NAPSNet Daily Report 14 May, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK-US Relations
- 2. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 4. US on Sino-DPRK Relations
- 5. DPRK Communications
- 6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
- 7. Japan Abductee Issue
- 8. US-ROK Relations
- 9. ROK Defense Strategy
- 10. ROK-Japanese Territorial Dispute
- 11. ROK-Japan Relations
- 12. ROK Export Controls
- 13. USFJ Base Relocation
- 14. Japanese Politics
- 15. Sino-US Relations
- 16. Sino-Russian Military Relations
- 17. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
- 18. US and Cross Strait Relations
- 19. PRC African Investment
- 20. PRC Nuclear Energy Technology Exports
- 21. PRC Civil Society
- 22. PRC Internet Control
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK-US Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK PAPER: PEACE-KEEPING REGIME NEEDED ON PENINSULAR”, 2010/05/13) reported that it is of an urgent necessity to establish a peace-keeping regime if the confrontation is to be defused on the Korean Peninsula, an official newspaper of the DPRK said. The Korean people desire peace and stability more ardently than any others, but the most acute military confrontation in the world persists on the peninsula, the Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary. The newspaper urged the United States not to pay lip-service to peace and stability on the peninsula but show its will by responding to the DPRK’s proposal for concluding a peace treaty.
2. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
United Press International (“CHINA: POLITICS BEHIND N. KOREA’S CLAIM”, 2010/05/13) reported that experts in the PRC, the major benefactor of the DPRK, played down Pyongyang’s claim of having successfully produced a nuclear fusion. The experts told China Daily the economically crippled country’s claim is doubted by many and that its political significance far outweighs its scientific value. “In terms of science and the military, the news doesn’t have much value because it can’t be verified,” Zhang Liangui at the Party School of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee told China Daily. “Despite what China really thinks, the world now thinks it’s behind its neighbor. But to announce the nuclear success — not before but rather after Kim’s China visit — has shown that (North Korea) is not softening at all,” Zhang said.
3. Sino-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREAN WOMEN UP FOR SALE IN CHINA: ACTIVIST”, 2010/05/13) reported that young female refugees from the DPRK are increasingly becoming a commodity in the PRC , where they are sold to farmers for up to 1,500 dollars a head, according to a Seoul campaigner. The human trafficking is far from new but has become more prevalent as prices soar amid a shortage of PRC women in the countryside, said Reverend Chun Ki-Won, head of the Durihana Association, which offers aid to refugees. “China is now a responsible nation. It should care about national prestige through solving human rights issues,” he told AFP.
4. US on Sino-DPRK Relations
Yonhap News (“CHINA SHOULD FIND RIGHT BALANCE ON N. KOREA: FORMER WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL”, 2010/05/13) reported that the PRC should find “the right balance” in dealing with the DPRK, a former White House advisor said. “The timing of the visit was so awkward and so unfortunate, coming after the meeting” between Hu and ROK President Lee Myung-bak, Wendy Sherman, said in an interview. “If, in fact, the investigation shows that North Korea was culpable, we certainly wouldn’t have wanted China to receive North Korea,” she said.
5. DPRK Communications
PC World (“CELL PHONE DEMAND STAYS STRONG IN NORTH KOREA”, 2010/05/13) reported that Koryolink, the DPRK ‘s only 3G cellular operator, saw sales more than double in the first three months of this year as it expanded its network coverage and enjoyed continued demand for its service. At the end of March the company had 125,661 subscribers, a gain just under 34,000 subscribers over the quarter, according to majority-shareholder Orascom Telecom . “Contrary to initial speculations that the mobile service will be only available to the government officials and elite, the fact is that currently mobiles are used by different segments and levels of society,” Orascom said of the customer base .
6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
CNN (“S. KOREA URGES HALT OF TRADE WITH NORTH”, 2010/05/13) reported that ROK government officials are asking companies that send raw materials to the DPRK for processing to stop dealing with the DPRK, Yonhap news agency reported. However, the new measure does not apply to more than 100 ROK companies that operate in the DPRK border town of Kaesong.
7. Japan Abductee Issue
The Associated Press (“U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF AIRS CONCERNS OVER N. KOREAN ABDUCTIONS”, 2010/05/13) reported that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay expressed concern over the DPRK’s past abductions of Japanese nationals and said she is willing to press Pyongyang to resolve the issue, Japanese officials said. Pillay told reporters after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama that the DPRK’s human rights violations are “serious” issues and that she will address them in the event of coming into contact with authorities in Pyongyang. Pillay is scheduled to meet with families of the abductees on Friday.
8. US-ROK Relations
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “TOP U.S. DIPLOMAT DUE IN SEOUL FOR TALKS: OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2010/05/14) reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit the ROK this month, a ranking Seoul official said Friday.A senior official from the U.S. State Department earlier said Clinton “is sure to make at least one stop besides China, but that is still being worked.” “The one other country Secretary Clinton will visit following her China trip is South Korea,” the Seoul official said. Clinton’s trip to Seoul, if realized, will likely come shortly after the countries announce the initial outcome of their joint investigation into the sinking of the Cheonan.
9. ROK Defense Strategy
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA MAY DROP DEFENSE REFORM 2020 PLAN”, 2010/05/13) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said his country needs to reconsider a long-term defense reform project crafted by the former Roh Moo-hyun administration, as it does not fully reflect the security conditions on the peninsula. Lee also instructed a new presidential security panel to “fundamentally reassess external threats” and map out measures for the overall reform of the military. “I think we need to resolve everything from the Defense Reform 2020 so that it can be suitable to reality,” he said in reference to a 2005 plan aimed at strengthening ROK’s advanced military capability at the cost of 620 trillion won (US$560 billion) while reducing the number of troops to 500,000 from the current 680,000 by 2020.
10. ROK-Japanese Territorial Dispute
Chosun Ilbo (“JAPAN CLAIMS DOKDO IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS”, 2010/05/13) reported that the Japanese government unveiled elementary school textbooks that have a map of Korea’s Dokdo islets marked as Japanese territory. Japan’s education ministry made public 148 of such textbooks in Tokyo. The map shows a demarcation line clearly separating Dokdo and Ulleung Island in the East Sea to emphasize that Dokdo belongs to Japan. This is the first time for Japan to mark the islets on a map in textbooks. It plans to start distributing them nationwide starting in July.
11. ROK-Japan Relations
Donga Ilbo (“JAPAN TO PAY NUKE DAMAGES TO 299 KOREANS”, 2010/05/13) reported that Japan will pay damages to 299 Koreans who suffered from nuclear bombings during the Second World War. The Koreans had been excluded from Japan’s health management alliances because they had returned to Korea. Kyoto News Agency said Wednesday that the Koreans reached a compromise with Tokyo to receive 1.1 million yen (11,000 U.S. dollars) each at a district court in Nagasaki.
12. ROK Export Controls
Joongang Ilbo (“THREE KOREAN COMPANIES COULD FACE U.S. SANCTIONS”, 2010/05/13) reported that t hree ROK companies are in danger of facing US business sanctions after they were named in a report by a US congressional agency this week as being investors in the Iranian energy industry. According to a new report by the US Government Accountability Office, Daelim Industrial, GS Engineering and Construction and Hyundai Heavy Industries were among seven foreign companies that were doing business in the Iranian energy sector between 2005 and 2009 while also receiving US government contracts.
13. USFJ Base Relocation
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN MAY MISS DEADLINE IN US BASE ROW: PM”, 2010/05/13) reported that Japane se Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama conceded he may miss a self-imposed May 31 deadline to resolve a row over a US base. “Since we don’t know whether we will be able to get everything done, we will of course make efforts in June and after if there are things we have to discuss further,” he told reporters in televised comments.
14. Japanese Politics
Agence France-Presse (“SUPPORT FOR JAPAN PM DIVES TO NEW LOW”, Tokyo, 2010/05/14) reported that the approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama plunged to its lowest since his party’s election victory in August, according to a new poll released Friday. Support for the cabinet plunged to 19.1 percent in May, a Jiji Press news agency poll showed. The rating was down 4.6 percentage points from April, while the disapproval rating rose to 64.1 percent, up 7.6 points. “The results apparently show public disappointment at Hatoyama’s handling of the issue of relocating the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture ,” Jiji said.
15. Sino-US Relations
Agence France-Presse (“US, CHINA TALK HUMAN RIGHTS AFTER HIATUS”, 2010/05/13) reported that the US and PRC held talks on human rights for the first time in two years. Senior officials from the two countries opened two days of closed-door talks in Washington, the first such dialogue on human rights since May 2008, a State Department official said.
16. Sino-Russian Military Relations
Defense Tech (“RUSSIA LOSING VALUABLE ARMS BUYER AS CHINESE DEFENSE INDUSTRY RAMPS UP”, 2010/05/13) reported that the Hudson Institute’s Richard Weitz, posting over at Second Line of Defense, says Russian arms sales to the PRC are drying up as PRC industry increasingly builds its own high-tech weaponry and Beijing objects to Russian technology transfer restrictions. “Since 2005, the PRC has stopped purchasing Russian warships or warplanes and has ceased signing new multi-billion arms sale contracts… The director of Russia’s state-controlled arms export company, Rosoboronexport, recently forecast that the value of Russian arms sold to China could decline to as low a level as 10 percent of the value of all Russian military exports in coming years. Some defense experts believe that figure could fall even further.”
17. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
Xinhua News (“DIKES BUILT TO PROTECT CHINA-RUSSIA OIL PIPELINE PROJECT”, 2010/05/13) reported that PRC rescuers are building dikes around a PRC-Russia oil pipeline construction site to protect workers and equipment from flood waters caused by thawing ice in the northeastern Heilongjiang Province. About 1,200 meters of embankment has been built around the site in Xingan Township, Mohe County, said a spokesman with the border inspection station of Mohe.
18. US and Cross Strait Relations
Taipei Times (“EX-US OFFICIAL URGES TAIWAN DIALOGUE”, 2010/05/13) reported that a former US national security adviser called for a new “candid dialogue” between the US and PRC over Taiwan. Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to former US president George W. Bush during his second term in the White House, said it was his hope that such a dialogue would over time convince Beijing that the solution to the problem of US arms sales to Taiwan was “in China’s own hands.” Hadley said that the PRC needed to pull back and dismantle the missiles it has aimed at Taiwan.
19. PRC African Investment
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA DEFENDS AFRICA INVESTMENT AS S.AFRICA DEAL REPORTED”, 2010/05/13) reported that a top PRC commerce official has defended Beijing’s investment policies in Africa as a giant deal was announced for a cement plant in South Africa . “China’s presence in Africa is becoming more and more market driven, the actors operating there are diverse, there are many models, and the areas they are in are broad,” Vice Commerce Minister Fu Ziying told. PRC official figures showed trade with Africa was at 91 billion dollars last year, down 17.6 percent from a year ago due to the impact of the global financial crisis .
20. PRC Nuclear Energy Technology Exports
Press Trust of India (“N-COOPERATION WITH PAKISTAN IN TUNE WITH IAEA SAFEGUARDS: CHINA “, 2010/05/13) reported that PRC has underlined that that its cooperation with Pakistan in civil nuclear energy is strictly peaceful in nature and in line with safeguards by the international atomic watchdog. “The cooperation is subject to safeguards and the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is in compliance with respective international obligations of the two countries,” Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for the PRC’s foreign ministry said.
21. PRC Civil Society
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA ENVIRONMENTALIST ALLEGES BRUTAL JAIL TREATMENT”, 2010/05/13) reported that a top PRC environmentalist said he was beaten and suffered brutal treatment while serving a three-year jail term imposed after he spoke out about rampant pollution in a major lake. Wu Lihong also told AFP that authorities tried to force him to confess to bogus extortion charges. He defiantly vowed to clear his name. “I am innocent, it’s obvious that the authorities have sought to harm me. I will continue to appeal the conviction and seek to clear my name,” Wu, 42, told AFP by phone.
Washington Post (“CHINA’S CRACKDOWN ON NONPROFIT GROUPS PROMPTS NEW FEARS AMONG ACTIVISTS”, 2010/05/11) reported that the PRC government in the past several weeks has intensified a subtle but steady tightening over the country’s freewheeling civil society sector, with some nonprofit groups saying they are feeling increasingly harassed, targeted by tax investigations and subjected to new restrictions on receiving donations from abroad. Despite the long-running tensions between NGOs and the government, activists, lawyers and others said the latest moves against the civil society sector appear more sustained and serious than earlier cyclical crackdowns.
22. PRC Internet Control
Associated Press (Scott McDonald, “CHINA SAYS INTERNET FULLY RESTORED IN XINJIANG”, Beijing, 2010/05/14) reported that Xinjig said it fully restored the Internet on Friday, 10 months after shutting down access over allegations that agitators used the Web to stir up ethnic violence. “For the stability, economic development and the needs of people from all ethnic backgrounds of the autonomous region, the Communist Party and the government of Xinjiang decided to fully resume Internet services beginning May 14,” the news office of the Xinjiang government said in a statement posted on a government website.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Environment
China Environment News (“CENTRAL ENTERPRISE FINISH CARBON REDUCTION TARGET”, 2010/05/13) reported that comparing with 2005, central enterprises’ total energy consumption per RMB10,000 turnover in 2009 declines 15.1%, SO2 emissions declines 36.8%, chemical oxygen demand declines 33.04%, and finished the “11th five-year” target – total emissions of major pollutants decline 10% ahead of time.
Xinhua Net (“BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION SERIES LECTURE LAUNCHED IN BEIJING”, 2010/05/13) reported that 2010 Biodiversity Wave Beijing Series Lecture was formally launched in Beijing recently. The activity was sponsored by China-EU Biodiversity Project, The Nature Conservancy and many other international environmental protection organizations. The activity will last till the end of October and the listeners involve various fields.
24. PRC Climate Change
Xinhua News (“CHINA BUILDS MODEL LOW-CARBON CITY IN XINJIANG’S TURPAN”, 2010/05/13) reported that in accordance with the plans of the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration, Turpan city in Xinjiang province has been required to build an 8.8-square-km area into a national model for green city development. Designed to be a model environmentally-friendly city in western China, the new low-carbon city depends not on fossil fuels but solar and wind energy for lighting and hot water supply.