NAPSNet Daily Report 16 June, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on UNSC Resolution
- 2. DPRK on Nuclear Program
- 3. IAEA on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 5. US on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 6. US on DPRK Missile Program
- 7. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 8. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 9. Inter-Korean Relations
- 10. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 11. Japan Sanctions on the DPRK
- 12. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 13. DPRK Military
- 14. US-ROK Energy Cooperation
- 15. Japan Politics
- 16. Japan Emergency Drill
- 17. Cross Strait Relations
- 18. Sino-Burmese Energy Cooperation
- 19. Sino-Pakistani Security Relations
- 20. Sino-Kuwaiti Energy Cooperation
- 21. PRC and the SCO
- 22. PRC Peacekeeping Forces
- 23. PRC Public Health
- 24. PRC Protest
- 25. PRC Swine Flu Outbreak
- 26. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK on UNSC Resolution
The Associated Press (“N. KOREA HOLDS RALLY TO CONDEMN UN SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2009/06/15) reported that tens of thousands of North Koreans rallied in Pyongyang on Monday to condemn the U.N. rebuke of the country’s latest nuclear test amid concern the communist regime could conduct another one. In Pyongyang, a massive crowd packed the capital’s main square in a rally to condemn the U.N. resolution, footage from APTN in the DPRK showed. APTN DPRK estimated the crowd at about 100,000.
2. DPRK on Nuclear Program
Korea Times (“N.K. SAYS IT WILL START ENRICHING URANIUM”, 2009/06/15) reported that the DPRK said it would start enriching uranium and weaponize all its plutonium in protest of fresh U.N. sanctions, which the United States said it would work vigorously to enforce. “The process of uranium enrichment will be commenced,” the DPRK Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. The DPRK would start a uranium enrichment program for a light-water reactor, he said. Experts said the DPRK lacks the technology and resources to build such a costly reactor but may use the program as cover to enrich uranium for weapons.
3. IAEA on DPRK Nuclear Program
Xinhua News (“IAEA CHIEF: KOREAN NUCLEAR ISSUE SHOULD BE RESOLVED THROUGH DIPLOMATIC MEANS”, Vienna, 2009/06/15) reported that the nuclear issue of the DPRK should be resolved through diplomatic means, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s director general Mohamed El Baradei said at the nuclear watchdog’s board meeting. El Baradei called on all the parties to make full diplomatic efforts to bring the DPRK back to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In seeking to resolve the DPRK’s nuclear issue, security, humanitarian and relevant political and economic needs must be taken into consideration, El Baradei said.
4. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Test
Reuters (“LESS ACTIVITY AT N.KOREA NUCLEAR SITES: RUSSIAN AGENCY”, Moscow, 2009/06/15) reported that Russian reconnaissance has registered a fall in activity around DPRK nuclear sites in recent days, state-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing a senior military source. The fall in activity could either signify preparations for a new nuclear test or that the DPRK’s nuclear forces have taken a break after testing a bomb last month, the source said. “Information we have received, some from our space reconnaissance, indicates that the intensity of movement around the nuclear objects has fallen in recent days,” RIA Novosti quoted the official in Russia ‘s military command as saying.
5. US on DPRK Nuclear Test
The Associated Press (“US INTEL: NORTH KOREA CONDUCTED NUKE TEST IN MAY”, Washington, 2009/06/15) reported that the U.S. government is officially confirming the DPRK ‘s underground atomic test in late May, saying the blast was somewhat larger than the DPRK’s first test, conducted in 2006. The blast yielded several kilotons, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made. Until now the U.S. government has been officially mum on the May 25 test.
6. US on DPRK Missile Program
Reuters (“NORTH KOREA, IRAN JOINED ON MISSILE WORK: U.S. GENERAL”, Washington, 2009/06/15) reported that Iran and the DPRK are working together to develop ballistic missiles and have made significant progress, the head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency said. “It really is an international effort going on out there to develop ballistic missile capability between these countries,” Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly told a forum on Capitol Hill. Their ability to fire missiles with a stable ignition and launch a second stage represents “a significant step forward” for both of them, O’Reilly said.
7. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
Reuters (“CHINA URGES NORTH KOREA TO SCRAP NUCLEAR WEAPONS”, United Nations, 2009/06/15) reported that the PRC’s U.N. ambassador, Zhang Yesui, said a U.N. resolution on the DPRK demonstrated the “firm opposition” of the world to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions and urged the DPRK to end its nuclear weapons program. “We strongly urge the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization, stop any moves that may further worsen the situation and return to the six party talks,” Zhang told the U.N. Security Council. Zhang said the resolution was appropriate and balanced and also offered a positive outlook for the DPRK because it spells out that if Pyongyang complies with its obligations, the measures could be suspended or lifted.
8. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence France Press (“NKOREA ‘SPENT YEARS’ DEVELOPING SECRET NUKE PROGRAMME”, Seoul, 2009/06/15) reported that the DPRK is thought to have been developing a secret atomic weapons programme for seven or eight years despite taking part in long-running nuclear disarmament talks , a ROK minister said. Unification Minister Hyun In-Taek said Pyongyang never intended to give up its atomic weaponry, even though previous Seoul governments practiced a decade-long “sunshine” aid and engagement policy. The minister nodded when asked by a legislator from the conservative ruling party whether Pyongyang had intended to retain nuclear weapons even during the engagement policy of previous liberal governments. “Judging from the recent developments, I think such intent has now been revealed,” Yonhap news agency quoted Hyun as saying.
9. Inter-Korean Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK CALLS FOR NATIONAL REUNIFICATION ON ANNIVERSARY OF JOINT DECLARATION “, Pyongyang, 2009/06/15) reported that the DPRK called for carrying out the spirit of the North-South Joint Declaration and pushing forward the cause of national reunification. The declaration was a “milestone of national reunification,” the official KCNA news agency said, citing a statement issued by the North Side Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration. The declaration serves “as an immortal banner as it dynamically arouses all the Koreans to the efforts for carving out the destiny of the nation and realizing the cause of reunification,” the statement said.
10. Sino-DPRK Relations
Associated Press (Shino Yuasa, “REPORT: SON OF NKOREAN LEADER VISITS CHINA”, Seoul, 2009/06/16) reported that Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il , secretly visited the PRC last week and met with President Hu Jintao , the Asahi Shinmun reported Tuesday. Hu leader urged Kim to have the DPRK refrain from carrying out further nuclear and missile tests, the report said. The trip took place around June 10, the report said. Kim Jong Un was accompanied by senior officials, including his aide. The aide used the occasion to inform PRC officials that Kim Jong Un had been appointed as the leader’s successor. The ROK Foreign Ministry and Unification Ministry said they could not confirm the Asahi report. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said he had no knowledge of any such meeting.
11. Japan Sanctions on the DPRK
Kyodo News (“JAPAN TO DECIDE ON ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA POSSIBLY TUESDAY”, Tokyo, 2009/06/15) reported that t he Japanese government plans to decide as early as Tuesday on additional sanctions to be imposed on the DPRK in response to its second nuclear test in May, government sources said. The Cabinet is expected to approve new measures, including a total ban on both imports from and exports to the DPRK, after the U.N. Security Council’s adoption Friday of a resolution to impose a broad range of additional sanctions on the country.
12. Japan-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“PYONGYANG: JAPAN USES DPRK TO BEEF UP DEFENSE”, Pyongyang, 2009/06/15) reported that Japan was exaggerating missile threats from the DPRK as a pretext to beef up its air defense system and “invade the DPRK by force,” said a commentary carried Monday by the official Rodong Sinmun daily. The purpose of the DPRK missile program, the commentary said, was self-defense and securing the country’s independence. Japna’s claim of a missile threat from the DPRK is “entirely groundless and wild guesses,” the commentary said.
13. DPRK Military
United Press International (“NORTH KOREAN LEADER PRAISES COMBAT TROOPS”, Seoul, 2009/06/15) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il has praised his troops as combat-ready amid preparations to produce more nuclear weapons, sources said. Kim expressed “great satisfaction” after inspecting troops in the 7th infantry division, finding them ready for “combat ability in every way,” the Korean Central News Agency reported.
14. US-ROK Energy Cooperation
Yonhap News (Lee Joon-seung, “S. KOREA, U.S. SEEK SMART GRID PARTNERSHIP”, 2009/06/15) reported that the ROK and the US will seek to establish a smart grid partnership that could help fuel the global development of a next-generation, eco-friendly power system, the government said Monday. The “win-win” arrangement calls for merging the ROK’s ability to quickly commercialize technologies into products and the prowess of the US in core technologies like Internet protocols, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. It said to support such goals, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between Korea Smart Grid Association (KSGA) and the US companies making up the GridWise Alliance later in the day in Washington, while a statement of intent (SOI) is to be reached between the two governments.
15. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“JUST-RESIGNED HATOYAMA NOT RULING OUT LEAVING LDP TO FORM NEW PARTY”, Tokyo, 2009/06/15) reported that Kunio Hatoyama, who resigned as internal affairs and communications minister, did not rule out the possibility Monday of leaving the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to form a new party. ”I have no intention at the moment either of leaving the LDP or creating a new party,” Hatoyama said at a news conference at the internal affairs ministry. But he also suggested that he may do so in the future when he thinks it is right.
16. Japan Emergency Drill
Kyodo News (“ANTITERROR DRILL HELD AT PORT AHEAD OF 2010 APEC SUMMIT IN YOKOHAMA”, Yokohama, 2009/06/15) reported that a round 120 people participated in the first comprehensive antiterrorism drill in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit next year in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. The drill was carried out at Kawasaki port in the prefecture by the Kanagawa prefectural police, the Japan Coast Guard and other agencies at the port and also involved local corporations. The drill was conducted on the assumption of a terror attack similar to the one in Mumbai, western Indian, in November last year.
17. Cross Strait Relations
The Associated Press (“TAIWAN INVITED TO LIGHT UP CHINESE CITIES”, Taipei, 2009/06/15) reported that PRC officials have invited Taiwanese companies to supply selected mainland cities with ultra-bright, energy-saving LED lights, the latest in a series of big business deals between the rivals. At a two-day conference, PRC delegates asked leading Taiwanese light-emitting diode makers to participate in a mainland project to light up 10 cities with cutting-edge LED street lights. Wu Qing, an official of Heilongjiang Province, said Taiwanese makers can supply the lights in Harbin.
Reuters (“CHINA, TAIWAN APPROVE SWIM THROUGH MILITARY ZONE”, 2009/06/15) reported that authorities in the PRC and Taiwan , political rivals once on the brink of war, have agreed to remove underwater military barricades and let 100 people swim from one side to the other, Taiwan officials said on Monday. The 8.5-km (5.2-mile) swim, billed as the latest symbol of peace between the two sides as well as their first military agreement, is set for August 15 between the southeast PRC city of Xiamen and Little Kinmen, an outlying Taiwan-controlled island. “The bigger meaning is that this is a competition for peace,” Kinmen County Magistrate Lee Zhu-feng told a news conference. “We want peace, not war.”
18. Sino-Burmese Energy Cooperation
DPA (“MYANMAR-CHINA TRADE REACHES 2.6 BILLION DOLLARS IN 2008”, 2009/06/15) reported that Myanmar-PRC trade reached 2.6 billion dollars in 2008, and is expected to increase slightly this year thanks to efforts by Beijing to support the South-East Asian country, The Myanmar Times reported. “We attach great importance to trade between China and Myanmar,” Tang Hai, economic and commercial counsellor at China’s embassy in Yangon, told The Myanmar Times, a weekly. The PRC is Myanmar’s second-largest trade partner after only Thailand, which buys Myanmar’s main export, natural gas.
19. Sino-Pakistani Security Relations
Reuters (“PAKISTAN, CHINA FIGHTING MILITANCY TOGETHER – OFFICIAL”, Beijing, 2009/06/15) reported that Pakistan and the PRC are cooperating to stamp out violent groups that span their border, the Pakistani interior minister said, claiming that miltants in the mountainous frontier have formed a “syndicate.” Interior Minister Rehman Malik was speaking in Beijing, where he has been discussing closer cooperation with senior PRC officials. Malik told Reuters the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group Beijing has accused of orchestrating violent attacks, has “formed a syndicate” with Taliban and other militant groups in the mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The PRC has also provided intelligence and supplies for Pakistani police forces, Malik added.
20. Sino-Kuwaiti Energy Cooperation
Caijing Magazine (“WETLANDS CONCERN FORCES REFINERY RELOCATION”, 2009/06/15) reported that a multibillion-dollar Sino-Kuwaiti petrochemical complex will be relocated to protect an “environmentally challenging” section of the Nansha Economic Zone in the city of Guangzhou, the project’s investors have confirmed. The move came four years after the central government picked Guangdong for the US$ 8 billion complex, which is slated to produce up to 12 million tons of crude oil and 1 million tons of ethylene annually. Opposition from legislators, political advisers and environmentalists eventually prompted the government to change its course.
21. PRC and the SCO
The Associated Press (“RUSSIA, CHINA, CENTRAL ASIAN NATIONS HOLD SUMMIT”, Yekaterinburg, 2009/06/15) reported that Russia played regional power broker Monday, hosting the PRC and Central Asian nations for a summit that highlights the Kremlin’s efforts to maintain clout in former Soviet territory and raise its profile in Afghanistan . Moscow is expected to use the meeting of leaders from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to try to cement the six-nation group as a counterbalance to the U.S. presence in strategic Central Asia . Russian President Dmitry Medvedev opened the two-day meeting by saying the group would discuss the global financial crisis and the key issue it was created to address: regional security.
22. PRC Peacekeeping Forces
Xinhua News (“CHINA RENEWS DEPLOYMENT OF PEACEKEEPING POLICE IN HAITI”, 2009/06/15) reported that the PRC has renewed its deployment of riot police in Haiti, with its eighth 125-strong squad arriving in the Central American country and the seventh returning home. The seventh squad, also with 125 members, returned home Monday morning in Urumqi, capital of northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. They came from the border police of the Xinjiang Public Security Department. The PRC’s eighth riot police squad arrived Saturday in Haiti. They will join the peacekeeping mission over the coming eight months.
23. PRC Public Health
Agence France-Presse (“IN CHINA, MENTAL DISEASE COMMON AND UNTREATED: STUDY”, Paris, 2009/06/15) reported that far more people in the PRC suffer from mental disease than previously suspected, with most going untreated, according to a major study unveiled. The largest health survey of its kind ever conducted in the PRC estimates that 173 million adults have some type of mental disorder, and that 158 million of them — 91 percent — have never received professional help. But relatively few resources are available for the mentally ill in the PRC, partly because their numbers have been so seriously underestimated, the study contends.
24. PRC Protest
Xinhua News (“NW CHINA CAB DRIVERS STAGE SIT-IN AMID LICENSE DISPUTE”, 2009/06/15) reported that hundreds of cab drivers in northwest PRC’s Xining City staged a sit-in in front of the municipal government headquarters to demand assurances that they will be able to renew their business licenses. The drivers were angered after a newspaper reported that the Qinghai Provincial Government would cut their license periods from 12 years to eight, prompting a government official to accuse them of “misunderstanding” the regulations. More than 5,000 drivers began a one-day strike on Saturday night and hundreds of them convened the sit-in at around 10 a.m. Sunday, causing a brief traffic jam in the downtown area. They dispersed at around 3 p.m. after local officials promised to address the issue properly.
25. PRC Swine Flu Outbreak
The Associated Press (“CHINA CONFIRMS 31 MORE CASES OF SWINE FLU”, Beijing, 2009/06/15) reported that the PRC is now reporting 31 more cases of swine flu, bringing the total on the mainland Monday to 196. The Health Ministry said on its website late Sunday that the cities of Beijing and Shanghai have reported more cases, as did provinces in central, eastern and southern PRC. There have been no reports of deaths.
26. PRC Environment
Caijing Magazine (“EXPERTS RECOMMEND MANDATORY CONTROL MEASURES ON MERCURY POLLUTION”, 2009/06/15) reported that e xperts at the 9th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant recommend that the PRC adopt mandatory control measures on mercury pollution, in order to prevent an irreversible environmental disaster. The conference attendees reached a consensus that cutting the emission of mercury into the environment is the only effective way to tackle the issue of mercury pollution.
II. PRC Report
27. PRC Population Relocation
Hangzhou Net (“HUBEI TO LAUNCH IMMIGRANT RELOCATION AND REPLACEMENT”, 2009/06/15) reported that Hubei province is to have all immigrants sign relocation contracts this year in the area where the south-to-north water diversion project was launched, said local authorities in a plan on Sunday. According to the plan, 50,000 immigrants shall be relocated by 2010, 30,000 more will be relocated by 2011 and 87,000 others, including 65,000 from the rural areas and 22,000 urban citizens, will move to their new homes by 2012, said Wang Yuanliang, head of the immigration bureau of the province.
III. ROK Report
28. ROK on Six-Party Talks
Ohmynews (“MB GOVERNMENT SUGGESTS ‘5-PARTY TALK’?”, 2009/06/16) wrote that behind President Lee Myungbak’s suggestion of 5-pary talks lie a “one-sided interpretation” of the DPRK’s provocations and “hopeful mindset” for an opportunity of a 5 to 1 situation created by DPRK’s second nuclear experiment. Though President Lee didn’t say it, he thinks that in order to solve DPRK’s nuclear issue, replacing the Kim Jongil administration is inevitable. However, there is very little possibility that the Obama administration will accept President Lee’s suggestion. With US-China and US-Russia relations in mind, 5-party talks are very unlikely. As it is widely known, the 6-party talks are one of the greatest diplomatic achievements of Hu Jintao’s government. It is not likely for the US to suggest destroying China’s greatest diplomatic achievement.