NAPSNet Daily Report 19 November, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK Plant Construction
The Washington Post (Kwang-Tae Kim, “SATELLITE APPEARS TO SHOW NKOREA NUKE BUILDING”, Seoul, 2010/11/19) reported that new satellite images show construction under way at the DPRK’s main Yongbyon atomic complex, apparent proof that Pyongyang is making good on its pledge to build an experimental light-water nuclear reactor, according to a private American security institute. The DPRK vowed in March to build such a reactor using its own nuclear fuel, and two American experts who recently visited the DPRK have reportedly said that construction has begun.
2. US-DPRK Relations
Yonhap News Agency (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. URGES N. KOREA TO REFRAIN FROM MAKING FURTHER PROVOCATIONS: PENTAGON “, WASHINGTON, 2010/11/18) reported that The United States Thursday urged the DPRK to refrain from conducting additional nuclear tests or bolstering nuclear facilities. “If it’s true that they are pursuing any one of these things, it obviously is of concern to us, and we would call on the North not to take any additional provocative or destabilizing actions and rather to engage constructively with its neighbors, particularly the South, and ultimately in diplomacy so that we can get to what all of our goal is, which is a denuclearized peninsula that is lasting and verifiable and so forth,” Geoff Morrell, Pentagon spokesman, told reporters.
3. US-Japan Relations
The Japan Tmes (“JAPAN, U.S. TO LAUNCH TALKS TO BOLSTER DEFENSE”, Washington, 2010/11/18) reported that Tokyo and Washington will soon launch working-level talks on strengthening defense cooperation in the event of an emergency affecting Japan, sources involved in Japan-U.S. relations said Tuesday. The two countries decided to substantially strengthen the alliance in the face of the diplomatic clash with the PRC over the Sept. 7 incident near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and the PRC’s recent escalation of activities in the South China Sea, the sources said.
4. PRC Naval Power
Agence-France-Presse (Sebastien Blanc , “AIRCRAFT CARRIER PLAN SHOWS CHINA NAVAL AMBITIONS”, Beijing, 2010/11/18) reported that the new generation of combat aircraft the PRC proudly showed off at the Zhuhai Air Show in the country’s south this week could soon be taking off from a prestigious runway: an aircraft carrier.Although it has not officially announced as much, the PRC is working on a carrier and Western experts believe it could be launched as early as next year, though not in a fully operational state. It is a former Soviet aircraft carrier called the Varyag , currently being refurbished in the port city of Dalian in northeast PRC. Rick Fisher, a PRC military expert at the International Assessment and Strategy Centre in the United States, told AFP the Pentagon estimates the PRC’s carrier will start operations by 2015.
5. PRC-Japan Relations
The Global Times (“JAPAN TO SEND TROOPS TO ITS SOUTH REGION “, 2010/11/19) reported that Tokyo has proposed a series of military-strategy adjustments in its new National Defense Program Outline to balance the PRC’s presence in the East China Sea, Japanese media reports said Thursday. The Mainichi Shimbun daily reported that 5,900 soldiers will be dispatched to bolster self-defense forces in Okinawa, and 10 more reconnaissance aircraft will be deployed in the coming five years to monitor the PRC’s move. Tokyo’s relations with Beijing have been strained since a PRC trawler collided with two Japanese Coast Guard vessels in September near the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.