NAPSNet Daily Report 19 October, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK Economy
The Chosun Ilbo (“MARKETS BOOMING IN N.KOREA”, 2010/10/19) reported that about 300 markets are doing lively business throughout the DPRK despite the regime’s attempt to suppress them, according to data an intelligence agency submitted to Grand National Party lawmaker Yoon Sang-hyun of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee on Wednesday. “Markets in the North are places where goods are transacted and information is exchanged at the same time, Yoon said. “They pose a threat to a regime that is hostile to markets.” The regime has tacitly allowed markets to expand to make up for the shortage of daily necessities in the wake of a botched currency reform and international sanctions, but they have boomed alarmingly.
2. Inter-Korean Relations
The JoongAng Daily (Moon Gwang-lip, “NEW SECURITY AIDE MAY WANT TO ENGAGE NORTH”, 2010/10/19) Reported that Chun Yung-woo, the ROK’s former chief nuclear envoy, was named top presidential security secretary yesterday, raising the prospect that Seoul is moving toward re-engagement with the DPRK and that the stalled six-party denuclearization talks can be resumed. The Blue House said it appointed Chun, second vice foreign minister, as the senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security. The post has been vacant after its former occupant, Kim Sung-hwan, became foreign minister this month. Chun will officially take his position today. Chun, 58, a career diplomat since 1977, was the top negotiator in the six-party talks for nuclear disarmament of the DPRK between 2006 and 2008. He also served as deputy envoy to the United Nations between 2003 and 2005. He has been a vice foreign minister since last year.
3. Sino-Japanese Territorial Dispute
Agence-France-Presse (“JAPAN, CHINA IN TALKS TO EASE ROW”, 2010/10/19) Reported that Japan and the PRC held talks Tuesday in a bid to ease their worst row in years, after a territorial spat that has now sparked three days of street demonstrations in the PRC. Japan’s former upper house speaker Satsuki Eda, seen as a close associate of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, met PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing, the Jiji Press news agency reported. The PRC’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment on the report. The two sides agreed that Kan and PRC Premier Wen Jiabao should meet at upcoming regional summits in Vietnam and Japan, saying this “will be extremely important for both nations”
4. PRC Leadership
Guardian.co.uk (“CHINESE VICE-PRESIDENT XI JINPING APPOINTED TO KEY MILITARY POST “, 2010/10/18) Reported that PRC politicians have appointed the vice president, Xi Jinping, to a key military position, state media reported today, reinforcing expectations that he will become the country’s next leader. Xi has long been expected to take over when Hu Jintao steps down as party general secretary in 2012 and as president the following year. The PRC state news agency Xinhua announced that Xi had become a vice-chairman of the central military commission, which oversees the People’s Liberation Army, after a four-day meeting of the party’s central committee. Xi, 57, is a “princeling”, the son of a party veteran, Xi Zhongxun, who was an ally of Deng Xiaoping and helped to oversee the economic opening process in southern PRC. Xi Jinping was sent to the countryside as an educated youth during the cultural revolution and later studied chemical engineering at the prestigious Tsinghua University, going on to gain a law doctorate.
5. ROK Nuclear Energy
Arirang (“KOREA-US TO NEGOTIATE NUCLEAR COOPERATION AGREEMENT”, 2010/10/18) reported that the ROK and the United States have agreed to meet in Washington next week to start negotiating revisions to their bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement due to expire in March, 2014. On Monday, a foreign ministry spokesperson said a delegation led by Multilateral Affairs Deputy Minister Cho Hyun will meet with the US special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control… Robert Einhorn… and his team … to discuss the pact banning the ROK from reprocessing its own spent nuclear fuel.