NAPSNet Daily Report 13 July, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. US Policy toward DPRK
- 2. DPRK Detention of Journalists
- 3. DPRK Defectors
- 4. DPRK Leadership
- 5. DPRK Tourism
- 6. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
- 7. Inter-Korean Relations
- 8. ROK Cyber Security
- 9. ROK Military Exercises
- 10. US-ROK Nuclear Agreement
- 11. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
- 12. ROK Education
- 13. ROK Demographics
- 14. ROK Influenza Outbreak
- 15. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
- 16. Japanese Nuclear Energy
- 17. Japanese Politics
- 18. Japanese Influenza Response
- 19. Japanese Defense
- 20. Unexploded Ordnance from World War II
- 21. Cross Strait Relations
- 22. PRC-Australia Relations
- 23. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 24. PRC Space Program
- II. PRC Report
1. US Policy toward DPRK
Yonhap (“U.S. TO TAKE ‘MULTI-TRACK’ APPROACH ON N. KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that the United States will continue to take a “multi-track” approach in dealing with the DPRK, enforcing sanctions but also seeking dialogue and showing flexibility, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens said on Friday. “The United States will not… accept the notion of North Korea possessing nuclear weapons capability,” Stephens said. “We don’t have a very rigid sense that something must be done exactly one way or the other. But what we do insist on is that, one, dialogue and diplomacy is the best way to resolve this, and two, it does have to be on the principle that at the end of the day, we want to see a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”
2. DPRK Detention of Journalists
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SCHOLAR: NKOREA WANTS US SHOW OF REMORSE”, Seoul, 2009/07/11) reported that University of Georgia political scientist Han S. Park said Saturday that DPRK officials told him during his recent five-day visit that the U.S. should offer “a remorseful acknowledgment” over the reporting of two detained journalists, which they believe constituted “hostile acts” against their country because it would have cast the DPRK in a negative light. He also said that he learned during the trip that the women are being kept in a Pyongyang guesthouse rather than being sent to a labor camp as their sentences stated. “I also think the fact that the sentence has not been carried out suggests that North Koreans are seriously interested in releasing them if the situation warrants, that is, their desired conditions are met,” Park said.
BBC (Kim Ghattas, “CLINTON PLEA FOR N KOREA CAPTIVES”, Washington, 2009/07/10) reported that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she hopes the DPRK will free two jailed American reporters. She said the two reporters had expressed “great remorse for the incident”, adding that “everyone is very sorry that it happened”.
3. DPRK Defectors
Chosun Ilbo (“9 MORE N.KOREAN REFUGEES ARRIVE IN U.S.”, 2009/07/13) reported that nine more DPRK refugees arrived in the U.S. in June, bringing the total who arrived there since the North Korean Human Rights Act was legislated in 2004 to 91, Voice of America reported Saturday. It said there was a lull early this year, but another 14 arrived there since April.
4. DPRK Leadership
Reuters (Choe Sang-hun, “NORTH KOREAN LEADER DYING OF CANCER, BROADCASTER SAYS “, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il , who suffered a stroke last August, was also found to have “life-threatening” pancreatic cancer at about the same time, YTN reported on Monday. The cable news channel quoted unidentified PRC and ROK intelligence sources for the report, which was made by YTN’s Beijing-based correspondent. YTN did not explain how the sources obtained such medical information.
Yonhap (“SEOUL HAS ‘NO INFORMATION’ ON KIM’S REPORTED CANCER”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that the ROK government has no information on DPRK leader Kim Jong-il having pancreatic cancer. “This morning, there was another report about Chairman Kim Jong-il’s health, mentioning a particular illness. With regard to today’s report, so far, I have no information,” Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said in a press briefing.
Chosun Ilbo (“KIM JONG-IL ‘WON’T LIVE ANOTHER 5 YEARS'”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that an ROK government source on Friday said the CIA last month informed intelligence authorities here of a long-distance analysis of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s health that suggests there is a 71 percent probability that he will die within the next five years. The CIA speculation is apparently based on analysis of medical data including Kim’s age, medical history, physical condition, and changes in his physical condition between the time of the stroke and more recently. It indexed Kim’s physical condition based on various intelligence reports including brain scan pictures obtained by ROK intelligence and testimonies of senior informants, in addition to information such as photos of Kim’s on-the-spot guidance tours.
Chosun Ilbo (“KIM JONG-IL’S DEATH ‘COULD LEAD TO POWER STRUGGLE'”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that the National Intelligence Service told a recent session of the National Assembly that Jang Song-taek, director of the Workers’ Party administrative department and member of the National Defense Commission, will lead a power struggle in the even of Kim Jong-il’s death. The NIS said it seems certain that power will be handed down to Kim Jong-un. But that is expected to result in a weak power structure given Kim Jong-il’s current ill health and unstable political and economic factors in the regime. Chances are that Jang and his followers could try to seize power from Kim Jong-un and his faction, it speculated.
5. DPRK Tourism
Yonhap (“DISCOUNT TRAVEL AVAILABLE FOR THOSE TOURING NORTH”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that Koryo Tour, a Beijing-based tour agency that arranges trips to the DPRK, mostly for Westerners, has begun promoting a new group tour program on its Web site. The three-day package is available from August 27, in time for the Arirang mass gymnastics performance. It costs 750 euros per person (about $1,000), comparatively cheaper than in the past, when such packages ran from $2,000 to $3,000. New Korea Tour, a U.S.-based tour operator, is also promoting a similar program during the Arirang festival for $1,199 per person.
6. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Joongang Ilbo (“SEOUL ACCUSED OF ‘INSINCERE’ APPROACH TO KAESONG TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that the DPRK accused the ROK of driving talks on Kaesong Industrial Complex “to the brink of collapse” with its “insincere attitude” at the table. A statement from the Central Special Development Guidance Bureau, which oversees the complex, was delivered through the Korean Central News Agency. It said the four rounds of inter-Korean talks “exposed the hostile nature of South Korea” and argued ROK officials insulted the DPRK’s generosity and sincerity. “With the South having been so contentious during our talks, we began to question how we could possibly resolve our problems through this channel,” the report said. “It’s useless to have these meaningless discussions. We’ll only grow to distrust each other more.”
Yonhap (“N. KOREA SENDS MORE WORKERS TO KAESONG DESPITE STALEMATE: BUSINESSMEN”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that two ROK businessmen who operate factories at the Kaesong Industrial Park said Monday about 700 DPRK workers were newly dispatched to ROK firms there last month, and more were expected this week. “The North side is telling us it will continue to supply labor,” one businessman who owns a clothing firm said. But Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said the newly-arriving workers were replacements, not reenforcements, after some employees left as part of regular rotations. “The employees were redeployed within the existing work force,” Chun said.
7. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap (“LEE SAYS S. KOREA WILL ACT STERNLY UNTIL NORTH DENUCLEARIZES”, Stockholm, 2009/07/13) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said on Monday his government will deal sternly with the DPRK’s provocative actions until it decides to give up its nuclear ambition and begin working with the international community. “The most important objective for us right now is to make North Korea give up nuclear weapons,” Lee said. Lee said the reason for Seoul’s tough stance on Pyongyang was because the ROK cannot try to defend the DPRK while the rest of the world is working to punish it for its latest nuclear test and various other military provocations.
8. ROK Cyber Security
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “SKOREA ANALYSES COMPUTERS USED IN CYBERATTACKS”, Seoul, 2009/07/12) reported that ROK police are analyzing a sample of the tens of thousands of infected computers used to crash Web sites in the ROK and the U.S. An Chan-soo, a senior police officer investigating the cyberattacks, said Sunday that investigators had obtained 27 computers infected with malicious computer code in an attempt to trace the “contamination paths” of the programs that launched the attacks. He said the ROK is also seeking to obtain hard disks and other information on six foreign servers whose files update malware programs.
Voice of America (“REPORTS: NEW EVIDENCE POINTS TO N.KOREAN IN CYBER ATTACKS”, Seoul, 2009/07/12) reported that according to news reports from the Yonhap news agency and the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper Saturday, the ROK’s National Intelligence Service obtained documents ordering a DPRK army unit to start the cyber attack on US and ROK websites. The reports say some top ROK lawmakers were briefed on the evidence earlier this week. But the NIS says it cannot confirm the reports.
Yonhap (“N. KOREA STOLE PERSONAL INFORMATION THROUGH HACKING: SOURCE”, Seoul, 2009/07/12) reported that the DPRK has stolen personal information of at least 1.65 million South Koreans through cyber hacking since 2004, an intelligence source said Sunday. The DPRK mainly targeted Web sites of retired military officials, research and security-related centers and university alumni associations. The source said, “If suspected cases are added, it would be close to 2 million.”
9. ROK Military Exercises
Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO HOLD WAR GAME AMID TENSE RELATIONS WITH NORTH”, Seoul, 2009/07/10) reported that the ROK military said Friday it will conduct an annual computer-simulated war game later this month to prepare for potential offensives from the DPRK. The July 20-23 Taegeuk Exercise is purely defensive in nature and will not be conducted in relation to the recent nuclear and missile testing by the DPRK, a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) official said. “It is a routine exercise and does not involve any actual troop mobilization,” said Park Sung-woo, JCS spokesman. “The U.S. is not part of the exercise,” he said.
10. US-ROK Nuclear Agreement
Arirang News (“AMBASSADOR OPENS DOOR TO U.S.-KOREA NUCLEAR TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that U.S. Ambassador to the ROK Kathleen Stephens says Seoul and Washington need to negotiate changes to their nuclear agreement based on the understanding that peaceful nuclear development is important to the ROK. Stephens said that although the ROK has not yet officially requested such talks she sees the negotiation as part of a continuous discussion as science keeps advancing.
11. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO EXTEND TROOP STAY IN LEBANON UNTIL NEXT YEAR”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that an ROK National Assembly committee passed a motion Monday to extend the deployment of ROK troops in Lebanon until the end of next year. The unification, foreign affairs and trade committee sent the motion to the plenary floor which is almost certain to pass it at Wednesday’s session.
12. ROK Education
Donga Ibo (“REFORM OF UNIFICATION EDUCATION TO FOLLOW CONSTITUTION”, Seoul, 2009/07/11) reported that the ROK government is pushing to reform unification education to comply with the values of the Constitution. Hong Jae-hyung, president of the state-run Institute of National Unification, said Friday, “Unification through freedom and democracy is the fundamental value of the Republic of Korea as defined by the Constitution, and unification education is an important means to realize the values under the Constitution. We are developing diverse methods that can instill students with value judgments and behavior about unification in line with this definition.”
13. ROK Demographics
Arirang News (“NSO FORECASTS 40% OF KOREANS OVER 65 BY 2050”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that the ROK population is expected to shrink starting in 2018 and by 2050 the figure is set to drop by more than 6.4 million, according to the latest findings by the National Statistical Office. The ROK ranks 26th with a population of around 49 million people. In 2050 Korea’s population is expected to go down to over 42 million with the global ranking being pushed down to 46th. The elderly population is expected to account for close to 40 percent.
14. ROK Influenza Outbreak
Yonhap (“KOREA CONFIRMS 18 MORE FLU CASES”, Seoul, 2009/07/13) reported that ROK health authorities reported 18 more confirmed cases of type-A flu on Monday, bringing the nation’s infection toll to 482. The new patients, including two Indonesians, tested positive for the H1N1 virus after showing flu-like symptoms including fever and sore throat, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said. Most were diagnosed with the disease after entering the country from overseas or through contact with individuals infected with type-A flu, the ministry said.
15. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
Asahi Shimbun (“ORIGINAL NUKE PACT STORED AT MINISTRY”, Tokyo, 2009/07/13) reported that the original copy of a Japan-U.S. secret agreement on nuclear weapons was kept at the Foreign Ministry, a former senior ministry official said. The 1960 document was written in English and identical in content to a declassified U.S. State Department document that was released in 2000, the former official said. When the April 2001 start of an information disclosure law was approaching, a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official ordered the destruction of all copies of the secret deal and related documents. The original was likely destroyed at that time, the former official said. One of the documents targeted was a Japanese memorandum explaining the secret pact that was handed down among administrative vice foreign ministers.
16. Japanese Nuclear Energy
Yomiuri Shimbun (“N-FUEL REPROCESSING PLANT ‘WON’T MEET’ DEADLINE”, Tokyo, 2009/07/11) reported that Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. will be unable to complete trial operations at a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkashomura, Aomori Prefecture, and other procedures necessary to begin the plant’s operation by August as originally planned. The revelation came at a meeting Thursday of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, part of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry. Japan Nuclear Fuel said the agency instead wants until August to announce its outlook on completing all necessary procedures to begin the reprocessing plant’s operations.
17. Japanese Politics
Associated Press (Shino Yuasa, “JAPAN’S PM SUFFERS FRESH BLOW IN TOKYO ELECTION”, Tokyo, 2009/07/13) reported that Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner lost their majority Sunday in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. Results released early Monday morning by the parties showed the Liberal Democrats lost 10 seats in the Tokyo election, while its coalition partner, the New Komeito Party , gained one, for a total of 61 seats, below the 64 needed for a majority. The Democratic Party of Japan gained 20 seats, increasing its share to 54.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPJ EYES NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION AGAINST CABINET”, Tokyo, 2009/07/11) reported that the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan is considering submitting a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Cabinet to the House of Representatives and a censure motion against Aso to the House of Councillors as early as next week, party sources said. The DPJ believes submitting these motions will ensure the lower house is dissolved for a general election at an early date while Aso is still in office. A senior DPJ lawmaker said, “Even if the motion is rejected, it will make clear that the ruling parties have given a vote of confidence in the prime minister, which will foil their attempt to remove Aso from power.”
Yomiuri Shimbun (“ASO ‘TO DISSOLVE LOWER HOUSE THIS WEEK'”, Tokyo, 2009/07/13) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has decided to dissolve the House of Representatives and informed senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party of his decision Sunday in the wake of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, sources said. The dissolution could come as early as Tuesday, the sources said. If the lower house is dissolved within this week, the general election is likely to be held on August 8.
Kyodo (“ASO SAYS TO DECIDE ON WHEN TO DISSOLVE LOWER HOUSE FOR ELECTION”, Tokyo, 2009/07/13) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Monday he will dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election at a time of his choosing. ”I have not changed my plan to make a judgment on my own,” Aso was quoted by the official as telling Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura when they met at the prime minister’s office Monday morning.
18. Japanese Influenza Response
Asahi Shimbun (“MINISTRY EYES FLU VACCINE IMPORT”, Osaka, 2009/07/13) reported that the Japanese government is considering importing 20 million doses of new swine flu vaccine to make up for an expected shortfall in domestic production, health minister Yoichi Masuzoe said Friday. The government hopes to have 53 million people inoculated by the end of March. Domestic manufacturers can only produce about 30 million doses in the time allowed, Masuzoe said.
19. Japanese Defense
Asahi Shimbun (Hisashi Ishimatsu, “FAR WESTERN ISLE A DEFENSE OUTPOST?”, Yonaguni, 2009/07/10) reported that Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada visited Yonagunijima island Wednesday and hinted he was thinking about stationing Ground Self-Defense Force members there. The island lies about 500 kilometers west of the main Okinawa island and only 110 kilometers from the east coast of Taiwan. When the Defense Ministry reviews its five-year National Defense Program Guidelines at the end of the year, the possibility of using Yonagunijima will be discussed during the compilation of the Midterm Defense Program that takes place at the same time.
20. Unexploded Ordnance from World War II
Asahi Shimbun (Atsushi Matsukawa and Tsukasa Kimura, “CLEARING UNEXPLODED SHELLS A PAINSTAKING PROCESS”, Naha, 2009/07/13) reported that athough 64 years have passed since the Battle of Okinawa, more than 2,000 tons of unexploded ordnance lie buried. On June 18, a Ground Self-Defense Force unit tasked with the disposal of unexploded ammunition, artillery shells and other devices visited the southern part of the prefecture. On that day, the unit collected 13 items, including hand grenades and a 12-centimeter artillery shell launched by a U.S. warship.
21. Cross Strait Relations
Bloomberg News (Tim Culpan, “CHINA TO OPEN ITS ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY TO TAIWANESE”, 2009/07/12) reported that the PRC government plans to allow Taiwanese to set up and run entertainment businesses on the mainland, Xinhua News Agency cited Minister for Culture Cai Wu as saying Saturday. China is seeking to boost Taiwan’s entertainment industry by allowing greater access to the mainland market, Cai said. Taiwan’s cultural sectors, including broadcasting, news publishing and music, could take advantage of better cross- Strait links amid a slowing domestic market, Wu Poh-hsiung, chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang party, said earlier.
Bloomberg News (Tim Culpan, “TAIWAN, CHINA SHOULD COOPERATE ON ENVIRONMENT, PARTY HEAD SAYS”, Changsha, 2009/07/11) reported that Wu Poh-hsiung, chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang, said Saturday Taiwan and the PRC should cooperate on energy conservation and environmental protection. “Establishment of a cooperation mechanism, a common response to the Kyoto Protocol, a system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and new-energy industry cooperation, I believe can contribute sustainable development of the cross-Strait environment,” Wu said.
22. PRC-Australia Relations
Reuters (“CHINA PRESIDENT HU ENDORSED RIO ARRESTS: REPORT”, Canberra, 2009/07/13) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao personally endorsed an investigation into global miner Rio Tinto that led to the detention of four of its China -based staff, the Sydney Morning Herald said on Monday, citing PRC government sources . The investigation appears to be part of a realignment of how the PRC managed its economy in the wake of the global financial crisis , with spy and security agencies promoted to top strategy-making bodies, the newspaper said.
23. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Reuters (“CHINA CLAIMS EMBASSY PROTESTS SHOW XINJIANG RIOTS ORGANIZED”, Beijing, 2009/07/13) reported that demonstrators threw eggs, Molotov cocktails and stones at several PRC embassies and consulates, including in Ankara , Oslo, Munich and the Netherlands, Xinhua said Monday, after reports of rioting in Urumqi , capital of Xinjiang province. “Supporters of the East Turkestan separatists started well-orchestrated and sometimes violent attacks on Chinese embassies and consulates in several countries soon after the riots occurred last Sunday,” Xinhua said. “The attacks against China’s diplomatic missions and the Urumqi riots seemed to be well-organized.”
Associated Press (Gillian Wong, “CHINA’S ETHNIC GROUPS STRUGGLE FORWARD AFTER RIOTS”, Urumqi, 2009/07/12) reported that Han and Uighur alike are struggling to overcome the resentment exposed by the worst ethnic violence in the PRC in decades which left 184 people dead. On Sunday, the regional Xinjiang government raised the toll of injured to 1,680. A week after the initial violence, Urumqi remained tense, and neither side seemed to know when or how the two ethnic groups might come to any sense of mutual trust.
BBC (“MOST XINJIANG DEAD HAN CHINESE”, 2009/07/11) reported that local officials said that of 184 people known to have died violence in Xinjiang, 137 were Han Chinese, 46 were from the indigenous Uighur community and one was an ethnic Hui. Correspondents say some Uighurs believe their own death toll was much higher.
24. PRC Space Program
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA TOOLS UP FOR SPACE RACE”, Hong Kong, 2009/07/12) reported that the PRC is aiming to launch an unmanned rover on the moon’s surface by 2012 and a manned mission to the moon by around 2020. “China is doing all the things one would need to do in order to go to the moon,” Dean Cheng, an expert on the PRC’s space program at the US-based research firm CNA Corp said. The PRC further signalled its ambition in September last year when three ‘taikonauts’ on board Shenzhou VII conducted the country’s first spacewalk. It has also announced plans for a space module as a step towards its goal of building a space station.
II. PRC Report
25. PRC Climate Change
Xinhua News (“ASIA DEVELOPMENT BANK PROVIDES 1.25 MILL USD TO CHINA FOR GREENHOUSE GAS EMMISSION REDUCTION”, 2009/07/10) reported that Asia Development Bank announced on July 9 that it will provide 1.25 million USD to the PRC government, to help develop a new technology which can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
26. PRC Civil Society
Beijing Times (“ONLY 30% OF PROMISED DONATION OF JUNE ENTERS INTO ACCOUNT”, ) reported that according to incomplete statistics, the nation’s total pledged donations in June were 2.959 billion RMB, but the actual amount collected was 915 million RMB, accounting for only 30.9% of the total promised, sources with the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
27. PRC Earthquake
China News Net (“1 KILLED, 336 INJURED IN YUNNAN EARTHQUAKE”, 2009/07/10) reported that an earthquake rocked southwest China Thursday evening, killing one person, injuring at least 336 and collapsing more than 18,000 homes, state media said. The magnitude-6.0 temblor, centered in Yunnan province’s Yao’an county, damaged another 30,000 homes. The quake was followed by eight aftershocks and the provincial civil affairs department was sending 4,500 tents, 3,000 quilts and other relief materials to Yao’an.