NAPSNet Daily Report 1 August, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK Human Rights
- 3. Inter-Korean Relations
- 4. Mt. Kumgang Shooting
- 5. ROK Military Posture
- 6. US-ROK Relations
- 7. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
- 8. ROK-Japan Relations
- 9. Japanese Politics
- 10. Japan-India Relations
- 11. Japanese Export Control
- 12. Japanese A-Bomb Survivors
- 13. Cross Straits Relations
- 14. PRC Censorship
- 15. PRC Human Rights
- 16. US Policy Toward Asia
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “‘DENUCLEARIZATION SHOULD GO TOGETHER WITH RELATIONS'”, Seoul, 2008/07/31) reported that Rep. Song Min-soon of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) who served as foreign minister during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, minister said Thursday that efforts to denuclearize the DPRK should run parallel with those to put inter-Korean relations back on track. “If Seoul adheres to denuclearization and openness of the isolated state as a premise for inter-Korean economic cooperation, North Korea will compromise with the United States and that may help resolve the nuclear issue,” Song said. “In the end, that would tighten relations between the two Koreas and ties between Seoul and Washington as well,” he added.
2. DPRK Human Rights
Los Angeles Times (Paul Richter, “NORTH KOREA RIGHTS ISSUE TO GET MORE FOCUS IN NUCLEAR TALKS”, Washington, 2008/08/01) reported that US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told a Senate committee Thursday that the Bush administration would increase its emphasis on human rights issues during nuclear weapons talks. “We will definitely raise these issues as an element of our normalization process,” Hill said under questioning by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). But Hill added: “I’m not in a position, at my level, to state to you today what the specific conditions of normalization will be.”
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Joongang Ilbo (“NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT GIVES NORTH AND SOUTH EQUAL ATTENTION”, 2008/08/01) reported that member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement that convened in Iran for an annual conference chose a closing statement that buttressed concerns of both Seoul and Pyongyang. It said that NAM member countries support all inter-Korean joint declarations as well as other agreements signed in the six-party talks. “The ministers expressed their support towards efforts to reunify the Korean Peninsula … as stated in the North-South Joint Declaration of 15 June 2000 and the Declaration for Development of North-South Relations and Peace and Prosperity of 4 October 2007 … as well as all other previous North-South joint statements and agreements,” it read.
4. Mt. Kumgang Shooting
Yonhap (Shim Sun-ah, “SEOUL SAYS TOURIST MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FLEEING WHEN SHOT”, Seoul, 2008/08/01) reported that ROK investigators looking into the shooting death of an ROK tourist by a DPRK soldier suggested Friday the victim was shot when she was either strolling or standing still after the first shot missed her. Kim Dong-hwan, a firearms expert at the National Institute of Scientific Investigation, based his assumptions on the locations of bullet holes in Park’s clothes. The announcement came after a two-day simulation test by the eight-member team, including forensic experts and police officers, earlier this week
5. ROK Military Posture
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “DEFENSE MINISTER CALLS FOR HEIGHTENED ALERT DURING BEIJING OLYMPICS”, Seoul, 2008/08/01) reported that ROK Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee on Friday stressed the need to maintain a heightened state of alert during this month’s Beijing Summer Olympic Games against possible provocation by DPRK and international terrorist groups. “We must be prepared to counter any threats from North Korea, including non-military and transnational threats,” Lee said. He also stressed the need to “maintain the military’s readiness around the country’s weak security areas, such as the northern limit line (NLL), and to prepare for any type of terrorist activities or natural disasters throughout the Beijing Olympics.”
6. US-ROK Relations
Korea Herald (“BUSH EXPECTS INTENSE DIPLOMACY IN SEOUL NEXT WEEK”, 2008/08/01) reported that US President George W. Bush expects many diplomatic issues to be on the table while in Seoul next week on his way to Beijing for the Olympics, Yonhap News Agency reported. Dennis Wilder, senior director for Asian affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, said Wednesday that Bush wants to discuss the ROK’s participation in the war on terrorism. “They will also discuss ways that they can begin to implement a global strategic partnership for the 21st century, so that Korea joins us, as they have begun to do, in helping to secure the peace in other regions of the world such as in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.
7. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
Yomiuri Shimbun (Yoshinari Kurose , “U.S.: TAKESHIMA ROK ISLETS”, Washington, 2008/08/01) reported that the U.S. Board of Geographic Names reversed its change of the status of the Dokdo/Takeshima islets from “nondesignated sovereignty” to “South Korea” on its Web site in response to strong opposition from Seoul, Dennis Wilder, the U.S. National Security Council’s senior director for Asian affairs, said Wednesday. President George W. Bush instructed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to reconsider the earlier nondesignated sovereignty determination. The United States has concluded there was no appropriate reason at this time to change the listing of the islets from “South Korea” to “nondesignated sovereignty,” prompting the latest change.
Korea Times (Sunny Lee, “KOREA’S STRATEGY ON DOKDO ‘SHORT-SIGHTED'”, Beijing, 2008/08/01) reported that a PRC scholar said that the ROK’s diplomatic approach to Dokdo should have been done in an “aggressive yet quieter manner.” By making it a full-blown case, the whole world now knows that Dokdo is disputed, he observed. “It has also shown the world that Koreans are very emotional and nationalistic, while Japanese appear cool and calm,” he reasoned, adding a country like the ROK, small in land and scarce in natural resources, should always maintain a vigorous global outreach strategy. But the Dokdo issue has given the world the view, he believes, that Koreans are more inwardly focused. “From an outsiders view, Dokdo is essentially a lonely cluster of islands with no inhabitants. The excessive emotion shown by Koreans didn’t make them heroes in the eyes of people who are detached from the issue. I think the Japanese are probably better able to strategize on this matter,” he said.
8. ROK-Japan Relations
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “SEOUL-TOKYO FISHERIES PACT QUESTIONED”, Seoul, 2008/08/01) reported that the ROK’s governing Grand National Party (GNP) called on the government Friday to seek ways to revise a fisheries pact with Japan signed in 1998. GNP chairman Park Hee-tae stated, “Negotiations on the fisheries pact were rushed ahead of then-President Kim Dae-jung’s state visit to Japan. As a result, our territory, Dokdo, virtually became undesignated territory.”
9. Japanese Politics
Agence France-Presse (Hiroshi Hiyama, “JAPAN’S BELEAGUERED PM RESHUFFLES CABINET”, Tokyo, 2008/08/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda reshuffled his cabinet on Friday. Japanese media said Fukuda would keep many senior ministers in place, although he would bring his former rival Taro Aso back as secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). “This conveys the message that Fukuda will stay in his job and try to win public support,” said Sadafumi Kawato, a professor of politics at Tohoku University. “Even some LDP members have been saying that it’s better to hold snap elections as early as possible because they don’t think they can win elections with Fukuda in the prime minister’s post,” he said.
10. Japan-India Relations
Associated Press (Muneeza Maqvi, “JAPANESE: E-MAIL WARNS OF MORE BOMBS IN INDIA”, New Delhi, 2008/07/31) reported that the Japanese embassy has received an e-mail warning of a bomb planted at a market in India’s capital, and has warned its citizens to stay away from crowded public places, a notice posted on its Web site Thursday said. Police were investigating the e-mail, though there was no immediate indication whether the threat was credible. Japan’s embassy said it had received an e-mail warning of a bomb planted in the capital’s popular Sarojini Nagar market, one of three New Delhi markets bombed in October 2005.
11. Japanese Export Control
Associated Press (Jay Alabaster, “JAPAN POLICE RAID COMPANY, SUSPECT NUCLEAR EXPORTS”, Tokyo, 2008/07/31) reported that authorities raided the headquarters of Horkos Corp. in southwestern Japan on Thursday on suspicion it illegally exported machinery that can be used to make nuclear weapons, police spokesman Ryoji Manda said. The company is suspected of exporting equipment without obtaining government authorization, he said. In 2004, Horkos exported several “machining centers” to the ROK, from where they could then have been sold to other countries, Japanese media reported. The equipment is highly precise and can be used to make components for centrifuges that enrich uranium for use in nuclear bombs.
12. Japanese A-Bomb Survivors
Yomiuri Shimbun (“COURT RULES FOR A-BOMB SURVIVORS”, Hiroshima, 2008/08/01) reported that the Hiroshima District Court on Thursday became the first court to rule that atomic-bomb survivors can apply from overseas to receive A-bomb survivor’s certificates, which enable them to receive healthcare benefits, from the central government. The court ordered the Hiroshima prefectural government to reverse its former position not to accept the certificates from two Japanese who moved to Brazil and died years after experiencing the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
13. Cross Straits Relations
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “IN MILDER RHETORIC, CHINA’S DEFENSE MINISTER NOTES ‘POSTIVE CHANGES’ IN SITUATION ON TAIWAN”, Beijing, 2008/08/01) reported that PRC Defense Minister Liang Guanglie says Taiwan’s domestic situation has undergone “positive changes.” “The Taiwan situation has undergone positive changes. The development of relations between the two sides faces a rare historical opportunity,” Liang said. In an address on the eve of Friday’s Army Day, Liang reiterated Beijing’s goal of political unification, but his comments were free of the bellicose tone that has sometimes characterized Beijing’s pronouncements toward Taiwan.
14. PRC Censorship
Associated Press (Stephen Wade, “OLYMPIC OFFICIAL: I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT WEB REVERSAL”, Beijing, 2008/07/31) wrote that Kevan Gosper, the press commission head of the International Olympic Committee, said Thursday he felt like the “fall guy” after promising reporters at the games they would have uncensored Internet access, only to find that the PRC government had blocked certain Web sites. Gosper said he was startled to find out earlier this week that Web sites for Amnesty International or others dealing with Tibet, the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square or the spiritual group Falun Gong would be blocked to reporters at the Olympics Main Press Center in Beijing.
BBC (Michael Bristow, “CHINA LIFTS MORE INTERNET CURBS”, Beijing, 2008/08/01) reported that the PRC appears to have unblocked banned websites after complaints from journalists covering the Olympics. The move follows talks between PRC organisers and officials from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “The IOC has always encouraged the Beijing 2008 organisers to provide media with the fullest access possible to report on the Olympic Games, including access to the Internet,” an IOC statement said.
15. PRC Human Rights
New York Times (Andrew Jacobs, “CHINA ANGERED BY U.S. LOBBYING ON RIGHTS”, Washington, 2008/08/01) reported that in response to US President George Bush’s meeting with prominent Chinese dissidents at the White House, Beijing on Thursday sharply condemned Washington for interfering in the PRC’s domestic affairs and accused American legislators of politicizing the Olympics. During a news conference Thursday, Liu Jianchao, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, described the House measure as “odious conduct” and said the United States should stop “making use of so-called religious and human rights” issues to score political points, Agence France-Presse reported.
16. US Policy Toward Asia
Associated Press (Denis D. Gray, “PRESIDENT BUSH: US NOT NEGLECTING ASIA”, Bangkok, 2008/08/01) reported that U.S. President George W. Bush countered critics who claim his global war on terrorism has lessened Washington’s role in Asia and allowed PRC influence to grow in the region, news reports said Friday. Bush said in interviews with senior Asian editors in Washington on Thursday that “our foreign policy has been robust in the Far East.” “In terms of foreign policy in the Far East, it is mistaken if someone were to say that my preoccupation was on the war on terror,” he said. “Our relations with your country (Thailand), South Korea, with Japan and China have never been stronger.”
II. PRC Report
17. PRC Environment
Greenpeace website, http://www.greenpeace.org/china/zh/ (“GREEN PEACE PUBLISHED ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT REPORT OF 2008 BEIJING OLYMPICS”, 2008/07/31) reported that the PRC “has made public transport more convenient, upgraded home heating methods, reduced, to some degree, its reliance on fossil fuel, and improved water treatment,” Greenpeace China’s Campaign Director, Lo Sze Ping said. But Beijing missed the opportunity of the Olympics to adopt the world’s best environmental practices. It could have more aggressively enforced pollution controls on industry, pursued a zero-waste policy, and adopted Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification on all new construction and comprehensive water conservation policies.
21 Century Economic News (“30 MILLION TONS OF SLUDGE NEEDS TO BE RESOLVED”, 2008/07/31) reported that “by 2010, the percentage of the PRC’s rural sewage treatment will be 60. At that time, the resulting sludge will be 30 million tons. But the sludge treatment is facing many problems such as lack of management, immature technology and others,” the director of Technological Standard Division of Environmental Protection Department, Zhao Yingmin said recently at a forum. Because of the requirement of energy-saving and emission reduction, the construction of sewage treatment facilities is booming all around the country, but the resulting sludge treatment is a concern, as well as the government’s investment and technological support.
18. PRC Civil Society
People’s Daily online (“SURGERY REHABILITATION PROGRAM OF CLEFT LIP AND PALATE CHILDREN IN POOR FAMILIES STRATED IN HUBEI PROVINCE”, 2008/07/31) reported that the opening ceremony of Regeneration Action was held grandly in Wuhan of Hubei Province. This program is funded 100 million yuan by Ministry of Civil Affairs and Li Ka Shing Foundation. It will help cleft lip and palate children in poor families with free surgery and treatment. The children will be arranged in the designated hospitals. At present, 6 children have already received the surgery and the results are all good.
III. ROK Report
19. DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (“DPRK NUCLEAR OF TWO FACES, TO BE SOLVED BY BALANCE AND HARMONY”, 2008/07/31) reported that Kim Tae-woo, National Security vice-director at the Korean Institute of Defense Analysis (KIDA), had a lecture on the topic of “two faces of the DPRK nuclear program.” He mentioned the DPRK, the U.S. and NPT as three variable of the DPRK nuclear issue, and the truth lies in the two faces of these variables. Directly appealing to the DPRK is important for reconciliation and cooperation; however mutual assistance with other countries is also very important. Kim suggested that we should give the DPRK leadership class, to lead the DPRK to the gradual change.