NAPSNet Daily Report 2 July, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. ROK Policy Toward the DPRK
- 2. Inter-Korean Relations
- 3. US on DPRK Sanctions
- 4. DPRK Military Exercise
- 5. DPRK Missile Tests
- 6. DPRK Missile Program
- 7. DPRK Economy
- 8. DPRK Food Supply
- 9. DPRK on Interdiction of Ships
- 10. Japan Missile Defense
- 11. US on ROK Nuclear Program
- 12. Sino-ROK Trade Relations
- 13. Japan Politics
- 14. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
- 15. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 16. Japan SDF Peacekeeping Role
- 17. Japan Climate Change
- 18. Hong Kong Government
- 19. PRC Energy Supply
- 20. PRC Government
- 21. PRC Civil Society and Public Health
- 22. PRC Urban-Rural Disparity
- II. PRC Report
1. ROK Policy Toward the DPRK
Korea Herald (“SEOUL ADVISED TO PRIORITIZE POLICY GOALS TOWARD N.K.”, 2009/07/01) reported that the ROK is pressed to prioritize its policy goals on the DPRK in its quest to effectively cope with the current nuclear crisis, former Foreign Minister Han Seung-joo said. “Denuclearization, peninsular peace and stable inter-Korean relations are probably at the top of Seoul’s policy goals regarding North Korea. But to attain these goals, the government needs to shuffle them according to priority to resolve conflicting areas of interest,” Han said. “It may take some time, but a better approach at this time would be to start with freezing the nuclear facilities, then disablement to keep the situation from worsening,” Han said.
2. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (“PRESIDENT LEE CALLS FOR NATIONAL UNITY AGAINST N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/07/01) reported that President Lee Myung-bak called on his country Wednesday to unite against the DPRK’s nuclear and military threats, saying domestic divisions and confrontation can do far more damage than DPRK weapons do. “What is more dangerous than threats from outside is domestic discord, in other words, divisions and confrontation among ourselves,” the president said while speaking to the group of his civilian advisers on unification and DPRK affairs.
Korea Times (“LEE URGES N. KOREA TO RELEASE WORKER”, 2009/07/01) reported that President Lee Myung-bak called on the DPRK to immediately release a South Korean worker it has detained since March 30, saying the ROK is ready to resume inter-Korean talks based on the spirit of mutual respect. Lee also urged the communist country “not to aggravate the situation” and return to the multilateral talks on its nuclear program. “North Korea should release the detained worker and give up its nuclear ambition. We are ready to help it stand on its own feet within the international community,” Lee said in a speech to the National Unification Advisory Council.
Yonhap (Kim Hyun, “KOREAS FAIL TO MAKE PROGRESS IN TALKS OVER JOINT PARK, NO DATE SET FOR NEXT ROUND”, Seoul, 2009/07/02) reported that the two Koreas failed to make progress in the latest round of talks on Thursday, the ROK Unification Ministry said, with their positions wide apart over a joint industrial park and the fate of a detained worker. “We believe the two sides could not narrow differences in their positions,” Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said. No date was set for the next round, Lee said. The talks lasted only an hour and 10 minutes in the morning. The DPRK refused to meet again in the afternoon, officials said.
3. US on DPRK Sanctions
Agence France-Presse (“NEW NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS WILL HAVE IMPACT: US”, Washington , 2009/07/01) reported that new UN sanctions intended to force the DPRK to abandon its nuclear program will have an “impact” when they take full force, the top US envoy to the United Nations has said. “When this resolution is fully enforced — not only in terms of potential vessels that may be violating the sanctions but the financial sanctions, the arms embargo, the assets freezes — this will be a very, very tough package that will have an impact on North Korea,” Rice said.
4. DPRK Military Exercise
Agence France Press (“NORTH KOREA ISSUES NEW COASTAL BAN CITING MILITARY EXERCISES”, Tokyo, 2009/07/01) reported that the DPRK issued a fresh warning to stay clear of some of the country’s coastal areas when Pyongyang conducts military exercises this month, the Japansaid. The emailed message was seen as signalling more possible short-range missile tests. Pyongyang issued navigation bans for 10 ocean areas in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea, citing “military gunfire and bombardment training,” said Japanese Coast Guard spokesman Go Nagai. The alert covers the hours 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from Wednesday until July 11, extending by one day the period in a previous warning.
5. DPRK Missile Tests
Reuters (Jack Kim and Miyoung Kim, “NORTH KOREA RAISES TENSION WITH MISSILE LAUNCH”, Seoul, 2009/07/02) reported that the DPRK test-fired two surface-to-ship missiles off its east coast Thursday that flew about 100 km (60 miles) and splashed into the sea, an ROK defense official said. The JoongAng Ilbo daily quoted an intelligence source as saying the DPRK was likely to fire medium or short range missiles from its east coast in early July that could include Scuds with a range of about 340 km (210 miles) or Rodong missiles with a range of up to 1,000 km (620 miles).
6. DPRK Missile Program
Bloomberg News (“NORTH KOREAN MISSILE MIGHT REACH HALF OF U.S., SCIENTISTS SAY”, 2009/07/01) reported that the DPRK may be able to deploy an inter-continental ballistic missile that could theoretically reach half of the continental U.S., scientists said in a study. The DPRK’s Unha-2 rocket, tested April 5, “would have the capability to reach the continental U.S. with a payload of 1 ton or more if Pyongyang modified it for use as a ballistic missile,” Physicists David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Theodore A. Postol at MIT said in a paper published this week in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
7. DPRK Economy
Xinhua News (“DPRK TOP LEADER CALLS FOR UPDATING TECHNOLOGY IN FACTORIES “, 2009/07/01) reported that Kim Jong Il, top leader of the DPRK, called for technical updating in factories to increase the nation’s power, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)said. Technology, ideology and army were the “three pillars” for the DPRK to build a “great prosperous powerful nation,” said Kim who inspected Hamhung Semiconductor Materials Factory and the Hamhung Branch of the State Academy of Sciences in Hamhung city, South Hamgyong province, the KCNA reported, without giving the date of the inspections.
8. DPRK Food Supply
The Associated Press (“WFP SAYS FUNDING SHORTFALL FOR N. KOREA FOOD AID”, 2009/07/01) reported that t he U.N. food agency said a lack of international funding and new restrictions by the DPRK on its staff and where it can operate has left it unable to reach millions of hungry women and children in the impoverished country. The World Food Program said it had received only 15 percent of the US$504 million it needs to feed 6.2 million vulnerable North Koreans as the food situation worsens during a lean growing season before the November harvest. The DPRK government told the agency to scale back its operations, he said, and get rid of its Korean-speaking staff, which reduced the number of workers to 16 last month from the 59 agreed upon last year.
9. DPRK on Interdiction of Ships
Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA WARNS JAPAN AGAINST INSPECTING CARGO SHIPS”, Seoul, 2009/07/01) reported that the DPRK has warned of military action against Japan if Tokyo stops its vessels for cargo inspections. Rodong Sinmun , official daily of the ruling communist party, said Tokyo is pushing for a new law to authorise tougher cargo inspections in search of banned weapons. “Our ships are sacred and impregnable places where our sovereignty reigns. If anyone hurts them, it would be considered a grave military provocation against us,” Rodong said in a commentary. “This kind of action will immediately meet with our self-defensive military actions and the responsibility for all consequences will rest with Japan.”
10. Japan Missile Defense
Kyodo News (“ADVANCED BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE NETWORK GOES INTO SERVICE “, Tokyo , 2009/07/01) reported that a new air defense network integrating Japan’s ballistic missile sensors and interception systems began operating Wednesday, upgrading the nation’s defense against ballistic missiles, the Air Self-Defense Force said. The roughly 90.4 billion yen project, called the Japan Aerospace Defense Ground Environment, has replaced the Base Air Defense Ground Environment by upgrading the ASDF’s automatic air warning and control system, and features better ballistic missile defense, it said.
11. US on ROK Nuclear Program
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. AGAINST RESUMPTION OF S.KOREAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM”, 2009/07/01) reported that the U.S. administration made it clear to Congress that it is against restoring the ROK’s peaceful nuclear program by means of reprocessing spent fuel, advanced mainly by the ruling Grand National Party. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher made the point in an 85-page answer to Senator Richard Lugar, the senior Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee, in the course of her confirmation hearing on June 9. Democrats and Republicans in Congress largely agree.
12. Sino-ROK Trade Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA EYES RURAL KOREAN AREA FOR BIZ STRONGHOLD”, 2009/07/01) reported that the PRC government is working hard to create a manufacturing center for PRC companies and a PRC commercial district in Muan, South Jeolla Province, a farming region in the southwestern part of the country. The PRC’s Chongqing city and Shandong Province are spearheading the investment drive, while nearly 300 PRC businesses, including automaker Sinotruck and the country’s fifth-largest home appliance maker Hisense Group, have expressed intentions to set up facilities in Muan. The 17.73 million sq. m ROK-PRC international industrial complex will include a manufacturing zone, a PRC commercial district and an international university.
13. Japan Politics
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“DISSOLUTION CALL MAY PRECEDE TOKYO POLL”, 2009/07/01) reported that Prime Minister Taro Aso may dissolve the House of Representatives immediately after the July 12 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, opting for a rare Saturday vote on Aug. 8, his close aides said, adding he is even considering announcing the dissolution before the Tokyo assembly vote. Voting for a national election is usually held on a Sunday. But the possibility of having the election and the vote count take place on Aug. 8 emerged as Aso took into consideration the public’s aversion to voting on the anniversary of the Nagasaki atomic bombing on Aug. 9, the aides said. Aso apparently believes the move would also ease the pressure on local governments to prepare for the general election compared with Aug. 2, which had been widely reported as the prime minister’s preferred date for the election.
Agence France Press (“JAPAN’S EMBATTLED PM ASO NAMES TWO NEW MINISTERS”, Tokyo, 2009/07/01) reported that Japan’s embattled Prime Minister Taro Aso named two new cabinet ministers as he explores ways to improve his sagging popularity ahead of elections which he must call by September. Yoshimasa Hayashi was named as the new state minister for economic and fiscal policy , while lawmaker Motoo Hayashi was appointed to several new posts, including chairman of the National Public Safety Commission . Opinion polls show voter support for Aso’s government has fallen below 20 percent, and several LDP heavyweights have openly called for the premier to step down as the party’s leader to give it a fighting chance at the polls.
14. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
The Asahi Shimbun (“EX-BUREAUCRAT CONFIRMS SECRET U.S. NUKE PACT”, 2009/07/01) reported that a former administrative vice foreign minister Monday confirmed a 1960 secret agreement allowing the United States to bring nuclear weapons into Japanese territory without consulting Japan, but Tokyo again denied this arrangement. Ryohei Murata, 79, is the first former top bureaucrat at the Foreign Ministry to acknowledge the existence of the secret agreement. He told The Asahi Shimbun that a document explaining the secret agreement was handed down to successive administrative vice foreign ministers, who then informed their foreign ministers.
15. US-Japan Security Alliance
Xinhua News (“ASO STRESSES JAPAN-U.S. ALLIANCE KEY TO NATIONAL SECURITY”, 2009/07/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday the alliance between Japan and the United States is key to the national security and peace in the Far East. Aso told an audience of around 400 people, including diplomatic envoys and foreign affairs researchers, that Japan and the United States should continue to ensure the alliance works in an effective way. The prime minister also attacked the opposition party’s claim that the U.S. 7th Fleet is sufficient for securing the U.S. presence in East Asia, saying the remarks undermined the deterrent ability that the United States has provided to Japan.
16. Japan SDF Peacekeeping Role
DPA (“JAPAN TO OFFER LOGISTICAL SUPPORT TO UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS “, 2009/07/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday told visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that Japan would allow its Self-Defense Forces to participate in UN peacekeeping operations by providing logistical support. Japan would join 87 other nations in registering its military support with the UN Standby Arrangements System, Aso said at a joint press conference after the meeting with Ban. The system was established in 1994 to facilitate the rapid deployment of peacekeepers.
17. Japan Climate Change
Agence France-Presse (“UN’S BAN URGES JAPAN BUSINESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE”, Tokyo, 2009/07/01) reported that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for Japanese companies to help fight global warming through green investment and ambitious emission cut targets, a business lobby said. The group’s president Kunio Kojima told reporters Ban had stressed that “it is important that governments and companies set ambitious targets and implement ‘green investment’ through which people’s awareness can change.” Ban had made the point that the climate change problem “cannot be resolved without cooperation between politicians, corporate communities and civil societies ,” Kojima said, indirectly quoting Ban.
18. Hong Kong Government
Agence France-Presse (“TENS OF THOUSANDS MARCH FOR DEMOCRACY IN HONG KONG”, ) reported that Tens of thousands of people took to the sweltering streets of Hong Kong on Wednesday for an annual pro-democracy march, as the city marked the 12th anniversary of its return to the PRC. The huge crowd, estimated by organisers at 76,000, snaked through the city to demand the early introduction of universal suffrage and also to express frustration at the government on a whole gamut of issues, including its response to the economic slowdown .
19. PRC Energy Supply
Bloomberg News (“CHINA WIND SYSTEMS TO GET HALF OF REVENUE FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY “, 2009/07/01) reported that China Wind Systems Inc., which makes wind turbines and textile machinery, will get half of its revenue from the renewable-energy business by yearend, Chief Financial Officer Leo Wang said. “We expect and hope that our wind-related revenue will comprise more than 50 percent of total revenue,” Wang said in an interview from New York. “Wind is the number-one renewable energy choice in China because it’s the most cost competitive.”
20. PRC Government
United Press International (“CHINA COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERSHIP UP”, 2009/07/01) reported that the PRC’s Communistmembership totaled 75.93 million people at the end of last year, official figures said. The number is 17 times the figure in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded, the country’s official Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the organization department of the party’s Central Committee. Of the new members recruited last year, Xinhua said 80.8 percent are less than 35.
21. PRC Civil Society and Public Health
CCTV (“NGO CALLS ON DRUG POLICY REFORM”, 2009/07/01) reported that as the PRC strengthens its efforts to combat drugs, some non-governmental organizations are calling for reforms of the current drug policy. They say that a humane and compassionate approach to drug use might be more effective. Wan Yanhai is the head of Beijing Aizhixing Institute, which engages in fighting discrimination against vulnerable groups. Wan says instead of strengthening security-based measures, approaches focusing on reducing the harms related to drug trade and use… and ensuring evidence-based treatments for pain and addiction are widely available… should be encouraged.
22. PRC Urban-Rural Disparity
Caijing Magazine (“CHINA TO BRIDGE URBAN-RURAL DEATH COMPENSATION GAP”, 2009/07/01) reported that the National People’s Congress recently announced that the PRC will seek to bridge the gap between death compensations for people from rural areas and those from cities, an disparity that has triggered contentious debate. In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that disposable income per capita in a victim’s place of residence should decide the amount of death compensation that victim’s family can receive. Differences in disposable income per capita vary widely between urban and rural areas.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Public Health
Xinhua Net (Wang Xinming, “GUIZHOU ESTABLISHES THE FIRST PRIVATE ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL INSTITUTIONS”, 2009/07/01) reported that the first private Association of Medical Institutions was established in Guizhou province recently. Over 100 private medical institutions became the first members of the Association. “By our efforts, we hope the medical institutions in Guizhou province can enjoy equal treatment in tax, title assessment, and other aspects”, said by the Chairman of the Association.
24. PRC Earthquake Reconstruction
Sihuan online (“PROMOTING ASSOCIATION OF WENCHUAN RECONSTRUCTION ESTABLISHED IN SICHUAN”, 2009/07/01) reported that Promoting Association of Wenchuan Reconstruction was established in Sichuan yesterday. The Association will integrate social resources, mobilize domestic and foreign experts to give suggestion on reconstruction, invite investment for disaster areas and so on.
25. PRC Environment
Economic Information Daily (“CHINA TO DEEPLY DEVELOP BIOLOGICAL RESOURCE”, 2009/07/01) reported that in the next decade, China will cultivate 20 varieties of energy plants, new economic trees, fiber plants, oil plants, aromatic plants and so on, to provide important raw materials and preparations for industry and fine chemical industry, according to a report issued by China Biotechnology Development Center yesterday.