NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, April 20, 2006

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NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, April 20, 2006

I. NAPSNet

Preceding NAPSNet Report


I. NAPSNet

1. US-PRC Summit on DPRK

Reuters (“BUSH URGES CHINA USE INFLUENCE ON NORTH KOREA”, 2006-04-20) reported that President George W. Bush welcomed PRC President Hu Jintao with a 21-gun salute on Thursday and urged him to make trade concessions, improve human rights and exert more influence over the DPRK. “As the relationship between our two nations grows and matures, we can be candid about our disagreements,” Bush told Hu during a colourful White House South Lawn arrival ceremony marked by full military honours. “I continue to seek President Hu’s advice and cooperation and urge his nation to use its considerable influence with North Korea to make meaningful progress towards a Korean peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons,” Bush said. The PRC, Hu said, was ready “to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations.”

(return to top) Yonhap (“HU URGES FLEXIBILITY TO BRING N.K. BACK TO SIX-PARTY TALKS”, 2006-04-20) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao urged flexibility by negotiators to bring the DPRK back to multinational nuclear talks, saying Thursday they must “create necessary conditions.” “The six-party talks have run into some difficulties at the moment,” Hu said through a translator after a White House summit with US President George W. Bush. “I hope that the parties will be able to further display flexibility, work together and create necessary conditions for the early resumption of the talks,” he said. (return to top)

2. DPRK Counterfeiting

Reuters (“NORTH KOREA SAYS HAS “SHOCKING EVIDENCE” OF US PLOT”, 2006-04-20) reported that the DPRK has charged the US with counterfeiting its own currency and shifting the blame to Pyongyang. A spokesman for the Ministry of People’s Security said in a statement the DPRK had obtained “shocking evidence” Washington and Tokyo are producing false material that gives the impression Pyongyang is a criminal state, the DPRK’s KCNA news agency said late Wednesday. “The CIA secretly enlist(s) experts on counterfeiting notes claimed to be the ‘most sophisticated in the world’ and invite(s) them to issue lots of fake currencies at ‘counterfeit notes printing houses of North Korean-style’ operating in U.S. military bases in different parts of the world,” the spokesman said.

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3. Kaesong Industrial Project

Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO CONSULT WITH U.S. BEFORE NEXT KAESONG DEVELOPMENT”, 2006-04-19) reported that the ROK will consult closely with the US before pushing ahead with the next stage of developing an inter-Korean economic project, a senior Seoul official said Wednesday. Go Gyoung-bin, director general of the Kaesong industrial complex project office at the Unification Ministry, is visiting Washington with other Seoul officials to drum up support for the ambitious venture.

(return to top) Chosun Ilbo (“KAESONG COMPLEX EMERGES AS HURDLE IN FTA TALKS “, 2006-04-20) reported that the ROK and the US are holding behind the scenes negotiations to iron out differences ahead of a bilateral free trade agreement. To further promote inter-Korean economic cooperation, the ROK wants the US to treat products made in Kaesong as ROK goods. But the US argues only products made in the ROK can be subject to FTA negotiations. (return to top)

4. Arrests in DPRK

Yonhap (“N.K. CLAIMS ARREST OF ‘FOREIGN AGENTS’ FOR COLLECTING FAKE DATA FOR U.S.”, 2006-04-20) reported that in a statement carried by the KCNA on Wednesday, an unidentified spokesman for the DPRK’s Security Ministry said the country has arrested a number of “foreign criminals” who were taking pictures of what it said was a nonexistent drug factory in a town near its northern border with the PRC. The statement did not provide further details on the foreign detainees, but said they testified to having been paid to take or fabricate photos and video that can be used against the DPRK. “In order to make the source of the information sound plausible, they are mass-producing videotapes and CDs for the above-said purposes even by the use of animation processing technology on makeshift stages they have set up in the U.S. forces’ bases in a third country and in South Korea,” the statement said.

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5. Expert on Inter-Korean Repatriation

Korea Times (“LESSONS FOR SEOUL’S NK POLICY FROM GERMAN EXPERIENCE”, 2006-04-19) reported that in an interview with The Korea Times in Seoul Tuesday, Peter Gey, representative of the Korea Cooperation Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Seoul, shared possible lessons from Germany’s experiences for Seoul’s yet-to-be detailed plan to provide the DPRK with “bold” economic aid in return for repatriation of ROK prisoners of war and abductees believed to still be alive in the DPRK. Germany’s case of “freikauf,” meaning purchase of freedom, has drawn many comparisons. West Germany gave the East German regime 40,000 German marks – which Gey estimates to be around 120 million won by today’s ROK currency – per person it brought to the West out of political prisons in the East in the 1960s.

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6. Mongolia Internal Unrest

Itar-Tass (“MONGOLIAN RALLY DEMANDS GOVT RESIGNATION”, 2006-04-18) reported that more than 3,000 Mongolians rallied in Ulan Bator, demanding the resignation of President Nambaryn Enkhbayar and Prime Minister Miegombyn Enkhbold. The reason behind the protest was serious discontent with the terms of the upcoming agreement between the Mongolian government and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd of Canada, which received exclusive rights to develop a promising gold and copper deposit recently discovered in the Gobi Desert.

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7. Japan-ROK Territorial Dispute

International Herald Tribune (“WEATHER HELPS DELAY CLASH BETWEEN JAPAN AND S. KOREA OVER ISLETS”, 2006-04-20) reported that partly because of bad weather, Japan temporarily postponed an ocean survey in disputed waters around a set of ROK controlled islets as diplomats raced to avert a high-sea clash amid calls for calm from around the world.

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8. Japan-Iran Nuclear Program Talks

Crisscross News (“JAPAN, IRAN TO HOLD DIALOGUE SATURDAY”, 2006-04-19) reported that Japan and Iran will hold senior working-level talks in Tehran on Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Japan is expected to reiterate its call for Iran to halt its uranium enrichment activities. Japan will be represented by Motohide Yoshikawa, head of the ministry’s Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, and Iran by Nematollah Izadi, director general for East Asia and Oceania at the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

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9. PRC Intellectual Property Rights

Xinhua (“BEIJING STRIKES HARD ON BRIBING, IPR INFRIGEMENTS”, 2006-04-20) reported that the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Securityan established a new office for reporting economic crimes like bribing and infringement upon intellectual property rights by dialing a telephone number, 83547515, around the clock.

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10. PRC Media Censorship

International Herald Tribune (“GROUP SAYS YAHOO HELPED CHINA IN E-MAILER’S ARREST”, 2006-04-20) reported that Yahoo turned over one of its users’ draft e-mails to PRC authorities, who used the information to jail the account holder on subversion charges. It was the third time the US-based Internet company has been accused of helping to put a user in the PRC in prison.

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11. PRC on Economic Espionage

Xinhua (“CHINA: CANADA’S ESPIONAGE CHARGES GROUNDLESS”, 2006-04-20) reported that the PRC said that Canadian charges of economic espionage were “groundless” and “irresponsible”. “China has not been engaged in any so-called economic espionage in Canada,” PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced at a news conference.

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12. PRC-US Cultural Exchange

Xinhua (“CHINA, US ANNOUNCE NEW CHINESE LANGUAGE, CULTURAL INITIATIVE”, 2006-04-20) reported that the PRC and the US kicked signed an agreement of cooperation in promoting Chinese language and culture programs in the US.

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13. PRC-Madagascar Relations

Xinhua (“MADAGASCAN PRESIDENT VISITS SHENZHEN”, 2006-04-20) reported that Madagascan President Marc Ravalomanana visited the special economic zone of Shenzhen. The PRC government attaches importance to relations with Madagascar and is ready to work with Madagascar to push forward the stable and mutually-beneficial partnership between the two countries.

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14. PRC-Indonesia Relations

Xinhua (“INDONESIAN VICE PRESIDENT VISITS SOUTH CHINA”, 2006-04-20) reported that the visiting Indonesian Vice President Yusuf Kalla said that Indonesia would enhance cooperation with the PRC in joint efforts to achieve prosperity in Asia.

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15. Solomon Islands

The China Post (“TAIWAN DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ELECTIONS”, 2006-04-20) reported that Taiwan denied suggestions that recent violence against PRC businesses in the capital of the Solomon Islands was the result of Taipei’s interference in local elections.

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16. Cross Strait Relations

The Japan Times (“TAIWAN WELCOMES STRONGER JAPAN-U.S. DEFENSE RELATIONS “, 2006-04-20) reported that Taiwan welcomes stronger Japan-US defense ties, especially given their announced strategic goal of seeking cross-strait peace.

(return to top) The China Post (“PREMIER SIGNALS A DEMARCHE IN CHINA POLICY”, 2006-04-20) reported that Premier Su Tseng-chang signaled a demarche in Taiwan’s policy yesterday, saying he may go along with some of the decisions the Kuomintang reached with the PRC Communist Party. (return to top)