NAPSNet Daily Report 10 June, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on Naval Ship Sinking
- 2. ROK Response to Naval Ship Sinking
- 3. Russia on Naval Ship Sinking
- 4. US on Naval Ship Sinking
- 5. PRC on Naval Ship Sinking
- 6. DPRK Arms Trade
- 7. US on DPRK-Burma Military Relations
- 8. DPRK Leadership
- 9. Inter-Korea Relations
- 10. ROK on Six Party Talks
- 11. ROK Military
- 12. ROK Military-Japan SDF Cooperation
- 13. ROK-Japan Relations
- 14. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes
- 15. Japan-US Relations
- 16. USFJ Base Relocation
- 17. Japan-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation
- 18. PRC on ROK-US Military Cooperation
- 19. Sino-UAE Military Cooperatoin
- 20. Sino-US Economic Relations
- 21. Sino-Russian Relations
- 22. Sino-Uzbekistan Nuclear Cooperation
- 23. Sino-Australia Relations
- 24. PRC Internet
- 25. PRC Human Rights
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK on Naval Ship Sinking
Associated Press (“N. KOREA WARNS U.N. NOT TO DISCUSS WARSHIP SINKING”, 2010/06/09) reported that the DPRK sent the U.N. Security Council a letter warning the world body to not even open debate on the deadly sinking of a ROK warship blamed on Pyongyang, state media reported Wednesday. Sin Son Ho, the DPRK’s permanent representative at the United Nations, sent Security Council President Claude Heller a letter Tuesday saying the council must not open a debate on the “the unilaterally forged” investigation results because that would fringe upon the DPRK’s sovereignty, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang. “No one would dare imagine how serious its consequences would be” over security on the Korean peninsula if the debate starts, Mr. Sin said in the letter, according to the KCNA dispatch.
Kyodo News (“N. KOREA ASKS U.N. TO HELP IT INVESTIGATE SUNKEN SHIP SITE”, 2010/06/09) reported that the DPRK’s permanent representative to the United Nations has requested that Pyongyang be allowed to inspect the site of the sinking of a ROK warship to verify international investigations that found the country responsible for the incident, the DPRK’s state media said Wednesday. Sin Son Ho filed the request in a message sent to Claude Heller, Mexico’s ambassador to the United Nations and the rotating president of the U.N. Security Council for June, the Korean Central News Agency said. Sin urged the Security Council to take measures to ensure that the United States and the ROK will accept an inspection group of the DPRK’s National Defense Commission, according to KCNA. “By doing so, the United Nations Security Council should give utmost priority to bringing to light the very truth of the incident, on an impartial and objective basis,” KCNA quoted the message as saying.
2. ROK Response to Naval Ship Sinking
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA DEMANDS N. KOREA APOLOGIZE TO WORLD FOR WARSHIP SINKING”, 2010/06/09) reported that the ROK demanded Wednesday that the DPRK issue an international apology for sinking a ROK warship in March, accusing Pyongyang of having undermined world peace. “North Korea should immediately apologize to the Republic of Korea and the international society and punish those involved” in the sinking of the Cheonan, Vice Unification Minister Um Jong-sik said at a meeting of overseas reconciliation activists in Seoul. Another ranking ministry official said that the government would use “common sense” to determine whether the DPRK has sufficiently expressed regrets over the sinking even if its leader Kim Jong-il denies explicit involvement. He spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Xinhua News Agency (“S KOREA TO BRIEF UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS ON WARSHIP SINKING”, 2010/06/09) reported that a team of investigators will brief members of the U.N. Security Council on the sinking of a ROK warship that a multinational probe said was a work of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the foreign ministry said Wednesday. About ten investigators who participated in the probe will join the briefing, which will not be made public, according to the ministry. The request was made by Mexico, which currently assumes the Council’s presidency.
3. Russia on Naval Ship Sinking
Korea Times (“RUSSIANS DOUBT ABOUT SHIP SINKING BY NK ATTACK”, 2010/06/09) reported that Russian inspectors have refused to blame the DPRK for the sinking of a ROK warship, an Indian online paper reported. The paper said the experts had not found “convincing evidence of North Korea’s involvement.””After examining the available evidence and the ship wreckage, Russian experts came to the conclusion that a number of arguments produced by the international investigation in favor of the DPRK’s [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] involvement in the corvette sinking were not weighty enough,” a Russian Navy source was quoted as telling the Interfax-AVN news wire. Russia’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff Nikolai Makarov said only that the Russian Foreign Ministry would make an official statement on the issue after the experts prepared their report.
4. US on Naval Ship Sinking
Bernama (“US CAUTIOUS ABOUT UN CONDEMNATION OF NORTH KOREA AMID RELUCTANT CHINA”, 2010/06/09) reported that the United States was cautious about how to punish the DPRK for the torpedoeing of a ROK warship amid the PRC’s lukewarm position on further sanctions on its communist ally, Yonhap News Agency reported. “Just to clarify, to be sure that you didn’t mishear me, the South Korean government has sent a letter to the president of the Security Council,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. “We do expect the matter to come up within the council in the next couple of weeks. We would expect to have, per the South Korean request, an appropriate response from the UN Security Council. But what that specific response is will be a part of the upcoming debate.” Crowley was clarifying the remarks he made the previous day that the US expected “a strong statement” on the DPRK from the Security Council, which in some circles was interpreted as a scolding from the council presidential statement, viewed as weaker than a resolution.
5. PRC on Naval Ship Sinking
Yonhap News (“SENIOR DIPLOMAT SAYS CHINA WILL WORK TOWARD ‘ACCEPTABLE SOLUTIONS’ TO SHIP SINKING”, 2010/06/09) reported that the PRC vowed to work with Seoul toward “acceptable solutions” in dealing with the DPRK’s attack on a ROK warship, although there were still areas where the two countries have not narrowed their differences, a senior diplomat said Wednesday. Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo said he had “candid and constructive” discussions with PRC officials, including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai.
6. DPRK Arms Trade
Deutsche Welle (“NORTH KOREA PROLIFERATION REPORT RAISES INTERNATIONAL, REGIONAL STAKES “, 2010/06/09) reported that the leaking of the UN report claiming Pyongyang was exporting nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria and Burma is expected to further undermine the precarious peace on the Korean Peninsula and add to international concern over proliferation. The 47-page document accused the communist regime in the DPRK of circumventing United Nations sanctions by using a complicated network of front companies, middlemen and overseas criminal groups to export nuclear and missile technology. “The likelihood that North Korea is exporting missile and nuclear technology simply shows that North Korea is more advanced than other aspirants and as a result is trying to develop niche markets,” Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea Studies at the Council for Foreign Relations in Washington, told Deutsche Welle.
7. US on DPRK-Burma Military Relations
The Irrawaddy (“US TALKING TO BURMA ABOUT NORTH KOREA”, 2010/06/09) reported that the United States is talking to the Burmese military junta about its international obligations to implement a United Nations Security Council resolution on the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, a US official has said. “That is something that we watch very carefully,” State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley told reporters at a daily news briefing, when referring to recent reports that Burma has been violating the UN Security Council resolution 1874. “We are talking to Burma, reminding Burma about its international obligations under 1874 and other resolutions,” Crowley said, adding that the State Department has had conversations with Sen. Jim Webb in this regard.
8. DPRK Leadership
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA’S RULE OF 4 “, 2010/06/09) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law Jang Song-taek was appointed vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission on Monday, making him the effective No.2 in the Stalinist country. But defectors who were high-ranking officials in the DPRK said Jang was promoted to join a core quartet centering around O Kuk-ryol, also a vice chairman of the NDC, along with Kim Yong-chun and U Dong-chuk. Defectors and sources in the DPRK said power is being divided up as Kim Jong-il’s health deteriorates, and at the center of the new power structure is O rather than Jang. One high-ranking source in the DPRK said the four-man clique emerged apparently due to Kim’s weakening grip on power. There are even rumors that O has assumed part of Kim’s jobs of signing and approving official documents as Kim has difficulties taking care of them due to symptoms of dementia and other health problems.
9. Inter-Korea Relations
Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA TO SHIP AID TO N.KOREA DESPITE TENSIONS”, 2010/06/09) reported that the ROK Wednesday approved two aid shipments of baby formula to the DPRK despite rising tensions over the sinking of one of Seoul’s warships. The unification ministry, which must authorise all cross-border exchanges, said the shipments from private groups of milk and other items totalling 320,000 dollars would be sent late this month.
Yonhap News (“SOUTH KOREA COMPLETES INSTALLATION OF PROPAGANDA SPEAKERS: OFFICIAL”, 2010/06/09) reported that the ROK on Wednesday completed the installation of loudspeakers along the border with the DPRK, although it was not yet decided when to resume anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts, a military official said. “Work to set up loudspeakers in 11 frontline areas was completed today, and it has yet to be decided whether to install more and when to resume propaganda broadcasts,” the official, asking for anonymity, said. No particular movements were detected at DPRK guard posts near the places where the speakers were set up, the official added.
10. ROK on Six Party Talks
Korea Times (“NO RETURN TO NUCLEAR TALKS WITHOUT RESOLVING CHEONAN”, 2010/06/09) reported that a senior policymaker on the DPRK made it clear Wednesday that the ROK won’t return to the six-nation talks on the DPRK’s nuclear program without addressing the Communist state’s torpedo attack on a Navy vessel in March. “It is needless to start the six-party talks again if North Korea is left unpunished,” Vice Unification Minister Eom Jong-sik said in a forum on inter-Korean relations, hosted by the National Unification Advisory Council in Seoul. “The denuclearization process, even if it resumes, will be disrupted by North Korea’s provocative acts at some point. We need to make it pay the price for the torpedo attack.” “Our North Korea policy is aimed at preventing further acts of aggression and guiding it to take the right path.”
11. ROK Military
Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA GENERAL FACES ARREST FOR SPYING: REPORT”, 2010/06/09) reported that the ROK’s military on Wednesday sought an arrest warrant for a two-star army general accused of leaking the country’s war plan and other secrets to the DPRK, a news report said. The Defence Security Command asked military prosecutors to arrest the major-general identified only as Kim for leaking classified information, Yonhap news agency said. A defence ministry spokesman declined to comment on the report.
12. ROK Military-Japan SDF Cooperation
Yonhap News (“S. KOREAN, JAPANESE TROOPS JOIN FORCES TO REBUILD HAITI”, 2010/06/09) reported that ROK and Japanese troops in Haiti have launched a joint mission to support the Caribbean nation’s post-earthquake reconstruction efforts, marking a rare overseas military cooperation between the two countries, Seoul’s military officials said Wednesday. The ROK and Japanese troops have offered humanitarian assistance to rebuild areas in Carrefour, near Haitai’s capital, Port-au-Prince, since Friday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. Colonel Kim Su-seong, chief of the 240-member ROK unit in Haiti, described the joint mission with the roughly 350-member Japanese unit under the name of the United Nations peacekeeping operations as historically significant.
13. ROK-Japan Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“MASATOSHI MUTO NAMED NEW JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TO KOREA”, 2010/06/09) reported that the Japanese government has appointed current ambassador to Kuwait Masatoshi Muto as the new ambassador to the ROK. He will replace Toshinori Shigeie. Muto previously served a post in the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and consul-general in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has worked as the ambassador to Kuwait since October 2007. The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that it is an unusual appointment as Muto has never served in a director-level position in Japan’s Foreign Ministry, but he has expertise in Korean affairs as he served three times in the Korean Embassy, and worked at the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Northeast Asia affairs bureau.
14. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes
Chosun Ilbo (“‘OVER 6MN KOREANS FORCED INTO LABOUR DURING JAPANESE RULE'”, 2010/06/09) reported that over 6 million Koreans were forced into labour at about 7,000 workplaces operated by the Japanese on the Korea Peninsula from 1938-1945, according to a report. The report, prepared by a government committee under the ROK prime minister’s office, said there were 6,956 workplaces operated by 1,089 Japanese corporations on the Korean Peninsula from April 1938 until August 1945, when the nation was liberated from Japanese rule. At an estimated 6.48 million, the number of Koreans who were forced to work in Korea is more than six times the estimated 1.03 million Koreans who were forced into labour in places such as Japan, Manchuria, Sakhalin Island of Russia and South Pacific islands. A committee official said the report is significant because it confirms Japan’s mobilization of Korean forced labourers in Japanese work sites in Korea for the first time.
15. Japan-US Relations
Kyodo News (“GATES WELCOMES REAPPOINTMENT OF KITAZAWA AS JAPAN’S DEFENSE CHIEF”, 2010/06/09) reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates welcomed the reappointment of Toshimi Kitazawa as Japanese defense minister under the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan as well as Kan’s remarks that he will address the Okinawa base issue in line with a fresh bilateral accord agreed in late May. Gates told reporters in London he is “very pleased” that Kitazawa retained his post as Japan’s defense chief. “I think the stability and continuity is a value.” “I have also had a chance to meet him a number of times and feel like we have a good relationship,” Gates said.
16. USFJ Base Relocation
Kyodo News (“DEFENSE CHIEF DOUBTFUL ON GETTING FUTENMA CONSENT BY END OF AUGUST”, 2010/06/09) reported that Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Wednesday he doubts that Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s newly-formed government can get consent from Okinawa Prefecture on the Japan -U.S. accord to relocate a key U.S. base within the prefecture by the end of August. “We’ll secure transparency in the process of reaching an agreement between Japan and the United States as much as possible, and try to inform the people in Okinawa, ” Kitazawa said, adding that information to be provided will include the possible impact on the lives of local residents as well as the environment.
17. Japan-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, VIETNAM AGREE TO COOPERATE OVER NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION”, 2010/06/09) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Gia Khiem agreed Wednesday that their countries will cooperate on nuclear power generation in the Southeast Asian country, the Foreign Ministry said. Khiem said Hanoi values Japan’s nuclear power generation technology and is seriously considering its proposals in this sector.
18. PRC on ROK-US Military Cooperation
Chosun Ilbo (“KEEP U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER OUT OF OUR BACKYARD, CHINA WARNS “, 2010/06/09) reported that a state-run PRC newspaper criticized the ROK government for allowing the 97,000-ton aircraft carrier George Washington of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet to join ROK-U.S. military training scheduled late this month. In an editorial, Global News wrote the West Sea “is in proximity to China’s political hub of Beijing and Tianjin. If a U.S. aircraft carrier comes into the West Sea, mainland China falls under the military strategic influence of U.S. military forces. The people of China will not accept South Korea having military demonstration involving a U.S. aircraft carrier.” It added U.S. forces appear to regard the PRC “as their largest potential enemy, exposing a lack of strategic mutual trust between the U.S. and China. If South Korea wants to develop trust with China, it will have to consider the sentiments of the people of China.”
19. Sino-UAE Military Cooperatoin
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA, UAE VOW TO BOOST MILITARY TIES”, 2010/06/09) reported that PRC Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said Wednesday that the PRC will step up military exchanges with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Liang, also a State Councilor, made the remarks while meeting with Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithy, Chief of the General Staff of the UAE Armed Forces. Liang spoke highly of PRC-UAE ties, saying the two countries have maintained close political exchanges, increased trade cooperation and kept coordination in international and regional affairs since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1984. “China highly appreciates the UAE adhering to the one-China policy as well as its support in other issues concerning China’s core interests,” said Liang.
20. Sino-US Economic Relations
Agence France Presse (“US SENATE SEES ACTION ON CHINA CURRENCY ISSUE IN TWO WEEKS”, 2010/06/09) reported that the US Senate is to take legislative action in two weeks in a bid to punish the PRC for refusing to revalue its currency, lawmakers said Wednesday. They said they were disappointed with President Barack Obama’s administration for being unable to push the the PRC leadership to let the yuan appreciate to reflect market rates. “In the next two weeks, my colleagues and I intend to move forward with legislation to provide specific consequences for countries that fail to adopt appropriate policy to eliminate currency misalignment,” Charles Schumer told a hearing of the US-PRC Economic and Security Review Commission, a panel appointed by Congress to monitor the PRC’s policies.
21. Sino-Russian Relations
Reuters (“RUSSIA AND CHINA LEADERS TO MEET AT SECURITY SUMMIT”, 2010/06/09) reported that the leaders of Russia and the PRC will discuss global financial markets and tensions on the Korean peninsula during the annual summit of a regional security grouping on Thursday, a Kremlin source said. The regional security bloc, which also includes four ex-Soviet Central Asian states, will discuss the fight against terrorism and extremism as well as drug trafficking from Afghanistan. The Kremlin source said Medvedev’s meeting with PRC President Hu Jintao would focus first and foremost on Korean tensions, the source said.
22. Sino-Uzbekistan Nuclear Cooperation
Agence France Presse (” UZBEKISTAN, CHINA PLEDGE CLOSER ENERGY AND SECURITY TIES”, 2010/06/09) reported that the leaders of Uzbekistan and the PRC on Wednesday said they had signed deals aimed at increasing cooperation on energy and regional security. Speaking ahead of an annual meeting of the PRC-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting, PRC President Hu Jintao and Uzbek President Islam Karimov pledged closer ties, particularly on nuclear fuel. “One of the question we discussed was that of long-term and stable cooperation in the field of … uranium. It’s necessary to work in such a way to develop natural uranium and uranium fields,” Hu told reporters.
23. Sino-Australia Relations
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA EMPHASIZES STRONG PARTNERSHIP AS AUSTRALIAN GOVERNOR GENERAL VISITS”, 2010/06/09) reported that the PRC called for stronger cooperation with Australia on Wednesday as the country’ s Governor General, Quentin Bryce, visited Beijing. “China would like to work with Australia to take a strategic and long-term perspective of our bilateral relationship and seek new progress from all-around cooperation,” PRC Vice President Xi Jinping told Bryce during a Wednesday meeting. In their hour-long meeting in Diaoyutai State Guest House in western Beijing, Xi and Bryce discussed the improving momentum of PRC-Australia ties, hailing pragmatic collaboration in trade and economy, energy, resources, science and technology, culture, education and tourism.
24. PRC Internet
Associated Press (“CHINA REINFORCES INTERNET CONTROLS”, 2010/06/09) reported that the PRC vowed Wednesday to keep a tight grip on the Internet, saying it would continue to block anything considered subversive or threatening to “national unity.’’ The 31-page policy statement did not give examples of what content would be banned. It put the onus on companies to block content deemed sensitive, saying the PRC requires Internet service providers to set up “Internet security management systems and utilize technical measures to prevent the transmission of all types of illegal information.’’
25. PRC Human Rights
Associated Press (“CHINA COURT UPHOLDS 5-YEAR SENTENCE FOR ACTIVIST”, 2010/06/09) reported that a PRC court upheld a dissident’s five-year sentence for subversion Wednesday after he investigated the deaths of children crushed in their schools during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Tan Zuoren went on trial in August and was sentenced in February on the vaguely defined charge of inciting subversion of state power. The Sichuan provincial high court upheld the ruling in a brief hearing Wednesday morning, Tan’s wife, Wang Qinghua, said by telephone. The court’s upholding of Tan’s sentence was widely condemned by human rights groups as a miscarriage of justice and an attack on corruption whistle-blowers. “This is a politically motivated outcome of a grossly unfair legal process,” Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Asia-Pacific, said in a statement.
II. PRC Report
26. PRC Civil Society
People’s Daily (“INTERNATIONAL CHARITY FORUM TO BE HELD”, 2010/06/09) reported that the 4 th International Charity Forum is to be held on June 19 th in the People’s Great Hall of Beijing. The theme of this forum is “Put Charity into Practice, Create Harmony Together”. Over one hundred foreign and domestic officials, experts, scholars, and representatives of NGOs will gather together and discuss the healthy development of charity in the PRC.
Securities News (“UBS SDIC LAUNCHES PUBLIC WELFARE ACTIVITY”, 2010/06/09) reported that UBS SDIC is the PRC’s first JV fund management company. On June 8 th UBS SDIC, jointly with the China Gunaghua Foundation and the China Youth News, launched a summer social practice for university students. The activity encourages universities to send teams to rural areas or hometowns to carry out research and provide practical business planning for local people.