NAPSNet Daily Report 17 June, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. US on DPRK Sanctions
- 3. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. US-ROK Security Alliance
- 5. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
- 7. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 8. Japan DPRK Sanctions
- 9. DPRK Succession
- 10. DPRK on Detained Journalists
- 11. US on DPRK Missile Program
- 12. DPRK Missiles
- 13. US Missile Defense System
- 14. ROK Cyberdefenses
- 15. ROK on Yemen Hostage
- 16. Japan Energy
- 17. Japan Disarmament
- 18. Spratly Islands Territorial Dispute
- 19. Sino-US Military Relations
- 20. Sino-Indian Relations
- 21. Sino-Burmese Energy Cooperation
- 22. Sino-Nigerian Energy Cooperation
- 23. PRC and the SCO
- 24. PRC Space Program
- 25. PRC Protest
- 26. PRC Internet
- 27. PRC Media
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Talks
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “N. KOREA LIKELY TO TAKE TIME BEFORE RETURNING TO NUKE TALKS: EXPERT”, Washington, 2009/06/16) reported that i t will take time for the DPRK to return to negotiating for its nuclear dismantlement, a Korea expert said. “Although the two presidents urged North Korea to return to nuclear talks, I believe that North Korea will respond poorly in the near term because the two presidents also mentioned the U.N. Security Council’s efforts to block North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, pursuit of which North Korea argues is an expression of their sovereign right,” Scott Snyder, director of the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy, the Asia Foundation, said.
2. US on DPRK Sanctions
The New York Times (David E. Sanger, “U.S. TO CONFRONT, NOT BOARD, NORTH KOREAN SHIPS”, Washington, 2009/06/15) reported that the Obama administration will order the Navy to hail and request permission to inspect DPRK ships at sea suspected of carrying arms or nuclear technology, but will not board them by force, senior administration officials said Monday. The administration’s plans, if fully executed, would amount to the most confrontational approach taken by the United States in dealing with the DPRK in years. Administration officials said that the United States would report any ship that refused inspection to the UN Security Council, while continuing to track the ship, and would mount a vigorous diplomatic effort to insist that the inspections be carried out by any country that allowed the vessel into port. The officials said that they believed that the PRC would also enforce the new sanctions, which also require countries to refuse to refuel or resupply ships suspected of carrying out arms and nuclear technology.
3. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Associated Press (Foster Klug, “OBAMA SAYS NUCLEAR-ARMED N. KOREA ‘GRAVE THREAT'”, Washington, 2009/06/16) reported that US President Obama said that a nuclear-armed DPRK poses a “grave threat” to the world, and he vowed to end a cycle of allowing Pyongyang to create crises and then be rewarded with incentives to back down. Obama and ROK President Lee Myung-bak agreed that a new U.N. resolution seeking to halt the DPRK’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles must be fully enforced, and “under no circumstance are we going to allow North Korea to possess nuclear weapons.”
4. US-ROK Security Alliance
DongA Ilbo (“PRES. LEE, OBAMA AGREE ON `EXTENDED DETERRENCE` “, 2009/06/16) reported that President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed yesterday to sternly deal with the DPRK’s provocations based on a comprehensive and strategic bilateral alliance. In the Oval Office, the two leaders adopted a statement for a “joint vision for the (South) Korea-U.S. alliance.” It includes a written guarantee on “extended deterrence” that puts the ROK under the U.S. nuclear umbrella and provides conventional weapons.
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “GATES SAYS U.S. WILL USE EVERY AVAILABLE STRENGTH TO PROTECT S. KOREA”, Washington, 2009/06/15) reported that U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the US will use all means necessary, including nuclear arms, to defend the ROK against any military threats from the DPRK. Lee and the U.S. defense secretary noted the alliance between their countries has significantly contributed to the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, and said they will continue to cooperate to have complete and verifiable denuclearization of the DPRK, the press release said.
5. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
The Joong-Ang Daily (Seo Seung-wook and Seo Ji-eun, “LEE TO PRESS FOR NEW PYONGYANG TALKS FRAMEWORK”, Washington, 2009/06/17) reported that in a summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, ROK President Lee Myung-bak was to propose five-party talks as a new framework for resolving the DPRK nuclear threat. Under the new proposal, the five parties will consult on Pyongyang, then the United States and DPRK would enter into bilateral negotiations. The ROK official said the new framework indicates Lee’s strong desire to break the past conventions of giving the DPRK “carrots,” such as economic aid, whenever the state broke promises with the international community and took provocative actions.
6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
IFES NK Brief (“INTER-KOREAN EXCHANGE, INVESTMENT REDUCED AS RELATIONS CRUMBLE”, 2009/06/16) reported that the amount of inter-Korean exchange has shrunk considerably this year, as tensions between the DPRK and ROK continue to mount. According to the ROK Customs Administration’s inter-Korean trade office, cross-border transactions between January and April of this year fell 24.8 percent from 2008; trade amounted to 426.35 million USD, down from 566.92 million USD during the same period last year. ROK imports were down only 9.5 percent, at 260.19 million USD, but exports to the DPRK amounted to a mere 59.4 percent of the amount sent last year, recording 166.17 million USD.
7. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
Kyodo News (“JAPAN RAPS N. KOREA OVER ANNOUNCEMENT IT WILL BEGIN URANIUM ENRICHMENT”, Tokyo, 2009/06/16) reported that Japan criticized the DPRK for its recent announcement that it will ”weaponize” more plutonium and begin uranium enrichment in protest at a U.N. Security Council resolution intended to punish the country. ”This is a challenge to the U.N. Security Council and is absolutely deplorable,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said, referring to North Korea’s reaction to the resolution. ”If North Korea maintains its hard-line policy, it will face further isolation.”
8. Japan DPRK Sanctions
Bloomberg (Sachiko Sakamaki, “JAPAN BANS EXPORTS TO NORTH KOREA AFTER NUCLEAR TEST”, 2009/06/16) reported that Japan has banned all exports to the DPRK, adding to a series of international sanctions. The ban prohibits all trade to the DPRK from June 18 until April 2010, and bans the entry of foreigners who have violated laws restricting trade or money transactions to the DPRK. The sanctions can be removed if the DPRK takes steps to halt its nuclear weapons program and addresses its abduction of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Asahi Shimbun (“TAX BUREAU TARGETS EXECUTIVE OF NGO THAT HELPS NORTH KOREA”, 2009/06/16) reported that tax authorities plan to order an executive of a nongovernmental organization that offers humanitarian assistance to the DPRK to pay back taxes on “fees” he collected from his side businesses, he said. Hiroyuki Kosaka, 56, head of the secretariat for Tokyo-based Rainbow Bridge, said the money collected from Japanese companies as “advanced investments” for future business with the DPRK was offered to the country or used as tax-exempt expenditures. He encouraged investments from companies that expect business opportunities with the DPRK to expand after Japan lifts its economic sanctions against the country. Tax authorities view the commission as taxable income, Kosaka said.
9. DPRK Succession
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREAN HEIR APPARENT LINKED TO ASSASSINATION PLOT”, 2009/06/16) reported that close aides of Kim Jong-un last week attempted to assassinate Kim Jong-Il’s first son Jong-nam, KBS reported Monday, citing PRC government sources. Aides to Kim Jong-un planned to assassinate Jong-nam, who lives in Macau, after first eliminating his close aides in the DPRK. The sources said, “It seems they tried to assassinate Kim Jong-nam without telling Kim Jong-il.” The plan was foiled when the PRC found out about it early last week, warning the DPRK to stop the assassination attempt, and sent intelligence and military officers to Macau to protect Jong-nam.
10. DPRK on Detained Journalists
Associated Press (Jean H. Lee, “N. KOREA: JOURNALISTS ADMITTED TO ‘CRIMINAL ACTS'”, Seoul, 2009/06/16) reported that reporter Laura Ling and editor Euna Lee were caught filming their illegal crossing into the country, DPRK state-run media said Tuesday, providing the first details of their arrest. The reporting team from Current TV crossed the frozen Tumen River dividing the DPRK and PRC three months ago and walked up the river bank — all the while recording their transgression, the official Korean Central News Agency said. The journalists were accused of crossing into the DPRK to capture video for a ” smear campaign ” focused on human rights.
11. US on DPRK Missile Program
The Associated Press (“PENTAGON WARNS OF N. KOREA MISSILE THREAT”, 2009/06/16) reported that the DPRK’s missiles could hit the US in as few as three years if the reclusive rogue nation continues to ramp up its weapons system, Pentagon officials said. At a Tuesday morning Senate hearing on missile defense, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn pointed to Pyongyang’s recent steps to accelerate its long-range weapons program and agreed with Sen. John McCain, a Republican that the US should be prepared for a “worst-case scenario” with the DPRK.
12. DPRK Missiles
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREAN LAUNCH PAD ‘READY FOR MISSILE TEST'”, 2009/06/16) reported that the DPRK has finished preparatory work at a missile launch pad in Tongchangri, North Pyongan Province, where a long-range missile has been transported, a ROK government source said Monday. “But the launch is not imminent because no radar has been set up and no missile has been installed at the launch pad,” the source added, but the launch structure connecting electric power and fuel to the missile and allowing personnel to check the missile has been erected. Expert analysis of satellite photos shows the launch structure is about 50 m high, much higher than the 30 m it had previously been believed to be. A launch pad of this height is capable of firing an intercontinental ballistic missile measuring 40 m or longer.
13. US Missile Defense System
US Missile Defense Agency (“ABL COMPLETES FIRST LIVE TARGET TRACKING TESTS”, 2009/06/16) reported that the Missile Defense Agency announced today that the prototype Airborne Laser aircraft successfully completed its first two tracking tests against boosting missile targets over the Pacific Ocean on June 6 and June 13, respectively. The first test came only seven weeks after the aircraft returned to flight, and follows nearly a year of aircraft and system modifications, including the installation of its megawatt-class chemical laser. These tests mark the first time ABL has demonstrated a complete low-power engagement sequence against a boosting target, in this case a ground-launched Terrier-Lynx missile.
14. ROK Cyberdefenses
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “S. KOREAN DEFENSE NETWORKS UNDER INCREASING ATTACK BY HACKERS “, Gwacheon, 2009/06/16) reported that the ROK’s defense networks are attacked an average of 15,000 times a day by hackers and hit with viruses another 80,000 times, according to the top military intelligence agency. The figure represents a 20-percent increase compared to last year, with eleven percent of the hacking attacks being “sophisticated attempts to extract military intelligence,” while the rest are relatively easier to head off. A ROK defense source said earlier this year that the DPRK operates a cyber warfare unit that seeks to disrupt ROK and U.S. military networks.
15. ROK on Yemen Hostage
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “SEOUL CONDEMNS KILLING OF KOREAN WOMAN IN YEMEN”, Seoul, 2009/06/16) reported that the ROK government expressed “anger and shock” Tuesday over the slaying of a ROK woman apparently kidnapped by insurgents in Yemen, as her father and brother were to leave for the Middle Eastern nation later in the day. Officials said the woman and two other women were found dead. The ROK government has a firm position that any terrorist act against innocent foreigners is an inhumane crime, and it will actively join international efforts to root out terrorism, the ministry said.
16. Japan Energy
Bloomberg (Shigeru Sato and Yuji Okada, “JAPAN MAY OFFER LOANS TO FUND CLEAN POWER PLANTS, DOCUMENT SAYS”, 2009/06/17) reported that Japan plans to offer loans to power producers in the U.S. and Australia that buy so-called clean coal generators from Japanese manufacturers. Funding from state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation would help drive sales of the plants that cost about $3.1 billion apiece, said a senior trade ministry official involved in producing the 113-page draft plan, due to be released in Tokyo today. Japan Bank may offer a package of loans to overseas projects that also would fund purchases of Japanese-made technology to capture and store carbon emissions from the plants.
17. Japan Disarmament
The Maini Chi Daily News (“LOWER HOUSE APPROVES RESOLUTION URGING NUCLEAR ARMS REDUCTIONS, DISARMAMENT”, 2009/06/16) reported that the Japanese House of Representatives unanimously adopted a resolution at a plenary session on Tuesday calling for stepped up efforts for global nuclear arms reductions, disarmament and nonproliferation. The first Diet resolution calling for nuclear disarmament states that “Japan, as the sole country to have suffered nuclear attacks, has the responsibility to take the lead in a campaign toward nuclear disarmament. It also calls for the establishment of an effective nuclear verification system. The resolution states that Japan should play a leading role in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to be held in New York in 2010 and encourage other countries to support the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to ensure that it will come into force at an early date.
18. Spratly Islands Territorial Dispute
Agence France Press (“TAIWAN LIKELY TO BOOST SOUTH CHINA SEA PRESENCE”, Taipei, 2009/06/16) reported that Taiwan’s coastguard said it was likely to increase its presence in a disputed South China Sea archipelago , in response to a significant rise in the number of foreign fishing boats there. Taiwan’s coastguard, which has a base on Taiping , the biggest island in the Spratlys , has reported a steep rise in the number of foreign fishing vessels in the area, media reports said. “Yes, it’s likely,” said Shih Yi-che, a spokesman for Taiwan’s coastguard, when asked if the service would send more patrol boats to the archipelago, which lies around 1,500 kilometres (937 miles) south of Taiwan .
19. Sino-US Military Relations
The Associated Press (“CHINA-US NAVAL INCIDENT PART OF A RISING TREND”, Beijing, 2009/06/16) reported that the PRC has called the latest collision between PRC and U.S. naval vessels an accident, but many of the elements echo previous altercations that have raised concerns that the PRC’s navy is growing increasingly aggressive in its patrols of the waters off its coast. While not every incident gets reported, analysts say evidence suggests they’re happening more frequently as Beijing flexes its improved naval capabilities and asserts its objections to U.S. Naval activity in disputed waters. “We’re seeing an upswing in incidents that reflects an increasingly aggressive Chinese capability, especially in what it considers to be its own territorial waters,” said Alex Neil, head of the Asia Program at the Royal United Services Institute in London.
20. Sino-Indian Relations
ANI (“INDIA COMMITTED TO ADVANCING BILATERAL COOPERATION WITH CHINA: MANMOHAN SINGH”, 2009/06/16) reported that will give top priority to its relations with the PRC and is committed to advancing bilateral cooperation in various fields on the basis of progress made in the past, said the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, during his Monday night meeting with PRC President . Singh said the two countries had forged the strategic and cooperative partnership during his tenure as prime minister and he was happy to note that bilateral ties between the two countries were deepening. The two countries share the desire to promote their bilateral ties and there are also potentials for them to cooperate on global and regional issues, he added.
21. Sino-Burmese Energy Cooperation
Bloomberg News (Yu-huay Sun, “CHINA TO START WORK ON MYANMAR PIPES, SECURITIES JOURNAL SAYS”, 2009/06/16) reported that China National Petroleum Corp. will start building in September oil and natural gas pipelines linking the nation and Myanmar, China Securities Journal reported, citing an unidentified official at the company. The proposed $2 billion project will help transport petroleum from the Middle East and Africa to the PRC and gas from the Southeast Asia country to PRC users, the Securities Journal said yesterday.
22. Sino-Nigerian Energy Cooperation
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA, NIGERIA STATE FIRMS FIND OIL IN NIGER DELTA”, 2009/06/16) reported that the PRC’s state oil firm SIPEC and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) have discovered crude oil from Niger Delta region of the west African nation, an official statement said. SIPEC, a subsidiary of China Petroleum Corporation , and NPDC, the exploration and production arm of the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), jointly discovered crude in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 64, also known as Kakaku-1 well, the statement said.
23. PRC and the SCO
The Associated Press (“HU: CHINA TO LOAN REGIONAL GROUP $10 BILLION”, Yekaterinburg, 2009/06/16) reported that PRC leader Hu Jintao says the PRC will extend a $10 billion loan to a regional group that also includes Russia and four Central Asian states. The move adds muscle to the PRC’s role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which it dominates along with Russia. Hu said the loan is intended to shore up the struggling economies of its members amid the global financial crisis .
24. PRC Space Program
Beijing News (“CHINESE STRATEGIST RECOMMENDS SPACE FORCES FOR THE FUTURE”, 2009/06/16) reported that a military strategist has proposed that the PRC Army set up its own space forces for the future to protect the PRC’s growing outer space assets. Wang Fa’an, a senior researcher at Academy of Military Sciences, said the country would be carrying out many space missions in future, and this which would necessitate the PRC developing its own space forces. “Hi-tech military corps, including space forces, need to be considered in the future development plan of the Chinese Army,” the China Daily quoted Fa’an, as saying.
25. PRC Protest
Agence France-Presse (“POLICE FATALLY WOUND MAN DURING PROTEST IN CHINA’S XINJIANG”, Beijing , 2009/06/16) reported that police in the PRC ‘s western-most Muslim region of Xinjiang fired warning shots to disperse a crowd protesting against a real estate project Tuesday, fatally wounding a man, state media said. The incident occurred in the regional capital Urumqi when a policeman identified as Kudelet Kurban accidentally fired his gun into a crowd of about 60 people, Xinhua news agency reported. “Kurban fired two warning shots to disperse the crowd, but to no use,” the report said. “While he continued to try to handle the crowd, his gun was accidentally triggered off and shot Yao Yonghai, a supervisor with the Guanghui company, in the neck.”
26. PRC Internet
Associated Press (Alexa Olesen, “CHINA SAYS UNPOPULAR FILTERING SOFTWARE OPTIONAL”, Beijing, 2009/06/16) reported that the PR C appeared to cave in to public pressure by announcing that computer users are not required to install Internet-filtering software — though it will still come with all PCs sold on the mainland. A Ministry of Industry and Information Technology official stated that use of the “Green Dam Youth Escort” software is “not compulsory.” PC makers will be required to tell authorities how many computers they have shipped with the software, which is made by a PRC developer under contract with the government.
27. PRC Media
Associated Press (“CHINA COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER TO EXPAND COVERAGE”, Beijing, 2009/06/16) reported that the PRC’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily , is expanding its coverage as part of a reported multibillion-dollar drive to expand the PRC’s international media influence. The People’s Daily plans to expand from 16 to 20 pages with more coverage of breaking and international news, and the newspaper’s 72 foreign and domestic bureaus will be upgraded. The moves are believed to be part of a 45 billion yuan ($6.6 billion) government plan to fund a major expansion of CCTV, People’s Daily and the official Xinhua News Agency , as reported earlier this year by Hong Kong ‘s South China Morning Post newspaper. Officials have yet to confirm the plan’s details, but the Post said it calls for Xinhua to nearly double its overseas bureaus to 180, while adding a 24-hour satellite news channel.
II. PRC Report
28. PRC Civil Society
Xinhua Net (Cui Jing, “CHINA RED CROSS FOUNDATION RECRUITS SOCIAL INSPECTOR”, 2009/06/16) reported that China Red Cross Foundation issued a notice on June 12 th that it would start to openly recruit social inspector from the public, to supervise all the projects of Red Cross Foundation. The inspector belongs to volunteer, and doesn’t have salary. The necessary cost during work will be taken charge by the Foundation.
29. PRC Employment
CCTV.com (“OVER 2800 GRADUATES HEAD FOR SHANDONG GRASS-ROOT POSITIONS”, 2009/06/16) reported that 2,823 graduates are expected to be selected to work at the grass roots in 15 cities of Shandong province, according to the province’s announcement of selecting university graduates as grass-root officials issued on May 25. Selected students will work as the assistant to the secretary of the village Party branch or the assistant to the director of the village committee.
30. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Xinhua Daily (“FARMER’S ASSOCIATION FOR CULTIVATED LAND PROTECTION ESTABLISHES IN JIANGSU”, 2009/06/16) reported that Farmer’s Association for Cultivated Land Protection was established in Jintan city of Jiangsu province recently. The Association was a self-organization, aiming at properly using and protecting cultivated land, and timely detecting and stopping destruction of land.