NAPSNet Daily Report 19 November, 2007
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US Nuclear Planning
- 3. ROK Energy Aid to DPRK
- 4. DPRK Human Rights
- 5. DPRK Refugees
- 6. Proliferation Security Initiative
- 7. ROK-Japan-PRC Trilateral Talks
- 8. Japanese Abductees Issue
- II. Republic of Korea
- III. CanKor
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Associated Press (Burt Herman, “U.S. DIPLOMAT WARNS OF PITFALLS IN N.KOREA”, Seoul, 2007/11/19) reported that Robert Gallucci, dean of the school of foreign service at Georgetown University, warned that details of how to implement recent agreements have not been clearly laid out, leaving potential room for the DPRK to find loopholes that could leave it still holding material to make nuclear bombs. “In light of the North’s past record on compliance, if provisions for inspections are clearly inadequate, it will be a great disappointment,” Gallucci said. He added that the contribution of the inter-Korean summit “to peace and prosperity on the peninsula will still be limited by the pace and progress of efforts to implement” agreements from the six-party talks.
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN PM: NKOREA CAN’T ‘SURVIVE’ AS AN INDEPENDENT NUCLEAR STATE”, Washington, 2007/11/18) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda warned that the DPRK must renounce its nuclear weapons program if it wants to “survive” as an independent state. “Well, as an independent country, if it, North Korea, wishes to survive, then I think they need to give up their nuclear weapons and at the same time will think of their economic independence,” he said in an interview with CNN. “They need Japan’s economic cooperation as well. Therefore, the abduction issue needs to be settled as well,” he added.
2. US Nuclear Planning
Kyodo (“U.S. CRAFTED NUCLEAR STRIKE OPTIONS AGAINST IRAQ, N. KOREA AFTER 9/11”, Washington, 2007/11/18) reported that the U.S. Strategic Command devised nuclear strike options against countries seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction, such as Iran, the DPRK and Libya, after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, according to a recently declassified U.S. military document. Hans Kristensen, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said that details on the targeting of unidentified “regional states” wanting weapons of mass destruction have not been made available. “The names of the ‘regional states’ were also withheld, but three images used to illustrate the planning were released, and they leave little doubt who the regional states are. One of the images is the North Korean Taepodong 1 missile,” Kristensen said.
3. ROK Energy Aid to DPRK
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “S. KOREA TO SUPPLY ELECTRICITY TO SHIPYARD IN N. KOREA”, Seoul, 2007/11/19) reported that a government source said Monday that the ROK is considering directly supplying electricity to Anbyeon on the DPRK’s east coast, where an ROK-funded ship block plant is to be constructed next year. “The government has concluded after a recent on-site inspection that without resolving the electricity issue, the plan to build a shipbuilding complex (in Anbyeon) would not be successful,” the source said.
4. DPRK Human Rights
Chosun Ilbo (“UN TIPPED TO ENDORSE FRESH N.KOREA RIGHTS RESOLUTION”, 2007/11/19) reported that a resolution condemning the DPRK’s human rights abuses will likely be passed by the UN on Tuesday. This year’s resolution is not very different from its 2006 predecessor in expressing concerns about human rights violations and calling for improvement. It denounces torture, public executions and the repatriation and punishment of DPRK refugees while urging Pyongyang to allow in UN and NGO workers.
5. DPRK Refugees
Washington Post (Blaine Harden, “AS MORE TAKE A CHANCE ON FLEEING NORTH KOREA, ROUTES FOR ALL BUDGETS”, Seoul, 2007/11/18) reported that brokers in the ROK say that, given enough money, they can now get just about anyone out of the DPRK. A low-budget escape through the PRC via Thailand to the ROK can cost less than $2,000, while a forged PRC passport and an airplane ticket from Beijing to Seoul goes for more than $10,000. The routes are are busier than ever because the number of border guards and low-level security officials in the DPRK who are eager to take bribes has increased exponentially.
6. Proliferation Security Initiative
Yomiuri Shimbun (“NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR THREAT: MARITIME ANTI-PROLIFERATION EFFORTS FALLING SHORT”, Tokyo, 2007/11/18) reported that the nonparticipation of the PRC and the ROK in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is hampering efforts to respond to the DPRK proliferation threats. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there were 252 reported cases of smuggling and illegal possession of nuclear-related materials over the two years from 2005. The number of cases in which suspected materials were halted totaled about 20 over the year from April 2005, according to a senior U.S. government official. “If Japan really wants to prevent North Korea’s nuclear proliferation, Japan must expedite efforts to introduce PSI-related legislative arrangements,” said Katsuhisa Furukawa, senior fellow of the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society at the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
7. ROK-Japan-PRC Trilateral Talks
Korea Herald (Lee Joo-hee, “MINISTERS TO DISCUSS NUKES ON SIDELINES”, 2007/11/19) reported that the foreign ministers of the ROK, Song Min-soon, the PRC, Yang Jiechi, and Japan, Masahiko Komura will meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN-plus-three summit talks and could discuss an agenda and timeframe for speeding up the six party talks.
8. Japanese Abductees Issue
Los Angeles Times (James Gerstenzang, “BUSH ASSURES JAPANESE PREMIER”, Washington, 2007/11/17) reported that US President George W. Bush assured Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on Friday that he would not ignore the abduction of Japanese citizens by the DPRK during negotiations over the nuclear weapons program. Bush said he understood “how important the issue is to the Japanese people, and we will not forget the Japanese abductees, nor their families.” But he did not address whether the DPRK would be removed from the terrorism list.
Asahi Shimbun (“CHIBA: KIN OF ABDUCTEES SAY FUKUDA TOO SOFT”, Narita, 2007/11/19) reported that members of a group of families of abductees to the DPRK said that Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda should have pushed harder to resolve the abduction issue in his Friday summit in Washington. Shigeo Iizuka, a representative of the group, told reporters at Narita Airport, “Japan should have given its opinion more clearly as an ally (of the United States).”
II. Republic of Korea
9. Inter-Korean prime ministerial talk
Hankyoreh (“INTER-KOREAN PRIME MINISTERIAL TALK’S OUTCOME”, Seoul, 2007/11/16 18:40:00 GMT+0) reported that this Inter-Korean prime ministerial talk went well compare to any other talks in the past. DPRK was quite flexible and there was no big point in dispute as the talk was held to design plans to fulfill the 2007 Inter-Korean summit. As a result, two Korea brought out substantive agreement with 49 clauses. Now ROK and DPRK need to get down to their business.
10. 6.15 Memorial Day
Chosun (Kang In-sun, “6.15 MEMORIAL DAY”, Seoul, 2007/11/18 22:45:00 GMT+0) reported that Inter-Korean prime ministerial talks made another memorial day. They are willing to make 6.15 which have made the announcement of joint declaration between two Korea in 2000 as a memorial day. A memorial day is settling by Presidential decree. It is not difficult to write another memorial day for the government, but there still is adverse criticism on the 6.15 joint declaration and people have no consensus on evaluation. Establishing a memorial day needs to come after historical evaluation. This government is spiking even a memorial day.
11. Report # 297
CanKor (Bradley O. Babson, “KNOWLEDGE SHARING WITH THE DPRK”, 2007/11/18)
This edition of the CanKor Report has only one longer-than-usual item. It is the preparatory document of a workshop recently held in Seoul, Korea, in which NGOs, academics, practitioners and diplomats from Europe, Asia, Australia and North America consulted about the prospects for international cooperation regarding education and training programmes that need to be undertaken with the DPRK if denuclearization proceeds according to the Six-Party timetable. Experts in economic development believe that the next step in international engagement will have to be the building up of DPRK expertise and intellectual capacity to absorb the significant development assistance that may follow successful completion of the Six-Party process. In this working paper, loyal CanKor reader and former World Bank official Bradley Babson defines “knowledge sharing”, explains why the time is ripe for all sectors to become involved, outlines potential pitfalls, and suggests guiding principles for future engagement by the international community.