NAPSNet Daily Report 16 June, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on Naval Ship Sinking
- 2. UN on Naval Ship Sinking
- 3. Russia on ROK Ship Sinking
- 4. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 5. US-DPRK Relations
- 6. DPRK Military
- 7. DPRK Internal Situation
- 8. DPRK World Cup
- 9. Inter-Korean Relations
- 10. Inter-Korea Economic Relations
- 11. ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- 12. ROK Military
- 13. ROK Defense
- 14. ROK-US Military Cooperation
- 15. ROK-US Relations
- 16. ROK-Turkey Nuclear Cooperation
- 17. USFJ Base Relocation
- 18. Japan-US Relations
- 19. Japan Whaling Issue
- 20. Sino-Pakistan Nuclear Cooperation
- 21. PRC-Bangladesh Space Cooperation
- 22. PRC Nuclear Energy
- 23. PRC Space Program
- 24. PRC Unrest
1. DPRK on Naval Ship Sinking
Agence France Presse (“N.KOREA ‘WILL REACT MILITARILY TO UN CONDEMNATION'”, 2010/06/15) reported that the DPRK’s UN ambassador warned Tuesday that his country would respond militarily to any UN Security Council condemnation over the sinking of a ROK warship which Seoul blamed on Pyongyang. “We don’t want the Security Council to take measures provoking us,” Sin Son Ho told reporters. He warned that if the 15-member council took action against Pyongyang, “follow-up measures will be carried out by our military forces .”
EarthTimes (“NORTH KOREA AGAIN DENIES SINKING SOUTH KOREAN NAVY SHIP “, 2010/06/15) reported that the DPRK said Tuesday it has informed the UN Security Council that it was not responsible for the sinking of the ROK navy vessel that killed 46 sailors in March. The DPRK’s UN Ambassador Sin Son-ho, who met with the 15-nation council on Monday, said at a news conference at UN headquarters that the ROK has rejected his government’s demand to send its own investigators to the site where the Cheonan vessel was downed in the West Sea on March 26. Sin said DPRK investigators from the National Defense Commission can “clarify” the charge from the ROK. “If the UN Security Council formally debates this case with only the unilateral ‘investigation result’ of the south, but without the verification by the Democratic Republic of Korea, which is the victim, it will mean that the Security Council takes the side of one party of dispute while excluding the other,” Sin said.
Wall Street Journal (“N. KOREA: SHIP’S SINKING HELPED U.S. “, 2010/06/15) reported that the DPRK ambassador to the United Nations said the U.S. and ROK benefited politically from the sinking in March of a ROK warship, but he stopped short of saying that either country deliberately attacked the ship. Ambassador Sin Son Ho told a rare news conference that the U.S. and ROK were conducting war games in a disputed area of the Yellow Sea on March 26, and that it would have been impossible for a DPRK submarine to enter the region given the detection abilities of both nations. The DPRK ambassador wouldn’t say whether the sinking of the Cheonan warship was intentional or the result of an accident. “I am not here to blame anyone but to clarify what happened,” he said.
2. UN on Naval Ship Sinking
Agence France Presse (“UN WARNS RIVAL KOREAS AGAINST ESCALATING TENSION”, 2010/06/15) reported that the UN Security Council has warned the ROK and DPRK against escalating regional tension after hearing briefings by both sides on the sinking of a ROK warship which Seoul blames on the DPRK. The Security Council made a “strong call to the parties to refrain from any act that could escalate tension in the region” and to preserve peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, according to its president, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller . Heller told reporters after the twin briefings that the council “is gravely concerned” about the incident and “its impact on peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.”
3. Russia on ROK Ship Sinking
Yonhap (Yoo Jee-ho, “RUSSIA YET TO ANALYZE RESULTS OF INT’L PROBE INTO SHIP SINKING: ENVOY”, Seoul, 2010/06/16) reported that Konstantin Vnukov, the Russian ambassador to the ROK, said Wednesday the Russian specialists were analyzing the information of the probe into the sinking of the Cheonan. “The Russian leadership finds it crucially important to establish the true cause of the sinking of the ship and to identify those responsible with full certainty.” Calling the Russian analysis “very serious and very important,” Vnukov said two or three additional weeks will be required. Vnukov said Russia has been “very much satisfied” cooperating with the ROK. “Our specialists could see everything, including the remaining parts of the torpedo,” he said. “They’re very qualified. I don’t have any doubt that their conclusion will be very objective and very scientific.”
4. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Reuters (“U.S. NEEDS TOUGHER NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR STRATEGY: REPORT”, 2010/06/15) reported that the United States should employ more aggressive sticks and carrots to try to persuade the DPRK to give up its nuclear programs, according to an independent U.S. think tank report released on Tuesday. The Council on Foreign Relations report criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s approach as a “halfhearted” effort to roll back the DPRK’s nuclear capabilities and suggested it may amount to U.S. acquiescence in Pyongyang’s atomic status. The study, carried out by an independent task force of 23 members including Democrats and Republicans, proposed a more muscular approach toward the secretive, communist state.
5. US-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (Hwang Doo-hyong, “OBAMA EXTENDS SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA UNDER TRADING WITH ENEMY ACT”, Washington, 2010/06/15) reported that U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday he has extended U.S. sanctions on North Korea under two domestic laws for another year. “I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 of June 26, 2008, is to continue in effect beyond June 26, 2010,” Obama said in a statement. “The existence and the risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula constitute a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said. “For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency and maintain certain restrictions with respect to North Korea and North Korean nationals.”
6. DPRK Military
Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA: NORTH KOREA RAISED READINESS, NO ACTIVITY SEEN”, 2010/06/15) reported that DPRK has raised its military readiness though no signs of fresh provocation were visible amid high tensions, the ROK’s defense chief said Tuesday. “Now, North Korea is maintaining a considerably strengthened vigilance posture and as you know it’s been issuing many threats and statements through various channels,” ROK Defense Minster Kim Tae-young told the National Assembly on Tuesday. “But there have been no serious military activities at the border and in rear areas.”
7. DPRK Internal Situation
National Public Radio (“AWARENESS OF OUTSIDE WORLD GROWING IN NORTH KOREA”, 2010/06/15) reported that DPR Koreans are far more aware of the outside world, according to evidence provided by DPRK refugees, ROK humanitarian aid workers, PRC traders and others. “One of the most underrated realities about North Korea is its very dynamic relationship with China, and the amount of information that flows across that border. Students; business people; it’s a continuous stream of traffic,” Steven Linton, an American aid worker in the DPRK, says. Kim Heung Kwang from the group North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity says market-oriented traders and smugglers in the provinces of the PRC bordering on the DPRK are filling the information gap. He says that many Koreans in the PRC make a living by setting up satellite TVs at their homes to receive ROK media. Then, they burn CDs and DVDs of the programs and sell them to DPR Koreans.
8. DPRK World Cup
Associated Press (“TV UNION GIVES NORTH KOREA FREE WORLD CUP FOOTAGE”, 2010/06/15) reported that Asia’s broadcasting union said Tuesday it’s providing the DPRK with free live coverage of World Cup matches so that its citizens could enjoy the sport and get a feel for life outside their isolated communist nation. “They have got the live feeds with the blessing of FIFA. They are legitimate, they are not pirating, they are not doing anything wrong. This is sports, this is apolitical. They are receiving our signals free of charge so that the public of North Korea can watch them. We want them to see what life is on the other side of the curtain.” John Barton, the sport director of the Kuala Lumpur-based Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, said.
9. Inter-Korean Relations
Calcutta News (“NORTH KOREA OFFERS THREE PRINCIPLES TO EASE TENSION ON KOREAN PENINSULA”, 2010/06/15) reported that the reclusive Government of the DPRK and the country’s political parties and organizations have reportedly offered three principles, which they believe can ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula. As per a joint statement issued on the 10th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration issued by DPRK and ROK leaders, the principles are: the DPRK will respect and thoroughly implement the DPRK-ROK joint declaration, the supreme program for reunification. The political parties and organizations of the DPRK will join hands with whoever upholds and supports the DPRK-ROK joint declaration … but never pardon those who negate, defile and violate it. The United States should not obstruct the implementation of the joint declaration nor interfere in the issue and the inter-Korean relations.
Yonhap News (“SEOUL WILL NOT OPEN INTER-KOREAN DIALOGUE UNLESS PYONGYANG CHANGES: PRIME MINISTER”, 2010/06/15) reported that the ROK will not engage in any serious dialogue with the DPRK unless the communist nation first abandons its provocative behavior, Prime Minister Chung Un-chan said Tuesday. “The government is not against the South-North dialogue itself, but I believe any dialogue will be possible only when certain conditions are met, such as a clear change in North Korea’s position on the sinking of the ship Cheonan,” Chung told the National Assembly.
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA APPROVES ADDITIONAL SHIPMENTS OF HUMANITARIAN AID TO N. KOREA”, 2010/06/15) reported that the ROK has approved four shipments of humanitarian assistance to the DPRK, a government official said Tuesday, upholding its policy of supporting those in need of such aid despite the sinking of a warship blamed on Pyongyang. “The latest shipments will be delivered to a nursery, a tuberculosis clinic, a maternity hospital and a kindergarten” in four different DPRK areas, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters.
10. Inter-Korea Economic Relations
Yonhap News (“SOME S. KOREAN COMPANIES ALLOWED TO SEND MONEY TO N. KOREA AMID BAN”, 2010/06/15) reported that despite a ban on trade with the DPRK over the sinking of a ROK warship, Seoul is allowing some companies to send money to Pyongyang if they have products to be delivered from the communist country, an official said Tuesday. The exemption applies to 38 companies that sent raw materials to the DPRK before the ROK announced the ban on May 24, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters. About 2.1 billion won (US$1.7 million) worth of shipments are waiting to be delivered to the ROK from the DPRK, and Chun said the firms owe the DPRK about 10-15 percent of the amount.
11. ROK Naval Ship Sinking
JoongAng Ilbo (“CONSERVATIVES ACCUSE PSPD OF ANTI-STATE MOVE”, 2010/06/15) reported that three conservative groups yesterday urged a probe into the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy after the progressive nongovernmental civic organization sent a letter to the UN Security Council questioning Seoul’s investigation of the Cheonan disaster. Right Korea, Korean Disabled Veterans’ Association for Agent Orange and the Association of the Korean War Victims’ Families said yesterday that they jointly sent a petition to the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office to demand an investigation into the PSPD. The conservatives said the letter benefited the DPRK, an action tantamount to anti-state activity in the ROK.
12. ROK Military
Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA TO RE-ENACT NAVAL BATTLE AMID TENSIONS”, 2010/06/15) reported that the ROK’s navy announced Tuesday it would re-enact a Korean War sea battle to mark the anniversary of the conflict’s outbreak. The re-enactment will be staged for two days from June 24 off the southern port city of Busan , a navy spokesman said. It will involve about 10 ships, including a 14,000-ton landing ship and a 4,500-ton destroyer, as well as two submarines, a maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters, Yonhap news agency quoted navy officials as saying. “During the event, the navy will fire at a mock North Korean steamer,” a navy official was quoted as saying by Yonhap.
Yonhap News (“FIRST BATCH OF S. KOREAN TROOPS ARRIVES IN AFGHANISTAN”, 2010/06/15) reported that an advance team of about 90 ROK troops arrived in Afghanistan to prepare for the ROK contingent’s deployment to guard its civilian aid workers in the war-torn country, officials said Tuesday. The ROK launched the 320-member contingent, named “Ashena,” last month following a parliamentary approval in February.
13. ROK Defense
Associated Press (“SKOREA HOLDS CIVIL DEFENSE DRILL AMID TENSION”, 2010/06/15) reported that air raid sirens blared as hundreds of thousands of RO Koreans donned gas masks Tuesday in a nationwide civil defense drill. The defense drill was the first on a nationwide scale for possible chemical, biological and radiological attacks since 1989, the National Emergency Management Agency said. It said the exercise was resumed in the aftermath of the ship sinking in March.
14. ROK-US Military Cooperation
Korea Times (“S. KOREA, US TO POSTPONE NAVAL DRILLS AGAIN”, 2010/06/16) reported that Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said Tuesday that the ROK and the United States have postponed joint naval exercises again as the two allies are stepping up diplomatic efforts to censure the DPRK for sinking a ROK warship in March. “The South Korean and U.S. authorities are readjusting the timing for the joint drills, given such moves could place a burden on our diplomatic efforts,” Kim said during a National Assembly interpellation session. The two sides will hold the drills after the U.N. Security Council takes action against the DPRK, a source at the defense ministry said.
15. ROK-US Relations
Korea Herald (“S. KOREA, U.S. DELAY TALKS ON REVISION OF ATOMIC PACT”, 2010/06/15) reported that the ROK and the U.S. are expected to defer talks on revising a 1974 nuclear energy agreement, previously scheduled to begin within the first half of this year, to after September, a senior diplomatic source here said on Tuesday. “Talks on revision of the atomic deal will start in the second half of this year as an urgent pending issue came into the limelight,” the source said on customary condition of anonymity. He added that Seoul and Washington were undergoing a joint feasibility study on the ROK’s pyroprocessing technology and they have not reached a conclusion yet.
16. ROK-Turkey Nuclear Cooperation
EarthTimes (“SOUTH KOREA, TURKEY SIGN PACT ON NUCLEAR COOPERATION “, 2010/06/15) reported that the ROK came a step closer Tuesday to its goal of winning a contract to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey when the two countries singed an agreement on nuclear energy cooperation. ROK Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Kyung Hwan and Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz signed the pact in Seoul. It calls for ROK support in the construction of nuclear power plants in Sinop on the Black Sea coast and the training of Turkish engineers to run the planned reactors.
17. USFJ Base Relocation
Stars and Stripes (“JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER: FUTENMA MOVE ON TRACK”, 2010/06/15) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, during his first meeting with the governor of Okinawa, confirmed Tuesday that the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa will continue as planned, Kyodo News reported. Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima said it will be “very difficult” to go along with a plan to move the air station’s assets to Camp Schwab and not off the island, observers of the meeting said, according to Kyodo.
18. Japan-US Relations
Agence France Presse (“JAPAN’S DPJ PARTY TO DROP AIMS OF ‘EQUAL’ US TIES”, 2010/06/15) reported that Japan’s ruling party under new Prime Minister Naoto Kan plans to drop a reference to seeking “equal” relations with the United States in an election manifesto, a newspaper reported Tuesday. The centre-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is planning to release an updated policy manifesto this week ahead of a parliamentary upper house vote expected on July 11. In the new version, the ruling party will pledge “to enhance Japan-US relations by strengthening ties in the fields of comprehensive security, economy and culture,” the Yomiuri Shimbun reported without naming its sources.
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, U.S. CONFIRM 1969 PACT TO ALLOW NUKES IN OKINAWA INVALID”, 2010/06/15) reported that Japan and the United States have confirmed that a 1969 bilateral pact to allow Washington to bring nuclear weapons into Okinawa in times of emergency is no longer valid, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Tuesday. Okada, who led a probe into Japan-U.S. secret pacts on nuclear arms, told a press conference the two countries had reaffirmed the invalidity of the accord before a Foreign Ministry panel of experts released in March its findings on the alleged secret pact.
19. Japan Whaling Issue
Kyodo News (“AUSTRALIA’S CASE AGAINST JAPANESE WHALING ‘STRONG’: EXPERTS”, 2010/06/15) reported that Australia has a strong case in taking Japan to the world court over its “scientific research” whaling program but the move may damage bilateral trade ties, experts say. Tim Stephens, an international legal expert at the University of Sydney, told Kyodo News, “Putting aside the political controversy surrounding whaling and just looking strictly at the law, it’s a fairly compelling legal argument.” Malcolm Cook, an East Asian expert of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, believes Australia’s decision to launch legal action does not bode well for future relations with Japan, its largest export market.
20. Sino-Pakistan Nuclear Cooperation
Washington Post (“U.S. TO OBJECT TO CHINA-PAKISTAN NUCLEAR REACTOR DEAL”, 2010/06/15) reported that the Obama administration has decided to object to a lucrative deal in which state-owned PRC companies would supply Pakistan with two nuclear reactors, U.S. officials said. Experts had said it appears to be a violation of international guidelines forbidding nuclear exports to countries that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or do not have international safeguards on reactors. “Additional nuclear cooperation with Pakistan beyond those specific projects that were grandfathered in 2004 would require consensus approval” by the NSG, a U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, “which we believe is extremely unlikely.”
21. PRC-Bangladesh Space Cooperation
EarthTimes (“CHINA TO ASSIST WITH BANGLADESH’S FIRST SPACE SATELLITE LAUNCH “, 2010/06/15) reported that the PRC has promised to help Bangladesh with infrastructure projects including launching a satellite, media reports said Tuesday. “China promised assistance to launch Bangladesh’s first ever telecoms satellite,” the state-run BSS news agency quoted Foreign Minister Dipu Moni as saying after a meeting between visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinpeng and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed. Bangladesh has long been planning to launch a space satellite to improve telecommunications services, map natural resources, broadcast television programmes and obtain meteorological data for disaster warnings.
22. PRC Nuclear Energy
Kyodo News (“CLP DENIES RADIATION LEAK AT CHINA NUCLEAR PLANT NEAR H.K. “, 2010/06/15) reported that CLP Holdings Ltd. , Hong Kong’s biggest electricity provider, said Tuesday there was a minor rise in the radioactivity of cooling water last month at a nuclear power plant in southern PRC but it posed “no risk at all,” rejecting a media report that radiation leaked from the plant. CLP said the reactor cooling water is completely sealed and isolated from the external environment, adding that a task force OF nuclear experts has been set up to follow up and conduct an investigation of the situation. U.S.-based Radio Free Asia reported Monday that a radioactive leakage occurred at the Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station located in Guangdong Province on May 23. Quoting anonymous experts, the report said the level of “radioactive iodine and noble gas” in the air was high and the plant did not report the incident until last week.
23. PRC Space Program
Asia News International (“CHINA SENDS 125TH ROCKET FLIGHT, SENDS RESEARCH SATELLITE INTO SPACE “, 2010/06/15) reported that the PRC on Tuesday successfully sent into space a scientific research satellite from its northwest Gansu Province. The satellite “Shijian XII,” sent from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center of Gansu Province at 9.39 a.m., was carried by the PRC-developed Long March 2D rocket, a Xinhua news agency report said. Sources with the launch center said the satellite was designed for carrying out scientific and technological experiments including space environment probe, measurement and communications.
24. PRC Unrest
Associated Press (“CHINA PREMIER URGES MORE CARE FOR MIGRANT WORKERS”, 2010/06/15) reported that Premier Wen Jiabao urged better treatment for the PRC’s legions of young migrant workers amid a wave of labor disputes that has hit the country’s manufacturing industry. In a speech to a group of about 50 young workers in Beijing, Wen said the country’s “new generation” of migrant workers in particular ought to have improved conditions on the job, the official Communist Party paper, People’s Daily, reported Tuesday. “Your work is glorious and should be respected by society at large. Migrant workers should be cared for, protected and respected, especially the younger generation of them,” he told workers. “The government and the public should be treating the young migrant workers like their own children.”