NAPSNet Daily Report 10 October, 2007
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK on US-DPRK Summit
- 3. US, ROK on Relations with the DPRK
- 4. US Aid to the DPRK
- 5. Inter-Korean Defense Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Relations
- 7. Investment in DPRK
- 8. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 9. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
- 10. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 11. Japan Space Program
- 12. Cross Strait Relations
- 13. PRC Party Congress
- II. CanKor
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Joongang Ilbo (“IN NORTH, NUKE TEST RECALLED AS A ‘MIRACLE’”, 2007/10/09) reported that a year after stunning the world with its first-ever nuclear test, the DPRK hailed the event as a “miracle” for the Korean people. Leader Kim Jong-il brought “the sky of lasting peace, prosperity and hope” to his people, the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said without directly mentioning the test. “We cannot really forget … a shout of joy in October Juche 95 (2006), which will be recorded permanently in 5,000 years of our history,” the paper said in an editorial. “It was really a great miracle,” it went on, enabling the DPRK to emerge as “one of the world’s most powerful nations.”
Kyodo News (“NUCLEAR SLOGANS ABSENT IN PYONGYANG ON 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF TEST “, Pyongyang, 2007/10/09) reported that no references to the DPRK’s nuclear programs were visible on Pyongyang streets Tuesday, exactly a year after the country conducted its first nuclear test. The mood was festive in the DPRK capital for another event — the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, which falls on Wednesday.
2. DPRK on US-DPRK Summit
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA MOUTHPIECE FORESEES KIM-BUSH SUMMIT”, 2007/10/09) reported that a meeting between US President George W. Bush and DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is on the horizon after last week’s inter-Korean summit, a DPRK mouthpiece in Japan said. The Chosun Shinbo, the organ of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan or Chongryon, said the end of the Korean War will be declared in the near future considering progress in six-way talks on the DPRK’s nuclear programs. A face-to-face meeting between Kim and Bush “is approaching,” it added.
3. US, ROK on Relations with the DPRK
Agence France-Presse (“BUSH, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT DISCUSS SUMMIT WITH NORTH “, Washington, 2007/10/09) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-Huyn spoke on the phone with US President George W. Bush about his summit least week with DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il, the White House announced. Roh “briefed the president on the results and his discussions at the Inter-Korean summit that was held last week,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. Perino said any act of goodwill by the United States could come only if the DPRK shows good faith first.
4. US Aid to the DPRK
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. CONSIDERING MASSIVE FOOD AID TO N.KOREA “, 2007/10/09) reported that after agreeing to the supply of heavy fuel oil to the DPRK, the US is also considering giving it large-scale food aid, chief presidential secretary for national security Baek Jong-chun said. Washington has informed Pyongyang of a plan to send officials to monitor food distribution there, and the response was reportedly positive. A U.S. official said it was “uncertain” whether the DPRK will ultimately accept the request for some monitoring of distribution, but “consensus has already been reached” in principle. The US is also discussing monitoring distribution through a civilian organization such as the Eugene Bell Foundation, which already operates in the DPRK.
5. Inter-Korean Defense Relations
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “SOUTH KOREA TO SET UP ARMS CONTROL BODY”, 2007/10/09) reported that the Ministry of National Defense is considering establishing an arms control bureau after an inter-Korean defense ministers’ meeting slated for next month, ministry officials said. The government plans to set up a presidential body to deal with arms control between the two Koreas, a report said. The Seoul Shinmun newspaper reported Cheong Wa Dae is preparing to create the body for arms reductions of the two Koreas next month as part of efforts to achieve a permanent peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.
6. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap (Yoo Cheong-mo, “ROH SAYS INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT ACCORD TO ACCELERATE KOREA-SIBERIA RAIL LINK “, Seoul, 2007/10/09) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-hyun said that the latest inter-Korean summit agreement would provide momentum for the connection of the trans-Korean railway, or TKR, with the trans-Siberian railway, known as TSR. Roh made the remarks during his telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Roh’s spokesman, Cheon Ho-seon. “Roh asked Putin to play a constructive role in the implementation of the inter-Korean summit agreements, as well as in peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Roh also noted that the two Koreas’ agreement to create a peace zone in their disputed maritime border in the West Sea was very meaningful, as it will promote cross-border peace and economic cooperation,” said Cheon.
Yonhap (“S, KOREA CONSIDERS BUILDING FERTILIZER PLANT IN N. KOREA: OFFICIAL “, Seoul, 2007/10/09) reported that the ROK may consider building a fertilizer plant in the DPRK to help improve the country’s crop yields, a senior agriculture policymaker said Tuesday. Agriculture Minister Im Sang-gyu said DPRK experts who were present at the inter-Korean summit meeting last week expressed their interest in cooperating in fertilizers. In addition, Im said that a win-win division of labor can be achieved if ROK farmers and companies are allowed to raise silkworms and hogs, as well as manufacture farm equipment in the DPRK.
7. Investment in DPRK
Korea Times (“DOING BUSINESS IN NK EASIER THAN THOUGHT”, 2007/10/03) reported that a repressive regime, erratic regulations and language barriers may be topping a long list of reasons why business should not be done in Pyongyang, but a longtime advisor to companies operating in the DPRK dismissed those concerns, as he welcomed the ongoing inter-Korean summit as a positive sign for investors all over the world. “The summit offers encouragement to investors everywhere because it’s reassuring to see that the two Koreas are talking to each other with a long term vision in mind,” Roger Barrett, the British founder of Beijing-based Korea Business Consultants, said in a Korea Times interview Wednesday. “The summit and sustainability go together.”
8. Japan-DPRK Relations
BBC News (“JAPAN EXTENDS N KOREA SANCTIONS”, 2007/10/09) reported that Japan has extended economic sanctions on the DPRK, citing a lack of progress in a row over Japanese nationals abducted by Pyongyang. The measures – which ban imports from the DPRK and visits by its ships – will continue for another six months. A top official said Japan was seeking advances on both the abduction and nuclear issues.
9. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
The Japan Times (“JAPAN CANNOT JOIN NATO-LED OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN: ISHIBA”, Tokyo, 2007/10/09) reported that Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba dismissed a proposal by Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa that Japan should be allowed to participate in security operations in Afghanistan under the aegis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “There is no room for compromise” in the governmental legal interpretation that Japan’s participation in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force would be unconstitutional, Ishiba told reporters. “It is not an easy job to change the interpretations,” Ishiba said, referring to the war-renouncing Constitution.
The Asahi Shimbun (“FUKUDA: MSDF MISSION IS CONSTITUTIONAL”, 2007/10/09) reported that Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, taking issue with Minshuto leader Ichiro Ozawa’s assertion that MSDF refueling activities in the Indian Ocean are unconstitutional, told the Diet on Tuesday that such operations are entirely legitimate. Fukuda contended that the activities “do not constitute the use of force banned under the war-renouncing Constitution” and that the refueling takes place in a non-combat area. For these reasons, he said the activity is “not unconstitutional.”
10. Sino-Japanese Relations
Straits Times (“JAPAN TO DEPLOY FIGHTER JETS TO DEFEND AGAINST CHINA”, Tokyo, 2007/10/09) reported that Japan will deploy F-15 fighter jets on the southern island of Okinawa for the first time by early 2009, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday, in an apparent move to enhance air defences against the PRC. About 20 F-15 jets currently deployed at Hyakuri Base, northeast of Tokyo, will be sent to Okinawa by March 31, 2009, to replace 24 F-4s ‘as a measure aimed at airspace violations,’ a ministry spokeswoman said. The number of emergency alerts caused by suspected PRC incursions into Japanese airspace totaled 107 in fiscal 2005, compared to zero in 2002, though the number fell to 22 last year.
11. Japan Space Program
Reuters (“JAPAN PLANS UNMANNED MISSION TO THE MOON “, Tokyo, 2007/10/09) reported that Japan plans to launch its first mission to land a spacecraft on the moon in the next decade, officials said on Tuesday, joining the PRC and India in a race among Asian nations to explore the lunar surface. “We are aiming to carry out the project in the middle of the 2010s. It will examine geological features of the moon as well as natural resources available there,” said an official from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
12. Cross Strait Relations
Reuters (“TAIWAN PULLS CONTROVERSIAL MISSILE FROM PARADE: SOURCE”, Taipei, 2007/10/09) reported that Taiwan won’t display a never-before-seen long-range missile capable of striking Shanghai at its national day parade, the first in 16 years to feature troops and military hardware, a senior officer said on Tuesday. The defense ministry, however, reaffirmed its commitment to boost spending to counter the growing threat from Beijing. Defense Minister Lee Tien-yu was quoted by the state-run Central News Agency as saying the missile was still in the developmental stage and not ready for display.
The New York Times (David Lague, “CHINA PROMOTES TAIWAN-FOCUSED MILITARY OFFICERS”, Beijing, 2007/10/09) reported that the PRC has promoted at least four senior military officers with experience in planning for war over Taiwan ahead of a major political meeting next week at which the Communist Party has said it will adopt a new strategy to stop the self-governing island moving toward independence. Experts say these appointments are not designed specifically to threaten Taiwan but are part of the PRC’s overall military development where a top priority is enforcing the mainland’s claim of sovereignty over the island if necessary. The proportion of officers holding important command positions with first-hand experience in planning for a conflict over Taiwan has been increasing in recent years, experts say.
13. PRC Party Congress
Xinhua (“CPC CENTRAL COMMITTEE KEY PLENUM OPENS “, Beijing, 2007/10/09) reported that the Seventh Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened in Beijing on Tuesday morning. The session will discuss a draft report to be submitted to the upcoming 17th Party congress by the 16th CPC Central Committee, a draft amendment to the CPC Constitution, and a draft work report of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to be submitted to the congress, according to an earlier meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Reuters (“LEADERSHIP ON AGENDA AT CHINA PRE-CONGRESS MEET”, Beijing, 2007/10/09) reported that the PRC’s ruling Communist Party met behind closed doors on Tuesday for a final gathering that will decide the fate of Shanghai’s sacked Party boss and hammer out a new leadership line-up ahead of a critical five-yearly congress. The plenum is also expected to endorse a plan to enshrine Hu’s political ideas into the Party constitution, allowing him to take his place alongside Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping in the pantheon of Chinese Communist greats. Hu’s concepts of “scientific development” and building a “harmonious society” are aimed at correcting the country’s path from that of the previous administration which featured breakneck growth at the expense of the environment.
14. Report #294
CanKor (“CURRENT EVENTS”, 2007/10/09)
This issue of the CanKor Report is dedicated to a week of remarkable events and achievements. The sixth session of the second phase of the Six-Party Talks winds up business with the publication of a joint document October 3, after a 2-day recess during which respective capitals examined the text. The second inter-Korean summit takes place in Pyongyang and produces substantial agreement on a wide range of issues.
CanKor (“RESOURCES: STATEMENT BY DPRK VICE FOREIGN MINISTER TO UNGA”, 2007/10/09) Allow me to begin my statement by reiterating the principled and just position of the DPRK as well as its sincere effort to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, which still draws the attention of the international society. The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, as made clear time and again on this very podium, is no more than a product of the deep-rooted hostile US policy on the DPRK persisting over half a century. Peace and stability on the Korean peninsula is directly linked to the peace and security of the Northeast Asian region and the world as a whole.
CanKor (“WHAT READERS SAY ABOUT THE CANKOR REPORT”, 2007/10/09)
“Thanks for the fabulous work you do!” Kristin Reimer taught English in Pyongyang from June to December 2005.
III. ROK Report
15. ROK Support for DPRK Reform
Dailian (Kim Seung-youp, “ROH TRIES TO PLEASE DPRK TOO MUCH”, Seoul, 2007/10/10 11:00:00 GMT+0) reported that the Ministry of National Unification deleted the words “reforms and openness” from its website on the Kaesong Industrial Complex after the inter-Korean summit finished. The original document said “The Kaesong Industrial Complex lays the foundation for achieving reforms and openness in North Korea by helping North Korean officials and employees learn about the market economy”, but the revised one says, “The Kaesong Industrial Complex provides opportunities for North Koreans to gain knowledge and experience to further develop the North Korean economy.” Concerns have arisen that the ministry lost its purpose to support DPRK and it was too ingratiating.
16. Inter-Korean Meetings
Chosun Ilbo (Ahn Yong-hyun, “ROK UNIFICATION MINISTER AND DPRK SECRETARY”, Seoul, 2007/10/10) reported that DPRK delegates to inter-Korean meetings usually rank lower than ROK delegates. On the first day of the inter-Korean summit, ROK Unification Minister Lee Jea-Jung sat right next to President Roh Moo-hyun, while his counterpart on inter-Korean Cabinet talks, Kon Ho-woong, sat at the very end of the table. Also the DPRK suggested that the country’s second in command, Kim Young-nam, visit the ROK in response to Roh’s visit to the DPRK. One researcher of the national policy institute says “DPRK behaves in that way in order to make propaganda for holding a dominant position.”
17. PRC Response to Summit
Pressian (“CHINESES ROLE IN PEACE REGIME”, Seoul, 2007/10/10) wrote that the PRC is likely to be displeased with some parts of the joint declaration referring “the leaders of the three of four parties.” However, there is an opinion that the PRC absolutely has the right to participate in the peace regime discussion according to the precedents of the 4 party talks in the late 1990’s and 6 party talks in recent years. Now, the most important thing is the composition of the forum about the Korean Peninsula Peace regime. If the PRC joins the forum, there would be no problem. Therefore, the ROK should try to make the US and the PRC play constructive roles in Korean Peninsula, while guaranteeing the active roles of the two Koreas.