NAPSNet Daily Report 1 September, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. PRC on Six Party Talks
The Washington Post (Chico Harlan, “CHINA PUSHES NEW TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA”, 2010/08/31) reported that the PRC is pushing for the resumption of six-party talks. This time, the PRC says DPRK leader Kim Jong Il is on board. The PRC has proposed a three-step process that calls first for bilateral talks between the DPRK and the US, perhaps in Beijing, Pyongyang or New York. That would be followed by a meeting of nuclear delegation leaders representing the six nations. Last, barring provocations from Pyongyang, the six countries would resume full-fledged talks for the first time since 2008. Although there is no agreement in Washington about the best way to proceed, analysts and experts on US policy describe an overall cynicism about the usefulness of six-party talks, deriding them as a playground for Kim to make promises that he subsequently ignores.
2. US Sanctions on the DPRK
The Wall Street Journal (“NORTH KOREAN PAIR VIEWED AS KEY TO SECRET ARMS TRADE”, 2010/08/31) reported that a DPRK arms chief and Pyongyang’s former ambassador to the UN’s nuclear agency have emerged as key figures in an intensifying international effort to curb the DPRK’s weapons-trading activities. The global dealings of the two men, Chun Byung-ho and Yun Ho-jin date back to the 1980s. They have played leading roles in the DPRK’s development and testing of atomic weapons, according to current and former U.S. officials, Asian intelligence analysts and UN nonproliferation staffers. Messrs. Chun and Yun have sought to accelerate the DPRK’s weapons sales and procurement in recent years and allegedly have played important roles in strengthening Pyongyang’s military ties to countries such as Syria and Myanmar, say current and former US officials.
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREA RED CROSS OFFERS N.KOREA MILLIONS IN FLOOD AID”, 2010/08/31) reported that the ROK’s Red Cross has offered the DPRK aid worth 10 billion won (8.3 million dollars) following severe floods that washed away homes, roads, railways and farmland, officials said. The Red Cross Monday offered food, medicine and other supplies in a message delivered through officials at a jointly run industrial estate at Kaesong in the DPRK. After decades of deforestation, North Korea is particularly vulnerable to flooding.
4. ROK-Japan Relations
The Asahi Shimbun (Tetsuya Hakoda and Izumi Sakurai, “100 YEARS ON, KOREANS RIP ANNEXATION TREATY”, 2010/08/31) reported that rallies were held across the ROK to mark what many Koreans describe as “the day of shame for the nation.” Sunday was the 100th anniversary of the day a treaty took effect that allowed Japan to annex and colonize the Korean Peninsula. The legality of the treaty is still disputed to this day, as are demands from South Koreans for compensation and an apology from Japan for its wartime actions. Several hundred people attended a rally in Tapgol Park in Seoul, where the Korean independence movement started on March 1, 1919. Some of the participants marched to the Japanese Embassy, demanding a resolution of postwar compensation issues.
5. Japanese Nuclear Technology Exports
Jordan Times (“KINGDOM, JAPAN NEARING NUCLEAR DEAL”, 2010/08/31) reported that Jordan and Japan are set to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement (NCA) “very soon”, a senior government official said. According to Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jafar Hassan, the two sides are in close negotiations and expect to sign an NCA “within weeks”. “We hope to sign an agreement with Japan in less than two months,” Hassan told The Jordan Times. The deal paves the way for Japanese companies to sell nuclear technology to the Kingdom and encourages closer exchange of expertise in the field.