NAPSNet Daily Report 1 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK on Nuclear Talks
- 3. DPRK-US Bilateral Talks
- 4. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 5. DPRK-PRC Relations
- 6. DPRK Humanitarian Aid
- 7. DPRK Government
- 8. Inter-Korea Relations
- 9. Reunions of Separated Families
- 10. ROK Military
- 11. ROK-US Military
- 12. ROK Climate Change
- 13. ROK-Taiwan Relations
- 14. ROK International Relations
- 15. Japan-US Military Relations
- 16. Japan in Afghanistan
- 17. Japan Climate Change
- 18. PRC Anniversary Celebration
- 19. PRC Economy
- 20. PRC Climate Change
- 21. PRC Civil Unrest
- 22. Sino-US Relations
- 23. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA CONDEMNS U.N. RESOLUTION ON NON-PROLIFERATION “, Seoul, 2009/09/30) reported that the DPRK vowed Wednesday not to be bound by the latest United Nations resolution on non-proliferation and disarmament, saying it will never give up its nuclear weapons under any circumstance.
2. DPRK on Nuclear Talks
Korea Times (“N. KOREA REJECTS ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ NUKE OFFER”, Seoul, 2009/09/30) reported that the DPRK rejected President Lee Myung-bak’s proposal to seek a “grand bargain” on its nuclear program, Wednesday, saying Seoul should discard confrontational policies first to talk about denuclearization. “They are seriously mistaken if they calculate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would accept the ridiculous proposal for the normalization of relations with someone and for (a) sort of economic aid,” the North’s state-run news agency said. The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula should be settled between the DPRK and the United States as it is a product of Washington’s hostility toward Pyongyang, it said.
3. DPRK-US Bilateral Talks
Bloomberg (Bomi Lim , “U.S. OFFERS NORTH KOREA DIRECT TALKS ON ENDING NUCLEAR PROGRAM”, 2009/09/30) reported that a top U.S. diplomat said the Obama administration is willing to engage the DPRK directly to restart stalled nuclear disarmament talks, while the communist state warned the ROK not to interfere. “We are prepared to have direct engagement, bilateral engagement with the DPRK if it’s an aid to bringing the DPRK back into the six-party talks,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told reporters in Seoul today. “There is an opportunity to return to a more productive path and it’s the path that we hope they will seize.”
4. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “BOSWORTH DISMISSES MILITARY OPTION IN N. KOREAN NUKE ISSUE “, Washington, 2009/09/30) reported that the United States does not have a military option on the table regarding the DPRK’s denuclearization, the U.S. point man on the DPRK said underscoring that the six-party talks are the only way to resolve the issue. “There is no military solution, ” Stephen Bosworth, special representative for DPRK policy, said in an interview. “Containment does not give long-term results. Negotiations are the way forward.”
5. DPRK-PRC Relations
Korea Herald (“N.K. LEADER KIM CONGRATULATES HU “, 2009/09/30) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il vowed to solidify his country’s relations with the PRC in a message sent Wednesday to President Hu Jintao on the eve of the neighbor’s 60th anniversary, state media said. “The DPRK-China friendship is a treasured common wealth of the peoples of the two nations,” Kim was quoted by the Korean Central News Agency as saying in the message.
6. DPRK Humanitarian Aid
Yonhap News (“UNDP RESUMES AID PROJECTS IN N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/09/30) reported that a U.N. aid agency has resumed operations in the DPRK, state media said Wednesday, more than two-and-a-half years after suspending the program due to the DPRK’s alleged misuse of funds. “An event on the restart of UNDP aid to the DPRK was held at the mission of the UNDP here on Wednesday,” the Korean Central News Agency said. The brief report did not elaborate on the projects resumed by the U.N. agency.
7. DPRK Government
Daily NK (Kim So Yeol, “NORTH KOREA OFFICIALLY MILITARY-FIRST STATE “, ) reported that the essence of the newly revised DPRK constitution is its abandonment of communism, an emphasis on the Military-first policies, and the concentration of all powers in the chairman of the National Defense Commission. Communism has been deleted from Article 1 and replaced with the Juche and Songun, or “Military-first,” ideologies, definitively making clear that the Military-first ideology will continue to lead the DPRK. Furthermore, soldier is added to the list of three mainstays of any communist state; laborers, farmers and working intellectuals.
8. Inter-Korea Relations
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “14 LAWMAKERS CALL FOR USE OF RICE SURPLUS AS NK AID”, 2009/09/30) reported that a group of 14 opposition lawmakers urged the ROK government Wednesday to resume sending rice aid to the DPRK to help stabilize prices. They asked the government to use part of a rice production surplus as aid for DPRK residents fighting famine, and to lessen farmers’ worries about falling prices. They labeled the government’s price stabilization plan, which was made public a day ago, as short-sighted and ineffective.
Hankyoreh (“FARMERS DEMAND RICE PRICE STABILIZATION”, 2009/09/30) reported that o n Tuesday, ROK farmers plowed over their fields and held demonstrations to demand the government take measures to arrest plummeting rice prices. Around 60 farmers gathered in the village of Bondu 2-ri in Yeoju County located in the Gyeonggi region to hold a press conference demanding a guarantee for rice prices and a resumption of rice aid to the DPRK. They plowed over 2,300 square meters of fields prior to the fall harvest. In Jeollabuk region, an estimated 2,000 people gathered in front of the provincial hall to demonstrate for measures to stop rice prices from dropping.
9. Reunions of Separated Families
Yonhap (“SEPARATED FAMILIES TO PART AGAIN AFTER FAMILY REUNIONS”, Mount Kumgang, 2009/10/01) reported that hundreds of family members separated for nearly six decades by the Korean War will part ways again Thursday. The three-day reunion brought together 98 DPRK citizens and their 428 relatives in the ROK.
10. ROK Military
Yonhap News (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA’S NEW CHIEF GENERAL VOWS COMBINED READINESS AGAINST N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/09/30) reported that the ROK ‘s new chief general pledged Wednesday to consolidate his country’s military alliance with the U.S. and discipline his 655,000 troops in an effort to deter the DPRK from provoking a conflict on the Korean Peninsula. “My first mission in my new post is to build the character of a strong military while securing complete operational readiness to fight and win under any circumstances,” Lee said in a speech. “I will have my forces prepare themselves so the enemy may not even dare a provocation.”
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SKOREAN LEADER URGES STRONG ARMY, CITING THREAT”, SEOUL, 2009/10/01) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Thursday that the ROK should strengthen its armed forces to cope with a continuing nuclear threat from the DPRK. “It’s true that we need a dialogue with North Korea,” Lee said in a televised speech marking Armed Forces Day. But he added, “South-North Korean dialogue and peace will be advanced when we have a strong military with a firm readiness.”
11. ROK-US Military
Korea Herald (“VIOLATIONS BY U.S. SERVICEMEN SURGE IN FIRST HALF “, 2009/09/30) reported that the number of crimes violating regulations for U.S. soldiers stationed in the ROK surged in the first half of this year, most of them involving violence, a police report said Wednesday, Yonhap said. According to a tally submitted to parliament by the National Police Agency, 128 U.S. servicemen and their families were booked on charges of violating the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) during the first six months of 2009. Eighty-six of them were involved in violent crimes such as murder, theft, robbery, and sexual assault, it said.
12. ROK Climate Change
Reuters (Cho Mee-young, “SOUTH KOREA’S POLLUTERS INVEST IN GREEN FOR PROFIT”, Seoul, 2009/09/30) reported that heavy polluters in the ROK, one of the world’s fastest growing carbon emitters, are attracting strong investor interest as they pump billions dollars into green projects, cashing in on state incentives and the global push for renewable energy. Companies such as LG Chem and Samsung SDI, which have already established a strong presence in rechargeable batteries, are being joined by the likes of SK Energy, Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Samsung Group on projects from batteries to solar and wind.
JoongAng Ilbo (Moon Gwang-lip , “MINISTRY TAKES STEPS TO DEFINE MEANING OF ‘GREEN’”, 2009/10/01) reported that the ROK government said it would introduce a green-approval system within the year in which public agencies will review new technologies, business projects and companies to see if they truly help the environment. But the question has remained open – how is going green to be determined and defined?
To answer that, the government said yesterday it will come up with a system to standardize the definition of green. Technologies, projects or companies determined to be green will be given certificates. Firms holding the certificates will be eligible for various tax breaks and government support, the ministry said.
13. ROK-Taiwan Relations
eTaiwan News (“TAIWAN, SOUTH KOREA TO COOPERATE MORE”, 2009/10/01) reported that the heads of the trade promotion agencies of Taiwan and the ROK pledged to join hands to explore the international market. The closed-door meeting between delegates of the two agencies focused on ways and means to increase exports from the two countries, explore the mainland PRC market, reduce the trade deficit with Japan, and take part in the trade exhibitions held in Taiwan and the ROK, according to the Taiwan World Trade Center in Seoul.
14. ROK International Relations
Yonhap News (Byun Duk-kun, “LEE SAYS S. KOREA WILL PUT FORTH ITS VOICE ON N. KOREA, OTHER GLOBAL ISSUES “, Seoul, 2009/09/30) reported that President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday the ROK will assume greater leadership in resolving global issues including the DPRK and the ongoing global economic crisis. Lee said the country’s hosting of the G-20 economic summit in November 2010 is an opportunity for the ROK to move from the periphery to the center of the international community. The president said the country’s hosting of the summit, designated at the Pittsburgh meeting as the “premier forum” for international economic cooperation, proved the country’s already heightened position in the international community.
15. Japan-US Military Relations
Kyodo News (“GOV’T TO SET UP INFORMAL FORUM OVER FUTEMMA RELOCATION ISSUE”, Tokyo, 2009/10/01) reported that the government will set up an informal forum over the proposed relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station outside of Okinawa, a top Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano will convene the forum’s first meeting at the prime minister’s office Friday, the official said. Defense Minister Kitazawa has indicated the air station should be relocated within Okinawa in line with the Japan-U.S. accord.
16. Japan in Afghanistan
Kyodo News (“ENVOY HOPES JAPAN WILL CONTINUE COMMITMENT TO AFGHANISTAN”, Tokyo, 2009/09/30) reported that Afghan Ambassador to Japan Eklil Ahmad Hakimi on Wednesday expressed hope that the new Japanese government will remain committed to supporting the war-torn country, while playing down the impact of the expected end to Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.”They (Japan) did say that they will support the Afghan government through other means, and also something that our people could benefit from. So we are very grateful for that,” the ambassador told reporters after talking with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada.
17. Japan Climate Change
Kyodo News (“GOV’T TO REEXAMINE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF 25% EMISSIONS-CUT GOAL “, Tokyo, 2009/09/30) reported that the government decided Wednesday to reexamine the economic impact on Japan when the country achieves its goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, a pledge Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has made on the world stage. The government will study whether to set up a working team to implement Hatoyama’s promise, which also includes financial and technical aid to developing nations in tackling climate change, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano told a news conference after a Cabinet committee meeting on curbing global warming. ”We are going to realize (Japan’s initiatives) by using all policy tools,” Hatoyama told reporters separately, saying that the issues of a cap-and-trade emissions trading system and taxes should also be debated in the process.
18. PRC Anniversary Celebration
Agence France-Presse (CHINA CELEBRATES NATIONAL DAY EXTRAVAGANZA, “”, Beijing, 2009/10/01) reported that the PRC on Thursday celebrated 60 years of communist rule with a military parade and lavish ceremonies on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square . “The development and progress of the new China over the past 60 years fully proved that only socialism can save China, and only reform and opening up can ensure the development of China, socialism and Marxism,” President Hu Jintao told the crowd. An estimated 200,000 people took part in the lavish morning festivities.
19. PRC Economy
Associated Press (Joe Mcdonald, “CHINA ORDERS CRACKDOWN ON INDUSTRIAL OVERCAPACITY”, Beijing, 2009/09/30) reported that the PRC announced sweeping curbs on surging investment in steelmaking, cement and other industries, warning that chaotic overexpansion was raising the danger of job losses and trouble for banks. Under Wednesday’s order, new aluminum production projects are banned for three years and regulators will limit spending on factories to make steel, cement, glass, polysilicon used in solar panels and wind power equipment.
20. PRC Climate Change
Reuters (“CHINA LAUNCHES 10-MW ON-GRID SOLAR POWER PROJECT”, Beijing, 2009/09/30) reported that the PRC launched on Wednesday the country’s biggest on-grid solar power project with electricity capacity of 10 megawatts in Shizuishan of Ningxia, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The project, run by the China Energy Conservation Investment Corp, was only the first phase of a total 50-MW project, Xinhua said.
Reuters (Jim Bai and Chen Aizhu, “CHINA PLANS TO ENCOURAGE LOCAL USE OF SOLAR CELLS”, Beijing, 2009/09/30) reported that the PRC will consider measures to support domestic consumption of solar cells made from local polysilicon materials, while taking international demand into consideration, the government said. It said the country’s production capacity of polysilicon, an high energy-intensive and pollutive product used to make solar cells, had obviously exceeded demand.
21. PRC Civil Unrest
Agence France Presse (Shaun Tandon , “CHINA DISSIDENTS SAY UNHAPPY BIRTHDAY”, Washington, 2009/09/30) reported that the PRC’s leading dissidents are urging the world not to forget about human rights concerns as the Communist Party marks 60 years in power by showcasing the nation’s growing clout. Some of the Communist Party’s prominent critics testified before a commission of the US Congress on Tuesday, hoping to draw attention to dark sides behind the PRC’s rapid economic growth.
22. Sino-US Relations
Reuters (Chris Buckley , “CHINA, U.S. RISK RIFTS IN MIDDLE EAST: FORMER CHINESE ENVOY”, Beijing, 2009/09/30) reported that the PRC and the United States risk deepening rifts over influence and oil in the Middle East, Beijing’s former envoy to the region has said, urging his nation to bolster ties with Iran and other energy-exporting powers. Sun Bigan was the PRC’s special envoy on the Middle East until March, and in a new essay he said U.S. President Barack Obama’s effort to improve ties with Islamic states in the Middle East was a tactical shift that had not removed the potential for friction. “Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable. We cannot lower vigilance against hostility in the Middle East over energy interests and security,” Sun wrote in the Chinese-language journal.
23. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
Agence France Presse (“CHINA, US MUST LEAD ON CLEAN ENERGY: US OFFICIAL”, Beijing, 2009/09/30) reported that the PRC and the United States can help lead global efforts to fight climate change by pushing each other to invest more in cutting-edge clean energy technology, a top US official said Wednesday. Assistant Secretary of Energy David Sandalow, speaking at the end of a trip to the PRC, said the issue would figure prominently in discussions when US President Barack Obama visits Beijing. “If we both invest in 21st century technology and encourage each other to do better, the whole world will win,” Sandalow told reporters, noting that the PRX was interested in collaborating with the US on research and development.
Bloomberg (“U.S., CHINA SEEK TO JOIN FORCES ON ELECTRIC CARS, SANDALOW SAYS “, 2009/09/30) reported that the U.S. is seeking ways to cooperate with the PRC in developing the electric car industry, Assistant U.S. Energy Secretary David Sandalow said. “The U.S. and the PRC have a strong shared interest in putting millions of electric vehicles on the road soon,” Sandalow told reporters in Beijing. The U.S. and China are looking to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases that currently account for 40 percent of the world’s total, and reduce reliance on oil imports. Government backing for electric cars may also put their industries at the forefront of a new consumption boom.
II. PRC Report
24. PRC Climate Change
Xinhua Net (Liu Zheng, “CHINA ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS FOR 1.49% OF GDP”, 2009/09/30) reported that according to the report issued by National Bureau of Statistics on September 28th, the PRC’s environmental governance investment has accounted for 1.49% of the country’s GDP in 2008, while the number is only 0.51% at the beginning of 1980s.
25. PRC Energy
Xinhua Net (Zheng Xiaoyi, “HAIYANG NUCLEAR POWER PROJECT PHASE I STARTS IN OCTOBER”, 2009/09/30) reported that Haiyang Nuclear Power Project Phase I will start in October in Shandong Province. Haiyang Nuclear Power plans to construct six nuclear power generators with a 1,000,000 kilowatt capacity and two AP1000 third-generation nuclear power generators with a 1,250,000 kilowatt capacity.