NAPSNet Daily Report 2 August, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Asahi Shimbun (Yoshihiro Makino, “PYONGYANG TOUTS NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRESS”, Seoul, 2010/08/02) reported that the DPRK claims it has developed an improved nuclear weapons technology that will strengthen its nuclear arsenal. Pyongyang first referred to the new technology in a Foreign Ministry statement carried on the state-run Korean Central News Agency, on June 28. It said it was “strengthening (nuclear deterrence) with a new method.” On July 25, the Foreign Ministry’s disarmament section chief Li Tong Il again seemed to refer to new capabilities, when he said: “We will further strengthen our nuclear deterrence in a variety of ways.”
2. Inter-Korea Relations
Dong-A Ilbo (“`NK ASKED FOR SUMMIT BEFORE ATTACKING CHEONAN` “, Seoul, 2010/08/02) reported that sources said Sunday that the DPRK delivered three requests to the ROK through a senior official of the ROK ruling Grand National Party in December last year to hold a third inter-Korean summit and provide fertilizer aid. Seoul, however, failed to give a clear answer to the requests for several months. Pyongyang then launched armed provocations, including the attack on the naval warship Cheonan March 26.
3. Sino-DPRK Economic Relations
Yonhap (“N. KOREA REPLACING S. KOREA WITH CHINA ON CONSIGNMENT TRADE: SOURTCE”, Seoul, 2010/08/01) reported that the DPRK has been able to make up for losses in consignment trade from Seoul’s ban on cross-border trade by finding new partners in the PRC, sources here said Sunday. Firms that had contracts with the DPRK for consignment, in which companies in the ROK send raw materials to the DPRK and get back manufactured products, have been hurt the most by the ban.
4. US Sanctions on DPRK
Hankyoreh (Kwon Tae-ho, “U.S. SANCTIONS AGAINST N.KOREA DO NOT INCLUDE ULTRA-HARDLINE MEASURES”, Seoul, 2010/08/01) reported that the United States’ financial sanctions against the DPRK do not include ultra-hardline measures such as sanctions against financial institutions in other countries that conduct business with the DPRK. Diplomatic sources in the ROK and the United States said Friday that the financial sanctions currently being planned by the United States depend solely on diplomatic cooperation. According to these measures, the United States will request that countries take measures against DPRK bank accounts connected with illegal activities, and there are no plans to use any coercive means.
5. Japan and US Nuclear Umbrella
Kyodo (“HIROSHIMA TO URGE JAPAN TO WITHDRAW FROM U.S. NUCLEAR UMBRELLA”, Hiroshima, 2010/08/02) reported that Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said Monday he will urge Japan to withdraw from the U.S. nuclear umbrella in the peace declaration he will deliver in an upcoming annual ceremony to commemorate the 1945 bombing of the city on Friday. An outline of the speech also urges the Japanese government to legislate its three nonnuclear principles — against production, possession and introduction of nuclear weapons.