NAPSNet Daily Report 14 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Weapons
- 2. US-DPRK Relations
- 3. ROK on US-DPRK Talks
- 4. PRC on DPRK-US Talks
- 5. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Relations
- 7. DPRK Sanctions
- 8. DPRK Leadership
- 9. DPRK Trade
- 10. DPRK Defectors
- 11. ROK Military
- 12. ROK Military Procurements
- 13. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
- 14. ROK Cyber Security
- 15. ROK Influenza Outbreak
- 16. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
- 17. Sino-US Relations
- 18. Sino-Indian Relations
- 19. PRC Military
- 20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 21. PRC Media Censorship
- 22. PRC Civil Society
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Weapons
Korea Herald (“N.K. APPEARS TO HAVE 10 NUCLEAR WARHEADS”, 2009/09/11) reported that the World Nuclear Stockpile Report, by Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists and Robert Norris of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said Thursday the DPRK appears to have 10 nuclear weapons. The report, written with the support of Ploughshares Fund, also said, “There is no publicly available evidence that North Korea has operationalized its nuclear weapons capability.”
2. US-DPRK Relations
BBC (“US READY FOR N KOREA DIRECT TALKS”, Washington, 2009/09/12) reported that US state department spokesman Philip Crowley said the US would be willing to hold direct talks with the DPRK to persuade it to return to the six-party talks. He said that there had been no decision on when such talks might take place. “It’s a bi-lateral discussion that (is) hopefully…within the six-party context, and it’s designed to convince North Korea to come back to the six-party process and to take affirmative steps towards de-nuclearisation,” Crowley said.
Yonhap (“U.S. WON’T SWITCH TO TWO-WAY TALKS WITH N.K.”, 2009/09/14) reported that the United States will refuse any attempt by the DPRK to shift towards bilateral dialogue and away from the six-party talks, a senior U.S. official said Sunday. “The North Koreans have their own reasons for wanting to talk bilaterally. They would like to get out from the six-party framework and the (related) agreements,” the official said. “We won’t accept, but can talk to them if it will help convince them to live up to their obligations.”
3. ROK on US-DPRK Talks
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SKOREA NOT OPPOSED TO US-NKOREA DIRECT TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/09/12) reported that the ROK would not oppose the United States holding direct talks with the DPRK, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday. Spokesman Moon Tae-young said the ROK has held a position that it would not oppose direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang as long as they help promote the DPRK’s denuclearization and are held as part of the six-party process.
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. ‘AWARE OF LIMITS’ IN BILATERAL TALKS WITH N.KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the ROK and the U.S. agree that any bilateral Washington-Pyongyang talks will be quite different in nature than on previous occasions. A senior ROK government official on Sunday said, “In the past, the start of dialogue meant the end of sanctions, but now the U.S. is making it clear that sanctions will continue unless meaningful denuclearization is guaranteed.” Another government official said, “It is the U.S. that has urged the international community to implement sanctions thoroughly. So it’ll be hard to withdraw the decision with the start of dialogue.”
4. PRC on DPRK-US Talks
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “SEPT, OCT CRITICAL MOMENT FOR NK ISSUES”, Seoul, 2009/09/13) reported that a “leading DPRK watcher” said that the PRC is likely to play a key coordinating role for bilateral dialogue between the United States and the DPRK. “China is the host country of the six-party denuclearization talks and won a peaceful image by dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue,” he told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity. “I think Beijing will dispatch a special envoy to Pyongyang and tune the bilateral talks.”
5. Sino-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINESE PREMIER TO VISIT N.KOREA”, 2009/09/14) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao is negotiating details of his visit to the DPRK for the closing ceremony of the China-DPRK Friendship Year in Pyongyang early next month, the Mainichi Shimbun reported Saturday citing a diplomatic source in Beijing. Wen is likely to visit between October 1, the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, and the three-way summit among the ROK, the PRC and Japan in Beijing on October 10, the daily said.
6. Inter-Korean Relations
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “REPORT: NKOREA DAM WAS FULL BEFORE DEADLY RELEASE”, Seoul, 2009/09/13) reported that ROK and U.S. intelligence authorities confirmed through analysis of satellite images that the DPRK dam had almost reached maximum capacity before a large amount of water was released without warning earlier this month, Yonhap said Sunday. An official at the ROK presidential office denied the report, saying the dam had not reached its maximum capacity.
Donga Ibo (“PRES. LEE SAYS N. KOREAN POLITICS ARE ‘HIGHLY FLUID`”, Seoul, 2009/09/12) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Friday, “North Korea is pursuing a two-pronged policy of offering goodwill gestures and pushing its uranium enrichment program. This shows that the North’s political situation is highly fluid.” “This situation can provide a turning point in resolving North Korean nuclear issues,” President Lee said.
Yonhap (“SEOUL APPROVES N.K. TRIP TO CELEBRATE COMPLETION OF TECH UNIVERSITY”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the ROK permitted a delegation from the Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture to visit the DPRK this week to celebrate the completion of a the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, the ROK Unification Ministry said Monday. The ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, according to ministry spokesperson Chun Hae-sung. He said the 20-member delegation will make a three-day trip to the DPRK beginning Tuesday.
Yonhap (“TECHNICAL GLITCHES DELAY S. KOREAN TRIPS TO NORTH”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that ROK trips to the DPRK were briefly delayed Monday morning by technical glitches in an aged inter-Korean hotline, officials said, which Pyongyang previously demanded Seoul replace. The DPRK approved the trips belatedly by phone instead of by fax, said Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung. Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said no decision has yet been made on whether to provide new optic cables.
7. DPRK Sanctions
Chosun Ilbo (“ITALY SEIZES LUXURY LIQUOR BOUND FOR N.Korea”, 2009/09/14) reported that Italian customs recently confiscated 420 bottles of expensive liquor on their way to the DPRK. Italian newspaper Vivere Ancona said customs officers seized 150 bottles of brandy and 270 bottles of whisky in containers destined for the DPRK at the end of last month.
8. DPRK Leadership
Washington Post (Blaine Harden, “A SUCCESSION SAGA GOES SILENT”, Seoul, 2009/09/11) reported that the process of hereditary succession in the DPRK appears to have been suspended, at least for now, and the rise to power of Kim Jong Il’s third son may be on hold, according to ROK analysts. “When Kim Jong Il’s health was deteriorating and the outside world was speculating on a power struggle, there was a need to launch a visible succession campaign to quell rumors,” said Koh Yu-hwan, a DPRK specialist at Dongguk University in Seoul. “Now that he appears to be back in the saddle,” Koh said, there is a need to suspend the succession process to prevent elites in Pyongyang from dividing into camps for or against Jong Un.
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “‘NK RESTRICTION WAS AIMED AT PREPARING SUCCESSION'”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the DPRK’s behavior at the end of last year appears to have been part of preparations to crown the third son of Kim Jong-il as the country’s next leader, according to a “leading DPRK watcher.” “My understanding is that last year’s border-crossing restrictions were actually aimed at blocking the country from external influences and preparing the leadership succession,” he told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity. “By isolating the country from the outside world, North Korea seemed to seek to consolidate internal unity,” he added.
9. DPRK Trade
Yonhap (“N. KOREA TO HOLD INTERNATIONAL FAIR”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the Pyongyang Autumn International Trade Fair, set for September 21-24 at the Three Revolution Exhibition, will present machine tools, electric and electronic equipment, transport equipment, petrochemical and medical goods, food items and daily necessities, said the Korean Central News Agency. Participating businesses come from 16 countries or regions — the PRC, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Britain, Australia, Austria, Italy, Indonesia, Vietnam, France, Finland, Poland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as the host, the report said.
10. DPRK Defectors
Chosun Ilbo (“DOCUMENTS RECORD 2003 MASSACRE OF N.KOREAN DEFECTORS”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that PRC police in 2003 found the bodies of 56 DPRK defectors drifting down the Apnok River in October 2003. North Korea Economy Watch, a U.S. website, on Saturday carried photos from a report filed by Badaogou police station in Baishan, Jilin Province, reporting the collection of the bodies. This website said it obtained the photos from an anonymous blog on Chinese portal site Wangyi.
11. ROK Military
Donga Ibo (“MILITARY WARNS OF PROBLEMS IF DEFENSE SPENDING CUT”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry in May warned that the transfer of wartime operational control from the U.S. to the ROK in 2012 will suffer if next year’s defense budget is significantly cut, news reports said Sunday. according to a mid-term defense plan from 2010 to 2014 submitted to main opposition Democratic Party Seo Jong-pyo, who is on the National Assembly`s National Defense Committee, “If the defense budget is cut under the government plan, it will mark the lowest rise since 1991. For conducting defense reform and wartime command shift smoothly, an appropriate amount of funds should be set aside for defense.”
Korea Times (“GEN. LEE NAMED TO LEAD S. KOREAN MILITARY”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that President Lee Myung-bak Monday named General Lee Sang-eui, who headed the Third Army Corps from last year, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to the Defense Ministry. Hwang Eui-don, a lieutenant general who oversees military intelligence operations, was picked as vice commander of the U.S.-ROK Combined Forces Command.
12. ROK Military Procurements
Korea Herald (“KOREA BUYS $6.4 BLN IN ARMS FROM ABROAD”, Seoul, 2009/09/11) reported that the ROK bought $6.4 billion worth of weapons from abroad between 2000-2008, a recent Congressional Research Service report shows. The ROK signed contracts for the purchase of $228 million worth of weapons from the U.S. last year, including two Aegis destroyers, the report said. The ROK also signed contracts for the export of $400 million worth of weapons to foreign countries.
Joongang Ilbo (“SUPERSONIC MISSILE PLANNED FOR NAVY”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the ROK plans to deploy a short-range supersonic guided missile as early as next year that can be launched from a destroyer to attack ground targets, a source said Sunday. “The missile could be developed and deployed in a year or two so that ships can hit land facilities and support ground troops in the event of a conflict,” the source said. “The deployment could add pressure on North Korean forces near the Northern Limit Line,” the source said.
13. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “ANTI-PIRACY NAVY UNIT TO RETURN HOME NEXT WEEK”, Seoul, 2009/09/11) reported that the Munmu the Great destroyer, the ROK’s first naval unit to join international anti-piracy efforts off the Somali coast, will return home early next week after a six-month-long operation that rescued six commercial boats, the Navy said Friday. Its operation was taken over by another ROK destroyer, the Dae Jo Yeong, under a mandate extended by the National Assembly last month.
14. ROK Cyber Security
Chosun Ilbo (“KOREA TO BEEF UP CYBER SECURITY”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the ROK is to train some 3,000 cyber security experts as part of measures to enhance Internet security announced Sunday. Under the new measures, the experts will be trained by 2012, and the crisis management system will also be strengthened.
15. ROK Influenza Outbreak
Chosun Ilbo (“2 MORE DEATHS LINKED TO H1N1 FLU”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reported that the deaths of two more people in the ROK over the weekend have been linked to the H1N1 flu virus. That brings the toll to six. Both were in the high-risk group due to age and chronic disease. As of September 10, the number of patients infected with the H1N1 virus in Korea was 7,577.
16. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
Asahi Shimbun (“DPJ TO PROBE SECRET NUKE DEAL WITH U.S.”, Tokyo, 2009/09/14) reported that the new Democratic Party of Japan-led government will investigate the secret agreement between Tokyo and Washington that supposedly allows entry of nuclear weapons into Japan without prior consultation, a DPJ official said over the weekend. The official said a team of outside investigators would work directly for Foreign Minister-to-be Katsuya Okada. “The team’s job will not simply be to expose the existence of the pact, but also to examine the circumstances that led to the secret agreement and the history behind the deal,” the official said.
17. Sino-US Relations
BBC (“CLINTON STRESSES KEY CHINA GOALS”, 2009/09/11) reported that the PRC and the US will open a dialogue on counter-terrorism issues this year, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. She said the two powers must cooperate closely on a wide range of topics. The head of the PRC’s Congress, Wu Bangguo is visiting Washington.
18. Sino-Indian Relations
Times of India (“CHINESE MILITARY EXPERT ACCUSES INDIA OF SPYING ON UAE PLANE”, Beijing, 2009/09/13) reported that Dai Xu, a PRC military expert, accused India of spying on its military while inspecting a UAE cargo plane that was detained in India. “Any inspection onboard, which may have violated China’s property rights and constituted spying on its military secrets, should be approved by both the UAE and China,” Dai was quoted as saying by the ‘Global Times’. It also quoted an unnamed military source as telling the paper that the UAE airplane was on a mission transporting PRC arms from an arms expo in Abu Dhabi.
19. PRC Military
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CHINA MILITARY SPOTLIGHTED IN NATIONAL DAY PARADE”, Beijing, 2009/09/14) reported that the PRC held a preview a week ago of the military display that is expected to be the centerpiece of a parade through Beijing on October 1 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the country’s founding. Upgraded intercontinental DF-31 nuclear missiles rolled on long-bed trucks along with advanced short-range DF-11 and DF-15 missiles, sea-skimming YJ-83 anti-ship missiles and DH-10 long-range cruise missiles . Not seen in the preview but expected to appear in a fly-over above Tiananmen Square are domestically produced J-10 jet fighters .
20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
New York Times (Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield, “3 UIGHURS CONVICTED OF SYRINGE ATTACKS, HEIGHTENING TENSIONS IN WESTERN CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/09/12) reported that three Uighurs were sentenced to up to 15 years in prison on Saturday after being convicted of attacking people with syringes in Urumqi, according to Xinhua news agency. The harshest sentence, of up to 15 years, was brought against Yilipan Yilihamu, 19, for “spreading false dangerous substances” when he inserted a needle into a woman’s buttock on Aug. 28. Muhutaerjiang Turdi, 34, was sentenced to 10 years, and Aimannisha Guli, 22, was sentenced to seven years for robbing a taxi driver on Aug. 29 by threatening him with a syringe.
21. PRC Media Censorship
Associated Press (Dikky Shinn, “HK JOURNALISTS PROTEST ABUSE OF REPORTERS IN CHINA”, Hong Kong, 2009/09/13) reported that Hong Kong journalists , lawmakers and residents marched Sunday to protest the alleged police beatings of three reporters covering recent unrest in western China, and demanded a government investigation. Demonstrators wearing black rallied outside a police station before marching to local offices of the central government . Organizers and police estimated the crowd at 650 to 700 people.
22. PRC Civil Society
Asia Times (Stephanie Wang, “NGOS TREAD LIGHTLY ON CHINA’S TURF “, Changsha, 2009/09/12) reported that as part of plans to promote “small government and big society”, to accelerate towards a market economy, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has let certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) become involved in some government functions, such as disaster relief, social work, welfare and legal aid. But most observers agree the PRC government is still omnipotent, as apparently most officials do not want their “power” to be shared with NGOs. In such an environment, NGOs in the PRC still have to proceed on tiptoes.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Civil Society
Sina.com (“BENZ HOLDS CONCERT FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS”, 2009/09/11) reported that invited by Benz Company, 300 special education teachers from Beijing School for the Blind, Deaf School, and others enjoyed a concert held in the National Grand Theater on September 6 th . Benz hoped the music may help these teachers have a good night.
24. Cross Strait Relations
North Net (“MA YING-JEOU THANKS MAINLAND COMPATRIOTS’ DONATION”, 2009/09/11) reported that President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou gave special thanks to mainland compatriots’ donation to Taiwan typhoon disaster at the “8.8 Typhoon” Memorial Ceremony held on September 7 th , and believed this reflected a deep national sentiments.
25. PRC Public Health
Sina.com (“COLLABORATIVE MEDICAL AID PLAN LAUNCHED IN BEIJING”, 2009/09/11) reported that Collaborative Medical Aid Plan was launched in Beijing recently. This Plan is cooperated by media, hospitals, and government, and aims at low-income groups. The medical support ranges from respiratory, reproductive, liver, and other major diseases.