NAPSNet Daily Report 1 September, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US Republicans on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. DPRK Missile Program
- 4. DPRK on US Spy Flights
- 5. US-ROK Relations
- 6. Northeast Asia Nuclear Safety
- 7. ROK Military Procurements
- 8. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
- 9. Japanese Abductees Issue
- 10. US-Japan Relations
- 11. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 12. Cross Straits Relations
- 13. PRC-Pakistan Nuclear Cooperation
- 14. Australia-Russian Nuclear Trade
- II. PRC Report
- 15. PRC Civil Society
- 16. Civil Society and Gender Equality
- 17. PRC Civil Society and the 512 Earthquake
- III. ROK Report
1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “SEOUL URGES PYONGYANG TO RESTART NUCLEAR DISABLEMENT”, Seoul, 2008/09/01) reported that ROK chief nuclear negotiator Kim Sook on Monday urged the DPRK to restart disabling its nuclear reactor. “The North Korean announcement appears to be a typical tactic,” Kim said. “They are trying to pressure the U.S. and the other parties to back down on their demand for rigorous verification, rather than engaging in serious negotiations to resolve the issues related to the verification protocol.” “If North Korea believes that it can weaken the resolve of the five parties, it is mistaken,” Kim said. “The North should immediately resume the disablement measures and cooperate in the establishment of a verification regime. We will closely monitor the move by the North and act accordingly.”
2. US Republicans on DPRK Nuclear Program
Donga Ilbo (“REPUBLICANS URGE N.K.’S PERMANENT DENUCLEARIZATION”, 2008/09/01) reported that in the draft of a party platform prepared ahead of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, Monday, the Republican Party will urge an adequate explanation on the DPRK’s nuclear proliferation activities and maintain its demand for complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of the DPRK’s nuclear program. The draft of the party platform released Saturday also suggested a stronger alliance with the ROK, saying Washington has confronted threat posed by the “maniacal” autocratic DPRK on the international order together with the ROK.
3. DPRK Missile Program
Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH PASSES A DECADE SINCE ITS 1ST ROCKET LAUNCH”, Seoul, 2008/09/01) reported that the DPRK on Sunday celebrated the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Taepodong-1 rocket. “Our country’s technology has advanced to the level where we can freely launch a working satellite at any time,” Radio Pyongyang said in a commentary. “The Kwangmyoungsong was successfully launched at that time in the face of imperialists’ attempt to isolate our country and repeated outbreak of natural disasters,” said the radio, calling the satellite a “purely self-developed North Korean technology.”
4. DPRK on US Spy Flights
Chosun Ilbo (“N. KOREA ACCUSES U.S., S. KOREA OF SPY FLIGHTS”, Seoul, 2008/09/01) reported that the DPRK is accusing the United States and the ROK of conducting about 180 spy flights over its territory this month. The state-run Korean Central News Agency Sunday said the flights showed “aggressive ambition to stifle” the DPRK by force of arms.
5. US-ROK Relations
Korea Herald (Lee Joo-hee, “SEOUL CHECKS OUT U.S. ELECTION SCENE”, Seoul, 2008/09/01) reported that ROK First Vice Foreign Minister Kwon Jong-rak on Monday left for Washington to hold regular vice-ministerial talks and to contact the camps of both presidential candidates. Kwon will meet with his U.S. counterpart John Negroponte for two days to discuss follow-up measures to recent summit talks and cooperation on various regional issues, the Foreign Ministry said. Kwon will also meet Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and share views on the latest deadlock in the six-party talks. During his trip, Kwon is also to meet prominent members of the presidential campaign camps of Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, according to sources.
6. Northeast Asia Nuclear Safety
Korea Times (Michael Ha, “KOREA TO OPEN HOTLINE WITH JAPAN, CHINA FOR NUCLEAR SAFETY”, Seoul, 2008/09/01) reported that the ROK has agreed to set up a nuclear energy hotline with agencies from Japan and the PRC, a report said Monday. The three countries have agreed to set up a direct communication channel that can be used to inform others in case of nuclear accidents, Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun reported. Senior officials from the three countries are expected to meet in Tokyo Friday to sign the agreement, according to the report.
7. ROK Military Procurements
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “SEOUL TO HOST INT’L FORUM ON ARMS ACQUISITIONS”, Seoul, 2008/09/01) reported that arms procurement officials from 11 nations will gather here this week to discuss the possibility of conducting joint research and development of defense goods, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Monday. “The participants will not only discuss their development policies, but will also hold in-depth discussions on ways to increase cooperation in technology and joint research and development of defense articles,” Park Young-wook, chief of the agency’s technology planning bureau, told reporters.
8. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “JAPAN RENEWS CLAIM TO DOKDO IN DEFENSE WHITE PAPER”, Seoul, 2008/09/01) reported that Japan has described the islets of Dokdo in the East Sea as its own territory in this year’s defense white paper again, diplomatic sources in Seoul said Monday. It is the fourth consecutive time that Japan’s annual defense white paper has referred to Dokdo as its own. The Seoul government is closely watching if Japan will make stronger claims to Dokdo in the document, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.
9. Japanese Abductees Issue
Yomiuri Shimbun (“FREE RENTAL OF ‘MEGUMI’ ANIME STARTS”, Tokyo, 2008/08/31) reported that free rental of an animated film that tells the story of Megumi Yokota, who was abducted in 1977 by DPRK agents when she was 13, and her family’s attempts to bring her home, began Friday at about 5,000 video rental shops. Copies of “Megumi” also have been distributed to about 40,000 primary and middle schools and about 3,300 public libraries.
10. US-Japan Relations
Associated Press (“PELOSI TO VISIT HIROSHIMA A-BOMB MEMORIAL”, Hiroshima, 2008/09/01) reported that US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will become the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit ground zero of the world’s first atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan. Pelosi, in Japan for a two-day meeting of top legislators from the Group of Eight industrialized countries, is scheduled to lay flowers at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on Tuesday.
11. Sino-Japanese Relations
Yomiuri Shimbun (“CHINESE GOVT DOES ABOUT-FACE, SAYS GYOZA LIKELY TAINTED IN CHINA”, Tokyo, 2008/08/31) reported that PRC authorities have informed the Japanese government that the toxic pesticide found in Chinese-made frozen gyoza likely was mixed into the product in the PRC, according to Japanese government sources. This is the first time PRC officials have officially admitted the possibility the pesticide methamidophos had been mixed into the product in that country, after repeated previous denials. The PRC representatives conveyed the information to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, adding that frozen gyoza connected with cases of food poisoning in the PRC in June had not been shipped to the domestic Chinese market, the sources said.
12. Cross Straits Relations
BBC (Caroline Gluck, “HUGE RALLY AGAINST TAIWAN LEADER”, Taipei, 2008/08/30) reported that thousands of opposition supporters in Taiwan on Saturday took part in a protest in Taipei as President Ma Ying-jeou marked his first 100 days in office. The protesters said he was moving too quickly to improve ties with Beijing. This was the first large-scale protest against President Ma since he took office in May.
Los Angeles Times (“TAIWAN’S NEW PRESIDENT FACES BIG CHALLENGES ON CHINA”, Taipei, 2008/08/30) reported that Taiwan President Ma Jing-yeou is saying that any discussions on Taiwan’s final status won’t take place during his presidency. Instead, he is pushing forward with a vaguely defined plan for a peace treaty with Beijing. The plan, unveiled during his presidential campaign, envisions ever closer commercial ties, followed by an informal agreement that would guarantee Taiwan latitude to conduct foreign relations. Ma “has laid out a program of taking tangible steps toward change while downplaying the more sweeping or intangible issues such as unification,” East Asia expert James Mann of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies said in an e-mail. “I don’t think what Ma has started is unstoppable — but it is, by itself, quite important.”
13. PRC-Pakistan Nuclear Cooperation
USA Today (Dan Vergano, “REPORT SAYS CHINA OFFERED WIDESPREAD HELP ON NUKES”, 2008/08/29) reported that the PRC gave Pakistan the blueprint for an atomic bomb, testing the finished product in 1990, and unveiled a sophisticated nuclear weapons complex to visiting U.S. scientists in the last decade, report former weapons lab officials. Former Air Force secretary Thomas Reed, in a report released Thursday in PhysicsToday magazine, stated, “The Chinese nuclear weapons program is incredibly sophisticated. The scary part is how much Pakistan has learned from them.”
14. Australia-Russian Nuclear Trade
Agence France-Presse (Marc Lavine, “AUSTRALIA RECONSIDERS NUCLEAR DEAL WITH RUSSIA”, Canberra, 2008/09/01) reported that Australia is reconsidering a pact to sell uranium to Russia following its military push into Georgia, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith warned on Monday. Smith told parliament that Australia would take into account Russia’s actions in Georgia and the current state of Moscow’s ties with Canberra when deciding whether to ratify the pact signed by the two countries last year. Kelvin Thompson, who chairs the parliamentary treaties committee, said he had concerns over whether Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would honour the terms of the civilian nuclear agreement. “I think that we could supply uranium to him and if he changed his mind about the uses to which he was going to put it, I don’t think we’d have any effective comeback at all.”
II. PRC Report
15. PRC Civil Society
China Disabled Persons’ Assistive Devices Center, http://www.cjfj.org/index/index.asp (“OUR CENTER MAKES RAMPS OF PARALYMPICS BARRIER FREE”, ) reported that the public service center of the Paralympic Village is the most frequented place for the athletes. In order to facilitate the barrier-free passing of the athletes, on Aug. 26 technical staff of the PRC Disabled Persons’ Assistive Devices Center came to the village and made 179 ramps in the flag square, welcome center, media center, athlete’s restaurant, religious center and others.
16. Civil Society and Gender Equality
China Woman website, http://www.women.org.cn/ (“GUANGDONG WOMAN FEDERATION TO HELP 80000 WOMEN GET JOBS IN 3 YEARS”, ) reported that on a work conference held by Guangzhou Women’s Federation and Guangzhou Municipal Labor and Social Security Bureau recently, Chairwoman of Guangzhou Women’s Federation Li Jianlian summarized the work of the last three years. 312,392 women have been provided with job recommendations, and 190,679 women have joined in job training. 158,657 women have accepted jobs. From 2008 to 2011, Guangzhou Women’s Federation plans to provide 30,000 women with job recommendations and 80,000 women with job training.
17. PRC Civil Society and the 512 Earthquake
People’s Daily online (“NATIONAL TRADE UNION HELP 750,000 STUDENTS GO TO SCHOOL”, 2008/08/28) reported that the launching ceremony of “National Trade Union Autumn Aid Students Action” was held recently in Chengdu city. It is said that this year the funds raised by all levels of trade unions will be 600 million yuan, and it can help 750,000 children of poor workers and migrant workers and 300,000 children in disaster areas. The fund giving Sichuan province alone reaches 27 million yuan. And the aid will take the form of “one on one”. One trade union takes charge of one disaster area.
III. ROK Report
18. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonap News (“GAESONG INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: THE TWO-STEP PROGRAM KILLS MINOR INDUSTRIES”, 2008/09/01) wrote that with the opening of the Gaesung industrial complex just around the corner, domestic enterprises big and small are having a gigantic clamor. During the past 12 months, according to the “agreements concerning the building and operation of laborers’ lodging faculties in the Gaesung industrial complex”, DPRK firms have been building factories prior to building lodging faculties. Even in such a situation, the government is helpless as the DPRK is being stubborn and has closed all means of communication. However, there are criticisms that the government is only concerned with the public opinion and is only showing vague responses. The Gaesung industrial complex is an urgent matter for the DPRK as well and should not be influenced by the political logics. Perhaps a reverse approach of relieving the current North-South relations relating to the second step of the industrial complex should be considered as well.
19. ROK Policy toward DPRK
Yonhap News (Song Dea Sung, Sejong Institute, “THE ROK POLICY TOWARD THE DPRK THAT THE DPRK WANTS”, 2008/08/31) wrote that the Lee administration’s DPRK policy is built on the past administrations’ policies, taking what was good and fixing what was not, and it is not as uncompromising and irrational as the DPRK claims it to be. However, the DPRK is ignoring the efforts made by the ROK and by continuously criticizing the Lee administration, is driving the Koreas to a confrontation. The DPRK is continuously blocking the way to harmony by demanding such policies and is blaming the state at the Lee administration’s DPRK policy and trying to sway the government to do its bidding.