NAPSNet Daily Report 2 June, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 2. US on Six Party Talks
- 3. DPRK on UNSC Resolution
- 4. US-DPRK Relations
- 5. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 6. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 7. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 8. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 9. DPRK Leadership
- 10. DPRK Economy
- 11. ROK Military Exercise
- 12. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 13. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
- 14. US-Japan Relations
- 15. ROK-Japan Relations
- 16. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
- 17. Sino-Indian Relations
- 18. US-PRC Financial Relations
- 19. Cross Strait Relations
- 20. PRC Security
- 21. PRC Energy Supply
- 22. PRC Environment
- 23. PRC Environmental Regulations
- 24. PRC Swine Flu Outbreak
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Test
Yonhap News (“U.S. SEEKS STRONG, BINDING RESOLUTION ON N. KOREA’S NUKE TEST: STATE DEPT.”, 2009/06/01) reported that the United States said it was seeking a strong and binding U.N. Security Council resolution on the DPRK’s recent nuclear test while urging the DPRK to return to the six-party denuclearization talks. “And so what we want to see, as I said, again, is a strong, unified and binding resolution that will deal with the North,” deputy State Department spokesman Robert Wood said. A draft resolution written by the U.S., which is being reviewed by the 15-member security council, calls for financial sanctions on the DRPK and bars the country from all weapons trade.
2. US on Six Party Talks
China Daily (“US NOT SEEKING ALTERNATIVE TO 6-PARTY TALKS, FOR NOW”, Manila, 2009/06/01) reported that the US is not in a hurry to look for options other than the six-party talks to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear programme, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said. “I think we ought to wait and see how those conversations go and how our partners in the six-party talks other than Pyongyang react to the developments of the last few weeks and see where we go from here diplomatically and I think I’d rather not speculate on what we might do after that,” Gates said.
3. DPRK on UNSC Resolution
KCNA (“DPRK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN CLARIFIES ITS STAND ON UNSC’S INCREASING THREAT”, Pyongyang, 2009/06/01) reported that a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement as regards the UNSC ’s threat to put additional sanctions against the DPRK . The recent nuclear test conducted by the DPRK is the 2054th one on the earth. The five permanent members of the UNSC have conducted 99.99 percent of all the nuclear tests. The DPRK is neither a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty nor to the Missile Technology Control Regime or MTCR . Such being the case, it has a right to conduct as many nuclear tests or missile launches as it wants in the event that the supreme interests of the state are infringed upon. If the UNSC will make further provocative actions, this will inevitably lead to the DPRK ’s approach towards adopting stronger self-defensive counter-measures. The US is keen on using a catchphrase “Carrot and stick.” It would be better for the “Donkey” of the US Democratic Party to lick the carrot.
4. US-DPRK Relations
DongA Ilbo (“CALLS IN US RISING FOR MILITARY ACTION ON N. KOREA”, 2009/06/01) reported that calls are growing in the United States on the possible use of military force against the DPRK in light of the DPRK’s second nuclear tests and missile firings. Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, the architect of the “Perry Process,” a comprehensive approach to the DPRK nuclear program, told a forum in Washington that if non-military options do not stem the DPRK’s escalation of tension, the United States must consider others, namely military options. A diplomatic approach can work only if it includes meaningful coercive factors, Perry said, so military options should at least be considered to stop further nuclear tests.
5. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Test
Mainichi Shimbun (“SOUTH KOREA SAYS NORTH SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED”, Singapore, 2009/06/01) reported that the world must ensure that the DPRK isn’t rewarded for widely condemned actions such as its recent underground nuclear test, the ROK’s defense minister said. “North Korea perhaps to this point may have mistakenly believed that it could be rewarded for its wrong behavior but that is no longer the case,” Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee said. “We must make North Korea clearly recognize that it will not be rewarded for its wrong behavior,” Lee said.
6. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
IFES NK Brief (“DPRK CLAIMS TO SUPPORT KAESONG AFTER NUKE TEST “, 2009/06/01) reported that on May 26, the newspaper Chosun Sinbo, which serves as the mouthpiece for the General Association of (North) Korean Residents in Japan and an unofficial voice of Pyongyang, ran an article stating that the North continued to support the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The paper ran an article titled “Kaesong Industrial Complex’s Basis is Our Nation’s Principle,” in which it stated that the DPRK position had not changed regarding the industrial zone, and that it still supported Kaesong’s development. It went on to state that despite the currently stalled inter-Korean relations, the DPRK was working to invite ROK officials to renegotiations.
7. Japan-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN WOULD NOT INITIATE HOSTILITIES VS N KOREA – DEFENSE MIN”, Singapore, 2009/06/01) reported that Japan would not initiate any hostilities against the DPRK but is ready to defend itself, its defence minister said amid international tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said Tokyo would be transparent with its military hardware purchases in order to prevent any misunderstanding with neighbours. “We have mentioned that North Korea is a threat because of what has happened in the past but unless there are other countries moving to us, we will never start an action as such,” Hamada told delegates at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue on security.
8. Sino-DPRK Relations
Bloomberg News (Heejin Koo and Kyung Bok Cho, “CHINA SUSPENDS NORTH KOREA EXCHANGES, YONHAP REPORTS”, 2009/06/01) reported that the PRC suspended government exchanges with the DPRK after Kim Jong-Il ’s regime last week tested a nuclear device and fired short-range missiles said. The PRC has halted plans to send officials to the DPRK and won’t accept visits from there either, Yonhap said today, citing unidentified diplomatic sources in Beijing. The move, if confirmed, would be the strongest reaction yet to the DPRK’s actions by its biggest ally and trading partner.
Bloomberg News (“N. KOREA ENDS SOME CHINESE TV, COMPUTER IMPORTS, YONHAP SAYS”, 2009/06/01) reported that the DPRK has suspended imports of some PRC-made computers and televisions, Yonhap News reported. Yonhap cited unidentified sources.
9. DPRK Leadership
Yonhap News (“N.K. NOTIFIES INSTITUTIONS OF NOMINATION OF LEADER’S 3RD SON AS SUCCESSOR”, 2009/06/01) reported that DPRK authorities have notified the country’s key institutions that leader Kim Jong-il has designated his third son, Kim Jong-un, as his successor, a source on DPRK affairs said. “The authorities made the notification to the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Korean People’s Army, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet shortly after its latest nuclear test on May 25,” the source said on condition of anonimity.
10. DPRK Economy
Newsweek (“HOW KIM AFFORDS HIS NUKES”, 2009/06/01) reported that contrary to conventional wisdom, the DPRK isn’t broke—and its economy has been moving away from collapse in recent years. The Hermit Kingdom may not be getting rich—the CIA estimates its GDP at roughly $40 billion, ranking 96th in the world. But it’s not failing either, and for the past decade, its economy has grown at an average rate of about 1.5 percent a year, according to ROK statistics. While Seoul estimates that the DPRK’s GDP shrank by 2.3 percent last year, some analysts say it actually expanded, arguing that the ROK’s recent figures on the DPRK are deflated for political purposes.
11. ROK Military Exercise
CCTV.com (“S. KOREA CARRIES OUT MILITARY EXERCISES”, 2009/06/01) reported that ROK marine units have held military exercises on Yeonpyeong Island off its west coast. The media was on hand to witness the drills. Meanwhile, passenger ferries from the peninsula to Yeonpyeong Island were operating as usual. An anonymous South Korean defense ministry official confirmed the information. The ROK is on alert because it believes Pyongyang may make provocative moves using conventional weapons.
12. US-Japan Security Alliance
Agence France-Presse (“US VOWS ‘UNSHAKEABLE COMMITMENT’ TO JAPAN SECURITY”, Tokyo, 2009/06/01) reported that a top US official pledged his country’s “unshakeable commitment” to Japan’s security, amid fears the DPRK is planning another long-range missile launch. US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg was in Tokyo with Washington’s top DPRK official Stephen Bosworth on a regional tour. “I reaffirmed to the minister the United States’s unshakable commitment toward our partnership and to Japan ‘s security,” Steinberg told reporters. Steinberg said that he and Yabunaka agreed that “we stand united and are making it clear that we have deep concern about North Korea’s highly destabilising actions.”
13. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
Kyodo News (“NO SECRET NUKE ACCORD EXISTS BETWEEN JAPAN, U.S.: KAWAMURA”, Tokyo, 2009/06/01) reported that Japan’s top government spokesman reiterated that no secret accord has existed between Japan and the US regarding the handling of nuclear weapons, following a report the previous day that cited four former top foreign ministry officials. The former vice foreign ministers told Kyodo News recently that a secret Japan-US accord on the handling of nuclear weapons has been under the control of top ministry officials and only a handful of prime ministers and foreign ministers had been informed of the fact. In revising the Japan-US Security Treaty in 1960, the two allies reached a secret agreement under which Tokyo would give tacit approval for stopovers of US military aircraft or vessels carrying nuclear weapons, according to the four officials.
14. US-Japan Relations
The Associated Press (“JAPAN AMBASSADOR APOLOGIZES FOR BATAAN DEATH MARCH”, 2009/06/01) reported that Japan’s ambassador to the US apologized on behalf of his country for the 65-mile forced walk of US troops and allies during World War II that left some 11,000 prisoners of war dead. “As former prime ministers of Japan have repeatedly stated: The Japanese people should bear in mind that we must look into the past and to learn from the lessons of history,” Ichiro Fujisaki said at the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, the San Antonio Express-News reported. He said his country was extending a heartfelt apology for “having caused tremendous damage and suffering to many people, including prisoners of war, those who have undergone tragic experiences.”
15. ROK-Japan Relations
Korea Hearld (“KOREA, JAPAN TO MEET ON TECHNOLOGY COOPERATION”, 2009/06/01) reported that officials from the ROK and Japan will meet in Seoul today to discuss ways of enhancing cooperation in science and technology. During the second meeting of the Korea-Japan council for science and technology cooperation, participants will discuss joint efforts in tackling climate change and energy-related issues and introduce each country’s green growth policies. This year’s meeting, hosted by Korea’s National Science and Technology Council, will be attended by about 20 officials from the councils and the governments of the ROK and Japan.
16. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
Kyodo News (“DON’T PUSH ON ISLES ISSUE: MEDVEDEV”, Moscow, 2009/06/01) reported that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that any attempts by Japan to raise questions about Russia’s sovereignty over four disputed islands off Hokkaido would not help the two countries conclude a bilateral peace treaty. Medvedev told new Japanese Ambassador to Russia Masaharu Kono, who visited the Kremlin to present his letter of credentials, that Japan has been making a “one-sided and unacceptable” assessment of the decades-old row and called on Tokyo to “assess the situation appropriately” and reach a “correct conclusion.”
17. Sino-Indian Relations
ANI (“PALLAM RAJU SAYS INDIA IS FULLY PREPARED TO FACE ANY THREAT FROM CHINA”, 2009/06/01) reported that Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence after taking charge of his office on Monday said that India is keeping an eye on growing influence of the PRC in Pakistan and other neighbouring countries and steps are taken that it does not pose a threat to India. “There is no shortfall in preparedness from our side in this regard. Chinese influence is not just in Pakistan. They are trying to develop a port in Sri Lanka and in Myanmar. And we are well aware of all these developments. We are taking steps that Chinese influence does not pose a threat,” said Raju.
18. US-PRC Financial Relations
Washington Post (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “GEITHNER TELLS CHINA ITS DOLLAR ASSETS ARE SAFE”, 2009/06/01) reported that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner arrived in the PRC this week seeking to reassure America’s biggest creditor that its hundreds of billions of dollars of holdings in US government debt remain safe. Responding to remarks by PRC officials in recent months about their nervousness over the value of US Treasury securities, Geithner said he remains committed to a strong dollar and pledged that the United States would cut its fiscal deficit and eliminate “the extraordinary government support” that had been put in place to overcome the crisis.
19. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN’S OPPOSITION PUSHES FOR CHINA TRADE REFERENDUM”, Taipei, 2009/06/01) reported that Taiwan’s pro-independence opposition renewed its pledge to hold a referendum aimed at stopping the Beijing-friendly administration from signing a comprehensive trade pact with the PRC. The Democratic Progressive Party said it hopes to collect at least 80,000 signatures before the end of August in the first part of a two-step process required by law for the campaign, announced last month, to go ahead. Once it reaches its target figure, the party will then have to enlist the endorsements of up to one million supporters before a referendum can take place.
20. PRC Security
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA TIGHTENS SECURITY AHEAD OF TIANANMEN ANNIVERSARY”, Beijing, 2009/06/01) reported that the PRC ramped up security at Tiananmen Square days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on demonstrations there, questioning visitors and blocking journalists trying to report. The dramatically tightened controls appeared to reflect official fears of any attempts to commemorate the bloody crackdown that ended seven weeks of pro- democracy protests, leaving hundreds, perhaps thousands, dead. Dozens of police and other security personnel patrolled on foot and in vehicles amid scattered PRC tourists. Security personnel also stopped groups of pedestrians on side streets approaching the square, questioning them and inspecting their belongings.
21. PRC Energy Supply
Shanghai Daily (“CHINA TARGETS NUKE POWER TO RISE TO 5% FOR GREENER GROWTH”, 2009/06/01) reported that the PRC aims to raise nuclear power from 4 percent to 5 percent of total installed capacity by 2020 to encourage greener growth. The original goal, set in 2007, called for 40 gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020, or 4 percent of the nation’s power generation capacity. The revision upward comes as total capacity could be bigger than previously thought and nuclear power, as a clean energy, should make a larger contribution to consumption, Sun Qin, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, told a media briefing.
22. PRC Environment
Bloomberg News (“DROUGHT IN NORTHEASTERN CHINA MAY WORSEN, WEATHER BUREAU SAYS”, 2009/06/01) reported that a drought in northeastern PRC, the nation’s top soybean-producing region, may worsen this month, the weather office said. Parts of the Inner Mongolian region and Heilongjiang province had the lowest May rainfall since 1951, and hot, dry weather forecast for June may worsen conditions for farmers, the National Meteorological Center said in a statement on its Web site today. Heilongjiang, the PRC’s northernmost province, may get as little as 50 percent of its average June rainfall this month, while the temperature may be as much as 3 degrees Celsius more than normal, the agency said.
23. PRC Environmental Regulations
Wall Street Journal (“CHINA PLANS ENVIRONMENTAL RULES FOR COMPANIES INVESTING OVERSEAS”, 2009/06/01) reported that the PRC is now working on a set of green guidelines for PRC companies involved in projects overseas. According to the report, the new rules would require PRC companies to conduct environmental impact reviews on overseas projects, take measures to protect the environment on all projects (such as including facilities for sewage and waste treatment), abide by the PRC’s international environmental treaties and pay for any environmental damage that results from their projects .
24. PRC Swine Flu Outbreak
Bloomberg News (“CHINA REPORTS AS MANY AS 26 SWINE FLU INFECTIONS ON MAINLAND”, 2009/06/01) reported that the PRC has confirmed as many as 26 swine flu infections on the mainland, according to health authorities and the official Xinhua News Agency. South China’s Guangdong province and southeastern Fujian province each reported a new case today, after two were identified in Beijing and one in Fujian yesterday. That brings the number of individual confirmations to 26, although the government did not give a nationwide total on its Web site.
II. PRC Report
25. PRC Environment
China Economic Weekly (“CHINA IS SUFFERING INVASION OF 284 ALIEN SPECIES”, 2009/06/01) reported that there are at least 283 kinds of alien species that have do harm to China, said an official of Ministry of Environmental Protection. At present, the annual economic loss caused by alien species has reached 200 billion RMB. Among these alien species, 46% have invaded into natural reserves. China’s biosafety is facing serious challenges.
26. PRC Public Health
Xinhua News Agency (Zhang Jiawei, “MACAO TO BAN INDOOR SMOKING IN PUBLIC PLACES”, 2009/06/01) reported that Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) will amend its smoking-control law, banning indoor smoking in all public places, said Lei Chin Ion, director of the SAR’s Health Bureau, on Sunday. Aside from the banning of indoor smoking, new measures such as fixed penalty and image of warning posted on cigarette package will be adopted in the new law, said Lei, on the sideline of local “World No Tobacco Day” campaign.
27. PRC Education
Xinhua News Agency (Yu Jing, “CHINA DONATES BOOKS TO QUAKE REGIONS AHEAD OF CHILDREN’S DAY”, 2009/05/31) reported that more than 1.32 million books have been sent to school children in Sichuan Province as of Sunday as gifts for the Children’s Day which falls on Monday. The books were donated by foundations and publishing houses under the call made earlier this month by five central government departments including the Ministry of Education and the General Administration of Press and Publication.
III. ROK Report
28. ROK Nuclear Energy
Donga Ilbo (Han Seungjoo, “NUCLEAR USES AND ITS SOVEREIGNTY”, 2009/06/02) wrote that Japan has justified the necessity of enrichment and reprocessing through discreet, long-term plans and successful nuclear policy toward the US, while completely shunning its military nuclear sovereignty. This could be our role model. From now on, the ROK should make a long-term blueprint on peaceful nuclear sovereignty, prepare ways to cooperate internationally, and promote sincere research plans to achieve these goals.
Yonhap News (“ROK AUTHORITY WARNS AGAINST INSISTING NUCLEAR SOVEREIGNTY”, 2009/06/02) reported that a high official of the ROK government warned against insisting on nuclear sovereignty, saying that “for one country to change its policies toward having nuclear power is not as easy as people’s general sentiments.” This official especially stressed that “nuclear armament,” meaning possess of nuclear weapons, must be differentiated from “completion of nuclear cycle,” meaning peaceful enrichment and reprocessing. Regarding the stipulation of the US providing a nuclear umbrella, the offical explained that “US being more clear and responsible on DPRK nuclear issues would be able to stabilize the situation.”