NAPSNet Daily Report 10 September, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Channel NewsAsia (Daniel Ryntjes , “NO PROGRESS WITH N.KOREA UNTIL TWO KOREAS RECONCILIE: US”, Washington, 2010/09/10) reported that the US sees no possibility of progress with the DPRK until there is a reconciliation between the DPRK and ROK. US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said Washington officials are in “deep consultation” with their regional counterparts as they watched for signs of political change in the DPRK. Campbell said, “We believe it would be critical for there to be some element of reconciliation between the North and South for any process to move forward, we’ve communicated that very clearly to all parties involved.”
2. Inter-Korean Relations
Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREA FARMERS DEMAND RICE SHIPMENT TO N.KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/09/10) reported that thousands of ROK farmers rallied Friday, demanding the government stop a fall in rice prices by shipping surplus stocks in state silos to the DPRK. The farmers urged President Lee Myung-Bak to resume an annual shipment of 400,000 tonnes of rice to the DPRK, which suffers severe food shortages. The shipment was suspended in 2008 as relations soured. “Resuming rice aid to North Korea is a short cut to stabilisingand also improving inter-Korean ties,” league spokesman Kang Suk-Chan told AFP.
3. US-ROK Joint Military Drills
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. TO SEND GEORGE WASHINGTON TO YELLOW SEA FOR FUTURE JOINT DRILLS WITH S. KOREA: PENTAGON”, Washington, 2010/09/10) reported that the United States reaffirmed its pledge to send a super carrier to joint military exercises with the ROK in waters near the PRC despite Beijing’s objections. “The USS George Washington will indeed exercise in the Yellow Sea again,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. “We have said that will take place. I don’t think we have determined a date yet, but rest assured, the George Washington will operate in the Yellow Sea, as it does in other international waters.”
4. Japan Defense Policy
Mainichi Shimbun (“DEFENSE PAPER STRESSES U.S. MILITARY DETERRENCE, CONCERN OVER CHINA”, 2010/09/10) reported that the Defense Ministry highlighted in its annual white paper the importance of deterrence provided by the US military forces in Japan and said moving a major US base out of Okinawa Prefecture would undermine the power to inhibit a possible attack on Japan. The Defense of Japan 2010 report also said Japan remains watchful of the PRC’s military might, while restating a group of ROK-controlled islets as an integral part of its territory — a view that elicited protest the same day from Seoul. The need for deterrence of the U.S. forces is “growing stronger…in view of China’s increasing military power and China’s actions on the seas,” Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said.
5. ROK-Russia Energy Cooperation
Xinhua News (“PUTIN PROMISES TO EXPAND ENERGY COOPERATION WITH ROK”, 2010/09/10) reported that Russia and the ROK will expand cooperation in the energy sector, especially on oil and gas, said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a meeting with ROK President Lee Myung-bak. “In the Far East, Korean companies are working together on the Sakhalin-2 project, getting all the necessary products from it and are willing to step up the purchase volumes, including of liquefied natural gas,” Putin was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.