Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on ROK Military Drill
- 2. Russia on ROK Military Drill
- 3. US-DPRK Relations
- 4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 5. Japan Defense Guidelines
1. DPRK on ROK Military Drill
Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREA VOWS TO STRIKE BACK IF SOUTH HOLDS ISLAND DRILL”, 2010/12/17) reported that the DPRK’s military threatened Friday to strike back with deadly firepower if ROK goes ahead with a live-fire drill on a border island which the communist state shelled last month. The DPRK “will deal the second and third unpredictable self-defensive blow” to protect its territorial waters if the South holds the one-day drill scheduled sometime between Saturday and Tuesday, it said. “It will be deadlier than what was made on November 23 in terms of the powerfulness and sphere of the strike,” said the military statement.
2. Russia on ROK Military Drill
Xinhua News (“RUSSIA URGES SEOUL TO SKIP MILITARY DRILLS IN YELLOW SEA”, Moscow, 2010/12/17) reported that the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday urged the ROK to skip planned military drills in the Yellow Sea, the ministry said in a statement. “The Russian Foreign Ministry importantly urges the Republic of Korea to restrain from the planned artillery gunnery to prevent further escalation of the tension in the Korean peninsula,” the ministry said, adding that Moscow has been “highly concerned” with the possible aggravation of the situation there. The Foreign Ministry called on Pyongyang and Seoul to resume dialogue and to resolve all problems between the two states through political and diplomatic means.
3. US-DPRK Relations
CNN (“NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR SAYS HE IS MAKING PROGRESS IN NORTH KOREA”, 2010/12/17) reported that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Friday that he had made some progress after wrapping up his first meeting with a DPRK government official. Richardson met with a vice minister of the DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday. He will meet with the DPRK’s senior nuclear negotiator Kim Gye Gwan on Saturday. Richardson has said he will try to get “North Koreans to curtail their aggressive behavior, to see if there is some basis for negotiations, to get them to stop the uranium enrichment.”
4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA URGES U.S. TO COOPERATE OVER NORTH KOREA”, Beijing, 2010/12/17) reported that the PRC told visiting US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg that the two big powers should cooperate more in defusing tension over the DPRK, playing down discord over how to rein in Pyongyang. China’s top diplomat, Dai Bingguo, urged closer coordination over the Korean peninsula during talks with Steinberg, the second most senior official in the US State Department. “We need easing not tensions, dialogue and not confrontation,” Dai told him, according to Xinhua and a statement on the PRC Foreign Ministry website (www.mfa.gov.cn). “China and the United States should enhance coordination and cooperation and promote renewed negotiations, including dialogue between North and South Korea,” said Dai.
5. Japan Defense Guidelines
The Associated Press (Mari Yamaguchi, “NEW JAPAN DEFENSE POLICY FOCUSES ON CHINA”, 2010/12/17) reported that Japan should refocus its defense strategy on the rise of the PRC and not on the Cold War threat ofRussia, according to new guidelines announced Friday. The guidelines, which were approved by the Cabinet, also call for a stronger alliance with the US – Japan’s biggest ally – and expanded security networks with partners like the ROK and Australia. Japan will acquire new submarines and fighter jets, upgrade its missile defense capabilities and make its ground forces more mobile so that they can quickly respond to emergencies in southwest Japan. The guidelines paint the PRC as a bigger threat than Russia and say Japan is shifting its defense emphasis from the northern island of Hokkaido to islands in the south, such as Okinawa and territories claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing that have recently led to diplomatic tensions.