NAPSNet Daily Report 10 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 4. US on DPRK Nuclear Issue
- 5. DPRK-US Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Relations
- 7. DPRK-Japan Relations
- 8. ROK-Russia Relations
- 9. ROK Nuclear Energy
- 10. ROK Climate Change
- 11. Japan Space Program
- 12. Sino-Japan Relations
- 13. Sino-Burmese Relations
- 14. Sino-Indian Relations
- 15. Sino-Nepalese Relations
- 16. Sino-US Relations
- 17. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
- 18. PRC on Nuclear Safety
- 19. PRC Civil Unrest
- 20. PRC Security
- 21. PRC Guantanamo Detainees
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Bloomberg (Heejin Koo, “NORTH KOREA MAY TEST THIRD NUCLEAR BOMB, DEFECTOR AGENCY SAYS”, 2009/09/09) reported that the DPRK may test a third nuclear bomb late this month or early next should the United Nations and the U.S. strengthen sanctions against it, a ROK group of DPRK defectors said. DPRK leader Kim Jong Il told his top military and party officials last month to prepare for another nuclear weapons test in the event the U.S. continues to pressure the DPRK and reject its attempts at starting dialogue, the Seoul-based Open Radio for North Korea said in an e-mailed newsletter, citing an unidentified high-ranking DPRK official.
2. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap (“ENVOY WANTS NUCLEAR SOLUTION FOR ALL”, 2009/09/09) reported that Russia’s deputy nuclear envoy called for a solution acceptable to all that would help revive the stalled six-party talks on denuclearizing the DPRK as he headed into talks with ROK officials. Grigory Logvinov, deputy head of Moscow’s delegation to the multinational forum, met with his ROK counterpart Hwang Joon-kook at the foreign ministry. “It is very important … to find solutions acceptable for all parties that will enable [us to] restart negotiations [on the] denuclearization of the peninsula,” Logvinov said.
3. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “U.S. OPEN TO BILATERAL TALKS WITH N. KOREA: OFFICIAL “, Seoul, 2009/09/09) reported that the United States is willing to talk bilaterally with the DPRK for the purpose of “facilitating the six-way denuclearization process,” a senior ROK government official said Wednesday after consultations with U.S. and Russian nuclear envoys. The official, speaking at a background briefing for reporters, said Seoul’s consultations with Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for DPRK policy, and Russia’s deputy nuclear negotiator Grigory Logvinov earlier this week focused on discussing conditions for the one-on-one meeting between Pyongyang and Washington.
4. US on DPRK Nuclear Issue
Yonhap (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. PREPARING FOR N. KOREA COLLAPSE SCENARIO: CSIS REPORT “, Washington, 2009/09/08) reported that the United States is preparing for the possibility of nuclear war with the DPRK and of a regime collapse in the isolated state, a Washington-based think tank said in a recent report. In the analysis of an upcoming Defense Department review, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said a government team is examining several scenarios including “regime collapse in the DPRK.” It also said Washington may plan how to handle a confrontation with the DPRK “that involves a nuclear strike.”
5. DPRK-US Relations
Reuters (Jack Kim, “NORTH KOREA EXTOLS ‘FRIENDSHIP’ AS U.S. PRESSES SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2009/09/09) reported that the DPRK celebrated its founding by pledging to pursue friendly global relations and signaling it was still open to dialogue after Washington froze the assets of firms linked to its arms trade. “(We) will boost the solidarity with the peoples of all the countries in the world advocating independence, consistently holding fast to the idea of independence, peace and friendship,” the DPRK’s premier said in comments carried on it KCNA news agency.
6. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Times (Lee Tae-hoon, “CAN SEJONG CITY BE CAPITAL OF UNIFIED KOREA?”, 2009/09/09) reported that while politicians wrangle over the fate of Sejong City, a new administrative city in South Chungcheong Province, questions linger whether it could become the country’s capital when the two Koreas are unified. The issue also coincides with Prime Minister-designate Chung Un-chan’s argument that the envisioned plan for the construction of Sejong should be reviewed. In an interview with the Monthly Chosun magazine in 2004, the economics scholar pointed out the city should be built in consideration of locating the capital of a unified Korea.
Chosun Ilbo (“FLASH FLOODS ‘PUT N.KOREA IN THE DOCK UNDER INT’L LAW’ “, 2009/09/09) reported that the ROK should hold the DPRK to account for the death or disappearance of six campers in flash floods caused by the sudden discharge of water from a dam on the Imjin River on Sunday, legal experts say. Lee Sang-myeon, a professor of international law at Seoul National University, said that day, “the DPRK’s release of dam water without delivering prior notice to the ROK is a clear violation of Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses, which was adopted at the UN General Assembly in 1997.”
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong and Tony Chang, “SEOUL REVIEWS WHETHER N.K. DAM DISCHARGE VIOLATED INTERNATIONAL LAW”, Seoul, 2009/09/10) reported that the ROK said Thursday it will soon decide whether to take legal action against the DPRK for unleashing water from a dam. “The government is closely reviewing whether the unannounced discharge was in violation of the international law, especially customary law,” foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said at a press briefing. “As soon as relevant ministries finish consultations (on the issue), we will let you know the results.”
7. DPRK-Japan Relations
Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA SEEKS ‘FRUITFUL’ TIES WITH JAPAN’S NEXT GOVT”, Tokyo, 2009/09/10) reported that the DPRK seeks “fruitful relations” with Japan ‘s incoming government, Kyodo news agency quoted Kim Yong-Nam , president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly , as saying in an interview Thursday in Pyongyang. “The prospect of Korea-Japan relations will solely depend on the attitude of the Japanese government,” Kim said. He added that relations would depend on how Japan tackled issues such as compensation for its colonial rule. Kim reportedly also denied media reports that leader Kim Jong-il had already picked his third son, Kim Jong-Un, as his heir apparent, saying: “We haven’t even had discussion on such an issue in our country.”
8. ROK-Russia Relations
RIA Novosti (“RUSSIAN FAR EAST ENVOY URGES CLOSER COOPERATION WITH S.KOREA “, Khabarovsk, 2009/09/09) reported that cooperation between Russia and the ROK in ship-building and the space industry should be intensified, the Russian president’s envoy to the Russian Far East said on Wednesday. “The rapid development of the oil and gas industry in Russia requires the availability of modern ships – oil tankers and gas transporting vessels. Russia has no experience in the construction of ships of this class, while the Republic of Korea has enormous experience in their construction,” Viktor Ishayev said at a meeting with the ROK ambassador to Russia.
9. ROK Nuclear Energy
Yonhap (Lee Joon-seung, “S. KOREA TO START FULL-FLEDGED TESTS ON NUCLEAR FUSION “, Seoul, 2009/09/09) reported that the ROK will start full-fledged experiments on an indigenous fusion energy test bed that could help create a limitless source of clean electricity, the government said Wednesday. The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), which cost over US$300 million and took 12 years to build, was completed in September 2007 and has been undergoing trial runs to check its capabilities, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said.
10. ROK Climate Change
Yonhap (“PRIME MINISTER REITERATES BID TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE “, Seoul, 2009/09/09) reported that ROK Prime Minister Han Seung-soo on Wednesday called on the country and the international community to step up efforts to fight climate change, saying the world can no longer afford to live a life of “business as usual.” “Climate change is a global issue that affects us all regardless of territorial boundaries,” the prime minister said in a keynote speech at an international conference, Green Korea 2009, held at a Seoul hotel.
Korea Herald (“ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT GROWS IN KOREA “, 2009/09/09) reported that environmental pollution in the ROK has worsened over the past year, moving the country closer to an environmental catastrophe, a joint survey by ROK and Japanese activist groups showed Wednesday, Yonhap reported. The Korea Green Foundation (KGF) and the Asahi Glass Foundation of Japan said the “Environmental Doomsday Clock” of the ROK has been advanced by 25 minutes to 9:51, indicating growing concern about worsening environmental conditions.
11. Japan Space Program
Spaceflight Now (Stephen Clark, “JAPANESE SPACE STATION MISSION HOLDS MANY FIRSTS”, 2009/09/09) reported that Japan is planning to launch its most ambitious space mission Thursday, a flight that will not only usher in a new era for the country’s domestic space program but also inaugurate an important new capability for the International Space Station. “We consider this as a huge chance and a significant stepping stone for the Japanese space industry to take a lead in some areas of manned space activities,” said Hiro Uematsu, a senior engineer on the H-2 Transfer Vehicle for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
12. Sino-Japan Relations
Associated Press (“CHINA SAYS READY TO WORK WITH NEW JAPANESE GOV’T “, Beijing, 2009/09/09) reported that the PRC anticipates stronger relations with rival Japan’s new government and is ready to boost cooperation between the East Asian economic giants, Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday. In remarks to a visiting Japanese business delegation, PRC’s top economic official said Beijing appreciates the “active attitude” of the leader of the new ruling party, the Democratic Party of Japan, toward relations with the PRC.
13. Sino-Burmese Relations
Associated Press (“MYANMAR SAYS TIP-OFF FROM CHINA LED TO BORDER CLASH WITH ETHNIC FORCES”, Yangon, 2009/09/09) reported that Myanmar troops were acting on a tip-off from the PRC when they seized an illegal arms factory last month, triggering several days of clashes with an ethnic militia that sent more than 30,000 refugees fleeing across the border into the PRC, an official said. Myanmar Deputy Home Affairs Minister Brig. Phone Swe said that government troops seized the weapons factory near the Chinese border on Aug. 8 after being informed about it during a ministerial meeting with the PRC on combatting transnational crime.
14. Sino-Indian Relations
Voice of America (Alison Klayman , “CHINA DENIES BORDER TROOPS ENTERED INDIA “, Beijing, 2009/09/08) reported that the PRC rejects Indian reports that its army crossed the border into India’s Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir. Indian media reported that PRC troops came more than a kilometer into Indian territory near Mount Gya. Once in India, PRC troops reportedly marked boulders and rocks with red spray paint. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu says the Indian reports are untrue.
15. Sino-Nepalese Relations
Agence France Presse (“NEPAL SEEKS BLN-DOLLAR LOAN FROM CHINA: MINISTER”, Kathmandu, 2009/09/09) reported that Nepal has asked the PRC for a one billion dollar loan to develop infrastructure in the desperately poor country, the foreign minister said as she left for Beijing on an official visit. Sujata Koirala said the money would be used to build roads, bridges, power plants and a new international airport in Nepal. “We have already received a warm response from the Chinese government.”
16. Sino-US Relations
Xinhua News Agency (“TOP CHINESE LEGISLATOR CONFIDENT ABOUT FUTURE CHINA-U.S. ECONOMIC CO-OP “, Phoenix, 2009/09/08) reported that top PRC legislator Wu Bangguo said that despite the financial crisis he was confident about “the bright future” of the PRC-U.S. economic cooperation and trade. “Although no clear signs of world economic recovery have emerged and the long-term impact of the international financial crisis cannot be overlooked, we can be confident about a bright future of PRC-U.S. economic cooperation and trade,” said Wu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the PRC’s National People’s Congress.
Agence France Presse (“US HOUSE SPEAKER: WORLD CAN LEARN FROM CHINA ON CLIMATE”, Washington, 2009/09/09) reported that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday told Wu Bangguo, the second most powerful man in China’s ruling Communist Party, that the world could learn from Beijing’s approach to climate change.”It is clear that the world can learn a lot, a great deal, from what China is doing. Hopefully, we can learn from each other,” the senior Democrat said. Pelosi said she and her guest would discuss the global economic crisis as well as US criticisms of Beijing’s human rights record and the way forward to December global climate change talks in Copenhagen.
17. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
Guardian (Jonathan Watts, ” US AND CHINA TO UNVEIL JOINT PLAN TO ‘TAKE OVER’ CLEANTECH MARKET”, Shanghai, 2009/09/09) reported that a joint US-PRC plan to “take over the world” in low-carbon technology will be revealed tomorrow at a meeting of Davos’s World Economic Forum in Dalian. The sweeping initiative to secure the opportunities arising from tackling climate change is based on top-level business collaboration between the two superpowers. Leading industrialists, entrepreneurs and financiers from the world’s two biggest polluters have marked out the development strategy for a trillion dollar “greentech” market for inclusion in a bilateral climate agreement that is expected to be signed by the two governments when Obama visits the PRC in November.
18. PRC on Nuclear Safety
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA PLEDGES EFFORTS IN IAEA’S NUCLEAR SAFETY OPERATION “, Vienna, 2009/09/10) reported that the PRC appreciates the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s efforts in preserving nuclear safety and will actively participate in the agency’s safety operation in the future, said an official from China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) Wednesday. Dong Baotong addressed the IAEA’s Board Meeting expounding the PRC government’s attitude on the prevention of nuclear terrorism and the promoting of nuclear application. He said the PRC will earnestly fulfill its international obligations and commitments when taking part in the agency’s nuclear safety operations, and further improve the management of domestic radioactive sources and the administrative regulations concerning its import and export.
19. PRC Civil Unrest
Xinhua News Agency (“URUMQI RESIDENTS ASKING FOR TIMELY COURT HEARINGS OVER SYRINGE ATTACKS “, Urumqi, 2009/09/09) reported that residents of Xinjiang’s capital are calling for the quick court hearings of syringe attackers and adequate government actions to restore a safe living environment. The consensus of public opinion is that government should start court hearings of the attackers as soon as possible and take concrete measures to protect people’s safety, officials in more than 110 of the city’s residential communities have been told. The government has vowed severe punishments, including life sentences or death penalties, for attackers if their needle stabbings had grave consequences.
Xinhua News Agency (“MORE SUSPECTS PROSECUTED WHILE URUMQI SYRINGE ATTACKS DESCRIBED AS “VIOLENT, TERRORIST” CRIMES “, Urumqi, 2009/09/08) reported that recent syringe attacks that triggered public scare in the northwestern PRC city of Urumqi were no simple violations but “violent, terrorist” crimes , said a police officer and a law expert. The syringe attacks were neither some individuals’ practical jokes, nor simple criminal activities, but organized and planned major adverse events, which had disturbed social order and created an atmosphere of fear in the city, said Du Xintao, a legal affairs official with the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Public Security Department.
Toronto Star (Bill Schiller , “WAS NEEDLE PANIC IN CHINA A FAKE FRENZY?”, Beijing, 2009/09/09) reported that demonstrations by frightened Chinese erupted in the Xinjiang capital last week amid claims that the region’s native Uighurs had launched a wave of politically motivated syringe attacks against Han Chinese. But days after reports of the attacks in state media, credible evidence seems in short supply. Some are questioning whether there were any organized attacks at all. “I don’t think there’s very much evidence to support the idea that there was any sort of campaign,” says Gerald Groot, a specialist in Chinese studies at the University of Adelaide. “I’ve seen reports suggesting there could have been as many as 500 people who were stabbed. But there’s really been nothing to show for it.”
20. PRC Security
Agence France Presse (“BEIJING POLICE START NATIONAL DAY NIGHT PATROLS”, Beijing, 2009/09/09) reported that police in Beijing will begin night-time armed patrols next week as part of a huge security crackdown ahead of National Day festivities on October 1, PRC media reported Wednesday. The patrols, made up of civil and armed police, will start on Tuesday in the capital and neighbouring cities, the Beijing News said — the latest measure aimed at preventing unrest during celebrations of 60 years of Communist rule.
21. PRC Guantanamo Detainees
Associated Press (Jonathan Kaminsky, “FIRST GUANTANAMO UIGHURS AGREE TO GO TO PALAU”, Koror, 2009/09/10) reported that three Uighurs detained at Guantanamo Bay have formally accepted an offer to move to Palau and could be moved there as early as next month, lawyers say. Negotiations are still under way with the 10 other Uighurs at Guantanamo.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society and Rural Development
China Social Organization website (“SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AND CHINA RURAL DEVELOPMENT FORUM HELD IN BEIJING”, 2009/09/09) reported that Social Organization and China Rural Development Forum was held in Beijing on September 4 th . The Forum was co-launched by China International Economic Technology Exchange Center and China Administration Bureau of NGOs. About 120 persons participated in it and discussed around social organization’s role in contemporary rural development.
23. PRC Climate Change
Xinhua Net (“CHINESE GOVERNMENT SECTORS CO-LAUNCH CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM”, 2009/09/09) reported that “Climate Change: Challenge, Opportunity and Action” Forum, co-launched by several government sectors, was held in Beijing on September 8 th . The themes are impact and accommodation of climate change, policy of mitigation, local and industrial action, fund raising, public participation and scientific and technological innovation.
24. PRC Environment
Morning News (“SHANGHAI UNIVERSITIES HOLD GREEN ACTIVITY TO WELCOME NEW STUDENTS”, 2009/09/09) reported that near 100,000 new university students in Shanghai have revived a warm present on the first day of school. It is an environmental protection bag, with school supplies and daily necessaries in it. The activity aims to help new students better adapt university life and strengthen their green environmental protection awareness.