NAPSNet Daily Report 15 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. DPRK Education
- 4. DPRK Ship Attacked by Pirates
- 5. DPRK Military
- 6. ROK Military
- 7. ROK Influenza Outbreak
- 8. ROK-Japan Relations
- 9. Japan on US Nuclear Posture
- 10. Japan Missile Defense
- 11. Japan Politics
- 12. Japan Environment
- 13. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 14. Japan-Taiwan Relations
- 15. Taiwan Politics
- 16. Sino-Burmese Border Tensions
- 17. US on Tibet Issue
- 18. Sino-US Export Controls Cooperation
- 19. PRC-US Trade Relations
- 20. PRC-EU Relations
- 21. PRC Military Leadership
- 22. PRC Influenza Outbreak
- II. PRC Report
1. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Kyodo News (“U.S.-N. KOREA TALKS ACCEPTABLE UNDER 6-WAY FRAMEWORK: JAPAN “, Tokoy, 2009/09/14) reported that Japan accepts the U.S. idea of engaging in direct bilateral talks with DPRK as long as it is under the framework of the six-party talks on disbanding Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal, Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka indicated. ”If it is to help the six-party talks move forward, it is one effort (that can be made),” the ministry’s top bureaucrat said.
2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Xinhua News (“S KOREAN GOV’T REBUFFS REPORTS ON DPRK’S 3RD NUCLEAR TEST ATTEMPT”, 2009/09/14) reports that an official at the ROK government called recent reports on the DPRK’s preparation for a third nuclear test “absurd,” the ROK’s Yonhap News Agency reported. “(We) haven’t heard of anything like that, which thus cannot be confirmed,” the official was quoted as saying by Yonhap, with respect to earlier reports on a possibility of the DPRK in preparation of another nuclear test.
Associated Press (Jae-Soon Chang, “SKOREA SAYS NKOREA UNWILLING TO GIVE UP NUKES”, Seoul, 2009/09/15) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Tuesday that the DPRK is showing no sign of giving up nuclear weapons. “It appears to be true that North Korea is fairly embarrassed because of greater than expected real effects” of U.N. sanctions, Lee said. “North Korea is using some conciliatory strategy toward the United States, South Korea and Japan in order to get out of this crisis, but for now, North Korea is not showing any sincerity or sign that it will give up nuclear weapons,” he said.
3. DPRK Education
Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA TO OPEN FIRST FOREIGN-FUNDED UNIVERSITY”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) reports that isolated DPRK will inaugurate its first foreign-funded university this week, some two years behind schedule due to tensions over its nuclear program, a ROK foundation said. The Northeast Asia Foundation for Education and Culture (NAFEC) said the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology would officially open on Wednesday. The foundation injected more than 40 billion won (32 million dollars), mostly raised by churches and individual donors in the ROK and abroad, to build the university, for which Pyongyang provided the land. It wants to give the DPRK the skills to function in the international community.
4. DPRK Ship Attacked by Pirates
Associated Press (Eileen Ng, “NORTH KOREAN SHIP FIGHTS OFF SOMALI PIRATES”, Kuala Lumpur, 2009/09/15) reported that Somali pirates tried but failed to hijack a DPRK cargo ship when crew members fought back with improvised fire bombs and sped away, Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center a maritime official said Tuesday. The ship was adrift off the Somali coast near Mogadishu on Sept. 5 for engine work when the crew saw 10 pirates approaching in two speedboats. The captain later told the IMB a U.S. warship arrived at the scene, but the pirates had fled, Choong added.
5. DPRK Military
Bloomberg News (“NORTH KOREA’S KIM MONITORS NAVAL TRAINING, ENCOURAGES TROOPS”, 2009/09/14) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il monitored a naval training exercise, encouraging the troops to “crush an attack by any enemy,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported today. Kim expressed satisfaction that the naval forces “were ready to smash any attack,” while visiting the base of Naval Unit 597, the state-run news agency said, without specifying when the visit took place.
6. ROK Military
Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, “EARLY MILITARY OVERHAUL TO QUELL UNEASE IN RANKS”, 2009/09/15) reports that the Lee Myung-bak administration yesterday launched a high-level military leadership overhaul, naming Army General Lee Sang-eui as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to the Ministry of National Defense, the overhaul involves six Army generals, including Lee. Five lieutenant generals were also promoted to full generals. A four-star general, Lee, 58, has headed the Third Army Corps since last year. The general will succeed General Kim Tae-young as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs following President Lee’s recent cabinet shake-up. Kim was named as Lee’s new defense minister.
7. ROK Influenza Outbreak
Xinhua (“S KOREAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR CALM AMID SPREAD OF A/H1N1 FLU”, Seoul, 2009/09/14) ROK President Lee Myung-bak on Monday called on citizens to be calm amid the spread of the A/H1N1 flu, which has killed 7 people in the country. While meeting with his top aides at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the president said excessive panic could also inflict damage to the country as the flu itself. Lee stressed the necessary of taking precautions, but noting that excessive precautions could create fear and panic among the public, which will also be a serious problem.
8. ROK-Japan Relations
Kyodo (“S. KOREAN PRESIDENT HOPES FOR EMPEROR’S VISIT NEXT YEAR”, Seoul, 2009/09/15) reported that ROK President Lee Myung Bak said Tuesday he hopes Japanese Emperor Akihito will visit next year to ”put an end to the sense of distance” between the two countries. Lee also expressed strong hope for the development of bilateral relations under the incoming Japanese government of Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama. “I hope relations between the two countries will make a leap toward a higher level where we can trust each other completely,” he said.
9. Japan on US Nuclear Posture
United Press International (“JAPAN WARY OF ‘NO FIRST-STRIKE’ PROPOSAL”, 2009/09/13) reported that Japan is reluctant to agree to a proposal by a nuclear non-proliferation panel urging the United States to adopt a “no first-strike” policy, sources say. The International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, a joint effort of the Australian and Japanese governments, has proposed urging Washington to agree to limiting its use of nuclear weapons to deterrence, ruling out a first strike. But Tokyo’s representative on the commission has expressed reservations, unnamed ICNND sources told the Japanese news agency Kyodo.
10. Japan Missile Defense
Bloomberg News (“JAPAN SHOULD CUT ‘USELESS’ MISSILE DEFENSE, DPJ OFFICIAL SAYS”, 2009/09/11) reported that Japan’s new government will likely cut missile defense spending because it isn’t effective in thwarting attacks from countries such as the DPRK, a senior Democratic Party of Japan official said. “Missile defense is almost totally useless,” said Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, a Lower House lawmaker who served as the party’s deputy defense spokesman prior to its Aug. 30 election victory. “Only one or two out of 100 are ever effective,” he said yesterday in an interview in his Tokyo office.
11. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“HATOYAMA MEETS WITH ASO ON HANDOVER OF POWER, IN HURRY ON APPOINTMENTS”, Tokyo, 2009/09/14) reported that t wo days ahead of the launch of his Cabinet, Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama met with outgoing Prime Minister Taro Aso on Monday to seek his cooperation for a smooth handover of power, while Aso offered encouragement to the next Japanese leader. Hatoyama also held last-minute talks with DPJ Acting President Ichiro Ozawa, set to become the party’s next secretary general, at its headquarters, concerning the appointments for the Cabinet and the party’s leadership.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“TOP BUREAUCRAT MEETS ENDED”, 2009/09/15) reports that administrative vice ministers on Monday held their last regular conference, marking the end of a 123-year-old practice in which the top bureaucrat at each ministry and agency met regularly to make, in effect, decisions about government policy issues. The Democratic Party of Japan, which views such meetings as a “symbol of bureaucrat-led politics,” has decided to abolish the regular event, which started in 1886–a year after the cabinet system was introduced. Though such conferences are not stipulated in any law, they were held every Monday and Thursday at the Prime Minister’s Office, with top bureaucrats coordinating issues prior to them being discussed at cabinet meetings on Tuesdays and Fridays.
12. Japan Environment
Yomiuri Shimbun (“OFFICIAL: DPJ TO INTRODUCE EMISSIONS-TRADING SCHEME”, 2009/09/15) reported that a senior Democratic Party of Japan official said Sunday that the party planned to introduce a government-administered emissions-trading scheme to help achieve DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emission levels by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. Under the scheme, the incoming DPJ-led administration would cap the amount of greenhouse gases that companies or other bodies may emit. Firms that emit more than the limit would be able to purchase credits from firms with emission levels lower than the cap.
13. US-Japan Security Alliance
Agence-France-Presse (“JAPAN TO DEMAND US FORCES CLEAN UP POLLUTION: REPORT”, Tokyo, 2009/09/14) reports that Japan ‘s incoming government plans to oblige US forces stationed in the country to clean up any environmental damage when they move bases, a report said Monday. The coalition led by the centre-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which takes power this week, wants to add an environmental clause to the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the Sankei newspaper said, without naming its sources.
14. Japan-Taiwan Relations
Associated Press (Mari Yamaguchi, “JAPAN ARRESTS TAIWAN CAPTAIN IN DISPUTED WATERS”, Tokyo, 2009/09/14) reported that Japan’s coast guard has arrested a Taiwanese fishing boat captain who refused an inspection and sparked a six-hour chase through disputed waters in the East China Sea, officials said Monday. Wang Wei-shin, 44, was taken into custody late Sunday on suspicion of illegally fishing and violating Japanese waters near a chain of disputed islands claimed by Japan, Taiwan and PRC, according to Japan Coast Guard spokesman Shinichiro Tanaka.
15. Taiwan Politics
Central News Agency (“EX-PRESIDENT FILES APPEAL AGAINST LIFE SENTENCE”, Taipei, 2009/09/14) reports that Former President Chen Shui-bian, who was given a life sentence Sept. 11 along with his wife Wu Shu-jen on corruption, forgery and money-laundering charges, has filed an appeal, one of his aides said Monday. Asked if Chen will consider defending himself in court, his office manager, Liu Tao, who visited the former president at the Taipei Detention Center earlier in the day, quoted Chen as saying that this will depend on whether the Taiwan High Court’s handling of the appeal is fair and transparent.
Xinhua (“CHEN SHUI-BIAN BANNED FROM DPP FOR NEXT FIVE YEARS”, Taipei, 2009/09/14) reports that Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Monday former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian had been expelled from the party and would not be allowed to apply to join again in the next five years, as a result of Friday’s first trial verdict finding him guilty of corruption, local media reported. Chen was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Taipei District Court on charges of embezzlement, money laundering, bribery and document falsification, and was also fined 200 million New Taiwan dollars (6 million U.S. dollars).
16. Sino-Burmese Border Tensions
Al Jazeera (“CHINA TIP-OFF ‘SPARKED’ FIGHTING”, 2009/09/12) reported that a senior Myanmar official has said that last month’s clashes in the northeast of the country were sparked after a Beijing tipped them off about the location of an illegal arms factory. Up to 30,000 people fled across the border from Kokang into northern PRC during the fighting which followed the raid on the arms factory in the mainly ethnic Chinese region. During the visit, Brigadier Phone Swe, Myanmar’s deputy home affairs minister, said that PRC officials informed them about the factory during a ministerial meeting on combating transnational crime.
17. US on Tibet Issue
Associated Press (Ashwini Bhatia, “DALAI LAMA BRIEFED ABOUT US APPROACH TO TIBET”, Dharmsala, 2009/09/14) reported that Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, met Monday with the Dalai Lama and briefed him about the Obama administration’s approach to Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s office said in a statement. Jarrett was accompanied by U.S. State Department Undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero, the statement said.
18. Sino-US Export Controls Cooperation
NNSA Web Site (“U.S. AND CHINA STRENGTHEN PARTNERSHIP TO PREVENT ILLICIT WMD-RELATED TRADE”, 2009/09/11) reported that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the PRC’s General Administration of Customs (GAC), in cooperation with the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA) and the University of Georgia Center for International Trade and Security, today announced the successful conclusion of a workshop on Weapons of Mass Destruction Commodity Identification Training (WMD-CIT) in Shanghai, China. The workshop, attended by PRC customs managers and other front-line officers, focused on effective means and ways to recognize and inspect WMD-related goods. The workshop was followed by discussions for a Chinese-based curriculum at the Shanghai Customs College.
19. PRC-US Trade Relations
Associated Press (“CHINA FILES WTO COMPLAINT ON US TIRE TARIFFS”, Beijing, 2009/09/14 17:00:00 GMT+0) reports that as Beijing launched a case Monday against new U.S. tariffs on Chinese tires, President Barack Obama defended the duties, saying trading agreements must be enforced in order for trading systems to work. The conflict adds to a series of disputes over poultry, auto parts and other goods that have threatened to strain relations as Beijing and Washington cooperate on complex issues including the economic crisis and North Korea . It comes as the two world powerhouses prepare for a global economic summit next week.
Xinhua (“U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND TRADE COOPERATION FORUM OPENS IN CHICAGO”, 2009/09/14) reports that U.S.-PRC Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum opened in Chicago Monday, with participants calling for greater cooperation in trade and industries between the two countries. Yu Ping, vice chairman of PRC Council for the Promotion of International Trade said during the opening ceremony that Chinese and American businesses should strengthen communication and cooperation and join hands to transfer crisis to opportunities and create a better future.
20. PRC-EU Relations
Xinhua (“CHINA, EU AGREE TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION THROUGH TALKS”, Rome, 2009/09/14) reports that the PRC and EU agreed Sunday to continue their dialogue in order to strengthen cooperation. Hua Jianmin, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), or China’s legislature, met with President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek in Rome, before attending a summit for parliament speakers of the Group of Eight (G8) and emerging economies on behalf of top PRC legislator Wu Bangguo. During the meeting, Hua said that as two major international forces, the PRC and the EU deepening mutual cooperation conforms to the fundamental interests of both sides.
21. PRC Military Leadership
The Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CHINA VP SET TO GET MILITARY POST IN A STEP TO TOP”, Beijing, 2009/09/14 17:00:00 GMT+0) reports that PRC’s communist elite are expected to name the country’s vice president to a powerful military commission this week in a move that would cement his status as heir to the presidency of the ascendant power. If the Central Committee ignores precedent and doesn’t name Xi Jinping to the Communist Party’s military commission at a meeting that opens Tuesday, it could signal discord among the leadership over who will succeed President Hu Jintao in 2012.
22. PRC Influenza Outbreak
CCTV (“MACAO’S A/H1N1 CONFIRMED CASES RISE TO 1,819 “, Macao, 2009/09/14) reports that Macao reported 73 newly confirmed cases of Influenza A/H1N1 on Monday, bringing the cumulative number of such cases to 1,819 so far. The newly confirmed cases comprised 35 female patients and 38 male patients, whose ages ranged from one to 47, said Macao’s Health Bureau. Some of the cases were found in classes of four local schools, and the Bureau has ordered these classes to be suspended.
CCTV (“URUMQI SCHOOLS REOPEN AMID A/H1N1 MEASURES”, 2009/09/14) reports that due to prevention measures for the A/H1N1 influenza and traffic control, schools in the capital city of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were temporarily closed beginning September the 4th. Today (On Monday), all of the schools reopened in Urumqi. But now, instead of entering directly into the classroom, students must go through body temperature check, as a way to prevent large-scale group infections.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Civil Society
Shenzhen Special Region News (“HONG KONG, MACAO, GUANGDONG COOPERATION ASSOCIATION FOUND IN GAUNGZHOU”, 2009/09/14) reported that Hong Kong, Macao, Guangdong Cooperation Association was found in Guangzhou of Guangdong province yesterday. The Association aims at promoting cooperation of civil organizations among Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong.
24. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
China Economic Times (“PROSPECT OF GREEN PUBLICATION IS CHEERFUL”, 2009/09/14) reported that Green Peace announced recently that since the launch of their “If you love book, then love forest” Project, they have made ten books totally 340,000 volumes printed on 100% recycled paper, and the reduction of carbon dioxide emission has reached 75 tons. The prospect of green publication is cheerful.
25. PRC Economy
China Securities News (“LEE KAIFU ESTABLISHES YOUTH BUSINESS PLATFORM”, 2009/09/14) reported that the ex-CEO of Google China Lee Kaifu, announced recently in Beijing that he will establish a youth business platform innovation-works.com ) , to help Chinese young people create successful business. The next five years, he will invest 800 million RMB on the construction of the platform.