NAPSNet Daily Report 13 November, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US Energy Aid to the DPRK
- 3. Inter-Korean Relations
- 4. Korean Reunification
- 5. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 6. ROK Anti-Piracy Operations
- 7. ROK on Climate Change
- 8. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
- 9. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Refueling Mission
- 10. Japan SDF
- 11. Japanese International Relations
- 12. Japanese Climate Change
- 13. Taiwanese Politics
- 14. PRC on Taiwan Politics
- 15. Cross Strait Relations
- 16. PRC Energy
- 17. PRC Public Health
- 18. PRC Space Program
- 19. PRC Economy
- 20. PRC Climate Change
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
International Herald Tribune (Choe San-Hun, “NORTH KOREA TO BAR SAMPLING AT NUCLEAR SITE”, Seoul, 2008/11/12) reported that the DPRK Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it would allow American experts to visit the main nuclear complex in Yongbyon to review documents and interview engineers, but will bar them from taking soil and nuclear waste samples, according to the Korea Central News Agency. The DPRK also said any inspections by American and United Nations experts must be confined to Yongbyon.
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. CONTRADICTS N. KOREA OVER SAMPLE TAKING AT NUCLEAR FACILITIES”, Washington, 2008/11/11) reported that the US insisted that the DPRK agreed to let international inspectors take samples from its nuclear facilities as part of a verification protocol. “It was basically agreed that experts could take samples and remove them from the country for testing,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a daily news briefing, citing “the understandings on verification that were issued last month” after the chief U.S. nuclear envoy’s visit to Pyongyang on the issue.
2. US Energy Aid to the DPRK
Xinhua News (“U.S. DELIVERS DPRK 50,000 TONS OF FUEL OIL “, Washington, 2008/11/11) reported that the US has shipped 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), said US State Department on Wednesday. “The United States is doing its part with regard to action for action,” said State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood, adding that the fuel oil is scheduled to arrive in the DPRK in late November and early December.
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (Shim Sun-ah, “S. KOREA EXPRESS REGRET OVER N. KOREA’S THREAT TO SHUT BORDER”, Seoul, 2008/11/12) reported that the ROK on Wednesday expressed regret over the DPRK’s decision to partially shut its border with the ROK. “North Korea’s announcement that it will take measures to limit passage across the border is regrettable,” Kim Ho-nyoun, spokesman for the Unification Ministry, said in a statement. “If the North carries out such measures, it will have a negative impact on efforts to improve inter-Korean relations,” he said.
Korea Times (“FIRMS URGE NGOS TO STOP DROPPING LEAFLETS ON N. KOREA”, 2008/11/11) reported that CEOs of ROK businesses at the inter-Korean industrial complex in the DPRK city of Gaeseong plan to meet with Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong today to discuss operations at the industrial site. They will ask the ministry to persuade civic organizations to stop dropping leaflets on the DPRK, a company executive said. An official of a company operating in the industrial park said on condition of anonymity that he and other representatives would urge the minister to solve two major pending issues ? the leaflets and a labor shortage.
4. Korean Reunification
Chosun Ilbo (“SNU DEVELOPS ‘UNIFICATION INDEX'”, Seoul, 2008/11/12) reported that Seoul National University’s Center for Unification and Peace on Tuesday said it has developed a Korean unification index, whereby we can gauge how close the two Koreas are to unification with the help of objective numbers. The index was created based on a survey of ROK citizens and DPRK refugees about their sense of unification and on analysis of various data on inter-Korean relations. The degree of unification in terms of economy, politics, society and culture is indicated on scale of 0 to 10 scale. Levels 0-2, which is where the index is now, mean a period of irregular contacts, talks and exchanges between the two Koreas; 3-5 suggest improved cooperation during which progress is made in the unification and cooperation happens on a regular basis; 6-8 would be confederation with a joint governing agency and system; and 9-10 substantial unification.
5. Japan-DPRK Relations
Kyodo News (“N. KOREA HINTS AT EXISTENCE OF JAPAN ABDUCTEES OTHER THAN 17 ON LIST”, Tokyo, 2008/11/11) reported that the DPRK hinted at the existence of other Japanese nationals it had abducted, apart from the 17 abductees on Japan’s official list, during preparatory talks for a bilateral meeting in June in Beijing, Japanese government sources said. During the preparatory talks, the DPRK expressed readiness to provide Japan with new information about Japanese abductees other than the 17 if it sees progress in bilateral negotiations, such as winning Japan’s promise to lift economic sanctions against the DPRK, the sources said.
6. ROK Anti-Piracy Operations
Yonhap News (Lee Chi-dong, “S. KOREA BUDGETS 6 BILLION WON FOR NAVAL OPERATION IN SOMALIA “, 2008/11/11) reported that the ROK government will seek parliamentary approval of its decision to send a warship to Somali waters to combat piracy there, a project expected to cost about 6 billion won (US$4.2 million), a senior government official said. “The government has decided to dispatch a naval ship to Somali waters and plans to submit a related motion to the National Assembly during its ongoing session (to end on Dec. 8),” the official told Yonhap News Agency on the condition of anonymity.
7. ROK on Climate Change
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA STRIVES FOR PARITY IN CLIMATE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY WITH GLOBAL LEADERS”, Seoul, 2008/11/12) reported that the ROK will strive to reach parity with global leaders in climate change control technology by 2030 as part of its efforts to ensure sustainable eco-friendly growth, the government said Wednesday. The long-term plan by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology calls for increasing domestic know-how to find alternative energy sources for fossil fuels, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and developing effective carbon dioxide capturing methods.
8. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
Chosun Ilbo (“FOREIGN MEDIA HEADS TO DOKDO ISLETS”, Dokdo Islets, 2008/11/11) reported that for the first time, international journalists were invited to visit the disputed Dokdo islets by the North Gyeongsang Province. Members of the international press attended lectures on sovereignty issues, international law and ancient maps at the Dokdo Museum on Ulleung Island, and were told about security efforts by the ROK to preserve control over the islets.
9. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Refueling Mission
Kyodo News (“EXTENSION OF JAPAN’S REFUELING MISSION LIKELY TO PASS DIET NOV. 20”, Tokyo, 2008/11/12) reported that a bill to extend Japan’s antiterrorism refueling mission beyond the January deadline is expected to pass the Diet as early as Nov. 20 after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan agreed on a voting schedule for it Wednesday, lawmakers said. Upper house Diet affairs chiefs of the two parties agreed to have a House of Councillors panel hold a vote next Tuesday. After that, the bill is expected to be voted down in a plenary session of the opposition-controlled upper house as early as next Wednesday.
10. Japan SDF
Yomiuri Shimbun (Shozo Nakayama and Chikara Shima , “ESSAY HIGHLIGHTS ISSUES OF SDF CONTROL”, 2008/11/11) reported that former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami, who was dismissed after an essay he wrote contradicting the government’s official view of Japan’s war responsibility was made public, defended his views during questioning at the Diet. Government officials said during the session that publication of the essay was problematic, but were unable to come up with concrete measures for preventing a recurrence of such an incident. The session also raised questions over how the government can best ensure civilian control of the SDF.
11. Japanese International Relations
Kyodo News (“ASO TO MEET WITH BRITAIN’S BROWN, INDONESIA’S YUDHOYONO BEFORE SUMMIT”, Tokyo, 2008/11/12) reported that Prime Minister Taro Aso is scheduled to meet with British premier Gordon Brown and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday in Washington to exchange views ahead of a two-day global financial summit, Japanese officials said Wednesday. On Monday, Aso sent his special envoys to Indonesia to seek cooperation in tackling the credit crisis and forging a common platform for reform of the existing international financial system. The summit to be hosted by U.S. President George W. Bush will bring together heads of state from Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States, the European Union, Argentina, Brazil, PRC, India, Indonesia, ROK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey.
12. Japanese Climate Change
Reuters (Risa Maeda, “JAPAN C02 HITS RECORD”, Tokyo, 2008/11/12) reported that Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions rose to a record high in the year to March, putting the world’s fifth-largest carbon dioxide producer at risk of a failure to achieve its Kyoto target over the next four years. The increase of 2.3 percent last year will ratchet up the pressure to give up its efforts to control emissions through voluntary measures and adopt tougher limits on industry like the European Union and Australia.
13. Taiwanese Politics
New York Times (David Barboza, “FORMER PRESIDENT OF TAIWAN HELD IN JAIL”, Shanghai, 2008/11/13) reported that a judge in Taipei ruled on Wednesday that former President Taiwan Chen Shui-bian would be held in jail while prosecutors in the city pursue money laundering and corruption charges against him. Chen was detained and led to court in handcuffs Tuesday afternoon after several hours of questioning by prosecutors. Chen paused briefly before television cameras, raised his arms and shouted, “Long live Taiwan!” and “Political persecution!”
14. PRC on Taiwan Politics
Xinhua (“MAINLAND REFUTES CHEN SHUI-BIAN’S ‘PERSECUTION’ CLAIM”, Beijing, 2008/11/12) reported that a PRC official on Wednesday refuted Taiwan former leader Chen Shui-bian’s claims of being persecuted by the Kuomintang and the Communist Party as “a sheer fabrication.” “I believe everyone could see the purpose of his clumsy trick,” State Council Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Fan Liqing said at a press briefing. Asked by Taiwan media to comment on Chen’s detention, Fan simply said,” We have noticed relevant media reports.”
15. Cross Strait Relations
United Press International (“CHINA TO MAINTAIN TAIWAN EXCHANGES”, Beijing, 2008/11/12) reported that the PRC said Wednesday its cross-strait exchanges with Taiwan will go on despite street protests on the island during the recent visit of a top official. On the contrary, such exchanges will be intensified as they cannot be sabotaged by “a small number of people,” Fan Liqing, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, said in Beijing, Xinhua reported.
16. PRC Energy
Bloomberg (Wang Ying, “CHINA SPENDS AT LEAST $27 BILLION ON ENERGY PROJECTS”, Beijing, 2008/11/12) reported that the PRC, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, will spend at least 188.5 billion yuan ($27 billion) to build six energy projects including a natural gas link and nuclear power plants to spur economic expansion. The State Council, or Cabinet, today approved the Ningxia- Shenzhen-Hong Kong section of its second West-East gas pipeline that will cost 93 billion yuan and two nuclear plants worth 95.5 billion yuan, the PRC government said on its Web site. The nation will also begin constructing 10 nuclear power reactors with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts each in the eastern provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a separate statement on its Web site today.
17. PRC Public Health
PR Newswire (“MEASLES INITIATIVE SUPPORTS DISEASE PREVENTION FOR CHILDREN IN CHINA’S EARTHQUAKE ZONE”, Washington D.C., 2008/11/10) reported that the Measles Initiative is supporting the government of the PRC in providing measles vaccines to more than 7.3 million children, implementing additional measles control activities and strengthening the delivery of routine immunization in the provinces of Chongqing, Gansu, Sha’anxi and Sichuan — areas severely impacted by the 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck six months ago. “Given the scope of this disaster, which affected 46 million people, it is vital that we continue to protect children who have been made vulnerable to infectious diseases like measles,” said David Meltzer, Senior Vice President of International Services for the American Red Cross.
18. PRC Space Program
Xinhua (“CHINA REVEALS ITS 1ST FULL MAP OF MOON SURFACE”, 2008/11/12) reported that PRC scientists revealed the country’s first full map of the moon’s surface on Wednesday, more than a year after the launch of its first lunar probe, Chang’e-1. The lunar probe was originally designed to cover the moon surface within 70 degrees south and north latitudes. However, the camera was in a good condition to get high-definition image data of the south and north poles of the moon as well. “Chang’e-1 has completed its one-year operation and scientific exploration, and this marked the successful completion of the country’s first-phase moon mission,” said administration director Chen Qiufa.
Xinhua News (“CHINESE SCIENTIST CALLS FOR CO-OP BETWEEN ASIAN SPACE POWERS “, Beijing, 2008/11/12) reported that a PRC scientist called for moon probe program experts in the PRC, India and Japan to step up cooperation to “deepen mankind’s understanding of the moon.” Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist for the PRC’s moon exploration program, said the three countries shared goals on moon probe while each had its advantages. Each country had its unparalleled technological competitiveness, and he expected more cooperation and hoped to see more contributions made by the scientists in the three Asian countries.
19. PRC Economy
Financial Times (Geoff Dyer, “CHINA’S TRADE SURPLUS HITS NEW RECORD”, 2008/11/11) reported that the PRC’s trade surplus grew to another record last month as the its exporters continued to show greater than expected resilience in the face of a global slowdown. The surplus, which already stood at record levels in September, grew a further 20 per cent last month to $35.2bn after a modest reduction in the growth rate of exports was accompanied by a sharper drop in import growth. The PRC government also released further evidence on Tuesday of slowing domestic demand, including another drop in house prices and further softening in consumer price inflation. This came as similar reports from India, Japan, and the ROK said their export performance fell last month.
20. PRC Climate Change
Pakistan Daily Times (“CHINA TELLS RICH NATIONS TO CHANGE LIFESTYLE”, Beijing, 2008/11/12) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao said rich nations must abandon their “unsustainable lifestyle” to fight global warming and give more help to poor nations bearing the brunt of worsening droughts and rising sea levels. Wen made the demand on Friday at the opening of a technology transfer conference. “Developed countries shoulder the duty and responsibility to tackle climate change and should alter their unsustainable lifestyle,” Wen told the meeting, according to Xinhua news agency. He urged wealthy economies to do more to help developing countries, including his own, despite the global economic downturn.
II. PRC Report
21. PRC Energy
The First Finance Daily (Zhang Ke, “FIRST RENEWABLE ENERGY ENTREPRENEURS CLUB ESTABLISHED”, 2008/11/11) reported that China Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs Club was established yesterday. 11 famous entrepreneurs of the renewable energy field became the original members of the club. It is understood that the club will explore the development direction of the industry, spread the application of renewable energy, and call on related incentive policy to be introduced. Last year, the PRC’s total investment on renewable energy has reached 12 billion U.S. dollars, ranking the second in the world.
22. PRC Migrant Workers
China Youth Daily (Teng Xingcai, “MORE THAN HALF MIGRANT WORKERS WORK IN BAD ENVIRONMENT”, 2008/11/11) reported that according to the report issued by Economic Research Institute of China Academy of Social Sciences, at present, the labor protection of migrant workers is very vulnerable. Of those respondents, 53.7% work in bad environment, 36.5% rest less than one day per week, over 40% are in a poor state of mental health. The result was based on a survey of 2398 migrant workers in five cities of Dalian, Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenzhen, and Chongqing from 2006-2008.
23. PRC Environment
Xinhua Net (Sun Yubo, “CENTRAL FINANCE TO SUBSIDIZE 13.5 BILLION YUAN ON URBAN SEWAGE TREATMENT”, 2008/11/11) reported that vice minister of the PRC Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Qiu Baoxing said that lacking sewage pipe network is the main reason that seriously restricts the PRC’s sewage treatment, the central finance will subsidize the pipe network construction in 22 provinces except the coastal developed provinces and cities. In two years, the central finance will allocate subsidies of totally 13.5 billion yuan.