NAPSNet Daily Report
february 13, 2004

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. DPRK on Nuclear Disarmament

The Associated Press ("N KOREA SAYS NUCLEAR POWERS UPPING NUCLEAR ARMS RELIANCE," Geneva, 02/12/04) reported that the DPRK North Korea told the world disarmament forum Thursday countries with nuclear weapons are relying on them more than ever despite the end of the Cold War more than a decade ago. "The reliance of nuclear weapons states on nuclear weapons is increasing rather than decreasing," said Jang Chun Sik, representative of the country that has been under intense pressure from the US to abandon its program to develop nuclear arms. Without naming the US, Jang was clearly referring to US policies in a speech to the 66-nation Conference on Disarmament. "The emergence of a recent doctrine of pre-emptive nuclear attack on sovereign states and unilateral attempts to develop smaller nuclear weapons are making the process of general disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament, more complicated," Jang said. Jackie Wolcott Sanders, the new US ambassador to the conference, made her first remarks to the body after Jang spoke. She did not respond to his speech. Instead she said US President George W. Bush had given a major speech on weapons of mass destruction in Washington Wednesday and asked that a copy of the speech be given to each delegation at the meeting. Bush said international efforts to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction have been neither broad nor effective enough and require tougher action from all nations. "The greatest threat before humanity today is the possibility of secret and sudden attack with chemical or biological or radiological or nuclear weapons," Bush said.

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2. DC Conference on DPRK-US Relations

Chosun Ilbo ("CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON CONCERNED ABOUT US-KOREAN," 02/13/04) reported that at the first day of a symposium organized in Washington D.C. by the Chosun Ilbo, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), participants from Korea and the US discussed models of DPRK risk management and diverse proposals for resolving the DPRK nuclear issue and encouraging economic prosperity there. Participants agreed that at the second round of six-way talks, set to begin in Beijing on February 25, North Korea would have to resolve to change and renounce its nuclear program before there could be increased international cooperation. Neocons, in particular, argued that the DPRK has to make a shocking announcement about giving up developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), much in the way Libya has done. One US State Department said his department is working "16 hour days" to prepare for the six-way talks. The AEI's Nicholas Eberstadt said that the Bush Administration is concentrating its diplomatic efforts on applying international pressure towards the DPRK to encourage it to follow the Libyan model. He noted that with revelations about Pakistan's secret export of nuclear technology, it has become hard for the North to just go on denying it has a highly enriched uranium (HEU) nuclear program. Yonsei University Professor Moon Chung-in countered this, saying that instead of pushing the DPRK, it should be complimented by its neighbors for each small change, to encourage it to truly go in the right direction. "It has to choose it's own roadmap," he said.

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3. PRC-ROK DPRK Diplomacy

The Associated Press ("CHINA POINT MAN ON N KOREA IN SEOUL BEFORE NUCLEAR TALKS, Seoul, 02/13/04) reported that the PRC's point man on the DPRK arrived in the ROK Friday for discussions ahead of crucial six-nation talks later this month on the North's nuclear weapons program. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi is to hold talks with ROK Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck and other officials during his three-day visit. Wang and Lee represented their respective nations in a first round of six-nation talks in August, which ended without much progress. Wang met DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan in Beijing earlier this week.

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4. Australia on DPRK Nuclear Crisis

The Associated Press ("AUSTRALIAN OFFICIAL: KOREAN NUCLEAR CRISIS COULD LAST YRS," Canberra, 02/12/04) reported that the DPRK's return to nuclear talks is encouraging but it is demanding "outrageous" concessions from the West and it could take years before any deal is reached, a senior Australian foreign affairs official said Friday after visiting Pyongyang. The official, part of an Australian diplomatic delegation to the DPRK from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, said he urged the DPRK to end its nuclear development program and return to the nonproliferation treaty on nuclear weapons. He spoke in return for anonymity. Australia, unlike many nations including the US, has diplomatic relations with the DPRK. The official said the DPRK's decision to return to talks was "most encouraging," but he warned that a deal to end the crisis could take "one or two or three years." "The signs are that the DPRK is prepared to talk a bit more with a degree more flexibility than perhaps they have," the official told reporters during a briefing on his meetings. But "we cannot expect rapid progress on these talks... I think they want a deal, but they want it on their own terms which are pretty outrageous," he said. "They want the world to thank them for shutting down their nuclear program by giving cast iron security guarantees and massive energy and economic assistance."

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5. DPRK-US MIA Recovery Operations

Department of Defense ("US-NORTH KOREA STRIKE NEW ARRANGEMENTS ON MIA OPERATIONS CONTACT," 02/12/04) issued a press release that reported that US and DPRK negotiators agreed Wednesday to improve markedly several areas of cooperation in operations to recover the remains of American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War. During talks in Bangkok, Thailand, both sides agreed to resume repatriating remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea across the demilitarized zone at Panmunjom. This practice has not occurred since 1999. US team members will accompany the remains into the ROK. Additionally, supplies and equipment for the 2004 operations will be moved by ground transportation across the DMZ. "I am encouraged by the level of cooperation the North Koreans demonstrated during these talks," said Jerry D. Jennings, deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/missing personnel affairs. "We accomplished much at no additional cost to the US government, and these new procedures will streamline the process of getting our teams in and out of North Korea, and bringing our fallen heroes back home to their families." For the first time, the DPRK side also agreed to present to their senior leaders a proposal to establish a single point of contact to resolve reports of Americans living in the DPRK. In the past, the North Koreans refused to even broach the subject denying that any Americans missing from the Korean War are still alive in the DPRK. "This doesn't resolve the live sighting issue in North Korea, but at least this time they agreed to discuss it and consider our request," said Jennings.

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6. DPRK Response to Japan Economic Sanctions

Xinhua News Agency, "DPRK VOWS TO TAKE SELF-DEFENSE MEASURE AGAINST JAPAN'S SANCTIONS," Pyongyang, 02/13/04) reported that the DPRK said Thursday that it would take a resolute counter-measure against Japan's newly adopted "amendment to the law on foreign exchange." "We would regard any economic sanctions against us as a declaration of war and take a resolute counter-measure for self- defense," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary. The KCNA said Japan was keen to isolate and stifle the DPRK by adopting the policy to impose economic sanctions against the DPRK. "This is a wanton violation of the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration issued in September 2002," said the commentary, adding that "This is hardening the determination of the DPRK army and people toward Japan which has brought all sorts of pain and misfortune to the Korean nation in the past to fully settle accounts with it." The House of Councilors of Japan on Monday passed the " amendment to the law on foreign exchange," after it was approved by the House of Representatives on Jan. 29.

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7. Japan Troops in Iraq

Agence France-Presse ("JAPAN TO KEEP TROOPS IN IRAQ DESPITE SUSPECTED TERRORIST ATTACK," 02/13/04) reported that Japan will keep its troops in Iraq to help the war-torn country rebuild despite a mortar explosion near the Japanese base in the southern Iraqi city of Samawa, officials said. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said the Japanese government would boost security to ensure the safety of Japanese soldiers in Samawa. "We cannot deny that it was a terrorist attack," the top government spokesman told a news conference. "If it's officially confirmed as a terrorist attack, we must regard the case as serious." But Defence Agency secretary-general Shigeru Ishiba told a separate briefing that the troops would stay on to conduct their duties, adding he had no information about who was responsible for the explosion. "We conclude that this will not affect activities of the Self Defence Forces there, for now." The blast occurred early Thursday in a street near the main road of Samawa, the first attack in the city since the main contingent of Japanese troops arrived in Iraq last Sunday. It caused minor damage to neighboring buildings but no casualties were reported. On Sunday, 50 Japanese ground troops arrived in the city, 270 kilometres (168 miles) south of Baghdad, in their first deployment in a combat zone since World War II. A total of 600 ground troops will be deployed in Iraq by the end of March, with logistical support from around 400 air force and naval personnel in the region. The troops will conduct only humanitarian and reconstruction work in Iraq.

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8. ROK Parliament on Iraq Troop Dispatch

Agence France-Presse ("ROK PARLIAMENT APPROVES IRAQ TROOP DISPATCH," 02/13/04) reported that the ROK's National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to approve the dispatch of more than 3,000 troops to Iraq amid a tense confrontation between riot police and activists. A total of 155 lawmakers voted for the bill with 50 against and seven abstaining, after nearly five months of debate. President Roh Moo-Hyun's office welcomed the vote. "We thank the National Assembly for passing the bill from the perspective of national interests," presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-Young said. "We will do our best to make the troop dispatch serve as an occasion to develop a new bilateral relationship with Iraq." Roh agreed last year to send troops to Iraq at the request of the US and sent a motion to parliament in December, but its approval had been delayed twice. Officials here say the troops including about 800 combatants will be deployed in April in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. The contingent will be the third-largest in the war-torn country after the US and Britain. The last time the ROK sent combat forces overseas was nearly 40 years ago to Vietnam. The contingent includes special commandos deployed abroad for the first time since their unit was formed in 1983.

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9. ROK-EU Relations

Asia Pulse ("KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO EU EMPHASIZE INTEGRATED EUROPEAN MARKET," 02/13/04) reported that the ROK's ambassador to the European Union (EU) on Friday stressed the need for a rapid response to the expansion of the EU, which will make it the world's largest single market. "The EU's expansion will create an economic bloc with a population of 460 million, accounting for one fourth of the world's GDP, and its trading volume will reach 2.4 trillion euros, overtaking the US (1.7 trillion euros)," Oh Haeng-kyum, who is concurrently ambassador to Belgium, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency. Oh noted that the entry of 10 East European countries into the EU in May, the strong euro and the EU's economic recovery are offering golden opportunities for ROK exporters. He appealed for efforts to diversify export products bound for Europe. "Lower tariffs could provide more opportunities but their growing interdependence within the EU could be counterproductive for South Korea because stricter regulations could be applied in the fields of the environment, labor and food safety," he said. Oh also emphasized the importance of establishing a partnership with the EU on the basis of the Korea-EU basic cooperation accord and joint political declaration made in 1996. "Europe and Northeast Asia are similar in terms of geopolitics," he said. "The integration of the EU stems from efforts to establish peace by resolving conflict and its cause. Therefore, Northeast Asia should first make efforts to remove conflict and its cause." He proposed establishing a regime for peace and cooperation as a means toward ensuring lasting peace in Northeast Asia after making progress in realizing a high level of economic cooperation.

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10. Inter-Korean Military Talks

Korea Herald (Kim So-young, "SEOUL PROPOSES INTER-KOREAN MILITARY TALKS," 02/13/04) reported that the ROK yesterday made an official proposal to the DPRK to hold high-level military talks on February 23 at the truce village of Panmunjeom. The ROK and DPRK agreed during the 13th ministerial meeting that ended last week in Seoul to hold talks soon involving top military generals. The sides have continued working-level military meetings to encourage economic cooperation across their heavily militarized border but higher-level talks were long needed to ease military tensions on the divided peninsula and to build mutual trust. "We sent a proposal for general-level talks to the North this morning," Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun said at a weekly news briefing. "We also proposed a date but will make public the schedule after fine-tuning with the North first." The government is expected to discuss a range of military issues at the proposed talks, the highest-level since the two Koreas' defense ministers held a meeting in September 2000. The ROK plans to tackle with the DPRK ways to prevent accidental military clashes in the West Sea before the spring fishing season begins. Many DPRK fishing vessels in the past have intruded into ROK waters in May and July in order to catch blue crabs, sparking a series of naval clashes.

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11. Inter-Korean Research Cooperation

Korea Times ("SEOUL PROMOTES S-N RESEARCH COOPERATION," 02/14/04) reported that the ROK Unification Ministry will actively promote cooperation among research institutions throughout the Korean peninsula to help the DPRK transform itself in a stable manner, Deputy Unification Minister Cho Kun-shik said in a lecture on Friday. The DPRK could build a human resources infrastructure needed for market reform with mutual collaboration and joint research projects among DPRK and ROK researchers, Cho said while delivering a lecture in a graduate school affiliated with the Korea Development Institute. "Cooperation in the knowledge area is expected to yield progress in several areas, the vice ministry said. "Inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation in various fields are catalysts for change in the DPRK. The ROK government will attempt to give the DPRK its own means to maintain the changes that will take place via inter-Korean economic cooperation and bilateral exchanges, he added.

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

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
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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

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Clayton, Australia

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