NAPSNet Daily Report 2 December, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. IAEA on DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence France Presse (Simon Morgan, “UN ATOMIC WATCHDOG HAS ‘GREAT CONCERN’ OVER N. KOREA”, 2010/12/02) reported that International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told a meeting of the body’s board of governors that he was worried by reports the DPRK has built a state-of-the-art uranium enrichment facility, which the United States suggested dated much further back than the reclusive Stalinist state claims. “It was with great concern that I learned of recent reports about a new uranium enrichment facility, as well as the construction of a new light water reactor, in the DPRK”, Amano said in his opening address to the closed-door meeting. Washington’s envoy to the IAEA, Glyn Davies, described the revelations as “disturbing” and said the US believed the DPRK “has been pursuing enrichment for an extended period of time — long before April 2009 when the DPRK claims to have begun its Yongbyon enrichment facility construction.” Furthermore, “there is a clear likelihood that DPRK has built other uranium enrichment-related activities in its territory,” Davies said.
2. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (“RUSSIA SEES N. KOREA’S URANIUM ENRICHMENT PROGRAM AS A VIOLATION OF UN RESOLUTIONS”, 2010/12/02) reported that a senior Russian diplomat told ROK officials Thursday that DPRK’s alleged uranium enrichment program constitutes a violation of U.N. resolutions and its own commitment to give up nuclear programs, an official said. Moscow’s deputy nuclear envoy, Grigory Logvinov, made the remark at a meeting in Seoul with the ROK’s chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-lac and his deputy Cho Hyun-dong, a foreign ministry official said on condition of anonymity. “Regarding the UEP (uranium enrichment program) issue, Russia takes a clear position that the North’s uranium enrichment is a violation of U.S. Security Council resolutions and the Sept. 19 joint statement” under which Pyongyang pledged to give up nuclear programs, the ministry official said. Members of the Security Council have been discussing the uranium issue, the official said without elaborating.
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (Tania Branigan, “MILITARY SUGGESTS COUNTERFIRE CAUSED ‘MANY CASUALTIES’ IN N. KOREA”, 2010/12/02) reported that the ROK’s military suggested Thursday that it had inflicted “many casualties” on the DPRK when it returned artillery fire in response to the North’s Nov. 23 bombardment on a southern island. “Satellite images show our shells landed on a cluster of barracks in North Korea, so we presume there have been many casualties and considerable property damage,” said a senior official at the ROK’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The ROK is still analyzing images taken by its own satellite to assess the extent of damages and casualties on the DPRK’s side, the official said on the condition of anonymity. He declined to elaborate further, but the remarks were the military’s first mention of human casualties in the DPRK.
4. Japan-US Military Drills
Agence France Presse (“JAPAN, U.S. TO HOLD MASSIVE MILITARY DRILL FROM FRIDAY”, 2010/12/02 16:00:00 GMT+0) reported that this month, Japan’s Self Defense Forces will hold their first-ever island defense exercise in concert with the United States military in Japan. The exercise, which will take place at a base in Kyushu, will simulate the retaking of one of Japan’s small East China Sea islands from “hostile” forces that seized the island and installed anti-aircraft missiles. Ships from the US Seventh Fleet, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington will take part. The previously announced “Keen Sword” drills, which were planned before the DPRK’s artillery barrage of a ROK island last week, will take place from Friday to December 10, a defence ministry spokeswoman confirmed. To demonstrate solidarity with Seoul, the Pacific allies will for the first time invite ROK military officers to observe the drills, Japanese media reports said.
5. PRC on DPRK Talks
Bloomberg (“CHINA SAYS IT EXPECTS MEETINGS OF U.S., JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA TO EASE TENSIONS”, 2010/12/02) reported that the PRC expects a meeting of officials from the U.S., Japan and ROK scheduled for Dec. 6 to ease tensions and promote dialogue on the Korean peninsula, said Jiang Yu, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. The PRC will keep “close watch” on the meeting and expects the three nations to take regional peace and stability into account, Jiang said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website today. The PRC hopes the countries will give “positive consideration” of its proposal to solve the issue, Jiang said. The meeting of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ROK Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara demonstrates the nations’ “commitment to security on the Korean peninsula and stability in the region,” the State Department said in a statement yesterday.