Saturday, October 09, 2004

RSF states: French equipment jam foreign broadcasts intoChina.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF REPORTERS SANS
FRONTIERES) signalled to Jacques Chirac that a French
firm has sold China equipment to jam foreign broadcasts,
as the French president headed to Beijing with a large
business delegation for a 9-10 October visit.

The international press freedom organisation said it had
information that French company THALES had provided such
equipment to the Chinese government.

"It is regrettable that a French company is involved in
setting up a "great wall of sound" that violates the
right of free access to information for hundreds of
millions of people," it said.

ALLISS antennas, known for their efficiency and
sturdiness, set up by THALES particularly in the city of
Kashi, in the extreme north-west of the country, are
used to jam programmes from Norway-based Voice of Tibet,
BBC World Service, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

This installation in an isolated border zone allows the
government to scramble long wave radio broadcasts by
international radio stations in Europe and Central Asia
very effectively indeed, it said.

There are understood to be around a dozen further sites
of the same type, including on Hainan Island in the
south, north of Nanjing in the east, at Urumqi,
north-west, and in Kunming in the south.

A THALES representative in China told RSF (Reporters
Without Borders) that there was nothing in the contracts
signed with the Chinese that specified the use of the
equipment. THALES sold equipment to the Chinese
authorities in 2001 and 2002.

Executives at the affected radio stations confirmed to
Reporters Without Borders that Beijing has since 2001
boosted its capacity to jam broadcasts. Radio Free Asia
for example has to broadcast on some dozen different

They are nevertheless jammed by a double effect : the
broadcast of a mix of thuds and music emanating from
long wave transmitters, with a range of around 2,000
kilometres and from local transmitters, sited around
five kilometres around major cities.

The French government should draw the attention of
national companies to the dangers of selling certain
equipment to the Chinese authorities, the organisation

It would be a shame if French firms became auxiliaries
of the Chinese Communist Party as in the case of Italian
Iveco vehicles, converted in China into mobile execution
chambers. The same applies to routers sold to Beijing
by Cisco to block thousands of websites and emails.

Although a member of the International Telecommunication
Union (ITU), China systematically refuses to respond to
complaints from the governments involved, as was the
case when British Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell
visited China in December 2003. Before him, the US
public body the International Broadcasting Bureau,
responsible for Radio Free Asia and Voice of America,
laid a complaint with the ITU, that was rejected
outright by Beijing.


UPDATE THALES 2005 Sept 26th:


SEP. 26 2005 French defense electronics group Thales SA
on Monday denied allegations from a sacked company
executive that it paid out millions of euros (dollars)
in bribes.

"The Thales Group formally denies accusations of
corruption in France and internationally, lodged against
it by a former manager" at Thales Engineering and
Consulting, the company said.

Michel Josserand, former chief executive of THEC,
claimed in an interview with newspaper Le Monde that the
paying of bribes by Thales was widespread -- in
violation of French law and international conventions.

"I estimate that Thales must pay out between 1 percent
and 2 percent of its global revenue in illegal
commissions," he said. Thales posted revenue of
euro10.3 billion (US$12.5 billion) for 2004.

He also alleged that Thales had "sidestepped the (U.N.)
Oil for Food Program and delivered chemical weapons to
Saddam Hussein's government."

Thales did not address the Iraq allegation specifically,
but said the group was taking advice on "the means of
taking legal action for defamation."

Josserand has also told police investigating Thales that
the company allegedly took part in the construction of
an Iraqi chemical weapons plant disguised as a baby milk
powder factory, Le Monde reported.

Paris prosecutors are investigating allegations of
corruption at Thales after irregularities surfaced in
the company's bid to build a tramway in the southern
French city of Nice.

Josserand, whose THEC division won the contract, was
fired by Thales and placed under formal investigation in
May after the group filed a criminal complaint against
its former employee.

"The group would like to point out that these
allegations have been made by a former manager of this
subsidiary, who was dismissed by the group for
irregularities committed as part of a contract for the
Nice tramway," Thales said.

"Furthermore, the group itself lodged a complaint
regarding corruption during this project."

Josserand, however, described himself as a scapegoat now
living in fear of his life.

He said he had informed police about bribes allegedly
paid out for contracts in Greece, Argentina, Asia and
elsewhere in France -- often via several foreign
intermediaries such as construction companies.

"Having said that, Thales was only following the
practices of the major U.S. companies," he claimed.

Thales had little choice but to pay bribes if it did not
want to be excluded from markets, he also claimed.

"In Russia, in a development aid deal, we were
threatened with a significant increase in sales tax," he
alleged. "In Cameroon, for a transport contract, we had
a tax investigation because we didn't pay enough."

end of quotes

No WMD: Koizumi facing Parliament over Iraq war

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is expected
to come under fire in parliament next week over his
insistence that he had made the right decision to
support the war in Iraq, despite a US government
report saying no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) had
been found there.

The report by US chief weapons inspector Charles
Duelfer concluded that Iraq had no WMD stockpiles,
contrary to Washington's claim before the war in March
last year.

Repeating a well-worn line, Mr Koizumi told reporters
in Hanoi on Thursday: 'If Iraq had cooperated with the
inspections, there would have been no war. Our
decision to support was based on United Nations

But opposition parties are preparing to grill the
Japanese leader when parliament opens next Tuesday.

Said Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) lawmaker Yukio
Hatoyama: 'The report refutes completely the evidence
for starting the Iraqi war.

'PM Koizumi supported the US attack based on
inaccurate data. It is sophistry to use the pretext
that Iraq flouted UN resolutions,' stressed Mr
Hatoyama, who is foreign minister in the DPJ's shadow

In March last year, Mr Koizumi cited WMDs in Iraq as a
reason for backing Washington. He even asserted that
they would be found in due course.

'If such weapons fall into the hands of dictators or
terrorists, thousands of people will lose their lives.
If it is assessed that Saddam has no wish to disarm, I
think it is appropriate to support the US decision to
use military force,' he told the Japanese, most of
whom oppose the war.

But since then, Japanese officials have said the
decision to back the US is based on former Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein's refusal to assist UN

On Thursday, the government's chief spokesman, Chief
Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda, even tried to
dismiss the Duelfer report, saying: 'The question of
responsibility does not arise.'

But the Mainichi Shimbun daily retorted in an
editorial: 'Now that WMDs do not exist, why is it not
Koizumi's responsibility? He must explain again why he
supported the war.'

Mr Koizumi will also face new pressures in parliament
for his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to come clean
on a shady money scandal that has stained many of the
party's veterans, including former premier Ryutaro

The opposition wants Mr Hashimoto, who allegedly
received a cheque for 100 million yen (S$1.52 million)
from the Japan Dental Association, to testify in

The LDP rejected the idea, but Mr Koizumi gave the
opposition demand a fillip when he suggested that Mr
Hashimoto should do so. 'No matter where the venue, as
a politician, he should give a proper explanation,'
said Mr Koizumi.

Although Mr Hashimoto's faction was said to have tried
to hide the money, prosecutors have decided not to
file charges against the ex-premier - who has since
stepped down as faction leader - due to lack of
evidence of his role in the affair.

Tokyo spends a lot to handle the high-tech spy game

Difficult to get accurate data despite investing
billions of yen to put its own spy satellites into

With North Korea in its backyard, Japan has become the
latest player in the high-priced field of espionage.

It has spent billions of yen to put into orbit spy
satellites that defence officials say are crucial in
gathering information.

But they acknowledge that the data provided by
Japanese satellites still lags far behind that of the
United States in terms of accuracy, reported Asahi
Shimbun yesterday.

US spy satellites can achieve sharp resolution of
objects as small as 10cm at ground level while the
Japanese models can detect only objects that are 1.5m
or bigger.

This explains why Japan still remains very much
dependent on US intelligence.

Last month, Japanese satellites, positioned around
500km above the site of a mysterious explosion in
North Korea, revealed not a trace of the blast which
sparked fears of a nuclear test.

The blast was later found to be part of demolition
work for a hydroelectric project.

Day after day, Japanese analysts received only
pictures of cloud formations. They finally had to turn
to the US for the relevant satellite images - at a
high cost.

Japan does not have full access to images captured by
the US satellites. The decision lies with US Air Force
officers at the US military command in Japan.

'The US government can restrict the selling of images
taken by American satellites if it thinks it would be
to its disadvantage,' said a former top-ranking
Defence Agency official, adding that Japan needs to
develop its own spy satellites.

Since 1985, the Defence Agency and the Self-Defence
Forces have routinely purchased photos from commercial
satellites put into orbit by US and European

It was only after Pyongyang stunned the world in 1998
by test-launching a Taepodong-1 missile over Japan
that Tokyo decided to step up monitoring of North
Korea via satellite.

Japan's very own reconnaissance satellites were
launched in March last year. Two more were planned to
go up last November but remain grounded after the H2A
rocket No. 6, which was to carry the satellites,
failed to launch, Asahi Shimbun reported.

Last month, the Japanese government announced plans to
start research on an advanced spy satellite and launch
it in 2010, reported the Kyodo news agency.

The satellite will be able to distinguish objects on
Earth as small as 50cm, Kyodo quoted government
resources as saying.

About 80 analysts have been sent for training in the
US and France. In the past 18 months, a whopping 250
billion yen (S$3.8 billion) has been spent on the
satellites, which command an annual running cost of 20
billion yen, said Asahi Shimbun.

The efforts, however, appear to have paid off,
especially with regard to North Korea.

Last summer, analysts picked up an image detailing the
area surrounding the Yongbyon nuclear facility,
suspected site of North Korea's nuclear weapons

The information led analysts to suspect that the area
could be a launching site for Rodong missiles which
could reach any part of Japan with a range of about

In April, analysts were able to glean images that
confirmed that a blast in Ryongchon, near the North
Korea-China border, was in fact a train explosion as
Pyongyang claimed.

Friday, October 08, 2004

An inspiration for Asia: Prof. Wangari Maathai Nobel Peace Price 2004

I) Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai has become the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for aiding the continent's poor with a campaign to plant millions of trees to slow down deforestation.

"Peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment," the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Ole Danbolt Mjoes, said in announcing the winner on Friday. He praised her "contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace."

"Maathai stands at the front of the fight to promote ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Kenya and in Africa," she said.

Maathai won the prize, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (760,000 pounds), from a record field of 194 candidates. Named after Swedish philanthropist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, the prize is handed out in Oslo on December 10.

Maathai is founder of the Kenya-based Green Belt Movement, comprised mainly of women, which says it has planted about 30 million trees across Africa.

Born in 1940, Maathai says that tree plantings slow desertification, preserve forest habitats for wildlife and provide a source of fuel, building materials and food for future generations to help combat poverty.

"I am absolutely overwhelmed," she told Norway's NRK television after confirmation of the award. "This is the biggest surprise in my entire life. When we plant new trees we plant the seeds of peace."

Maathai is the first African woman to win the peace prize and the 12th woman peace laureate since the first award was made in 1901. The last African laureate was U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, of Ghana, in 2001.

The 2003 prize also went to a woman, Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi. The current Nobel Committee, appointed by the Norwegian parliament early in 2003, comprises three women and two men.

Geir Lundestad, the head of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, said in 2001 that the award might shift in its second century to honour new types of activists such as environmentalists, rock stars, perhaps even journalists.

The prize was a surprise. The U.N.'s Internatioanl Atomic Energy Agency and its head, Mohamed ElBaradei, had been widely tipped to win by peace experts.

The Kenyan government said it was very pleased the award had gone to Maathai.

"This is a great testament to the work she has been doing for many years. We are very happy," said Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua.

"It sets an example that if you put your energy into the right places you are eventually recognised and that it leads to a better world."

II) Portrait of Wangari Maathai

Born April 1, 1940.
Also known as: Wangari Muta Maathai

Fields: ecology, sustainable development, self help, tree planting, environment, member of Parliament, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife

Firsts: first woman in central or eastern Africa to hold a Ph.D., first woman head of a university department in Kenya

Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya in 1977, which has planted more than 10 million trees to prevent soil erosion and provide firewood for cooking fires. A 1989 United Nations report noted that only 9 trees were being replanted in Africa for every 100 that were cut down, causing serious problems with deforestation: soil runoff, water pollution, difficulty finding firewood, lack of animal nutrition, etc.  The program has been carried out primarily by women in the villages of Kenya, who through protecting their environment and through the paid employment for planting the trees are able to better care for their children and their children's future.

Born in 1940 in Nyeri, Wangari Maathai was able to pursue higher education, a rarity for girls in rural areas of Kenya. She earned her biology degree from Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas and a master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

When she returned to Kenya, Wangari Maathai worked in veterinary medicine research at the University of Nairobi, and eventually, despite the skepticism and even opposition of the male students and faculty, was able to earn a Ph.D. there.  She worked her way up through the academic ranks, becoming head of the veterinary medicine faculty, a first for a woman at any department at that university.

Wangari Maathai's husband ran for Parliament in the 1970s, and Wangari Maathai became involved in organizing work for poor people and eventually this became a national grass-roots organization, providing work and improving the environment at the same time.  The project has made significant headway against Kenya's deforestation.

Wangari Maathai's husband divorced her in the 1980s, complaining that she was "too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too had to control." (quote from Encyclopedia of World Biography, 1999, Gale Group.)  They had three children.

Wangari Maathai continued her work with the Green Belt Movement, and working for environmental and women's causes. She also served as national chairperson for the National Council of Women of Kenya.

In 1997 Wangari Maathai ran for the presidency of Kenya, though the party withdrew her candidacy a few days before the election without letting her know; she was defeated for a seat in Parliament in the same election.

In 1998, Wangari Maathai gained worldwide attention when the Kenyan President backed development of a luxury housing project and building began by clearing hundreds of acres of Kenya forest. In 1991, she was arrested and imprisoned; an Amnesty International letter-writing campaign helped free her. In 1999 she suffered head injuries when attacked while planting trees in the Karura Public Forest in Nairobi, part of a protest against continuing deforestation. She was arrested numerous times by the government of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi.

In January, 2002, Wangari Maathai accepted a position as Visiting Fellow at Yale University's Global Institute for Sustainable Forestry.

And in December, 2002, Wangari Maathai was elected to Parliament, as Mwai Kibabi defeated Maathai's long-time political nemesis, Daniel arap Moi, for 24 years the President of Kenya.  Kibabi named Maathai as Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife in January, 2003.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Report states there were no WMD in Iraq

Iraq had no stockpiles of biological, chemical or
nuclear weapons before last year's US-led invasion,
the chief US weapons inspector has concluded. Iraq
Survey Group head Charles Duelfer said Iraq's nuclear
capability had decayed not grown since the 1991 war.

But in a 1,000-page report his group said Saddam
Hussein intended to resume production of banned
weapons when UN sanctions were lifted.

The US and UK used allegations of Iraqi WMDs as a key
reason for going war.

But despite the lack of actual weapons, the White
House said the report showed Saddam Hussein's intent
and capability and justifies the decision to go to

Democrats, on the other hand, used the report to
attack the Bush administration, claiming the president
misled the American people.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that while he now
accepted that Iraq held no stockpiles of WMD ready to
be deployed at the time of the invasion, the report
showed that UN sanctions had not been working.

Key findings in the report:

• "The ISG has not found evidence that Saddam
possessed WMD stocks in 2003, but [there is] the
possibility that some weapons existed in Iraq,
although not of a militarily significant capability."

• "There is an extensive, yet fragmentary and
circumstantial body of evidence suggesting that Saddam
pursued a strategy to maintain a capability to return
to WMD after sanctions were lifted... "

• "The problem of discerning WMD in Iraq is
highlighted by the pre-war misapprehensions of weapons
which were not there. Distant technical analysts
mistakenly identified evidence and drew incorrect

'Unaffordable risk'

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says the report
will be used by both sides in the US election race -
while laying to rest the myth of WMDs it will inflame
the argument over whether Iraq under Saddam Hussein
constituted a true threat.

President Bush again defended last year's invasion,
though he made no reference to the report.

He told supporters on his election campaign trail that
the world was better off without Saddam Hussein, and
the risk of him passing weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) to terror groups was "a risk we could not afford
to take".

But the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee,
Senator Carl Levin, said Mr Duelfer's findings
undercut the government's main arguments for war.

"We did not go to war because Saddam had future
intentions to obtain weapons of mass destruction," Mr
Levin said.

High political stakes

Mr Blair said the report showed that Saddam Hussein
had planned to develop WMD.

"I welcome the report because I think it will show us
that it is far more of a complicated situation than
people thought," he told reporters during a trip to

Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, Barhem Saleh, said
anyone who doubted that Saddam Hussein had WMDs only
needed to visit Halabja - where the former Iraq
dictator had gassed thousands of Kurds.

But former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said
he hoped Mr Blair and Mr Bush would now admit that the
invasion of Iraq was a mistake.

"Had we had a few months more [of inspections before
the war], we would have been able to tell both the CIA
and others that there were no weapons of mass
destruction [at] all the sites that they had given to
us," he said, quoted by the Associated Press news

The ISG's verdict has been widely anticipated since
the former head of the group, David Kay, resigned in
January, and following the leaking of a draft copy of
the report last month.

The group plans to continue translating and evaluating
an estimated 10,000 boxes of documents seized in Iraq.

The final judgment: Iraq had no WMD when war began

TONY Blair's case for waging war in Iraq has been destroyed, it was claimed last night, after the official group that spent 16 months searching for Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction finally concluded they do not exist.
Charles Duelfer, the top US arms inspector, said he had found no evidence that Iraq produced any weapons of mass destruction after 1991.

US report finds no banned Iraqi weapons as Iraq's leaders vow to retake rebel enclaves

Iraq had no active chemical, biological or nuclear programs at the time of the US-led invasion in 2003, according to a long-awaited US report, as the Iraqi government expressed renewed determination to erase pockets of resistance in time for January elections.

In Baghdad, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw met with Iraqi leaders a day after a combined force of thousands of US and Iraqi troops stormed insurgent enclaves immediately south of the capital.

Meanwhile, 10 Iraqi national guard recruits and a child were killed in more car bombings.

In his more-than-1,000-page report, chief US weapons inspector Charles Duelfer said Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons were essentially destroyed in 1991 but Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein wanted to recreate them after UN sanctions were removed.

"Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq's (weapons) capability -- which was essentially destroyed in 1991 -- after sanctions were removed and Iraq's economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed," the report said.

"Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability -- in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks -- but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare capabilities."

Amid the debate over Saddam's weapons, Iraqi leaders tried to broker truces with rebels in both Sunni and Shiite areas but warned the threat of further military attacks loomed unless government authority was restored.

Tough-talking interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi kept up the pressure saying fighters had to lay down their weapons unconditionally and abide by the rule of law, without any special deals.

"People want stability and for the government to start reconstruction efforts in these areas," interim deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said.

"We have met for the last two to three weeks with representatives of Fallujah," he said, referring to the most defiant Sunni Arab city, which has been under rebel control since April.

"People are sick and tired of the situation there."

Saleh said the government was ready to restore its authority by negotiation if possible and noted that talks were continuing with Shiite militiamen loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to try to end almost daily clashes with the US military in their Baghdad bastion of Sadr City.

The cleric's aides confirmed they were continuing to talk to the government about a local truce for the sprawling Shiite slum neighbourhood.

"There are a couple of sticking points outstanding before we sign a deal that would involve Sadr's office, the government and the US military," Sadr spokesman Sheikh Abdul Hadi al-Darraji said.

US warplanes again pounded Fallujah, hitting what commanders described as a meeting of loyalists of Jordanian Islamist militant leader Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted man in Iraq. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

In a rare car bombing in the barren western plains, a suicide attacker rammed his vehicle into a group of people signing up with the national guard at a military base in Anah, some 260 kilometres (160 miles) west of Baghdad.

Ten young recruits were killed and 24 wounded in the latest attack on the fledgling force, which has been repeatedly targeted by the insurgents, police said.

South of the capital, a second car bomb exploded at a checkpoint killing a child and wounding seven more national guardsmen, medics said.

In a worrying sign for foreign diplomats holed up in the high-security Green Zone compound in the heart of Baghdad, the US embassy said it found and defused a bomb at a popular cafe there.

Despite the relentless bloodshed, Straw, who met with Allawi and President Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar among others, said he was impressed by Iraq's commitment to holding nationwide elections on time.

"There is a great deal of work to do but I have been impressed by the work that already has been undertaken and which is in the pipeline," Straw said.

The biggest foreign troop contributor to Iraq after the United States, Britain too has been touched by the violence there, most recently with the kidnapping of 62-year-old engineer Kenneth Bigley, snatched from his Baghdad home September 16 with two US colleagues, who have already been beheaded.

Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi joined a host of foreign statesmen who have already appealed for his release.

In other violence, an official from the Saadia region near Baquba, north of Baghdad, told AFP three Kurdish militiamen and their civilian driver were killed in a drive-by shooting late Tuesday.

A bomb also exploded in the main southern city of Basra, killing one civilian, and wounding 10 other people, including four policemen.

In addition, police said the bullet-riddled body of an Iraqi working as an interpreter for the US military was found near Ramadi and a police officer died in a roadside blast just outside the western city.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Japan Encyclopedia

I read it and i liked it:

"Japan Encyclopedia"
by Louis Frédéric
Translated by Käthe Roth

"Knowing Japan and the Japanese better," Louis
Frédéric states in the introduction to this
encyclopedia, "is one of the necessities of modern
life." The Japanese have a profound knowledge of every
aspect and detail of Western societies. Unfortunately,
we in the West cannot say the same about our knowledge
of Japan. We tend to see Japan through a veil of
exoticism, as a land of ancient customs and exquisite
arts; or we view it as a powerful contributor to the
global economy, the source of cutting-edge electronics
and innovative management techniques. To go beyond
these clichés, we must begin to see how apparently
contradictory aspects of modern Japanese culture
spring from the country's evolution through more than
two millennia of history.

This richly detailed yet concise encyclopedia is a
guide to the full range of Japanese history and
civilization, from the dawn of its prehistory to
today, providing clear and accessible information on
society and institutions, commerce and industry,
sciences, sports, and politics, with particular
emphasis on religion, material culture, and the arts.
The volume is enhanced by maps and illustrations,
along with a detailed chronology of more than 2,000
years of Japanese history and a comprehensive
bibliography. Cross-references and an index help the
reader trace themes from one article to the next.

Japan Encyclopedia will be an indispensable one-volume
reference for students, scholars, travelers,
journalists, and anyone who wishes to learn more about
the past and present of this great world civilization.

Harvard University Press Reference Library 14 maps; 48
illustrations 1108 pages.

The North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 (USA)

North Korea Human Rights Act - final text documents, just published.
(As passed by the Senate and House of Representatives USA)

This Act although modified has a potential to give a serious blow to the current North Korean government.
The preamble of the bill contains detailed findings that describe humanitarian and human rights conditions
inside North Korea, and the torment of North Korean refugees.

Section-by-section summary of H.R. 4011

The North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004

The preamble of the bill contains: detailed findings that describe humanitarian and human rights conditions inside North Korea, and the plight of North Korean refugees; declarations of purpose; and definitions of terms used in the Act.

Title I - Promoting the Human Rights of North Koreans

Sec. 101. Sense of Congress Regarding Negotiations with North Korea - Expresses the sense of Congress that negotiations with North Korea and other parties in Northeast Asia should include the human rights of North Koreans as a key element.

Sec. 102. Support for Human Rights and Democracy Programs - Authorizes $2 million for each of the fiscal years 2005-2008 to support programs by private, nonprofit organizations to promote human rights, democracy, rule of law, and a market economy in North Korea.

Sec. 103. Broadcasting into North Korea - Expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. should increase radio broadcasts into North Korea by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, and requires a report detailing the technical and fiscal requirements needed to increase those broadcasts to 12 hours per day.

Sec. 104. Actions to Promote Freedom of Information - Authorizes $2 million for each of the fiscal years 2005-2008 to increase the availability of non-government-controlled sources of information to North Koreans, and requires a non-public report to Congress on such activities.

Sec. 105. United Nations Commission on Human Rights - Notes the role of the Commission in promoting improved human rights in North Korea, and urges additional North Korea-specific attention by the Commission, its working groups, and rapporteurs.

Sec. 106. Establishment of Regional Framework - Expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. should explore the possibility of a regional human rights dialogue with North Korea (like the Helsinki process for the former Soviet Union).

Sec. 107. Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea - Mandates the appointment of a special envoy for human rights in North Korea within the State Department and outlines the duties of that position.

Title II - Assisting North Koreans in Need

Sec. 201. Report on United States Humanitarian Assistance - Requires the State Department and USAID to report annually (for the next 3 years) on (1) U.S. humanitarian assistance to North Koreans, (2) any improvements in humanitarian transparency and monitoring inside North Korea, and (3) specific efforts by the U.S. and U.S. grantees to secure better monitoring and access.

Sec. 202. Assistance Provided Inside North Korea - This section: (a) Expresses support for humanitarian assistance provided inside North Korea through NGOs and international organizations, but asserts that increases over current levels should be conditioned upon substantial improvements in transparency, monitoring, and access; (b) Outlines human rights and humanitarian principles that should govern any future U.S. aid provided directly to the North Korean government; and (c) Requires a one-time report from USAID on compliance with this section.

Sec. 203. Assistance Provided Outside North Korea - Authorizes $20 million for each of the fiscal years 2005-2008 for humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees, orphans, and trafficking victims outside of North Korea.

Title III - Protecting North Korean Refugees

Sec. 301. U.S. Policy Toward Refugees and Defectors - Requires a one-time report from Executive Branch agencies describing the North Korean refugee situation and explaining U.S. policy toward North Korean refugees and defectors.

Sec. 302. Eligibility for Refugee or Asylum Consideration - Clarifies that North Koreans are eligible to apply for U.S. refugee and asylum consideration (just as people from any other nation are), and are not preemptively disqualified by any prospective claim to citizenship they may have under the South Korean constitution. This section does not change U.S. law but makes it clearer, explicitly endorsing the Department of Homeland Security's interpretation of current U.S. law. It does not grant North Koreans any preferential or expedited consideration. In addition, this provision of the bill expressly does not apply “to former North Korean nationals who have availed themselves of those rights [to Republic of Korea citizenship]� by resettling in South Korea.

Sec. 303. Facilitating Submission of Applications for Admission as a Refugee – Directs the State Department to facilitate the submission of refugee applications by North Koreans.

Sec. 304. United Nations High Commission for Refugees - Notes China’s obligations to provide UNHCR with access to North Koreans in China, urges UNHCR donor countries to press China for such access, urges the UNHCR to use professionals and NGOs with proven expertise in aiding North Koreans in China, and urges the UNHCR to assert its right to arbitration with China in an effort to secure access to North Koreans in China.

Sec. 305. Annual Reports - Requires annual reports (for the next 5 years) that include (a) the numbers of North Koreans admitted to the U.S. as refugees and asylees, and (b) information on measures taken to facilitate access to the U.S. refugee program by persons fleeing countries of particular concern for violations of religious freedom.