NAPSNet Daily Report 10 November, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. Russia and Inter-Korean Relations
Ria Navosti (“THREE-PARTY PROJECTS MAY NORMALIZE KOREAN PENINSULA – MEDVEDEV”, Moscow, 2010/11/09) reported that implementation of three-party projects between Russia and the ROK and the DPRK will help normalize the situation on the Korean Peninsula, President Dmitry Medvedev said. Medvedev told ROK media on the eve of his visit to Seoul that the joint projects include the construction of a pipeline to pump Russian gas via the DPRK and linking the Trans-Korean Railroad with the Trans-Siberian Railway. He said that implementation of such projects is possible only if “tensions reduce on the Korean Peninsula and if the two Koreas follow the path of national reconciliation.”
2. DPRK Nuclear Espionage
The Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA’S CHIEF NUKE SCIENTIST ‘HELD FOR SPYING’ “, 2010/11/10) reported that a senior researcher at the DPRK’s National Academy of Sciences has been arrested on espionage charges, it emerged on Tuesday. A high-level DPRK source quoted rumors that Kim So-in, who is believed to have been in charge of the North’s nuclear and missile development, and his family were arrested by the State Security Department and taken to the notorious Yodok concentration camp in May. A math prodigy who received his doctorate in his early 20s, Kim was said by the state media to have been behind the supposed launch of the DPRK’s first satellite — an event widely believed to have been a long-range ballistic missile test.
3. DPRK Food Supply
Good Friends (“CENTRAL PARTY ORDERS TO STOP COLLECTING RICE FOR MILITARY PROVISION”, 2010/11/09) reported that every year when the harvest season approaches there were big conflicts at each regional farm between the military which tries to secure rice for military provision and farmers who refuse to hand over the rice they grew for the past one year. The conflicts are especially severe this year. The Central Party announced on October 30th that it will stop collecting rice for military provision which was done annually as a priority business and notified each region throughout the country beginning November 1st. Province are all jubilant at the news. Every year the food shortage problems suffered by farmers were aggravated even further by taking of rice for military provision.
4. ROK-Japan Relations
JoongAng Ilbo (“JOSEON ARTIFACTS ON WAY BACK HOME”, 2010/11/10) reported that Japan will return 1,205 cultural assets it took from Korea, including 167 volumes of a Joseon Dynasty royal protocol called the Uigwe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced. The ministry said that Seoul and Tokyo reached a final agreement on the return of Joseon Dynasty cultural assets purloined by the Japanese. Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and his Japanese counterpart Seiji Maehara agreed on the details over the telephone, it said. The two foreign ministers also agreed to sign a treaty soon to implement the agreement, the ministry said.
5. PRC Energy Growth
The New York Times (Clifford Krauss, “CHARTING CHINA’S ENERGY EXPLOSION”, 2010/11/09) reported that in its annual global energy report, issued on Tuesday, the International Energy Agency predicted that the PRC’s push for rapid economic development will dominate global energy markets and be the single biggest force in spurring higher oil prices and carbon dioxide emissions linked to climate change over the next quarter-century. There are 1.3 billion Chinese in the world today, and currently they each use about one-third the amount of electricity as the average European or North American. But that’s changing, so watch your wallet.