NAPSNet Daily Report 16 September, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Korea Herald (“‘WEAPONS NEEDED TO NEUTRALIZE N.K. WMDS’”, 2010/09/16) reported that the chief of a presidential committee on defense advancement said that ROK should secure weapons capable of incapacitating the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction to deal with its growing military threats. Lee Sang-woo of the 15-member committee made the remarks amid escalating public calls for military reform aimed at enhancing the country’s defense capabilities against DPRK provocations. “Unless North Korea abandons its WMDs, South Korea, which has decided not to possess WMDs, has no way to be militarily superior to its communist neighbor,” Lee said. “The South, which maintains a denuclearization policy, can prevent the North’s military superiority only when it has the non-nuclear precision strike capabilities that could incapacitate its WMDs before they are put to use.”
2. Inter-Korean Military Talks
Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREA PROPOSES MILITARY TALKS WITH S.KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/09/16) reported that the DPRK has proposed holding military talks with the ROK to discuss disputes, the ROK’s defence ministry said, in another apparent peace overture from Pyongyang. The inter-Korean military talks will be the first in almost two years if they go ahead. Seoul’s military reacted cautiously to the dialogue proposal. Seoul’s defence ministry said the DPRK had called for talks with the ROK about their disputed Yellow Sea border and about anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets floated across the border by activists.
3. UNC-DPRK Military Talks
Xinhua News (“UNC, DPRK END COLONEL-LEVEL TALKS OVER WARSHIP SINKING WITH LITTLE PROGRESS “, 2010/09/16) reported that the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) and the DPRK wrapped up the fifth round of working-level talks over the sinking of a ROK warship in March with little progress. In a press release issued after the meeting, held at the border village of Panmunjom, the UNC said the two sides agreed to “conduct another colonel-level meeting at a date to be determined. ” The representatives from the two sides basically reaffirmed each sides’ stance, but failed to reach compromise on some points.
4. ROK Nuclear Technology Exports
JoongAng Ilbo (“MOU REVEALS KOREA’S QUEST FOR ARGENTINA NUCLEAR DEAL”, 2010/09/16) reported that the ROK agreed to support plans by Argentina to build a new nuclear plant and extend the life of its existing plants in a move that could lead to the ROK’s nuclear industry establishing its first foothold in Latin America. Under a memorandum of understanding signed between Choi Kyung-hwan – the knowledge economy minister – and Julio de Vido – Argentina’s minister of federal planning, public investment and services – the two countries will cooperate in nuclear power plant projects and related technology. The MOU sets the stage for Korea Electric Power Corporation and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power to become involved in Argentina’s new nuclear plants and overhauling the country’s Embalse Nuclear Power Station.
5. PRC Civil Society
Global Times (Xu Tianran, “JET LI’S ONE FOUNDATION MAY BE SUSPENDED”, 2010/09/16) reported that action film star Jet Li’s charity organization, the One Foundation, might be suspended in the future over questions of blurry legal identity, according to Li. In a CCTV “One on One” interview on September 12, Li said his charity foundation “is like a 3-year-old child, healthy but lacking an ID card. Soon he [the kid] will be questioned by those who seek more transparency and professionalism in China’s charity development.” Li said the legal identity of the One Foundation is quite blurry. It is attached to the official Red Cross Society of China and has no independent bank account. The resulting inconveniences have hindered the foundation from performing its duty. “We have tried very hard to get approval from the civil affairs department, although there has been little cause for optimism so far,” Ye said.