NAPSNet Daily Report 12 November, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. ROK-US on Nuclear Umbrella
Asahi.com (Yoshihiro Makino, “S. KOREA, U.S. TO TALK ABOUT ‘NUCLEAR UMBRELLA'”, Seoul, 2010/11/12) reported that the ROK and the United States will begin discussions before the end of the year on policies related to the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” as well as the specific operation of a ballistic missile defense system. The talks will be held at an Extended Deterrence Policy Committee, to be newly established. A joint communique of the U.S.-ROK Security Consultative Meeting issued on Oct. 8 said the two nations had “agreed to institutionalize” the committee.
2. DPRK-PRC Economic Ties
AsiaOne Business (“N.KOREA PREMIER IN CHINA FOR ECONOMIC TIES”, Shenyang, 2010/11/11) reported that the DPRK’s premier is visiting northeastern PRC to meet with ranking officials there and speed up joint economic projects between the communist allies, sources here said Wednesday. Choe Yong-rim arrived in the city of Harbin in Heilongjiang Province earlier this week and visited the city of Changchun in a nearby province on Wednesday, the diplomatic sources said. Choe, promoted by DPRK leader Kim Jong-il at a parliamentary convention in June, is seen as trying to consolidate the ties between Pyongyang and Beijing as the two countries seek to develop a joint economic bloc that draws from resources in the PRC.
3. Japan SDF Dispatch
Kyodo News (“JAPAN MULLS SENDING SDF MEDICAL STAFF TO AFGHANISTAN”, 2010/11/11) reported that Japan is planning to send Self-Defense Forces medical officers to Afghanistan as part of its support for reconstructing the war-torn country, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa told a Diet panel. The medical team members will be the first SDF personnel sent to Afghanistan, apart from military attaches at the Japanese Embassy in Kabul. Defense Ministry and SDF sources said earlier that the dispatch will take place by the end of this year.
4. Sino-US Relations
Bloomberg (Tony Capaccio, “CHINESE MISSILES COULD CLOSE U.S. BASES IN ATTACK, REPORT SAYS”, 2010/11/11) reported that the PRC military’s non-nuclear missiles have “the capability to attack” and close down five of six major U.S. Air Force bases in ROK and Japan, an unpublished government report says. The PRC’s improved inventory of short- and medium-range missiles provides a “dramatic increase” in its ability to “inhibit” U.S. military operations in the western Pacific, according to excerpts from the draft of the 2010 annual report by the U.S.-PRC Economic and Security Review Commission scheduled for release on Nov. 17. The PRC’s current force “may be sufficient” to destroy runways, parked aircraft, fuel and maintenance facilities at Osan and Kunsan air bases in the ROK, and Kadena, Misawa and Yokota bases in Japan, the report says. The facilities are within 1,100 kilometers (684 miles) of the PRC
5. ROK Nuclear Technology Exports
Arirang (“KOREA BECOMES WORLD’S LEADING NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EXPORTER”, 2010/11/10) reported that the historic 40-billion US dollar contract with the United Arab Emirates last December to construct four 1,400 megawatt nuclear reactors in the region has elevated the ROK’s status as one of the leading nuclear power plant exporters in the world. Considered to be the East Asian country’s biggest-ever construction deal to date, the decade-long project comes more than 30 years after the first ROK-made nuclear reactor, the Gori 1, went into operation in 1978. The ROK consortium led by the Korean Electric Power Corporation is known to have beaten out its international rivals thanks to its world-class safety performance and commitment to share expertise.