The Nautilus Institute

Northeast Asia Peace and Security Network
For Friday, October 9, 1998, from Berkeley, California, USA

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I. United States

II. Republic of Korea III. Japan IV. Russian Federation

I. United States

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1. DPRK Political Situation

The Far Eastern Economic Review ("RUNNING AGAINST HISTORY," 10/15/98) reported that DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop gave an interview in September to Olaf Jahn, Asia correspondent for Germany's Axel Springer Group. Hwang said that Kim Jong-il has "practically been the sole strongman in North Korea since 1974. So, when Kim Il-sung died, Kim Jong-il had already had the real power for 20 years." He added that Kim approves every single DPRK spy mission, "so the major attacks definitely had his hand behind them." He said that Kim "does everything secretly, behind closed doors, together with a handful of his closest advisers. That's why he loves terror and violence." He maintained that Kim's power is dependent mainly on the army, and that "he has transformed the former dictatorship of the party into a military-dictatorship.... At the same time, the army does not have much political influence." Hwang said that the DPRK elite "consists of fighters of the partisan war and their families, members of the Kim family and very loyal party workers. The inner circle of this elite is well-informed." He added, however, "The elite outside the inner circle gets only very little information about what happens abroad." Hwang said that there is a 40-kilometer-long tunnel system surrounding Pyongyang that will provide shelter in case of war, and that in peacetime "provides a passageway primarily for Kim Jong- il." Hwang said that the elite are kept under constant surveillance. He said that the collapse of communism in the Eastern bloc was interpreted in the DPRK as the result of "weak socialism." Hwang argued that, regardless of the level of poverty in the DPRK, there is no chance of a popular revolt as the DPRK system "totally and completely controls the soul of the ordinary citizen." Hwang said that there are two types of prisons in the DPRK. "Members of the upper echelons of the elite are detained in labor camps, ordinary people are sent to non-arable, isolated areas in the middle of nowhere where they are left to survive on their own. In North Korea there are 10 such areas and approximately 30,000 'prisoners' living in each." He argued that while the most likely source of change is the decline in troop morale in the army. He added, "Another catalyst for change could be the dissatisfaction of the normal population.... If only somehow they could be convinced that their predicament was due to governmental mistakes and not a natural catastrophe, perhaps change could come from the bottom up." He argued that the DPRK system is not prepared for the sudden death of Kim Jong-il, which would therefore force immediate political change. He added that the does not believe that the DPRK can be attacked military. He added, "On the other hand, North Korea still believes that it could conquer South Korea--should the Americans ever leave the peninsula." Hwang said that the kind of three-stage rocket recently launched by the DPRK "has been in existence for quite some time." Hwang concluded, "The hardening of the dictatorship and the downturn of the economy are indicators of impending decline."

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2. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

Reuters ("NORTH KOREA REPATRIATES REMAINS OF FIVE U.S. SOLDIERS," Panmunjom, 10/09/98) and the Associated Press (Y.J. Ahn, "KOREAN WAR-ERA REMAINS RETURNED," Panmunjom, 10/09/98) reported that the DPRK on Friday handed over to the UN Command the remains of what are believed to be five US soldiers killed during the Korea War. The repatriation ceremony was attended by a UN honor guard, Canadian Minister of Veteran Affairs Fred Mifflin, 100 Canadian government officials, veterans of the Korean War, and youth cadets.

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3. ROK-Japan Summit

The Associated Press ("S. KOREAN PRES KIM HOLDS FAREWELL MTG WITH JAPANESE EMPEROR," Tokyo, 10/09/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae- jung held a farewell meeting Friday with Japanese Emperor Akihito. Japan's Kyodo News agency quoted Kim as saying that he hoped the emperor could visit the ROK before the two countries co-host the 2002 World Cup soccer tournament. Kim was scheduled to fly to the western city of Osaka later Friday for meetings with ethnic Koreans before returning to Seoul on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Times (Valerie Reitman, "S. KOREA LEADER'S VISIT IS A REEL SUCCESS," Tokyo 10/09/98) reported that many businessmen in both the ROK and Japan welcomed the agreement between ROK President Kim Dae-jung and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to lift the ban on Japanese cultural imports to the ROK. Yang Jin-sok, an ROK expert on Japanese music, predicted that Japanese songs quickly will make up 10 percent to 15 percent of the popular music heard in the ROK once the ban is lifted. Lee Bong-u, a film producer in Japan of Korean descent, estimated that popular Japanese movies would generate about half the volume of sales in the ROK as they do in the US. Lee stated, "Lifting the ban will have a positive effect on both Japan and Korea and upgrade the standards of movies and music."

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4. PRC-Japan Relations

Reuters ("CHINA TO GET SAME WAR APOLOGY FROM JAPAN AS SOUTH KOREA," Tokyo, 10/09/98) reported that an unnamed Japanese Foreign Ministry official said Friday that, when PRC President Jiang Zemin visits Tokyo next month, he will receive the same direct apology from Japan as the one issued to ROK President Kim Dae-jung. The official stated, "China is to get the same kind of apology as South Korea got, in a joint declaration."

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5. Japan-PRC Spying Row

The Associated Press ("CHINA EXPELS JAPANESE JOURNALIST," Beijing, 10/08/98) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said Thursday that Yukihisa Nakatsu, a correspondent for the Yomiuri Shimbun who was expelled from the PRC on Tuesday, stole and paid for state secrets. Zhu said that Nakatsu "made a confession on these illegal activities." According to Yomiuri, PRC authorities questioned Nakatsu three times after he returned from Tibet last month, searched his home and demanded to know where he obtained certain documents they found. Nakatsu was ordered Sunday to leave the PRC within three days after refusing to tell PRC authorities the source of the documents. In a letter to PRC President Jiang Zemin, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it was "deeply disturbed" about the PRC's treatment of Nakatsu. Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based press freedom group, noted that the expulsion followed the PRC's signing Monday of a UN human rights treaty that guarantees freedom of expression.

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6. World War II "Comfort Women"

The Associated Press (Kozo Mizoguchi, "JAPAN SEX SLAVE'S APPEAL REJECTED," Tokyo, 10/09/98) reported that the Tokyo District Court on Friday rejected claims for US$169,000 in compensation from 46 Filipino women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during World War II. Japan's Kyodo News reported that Judge Yoriaki Ichikawa ruled that the international law under which the Filipino plaintiffs sought damages does not permit compensation demands by individuals. To date, seven of the Filipino plaintiffs have died.

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7. PRC Military

Reuters ("CHINA'S JIANG SAYS FLOODS SHOWED ARMY'S RELIABILITY," Beijing, 10/08/98) reported that the PRC's People's Daily on Friday quoted PRC President Jiang Zemin as saying that the military demonstrated bravery and "political consciousness" in battling record summer floods. Jiang stated, "Our military has lived up to the expectations of the party and fulfilled the tasks in a perfect way." He reiterated the need for the army to obey the political leadership of the Communist Party, saying, "Political work has always been the lifeline of the army."

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8. Taiwanese Nuclear Development

The Associated Press ("WORK ON TAIWAN POWER PLANT MOVES AHEAD AS OPPOSITION DROPS," Kungliao, 10/09/98) reported that the state-owned Taiwan Power Co. said Friday that Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant is nearly a quarter complete. Lin Chu-wan, director of the project in coastal Kungliao township, said that the plant is on schedule to reach full output in July 2004, adding 2,700 megawatts to Taiwan's 23,763 megawatts of installed capacity. The plant originally was conceived in 1980, but its budget was frozen twice by the legislature, in response to violent protests by Kungliao residents and anti-nuclear groups. Wu Ching-tung, a former township chief, said that protests are waning as Kungliao's 10,000 residents are coming to realize the advantages of a compensation package offering them 1 percent of annual energy sales from the plant.

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9. Indian Nuclear Development

Dow Jones Newswires (Denny Kurien, "INDIA GOVT SAYS NUCLEAR ENERGY BEST FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES," New Delhi, 10/09/98) reported that a statement by the Indian government on Friday argued that developing countries should be allowed to pursue nuclear power without hindrance from "arbitrary and politically motivated" technology control regimes. The statement said, "With coal reserves dwindling and hydro projects running into rough weather, nuclear energy will alone become an increasingly important option." It added that India will present several papers on the role and need for nuclear energy and the development of indigenous capabilities at an international seminar in Bombay Monday being organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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10. Russian Nuclear Arsenal

The Associated Press ("RUSSIAN MILITARY DENIES PLAN FOR NUCLEAR TEST," Moscow, 10/09/98) reported that General Igor Volynkin, who heads a defense ministry department overseeing nuclear weapons, on Friday denied allegations that Russian intends to carry out a nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya testing range. Western news reports and environmentalists claimed last month that Russia was preparing a sub-critical nuclear test on the Arctic archipelago. Volynkin also criticized media reports that the Russian military has been losing effective control over its nuclear arsenal, saying that the reports were designed to place "Russian nuclear weapons under international control." He stated, "Russia is capable of maintaining its nuclear weapons and ensuring their safety." He said that Russia strictly adheres to international obligations to destroy some kinds of tactical nuclear weapons, including nuclear shells and landmines. He added, "When there is an agreement with the United States on destroying the remaining part of tactical weapons, Russia will embark on their destruction."

II. Republic of Korea

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1. ROK-PRC Relations

Chosun Ilbo ("ROK AND CHINA TO UPGRADE DIPLOMATIC TIES," Seoul, 10/09/98) reported that one high-ranking ROK government official said that the ROK and PRC governments plan jointly to declare their partnership on the occasion of President Kim Dae-jung's planned visit to the PRC in November. The official said that the formation of the partnership would signal that the PRC was placing a higher priority on its diplomatic relationship with the ROK than with the DPRK. Over the decades, the PRC has maintained a close relationship with the DPRK based on shared communist ideology. According to the official, the two governments have already agreed in principle that the present neighborly friendship between the two countries would be enhanced to partnership ties. A joint communique will be released to formally announce the new relationship after a summit meeting between the heads of the two countries in Beijing.

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2. ROK-Japan Summit

Chosun Ilbo ("PRESIDENT KIM LEAVES TOKYO WITH GREAT HOPES," Seoul, 10/09/98) reported that ROK President Kim Dae-jung met with members of the press Friday, and said he is fully satisfied with the results of his trip to Japan. Kim told reporters that he has great hopes for the joint communique for a new ROK-Japan partnership in the 21st century and for the accompanying action plan, both of which he and Japanese Prime Minister Obuchi signed during the visit. The president showed a strong confidence in the opening up of a new era for a future-oriented bilateral relationship between the two countries. Kim also said that Japan's clear-cut apology for its past colonial rule of Korea is a step forward toward better relations. Asked what he thought of Japanese emperor Akihito, Kim answered that he found the emperor obliging, sincere, and conversant in many different subjects. Asked when the emperor would visit the ROK, Kim said that the date would depend on the preparations the two governments will have to make. While meeting with approximately 60 acquaintances in Tokyo before leaving for Osaka, President Kim said that the details of his kidnapping in Tokyo by ROK intelligence agents years ago must come to light. He also brought up the issue of the so- called Korean "comfort women" who were drafted into sexual slavery by Japan, expressing his belief that the issue must be settled to the satisfaction of the conscience of the international community. He added that he was determined to resolve both issues.

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3. Remains of US Soldiers from Korean War

JoongAng Ilbo ("FIVE BODIES OF U.S. MIAs RETURNED HOME," Seoul, 10/09/98) reported that five bodies of US servicemen who had been missing and presumed dead in the DPRK during the Korean War were repatriated through the truce village of Panmunjom on October 9. These bodies were exhumed by a US-DPRK joint exhumation survey team that has been working in the DPRK since September 1996. About 100 Korean War veterans from the US and Canada, who are visiting Korea again after 45 years, participated in the repatriation ceremony. The bodies will be sent to the US Army's Central Identification Center in Hawaii to be identified through DNA tests. After being identified they will finally be returned to their families after more than four decades.

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4. "Unification Cattle" Deaths

JoongAng Ilbo ("CONTROVERSY OVER UNIFICATION CATTLE DEATHS," Seoul, 10/09/98) reported that the DPRK insisted on October 9 that 71 of the 500 so-called "Unification Cows," given to the DPRK by Hyundai founder Chung Ju-yung, have died, and presented the possibility that many cows were altered before they were transported to the DPRK. Lee Sung-ho, a DPRK Red Cross official, transmitted a notification that requested the punishment of officials responsible for this matter and quarantine data. The notification said, "In the ROK, the cows were forced to eat rope and plastic." Hyundai officials insisted that a joint investigation on the death of the cattle be conducted to find out the real cause. Hyundai said, "There have not been any incidents since 1993 of cows dying from symptoms similar to those DPRK the informed us of. We raised 3,000 cows in Sosan Farmland." Hyundai added, "According to bovine experts, cows have a tendency to eat plastics or soil when they feel stress due to changes in circumstances. So, it is possible that the cows suffered from this condition."

III. Japan

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1. Japan-ROK Summit

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Akihiro Ito, "JOINT STATEMENT IS HAILED IN ROK," Seoul, 10/08/98) reported that ROK political parties, both ruling and opposition, and the mass media largely hailed on October 8 the Japanese- ROK Joint Statement. The reports said that the statement resolves the issue of "past history" and opens a new era of Japanese-ROK relations. As for ROK political parties, a ruling National Congress for New Politics spokesman said about the statement, "It is meaningful to document past history and rearrange it.... 'Japan's apology and reflection' should be a step toward 'the opening of a new horizon of ROK-Japanese relations'.... There is no doubt that this statement will be a blueprint for ROK-Japanese relations in the 21st century." An opposition Grand National Party spokesman said, "We expect the Joint Statement to be a foundation of friendly and cooperative relations between the ROK and Japan that are forward-looking." However, he also said that it is regrettable that the statement left the issues of "comfort women" and Tokdo/Takeshima Island unresolved. As for the media, the report said that the major papers, including the Hankuk Ilbo, the Dong-a Ilbo, and the Joongang Ilbo, focused on the positive and forward-looking side of the statement.

The Asahi Shimbun ("ROK PRESIDENT KIM DAE JUNG'S SPEECH: POSITIVE ATTITUDE TO NEW ERA OF JAPANESE-ROK RELATIONS," 10/09/98) reported that visiting ROK President Kim Dae-jung gave a thirty-minute speech at the Upper House Plenary Session Hall on October 8. The report said that the speech began with the story of his abduction in Tokyo in 1973 and ranged from his praise of Japan's post-war economic and social development to his call for Japan's investment into the ROK to help the ROK out of its economic difficulties. The report emphasized that his belief that he will protect the democracy that his people realized through blood and sweat and his positive attitude toward establishing new relations between Japan and the ROK were consistent in the speech.

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2. Japanese Theater Missile Defense

The Asahi Shimbun ("DEFENSE AGENCY HEAD NUKAGA ANNOUNCES BUDGETING TMD AT SECURITY MEETING," 10/08/98) reported that the Japanese government decided to hold a security meeting at the Prime Ministerial official residence as early as October 20. At this meeting, Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga will announce the budget for Theater Missile Defense (TMD) for next year. The report pointed out that although the security meeting held around this time of the year usually discuss only the budgeting of primary technologies, this year the meeting will include budgeting research for TMD, because TMD is important. The report also said that, according to a Defense Agency official, although the recent 2 plus 2 meeting between Japan and the US agreed to promote joint research on technologies, this meeting will be restricted to "discussing the joint research" because of some opposition within the Liberal Democratic Party to the agreement.

IV. Russian Federation

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1. DPRK Smuggling from RF

Kommersant-daily's Yuriy Senatorov and Denis Dyomkin ("RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS FAILED TO FLY TO PYONGYANG," Vladivostok, 3, 10/9/98) reported that officers of Khasan Customs Office situated on the RF-DPRK border detained five Mi-8T military helicopters that were prepared for a flight to the DPRK. Mi-8T are equipped with navigation systems permitting them to easily enter RF air space from abroad. RF Premier Yevgeniy Primakov took the investigation under his personal control. Reportedly the helicopters arrived late at night on October 6 to pass through the customs and border guard checkpoint. However, customs inspectors found that the allegedly decommissioned Mi-8Ts still contained their "friend-or-foe" identification systems and sockets for mounting bombs, missiles, and machine-guns. Besides, the documents supplied lacked mandatory signatures. The deal was made between Arden Co Ltd. and the State Unitary Enterprise for Military Property Realization. The legal address of Arden turned out to be in the Khabarovsk area, but the police found just an empty house there. According to the police, Arden has been investigated in the past concerning alcohol smuggling from the PRC. The custom officers were surprised that, while they estimate the price of each Mi-8T at no less than US$300,000, the documents indicated it as merely US$20,000. Moreover, military experts say each helicopter could be priced as high as US$1 million, and the identification system costs several million dollars. The pilots who flew the helicopters to the border claim they signed a contract with Arden, but have no idea where the company obtained them. The RF Defense Ministry said that the helicopters do not belong to any of its units. Mi-8Ts can carry large- caliber machine-guns, four 250 kilogram bombs, and four blocks of "air- to-air" or "air to-surface" missiles. RF Federal Security Service officers said that in the past they have disrupted several attempts by the DPRK to obtain RF weaponry samples.

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2. RF-PRC Relations

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("RUSSIA BETWEEN THE CENTERS OF POWER," Moscow, 1, 4, 10/09-15/98 #38(112) published an article by Yuriy Dubov, Ph.D. (Technology), and Yuriy Morozov Ph.D. (Military) of the Military Strategic Studies Center, RF Armed Forces General Staff, devoted to RF's interrelations with the world "centers of power." Concerning the PRC, the authors said, "Recently Chinese leaders have been paying special attention to the problem of a possible energy and raw materials crisis, as well as its demographic situation.... Alongside with the territorial problem, for Russia in its relations with China a real danger exists that China's huge economic and financial resources will allow it in a brief time to achieve a real control over the key industrial sectors of Siberia and the [RF] Far East ... and to connect them totally to the Chinese economic system.... China and Russia are interested in maintaining stable strategic relations. Nevertheless, in case of serious weakening or loss of Russia's nuclear deterrence capacity and critical decline of combat capacity of the group of Russian troops in Siberia and the Far East, a possibility of China using its military force to serve its vital interests is not ruled out." As remedies, the authors suggested development of good-neighborly RF-PRC relations with a focus on settlement of disputes, while simultaneously creating a "collective security system" in the region and establishing "strategic partnership relations" with the US, including an "interaction in the security sphere and mutual provision of certain guarantees of rendering relevant assistance in case of a security threat emerging on the part of China."

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Pavel Spirin ("CHINA DOUBTS THE FUTURE OF RUSSIA," Moscow, 6, 10/09/98) published an article based on PRC media materials and public opinion polls concerning the RF. In particular, a recent article by Sin Huangcheng, Assistant to the Director, Institute of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Academy of Social Sciences, in the "Beijing chenbao" newspaper titled "Russia: A Horrifying Wheel of Fortune" dwelled on rapid governmental reshuffles taking place in Russia and explained them by an excessive politicization of the RF's elite. Thus, economic matters in the RF have been sacrificed for the sake of power struggle goals. In general, economic cooperation with the RF is not as important as political cooperation, which was called "constructive" by 70 percent of respondents to a recent public opinion poll in the PRC because it helps the PRC to hold dialogue on an equal footing with the US on human rights, Taiwan, and trade issues. Half of the respondents gave the RF fourth place in the world order, after the US, Japan, and the PRC. Nezavisimaia gazeta's author concluded that in the PRC they obviously think that the RF still has got nothing useful except natural resources and a number of secret technologies and that foreign investment will not come there soon.

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3. US Views of PRC, RF

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Oleg Kamarin ("WASHINGTON GIVES PRIORITY TO BEIJING," Moscow, 6, 10/07/98) reported that a business meeting on the present PRC economic situation took place in Washington. The briefing dedicated to it was attended by well-known experts and was directly broadcast on TV. In particular, the participants pointed out the contrast between the effect of the financial crisis on the PRC's economy and on that of RF. Also the differences of reforms in the two countries were stressed. Peter Bottelier, a Senior Advisor to the World Bank, pointed out that RF reformers turned out to be in some respects "closer to Bolsheviks" than PRC reformers in terms of their attitude to the population and the price it pays for the reforms. David Lampton, Chinese studies program head, Nixon Center, said that, in contrast to popularly supported reforms in the PRC, reforms in the RF are "still a mystery to a rational mind." Robert McFarlane, former National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, emphasized the priority importance of the PRC for the US. Nezavisimaia gazeta's author concluded that "American business has become a powerful lobby group in favor of rapprochement with Beijing. Considering the results of the 7-year long Russian reformist marathon, one can state that there is no similar powerful pro-Russian lobby in the USA."

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4. PRC Human Rights

Segodnya's Aleksandr Chudodeyev ("BEIJING PROMISED TO RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS. BUT IN ITS OWN WAY," Moscow, 3, 10/07/98) reported that the PRC signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, thus becoming the 141st party to it. However, Amnesty International and some other human rights groups believe that this signature will hardly change the PRC's present attitude to the issue and that the persecution of dissidents will not stop immediately in the PRC.

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5. RF-Japanese Relations

Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye ("RUSSIA BETWEEN THE CENTERS OF POWER," Moscow, 1, 4, 10/09-15/98 #38(112) published an article by Yuriy Dubov, Ph.D. (Technology), and Yuriy Morozov Ph.D.(Military) of the Military Strategic Studies Center, RF Armed Forces General Staff, devoted to RF's interrelations with the world "centers of power." Concerning Japan, the authors noted in particular that, based on its achievements, Japan possesses all that is needed for creation of nuclear weapons. While declaring its adherence to the "three non-nuclear principles," the Japanese government declines to codify those in the form of a law or an international agreement. Thus, "the possibility is not ruled out of a situation emerging where Japan's leaders may consider it necessary to start development and production of its own nuclear weapons and delivery means." The continuing "tough position" of Japan as regards its territorial dispute with the RF "will continue rendering a destabilizing impact on the military political situation in the region." The authors suggested consideration of RF-Japan economic and other issues, especially the territorial ones, separately, not in a single package. "The political aspect of the interaction may come to be more natural, if there is a success in pursuing development of trilateral contacts (Russia- Japan-US) in this sphere." The authors' general conclusion is that, although the world multipolarity trend "has widened our opportunities for maneuver, ... it is hardly feasible for Russia to press forward the formation of a multipolar world, because due to its present state it is hardly able to claim an appropriate position, while a number of the centers now on the rise might attain unjustified advantages in the contemporary transitory situation."

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6. RF to Formally Join APEC

Nezavisimaia gazeta's Anastasia Sheveleva ("IN THE ASIAN PACIFIC REGION THEY TRUST THE KREMLIN," Moscow, 6, 10/07/98) reported that at the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Kuala Lumpur, the RF will be formally announced as a member. Presently the Asia-Pacific region accounts for only 15-20 percent of RF foreign trade. New Zealand will preside over the APEC next year, therefore Christopher John Butler, Senior Counselor on APEC Affairs, of New Zealand arrived at Moscow to hold consultations with relevant RF officials. The author stressed, that "the fact that the crisis that shocked Russia did not change APEC's decision to admit it to its ranks brings about a hope that the trust in our country in the region so important to it has not been lost."

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Wade L. Huntley:
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage:
Berkeley, California, United States

Lee Dong-young:
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hiroyasu Akutsu:
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin:
Moscow, Russian Federation

Chunsi Wu:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Dingli Shen:
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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