NAPSNet Daily Report 1 October, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. Inter-Korean Relations
Xinhua News (“S. KOREA, DPRK AGREE TO HOLD FAMILY REUNIONS”, Seoul, 2010/10/01) reported that the ROK and DPRK agreed to hold family reunion meetings from Oct. 30 to Nov. 5 at the Mount Kumgang Resort. Red Cross officials from both sides, who met at the DPRK’s border city of Kaesong, also decided the number of families to be brought to the event, 100 families from each side. Two venues inside the resort have been agreed by the two sides, where the participants will be able to meet with their family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
2. Sino-DPRK Economic Relations
Bernama (“CHINA EYES ECONOMIC ZONE FOR TRADE WITH NORTH KOREA”, Hong Kong, 2010/10/01) reported that the PRC is seeking to build an economic zone in the northeastern region bordering the DPRK, aiming to promote trade with the world’s most reclusive country, Yonhap news agency reports. Thirteen cities in the Dongbei region, commonly known as Manchuria, issued a joint proposal on Thursday to build the Yalu River Economic Zone and to boost trade with the DPRK The participating cities include Dandong, Dalian, Tonghua and Mudanjiang, all of which are located either in the Liaoning province, the Jilin province or the Heilongjiang province. The three provinces make up the Dongbei region.
3. Sino-Japanese Territorial Dispute
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN MULLS STATIONING TROOPS NEAR DIAOYUTAIS”, 2010/10/01) reported that Japan is considering stationing troops near islands at the center of a row with the PRC, a news report said, but Beijing’s move to ease mineral exports raised hopes for an easing of friction. Japan’s defense ministry has asked for a budget to study a plan to station ground troops in Japan’s southwestern islands near the disputed island chain, the Nikkei Shimbun reported. The PRC insists that the islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyutai (釣魚台) in Chinese, have been part of its territory since ancient times. Taiwan also claims them.
4. PRC Environment
The Los Angeles TImes (Barbara Demick, “CHINA MOVING HEAVEN AND EARTH TO BRING WATER TO BEIJING”, Zhengzhou, 2010/10/01) reported that the PRC government is planning to reroute the nation’s water supply, bringing water from the flood plains of the south and the snowcapped mountains of the west to the parched capital of Beijing. First envisioned by Mao Tse-tung in the 1950s and now coming to fruition, the South-North Water Diversion — as it is inelegantly known in English — has a price tag of more than $62 billion, twice as expensive as the famous Three Gorges Dam. It is expected to take decades to complete. “This is on a par with the Great Wall, a project essential for the survival of China,” said Wang Shushan, who heads the project in Henan province, where much of the construction is now taking place. “It is a must-do project. We can’t afford to wait.”
5. ROK Nuclear Technology Exports
Denki Shimbun (“SOUTH KOREA TO STRENGTHEN DEVELOPMENT OF OVERSEAS NUCLEAR HUMAN RESOURCES”, 2010/10/01) reported that the ROK will step up its effort to develop overseas human resources for the nuclear power industry in an attempt to increase its nuclear exports. It plans to open the International Nuclear Graduate School (INGS) in September 2011 to provide education on nuclear engineering and other practical skills. The school will train about 100 students annually as specialized engineers, half of which will be recruited from overseas including countries planning to introduce nuclear power generation for the first time. The ROK’s plan to launch the graduate school is being hailed by emerging nuclear countries, and that is causing some apprehension in Japan as the country is in an earnest bid to win contracts to export nuclear plants overseas.