NAPSNet Daily Report 13 March, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Six-Party Talks
- 2. DPRK Missile Program
- 3. Japan on DPRK Missile Program
- 4. US, PRC on DPRK Missile Program
- 5. Russia on DPRK Missile Program
- 6. DPRK Military
- 7. DPRK Internal
- 8. ROK Defense
- 9. US-ROK Military Cooperation
- 10. ROK Space Program
- 11. ROK-Indonesia Energy Cooperation
- 12. ROK Government
- 13. ROK Climate Change
- 14. ROK Trade Relations
- 15. Japan Government
- 16. Japan-ASEAN Security Cooperation
- 17. Sino-Japan Relations
- 18. Sino-US Relations
- 19. PRC Energy
- 20. PRC Environment
- 21. PRC Tibet Issue
- II. PRC Report
1. Six-Party Talks
Cable News Network (Elise Labott, “CLINTON EYES ENGAGEMENT WITH N. KOREA”, Washington, 2009/03/12) reported that the U.S. will still try to denuclearize DPRK through multilateral talks, even if it launches a long-range missile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. The Six Party Talks have “proven to be effective, which did set forth a set of obligations which the North Koreans agreed to,” Clinton said. “We would like to get back to those and begin discussions as soon as it would be feasible, and we’re pushing that right now,” Clinton said.
2. DPRK Missile Program
Agence France Presse (Park Chan-Kyong, “N.KOREA TO LAUNCH SATELLITE IN EARLY APRIL: SKOREA”, Seoul, 2009/03/12) reported that DPRK has scheduled a satellite launch for early next month, ROK officials said on Thursday. Pyongyang has informed the International Maritime Organisation that it will fire a rocket to launch the satellite between April 4-8, an official at Seoul’s maritime affairs ministry said. The DPRK had told the UN regulatory agency of two risk areas, one in the Pacific Ocean and the other in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). “The IMO is currently working on an official safety notice which it will soon hand out to its member countries,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The DPRK said it had provided “necessary information for the safe navigation of planes and ships” as part of preparations for launching “an experimental communications satellite.”
United Press International (“N. KOREA WARNS IT WILL PROTECT SOVEREIGNTY”, Pyongyang, 2009/03/11) DPRK warned Wednesday it would take “every necessary measure” to defend itself and continued preparations for what is says is a satellite launch. It said that any attempt to interfere with its planned rocket launch will lead to war on the Korean peninsula. The U.S. national intelligence director, Dennis Blair, indicated it’s likely the DPRK rocket launch actually is part of a space program rather than an ICBM test. Speaking before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Blair said, “I tend to believe that — the North Koreans announced that they were going to do a space launch, and I believe that that’s what they … intend. I could be wrong but that would be my estimate.”
3. Japan on DPRK Missile Program
Xinhua Net (“VICE DEFENSE MINISTER: JAPAN IS CHECKING DETAILS ABOUT DPRK’S LAUNCHING ACTION”, 2009/03/12) reported that Japan is checking the details of the reports that the DPRK notified international agencies of its planned satellite launch earlier in the day, Vice Defense Minister Kohei Masuda said Thursday. Japan calls on the DPRK to refrain from the launching action that will undermine peace and stability of the region, Masuda said. Japan may shoot down the satellite, which is believed by many to be a long-range ballistic missile “Taepodong-2”, a senior official from the defense ministry said. “We won’t shoot if there is no possibility that the missile would fall onto Japan, but it could still fall onto Japan if it flies over it,” he said.
4. US, PRC on DPRK Missile Program
Associated Press (Lachlan Carmichael, “US, CHINA ‘UNIFIED’ IN OPPOSING NKOREAN MISSILE LAUNCH: CLINTON”, Washington, 2009/03/11) reported that after her talks with PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the PRC as well as the ROK, Japan and Russia are committed to dismantling DPRK’s nuclear program and to opposing its planned missile launch. “And we are also agreed that we will discuss a response if we are not successful in convincing them not to go forward with what is a very provocative act,” she said. Clinton noted that missiles were not part of the brief of the six-party negotiations, although she said she would like them to be included. When asked whether the PRC shared the US view that a missile launch would violate UN resolution 1718, she said: “I think that our partners in the Six-Party Talks are concerned about the missile launch.” “They are willing to address it if it does happen with us in a variety of ways, including the Security Council,” she said.
5. Russia on DPRK Missile Program
Yonhap News (Lee Chi-dong, “RUSSIA CAUTIOUS ABOUT SANCTIONING N. KOREA FOR ROCKET LAUNCH”, Seoul, 2009/03/12) reported that a top Russian official said Thursday it is too early to talk about whether to impose sanctions on DPRK in case it fires a missile or a rocket carrying a satellite. “Let us see when things really happen, and then make conclusions and assessment,” the Russian envoy said. “For now we are facing only some speculation about certain plans for launching a satellite.” He stressed, “All disputes and all friction should be discussed and resolved through consultations.”
6. DPRK Military
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA SENT FORMER MILITARY CHIEF TO WESTERN SEA BORDER: SOURCES”, Seoul, 2009/03/12) reported that DPRK has recently appointed its former military chief as head of an army corps that oversees the western inter-Korean sea border, government sources said Thursday. General Kim Kyok-sik was transferred to the KPA’s 4th Army Corps, the sources said on condition of anonymity . The government sources dismissed speculation that the appointment may be a prelude to a provocation by the DPRK along the sea border.
7. DPRK Internal
Institute for Far Eastern Studies (“NUMBER OF DPRK MOBILE PHONE SUBSCRIBERS JUMPS”, 2009/03/12) reported that after normal citizens of DPRK were granted permission to use the country’s new mobile phone network, the number of subscribers has already climbed to more than 6,500. Only a few years ago, owning a mobile phone in DPRK signified one’s status as a member of the elite class, as its use was banned to normal citizens, but now, DPRK residents have reported that the government allows them to purchase and use mobile phones.
8. ROK Defense
United Press International (“SOUTH KOREA TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH NATO”, Seoul, 2009/03/11) reported that the ROK Ministry of National Defense and NATO have announced plans to increase cooperation and open new channels of communication. The ministry, working to improve ties with NATO, reported that it plans to “gradually increase” cooperation for ongoing security initiatives and take part in training programs offered by NATO.
9. US-ROK Military Cooperation
Arirang News (“U.S. NAVAL FORCES ARRIVE IN BUSAN FOR ANNUAL DEFENSE EXERCISE”, 2009/03/12) reported that as the 12-day ROK-U.S. joint defense exercise called Key Resolve/Foal Eagle continues, a key U.S. naval force arrived at the ROK Fleet Command in Busan on Wednesday morning. The Carrier Strike Group Three is led by the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis of the U.S. Navy 3rd Fleet. The carrier will dock in Busan for five days before heading toward the East Sea to take part in the Foal Eagle part of the joint exercise. The two nations’ navies will test interoperability among vessels with a focus on fine-tuning the security of communications. The combined navies could perform drills with other allies during the exercise.
10. ROK Space Program
Bernama (“S.KOREA DELAYS FIRST ROCKET LAUNCH UNTIL JULY”, Seoul, 2009/03/12) reported that ROK’s first space rocket launch has been put off until late July to allow engineers more time to check safety systems. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said inspections at the Naro Space Center launch pad are taking more time than previously anticipated. The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) mission will mark the first time ROK has directly launched a rocket into space from its soil. The ministry said the late arrival of key parts from PRC affected the construction timing for the launch pad itself.
11. ROK-Indonesia Energy Cooperation
Associated Press (“INDONESIA, S. KOREA TO DEVELOP SEAWEED POWER”, Jakarta, 2009/03/11) reported that Indonesia and ROK have agreed to invest in alternative energy research on converting seaweed into biofuel that can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an official said. Jakarta will cultivate seaweed, while ROK will provide know-how, an Indonesian Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Ministry spokesman said Tuesday. ROK already has technology needed to produce biofuel from seaweed, but so far has not commercialized it, ministry spokesman Soen’an Hadi Poernomo said.
12. ROK Government
Yonhap News (“GOV’T SET TO HELP LOW-INCOME, JOBLESS PEOPLE”, Seoul, 2009/03/12) reported that the government plans to spend 6.09 trillion won (US$4.09 billion) to help low income earners and unemployed workers cope with the current economic crisis, the finance ministry said Thursday. The comprehensive emergency relief package calls for assistance to people who have been laid off, direct cash support for senior citizens, and various subsidies for food, education, and healthcare.
13. ROK Climate Change
Reuters (Jon Herskovitz, “INTERVIEW-SOUTH KOREA SEES EMISSIONS CUT TARGET BY YEAR END”, Seoul, 2009/03/12) reported that ROK will release plans for caps on greenhouse gas emissions some time this year with voluntary cuts for its major industries in the initial phase, a presidential aide said on Thursday. “We want to make it measurable, reportable and verifiable,” Kim Sang-hyup, secretary to the president for National Future and Vision said. “At the initial stage, we will do it in a much more voluntary way,” Kim said, adding the government would hold a series of discussions with industrial sectors to win support. After that, the government had the option of making legally binding measures, according to the bill on green growth the government is trying to push through parliament. “The framework act, or basic law for green growth, it includes a legal basis for cap and trade,” he said, referring to a scheme to allow emissions trading.
Korea Times (Park Si-soo, “CLIMATE CHANGE QUICKER HERE THAN ELSEWHERE”, 2009/03/12) reported that the pace of climate change has been faster in ROK than the rest of the world over the last decade, a state-run observatory said Thursday. The Korea Global Atmosphere Watch Center, the nation’s only climate change watchdog, said the density of carbon dioxide and other major greenhouse gases was higher here than elsewhere between 1999 and 2008. “Rising greenhouse gases emitted at industrial complexes here and on the east coast of PRC are the main factors behind the increase,” KGAWC Director Park Jeong-gyoo said. The carbon dioxide density around the peninsula last year stood at 391.4 parts per million (ppm), compared with 370.7 ppm in 1999. The global average has increased from 367.6 ppm in 1999 to 384.9 ppm in 2008. ROK outpaced other countries in the emission growth of Methane and CFCs. “CFCs are to be banned from 2010 in accordance with an international pact designed to prevent global warming,” Park said. “Therefore, we should map out concrete measures.”
14. ROK Trade Relations
Financial Times (Christian Oliver, “SEOUL SEEKS ‘CONCRETE MEASURES‘ ON FREE TRADE”, Seoul, 2009/03/11) reported that ROK is pushing for the G20 countries to support a moratorium on new import tariffs at next month’s meeting, according to President Lee Myung-bak. Mr Lee said last year’s declaration in Washington featured a commitment to a standstill on new trade barriers. But he complained that countries from the world’s 20 leading economies had reneged on this pledge, using the global downturn as an excuse.
15. Japan Government
Kyodo News (“OZAWA SAID SOLE TARGET OF SHADY CASH”, 2009/03/12) reported that one of the two dummy groups that funneled political funds from Nishimatsu Construction Co. to the fund management body of Democratic Party of Japan chief Ichiro Ozawa only donated to his group in the three years before it disbanded in 2006, company sources said. This seems to indicate it functioned as a front group solely to funnel money to Ozawa’s fund management body, Rikuzankai, during that period, the sources said.
16. Japan-ASEAN Security Cooperation
Bernama (“JAPAN, ASEAN DEFENCE OFFICIALS TO DISCUSS SECURITY ISSUES”, Tokyo, 2009/03/12) reported that Japan, hosting the first security meeting for senior defence ministers on March 17 in Tokyo, will explore non-military security issues such as natural disasters and bird flu epidemic, the Defence Ministry said. The meeting will include Japan and ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries in Tokyo. The conference, dubbed the “Meeting of Senior Defence Officials on Common Security Challenges in the Asia-Pacific Region,” will includes bilateral meetings between Masuda and his counterparts from Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore. “Relations between Japan and ASEAN have always focused on the economy. So we hope to move them up to a higher level and start to build confidence from an area that is less likely to meet resistance,” a senior ministry official said.
17. Sino-Japan Relations
China Daily (“TALKS WITH JAPAN TO RESUME”, 2009/03/12) reported that PRC and Japan will resume security talks after a gap of more than two years by the end of this month, a senior official said yesterday. The resumption of talks in Tokyo will help promote trust, the official, who declined to be identified, told China Daily on the sidelines of the session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. The official said foreign affairs and defense officials of both nations will deliberate on security and defense policies during the talks. PRC will send an assistant foreign minister, he said.
18. Sino-US Relations
Associated Press (Chris Bodeen, “CHINA DEMANDS END OF US NAVY SURVEILLANCE”, Beijing, ) reported that PRC’s Defense Ministry demanded that the U.S. Navy end surveillance missions off the country’s southern coast. The ministry repeated earlier statements from the Foreign Ministry that the unarmed U.S. ship was operating illegally inside PRC’s exclusive economic zone. “The Chinese side’s carrying out of routine enforcement and safeguarding measures within its exclusive economic zone was entirely appropriate and legal,” ministry spokesman Huang Xueping said. “We demand the United States respect our legal interests and security concerns, and take effective measures to prevent a recurrence of such incidents,” Huang said.
19. PRC Energy
Bloomberg (Winnie Zhu, “CHINA APPROVES NEW WIND-ENERGY, HYDROPOWER PLANTS”, 2009/03/12) reported that PRC approved building wind power plants and hydropower stations with a combined capacity of 2,001 megawatts to boost economic growth and trim global-warming emissions. Luding Hydropower Station in Sichuan province will include four units of 230 megawatts each, Dongjing Hydropower plant in Guizhou with four units of 220 megawatts each, Rudong wind farm in Jiangsu and Guyuan wind power station each with 100.5 megawatts of capacity.
China5e.com (“COALBED METHANE RESOURCES IN XINJIANG PREDICTED NEAR 10 TRILLION CUBIC METERS”, 2009/03/12) reported that Xinjiang Coal Geological Bureau today revealed that according to the latest evaluation of geological prospecting, Xinjiang Coalfield coal-bed methane resources prediction is only slightly less than the volume of natural gas resources, and account for one quarter of the country’s total coal-bed methane resources. It is reported that coal-bed methane resources in Xinjiang has reached 9.5 trillion cubic meters and natural gas resources amounted to 10.8 trillion cubic meters.
Nengyuan.net (“QINGHAI FIRST POLYCRYSTALLINE SILICON INGOT CASTING SUCCESS”, 2009/03/12) reported that Qinghai-hua Silicon Energy Limited at its 4 th polysilicon production plant, 450kg of polycrystalline silicon was created. By 2010 annual production will reach up to 5000 tons of monocrystalline silicon capacity. By 2015, monocrystalline silicon production will reach 22,000 tons, 8,000 tons of cast polycrystalline silicon, single crystal slice 1300000000 and polycrystalline slice 400 million, which is expected to create sales revenue of 35 billion yuan.
20. PRC Environment
Sina.com.cn (“HAINAN: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OF ELECTRONIC EYE COVERS ALL THE PROVINCE’S KEY ENTERPRISES”, 2009/03/12) reported that Hainan provincial official of Homeland environmental resources released that in Hainan Province, after 3-year automatic monitoring system for pollution sources, the Hainan Province successfully implemented the “environmental protection electronic eye” online monitoring system in all state-controlled and province-controlled key enterprises, including Jinhai Pulp and Paper plant, Hinan Refing&Chemical, Huaneng Power Plant in Haikou, and other important industrial companies.
21. PRC Tibet Issue
Agence France Presse (“DALAI LAMA REINCARNATION MUST HAVE CHINA APPROVAL: REPORT”, Beijing, 2009/03/12) reported that the PRC government will decide on the reincarnated successor of the Dalai Lama when Tibetan Buddhism’s highest spiritual leader passes away, state press said Thursday. “Besides religious rites and historical conventions, there is also a very important condition for the reincarnation of the Dalai and that is the approval of the central government,” top Tibetan legislator Legqoq said.
Agence France Presse (“EU LAWMAKERS URGE CHINA TO DISCUSS REAL AUTONOMY WITH TIBET”, Strasbourg, ) reported that European lawmakers urged PRC Thursday to renew dialogue on real autonomy for Tibet. In a resolution, the assembly “urges the Chinese government to consider the Memorandum for Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan people of November 2008 as a basis for substantive discussion.” The parliamentarians urged the E.U. nations to “adopt a declaration calling on the Chinese government to open a constructive dialogue.” The lawmakers called on Beijing to release people detained after peaceful protests and account for those killed or missing and to allow foreign media and rights experts to enter Tibet and nearby areas.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Environment
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA TO SPEND BILLIONS ON TREE-PLANTING PROJECTS”, 2009/03/11) reported that PRC will spend 60 billion yuan annually on its greening, or tree-planting, campaigns in an effort to have 20 percent of the country’s land covered by forests by 2010. Jia Zhibang, head of the State Forestry Administration, said 16.66 million hectares of trees must be planted in the next two years in order to increase the forest coverage rate to 20 percent, from 18.21 percent at present.
23. PRC Civil Society
Ministry of Business website (“CHINA DONATES ?100,000 TO ASEAN FOUNDATION”, 2009/03/11) reported that PRC Ambassador to Indonesia Zhang Qiyue donated ? 100,000 to ASEAN Foundation on behalf of PRC recently. The fund would be used on supporting related economic and social development projects of ASEAN Foundation. The two sides have some cooperation before, among which the “Chinese Training in ASEAN Countries” and “Medical Herbs and Oriental Medicine” were very successfully.
Lanzhou Daily (“FIRST PUBLIC SERVICE AGENCY FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HANDICAP FOUND IN LANZHOU”, 2009/03/11) reported that Lanzhou Huiling Public Service Agency for People with Mental Handicap was formally unveiled recently. This is the only public agency servicing for teenagers with mental handicap between 14 and 20 year’s old in Gansu province. Representatives of the municipal Charity Federation, the municipal Disabled Persons’ Federation, Administration Bureau of NGOs and over 20 civil organizations have participated in the opening ceremony.