NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, october 29, 2003

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK Defector in US

Agence France-Presse ("US OFFICIALS SEEK CLUES ABOUT SECRETIVE NORTH KOREA FROM TOP DEFECTOR," 10/30/03) reported that US diplomats opened talks here with Hwang Jang-Yop, the highest-ranking DPRK official to defect to the ROK, seeking insight into the behavior of the DPRK's secretive leadership, the State Department said. Hwang met with Washington's top diplomat for Asia, James Kelly, and a senior aide to Under Secretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton, spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters. "It's an opportunity to talk to someone with very firsthand experience of the DPRK regime and what's gone on up there," he said. "It adds to our understanding of the situation on the peninsula." Hwang is to meet lawmakers, make speeches and meet other US officials during the visit, his first overseas trip since his defection to the ROK in 1997, which was organized by the Defense Forum Foundation, a Washington think tank. Asked at a press conference held at the US Congress whether he believed the DPRK had succeeded in developing nuclear weapons, Hwang answered that he could not say for certain. "I am here to state what I know for sure, I do not want to speculate," he said. A former secretary of the the DPRK's ruling Workers Party, Hwang is seen as the architect of the DPRK's ruling ideology of Juche, has been a harsh critic of reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il and his regime since defecting. In an interview with the ROK's Yonhap news agency last week, Hwang said he wanted to see Kim Jong-Il ousted. "Saving starving North Koreans under Kim's leadership means everything to me," the agency quoted him as saying.

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2. DPRK in Search of Foreign Lawyers, Accountants

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA WANTS FOREIGN LAWYERS, ACCOUNTANTS," Beijing, 10/28/03) reported that the DPRK wants foreign lawyers and accountants to set up shop for the first time to help attract overseas investment under the DPRK's nascent economic reforms, a British lawyer-turned-consultant said on Wednesday. Michael Hay, who has had business links with the DPRK since 1998, told Reuters he had been granted permission this month to open a liaison office in Pyongyang and asked to find potential law and accountancy firms. "Already several firms have privately expressed interest, and this opening is intended to facilitate the work of coordinating the review and evaluation of inquiries from candidate firms," said Hay, who will also use the office for his own consultancy work for foreign businesses. The DPRK wants to issue one license each to a law firm and accountancy company from overseas. The ROK does not allow foreign law firms to operate independently in its country. Hay said numerous foreign joint ventures were already operating quietly in the DPRK and there were many opportunities, for example in mining and energy exploration. Last week, the DPRK awarded a Norwegian oil services firm a contract to study the prospects for oil and gas production and to make an offshore seismic survey.

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3. PRC-DPRK Relations

Agence France-Presse ("CHINA'S SECOND-RANKING LEADER IN NKOREA AS HOPES FOR NEW TALKS GROW," 10/29/03) reported that PRC's second-ranking politician Wu Bangguo began a three-day visit to the DPRK as signs grow that the DPRK could be lured back to talks on the year-old nuclear crisis. In an indication of the importance it assigned to the event, the DPRKL rolled out the red carpet and sent Kim Yong-Nam, its own No. 2, to Pyongyang International Airport to greet Wu. Wu, the head of the PRC's legislature, said he hoped the visit could "make contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the region as well," according to the PRC's official Xinhua news agency. The three-day trip, the highest-level PRC mission to the country for two years, coincided with continued efforts in capitals on both sides of the Pacific to persuade the DPRK to return to the negotiating table. An aide to ROK President Roh Moo-Hyun said Wednesday there were signs progress could be made in finding a resolution to the nuclear stand-off. "We can cautiously say that we are at the stage of finding a clue (to ending the crisis)," said Ra Jong-Yil, Roh's national security advisor. "The new PRC leaders need to get to know Kim Jong-Il," said Yu Bin, an expert on the PRC's Korea policy at Wittenberg University in Ohio. "This is a very important meeting."

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4. US-PRC Military Relations

Xinhua ("RUMSFELD MEETS WITH PRC DEFENSE MINISTER ON NKOREA, MILITARY - OFFICIALS," Washington, 10/29/03) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met for the first time here Tuesday with China's defense minister for talks on the DPRK and US-PRC military relations, US defense officials said. The Pentagon said the session between Rumsfeld and General Cao Gangchuan was "productive and constructive." "Both sides have agreed to arrange further visits of the military leaders in 2004," it said in a statement. It was the first time the Pentagon had hosted a visit by the PRC defense minister since Dec 1996. Rumsfeld and Cao spent part of the hour-long meeting discussing the DPRK and the need to maintain stability in the region, a defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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5. PRC-US Trade Relations

Agence France-Presse ("US COMMERCE SECRETARY COMES AWAY WITH PRC ASSURANCES ON TRADE, WTO," 10/29/03) reported that US Commerce Secretary Don Evans said he had China's assurances that a bulging trade deficit with the country would be narrowed but he kept the pressure on Beijing to end unfair trading practices. Evans spent two hours with PRC Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday discussing a deficit that could hit 130 billion dollars this year, while urging Beijing to implement its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and establish a trade regime conducive to fair trade. "There was a strong commitment from the premier that they were going to work very hard to close the trade deficit gap between the US and China," Evans told journalists prior to his departure. "I felt a strong commitment from ... the leaders of the government to continue to work hard on making sure that all of the commitments that China has under the WTO penetrate throughout the entire economy and all levels of government."

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6. Taiwan Missile Development

Agence France-Presse ("TAIWAN KEEPS MUM ON DEVELOPMENT OF MISSILE THAT CAN REACH SHANGHAI," 10/29/03) reported that Taiwan's defense ministry was tight-lipped Wednesday on a report that the military has been quietly developing a medium-range surface-to-surface missile capable of attacking Shanghai. The Apple Daily newspaper said the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology for the first time test-fired the missile in Chiupeng, the heavily guarded missile base in the southern Pingtung county, on September 25. The missile, designed with a range of between 600 kilometers and 900 kilometers (360 miles-540 miles), could be used to attack Shanghai, Hong Kong and major coastal cities in the southeast PRC should a war break out across the Taiwan Strait, the daily said. It said that the missile could be launched to an altitude of up to 24 kilometers (14.4 miles) by four attached rockets and then powered by a thrust engine to fly at a speed of Mach-six before it dived at its target. The defense ministry declined to comment on the report, but its brief statement on the stance of weapons development was seen as unusual by military experts. "The country's national defense technology development has been guided by the principle of 'effective deterrent, strengthening defense'," the ministry said. "We're not afraid of fighting and are ready to fight when necessary, but we are not going to fire the first shot," it added. The Pentagon released a report earlier this year saying Taiwan's most immediate threat was a force of 450 short-range ballistic missiles in the Nanjing Military Region across the straits from Taipei. Since then, Taiwan has purchased three batteries of US-made PAC-2 Plus anti-missile weaponry and hopes to later buy the more advanced PAC-3 systems. It is also developing its own Tien Kung (Sky Bow) missile shield. Beijing has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan should the island declare formal independence. Taiwan and China split in 1949 a! t the end of a civil war.

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7. Russia on DPRK Diplomacy

Xinhua ("RUSSIA WELCOMES DPRK'S READINESS TO CONSIDER US SECURITY OFFER," Moscow, 10/29/03) reported that Russia on Wednesday welcomed the readiness of the DPRK to consider an offer from the US on a written security guarantee to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. "Pyongyang's readiness to consider the US proposals on 'providing written guarantees of non-aggression' is a positive step," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its Internet site. "Russia welcomes all steps aimed at reducing escalation and searching for diplomatic paths of resolving the problem through six-party talks," the statement said.

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8. DPRK Market Economy

Korea Times ("MARKET ECONOMY SPROUTING IN PYONGYANG," Pyongyang, 10/29/03) reported that on October 6, when buses carrying some 800 South Koreans arrived at the Sohung Tea House-- the only resting place on the expressway linking Kaesong and Pyongyang --at about 1:30 p.m., an unexpected scene was waiting for the delegation. The delegation, including some 520 civilian tourists who were heading for the DPRK capital to attend the opening ceremony of the Ryukyong Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium, was greeted by DPRK women selling souvenirs, snacks and beverages in makeshift pavilions set up on an empty lot. "Welcome to the North! Come and take a look. Our products are of great quality," the peddlers said, coaxing the ROK delegation to buy goods, which was unthinkable just few years ago. In the morning of the second day, the delegation visited the Chongchun Exhibition Hall, where art works by renowned DPRK artists were showcased and sold."Wow, that's expensive. Can I get some discount?" a ROK delegate said as he haggled over the price of a black ink traditional drawing by Chung Young-man, a distinguished DPRK painter. The DPRK uses euro as its official foreign currency but also accepts US dollars. "I was surprised that the shop is not selling the artworks under the fixed price system. There was no such thing as a bargain in North Korea before," said Rep. Lee Yoon-sung of the Grand National Party, who was part of the delegation.

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Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
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Department of Political Science, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi:
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata:
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

John McKay:
Clayton, Australia

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