NAPSNet Daily Report 11 November, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
The New York Times (“OBAMA SPEECH MARKS SHIFT ON NORTH KOREA”, 2010/11/11 16:00:00 GMT+0) reported that President Obama said that the United States would be willing to restart stalled disarmament talks with the DPRK if that country showed a “seriousness of purpose,” in what analysts called a slight softening of the stance by Washington and its allies. Speaking after a meeting with President Lee Myung-bak of the ROK on the sidelines of a summit meeting of the Group of 20 in Seoul, Mr. Obama said the DPRK would have to show it was serious about ending its nuclear weapons program before the talks could resume. He said, however, that the United States, ROK and other nations were ready to offer hefty economic aid if the DPRK gave up their weapons once and for all.
2. US on DPRK Sanctions
Agence France-Presse (“REPUBLICAN SEEKS OBAMA PRESSURE ON NORTH KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/11/11 16:00:00 GMT+0) reported that the likely next head of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee urged President Barack Obama to push for tougher action against the DPRK., a Republican who stands to take over in January after her party won the House of Representatives, said the US must act “quickly and firmly” to stop from the DPRK. “Instead of continuing its failed strategy of seeking to engage the regime in endless negotiation, the administration must ratchet up pressure on Pyongyang,” said. “At the upcoming G20 summit in Seoul, President Obama must persuade the heads of state to call for the imposition of new and effective sanctions on North Korea,” she said.
3. ROK-Japan Relations
AsiaOne (“SEOUL MULLS PACT WITH JAPAN ON ARMY SECRETS”, 2010/11/10 16:00:00 GMT+0) reported that the government is weighing the idea of forging an agreement with Japan over the protection of military secrets as part of efforts to expand bilateral military cooperation, the Ministry of National Defense said. “Our government currently has pacts or memorandums of understanding regarding the protection of military secrets with 21 countries,” said an MND official in a press briefing on condition of anonymity. “However, we don’t have any pact over the protection with Japan yet. So, we are now carrying out a working-level review with regard to the necessity of the pact and related procedures for it.” Ministry officials said that Japan first suggested the idea to the ROK as it felt the need to expand bilateral cooperation with Seoul in sharing military information.
4. Sino-Japanese Relations
The Canadian Press (Eric Talmadge, “JAPAN MAY FORM NEW UNIT TO MONITOR CHINA NAVY AMID DEEPENING CONCERNS IN EAST CHINA SEA”, Tokyo, 2010/11/10) reported that Japan’s military may form a new unit to monitor PRC naval operations, a move to counter what many Japanese strategists see as an increasingly aggressive stance by Beijing in the East China Sea. The unit would consist of about 200 troops based on remote Yonaguni Island, which is on Japan’s western fringe near Taiwan, and would primarily be tasked with radar monitoring of PRC naval operations in the area, according to a report in the Yomiuri newspaper. The report quoted unnamed Defence Ministry officials as saying a budget for the unit would be formally submitted soon.
5. ROK-Russia Energy Cooperation
The Korea Times (Lee Tae-hoon, “KOREA, RUSSIA AGREE TO BOOST ENERGY TIES”, 2010/11/10) reported that The leaders of the ROK and Russia pledged to strengthen their “strategic partnership” in the areas of science and technology, the economy and security in a joint press conference following a two-hour long summit at Cheong Wa Dae, Wednesday. In a televised press conference, Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Dmitry Medvedev said Korea and Russia, which marked the 20th anniversary of forging bilateral ties on Sept. 30, will work closely on regional security matters and the commercialization of basic science and technology. “We agreed to cooperate closely to improve conditions for the resumption of the six-way talks,” Lee said, adding that the two countries will make joint efforts to effectively cope with global challenges, including climate change, terrorism and narcotics trafficking.