PacNet #47 – U.S.-DPRK Talks: Time to Break Bad Habits

The U.S. and North Korea will enter into a round of talks in New York between Dec. 4-8 to discuss North Korea’s suspicious underground construction project. This would be an excellent time for both sides to break counterproductive old habits and start talking with, rather than merely lecturing to, one another.

PacNet #46 – Vice President Gore and the Rule of Law in Malaysia

Major U.S. papers have supported Vice President Al Gore’s criticism of Malaysia at the pre-APEC dinner for the region’s businessmen. His remarks may help Mr. Gore at home, but they caused confusion and criticism among participants who questioned the appropriateness of such remarks. One problem was that Gore mixed his messages and examples. He cited […]

PacNet #45A – PRC-Japan Relations: Will an Apology Bring Reconciliation?

Beijing has demanded that Japan issue a detailed, specific written apology for its past aggression against China when President Jiang Zemin visits Japan on November 25-30. China is reportedly seeking “a clear and accurate picture” of past transgressions such as was contained in the “heartfelt apology” provided to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung during his […]

PacNet #45 – Firmness and Realism Needed on North Korea

As President Clinton visits Seoul, it is high time to review creaking American policies toward the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. A “soft landing” is a wish, not a policy. Equally, the administration’s pride, the four year old “Agreed Framework” despite worthy success in freezing a part of North Korea’s nuclear weapons efforts, is also […]

PacNet #44 – Easing the Military Confrontation in Korea

North Korea’s launch of a new missile has set off alarm in Japan. The alarm is warranted insofar as the new missile, called the Taepodong I by U.S. intelligence, is capable of reaching Japan. Yet the launch was more likely an unsuccessful attempt to mark Kim Jong Il’s formal accession to power by boosting a […]

PacNet #42 – PACATOM: Building Confidence and Enhancing Nuclear Transparency

The prospects of an increase in energy demand in the Asia-Pacific region, combined with the perceived need for energy security or self-sufficiency, have driven many countries to develop or at least contemplate the use of nuclear energy. This increased peaceful use of nuclear energy brings with it rising safety and non-proliferation concerns. Moreover, Asia-Pacific international […]

PacNet #41 – Charting the Course at the Edges of the Economic Storm

The Asian economic crisis started, almost suddenly, when Thailand experienced trouble in maintaining its currency exchange rate on July 2, 1997. Since then it has spread like wildfire to other nations and regions in Southeast and Northeast Asia, with South Korea and Japan being sucked into it toward the end of the year. This continuing […]

PacNet #40 – Strategic Trends in China

Reduced rates of economic growth are likely to be a fact of life in China for the next few years, and slow growth could produce an increase in already high levels of social discontent which could result in political instability. For the next few years, the leadership will attempt to implement the structural reforms necessary […]

PacNet #39 – Koo-Wang Talks: Can the “Use of Force” Dispute be Resolved?

The upcoming visit of the chairman of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation, Koo Chen-fu, to mainland China on October 14-19 marks the long-overdue resumption of high-level cross-straits dialogue between the SEF and Beijing’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), headed by Wang Daohan.