NAPSNet Daily Report 30 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US-DPRK Talks
- 3. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 4. DPRK-Russian Relations
- 5. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Relations
- 7. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
- 8. DPRK Sanctions
- 9. DPRK Military
- 10. DPRK Leadership
- 11. DPRK Refugees
- 12. DPRK Influenza Response
- 13. US-ROK Military Alliance
- 14. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 15. ROK Military Procurements
- 16. ROK Internal Conflict
- 17. Korean War Atrocities
- 18. ROK Foreign Aid
- 19. US Military Bases in Japan
- 20. PRC Climate Change
- 21. PRC Demographics
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap (“N.K. RENEWS CLAIM TO NUCLEAR STATE STATUS “, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that the DPRK reasserted Friday it is an internationally recognized nuclear-armed state. “The Federation of American Scientists of the United States has confirmed (DPR) Korea as a nuclear weapon state,” the Korean Central News Agency said in a brief dispatch. The report said the non-profit organization’s November issue listed the DPRK among the nine countries that possess atomic weapons.
2. US-DPRK Talks
Yonhap (“N.K., U.S. MAY HOLD MULTIPLE DIRECT TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that the DPRK and the United States are expected to lay the groundwork for top-level bilateral talks, probably involving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when Stephen Bosworth, special representative for DPRK policy, visits Pyongyang next month, Nam Sung-wook, director of the Institute for National Security Strategy, said Friday. Nam pointed out that the DPRK makes much of “diplomatic protocol” in reaching an important deal and views Washington’s top diplomat as a real counterpart. “I am skeptical” that Bosworth will produce any tangible result in moving forward the denuclearization process, Nam said at a seminar.
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SEOUL DOWNPLAYS EXPECTATIONS OF US-NKOREA TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/11/29) reported that a meeting between DPRK and US officials next week is unlikely to produce a major breakthrough in the standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, media reports cited a senior Seoul official as suggesting Sunday. The prospect of achieving a major outcome from the dialogue was “dim for now” as there has not been any sign that Pyongyang will return to the negotiating table, the official said. YTN television network carried a similar report, saying it was unlikely Bosworth would meet DPRK leader Kim Jong-il during his trip.
3. Sino-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (“N.K. LEADER KIM MEETS WITH CHINA’S DEFENSE MINISTER “, Seoul, 2009/11/26) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il met with visiting PRC defense ministe Liang Guanglie on Wednesday, the Korean Central News Agency and other state media reported Thursday. Liang “courteously conveyed to Kim Jong-il the regards of Hu Jintao,” the PRC president, the report said. Kim “expressed thanks for this and asked Liang Guanglie to convey his regards to Hu” and they held “a cordial and friendly talk,” the report said.
4. DPRK-Russian Relations
Yonhap (“RUSSIAN SPEAKER LEAVES PYONGYANG WITHOUT MEETING KIM JONG-IL”, Seoul, 2009/11/26) reported that Sergei Mikhailovich Mironov, chairman of the Federation Council of Russia, returned home from Pyongyang Wednesday without meeting DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, met and had a friendly talk with Mironov at the Mansudae Assembly Hall when the latter paid a courtesy call on him Wednesday. KCNA said that Mironov delivered a gift for Kim Jong-il to Kim Yong-nam.
5. Japan-DPRK Relations
Asahi Shimbun (“SPY SATELLITE TO MONITOR N. KOREA”, Tokyo, 2009/11/30) reported that a new spy satellite launched Saturday gives Japan the ability to monitor DPRK military facilities through high-definition imagery. The optical satellite, launched into orbit aboard an H-2A rocket, can distinguish objects on Earth with an estimated resolution of about 60 centimeters square, compared with one meter square for its predecessor.
6. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “LEE FLEXIBLE ON VENUE OF INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT”, Seoul, 2009/11/29) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Friday that the venue for a possible inter-Korean summit should not necessarily be Seoul, adding that he is open-minded on the matter. Lee said he was willing to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il if that is conducive to the denuclearization of the DPRK, and to discuss ROK prisoners of war from a humanitarian point of view. But he said there were no compelling reasons for him to sit down with the DPRK leader now.
Korea Times (“NK URGERS [sic] SEOUL TO ACT TO IMPROVE TIES”, Seoul, 2009/11/28) reported that the DPRK called on the ROK Saturday to improve inter-Korean relations. “We have done everything we were supposed to for the improvement of North-South relations and now it is time for the South Korean government to reciprocate,” Uriminzokkiri, the DPRK’s official Web site, said, citing Rodong Sinmun. “If the South Korean government is even a bit interested in North-South relations, it will naturally have to show a positive reaction to our fair actions,” is said.
Associated Press (“REPORT: SKOREAN NAVY SHIP RESCUES NKOREAN SOLDIER”, Seoul, 2009/11/30) reported that the ROK navy rescued a DPRK soldier who ended up in the ROK’s waters while fishing and the man wants to be returned home, a report said Monday. Yonhap cited an unidentified government official as saying the man told investigators that he was fishing when his boat drifted into ROK waters. He was questioned and cleared of possible espionage allegations, the report said.
7. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Dong-A Ilbo (“KOREAS TO STUDY INT’L INDUSTRIAL ZONES IN CHINA, VIETNAM “, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that the two Koreas on Thursday agreed to a joint inspection of international industrial zones in the PRC and Vietnam in mid-December to help develop their joint business complex in Kaesong. ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said, “North Korea recognized the need to carry out a joint inspection and agreed to it. We made the suggestion in working-level talks on the Kaesong industrial complex in June. The joint inspection team will consist of 10 South Koreans and 10 North Koreans working over a 10-day period.”
Chosun Ilbo (“PAYMENT FOR N.KOREA TOURS PROVES HEADACHE FOR GOV’T “, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that there are differences in opinion in the ROK government over whether package tours to the Mt. Kumgang resort fall under UN sanctions. Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said payment in kind rather than cash “can be studied when the two Koreas discuss resuming the tour program.” But Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young told a regular briefing session, “It’s the government’s judgment that the tour programs to Mt. Kumgang are not subject to sanctions under Security Council Resolution 1874.” A Cheong Wa Dae official denied there were differences of opinion. “There is consensus not only between the unification and foreign ministries but also between Seoul and Washington that the Mt. Kumgang tours themselves do not violate the UN Security Council resolution.”
8. DPRK Sanctions
Yonhap (“N.K. CRITICIZES MARITIME BLOCKADE AT U.N. MEETING “, Seoul, 2009/11/30) reported the DPRK argued at the 26th general assembly of the International Maritime Organization held in London on Friday that maritime blockades by “certain” countries are threatening the freedom of navigation. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday quoted delegation head Ko Nung-du as saying, “Economic sanctions and blockades enforced by certain countries on others with political reasons have spawned incidents that are detrimental to the free navigation of container ships that have peaceful purposes and the safety of their crew, generating grave concerns to the international community.” “In international maritime affairs, such behavior that infringes on other nations’ sovereignty in defiance of international laws and the U.N. Charter should never be allowed,”Ko said.
9. DPRK Military
Yonhap (“N.K. LEADER VISITS NAVAL COMMAND”, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il recently inspected a naval command with the country’s top military brass, the Korean Central News Agency said Friday. KCNA said Kim looked around the command of the Navy’s Unit 587 of the Korean People’s Army and gave instructions to further strengthen the country’s naval force. “The navy holds significant value to our country, which is surrounded by three seas,” Kim was quoted by the report as saying. “Our socialist nation is an impregnable fortress” with the naval soldiers protecting the seas, he said.
10. DPRK Leadership
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA’S HEIR APPARENT ‘IN ON-THE-SPOT GUIDANCE TRIP’”, Seoul, 2009/11/30) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s third son Kim Jong-un accompanied his father on a trip to Wonsan in April, the Mainichi Shimbun reported on Sunday quoting a document obtained in Beijing. The paper said this was the first time a written document revealed Kim Jong-un accompanied his father on one of his so-called “on-the-spot guidance” trips. It speculated the DPRK “has started to keep documentation of Kim Jong-un’s activities for the power transfer.” The daily said at the time, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim Jong-il visited Wonsan University of Agriculture the university with Kim Ki-nam, secretary of the Workers’ Party Central Committee and two other senior officials, Jang Song-taek and Pak Nam-gi, but there was no mention of Kim Jong-un. “The document seems to have been produced by a working level official in the Propaganda Department of the Workers’ Party,” the paper added.
11. DPRK Refugees
Yonhap (“11 N.K. BOAT PEOPLE SETTLE IN SOUTH “, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that the DPRK has dropped its calls for the ROK to return 11 DPRK citizens who sailed south of the border last month seeking refuge, Seoul officials said Friday. “North Korea has stopped issuing messages seeking their repatriation. They came as family units, so we don’t see any problem with accepting their intents of defection,” a senior official with the Unification Ministry told reporters.
12. DPRK Influenza Response
Yonhap (“N.K. LEADER ORDERS ANTI-EPIDEMIC MEASURES AT PIG FARM “, Seoul, 2009/11/30) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has called for strict anti-epidemic measures during his latest visit to a pig farm that was newly constructed outside Pyongyang. Kim “underscored the need for pig breeding farms and other farms to build a sufficient number of anti-epidemic facilities and thoroughly establish a strict anti-epidemic system,” Kim was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying at the Sokjong Pig Farm.
13. US-ROK Military Alliance
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “65 PERCENT PROGRESS MADE IN WARTIME COMMAND TRANSFER”, Seoul, 2009/11/26) reported that the ROK has taken over about 65 percent of elements from the U.S. military for the independent operational control of its forces during wartime, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Thursday. “Except for the C4I digital command-control system involving many technical issues for the transition, other elements have been transferred from the U.S. to the Republic of Korea as scheduled,” a JCS official said.
14. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. INTELLIGENCE CHIEF SECRETLY VISITED SEOUL”, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that U.S. national intelligence director Dennis Blair secretly visited Seoul early last week to discuss the ROK’s dispatch of troops to Afghanistan. “Blair visited Seoul from Nov. 22 to 24 and met all key foreign affairs and security officials, such as Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, National Intelligence Service Director Won Sei-hoon, and Cheong Wa Dae staff,” a government source said. “He briefed them on a U.S. plan to send reinforcements to Afghanistan and the situation there, and that he also discussed how many Korean troops should be sent there and when.”
Yonhap (“SEOUL SET TO FINALIZE AFGHAN TROOP DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE”, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that the ROK is in the final stages of fixing a timetable for deploying its troops to Afghanistan, officials said Friday. According to the officials, the government is set to increase the number of civilian workers belonging to the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) to 120, while planning to send about 350 security troops on bodyguard duty. “The Defense Ministry plans to submit a motion for the deployment to the National Assembly’s regular session next month and later send an on-spot survey team to visit and review candidate destinations,” a government source privy to the matter said. “A final decision will be made after consulting with the NATO command,” the official said.
15. ROK Military Procurements
Yonhap (“KOREA TO COMMISSION NEW SUBMARINE TO BEEF UP NAVAL DEFENSE “, Seoul, 2009/11/30) reported that the ROK Navy said Monday that the submarine An Jung Geun, capable of tracking 300 underwater targets simultaneously, will be commissioned Tuesday in Busan. The 1,800-ton submarine is capable of traveling at 37 kilometers an hour. The Navy said the An Jung Geun can stay underwater for up to two weeks without re-surfacing, thanks to its air-independent propulsion system.
16. ROK Internal Conflict
Chosun Ilbo (“RIGHTWINGERS TO NAME AND SHAME ‘PRO-N.KOREANS’”, Seoul, 2009/11/27) reported that a conservative group calling itself the Committee for the Normalization of the State on Thursday said that it will publish a biographical dictionary of pro-DPRK activists next year and that a list of the first 100 people is to come out in December. The move comes after the Institute for Research on Collaborationist Activists, a leftwing think tank, recently announced a plan to publish a similar dictionary of Koreans who supported the Japanese colonial rule. The committee vowed to expose the “true identity” of pro-DPRK activists by publishing the dictionary detailing their activities and ideological propensities. It claimed they “denied and impaired the identity and the free democratic system of the Republic of Korea.”
Dong-A Ilbo (“LIST OF 1,005 PRO-JAPAN COLLABORATORS RELEASED “, Seoul, 2009/11/28) reported that the Presidential Committee for the Inspection of Collaboration for Japanese Imperialism on Friday released a list of 1,005 pro-Japan collaborators after finishing a survey lasting four years and six months. The 1,005 people included 704 who helped the Japanese colonial government from the start of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to Korea’s liberation in 1945.
17. Korean War Atrocities
New York Times (“SOUTH KOREA ADMITS CIVILIAN KILLINGS DURING WAR”, Seoul, 2009/11/26) reported that in the opening months of the Korean War, the ROK military and the police executed at least 4,900 civilians who had earlier signed up — often under force — for re-education classes meant to turn them against Communism, the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission announced Thursday. The government killed the civilians out of fear that they would help the Communists who were invading from the north, the commission said.
18. ROK Foreign Aid
Yonhap (“LEE CALLS FOR GREATER KOREAN ASSISTANCE TO GLOBAL COMMUNITY “, Seoul, 2009/11/30) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak urged his country on Monday to increase its support and economic aid to the international community. “This means our nation has now truly become a donor from a recipient,” the president said in his biweekly radio address. “We have shown to the world that such help was not wasted and that it must also be extended to others,” he said. “And now it is time for us to start paying back our debt to the international community.”
19. US Military Bases in Japan
Asahi Shimbun (“OKINAWA CHIEF: PHASE OUT FUTENMA OPERATIONS”, Tokyo, 2009/11/28) reported that Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said that phasing out operations at the U.S. Futenma air station to reduce the dangers at its current location would be one condition for Okinawa Prefecture to allow work on the relocation site in Nago. “Until construction of the relocation site is completed, it is necessary for the functions at Futenma to be divided and transferred to other bases,” Nakaima said. Even if Japan decides to relocate the Futenma air station to Henoko, Nakaima said the number of helicopter takeoffs and landings should be curtailed during construction of the relocation site. The governor said it will be important to assure that the risk of accidents and level of noise are reduced in Henoko by “moving (the planned airstrip) further offshore.”
Kyodo (“HATOYAMA SAYS FUTEMMA DECISION TO BE MADE AFTER WORKING GROUP TALKS”, Tokyo, 2009/11/30) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima Monday that his government will make a decision on where to relocate a U.S. military base in the prefecture after the ongoing Japan-U.S. working-level talks on the issue come to a conclusion, Nakaima said. The governor reiterated that moving the air station outside the prefecture is ”the best choice” for people in Okinawa. But Nakaima indicated that if that takes too long, his local government would accept other options to immediately remove the base that the local residents consider dangerous.
Asahi Shimbun (“‘SYMPATHY BUDGET’ FOR U.S. FORCES UNDER THREAT”, Tokyo, 2009/11/27) reported that pay scales for Japanese workers at U.S. bases should be re-examined as part of a wide-ranging review of the so-called “sympathy budget” that the central government is obliged to bear for the U.S. military presence, a review team proposed Thursday. The Government Revitalization Unit recommended a comprehensive review of the financial arrangement between Japan and the U.S. military. The review should be conducted on a region-by-region basis, the unit proposed.
20. PRC Climate Change
New York Times (Edward Wong and Keith Bradsher, “CHINA JOINS U.S. IN PLEDGE OF HARD TARGETS ON EMISSIONS”, Beijing, 2009/11/26) reported that the PRC government announced Thursday that it had set a target to slow the growth of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a day after the Obama administration set a provisional target for reducing United States emissions. The PRC proposes, by 2020, to reduce carbon intensity — or the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output — by 40 to 45 percent compared with 2005 levels. By that measure, emissions would still increase, though the rate would slow.
Agence France-Presse (D’Arcy Doran, “CHINA MUST SHOW LEADERSHIP ON CLIMATE CHANGE: EU”, Nanjing, 2009/11/30) reported that the EU said Monday cataclysmic climate change cannot be averted without PRC leadership. “We cannot solve the climate challenge to mankind without China taking on leadership and responsibility,” Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in his capacity as EU president. “So far our belief is the global effort put on the table for mitigation is not enough… more needs to be done,” he said at a post-summit address with PRC Premier Wen Jiabao and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso . Barroso had told reporters Sunday that the EU had urged the PRC to explore the “outer limits” of their position on emissions reduction. Wen, however, defended the PRC’s offer, saying it marked “a major contribution to global efforts” against climate change.
21. PRC Demographics
Dong-A Ilbo (“REPORT: POPULATION DECLINE TO HURT CHINA’S COMPETIVENESS “, 2009/11/27) reported that the PRC should brace for a declining population and change its one-child policy to keep its competitiveness, the Economic Information Daily published by the state-run Xinhua News Agency said Thursday. The PRC’s population growth was relatively high at 1.56 percent in 1975, but dropped below one percent in 1998. From last year, it declined to less than 0.5 percent. The number of those aged 14 and under peaked in 1995 at 334 million but declined to 252 million last year, down 24.6 percent over a 10-year period.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Energy Supply
China Economy Net (“SINOPEC INVESTS 1.1 BILLION USD ON ECUADOR OIL LAND”, 2009/11/27) reported that Sinopec International Petroleum will invest 1 to 1.1 billion USD to set up a joint-ventured company with Petroecuador, and develop NO.42 block of Oglan oil land located in eastern Pastaza province of Ecuador. Petroecuador will hold 60% of the stocks and Sinopec will hold 40%.
23. PRC Climate Change
PRC Government Website (“CHINA TO CUT 40 TO 45% GDP UNIT CARBON BY 2020P”, 2009/11/27) reported that the State Council announced Thursday that the PRC is going to reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 percent compared with the level of 2005. This is “a voluntary action” taken by the Chinese government “based on our own national conditions” and “is a major contribution to the global effort in tackling climate change,” the State Council said.