NAPSNet Daily Report 13 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. DPRK Missile Launch
- 2. US on DPRK Missile Launch
- 3. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 4. Inter-Korean Relations
- 5. DPRK Economy
- 6. DPRK Food Aid
- 7. US-DPRK Cultural Exchange
- 8. ROK Space Program
- 9. ROK on Climate Change
- 10. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 11. Japan-Pakistani Relations
- 12. Japan Aid to Afghanistan
- 13. Japanese SDF Refueling Mission
- 14. Taiwan Politics
- 15. Sino-US Relations
- 16. Sino-Russian Relations
- 17. Cross Strait Relations
- 18. PRC-Mongolia Relations
- 19. PRC Economy
- 20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 21. PRC Social Unrest
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Missile Launch
Associated Press (HYUNG-JIN KIM, “REPORT: NORTH KOREA FIRES 5 SHORT-RANGE MISSILES”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that DPRK fired five short-range missiles off its east coast on Monday, news reports said. Yonhap news agency, citing an unidentified ROK government official, said DPRK test-fired two short-range missiles on Monday morning and three others on Monday afternoon from mobile launch pads. Yonhap said the missiles were surface-to-surface KN-02 rockets with a range of up to 75 miles (120 kilometers).
Yonhap News (Sam Kim, “N. KOREA TEST-FIRES MISSILES, DRAWS LINE AHEAD OF TALKS: ANALYSTS”, Seoul, 2009/10/12) reported that the launches are unlikely to threaten dialogue that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il said in his recent meetings with top PRC officials his regime was willing to engage in. But the test-firings of DPRK’s most advanced short-range missiles also demonstrates that Pyongyang is intent on asserting its rights to missile development, they said. “This helps DPRK stake out its position ahead of its talks with the outside world, which raises stakes,” Koh Yu-hwan, a DPRK professor at Seoul’s Dongguk University, said. DPRK announced a no-sail zone on both of its coasts from Oct. 10-20, according to a ROK official at the Ministry of National Defense.
Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREA MISSILE TESTS BREACH UN RESOLUTIONS: SEOUL”, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK accused the DPRK Tuesday of flouting a United Nations ban with its latest short-range missile tests. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said that if the launch reports were correct, “I think it’s very regrettable.” PRC foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said, “I believe that this will not affect the improving situation on the Korean peninsula. ”
2. US on DPRK Missile Launch
Bloomberg (Brian Lysaght and Janine Zacharia, “CLINTON SAYS NORTH KOREA’S MISSILES WON’T DETER TALKS”, 2009/10/12) reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said DPRK’s test-firing of five short-range missiles today won’t deter the U.S. from working to resolve the dispute over the communist nation’s nuclear weapons. “Our goals remain the same. We intend to work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula that can demonstrate in a verifiable way that it is,” Clinton told reporters during a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland. “The international community will not accept their continuing nuclear program.”
3. Sino-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINESE IN N.KOREA ‘FACE REPRESSION’ “, 2009/10/12) reported that DPRK authorities have apparently stepped up regulations and monitoring of PRC residents there since Beijing backed UN sanctions against the DPRK in June. Sources in the PRC and DPRK say DPRK intelligence officials are increasingly treating PRC residents who recently visited their home country as spies. Sources say this has prompted many Chinese residents to avoid visiting the PRC. The number of Chinese residents passing through customs in Rajin has dropped to one-third of the number seen last year after rumors spread that a Chinese resident in Pyongyang who had recently been back to PRC was hauled off by intelligence agents and charged with espionage.
4. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap (“S. KOREA KEEPS EXPENSE CAP ON N. KOREA VISITS “, 2009/10/12) reported that the ROK said it will keep the cap on expenses that its citizens can spend during their visits to the DPRK either for family reunions or tourism. Under a guideline renewed on Tuesday, ROK citizens visiting the DPRK to meet family members there cannot spend more than US$1,000. Payments cannot be made through credit or debit cards, either, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said.
Yonhap (“KOREAS SET TO HOLD TALKS THIS WEEK DESPITE NORTH’S MISSILE TESTS “, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that the DPRK agreed Tuesday to the ROK’s proposal for talks later this week on preventing floods of cross-border rivers and resuming reunions of separated families, government officials in Seoul said. “Details of the planned talks will be fine-tuned later today,” said Chun Hae-sung, a spokesperson at the Unification Ministry, adding that Seoul will likely accept the DPRK’s request to hold the Red Cross meeting on family reunions in Kaesong on Friday.
5. DPRK Economy
IFES NK Brief (“NORTH KOREA CLAIMS RECORD PRODUCTION GAINS THROUGH ‘150-DAY BATTLE’”, 2009/10/12) reported that it has been boasted that DPRK’s ‘150-day Battle’ to boost the economy (April 20-September 16) resulted in record-breaking jumps in DPRK production numbers, and it has been suggested that that by 2012, some enterprises will “attain production numbers higher than the best numbers recorded at the end of the 1980s.” This claim was made by Ji Young-il, the director of the Chosun University Social Science Research Institute, which is run by the pro-Pyongyang “General Federation of Korean Residents in Japan.” Professor Ji went on to write, “Basically, it is an extraordinary goal ensuring growth of 1.3-1.5 times (a growth rate of 130-150%) per year.”
6. DPRK Food Aid
Associated Press (“BILLY GRAHAM’S SON VISITS NKOREA TO DELIVER AID”, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that Reverend Franklin Graham , the son of U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, arrived in the DPRK on Tuesday to deliver aid. Ri Gun, director general in charge of American affairs at the DPRK Foreign Ministry, greeted Graham at the airport and the two held talks, television footage showed. The Korean Central News Agency quoted Graham as saying he made the visit to “play the role of a bridge for better relations” between the two countries. Graham’s group Samaritan’s Purse said on its Web site that Graham will oversee the delivery of $190,000 in equipment and supplies for a new dental school in Pyongyang, meet with high-level officials and visit one of three hospitals where the group has installed electricity generators.
7. US-DPRK Cultural Exchange
The Los Angeles Times (“LA VERNE PROFESSOR WANTS TO PULL SOME DIPLOMACY OUT OF HIS HAT”, 2009/10/12) reported that Dale Salwak teaches English literature by day at Citrus College and performs illusions at night at places such as Hollywood’s Magic Castle. His skill at floating mysterious zombie balls in the air and turning silk scarves into exploding flowers earned him an invitation earlier this year to visit the DPRK. His six-day stay in Pyongyang in April prompted him to attempt to organize an exchange program that will lead to visits by DPRK magicians to this country.
8. ROK Space Program
Yonhap News (Lee Joon-seung , “S. KOREA HOSTS GLOBAL SPACE CONFERENCE “, Daejeon, 2009/10/12) reported that an annual international space congress kicked off in the ROK, aiming to promote sustainable growth and peaceful use of space, organizers said. Experts will focus on the potential role of astronautical sciences to deal with global climate change, such as making extensive use of satellites to check the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Others like KARI head Lee Joo-jin proposed the establishment of a “Asia-Pacific regional group” that can facilitate coordination and bolster space technologies. The proposal is expected to be included in the so-called Daejeon declaration on Friday that will call for a group of Asian, Pacific rim countries to exchange data and information on space development and technologies.
9. ROK on Climate Change
Korea Times (Kim Jae-kyoung, “EXIM TO LAUNCH CARBON FUND TO PROMOTE GREEN GROWTH”, 2009/10/12) reported that the ROK government is gearing up to transform the country into a green economic power with its “low-carbon, green-growth” vision by capitalizing on new economic opportunities created by global climate change. The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) ? as a policy lender ? is working toward the realization of this vision and making every effort to enhance the competitiveness of ROK firms in green sectors such as renewable energy, improvement of energy efficiency, and waste gas/heat utilization. Most notably, the state-run lender is set to establish a “carbon fund” worth 100 billion won to purchase emission reductions from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects developed and implemented byROK entities.
10. US-Japan Security Alliance
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, U.S. TO ACCELERATE OKINAWA BASE TALKS AHEAD OF OBAMA VISIT”, Tokyo, 2009/10/12) reported that Japan and the United States agreed Monday to accelerate talks on the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan next month. Visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell told reporters he gave Akihisa Nagashima, Japan’s parliamentary defense secretary, an explanation about the current transfer plan for the air station in downtown Ginowan to the coastal region of Camp Schwab in a less densely populated area in Nago.
Associated Press (JAY ALABASTER , “US, JAPAN TO SPEED UP MARINE BASE RELOCATION TALKS “, Tokyo, 2009/10/12) reported that the fate of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa has dragged on for years. Residents at both its current location and a planned new spot nearby say U.S. military bases are very loud and lead to increased crime. Some members of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s government say they want the base moved out of Japan altogether.
11. Japan-Pakistani Relations
Kyodo News (“JAPAN FOREIGN MINISTER OKADA MEETS PAKISTAN PRESIDENT ZARDARI”, Islamabad, 2009/10/12) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday, with Zardari expected to call on Japan to continue its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean beyond the January expiration of a law authorizing it. The same request was conveyed Sunday by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to Okada, who made a surprise visit to Afghanistan and traveled to Pakistan the same day. Gilani also asked Okada to enhance support for people displaced by Islamabad’s army operations against the Islamic militants. Okada’s visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan comes as Japan is considering how to boost its contribution to rebuilding Afghanistan while planning to terminate its refueling mission in support of U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in and around the country.
12. Japan Aid to Afghanistan
Yomiuri Shimbun (Toshimitsu Miyai, “OKADA VISITS AFGHANISTAN, MEETS KARZAI / MINISTER SEEKS WAYS TO BOOST AID TO CIVILIANS”, Kabul, 2009/10/12) reported that according to government sources, Karzai said during their talks that Afghanistan requires support in many fields, such as power generation, higher education and agriculture. As security in Afghanistan has deteriorated due to terrorist attacks by its former rulers the Taliban, Karzai also told Okada that he wants Japan to help promote the peace process in Afghanistan. Okada reportedly replied that support for Afghanistan’s reconstruction is an important subject, implying that he is thinking of strengthening aid to civilians. He stopped short, however, of mentioning specific measures.
13. Japanese SDF Refueling Mission
Reuters (“JAPAN LEANS TOWARD ENDING AFGHAN REFUELING MISSION”, Tokyo, 2009/10/13) reported that Japan will end its refueling mission in support of U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan when its mandate expires, Japan’s defense minister Toshimi Kitazawa said on Tuesday. “The law will expire in January. We will solemnly withdraw based on the law,” a defense ministry official quoted him as saying. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, however, said, “The defense minister’s statement should be accepted seriously as a defense minister’s statement. But as a whole, the government has not necessarily decided on it as of now.”
14. Taiwan Politics
China Post (“KMT EXPELS 7 MEMBERS”, Taipei, 2009/10/12) reported that the Kuomintang (KMT) elected a new central standing committee amidst allegations of vote-buying yesterday, while expelling seven candidates for all-important local elections scheduled for December 5. Almost all 1,529 delegates cast votes in the election of the powerful central standing committee. Turnout was 96.27 percent. Wu Poh-hsiung, outgoing KMT chairman, deplored the alleged party-wide rigging after he cast his ballot right after President Ma Ying-jeou early in the morning. Ma is all set to double as chairman replacing Wu at a KMT national congress, which will take place at Yangmingshan in suburban Taipei on October 17.
15. Sino-US Relations
Reuters (“U.S. SOFTENS TONE TO IMPROVE CHINA RELATIONS”, 2009/10/12) reported that the United States is going out of its way to build a warmer economic relationship with the PRC and the strategy seems to be paying early dividends. In the past two weeks, the PRC has endorsed a U.S.-backed commitment to rebalance the global economy, and impressed some European officials by backing up the pledge with specific steps it planned to take to reconfigure its own economy. In addition, what looked like it could have been the start of a trade war when the United States imposed tariffs on PRC tires fizzled out with minimal drama.
16. Sino-Russian Relations
Associated Press (“ENERGY HIGH ON AGENDA FOR PUTIN VISIT TO CHINA”, Shanghai, 2009/10/12) reported that PRC and Russia may be set to sign another major energy deal as the two countries overcome traditional mistrust to push ahead on mutual economic interest. Among the agreements expected during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to PRC this week is a possible gas-for-loans deal similar to a $25 billion oil-for-loans deal that was finalized earlier this year, PRC media reports and analysts said.
Global Times (“PUTIN WANTS HIGH-SPEED RAIL SYSTEM ON CHINA VISIT”, 2009/10/11) reported that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin kicks off a three-day visit to PRC Monday in hopes of signing $5.5 billion worth of business deals in energy, transport and communications sectors, and to discuss options on combating terrorism and separatism. According to a draft list obtained by Reuters, a total of 34 deals valued at more than $5.5 billion will be signed during the visit. They range from a $500 million loan agreement between PRC’s Development Bank and its Russian equivalent, VEB, to joint projects in transport, infrastructure, construction and mineral extraction.
17. Cross Strait Relations
Central News Agency (“FALUN GONG FOUNDER NOT WELCOME THIS TIME: NSC”, 2009/10/12) reported that Taiwan ‘s National Security Council (NSC) director said yesterday that now is not an appropriate time for Li Hongzhi, the founder of the Falun Gong movement which is banned in PRC, to visit Taiwan. Director Tsai Teh-sheng cited national interest and security considerations as reasons why the government would not grant Li a visa if he were to apply for one. Li’s visit will “damage the cross-Taiwan Strait ties,” Tsai said in a Legislative Yuan committee meeting, referring to Taiwan’s relations with PRC.
18. PRC-Mongolia Relations
Xinhua (“CHINA TO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL TIES WITH MONGOLIA”, Ulan Bator, 2009/10/12) reported that PRC is willing to work with the Mongolian side to push forward bilateral relations, Sang Guowei, the vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, at a meeting with President Tsakhia Elbegdorwho, said here on Monday. Mongolia is ready to enhance the exchange of high-level visits with PRC, deepen bilateral cooperation, and boost cooperation and exchanges in such fields as culture and education. Sang said PRC will strengthen inter-parliamentary cooperation with Mongolia in various fields. Batkhuu said inter-parliamentary collaboration has played a significant role in developing the good-neighborly relations of mutual trust between the two countries, and he hoped Sang’s visit would contribute to the bilateral partnership.
19. PRC Economy
Xinhua (“CHINA REQUESTS WTO PANEL TO INVESTIGATE EU ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES “, Geneva, 2009/10/12) reported that the PRC government on Monday requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish an expert panel to investigate whether the European Union’s antidumping measures on PRC-made fasteners violate trade rules. The expert panel, once set up, needs at least half a year to issue a final ruling on the dispute. PRC initiated the WTO case on July 31, saying anti-dumping measures taken by the EU against the import of PRC iron or steel fasteners violate WTO trade regulations.
20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Sina.com (“SIX SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER XINJIANG RIOT”, Urumqi, 2009/10/12) reported that six men who were convicted of murder and other crimes in the July 5 riot in Xinjiang were sentenced Monday to death after a first-instance trial, and another man was jailed for life. The seven were the first to be sentenced over the riot, which left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured in Urumqi, capital of northwest PRC’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
21. PRC Social Unrest
Agence France-Presse (“TRANSFER TO CHINA OF DISSIDENT UNLAWFUL: HONG KONG LAWMAKER”, Hong Kong, 2009/10/12) reported that a student leader of the 1989 democracy protests in PRC who has been detained for over a year was handed over to mainland authorities by Hong Kong unlawfully, a Hong Kong lawmaker said Monday. Hong Kong does not have a rendition treaty with mainland PRC so should not have transferred dissident Zhou Yongjun to the PRC city of Shenzhen in September last year, Albert Ho, head of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, told AFP. Zhou was stopped by Hong Kong officials while returning to PRC after years spent in the United States.
Associated Press (JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, “TIANANMEN DISSIDENT FAMILY PRESSES FOR HIS RELEASE”, Hong Kong, 2009/10/12) reported that Zhou Yongjun, a permanent U.S. resident on track to become a naturalized citizen, was trying to enter Hong Kong in September last year when he was stopped by local officials and handed over to mainland PRC authorities. He is being held in a detention facility in his home province of Sichuan, where one of his attorneys said he has been tortured and denied family visits. He was planning to enter PRC from Hong Kong on his latest visit, in hopes of seeing his elderly parents, his supporters said. He tried to visit PRC once before, in December 1998, but was arrested in Shenzhen and spent more than two years in a labor camp.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society
West China Urban News (“NPI HELPS SELECTION FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS AND NGO”, 2009/10/12) reported that NPI Public Development Center has set up a platform for graduate students and NGOs in Sichuan disaster areas to make connect for employment. At present, 22 NGOs have been chosen and can provide internship for students.
23. PRC Civil Society and Migrant Workers
Yachang Arts Net (“FIRST ART EDUCATION PROJECT FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN LAUNCHED”, 2009/10/12) reported that an art education project for migrant children was launched in Beijing recently. The project is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase and Jinri Art Gallery. 40 children from migrant worker’s families have paid a visit to Jinri Art Gallery and experienced the charm of art.
24. PRC Environment
People’s Daily (“CHINA CREATES “LOW CARBON CITY””, 2009/10/12) reported that since the “Low-Carbon City” pilot project was started in 1998 over ten cities in the PRC have proposed plans to build low-carbon cities, including Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Guiyang, Jilin, Nanchang, and others. This new concept of urban development has been broadly accepted and will become a trend of urban sustainable development in the future.