NAPSNet Daily Report 10 February, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on Nuclear Program
- 2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. UN-DPRK Relations
- 4. DPRK Economy
- 5. DPRK Food Security
- 6. US-ROK Security Alliance
- 7. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
- 8. USFJ Base Relocation
- 9. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 10. Japan Politics
- 11. Japan Climate Change
- 12. Japan Energy Supply
- 13. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
- 14. Sino-US Espionage Allegations
- 15. Sino-Indian Relations
- 16. Taiwan Export Control
- 17. PRC Civil Society
- 18. PRC Military
- 19. PRC Energy Resources
- 20. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK on Nuclear Program
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “NORTH KOREA PURSUES INDIAN NUCLEAR MODEL”, 2010/02/09) reports that the DPRK is not ready to give up its nuclear ambition, nor the desire to improve its relations with the United States, at least until the ongoing succession of power is completed, a security expert said Tuesday. “Like India and Pakistan, the DPRK will try to get recognition as a nuclear power and improve its relations with the U.S. through direct talks within the six-party talks,” said Professor Yun Duk-min of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security.
2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Bloomberg News (“U.S. SAYS NORTH KOREA MUST ACT ON NUCLEAR PLEDGE”, 2010/02/09) reported that the US said DPRK leader Kim Jong Il’s declaration that he is committed to shelving the country’s nuclear weapons program must be followed by action to rejoin international negotiations. “North Korea is saying the right things” about the resumption of nuclear disarmament talks, State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said in an e-mail. “But the right words must be followed by action,” Crowley said. “Words by themselves are not sufficient.”
3. UN-DPRK Relations
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “UN ENVOY IN NORTH KOREA TO SPUR NUKE TALKS”, Seoul, 2010/02/10) reported that U.N. political chief B. Lynn Pascoe was greeted Tuesday by DPRK officials at an airport on the outskirts of Pyongyang, according to footage broadcast by APTN in the DPRK’s capital. Pascoe said the aim of his visit was to find “ways we can cooperate better,” according to the footage. “So it should be quite useful we hope.”
4. DPRK Economy
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREAN PREMIER ‘APOLOGIZES OVER CURRENCY DEBACLE'”, 2010/02/09) reported that DPRK Premier Kim Yong-il has apologized for inflation and confusion in the aftermath of the shock currency reform, a ROK activist group said in its newsletter. “During a meeting of senior members of the Pyongyang municipal people’s committee a few days ago, Kim Yong-il apologized for confusion and instability in the daily lives of people caused by wrongly fixed prices at state-run shops from the time of the currency reform to early this year,” Good Friends said.
IFES NK Brief (“NORTH KOREA DICTATES NEW PRICES ON FEBRUARY 4”, 2010/02/09) reported that a ccording to a report from the webzine Daily NK, authorities in the DRPK posted notices at the entrances of all markets across the country in the afternoon of February 4, setting state-wide standard prices for 100 different goods. The prices went into effect the next day. The notice reportedly stated, “In the case of foods not being sold at state-set prices, the state will confiscate all goods.” It appears, however, that the state-set prices are causing disruptions in the markets due to the significant difference between Pyongyang’s pricing and the actual prices for which goods in the markets are being sold.
5. DPRK Food Security
Yonhap (“FOOD SHORTAGE WORSENS IN N. KOREA: OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2010/02/10) reported that the DPRK’s food shortage is expected to further worsen this year, as its grain output in 2009 is believed to have fallen from the previous year, a government official in Seoul said Wednesday. The DPRK is estimated to have produced 4.1 million tons of grain last year, a drop of about 200,000 tons compared to 2008, the Unification Ministry official said. The amount falls about 1.3 million tons short of what the impoverished country needs this year to feed its 24 million people, the official said. The estimate is based on a simulation led by the Rural Development Administration, which analyzed initial production figures released by the North and data obtained from other sources on the climate and soil conditions last year, the official said.
6. US-ROK Security Alliance
Defense Daily (““COMPLEMENTARY WAR-FIGHTING CAPABILITIES WILL BE PROVIDED TO SOUTH KOREA AFTER OPCON TRANSITION””, 2010/02/09) reported that o n a question of whether the ROK and the US have a specific and institutionalized stipulation on the nuclear umbrella and wartime reinforcement after the OPCON transition, USFK commander General Walter Sharp replied, “South Korea will be provided with complementary war-fighting capabilities by the US on areas that the ROK forces are lacking in. This will be documented and will be signed by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Minister of Defense Kim Tae-young.” On strategic flexibility, Sharp mentioned, “In the beginning, the USFK will be coordinating with partner countries in the region. Eventually, the whole world will be the stage for the USFK. This is to deal with issues that menace the security of the world.”
7. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
Yonhap (“ADVANCE GROUP OF S. KOREAN PEACEKEEPING TROOPS TO LEAVE FOR HAITI “, Seoul, 2010/02/10) reported that about 30 ROK troops prepared to depart for Haiti Wednesday to lay the groundwork for the arrival of the country’s main peacekeeping contingent, defense officials said. Under the ROK dispatch plan, approved by all 173 attending legislators in the parliament, the 240 peacekeeping troops, including 120 military engineers and 22 medics, will be stationed in Haiti until Dec. 31 this year.
8. USFJ Base Relocation
Kyodo News (“COALITION PARTNERS TO MAKE PROPOSALS ON FUTEMMA RELOCATION FEB. 17”, 2010/02/09) reported that a government committee exploring possible alternatives for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa decided that the two junior coalition partners in the Democratic Party of Japan-led government will present their relocation proposals on Feb. 17. The presentation will follow a two-day trip by panel members to Guam from Wednesday to inspect U.S. military bases on the Pacific island, said Mikio Shimoji, policy chief of the People’s New Party, one of the coalition partners.
9. US-Japan Security Alliance
The New York Times (“JAPANESE SPLIT ON EXPOSING SECRET PACTS WITH U.S.”, 2010/02/09) reported that clandestine cold war era agreements with Washington that obligated Japan to shoulder the costs of United States bases and allow nuclear-armed American ships to sail into Japanese ports. Diplomatic experts agree that exposing the treaties will have little or no direct effect on the alliance, partly because the United States announced in the early 1990s that it was no longer carrying nuclear weapons on most of its warships. But the investigation could have unintended consequences if it uncorks long-suppressed public debate on a point that Tokyo has, until now, purposefully left vague: whether Japan, which officially bans nuclear weapons from its territory, can continue to rely on the United States’ nuclear umbrella, which may require it to allow carrying such weapons on American ships and planes in a time of crisis.
10. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“INDICTED OZAWA AIDE SAYS HE WON’T RESIGN”, 2010/02/10) Tomohiro Ishikawa, the Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker and former aide to DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa indicted over political funding irregularities, said Tuesday he will not resign as a lawmaker or leave the party. Ishikawa said at a news conference in his home district in Obihiro, Hokkaido, that his supporters have “strongly encouraged me to go back to the Diet as soon as possible and start my activity as a representative of this region.” “I had not received any money from Mizutani Construction Co. (as alleged by prosecutors) or intentionally falsified funding reports,” the 36-year-old lawmaker said. Earlier in the day, however, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, president of the DPJ, said the party may have to decide Ishikawa’s fate.
11. Japan Climate Change
Japan for Sustainability (“JAPAN’S GHG EMISSIONS DROP SIGNIFICANTLY IN 2008 TO JUST 1.9% OVER 1990 LEVEL”, 2010/02/09) reported that the Japanese Ministry of the Environment released its initial estimate of the nation’s fiscal 2008 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on November 11, 2009. The figure totaled 1.286 billion tons, 6.2 percent below the nation’s highest level of 1.371 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in 2007, close to the 1994 level of 1.277 billion tons. The 2008 figure represents a slight increase of 1.9 percent from the 1.261 billion tons emitted in 1990, the base year for emissions calculations under the Kyoto Protocol. Such a significant decrease of GHG emissions was mainly attributed to a plunge in energy demands in industrial and other sectors due to the major economic recession in the latter half of 2008 because of the latest global financial crises.
12. Japan Energy Supply
Japan for Sustainability (“TOKYO GOV’T SETS UP COMMITTEE TO STUDY FEASIBILITY OF WAVE POWER GENERATION”, 2010/02/09) reported that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) established on July 22, 2009, a study committee to examine the feasibility of wave power generation in cooperation with academic experts and private businesses, in the period from July 2009 to March 2010. The TMG has been working to expand the use of renewable energy sources in order to drastically cut its greenhouse gas emissions. As part of these efforts, the TMG set up a study committee, believing that wave power generation has the greatest potential for practical use in Japan, where abundant ocean energy could be used effectively.
13. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
RIA Novosti (“RUSSIA’S WORK TO BUILD CHINA’S TIANWAN NUCLEAR PLANT STAGE TO COST $1.8 BLN”, 2010/02/09) reported that Russia and the PRC have agreed that Russia’s part of work to build the second stage of the Tianwan nuclear power plant (NPP) will cost 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 bln), a source close to negotiations said. “The cost was lowered after [Russia’s nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly] Atomstroyexport reduced its contract commitments. The Russian company will remain in charge of design documentation, reactor equipment supplies, engineer support and supervision,” the source said. The Tianwan NPP is the largest facility of Russian-PRC economic cooperation.
14. Sino-US Espionage Allegations
LA Times (Patrick J. McDonnell, “CHINESE-BORN ENGINEER GETS 15 YEARS IN SPYING FOR CHINA”, 2010/02/09) reports that a PRC-born aerospace engineer who had access to sensitive material while working with a pair of major defense contractors in Southern California was sentenced Monday to more than 15 years in prison for acquiring secret space shuttle data and other information for the PRC. U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney in Santa Ana imposed a 188-month prison term on Dongfan “Greg” Chung, 73, a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Orange. Carney declared that he could not “put a price tag” on national security and sought to send a signal to the PRC to “stop sending your spies here,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
15. Sino-Indian Relations
Malaysia News.Net (“CHINA SAYS TIES WITH INDIA FRIENDLY”, 2010/02/09) reported that a PRC foreign ministry spokesman Tuesday dismissed reports that a missile test by India poses a threat to the PRC and said the PRC and India have friendly and cooperative relations. India successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable missile Sunday, which some reports said put the PRC’s major cities within its strike range. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu refused to comment on the reports at a regular news briefing, only saying that PRC-India relations maintain their good momentum, Xinhua reported.
16. Taiwan Export Control
Reuters (“U.S. CHARGES TAIWAN CITIZEN OVER IRAN EXPORTS”, 2010/02/09) reported that U.S. federal agents have arrested a Taiwan passport holder on charges of illegally exporting commodities for Iran’s missile program in violation of U.S. sanctions, authorities in south Florida said. Yi-Lan Chen, 40, also known as Kevin Chen, was arrested on Wednesday in the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam for vioating the U.S. embargo against Iran, facilitated the purchase and export of various dual-use goods from the United States to Iran by way of Taiwan and Hong Kong.
17. PRC Civil Society
The Associated Press (“CHINA SENTENCES QUAKE ACTIVIST TO 5 YEARS’ JAIL”, 2010/02/09) reported that a PRC court sentenced an activist who investigated the deaths of thousands of schoolchildren in the country’s massive 2008 earthquake to five years in jail for inciting subversion of state power, the man’s lawyer said. Attorney Pu Zhiqiang said activist Tan Zuoren was convicted and sentenced by the Chengdu Intermediate Court. Tan’s trial in August had concluded with no ruling, during which police detained and threatened his supporters. “Tan thinks one of the reasons behind this case is that he was leading an investigation into the poorly built schools after the earthquake, which would have embarrassed the local government in Chengdu,” Pu said.
18. PRC Military
Reuters (“CHINA PLA OFFICERS URGE ECONOMIC PUNCH AGAINST U.S.”, Beijing, 2010/02/09) reports that senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan. The calls for broad retaliation over the planned U.S. weapons sales to the disputed island came from officers at the PRC’s National Defence University and Academy of Military Sciences, interviewed by Outlook Weekly, a Chinese-language magazine published by the official Xinhua news agency. The interviews with Major Generals Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Senior Colonel Ke Chunqiao appeared in the issue published on Monday.
19. PRC Energy Resources
United Press International (“CNOOC POSTS GAS FIND IN SOUTH CHINA SEA”, Hong Kong, 2010/02/09) reports that the PRC National Offshore Oil Corp. announced the discovery of at its deepwater LiuHua exploration block in the South China Sea. CNOOC and its partners at Husky Oil China Ltd., a subsidiary of Husky Energy, said they encountered a gas pay with a total thickness of 229 feet. The company said the well tested at a preliminary rate of 57 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.The discovery, LH 29-1, is the third discovery for CNOOC in the Pearl River Mouth Basin in the eastern waters of the South China Sea. “Deepwater is one of our major exploration efforts this year,” said Zhu Weilin, a CNOOC vice president of exploration. “The successive deepwater discoveries made in the South China Sea will further encourage us to carry out our deepwater exploration activities.”
20. PRC Environment
New York Times (Jonathan Ansfield and Keith Bradsher, “CHINA REPORT SHOWS MORE POLLUTION IN WATERWAYS”, Beijing, 2010/02/09) reports that the PRC’s government on Tuesday unveiled its most detailed survey ever of the pollution plaguing the country, revealing that water pollution in 2007 was more than twice as severe as official figures that had long omitted agricultural waste. The first-ever national pollution census, environmentalists said, represented a small step forward for the PRC in terms of transparency. But the results also raised serious questions about the shortcomings of the PRC’s previous pollution data and suggested that even with limited progress in some areas, the country still had a long way to go to clean its waterways and air.
II. PRC Report
21. PRC Climate Change
(“CHINA REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY LAUNCHES LOW-CARBON ACTIVITY”, 2010/02/09) reported that the PRC real estate industry low carbon activity, which is sponsored by Sofang Net, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, Shanghai World Expo. Zero-Carbon Hall and other social organizations, was launched in one hundred cities in succession recently. The activity will choose 10,000 low-carbon ambassadors from one hundred cities, and practice low-carbon lifestyle with 10 million home buyers.
22. PRC Civil Society and Climate Change
Sohu.com (“SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS ISSUE CLIMATE CHANGE AND EXTREME WEATHER RESEARCH REPORT”, 2010/02/09) reported that seven social organizations including Friends of Nature, Beijing Global Village, Greenpeace, Oxfam Hong Kong, and so on have jointly issued a report named China Civil Organizations: Addressing Climate Disasters today in Beijing. The report summarizes the experiences of China’s social organizations in coping with 2008 snow storm disaster, and provides five main contributive suggestions for all social organizations in addressing climate change and extreme weather.