NAPSNet Daily Report 12 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. PRC on Six-Party Talks
- 2. PRC, Japan, ROK on DPRK Talks
- 3. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 4. Inter-Korean Relations
- 5. Reunion of Separated Families
- 6. DPRK Defectors
- 7. DPRK Military
- 8. DPRK Media Restrictions
- 9. DPRK Food Security
- 10. ROK Cyber Security
- 11. ROK Climate Change
- 12. PRC, Japan, ROK Relations
- 13. Japanese Role in Afghanistan
- 14. Japanese Role in Iran
- 15. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
- 16. Japanese Defense
- 17. Japan-Taiwan Relations
- 18. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 20. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
1. PRC on Six-Party Talks
New York Times (David Barboza, “CHINESE PREMIER CALLS FOR DIALOGUE BETWEEN U.S. AND NORTH KOREA”, Beijing, 2009/10/10) reported that PRC Prime Minister Web Jiabao called Saturday for the United States and the DPRK to engage in a “conscientious and constructive dialogue”. Wen said that the DPRK was eager to improve relations with the United States, Japan and the ROK, and that he had hopes for an early resumption of the six-party talks. “If we miss this opportunity, then we may have to make even more efforts further down the road,” he said.
2. PRC, Japan, ROK on DPRK Talks
Hankyoreh (“PRESIDENT LEE’S ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ IS IGNORED DURING S. KOREA-CHINA-JAPAN SUMMIT”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that regarding ROK President Lee Myung-bak’s proposal for a “grand bargain” with the DPRK, PRC Prime Minister Wen Jiabao stated, “We will proceed with discussions with an open attitude.” Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio said Saturday there were “aspects of President Lee’s ‘grand bargain’ that I also agree with.”
3. Sino-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINESE PREMIER BRIEFS PRESS ON MEETING WITH KIM JONG-IL”, Beijing, 2009/10/12) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao last Saturday gave a detailed account of matters he discussed with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il during his visit to Pyongyang. Wen said he and Kim “talked about the North Korean nuclear issue for a combined total of 10 hours over several occasions. We talked for about four hours at a stretch.” He said Kim “appeared flexible and said he did not oppose the talks.” Wen said PRC economic aid promised to the DPRK during the visit aimed to “assist economic development and improve people’s lives.” He insisted providing it “is consistent with the spirit of the UN Security Council resolution”.
4. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “LEE WELCOMES N. KOREA’S WILLINGNESS TO TALK”, Seoul, 2009/10/11) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Saturday that he welcomes the DPRK’s willingness to improve inter-Korean relations. He said he wants to have a chance to explain his “grand bargain” plan to DPRK leader Kim Jong-il to clarify its goals.
Reuters (Jack Kim, “SOUTH KOREA SEEKS TALKS WITH NORTH ON DEADLY FLOODS”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that the ROK proposed on Monday holding talks with the DPRK on preventing flooding from a the Imjin river.
5. Reunion of Separated Families
Yonhap (“RED CROSS PROPOSES TALKS WITH N.K. ON FAMILY REUNIONS”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that the ROK Red Cross on Monday proposed talks to its DPRK counterpart on resuming cross-border family reunions and other humanitarian projects. The Seoul side delivered the proposal to Jang Jae-on, chief of the DPRK’s Red Cross Friday at the Mount Kumgang resort, Chun Hae-sung, spokesperson at the Unification Ministry, said at a press briefing. “The area which we have proposed is of the family reunion events, and it would be inappropriate to speculate on other areas that could be explored,” Chun said.
6. DPRK Defectors
Yonhap (“N.K. AGAIN PRESSES SOUTH TO RETURN ALLEGED DEFECTORS”, Seoul, 2009/10/09) reported that the DPRK is again demanding the return of 11 citizens who recently sailed to the ROK, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said Friday. “We sent back our message with the same answer yesterday,” Chun said at a press briefing. The reply, as before, said the ROK is willing to allow the DPRK to verify the intentions of the group firsthand, he added.
Donga Ibo (“2 KOREAS TIGHTEN SUPERVISION AROUND EAST, WEST SEA “, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that both ROK and DPRK authorities have strengthened supervision of people crossing the border through the East and West Sea. A government official in Seoul said Sunday, “The government has recently asked heads of each region’s fisheries cooperatives to make sure South Korean fishing boats do not cross the Northern Limit Line on the East and West Sea. We made this request because South Korean fishing boats accidently crossing the border could turn into a serious problem at a time when North Korean authorities are demanding the return of the 11 defectors.” North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity, a group of defectors in the ROK, quoted an internal source as saying, “In a recent order by the North Korean National Defense Commission, a consultative body of fisheries officials in the Cabinet recently held a meeting in North Hamkyong Province to reform fishing boat registration and relevant operations.”
7. DPRK Military
Washington Post (Blaine Harden, “N. KOREA SWIFTLY EXPANDING ITS SPECIAL FORCES”, Seoul, 2009/10/09) reported that the DPRK has massively increased its special operations forces, schooled them in the use of Iraqi-style roadside bombs and equipped them to sneak past the DMZ. The DPRK has concluded it cannot win a conventional war, according to U.S. and ROK military officials. “The North Koreans have done what they had to do to make sure their military is still a credible threat,” said Bruce E. Bechtol Jr., a professor at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico. “They can still inflict tens of thousands of civilian casualties in Seoul on the first day of combat.”
8. DPRK Media Restrictions
Chosun Ilbo (“INT’L PRESS GETS GLIMPSE OF N.KOREA’S DAILY GRIND”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that Kristine Kwok, a reporter for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post who accompanied PRC Premier Wen Jiabao on his visit to the DPRK, wrote, “Accessing the Internet is a distant dream for North Korean citizens and an expensive luxury for visiting foreigners. Filing a news report of Wen shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il would cost a TV station the equivalent of HK$233,472. The North Korean Foreign Ministry eventually decided to pay all the Internet fees for the reporters –much to their relief.” Kwok said foreign journalists “were either holed up inside buses prepared by the North Koreans or faced restrictions in reporting by North Korean minders.”
9. DPRK Food Security
Yonhap (“N.K. LEADER HONORS FARMING AS ‘PATRIOTIC WORK'”, Seoul, 2009/10/09) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il lauded agriculture as “patriotic work” that is essential to improving the quality of life in the country, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Friday. “Rural construction is an honorable and praiseworthy patriotic work to turn the nation’s rural areas into modern socialist ones (in which it is) better to live,” Kim was quoted by the KCNA as telling farmers. “The rich autumn scenery in the fields of this co-operative farm, which has gained bumper crops, is something spectacular which can be seen in our socialist countryside under the collective economy system only,” Kim said.
10. ROK Cyber Security
Arirang News (“GOV’T TO BUILD SYSTEM TO PROTECT AGAINST CYBER ATTACKS”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that the government is looking to construct a new system to thwart distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber-attacks. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security says W20 trillion will be poured into the project. Public Administration and Security Minister Lee Dal-gon will also seek an anti-cyber terrorism body at the Interpol-UN global security forum in Singapore on Monday.
11. ROK Climate Change
Yonhap (“KOREA WORLD’S 9TH-LARGEST CO2 EMITTER”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that the ROK ranked ninth worldwide in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas released into the atmosphere in 2007, a government report said Monday. The report citing findings by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that showed the country’s ranking unchanged from 2006 and standing in sixth place among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. The PRC ranked at the top of the list, followed by the United States, Russia, India and Japan. Germany, Canada and Britain came in sixth to eighth places respectively.
12. PRC, Japan, ROK Relations
Associated Press (“ASIA’S BIGGEST ECONOMIES PROMISE GREATER COOPERATION”, Beijing, 2009/10/11) reported that PRC Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, and ROK President Lee Myung-bak declared that they were “committed to the development of an East Asian community,” and agreed to expand cooperation across a wide range of issues, including climate change and sustainable growth. “Until now, we have tended to be too reliant on the United States,” Hatoyama said after the summit meeting Saturday. “The Japan-U.S. alliance remains important, but as a member of Asia, I would like to develop policies that focus more on Asia,” he said.
Chosun Ilbo (“KOREA, CHINA, JAPAN INCHING CLOSER TO FREE TRADE PACT”, Beijing, 2009/10/12) reported that the governments of the ROK, the PRC, and Japan are expected to hold talks on a free trade agreement after their summit in Beijing last Saturday. In a press conference after the summit, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said, “I expect that an FTA between the three countries will make progress. I also hope that a tripartite investment pact will be concluded early next year.” President Lee Myung-bak said, “Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo now need to begin government-level FTA talks to replace the joint private research.”
13. Japanese Role in Afghanistan
Asahi Shimbun (Makoto Igarashi, “OKADA IN SURPRISE VISIT TO KABUL”, Kabul, 2009/10/12) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday and pledged further support to restore civil order and enhance people’s livelihoods. Aside from meeting with President Hamid Karzai during his six-hour visit, Okada met with his counterpart, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, and visited a job training center that was set up under Japan’s initiative. The visit was not disclosed in advance due to security concerns, according to the Foreign Ministry.
14. Japanese Role in Iran
Asahi Shimbun (“OGATA VISITS BAGHDAD TO INCREASE AID”, Cairo, 2009/10/12) reported that Sadako Ogata, president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, met with Iraqi government leaders in Baghdad on Sunday to discuss increased Japanese assistance. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki called for cooperation in technical training. Ogata on Saturday announced the government would provide 87.8 billion yen in yen-denominated loans for projects in power generation, agriculture and water works.
15. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
Kyodo (“U.S. PRESSURED JAPAN ON TERRITORIAL WATER TO ALLOW PASSAGE OF NUKES”, Tokyo, 2009/10/11) reported that declassified U.S. documents found at the U.S. National Archives and Records by Shoji Niihara, a Japanese expert on the history of Japan-U.S. relations show that the Japanese government voluntarily chose to set narrow territorial sea limits in five strategically important straits, even though it was legally entitled to extend its territorial waters further. Former vice foreign ministers told Kyodo News in June that the Japanese government set narrow territorial waters in its five key straits to avoid political issues arising from the passage of U.S. warships carrying nuclear weapons.
16. Japanese Defense
Yomiuri Shimbun (“GOVT PONDERS DELAY IN DEFENSE PROGRAMS”, Tokyo, 2009/10/11) reported that the Japanese government is considering postponing formulation of the next National Defense Program Outline and the midterm defense buildup program until the end of next year, sources said. The Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense Ministry have been busy drafting the budget for next fiscal year. According to the sources, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano on Friday told Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa that rather than drawing up premature and incomplete programs, it would be better to delay their completion to thoroughly work on them. Kitazawa agreed, they added.
17. Japan-Taiwan Relations
Asahi Shimbun (Tsuyoshi Nojima, “TAIWANESE SLAM NHK’S DEPICTION OF COLONIAL ERA”, Tokyo, 2009/10/12) reported that Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) aired a documentary on April 5 that examined the suppression of the anti-Japanese movement in colonial-era Taiwan and the policy of forcing Japanese language and customs onto the local people. An association of Taiwanese educated in Japanese and a group of Japanese tanka poem enthusiasts sent letters to NHK to denounce the content and demand a correction. In Japan, members of the Liberal Democratic Party started a campaign to protest against the “anti-Japan” show. Some 8,400 people filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court demanding 10,000 yen each in damages for NHK’s “biased” reporting.
18. Sino-Japanese Relations
Asahi Shimbun (Hiroki Arima, Toru Higashioka and Tetsuya Hakoda, “JAPAN, CHINA AGREE ON FOOD SAFETY TALKS”, Beijing, 2009/10/12) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his PRC counterpart, Wen Jiabao, agreed Saturday to initiate regular ministerial talks on food safety. Hatoyama said consumers in Japan are still concerned about the safety of food produced in China following the discovery of tainted frozen gyoza dumplings in late 2007. “We have still to find conclusive evidence,” Wen was quoted as saying. “But in any event, we want to strengthen cooperation in the investigation.”
19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
New York Times (David Barboza, “CHINA SETS SENTENCES IN BRAWL TIED TO RIOT”, Shanghai, 2009/10/11) reported that the PRC sentenced one man to death and another to life in prison on Saturday for their roles in a deadly toy factory brawl that was blamed for setting off riots in Xinjiang, according to Xinhua news agency. Two courts in southern Guangdong Province, where the toy factory was located, also sentenced nine other people to prison terms ranging from five to eight years for taking part in the fights in June.
20. PRC Environment
Agence France-Presse (“50,000 SHORT OF WATER IN SOUTH CHINA DROUGHT”, Beijing, 2009/10/11) reported that more than 50,000 people in Guangdong province are suffering from water shortages, Xinhua news agency reported Sunday. Guangdong’s annual average rainfall this year was 1,400 millimetres, down 13 percent down from previous years. More than 53,000 hectares of farmland had been affected. More than 67.7 million yuan (10 million dollars) has been earmarked for drought relief by various levels of government, the report said.
II. PRC Report
21. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
China News Net (“CHINA-JAPAN ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY EXCHANGE ASSOCIATION MEETING HELD”, 2009/10/09) reported that the opening ceremony of China-Japan Environmental Exchange Association was held at Nagoya University in Japan on September 30. The Association was set up by scholars, entrepreneurs, and non-governmental organizations working on environmental issues in both countries and will promote academic exchanges and civil cooperation.
22. PRC Civil Society
China Charity Forum Website (“CHINA CHARITY FORUM 2009 TO BE HELD”, 2009/10/09) reported that the China Charity Forum is sponsored by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the China Charity Federation, the China Children’s Foundation, the Bill Gates Foundation and others. This year’s Forum will be held in Yue Yang in Hunan province from October 18-19. The theme is “Bright Charity · Transparent Charity”.
23. Civil Society and Disabilities in the PRC
NGOCN (“WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL DONATES LANGUAGE TRAINING EQUIPMENT FOR THE DEAF IN LINGSHAN”, 2009/10/09) reported that World Vision International donated language training equipment worth over 10,000 RMB to the deaf children in Lingshan, Guangxi province. The equipment will help deaf children learn to talk and thus enhance their ability to communicate with other people.