NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday november 12, 2003

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK US Power Plant 'Penalty' Demand

The Associated Press ("N. KOREA DEMANDS U.S. PAY 'PENALTY' OVER POWER PLANTS NORTH SAYS DECISION TO HALT WORK VIOLATES AGREEMENT," Seoul, 11/12/03) reported that the DPRK said yesterday that it will seize equipment for two nuclear power plants being built in the impoverished state until the US pays a "penalty" for its decision to stop their construction. Last week, the US, the ROK, Japan and the European Union tentatively decided to suspend work at Kumho, a remote northeastern coastal village where they have been building two light-water reactors to generate badly needed electricity for the DPRK. They say that halting the $4.6 billion project is inevitable because the DPRK has violated a 1994 agreement by secretly building nuclear weapons. The DPRK claimed again yesterday that the United States had first violated the 1994 agreement, in which two power-generating reactors were promised in return for a freezing of the North's Soviet-designed reactors, suspected of being used for weapons development. "The U.S. should pay damages for the breach of contract without delay," a Foreign Ministry spokesman told the official news agency, KCNA. "We will never allow the U.S. to take out facilities, equipment and materials for the light-water reactor construction and technical documents now in the Kumho area unless the U.S. pays a penalty."

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2. KEDO Nuclear Project STatus

Korea Times ("NUCLEAR PLANT PROJECT IN NK TO BE HALTED NEXT MONTH," 11/13/03) reported that Executive board members of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) will implement their decision to halt work at a nuclear power plant construction site in the DPRK starting early next month and effective for a year. An official decision of the four members, South Korea, the United States, Japan and the European Union, will be announced on Nov. 21. They will convene a working-level meeting soon to discuss details of the suspension. Despite the decision, Chang Sun-sup, chairman of the KEDO executive board, told reporters on Wednesday that the suspension of construction, decided during a meeting in New York earlier this month, is open to reversal if the nuclear weapons standoff in the DPRK takes a turn for the better. "Suspension doesn't mean termination. It means we are bound to restart the project sometime," said the South Korean representative to KEDO. Once the nuclear crisis improves, work will naturally resume, he added. "Even if we suspend the project, it doesn't mean work stops 100 percent," he said. Dozens of workers will remain to protect results of the work done so far. Charles Kartman, KEDO's executive director, will go to Pyongyang this Saturday to conduct negotiations with the DPRK on the organization's behalf, explaining the inevitability of the decision. As the biggest financier of the $4.6 billion project, the ROK stands to lose all of the $931 million it has invested so far if the project is scrapped for good. The US, however, has said it sees "no future" for the project and has made little secret of its hopes to terminate the scheme altogether.

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3. CIA on DPRK Nuclear Developments

New York Times (David Sanger and William J. Broad, "SURPRISE WORD ON NUCLEAR GAINS BY NORTH KOREA AND IRAN," Washington, 11/12/03) reported that two intelligence reports issued in recent days find that the DPRK and Iran have made advances on a variety of technologies necessary to build nuclear weapons that surprised many nuclear experts and Western intelligence officials. Overall, the reports support the consensus view that the DPRK is far ahead of Iran in the production of actual weapons and poses the most urgent proliferation problems for the Bush administration. In recent weeks, President Bush has declared that his administration is making great progress in its diplomatic effort to disarm both countries, putting together coalitions of neighboring countries to pressure the two surviving governments of what he famously called the "Axis of Evil." But the essence of the Central Intelligence Agency report about the DPRK is that that country is speeding up its weapons production. The reports show that the DPRK has dabbled in separating plutonium - one path to a bomb - and has set up centrifuges to enrich uranium. According to the CIA the DPRK has fully mastered the complexities of detonating a bomb, perhaps with the help of some of its nuclear suppliers like Pakistan.

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4. ROK on Year-End DPRK Talks Reuters (Judy Lee "SEOUL SAYS YEAR-END NORTH KOREA NUKE TALKS LIKELY," Seoul, 11/11/03) reported that a Japanese newspaper reported on Wednesday the United States and the DPRK have agreed to hold a second round of nuclear talks from December 10 to 13 in Beijing, but officials in Seoul and Tokyo said no date has been set yet. The Asahi Shimbun daily quoted ROK government sources as saying the PRC was trying to agree the dates with other countries involved in the six-way talks on halting the DPRK's nuclear arms plans in return for security guarantees. Asked about the report, ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan said only that the six states -- the ROK, the DPRK, the PRC, Russia, Japan and the United States -- concurred on holding talks by the end of the year. "The date has not been decided yet but we expect the second round of six-way talks to be held within this year," Yoon told a news conference. "This is quite possible because all the relevant countries share consensus on that."

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5. PRC Political Corruption Agence France-Presse ("TOP PRC OFFICIAL TRIED FOR GRAFT," 11/12/03) reported that high-profile businessman Jiang Zizeng has gone on trial in Beijing accused of reaping 550 million yuan (66 million dollars) by manipulating stock prices, state media reported. Jiang, former president of the government-backed China Trust and Investment Corp for Economic Development (CTIC), is accused of helping one of the best blue chip firms on the PRC market rig its stock price. His court appearance Tuesday is the latest in a string of corporate corruption scandals involving wealthy businessmen in the PRC. The court heard that he masterminded a scheme in which his company raised 780 million yuan to buy and sell stocks in Dongfang Electronics, boosting its share price 190 percent from April to July 1999. The Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court heard that on Jiang's instructions, Sang Huiqing, trading manager of the trust firm's securities department, and other managers raised Dongfang's stock price by trading within the firm without transferring ownership. But in 2001, the securities market regulator found the listed company had made up 1.7 billion yuan in sales in its annual reports over five years, and the stock collapsed. Many small investors had rushed to buy the shares based on the outstanding achievements listed in its annual reports. Jiang was arrested last July, the China Daily said.

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6. Japan Iraq Troop Dispatch

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN CONFIRMS TROOP DISPATCH TO HELP REBUILD IRAQ," 11/12/03) reported that days before the US defense secretary's visit here, Japan, a close ally of Washington, said it will send troops to Iraq by the end of the year to help rebuild the shattered country. The government's top spokesman denied media reports that Tokyo may delay the dispatch because of fears of casualties and a public outcry. "We are firm in our thinking that we will have a dispatch (of troops) this year," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a news conference. It is the first time the government has clearly stated that it will send troops to Iraq by the end of the year. The Japanese law on helping Iraq, enacted in July, prohibits the government from sending troops to combat zones. "While taking security into consideration, we believe that there are areas where we can conduct reconstruction and humanitarian activities," he said.

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7. ROK Nationwide Labor Unrest

Agence France-Presse ("ROK WORKERS LAUNCH NATIONWIDE STRIKE," 11/12/03) reported that tens of thousands of workers have launched a one-day nationwide strike as militant labor union leaders pledged to go ahead with a protest rally against government policy despite a ban imposed by police. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) said some 150,000 workers joined the stoppage at 120 workplaces, including the ROK's largest auto company, Hyundai Motor, in the southern city of Ulsan. The labor ministry said the walkout drew less than 50,000 workers in the metal, textile and chemical industries. The eight-hour strike is the second in six days after the umbrella group staged a half-day strike last week. Police were put on alert nationwide to prevent violence. The strike comes amid growing concerns about union militancy which escalated Sunday when thousands of workers faced off against police, using firebombs and steel pipes in the most violent labor protest in years. The riot in the center of Seoul left about 100 people injured and triggered a major crackdown on labor militancy. It was the first time in nearly three years that workers used firebombs in street protests. Labor unrest has intensified since three labor activists committed suicide last month to protest lawsuits filed by companies against strikers to recoup losses caused by industrial action. The umbrella group said employers had sued union leaders at 40 workplaces to seize their assets, leading to the suicide of six people this year. State-run firms have filed lawsuits seeking about 40 billion won (33.8 million dollars) in compensation for losses caused by strikers, it said.

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8. ROK Corruption Probe Agence France-Presse ("PARLIAMENT APPROVES SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR CORRUPTION PROBE," 11/10/03) reported that the ROK's parliament endorsed a bill Monday to appoint special prosecutors to probe corruption allegations surrounding President Roh Moo-Hyun's aides. Of 192 lawmakers who voted, 183 endorsed the bill, proposed by the main opposition Grand National Party. Two voted against it and seven abstained. The allegations which surfaced last month triggered a political crisis in the ROK with Roh calling for a referendum on his rule and saying he would step down if he lost. Roh, who has said he opposes an investigation by independent prosecutors, has 15 days to decide whether to accept or veto the bill. State prosecutors have promised to enlarge an investigation they launched last month into illegal cash donations to political parties during last year's presidential election campaign. But opposition legislators say they cannot trust state prosecutors to carry out a thorough probe.

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9. DPRK on Japan Human Rights Violations

Korean Central News Agency ("DPRK UNION CALLS JAPAN "WORST VIOLATOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS," Pyongyang, 11/12/03) reported that a spokesman for the central committee of the Union of Agricultural Workers of Korea made public a statement on November 11 in connection with the recent disclosure of the list of over 420,000 Korean victims of forcible drafting during the Japanese imperialists' military occupation of Korea by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) measure committee for demanding compensation to comfort women for the Japanese army and victims of forcible drafting. The statement said: The Japanese imperialists bitterly despised, insulted and maltreated the Koreans, blustering "the Koreans must abide by the Japanese law or die". And they did not allow the Koreans to go by the names given by their parents under the pretext of "changing Korean names to Japanese." It is due to the aftermath of the crimes committed by the Japanese imperialists that not only the victims of the forcible drafting but their bereaved families consider it hard to find the names of their own and relatives. Statute of limitations is not applicable to the war crimes and human rights abuses in view of international law. The human rights abuses the Japanese imperialists committed by forcibly drafting and massacring Koreans in the past are war crimes, "crimes against humanitarianism" and human rights abuses, the truth of which should be probed to the end. Japan is the worst violator of human rights as it abducted a great number of young and middle aged Koreans for slave labor, forced Korean women into sexual slavery for the imperial Japanese army and disallowed the Koreans to use their spoken and written languages. It should be judged according to international law. It should reinstate the victims of the forcible drafting and make adequate compensation to them and their bereaved families.

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Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Tokyo, Japan

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Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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