NAPSNet Daily Report 13 November, 2007
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Terror List Status
- 2. DPRK and US-Japan Relations
- 3. Inter-Korean Military Talks
- 4. USFK Base Realignment
- 5. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
- 6. US-Japan Relations
- 7. Japan Airport Security
- 8. PRC Economic Development
- 9. PRC Media
- II. Republic of Korea
1. DPRK Terror List Status
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. TO STRIKE N.KOREA OFF TERROR LIST UNDER ‘SECRETDEAL'”, 2007/11/12) reported that the US in a closed-doors deal onOct. 3 agreed to strike the DPRK from its list of state sponsors ofterrorism and suspend the Trading with the Enemy Act by year’s endprovided the DPRK disables its nuclear facilities by then, a seniorROK official says. The official told Korean reporters in Washingtonlast week the Oct. 3 deal “includes a list of facilities North Koreaagreed to disable. It also includes what the other five nationsagreed to do, including the issues of striking North Korea from theUS list of state sponsors of terrorism and suspending the applicationof the Trading with the Enemy Act.” These measures “are supposed tobe completed by the end of this year.”
The Associated Press (Foster Klug, “S. KOREAN MINISTER WARNS ON NUKEACCORD “, Washington, 2007/11/12) reported that the ROK ‘s foreignminister said that failure by the US to take the DPRK off a list ofstate sponsors of terrorism could give the DPRK a justification forwalking away from six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. ROK ForeignMinister Song Min-soon said, “Any side balk at this agreement, thatjustifies others to renege,” speaking in English at the WoodrowWilson International Center for Scholars. “We should not give eachother any justification of reneging from this agreement.”
2. DPRK and US-Japan Relations
Kyodo (“N. KOREA REMOVAL FROM BLACKLIST MAY HURT JAPAN-U.S. TIES:MACHIMURA “, Tokyo, 2007/11/12) reported that Chief Cabinet SecretaryNobutaka Machimura said that Japan-U.S. ties could be adverselyaffected if the US decides to remove the DPRK from its list ofterrorist-sponsoring nations despite Tokyo’s request not to do so dueto lack of progress on the issue of Pyongyang’s abduction ofJapanese. Although Machimura denied that one problem might totallydamage bilateral relations, which he described as ”multilayered,”he told a press conference that delisting the DPRK ”certainly wouldnot have a good influence on the Japan-U.S. relationship.”
Agence France-Presse (“US SAYS NKOREAN ABDUCTIONS OF JAPANESE APRIORITY “, Tokyo, 2007/11/12) reported that the top US negotiatorwith the DPRK promised that Washington put a priority on resolving arow over the DPRK’s past abductions of Japanese nationals. “What’smost important for the abductees’ families is not the issue of the USlaws on state-sponsored terrorism,” Hill told Japanese reporters. “Iwant them to know how much of a priority it is for me and for theentire US in terms of our negotiations” with North Korea, he said.
3. Inter-Korean Military Talks
Joongang Ilbo (“DEFENSE CHIEFS SET NORTH-SOUTH TALKS”, 2007/11/12)reported that Defense chiefs of the ROK and DPRK will hold talks fromNov. 27 to 29 in Pyongyang to discuss ways to reduce tensions, theDefense Ministry said yesterday. The defense ministry said the twosides fixed the date for the meeting, their highest-level militaryconsultation channel, during a working-level meeting at the trucevillage of Panmunjom. However, on the agenda for the talks betweenSouth Korean Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo and his counterpart, KimIl-chol, the ministry only said “the two sides have agreed to discussmilitary measures to implement the Declaration on the Advancement ofSouth-North Korean Relations, Peace and Prosperity.”
4. USFK Base Realignment
Korea Times (“KOREA, US TO BREAK GROUND FOR PYEONGTAEK MILITARYBASE”, 2007/11/12) reported that the ROK and the US will formallykick off a 12-billion-dollar project later this week to relocate theYongsan base in central Seoul to Pyeongtaek, officials said Monday.The two sides plan to hold a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday for theexpansion of Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 km south of Seoul, theyadded. The U.S. military has been pushing to consolidate the Yongsanbase and other facilities north of Seoul into an expanded compound inPyeongtaek, as part of efforts to realign its 28,000 troops here.
5. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
Associated Press (Mari Yamaguchi, “JAPAN LOWER HOUSE OKS NAVYMISSION”, Tokyo, 2007/11/13) reported that Japan’s lower house ofparliament approved a resumption of the country’s anti-terrorismnaval mission in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday. The legislation, whichnow goes to the upper house, would limit Japanese ships to refuelingand supplying water to ships used in monitoring and inspectingvessels suspected of links to terrorism or arms smuggling.
6. US-Japan Relations
Kyodo (“FUKUDA TO HOLD TALKS WITH BUSH ON FRIDAY, VISIT SINGAPORENEXT WEEK “, Tokyo, 2007/11/12) reported that Prime Minister YasuoFukuda will visit the US for talks with President George W. Bush andthen travel to Singapore next week to attend annual regional summitmeetings, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said Monday. Thetop government spokesman said that in his talks with Bush, Fukuda isexpected to reaffirm the Japan-U.S. alliance and his wish to furtherenhance it, as well as to express his intention of making thealliance and Japan’s Asian diplomacy resonate with each other.
7. Japan Airport Security
The Los Angeles Times (Bruce Wallace, “JAPAN’S WELCOME MAT GETTINGPRICKLY”, Tokyo, 2007/11/12) reported that the Japanese governmenthas created new immigration procedures for foreign visitors — rulesthat critics say are all too revealing about official attitudestoward foreigners. On Nov. 20, Japan will begin fingerprinting andphotographing non-Japanese travelers as they pass through immigrationat air and sea ports. The government says the controls are anecessary security measure aimed at preventing a terrorist attack inJapan. Critics say the data collection is a dubiousterrorism-fighting measure, instead reflecting the government’sdesire for closer surveillance of foreigners.
8. PRC Economic Development
BBC News (Michael Bristow , “RURAL CHINA’S OFFICE POLITICS “, Henan,2007/11/12) reported that on the outskirts of the main town in one ofthe PRC’s poorest counties, a series of opulent buildings is slowlyrising up from the earth. These half-finished structures willeventually house the various government departments of Gushi countyin Henan province. But the local government is being criticisedbecause it is spending a large chunk of the county’s annual budget onthe building projects. Although the PRC’s economic boom has reachedthe county, farmers have not benefited as much as urban residents.
9. PRC Media
Washington Post (Edward Cody, “CHINESE MUCKRAKING A HIGH-STAKESGAMBLE”, Beijing, 2007/11/12) reported that the PRC’s journalistsremain under the thumb of an authoritarian government that maintainsa vast propaganda bureaucracy with unquestioned power to control whatis published and decide who rises and falls in the news business.Change has begun, with visible loosening since the 1970s. But theparty’s propaganda mandarins have retained the power to intervenewhenever they decide to do so, and in the past several years theyhave intervened with increasing, although unpredictable, frequency.As a result, working as a reporter in the PRC has come to meansuccumbing as a compliant propagandist or dancing along the censors’red line — making each story a high-stakes gamble on how far to go.”China is a heaven for investigative reporting, since it has a lot ofinteresting things to cover, but it is not a heaven for Chineseinvestigative reporters,” said Zhan Jiang, journalism dean at theChina Youth University for Political Sciences in Beijing.
The Associated Press (Anita Chang, “CHINA TRACKS SUMMER OLYMPICSJOURNALISTS “, Beijing, 2007/11/12) reported that the PRC governmenthas created profiles on thousands of foreign journalists coming toreport on next summer’s Beijing Olympics and is gathering informationon thousands more to put into a database, a top official said incomments published Monday. The database with information on the28,000 foreign journalists expected for the Olympics would be areference for interview subjects, designed to protect them from beingtricked or blackmailed by “fake reporters,” Liu Binjie, minister ofthe General Administration of Press and Publication, was quoted assaying in the state-run China Daily newspaper.
II. Republic of Korea
10. DPRK on US Missile Test
Yonhap News (“DPRK PRESS CRITICIZES US MISSILE TEST IN HAWAII”,Seoul, 2007/11/13 19:00:00 GMT+0) reported that some of the DPRKmedia said on November 13 that the purpose of the recent U.S. missiletest in Hawaii was not to protect themselves from threat, but toacquire the capability to attack other nations first. They also addedthat since the nations the U.S. is aiming at are very likely to be”anti-imperialist” nations such as the DPRK or Iran, the test wasimplemented in Hawaii, which is close to those nations. Theycriticized for the U.S. being ” violent ” in dealing withinternational issues, and urged them to be aware that physical poweris no longer a key to solving problems.
11. Inter-Korean Ministers’ Talks
Hankyoreh (Kwon Hyuk-chul, “INTER-KOREAN MINISTERS TALK, WORK ONECONOMY”, Seoul, 2007/11/12) reported that Lee Jae-jong, the ROKMinister of Unification, announced the list of delegates tointer-Korean ministers ‘ talks, including Han Duk-soo, prime ministerof the ROK, and Kim Young-il, prime minister of the DPRK. It is knownthat military personnel are excluded from these talks. This meetingwill mainly deal with economic cooperation between the two Koreas.
12. Korean Peninsula Peace Accord
Yonhap News (“ROH, SUMMITS DECLARATION NEEDED FOR DENUCLEARIZATIONAND PEACE TREATY”, Seoul, 2007/11/13 19:00:00 GMT+0) reported thatROK President Roh Moo-hyun said on November 13 that the purpose ofhaving a four-party summit declaration is to reinforce the peaceregime on the Korean peninsula, so that the DRPK can denuclearizethemselves as soon as possible. Roh said that even though both of theissues — the denuclearization of the DPRK and the peace treaty –not only take a lot of time — but also may encounter severaldifficulties in the process, the two issues should be resolvedconcurrently. He emphasized that since the DPRK had already promisedthat they are going to denuclearize, the whole procedure should bedone through constant conversation, but not through physical force.Roh added that even though there are people who talked about thepossibility of the collapse of the DPRK regime, the ROK does not wantsuch thing to be happen which will be burdensome for the ROK peoplethemselves as well. He concluded that Northeast Asian nations shouldcooperate tightly in the economic field, so that the nations can becombined as an economic unity as the EU is.
13. DPRK Rhetoric
Donga Ilbo (Choo Seong-ha, “DPRK MEIDA ‘CHOSUN IS WITHIN THE GLOBE'”,Seoul, 2007/11/13) said in the editorial that DPRK ‘ s recent driftsconfuse the world. The DPRK had recently told the Vietnamese leaderthat they would follow the Vietnamese way of opening their door tothe world last month. Also, by using phrase like ” Chosun is withinthe globe ” , they showed that their perspective toward the world hadchanged radically. Unfortunately however, what is happening in theDPRK is totally opposite from what is reported to the outside world.It is known that they no longer allow people to use telephones athome, and hinder the widespread use of computers. Such moves, alongwith utilizing cellular phone detectors in the PRC-DPRK border area,demonstrate that there is still a long way to go for the DPRK tothoroughly globalize.