NAPSNet Daily Report 14 April, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Six Party Talks
- 2. UNSC on DPRK Missile Launch
- 3. DPRK on UNSC Statement
- 4. Japan on UNSC Statement
- 5. Japanese Sanctions on the DPRK
- 6. ROK on PSI Role
- 7. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 8. Inter-Korean Relations
- 9. DPRK Economy
- 10. DPRK Leadership
- 11. DPRK-Israel Relations
- 12. Sino-ROK Relations
- 13. Japan on Nuclear Weapons
- 14. Japan Nuclear Safety
- 15. East Asian Maritime Drill
- 16. US-PRC Financial Relations
- 17. PRC Investment in ASEAN
- 18. Cross Strait Relations
- 19. Sino-Russian Arms Trade
- 20. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
- 21. Sino-Mongolian Energy Cooperation
- 22. PRC Energy Supply
- 23. PRC Energy Use
- 24. PRC Poverty
- 25. PRC Environment
- 26. PRC Economy
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. Six Party Talks
Xinhua News (“CHINA, JAPAN, S KOREA AGREE TO PUSH FORWARD SIX-PARTY TALKS”, Pattaya, 2009/04/13) reported that the PRC, Japan and ROK agreed to continue pushing forward the Six-Party talks aimed at realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The consensus was reached when PRC Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and ROK President Lee Myung-bak met to discuss the recent rocket launch by the DPRK. Discussions about related issues should be conducive to maintaining the progress of the Six-Party talks, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, Wen said.
2. UNSC on DPRK Missile Launch
Kyodo (“SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS N. KOREA LAUNCH IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT”, New York, 2009/04/13) reported that the U.N. Security Council adopted a nonbinding presidential statement Monday on the DPRK rocket launch, condemning the action as a violation of a resolution banning the country from all missile activity and demanding no further launches. The Council also asked a U.N. sanctions committee to list additional goods and entities subject to sanctions on the DPRK. The 15-member council unanimously approved the statement.
Yonhap News (“U.N. EXPECTED TO SANCTION SOME 10 N. KOREAN COMPANIES: OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2009/04/13) reported that about 10 DPRK companies will be sanctioned by the United Nations over the nation’s recent rocket launch, a ranking official said. In particular, the draft statement responding to the North’s April 5 rocket launch calls for the council’s sanctions committee to list North Korean businesses and goods to be subjected to a trade embargo. “The statement clarifies that the sanctions committee should work out a list containing companies and goods to be under U.N. sanctions by April 24, and some 10 North Korean companies are expected to be put on the list,” the official, asking not be named, said.
3. DPRK on UNSC Statement
Kyodo (“N. KOREA BLASTS U.N. STATEMENT, VOWS TO BOLSTER NUCLEAR DETERRENCE”, Beijing, 2009/04/14) reported that the DPRK Foreign Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement saying the DPRK ”resolutely rejects” the ”unjust” action taken by the U.N. Security Council, the Korean Central News Agency reported. The ministry said the DPRK ”will bolster its nuclear deterrent for self-defense in every way.” It ”will take the measure for restoring to their original state the nuclear facilities which had been disabled under the agreement of the six-party talks.” It added, “Now that the six-party talks have turned into a platform for infringing upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and seeking to force the DPRK to disarm itself and bring down the system in it the DPRK will never participate in the talks any longer nor it will be bound to any agreement of the six-party talks.”
4. Japan on UNSC Statement
Kyodo (“JAPAN CALLS U.N. STATEMENT ON N. KOREA ‘SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT’ “, Tokyo, 2009/04/14) reported that Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura expressed satisfaction Tuesday with the adoption of a presidential statement by the U.N. Security Council condemning the DPRK’s rocket launch. ”The content of the presidential statement eventually became extraordinarily strong,” Kawamura said. He said it is in line with Japan’s assertion that the launch should be condemned as a violation of Security Council Resolution 1718 and that the council should send a strong message. Japan had ”come to the conclusion that we’d like to seek substance rather than formality,” he said. He said that the presidential statement sends ”a strong message” and has a similar effect to adopting a new resolution.
5. Japanese Sanctions on the DPRK
Bloomberg News (Takashi Hirokawa and Toko Sekiguchi, “JAPAN IMPOSES NEW NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS AFTER MISSILE LAUNCH”, 2009/04/11) reported that Japan extended existing sanctions on the DPRK for a year and restricted cash transfers five days after Kim Jong Il’s regime fired a missile that passed over northern Japan. “We decided on the one-year extension and additional sanctions as a result of the missile launch,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told reporters. Under the measures, the amount of cash that can be carried into the DPRK from Japan without government approval was cut to 300,000 yen ($2,990) from 1 million yen. Japan also lowered the cap on undeclared cash transfers to 10 million yen from 30 million yen.
6. ROK on PSI Role
KBS News (“GOV’T TO MAKE PSI DECISION SOON”, 2009/04/13) reported that the government will soon announce its full participation in the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The government will announce its decision after assessing the U.N. Security Council’s response to the DPRK’s April fifth rocket launch. Moon said Seoul has informed Washington and other allies of its plan to join the PSI and has consulted with them on the matter.
7. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA EASES CAP ON STAFF IN INTER-KOREAN COMPLEX”, 2009/04/13) reported that the ROK decided to lift the limit on the number of its citizens allowed to stay in an industrial complex in the DPRK that was enforced following last week’s launch of a DPRK rocket, officials said. Seoul reduced the number of its people in the Kaesong industrial complex to a daily average of 700 from the previous 1,100 after the DPRK fired a rocket last Sunday.
8. Inter-Korean Relations
The Los Angeles Times (John M. Glionna , “SEOUL RADIO STATIONS BROADCAST NEWS TO NORTH KOREA”, 2009/04/13) reported that they were just a jumble of conversations overhead on a train. But for ROK radio station founder Young Howard, they represented breaking news from a hostile, inaccessible land. “News out of Pyongyang violates the basics of journalism,” he said. “We tell the other side of the story.” Howard’s station is among half a dozen Seoul-based operations that each day dispatch news and opinions into North Korea. Some, like Open Radio, are the work of concerned outsiders. Others are run by defectors, many of whom use pseudonyms because they know vengeful officials could persecute family and friends left behind.
9. DPRK Economy
IFES NK Brief (“DPRK SETS 2009 BUDGET AT 3.45 BILLION USD”, 2009/04/13) reported that on April 9, the DPRK opened the first session of the 12th Supreme People’s Committee, at which this year’s budget, 5.2 percent larger than that of last year, was passed. Minister Kim reported that taxes from PRC enterprises and related national businesses had grown by 5.8 percent, and that cooperative organizations were up 3.1 percent, production earnings were up 6.1 percent, real estate income had grown 3.6 percent, and social insurance had brought in an addition 1.6 percent. National defense accounted for 15.8 percent of the overall budget, just as it did last year, meaning that 545 million USD will be put toward the military.
10. DPRK Leadership
The Associated Press (“KIM ELEVATES RELATIVE TO POST”, Seoul, 2009/04/13) reported that DPRK strongman Kim Jong Il is officially back on center stage after a reported stroke but has promoted a trusted in-law to the spotlight in the clearest sign yet he is making preparations for an eventual successor, analysts said. Kim appointed his brother-in-law Jang Song Thaek to the all-powerful National Defense Commission, providing analysts with clues about what the future may hold for the DPRK after Kim either dies or becomes incapacitated. “In a system like North Korea, there is nobody else to trust but one’s own flesh and blood,” said Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Seoul’s Dongguk University. “Jang is expected to play a decisive role in strengthening Kim’s rule and as a guardian of Kim’s successor.”
11. DPRK-Israel Relations
The Shanghai News (“ISRAELIS SUE NORTH KOREA FOR THEIR WAR INJURIES”, 2009/04/12) reported that thirty Israelis have filed suit against the DPRK for injuries received during the Second Lebanon War. The lawsuit, for more than $100 million, has been filed in Washington and lists the DPRK along with terror organisation Hezbollah. The plaintiffs, all of whom hold US citizenship, have charged that the DPRK trained senior Hezbollah officers and built arms storage bunkers and other infrastructure which Hezbollah used against Israel in the 2006 war.
12. Sino-ROK Relations
Xinhua (“CHINESE VICE PREMIER VOWS TO ADVANCE TIES WITH ROK”, 2009/04/13) reported that PRC Vice Premier Li Keqiang pledged to advance the strategic and cooperative partnership with the Republic of Korea (ROK). “We will work with the ROK to expand cooperation and enrich the content of strategic and cooperative partnership,” Li told visiting Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon. “We value the ties with China and will continue expanding pragmatic cooperation with China in various fields,” Oh said.
13. Japan on Nuclear Weapons
Kyodo News (“ASO SAYS JAPAN TO WORK WITH U.S. IN ELIMINATING NUKE WEAPONS”, Tokyo, 2009/04/13) reported that Prime Minister Taro Aso will send a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama to convey his intention of working in concert with the United States for eradicating nuclear weapons, a senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker said. At an LDP executive meeting Monday, the premier stressed that Japan would make its own efforts to realize a nuclear-free world, according to LDP Secretary General Hiroyuki Hosoda who briefed reporters on the meeting.
14. Japan Nuclear Safety
The Asahi Shimbun (“WORKER ALTERED WELDING DATA AT TWO NUCLEAR REACTORS”, 2009/04/13) reported that a worker strengthening pipes at two nuclear reactors altered welding data because he didn’t want extra work to cut into his vacation, officials of the supplier of the piping said Monday. The officials said there was no danger of radiation leaking at the reactors: the No. 5 reactor at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, operated by Chubu Electric Power Co., and the No. 3 reactor at the Shimane Nuclear Power Plant in Matsue, run by Chugoku Electric Power Co.
15. East Asian Maritime Drill
Xinhua News (“CHINA, JAPAN, RUSSIA, ROK STAGE MARITIME OIL SPILL EMERGENCY DRILL”, 2009/04/13) reported that the PRC, Japan, Russia and the ROK conducted a drill off the east PRC coast on Friday to handle an oil spill emergency. The drill was conducted to address extensive drifting oil leaks after an oil tanker bumped into a cargo ship off the southern coast of ROK, said an official with Shandong Maritime Safety Administration. The PRC, Japan and Russia provided technical support and resources to handle the spillage as soon as they received ROK’s call for help.
16. US-PRC Financial Relations
The New York Times (Keith Bradsher, “CHINA SLOWS PURCHASES OF U.S. AND OTHER BONDS”, 2009/04/13) reported that reversing its role as the world’s fastest-growing buyer of United States Treasuries and other foreign bonds, the PRC government actually sold bonds heavily in January and February before resuming purchases in March, according to data released during the weekend by the PRC’s central bank. PRC reserves fell a record $32.6 billion in January and $1.4 billion more in February before rising $41.7 billion in March, according to figures released by the People’s Bank over the weekend. A resumption of growth in the PRC’s reserves in March suggests, however, that confidence in that country may be reviving, and capital flight could be slowing.
17. PRC Investment in ASEAN
Reuters (“CHINA PLANNED $10 BILLION INVEST FUND AT FAILED SUMMIT”, Beijing, 2009/04/13) reported that the PRC had planned to announce a $10 billion (6.8 billion pound) infrastructure investment fund and offer credit to neighbours at a cancelled weekend summit of Asian leaders in Thailand, its foreign minister said. The PRC plans to establish a $10 billion PRC-ASEAN investment cooperation fund to promote infrastructure that connects it to ASEAN nations, Yang said. The PRC has been active in building roads from its southern border through neighbouring Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, to ease trade.
18. Cross Strait Relations
Bloomberg News (Weiyi Lim, “TAIWAN, CHINA MAY REACH AGREEMENT ON HEALTH AGENCY, TIMES SAYS “, 2009/04/13) reported that the PRC and Taiwan may reach an accord on Taiwan taking part in the World Health Assembly as an observer as early as the end of April, the China Times said, citing unidentified people close to the situation. The two sides are still negotiating details such as the seating arrangement, the Taipei-based Chinese-language daily said. The PRC said in December that it may allow Taiwan to join world bodies including the World Health Organization , the United Nations agency tied to the World Health Assembly.
19. Sino-Russian Arms Trade
Bloomberg News (“CHINA BOUGHT $16BLN IN RUSSIAN ARMS SINCE ’01”, 2009/04/13) reported that Russia has sold the PRC $16 billion worth of weapons since 2001, though the PRC’s share will drop as clients from Latin America take over, Rosoboronexport said. The PRC, once Russia’s largest defense client, accounted for 18 percent of the country’s weapons exports last year, Anatoly Isaikin, chief executive officer of state arms trader Rosoboronexport, said in Friday’s edition of Rossiiskaya Gazeta. It may drop further to 10 percent in the future, Isaikin said.
20. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
Xinhua News (“RUSSIA APPROVES CHINA OIL PIPELINE PLAN”, Moscow, 2009/04/13) reported that the Russian government on Monday approved an agreement with the PRC on building a branch of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline toward the PRC and long-term Russian oil supplies. After a cabinet meeting that discussed the agreement, which was signed in February, Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin told reporters: “The decision has been made.” With an expected annual throughput of 15 million tons of crude oil, the branch pipeline will connect Skovorodino in Russia and the PRC’s Mohe station, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.
21. Sino-Mongolian Energy Cooperation
Xinhua News (“CHINA, MONGOLIA PLEDGE TO DEEPEN ENERGY CO-OP”, 2009/04/13) reported that Senior PRC and Mongolian officials pledged to deepen bilateral cooperation on energy and infrastructure during a meeting here on Friday. “China-Mongolia relations have developed smoothly since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 60 years ago, featuring increasing political mutual trust and frequent high-level visits,” said PRC Vice Premier Wang Qishan at a meeting with his Mongolian counterpart Miegombyn Enkhbold.
22. PRC Energy Supply
The Associated Press (Peter Leonard, “KAZAKHS, CHINA IN TALKS OVER STAKE IN OIL PRODUCER”, 2009/04/13) reported that China National Petroleum Corp. is in talks with Kazakhstan’s state energy company on acquiring a 49 percent stake in the Central Asian country’s fourth-largest oil producer, a KazMunaiGaz spokesman said Monday. CNPC’s proposed purchase of the stake in MangistauMunaiGaz would consolidate PRC energy interests in the oil-rich region. The PRC is seeking to bolster its energy security by sealing long-term deals with neighboring states and reducing its reliance on maritime oil transportation routes.
23. PRC Energy Use
China Daily (“GREEN BUILDING COMPANIES HELP COUNTRY SAVE ENERGY”, 2009/04/13) reported that the PRC aims to reduce its energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20 percent during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10) period and one focus of its green campaigns is the construction industry. “There is a great opportunity to make energy more efficient in buildings and it is important to raise public awareness and to establish laws and regulations,” said Qiu Baoxing, vice-minister of housing and urban-rural development.
24. PRC Poverty
Xinhua News (“CHINA SETS PLAN TO INCREASE INCOME OF URBAN, RURAL RESIDENTS BY 2010”, 2009/04/13) reported that the average annual disposable income of urban residents will reach 15,781 yuan (about 2,320 U.S. dollars) or more by the year 2010, said an action plan issued by the Information Office of the State Council. The government will continue to steadily raise the incomes of rural and urban residents, especially people with middle- and low-income, and improve the system of subsistence allowances so as to ensure the right of urban and rural residents to a basic standard of living.
25. PRC Environment
Xinhua (“CHINA TO CUT 10% SULFUR DIOXIDE EMISSION BY 2010”, 2009/04/13) reported that In 2010, the PRC’s amount of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and the emission of sulfur dioxide will be 10 percent lower than those in 2005, said a document released by the Information Office of the State Council on Monday. The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010) said that the PRC will take an active part in international cooperation in an effort to create an environment favorable for human existence and sustainable development and build a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society to guarantee the public’s environmental rights.
26. PRC Economy
BBC News (“CHINA SEEING ‘GRADUAL RECOVERY'”, 2009/04/13) reported that the PRC’s economy is showing some signs of recovery from the global financial crisis, the country’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has said. The economy is showing “positive changes” but still faces “very big difficulties”, he said on the sidelines of Thailand’s cancelled Asean summit. Citing improved investment, consumption and trade figures, he said that some sectors of the economy “are in the process of gradual recovery”.
II. PRC Report
27. PRC Civil Society
China Education News (Chu Zhaosheng, “ANNUAL MEETING OF ASIA-PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION TO BE HOLD IN BEIJING”, 2009/04/13) reported that according to the news conference of Asia-Pacific International Education Association, the fourth annual meeting of the Association will be held from April 15 th to 17 th this year, in People’s University of China. The theme of this year is “Higher Education in Asia-Pacific Area under Global Financial Crisis: Develop Leadership Ability and Promote Harmony”. Over 450 university representatives from 50 Asia-Pacific countries and areas will participate in it. The Association, an international NGO between universities, was sponsored by 13 universities in Asia-Pacific area in 2003. As now, it already has over 280 members.
28. PRC Environment
People’s Daily (Zhao Yongping, “480,000 SQ.KM. OF SOIL AND WATER LOSS BEEN TREATED IN TEN YEARS”, 2009/04/13) reported that according to the national water and soil conservation meeting held recently, in ten years, the Soil and water loss of an area of 480,000 square km has been treated in ten years. Nearly 150 million people directly benefit from it. Livelihood problem of more than 2000 million people’s in hilly areas has been resolved this. 1200 counties have closed hillsides to grazing, and an area of 390,000 square km ecological environment has been restored at the first step.
People’s Daily online (“CHINA GREEN VILLAGE ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN JIANGSU”, ) reported that China Green Village Annual Meeting 2009 was held in Taizhou city of Jiangsu province on April 4 th . 8 villages which have been awarded by UN Environmental Programme as “Global Top 500” and other 20 famous villages have participated in the meeting. The meeting appeals to the villages all around the country, to love and protect green, to protect China agricultural heritage, to upgrade China village tourism, to set up China Agricultural Park, to hold characteristic tourism festival, and to develop creative agriculture.
III. ROK Report
29. DPRK Tourism
Yonhap News (“CHINESE RUSH TO DPRK WITH UPCOMING “DAY OF THE SUN”, 2009/04/14) writes that according to sources on DPRK and Koryo Airlines located in Shenyang, all visas that were strictly restrained last month because of the rocket launch were allowed early this month, and the DPRK is suddenly getting crowded due to traders and tourists. One source reported that “all visas registered in March, the busiest season for traders, were passed all at once, making it harder to buy tickets to the DPRK,” and added that “with upcoming ‘Day of the Sun,’ the birthday of Kim Il-sung and the biggest national holiday of DPRK, the rush to DPRK is reaching its peak.”
30. Inter-Korea Relations
Jung Wooksik (Jung Wooksik, “DOES LEE ADMINISTRATION TRULY WANT NORTH-SOUTH RELATION TO DRIVE INTO CATASTROPHE?”, 2009/04/14) writes that the countdown has started for Lee administration’s announcement to join into Proliferation Security Initiative. Joining into PSI will exterminate all possibilities of withdrawing DPRK’s distrust in Lee administration’s DPRK policies. It will also make worse the critical situation in Kaesong Industrial Complex. Most of all, it will increase danger of military confrontation between the two Koreas. There is possibility of immediate aggravation of relation between North and South, but the possibility of completely closing ‘the doors to opportunity’ for normalization of North-South relation is as high. Aggravation of North-South relation will increase tension within ROK, and thus harm national unity, which is crucial in recovering from the economic crisis.