NAPSNet Daily Report 16 July, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK Foreign Relations
- 3. Russo-DPRK Relations
- 4. Inter-Korean Relations
- 5. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 6. Japan Interdiction of DPRK Vessels
- 7. DPRK in ARF
- 8. DPRK Leadership
- 9. ROK Defense
- 10. ROK-US Trade Relations
- 11. ROK Civil Society
- 12. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 13. Japan Politics
- 14. Japan Cluster Munitions Ban
- 15. PRC-Australia Relations
- 16. PRC-US Climate Cooperation
- 17. US-PRC Relations
- 18. US on PRC Ethic Unrest
- 19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 20. PRC Arms Deal
- 21. PRC Climate Change
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
The Associated Press (Sarah El Deeb, “NORTH KOREA: NO DISARMAMENT TALKS”, 2009/07/15) reported that the DPRK is not ready to resume disarmament negotiations over its nuclear program because the U.S. and its allies do not respect the nation’s sovereignty, said the country’s No. 2 leader. Speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement summit of 118 nations, Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the country’s second-highest official, blasted the U.S. for its “hostile actions,” which had pushed the situation into a “serious confrontation.”
2. DPRK Foreign Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“STATES UNLIKELY TO TAKE N.KOREA’S SIDE”, ) reported that UN condemnation of the DPRK is apparently being heeded at the 15th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Egypt. Diplomatic sources in Washington D.C. say the DPRK’s protests are finding little sympathy from other members of the movement, and this was due to the U.S. government using its diplomatic weight behind the scenes. Cuba, Egypt and other key members of the movement, have been seeking to improve ties with the U.S. since President Barack Obama came to power. As a result, the final statement at the end of the summit on Thursday is not expected to register the DPRK’s protests against six-party talks on its nuclear program nor any clauses regarding the Korean Peninsula.
3. Russo-DPRK Relations
Dong A Ilbo (“NK REFUSING TO REPATRIATE WORKERS` CORPSES IN RUSSIA”, 2009/07/15) reported that the DPRK continues to abandon the corpses of DPRK workers who died in Russia at a temporary burial site there. When such workers die at construction sites, Russian hospitals keep their corpses at the morgue. When the DPRK shows no willingness to retrieve the bodies, they are buried at a temporary site near the hospital. A Russian hospital source said, “When Pyongyang shows no intention to take the bodies back home, we dig a big hole three to four years later and bury the remains altogether.”
4. Inter-Korean Relations
New York Times (Su-Hyun Lee, “SOUTH KOREAN COURT TO HEAR SUIT FROM NORTH”, Seoul, 2009/07/15) reported that an ROK court has for the first time accepted a lawsuit brought by DPRK citizens trying to establish their rights to property in the ROK. Legal experts say it is a harbinger of what reunification might bring and are urging study of what policies and legislation should govern DPRK-ROK civil disputes.
Yonhap News (Lee Chi-dong, “S. KOREA CAUTIOUS ABOUT TAKING DETENTION ISSUE TO GLOBAL STAGE”, Seoul, 2009/07/15) reported that the ROK government is wrestling over how to raise the issue of an ROK worker detained in the DPRK at a regional security forum to be held in Thailand next week. Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said that he will “make reference” to the “grave issue related to human rights” at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a meeting of foreign ministers from 27 nations including the U.S., PRC, Russia, Japan, and Southeast Asian nations. Some ministry officials questioned the appropriateness of “globalizing” what they say is an inter-Korean issue.
5. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Yonhap News (“S. KOREAN AUTOMAKER IN PYONGYANG SENDS FIRST BUSINESS PROFIT HOME”, Seoul, 2009/07/15) reported that a ROK automaker operating in the DPRK said it has posted its first net profit and remitted part of it home, the first southbound money transfer by an inter-Korean venture. Pyeonghwa Motors Corp. made a net profit of US$700,000 for the fiscal year ending in February and sent $500,000 to its headquarters in Seoul via a bank account in Hong Kong, its spokesman Roh Byoung-chun said.
6. Japan Interdiction of DPRK Vessels
Mainichi (“INSPECTIONS OF N. KOREAN VESSELS AMONG 17 GOV’T-SPONSORED BILLS TO BE SCRAPPED”, 2009/07/15) reported that seventeen outstanding government-sponsored bills, including one regarding inspections of vessels traveling to and from the DPRK, will be scrapped after Prime Minister Taro Aso dissolves the House of Representatives later this month for a snap general election.
7. DPRK in ARF
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “IN SIGN OF PROTRACTED STALEMATE, N. KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER WON’T ATTEND ARF”, Seoul, 2009/07/16) reported that the DPRK will send an ambassador-at-large on behalf of its foreign minister to the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) next week in Thailand, an official at the DPRK embassy in Bangkok said Thursday. The decision dashes hopes of an informal gathering in Phuket of the foreign ministers from the six-party talks. “We already delivered the list of our delegates to the Thai government. Amb. Pak Keun-gwang will lead our delegation, which will be composed of five officials,” the official told Yonhap News Agency over the phone. “Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun will not come.”
8. DPRK Leadership
United Press International (“NORTH KOREA EDGES TOWARD A POWER STRUGGLE”, Seoul, 2009/07/15) reported that DPRK’s No. 2 man might seize power after the expected death of Kim Jong Il, who is believed to have pancreatic cancer, ROK intelligence sources said. Jang Song Taek, 63, head of the National Defense Commission, could be on a collision course with the ailing leader’s anointed successor, his 26-year-old son.
Associated Press (Jae-soon Chang, “N. KOREA STARTS MAKING 1ST BIOPIC ABOUT LEADER KIM”, Seoul, 2009/07/16) reported that the DPRK has started making its first documentary about Kim Jong-il’s life. The Chosun Ilbo noted Thursday that the regime began producing a similar 20-part film about Kim’s late father, Kim Il Sung, in 1993 — a year before he died of heart failure. Koh Yu-hwan of Dongguk University said the move appears to be aimed at laying the groundwork for naming one of Kim’s sons as his successor. “A Kim Jong Il biopic would be closely related to Kim Il Sung,” the professor said. “That could be used to demonstrate the inevitability of a son taking over so as to make North Korean people to accept the succession as a matter of tradition.”
9. ROK Defense
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “2ND CONTINGENT OF ANTI-PIRACY UNIT TO LEAVE FOR SOMALIA”, 2009/07/15) reported that a 300-strong contingent of the ROK Navy’s Cheonghae anti-piracy unit will depart for the Somalia littorals Thursday. The contingent consists of the 4,500-ton Daejoyoung KDX-II destroyer, an anti-submarine Lynx helicopter and a group of 30 UDT/SEAL forces, it said. The new contingent is scheduled to arrive in the Gulf of Aden in mid-August and replace the first contingent led by the KDX-II Munmu the Great.
10. ROK-US Trade Relations
Xinhua (“S KOREA NOT TO RENEGOTIATE ON U.S. FTA”, Seoul, 2009/07/15) reported that the ROK reaffirmed that it has no plan to renegotiate its free trade agreement (FTA) signed with the US.”The trade pact is well-balanced, and our stance is ‘no renegotiation’ on the trade pact,” Ah Ho-young, ROK Deputy Trade Minister said. The accord, once going into effect, is expected to boost the economy by 6 percent over the long term, and to contribute to creating 340,000 more jobs, said the state-run Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.
11. ROK Civil Society
Korea Times (Bae Ji-sook, “CIVIL SERVANT UNIONS STALL ON ANTI-GOV’T STATEMENT”, ) reported that civil servants’ unions are backing away from a plan to jointly issue a statement against President Lee Myung-bak’s government. The Korea Civil Service Labor Union (KCSLU), the Korea Democracy Government Employees’ Union (KDGEU) and the Court Workers Union (CWU) had announced a plan to issue a joint anti-government statement, but failed to reach a final agreement.
12. US-Japan Security Alliance
Mainichi (“PANEL CHAIRMAN ABANDONS BID TO HAVE GOV’T COME CLEAN ON SECRET NUKE PACT WITH U.S.”, 2009/07/15) reported that the head of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has abandoned seeking the adoption during the current Diet session of a resolution urging the government to correct its official position on the Japan-U.S. secret pact on port calls by U.S. vessels carrying nuclear arms. Taro Kono, chairman of the panel, pointed out that opposition parties have refused to attend deliberations, and that the ruling coalition is opposed to voting on it before the Lower House dissolution. Kono suggested that there was a secret pact at the time of the 1960 revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and criticized the government’s denial of the accord as a “false account.”
Kyodo (“OBAMA WILL VETO DEFENSE SPENDING BILL OVER F-22 JETS, WHITE HOUSE WARNS”, Washington, 2009/07/15) reported that US President Barack Obama will veto a pending $680 billion defense spending bill for fiscal 2010 if lawmakers set aside funding for more F-22 fighter jets than the Defense Department has requested, the White House said Wednesday. The move came after Japan asked the United States recently to provide information on the F-22 once more as it still hopes to acquire the advanced fighter jet despite a U.S. ban on its export.
13. Japan Politics
AP (Eric Talmadge, “ANALYSIS: JAPAN’S RULING PARTY COULD FALL IN VOTE”, Tokyo, 2009/07/15) reported that The Liberal Democratic Party is widely expected to lose its grip on parliament in elections next month after nearly 55 years in power, and Japan’s leading opposition party is promising a more independent foreign policy less closely tied to the will of Washington, tighter fiscal measures with a slimmer government and a shorter leash on Japan’s powerful bureaucrats, and more military missions abroad with international peacekeeping forces . In the most recent poll, published Wednesday, 45 percent of voters said they thought opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama was most suited to lead the country, versus 25 percent for current Prime Minister Taro Aso.
Reuters (“CHAOS DEEPENS IN JAPAN’S RULING PARTY BEFORE POLL”, Tokyo, 2009/07/15) reported that chaos deepened on Wednesday in Japan’s ruling party ahead of an expected August 30 election, as lawmakers fearing a crushing defeat persisted with efforts to ditch unpopular Prime Minister Taro Aso . Opinion polls show the main opposition Democratic Party ahead of Aso’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), raising the prospect of an end to more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the business-friendly conservatives.
14. Japan Cluster Munitions Ban
Mainichi (“JAPAN COMPLETES RATIFICATION OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS CONVENTION”, 2009/07/15) reported that Japan completed procedures on Tuesday to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, becoming the 14th country to officially sanction the treaty. The convention, commonly known as the Oslo Treaty, bans the production, stockpiling and use of cluster munitions, whose unexploded shells have continued to harm civilians.
15. PRC-Australia Relations
The Associated Press (Tanalee Smith, “AUSTRALIAN PM WARNS CHINA IN RIO TINTO CASE”, Adelaide, 2009/07/15) reported that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd warned the PRC that the world is watching how it deals with an investigation into four detained employees of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd . Rudd urged the PRC to consider its economic ties with other countries as it dealt with the men, who have been held since July 5 on espionage charges. Three are Chinese nationals and one is an Australian citizen .
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA ACCUSED OF TRYING TO STOP UIGHUR FILM IN AUSTRALIA”, Melbourne, 2009/07/14) reported that the PRC has tried to stop Melbourne’s International Film Festival from showing a documentary about a Uighur activist accused by the PRC of orchestrating unrest. Festival director Richard Moore said an official from the Chinese consulate called him last Friday and urged him to withdraw the documentary “Ten Conditions of Love” by Melbourne film-maker Jeff Daniels .The film is about Rebiya Kadeer , the US-based head of the World Uighur Congress, whom China accuses of fomenting this month’s unrest in Xinjiang.
16. PRC-US Climate Cooperation
The Associated Press (Joe McDonald, “US, CHINA ANNOUNCE CLEAN ENERGY RESEARCH CENTER”, Beijing, 2009/07/15) reported that t he US and PRC, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, announced plans for a joint clean energy research center as the US commerce secretary appealed to the PRC to avoid imposing trade barriers on green technology. The research center is an effort at compromise between the two governments, which disagree on whether the PRC should join richer nations in adopting binding emissions-reduction targets to stave off environmental devastation from climate change. With initial financing of $15 million and headquarters in both countries, the center will focus on coal and clean buildings and vehicles.
17. US-PRC Relations
US Office of Public Affairs (“COMMERCE SECRETARY GARY LOCKE MEETS WITH CHINA’S MINISTER OF COMMERCE CHEN DEMING IN BEIJING”, Washington, 2009/07/15) reported that U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with the PRC’s Minister of Commerce Chen Deming in Beijing. They agreed on the importance of building a positive and cooperative relationship that strengthens trade and creates jobs in the US and the PRC. Secretary Locke also discussed challenges faced by US companies seeking to do business in the PRC. The Secretary encouraged the PRC to avoid implementing protectionist measures and focus its efforts on stimulating domestic demand.
AFP (Marianne Barriaux , “CHINA MUST OPEN UP TO END GLOBAL CRISIS: US COMMERCE SECRETARY”, Beijing, 2009/07/15) reported that US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said the PRC could play a pivotal role in bringing an end to the global economic crisis by further opening its domestic markets and easing currency controls. “If China allowed for greater flexibility in its exchange rate and further opened up its domestic markets for imports and foreign direct investment, it would accelerate the world’s return to growth,” Locke told a business lunch. He added that one of the main issues was a bilateral trade imbalance “that simply can’t be sustained.”
18. US on PRC Ethic Unrest
Agence France Press (“US COMMISSION SEEKS CHINA XINJIANG SANCTIONS”, Washington, 2009/07/15) reported that the US government commission on religious freedom called for targeted sanctions against the PRC over the ethnic unrest in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang . The US Commission on International Religious Freedom said it was “gravely concerned” about the PRC’s “repression” of the cultural and religious traditions of the Uighurs .
19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Agence France Press (Dan Martin, “CHINA ISSUES SECURITY ALERT AFTER AL-QAEDA THREAT”, Urumqi, ) reported that the PRC issued a security alert to its citizens in Algeria after Al-Qaeda reportedly vowed to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed during ethnic unrest. “The PRC Embassy in Algeria is specially calling on PRC-funded organisations and personnel to raise their security awareness and strengthen security measures,” the embassy said. London-based firm Stirling Assynt said that an Al-Qaeda affiliate had vowed to avenge the deaths of Muslim Uighurs killed in Xinjiang by targeting PRC workers in north Africa. The call came from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the report said.
New York Times (Edward Wong, “INTELLECTUALS CALL FOR RELEASE OF UIGHUR ECONOMIST “, Beijing, 2009/07/14) reported that prominent Chinese intellectuals and writers have signed a petition calling for the release of a well-known ethnic Uighur economist in Beijing who was apparently detained last week during a bloody outbreak of ethnic violence in western PRC. The economist, Ilham Tohti, who had written critically about government policies toward the Uighurs, is the best known person to be detained so far in relation to the ethnic strife. Mr. Tohti, a professor at the Central University for Nationalities, vanished from his Beijing home sometime last week and made a call to a friend to say he would be detained.
Washington Post (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “CHINA UNREST TIED TO LABOR PROGRAM UIGHURS SENT TO WORK IN OTHER REGIONS”, Urumqi, 2009/07/15) reported that the origins of last week’s ethnically charged riots in Urumqi, the capital of the PRC’s Xinjiang region, can be traced to a labor export program that led to the sudden integration of the Xuri Toy Factory and other companies in cities throughout the PRC. Uighur protesters who marched into Urumqi’s main bazaar on July 5 were demanding a full investigation into a brawl at the toy factory between Han and Uighur workers that left two Uighurs dead.
20. PRC Arms Deal
AFP (“SRI LANKA STOPS ARMS DEAL WITH CHINA: OFFICIAL”, Colombo, 2009/07/15) reported that Sri Lanka scrapped a 200 million dollar ammunition order from the PRC following the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels two months ago. General Sarath Fonseka said the order was cancelled because there was no need to stock ammunition for heavy guns after routing the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE ) in May.”We had ordered about 200 million dollars of heavy ammunition from China,” Fonseka told reporters. “There is no need for such ammunition any more.”
21. PRC Climate Change
AFP (“CARBON TARIFFS A VEIL FOR PROTECTIONISM: CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/07/15) reported that the PRC said it was against proposals to impose ”” on goods manufactured in the developing world, saying such moves were a pretext for trade protectionism. Any such laws would breach World Trade Organisation rules, said a PRC commerce ministry spokesman. “Behind such a policy, there is an attempt to impose trade protectionism under the name of environmental and resource protection.” The last month passed a bill that could allow import taxes on products made in countries that do not have statutory curbs on greenhouse gas emissions, such as the PRC.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Social Welfare
Beijing Times (“1000 YUAN/PERSON FOR CHILDREN IN WELFARE HOUSE”, 2009/07/15) reported that Ministry of Civil Affairs announced yesterday that the lowest living fees of children in welfare house is 1000 RMB per person. This standard contains fees of food, clothe and bedding, daily necessities, education, medicine, and recovery.
23. Cross Strait Relations
Xinhua News Agency (“SICHUAN AND ARATS HOLD POST DISASTER RECONSTRUCTION MEETING”, 2009/07/15) reported that Director of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Jiang Bingkun and his team have arrived in Chengdu of Sichuan province on 14, to participate the Meeting of Introducing Work of Post–Disaster Reconstruction in Sichuan. During the Meeting, related sectors of Sichuan have introduced the use of fund donated by Taiwan compatriots, and the social economic development of Sichuan after the earthquake to Taiwan guests.
24. PRC Security
Xinhua Net (“HANGZHOU FOUND PEACEMAKERS ASSOCIATION”, 2009/07/15) reported that China’s first Peacemakers Association was established in Hangzhou of Zhejiang province recently. The main duties of the Association are to adjust disputes among people in villages or communities, to interview dwellers and residents, to understand people’s intentions, and to transfer these information to the party organizations of villages and communities.