NAPSNet Daily Report 16 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Sanctions on the DPRK
- 2. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 3. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Issue
- 5. Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Education Project
- 7. DPRK Economy
- 8. DPRK Leadership
- 9. ROK-Russia Relations
- 10. ROK-Japan Relations
- 11. Japan IAEA Leadership
- 12. Japan on Nuclear Disarmament
- 13. Japan Climate Change
- 14. Japan Politics
- 15. Japan-Taiwan Territorial Dispute
- 16. PRC on Japan Territorial Boundary
- 17. PRC-US Relations
- 18. PRC-Japan Relations
- 19. Sino-Indian Relations
- 20. PRC on Nuclear Safety
- 21. PRC Military
- 22. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 23. PRC Space Program
- 24. US Relations with PRC, DPRK
- II. PRC Report
1. Sanctions on the DPRK
RIA Novosti (“UN SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS N.KOREA REPORT DRAFTING PERIOD”, 2009/09/15) reported that the UN Security Council has extended by two months the period to draft a report on the implementation of resolution 1718 on sanctions against the DPRK, the U.S. ambassador to the UN said Monday. Ambassador Susan Rice, President of the Security Council for September, said the decision was made during closed consultations at which UN secretariat representatives asked for extra time to form a group of experts who will draft the report.
2. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Korea Herald (“U.S. TO SEEK BILATERIAL TALK WITH N.K. WITHIN 6-WAY TALKS FRAME”, 2009/09/15) reported that the United States will seek the DPRK’s denuclearization through the six-party talks rather than bilateral negotiations, and continue sanctioning Pyongyang unless it returns to the multilateral table, a senior US diplomat said. According to Yonhap News, the U.S. ambassador to the ROK, Kathleen Stephens, made the point at a forum after winding up an annual weeklong speaking tour of several U.S. cities. “Six parties seem to be the right party given their obvious interest and we think it’s important that the international community speaks in one voice,” Stephens told the forum.
3. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Program
RIA Novosti (“MEDVEDEV HOPES N.KOREA WILL STOP NUCLEAR TESTS”, 2009/09/15) reported that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he hopes the DPRK will pay attention to international appeals to stop nuclear tests and launches. Medvedev told participants of the Valdai discussion club that Russia, which boasts long-term relations with the state, is ready to make a contribution to the DPRK’s disarmament. “North Korea is a difficult partner,” he also said, adding that a global consolidated position on the North Korean nuclear problem was necessary.
4. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Issue
Kyodo News (“S. KOREA PRESIDENT URGES UNITED 6-WAY ACTION AGAINST N. KOREA SEOUL”, Seoul, 2009/09/15) reported that South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said Tuesday that members of six-party talks need to take a united action against DPRK to end its nuclear ambitions at a time when Pyongyang is showing a conciliatory approach on a bilateral basis. “If each member of the six-party talks takes a separate approach to North Korea, that would not lead to their goal of getting the North to abandon its nuclear programs,” Lee said. Lee said the impact of tighter U.N. Security Council sanctions is behind a series of conciliatory gestures by the DPRK. “North has been embarrassed, feeling stronger-than-expected effects” from the sanctions, he said.
Associated Press (Jae-Soon Chang, “SKOREA VOICES CAUTION OVER MOOTED US-NKOREA TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/09/16) reported that ROK Unification Minister Hyun In-taek said Wednesday any dialogue with the DPRK should be firmly based on the goal of ridding the country of nuclear weapons . “Over the past decade or so, we’ve seen negotiations with North Korea resuming and stalling numerous times. We should not forget this lesson from the past … Dialogue with North Korea should be faithful to the goal of North Korea’s denuclearization.” “The government hopes North Korea will normalize relations with the U.S. and Japan and seek economic cooperation,” Hyun said. “But the North cannot achieve them without giving up nuclear weapons.”
5. Inter-Korean Relations
Voice of America News (“NORTH, SOUTH KOREA EXCHANGE LISTS FOR COVETED FAMILY REUNIONS”, Seoul, 2009/09/15) reported that DPRK and ROK are a step closer to holding another round of reunions for families separated by the 1950s war. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans are desperate to see relatives before they become too elderly to make the trip. ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung announced an important logistical step in holding inter-Korean family reunions.
6. Inter-Korean Education Project
Yonhap News (“S. KOREAN TEAM ARRIVES IN PYONGYANG TO CELEBRATE JOINT UNIVERSITY “, 2009/09/15) reported that a ROK delegation arrived in Pyongyang to attend a ceremony celebrating the completion of a science university jointly built with donations from the ROK, the DPRK’s media said. A day earlier, the ROK government gave permission for the 20-member delegation — including an aide to President Lee Myung-bak and people mostly from a religious foundation — to attend the ceremony, which is set for Wednesday.
7. DPRK Economy
IFES NK Brief (“NORTH KOREA TO LAUNCH THE NEW ”100-DAY BATTLE””, 2009/09/15) reported that the DPRK is about to start the ‘100-day battle’ in continuation with the ‘150-day battle,’ which is a new economic reconstruction campaign initiated by Kim Jong Il’s third son, Kim Jong Un. This new ‘100-day battle’ is to begin from the 23rd of this month to the end of the year, aimed at raising the mass-mobilization productivity. The ’150-day Battle’ that began in April 20 will be concluded on the 17th of this month.
Yonhap News (“N. KOREAN LEADER CONFIDENT OVER BUILDING ‘THRIVING’ NATION “, 2009/09/15) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il voiced confidence that his country will become a “thriving” nation during visits to modernized machine plants, Pyongyang’s media said. Kim’s visits to the Pukjung Machine Complex and the Rakwon Machine Complex in the North Phyangan Province, which borders the PRC, came two days after he inspected a naval unit. Kim “stressed that the DPRK’s (North Korea) cause of building a thriving nation is sure to be successfully accomplished thanks to such heroic workers as the (province’s) workers”, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
8. DPRK Leadership
Yonhap News (“KIM JONG-IL IS PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY HEALTHY: U.S. COMMANDER “, 2009/09/15) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il demonstrated that he is fit enough mentally as well as physically to control state affairs in his meeting with former U.S. President Bill Clinton last month, the commander of U.S. Pacific forces said. “Former President Clinton’s trip to North Korea as a private citizen, that was a great intelligence for us,” Adm. Timothy Keating said in a forum here hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Kim Jong-il was upright. He appears to be cozy and entertaining reasonable discussions with the former president. We were less certain of those capabilities than we are now.”
9. ROK-Russia Relations
The Korea Times (“SOUTH KOREAN, RUSSIAN ADMIRALS TO DISCUSS TIES”, 2009/09/15) reported that Vice Adm. Sidenko Konstantin Semenovich, commander of Russia’s Pacific Fleet, arrived in ROK Monday for his second visit here, the Navy said Monday. He will meet with ROK Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jung Ok-keun Wednesday and discuss ways of promoting cooperation between the two sides in their fight against piracy in Somali waters, it said.
10. ROK-Japan Relations
Yonhap (Tony Chang, “SEOUL CALLS FOR CLOSER COOPERATION WITH NEW JAPANESE GOV’T”, Seoul, 2009/09/16) reported that the ROK on Wednesday congratulated Japan on the launch of its new administration and expressed hope for strengthened ties through close cooperation. “Our government offers its congratulations on the election of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Yukio Hatoyama as Japan’s new prime minister and the launch of a new Cabinet,” the ROK foreign ministry said in a statement.
11. Japan IAEA Leadership
The Chosun Ilbo (“JAPAN’S AMANO NAMED NEW IAEA CHIEF”, 2009/09/15) reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday formally appointed Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano as its new director general of the UN nuclear watchdog. Amano is replacing Egypt’s Mohamed ElBaradei, who is ending a 12-year run as head of the IAEA. Amano has held increasingly senior positions in the Japanese Foreign Ministry since starting there in 1972.
12. Japan on Nuclear Disarmament
Kyodo News (“JAPAN’S U.N. DELEGATION IN LIMBO DUE TO ABSENCE OF DPJ INSTRUCTIONS”, 2009/09/15) reported that Japan’s U.N. delegation has failed to take a clear stance toward a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation in the absence of instructions from the Democratic Party of Japan, which is soon to take power, U.N. diplomatic sources said Monday. The planned Security Council resolution is intended to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime in order to advance U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for a world free of nuclear weapons.
13. Japan Climate Change
Kyodo (“DPJ’S TOLL-FREE EXPRESSWAY POLICY SEEN BOOSTING CO2 EMISSIONS 33%”, Tokyo, 2009/09/15) reported that carbon dioxide emissions will increase 33.0 percent if the Democratic Party of Japan goes ahead with its key policy of abolishing expressway tolls, the land ministry said Tuesday.
14. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“FUJII TO BECOME NEXT FINANCE CHIEF, KITAZAWA DEFENSE CHIEF: DPJ SOURCE”, Tokyo, 2009/09/16) reported that former Finance Minister and Supreme Adviser to the Democratic Party of Japan Hirohisa Fujii and DPJ Vice President Toshimi Kitazawa are expected to become the next finance minister and defense minister, respectively, a DPJ source said early Wednesday.
Kyodo (“HATOYAMA COMPLETES CABINET ROSTER, NO PRIVATE-SECTOR PERSON INCLUDED”, Tokyo, 2009/09/16) reported that Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama said Tuesday he has completed selection of his Cabinet ahead of its launch Wednesday, but kept the roster mostly secret but for two posts given to the party’s coalition partners and the fact that it includes no one from the private sector. Hatoyama, set to be elected as prime minister Wednesday, told reporters Tuesday evening that all the Cabinet posts have been decided and he has made phone calls to each person concerned to tell them.
15. Japan-Taiwan Territorial Dispute
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN DEMANDS JAPAN RETURN SKIPPER: OFFICIAL”, Taipei, 2009/09/15) reported that Taiwan’s foreign ministry called Tuesday for the return of a local sailor held in Japan on accusations of illegal fishing in disputed waters in the East China sea . “Skipper Wang Wei-hsi is in Japan to assist in the investigation of the incident, and we hope he will return to Taiwan soon,” foreign ministry spokesman James Chang told AFP.
16. PRC on Japan Territorial Boundary
Xinhua News (“CHINA REAFFIRMS OPPOSITION TO JAPAN’S CONTINENTAL SHELF BID”, 2009/09/15) reported that the PRC Tuesday reiterated its firm opposition to Japan’s bid to extend its continental shelf in the southern Pacific. Japan submitted an application to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf last November, asking it to recognize the extended area as Japan’s continental shelf based on the so-called Okinotori island. “China’s position on the issue is consistent, and we hope the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will handle the problem properly ,” Jiang said.
17. PRC-US Relations
Associated Press (“CHINA OPPOSES US OFFICIALS MEETING DALAI LAMA”, Beijing, 2009/09/15) reported that PRC criticized a meeting between aides of President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama , saying Tuesday it opposed any such engagements with the Tibetan spiritual leader , but stopping short of threatening a response. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Beijing firmly opposed any foreign officials meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom PRC claims is intent on seizing independence for the Chinese region of Tibet .
18. PRC-Japan Relations
Kyodo News (“CHINA HOPES TO ACHIEVE ‘NEW PROGRESS’ IN TIES WITH JAPAN BEIJING”, Beijin, 2009/09/15) reported that PRC said Tuesday it will work with Japan’s incoming government under Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama to achieve ”new progress” in bilateral ties.
19. Sino-Indian Relations
Hindustan Times (“CHINA FOR BUILDING ‘STRATEGIC TRUST’ WITH INDIA”, 2009/09/15) reported that in a damage control mode after its recent bid to block development aid for India at the Asian Development Bank, the PRC has stressed the need to build “strategic trust” to handle “frictions” better and said the two countries have “no other option than living in peace and developing side by side”. “China and India should endeavour to build strategic mutual trust. Both need to expand the common interests and cooperation bilaterally and on regional and global affairs,” a statement by the PRC foreign affairs ministry said at the end of the 13th round of boundary talks.
20. PRC on Nuclear Safety
Xinhua News (“CHINA VOWS FIRM POSITION ON NUCLEAR SAFETY”, 2009/09/15) reported that the Permanent Representative of the PRC to the United Nations Office at Vienna, Hu Xiaodi gave a speech in the Board Meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna on Monday, expounding the PRC government’s position on nuclear safety issues. “Nuclear safety is the primary indemnity for sustainable development of nuclear energy and nuclear technology”, he said, adding in the context of the global revival of nuclear power and increasing nuclear technology application, it was particularly important to “ensure nuclear safety.”
21. PRC Military
Associated Press (“CHINA TRAINING AFGHANS, IRAQIS IN MINE CLEARANCE”, Beijing, 2009/09/15) reported that PRC’s army is training Iraqi and Afghan soldiers to clear land mines, a sign of Beijing’s desire to expand engagement with the two countries despite wariness over the presence of U.S. forces. The two-month course is the first known instance of PRC offering such training to troops from Iraq and Afghanistan , which together are home to close to 200,000 U.S. troops.
22. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Associated Press (“CHINESE BAN TRANSPORT OF EXPLOSIVES IN URUMQI”, Beijing, 2009/09/15) reported that PRC police on Tuesday banned explosives from being transported in the western region of Xinjiang , the scene of deadly ethnic rioting this summer, while more suspects were being investigated for a spate of mysterious syringe attacks.The Xinjiang Public Security Ministry said transport of weapons, ammunition, explosives and radioactive goods into or within Xinjiang would be suspended from Sept. 25 to Oct. 8.
23. PRC Space Program
Associated Press (“CHINA BREAKS GROUND ON SPACE LAUNCH CENTER”, Beijing, 2009/09/14) reported that PRC broke ground on its fourth space center Monday, highlighting the country’s soaring space ambitions six years after it sent its first man into orbit. The space port on the southern island province of Hainan incorporates a launch site and mission control center for slinging the country’s massive new rockets into space carrying satellites and components for a future space station and deep space exploration .
24. US Relations with PRC, DPRK
Agence France-Presse (“US LISTS CHINA, RUSSIA AS ITS MAIN CHALLENGERS”, Washington, 2009/09/15) reported that the United States put emerging superpower PRC and former Cold War foe Russia alongside Iran and the DPRK on a list of the four main nations challenging American interests. In a report outlining the major priorities for the US intelligence community, the PRC was singled out for its “increasing natural resource-focused diplomacy and military modernization.” The report stressed that there may be opportunities to work with the PRC and Russia and was far harsher in its criticism of Iran and the DPRK.
II. PRC Report
25. PRC Environment
Economic Information Daily (“CHINA HAS JOINED OVER 30 INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT CONVENTIONS”, 2009/09/15) reported that as at now, China has joined over 30 international environment conventions, including ozone layer protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation, nuclear and radiation safety, etc., said Zhou Xiansheng, Minister of Environment Protection at High-Level Forum on Global Environmental Cooperation yesterday.
China Environment News (“YUNNAN CARRIES OUT CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY TRAINING”, 2009/09/15) reported that Yunnan province has carried out Corporate environmental responsibility training recently. The training is co-sponsored by Yunnan Department of Environmental Protection, and Yunnan Industry and Information Technology Commission, and funded by World Wild Fund for Nature.
26. PRC Shanghai World Expo
Shanghai Wenguang News (“OVER 410,000 VOLUNTEERS ENTER FOR WORLD EXPO”, 2009/09/15) reported that as at the end of last month, there are over 410,000 volunteers entering for Shanghai World Expo, and over 70% have bachelor degree or above. The application deadline is the end of this year and the selection of applicants is planed to be finished by the end of February 2010.