NAPSNet Daily Report 13 August, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. Mt. Kumgang Shooting
- 3. Inter-Korean Relations
- 4. US-DPRK Relations
- 5. DPRK-Japan Relations
- 6. ROK-Australian Trade Relations
- 7. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Refueling Mission
- 8. Japan Politics
- 9. PRC Security
- 10. PRC Protest
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
The Washington Post (Dan Eggen, “DOUBTS ABOUT NUCLEAR VERIFICATION KEEP N. KOREA ON LIST OF TERRORIST STATES”, 2008/08/12) reported that the DPRK missed its first chance yesterday to be removed from the State Department’s list of terrorist states, U.S. officials said, because it has not provided a way for international inspectors to verify claims about its nuclear program. US officials said that the DPRK has not followed through on allowing outside verification of its nuclear program, which the Bush administration has set as a condition for action.
2. Mt. Kumgang Shooting
Korea Herald (Lee Joo-hee , “‘VISIBILITY WAS HIGH AT TIME OF SHOOTING’ “, 2008/08/12) reported that the team from Seoul that is investigating the July 11 shooting of a ROK tourist in the DPRK said that the visibility at the time of the incident was been clear enough for the shooter to see that the victim was a female and a civilian. Seoul’s latest conjecture counters the DPRK’s argument that its soldier spotted the victim some 800 meters away from the fence at around 4:50 a.m. The DPRK has said that its soldier fired at Park, who ran some 500 meters between 4:55 and 5:00.
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (Shim Sun-ah, “GOV’T AGAIN BLOCKS N. KOREA VISIT BY LOCAL GROUP”, Seoul, 2008/08/12) reported that Seoul has rejected an application submitted by a local youth group to visit the DPRK, the group said Tuesday, the second denial issued this month following the shooting death of a ROK tourist in the DPRK. The liberal Seoul-based group runs programs commemorating the first inter-Korean summit talks of 2000 and pro-reunification activities. The Unification Ministry turned down their application on the grounds that a trip to Pyongyang would not be appropriate given recent events, the group said.
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “NKOREA ALLOWS SKOREAN SHIP TO RETURN HOME AFTER PROBE”, Seoul, 2008/08/13) reported that the DPRK allowed an ROK cargo vessel to return home Wednesday after investigating its crew members over a ship collision, an official said. The DPRK told the ROK in a telephone call that the cargo ship carrying seven people left a DPRK port around 3 p.m. to return to the ROK, said Kim Ho-nyeon, a spokesman at the ROK Unification Ministry. Kim said the DPRK also promised to send the ROK official documents detailing its investigation. In a separate message to an ROK firm responsible for excavating the sand, a DPRK state-run trading company proposed a meeting between the sides to resolve the issue, Kim said. The DPRK’s Jinyong Trading Company said it would let the ROK boat return home under a “humanitarian, fraternal viewpoint,” he said.
4. US-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK VOWS TO BOOST WAR DETERRENT AGAINST U.S. HOSTILE MOVES”, Pyongyang, 2008/08/12) reported that the US is trying to stifle the DPRK while claiming to have dialog with the Asian country, an official DPRK newspaper said. “Multi-faceted contacts and dialogues are now under way to settle the nuclear issue on the peninsula and improve the DPRK-U.S. relations,” the Rodong Sinmun daily said, “but the hostile moves of the U.S. to stifle the DPRK remain unchanged and they have gone beyond the tolerance limit,” it added. So the DPRK had to “bolster its war deterrent to the maximum with a high degree of vigilance” against Washington’s “double-dealing” policy, the paper said.
5. DPRK-Japan Relations
Reuters (Yoko Kubota, “N.KOREA, JAPAN AGREE TERMS FOR ABDUCTION PROBE”, Tokyo, 2008/08/13) reported that the DPRK and Japan have agreed terms for a new investigation into Pyongyang’s abduction of Japanese people in the 1970s and 1980s, officials said. The deal, hammered out early Wednesday after two days of talks in the PRC, would see the DPRK complete the investigation in the next few months, with Japanese given access to documents, interviews and to related sites to verify the results, an official at Japan’s foreign ministry said. Once an investigation committee started work, Japan would allow chartered flights between the two countries and lift restrictions on visits between the two countries, he said. “I think it’s a step forward that we were able to reach an agreement on fully investigating the issue again,” Japanese negotiator Akitaka Saiki told reporters. “If the agreement is not acted upon… then everything will break down. If that happens, we will also take necessary measures,” DPRK negotiator Song Il-ho told reporters.
Agence-France-Presse (“TOKYO PROTESTER THREATENS US EMBASSY WITH SWORD: POLICE”, Tokyo, 2008/08/12) reported that a Japanese right-wing activist was arrested for brandishing a traditional sword outside the US embassy to protest over DPRK policy, police said. Takashi Kuninobu, 36, who identified himself as a member of a right-wing group, swung the sword with a 42-centimetre (17-inch) blade in front of the embassy in downtown Tokyo, police said. As riot police tried to take him into custody, he threw a bottle containing a letter “to send a protest to the US president,” a police spokesman said.
6. ROK-Australian Trade Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“LEE, RUDD LOOK FORWARD TO KOREA-OZ FTA “, 2008/08/12) reported that President Lee Myung-bak and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd have agreed on a preliminary meeting for a bilateral free trade agreement. According to Cheong Wa Dae, Lee and Rudd, in a meeting in Seoul, expressed appreciation of bilateral joint civilian research which forecasts positive effects from an FTA including increase in economic growth and surge in bilateral trade. Lee asked for greater cooperation in energy and resource development and support for ROK enterprises in Australia. Rudd, in turn, asked for cooperation in LNG development.
7. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Refueling Mission
Kyodo News (“U.S. HOPES JAPAN WILL CONTINUE REFUELING MISSION IN INDIAN OCEAN “, Tokyo, 2008/08/12) reported that U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer voiced hope that Japan will continue the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean in support of U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, a Japanese official said. Hayashi and Schieffer agreed Japan and the United States should maintain ”momentum” to implement a 2006 bilateral accord on the realignment of U.S. military facilities in Japan including the stalled project of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture, the official said.
8. Japan Politics
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“RESHUFFLE BARELY LIFTS APPROVAL RATING TO 28%”, 2008/08/12) reported that the approval rating of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s Cabinet has risen to 28.3 percent, up 1.7 percentage points from last month, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey. According to the face-to-face interview survey conducted Saturday and Sunday, the disapproval rating for the Cabinet fell to 59.7 percent, a 1.6-percentage point drop from the previous survey conducted on July 12-13.
9. PRC Security
Reuters (“THREE KILLED IN RENEWED VIOLENCE IN CHINA’S FAR WEST “, Beijing, 2008/08/12) reported that three security officers were stabbed to death and another wounded in renewed violence in far northwest PRC’s Xinjiang region on Tuesday, the fourth day of the Beijing Olympic Games, state media said. The PRC has blamed two earlier attacks in the restive area more than 3,000 km (1,860 miles) from the capital on Muslim separatists seeking to disrupt the Games.
10. PRC Protest
The Financial Times (“BEIJING DENIES RIGHT TO PROTEST IN PARK”, 2008/08/12) reported that Beijing police plan to detain for a month a resident who applied for permission to hold a demonstration in one of the PRC capital’s specially designated Olympic protest zones, a relative said. The detention of Zhang Wei, who wanted to protest against the demolition of her home by officials, is a stark reminder of the perils faced by ordinary Chinese who challenge authority, even when they do so according to government-set rules.
II. PRC Report
11. PRC Public Health
China News Agency (Zeng Liming, “71 LARGE ENTERPRISES SUPPORT SMOKING-FREE OLYMPICS”, Beijing, 2008/08/12) reported that as of today, 71 PRC and foreign large enterprises including Federal Express, Coca-Cola, Johnson and others have joined in the project of smoke-free premises, support smoking-free Olympics. Reporter got this news from a press conference. China is the world’s largest tobacco producing and consuming country. Survey shows that the country has about 350 million smokers, accounting for one-third of the world’s total number. The passive smoking population is 540 million. Therefore, the strengthening of tobacco control becomes the focus of improving national public health.
12. PRC Environment
China Economic Weekly (“BEIJNG INVESTS MORE ON GREEN OLYMPICS THAN SOME CITIES IN DEVELOPED COUNTRIES”, 2008/08/12) reported that according to the report from Greenpeace, the efforts and funds that Beijing has put in Green Olympics in certain areas is more than Sydney and Athens, those cities in developed countries who have more environmental management experience. With the gradually increasing number of blue sky in Beijing, people have began to feel the change causing by environmental protection.
III. ROK Report
13. Inter-Korean Relations
PRESSian (“OVERCOME OF SEPARATION OR CONTINUANCE OF CONFRONTATION?”, 2008/08/13) wrote that the 60th anniversary of national foundation does not celebrate the “national foundation” in a real sense until reunification succeeds. Overcome of partition is directly related to inter-Korean relations of integration, rather than of hostility and antagonism. The Lee administration should maintain the current level of cooperation and reconciliation, and proceed toward relations of integration. The sunshine policy has already proven to be a more effective and realistic plan. The Lee administration should admit that the 6.15 joint declaration and 10.4 declarations have determined the DPRK to be a companion, and historically follow the 1988 7.7 declaration.
14. DPRK Nuclear Issue
Munhwa Ilbo (Sung Jae-ho, “STATE DEPARTMENT LIST OF SPONSORS OF TERRORISM: WASTING TIME AGAIN”, 2008/08/13) carried an article by a law department professor of Sung Kyun Kwan University, who wrote that the removal of the DPRK from the State Department of Sponsors of Terrorism is going downhill. The complete inspection of the DPRK’s nuclear facilities is critical to global society’s effort to stop terrorism. The DPRK has to change its attitude of trying to achieve its goals without sufficient inspection. Particularly, demanding the removal of from the terrorism list while denying the investigation of Mt. Kumgang tourist incident isn’t logical. Global society would only have a positive response when the demand of the removal from the terrorism is based on honest performance of humanitarianism and open inspection of nuclear facilities.
Yonhap News (“NO NEED TO HASTEN REMOVAL FROM THE TERRORISM LIST”, 2008/08/12) wrote that the United States government proposed to delay the removal of the DPRK from the State Department list of sponsors of terrorism. The DPRK is strongly demanding the removal and financial support, yet it is the duty of the US, the ROK and representatives of the six-party talks to confirm the contents of the DPRK Nuclear Report. The DPRK should know that it is a miscalculation if its current attitude aimed toward the authorities after the regime change in the US is to reflect its scheme.