NAPSNet Daily Report
tuesday, november 18, 2003

I. United States

II. Republic of Korea IV. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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I. United States

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1. Rumsfeld on 'Evil' DPRK, Regime Change, and

Agence France-Presse ("RUMSFELD BRANDS NKOREA 'EVIL' FOR STARVING ITS PEOPLE," 11/18/03) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has branded the DPRK "evil" for spending money on weapons while starving its people. He said US troops based in the ROK lived on the border between freedom and slavery as he addressed hundreds of US airmen and women on the final day of a three day visit to the country. He said that 50 years after the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, when US-led UN forces fought PRC-backed North Koreans, the divide between the communist DPRK and capitalist ROK was now "so great the people in the North, repressed people to be sure, watch their children waste away, eat (tree) bark, as that evil regime spends huge sums on weapons." The remark, reminiscent of US President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" speech last year, is sure to upset the DPRK which is currently engaged in delicate negotiations for a resumption of multilateral nuclear crisis talks. "One nation below the Demilitarized Zone emerged into the light (after the Korean War) and went on to develop institutions and freedom and infrastructure needed for the information age. The other nation has dwelt in poverty and darkness for five decades," Rumsfeld declared. He said one of the reasons for South Korea's success was that "the US made a commitment to security on this peninsula and they kept it for 50 years."

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA COULD SEE DRAMATIC CHANGE DESPITE YEARS OF REPRESSION: RUMSFELD," Elemndorf Air Force Base, 11/18/03) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested at the end of a trip to east Asia that a dramatic change of regime could abruptly sweep the DPRK despite decades of fear and repression. Rumsfeld acknowledged it is more difficult than ever to know what is happening inside the regime of the DPRK's Kim Jong-Il. Intensive DPRK use of underground facilities and a switch to fiber optic communications to foil eavesdropping have further complicated efforts to understand the DPRK, he said. "We know repression works. We know you can put so much fear in people you can maintain your regime for decades with fear, and that it is possible to subjugate people semi-permanently," he said. "We also know nothing is forever in life, and that at a certain point things can happen. We've seen dramatic shifts in countries where they've gone from here to there," he said.

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2. Rumsfeld on ROK Defense and Nuclear Umbrella

The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, "NUKES OPTION BY US IN KOREA," Seoul, 11/18/03) carried an analytic piece that reported that the US is committed to defending the ROK from an attack by the DPRK and would use nuclear forces if needed, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told the government here yesterday. Rumsfeld, who finishes his first official visit to Asia today, said the US commitment to the ROK includes "the continued provision of a nuclear umbrella" for the ROK, according to a statement issued after joint security talks. "We understand that weakness can be provocative, that weakness can invite people into doing things that they otherwise might not even consider," Rumsfeld told a joint news conference with ROK Defense Minister Cho Young-kil. At the annual defense talks, the two sides agreed that the DPRK poses a "global threat," the joint statement said. Rumsfeld and Cho share the "grave concern that North Korea's self-acknowledged nuclear-weapons program threatens regional and global security and violates North Korea's commitment to a nuclear-free peninsula."

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3. US-Japan on DPRK Talks

Agence France-Presse ("US ENVOY SAYS JAPAN VISIT GOOD BASIS FOR NKOREAN TALKS WITH CHINA, SKOREA," 11/18/03) reported that the top US official on the DPRK has told Japan's foreign minister his talks here had provided a good basis for discussions with the PRC and the ROK on defusing the DPRK nuclear crisis, an official said. James Kelly, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, made the remark during a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi hours before leaving for the PRC. Kelly was due to arrive in Beijing later Tuesday before visiting Seoul. Kawaguchi told the US envoy Japan wanted to cooperate closely with Washington in order to make "effective progress in solving problems at the six-way talks," according to the official. Their meeting followed Kelly's talks with Japanese government officials Monday, including Mitoji Yabunaka, head of the ministry's Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda. As he left the meeting with the foreign minister, Kelly was asked by reporters if a date had been set for a resumption of six-nation talks. "I don't know, I still don't know," Kelly said. On Monday, the ROK's top presidential security aide said the second round of six-nation talks on the DPRK's nuclear ambitions would probably take place December 17-18.

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4. KEDO Suspension Plan Announcement

Agence France-Presse ("NKOREA INFORMED OF ENERGY PROJECT SUSPENSION: KEDO CHIEF," 11/18/03) reported that the head of a US-led consortium in charge of building nuclear power plants in the DPRK has said he has told DPRK officials about the plan to suspend the energy project. "My colleague and I went to Pyongyang to explain ... a possible suspension of the LWR (light water reactor) project," Charles Kartman said at an airport west of Seoul. Kartman, executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), arrived here to brief ROK officials on his three-day trip to the DPRK. US and ROK officials said the consortium made up of the US, Japan, the ROK and the European Union would make an announcement Friday on a one-year suspension of the five billion dollar project. Kartman said he had "useful" talks with DPRK officials including North Korea's atomic energy bureau chief, Choi Chul-Su. "I think those meetings were useful. Of course only time will tell," he said, refusing to elaborate on his meeting with Choi.

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5. DPRK-Myanman Military Relations

Wall Street Journal (Bertil Lintner, Shawn Crispin, "FOR US, NEW NORTH KOREA PROBLEM," Bangkok, 11/18/03) reported that growing military ties between North Korea and Myanmar are stirring concern among US and Asian security officials. Diplomats based in Bangkok and Yangon, Myanmar's capital, say they have detected fresh indications in recent months that Pyongyang is supplying or planning to supply Myanmar with weapons, possibly in exchange for clandestine shipments of heroin. Some attribute the activity to Yangon's growing concern that the US could pose a military threat to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The developments come as both countries are under mounting political pressure from the US -- North Korea to halt its nuclear brinkmanship and Myanmar to open a real dialogue with its political opposition. A budding military alliance between the two authoritarian states would likely increase tensions in Asia and beyond, especially with North Korea strongly suspected to have nuclear-weapons technology that it is ready to export, defense analysts say. "Regimes like North Korea's ... obviously look upon the sale of [weapons of mass destruction] as just a neat way to gain hard currency," says a US administration official. "And almost automatically they have a fairly limited market -- terrorist groups, rogue states and pariah states." Among other things, Myanmar has begun negotiating the purchase of a number of surface-to-surface missiles from the DPRK, US and Asian officials believe. About 20 DPRK technicians are working at the Monkey Point naval base near Yangon, possibly to prepare to install the missiles on Myanmar's warships, say Yangon-based diplomats. It's not clear how poverty-stricken Myanmar is paying for any military hardware or assistance it is receiving from the DPRK. But some Western security officials suspect Yangon is supplying high-grade heroin to the DPRK. Officials note that at least two DPRK ships have been implicated in smuggling Myanmar-grown heroin into Taiwan and Australia since 2002.

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6. US Army DMZ War Preparedness

Agence France-Presse ("READY TO 'FIGHT TONIGHT,' US TROOPS TELL RUMSFELD," 11/18/03) reported that US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has visited US troops on the frontline with the DPRK, after confirming plans to withdraw them from the potential military flashpoint. "Our motto is 'fight tonight.' We take that seriously," said Major Tamara Parker, spokeswoman for the 2nd US Infantry Division. On Monday, following annual security talks with the ROK, Rumsfeld and ROK Defense Minister Cho Young-Kil reaffirmed a plan to withdraw the division from camps near the frontlines as tensions on the Korean peninsula remain high owing to the DPRK's nuclear weapons drive. In a joint statement the two defense chiefs acknowledged that the DPRK's 1.1 million strong army still posed a "global" threat to peace. Rumsfeld insisted any pullback would not weaken the US stance against the DPRK. "We understand weakness can be provocative, that weakness can invite people to do things that they otherwise would not be inclined to consider," Rumsfeld said. "Needless to say, neither of our governments would do anything that would in any way weaken the deterrence and the capability to defend."

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7. US-ROK Defense Chiefs on DPRK Nuclear Program

Agence France-Presse ("US, SKOREAN DEFENSE CHIEFS TELL PYONGYANG TO SCRAP NUKES," 11/17/03) reported that the defense chiefs of the US and ROK have urged the DPRK to dismantle its nuclear weapons drive in a verifiable and irreversible manner. They warned that any DPRK use of weapons of mass destruction would have the "gravest consequences." The warning was included in a joint communique from US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and ROK Defense Minister Cho Young-Kil following annual security talks here. "The secretary and the minister called on North Korea to completely, verifiably and irreversibly dismantle its nuclear weapons programs and to cease the testing, development and export of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and related technologies," the communique said. The two emphasized that DPRK's continued development of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, along with the danger of exporting those weapons and technologies, were "causes of significant concern for the alliance and the international community." The two agreed to maintain a strong combined defensive capability to deter DPRK threats, and Rumsfeld reaffirmed the US commitment to the continued provision of a nuclear umbrella for the ROK. The two also agreed it was important to use "dialogue and pressure" to persuade the DPRK to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons development.

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8. DPRK $40 Billion Japan War Compensation Demand

Dow Jones ("N KOREA WANTS $40 BILLION WAR COMPENSATION FROM JAPAN," New York, 11/18/03) reported that the DPRK wants Japan to pay $40 billion in war compensation, a former Japanese lawmaker said Tuesday night after a meeting with a PRC official in Beijing, the Kyodo News Service reported. Shinya Totsuka, a former member of Japan's House of Representatives, said he met Monday with Wang Shuxia, deputy director of the Second Asian Affairs Bureau of the International Liaison Department of the PRC Communist Party's Central Committee. Totsuka, a former lower house member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said Wang mentioned the sum after he cited an estimate by a senior ROK lawmaker that the DPRK may demand around $5 billion as war compensation from Japan, Kyodo said. Wang said the PRC believes the estimate is too low and came up with the $40 billion figure desired by Pyongyang, Totsuka told reporters. Experts believe the PRC got the figure desired by the DPRK through its contact with Pyongyang through the Asian affairs bureau, Kyodo reported.

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9. DPRK on Japanese Terrorism

Kyodo News ("N. KOREA TELLS JAPAN AT U.N. MEETING TO STOP 'TERRORIST' ACTS," New York, 11/18/03) reported that the DPRK's deputy ambassador to the United Nations asked Japan on Monday to stop what he termed 'terrorist' acts, referring to harassment of pro-Pyongyang Korean residents in Japan. Deputy Ambassador Kim Chang Guk told a human rights committee meeting at the U.N. General Assembly that Japan must immediately stop 'terrorist' behaviors and referred to the harassment of students of pro-Pyongyang schools and recent incidents in which gunshots were fired at facilities of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon). Another DPRK diplomat at the meeting criticized what he said was Japan's claim there would be 'war' if the issue of the DPRK's abduction of Japanese in the past was not settled, and he said Japan is trying to bring relations to a flash point. In response, Japanese Ambassador to the U.N. Toshiro Ozawa said he could not understand why the DPRK had misunderstood that the matter would result in war.

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10. DPRK-ROK Civilian Exchanges

Yonhap ("NORTH KOREA TO "CONTINUE" EXPANDING INTER-KOREAN EXCHANGES," Seoul, 11/18/03) reported that the DPRK's efforts to expand inter-Korean exchanges in the civilian sector will continue next year, a pro-DPRK newspaper quoted a DPRK official as saying on Tuesday. The Japan-based Choson Sinbo reported that Kim Song-il, standing committee member of DPRK Minhwayop, or the Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation of Korean Nationals, said the DPRK will exert great efforts to realize "a better harvest" of exchanges in the private sector next year. "Some 5,000 people from South Korea visited North Korea in the January-October period this year," Kim was quoted as saying. "This is double the number of South Koreans that visited last year."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. If Unification Realized, USFK Will Leave Unified Korea

Chosun Ilbo (Ju Yong-jung, "U.S. ARMY MIGHT LEAVE UNIFIED KOREA: RUMSFELD", 11/18/03) reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that if the two Koreas are unified, the U.S. forces based in ROK would be unlikely to stay on the Korean peninsula. Rumsfeld's remarks were the first time a high-ranking official of the U.S. administration hinted of a U.S. troop withdrawal from ROK after the unification. Responding to a question on the role of the U.S. forces in ROK during a meeting with U.S. solders at Osan Airbase in Tuesday afternoon, the secretary said that after the unification of the two Koreas, the forces would not be required to stay any longer. He also said that he is quite optimistic on the prospects for Korean unification, adding that he would rather not pinpoint when, but that unification would certainly come in the future. The visiting secretary also said that he wished unification comes during his lifetime. It is a tragedy to leave the DPRK people in the dark, he said. ROK & DPRK are divided into freedom and slavery, prosperity and poverty, democracy and communism, Rumsfeld said. He added that DPRK is an evil regime. Explaining the relocation plan for U.S. forces in ROK, the defense secretary said that the core of the proposed plan is to realign the U.S. forces around two hubs, with one in Osan. U.S. is talking with ROK government on the relocation plan, the secretary said.

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2. Mr. Hwang-Top DPRK Defector Resigns as NIS Institute Head

Chosun Ilbo (Kang Chol-hwan, "TOP DEFECTOR RESIGNS AS INSTITUTE HEAD", 11/18/03) reported that Hwang Jang-yop, the former secretary of DPRK Worker's Party, resigned Tuesday from the position of chairman of a unification institute under the National Intelligence Service. A person close to Hwang said the NIS pressured Hwang to resign. Hwang said that he handed in his resignation after being notified on Monday by the NIS saying that he should resign from the post, because it had been six years since he had taken the job. Hwang was the chairman of the institute for three consecutive terms starting November 21 1997 after he had entered ROK in April that year. An official at the NIS said that the agency had not pressed Hwang to resign. Hwang had told the director of the institute that he would resign when being asked about his future, ahead of an annual meeting of the institute's board of directors, the official said. Hwang refused to express a more detailed opinion about the resignation, however, afraid of giving the impression that he is dependent on the NIS. But he hinted of pressure from the agency, saying that he felt somewhat bitter. Hwang's status has also changed, from being a "specially supervised" person, protected by the NIS, to a "generally supervised" one, protected by the police. With the resignation, the official relationship between Hwang and the NIS has expired. Hwang said he would concentrate on criticizing DPRK ideology of Juche and writing about it at his own institute on democracy and political philosophy, which was registered with the Unification Ministry as a legitimate organization on September 3.

3. Russian Foreign Minister Vows To Accept Any Proposal to Solve the Nuclear

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Chosun Ilbo (Arirang TV, "RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VOWS TO ACCEPT ANY FORM OF PROPOSAL TO SOLVE NUCLEAR ISSUE", 11/18/03) reported that Russia will accept any kind of proposal that will help settle DPRK's nuclear standoff, denuclearize the Korean peninsula as well as provide Pyeongyang with a legitimate security guarantee. So said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Monday (local time) after holding negotiations with ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan in Moscow. The Russian Foreign Minister added no dates have been set for the second round of six-party talks but expressed hopes to resume the nuclear dialogue as soon as possible. Minister Yoon arrived in Russia on Sunday the first leg of his European tour aimed at boosting bilateral ties and drumming up support for a peaceful resolution to DPRK's nuclear issue.

III. Japan

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1. SDF Dispatch to Iraq

Asahi Shinbun ("KOIZUMI SIDES WITH CAUTION, NOT FOREIGN MINISTRY, ON SDF," 11/17/03) reported that Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi ignored the advice of Foreign Ministry officials and refused to mention the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces to Iraq in talks with U.S. Secreary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld last week. In fact, Koizumi, known for his strong support of the Bush administration, even avoided saying the official name of the Japanese forces. He merely said, "Japan will do the utmost within the scope of its capabilities." Senior Foreign Ministry officials who consider the Japan-U.S. security alliance as the top priority in diplomacy had wanted more. They told the prime minister and his aides that Koizumi should tell Rumsfeld that Japan has not changed its plan and will send the SDF troops "as soon as possible" after further investigating the situation in Iraq, government sources said. Instead, Koizumi told Rumsfeld on Friday that the security situation in Iraq "continues to be difficult, leaving no room for optimism." "We talked to the prime minister's side many times about the focus of his remarks (with Rumsfeld based on the ministry's plans)," a senior ministry official said. "But it turns out the prime minister didn't even mention the SDF." Officials said Koizumi dominated the 50-minute conversation with Rumsfeld, and that one-third of the discussion was spent on the security situation in Iraq and Japan's plans to help rebuild that country. The Japanese leader gave Rumsfeld no time to touch on the SDF, according to officials close to the prime minister. Koizumi entered the talks unable to promise anything. He was caught between the Foreign Ministry's stand to press ahead with the SDF dispatch and the worsening situation in Iraq following last week's bombing of an Italian military police base in Nasiriya, about 100 kilometers from Samawah, the expected destination for the SDF. But Shigeru Ishiba, the hawkish director-general of the Defense Agency, mentioned the ministry's position during his talks with Rumsfeld on Saturday. Still, Ishiba did not provide any specifics. The Defense Agency chief, reiterating what he said to Rumsfeld, told reporters that Japan will "fulfill its responsibility at an early stage, utilizing the abilities of the SDF, while at the same time keeping a close watch on the local situation (in Iraq)." As for the timing of the dispatch, Ishiba merely said, "We will prudently and appropriately make a judgment after assessing the local and other situations." Neither Ishiba nor Rumsfeld mentioned the schedule of the SDF dispatch. The U.S. defense secretary told Ishiba that Japan, as a sovereign nation, should decide on its own what it deems an appropriate contribution, sources said. Ishiba did try to show Rumsfeld that Japan is taking steps to prepare for the SDF dispatch by explaining the mission of a government fact-finding team that left for Iraq on Saturday. The team of about 10, including Defense Agency officials and members of the ground and air arms of the SDF, will survey the security situations in southern Iraq and neighboring nations.

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2. 6-Way Talks

Kyodo ("RUSSIA, S.KOREA AGREE TO SUPPORT EFFORTS BY U.S., N.KOREA," Moscow, 11/17/03) reported that RF and ROK agreed Monday to support recent moves by the US and DPRK to seek a breakthrough in the stalled six-party talks on DPRK's nuclear weapons problem. The US in late October expressed its readiness to provide a written security assurance to DPRK provided Pyongyang dismantle its nuclear weapons program, while DPRK said recently it is ready to consider the guarantee proposal. RF and ROK confirmed their common stance at a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and visiting ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Yoon Young Kwan in Moscow. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Ivanov said the six countries have yet to set the timetable for the next round of multilateral talks on the North's nuclear problem but said they should resume the talks at an early date. The six countries -- PRC, DPRK and ROK, Japan, RF and the US -- held their first round of talks on the matter in Beijing in August. Ivanov also said guaranteeing DPRK's security and pledging the principle of noninterference in internal affairs should be taken into account as the six countries try to settle the North's nuclear weapons issue.

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3. Afghan Reconstruction

Kyodo ("U.N. SUSPENDS OPERATIONS IN PARTS OF AFGHANISTAN," New York, 11/17/03) reported that the United Nations has suspended operations in southern and eastern Afghanistan after a French U.N. humanitarian worker was killed there and an increase in attacks on U.N. targets, a U.N. spokeswoman said Monday. As of Monday, U.N. staff members in Ghazni, southeastern Afghanistan, have been relocated back to their nearest bases, with the international staff members relocated to Kabul, said U.N. associate spokeswoman Marie Okabe. The security situation is currently being assessed, and interim precautionary measures have been put in place to protect all staff members, she added. The move comes after the killing of Bettina Goislard, an international staff member, and the wounding of a national staff member of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ghazni on Sunday, she said. The announcement follows the U.N. temporary pullout from Iraq, also due to the deteriorating security situation. The UNHCR, meanwhile, said in a statement Monday that it has temporarily suspended voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. All the repatriation centers in the Pakistani border cities of Quetta and Peshawar have been closed. Goislard, 29, was killed and her Afghan driver injured when two motorcyclists opened fire on her UNHCR vehicle in a market Sunday, police said, adding the two suspects were arrested as they tried to escape from the scene of the crime. No one has claimed responsibility for the shooting, which is being considered a terror attack targeting U.N. employees. Resurgent Taliban fighters and al-Qaida guerrillas in southern and eastern Afghanistan have been targeting U.N. buildings and foreign aid workers in addition to U.S. troops. The UNHCR started a program earlier this year for the voluntary return of an estimated 1.2 million Afghan refugees from Pakistan.

IV. CanKor E-Clipping Service

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1. Issue #142

Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reports that the next round of 6-way talks are to take place December 10 through 13, although no official confirmation for these dates has been given by any of the countries directly involved. With increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and ongoing negotiations regarding the reconfiguration of US troops in the ROK, much discussion is taking place on the subject of the DPRK's military capacity. An article in Jane's International Security News itemizes the DPRK‚Ä(tm)s formidable artillery capabilities deployed along the demilitarized zone, and assesses the impact an outbreak of war would have on the population of Seoul. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) releases to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence a new assessment of the DPRK's nuclear capability, concluding that the DPRK has mastered the technology of turning nuclear fuel into functioning weapons without having to prove it by conducting nuclear tests.

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