NAPSNet Daily Report 16 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Issue
- 2. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US Sanctions on the DPRK
- 4. US on Abductee Issue
- 5. Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
- 7. DPRK on US-ROK Security Alliance
- 8. ROK Aid to the DPRK
- 9. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 10. France on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 11. DPRK H1N1 Outbreak
- 12. DPRK Economy
- 13. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 14. US-Japan Relations
- 15. Japan Politics
- 16. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
- 17. US Missile Defense and the PRC
- 18. Sino-US Relations
- 19. US on PRC Human Rights
- 20. PRC on US-India Nuclear Deal
- 21. Cross Strait Relations
- 22. US on Cross Strait Relations
- 23. PRC on Tumen River Development
- 24. PRC Security
- 25. PRC Climate Change
- 26. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Issue
DongA Ilbo (“OBAMA PRESENTS NEW VISION FOR N. KOREA”, 2009/11/16) reported that U.S. President Barack Obama has presented his vision of the DPRK’s future after denuclearization of the country. Obama said he is ready to provide the DPRK with a different future in line with US partners. Obama has laid out several visions of a different future for the DPRK, including integration with the international community rather than isolation; economic opportunities for North Koreans for a better life; and a guarantee of security and respect rather than rising instability. He said belligerent attitudes cannot bring such respect, adding that only when the DPRK becomes a responsible member of the international community by following international rules can it can enjoy such respect.
2. DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREA UNLIKELY TO GIVE UP NUCLEAR WEAPONS: US EXPERT”, Seoul, 2009/11/16) reported that the DPRK is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future despite the upcoming talks with Washington, a former senior US diplomat who recently visited Pyongyang said. David Straub, once head of the State Department’s Korea desk, gave his views as Washington prepares to send an envoy to the DPRK for discussions on reviving the stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks . “I see no indication that North Korea, in the foreseeable future, is prepared to give up its nuclear weapons programmes on terms that the US will find politically acceptable,” Straub told a Seoul seminar.
3. US Sanctions on the DPRK
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. POINT MAN ON N.KOREA SANCTIONS LEAVES POST”, 2009/11/16) reported that Philip Goldberg, the U.S. State Department coordinator for implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874 against the DPRK, is suddenly being replaced. A diplomatic source in Washington said Sunday Goldberg has been appointed as assistant secretary of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department. ROK and US government officials say Goldberg’s replacement reflects his personal wish to move to a new post and there were no political reasons behind the move.
4. US on Abductee Issue
Kyodo News (“ABDUCTEES’ KIN HAIL OBAMA’S NORTH STANCE”, 2009/11/14) reported that relatives of people abducted by the DPRK praised US President Barack Obama’s speech for delivering a strong, clear message that the matter should be settled. “He sent a clear message to North Korea and it meant that (Pyongyang) needs to change its approach to international society,” said Shigeru Yokota, whose daughter, Megumi, was taken to the reclusive country in 1977 at age 13. “Full normalization with its neighbors can only come if Japanese families receive a full accounting of those who have been abducted,” Obama said.
5. Inter-Korean Relations
Bloomberg News (“SOUTH KOREA’S LEE ORDERS ‘IMPENETRABLE’ NORTHERN BORDER GUARD”, 2009/11/16) reported that ROK President Lee Myung Bak ordered his military to strictly guard the borders with the DPRK after last week’s naval clash near a disputed sea border. “We should ensure an impenetrable defense that would not allow even one blind spot,” Lee said in a letter to the military, according to a statement on the presidential Web site. “Only when we have strong security, can our economy recover faster and expedite peace on the Korean peninsula as well as dialogue and exchange between South and North Korea.”
United Press International (“N. KOREA BRIEFLY ACTIVATES RADAR SYSTEM”, 2009/11/16) reported that the DPRK ‘s brief activation Sunday of its fire-control radar system forced the ROK to quickly move its patrol boats, military sources said. The radar system covers the disputed western sea border, and the ROK needed to get the boats away from the DPRK’s shore-based artillery and missiles, Yonhap reported from Seoul. After one hour, the situation returned to normal, but the ROK military stayed on high alert, the news agency reported.
6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
The Associated Press (“NKOREAN CARGO SHIP ARRIVES IN SOUTH AFTER CLASH”, 2009/11/14) reported that a DPRK cargo ship entered ROK waters Saturday — a sign that trade has been unaffected by a recent deadly naval clash off their western coasts, an official said. A Unification Ministry spokesman says that neither side has taken any measures to restrict inter-Korean trade — one of few legitimate sources of foreign currency for the impoverished DPRK. The cargo ship, delivering silica to a ROK company, passed through the disputed border Saturday and is scheduled to enter Incheon port on Monday, said a Port Authority official.
7. DPRK on US-ROK Security Alliance
Xinhua News (“DPRK CALLS ON U.S. TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM S KOREA: STATE MEDIA”, Pyongyang, 2009/11/16) reported that the DPRK has called on the US to pull its troops out of the ROK as early as possible, the official newspaper Rodong Sinmun said. The report said the so-called U.S.-led “UN Command” was unjust, and it would only increase the “threat to peace and security” on the Korean Peninsula and the “danger of war.” There was “no legal ground for the U.S. forces to stay in South Korea,” it said, adding that the 30th UN General Assembly had already made a resolution which “called for dissolving the ‘UN Command’ and withdrawing all foreign troops from South Korea.”
8. ROK Aid to the DPRK
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA SETS ASIDE BUDGET FOR AID TO NORTH”, 2009/11/13) reported that the ROK has earmarked a budget for large-scale economic aid to the DPRK next year despite its policy to withhold any sizable assistance until Pyongyang moves to denuclearize, a government proposal showed. According to its 2010 budget plan submitted to the National Assembly unification, foreign affairs and trade committee, the Unification Ministry allocated 1.18 trillion won (US$1.02 billion), about the same as the earmarked budget for this year, for inter-Korean relations and exchanges. “The ministry has reflected the government’s policy to continue to proceed with humanitarian projects despite the strained phase in inter-Korean relations,” the ministry proposal said.
9. Sino-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“INTELLIGENCE PACT PAPERS OVER CRACKS IN N.KOREA-CHINA TIES”, 2009/11/16) reported that when PRC Premier Wen Jiabao’s visited Pyongyang in October, the DPRK and PRC boasted they had opened a new era of cooperation. But according to a senior source in the DPRK, one significant step was a secret agreement to restore intelligence cooperation. No details have been disclosed, but it is presumed that this refers to cooperation between traditional intelligence agencies including the DPRK’s External Liaison Department and Operational Department rather than in ferreting out and repatriating DPRK defectors. The source said the two sides put the agreement into writing to strengthen their defense against the ROK, the US and Japan.
10. France on DPRK Nuclear Program
The Associated Press (“FRENCH ENVOY TALKS ABOUT TRIP IN NORTH KOREA”, 2009/11/15) reported that French President Nicolas Sarkozy ‘s special envoy to the DPRK said that he had long talks with officials there about sensitive issues including nuclear proliferation and human rights. Lang said DPRK officials insisted that “today there is no transfer of fissile or ballistic materials outside of Korea.” Lang said he was taking the statement seriously, though he added, “we can ask, do you have proof?” Lang says his personal opinion on how to engage the regime is to tackle one issue at a time. “If we try to settle everything all at once, we won’t settle anything,” he said.
11. DPRK H1N1 Outbreak
Yonhap News (“FIRST H1N1 INFECTION REPORTED AT JOINT PARK IN NORTH KOREA”, 2009/11/16) reported that a ROK man working at a DPRK industrial park has been confirmed to have the Influenza A virus, the first such infection to be detected north of the border, the Unification Ministry said. The worker, 32, who authorities would only identify by his family name Seo, was urgently transferred to the ROK Saturday morning after showing a high fever at the joint park in the DPRK’s border town of Kaesong. He tested positive for H1N1 infection late Saturday night. Seo’s case raised concerns of possible infection of DPRK workers at the factory park.
12. DPRK Economy
Yonhap News (“DUTCH FIRMS PLACE ORDERS WITH N. KOREAN EXPORTERS: REPORT”, Seoul, 2009/11/13) reported that trade between the DPRK and the Netherlands is picking up steam, with Dutch firms reaching out to information technology and clothing areas in the DPRK, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper said. Dutch companies gave purchase orders to clothing and machinery firms in the DPRK following their visit there organized by the Chamber of Commerce of the Netherlands in September, said the Japan-based Choson Sinbo in a dispatch from Pyongyang.
13. US-Japan Security Alliance
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN, US TO SEEK ‘SOLUTION’ TO OKINAWA BASE ROW”, Tokyo , 2009/11/16) reported that Japan and the United States will hold talks to seek ways to solve a sticking row over the relocation of a US military base on the island of Okinawa , the foreign ministry said. Japan will be represented at the meeting by Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada , Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and their deputies, the ministry said in a statement Monday. They will sit down with US ambassador John Roos, Wallace Gregson, the assistant secretary of defence for Asian and Pacific security affairs, and other US officials.
Washington Post (“DESPITE JAPAN VISIT, WRESTLING OVER U.S. BASE CONTINUES”, 2009/11/16) reported that the wrestling match between the United States and Japan over the location of the U.S. Marine air station in Okinawa is far from over. The two leaders sharply disagree over the purpose of a “high-level working group” that they announced to sort out an increasingly heated dispute over the future of the Marine air station. Obama explained during his quick visit here that the working group would focus only on implementing a 2006 agreement. But Hatoyama does not agree with this narrow interpretation of the working group’s authority. On Monday , he said that the formation of the working group does, indeed, mean that Japan will be able to move beyond the language of the 2006 agreement.
14. US-Japan Relations
Agence France-Presse (“OUTRAGE IN WASHINGTON OVER OBAMA’S JAPAN BOW”, Washington, 2009/11/16) reported that news photos of President Barack Obama bowing to Japan’s emperor have incensed critics, who said the US leader should stand tall when representing America overseas. “I don’t know why President Obama thought that was appropriate. Maybe he thought it would play well in Japan . But it’s not appropriate for an American president to bow to a foreign one,” said conservative pundit William Kristol . An unnamed, senior Obama administration official told the Politico.com news site that the president had simply been observing protocol. “I think that those who try to politicize those things are just way, way, way off base,” the official told Politico.
15. Japan Politics
The Asahi Shimbun (“SUPPORT RATE FOR HATOYAMA CABINET INCHES DOWN TO 62 PERCENT”, 2009/11/16) reported that despite high praise for the government’s cost-cutting measures, the support rate for the Yukio Hatoyama Cabinet dipped to 62 percent, as backing from unaffiliated voters declined further, an Asahi Shimbun survey showed. Some individual policies of the Cabinet have failed to really win over the public, apparently leading to the decline in support from 65 percent a month ago. The nonsupport rate rose to 21 percent in the weekend survey from 16 percent a month ago.
16. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
The Asahi Shimbun (“NO BREAKTHROUGH ON DISPUTED ISLES”, 2009/11/16) reported that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev struggled to break an impasse over the return of Russian-held islands off Hokkaido to Japan. In a meeting here, Medvedev said, “I sincerely hope that we make progress on the territorial issue during the Hatoyama administration.” But the Russian leader did not make any concrete proposals. Hatoyama said he is expecting a “new approach” to the dispute that goes beyond the return of two of the four islands.
17. US Missile Defense and the PRC
Reuters (“U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE MAY BACKFIRE IF TOO ROBUST: GENERAL”, Washington , 2009/11/10) reported that a U.S. missile defense system that is too robust could actually backfire and become destabilizing, prompting countries like the PRC to expand their nuclear arsenals, a U.S. general said on Tuesday. Air Force General Kevin Chilton, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command , did not question the current system, which was revised by President Barack Obama and the Pentagon in September. But he explained that careful calculations would be needed when boosting US defenses in the future to guard against threats from countries like the DPRK .
18. Sino-US Relations
Bloomberg News (“OBAMA SAYS U.S.-CHINA TRADE SPURS PROSPERITY FOR BOTH”, 2009/11/16) reported that President Barack Obama said a deeper relationship between the US and the PRC is critical to the economic prosperity of both countries and essential to confronting global issues such as climate change . The president landed this afternoon in Beijing , where he is scheduled to have dinner with Chinese President Hu Jintao . In response to a question at the forum with the students, Obama said he is in the PRC to seek “a meeting of the minds” with Hu about how their nations can lead the way on global issues. Obama singled out climate change as one of the key areas where the two countries can cooperate and show leadership.
19. US on PRC Human Rights
The Associated Press (“OBAMA PUSHES FREEDOMS, OPEN INTERNET IN CHINA”, 2009/11/16) reported that politely but firmly pressing for greater freedoms on the PRC ‘s own turf, President Barack Obama spoke against censorship, saying tough criticisms of political leaders should be allowed and the free flow of information on the Internet “should be encouraged.” But on a visit that had him wading into sensitive territory with his tightly controlled host country, Obama also openly prodded Beijing to accept what he called “universal rights.” “We do not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation,” Obama said. But, he said, such things as freedom of expression and worship, unfettered access to information and unrestricted political participation “should be available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the United States, China or any nation.”
20. PRC on US-India Nuclear Deal
The Economic Times (“CHINA MAY ASK US TO INSIST THAT INDIA SIGN ANTI-NUKE AGREEMENT”, 2009/11/17) reported that the India-US nuclear “China might ask the US to insist that India sign the Comprehensive Non-proliferation Treaty. This is all Obama can possibly do to make China happy. But the Indian deal cannot be amended at this stage,” an Indian expert Sino-Indian relations, said.is expected to crop up during Tuesday’s dialogue in Beijing as US president Barack Obama seeks the support of PRC leaders on his stand on Iran and DPRK nuclear issues, informed sources said.
21. Cross Strait Relations
Bloomberg News (Weiyi Lim and Janet Ong, “TAIWAN, CHINA AGREE TO WIDEN ACCESS TO FINANCIAL MARKETS”, 2009/11/17) reported that the PRC and Taiwan will widen access to each other’s financial industries through agreements that may pave the way for a broader economic accord between two states separated by a civil war for 60 years. The three memorandums of understanding, signed by the heads of financial regulators in Taipei and Beijing yesterday, will ease restrictions on investment in banks, brokerages and insurers across the Taiwan Strait. The two agencies issued statements on the signing that didn’t give details. Taiwan said the agreements will be effective within 60 days.
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN, CHINA MAY DEVELOP ELECTRIC CARS TOGETHER”, 2009/11/17) reported that Taiwan and the PRC are looking into developing electric cars together and will hold a conference here next week to seek areas where they can cooperate, a Taipei official said. The November 24-25 conference in the Taiwan capital is likely to attract more than 100 PRC participants, mostly from the auto sector, according to the economics ministry official. “We are eyeing the huge China market,” she said. “We hope we can sign a memorandum of understanding in the meeting to pave the way for future development (of electric cars) together.”
22. US on Cross Strait Relations
Reuters (“OBAMA SAYS HOPES FOR BETTER CHINA-TAIWAN TIES”, 2009/11/16) reported that U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday he hoped for improved China-Taiwan ties and said economic links had helped lower tensions over Taiwan . “I have been clear in the past the United States supports a one-China policy … we don’t want to change that policy or approach,” he said. “Through dialogue and communications problems can be solved.” He didn’t answer a question on arms sales to Taiwan.
23. PRC on Tumen River Development
Xinhua News (“CHINA OKS BORDER ZONE TO BOOST CO-OP IN NE ASIA”, 2009/11/16) reported that the PRC government has approved a border development zone in the Tumen River Delta to boost the cross-border cooperation in the northeast Asian region, the provincial government of Jilin announced. The information office of the government said the pilot zone covering 73,000 square km involved the cities of Changchun and Jilin as well as the Tumen River area. Preferential policies will be adopted to promote port cooperation and the establishment of comprehensive bonded areas and cross-border economic zones, he said. Du Ying, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that by bringing the two cities of Changchun and Jilin into the border zone, the zone could serve as a strategic platform to support the cross-border cooperation in the Greater Tumen Region.
24. PRC Security
Financial Times (Jamil Anderlini, “CHINA DETAINS DISSIDENTS AHEAD OF US VISIT”, Beijing, 2009/11/14) reported that PRC police have detained dozens of dissidents and political reform advocates ahead of US President Barack Obama’s first visit to the PRC, according to family members and human rights activists. The Financial Times has independently confirmed the cases of four PRC activists who have been detained over the past two days in preparation for Mr Obama’s visit. At least 30 other activists who were expected to join one dissident in applying for the right to protest have also likely been detained, according to activists.
25. PRC Climate Change
The Guardian (“THE TWO FACES OF CHINA’S GIANT COAL INDUSTRY”, ) reported that the world’s newest carbon citadel rises up between the blasted deserts of Inner Mongolia and the coal-black lands of Shaanxi province. Ordos is a city that few outside the PRC know. Ordos is the new face of coal in the PRC. It is home to the world’s biggest coal company and an industrial-scale experiment to turn coal into diesel that could create a major new source of greenhouse gases. At the same time, it hosts the planet’s most efficient mine and one of the PRC’s biggest carbon capture and storage projects. The prospect of millions of petrol tanks being filled with such a fuel has alarmed environmentalist groups. “Developing this technology on a big scale will lock China up even further in its unsustainable reliance on coal, which is the biggest cause of climate change,” said Yang Ailun, of Greenpeace.
26. PRC Environment
The Los Angeles Times (Barbara Demick , “CHINA FACES RECKONING OVER LEAD PRODUCTION”, Jiyuan, 2009/11/14) reported that thousands of Chinese are trying to flee a landscape poisoned by decades of lead manufacturing. Within the next year, about 15,000 people will be evacuated from villages around a cluster of lead production facilities in the city of Jiyuan, in Henan province. “What choice do we have?” said Han Haibo, a 51-year-old resident of Qingduo, a village of 1,000 that probably will cease to exist within months. “People don’t want to leave, especially the old people who have spent their whole lives here, but the pollution is just too heavy.” Since late summer, there has been a spate of lead poisoning cases in Hunan, Henan, Yunnan and Shanxi provinces. More than 3,200 cases have been confirmed, most of them in children.
II. PRC Report
27. PRC Environment
China Youth News (“CHILDREN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PLAN LAUNCHED IN BEIJING”, 2009/11/13) reported that 2010 China Children Environmental Protection Plan was launched in Beijing recently. The Plan is co-sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNEP Luohong Environmental Fund. The Plan will hold drawing competition and environmental classes in primary and middle schools.
28. PRC Civil Society
Xinhua News Agency (“CHEN JING, HONG KONG TO HOLD CHARITY CONCERT”, 2009/11/13) reported that a charity concert which is sponsored by U-hearts (a charitable organization in Hong Kong) and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, will be held on November 22. The sponsors hope to raise 2 million HKD to aid poor children and students in mainland.
29. PRC Civil Society and Public Health
Public Welfare Times (“510 MILN LOTTERY FUND AIDS DISABLED PERSONS”, 2009/11/13) reported that according to China Disabled Persons Federation, the 510 million yuan Special Lottery for Disabled Persons Fund raised during 2006-2010 will all be used on rehabilitation of disabled persons.