NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, december 17, 2003

I. United States


Policy Forum Online:
DPRK Briefing Book

DPRK Timeline of Events

Special Reports

Week in Review

South Asian Nuclear Dialogue

Nuclear Policy Project Flash

Ethical Governance Of Investment Biweekly Update

Browse Past Reports:
* Preceding Daily Report
* Daily Report Archive
* Search Daily Reports:

Email Services:
* Signup for Email Delivery
* Latest Report Emailed Now
* Send Comments

I. United States

next itemcontentscontacts

1. Multilateral Talks

Agence-France Presse ("ALLIES RESIGNED TO LOST HOPES FOR NKOREA NUCLEAR TALKS THIS YEAR," Seoul, 12/17/03) reported that the ROK joined the PRC and the US in resigning itself to the failure of international diplomacy to bring the DPRK to nuclear crisis talks before the end of the year. Foreign Minister Yoon Young-Kwan Wednesday said publicly for the first time he had effectively given up on hopes for resuming six-way talks this year aimed at ending the DPRK's nuclear weapons drive. "It is difficult in reality to open the second round of talks within this year," Yoon told a regular weekly briefing in the ROK. The remark came after the PRC, which has led weeks of feverish diplomatic efforts to resume talks to end the 14-month crisis by the end of this year -- preferably from December 17 to 19 -- finally backed off. Yoon, who until now has generally been upbeat on prospects for talks this year, did not specify a possible date for the next round. PRC foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Tuesday: "It is now difficult to set specific dates for the second round of six-party talks." Diplomatic sources in the PRC and ROK said that the PRC has instead began pushing for talks sometime next month, hopefully before the Lunar New Year festivities, which begin on January 22.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

2. ROK-DPRK Relations

Yonhap news agency ("S KOREA TO CONTINUE TO PURSUE "PEACE, PROSPERITY" POLICY TOWARD NORTH," Seoul, 12/17/03) reported that Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun predicted Wednesday that there would be no major changes in the Roh Moo-hyun administration's "peace and prosperity policy" next year, saying "The policy has resulted in North Korea changing gradually." Speaking at a unification forum here, Jeong said, "North Korea has been changing towards accepting capitalism through civilian-level exchanges and other continued Inter-Korean exchange programmes." "Therefore, we are focusing on economic cooperation projects with North Korea next year," he said. Jeong said such inter-Korean projects as Mount Kumgang tourism, development of an industrial park in Kaesong and connection of inter-Korean railways helped the two Koreas consolidate mutual confidence in the military sector and ease tensions, because the projects inevitably involved inter-Korean military contacts.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

3. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Program

Korea Herald ("RUSSIA: N.K. CAN MAKE NUKE ARMS," 12/18/03) reported that Russia's energy minister, reversing his own remarks made a few months previously, said Tuesday that North Korea is capable of making nuclear weapons. Aleksandr Rumyantsev, minister of atomic energy, said during a visit to Tokyo that certain technological features indicate the DPRK does have the nuclear material and necessary elements for such activities, the Voice of Russia (VOR) reported. He was also quoted as saying that the North can produce weapons-grade plutonium as well. Rumyantsev added that he could not be sure whether the DPRK already possessed nuclear weapons, according to the VOR.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

4. DPRK - US Relations

KCNA ("KCNA SLAMS U.S. NORTHEAST ASIA STRATEGY," Pyongyang, 12/16/03) reported that the US is clinging to a new military strategy to put Northeast Asia under its domination to meet its interests. It is working hard to relocate its troops in the ROK at an early date, push forward a massive "arms buildup plan" on the Korean peninsula and speed up the establishment of the missile defense system involving the ROK, Taiwan and Japan in real earnest. These fresh military developments are indicative of the US scheme to escalate the military standoff on the Korean peninsula and extend the sphere of operations of the U.S. troops in the ROK to the rest of Northeast Asia. This can not but arouse high vigilance of the people in the region as these are very dangerous developments which may render the overall situation in Northeast Asia unstable and escalate tensions there. The US Northeast Asia military strategy is a key link in the whole chain of its strategy to put the world under its domination. Policy-makers of the U.S. styling itself the world's only superpower after the end of the Cold War designated Middle East and Northeast Asia as major targets in realizing its ambition for world domination. This new strategy of the US is aimed to establish an unchallenged domination over Northeast Asia through a steady escalation of tensions there. This, therefore, will inevitably spark off confrontation and conflict in this region as this would block the settlement of other disputes in the region including the Taiwanese problem, to say nothing of the Korean problem. The US refusal to take a bold decision to drop its anachronistic hostile policy toward the DPRK, the policy which spawned the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the U.S. and its act of hamstringing a peaceful solution to the Taiwanese problem are part of the US strategy of steadily escalating the tensions in the Northeast Asian region. This, therefore, runs diametrically counter to the common interests of the countries in the region. The US Northeast Asia military strategy swimming against the trend of the times is bound to go bankrupt, censured by the people in this region and all other progressive people in the world.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

5. DPRK-Japanese Relations

KCNA ("JAPAN URGED TO RESPOND TO GOVERNMENT-LEVEL TALKS WITH DPRK," Pyongyang, 12/16/03) reported that former war criminal states are seeing off this year, feeling as if a weight had been lifted from their hearts after admitting hideous human rights abuses they committed in violation of international law and after or while making repentance and material compensation or reparations. But only Japan is seeing off another year after refusing to make any sincere apology or express any willingness to compensate for the monstrous crimes it committed against humanity in the 20th century by resorting to all sleights of hand. Rodong Sinmun says this in a commentary today. The news analyst continues: The point is the shamelessness and moral vulgarity of Japan. The crimes committed by Japan against the Korean people were more hideous than those committed by other war criminal states against humanity in the past. The Japanese authorities have left no means untried to evade apology and compensation. The DPRK has already proposed to Japan to hold government-level talks, proceeding from the stand to discuss the issue of compensation to those who fell victim to human right abuses in the past. But Japan has not yet responded to it. Japan should rectify its wrong way of thinking and respond at an early date to the DPRK-proposed government-level talks to discuss the issue of compensating to human rights victims. This will do Japan good, too.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

6. ROK Troops for Iraq

Reuters, ("S.KOREA TO SEND 3,000 TROOPS TO IRAQ IN EARLY '04," Seoul, 12/17/03) reported that the ROK has decided to dispatch up to 3,000 troops to Iraq early next year to help rebuild the war-torn country, officials. Defense Minister Cho Young-kil told a news conference that the troops would be in addition to the 675 medical and engineering personnel already serving in Iraq, raising the ROK's total military deployment to about 3,700. "The dispatched unit will be independently responsible for a designated area to insure the unit's efficiency and safety. We will support the Iraqi soldiers and police so they can take charge of security maintenance," he said. ROK officials flew to the US on Wednesday to decide where to deploy the mix of engineering troops and combat troops assigned to defend them. Preparations for the mission, including language and cultural training, would take four months, Cho said. "The earliest date we expect the troops to go is March," he said. Local media said May was more likely. National Security Adviser Ra Jong-yil said the government would submit the decision to the cabinet on December 23 and shortly afterwards present a bill authorizing the deployment to the National Assembly. "It has a been very difficult and tough decision for President Roh and the Korean government to make considering the divided public opinion inside and outside of Korea," said Roh's foreign policy adviser, Ban Ki-moon. Ban told Reuters in an interview that the ROK had made its decision on the basis of "our very strong alliance relationship with the United States" and a desire to help the world rebuild Iraq.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

7. Japan Troops for Iraq

The Associated Press ("REPORT: JAPAN TROOPS HEAD TO IRAQ IN FEB," Tokyo, 12/17/03) reported that Japan plans to send the first of two large contingents of ground troops to Iraq in late February, a newspaper reported. The Defense Agency submitted the deployment schedule to the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling bloc for approval on Tuesday, the national Mainichi newspaper said. It was the first sign that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's administration is drawing up detailed plans since his Cabinet last week approved a basic blueprint to send 1,000 military personnel focusing on humanitarian assistance, including restoring water service and rebuilding schools in southern Iraq. Japan's pacifist constitution strictly limits military activities. Parliament passed a special law in July to authorize sending non-combat troops to Iraq. The legislation also lets troops carry weapons - but only to defend themselves under fire. Opposition parties have strongly opposed the deployment, saying it violates the constitution. They also say safe areas don't exist in Iraq.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

8. PRC on Cross-Straights Relations

Reuters (Jonathan Ansfield, "CHINA TURNS UP THE HEAT ON TAIWAN PRESIDENT," Beijing, 12/17/03) reported that the PRC turned up the heat on Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, labeling him immoral for gambling with the island's future with moves toward independence and threatening to crush such attempts. The statement, made as Chen campaigns for re-election in a March vote, was among the strongest in weeks against the island the PRC regards as a breakaway province to be brought back into the fold, by force if necessary. "Chen Shui-bian's selfishness in seeking re-election spares no effort and gambles with the immediate interests of Taiwan compatriots," Li Weiyi, spokesman for the PRC cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference. "This is very immoral." "In the face of outrageous Taiwan independence-splittist activities we must make necessary preparations to resolutely crush Taiwan independence-splittist plots," Li said. But analysts said the PRC was much less likely to back up its verbal barrage with a show of force as it did before a presidential election in Taiwan in 1996, when the PRC menaced the island with missile tests and military exercises. Chen, in an interview with the Financial Times released by Taiwan's presidential office, said any missile tests off Taiwan would be tantamount to an attack and could drive the island further toward independence. Chen has pinned his re-election hopes in part on a controversial referendum calling on the PRC to withdraw the hundreds of missiles aimed at the island.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

9. Taiwan on Cross-Straights Relations

Reuters ("TAIWAN'S CHEN WARNS CHINA AGAINST MISSILE TESTS," Taipei, 12/17/03) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian has warned diplomatic and military rival the PRC that any missile tests would be considered an attack which could drive the island further toward independence, Chen's office said. In an interview with the Financial Times, Chen repeated an earlier threat to abandon a promise not to declare independence if the PRC, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province, resorted to force. The PRC continues to deploy more missiles against Taiwan, and continues to threaten Taiwan with the use of force, it would only drive Taiwan further away. It would invite a backlash from the people of Taiwan, and would also cause even more people to see the PRC as a hostile country rather than the motherland." Facing a tough re-election battle, Chen has made a campaign cornerstone of an aggressive claim that the PRC and Taiwan are separate countries, aiming to consolidate support from pro-independence voters.

10. SARS Outbreak in Taiwan

The Associated Press ("SARS CASE CONFIRMED IN TAIWAN," Taiwan, 12/17/03) reported that Taiwanese officials said that a medical researcher had tested positive for SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome -- the island's first case since it was dropped from a global list of infected areas in July. The patient, 44, had been studying SARS at the National Defense University, according to a statement issued by Taiwan's Center for Disease Control. "Right now, he's the only one who's been infected," Health Minister Chen Chien-jen said at a news conference. The researcher attended a conference in Singapore on Dec. 7 and developed a fever on Dec. 10 after returning to Taiwan, CDC officials said. He thought he had the flu, but on Tuesday went to a Taipei hospital, where an X-ray showed he had pneumonia. Results of a subsequent SARS test were positive, the statement said. Singapore reported a similar case in September. On Wednesday, TVBS cable news showed footage of the Taiwanese researcher being transported to Taipei's Hoping Hospital in a special ambulance.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

11. PRC on US Trade Probe

The Associated Press (Elaine Kurtenbach, "CHINA BLASTS U.S. TRADE PROBE, STARTS OWN," Shanghai, 12/17/03) reported that the PRC on criticized a US antidumping probe of its furniture exports and said it was launching its own investigation of imports from the US and elsewhere of a chemical used in water treatment. The moves by the PRC come amid a series of US actions to restrict PRC imports. The Commerce Ministry in a statement on its Web site that the US probe of PRC furniture trade would "definitely exert a negative impact" on trade relations. Antidumping probes are generally aimed at determining if a country is selling a product outside its borders at prices below the cost of making them in hopes of capturing market share. Ministry spokesman Chong Quan said the probe violates US law and World Trade Organization rules. It is the biggest antidumping probe ever conducted by the US into PRC imports and could affect trade worth $1 billion a year. "It is hoped that the United States could face up to the simple fact of China's development of a market economy," Chong said in a statement.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

12. PRC Indecency Crackdown

The Associated Press (Stephanie Hoo, "CHINA SENTENCES TWO TO LIFE FOR SEX PARTY," Beijing, 12/17/03) reported that a PRC court sentenced two people to life in prison for organizing a three-day-long sex party for hundreds of Japanese tourists that caused an uproar in the PRC. Twelve other people were sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, the government announced. The incident at a hotel in Zhuhai city raised particular outrage in the PRC because it coincided with a sensitive anniversary, Sept. 18, the date Chinese mark as the start of Japan's World War II invasion and occupation of their country. According to earlier Chinese reports, as many as 400 Japanese men and 500 Chinese prostitutes had sex at the Zhuhai International Conference Center Hotel over a three-day period that ended Sept. 18. Those sentenced to life were Ye Xiang, assistant to the hotel's general manager, and Ming Zhu, a prostitute, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said they were the main organizers of the event. PRC authorities have issued arrest warrants for three Japanese accused of arranging the sex party and asked Japan to help in detaining them, Xinhua said. The 14 defendants - all of them PRC citizens - were charged with prostitution, soliciting, conspiracy and other offenses, according to PRC news reports. The trial began Friday and ended Saturday amid tight security in the Zhuhai Intermediate People's Court. The public and nonessential employees were barred from the courthouse by officials who cited privacy concerns. The Zhuhai hotel's deputy sales manager, Liu Xuejing, was sentenced to 15 years. Another defendant, prostitute Zhang Junying, was sentenced to 12 years, and the 10 others received between two and 10 years in prison, Xinhua said reported.

next itemprev. itemcontentscontacts

13. PRC Domestic Dissent

Agence-France Presse ("CHINA ARRESTS FIRST RELIGIOUS CYBERDISSIDENT, RIGHTS GROUP SAYS BEIJING," Beijing, 12/17/03) reported that a Paris-based rights group called on the PRC to release a 23-year old religious dissident arrested for using the Internet to support unauthorized Christian activities. Reporters Without Borders called on PRC Premier Wen Jiabao to order the release of Zhang Shengqi, who was arrested on November 26 for publishing Internet articles supporting the PRC's banned Christian church. "Zhang's is the first case of a cyberdissident jailed for expressing support for the banned Christian Church," Robert Medard, head of the media advocacy group said in a statement Wednesday. "He has been accused of divulging state secrets, when in fact he only published articles on the government crackdown on his religious community." Zhang was arrested at his home in northeastern Jilin province. Police searched his house and confiscated his mobile phone and articles written by another jailed religious dissident, Liu Fenggang. In recent months, the PRC has moved to crackdown on unauthorized religious groups, arresting group leaders and razing unlicensed places of worship and temples, rights group and local officials have said.

prev. itemcontentscontacts

14. Russian Nuclear Missiles

The Associated Press ("RUSSIA TO EXTEND NUCLEAR MISSILE LIFETIME," 12/17/03) reported that Russia will keep its most powerful, Soviet-made long-range nuclear missiles on duty for at least a decade, a top general said Wednesday. Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, chief of the country's Strategic Missile Forces, said the heavy R-36 missiles - known in the West as the SS-18 Satan - "will serve Russia for another 10 to 15 years," according to the Interfax-Military News Agency. Solovtsov has said previously that Russia would keep its arsenal of some 150 SS-18s on duty until 2016-2020, even though the missiles were past their designated lifetime and scheduled to be scrapped this decade under earlier plans. The heavy missile, capable of slamming 10 individually guided nuclear warheads at targets more than 6,800 miles away, is the heaviest weapon in Russia's inventory. The SS-18 and another multi-warhead missile, the SS-19, have formed the core of the Russian strategic forces since Soviet times. Russia would have had to scrap both types of missiles under the 1993 START II arms reduction treaty. The treaty never took force, and a new US-Russian arms reduction agreement has given each country a free choice of what weapons to keep while slashing the number of their nuclear warheads by about two-thirds, to between 1,700 and 2,200, by 2012. The new treaty, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Bush in 2002 and ratified this year, would help Russia maintain nuclear parity with the United States relying on Soviet-era missiles, postponing a costly race to build a replacement.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
We invite you to reply to today's report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
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

Global Peace and Security Program Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network DPRK Renewable Energy Project Nuclear Policy Project Non-Nuclear NATO Network Related Nautilus Projects NAPSNet Special Reports NATO Flash Nuclear Policy Update South Asia Nuclear Dialogue Nautilus Institute Publications Policy Forum Online Signup for Nautilus Email Services Nautilus Research Kiosk Send Feedback Global Peace and Security Program Staff Nautilus Institute Home Energy, Security and Environment Globalization and Governance Youth/Pegasus Program Digital Library Search the Nautilus Site