NAPSNet Daily Report 10 June, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Russia on DPRK Missile Program
- 2. US on DPRK Missile Program
- 3. DPRK on Nuclear Program
- 4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 5. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 6. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 7. US on Detained Journalists
- 8. ROK Sanctions on the DPRK
- 9. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 10. Japan on DPRK Terror List Status
- 11. Japanese Sanctions on the DPRK
- 12. Japan Missile Defense
- 13. ROK Anti-Piracy Conference
- 14. ROK Politics
- 15. ROK Environment
- 16. Japan SDF
- 17. Japan-Pakistani Relations
- 18. Japan and IAEA Leadership
- 19. Japan Climate Change
- 20. Japan Swine Flu Outbreak
- 21. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 22. Sino-Indian Relations
- 23. Sino-French Relations
- 24. US-PRC Climate Change Collaboration
- 25. Cross Strait Relations
- 26. PRC Human Rights
- 27. US Aid to Mongolia
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. Russia on DPRK Missile Program
Reuters (“RUSSIA SOURCE SAYS NORTH KOREA READYING LAUNCHES: REPORT”, Moscow, 2009/06/09) reported that a Russian Foreign Ministry source said there were signs that the DPRK was preparing new missile launches. “Information is coming to us that there are signs of preparations for the launch of missiles,” the unnamed Russian source was quoted as saying. The diplomat said the DPRK’s temporary ban on navigation in certain areas of the Yellow and Japan Seas was an indication it was preparing to conduct a missile test.
2. US on DPRK Missile Program
The Associated Press (“GATES TO N. KOREA: WE CAN DESTROY MISSILE”, Washington, 2009/06/09) reported that Defense Secretary Robert Gates told U.S. lawmakers at a hearing that the U.S. would have a “high probability of being able to defend ourselves” if the DPRK fired a long-range missile.
3. DPRK on Nuclear Program
The Associated Press (“N. KOREA STEPS UP RHETORIC AMID NUCLEAR CRISIS”, Seoul, 2009/06/09) reported that the DPRK said it would use nuclear weapons in a “merciless offensive” if provoked: “Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive means … as well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country’s dignity and sovereignty even a bit,” said the official Korean Central News Agency. It appeared to be the first time that the DPRK referred to its nuclear arsenal as “offensive” in nature.
4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Test
Yonhap News (“CHINA AGREES TO DRAFT RESOLUTION ON N. KOREA FOR NUKE TEST: DIPLOMATS”, New York, 2009/06/09) reported that the PRC has agreed on a draft resolution on further sanctioning the DPRK for its nuclear test last month removing a major obstacle to a deal, diplomatic sources said. “China has agreed on a compromise draft resolution presented by the US and the Western countries,” a diplomat said, asking anonymity. “We expect an announcement on a final agreement will be made soon.” Russia has yet to agree to the draft, citing the need to consult its capital, the diplomat said. “However, we understand negotiations have reached the terminal station.”
5. Sino-DPRK Relations
JoongAng Ilbo (“CHINA’S STAUNCH TIES WITH N. KOREA ERODING”, 2009/06/09) reported that in the aftermath of the DPRK’s defiant nuclear test, the PRC’s attitude toward its staunch ideological ally is showing signs of erosion. PRC experts on the DPRK, who normally voice their opinions within the boundary of PRC policies, have been given leeway to be unusually critical of Pyongyang this time in their views on the DPRK in various publications.
6. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
The Associated Press (Pamela Hess, “INTELLIGENCE CHIEF SAYS NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR AND MISSILE”, Washington, 2009/06/08) reported that National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said missile and nuclear tests are calculated to scare the West into offering the DPRK money and other inducements to abandon the weapons programs. But he said the combination of a succession in a tightly controlled dictatorship and provocative military behavior is a “potentially dangerous mixture.”
7. US on Detained Journalists
The Associated Press (“WILL US SEND ENVOY AFTER N. KOREA JAILS REPORTERS?”, 2009/06/09) reported that the sentencing of two American journalists to 12 years in a DPRK labor prison sets the stage for possible negotiations with the DPRK for their release — perhaps involving an envoy from the United States. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson , who helped win the release of Americans from the DPRK in the 1990s, said he was “ready to do anything” the Obama administration asked. Another possible negotiator, if the U.S. government approved, is former Vice President Al Gore , who founded the TV venture that both reporters work for.
Chosun Ilbo (“WHAT HOPES FOR DETAINED JOURNALISTS IN N.KOREA?”, Seoul, 2009/06/09) reported that the U.S. was trying to approach the issue from a humanitarian point of view, but that the DPRK will highly likely attempt to link the matter with security talks, including the nuclear issue. Lee Soo-suk, chief of inter-Korean relations research at the Institute for National Security Strategy, said, “North Korea will likely demand not lip service such as an apology from the U.S. but concrete action including easing of financial sanctions.”
The Associated Press (“JOURNALISTS UNLIKELY TO SEE NASTY N. KOREAN PRISONS “, Seoul, 2009/06/09) reported that reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee will likely be kept apart from DPRK inmates as negotiators try to cut a deal for their release. ”I don’t think the reporters will do hard labor. It’s simply not in the North Koreans’ interests to make them go through that,” said Roh Jeong-ho, director of the Center for Korean Legal Studies at Columbia Law School in New York. One former DPRK official who defected to the ROK said the reporters would not be sent to an ordinary labor prison because the government wouldn’t want the foreigners to witness the severe human rights violations at such places.
8. ROK Sanctions on the DPRK
The New York Times (CHOE SANG-HUN, “SEOUL IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/06/09) reported that the ROK imposed its first financial sanctions on DPRK companies, officials said Tuesday. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance in Seoul said that it has banned trading with three DPRK firms — Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, Tanchon Commercial Bank, and Korea Ryongbong General Corporation — and will freeze their assets. But officials said that these firms have no trading with the ROK or assets in the ROK.
9. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Yonhap News (“SEOUL OFFICIALS TRAVEL TO N. KOREA FOR TALKS ON TROUBLED JOINT VENTURE”, 2009/06/09) reported that a n advance team of Seoul officials left for the DPRK to prepare for the second talks on a joint industrial park. “Our government will consider various measures to sustain stable production activities. North Korea also should stop unilateral actions that make the park unstable,” Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said in a briefing.
Yonhap News (Koh Byung-joon, “INTER-KOREAN TRADE TUMBLES AMID GROWING TENSIONS”, 2009/06/09) reported that t rade between the ROK and DPRK plunged nearly 25 percent in the first four months of this year amid growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, a report showed. Inter-Korean trade amounted to US$426.35 million during the January-April period, down 24.8 percent from $566.92 million a year earlier, according to the report by the Korea Customs Service.
10. Japan on DPRK Terror List Status
The Asahi Shimbun (“KAWAMURA: BLACKLIST NORTH KOREA”, 2009/05/09) reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Japan wants Washington to put the DPRK back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Kawamura said Tokyo “feels it necessary” to take such action. “The Japanese government protested the delisting. We also stand by the belief that abductions (of Japanese nationals) are indeed a form of terrorism,” the top government spokesman added .
11. Japanese Sanctions on the DPRK
Mainichi Shimbun (“EXEC FACES FRESH CHARGES OVER ILLEGAL EXPORTS TO NORTH KOREA”, Kobe, 2009/06/09) reported that a local company president faces fresh charges on suspicion of illegally exporting luxury items to the DPRK, it was learned. According to a source with the investigation, Jeong Rin-chae, 50, will be slapped with new charges on suspicion of shipping a number of pianos and Mercedes Benz cars to the DPRK from October to December last year under the guise of exporting them to the PRC.
12. Japan Missile Defense
Kyodo News (“LDP DEFENSE PANELS PITCH ABILITY TO STRIKE ENEMY MISSILE SITES”, 2009/06/09) reported that Japan should acquire the capacity to strike an enemy’s missile sites as part of its defensive capabilities under the new National Defense Program Guidelines, defense policy panels of the Liberal Democratic Party proposed. It isn’t certain that the proposal will make it into the guidelines, given the strong reservations among some government officials and lawmakers. They say the idea could be interpreted by other countries as suggesting Japan intends to ditch the defense-only provision of the Constitution.
13. ROK Anti-Piracy Conference
CCTV (“SOUTH KOREA HOSTS INTERNATIONAL ANTI-PIRACY MEETING”, 2009/06/09) reported that ROK is hosting an international meeting to discuss piracy off the coast of Somalia. Delegates agree that fighting against the threat of piracy in Somali waters should be a joint international effort. Delegates from 34 countries and international maritime organizations are attending the two-day meeting in Seoul. Discussions are focusing on the role of international and regional organizations in the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships.
14. ROK Politics
Yonhap News (Shin Hae-in, “IDEOLOGICAL RIFT ENGULFS S. KOREA AFTER FORMER PRESIDENT’S SUICIDE”, Seoul, 2009/06/09) reported that a growing flood of petitions by ROK academics against the policies of the ruling Lee Myung-bak administration continued to deepen a rift between liberals and conservatives over the suicide of Lee’s immediate predecessor last month. A statement issued by generally liberal professors from the state-run Seoul National University on June 3 has spawned a series of campaigns by civic, academic and religious groups slamming the Lee administration for clamping down on civil liberties and launching a politically motivated corruption probe into the late President Roh Moo-hyun. Their conservative colleagues are defending the incumbent government and claiming such attacks are causing a national rift.
15. ROK Environment
The Korea Times (Kwon Mee-yoo, “2 JEJU WETLANDS TO BE PRESERVED”, 2009/06/09) reported that t wo wetlands in Jeju Island will be designated as preservation areas in September. The Ministry of Environment announced Monday that it will put 1100 Highland Wetland and Muljangori Oreum Wetland on the list of wetland preservation zones. It aims to have the 1100 Highland Wetland listed on the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the preservation of wetlands, by the end of the year. The 1100 Highland Wetland is considered botanically important since many rare plants such as Japanese quillwort and utricularia racemosa wallich grow there.
16. Japan SDF
United Press International (“JAPAN PREFERS F-22 FIGHTER OVER F-35”, 2009/06/09) reported that Japan prefers to buy the F-22fighter, and not the F-35, from the United States, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said. “We are still seeking the possibility of acquiring the F-22, but if that does not work out, we will have to consider not just the F-35 but others as options,” Hamada said, Kyodo News reported. “As of today, we still want to seek the F-22.”
17. Japan-Pakistani Relations
Kyodo News (“JAPAN TO PROVIDE $10 MIL. IN GRANT AID FOR REFUGEES IN PAKISTAN”, Tokyo , 2009/06/09) reported that Japan will provide $10 million in emergency grant aid to Pakistan to support millions of people displaced by Islamabad’s anti-Taliban operations in Pakistan’s restive northwest, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said. Japan pledged $1 billion in assistance for Pakistan over two years during a donors conference in Tokyo on April 17 and the announcement of the grant aid is part of that assistance, Nakasone said.
18. Japan and IAEA Leadership
The Associated Press (“DIPLOMATS: JAPANESE WINS TEST VOTE FOR IAEA HEAD”, 2009/06/09) reported that diplomats say Japan’s candidate has won an informal test vote meant to thin out the field of candidates to become head of the U.N. nuclear agency. The diplomats said Yukiya Amano received 20 votes from the International Atomic Energy Agency ‘s 35-nation board. The ” straw poll ” is meant to reduce the field of five ahead of a formal vote likely on July 2.
19. Japan Climate Change
AFP (“JAPAN SET TO UNVEIL TIMID TARGET ON CLIMATE CHANGE: CAMPAIGNERS”, Bonn, 2009/06/09) reported that Japan will unveil a target of reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions by seven percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, Japanese campaigners said on Tuesday at the UN climate talks here. They lashed the reported goal as pitiful, saying it marked a mere one-percentage-point fall over Japan’s target for 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty set to be superseded by a far more ambitious global pact.
20. Japan Swine Flu Outbreak
The Asahi Shimbun (“4 NEW SWINE FLU CASES IN FUKUOKA”, Fukuoka, 2009/06/09) reported that four more children were confirmed to be infected with new swine flu amid a group outbreak at an elementary and junior high school here, bringing total infections to 16, city officials said. The new cases followed the city board of education’s decision to close Itazuke Junior High School, Itazuke Elementary School and Itazuke-Kita Elementary School in Hakata Ward until June 14, after infections spread. None of the 16 cases is serious, city officials said.
21. Sino-Japanese Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINA HOPES TO ENHANCE DEFENSE EXCHANGES WITH JAPAN, DEFENSE MINISTER”, 2009/06/09) reported that the PRC hopes it can work with Japan to reinforce defense exchanges, Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said in Beijing on Monday. Liang made the remarks when meeting Japanese military officers with the Sasakawa Japan-China Friendship Fund led by Yohei Sasakawa. China is glad to see that bilateral defense exchanges have been soundly developed through the governments, while non-government-organized exchanges, like the Sasakawa Japan-China Friendship Fund and the China Institute for International Strategic Studies, continue, said Liang.
22. Sino-Indian Relations
UNI (“INDIA’S RELATIONS WITH CHINA ARE NOT ANTAGONISTIC: PM”, 2009/06/09) reported that maintaining that India did not see its in antagonistic terms, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there was enough space for both the countries to develop and contribute to global peace, stability and propserity. ”We have a large trading relationship, we consult each other on global issues, whether in the G-20 process on climate change or terrorism, and we share a common commitment to maintain peace and tranquilty on our border,” he said.
United Press International (“INDIA DEPLOYS NEW JETS ALONG CHINA BORDER”, New Delhi, 2009/06/09) reported that Indian defense officials say they will deploy their new Sukhoi 30-MKI advanced fighter jets along the country’s sensitive border with the PRC. Defense Ministry representative Col. R. Kalia said Tuesday the four multi-role strike fighter jets would be deployed next week at the Indian air force base in Tezpur, about 115 miles north of Assam state’s main city of Guwahati, near where the PRC is alleged to have made border incursions, Times of India-IANS reported.
23. Sino-French Relations
The Associated Press (“CHINA WARNS HONOR FOR DALAI LAMA WILL HURT TIES”, 2009/06/09) reported that the PRC expressed its indignation Tuesday at an honor given to the Dalai Lama by the city of Paris, saying it would seriously harm Beijing’s relations with France . Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe conferred a certificate of honorary citizenship on the Tibetan spiritual leader at a ceremony Sunday in Paris’ gilded City Hall. Paris ‘ city council voted last year to make the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen of the city. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference that the move was a “gross provocation against the Chinese people … and greatly undermines China-France relations.”
24. US-PRC Climate Change Collaboration
The Associated Press (“CHINA RESPONSE TO OBAMA CLIMATE ENVOY POSITIVE”, 2009/06/09) reported that the PRC said that it was committed to making this year’s Copenhagen climate change conference a success, sounding a positive note at the close of a two-day visit to Beijing by President Barack Obama ‘s global warming envoy. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang gave few details and reasserted the PRC’s insistence on “common but differentiated responsibilities” under which developed countries such as the U.S. would bear most of the responsibility for reducing greenhouse gas emissions .
25. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN PRESIDENT SUGGESTS USING SIMPLIFIED CHINESE CHARACTERS”, Taipei, 2009/06/09) reported that President Ma Ying-jeou on Tuesday suggested that Taiwan adopt the simplified character set used in writing in the PRC , in yet another indication of the island’s moving closer to its former arch-rival. “We hope the two sides can reach a consensus on (learning to) read standard characters while writing in the simplified ones,” Ma told a visiting delegation of US-based Taiwanese community leaders. “It is also our hope that the standard characters can be listed as World Heritage by the United Nations one day,” he said in a statement.
26. PRC Human Rights
The Associated Press (“CHINA EXTENDS DETENTION OF LEADING DISSIDENT”, 2009/06/09) reported that PRC police have extended the detention of leading dissident Liu Xiaobo , his lawyer said Tuesday, as rights groups urged Beijing to release the writer and make public the charges against him. Liu, 53, was detained in December last year after he signed Charter 08, a widely circulated petition that called for greater democracy and the rule of law in the PRC . Since his detention, no charges have been brought against him.
27. US Aid to Mongolia
Agence France-Presse (“MONGOLIA, US TALK ON REDIRECTING AID”, Washington, 2009/06/09) reported that Sukhbaatar Batbold met with top US officials Tuesday on redirecting nearly 200 million dollars in aid after Russia vetoed US help to improve the rail network. In 2007, the US signed a deal to provide 285 million dollars to Mongolia as part of the Millennium Challenge program, under which Washington helps nations that practice good governance and respect civil liberties . But the Russian government, which along with Mongolia holds a 50 percent stake in the railway, refused to be part of the US project and Mongolia had no choice but to drop the US grant, “since it was really a government-to-government joint venture and one party is not agreeing to accept the support from the third party,” according to Batbold.
II. PRC Report
28. PRC Civil Society
Xinhua Net (Li Wen, “BEIJING SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE WELCOMESTHE FIRST CHILD”, 2009/06/09) reported that Beijing SOS Children’s Village is co-established by SOS Kinderdorf International and Beijing government, and is the 10th SOS Children’s Village in the PRC. Yesterday, it welcomed its first child to live in. The Beijing Children’ Village will take the family model to foster these children, with one mother taking care of 6-8 children per family.
29. PRC Environment
Beijing Times (“BEIJING TO FACE A NEW ROUND OF REFUSE CRISIS”, 2009/06/08) reported that related government official yesterday said that because of the rapid growth of refuse, the 13 refuse sites of Beijing will be filling in four years. The pressure on both newly constructed facilities and refuse reduction are huge.
30. PRC Elder Care
People’s Daily online (Pan Yue, “HELPING THE ELDERLY ACTIVITY LAUNCHED IN BEIJING”, 2009/06/08) reported that “China Helping the Elderly Public Action Plan” was launched in Beijing today. The Plan consists of related investigation and research of helping the elderly; holding related summit; electing longevity star; and other activities.
III. ROK Report
31. DPRK Nuclear Program
PRESSian (Park Hoogun, “NORTH AMERICA’S CHICKEN GAME, ROK IN AMERICAN CARS WITHOUT A SEATBELT, DPRK NUCLEAR TESTS, TO COUNTER THE US”, ) reported that DPRK is in extreme poverty, and not in situation to show off its capabilities, continuing nuclear experiments, which is why the satellite launch and two nuclear experiments should be viewed as an all-out effort to end the military and diplomatic confrontation against the US. In other words, the chicken game between the US and DPRK has begun. However, the chicken game could be avoided if the spectators prefer an alternative and persuade both sides. It would be ideal for the ROK to stop such chicken game between the US and DPRK and suggest an alternative resolution, but if that’s not possible, it’s beneficial for ROK to get off the car for the moment.
32. Inter-Korea Relations
Hankyoreh (“ROK GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE ON DETAINEE ISSUE IN KAESONG”, 2009/06/10) wrote that for the first time since companies began operations in Kaesong Industrial Complex in 2005, a company has decided to leave. One reason cited is the issue of the ROK’s Hyundai Asan employee who has been detained by DPRK for two and a half months, and the ROK government does not even know where he is being held. The Kaesong Industrial Complex and detainee issues are closely tied with inter-Korean relations, which have continued to worsen since the inauguration of the Lee Myung-bak administration. Accordingly, the solution for these two problems can appear only through efforts to improve the entirety of inter-Korean relations, and these can only be improved when the Oct. 4 and June 15 declarations, the highest agreements between the two Koreas, are preserved.
33. ROK Food Security
Korea Institute for Future Strategies (“FOOD SECURITY IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE”, 2009/06/10) reported that the recent new influenza drug proved that when the situation is at hand, it’s already too late. Likewise, we must be prepared before the food security issue is at hand. The ROK’s degree of food self-sufficiency is only 26%. Among OECD countries with more than a population of 1 million, Netherlands and Japan are the only countries with lower degree of food self-sufficiency than the ROK. Scientists, policy makers, and politicians must cooperate in making policies to secure food however the climate changes. A country is responsible for not making its people suffer from hunger.