NAPSNet Daily Report 2 March, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. PRC on Six Party Talks
- 3. US on Six Party Talks
- 4. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 5. DPRK-Syrian Nuclear Cooperation
- 6. DPRK Defector Issue
- 7. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
- 8. Inter-Korea Relations
- 9. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
- 10. ROK-Japan Relations
- 11. ROK-Japan Cyber Attacks
- 12. Japan-US Nuclear Pact
- 13. Japan-Iran Nuclear Cooperation
- 14. Japan-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation
- 15. Japanese Whaling
- 16. Japan Climate Change
- 17. Sino-US Relations
- 18. PRC Civil Unrest
- 19. PRC Tibet Issue
- 20. PRC Climate Change
- 21. Cross-Strait Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “NKOREA VOWS TO BOLSTER NUCLEAR DETERRENT”, Seoul, 2010/03/02) reported that the Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday there will be no progress in denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula unless the U.S. removes its nuclear threat against the DPRK. “Should the U.S. persist in its unrealistic moves to stifle the DPRK in disregard of its realistic proposal, this will only compel it to boost its nuclear deterrent and its delivery means,” the KCNA dispatch said.
2. PRC on Six Party Talks
JoongAng Ilbo (“NORTH’S LEADER LIKELY TO VISIT CHINA”, 2010/03/01) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il could visit the PRC this month and the six-party talks would soon resume afterward, a diplomatic source said yesterday. According to the source, Wi Sung-lac, the ROK’s chief nuclear negotiator, and Stephen Bosworth, the special U.S. representative for DPRK policy, received “detailed briefings” from their PRC counterparts last month in Beijing. “China presented to South Korea and the United States what it felt these two countries and the DPRK could and couldn’t accept as they work toward reopening the six-party talks,” the source said. “China is in the final stage of the negotiations with the DPRK over the six-party talks. “Seoul and Washington are awaiting the result and are pressuring the North to make the decision,” the source added. “Once the PRC and the DPRK reach an agreement, Kim Jong-il will visit the PRC. That will be a clear signal that the six-party talks are imminent.”
Kyodo News (“CHINA MAKES 3-STEP PROPOSAL ON RESUMPTION OF N. KOREA NUKE TALKS “, 2010/03/01) reported that the PRC is sounding out the United States, Japan and other members of the six-nation talks on the DPRK ‘s nuclear weapons program on a three-step proposal to resume the stalled negotiations, sources close to the process said Monday. The formula would be spearheaded by a resumption of U.S.-DPRK talks on bilateral issues to be followed by a preparatory meeting of the countries involved in the six-nation talks that would lead up to a formal resumption of six-nation talks issues. The sources said the PRC outlined its proposal when Wu Dawei, the PRC’s special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, met with U.S. and ROK envoys in Beijing last month
3. US on Six Party Talks
Reuters (“CLINTON ENCOURAGED BY SIGNS ON NORTH KOREA TALKS”, Washington, 2010/02/28) reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was encouraged by signs that the DPRK may be getting ready to return to stalled talks on its nuclear program. “Ambassador Sung Kim and Ambassador Stephen Bosworth are quite heartened by the movement that we see in our joint efforts,” Clinton told reporters after a meeting with ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan.
4. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SKOREA RENEWS OFFER OF INCENTIVES FOR DISARMAMENT”, 2010/03/01) reported that the ROK’s president said Monday that he wants to achieve “genuine” reconciliation with the DPRK through dialogue and renewed his offer of a package of incentives for the DPRK’s nuclear disarmament. “For genuine reconciliation and cooperation … South and North Korea must resolve many pending issues through a dialogue,” President Lee Myung-bak said in a nationally televised address marking Korea’s 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule. The DPRK “must discuss with sincerity the ‘grand bargain’ deal that we have offered,” Lee said.
5. DPRK-Syrian Nuclear Cooperation
Global Security Newswire (“SYRIA RECEIVED NORTH KOREAN “YELLOWCAKE” URANIUM, REPORT SAYS “, 2010/03/01) reported that Syria in 2007 received approximately 45 tons of raw uranium from the DPRK for use in producing fuel for a secret nuclear reactor, informed military and diplomatic sources told Kyodo News. An Israeli air assault destroyed the undeclared reactor not long after Syria received shipment of the material and the “yellowcake” uranium is thought to have been sent to Iran in summer 2009, a Western diplomatic source said. A Middle East military source, however, says that Damascus might actually have sent the uranium back to the DPRK following the Israeli attack. Forty-five tons of yellowcake could be converted into 196 to 287 pounds of bomb-grade uranium, according to Institute for Science and International Security President David Albright. “In any case, 45 tons of yellowcake is enough for several nuclear bombs,” he said.
6. DPRK Defector Issue
Los Angeles Times (“DEFECTORS TRAIN TO AID OTHERS FROM NORTH KOREA”, 2010/03/01) reported that in the ROK, 22 defectors from the DPRK recently graduated from a nine-month course to become the first private professional counselors for their fellow escapees. When the DPRK defector Choi Hui-suk arrived in Seoul in 2002, she was miserably lonely and could not escape the feeling of being an outsider. But the sociable 46-year-old survived and now feels at home in this new land. And she has received training to help others feel the same way — as a life counselor for DPRK defectors. “Only North Koreans know what North Koreans experience or feel here,” Choi said. The newly minted DPRK counselors say fellow defectors need a cultural crash course to change their way of thinking before entering the competitive job market here.
7. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA URGES SOUTH TO RESPECT COOPERATIVE PACTS “, 2010/03/01) The DPRK media on Monday urged the ROK to respect past bilateral agreements designed to push forward economic cooperation, bashing the Seoul government for failing to uphold the pacts. The Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said in a front-page article marking 91st anniversary of the March 1 independence movement that Pyongyang is fully committed to the June 15 communique and Oct. 14 declaration agreed upon by the two Koreas. The two deals, reached in 2000 and 2007 under successive ROK liberal administrations, call for the two Koreas to work together to improve ties and strive for peaceful reunification and prosperity. The paper, in addition, lashed out at ROK conservatives for fueling inter-Korean tensions and claimed they were in league with foreign elements.
Agence France Presse (“TWO KOREAS AGREE TO TALKS ON EASING BORDER CURBS”, 2010/02/28) reported that the ROK and the DPRK agreed to hold talks this week to ease access to a jointly run industrial estate just north of the heavily fortified border, officials said. The ROK’s defence ministry said Seoul had accepted the DPRK’s revised offer to hold the talks on Tuesday at the Kaesong estate in the DPRK. The talks are supposed to discuss ways to improve transport and communications links to the estate, where about 42,000 DPRK Citizens work at more than 110 ROK-funded plants.
8. Inter-Korea Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“MYSTERY GROWS OVER N.KOREA’S ARREST OF S.KOREANS “, 2010/03/01) reported that the DPRK last week said it is investigating four ROK citizens for illegal entry, but the ROK government as of Sunday had no idea who they might be. “There are many things we find really hard to understand,” a security official said. If the detainees are members of an NGO, a religious organization, or a defectors’ group, it is highly likely that they would have left traces or that their organization would have made a response. An ROK government official said, “We’ve asked activist groups and religious and defector organizations about this, but none of them have reported about any missing member.”
9. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
Arirang News (“NAT’L ASSEMBLY PASSES TROOP DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN”, 2010/03/01) reported that the National Assembly has passed a bill to deploy troops to Afghanistan. At the parliament meeting a majority of the ruling Grand National Party approved the bill while opposition members walked out in protest. The bill will establish the deployment of 350 troops to support civilians and help rebuild Afghanistan, where the U.S. is still battling al Qaeda and the Taliban. The deployment will last for two years and six months starting in July until the end of 2012.
10. ROK-Japan Relations
Yonhap News (“KOREAN RESIDENTS IN JAPAN TO REPATRIATE REMAINS OF FORCED KOREAN LABORERS “, 2010/03/01) reported that the unclaimed remains of some 94 ROK citizens forced to work in Japan during its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula will be returned home, a group of Korean residents in Japan said Sunday. The group plans to send the remains, which have been stored in a charnel house in Shimizu, Shizuoka Prefecture, back to the ROK on March 10. The remains of some 76 individuals have yet to be identified.
Korea Times (“JAPAN MOBILZED 5,800 KOREANS TO SAIPAN”, 2010/03/01) reported that more than 5,800 Koreans were forced to provide war-related labor between 1939 and 1942 for Japanese soldiers on islands in the South Pacific, including Saipan, and many were killed there, a state commission said Thursday. The Truth Commission on Forced Mobilization under the Japanese Imperialism said the new finding comes after a three-year research effort. It is the first time the government has issued a report on the issue. “They were mobilized to build military facilities and cultivate food,” the commission said. “Many of them were used as ‘human shields’ during fire exchanges and others starved to death.” Kim Myung-han, a senior researcher of the commission, said, “Additional research is needed to shed light on this tragic chapter of our history.”
11. ROK-Japan Cyber Attacks
Yonhap News (“S. KOREANS CYBER ATTACK JAPANESE SITE FOR ANTI-KOREAN POSTS “, 2010/03/01) reported that ROK Web users staged a concerted cyber offensive against a popular Japanese Web site Monday to protest posts that allegedly attacked the ROK. More than 10,000 ROK users coordinated their attacks through ROK Web communities such as DCInside to attack Japan’s 2ch site at 1 p.m. on the anniversary of the ROK’s March 1st independence movement.
12. Japan-US Nuclear Pact
Associated Press (“JAPAN-U.S. MEETING IN 1963 LED TO ESTABLISHMENT OF SECRET NUKE PACT”, Tokyo, 2010/03/01) reported that a Foreign Ministry-led panel has found that a secret meeting between Japanese and U.S. officials in 1963 led to the establishment of a secret bilateral pact under which Tokyo allowed U.S.-nuclear armed vessels into Japanese territory, ministry and panel sources said Monday. A document that served as the basis for the secret pact was signed by the two countries in 1960, although a revised Japan-U.S. security treaty signed that year set up a system requiring Washington to consult with Tokyo before the “introduction” of nuclear weapons into Japan. According to the investigation by the panel of experts, in April 1963, then U.S. Ambassador to Japan Edwin Reischauer told then Japanese Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira that the United States interpreted “introduction” as not including cases in which U.S. military vessels carrying nuclear weapons passed or made port calls in Japanese territory. The panel also believes it is highly probable that, at the time the bilateral security treaty was revised, Japanese officials in charge of the negotiations intentionally avoided confirming what “introduction” actually meant, although they were aware of the U.S. interpretation.
Asahi Shimbun (“EXPERTS: NO SECRET NUKE PACT”, 2010/03/01) reported that a Foreign Ministry committee is set to conclude that there was no secret pact between Japan and the United States concerning the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan. Sources said the expert committee would likely conclude that there was an “unspoken agreement” between the two nations that having U.S. ships and planes with nuclear weapons make port calls or pass through Japanese territory would not constitute a violation of the ban on bringing in nuclear weapons to Japan.
13. Japan-Iran Nuclear Cooperation
Tehran Times (“JAPAN OFFERED TO SELL 20 ENRICHED FUEL TO IRAN: MP”, 2010/03/01) reported that MP Zohreh Elahian has said Japan has offered to sell 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel to Iran to run its nuclear research reactor that produces medical isotopes, according to the Fars News Agency. Elahian told the Fars that Iran has welcomed the general outlines of the proposed plan. She gave no further details about the offer. Elahian said the offer was made during Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani’s recent visit to Japan.
14. Japan-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation
Kyodo News (“JAPAN GEARS UP FOR INTEREST IN NUCLEAR PLANT BUSINESS IN VIETNAM”, 2010/03/01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama plans to ask his Vietnamese counterpart to consider seeking Japanese technological cooperation in building nuclear power plants in the country, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said Monday. A senior government official separately acknowledged Tokyo eyes establishing a public-private entity that would aim to win contracts to construct atomic power plants in other countries. Hatoyama will convey his request in a letter in which he will express his hope that Vietnam will give due consideration to the sophistication of Japan’s nuclear technology, including its safety, Hirano said at a news conference.
15. Japanese Whaling
Agence France-Presse (Hiroshi Hiyama, “JAPAN PUSHES TO SCRAP COMMERCIAL WHALING BAN”, Tokyo, 2010/03/02) reported that Japan pushed Tuesday to lift a 24-year-old ban on commercial whaling. “To gain the right to resume commercial whaling, what and how much can we give?” Japanese fisheries minister Hirotaka Akamatsu said ahead of the closed-door talks among lower-level International Whaling Commission negotiators in Florida. “We will continue our patient negotiations,” he said. “In the end, I will go to the IWC meeting (in June) and voice Japan’s position and make sure it will bear fruit,” Akamatsu said.
16. Japan Climate Change
Kyodo News (“JAPAN’S NEW BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY SETS GOALS FOR 2020, 2050”, 2010/03/01) reported that an Environment Ministry panel endorsed on Monday a draft of Japan’s new national strategy to conserve and improve biodiversity, which sets specific targets to be implemented by 2020 and 2050, ahead of a major international conference on the issue scheduled for October in Nagoya. The strategy, which is expected to gain Cabinet approval later this month, stipulates Japan will “make efforts to prevent existing biological species from facing new threats of extinction” by 2020 and “further enrich biodiversity in the country compared with current levels” by 2050 among other goals.
17. Sino-US Relations
Reuters (Chris Buckley , “CHINA PLA OFFICER URGES CHALLENGING U.S. DOMINANCE”, Beijing, 2010/03/01) reported that the PRC should build the world’s strongest military and move swiftly to displace the United States as the global “champion,” a PLA officer says in a new book reflecting swelling nationalist ambitions. The call for the PRC to abandon modesty about its global goals and “sprint to become world number one” comes from a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Senior Colonel, Liu Mingfu, who warns that his nation’s ascent will alarm Washington, risking war despite Beijing’s hopes for a “peaceful rise.” “The PRC’s big goal in the 21st century is to become world number one, the top power,” Liu writes in his newly published Chinese-language book, “The China Dream.” “If China in the 21st century cannot become world number one, cannot become the top power, then inevitably it will become a straggler that is cast aside,” writes Liu.
Wall Street Journal (“U.S. OFFICIAL’S VISIT SIGNALS THAW IN CHINA TIES”, 2010/03/01) reported that a planned visit to the PRC by a senior U.S. official this week is the latest sign of a thaw between the two nations following a series of controversies that had put bilateral relations on ice. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg will be in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday to “exchange views with Chinese officials on U.S.-The PRC bilateral issues,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement Sunday. Details of Mr. Steinberg’s visit aren’t known, but it is the most recent sign that relations are normalizing after recent spats related to Taiwan, Tibet and other issues.
18. PRC Civil Unrest
Financial Times (Jamil Anderlini , “CALL TO END CHINA CITIZEN REGISTRATION SYSTEM”, 2010/03/01) reported that a group of 13 PRC newspapers from across the country carried an identical front-page editorial on Monday calling for the abolition of the PRC’s household registration hukou system in a highly unusual co-ordinated critique of government policy. In language that unmistakably evoked early 20th century Chinese revolutionary movements, the editorial referred to the hukou system as “segregation” and “unconstitutional” and “the heavy invisible fetters placed on all citizens”. The hukou system was introduced in the 1950s soon after the Communist victory to help manage the planned economy and limit internal migration. Although it has been eroded by economic reforms over the past three decades it still functions as a deterrent for many citizens wanting to migrate from rural to urban areas.
19. PRC Tibet Issue
Agence France Presse (“CHINA’S PANCHEN LAMA NAMED TO LEGISLATIVE BODY”, Beijing, 2010/03/01) reported that the PRC’s controversial choice as the second highest Tibetan Buddhist leader has been named to a parliamentary advisory body, amid an apparent push by Beijing to promote his legitimacy. The naming of 20-year-old Gyaincain Norbu to the body followed news last month that he had been elected vice president of the nation’s Buddhist Association. He has now been named as a delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), state-run Xinhua news agency said Monday.
20. PRC Climate Change
Agence France Presse (“CHINA EYEING PERKS OF ICE-FREE ARCTIC: STUDY”, 2010/03/01) reported that the PRC has started exploring how to reap economic and strategic benefits from the ice melting at the Arctic with global warming, a Stockholm research institute said Monday. PRC officials have so far had been cautious in expressing interest in the region for fear of causing alarm among the five countries bordering the Arctic, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said. “The prospect of the Arctic being navigable during summer months, leading to both shorter shipping routes and access to untapped energy resources, has impelled the Chinese government to allocate more resources to Arctic research,” SIPRI researcher Linda Jakobson said.
21. Cross-Strait Relations
Associated Press (Debby Wu, “POLL SETBACK TESTS TAIWAN’S CHINA-FRIENDLY LEADER”, 2010/03/01) reported that Taiwan’s PRC-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou said by-election losses this weekend were a warning for his Nationalist party, while pro-government newspapers said it reflected public dissatisfaction with his leadership. On Saturday, the Nationalists, who maintain a strong majority in parliament, suffered their third electoral setback in two months following a string of government blunders in domestic affairs. They secured only one of four legislative seats up for grabs, losing the other three to the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, which says Ma’s initiatives to boost ties with Beijing threatens Taiwan’s sovereignty and economy.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Climate Change
Xinhua Net (Bai Bing, “CHINA TO COMPREHENSIVELY PROTECT RARE EARTHS RESOURCES”, 2010/03/01) reported that Baogang Group’s Rare Earths Product Strategic Reserve Plan was approved by the Inner Mongolia government recently. Baogang will purchase and preserve 300,000 tons of rare earth products in five years, and the expected investment will be over 2 billion RMB.
23. PRC Civil Society
Xinhua Net (Song Changqing, “LANZHOU ENHANCES SERVICE FOR COMMUNITY COHESION”, 2010/03/01) reported that Xihu Street of Qilihe District of Lanzhou city of Gansu province established detailed documents for 6400 senior residents over 60 years old and carried out a home-based care project for the elderly. The improvement of services received residents’ warm responses and community cohesion has been improved.