NAPSNet Daily Report 15 September, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Agence France-Presse (“EASING SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA ‘VERY PREMATURE’: US”, Tokyo, 2010/09/15) reported that the US pointman on the DPRK said that diplomatic efforts were under way to revive talks to stem Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions but said easing sanctions now would be “very premature”. “We are looking for evidence that North Korea now regards the possibility of negotiations seriously… We want talks that leave specific and concrete results,” said. Bosworth cautioned that “there is no reason at the moment to expect that there is going to be a flurry of diplomatic activities in the next few weeks. This is going to take some time.”
2. Inter-Korean Relations
Reuters (“THE COST OF REUNIFYING KOREA? ABOUT $3 TRILLION”, Seoul, 2010/09/15) reported that the cost of reunifying the two Koreas would tot up to about 3,500 trillion won ($3 trillion), the Federation of Korean Industries said. Not one of 20 economists surveyed by the federation expected reunification in the next five years but almost half said it would happen in 10 to 20 years. Nearly half also said the largest cost associated with reunification would be in efforts to cut the wealth gap between the wealthy ROK and the impoverished DPRK. “In the short term the shock to the Korean economy will be great but in the long-term reunification will be positive,” the survey said.
3. DPRK Party Congress
The New York Times (“SILENCE FUELS SPECULATION OVER N. KOREA PARTY MEETING”, Choe Sang-Hun, 2010/09/15) reported that for weeks, DPRK watchers have been eagerly awaiting what would be the biggest political gathering there in decades: a Workers’ Party meeting that the reclusive state said it would hold in “early” September to select the party’s top leadership. The first half of the month passed on Wednesday without any sign that the meeting had taken place. Several analysts cited recent severe floods as a possible factor. Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at Sejong Institute, south of Seoul, said, “Kim Jong-il must have considered it a big burden to stage a major political event for his son’s debut while people lost lives and homes.”
4. Japanese Nuclear Technology Exports
Denki Shimbun (“TECHNOLOGIES TO BE DEVELOPED FOR REDUCING LLW FROM NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS”, 2010/09/15) reported that Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) will launch full-scale development of technologies to reduce low-level radioactive waste (LLW) generated from nuclear power plants. Given that such technologies have been requested by many countries considering introduction of nuclear power generation for the first time, MEXT hopes to expand nuclear exports by proposing to sell such technologies and plant construction as a set. In pursuing the research and development of new technologies, MEXT is considering inviting engineers from countries newly introducing nuclear power to participate in related projects in Japan.
5. PRC on Nuclear Security
Xinhua News (“CHINA REAFFIRMS COMMITMENTS TO NUCLEAR SECURITY AT IAEA MEETING”, Vienna, 2010/09/14) reported that the PRC remains committed to strengthening international cooperation against nuclear terrorism and promoting nuclear safety, a PRC diplomat told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) directors meeting. Hu Xiaodi, the PRC’s permanent representative and ambassador to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna, said that the PRC government always pays great attention to security issues on nuclear materials and facilities and positively participate in various activities on nuclear security led by the IAEA. He said China has joined the agency’s Illicit Trafficking Database (ITDB) program and constantly improved the management and access control of its domestic radioactive sources.