NAPSNet Daily Report 08 April, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Missile Launch
- 2. DPRK on Missile Launch
- 3. Russia on DPRK Missile Launch
- 4. US on DPRK Missile Launch
- 5. US-DPRK Relations
- 6. Japan on DPRK-US Relations
- 7. Japan on DPRK Missile Launch
- 8. PRC on DPRK Missile Launch
- 9. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 10. Inter-Korean Relations
- 11. Japan Politics
- 12. Japan Environment
- 13. Japan Aid to Pakistan
- 14. US on PRC Bank Fraud
- 15. Sino-Venezuelan Energy Cooperation
- 16. PRC Climate Change
- 17. PRC on Human Trafficking
- 18. PRC Disease Outbreak
- 19. PRC Unrest
- 20. PRC Civil Society
- 21. PRC Protest Trial
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Missile Launch
The Associated Press (Paul Alexander, “ANALYST: NKOREA SEEKING TO BEAT SOUTH IN SPACE”, Seoul, 2009/04/07) reported that the DPRK may have rushed its rocket launch in an apparently unsuccessful effort to beat the ROK to space, a security analyst said, while a Seoul official suggested the DPRK had hoped to showcase its technology for export. Tim Brown, a senior fellow at the security analyst group Globalsecurity.org, suggested that the DPRK may have tried to put up a satellite first for a propaganda victory. The ROK’s defense minister said the DPRK may have been trying to show off its missile technology for export. “I think that’s one of the reasons for developing” the rocket, Lee Sang-hee told a parliamentary meeting.
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA ‘NOTIFIED U.S., CHINA, RUSSIA OF LAUNCH TIME'”, 2009/04/07) reported that the DPRK notified the US, PRC and Russia in advance of its plan to launch the long-range rocket, the ROK’s National Intelligence Service officials told the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee. An official with a security-related agency said, “I understand it’s unprecedented for the North to notify the U.S. in advance of the time.” A researcher at a government-funded think-tank speculated the DPRK could have been attempting to emphasize that its latest rocket was not a missile but a peaceful satellite carrier and show that it has nothing to hide.
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“NORTH KOREA ‘IGNORED SATELLITE PROCEDURES'”, 2009/04/07) reported that the DPRK did not follow the necessary international procedures for launching a satellite, according to sources. The Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to which the DPRK also belongs, stipulates that the launch of a communications satellite needs to be announced in advance. The regulations also require member states to give prior notice of a satellite’s operating frequency, its orbital location and other information to the ITU two to seven years before a satellite goes into use. However, the DPRK did not give such prior notice to the ITU, the sources said.
2. DPRK on Missile Launch
The Associated Press (Jean H. Lee, “NKOREA SHOWS FOOTAGE OF HEALTHY LEADER KIM JONG IL”, 2009/04/07) reported that state-run television gave the DPRK their first glimpse of the country’s “auspicious” rocket launch — and of an apparently healthy leader Kim Jong Il mingling with farmers and watching bears at the zoo. Pyongyang citizen Ri Yong Hwa told APTN the launch was “a great, auspicious event for the nation that displays the spirit and merit of ‘military first’ Korea.” State-run TV called the launch a success and a “great inspiration” to its people.
Washington Post (“KIM JONG IL HAILS NORTH KOREAN ROCKET LAUNCH”, 2009/04/07) reported that Kim Jong Il has expressed “great satisfaction” that the DPRK succeeded in launching a satellite. “It is a striking demonstration,” Kim was quoted as saying, “that our scientists and technicians developed both the multistage carrier rocket and the satellite with their own wisdom and technology 100 percent and accurately put the satellite into orbit at one go.” A new rubber-stamp parliament is scheduled to reappoint Kim on Thursday as chairman of the National Defense Commission, which runs the military and is the state’s supreme decision-making body.
3. Russia on DPRK Missile Launch
Reuters (Louis Charbonneau, “RUSSIA WANTS DEAL ON U.N. RESPONSE TO NORTH KOREA LAUNCH”, United Nations, 2009/04/07) reported that Russia voiced hope that major world powers would agree on a U.N. response to the DPRK’s weekend rocket launch that Washington and Japan say violated U.N. rules and cannot be left unpunished. Russia’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Konstantin Dolgov told reporters he hoped they could agree on a response that could be put to the full council for approval. Asked if he thought the six were any closer to a deal, he said, “Hopefully, that’s why we are discussing things.” “So far we are not yet there,” he added. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the council should not rush to any conclusions on the DPRK.
4. US on DPRK Missile Launch
The Associated Press (“CLINTON PRESSING UN ON NORTH KOREAN LAUNCH”, 2009/04/07) reported that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she is lobbying key members of the U.N. Security Council to respond to the DPRK’s missile launch. Clinton said that she spoke with the foreign ministers from the four other countries that have been involved in negotiations with the DPRK to end its nuclear activities. The United States appears to be struggling to achieve U.N. condemnation of Sunday’s launch by Pyongyang.
5. US-DPRK Relations
CNN (“ALBRIGHT: NORTH KOREAN LEADER WANTS RESPECT”, 2009/04/07) reported that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il is using his claims of a successful rocket launch to shore up his political strength within his country. Albright, who was secretary of state in the Clinton administration, told CNN’s “American Morning” that “Kim Jong-Il is doing this for his own internal reasons — because on Thursday, tomorrow, there will be a rubber stamp by the parliament of his leadership — and the problems that he’s generally had since he had his stroke.”
6. Japan on DPRK-US Relations
United Press International (“JAPAN LEADER: U.S. ‘WEAK-KNEED’ ON N.KOREA”, 2009/04/07) reported that Japanese Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Hiroyuki Hosoda says Condoleezza Rice, who was secretary of State under former US President George W. Bush, and former chief US negotiator for DPRK denuclearization Christopher Hill weren’t willing to stand up to Pyongyang. The Japanese news agency Kyodo quoted Hosoda saying at an LDP meeting, “They were weak-kneed. Their ways of dealing with the issue were wrong.”
7. Japan on DPRK Missile Launch
Chosun Ilbo (“JAPAN COULD BOOST DEFENSE OVER N.KOREA LAUNCH”, 2009/04/07) reported that Japan will massively increase its military spending after the DPRK’s abortive satellite launch Sunday. Much as the DPRK’s launch of a Taepodong-1 missile in 1998 gave Tokyo justification to build up its missile defense system, so Sunday’s rocket launch is likely to cause Japan to boost its missile defense and reinforce its military. Already there is talk about increasing the defense budget, with press reports that the DPRK’s launch “bolstered the morale of the Self-defense Forces,” as the Japanese military is called.
Mainichi Shimbun (“LOWER HOUSE ADOPTS RESOLUTION CONDEMNING N. KOREA FOR LAUNCHING MISSILE”, 2009/04/07) reported that the House of Representatives adopted a resolution at a plenary session condemning the DPRK for launching a long-rage ballistic missile. The ruling coalition comprised of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan and some other parties voted for the resolution. “The latest launch clearly violates a United Nations Security Council resolution and cannot be tolerated. The government should stiffen its sanctions against North Korea,” it states.
Xinhua News (“JAPANESE FM: DENUCLEARIZED DPRK HAS THE RIGHT TO RUN SPACE PROGRAM”, 2009/04/07) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said that the DPRK will be entitled to run a space program on condition that it has been denuclearized. At a press conference for foreign correspondents in Tokyo, Nakasone said that if the DPRK comprehensively settles the nuclear, missile and abduction issues, Japan is willing to normalized relations with Pyongyang. Nakasone urged the United Nations Security Council to adopt a fresh resolution to make the DPRK realize the “consequences of such a provocative act.”
8. PRC on DPRK Missile Launch
The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CHINA URGES RESTRAINT, MORE TALKS OVER NKOREA”, 2009/04/07) reported that the PRC declined to label the DPRK’s rocket firing as a provocative act and called for a restrained response to the launch. “Under the current circumstances, we hope relevant parties can maintain calm, restraint, and caution so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability in this region,” Jiang said. Jiang said that while the technology involved in a satellite launch and missile test were similar, they remained distinct actions. Launching a satellite also involved the DPRK’s right to “peaceful use of space,” she said.
9. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Korea Herald (“LEE WANTS GAESEONG ABOVE POLITICS”, 2009/04/08) reported that President Lee Myung-bak yesterday expressed hope that the Gaeseong industrial park is not dragged into the recent political tension. Uncertainty is growing about the future of the economic zone in a Northern border city following Pyongyang’s inconsistency in keeping the border open, its seizing of a southern worker and its recent launching of a long-range rocket. In a recent interview, Lee ruled out the possibility of closing the joint industrial park, a symbol of inter-Korean peace and economic cooperation, despite rising tension with its northern neighbor.
10. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “‘NO PLAN TO SEND ENVOY TO NK'”, 2009/04/07) reported that Unification Minister Hyun In-taek ruled out the possibility of Seoul sending a special envoy to Pyongyang, clarifying that the ministry had not so far discussed details of the option. “There are several ways that can facilitate talks between the two Koreas, and there is no doubt that sending a special envoy is one of them,” Hyun said during a National Assembly interpellation session. But the government has not looked into the details of the option, he added.
Agence-France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA’S LEE URGES NORTH KOREA TO FREE DETAINEE”, 2009/04/07) reported that President Lee Myung-bak urged DPRK to free a South Korean held in the DPRK for more than a week for allegedly criticizing Pyongyang’s regime. “His firm must demand (his release) more actively from the North, and the government must work with the international community if necessary to resolve the issue at an early date,” Lee told his cabinet. The DPRK has promised to guarantee the detainee’s rights but has said access will be available only after his investigation ends.
11. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“AFTER 3 YRS IN OFFICE, OZAWA VOWS TO DO HIS BEST TO OUST LDP FROM POWER “, Tokyo, 2009/04/07) reported that Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa, mired in a fundraising scandal, vowed anew to do his best toward ousting the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from power, after three years since taking up the top position of the main opposition party. ”As I have said many times, my primary goal is to achieve a regime change and I believe that’s what the public needs,” Ozawa told a press conference.
12. Japan Environment
The Asahi Shimbun (“CORAL HELPS TO KEEP ISLETS ABOVE WATER”, 2009/04/07) reported that designed to keep crucial Japanese territory from going the way of Atlantis, coral planted in waters off Okinotorishima islets at the nation’s southernmost point is growing well, the Fisheries Agency says. Scientists hope the new coral will help to keep the islets, which are being eroded by sea waves, above water. The rocky islets surrounded by coral reefs, which are 1,740 kilometers from central Tokyo and a mere 10 square meters in combined area, are the basis for Japan’s claim for 400,000 square kilometers of exclusive economic zone.
13. Japan Aid to Pakistan
Agence France Press (“JAPAN AID FOR PAKISTAN’S DISPLACED PEOPLE”, Tokyo, 2009/04/07) reported that Japan said it would give five million dollars in supplies to Pakistan to help people displaced by conflict as part of aid to be pledged at a Tokyo donors’ meet next week. Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said Japan would give 500 million yen (4.97 million dollars) in supplies through UN agencies and the Red Cross. “Stabilisation of Pakistan, which shares a border with Afghanistan and battles against terrorism, will directly lead to peace and stability in the international community,” said the ministry in a statement.
14. US on PRC Bank Fraud
Bloomberg News (Karen Freifeld, “CHINESE FIRM INDICTED FOR MISUSING BANKS, AIDING IRAN”, 2009/04/07) reported that a PRC company that supplies banned weapons to Iran and its manager were charged with concealing the company’s identity from U.S. banks, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said. Morgenthau announced a 118-count indictment today against LIMMT Economic and Trade Company Ltd., and Li Fang Wei, commercial manager at the Dalian, PRC-based company. By using aliases, LIMMT fooled U.S. banks into processing dozens of illegal transactions, Morgenthau said.
15. Sino-Venezuelan Energy Cooperation
Dow Jones Newswires (“VENEZUELA’S CHAVEZ: 3 OBJECTIVES FOR DEEPER CHINA ENERGY TIES”, 2009/04/07) reported that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he had three strategic energy objectives in his latest visit to the PRC, the first being how to arrange for PRC oil companies working in his country to boost their oil output and supply the PRC with 1 million barrels a day by 2013. He said the second was to review the status of a planned joint venture oil refinery to be built in the PRC, “which is nearly ready to be launched.” The third is the creation of a bilateral Venezuela-PRC oil shipping company, he told journalists.
16. PRC Climate Change
IANS (“CHINA, INDIA REJECT CLIMATE AGREEMENT THAT OBSTRUCTS ECONOMIC GROWTH”, 2009/04/07) reported that India and the PRC have told the United Nations a climate change agreement that slows down their economic growth and locks them into poverty is unacceptable to them. The UN’s climate change boss said the two Asian giants have taken a series of ‘ambitious’ domestic actions to combat climate change but want to draw the line at anything that would upset their economic growth strategies. ‘Both of those countries are increasingly taking action – at home – not waiting for an agreement,’ said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
17. PRC on Human Trafficking
Xinhua (“HUMAN SMUGGLER SUSPECTS DETAINED IN CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/04/07) reported that PRC police have detained two suspects who had allegedly attempted to smuggle about 300 youngsters to Costa Rica since last May, a spokesman with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said. Diplomats of the Costa Rican embassy in Beijing told local police that they had received about 300 visa applications all from south PRC’s Guangdong Province that all claimed that they hoped to reunite with their parents who had settled down in Costa Rica, the spokesman said. During the investigation, police officers found the parents of the applicants were all living in the PRC and their application documents were all fabricated. Police concluded that it was an organized human smuggling case, the spokesman said.
18. PRC Disease Outbreak
Reuters (“CHILD DISEASE OUTBREAK KILLS 18 IN CHINA’S HENAN”, Beijing, 2009/04/07) reported that eighteen children from central the PRC’s Henan province have died in an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease that could claim more victims as its spreads in summer heat, state media reported. Henan is a rural province crowded with poor farmers, and is the center of the PRC’s latest outbreak of the disease, which killed 40 children nationwide last year, spreading alarm among parents who accused officials of indifference and cover-ups. The dead were among nearly 20,000 cases of the disease confirmed in Henan, including 5,965 in hospital, as of Monday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
19. PRC Unrest
The New York Times (Sharon LaFraniere, “CHINA RIGHTS ACTIVIST BEATEN AT CEMETERY”, 2009/04/07) reported that last Saturday was tomb-sweeping day, when the PRCtraditionally honor the dead. Sun Wenguang, a 75-year-old retired university professor, came to the cemetery to remember Zhao Ziyang. As he entered the cemetery in Jinan, a city about 230 miles south of Beijing, Mr. Sun said, four or five men attacked him and beat him severely. He is now in a Jinan hospital with three broken ribs and injuries to his spine, head, back, arms and legs, according to China Human Rights Defenders, a Hong Kong-based human rights group.
20. PRC Civil Society
Shanghai Daily (“ADDICT’S AGONY TO GET OFF THE HOOK”, 2009/04/07) reported that having survived the misery of drug addiction and total despair, Song Dongmei started a new life with help from others and is offering the same crucial “lifeline” to addicts to get through stages of self-hate and rejection, Nancy Zhang reports Song is a mentor at Ziqiang Group, a local non-government organization that helps recovering addicts reintegrate into society. It operates an experimental self-help group. The NGO, founded by Ye Xiong was honored last year by the city as one of the 10 best social service organizations in Shanghai.
21. PRC Protest Trial
BBC News (“CHINA PM SHOE TRIAL DATE CHANGED”, 2009/04/07) reported that the trial of a man accused of harassing the PRC Prime Minister has been rescheduled to avoid a clash with the anniversary of a student massacre. Cambridge University researcher Martin Jahnke, 27, admits throwing a shoe at Wen Jiabao during his tour of Britain. Magistrates in Cambridge have moved his trial forward to 1 June to avoid it ending on 4 June – the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society
Jiangxi Daily, (Long Xugao, “CHARITY SHOULD RETURN TO THE FOLK ASAP”, 2009/04/06) reported that the charitable fund raised by the PRC Red Cross Society was 1.537 billion RMB last year, but the fund-raising target of this year is only 0.1 billion RMB, shrinking 93% than last year. Of course the financial crisis is one of the factors, but the lagging system of charity cause is the rule of the problem. At present, the charity cause is too much relied on some generous contributions, and gradually abandons the charity tenet of coming from the folk and feeding back the society. Charity should return to the folk as soon as possible.
23. PRC Environment
Huicong Environmental Protection Net (“2009 INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT FORUM HELD IN MACAO”, 2009/04/07) reported that 2009 International Environmental Protection Cooperation and Development Forum was held in Macao April 2nd. The theme of this Forum is “Global Green Event – Environmental Business Opportunities Meet in Macao”, aiming at publicizing green spirits, develop and promote international cooperation, share the latest green technological fruits, and resolve environmental issues.
24. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Changle Bureau of Forestry website (“ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION VOLUNTEERS CARRY OUT CLEANING ACTICITY AT MINJIANG RIVER HEKOU WETLAND”, 2009/04/07) reported that Minjiang River Hekou Wetland is an important wetland in Fujian province. On April 6th, Fujian Environmental Protection Volunteer Association and Changle municipal Bureau of Forestry jointly carried out a cleaning activity named “Protect the Kidney of the Earth” at Minjiang River Hekou Wetland. The volunteers removed the rubbish at the wetland and along its shore. During the activity, the volunteers further learned the biological diversity of the wetland and made an investigation of the ecological system.