NAPSNet Daily Report
monday, april 5, 2004

I. United States

II. Japan

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I. United States

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1. DPRK Nuclear Proposal

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA WILLING TO GIVE UP ALL NUCLEAR FACILITIES," 04/04/05) reported that the DPRK has told the PRC that it was willing to give up all its nuclear facilities in return for undislosed "corresponding measures", according to ROK reports. Yonhap news agency quoted an unnamed ROK official as saying the DPRK disclosed its position when PRC Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing visited Pyongyang last month. "I learned the North said it had an intention to give up its 'nuclear power industry' as well as its nuclear weapons, if corresponding measures are appropriately provided to them," he was quoted as saying.

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2. DPRK Nuclear Arms Development

Reuters (Sebastian Alison, "GROUP: N.KOREA CAN MAKE 'UNLIMITED' NUCLEAR ARMS," Brussels, 04/05/04) reported that the DPRK can probably make unlimited quantities of nuclear weapons from its own plutonium stocks, the head of a consortium that until recently was building nuclear power stations there said Monday. "I feel very confident that their plutonium program is now in full operation and it's one that can produce almost unlimited quantities of nuclear weapons," Charles Kartman, executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) told the European parliament. Kartman said he believed DPRK scientists probably had the expertise to weapons the plutonium. "There are people who consider themselves to be expert on this question who believe that...they've had enough years now to work on it that they should be able to weapons the plutonium that they have," he said. "The plutonium program is a very real and very large problem." He was less sure about Pyongyang's uranium enrichment program: "Although I have no doubt whatsoever that there is a problem there, its dimensions are beyond my knowledge," he said.

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3. US-Japan Shared Missile Defense

The Washington Times ("US, JAPAN EYE SHARED MISSILE DEFENSE," Tokyo, 04/05/04) reported that the US reportedly wants either full access to Japan's Self-Defense Forces radar data or to be allowed to build its own radar station in Japan. Japan and the US will soon begin talks on information-sharing for missile defense. The Kyodo news service said the access request came in anticipation of the US-sponsored missile defense system scheduled to go into operation in Japan later this year. Japanese officials decided in December to introduce a defense shield using US-made missiles to defend against possible DPRK attacks. The US plans to deploy about 10 sea-based missile interceptors by the end of 2005 on its destroyers, each equipped with the Aegis combat system. The destroyers would patrol the East Asian seas, including waters around Japan.

New York Times (Norimitsu Onishi, "JAPAN SUPPORT OF MISSILE SHIELD COULD TILT ASIA POWER BALANCE," 04/03/04) reported that as the US races to erect a ballistic missile defense system by the end of the year, it is quietly enlisting Japan and other allies in Asia to take part in the network, which could reshape the balance of power in the region. Last week, a few days after the US Navy announced that it would deploy a destroyer in September in the Sea of Japan as a first step in forming a system capable of intercepting missiles, Japan's Parliament approved spending $1 billion this year to start work on a shield that would be in place by 2007. But the network will eventually require the sharing of critical information and coordination among its members, which could split Asian nations into two camps: those inside and those outside the system. Those inside the system say the shield will be a defense against the missile buildup by nations like the PRC and the DPRK; those outside say it will destabilize the region and start an arms race. To build the shield, Japan plans to modify its four Aegis destroyers by adding the interceptor, the Standard Missile-3, and by purchasing 16 new versions of the Patriot missiles. To track incoming missiles, Japan would rely on intelligence from US satellites, but it also plans to construct a land-based radar network and a command and control system. The US and Japan are expected shortly to conduct joint tests of an upgraded version of the missile that would incorporate four components developed together: an infrared seeker, kinetic warhead, rocket motor and nose cone. The first joint test is to take place in late 2005, followed by another in early 2006, said Lt. Cmdr. Alvin Plexico of the Navy, a spokesman for the Defense Department. The production of these components - and the likelihood that they will eventually be sold to other nations joining the network - could force Japan to abandon one of the cherished tenets of its postwar pacifism: a ban on arms exports. Although Japan has long had one of the world's largest military budgets, its arms industry has been barred from exporting since 1967. Shigeru Ishiba, Japan's defense minister, who has publicly floated the idea of rescinding the ban, said Japan would not become a "merchant of death, selling weapons all over the world to make huge profits." But he added that there might be components that could be produced only in Japan. "We don't know how things will turn out yet," he said.

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4. Canada on US Missile Defense

Toronto Star (Peter Calamai, "PHYSICISTS WARN PM OF MISSILE DEFENCE PROBLEMS," Ottawa, 04/05/04) reported that Canada's physicists have warned Prime Minister Paul Martin that the proposed US missile defence system has little scientific chance of working and could endanger Canadian lives and property. Missiles launched from the ground against the US from Korea or Iran could crash and explode on Canadian soil if the American interceptor missiles merely cripple them, the 1,600-member Canadian Association of Physicists said in its letter to the Prime Minister. Martin replied that the government was "struck by the depth and thoroughness" of the Canadian analysis that relied on a 400-page study by the American Physics Society.

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5. Japan-PRC-ROK Trilateral Meetings

Kyodo ("JAPAN, CHINA AGREE ON REGULAR MEETINGS INCLUDING SOUTH KOREA," Beijing, 04/05/04) reported that Japan Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said Sunday she has agreed with PRC Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing to hold regular trilateral dialogue involving the PRC, Japan and the ROK to strengthen cooperation on regional issues. Japan and the PRC "basically agreed to hold (trilateral) dialogue other than their talks being held on the sidelines of (meetings of) ASEAN," Kawaguchi told reporters, referring to her talks on Saturday night over dinner with Li. Japan and the PRC hope to hold the trilateral talks once a year, she said. The foreign ministers of the three countries currently meet once a year on the sidelines of foreign ministerial meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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6. Japan-DPRK Bilateral Relations

Kyodo News ("KOIZUMI DENIES N. KOREA SEES 2-TRACK APPROACH IN DIPLOMACY," Tokyo, 04/05/04) reported that Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday denied that last week's meeting between senior members of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and DPRK officials will adversely affect future negotiations between Japan and North Korea, amid growing doubts about his involvement in the case. "North Korea does not interpret our message erroneously," the premier told reporters, denying the meeting in the PRC between the two LDP members and DPRK officials could encourage the DPRK to perceive Japan as having another negotiation outlet beside the intergovernmental route. The two LDP men in question are former LDP Vice President Taku Yamasaki and House of Representatives member Katsuei Hirasawa, who formerly served as parliamentary secretary at the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications. Yamasaki and Hirasawa said they met with Jong Thae Hwa, the DPRK's top negotiator for normalization talks with Japan, and Song Il Ho, a senior DPRK Foreign Ministry official, in Dalian, on both Thursday and Friday. Koizumi said Monday, "It was not that I or the Foreign Ministry asked" Yamasaki and Hirasawa to meet the DPRK officials. "It therefore does not make it double-track diplomacy." Koizumi also said there is no change in the Japanese government's policy that government-to-government contact should be the only channel for bilateral talks with the DPRK on pending issues, including its abductions of Japanese.

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7. Japan-PRC Relations

Agence France-Presse ("JAPANESE FM ARRIVES IN CHINA FOR MEETINGS OVER TERRITORIAL SPAT, N KOREA," 04/03/04) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi has arrived in Beijing to meet PRC leaders for talks expected to focus on a territorial dispute as well as the DPRK nuclear standoff. Kawaguchi is scheduled to meet with Premier Wen Jiabao before holding discussions with her PRC counterpart Li Zhaoxing, Japanese embassy spokesman Keiji Ide said. "One (topic) is Japan-China bilateral relations and the second topic is international issues," Ide said. Kawaguchi Friday said she would reiterate Japan's protest over PRC activists' recent landing on a disputed island chain and would assert Japan's historical claims to the islands

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8. DPRK on Japan Abduction Issue

Bloomberg ("NORTH KOREA MAY BE WILLING TO SOLVE ABDUCTION ISSUE," 04/05/04) reported that the DPRK told members of Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party that the DPRK is willing to hand over the family members of the five kidnapped Japanese who were sent back to Japan in October 2002, the Asahi newspaper reported. Katsuei Hirasawa, one of two LDP members who met with DPRK officials on Thursday and Friday in Dalian, the PRC, said in an interview that the DPRK would not adhere to its previous demand that the kidnap members return to the DPRK to pick up their family members, according to the Asahi.

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9. Cross-Straits Relations

The Associated Press (Annie Huang, "TAIWAN WANTS CHINA TO DROP HARDLINE POLICY," Taipei, 04/05/04) reported that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian on Monday said the PRC should change its rigid policy and face the reality of a rising "Taiwan identity." Chen also said he believed China could no longer boycott dialogue with his government during his second term because he had been re-elected with the support of a majority of voters. "After this election, the Beijing authorities could no longer regard us as a minority government and be reluctant to deal with us," Chen told American academics at a meeting in his office. Chen was re-elected on March 20 with 50.1 percent of the vote, beating his challenger by a margin of 0.2 percent. The election reflected a rise in "Taiwan identity," Chen said, which has gained momentum partly because Beijing has refused to drop its claim of sovereignty over the self-ruled island and sought instead to isolate Taiwan. "Recent opinion polls have indicated more than 50 percent of people consider themselves Taiwanese and not PRC," Chen said. "If the Beijing authorities could not adjust their Taiwan policy, things would not turn out to favor them more." Chen pledged during the campaign to push for a new Taiwanese identity separate from China's. The two sides split amid civil war in 1949, and Beijing says the island must unify eventually or face war. Chen says he is willing to talk with Beijing but refuses to accept China's precondition for talks - that Taiwan agree with a "one China" policy that considers the island part of China. Chen urged China to drop the "one China" principle so "representatives from the two sides could sit down to talk and seek normalizing relations." Chen also said he would go ahead with a plan for a new constitution during his second term, despite warnings from China. Beijing has said Chen's plan for a new constitution amounts to a move toward a permanent split - which could force it to take military action.

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10. US on PRC Role in Hong Kong Democracy

Agence France-Presse ("US 'SERIOUSLY CONCERNED' OVER CHINA'S MOVE TO INTERPRET RULES IN HONG KONG," 04/03/05) reported that the US has said it is "seriously concerned" over the PRC's decision to interpret sensitive rules on democratic reform in Hong Kong. The US' strong reaction came as the PRC's top legislative committee began a meeting Friday to interpret two key clauses of Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, concerning how the territory's top leader and lawmakers are chosen. "We are seriously concerned that Beijing has decided to issue an interpretation of the Basic Law on this important issue before the Hong Kong people have fully aired the issues," US State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said. The PRC's decision to rule on a timetable for full elections in the territory was met with protests in Hong Kong, including from about 3,000 people who thronged the city's legislative building late Thursday for a candlelit vigil.

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11. DPRK-ROK Family Reunions

Agence France-Presse ("NORTH KOREA PULLS PLUG ON FAMILY REUNIONS OVER JOKE ON KIM JONG-IL," (04/03/04) reported that an inexperienced ROK official's joke about the DPRK's leader Kim Jong-Il sparked a serious disruption to reunions of separated families from the two Koreas, officials said. ROK Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun issued a public apology to the separated families, putting the blame for the episode on insufficient training of officials dealing with North Koreans. "I sincerely apologize over the halting of the reunions which was caused by inappropriate remarks made by our official while exchanging pleasantries with DPRK officials," he said. "We will double our efforts to prevent any recurrence." His comments came after the DPRK called off events set for the remaining half of Friday including plans for separated families to tour and dine together with their long-lost relatives, calling for an official apology.

II. Japan

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1. Japan-US Missile Defense Cooperation

Mainichi Daily News ("JAPAN PLANNING MISSILE DEFENSE COLLABORATION WITH US," 03/25/04) reported that Japan and the US are discussing the possibility of sharing radar information on potential missile attacks as part of a missile defense (MD) program, sources have said. In a system under discussion, information on enemy ballistic missiles picked up by US military intelligence satellites and high-tech Aegis warships will be conveyed in real time to Japan's Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF). At the same time, information caught by Japan's Aegis ship will be shared by the US military in Japan, sources said on condition of anonymity. As part of the information sharing system, the US is sounding out Japan about setting up a state-of-the-art radar in Japan. Observers say that such information sharing could infringe upon the government's interpretation of the Constitution, which they claim bans Japan from being involved in a collective defense agreement with an ally.

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2. Japan-PRC Territorial Dispute

The Japan Times ("JAPAN GRILLS ISLE INTRUDERS; CHINA DEMANDS THEIR RELEASE," 03/26/04) reported that the Japanese Police on March 25 questioned seven Chinese activists who landed on disputed territory in the East China Sea the previous day and plan to hand them over to prosecutors for allegedly violating immigration laws. The seven were arrested on March 24 afternoon after landing on Uotsuri Island, the main island of the disputed Senkakus, earlier in the day. Investigators could have turned the activists over to immigration authorities before sending them to prosecutors, but police sources said this option was rejected due to the serious nature of the incident. According to police sources, the seven have denied the allegations leveled against them, claiming the island is Chinese territory and thus they did not enter Japan. None of the seven was carrying passports, and only two had identification papers. The seven arrested Chinese are the first group of activists to land on the main island since October 1996, though this is the fourth time Chinese activists have set out for the islands over the past nine months. This is the first time Japanese police have arrested Chinese nationals for landing on the disputed islands, which are claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan. The isles are known as Diaoyu in China and as Tiaoyutai in Taiwan. In Beijing, the PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan publicly denounced Japan's actions during a news briefing, demanding that Japan "immediately" and "unconditionally" release the seven. "We think this is an illegal action that breaks international law, and moreover it is a serious provocation against China's sovereignty and territory and Chinese citizens' human rights," Kong said. Chinese ambassador to Japan Wu Dawei visited the Foreign Ministry and urged Vice Foreign Minister Yukio Takeuchi to swiftly resolve the issue by releasing the activists as soon as possible. In Beijing, Chikahito Harada, charge d'affaires of the Japanese Embassy, was summoned to the Chinese Foreign Ministry for the second consecutive day and was rebuked by Dai Bingguo, the most senior of the six vice ministers. The Japanese Government officials said they will review security arrangements for the disputed islands. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said a review is necessary to prevent further illegal entries. "We need to inspect these developments and squarely address any points we need to reflect on," he told reporters at his office. In Washington, Adam Ereli, State Department deputy spokesman, told reporters Wednesday: "The US does not take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku-Diaoyu Islands. This has been our long-standing view."

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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

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