NAPSNet Daily Report 15 October, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. ROK-US Military Exercises
Arirang News (“KOREA AND US BEGIN JOINT AIR FORCE DRILL FRIDAY”, 2010/10/15) reported that the ROK and the United States kick off their annual joint air force exercise today over the western airspace of the Korean peninsula. The six-day drill named ‘Max Thunder’ involves about 50 fighter jets including F-15Ks and KF-16s and over 250 pilots from the two forces. Korea’s Air Force said this year’s air readiness training focuses on defeating possible air strikes from the DPRK following the March sinking of the ROK warship Cheonan. Also, the drill aims at practicing war fighting skills in realistic combat situations and improving cooperation between the two allies. The maneuvers will run until October 22nd.
2. ROK Defense
The Canadian Press (Kwang-Tae Kim, “HACKERS STEAL SECRET SKOREAN DOCUMENTS ON DEFENCE, FOREIGN AFFAIRS”, 2010/10/15) reported that hackers believed to be from the PRC stole secret ROK documents on defence and foreign affairs by using emails pretending to be from Seoul officials, a news report said Friday. The suspected hacking occurred when ROK officials handling foreign and security affairs opened attachment files that contained titles referring to items such as the schedule of DPRK leader Kim Jong Il’s trip to the PRC, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said, citing a ruling party lawmaker. Kim visited the PRC twice this year. The emails, made to appear as if from a ROK presidential official and a ROK diplomat, contained hacking programs that can be activated when the emails are opened, the newspaper said.
3. ROK Nuclear Energy
JoongAng Daily (“NUCLEAR EXPERTS TO BE DOUBLED”, 2010/10/15) reported that the government plans to raise the number of nuclear experts in the ROK as it pushes for exports of reactors, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said yesterday. The government has set a target of increasing the number of nuclear reactor experts from around 21,000 in 2008 to 45,000 in 2020. This would include personnel in research and development, management, maintenance, construction management, plant design and equipment.
4. PRC Military Exercises
The Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA PRACTICES INTERCEPTING U.S. STEALTH FIGHTERS”, 2010/10/15) reported that the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army recently staged an intercept exercise targeting the U.S.’ latest stealth fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reported Thursday. Japanese media on Oct. 3 reported that the Japanese and U.S. militaries will carry out a joint exercise to practice recapturing the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyutai Islands in November, in case the PRC captures them in a surprise attack. It said the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington and F-22 Raptors will take part in the exercise.
5. Cross-Strait Relations
Asahi.com (“CHINA TO TAIWAN: LET’S TALK DEFENSE”, 2010/10/15) reported that the PRC has proposed that Beijing and Taipei carry out exchanges of defense officials in response to a call by Taiwan for the removal of PRC missiles aimed at the island. Yang Yi, a spokesman for the Chinese State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, told a news conference Wednesday that Beijing would like to create a mechanism to build mutual trust concerning defense and security issues with Taiwan. The statement came in response to an address Sunday by Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in which he urged the PRC to remove missiles deployed along its coastline facing Taiwan.