NAPSNet Daily Report 14 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on Nuclear Talks
- 2. DPRK Missile Program
- 3. US on DPRK Missile Program
- 4. ROK on DPRK Missile Program
- 5. PRC on DPRK Missile Launch
- 6. DPRK Economy
- 7. Inter-Korea Relations
- 8. ROK Defense
- 9. ROK Space Program
- 10. ROK Climate Change
- 11. ROK Civil Society
- 12. Japan Self-Defense Force
- 13. Japan-US Military Relations
- 14. Japan-US Relations
- 15. Japan International Relations
- 16. Japan Climate Change
- 17. PRC Public Health
- 18. Sino-British Relations
- 19. Sino-India Disputed Region
- 20. Sino-Russia Relations
- 21. Sino-Pakistan Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK on Nuclear Talks
Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA SEES PEACE PACT WITH US AS KEY TO DISARMAMENT”, Seoul, 2009/10/14) reported that called the DPRK Wednesday for a peace pact with the United States. “A peace accord should be concluded between the DPRK and the US if the nuclear issue on the peninsula is to be settled,” the Rodong Shinmun said. Such an accord is “one of the most reasonable and practical ways” to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, it said. US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said Wednesday his country was ready for an “initial interaction” with the DPRK “that would lead rapidly to a six-party resumption of talks”.
2. DPRK Missile Program
Reuters (Jack Kim, “NORTH KOREA MAY FIRE MORE MISSILES AHEAD OF TALKS “, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that the DPRK was preparing to fire a fresh barrage of short-range missiles, a report said on Tuesday, in a move seen as an attempt to boost its bargaining position ahead of expected talks on ending its nuclear weapons program. Analysts say the missiles serve as a reminder of the North’s ability to rattle regional security, but were not enough to halt growing momentum for dialogue after the reclusive state announced it was willing to head back to the negotiating table.
United Press International (“MISSILES MAY HAVE IMPROVED RANGE”, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that short-range missiles test fired Monday by the DPRK may have improved range over previous missiles, the ROK naval chief of staff said Tuesday. Speaking to ROK lawmakers during their visit to military headquarters, Adm. Jung Ok-keun said the KN-02 missiles “are estimated to have a range between 130 kilometers (80.7 miles) and 160 kilometers (99.4 miles),” Yonhap news agency reported.
3. US on DPRK Missile Program
Agence France Presse (“‘NO INTENTION’ OF RELAXING N.KOREA SANCTIONS: CLINTON”, Moscow, 2009/10/13) reported that the United States has absolutely no intention of relaxing sanctions against the DPRK over its nuclear drive, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday after talks in Moscow. “We have absolutely no intention of relaxing or offering to relax North Korean sanctions at this point whatsoever,” Clinton said.
4. ROK on DPRK Missile Program
Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “SEOUL UNFAZED BY N.K. MISSILE TESTS”, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK yesterday dismissed the DPRK’s latest testing of missiles, refusing to issue an official response. “We have no desire to react every time North Korea does something,” said one high-ranking Foreign Ministry official, requesting anonymity. The ministry accordingly declined to issue an official statement. “We reiterate our calls for North Korea to uphold the resolution adopted by the U.N. Security Council,” the ministry said.
5. PRC on DPRK Missile Launch
Kyodo News (“CHINA SAYS MISSILES WON’T AFFECT ‘SOFTER’ TREND ON KOREAN PENINSULA”, 2009/10/13) reported that the PRC said Tuesday the DPRK’s test-firing of short-range missiles will not affect the “softer” trend on the Korean Peninsula and urged relevant parties to exercise “restraint” and work toward the resumption of the six-party talks on the DPRK’s denuclearization. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said at a regular press briefing that he noted that “North Korea had fired short-range missiles” and does not feel that this would affect the “progression toward a softer trend on the Korean Peninsula.”
6. DPRK Economy
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREAN FINANCIAL REFORM ‘COULD SAVE TRILLIONS”, 2009/10/13) reported that hundreds of trillions of won costs could be saved by financial reform in the DPRK before reunification, claims Kim Byung-yeon, a professor of economics at Seoul National University.?? “If North Korea is to move to a market economy, it’s essential to reintroduce financial brokers that turn savings into investment, so financial reform must come before reunification.”??Kim says the unitary bank, which carries out functions of central and commercial banks, should be separated into two entities, followed by restructuring and privatization of the commercial bank as a way to get rid of bad debts.
7. Inter-Korea Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL TO RESUME FOOD AID TO N.KOREA”, 2009/10/13) reported that the government has decided to resume food aid to DPRK and is considering when to start and how much to give.?? A senior government official told the Chosun Ilbo, “It’s the government’s consistent policy to continue humanitarian aid to the North, so the government is considering giving it some food aid. But no decision has been made about how much and what kinds of food to give.”?? Another government official said the government is considering giving “10,000 to 30,000 tons” of food. If Seoul were to resume food aid on the scale of previous administrations, which was between 300,000 and 400,000 tons, it “would need a strategic decision taking progress in the North Korean nuclear issue into consideration,” a senior government source said.
Yonhap News (Kim Hyun, “BUDDHISTS FROM SOUTH, NORTH KOREA CALL FOR REOPENING OF MOUNT KUMGANG TOUR”, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that Buddhist leaders from the ROK and DPRK on Tuesday jointly pressed for the reopening of tours to a scenic mountain in the DPRK, a project suspended by Seoul last year after a shooting incident. The call came during a service at Singye Temple, a 6th-century worship house perched at the foot of Mount Kumgang, to mark the second anniversary of its restoration, said the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency. After the worship, the Buddhists issued “a joint prayer statement that conveyed the resolutions of North and South Buddhists to open the way for Mount Kumgang tourism and the pilgrimage to Singye Temple and to proactively work for the reunification, peace and prosperity of the nation,” the report said.
8. ROK Defense
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA TO BUILD 6 ‘MINI’ AEGIS COMBAT DESTROYERS BY 2026: NAVY”, Gyeryongdae, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK Navy said Tuesday it plans to build and deploy six “mini” Aegis combat ships by 2026, using them as the backbone of its defense against the DPRK. The ROK currently operates one Aegis combat destroyer weighing 7,600 tons and plans to have two more by 2012. Aegis, a high-tech naval defense system, enables ships to monitor and shoot down targets hundreds of kilometers away.
Yonhap News (Sam Kim, “S. KOREAN DEFENSE FLAWED AGAINST N. KOREAN ARTILLERY: LAWMAKER”, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK military may fail to strike back at the DPRK’s border artillery as swiftly as needed in the event of a conflict because its internal communications equipment is obsolete, a lawmaker warned. Citing testimonies from retired officers, Rep. Kim Dong-sung said it could take up to an hour and a half for ROK counter-artillery forces to receive coordinates on DPRK guns.
JoongAng Ilbo (Kim Min-seok , “TROOPS TO GET NEW HIGH-TECH TRACKING DEVICE”, Gyeryongdae, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK Army is in the process of equipping units with an electronic system that tracks units’ location in real time, according to a report submitted during the National Assembly audits yesterday. The Army said by the end of this year, ROK army units on the front line, down to company level, will be armed with the positioning reporting equipment, or PRE. A PRE is a handheld device with global positioning system and can send text messages protected by passwords. The PRE also displays locations of opposing forces and costs up to 4 million won ($3,420) each.
9. ROK Space Program
Yonhap News ( Lee Joon-seung, “S. KOREA COULD BECOME VITAL PARTNER FOR SPACE EXPLORATION: NASA CHIEF”, Daejeon, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK has the potential to become an important partner in efforts aimed at advancing exploration and technology for the peaceful use of space, the head of the U.S. aerospace administration said Tuesday. National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) chief Charles Bolden Jr. said at the International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, located 164km south of Seoul, that the country has made noticeable strides with its robust space program by building various satellites and launching a rocket into orbit.
Yonhap News (Lee Joon-seung, “EUROPE SEEKS COOPERATION WITH S. KOREA ON SPACE EXPLORATION: ESA CHIEF “, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that Europe is seeking closer cooperation with the ROK in the fields of space exploration and earth observation, the head of the European Space Agency (ESA) said Tuesday. In a news conference at the 60th International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, 164km south of Seoul, ESA director general Jean-Jacques Dordain said future cooperation could take place in two main areas. “One would be to use South Korean ground stations to monitor some of our launch vehicles taking off from the Kourou space center in Guiana, and the second would be to exchange data collected from orbital satellites,” he said.
Korea Herald (Song Sang-ho, “LEE STRESSES SPACE TECH COOPERATION”, 2009/10/13) reported that President Lee Myung-bak yesterday underscored the importance of international cooperation in sharing achievements in space development and research to enhance the quality of life for all mankind. He also said that the government is considering participating in the international lunar exploration program. “Many countries have cooperated to successfully carry out large-scale space projects such as the lunar exploration program, and there have been attempts to address global problems such as climate change and natural disasters by jointly utilizing satellite information,” Lee said. “Korea hopes to join such efforts. I hope that through this congress, concrete progress will be made regarding joint utilization of space technology and international cooperation.”
10. ROK Climate Change
Bloomberg (Shinhye Kang, “SOUTH KOREA MAY TARGET 4% CUT IN EMISSIONS BY 2020″, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK may target a 4 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the environment minister said, overriding the view of most companies that the plan will drive up costs and threaten investment. “Industries want a low target with a slow pace of reduction, but we need to show our commitment to global society,” minister Lee Maanee said in an interview at his office near Seoul. “A 4 percent target may also help stimulate other developing nations’ efforts to cut the heat- trapping gases and gain support from developed countries.”
Donga Ilbo (“BILL PASSED ON TOUGHER ENERGY STANDARDS FOR HOUSES”, 2009/10/13) reported that the Cabinet passed a revised bill on standards for energy conservation and eco-friendly housing standards, and the bill will be immediately implemented after presidential approval. The Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry said the bill will require construction companies to reduce energy consumption more than 15 percent for a house covering more than 60 square meters and more than 10 percent for one under 60 square meters to get an apartment construction permit. If a single unit in an apartment complex fails to meet such standards, construction will not be permitted.
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA TO BUILD LOW-CO2 THERMAL POWER PLANT”, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that the ROK plans to develop technology to build a thermal power plant that can drastically cut back on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2020, the government said Tuesday. The plan calls for extensive research and development into so-called carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in the coming years with the aim of slashing CO2 levels by more than 90 percent by the target year, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.
11. ROK Civil Society
Yonhap News (Byun Duk-kun, “CIVIL SERVANTS FIRED FOR JOINING ANTI-GOV’T RALLY”, Seoul, 2009/10/13) reported that the government said it has dismissed 14 head members of three civil servant unions and disciplined a dozen others for participating in anti-government rallies in July. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security said a total of 105 unionized government employees belonging to the three unions, which recently merged into one, had been referred to its disciplinary committee for taking part in the July anti-government rally.
12. Japan Self-Defense Force
Kyodo News (“2 JAPAN DESTROYERS LEAVE FOR ANTIPIRACY MISSION OFF SOMALIA”, 2009/10/13) reported that two Japanese destroyers left Japan on Tuesday for antipiracy operations off Somalia to take over duties from two other destroyers operating since July. The 4,650-ton Takanami and 3,550-ton Hamagiri were the first to be sent to the Gulf of Aden under the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. In Tokyo, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa told a news conference that Japan’s new government plans to continue the Maritime Self- Defense Force antipiracy operations off Somalia as they have deterred piracy there.
13. Japan-US Military Relations
Yomiuri Shimbun (“ROOS FAVORS RELOCATION PLAN AS IS”, ) reported that U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos stressed his hope Tuesday that the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture to Nago in the prefecture would go ahead as planned in the existing Japan-U.S. accord. In an interview Roos said, “We’re optimistic that in the end, the realignment road map [for moving the air station’s operations to Nago]…will go forward.” Roos said he thought it unlikely that the plan would be substantially changed, saying, “The realignment road map is something that both countries agreed to as something that is the next phase of the strategic alliance.”
14. Japan-US Relations
United Press International (“AGREEMENT UNLIKELY BEFORE OBAMA VISIT”, Tokyo, 2009/10/13) reported that any U.S.-Japan resolution on the U.S. Marine air station in Okinawa is unlikely before President Barack Obama’s visit next month, it was announced. President Obama is scheduled to visit Japan Nov. 12-13 but Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said it would not be possible to resolve the relocation of the Futemma Air Station by then, the Kyodo news agency reported.
Kyodo News (“U.S. AMBASSADOR INTENDS TO SPEAK TO OBAMA ABOUT VISIT TO HIROSHIMA”, Tokyo, 2009/10/13) reported that U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos said Tuesday he intends to speak to President Barack Obama about a possible visit to Hiroshima and to convey the impression he had when he recently visited the city that was devastated by an atomic bomb dropped by the United States in World War II. While noting that a visit to Hiroshima by Obama is ultimately ”up to the president,” Roos stressed during an interview with Kyodo News that Obama, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after calling for a nuclear-free world in a speech in Prague in April, was deeply committed toward realizing nuclear disarmament and ending nuclear proliferation, leaving some room for a possible visit by him to the symbolic city.
15. Japan International Relations
Xinhua News Agency (“JAPAN TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH ASEAN, BOOST INVESTMENT IN INDONESIA”, Jakarta, 2009/10/13) reported that Japan would strengthen its relation with ASEAN and increase investment in Indonesia, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda quoted Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada as saying on Tuesday evening. The Indonesian foreign minister told a press conference, after a meeting between Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhyono and the Japanese foreign minister at the State Palace, that Japan would strength ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the help of Indonesia. “Japanese foreign minister sees the relation with ASEAN in recent years has weakened, (so that) Japan wants to step up Japan-ASEAN ties through the help of Indonesia, which is considered as a leader of ASEAN,” Wirajuda said.
16. Japan Climate Change
Seattle Post Intelligencer (“JAPAN JOINS GREEN-AVIATION INITIATIVE”, 2009/10/13) reported that Japan has joined the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions, which aims to make aircraft operations more efficient, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced Tuesday. “This is an important milestone in our collective effort to lessen aviation’s environmental footprint,” FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a news release. “We have all pledged to adopt and promote best practices that will benefit the environment.”
17. PRC Public Health
Bloomberg (Ben Richardson, “LEAD SICKENS ALMOST 1,000 CHILDREN IN CENTRAL CHINA, XINHUA SAYS”, 2009/10/13) reported that almost 1,000 children have tested positive for high levels of lead in Henan province, central PRC, Xinhua News Agency reported. The health bureau of Jiyuan city carried out the tests after a lead poisoning scandal in neighboring Shaanxi province, the state-controlled news agency said. The government tested 2,743 children under the age of 14 who lived near three of the province’s biggest smelters, it said, and 968 showed excessive levels of the metal.
18. Sino-British Relations
New York Times (Andrew Jacobs, “BRITISH TRY TO HALT EXECUTION OF BRITON IN CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/10/13) reported that diplomatic officials and rights groups in Britain are waging a campaign to save the life of a British man who has been sentenced to death for drug smuggling by a PRC court despite apparent signs of mental illness. If the sentence is carried out, consular officials say he would be the first British citizen to be executed in the PRC in recent memory.
19. Sino-India Disputed Region
Agence France Presse (“CHINA ANGRY OVER INDIA PM VISIT TO DISPUTED REGION”, Beijing, 2009/10/13) reported that the PRC on Tuesday expressed anger over a recent visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to a border region at the core of a long-standing dispute between the neighbours. “China is strongly dissatisfied with the visit to the disputed region by the Indian leader, who disregarded China’s serious concerns,” PRC foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement. “We demand the Indian side address China’s serious concerns and not trigger disturbances in the disputed region so as to facilitate the healthy development of China-India relations.” Singh visited Arunachal Pradesh on October 3 to campaign ahead of state elections, but refrained from saying anything on the PRC or the border dispute.
20. Sino-Russia Relations
Agence France Presse (Anna Smolchenko , “RUSSIA, CHINA SEAL TRADE TIES WITH $3.5 BLN IN DEALS”, Beijing, 2009/10/13) reported that the PRC and Russia on Tuesday cemented their burgeoning trade relationship with billions of dollars in new deals as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met his PRC counterpart Wen Jiabao. The leaders will sign several agreements, officials said, including one committing each country to notifying the other of the launch of ballistic missiles from its territory. The head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said a massive gas deal would be signed in the presence of Wen and Putin that would see 70 billion cubic metres of natural gas sent to the PRC annually. “A framework agreement has been initialled. This document will be signed today,” Miller said.
21. Sino-Pakistan Relations
Agence France Presse (“PAKISTAN PM GILANI MEETS CHINA’S HU”, Beijing, 2009/10/13) reported that Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met with PRC President Hu Jintao Tuesday as part of a four-day trip to ally PRC. “Over the years… you have been committed to the traditional friendship between our two countries and to growing Pakistan’s relations with China,” Hu told Gilani in a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters Tuesday that the PRC and Pakistan would “exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern,” giving no other details.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Environment
Jinghua Times (“PETROCHINA LEADS PARTICIPATION IN VOLUNTARY MARKET”, 2009/10/13) reported that according to Tianjin Carbon Exchange Center, PetroChina and nearly 20 other energy giants in the PRC have participated in “Enterprise’s Joint Action in Voluntary Markets” organized by Tianjin Carbon Exchange Center. The Joint Action will create a large domestic carbon-emission reduction market for the PRC.
23. Civil Society and PRC Public Health
Sina.com (“KRAFT FOOD LAUNCHES TASTY FOOD WEEK”, 2009/10/13) reported that over 150 Kraft Food staff from Kraft companies in Beijing ,Shanghai, Suzhou, Guangzhou and so on came to the local migrant children schools and welfare houses and carried out the Tasty Food Week Activity, to sharing tasty food with children, telling stories about tasty food, and sharing wishes about tasty food.