NAPSNet Daily Report
wednesday, april 21, 2004

I. United States


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I. United States

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1. PRC on DPRK 'Unofficial' Visit

New York Times ("CHINA ACKNOWLEDGES KIM JONG IL'S VISIT," Beijing, 04/21/04) reported that the PRC government on Wednesday finally acknowledged the visit of Kim Jong Il and announced that the DPRK leader would continue with the six-nation talks organized by the PRC to defuse the DPRK nuclear standoff with the US. Until Wednesday, the PRC had awkwardly refused to confirm that the reclusive DPRK dictator was even in Beijing, despite various reports and much tangible evidence of Kim's presence. But as Kim left Beijing by train on Wednesday, the official PRC media rushed out reports about the "unofficial visit." The official PRC accounts offered little evidence of any major breakthroughs, however. Reports in the ROK media said that PRC officials had urged Kim to be more flexible in negotiating with the US. The reports also said Kim was willing to resolve the nuclear dispute during the next round of six-nation talks, scheduled for no later than June. Since his arrival Monday morning, Kim has met with President Hu Jintao of China at the Great Hall of the People and has been feted, if secretly, by a retinue of high-level officials. He also met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and former President Jiang Zemin, now the head of the PRC's military. Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University, blamed the DPRK for the secrecy of Kim's trip and said the PRC had probably agreed only because of the special relationship between the two countries. He said the secrecy only undermined the PRC's efforts to be regarded as a modern nation. "I don't think China likes this kind of diplomacy," Yan said. "This must be at the request of North Korea. They haven't gotten used to public diplomacy."

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2. ROK on DPRK-PRC Talks

The Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA WELCOMES KIM JONG IL'S CHINA TRIP ON NUCLEAR ISSUE," Seoul, 04/21/04) reported that the ROK said Wednesday it hoped DPRK leader Kim Jong Il's trip to the PRC would contribute to a peaceful resolution of the crisis over his country's nuclear weapons programs. In its first reaction to Kim's trip, the ROK Foreign Ministry issued a one-sentence statement saying it hoped that talks between Kim and PRC leaders also would lead to increased exchanges between the ROK and the DPRK. "The government hopes that (Kim's trip) will help bring about a peaceful resolution to the DPRK nuclear problem, as well as promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and dialogue and co-operation between the two Koreas," it said.

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3. DPRK on DPRK-PRC Visit

Yonhap ("N KOREAN MEDIA SILENT ON KIM JONG-IL'S CHINA VISIT," Seoul, 04/21/04) reported that the DPRK's state-run media is making no mention of its leader Kim Jong-il's visit to the PRC and is instead repeating broadcasts of news on his inspection tours of military units. The media, monitored here, has rebroadcast three or four times a day Kim's tours of the military units made just before he left for the PRC aboard a special train on Sunday. No DPRK reports have been made on Kim's trip to China, the first since 2001, when he visited Beijing and Shanghai.

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4. Japan on Iraq Situation

Agence France-Presse ("SPAIN'S WITHDRAWAL DOES NOT REFLECT TREND IN IRAQ, TOKYO SAYS," 04/21/04) reported that troop withdrawals from Iraq by Spain, Honduras and the Dominican Republic do not reflect a wider trend likely to hamper rebuilding efforts, Japan says, reiterating its troops would stay. "Some nations have announced their reviews of their military deployments, but other nations have clearly stated their continued presence in Iraq," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said at a regular press conference. "I think it's not right to judge the overall trend (in Iraq) just by looking at moves by some countries," he said.

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5. US Missile Defense

The Associated Press (Jeffery McMurray, "MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM ON SCHEDULE," 04/21/04) reported that the US is on track to activate a limited ballistic missile defense system by the end of the year, giving the country the capability to take on such threats, the program's director said Wednesday. Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish, director of the Missile Defense Agency, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that he expects to meet President Bush's goal of having 20 interceptors in place by the end of 2005, including a few that would be operational this year. "It's still a major challenge for us over the next six months to do this, but right now what I see is we will have up to eight by this calendar year and 12 the following year available for alert capabilities," Kadish said. He said the system would provide a "capability to defeat near-term threats of greatest concern." The initial system of interceptors would be placed in Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., reflecting the perceived threat of DPRK intercontinental ballistic missiles. Kadish acknowledged the system will not guarantee a total defense against enemy missiles. "If 100 percent sure is the standard, we're not going to meet it," he said. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a critic of the $10 billion-a-year program, asked whether Kadish could guarantee 50 percent success rate. Kadish declined to answer publicly but said he would brief her in private.

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6. US on Cross-Straits Relations

Agence France-Presse ("LAWMAKERS AFFIRM COMMITMENT TO "ONE CHINA" POLICY ON 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF US-TAIWAN RELATIONS," 04/22/04) reported that a top official with the US State Department cautioned Taiwan against moves toward independence from the PRC. Testifying at a hearing marking the 25th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, the blueprint governing ties between Taiwan, the PRC, and the US, US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly said the PRC's efforts to keep the PRC in check could become undone if Taiwan tries to break away. "We have very real concerns that our efforts at deterring PRC coercion might fail if Beijing ever becomes convinced Taiwan is embarked on a course toward independence and permanent separation from China," Kelly told members of the House of Representatives Committee on International Relations. "Taiwan must be stopped in these efforts," Kelly said, amid continuing worry over moves by President Chen Shui-bian toward greater independence during campaigning ahead of Taiwan elections last month. "The current situation is a delicate balance which is in the interest of all to maintain," said Representative Henry Hyde, Republican chairman of the committee.

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7. Hong Kong Democratization

Agence France-Presse ("HONG KONG DEMOCRATS SLAM CHINA FOR REFORM TALKS 'SHUT-OUT,'" 04/21/04) reported that Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators are claiming senior PRC officials have ignored their requests to attend a forum on the city's electoral reforms. One of the legislators, Frederick Fung, said he was "disappointed" not to be invited to the meeting between Qiao Xiaoyang, deputy secretary general of the PRC's parliament, mainland officials and local delegates. The 22 democrats from the former British colony said they had asked for invitations to the two-day meeting, which opened Wednesday just over the border in Shenzhen, but received no response. Qiao said he had received a letter from the Hong Kong politicians but it was too late to fit them into his already full diary. "I have only received (their requests) when I arrived yesterday afternoon and it's now too rushed to have them at the forum," Qiao told Cable TV in Shenzhen. "We have opened the door for public opinions. Representatives from different sectors are coming and I'm sure they would be able to reflect (the democrats') views," said Qiao. However, Fung said: "We are very disappointed for not being invited. It's not too rushed to have us in tomorrow's meeting. Only last week, (Qiao) said we need communications. "I don't think they are very serious about it. I feel that the relationship between Hong Kong and China has gone backward."

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8. US on PRC Cheney Speech Censorship

Agence France-Presse ("US DISAPPOINTED OVER CENSORSHIP OF CHENEY'S SPEECH IN CHINA," 04/21/04) reported that the US State Department has expressed disappointment at the PRC's censorship of US Vice President Dick Cheney's speech to university students during a visit last week. Cheney had reportedly wanted his address to students at Fudan University in Shanghai on Thursday be broadcast live and uncensored. "The vice president's speech was broadcast live on television as previously agreed," a spokesman for the State Department said. "However, we are disappointed that the full text of his remarks at Fudan University were not published as delivered in China's state-controlled media," he added.

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9. FBI on Terrorism in Asia

Agence France-Presse ("FBI CHIEF WARNS OF TERRORIST ATTACKS IN ASIA, CHINA," 04/21/04) reported that visiting US Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller has said Asia must be vigilant against terrorist attacks, and warned the PRC that Islamic fundamentalists in the PRC are also a threat. "Just because you have not seen substantial terrorist attacks in China does not mean there could not be in the future or in other countries in Asia," Mueller told journalists in Beijing. Terrorists were "individuals who may subscribe to a greater or lesser degree to extremist Islamic fundamentalism," he said. "There are certainly individuals in China who could be described as having that same mindset as well as a desire to utilize terrorist acts to further their agenda whether you call it Al-Qaeda or a group losely affiliated with Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda's leadership," he said. During his three-day visit, Mueller sought to expand cooperation with the PRC's Ministry of Public Security and its Ministry of State Security to build a global anti-terrorism network.

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10. US on Taiwan Relations Act

Agence France-Presse ("US LAWMAKERS PRESS TO RECEIVE TAIWAN OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON," 04/22/04) reported that several US lawmakers called for an end to the decades-old US policy barring official meetings with Taiwan's leaders in Washington. Among those calling for the change was US Representative Tom Lantos, who expressed consternation at having had to travel to New York recently to meet with Taiwan's President Chen Shiu-Bian, rather than being allowed to receive the Taiwanese leader in the US capital. "It was a great pleasure to see the next generation of Taiwan's leadership, President Chen, when he was in New York last fall," Lantos said at a hearing observing the 25th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). And while he lauded the TRA both for its longevity and its success in stabilizing relations between Washington, Beijing and Taiwan, he said he felt it was unlikely that the PRC would have an extremely negative reaction to a change in the visitation policy. "I will be prepared to make a very generous bet with you ... nothing will happen," said Lantos, who is the top Democrat on the panel.

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11. Kelly on Taiwan Relations Act

State Department ("KELLY SAYS TAIWAN RELATIONS ACT KEY TO WEST PACIFIC STABILITY," 04/21/04) reported that the State Department official James Kelly marked this month's 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act and testified on the state of relations among the US, China, and Taiwan in an April 21 hearing of the House International Relations Committee. "[O]ur policy and the TRA have made vital contributions to easing tensions between Taiwan and the PRC and creating the environment in which cross-Strait people-to-people exchanges and cross-Strait trade are flourishing and creating, we hope, the necessary conditions for peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences," he said. Kelly reiterated the US government's commitment to a one-China policy based on the three US-China Joint Communiques and the TRA, the core principles behind US policy in the region. "Our foremost concern," he emphasized, "is maintaining peace and stability in order to advance US interests, spare the region the dangers of war, safeguard Taiwan's democracy, and promote China's constructive integration into the global community as well as the spread of personal freedom in China." The assistant secretary heavily stressed US opposition to any unilateral moves by either Taiwan or the PRC to change the political status quo in the region. While praising the development of democracy in Taiwan, he warned against moves toward independence by Taiwan authorities.

Read the full transcript here:

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12. KEDO-Japan Talks

The Associated Press ("HEAD OF N KOREA NUCLEAR REACTOR PROJ IN JAPAN FOR TALKS," Tokyo, 04/21/04) reported that the head of an international consortium overseeing a suspended project to build two nuclear reactors in the DPRK lauded international efforts to prod the DPRK to scrap its suspected atomic weapons program, the Japanese government said Wednesday. Charles Kartman, executive director of the Korea Peninsula Energy Development Organization, made the remarks during a meeting with Vice Foreign Minister Yoshio Takeuchi and other Japanese officials, the Foreign Ministry said. Kartman, who last visited Japan in June, discussed developments since KEDO in December halted the $4.6 billion energy project for one year. He will travel to the ROK on Thursday. Ministry officials didn't say whether Kartman and Takeuchi touched on DPRK leader Kim Jong Il's three-day trip to Beijing, which ended Wednesday. But Kartman told Takeuchi he believes tha the DPRK is aware of the "usefulness" of the six-nation talks, the ministry said.

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13. DPRK Technological Developments

Yonhap ("NORTH KOREA USING WEB SITE TO PUBLICIZE IDEOLOGY," Seoul, 04/21/04) reported that the DPRK is increasingly turning to cyberspace to publicize its ideology and social system. A major Internet site operated by the DPRK,, has recently launched English and Russian services. The web site, whose server is based in Shenyang, China, opened in April 2003 but only in Korean. It has since been used as a channel to propagate North Korea to Internet users worldwide by providing various pictures and major news of its state media. The site also contains the DPRK's stance on reunification of the ROK and DPRK and aphorisms by its former and current leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.

Asia Pulse ("WEDNESDAY ONLINE SHOPPING MALLS LIKELY TO DEBUT IN N KOREA," Seoul, 04/21/04) reported that in what could be seen as a step closer to joining the wired world, a DPRK state-run computer center plans to introduce an online shopping mall, a pro-DPRK magazine in Japan said today. The computer center plans to run the envisioned shopping mall from its portal site "Naenara" (My Country), according to the May edition of Joguk (Fatherland), a monthly published by the Choson Sinbo, the official paper of a pro-Pyongyang body in Japan. "General markets and markets for exchange of items could be moved into cyberspace," the magazine said. The envisioned shopping mall would be the first of its kind in the isolated country but it would be available only to North Koreans. The DPRK reportedly began Internet services in 1999, but this was limited to government and military officials. Up to now, ordinary North Koreans have been allowed only to log onto an intranet that carries the Web sites of the DPRK's major state facilities, including universities. Visitors to the DPRK said Internet cafes debuted in Pyongyang in 2002 but access for ordinary people is effectively denied because they cannot afford to pay. The cafes charge US$10 per hour; North Koreans earn an average of US $13.30 per month.

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14. US-PRC Trade Deal

The Associated Press (Martin Crutsinger, "US, CHINA REACH DEALS ON TRADE ISSUES," Washington, 04/21/04) reported that the US and PRC reached agreements on contentious trade issues Wednesday as the Bush administration sought to demonstrate resolve in attacking America's soaring trade gap. In the agreements, the PRC pledged to take steps ranging from cracking down on rampant copyright piracy of American products such as movies and computer programs to opening up the country's complicated goods distribution system to foreign firms. The agreements were reached during a meeting of the US-PRC Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Agriculture Secretary Anne Veneman and US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick represented the US in the discussions with the PRC team led by Vice Premier Wu Yi.

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15. Japan Economic Growth

Bloomberg ("JAPAN'S ECONOMY WILL GROW 3.4% IN 2004, 1.9% IN 2005, IMF SAYS," 04/21/04) reported that Japan's economy will extend its recovery, expanding 3.4 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said. Stronger-than-expected demand from the US and other export markets might propel faster growth, the Washington-based fund said in its World Economic Outlook. Further advances in the yen, which has gained 11 percent against the dollar in a year, are "the key downside risk."

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16. Japan on Asia Oil Energy

Financial Times (Victor Mallet and David Pilling, "JAPAN URGES NEIGHBOURS TO BOOST OIL RESERVES," Tokyo, 04/21/04) reported that Japan is urging the PRC and other east Asian nations to build up their scanty oil reserves so that the region is less vulnerable to disruptions in supplies from the Middle East, a senior Japanese energy official said on Wednesday. Japan has already floated the idea of an Asian version of the International Energy Agency - which requires its industrialized country members to keep strategic oil stockpiles - but the PRC's rapid economic growth and growing thirst for energy imports has given the Japanese campaign a new urgency. "The logic is like that of the IEA," said the official, from the energy and natural resources agency of the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry in Tokyo. "We believe we should have a similar system in the Asian region. But first we need to build up oil reserves in each country." Japan has stockpiled more than 160 days of the oil it uses, but the PRC - now the world's second-biggest oil consumer after the US - is living from hand to mouth and has only about 23 days' supply. According to Japanese officials and analysts, Meti is eager to provide technical assistance to the PRC because Japan's economy is particularly dependent on energy imports and would suffer from any oil supply crisis or sudden increase in the price driven by PRC buying. Japan is expected to push for bigger Asian oil stockpiles at an energy ministers' meeting in Manila in June.

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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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