NAPSNet Daily Report 10 July, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- 1. G8 on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 4. US-DPRK Relations
- 5. Detained US Journalists
- 6. Japan, PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 7. ROK, Russia on DPRK Missile Program
- 8. Inter-Korean Relations
- 9. DPRK Mass Games
- 10. ROK Cyber Security
- 11. ROK Politics
- 12. ROK Military
- 13. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
- 14. ROK-EU Relations
- 15. ROK Climate
- 16. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 17. Japan-Russia Relations
- 18. Japan Politics
- 19. Cross Strait Relations
- 20. Sino-Indian Relations
- 21. PRC African Investment
- 22. Sino-Australian Relations
- 23. PRC Climate Change
- 24. PRC Ethnic Strife
- II. PRC Report
1. G8 on DPRK Nuclear Test
Agence-France Presse (“G8 LEADERS STRONGLY CONDEMN NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR TEST”, L’aquila, 2009/07/09) reported that Group of Eight leaders meeting at their summit in Italy issued a strong condemnation of the DPRK’s May 25 nuclear test, calling it a “flagrant violation” of U.N. resolutions. “We condemn in the strongest terms the nuclear test… which constitutes a flagrant violation of the relevant U.N. resolutions,” the world’s most powerful nations said, in a declaration released Thursday. The world leaders urged Pyongyang to return to “full compliance” with its obligations under the and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Associated Press (Foster Klug, “US ADMIRAL: NKOREA THREATS COULD SPARK ARMS RACE”, Washington, 2009/07/09) reported that Admiral Robert Willard warned Thursday that the DPRK’s missile and nuclear threats could spark an arms race in Asia . Admiral Willard also told senators at his confirmation hearing that the PRC ‘s huge military buildup remains a serious worry for the U.S. military . Willard said DPRK actions pose a significant threat to the United States and its allies and “could spur a limited arms race as neighbors seek to enhance their own deterrent and defense capabilities.”
3. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
United Press International (“U.S. WANTS N. KOREA BACK AT SIX-WAY TALKS”, Washington, 2009/07/09) reported that the implementation of sanctions will compel the DPRK to return to the six-nation talks on its denuclearization, a U.S. official predicts. “Our overall objective in all of this remains the same, which is to return to serious, meaningful discussion within the six-party process on denuclearization and non-proliferation,” the senior U.S. State Department official told reporters in Washington Wednesday.
4. US-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“US SENATORS PUSH TO PUNISH NORTH KOREA”, Washington, 2009/07/09) reported that US Senators introduced a bill to impose new economic sanctions on the DPRK, return it to a US terrorism blacklist, and expand US military cooperation with ROK and Japan. The legislation notably directs the US State Department to redesignate the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism, reactivating sanctions lifted when Washington took Pyongyang off the blacklist in October. It also directs the US Treasury Department to prohibit any US bank from doing business with a foreign bank seen as engaging in a financial transaction with the government of the DPRK or one of its senior officials.
5. Detained US Journalists
Associated Press (“LISA LING SAYS SISTER LAURA LING – JAILED IN NORTH KOREA – ACKNOWLEDGED IN PHONE CALL SHE BROKE LAW”, Sacramento, 2009/07/09) reported that Lisa Ling said detained US journalist Laura Ling told her she and the other American journalist being held, Euna Lee , violated DPRK law and need the U.S. government’s help in obtaining amnesty. Laura Ling, who suffers from an ulcer, said she regularly sees physicians and is OK.
Associated Press (“REPORT: 2 US JOURNALISTS STAYING IN GUEST HOUSE”, Seoul, 2009/07/10) reported that detained US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee are being kept at guest house in Pyongyang and have not yet been sent to a prison camp as called for in their sentences, University of Georgia political scientist Han Park said. “I heard from North Korean officials that the American journalists were doing fine at a guest house in Pyongyang,” Park said. “North Korea’s move not to carry out the sentence suggests that it could release them through a dialogue with the United States and they could be set free at an early date, depending on the U.S. gesture,” Park said.
6. Japan, PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Xinhua News (“JAPAN, CHINA AGREE TO COOPERATE TO RESTORE SIX-PARTY TALKS “, Tokyo, 2009/07/09) reported that PRC and Japanese officials agreed here Thursday to work jointly to restore the stalled six-party talks. Visiting PRC Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei met with Japanese negotiator Akitaka Saiki, exchanging views on how to get the six-party talks back on track. They agreed to continue “consider new approaches” and to “cooperate”, according to Saiki, without giving more details.
7. ROK, Russia on DPRK Missile Program
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “LEE, MEDVEDEV CALL ON N. KOREA TO HALT PROVOCATIONS “, L’aquila, 2009/07/09) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called on the DPRK Thursday to immediately halt all military threats, saying the nation’s recent missile launches were only aggravating the situation.
8. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap (Tony Chang, “SEOUL TO ENFORCE NEW RESTRICTIONS ON GOODS GOING INTO N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/07/09) reported that Seoul will stiffen control of ROK goods going into the DPRK, mostly banning luxury items such as wine and fur, the Unification Ministry said Thursday. The restrictions, to take effect as of Friday, are in accordance with U.N. Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1874 adopted after the DPRK’s second nuclear test on May 25. The government will allow exceptions for ROK government and business officials who carry in the listed items during travel between the two Koreas on official duty or for personal use during their stay in the DPRK, ministry officials said.
9. DPRK Mass Games
Reuters (Jon Herskovitz, “CASH-SHORT NORTH KOREA TO STAGE MASS GAMES”, Seoul, 2009/07/09) reported that the DPRK will stage its Arirang mass games from August, its state media said on Thursday, likely opening an avenue for foreign tourists and currency to flow into the state hit by U.N. sanctions for its May nuclear test . The games will be held from August 10 to late September, the DPRK’s KCNA news agency said. “Arirang … has demonstrated before the world the invincible might of ‘Songun’ (military-first) Korea in which the army and people are rallied close around leader Kim Jong-il,” KCNA said.
10. ROK Cyber Security
Agence-France Presse (“SOUTH KOREA TO SET UP CYBER COMMAND AGAINST NORTH KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/07/09) reported that the ROK announced Thursday it would set up a military command next year to tackle the threat of cyber warfare from the DPRK, amid suspicions the DPRK was behind virus attacks earlier this week. The information security command would be initiated Jan. 1, two years earlier than planned, and would become operational in July, said Kim Jae-min, a defense ministry official in charge of the project.
Yonhap (“CYBER ATTACKS ON S. KOREA SET TO ENTER NEW PHASE “, Seoul, 2009/07/10) reported that the ROK came under cyber attacks for a third consecutive day between Thursday evening and early Friday morning and the unprecedented hacking incident is set to enter a new phase as tens of thousands of virus-contaminated personal computers appear automatically programmed to destroy their own stored data starting Friday, government and industry officials warned.
Korea Times (Jane Han, “CYBER ATTACK HITS KOREA FOR THIRD DAY”, 2009/07/09) reported that a fresh wave of cyber attacks knocked out key government and portal sites Thursday, fueling concerns that the third round of hacking–which some blame on the DPRK–isn’t the end of the days-long Internet assault that has been labeled a threat to national security. The number of sites targeted was fewer compared to the first and second string of attacks that have brought down more than two dozen major ROK and U.S. Web sites over the past couple of days. The financial loss caused by the attacks is expected to snowball to an astronomical figure as days-long shutdowns blocked hundreds of thousands of users from carrying out financial transactions, purchases and other business. The government said Thursday that the ongoing cyber attacks were “an act of provocation” that threatens national security.
Yonhap (“CYBER ATTACKS REPORTEDLY LAUNCHED FROM COMPUTERS IN 16 COUNTRIES: SPY AGENCY”, Seoul, 2009/07/10) reported that the recent cyber attacks on ROK and U.S. government and private Web sites are believed to have been launched from computers in 16 different countries, the ROK National Intelligence Service was quoted as saying Friday. The DPRK was not among them. The attacks were reportedly traced to 86 Internet Protocol addresses in the ROK, the United States, Japan and the PRC. The agency based its suspicion on statement issued by Pyongyang last month warning of cyber warfare and the fact that many of the targets were conservative Web sites.
11. ROK Politics
Yonhap (“OPPOSITION LAWMAKER LOSES SEAT FOR VIOLATING ELECTION LAW “, Seoul, 2009/07/09) reported that an opposition party lawmaker lost his seat in the National Assembly on Thursday after the Supreme Court convicted him of lying about his personal assets in violation of election laws. The highest court found Rep. Jeong Kuk-kyo of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) guilty of under-reporting his assets when registering to run in the general election of April last year and fined him 10 million won (US$7,800).
12. ROK Military
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “SOLDIERS BANNED FROM CRITICIZING PRESIDENT ONLINE”, 2009/07/09) reported that soldiers will be banned from slandering the President, the military’s supreme commander, via the Internet under a revision to the Ethics Code for servicemembers, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday. The revised code says subordinates should respect the authority of their leaders and not engage in activities harming their authority online and offline, he said. The revision, in particular, aims to crack down on soldiers’ online activities criticizing President Lee Myung-bak, said the spokesman. The code also bans active soldiers from participating in political rallies or anti-government signature campaigns, which the military believes compromises the military’s political neutrality.
Xinhua News (“S KOREAN GOV’T PUSHES FOR DEFENSE BUDGET INCREASE”, 2009/07/09) reported that the ROK’s defense ministry said that it has requested a budget increase for 2010 amid increased threats from the DPRK. According to the Ministry of National Defense, it made a proposal for a budget worth 30.8 trillion won (24.1 billion U.S. dollars) for fiscal 2010, up 7.9 percent from this year, as it had to fight against the DPRK’s recent nuclear threats. If passed, the spending on national defense would take up 2.8 percent of the ROK’s GDP, up from the current 2-percent level, the ministry said.
13. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
Korea Times (“S. KOREA TO APPROVE EXTENSION OF TROOP STAY IN LEBANON”, 2009/07/09) reported that the ROK peace-keeping troops in Lebanon are to stay an additional one and a half years as part of its humanitarian mission. The ruling and opposition parties agreed to pass a motion, submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in May, next Wednesday in the National Assembly plenary session.
14. ROK-EU Relations
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “LAST-DITCH EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO CONCLUDE KOREA-EU FTA TALKS”, Rome, 2009/07/09) reported that talks between the ROK and the European Union to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) appear to have entered the final stage ? with some ROK officials saying that the two sides have narrowed differences over some sensitive issues. President Lee Myung-bak, who arrived here Wednesday as part of a three-nation European trip, is expected to ask Italy to work for an early conclusion to the talks when he meets with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Friday.
15. ROK Climate
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “S. KOREAN PRESIDENT URGES ACTION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE “, L’aquila, 2009/07/09) reported that the ROK President Lee Myung-bak Thursday called on world leaders to take immediate action on global climate change and vowed to spearhead the efforts through what he called “early action.” The call came as the ROK was named lead country in the development and promotion of an energy-efficient “smart grid” at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) in the central Italian city of L’Aquila.
16. US-Japan Security Alliance
Kyodo News (“JAPAN SHOULD ALLOW PORT CALLS BY U.S. NUCLEAR-ARMED VESSELS: YAMASAKI “, Tokyo, 2009/07/09) reported that Taku Yamasaki, former vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said that Japan should allow U.S. military vessels carrying nuclear weapons to make stopovers at Japanese ports when necessary amid an increasingly tense situation surrounding the DPRK. Referring to recent testimonies by several former vice foreign ministers admitting the existence of a secret pact between Japan and the United States under which Tokyo gives tacit approval to stopovers of U.S. military vessels carrying nuclear weapons, Yamasaki told reporters, ”The facts have been disclosed.”
17. Japan-Russia Relations
Agence-France Presse (Anna Smolchenko , “ASO, MEDVEDEV MEET AS ISLANDS DISPUTE FLARES UP”, L’aquila, 2009/07/09) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev tried to dampen down tensions Thursday as a smouldering territorial dispute over a chain of Pacific islands reignited. The two men acknowledged ties had taken a fresh hit but said emotions over the sovereignty of the islands should not define relations and their talks on the sidelines of a G8 summit also focused on the DPRK’s nuclear program.
Associated Press (William Foreman And Gillian Wong, “COMMUNIST LEADERS VOW STABILITY AFTER CHINA RIOTS”, Urumqi, 2009/07/09) reported that the PR C ‘s top communist leaders vowed to maintain stability in the west of the country in their first public comments Thursday on the ethnic riots that killed more than 150 people. Late in the day, some 8,000 troops marched through one of the worst-hit areas of the Xinjiang province’s capital in a massive show of force, an apparent effort to reassure the people and prevent further violence. An urgent nine-member Politburo Standing Committee meeting , led by President Hu Jintao , called on Communist Party members and officials at all levels to mobilize to restore order after the region’s worst ethnic violence in decades. The committee promised punishment for rioters and leniency to participants who were misled by agitators.
18. Japan Politics
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“44% THINK ASO A BURDEN ON LDP”, 2009/07/09) reported that forty-four percent of people believe the Liberal Democratic Party would have a better chance of winning the upcoming House of Representatives election under a new leader other than incumbent party chief Prime Minister Taro Aso, a Yomiuri Shimbun survey found Thursday. Of 1,752 eligible voters interviewed by telephone between Tuesday and Thursday, 1,087 provided valid answers.
19. Cross Strait Relations
German Press Agency (“TAIWAN TO SEND 270 DELEGATES FOR CROSS-STRAIT FORUM IN CHINA “, Taipei, 2009/07/09) reported that Taiwan will send 270 delegates to a two-day forum is a must despite a boycott by the pro-independence in Taiwan as it “provides a platform for exchanges and communication between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.” He said the forum should not be seen as a summit between the KMT and the CPC, and he hoped the pro-independence camp could stop its boycott and send delegates to the event. in the PRC this weekend to discuss cultural and educational exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, senior officials said Thursday. In a pre-departure meeting with the delegation Thursday, President Ma Ying-jeou said the
Agence-France Presse (“TAIWAN STRONGLY CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN CHINA’S XINJIANG”, Taipei, 2009/07/09) reported that Taiwan’s Premier Chao-shiuan on Thursday strongly denounced the use of violence in the PRC’s Xinjiang region and urged Beijing to handle the simmering unrest in a tolerant manner. While calling for calm among the Han and the Uighurs, “we urged the mainland authorities to solve the related issues in a tolerant way,” the premier said. He also called on Beijing to respect freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
20. Sino-Indian Relations
IANS (“CHINA-PAKISTAN LINKAGES HAVE MILITARY IMPLICATIONS: INDIA”, 2009/07/09) reported that Releasing its annual defence report, India said that it was ‘carefully’ monitoring the PRC’s defence modernisation. ‘It’s (China’s) military assistance and cooperation with Pakistan and other countries in our neighbourhood as well as the possibilities of enhancing connectivity with Pakistan through the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, illegally occupied by China and Pakistan, and with other countries, will also have direct military implication for India,’ the report said. said the rapid enhancement in the defence capabilities of as well as its hobnobbing with Pakistan and other countries in South Asia have ‘military implications’ for India.
21. PRC African Investment
United Press International (“CHINA STEPS UP BUYING SPREE IN AFRICA”, Lagos, 2009/07/09) reported that the PRC’s oil companies, buoyed by the country’s foreign exchange reserves that now top $2 trillion for the first time, are on another buying spree in Africa, further challenging the century-long domination of the continent’s mineral wealth by Europe’s great powers. The Big Three — China National Petroleum Corp., Sinopec and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. — are all likely to be among the top bidders when one of West Africa’s newest oil producers, the island state of Sao Tome e Principe, which straddles the equator in the Gulf of Guinea, opens up its exclusive economic zone for the first time.
22. Sino-Australian Relations
Associated Press (Joe Mcdonald And Rohan Sullivan, “CHINA SAYS RIO TINTO EMPLOYEES STOLE STATE SECRETS”, Beijing, 2009/07/09) reported that the PRC has proof four detained employees of miner Ltd. stole state secrets for foreign countries. A foreign ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, confirmed those detained were employees of Rio’s Shanghai office and included an Australian citizen, . Qin warned Australia not to politicize the case: “It’s improper to exaggerate this individual case or even politicize it, which will be no good to Australia.” He rejected speculation in Australia that the case was retaliation for decision last month to cancel a multibillion dollar investment deal with a PRC state-owned company.
Associated Press (Joe Mcdonald and Rohan Sullivan, “CHINA TO LET AUSTRALIA SEE RIO TINTO MANAGER”, Beijing, 2009/07/09) reported that the PRC agreed to let Australia’s diplomats meet Friday with a detained Australian employee of miner Rio Tinto Ltd. after the government said it had proof he and three co-workers stole state secrets. Rio and the Australian government said they have received no explanation of the charges against Hu and his co-workers.
23. PRC Climate Change
Xinhua News (“CHINA CALLS FOR MORE EFFORTS TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE “, 2009/07/09) reported that the international community should make more efforts to cope with climate change and jointly protect the earth, PRC State Councilor Dai Bingguo said. Dai, on behalf of PRC President Hu Jintao made the remark when addressing the Major Economies Forum (MEF) on energy security and climate change. In his speech, Dai expressed the hope that the meeting would help build mutual trust, reach consensus and promote cooperation in tackling climate change.
24. PRC Ethnic Strife
Associated Press (Alexa Olesen, “CHINESE ECONOMIST MISSING, APPARENTLY DETAINED”, Beijing, 2009/07/09) reported that Uighur leader Ilham Tohti disappeared from his Beijing home this week. He called a friend just after midnight Wednesday to say he would be detained. “‘I’ve got the formal notice, and this is probably the last time you will hear my voice on the telephone,'” magazine writer Huang Zhangjin on Thursday recalled his 39-year-old professor friend telling him. Widely considered a moderate who did not advocate independence for Xinjiang, Tohti has in recent months sharpened his critique of the region’s problems. A Chinese-language Web site he founded became a lively forum about Uighur life and views, at times touching on tensions between Uighurs and the Han Chinese majority.
Bloomberg (Dirk Beveridge, “CHINA RIOT TRACED TO TEEN’S `UNINTENTIONAL SCREAM,’ XINHUA SAYS “, 2009/07/09) reported that rioting in PRC’s northwestern city of Urumqi may have been sparked by the “unintentional scream” of a 19-year-old woman in a southern factory, according to an interview by state-run Xinhua News Agency that plays down the incident. Huang Cuilian, a 19-year-old worker from rural Guangdong, said she accidentally entered the wrong dormitory at the factory where she worked, Xinhua reported yesterday. She said she screamed and fled after seeing Uighur men in the room. “I just felt they were unfriendly so I turned and ran,” Huang was quoted as saying. One man stood and stamped his feet as if he might chase her, the news agency cited her saying. “I later realized that he was just making fun of me,” she said.
II. PRC Report
25. PRC Civil Society and Disaster Relief
China Youth News (“ONE FOUNDATION 200,000 RMB SUPPORTS SOUTHERN RAINSTROM DISASTER”, 2009/07/09) reported that large-scale torrential rains hit southern China in recent days. One Foundation allocated funds of 200,000 RMB for purchasing emergent disaster relief materials. Disaster relief materials will be transported to the most seriously impacted cities in Guangxi province.
26. PRC Earthquake Relief
Guangzhou Daily (“SERIOUSLY INJURED STUDENTS RECEIVE FREE MEDICAL TREATMENT IN FOSHAN”, 2009/07/09) reported that according to Foshan Health Department of Guangdong province, nine seriously injured students from Sichuan earthquake disaster areas arrived in Foshan of Guangdong province yesterday, to receive free medical treatment.