NAPSNet Daily Report 14 June, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. Sinking of ROK Naval Vessel
- 2. ROK Response to Naval Ship Sinking
- 3. PRC Response to Naval Ship Sinking
- 4. DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- 5. Inter-Korean Naval Clashes
- 6. Inter-Korea Relations
- 7. Inter-Korea Exchanges
- 8. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
- 9. EU Aid for DPRK
- 10. DPRK-Iran Military Cooperation
- 11. DPRK Defectors
- 12. DPRK World Cup
- 13. US-ROK Military Alliance
- 14. ROK-UAE Military Cooperation
- 15. ROK Space Program
- 16. ROK Cyber Security
- 17. Japanese Anti-Piracy
- 18. Japanese Politics
- 19. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 20. Cross Strait Relations
- 21. PRC Labor Unrest
- II. PRC Report
1. Sinking of ROK Naval Vessel
Chosun Ilbo (“WATCHDOG SEES NO MERIT IN ‘FLOCK OF BIRDS’ STORY”, Seoul, 2010/06/11) reported that the ROK Board of Audit and Inspection on Thursday said there is no very good reason to believe that the Sokcho, the nearest warship to the scene of the sinking of the Cheonan, fired at a flock of birds rather than a submarine on the day the Cheonan sank in the West Sea. The Sokcho initially reported to the Second Naval Command that sailors saw what appeared to be a new type of DPRK submarine, but the command ordered officers to change their testimony to a flock of birds in a briefing to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on March 27.
Hankyoreh (“WIDE-RANGING INCOMPETENCE AND COVER-UPS TOOK PLACE NIGHT OF CHEONAN SINKING, AUDIT REVEALS”, Seoul, 2010/06/11) reported that ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Lee Sang-eui was heavily intoxicated on the night of March 26 when the sinking of the Cheonan took place. It was also revealed that military authorities willfully revised the time of the incident in order to avoid criticisms about an improper early response and edited only a portion of its thermal optical device (TOD) videos for disclosure to the media in order to justify the erroneous announcement of the time. The Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) released an interim announcement Thursday on the findings of its inspection of the response to the sinking of the Cheonan. “A number of problem areas were found in the response of the Defense Ministry and the ministry in terms of battle prevention and readiness posture, situating reporting and transmission, crisis response measures, and management of military secrecy,” said BAI. “We have also directed the Defense Ministry to take appropriate measures such as disciplinary action on 25 individuals in that ministry and the main military command, including Lee Sang-eui.”
Korea Herald (Shin Hae-in, “JCS CHIEF OFFERS TO RESIGN OVER SUNKEN WARSHIP”, Seoul, 2010/06/13) reported that ROK Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lee Sang-eui offered to resign Sunday. “The military has tried its most for the past two and a half months to prepare the nation against further provocation from the North and to determine what caused the incident,” he said in a letter to the public. “But I fully recognize my responsibility.” “Some of the wrong details, however, have been undermining the military as an immoral organization and for that I feel deep regret,” he said. “I am also deeply concerned about some lingering accusations made against the government conclusion that North Korea was clearly behind the attack.”
2. ROK Response to Naval Ship Sinking
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SKOREA’S PRESIDENT WANTS STRONG RESPONSE TO NKOREA”, Seoul, 2010/06/14) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak stressed Monday the need to bolster military readiness and sternly respond to the DPRK. “If we fail to sternly respond to North Korea’s wrongdoing in cooperation with the international community and build up solid miliary readiness, a second and third provocation like the Cheonan incident can occur anytime,” he said in a nationally televised speech. Lee also said he would revamp and strengthen the ROK military and hold some officers responsible for the sinking.
Joongang Ilbo (Jung Ha-won, “SEOUL SET TO PRESENT EVIDENCE AT UN”, Seoul, 2010/06/14) reported that ROK diplomats are waiting to see whether the PRC and Russia will attend Monday’s UN Security Council briefing at which the ROK will present its evidence that the DPRK attacked and sank the Cheonan. According to a senior Seoul diplomat on Sunday, Claude Heller, the president of the Security Council and Mexican ambassador to the UN, said that the PRC has agreed to at least the schedule of the briefing, which will begin at 3 p.m. New York time.
3. PRC Response to Naval Ship Sinking
Korea Times (“CHINA NOTIFIES SEOUL IT WON’T SUPPORT UN BID”, 2010/06/12) reported that the PRC government notified the ROK that it won’t support Seoul’s bid at the U.N. Security Council to slap punitive measures against the DPRK with regard to the Cheonan issue, Radio Free Asia said Friday, citing a diplomatic source in Washington. During a meeting with ROK diplomats last week, a PRC diplomat said, “As you can see from the past roles played by China at the U.N. Security Council, China has worked to solve issues, by first judging what is right and what is wrong. China pursues the stability in East Asia.” After returning from Beijing, ROK Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo said there are areas for “further discussions” between the ROK and the PRC, RFA said.
4. DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Yonhap (Chang Jae-soon, “SOUTH, NORTH KOREA TO ADDRESS U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL OVER SHIP SINKING”, Seoul/New York, 2010/06/14) reported that the U.N. Security Council will allow the DPRK a chance to speak right after ROK investigators give a briefing on their probe results that blame the DPRK for the sinking of the Cheonan. “Our government firmly believes in the outcome of a scientific, transparent and thorough probe” by the international investigation team, Seoul’s foreign ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun said. “Our government is trying to deal with the issue in a calm yet resolute manner based on a belief that the truth will tell everything.”
5. Inter-Korean Naval Clashes
Yonhap (“’11 N.K. SHIPS EXPELLED FROM SOUTH’S WATERS SINCE PASSAGE BAN'”, Seoul, 2010/06/11) reported that DPRK vessels have been ordered to leave ROK waters on 20 occasions since the ROK banned the passage of DPRK commercial vessels in late May in retaliation for the Cheonan, the ROK defense minister said Friday. Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said in a parliamentary session that there was “no major trouble” in turning away the DPRK ships.
6. Inter-Korea Relations
New York Times (Martin Fackler, “NORTH KOREA RENEWS THREAT ON PROPAGANDA”, Seoul, 2010/06/12) reported that the DPRK renewed its threats on Saturday to destroy ROK propaganda loudspeakers. The General Staff of the DPRK’s Korean People’s Army issued a statement saying that the attack would be “a merciless strike foreseeing even the turn of Seoul” into “a sea of flames.”
Chosun Ilbo (“GIRL BANDS TO ASSIST IN ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE'”, Seoul, 2010/06/14) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry is apparently minded to use songs and music videos by girl bands such as Girls’ Generation, Wonder Girls, After School, Kara and 4minute in psychological warfare against the DPRK. An official in charge of psy ops at the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “It will take months to set up the big screens to use in psychological warfare operations and a wide range of contents will be shown. I don’t know whether songs by girl groups will be included, but there is that chance since pop songs were used in the past.” The JCS official said he is unsure how effective the work of girl bands will be. But the revealing outfits worn by the performers and their provocative dances could have a considerable impact on DPRK soldiers.
Korea Herald (Song Sang-ho, “ANTI-NORTH PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGNS SCALED BACK”, Seoul, 2010/06/13) reported that the ROK military appears to be scaling back its plan for psychological propaganda campaigns against the DPRK. The ROK resumed anti-Pyongyang FM radio broadcasts on May 24, but it has put on hold its plans to send propaganda leaflets and restart anti-DPRK broadcasts through loudspeakers. The military is also reconsidering installing a set of electronic boards along the border, citing high expenses and other reasons. “We should take into account the management of inter-Korean ties along with conditions in the international society,” said an official at the Ministry of National Defense on condition of anonymity. “Just because the North is issuing threats, it is not like we cannot carry out our psychological campaigns. But we cannot just push ahead with the campaigns without any considerations of the situations.”
7. Inter-Korea Exchanges
Chosun Ilbo (“LEFTWING ACTIVIST DEFIES LAW TO VISIT N. KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/01/14) reported that the Korean Central News Agency said the Reverand Han Sang-ryeol, a “pro-unification activist,” was welcomed at Pyongyang airport Saturday by members of the DPRK’s Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration led by chairman An Kyong-ho “with compatriotic love.” According to the KCNA, Han in a statement denounced the ROK government for going back on the agreement reached during the first inter-Korean summit in 2000. “The adoption of the historic June 15 Joint Declaration was an event that put an end to inter-Korean confrontation and opened an era of peace,” he said. “I’ve come to Pyongyang at the risk of my life to contribute to national reconciliation, peace, and reunification.” A Unification Ministry official said the visit was unauthorized. “Charges will be brought against him as soon as he returns, because he has violated the law on the inter-Korean exchange and cooperation,” he said. “He may also have violated the National Security Law depending what he does there.”
Hankyoreh (“FORMER FIRST LADY HOPES TO MEET WITH KIM JONG-IL”, Seoul, 2010/06/14) reported that Lee Hee-ho, the 88-year-old president of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center and widow of the former ROK president, has stated that if possible, she would like to travel to Pyongyang to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. Lee said, “I wish to say that it would be good if Chairman Kim Jong-il observed the terms of the agreement” in regards to the June 15 Joint Declaration of 2000. Lee said, “If my husband were alive, he probably would have advised us to try to solve problems through dialogue, even if that means a holding a summit, and would advise against entering a war-like situation, and that we should observe the terms of the June 15 Joint Declaration.”
8. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Joongang Ilbo (Moon Gwang-lip, “MINISTRY FURTHER RESTRICTS TRADE WITH NORTH KOREA “, Seoul, 2010/06/12) reported that ROK goods and services going in or out of the DPRK will now have to be approved by the unification minister, according to the ministry on Friday. Trade with the Kaesong Industrial Complex will be the only exception to the rule, which took effect Monday, the ministry said. “To effectively implement the government’s decision to halt inter-Korean trade, we revised the rules regarding the approval processes regarding goods and services crossing the inter-Korean border,” said Chun Hae-sung, spokesman for the ministry, in a media briefing.
9. EU Aid for DPRK
Korea Times (Kim Young-jin, “‘EU SHOULD NOT HALT FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA'”, Seoul, 2010/06/11) reported that the the European Union should not halt food aid programs to the DPRK in response to its alleged sinking of the warship Cheonan, despite Pyongyang’s rebuff of an EU delegation for cancelling its visit to the isolated state, Christian Ehler, the head of the delegation, said Friday in Seoul. “The programs are so directly related to the living conditions of the people living in North Korea that it wouldn’t be wise to stop the programs,” he said, adding the parliament will discuss the issue with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton during its next session in Strasbourg.
10. DPRK-Iran Military Cooperation
Asahi Shimbun (Yoshihiro Makino, “NORTH KOREA SUPPLIED SUBMARINES TO IRAN”, Seoul, 2010/06/12) reported that Seoul and Washington have confirmed that the DPRK supplied Iran with submarines several years ago, military sources said. The exports were 130-ton Yono-class midget submarines, the same model as the one believed to have torpedoed the Cheonan. Iran and the DPRK had initially cooperated in ballistic missile technology. They have expanded this cooperation to warships and uranium-enrichment technology in recent years, the sources said. The U.S. government recently provided the ROK with several photos of a Yono-class submarine taken at an Iranian port around 2007, according to the sources. One of the photos showed a crane moving a submarine and people believed to be Iranian officials, according to the sources.
11. DPRK Defectors
Korea Times (“MAJORITY OF YOUNG NK DEFECTORS WATCHED S. KOREAN TV PROGRAMS: POLL”, Seoul, 2010/06/14) reported that more than half of DPRK teenage defectors viewed ROK movies and dramas before defecting, a survey said Monday. According to the survey conducted last month by Yoon Sun-hee, a professor at Hanyang University, 79 of 140 students, or 56 percent, in Hangyeore Middle and High School said they watched ROK films and TV programs in the DPRK. 57 students said they saw ROK movies on DVD and 43 claimed to have watched videotaped dramas, while 15 watched broadcasts on TV, the survey showed.
12. DPRK World Cup
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA SHOWS PIRATE BROADCASTS OF WORLD CUP “, Seoul, 2010/01/14) reported that the DPRK’s Central TV illegally aired the opener of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on Saturday evening despite having failed to buy the broadcasting rights. The broadcast showed about an hour and 20 minutes of footage of Friday’s opener between South Africa and Mexico. SBS TV in Seoul, which holds the exclusive rights for the Korean Peninsula, says this was an “act of piracy.” “The North’s broadcast of the World Cup matches was illegal because our negotiations with North Koreans were suspended,” an SBS spokesman said. “We’ll decide how to respond once we find out where the North got the footage.”
Korea Times (“N. KOREA’S HEIR PROMISES GIFTS TO FOOTBALL PLAYERS”, Seoul, 2010/06/12) reported that the widely believed heir designate of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, visited the DPRK World Cup soccer team twice in April and May in an unofficial “site inspection,” and allegedly promised to shower them with gifts, in case they play well in the games. “In both defense and offense, every player should work in an organic fashion,” the Open Radio for North Korea on Friday cited the heir, Kim Jong-un as saying, quoting an internal source in the DPRK, according to the Chosun Ilbo newspaper. “If North Korea achieves a good result this time, there will be corresponding gifts from Kim Jong-un,” the source said.
Los Angeles Times (Barbara Demick and Yuriko Nagano, “NORTH KOREA’S STAR AT THE WORLD CUP”, Beijing and Tokyo, 2010/06/14) reported that Jong Tae-se is a 26-year-old publicity hound with his own blog, where he strikes a sultry bare-chested pose. Jong is the star striker of the DPRK’s 2010 World Cup team. “People don’t know about North Korea. We want to change North Korea’s image,” Jong told reporters last week outside the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. Jong was born and grew up in a community of 600,000 Koreans who live in Japan. He was educated in pro-Pyongyang schools run by the General Assn. of Korean Residents in Japan. The DPRK started wooing him during his sophomore year at Tokyo-based Korea University. But the effort was complicated by the fact that Jong had been registered by his father as an ROK citizen. The ROK government would not let him give up his citizenship because it doesn’t recognize the DPRK.
13. US-ROK Military Alliance
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. CONGRESS DEMANDS REPORT ON TROOP CONTROL HANDOVER “, Seoul, 2010/06/11) reported that the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has asked the Department of Defense to submit a report by December 1 on the transfer of full operational control of ROK troops to Seoul. It demanded the report include an evaluation of the preparations made by both the ROK and the U.S. to implement the agreement reached in 2006 and a plan to improve the efficiency of joint military operations.
14. ROK-UAE Military Cooperation
Dong-A Ilbo (“UAE MULLS RECRUITING RETIRED KOREAN SOLDIERS”, Seoul, 2010/06/12) reported that the ROK military and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly discussing sending retired ROK soldiers to work in the Middle Eastern country. An ROK military source said Friday, “Abu Dhabi`s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan mentioned reemployment of retired Korean soldiers while visiting Korea late last month,” adding, “We understand that the UAE expects Korea’s excellent retired servicemen to play important roles in a diversity of industrial fields.” Another source said, “When the (Korea Electric Power Corp.) consortium secured the UAE nuclear plant project late last year, we exchanged a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation, the pending plan is part of the deal,” adding, “The dispatch of retired soldiers will set a good precedent in the reemployment of retired veterans.”
15. ROK Space Program
BBC News (“NAVY FINDS ‘DEBRIS’ FROM FAILED S.KOREAN ROCKET LAUNCH”, Seoul, 2010/06/11) reported that an ROK navy ship has recovered debris apparently from a failed rocket launch. The debris was picked up at sea 470 kilometres (292 miles) south of the Naro Space Centre at Goheung. The debris will be handed over to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (Kari) for analysis, the ROK Ministry for Science, Education and Technology said.
Chosun Ilbo (“RUSSIANS DENY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ROCKET LAUNCH FAILURE”, Seoul, 2010/01/14) reported that Russian technicians say they are not responsible for the failure of the ROK rocket last week. A total of 160 Russian technicians came to Korea in April and May to take care of the first-stage engine, the core technology of the Naro-1. According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, a spokesman for Energomash, the developer of the Naro’s engines, on Friday called for a careful review of the failure but added engineers in the ROK reported no significant engine problem. “We aren’t responsible for the failure,” he added.
16. ROK Cyber Security
Yonhap (“S. KOREAN GOV’T WEB SITE ATTACKED AGAIN: MINISTRY”, Seoul, 2010/06/12) reported that the sites of the ROK Ministry of Justice and the Korea Culture and Information Service were hit Saturday by a massive number of access attempts in what is knowns as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks from 247 PRC-based Internet servers, according to the Ministry of Public Administration and Security. The ministry added the sites suffered no damage thanks to shrewd action to block access.
17. Japanese Anti-Piracy
Asahi Shimbun (Takateru Doi, “SHIPS WANT MORE PROTECTION FROM PIRATES”, Tokyo, 2010/06/14) reported that the Japanese Shipowners’ Association hosted a reception April 27 to express appreciation for the Self-Defense Forces’ anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. Association President Koji Miyahara stated, “It pains me to make such a request at an appreciation ceremony, but considering the current situation, I have to ask for an expansion of the area of patrol activities as well as an increase in the frequency of such activities.” According to the shipowners’ association, last year 1,784 ships with Japanese ties traveled through the Gulf of Aden for a monthly average of 148. In contrast, over the one-year period until the end of March, 301 Japan-related ships were escorted by MSDF destroyers, for a monthly average of 25 ships.
18. Japanese Politics
Asahi Shimbun (“A SUDDENLY POPULAR DPJ STANDS ITS GROUND”, Tokyo, 2010/06/12) reported that buoyed by high public support ratings, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan is sticking with July 11 for the Upper House election. The decision did not sit well with the head of the People’s New Party, a junior coalition partner. PNP head Shizuka Kamei quit early Friday as state minister in charge of postal reform and financial services to protest the DPJ’s decision not to extend the Diet session beyond its Wednesday close, which would delay postal reform legislation. Kamei’s party said it will remain in the ruling coalition. PNP Secretary-General Shozaburo Jimi will replace Kamei in the Cabinet post.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“64% SUPPORT KAN CABINET, SURVEY FINDS”, Tokyo, 2010/06/11) reported that the public support rate for Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Cabinet tallied 64 percent, according to a survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun, the fifth highest for any cabinet since similar surveys began in 1978. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they do not support the new Cabinet. Thirty-six percent said they would vote for the DPJ or the party’s candidates in the proportional representation segment of the upper house election. That figure increased by 11 percentage points from the previous survey, conducted June 2-3 after former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama expressed his intention to resign. Thirteen percent said they would vote for the LDP or its candidates, a fall from 18 percent in the previous survey.
19. Sino-Japanese Relations
Agence France-Presse (“NEW JAPAN PM TO VISIT CHINA”, Beijing, 2010/06/13) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao invited the Japan’s new Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Sunday to visit at a “time of convenience,” Xinhua news agency said, adding the two men had also discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula. Kan requested that Japan and the PRC cooperate in showing the will of the international community in responding to the Cheonan incident, Kyodo said. However, Wen only said that close cooperation between Beijing and Tokyo is important, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials were quoted saying.
20. Cross Strait Relations
Associated Press (Debby Wu, “TAIWAN AND CHINA MAKE PROGRESS IN TRADE PACT TALKS”, Taipei, 2010/06/14) reported that the PRC and Taiwan have agreed on the structure and content for their Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Negotiators meeting for a third round of ECFA negotiations in Beijing made “substantial progress,” Taiwan’s semiofficial Straits Exchange Foundation said in a statement late Sunday, without indicating whether a June signing target would still be met. Taiwan’s United Daily News and China Times newspapers reported Monday that Taiwan will allow some 200 PRC items to enjoy tariff reduction benefits on the island, while the PRC will return the favor for about 500 Taiwanese products.
21. PRC Labor Unrest
Reuters (“FOXCONN SUICIDE PROBE TO BE MADE PUBLIC–OFFICIAL”, Beijing, 2010/06/14) reported that Zhang Xiaojian, a Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, said that the PRC will publish the results of an official probe into recent suicides at electronics maker Foxconn’s manufacturing plant in south China. Zhang also said a recent burst of strikes in foreign-owned factories in the nation’s southern export zone did not amount to a “wave” of unrest, the Beijing News reported on Sunday. “The Foxconn incidents are not only a question of labor relations, and there are multiple causes,” the paper cited Zhang as saying on Saturday. “There are enterprise management problems, the psychological problems of young workers,” Zhang added. “This was caused by multiple factors.”
Washington Post (Keith B. Richburg, “IN CHINA, UNREST SPREADS AS MORE WORKERS RALLY”, Beijing, 2010/06/11) reported that a series of labor strikes continued to spread Friday across parts of the PRC. In Zhangshan, in southeastern China, about 1,700 workers at a Honda Lock factory staged an unusual march through the city streets Friday morning, according to media reports and labor activists. The workers walked off the job Wednesday, demanding more pay and the right to elect their own union representatives. Two other Honda plants in Guangdong province remain idle because of work stoppages. Meanwhile, the unrest spread to the PRC’s other main industrial base in the Yangtze River Delta, when 2,000 workers at a Taiwanese computer parts plant walked off their jobs in Shanghai’s Pudong district.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Social Welfare
Xinhua News (“HK HOLDS JOINT WORLD CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT”, 2010/06/11) reported that the 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development opened Thursday in Hong Kong, attracting about 3,000 participants from 113 countries and regions. The five-day conference, organized by the International Association of Schools of Social Workers, the International Council on Social Welfare and the International Federation of Social Workers, focuses on discussing problems of ageing populations, income disparity and strategy to respond to climate changes and natural disasters.
23. PRC Environment
Xinhua News (“CENTRAL GOVERNMENT URGES GOVERNMENT ORGANS TO CONSERVE ENERGY, RESOURCES”, 2010/06/11) reported that the Government Offices Administration of the State Council called on government organs Thursday to ensure enhanced energy conservation efforts. Central government organs should save more electricity, petroleum and water to help the country meet its emission targets, a statement issued after an energy-saving conference held by the Government Offices Administration said. China has vowed to reduce national energy intensity by 20% and major emissions by 10% between 2006 and 2010.