NAPSNet Daily Report 16 April, 2009

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 16 April, 2009", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 16, 2009,

NAPSNet Daily Report 16 April, 2009

Contents in this Issue:

Preceding NAPSNet Report



1. DPRK Nuclear Program

Reuters (Mark Heinrich , “U.N. LEAVES PLUTONIUM SITE ON NORTH KOREAN ORDERS”, Vienna, 2009/04/15) reported that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors turned off surveillance cameras and left the site of the DPRK’s nuclear bomb program on Pyongyang’s demand on Wednesday, a diplomat close to the IAEA told Reuters. The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s four-person team in the DPRK was likely to leave the country on Thursday, he said. The U.S. State Department said Pyongyang had told a separate U.S. team that had been observing the Yongbyon shutdown to get out of the country as well, and they were preparing to go. “This is a step backwards,” spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

Dong-A Ilbo (“N. KOREA LACKS TECH TO BUILD LIGHT-WATER REACTORS”, Seoul, 2009/04/15) reported that while the DPRK has threatened to build light-water nuclear reactors again, most experts say Pyongyang is bluffing to gain an advantage in negotiations with the United States. This is because the DPRK has no economic or technological capacity to build such a reactor on its own. More than anything, Pyongyang has no money. The cost for two reactors that were scheduled to be built in Sinpo in DPRK’s North Hamkyong Province was five billion U.S. dollars, far more than the estimated 500 million dollars the country spent to launch its satellite Kwangmyongsong-2.

RIA Novosti (“RUSSIA NOT IN NUCLEAR REACTOR TALKS WITH N.KOREA – KIRIYENKO”, 2009/04/16) reported that Russia is not holding any talks with Pyongyang on building a nuclear reactor in the DPRK, the country’s nuclear power chief said on Wednesday. “We only work with those countries who are members of the IAEA, and who have signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty,” Sergei Kiriyenko said. “We do not hold any kind of discussions with countries that are not on the list,” Kiriyenko stated.

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2. DPRK Sanctions

Bloomberg News (“JAPAN, U.S. PROPOSE NEW TARGETS OF UN SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA JAPAN, U.S. PROPOSE NEW TARGETS OF UN SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA “, 2009/04/15) reported that the US and Japan proposed lists of DPRK companies, banks and missile-related equipment to be targeted by United Nations sanctions that are to be enforced for the first time since they were imposed in 2006. The U.S. and Japan compiled their lists from the national sanctions they have imposed on the DPRK. Targeted companies include the Korea Putang Trading Corp., Korea Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture Corp. and Korea Complex Equipment Import Corp.

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3. U.S. on Six-Party Talks

Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. URGES N. KOREA TO RETURN TO 6-PARTY TALKS”, Washington, D.C., 2009/04/14) reported that the United States Tuesday urged the DPRK to refrain from threats and return to the six-party talks. “We call on North Korea to cease its provocative threats, to respect the will of the international community and to honor its international commitments and obligations,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

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4. US on DPRK Missile Launch

Washington Times (“U.S. FAILED TO USE BEST RADAR FOR N. KOREA MISSILE”, 2009/04/15) reported that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates denied permission for the U.S. Northern Command to use the Pentagon’s most powerful sea-based radar to monitor the DPRK’s recent missile launch, precluding officials from collecting finely detailed launch data or testing the radar in a real-time crisis, current and former defense officials said. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Mr. Gates’ decision not to use the $900 million radar, known as SBX, was “based on the fact that there were numerous ground- and sea-based radars and sensors in the region to support the operational requirements for this launch.”

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5. Japan on Six-Party Talks

Kyodo News (“JAPAN PREFERS 6-PARTY TALKS IN DEALING WITH N. KOREA”, Tokyo, 2009/04/15) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso suggested Wednesday the six-party talks framework aimed at ending the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions should be the principal venue for its allies to deal with the country after the United States showed willingness to hold direct talks with Pyongyang. ”I think the right procedure (to be taken by the international community) is to do various things in the six-party talks,” Aso told reporters when asked about recent remarks by top U.S. government officials. The remarks hinted at the possibility of direct talks between the United States and the DPRK to resolve confrontation between the DPRK and many other countries over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear activities.

Kyodo News (“KAWAMURA APPEALS TO NORTH ON TALKS”, 2009/04/17) reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura u rged the DPRK to return to the six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, after the hermit state declared it is expelling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. “The most sensible way for North Korea . . . is to humbly listen to international opinion and return to the six-party talks process,” Kawamura told a regular press conference. He also noted the need for Japan to cooperate with the U.S. and ROK in dealing with the matter.

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6. PRC on Six Party Talks

Yonhap News (“CHINA URGES SIX-PARTY MEMBERS NOT TO COMPLICATE DEADLOCKED NEGOTIATIONS “, Seoul, 2009/04/15) reported that the PRC’s envoy to Seoul urged members of DPRK nuclear disarmament talks not to “further complicate” the stalled negotiations.  “The current situation is already too complex and China doesn’t want it to become further complicated,” Amb. Cheng Yonghua said at a lecture in Seoul.   “We hope for respective parties to maintain positive and active attitudes and believe that tension should not be heightened,” said Cheng when asked how the PRC views Seoul’s joining of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

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7. PRC-DPRK Relations

Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA PLAYS GUARDED HAND AGAINST NORTH KOREA THREATS”, Beijing, 2009/04/15) reported that the PRC’s muted response to the DPRK’s nuclear brinkmanship reflects the dilemmas dogging Beijing as it seeks to coax Pyongyang back to disarmament talks while fearing for the health of Kim Jong-il and his regime. The PRC’s long-standing fear of riling the DPRK has been intensified by worry about its leader, Kim Jong-il, who has looked haggard in recent public appearances, and what could follow his demise, said Cai Jian, an expert on Korea at Fudan University in Shanghai.

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8. DPRK Leadership

Associated Press (Hyung-Jin Kim, “N. KOREA MARKS LATE LEADER’S BIRTHDAY AMID TENSION”, Seoul, 2009/04/15) reported that the DPRK celebrated the birthday Wednesday of late founding father Kim Il Sung amid international censure over the regime’s threats to restart its nuclear program, expel U.N. inspectors and quit international disarmament talks. For weeks, the DPRK has been leading up to the “Day of the Sun” with festivals, sporting events and cultural events. Two Christian bands from the U.S., the Nashville, Tennessee-based classical-fusion Annie Moses Band and Grammy Award-winning Casting Crowns , are among musicians taking part in an international arts festival.

Yonhap News (“N. KOREAN LEADER ATTENDS FIREWORKS DISPLAY TO HONOR KIM IL-SUNG”, Seoul, 2009/04/15) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il on Wednesday attended a fireworks display to mark the 97th birthday of his late father and founder of the communist country. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Kim watched the fireworks that took place in Pyongyang along with “countless” numbers of citizens who cheered the leader.

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9. Inter-Korean Relations

Yonhap News (“CURRENT ‘FREEZE’ IN INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS MAY CONTINUE FOR SOME TIME: SPY AGENCY “, Seoul, 2009/04/15) reported that the current “freeze” in ROK-DPRK relations may last for some time, the country’s spy agency told lawmakers. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers in a closed-door session that the ROK needs to prepare for ongoing difficulties in dealing with the DPRK.  “The intelligence service thinks the current impasse may last longer than previously anticipated,” Rep. Chung Chin-sup told reporters after the meeting.

Agence France-Presse (“DEFECTORS FLOAT LEAFLETS CRITICIZING N KOREA LEADER”, Seoul, 2009/04/15) reported that defectors Wednesday floated leaflets across the border from the ROK into the DPRK, calling for the ousting of leader Kim Jong Il as the state marked its most important holiday. Nine defectors shouted “Down with dictator Kim Jong Il!” as they released 10 huge balloons carrying 100,000 flyers at Imjingak in the ROK, just south of the heavily fortified frontier. The leaflets Wednesday denounced Kim Jong Il for letting people starve so he could develop missiles and urged communist party cadres to “oppose and topple” him.

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10. ROK on PSI Role

Yonhap News (Lee Chi-Dong, “S. KOREA PUTS OFF ANNOUNCING PARTICIPATION IN PSI”, Seoul, 2009/04/15) reported that the ROK has delayed announcing its participation in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a U.S.-led global effort to stop the trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a government official said Wednesday. This was said amid speculation that Seoul is making a last-minute review of the timing in consideration of pending issues with the DPRK. The official stressed, however, that the ROK remains firm on its plan to join PSI.

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11. Cross-Strait Relations

Bloomberg (Janet Ong, “TAIWAN NEEDS TO NORMALIZE ECONOMIC TIES WITH CHINA, SIEW SAYS”, Taipei, 2009/04/15) reported that Taiwan should sign an agreement to normalize economic ties with the PRC to avoid being marginalized in the global market, Vice President Vincent Siew said. “As everyone is going along the way of regional integration, Taiwan mustn’t become isolated,” Siew said in an interview in Taipei today. “This is the way to go for Taiwan and the short cut is via Beijing.” The third cross-strait talks between Chen Yunlin, the PRC’s top envoy to Taiwan, and his counterpart Chiang Pin-kung will be held at the end of April to discuss a memorandum of understanding on financial services, expanding regular scheduled flights and easing of restrictions for PRC investors in Taiwan, Siew said.

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12. Cross Strait Military Relations

Reuters (“CHINA MULLS MILITARY CONTACTS WITH TAIWAN”, 2009/04/15) reported that the PRC denied that its military officers would meet Taiwanese counterparts in Hawaii this summer, but suggested the two sides could begin low-key defense contacts via retired personnel or academics. The PRC did not approve of using third parties to talk about military matters with Taiwan, Li said. “Military exchanges across the Strait are an issue for both sides, and academics from both could first have scholarly exchanges on a security mutual trust mechanism,” he said. “It could also start with exchanges between retired officers, to start off military contacts between the two sides,” he added. “I think this is a constructive way of thinking, as well as appropriate and positive.”

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13. PRC Latin American Diplomacy

The New York Times (“DEALS HELP CHINA EXPAND ITS SWAY IN LATIN AMERICA”, 2009/04/15) reported that as Washington tries to rebuild its strained relationships in Latin America, the PRC is stepping in vigorously, offering countries across the region large amounts of money while they struggle with sharply slowing economies, a plunge in commodity prices and restricted access to credit. In recent weeks, the PRC has been negotiating deals to double a development fund in Venezuela to $12 billion, lend Ecuador at least $1 billion to build the country’s largest hydroelectric plant, provide Argentina with access to more than $10 billion in PRC currency and lend Brazil’s national oil company $10 billion. The deals largely focus on the PRC locking in natural resources like oil for years to come.

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14. PRC Military

Xinhua (“CHINA’S NAVY TO GO HIGH TECH ON THE HIGH SEA”, Beijing, 2009/04/16) reported that the PRC is planning to build sophisticated marine weapons that include large combat ships, supersonic aircraft and high-speed intelligent torpedoes. “The navy will move faster in researching and building new-generation weapons to boost the ability to fight in regional sea wars using information technology,” Navy Commander Admiral Wu Shengli said in an interview yesterday – a week ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. In addition to ships, aircraft and torpedoes, long-range missiles with high accuracy, submarines with heightened stealth capability and endurance, and electronic weapons and facilities are also on the navy’s agenda.

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15. PRC Satellite Launch

Xinhua (“CHINA LAUNCHES SECOND ‘COMPASS’ SATELLITE FOR GLOBAL NAVIGATION SYSTEM”, Beijing, 2009/04/15) reported that the PRC successfully launched a navigation satellite early Wednesday.  The carrier rocket, Long March 3C, blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 0:16 a.m. An official with the National Engineering Center of Satellite Navigation told Xinhua that the successful launch of the geostationary Earth orbit satellite was of great importance as it was the second launch of the country’s satellite navigation system independent from foreign technology. It is the 116th flight for the country’s Long March series of rockets.

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16. PRC Tiananmen Anniversary

BBC News (“CHINA MUTED ON KEY ANNIVERSARY”, 2009/04/15) reported that the 20th anniversary of the death of reformist PRC leader Hu Yaobang has passed without being marked in the PRC. The anniversary is seen as the start of an ultra-sensitive period for Beijing, in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Meanwhile students in Hong Kong are holding a vote on whether the PRC should apologise for the Tiananmen killings. The former British colony of Hong Kong is the only place in the PRC where the events of 1989 are likely to be openly commemorated.

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17. PRC Minorities

Xinhua News (“CHINA TO INVEST 2 BLN YUAN FOR ETHNIC MINORITIES’ ECONOMIC, SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT”, Beijing, 2009/04/15) reported that the PRC will appropriate more than 2 billion yuan (293 million U.S. dollars) as a development fund for ethnic minorities during 2009-2010 to accelerate their economic and social development, said the National Human Rights Action Plan of China released Monday by the State Council’s Information Office. Of the sum, nearly 1 billion yuan will be used to help the construction of infrastructure, the renovation of dilapidated houses, the improvement of people’s living and production conditions, industrial development, salaries and social programs in regions where ethnic minorities with relatively small populations live in compact communities, according to the plan.

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18. PRC Climate Change

Xinhua News (“CHINESE EXPERTS CALL ON RICH COUNTRIES TO DO MORE ON CLIMATE CHANGE EFFORTS “, Canberra, 2009/04/15) reported that PRC climate experts on Wednesday called on Australia to take the lead in tackling climate change, saying rich nations should rein in their “wasteful and luxurious” lifestyles. Professor Jiahua Pan from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the planet could not afford for countries like Australia and the United States to have such “wasteful and luxurious” lifestyles. Pan was unimpressed with Australia’s environmental standards, saying public transport seemed poor and the buildings and street lighting were not energy efficient.

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19. PRC Energy

China Daily (“CHINA PROMOTES NEW ENERGY”, 2009/04/15) reported that o n February 17, four PRC ministries and commissions—the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology—jointly designated 13 pilot cities to promote energy-saving and new energy automobiles, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing.  These pilot cities are encouraged to promote new energy in public service fields such as public buses, taxis, government vehicles, sanitation and postal service. The Central Government will offer subsidies up to 600,000 yuan to consumers, depending on the circumstances.

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20. PRC Renewable Energy

Xinhua (“CHINA WIND POWER INSTALLED CAPACITY LIKELY TO RISE 64% THIS YEAR”, Shanghai, 2009/04/13) reported that that organizers of the 3rd China International Wind Energy Exhibition and Symposium 2009 forecast that installed capacity in the PRC’s wind power sector will grow 64% this year to 20 million kilowatts. According to the report, installed capacity grew 105% last year. Chinese industry experts believe that by about 2020, wind power will likely surpass nuclear power as the PRC’s third-largest source of electricity, after thermal and hydro power. Wind power comprised 1.5% of China’s total installed capacity in 2008, when the country became the world’s fourth largest wind power market.

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II. PRC Report

21. Civil Society and PRC Public Health

North New Daily (“INNER MONGOLIA BECOMES PILOT SITE OF TUBERCULOSIS PREVENTION”, 2009/04/14) reported that according to Health Department of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia has been picked as one of six pilot sites of tuberculosis prevention by Gates Foundation. Inner Mongolia is one of the high burden regions of tuberculosis in China. Only in 2008, 21,910 tuberculosis patients were found. The prevention situation is very serious. The implementation time limit of this Gates project is from 2009 to 2014.

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22. PRC Civil Society and AIDS Issue

China Women Net (“HONG KONG GROWTH AND HOPE FOUNDATION AIDS RURAL BASIC EDUCATION IN QINGHAI”, 2009/04/15) reported that Hong Kong Growth and Hope Foundation and Qinghai Women Federation have jointly held the donation ceremony of “A Child A Dictionary Project” and “Student Health Care Project” in Xining city recently. 5 primary schools in Qinghai province have gotten dictionaries, physical examination instruments, medicine and other materials worth about 30,000 yuan. Since 2004, the Hong Kong Foundation has donated fund over 1.8 million yuan in Qinghai, and over ten thousand people have benefited from it.

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23. PRC Child Protection

Xinhua Net (“CHINA TO ESTABLISH COMPLETE CHILD FIGHT PROTECTION SYSTEM”, 2009/04/15) reported that China Ministry of Civil Affairs is drafting “Vagrant Children Aid and Protection Regulation (Draft)”, to establish complete child right protection system. A proposal about vagrant children from CPPCC member Pu Cunxin during the two sessions this year has caused social concern. Director of Ministry of Civil Affairs said that the proposal has speeded up the step of improving this regulation.

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III. ROK Report

24. DPRK Rocket Launch

KSOI Scope (“CITIZENS COMPLAIN ABOUT GOV’T’S COUNTERMEASURES ON DPRK ROCKET LAUNCH”, ) writes that 42.0% of ROK citizens evaluated that the government was dealing with the DPRK’s rocket launch “not very well,” which 29.3% replied that the government was dealing with it “quite well.” 28.7% said they “weren’t sure.” Despite the fact that government hasn’t made a mistake, the evaluation was quite negative. This is because both the progressives, who support the Sunshine Policy, and the conservatives, who support hard-line policies, criticized the government. The progressives believe that the launch was a result of the current administration’s hard-line policies, and the conservatives complain that the administration isn’t hard enough on dealing with the situation.

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25. ROK on US-DPRK Relations

PRESSian (Park Hoogeon, “MAKE DECISIONS AS A SOVEREIGN STATE, JOINING INTO PSI, ‘STRESS’ FOR US, ‘FORTUNE’ FOR JAPAN”, 2009/04/15) wrote that it seems the final purpose for DPRK’s rocket launch experiment was to test their Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. In this sense, the DPRK’s experiment was a success, and it has changed the military/security relations in Northeast Asia. The only way the US can deal with DPRK now is through direct talks. The ROK, along with Japan, has urged the US for strong sanctions against the DPRK, and is also planning to join into the Proliferation Security Initiative. The problem here is that the ROK’s moves do not fit the national interest. Currently, the ROK’s demands can only be fulfilled through the US, but for US, two-way talks are better in pursuing their national interest.  

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26. Inter-Korea Relations

Herald Biz (“KIM ILSUNG’S BIRTHDAY ON 15TH, DPRK IS ‘CELEBRATING’ WHILE ROK IS ‘SCATTERING’”, 2009/04/15) writes that on April 15, Kim Il-sung’s birthday (Day of the Sun) and DPRK’s biggest national holiday, North-South relations are in a volatile situation. The DPRK is celebrating the day by coming together with glorious memorial events and hard-line diplomatic policies while in the ROK, tensions are reaching a peak by declaring its intention to join the Proliferation Security Initiative and scattering leaflets. Some analyze that the only reason the ROK government delayed the declaration of joining the PSI from this morning is to avoid the Day of the Sun.

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27. Six-Party Talks

Kyunghyang Shinmun (“MUST QUICKLY ENABLE FRAMEWORK OF NEGOTIATIOS FOR PEACE IN KOREAN PENINSULA”, 2009/04/15) writes that countermeasures to the DPRK’s launch were quick and hard; however, under the hard-line measures lies the possibility of resuming negotiations. Not only the DPRK, but also the ROK, the US and Japan strongly want negotiations to resume. For the negotiations to resume, the DPRK must first withdraw its declaration not to participate in six-party talks. Also, the ROK government should actively proceed with holding US-DPRK talks while helping China to play an active role in it.

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28. ROK Policy Toward DPRK

Chosun Ilbo (“HOW TO TAME DPRK FROM NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT?” “, 2009/04/15) writes that ROK government does not seem to care much about the DPRK’s opposition to ROK’s joining into PSI and sanctions against DPRK. However, the DPRK issue could turn into a security disaster by one small misjudgement or mistake. The ROK government needs to prepare for different emergency scenarios and what position it needs to take in different situations.

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29. East Asia Economic Cooperation

Joongang Ilbo (“30-MEMBER FORUM AND SUGGESTION OF AMF”, 2009/04/15) writes that at the 30-member Korea-China-Japan Forum, sponsored by the JoongAng Ilbo, China’s Xinhua News Agency and Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun, held from 12 th to 13 th on the topic of “ways to cooperate in resolving global economic crisis,” suggested two things to governments in the three countries. First, they urged the ROK, PRC and Japanese governments to establish an office to work on creating an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF). Second, they ordered “opposition to any sort of protectionism in any area.” The three governments should take into serious consideration the suggestions of 30-member conference. The three countries should stop the intolerant competition not only to end the global crisis, but also for northeast Asia to prosper. Also, cooperation between the three countries should move on from the current civil level, to a government level.