NAPSNet Daily Report 13 August, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. PRC on Sinking of ROK Ship
Hankyoreh (“CHINA URGES CONCLUSION FOR CHEONAN ISSUE”, Seoul, 2010/08/13) reported that Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and responsible for the CPC’s Korea policy, met with visiting ROK lawmakers on Wednesday. The lawmakers reported that Wang said, “China also understands the sinking of the Cheonan was a grave event with loss of life, and has conveyed words of sympathy to the South Korean government on several occasions.” Wang also conveyed his hopes that the UN Security Council Presidential Statement would bring the matter to a conclusion. The PRC also expressed concern that the joint ROK-U.S. military drills could lead to a bigger clash if tensions increase, and conveyed its position that a resolution to the DPRK nuclear issue and peace on the Korean Peninsula should be achieved through the six-party talks.
2. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA TO ALLOW RARE CIVILIAN VISIT TO N.KOREA AMID TENSION”, Seoul, 2010/08/13) reported that the ROK will allow a doctor to travel to the DPRK next week in the first approval of a civilian visit on a humanitarian mission since Seoul banned exchanges with Pyongyang in May over the sinking of the Cheonan, an official said Friday. The doctor, accompanied by two drivers, will visit Kaesong next Tuesday, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters in a briefing. The group is transporting 400 million won (US$336,100) worth of anti-malaria aid from a civilian relief group, Chun said. “The doctor’s visit has been granted because he needs to explain to the North how to use the aid kits,” he said, adding any spread of malaria in the DPRK has the potential to affect ROK residents south of the border.
3. Korean Residents in Japan
Asahi Shimbun (“PRO-NORTH KOREA GROUP LOSING TAX BREAKS”, Tokyo, ) reported that on Wednesday, the Japanese government released the property tax collection practices for Chongryon-related facilities at 130 local governments throughout Japan. According to officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, no local governments completely exempt Chongryon from paying property taxes on its facilities. There are now 94 local governments that no longer reduce property tax amounts for Chongryon facilities, while 30 still have a partial exemption. The remaining six local governments are reviewing their tax policies for the organization.
4. ROK Renewable Energy
Yonhap (“RENEWABLE ENERGY SALES ACCOUNT FOR 0.2 PCT OF GDP IN 2009: REPORT”, Seoul, 2010/08/13) reported that ROK renewable energy sector sales accounted for a paltry 0.2 percent of the country’s GDP in 2009 despite government efforts to boost the industry, a report said Friday. The state-run Korea Energy Economic Institute (KEEI) report said combined sales of eco-friendly energy generation stood at little over 4.02 trillion won (US$3.38 billion) last year, or a global market share of 1.4 percent. “In areas such as solar power and hydrogen fuel cells, South Korea’s technological level stands at 50-85 percent of industry leaders, with the country relying heavily on foreign components to make power generation plants,” KEEI said.
5. PRC Energy
People’s Daily Online (“CHINA’S 2009 ENERGY CONSUMPTION PER CAPITA ONE-FIFTH OF US”, Beijing, 2010/08/12) reported that official data released by the PRC and the United States shows the PRC’s energy consumption in 2009 was more than 200 million tons of standard oil less than that of the United States, and the PRC’s per capita energy consumption was about one-fifth of that of the United States, the National Energy Bureau and the National Bureau of Statistics reported on August 11. From 2004 to 2009, the growth rate of China’s total energy consumption fell from more than 16 percent to more than 5 percent, a decline of nearly 10 percentage points, and the annual average growth rate declined more than 2 percentage points. In addition, China’s energy consumption per each 10,000 yuan of GDP declined from nearly 1.3 tons of standard coal to nearly 1.1 tons of standard coal during the first four years of the 11th Five-Year Plan period.