NAPSNet Daily Report 17 September, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK on Nuclear Program
- 3. DPRK Military
- 4. DPRK Missile Program
- 5. ROK Missile Defense
- 6. ROK Energy Aid to the DPRK
- 7. Inter-Korean Relations
- 8. DPRK Leadership
- 9. PRC on DPRK Leadership
- 10. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 11. US-ROK Relations
- 12. Submarine Incursion in Japan
- 13. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 14. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
- 15. PRC Environment
- 16. PRC Space Program
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. REPEATS CALL ON N. KOREA TO PRESENT VERIFICATION REGIME FOR NUCLEAR PROGRAMS”, Washington, 2008/09/16) reported that the US urged the DPRK to come up with a verification regime on its nuclear programs regardless of who’s in charge amid reports of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s health failure. “What we’re looking for now is agreement to a verification regime, and we are going to continue to urge North Korea to agree to that verification regime, so we can move this process forward, and we can get on with the business of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
2. DPRK on Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (Lee Chi-dong, “N. KOREA TO SEND NEW DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER TO U.N. ASSEMBLY “, Seoul, 2008/09/06) reported that the DPRK will dispatch its new deputy foreign minister Pak Gil-yon to the United Nations General Assembly meeting next week, a diplomatic source said. “(North Korean) Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun is unlikely to attend the meeting. Instead, Pak Gil-yon, who is in charge of the ministry’s affairs on international organizations, plans to deliver a keynote speech during the session to begin next Tuesday in New York,” the source said. “The exact date for his speech has yet to be fixed.” His speech is likely to focus on attacking Washington’s delay in the agreed-upon process of taking the communist nation off the list of terrorism sponsors, according to the source.
3. DPRK Military
Agence-France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA VOWS TO BUILD UP ‘WAR DETERRENT'”, Seoul, 2008/09/16) reported that the DPRK renewed criticism of last month’s joint US-ROK military exercise and vowed to strengthen its “war deterrent” in the face of what it called invasion threats. “Reinforcing war deterrent is one hundred times justifiable,” said Rodong Sinmun. “They were rehearsing… to launch a preemptive strike on North Korea,” it said, accusing the US of launching various other joint military exercises with the ROK and supplying it with modern weaponry. “We will strengthen the war deterrent as long as the US warlike forces continue the policy of attempting to stifle the DPRK (North Korea),” it said.
4. DPRK Missile Program
The Washington Post (Blaine Harden, “REPORT: N. KOREA TESTS MISSILE ENGINE MECHANISM”, Tokyo, 2008/09/16) reported that the DPRK has tested the engine mechanism for a long-range intercontinental missile that might be able to hit major cities on the West Coast of the US, according to accounts published in the ROK press. Yonhap, the ROK news agency, reported that the DPRK tested a rocket thruster for the missile at the new launch site in May or June. The report cited unnamed sources. According to Jane’s, the new launch site is one or two years away from completion.
5. ROK Missile Defense
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “SEOUL BEGINS DEPLOYING PATRIOT MISSILE INTERCEPTORS”, 2008/09/16) reported that advanced Patriot missile defense systems from Germany have been deployed on ROK Air Force bases and unidentified locations nationwide, in an apparent move to counter the increasing threat of DPRK missiles, a military source said Tuesday. The deployment of upgraded Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) systems is a core part of Seoul’s plan to build an independent theater missile defense shield, dubbed the Korean air and missile defense (KAMD) network system.
6. ROK Energy Aid to the DPRK
Korea Herald (Lee Joo-hee , “SEOUL CONSIDERS ADDITIONAL ENERGY SHIPMENT TO N.K.”, 2008/09/16) reported that the ROK is planning to deliver the remainder of its portion of energy incentives to the DPRK as part of the denuclearization agreement, despite Pyongyang’s latest refusal to comply with the process, sources said. It will ship around 1,500 tons of steel pipes around Sept. 25 and additional 1,500 tons next month, according to the sources. The decision to complete the provision regardless of North Korea’s suspension of its disablement works is to prevent the situation from aggravating further, the sources said.
7. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (Shim Sun-ah, “CIVILIAN EXCHANGES PROCEED NORMALLY DESPITE N.K. LEADER’S HEALTH PROBLEMS”, Seoul, 2008/09/16) reported that there have been no signs of abnormality in civilian inter-Korean exchanges despite reports that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is suffering from a stroke, officials said. Nineteen civic groups will likely send a small-scale delegation to the DPRK this week, including two relief groups, they said. “Inter-Korean civilian cooperation programs are proceeding normally as of now, although we cannot completely rule out the possibility that the North, if Kim’s health worsens, may ask for the postponement of the visits citing internal problems,” an official at the Unification Ministry.
8. DPRK Leadership
Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “WORKERS’ PARTY TO CALL THE SHOTS AFTER KIM’S DEATH: HWANG”, 2008/09/16) reported that a former high-ranking DPRK official predicted that after Kim Jong-il’s death, the DPRK is likely to be dominated by the ruling Workers’ Party, lawmakers said. Earlier this month, Hwang Jang-yup, former secretary of the DPRK Workers’ Party who defected in 1997, told Grand National Party legislators that the party, not the military, would seize power of the impoverished Stalinist state in the case of Kim’s death. Hwang said the possibility of the military taking over the DPRK was unlikely because it has been under Kim’s control for a long period.
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREAN MEDIA IN REGIME LOYALTY BLITZ “, 2008/09/16) reported that the people of the DPRK will protect and honor their socialist regime no matter if “the rest of the world changes 100 times,” Radio Pyongyang claimed in part of an apparent campaign to bolster the regime’s grip on power amid rumors of the ill-health of leader Kim Jong-il. The Rodong Shinmun, the organ of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, allotted a whole page of Sunday’s edition to emphasizing loyalty to Kim and solidarity among the people.
9. PRC on DPRK Leadership
Korea Times (Sunny Lee, “CHINESE SCHOLARS SNUB WESTERN VIEW ON POST-KIM N. KOREA”, 2008/09/16) reported that the view that the DPRK is likely to collapse after the all-powerful Kim Jong-il dies is a reflection of wishful thinking by some countries, rather than a reflection of DPRK reality, PRC scholars argue. Although Kim is a very important figure in the DPRK the scholars point out that an internal bloody power struggle is unlikely in the post-Kim era by military generals because the “ruling class” in the DPRK is well aware that if they destroy each other, it will eventually destroy the world’s most isolated nation. This consciousness of “shared destiny,” they argue, will unite the seasoned DPRK cadre to ensure the stability of the DPRK in the post-Kim era.
10. Japan-DPRK Relations
Mainichi Shimbun (“NORTH KOREA ABDUCTEE SUPPORT GROUPS TO PRESSURE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE TOUGHER STANCE”, 2008/09/16) reported that support groups for Japanese nationals abducted by the DPRK have voted to lobby the government to take a sterner tack on the issue, despite assurances of a new investigation by DPRK authorities. The National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by the DPRK and the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN) held an emergency meeting in Tokyo’s Nagatacho, where the 500 or so attendees voted to lobby the government to give the issue top priority, and to impose further sanctions on the DPRK if the investigation is extended.
11. US-ROK Relations
Xinhua News (“S KOREAN FM TO HOLD TALKS WITH RICE NEXT WEEK “, Seoul, 2008/09/16) reported that the ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan will have talks with his American counterpart Condoleezza Rice next Tuesday over bilateral ties and nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula, ROK Foreign Ministry said. Yu and Rice plan to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a student exchange program agreed by the ROK President Lee Myung-bak and his US counterpart George W. Bush during their summit meeting last month, local media said.
12. Submarine Incursion in Japan
Kyodo News (“BEIJING SAYS SUB THAT INTRUDED INTO JAPANESE WATERS WAS NOT CHINESE”, Tokyo, 2008/09/16) reported that the PRC has lodged a complaint with Japan and dismissed Japanese media reports which suggested an unidentified submarine that intruded into Japanese waters Sunday was Chinese, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said. The PRC Foreign Ministry contacted the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on Monday evening denying the possibility that the submarine was Chinese and describing the reports as false and regrettable, Japanese Foreign Ministry Deputy Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura said.
Agence-France-Presse (“JAPAN ENDS HUNT FOR MYSTERY SUBMARINE INTRUDER – MINISTER”, Tokyo, 2008/09/16) reported that after two days of fruitless hunting, Japan’s navy called off its search for a foreign submarine that had intruded into its waters, the defense ministry said. “We have been searching around the maritime area for two days but have been unable to obtain new information,” Defense Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters.
13. Sino-Japanese Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINA-JAPAN CO-OP SETS FINE EXAMPLE FOR COUNTRIES WITH DIFFERENT SOCIAL SYSTEMS”, 2008/09/16) reported that PRC-Japan cooperation may well set a good example for countries with different social systems, said Wang Chen, director of the State Council Information Office of China, at the Fourth Beijing-Tokyo Forum. The two sides need to deepen mutual understanding in a bid to continuously promote the sound development of bilateral ties, said Wang, expressing his belief that with goodwill as well as cooperative attitude aimed at win-win results and sincerity for frank exchanges of views, the friendly relations between the two nations are sure to be continuously cemented.
14. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
Xinhua News (“CHINA, INDIA TO HOLD FRESH ROUND OF BORDER TALKS”, Beijing, 2008/09/16) reported that Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan will travel to Beijing for a new round of border talks with the PRC, said the foreign ministry Tuesday. ‘Chinese State Counselor Dai Bingguo and Narayanan will head their delegations for the two-day talks Sep 18-19,’ ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said.
15. PRC Environment
Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA GOVERNMENT ADVISER URGES GREENHOUSE GAS CUTS”, Beijing, 2008/09/16) reported that the PRC should bind itself to international goals to slash greenhouse gas pollution, one of the nation’s most prominent policy advisers said, in a striking break with Beijing’s official stance. Hu Angang, a public policy professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, warned failure to act could doom global climate change talks. In submissions to leaders and a recent essay, Hu has argued the PRC could emerge an economic and diplomatic winner if it vows to cut gases from industry, farms and transport that are trapping increasingly dangerous levels of solar heat in the atmosphere.
16. PRC Space Program
BBC News (“CHINA NAMES CREW FOR SPACE LAUNCH”, 2008/09/16) reported that the PRC has announced the names of three astronauts who will carry out its third manned space mission. A 42-year-old fighter pilot, Zhai Zhigang, has been chosen to perform the country’s first spacewalk. He will be joined by Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng on the Shenzhou VII mission – set to launch on 25 September at 1310 GMT (2110 local time).
II. PRC Report
17. PRC Knowledge Eocnomy
Shanghai Government website (“THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED IN JING’AN, SHANGHAI”, 2008/09/16) reported that the conference for the establishment of the Association of Creative Industries was officially held in Jingan, Shanghai on 1st September, 2008. The creative industries are the main direction and driving force of modern service industry, and also an important function for regional modern service industry of the district of Jingan, the establishment of the association reflects the fruitful development of Jingan’s creative industries. The association will function as the connection of government and companies, through information, service providers, and integrated sources, to help the creative industries develop and prosper.
18. PRC Civil Society and Public Health
China Red Cross Society website (“CHINA RED CROSS SOCIETY JOINT WITH MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS HELD “WORLD FIRST AID DAY””, 2008/09/15) reported that a conference with the theme of “Saving Lives”, the “World First Aid Day” was jointly held in Beijing by the Red Cross Society of the PRC and the Ministry of Railways. It was the first time the Red Cross Society held the activity with a national ministry, in order to spread the spirit of Red Cross and driving volunteer work. As a cooperative partner of Red Cross Society, the ministry of Railways implements the relative rules through out its management on railways, at present, 1754 trains have been equipped with red cross first aid box, in order to provide first aid to passengers whenever they need. On 13th, the PRC Red Cross Military Police Hospital carried out a emergency aid performance and simulated the real circumstances of railway first aid.