and other countries not to attack the DPRK. "We are ready to consider Bush's remarks on the written assurances of non-aggression," said a DPRK foreign ministry spokesman through the state news agency. "What we want is for both sides to drop guns and establish a normal state relationship to co-exist peacefully." The comments marked a reversal of Pyongyang's initial rejection of the US peace initiative as "laughable and not worth considering." Analysts said the latest statement carried more weight because it came directly from the foreign ministry, whereas earlier remarks were a commentary by state media.


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4. Top DPRK US Defection

Agence France-Presse ("TOP DPRK DEFECTOR LEAVES FOR US: REPORT," 10/27/03) reported that Hwang Jang-Yop, the highest-ranking DPRK official to defect to the ROK so far, embarked on a 10-day US trip, a news report said. Hwang, a former secretary of the North's ruling Workers Party, left for New York on a Korean Air flight at 11:00 am, Yonhap news agency said. Police, who are in charge of Hwang's safety, refused to confirm the departure and other details of his trip, which had previously been delayed for security reasons many times. But Yonhap said Hwang was scheduled to make speeches and meet US officials during the visit organized by the Defense Forum Foundation, a Washington-based thinktank. Hwang is to meet Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly, Yonhap said. It is Hwang's first overseas trip since his defection to South Korea in 1997, the agency said. Hwang, touted as the architect of the DPRK's ruling ideology of Juche (self-reliance), has been a harsh critic of Kim Jong-Il and his regime since his defection. Plans for Hwang's US trip had previously sparked concern in Seoul that it could negatively affect inter-Korean exchanges. In an interview with Yonhap last week, Hwang said he wanted to see DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il ousted from leadership. Hwang said: "Saving starving North Koreans under Kim's leadership means everything to me. I never thought of anything except saving poverty-ridden and abused North Koreans from Kim's dictatorship." Hwang also dismissed as "groundless" speculation that he might defect to the US to campaign against Kim Jong-Il. "I have never thought about it," Hwang told Yonhap. "My country is South Korea and I want to be buried here."


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5. DPRK Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA'S TOP OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF INTER-KOREAN TIES DEAD," 10/27/03) reported that Kim Yong-Sun, the DPRK's top official in charge of inter-Korean relations, has died in hospital following a traffic accident, Pyongyang's official news agency announced. "Kim Yong-Sun ... died on October 26, (2003) at the age of 69," the Korean Central News Agency said. "He was under treatment at a hospital for a long time due to a traffic accident that occurred on June 16," it said. Kim Yong-Sun sustained a serious head injury in the traffic accident which occurred when he was returning from an inspection tour of a goat farm, Japan's Tokyo Shimbun said in August. He played a key role in arranging the June 2000 historic summit between the DPRK's supreme leader Kim Jong-Il and the then ROK President Kim Dae-Jung in Pyongyang. He was considered as Kim Jong-Il's right hand man for exchanges with the ROK and was seen sitting next to the strongman during the summit. Three months later, Kim Yong-Sun visited Seoul as Kim Jong-Il's special envoy. He had been a member of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, deputy to the Supreme People's Assembly or parliament and secretary of the Central Committee. Officials and analysts said Kim Yong-Sun was Kim Jong-Il's most precious asset in dealing with the South, but that his death will not have no major impact on inter-Korean ties.


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6. US-PRC Economic Relations

Agence France-Presse ("US COMMERCE SECRETARY VOWS TO ADDRESS UNFAIR MARKETS IN CHINA," 10/28/03) reported that US Commerce Secretary Don Evans accused tthe PRCoiting the US' open markets and undermining American workers as he arrived in Beijing for talks with the country's top leaders. "China's current trade practices are exploiting our open markets and are creating an unfair advantage that is undercutting American workers," he said in a statement received Monday. "Americans are willing to compete, on even terms, with China and any other country in the world as long as it is fair. China's economic success depends on free and fair trade with the US." During his four days in the PRC, Evans will discuss concerns of US manufacturers that range from inadequate access to the PRC's markets, rampant piracy of intellectual property, forced transfer of technology from firms launching joint ventures and capital markets that are largely insulated from free market pressures. "China needs to create an economic system that is more transparent and one that allows capital to flow freely in response to market forces," said Evans. According to US statistics, the PRC enjoyed a 103 billion dollar trade surplus with the US last year, a situation US officials say is unsustainable -- especially with US presidential elections slated for next year. It was made clear from the start, however, that any ideas he might have on pressuring the PRC to revalue its currency will fall on deaf ears with central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan reiterating his vow to maintain the stability of the yuan. The PRC will stand "firm against US pressure for a revaluation" and "perfect the exchange rate at a reasonable and balanced level," the China Daily quoted Zhou as saying Monday.


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7. Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse ("BEIJING SAYS TAIWAN RALLY A 'SEPARATIST ACTION,'" 10/27/03) reported that the PRC slammed a political rally by Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a "separatist action" that would bring disaster to the island territory claimed by Beijing. "Taiwan independence activities have directly damaged the basic interests of Taiwan people and are a disaster for Taiwan," an unnamed spokesman for the State Council told the China Daily. Saturday's rally in which Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian called for a referendum on a new constitution "was a separatist action" manipulated by the DPP and other separatist organizations, the spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office said. "The rally aimed to separate Taiwan from the motherland under the guise of promoting referendums and constitutional change," he said. Between 100,000 and 200,000 pro-independence supporters attended the weekend march in Kaohsiung where Chen, who belongs to the DPP and who is seeking re-election in March 2004, vowed to start discussions on a new constitution in 2006 and enact the law in 2008. "It will be stated in the new constitution that Taiwan is an independent sovereign state which is not a province or special administration district under another country," Chen told cheering, banner-waving crowds.


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8. PRC-Australia Relations

Agence France-Presse ("AUSTRALIA ADMITS IT BOWED TO PRC PRESSURE OVER HU SPEECH," 10/26/03) reported that Australia admitted it bowed to PRC pressure last week to prevent protests by members of the Green party during an unprecedented speech to parliament by PRC President Hu Jintao. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said PRC officials were "very preoccupied" after senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle heckled US President George W. Bush during a similar speech the previous day. "Obviously they were very preoccupied with what Brown and Nettle did the previous day," Downer told national television. After they defied orders to leave the chamber on Thursday, both senators were suspended for 24 hours and found themselves locked out when Hu gave his speech on Friday. Downer said the consequences of interruptions during Hu's speech could have been serious. "I think if the speeches had been the other way round, if President Hu had come before a democratic leader like President Bush and there'd been protests during President Hu's speech, the implications for our relationship with China could have been very serious. Whereas there were no implications for our relationship with America out of what they've done." Tony Abbott, leader of government business in the lower House of Representatives, said it would have been a big mistake to have jeopardized the visit's success for a political "stunt."

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA'S HU IS NO GORBACHEV: AUSTRALIAN FM," 10/26/03) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao is unlikely to emerge as the PRC's version of the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said. Speaking after a ground-breaking four-day visit by Hu to Australia, Downer said he believed PRC leaders from Hu downwards favored a more evolutionary approach to democracy than Gorbachev's fast-track reforms. "I don't think the PRC from Hu down think Gorbachev handled democracy in Russia the right way," Downer told national television. "They don't see it coming in advance of economic reform and they believe they need much higher levels of economic activity, much higher living standards, before they can move on towards greater democracy." Downer said grassroots democracy was developing at village and community level in the PRC, but the Communist party was enormously sensitive about the PRC's unity and stability and kept tight control.


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9. Japan Domestic Politics

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN'S PM KOIZUMI CHALLENGED BY POPULAR TANAKA," 10/25/03) reported that Makiko Tanaka, Japan's popular ex-foreign minister, turned her back on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, whipping up a political storm in the run-up to next month's general election. Tanaka, who backed maverick Koizumi in his rise to power in April 2001, criticised the premier for being manipulated by bureaucrats, despite his slogan of reform, and rival factions in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). "Nothing has changed. I feel very sorry about him and he seems so pitiful," said the feisty 59-year-old Tanaka, who gave up her seat in the House of Representatives in August last year over an alleged fraud scandal. "I am aiming for reorganisation of political circles," she told a televised news conference in her rural constituency in Nagaoka, north of Tokyo. A crowd charmer with her straightforward style, Tanaka remains a great political influence and hot news item closely followed by gossipy broadcast media. But she stopped short of giving outright support for the main opposition Democratic Party, a loosely knit group of former social democrats and LDP defectors, which absorbed the Liberal Party led by former LDP strongman Ichiro Ozawa last month. "The Democratic Party is also entangled in complicating factors," she said. "But I want to express my respect for the merger based on its wish to change the times." Tanaka left the LDP last week in order to run as an independent in the November 9 poll. She was cleared of any wrongdoing a month ago when prosecutors decided not to charge her following allegations she had siphoned off her secretary's salary. "To put it bluntly, I strongly feel that the LDP cannot be trusted any longer," Tanaka said. "We cannot reorganise political circles if we followed the LDP way."


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10. Japan-PRC Russia Energy Competition

Agence France-Presse ("RUSSIA PLAYS OFF ENERGY-HUNGRY JAPAN VS. CHINA FOR SIBERIAN OIL," 10/26/03) reported that energy-hungry PRC and Japan are locked in a fierce struggle for supplies of Russian crude, allowing Russia to bargain hard as it chooses where to build a pipeline from its Siberian oil fields. After a decade of patiently courting Russia to build a 2.5-billion-dollar, 2,400-kilometre (1,440-mile) pipeline from Angarsk to the northeastern PRC city of Daqing, China is facing a determined last-ditch challenge from its neighbour. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi pushed Tokyo's case for a more expensive 4,000 kilometre route to the Russian Pacific port of Nakhodka, on the Sea of Japan, when he met Russian President Vladimir Putin last week on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Bangkok. "The odds of the Japanese pipeline are improving. There is a lot of recent political momentum for the Nakhodka route. Japan keeps coming back to the table and increasing its offer," commented Paul Collison, oil and gas analyst at Brunswick UBS brokerage in Moscow. In their latest move, the Japanese offered to finance the entire five-billion-dollar cost of constructing the Pacific pipeline and provide another two billion dollars to develop untapped oilfields in eastern Siberia. Keen to reduce its reliance on the volatile Middle East for its oil needs, Japan argues that the Nakodkha route would also be a strategic asset for Russia, allowing it to export to other Asian countries and perhaps the US West Coast. That has struck a chord in Russia, where suspicion of the PRC and its booming export-driven economy remains strong, fanning fears of mass PRC immigration into the resource-rich but sparsely-populated Russian far east. Sergei Grigoriyev, deputy president of state-owned Russian monopoly pipeline operator Transneft, which has lobbied for the Nakhodka pipeline, told AFP: "We can get immediate dividends from choosing the PRC route, but we will be tied to one country and find ourselves at the whims of their policy." From a strictly commercial standpoint, the cheaper and shorter Daqing pipeline would be far more profitable as it needs only to transport 30 million tonnes (600,000 barrels) of oil a year to be economic. The top Russian oil producer Yukos has backed the project. The Angarsk-Nakhodka pipeline, in contrast, would need to carry at least 50 million tonnes to be viable, and this capacity does not exist currently. Yet on a trip to Beijing in September, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov stunned his PRC hosts by announcing that Moscow had decided to postpone an agreement on the PRC route. A final decision is now expected at the end of this year or early 2004.


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11. ROK Anti-US Activism

Agence France-Presse ("ROK STUDENT ACTIVISTS DETAINED FOR ANTI-US PROTEST," 10/26/03) reported that ROK police said that 15 student activists have been detained for staging an illegal protest against a request from the US to send troops to Iraq. Police said the students erected a tent Saturday night for an anti-US protest on the sidewalk near the US embassy. The students were among 2,000 anti-war activists who marched in downtown Seoul Saturday to protest against the decision to accept the US request. The ROK has yet to decide on the nature, timing and size of the force to be sent. Newspapers said Washington had asked South Korea for 5,000 combat troops. The government decision, which is subject to parliamentary approval, triggered protests from South Koreans who are evenly divided on support for the US-led war. Conservative groups have held pro-US rallies, insisting the troop dispatch would help strengthen the Seoul-Washington alliance which dates back to the 1950-53 Korean War. Anti-war groups have vowed to campaign against President Roh Moo-Hyun, who has proposed holding a national vote of confidence in his leadership in mid-December.


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12. DPRK-PRC Economic Trade

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA REPORTS RISING TRADE WITH NORTH KOREA," 10/25/03) reported that the PRC's trade with the DPRK rose in the first nine months of the year, as it bought larger quantities of minerals and metals from the desperately poor country, PRC state media said. In the period from January to September, the PRC's imports from the DPRK via the border station of Dandong increased 12.3 percent to 112.2 million dollars, the Xinhua news agency reported. Imports were boosted by larger amounts of minerals and base metals, the agency said. Meanwhile, PRC exports to the DPRK, mainly crude oil, chemical goods and farm products, rose 10.6 percent to 232.3 million dollars, Xinhua said. The figures partly contradict the impression reported by many visitors to the Dandong border station that packed lorries enter the DPRK to the PRC, only to return empty from the impoverished country.


II. Republic of Korea


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1. DPRK Cancels All Remaining DPRK Tours

Chosun Ilbo (Kim Jong-ho, "NORTH CANCELS REMAINING PYONGYANG TOURS," 10/27/03) reported that DPRK has suspended the tours of Pyongyang for ROK people via direct flights between Seoul and DPRK capital, the Pyeonghwa Air Travel Agency said Monday. The tours had begun Sept. 15. "DPRK requested that we postpone the tours due to tourist safety problems during the winter and the fatigue of the local tour guides," said an official at the agency, which was the local representative for the tours. The 10th tour, scheduled for Nov. 2 is the first to be suspended, he said. Park Se-jin from Pyeonhwa said that the agreement had been made recently between Pyeonghwa President Park Sang-gwon and Asia Pacific Peace Committee Vice-chairman Song Ho-kyoung. The tours to Pyongyang will be resumed on April 20, Park said. Pyeonghwa had planned on selling the Pyongyang tours to 2,000 persons by the end of the year. However, only nine of 15 tours have been completed, with 1,016 tourists making the trip. Pyeonghwa will be providing refunds for clients who made reservations for the 10th to 15th tours. Those persons will have first priority when reserving for next year's tours.


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2. DPRK-US Relations

Chosun Ilbo (Joo Yong-jung, "NORTH CHANGES STANCE ON BUSH OFFER," 10/26/03) reported that DPRK is prepared to consider President George W. Bush's offer of security assurances within a multilateral security guarantee in return for dropping its nuclear program, a DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday according to a report by Pyongyang's official news agency. The offer had been made by Bush during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bangkok last Monday. DPRK spokesman said, "We are ready to consider Bush's proposal of written assurances of nonagression, if they are based on the intention to co-exist with DPRK and aimed to play a positive role in actualizing a package solution on the principle of simultaneous actions." The spokesman hinted that Washington and Pyongyang were negotiating on security guarantees. "We have already informed our stance to U.S. through our contact point in New York, and are confirming the true intentions of U.S.," he said, adding that Washington had stressed the importance of the New York channel and expressed hopes that negotiations would continue. The spokesman said, "It is premature to talk about the six-way talks under the present situation unless the will to accept the principle of simultaneous actions is confirmed." Seoul responded optimistically to DPRK's announcement. "DPRK's reaction is an encouraging step to a peaceful solution and we hope that negotiations among the nations involved will continue," a ROK government official said. He added that Wu Bangguo, chairman of PRC's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, would also be able to engage in positive negotiations with DPRK when he visits DPRK from Wednesday to Friday. The White House spokesman Jimmy Orr said that officials there were looking at DPRK's message and hoped DPRK would return to the Beijing six-party talks, the Washington Post reported Sunday. The New York Times, quoting a State Department official, reported that Washington had received DPRK's position on considering President Bush's offer of written security guarantees through DPRK diplomats at the Uni ted Nations on Friday. This official said that the Bush administration was still considering DPRK's statement and had yet to come to a conclusion, the New York Times said.


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3. Former DPRK Defector returned to DPRK Re-entered ROK

Chosun Ilbo (Kang Chol-hwan, "BACKSLIDING DEFECTOR FLEES NORTH 2ND TIME," 10/26/03) reported that A DPRK man who fled to ROK in 1996 then returned to DPRK in 2000 re-entered ROK last week, bringing two sons he had left behind the first time. The man, Nam Su, may face a thorough investigation here because he reportedly gave lectures while in DPRK in which he denounced ROK society. A government official said Sunday that Nam and his sons entered ROK last Wednesday, and are now being investigated on the details of his escape from ROK. Nam may face legal penalties, the official said, for his "unreasonable behavior" and unauthorized return to DPRK, adding that Nam was allowed to re-enter ROK and had his rights protected because he is still a ROK citizen. Before he fled to ROK in January 1996, Nam worked at an umbrella manufacturing factory in DPRK. In ROK he started a restaurant, but it eventually went bankrupt. In July 2000, Nam left behind the new wife he married in ROK and their infant son and returned to DPRK. Before leaving he reportedly complained aboutROK society and showed a yearning to return to DPRK. Even though his restaurant got funding from ROK government, he couldn't keep up with debt payments after his business went down, fellow DPRK refugees said. During his stay in DPRK, Nam reportedly gave public lectures in which he praised DPRK society and said he had been fooled by ROK. He was pardoned by DPRK leader Kim Jong Il in an official letter.


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4. ROK Regards DPRK's Reactions as A Nod on U.S. Proposal

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, "SEOUL HOPEFUL AS NORTH GIVES BUSH PLAN A NOD," 10/26/03) reported that Roh administration officials reacted yesterday with muted optimism to a statement from DPRK, saying it was prepared to consider a U.S. proposal of written multilateral security assurances in the ongoing international negotiations to resolve the nuclear arms crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Back from a conference in Spain on rebuilding Iraq, ROK's Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan said yesterday that "it is promising that DPRK did not persist in a bilateral non-aggression treaty with U.S. this time." Coming days after a meeting between President Roh Moo-hyun and U.S. President George W. Bush in Bangkok, where Mr. Bush extended the offer of a security guarantee to DPRK, DPRK's Foreign Affairs Ministry provided the country's first official response to the U.S. offer. The statement, which was broadcast by the Korean Central News Agency, said: "We are ready to consider Bush's remarks on the written assurances of non-aggression' if they are based on the intention to co-exist with the DPRK and aimed to play a positive role in realizing the proposal for a package solution on the principle of simultaneous actions." DPRK stands for DPRK's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Conspicuously missing in DPRK's statement was the long-time demand for a bilateral non-aggression treaty with U.S.. The statement was an about-face for Pyongyang, which last week rejected U.S. offer, calling it "not worth considering" and "laughable". Whether DPRK will now agree to a new round of talks is uncertain. In its statement Saturday, Pyongyang said "it is premature to talk about the six-way talks under the present situation." Mr. Yoon said he hoped the six-way talks would begin soon, but said the Bush administration had not yet finalized its proposal. Another top official in Seoul was more optimistic. The tone of Pyongyang's dismissal of the talks was not strong enough to be viewed as a rejection, the official said. In its statement, DPRK said its diplomats had informed U.S. of its response to Mr. Bush's offer through channels in New York and were trying to learn more about U.S. intentions. At the initial round of six-party talks among DPRK, ROK, PRC, Japan, Russia and U.S. in Beijing in August, DPRK presented a four-step proposal, which it and U.S. would take simultaneously to bring an eventual end to the nuclear weapons programs at the core of the current crisis. Mr. Yoon said yesterday that "there is a possibility of a compromise between Washington and Pyeongyang on how to act simultaneously."


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5. Former Secretary of DPRK's Ruling Worker's Party US Visit

Donga Ilbo (Park Hui Jae , "HWANG JANG-YOP VISITS THE U.S. UNTIL NOVEMBER 4," 10/27/03) reported that Hwang Jang-yop (78), the former Secretary of DPRK's ruling Worker's Party, took off to visit U.S. on October 27. After reserving for first-class by the name of K, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hwang was said to have departed with seven people, including his adopted daughter and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and security guards. Hwang arrived at Incheon Airport with his company, Yoon Dae-il and Kim Sung-min, who also defected from DPRK, at 7 a.m. on the same day and stayed at the first-class lounge of Korean Air for about three hours. After that, Hwang stepped on board at 10:15 a.m. - 15 minutes earlier than the deadline. The police kept Hwang's departure procedure a secret because there were clues that the students of Korea Federation of University Student Councils, or Hanchongryun, would form a "do-or-die group to block Hwang's visit to U.S." and protest at the airport. The students say Hwang is going to stay in New York and Washington until November 4 and take part in the regular forums held by the inviter, the Defense Forum, at the outhouse of the House of Commons. Furthermore, he will have meetings with high-level officials including John Bolton, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and James Kelly, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, during his visit. Although Hwang has tried to visit U.S. numerous of times since 2001, he has been putting it off because ROK government has not allowed it. Hwang defected to ROK in 1997. He will come home on November 5 by Korean Air.


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6. Six-Way Talks Are Likely to Begin Soon

Donga Ilbo (Kim Young-Sik, "SIX-WAY TALKS LIKELY TO BEGIN SOON," 10/26/03) reported that DPRK expressed on October 25 that it is willing to consider the "multilateral security assurance" plan proposed by U.S. President George W. Bush during ROK - U.S. summit on October 20 last week. Replying to the inquiry from DPRK Central News Agency (KCNA), DPRK Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said, "President Bush recently suggested us (DPRK) a written assurance (guaranty) of non-aggression during the APEC summit in Thailand and asked for reopening the six-way talks." He added, "We are willing to take President Bush's remark into consideration if it is on the basis of a co-existing strategy and seeks for a positive influence to realize an overall settlement based on the principle of simultaneous action." "Our position begins from a prospect that DPRK and U.S. will be able to solidify the trust and the base of coexistence through solving the problems one by one under the rule of simultaneous actions," the spokesman continued, adding, "DPRK has already delivered the message to a contact in New York and is currently in the middle, trying to confirm U.S. true intention." However, drawing the line of mentioning the six-way talks, he said, "It is too early to talk about the summit for the time being because U.S.' intention to accept the principle of (r)simultaneous action' has not been verified yet." "It is very encouraging for the peaceful solution for DPRK's nuclear problem in the future, since DPRK announced its stance after ROK - U.S. summit," said a government official regarding DPRK's statement. "ROK's government will work closely with the involved nations in view of an early re-opening of the second round of six-way talks and concrete progress."


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7. DPRK's Point Man for DPRK-ROK Affairs died of Traffic Accident

Donga Ilbo (Kim Young-Sik, Kim Jeong-Hun, "DEATH OF KIM YONG SOON, NORTH KOREA'S POINT MAN FOR INTER-KOREAN AFFAIRS," 10/27/03) reported that DPRK Central News Agency reported Kim Yong-sun, DPRK's point man for inter-Korean affairs in DPRK's Workers Party, died October 26. The Workers Party Central Committee and the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly issued through the obituary, "Kim has been in the hospital since he had the traffic accident last June 16 and has passed away at the age of 69." Through the report of his death, DPRK Central News Agency said, "Kim has devoted himself to open new relations between DPRK and ROK under the flag of the historic June 15 inter-Korean summit meeting. His achievements will remain in front of the party, the revolution and the country forever." Kim was born in Pyungwon of South Pyungan Province and has served as a member of the Supreme People's Assembly, DPRK parliament, chairman of DPRK Asian-Pacific Peace Committee and was also the vice president of the National Peaceful Unification Committee. Meanwhile, presidential National Security Adviser, Ra Jong-yil said, "I think we should express our condolences considering Kim's role in inter-Korean relations." Ra announced the government was considering expressing its condolences, saying "It is natural to convey such a message if one of our neighbors dies."


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8. DPRK Fired Short-Range Missile Again

Donga Ilbo (Cho Hun-Joo, "NORTH KOREA FIRED SHORT-RANGE OPERATIONAL MISSILE AGAIN ON OCTOBER 25," 10/26/03) reported that Asahi, quoting well-informed Japanese governmental sources, reported that DPRK fired a short-range operational missile towards the East Sea around 3:00 p.m. on October 25. Japanese officials expressed that even though DPRK fired the third operational missile in a week (with missile firings on October 20 and 21), it is only standard military training and does not threaten a neighboring country's national security because the missile range is only 100 km. However, some of the Japanese press showed their interest over DPRK's continuous missile launching even though U.S. has repeatedly expressed its opinion that it will document DPRK's security guarantee.


III. People's Republic of China


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1. DPRK-US Relations on Nuke Issue

People's Daily (Ji Xinlong, "NOTHING NEW IN US OFFER," Pyongyang, 10/24/03, P3) reported that there is nothing new in the US offer of security guarantees and the DPRK will not join talks aimed at resolving the nuclear issue unless US shows willingness to abandon its hostile policy toward Pyongyang, an official DPRK newspaper said on October 23. It would be a welcome development if the US changes its policy toward the DPRK and prepares a "new plan" for the next round of talks, the commentary said. But unfortunately, despite its security guarantee offer, Washington still refuses to sign a non-aggression treaty with the DPRK and instead demands the DPRK abandon its nuclear program first, it said in the report.

People's Daily (Ji Xinlong, "BUSH'S SECURITY OFFER NOT WORTH CONSIDERATION: DPRK," Pyongyang, 10/23/03, P3) reported that the DPRK said late on October 21 that an offer by US President George W. Bush to provide multilateral security guarantees in exchange for Pyongyang ending its nuclear program was not worth considering. The commentary reaffirmed the DPRK's demand that the US drop its hostile policy towards the DPRK and the two countries sign a bilateral non-aggression treaty as the only peaceful way out of the nuclear crisis. "The reason that the United States is bragging about this security guarantee within a multilateral framework is that it is aiming to mislead the fair world opinion that calls on the United States to shift away from its hostile policy toward the DPRK and to sign a non-aggression treaty," it said according to the report.

People's Daily (Qi Zijian and Huang Heng, "US STICKS NOT TO SIGN TREATY WITH DPRK," Bankok, 10/20/03, P3) reported that US President George W. Bush said on October 19 that US will not sign a non-aggression treaty with DPRK. But US has no intention of invading the DPRK, he stressed in the report.


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2. PRC-DPRK Relations

China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, "SPOKESMAN: TOP LEGISLATOR TO VISIT DPRK NEXT WEEK," 10/24/03, P1) reported that PRC's top legislator Wu Bangguo will head a State delegation to pay an official goodwill visit to the DPRK and hold talks on "important issues" from Wednesday until Friday next week. Releasing details about the trip yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said: "Being friendly neighbors, China and the DPRK have a tradition of high-level exchanges between the state leaders." During the visit, the two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral issues, regional and international matters and other issues of common interest, Zhang said.


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3. PRC-Japan Relations

China Daily ("TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP CELEBRATED," 10/24/03, P1) reported that Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese treaty of peace and friendship with congratulatory messages on October 22. In his telegram to Koizumi, Wen said the 1978 treaty signed by the older generation of Chinese and Japanese leaders provides a solid political basis for bilateral relations. He said Sino-Japanese ties are now going through an important stage of development and the two countries shoulder great responsibility for maintaining peace and promoting development. Koizumi said ties between the two countries have continued to develop in various fields since relations were normalized in 1972 and the treaty was signed in 1978. Japan is ready to work with PRC to co-operate more in regional and world affairs and develop a future-oriented relationship, he said.


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4. PRC-US Relations

China Daily ("GOODWILL VISIT," Beijing, 10/25-26/03, P2) reported that Chinese Minister of National Defense Cao Gangchuan left Beijing on October 24 for an official goodwill visit to the US. Cao was invited by the US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. During his visit, Cao will meet US governmental and military leaders, exchange views on international and regional security and other issues of common concern.

China Daily (Jiang Zhuqing, "SIX-PARTY TALKS URGED TO GO ON," 10/22/03, P2) reported that PRC hopes the momentum of the six-party talks focusing on the Korean nuclear issue can continue by all groups involved adopting flexible attitudes, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on October 21. Zhang Qiyue said Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush discussed the matter during their meeting on Sunday in Bangkok, Thailand. A very important point in the process of dealing with the issue is to solve the security concerns of the DPRK, she stressed. Both leaders emphasized that the six-party talks are an important step towards a peaceful solution, and all groups involved should continue with their efforts, she said. During their meeting, Hu told Bush that Sino-US relations have maintained strong development growth, the spokeswoman said. On the Taiwan question, Zhang said the US had reiterated its commitment to the three Sino-US joint communiques and not to support "Taiwan's Independence." Bush also reaffirmed this stance earlier this week, she added.


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5. US President on APEC

China Daily ("BUSH FORCES WAR ON TERRORISM ON APEC," Bankok, 10/21/03, P1) reported that US President George W. Bush forced the war on terror to the heart of a Pacific Rim summit on October 20, despite the resentment of some Asian nations which want it to stick to freeing trade. A Thai Government spokesman said the leaders did not discuss anti-terror measures at the first session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum summit but said it was "very much relevant." More talks will be held today and Bush, seeking practical as well as diplomatic support for his campaign against terror, made it the centerpiece of a statement drafted for issue at the end of the two-day meeting. The draft calls for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, a clear reference to the nuclear ambitions of the DPRK, which was another major focus of Bush's talks in Bangkok. The draft APEC declaration calls for increased security co-ordination, tighter controls at ports and a campaign to stop militants moving money around the world.


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6. PRC President Press Conference after APEC

China Daily (Meng Yan, "PRESIDENT HU MEETS THE PRESS AFTER APEC," 10/22/03, P1) reported that the two sides of the Taiwan Straits should engage in dialogue on the basis of the one-China principle, President Hu Jintao yesterday told Lee Yuan-tseh, Taiwan's delegate to the 11th APEC meeting. Hu made these remarks at his press conference held after the conclusion of the APEC meeting. It is the first time that Hu has been present at APEC meetings. Hu also answered questions on PRC's political reform prospects, the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Sino-Japanese relations and the RMB exchange rate. When asked what was the most difficult problem he had faced since becoming president in March, Hu said SARS topped the list. He said the country needs to strengthen healthcare in particular and improve its contingency planning mechanisms. Turning to the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Hu said the way to address the security concerns of the DPRK can be explored by all parties through talks. He hopes a formula will emerge that is acceptable to all parties, especially to the main players. On the issue of the RMB, Hu said PRC is studying how to gradually make the RMB freely convertible under the capital account and to effectively ward off risk, according to the report.


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7. Russia-Ukraine Relations

China Daily ("TALKS ON DAM BEING HELD BY UKRAINE AND RUSSIA," Moscow, 10/25-26/03, P8) reported that Russia and ex-Soviet neighbor Ukraine worked on October 24 to defuse a crisis over construction of a Russian dam near Ukrainian waters that Kiev sees as a challenge to its sovereignty. The dispute is the worst between the two states in a decade and has aroused nationalist passions in both Kiev and Moscow. Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich flew to Moscow for talks with Russian counterpart Mikhail Kasyanov, saying he was confident that a dispute centering on the island of Tuzla could be settled. Kasyanov said he was "disappointed" by events. Ukraine says Tuzla is an island within its territory, based on decisions made when it and Russia were both republics of the Soviet Union. Krasnodar officials say Tuzla used to be a spit joined to Russia and the dam is to protect coastal communities. Krasnodar officials said on Thursday work would stop for two to five days for talks on the border dispute, starting with the meetings between Yanukovich and Kasyanov. Back in Ukraine, the dam and nationalistic statements from Krasnodar's governor have prompted anger at what is perceived as Russian arrogance, and calls from some for a re-alignment with the West. Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma, who cut short a Latin American tour to oversee the crisis, flew to Tuzla on Thursday to view the dam after an overnight telephone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukrainian politicians say a bridge between mainland Russia and Tuzla would undermine Kiev's authority over its part of the region's waters.



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