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January 14, 2011 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-01-14

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6 - Friday, January 14, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6 - Friday, January14, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Gates: North Korea must
show good faith for talks,

Japan to reshuffle
Cabinet to push for
economic reforms

Defense Secretary:
U.S. wants 'freedom
of navigation' in
Chinese waters
SEOUL (AP) - New internation-
al disarmament talks with North
Korea are possible only if the North
backs off recent aggression against
South Korea and demonstrates it is
willing to bargain in good faith, U.S.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates
said today.
Gates said diplomacy is worth-
while, starting with direct talks
between the North and South.
South Korea has rejected new talks
for now, reflecting intense anger
and impatience over North Korean
Gates attached no conditions to
possible new discussions between
the North and South beyond an end
to attacks like two in the past year
blamed for killing about 50 South
He insisted on "concrete steps"
by the North for new talks involving
the United States.
"When or if North Korea's
actions show cause to believe nego-
tiations could be productive or con-
ducted in good faith, then we could
see a return" to dormant six-nation
disarmament talks, Gates said.
Those talks include the U.S.,
China, Japan, Russia and the two

Gates made a brief stop in Seoul
for crisis talks on North Korea to
close a week of military discussions
in Asia cloudedby the threat of new
war on the Korean peninsula.
South Korean Defense Minister
Kim Kwan-jin told Gates that his
country feels under attack.
South Korea sees recent North
Korean aggression as the worst
since the close of the Korean War
six decades ago.
"Many expect North Korea to
conduct more provocation this
year," Kim said.
South Korea must answer "from
the basis of strength," he added.
The U.S. is urging patience but
is worried that rising frustration in
the South may force its leaders to
retaliate if the North attacks again.
Gates was in Tokyo earlier today,
where he said North Korea was less
able to invade South Korea now
than it was a decade or more ago but
has become a more lethal threat to
Asia and the world.
"The character and priorities of
the North Korean regime sadly have
not changed," Gates said.
"North Korea's ability to launch
another conventional ground inva-
sion is much degraded from even
a decade ago, but in other respects
it has grown more lethal and more
destabilizing," Gates said in an
address to students at Keio Univer-
North Korea's pursuit of nuclear

weapons and missile technology
"threaten not just the peninsula, but
the Pacific Rim and international
stability," Gates said.
Regarding China, Gates said that
even as the U.S. military relation-
ship between the two countries
improves, at least one area of dis-
agreement continues: "freedom of
navigation." That's a euphemism for
the U.S. view that it has the right to
sail its ships in waters that China
claims as restricted.
Freedom of shipping and com-
merce have been basic principles for
the United States since its founding,
Gates pointed out.
He also told students that China's
military sometimes does things
without telling the country's senior
politicalleadership. The communist
party has firm control over the mili-
tary, but "sometimes there are dis-
connects," Gates said.
"'In the larger sense of who con-
trols the Chinese military and who
has the ultimate authority there
is no doubt in my mind that it is
President Hu Jintao and the senior
civilian leadership of that country,"
Gates said, adding the wider U.S.
engagement with China he seeks
could help cut through the commu-
nications problemsbetween China's
military and political spheres.
"I believe we've seen instances
where specific events take place
where the Chinese senior leader-
ship may not have known about
them," Gates said.

He mentioned this week's flight
test of the new J-20 stealth fighter
as one such example. Gates said Hu
did not appear to know about the
test until Gates asked him about it.
"But on the whole, I do think this
is something that is a worry," Gates
He also made the case for the
continued presence of tens of thou-
sands of U.S. forces in Japan. U.S.
military bases on the southern
island of Okinawa have become
increasingly unpopular because of
noise, crowding and the percep-
tion that the U.S. takes Japan for
Most of the 49,000 U.S. forces in
Japan are based on Okinawa.
But without those forces, "North
Korea's military provocations could
be even more outrageous," Gates
"China might behave more
assertively toward its neighbors,"
he added.
The United States fears that the
risk of war is rising between U.S.
ally South Korea and the heavily
militarized and increasingly unpre-
dictable regime in North Korea,
which the Pentagon also considers
a looming threat to the mainland
United States.
North Korea allegedly sank a
South Korean warship in March,
killing 46, and shelled front-line
Yeonpyeong Island in November,
killing four. The islandsits in waters
the North claims as its own.

Prime minister
to try to tackle
problems of aging
population, debt
TOKYO (AP) - Japan's Cabinet
resigned en masse today as the
prime minister reshuffles his line-
up in a bid to revive the struggling
economy and open up the country
to stay globally competitive.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan said
yesterday that the new Cabinet
is aimed at pushing for reforms
as Japan faces a string of daunt-
ing problems, including a rapidly
aging population, growing nation-
al debt and an anemic economy -
the world's third-largest.
The Cabinet that will be
announced later today will be
Kan's third since he took office in
June. The one that just resigned
was formed in September in an
earlier reshuffle.
"I will have the most powerful
Cabinet," Kan said yesterday at
the annual convention of his rul-
ing Democratic Party of Japan
held in Chiba, near Tokyo. "The
changes will reflect how best we
can push for reforms for Japan
and tackle the problems."
The reshuffle is largely seen as
an attempt to increase chances
of passing key legislation, includ-
ing the 2011 budget. Distracted

by personnel issues and a scandal
involving a party veteran, Kan's
government has been unable to
make much progress in parlia-
Kan didn't specify what chang-
es he will make, but media reports
say he will replace Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, who
has come under fire from opposi-
tion parties for controversial com-
ments on diplomatic and defense
The opposition bloc had
threatened to boycott parliamen-
tary sessions if Sengoku is not
Yukio Edano, the ruling party's
acting secretary general and Sen-
goku's close ally, is among the top
candidates for the job as the top
government spokesman, accord-
ing to Japanese media reports.
Kaoru Yosano, a 72-year-old
veteran lawmaker known as a
staunch advocate of fiscal reform
and supporter of raising the sales
tax to meet the country's climb-
ing social security costs, is also
expected to serve as minister of
economic and fiscal policy, replac-
ing Banri Kaieda.
Kaieda, an economist and sup-
porter of free-trade zones, is
reportedly shifting to economy
and trade minister, reflecting the
prime minister's push to achieve
his goal of opening the country,
one of his key reform agendas this

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Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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