NAPSNet Daily Report 11 February, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 2. DPRK on Nuclear Talks
- 3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 4. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 5. Inter-Korea Relations
- 6. DPRK Economy
- 7. US-ROK Security Alliance
- 8. ROK Military Procurements
- 9. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
- 10. ROK-Turkey Nuclear Cooperation
- 11. Japan-US Security Alliance
- 12. Japan-US Relations
- 13. Japan Whaling Issue
- 14. Sino-ROK Relations
- 15. Sino-EU Relations
- 16. Sino-Australian Relations
- 17. PRC Civil Rights
- 18. PRC Human Rights
- 19. Taiwain Defense
- II. PRC Report
1. Sino-DPRK Relations
Real Time Traders News (“CHINA NAMES NEW SPECIAL ENVOY FOR KOREAN PENINSULA AFFAIRS “, 2010/02/10) reported that the PRC Wednesday announced the appointment of former Vice- Foreign Minister Wu Dawei as special representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs. The PRC’s Foreign Ministry which confirmed Wu’s new posting said he would be in charge of the six-party talks on the DPRK as well as related issues. Earlier in the day, the Foreign Ministry disclosed that the DPRK’s Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan was currently on a state visit to the PRC on the invitation of Wu Dawei. “The two sides exchanged views on The PRC-DPRK relations, the six-party talks and issues of common concern,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said.
2. DPRK on Nuclear Talks
Agence France Presse (Simon Martin , “N.KOREA DEMANDS END TO SANCTIONS AT BEIJING TALKS”, Seoul, 2010/02/10) reported that the DPRK Wednesday repeated demands for sanctions to be lifted before it returns to nuclear disarmament talks, resisting appeals from its ally the PRC to resume dialogue, a news report said. Pyongyang’s nuclear negotiators were holding a second day of talks in Beijing amid international efforts to kickstart the stalled negotiations, the ROK’s Yonhap news agency reported from the PRC capital. It urged the PRC, as a permanent UN Security Council member, to play an active role in lifting the UN sanctions, the source said.
3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Korea Herald (“POSITIVE SIGNS FOR 6-PARTY TALKS: ENVOY “, 2010/02/10) reported that Seoul has witnessed “positive signs” surrounding the possibility of another round of the stalled multilateral talks aimed at ending the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programs, a top ROK diplomat said yesterday. “Wang Jiarui’s visit to North Korea, and the subsequent trip to China by Kim Gye-gwan are all a part of series of positive signs,” said Yu Woo-ik, the ROK’s ambassador to the PRC, in a press conference.
4. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. WELCOMES CHINESE DIALOGUE WITH N.KOREA ON NUCLEAR ISSUE”, 2010/02/10) reported that the United States on Wednesday expressed support for a new PRC effort to get the DPRK back to the PRC-sponsored six-party talks on its nuclear program. The State Department says it “absolutely supports” the PRC’s latest interaction with the DPRK, and says it is confident that Pyongyang will hear the same message from the PRC that it heard from the United States in December on the need to restart negotiations.
5. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap News (“LEE URGES TROOPS TO BE VIGILANT AGAINST N. KOREA “, 2010/02/10) reported that President Lee Myung-bak instructed his troops Wednesday to stay alert against the DPRK’s continued military threats and provocations, saying the ROK’s strong military has served as a buttress for its economic growth. “The North is taking many provocative acts, whether it is because of its domestic situation or other factors,” Lee said during a visit to a marine base near the inter-Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea.
6. DPRK Economy
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREANS COMPLETE ‘AFRICAN RENAISSANCE’ MONUMENT”, 2010/02/09) reported that DPRK craftsmen have completed a giant bronze monument named “African Renaissance” on a hill near Dakar International Airport in Senegal. At 50 m in height, the monstrosity is taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York and represents a heroic couple apparently about to launch their child into the sky . The cost of construction was reported at US$25 million, but experts estimate it would have been nearer $70 million. The Senegalese president told the WSJ that he had “no budget for the African Renaissance, so instead offered a prime chunk of state-owned land in exchange, which North Korea has since resold at a large profit.”
7. US-ROK Security Alliance
Dong A Ilbo (“GOV`T, US PREPARE DRAFT FOR NK CONTINGENCY PLAN “, 2010/02/10) reported that the ROK and the U.S. have prepared a draft for OPLAN 5029 in case of a DPRK contingency, a government source in Seoul said yesterday. Through a repeated tabletop exercise, both sides are tackling issues identified in the process. Seoul had denied official confirmation of the operation plan. “OPLAN 5029 clearly exists but is still called a ‘conceptual plan’ within the government. Since the launch of the Lee Myung-bak administration, working-level military officials of both nations have conducted a joint tabletop exercise based on the OPLAN 5029 draft and made improvements”an official said.
Chosun Ilbo (“S.KOREANS BELIEVE ALLIANCE WITH U.S. HAS GROWN STRONGER “, 2010/02/10) reported that ROK citizens believe that the Seoul-Washington alliance has become significantly stronger since the inauguration of the Lee Myung-bak administration, polls suggest. In the latest poll of 1,261 adults conducted by Gallup Korea from Sept. 9 to Oct. 16 last year for Korea National Defense University, 49.9 percent of respondents said the Seoul-Washington alliance was strong. This was a rise from 34.3 percent compared to a similar poll in 2008, the first year of Lee’s presidency. A majority of respondents consider the U.S. the most important foreign country to the ROK’s national security.
8. ROK Military Procurements
Korea Times (“SEOUL SEEKS TO GET MOSCOW’S ARMS TECHNOLOGY”, 2010/02/10) reported that the ROK and Russia are engaged in negotiations over the transfer of key arms technologies, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in 2007 on the transfer of Russian military equipment and technology. Under the agreement, Russia promised to transfer technology related to submarine fuel cells and others to the ROK. Moscow also pledged it would consider transferring technology related to a long-range radar and defense system to protect against an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.”The two sides have substantially narrowed their differences over the transfer of arms technology and purchase of end products,” a government official said on condition of anonymity. “A final deal is expected to be signed by the end of the year.”
United Press International (“S. KOREA GETS FIRST EARLY WARNING PLANE”, 2010/02/10) reported that Boeing Integrated Defense System has delivered its first of four 737 airborne warning and control aircraft to the ROK. Korean Aerospace Industries took delivery of the plane for modification ahead of the final handover to the republic’s air force next year, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said in a statement. In its modification the KAI will equip the plane with Northrop Grumman’s L-band Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array radar, the statement said.
9. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
Chosun Ilbo (“90% OF SPECIAL FORCES WANT TO GO TO AFGHANISTAN”, 2010/02/09) reported that nine out of 10 Korean Special Warfare Command soldiers want to be deployed to Afghanistan, according to a survey. Grand National Party lawmaker Chung Ok-nim of the National Assembly’s Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee commissioned Research & Research to poll 1,009 special forces soldiers at the end of January if they wished to be deployed to Afghanistan. Some 91.9 percent answered yes. Asked what the main reasons are why the ROK is sending troops to Afghanistan, 83.2 percent mentioned the country’s greater global responsibility, while 4.8 percent said the aim was to bolster relations with the U.S. and 1.1 percent said to boost the ROK’s role in the Middle East.
10. ROK-Turkey Nuclear Cooperation
World Bulletin (“S.KOREA’S KEPCO IN TURKEY FOR NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2010/02/10) reported that officials of the ROK’s state-controlled utility Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) met with Turkish officials on Wednesday to hold talks on supplying nuclear reactors for Turkey’s first planned nuclear power plant. ROK officials, led by KEPCO’s CEO Kim Sang Su, had meetings with Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and ministry officials in Ankara.
11. Japan-US Security Alliance
Kyodo News (“JAPAN-U.S. ALLIANCE CANNOT BE MAINTAINED BY WORDS ‘TRUST ME'”, 2010/02/10) reported that a senior Ground Self-Defense Force official said Wednesday that the Japan-U.S. alliance cannot be maintained by words such as “trust me,” an apparent criticism of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama who told U.S. President Barack Obama in November to trust him in the dispute over the relocation of a U.S. Marines base in Okinawa Prefecture. The alliance “cannot be maintained by diplomacy or political rhetoric,” GSDF Colonel Takeshi Nakasawa said in an address at the opening ceremony of joint drills by the GSDF and U.S. forces in Japan.
12. Japan-US Relations
Kyodo News (“U.S. ENVOY TO JAPAN SAYS TOYOTA RECALL DOES NOT HARM JAPAN-U.S. TIES”, 2010/02/10) reported that U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos said Wednesday that the recent recalls of Toyota’s cars due to safety problems do not undermine relations between his country and Japan. Roos told reporters after a meeting with transport minister Seiji Maehara that the recall issue ”in no way has any kind of direct or indirect impact on the strength of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Japan, which it goes without saying is incredibly strong.”
13. Japan Whaling Issue
Agence France Presse (“JAPAN WANTS DEAL TO SCALE DOWN ‘SCIENTIFIC’ WHALING”, 2010/02/10) reported that Japan plans to propose scaling down its annual ‘scientific’ Antarctic whale hunt if it is allowed to step up commercial whaling in its own coastal waters instead, a fisheries official said Wednesday. Tokyo will present its proposal to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) at its annual meeting in Morocco in June, the official said, even though a similar plan was rejected by the 85-nation body last year.
14. Sino-ROK Relations
Yonhap News (“KOREA-CHINA TIES IRREVERSIBLE, WILL CONTINUE TO EXPAND: ENVOY “, 2010/02/10) reported that the ROK’s top diplomat to the PRC said Wednesday that the two countries should further upgrade bilateral relations, noting their ties are growing at a rapid pace in terms of trade and human exchanges. Ambassador Yu Woo-ik pointed out that economic ties between his country and the PRC have already surpassed the ROK’s trade with the U.S. and Japan.
15. Sino-EU Relations
Time (Leo Cendrowicz , “E.U. RETHINKS CHINA ARMS EMBARGO TO IMPROVE BEIJING TIES”, 2010/02/10) reported that leaders in Europe have tangled with Beijing recently on everything from trade to climate change to Iran. But perhaps the thorniest issue between Europe and the PRC is the arms embargo that’s been in place ever since the bloody suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. The E.U. is now rethinking this 20-year-old arms ban. Spain, which holds the E.U.’s rotating presidency until July 1, has called for a review of the embargo as a way of improving relations with Beijing. “We are all aware of the new role which China is assuming in the world,” said Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos. The PRC says the lifting of the embargo is more symbolic than anything else – it would signal a European acceptance of the country’s status as an equal player on the world stage.
16. Sino-Australian Relations
The Los Angeles Times (“CHINA CHARGES FOUR EMPLOYEES OF OUTSIDE MINING COMPANY WITH BRIBERY, THEFT”, 2010/02/09) reported that the PRC has indicted four employees of the British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto for alleged bribery and theft of commercial secrets, a move that paves the way for a trial in a case that has already elicited widespread international criticism. They “took advantage of their position and sought and accepted huge amounts of bribes from many Chinese steel companies,” said a brief online report Wednesday from the New China News Agency that cited China’s prosecutor’s office.
17. PRC Civil Rights
Associated Press (“CHINA JAILS YOUNG MAN FOR JOINING POLITICAL PARTY”, 2010/02/10) reported that a 20-year-old factory worker who joined a banned political party because he was unhappy with one-party rule in the PRC was sentenced to jail for 18 months Wednesday, his mother said. A court in the southern PRC’s boomtown city of Shenzhen found Xue Mingkai guilty of subversion of state power because he joined the U.S.-based China Democracy Party last April, Xue’s mother Wang Shuqing said.
18. PRC Human Rights
Associated Press (“CHINA HIGH COURT STRESSES ‘MERCY’ IN DEATH PENALTY”, 2010/02/10) reported that the PRC ‘s highest court has issued new guidelines on the death penalty that instruct lower courts to limit its use to a small number of “extremely serious” cases. The Supreme People’s Court told courts to use a policy of “justice tempered with mercy” that takes into consideration the severity of the crime, the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted court spokesman Sun Jungong as saying in a report late Tuesday.
19. Taiwain Defense
Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN TO HOLD BIGGEST WAR GAMES IN OVER A YEAR”, 2010/02/10) reported that Taiwan plans its biggest war games in over a year, the defence ministry said Wednesday, amid simmering tensions over US arms sales to the island which the PRC claims as its own. The military exercises, codenamed “Han Kuang No 26”, will take place in April and involve units from the army, the navy and the air force, a defence ministry official told AFP. “Among the scenarios, we’ll test what would happen if the enemy were to invade Taiwan and how we would seek to nip it in the bud,” he said, on condition of anonymity.
II. PRC Report
20. PRC Civil Society
Gansu Economic News (“GANSU CHARITY FEDERATION INTRODUCES FOREIGN INVESTMENT OF 61 MILLION RMB IN 2009”, 2010/02/10) reported that Gansu Charity Federation has paid much attention to cooperation and communication with overseas charity organizations. In 2009, it introduced 61.345 million RMB from 13 overseas charity organizations and international friends, which accounts for 71.36% of it total raised funds in 2009.
21. PRC Climate Change
Xinhua Net (“BEIJING ENERGY-SAVING HOUSE ACCOUNTS FOR 74% OF THE TOTAL”, 2010/02/10) reported that according to Beijing Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Committee today, Beijing has built energy-saving houses covering 276 million square meters since 1998, accounting for 74.2% of the total housing area.