NAPSNet Daily Report 17 August, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. ROK on Six-Party Talks
- 2. US Sanctions on DPRK
- 3. ROK Sanctions on DPRK
- 4. US-DPRK Relations
- 5. DPRK on US-ROK Military Exercises
- 6. US, PRC on DPRK Future
- 7. Inter-Korean Relations
- 8. DPRK Defectors
- 9. ROK Missile Defense
- 10. ROK Energy
- 11. ROK Civil Rights
- 12. ROK Influenza Outbreak
- 13. Ethnic Koreans in Russia
- 14. ROK on Japanese Colonial Era
- 15. Japan on WWII
- 16. Japanese Politics
- 17. Japanese Space Program
- 18. Japan Climate Change
- 19. US Aid for Taiwan Typhoon
- 20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 21. PRC Civic Unrest
- 22. PRC Military Exercises
- 23. PRC Fisheries Disputes
- 24. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
1. ROK on Six-Party Talks
Agence France-Press (“SOUTH KOREA: CALL FOR WEAPONS TALKS WITH THE NORTH”, Seoul, 2009/08/15) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak called Saturday for talks with the DPRK aimed at ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, as well as making cuts in conventional weapons. “Nuclear weapons do not guarantee North Korea’s security, they only cloud its future,” Lee said in a speech to commemorate Korea’s 1945 liberation from Japanese rule.
2. US Sanctions on DPRK
Donga Ilbo (“US TO DENUKE N. KOREA VIA ‘IRREVERSIBLE’ MEANS”, Washington, 2009/08/14) reported that Philip Goldberg, U.S. President Barack Obama`s special envoy for implementing sanctions on Pyogyang, told a briefing at the U.S. State Department that he will travel to Asia next week to push for implementation of U.N. sanctions. A diplomatic source said, “The United States is still looking for North Korean entities to sanction and has expressed its strong determination to thoroughly detect any North Korean nuclear and missile activities through clandestine transactions.”
3. ROK Sanctions on DPRK
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “S. KOREAN DIPLOMAT JOINS UN PANEL ON N. KOREA SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2009/08/16) reported that a seven-member panel dealing with the U.N. DPRK sanctions including director-general Song Young-wan were named by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last Friday, according to an official of the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Sunday. “Song will work in New York for one year from this September when the panel is scheduled to be officially launched,” the official said. “The selection (of Song) is believed to have resulted from South Korea’s substantial contributions to the drawing up of Resolution 1874,” he said.
4. US-DPRK Relations
Joongang Ilbo (“EVANS: NORTH MISCALCULATED WITH U.S.”, Seoul, 2009/08/15) reported that Evans Revere, president of the Korea Society in New York, said the Obama administration was more willing than its predecessors to improve U.S.-DPRK relations. “Due to North Korea’s miscalculation and misreading of the Obama administration [through nuclear and missile tests], Washington’s North Korean policy has gone in a direction that was not intended at the start,” Revere said. “North Korea may step back and reflect on its own behavior of the past eight months and alter its course.”
5. DPRK on US-ROK Military Exercises
Joongang Ilbo (“PYONGYANG BLASTS LATEST KOREA-U.S. WAR GAMES”, Seoul, 2009/08/17) reported that the DPRK on Sunday denounced the ROK-U.S. Ulji Freedom Guardian exercise that is scheduled to run from Monday through August 27. “The maneuvers for a nuclear war projected by the U.S. imperialists and the Lee Myung-bak group of traitors are by no means a demonstration of military muscle of a defensive nature,” a spokesman for the Panmunjom Mission of the Korean People’s Army said in a statement. Only “naive children who have just started learning the four rules of arithmetic” would believe the ROK-U.S. logic, the unidentified spokesman said. “Through these nuclear war exercises the American master and his servant seek to openly call for escalating their ‘sanctions’ and ‘pressure’ upon the DPRK,” he said.
6. US, PRC on DPRK Future
Radio Free Asia (“‘US, CHINA AGREED NOT TO SEND TROOPS TO NK'”, Seoul, 2009/08/15) reported that former U.S. official Kenneth Quinones said the United States and the PRC agreed not to dispatch troops to the DPRK in case there is a sudden change or turmoil in the nation. “The U.S. has assured China that the U.S. will not supply, provide military or diplomatic support for any South Korean intervention in North Korea and the Chinese at the same time have guaranteed the U.S. that they would not intervene in North Korean area. They had strategic talks last year, at which this was quietly agreed upon,” Quinones said.
7. Inter-Korean Relations
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “NKOREA SAYS KIM JONG IL MET HYUNDAI GROUP CHIEF”, Seoul, 2009/08/16) reported that the Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday that leader Kim Jong-il and Hyun Jung-eun, Hyundai’s chairwoman, had a “cordial talk”. It did not specify when the talks took place, though they were likely held Sunday since Hyun had extended her stay in the DPRK for an additional day, the fifth time since arriving in Pyongyang last Monday. KCNA said Hyun presented Kim with a gift. ” Kim Jong Il expressed thanks for this and had a cordial talk with her in an atmosphere of compatriotic feelings, remembering the predecessors of the Hyundai Group with deep emotion,” the report said.
Yonhap (“HYUNDAI CHIEF ROSY ABOUT INTER-KOREAN TIES AFTER LENGTHY MEET WITH KIM”, Seoul, 2009/08/17) reported that Hyun Jeong-eun, the chairwoman of Hyundai Group, said Monday that she met with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il for four hours over lunch on Sunday for extensive discussions on ways to improve inter-Korean relations. “My luncheon meeting with Chairman Kim proceeded in a friendly atmosphere. We exchanged views on the resumption of the joint tourism project at Mount Kumgang and other pending issues,” she said. “I recommended government-level dialogue on the issue of releasing detained fishermen. I think the issue will be settled well,” Hyun said.
Yonhap (“N. KOREA ALLOWS RESUMPTION OF INTER-KOREAN BUSINESS PROJECTS: KCNA”, Seoul, 2009/08/17) reported that the DPRK on Monday agreed to resume inter-Korean tourism projects and facilitate operation of the joint industrial park in the Kaesong, the Korean Central News Agency said. In a joint press release between Hyundai Group and the DPRK’s Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, the sides also “decided to provide reunion of separated families and relatives from the North and the South in Mt. Kumgang on the day of Chusok (harvest moon day), a folk holiday of the Korean nation, this year.” “It was decided to resume the suspended tours to Mt. Kumgang as soon as possible and launch the tour of Pirobong, the highest peak on the mountain,” the release said. “It was also decided to resume tours of Kaesong soon and to energize the operations of the Kaesong Industrial Zone as the land passage through the MDL (Military Demarcation Line) is put on a normal basis.”
8. DPRK Defectors
Chosun Ilbo (“MATCHING N.KOREAN WOMEN WITH S.KOREAN MEN”, Seoul, 2009/08/15) reported that according to the ROK Unification Ministry, in 2001 a total of 480 DPRK women came to the ROK, and the number rose to 960 in 2005 and 2,197 in 2008. Adding the 1,282 women who came to the ROK until July this year, the total number is now 11,232, about double the number of DPRK men, which stands at 5,514. Based on their age at the time of entry to the South, six out of 10 female defectors or 6,756 were in their 20s or 30s, and 3,784 of them were single. Currently there are eight companies in Seoul alone that provide services matching DPRK women with ROK men.
Korea Herald (Song Sang-ho, “PLAN AIMS TO SUPPORT SCHOOL-AGE N.K. DEFECTORS”, Seoul, 2009/08/14) reported that the ROK government Thursday announced two-year plans to support school-age DPRK defectors. “The government support for young North Korean defectors has been somewhat fragmentary. We will substantially expand the budget to systematically support each individual,” said Lee Sang-jin, director general of the Education Welfare Bureau at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in a press briefing. The government will increase the budget allocated to support school-age defectors to 3 billion won ($2.4 million) this year and 4.5 billion won next year from 800 million won last year, officials said.
9. ROK Missile Defense
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “AEGIS DESTROYER TO TRACK SPACE LAUNCH”, Seoul, 2009/08/16) reported that Sejong the Great, the ROK Navy’s 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer, will monitor and track the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV)-1, or Naro-ho, in an effort to evaluate its missile tracking capability, an official of the Ministry of National Defense said Sunday. “The launch of the Naro-ho will offer a great opportunity for the Sejong destroyer to test and evaluate its performances, since a space vehicle, in general, has almost same design, components and technology as those of an ICBM,” the official said.
10. ROK Energy
Arirang News (“OIL, GAS EXPLORATION PROJECT IN EAST SEA ADVANCES TO NEXT STAGE”, Seoul, 2009/08/14) reported that according to the ROK Ministry of Knowledge Economy on Thursday, Australia’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company, Woodside Petroleum, along with the Korea National Oil Corporation agreed to move on to the second phase of an exploration project in the East Sea in search of oil and gas. Actual drilling is planned to begin in early 2011 in two blocks which cover an area of up to 12,560 sq. km.
11. ROK Civil Rights
Hankyoreh Shinmun (“DSC RESUMES SPYING ON CIVILIANS”, Seoul, 2009/08/13) reported that allegations have been presented charging the ROK Defense Security Command (DSC) with conducting a large-scale illegal investigation into nonmilitary activities. In a press conference held at the National Assembly on Wednesday, Democratic Labor Party (DLP) Lawmaker Lee Jung-hee stated, “The shocking fact has come to light that the Lee Myung-bak government is using the DSC to investigate a large number of civilians.” Lee claims that the DSC “these systemic investigations involves a great deal of expense and several agents.”
12. ROK Influenza Outbreak
Joongang Ilbo (“NEW FLU CLAIMS LIVES OF TWO KOREANS”, Seoul, 2009/08/17) reported that two older Koreans died of complications from A(H1N1) influenza over the weekend, according to the ROK Health Ministry Sunday, marking the first deaths in the country. Lee Jong-koo, head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Saturday it is probable that the disease may turn pandemic here in the latter half of this year.
13. Ethnic Koreans in Russia
Korea Times (Kwon Mee-yoo, “RUSSIA SOUGHT TO SEND KOREANS TO NK IN 1947”, Seoul, 2009/08/14) reported that the government of the former Soviet Union had planned to forcibly relocate some 22,000 Koreans living in Sakhalin to the DPRK in the late 1940s, according to documents released by the National Archives of Korea (NAK), Friday. “The document officially verifies the plan to relocate Koreans in Sakhalin to North Korea, information which had been unconfirmed before this,” an NAK official said. “However, it did not identify whether they were actually sent to the North or how many of them were sent.”
14. ROK on Japanese Colonial Era
Yonhap (“NO COMPENSATION FOR COLONIAL-ERA LABORERS”, Seoul, 2009/08/14) reported that Seoul is unwilling to ask Tokyo for overdue payments owed to Korean workers forcibly drafted to serve Japan’s colonial regime, court documents showed Friday. In a recent document submitted to the Seoul Administrative Court, the foreign ministry cited difficulty “in helping draftees seek compensation for overdue payments dating to the colonial era as it is clear that such payments were included in money given from Japan in 1965.”
15. Japan on WWII
Associated Press (“JAPAN PM VOICES DEEP REGRET OVER WWII SUFFERING”, Tokyo, 2009/08/15) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso expressed deep regret over the suffering his country inflicted on Asian countries during World War II in a ceremony Saturday that marked the 64th anniversary of Tokyo ‘s surrender. “Our country inflicted tremendous damage and suffering on many countries, particularly people in Asia. As a representative of the Japanese people , I humbly express my remorse for the victims, along with deep regret,” Aso said.
Joongang Ilbo (“U.S. LAWMAKER SEEKS JAPAN APOLOGY”, Washington, 2009/08/14) reported that U.S. Representative Mike Honda said in a recent interview Tokyo has yet to make a “formal and unequivocal” government apology for its sexual enslavement and other past crimes during World War II. “I think what has been asked for (in the past) was a formal, unequivocal government apology; to recognize historical responsibility and then also to talk about compensation to victims,” Honda said. “I don’t believe that has happened.”
16. Japanese Politics
Asahi Shimbun (“OPPOSITION ALLIES DRAFT JOINT AGENDA WITH VIEW TO COALITION”, Tokyo, 2009/08/15) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and the People’s New Party on Friday released a joint election platform. The de facto manifesto for the approaching Lower House election addresses six main aspects of welfare, employment, government spending and privatization policy. But it contains no mention of diplomacy or national security, two issues over which the parties remain staunchly divided.
17. Japanese Space Program
Asahi Shimbun (Shiro Namekata, “DPJ EYES UNIFIED SPACE AGENCY”, Tokyo, 2009/08/15) reported that the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan has proposed integrating the nation’s disjointed space administration by the end of this fiscal year to eventually create a “Japanese version of NASA.” The party sees the step as part of an overhaul of the nation’s compartmentalized government structures, which it says have benefited bureaucrats at the cost of efficiency.
18. Japan Climate Change
Asahi Shimbun (Daisuke Sudo, “DPJ POLICIES WOULD RAISE ANNUAL CO2 EMISSIONS, THINK TANK SAYS”, Tokyo, 2009/08/14) reported that a pledge by the main opposition party to scrap expressway tolls and special car taxes would raise the volume of road traffic and result in an annual increase of 9.8 million tons in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the Research Institute for Local Initiative of Environmental Policies says. The projected increase is equivalent to what 1.8 million typical households generate in a given year. It said the figure compares with the additional 2.45 million tons in annual CO2 emissions that are expected from the increased traffic volume due to the current government policy of charging a 1,000 yen toll for unlimited use of rural expressways on weekends and national holidays.
19. US Aid for Taiwan Typhoon
Associated Press (“US RELIEF TEAM ARRIVES IN TAIWAN TO TRANSPORT AID”, Taipei, 2009/08/17) reported that a U.S. relief team backed by heavy-lift helicopters arrived in Taiwan on Monday to help local authorities get aid to the hundreds of people thought to be stranded in mountain villages more than a week after a typhoon rocked the island. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Tai Chan-te said the military was still using helicopters to search for and rescue people trapped in the rural south. He said more than 200 people were rescued Monday but could not give an estimate of how many still needed aid. Officials said late Sunday that at least 1,000 people were still stranded.
20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
PC World (Owen Fletcher, “HACKERS CLASH OVER CHINA’S ROLE IN MUSLIM PROVINCE”, 2009/08/14) reported that pro-PRC and pro-Muslim hackers have clashed online in a series of attacks on Web sites triggered by ethnic riots in Xinjiang last month. Messages left on defaced Web sites have either supported or condemned the PRC’s rule over Xinjiang. PRC government Web sites have become the latest targets, adding to online attacks against an Australian film festival and a Turkish government site.
21. PRC Civic Unrest
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CLASH AT CHINA SMELTER AFTER 100S OF KIDS POISONED”, Beijing, 2009/08/17) reported that villagers in Shaanxi province clashed with police outside a lead smelter blamed in the poisoning of more than 600 children, reports said Monday. Several hundred villagers tore down fences and blocked traffic outside the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co. after news of the poisoning emerged last week, state media and villagers said. Fighting between angry parents and scores of police broke out Sunday, and trucks delivering coal to the plant were stoned.
22. PRC Military Exercises
VOA News (“CHINA HOLDS MASSIVE LONG-RANGE MILITARY EXERCISES”, 2009/08/14) reported that the PRC began holding a massive military exercise this week, deploying 50,000 troops to areas far from their bases for live-fire drills. Military analysts say the exercises are not only meant to show the world how the PRC’s military is developing, but also to show it is ready to respond to unrest. The two-month long exercise, called “Stride 2009” began earlier this week and will last through the 60th anniversary of the creation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1. State media have trumpeted the exercise, calling it the largest ever and unprecedented.
23. PRC Fisheries Disputes
Donga Ilbo (“ILLEGAL CHINESE FISHING FUELING GLOBAL CONFLICT”, 2009/08/14) reported that Lyle Goldstein, a professor of naval warfare studies at the Naval War College in Washington, has warned of the negative effects of illegal PRC fishing worldwide in an article published in the magazine China Brief. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the PRC in 2006 caught 17.1 million tons of fish and marine life, 2.44 times larger than its nearest competitor Peru (seven million tons) and more than the combined catch of the United States (4.9 million tons) and Japan (4.2 million tons).
24. PRC Environment
Associated Press (“SCANT RAINFALL IN EAST CHINA TIED TO POLLUTION”, Beijing, 2009/08/16) reported that researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that the number of days of light rainfall in eastern the PRC decreased by 23% from 1956 to 2005 because of air pollution. “Besides the health effects, acid rain and other problems that pollution creates, this work suggests that reducing air pollution might help ease the drought in north China,” lead researcher Yun Qian said.
II. PRC Report
25. PRC Civil Society
Beijing Times (“CHARITY INFORMATION DISCLOSURE MEASURE IS UNDER DRAFTING”, 2009/08/14) reported that Ministry of Civil Affairs is drafting measures about charity information disclosure, said Liu Youping, vice director of Zhongmin Charity Donation Information Center at Social Organization’s 512 Action Forum yesterday. The Center has already started related investigation, authorized by Ministry of Civil Affairs.
26. PRC Earthquake Relief
Chengdu Evening News (“18 ORPHANS FROM EARTHQUAKE AREAS GO TO CANADA FOR HEALING”, 2009/08/14) reported that the first 18 orphans from Chengdu earthquake disaster areas left for the city of Edmonton, Canada on 13 th , to have a 9-day trip of heart convalescence. They were invited by mayor of Edmonton when he visited Chengdu early this February.
27. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Morning News (“5 RMB CONTRIBUTES FOR ONE TREE ONLINE”, 2009/08/12) reported that only paid 5 RMB online, you can have one tree in Gansu province as your contribution. This is a part of “Millions of Forests” Project, formally launched by Climate Organization, China Green Foundation and UN Environment Program yesterday. Both enterprises and individuals can contribute for trees online.