NAPSNet Daily Report 2 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. US-DPRK Talks
- 2. US-DPRK Relations
- 3. DPRK Missile Program
- 4. DPRK Cyber Attacks
- 5. Sanctions on DPRK
- 6. DPRK Food Security
- 7. DPRK Pandemic Response
- 8. DPRK Censorship
- 9. Reunions of Separated Families
- 10. US-ROK Contingency Planning
- 11. ROK on DPRK Human Rights
- 12. US on ROK Afghanistan Role
- 13. ROK-ASEAN Relations
- 14. ROK Climate Change
- 15. Northeast Asian Historical Disputes
- 16. US-Japan Relations
- 17. Japanese Energy
- 18. Uighur Detainee Issue
- 19. PRC Tibet Issue
- 20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 21. PRC-Africa Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. US-DPRK Talks
Reuters (Jack Kim, “NORTH KOREA CALLS FOR DIRECT TALKS WITH U.S.: REPORT”, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that the DPRK Foreign Ministry called on Monday for direct talks with the United States. “The conclusion we have reached is that the direct parties, which are the North and the United States, must first sit down and find a rational solution,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in comments reported by the Korean Central News Agency. “Now that we have shown the generosity of stating the position that we would be willing to talk to the United States and hold multilateral talks including the six-way talks, it is time for the United States to make a decision.”
Arirang News (“N.KOREA ‘PREPARING FOR POSSIBLE RETURN TO NUKE TALKS'”, Seoul, 2009/10/30) reported that Georgy Toloraya, director of the Korean program at the Russian Academy of Science, said that the DPRK is gearing up for a potential return to the multilateral negotiating table depending on the outcome of upcoming bilateral talks with the U.S. Stressing that this does not necessarily mean the six-party nuclear talks, Toloraya projected that the DPRK would not renounce its nuclear program unless it is sure it will “get some tangible results.” He also said the North denounced the incentive package proposed by President Lee Myung-bak, saying it is simply a replica of the “Vision 3000: Denuclearization and Openness” initiative presented during his presidential campaign.
2. US-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (“N.K. NUKE ENVOY GUARDED OVER DIALOGUE WITH AMERICANS”, Seoul, 2009/11/01) reported that Ri Gun, head of the North American bureau at the DPRK foreign ministry, said Friday that he held a “useful dialogue” with American scholars. Ri said he attended seminars in San Diego and New York and met with Sung Kim, the U.S. special envoy to six-party talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, “at the U.S. request.” Winston Lord, a former U.S. ambassador to the PRC and assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said, “The mood was much better than we’ve seen in months.” He added, however, that he heard no specific initiatives that would lead to breakthroughs during the group sessions. Evans Revere, president of the Korea Society and a former State Department official, also said, “We have heard and read comments coming from the North Korean side in various ways that suggest that there has been an uptick in North Korean interest in resuming bilateral and even multilateral dialogue.”
3. DPRK Missile Program
Yonhap (“N.K. EXPECTED TO CONTINUE MISSILE TESTS”, Seoul, 2009/11/01) reported that Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher at the RAND Corp., said that the DPRK’s launch of five KN-02 missiles on Oct. 12 was part of efforts to develop a more advanced KN-06 missile, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Saturday. Bennett said the DPRK will continue such missile tests in order to develop a longer-range KN-06.
4. DPRK Cyber Attacks
Yonhap (“N.K. MINISTRY BEHIND JULY CYBER ATTACKS”, Seoul, 2009/10/30) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service (NIS) has named the DPRK telecommunications ministry as the origin of a series of cyber attacks in July on scores of state and private Web sites in the ROK and the United States, lawmakers said Friday. “Our search into the route of the DDoS attacks on South Korean and U.S. sites found a line coming from China,” NIS chief Won Sei-hoon said. “The line was found to be on the IP that the North Korean Ministry of Post and Telecommunications is using on rent,” he said.
5. Sanctions on DPRK
Yonhap (“INT’L SANCTIONS AGAINST N.K. INEFFECTIVE”, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that a Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) report released Monday claimed that United Nations resolutions 1695 and 1718 had little impact on the DPRK’s overall trade. “Analysis of trade activities showed that export and import volume of the communist country may have increased after restrictions were imposed,” the paper by Jeong Hyung-gong and Bang Ho-kyung said. “The lack of effectiveness can be attributed to the inability of the sanctions to gain wide participation among U.N. members,” the report said.
6. DPRK Food Security
Yonhap (“N.K. LEADER CALLS FOR INCREASED CROPPING “, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il made a public appearance at a cooperative farm and gave a pep talk to farmers while stressing the importance of multiple cropping, the Korean Central News Agency said Monday. He expressed “great satisfaction” over the farm’s overall production rate, which the KCNA described as contributing to bringing about the nation’s “richest harvest ever known.” Kim also underscored “the need to boldly improve the structure of the nation’s agricultural production” and highlighted that double cropping was a great way to increase the grain produce in a country where “the area of cultivated land is limited.”
7. DPRK Pandemic Response
Yonhap (“N.K. ON ALERT OVER FLU PANDEMIC”, Seoul, 2009/10/30) reported that the DPRK emphasized Friday that no Influenza A (H1N1) cases have been reported in the country. Korean Central News Agency said, “A more strict quarantine inspection is now conducted at the airport, trade ports and border posts to cope with the situation where the number of new influenza cases is on the steady increase in the countries and region geographically close to the DPRK.” The State Emergency Epidemic Prevention Committee has set up a well-regulated information system, and other agencies have organized workshops to educate health workers on dealing with the new flu, the KCNA said.
8. DPRK Censorship
Yonhap (“FEMALE DANCER VIDEO CIRCULATING IN N.K. “, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that a video clip showing female dancers in skimpy costumes performing to American music is being secretly circulated in the DPRK via CD-ROMs, a DPRK defector said Monday. In the clip, several groups of four women in crop-tops and thigh-length shorts or skirts dance to fast disco music on a brightly-lit stage. The defector said the dancers are members of the Wangjaesan Light Music Band, a group that mostly performs for the upper class. The video provides no clue about where, when or for whom the show was held.
9. Reunions of Separated Families
Yonhap (“AMERICAN RED CROSS TO LINK KOREANS IN U.S., N.K.”, Seoul, 2009/11/01) reported that Abi Weaver, a spokesperson at the American Red Cross, told Radio Free Asia that it asked the Red Cross societies of the two Koreas to cooperate on linking separated families in the US and the DPRK. Weaver added the ROK Red Cross promised to help confirm the fate of families in the DPRK by use of its database. “In August, the American Red Cross asked us whether Koreans in the U.S. can be included in inter-Korean family reunions. But it is difficult to do so due to nationality problem,” an ROK Red Cross official said. It is a matter to be discussed between the American Red Cross and its DPRK counterpart, he added.
10. US-ROK Contingency Planning
Chosun Ilbo (“S.KOREA, U.S. ‘COMPLETE N.KOREA CONTINGENCY PLAN'”, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that the ROK and the U.S. have completed an operational plan that envisages military responses to six types of emergencies in the DPRK including regime collapse, a government source said Sunday. The Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday denied the plan has been completed. “Media reports that OPLAN 5029 has been completed are unfounded. We deeply regret that a secret military operations plan has been reported,” it said in a statement.
Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “‘ALLIES COMPLETE N.K. CONTINGENCY PLAN'”, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that Walter Sharp, commander of U.S. Combined Forces Command, said in a lecture last Friday that even after wartime operational control is handed over to the ROK in April 2012, elimination of DPRK weapons of mass destruction and naval landing operations will be led by the U.S. army.
11. ROK on DPRK Human Rights
Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL BACKS UN RESOLUTION ON N.KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS”, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that the ROK Foreign Ministry on Sunday said the EU and Japan submitted a draft resolution on the DPRK human rights situation to the UN Secretariat last Friday co-sponsored by 49 nations including the ROK and the U.S. A government official said, “Some people were against provoking the North needlessly at a time when an atmosphere of dialogue is being created, but we decided to co-sponsor the draft resolution on the principle that we should separate human rights as a universal human value from political issues.”
12. US on ROK Afghanistan Role
Donga Ibo (“US HAILS KOREAN TROOP DISPATCH TO AFGHANISTAN”, 2009/11/02) reported that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement Friday that the U.S. welcomes the ROK’s decision to expand support for Afghanistan and that the assistance will greatly boost international efforts to stabilize and rebuild the country. He added that Washington will maintain close partner relationship with Seoul.
13. ROK-ASEAN Relations
Yonhap (“LEE REITERATES IMPORTANCE OF ASIAN DIPLOMACY”, Seoul, 2009/11/02) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak on Monday vowed to step up his efforts to upgrade diplomatic relations with Asian countries. “The region accounts for 48 percent of Korea’s trade. That’s why I have promoted ‘New Asia Diplomacy.’ In Southeast Asia, China and Japan have long engaged in fierce competition to expand their influence and market share,” said the president.
14. ROK Climate Change
Yonhap (“GOV’T MOVING TOO QUICKLY TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS”, Seoul, 2009/10/30) reported that Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Kyoung-hwan said Friday the ROK government is moving too quickly to adopt steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “There is a need to examine how many jobs could be lost and the effects on the overall competitiveness of key industries,” Choi said. The country needs to carefully follow global developments and to make strategic decisions based on their reading of these shifts, Choi said. “The minister’s intent was to point out the need to take measured steps in regards to making cuts so as to minimize repercussions,” an official said.
15. Northeast Asian Historical Disputes
Los Angeles Times (Ju-min Park and Yuriko Nagano, “SOUTH KOREA AND JAPAN CONSIDER HISTORY TEXTBOOK WITH CHINA”, Tokyo and Seoul, 2009/10/30) reported that several politicians in the ROK and Japan have begun exploring the possibility of a joint history textbook between their nations and the PRC. Kang Yong-seok, a Grand National Party lawmaker, stated, “We [told Democratic Party of Japan] members that it would be very meaningful to write a common textbook.” “We didn’t think the idea was impossible, but the countries have been unable to agree on historical matters,” said DPJ member Masashi Mito. “We agreed to revisit and delve into the differences of historical perspectives and look into how realistic such a project can be.”
16. US-Japan Relations
Yomiuri Shimbun (Satoshi Ogawa, “CONCERN MOUNTING IN WASHINGTON OVER OBAMA’S JAPAN VISIT”, Washington, 2009/11/02) reported that the U.S. National Security Council convened a special meeting Friday to discuss policies toward the new Japanese government, according to sources. Washington is said to be increasingly concerned about its relationship with Tokyo, as the dispute over the base relocation plan is unlikely to be settled before the scheduled visit by President Barack Obama to Japan on November 12-13, according to the sources.
17. Japanese Energy
Asahi Shimbun (Takuya Kitizawa, “KAN EYES EXPANDED SOLAR POWER PLAN”, Tokyo, 2009/11/02) reported that Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the government plans to make power companies buy all electricity generated by households equipped with solar panels from next fiscal year. In a speech Saturday, Kan outlined a new fixed-price purchase system for solar power. “There is a way to drastically increase solar panels without (the government) spending a single yen,” he said. The system would be an expanded version of one that began Sunday, which requires utilities to buy surplus solar power from households at 48 yen per kilowatt-hour, double the previous rate.
18. Uighur Detainee Issue
Associated Press (Johathan Kaminsky, “6 FORMER GUANTANAMO DETAINEES RESETTLE IN PALAU”, Koror, 2009/11/01) reported that six Chinese Muslims newly released from Guantanamo Bay on Sunday arrived in Palau. The ethnic Uighurs were met at the airport in the middle of the night by President Johnson Toribiong and taken to their new home. “They appeared to be very happy,” Toribiong told reporters later. “They smiled, they thanked me, they called me brother. It’s amazing. I feel really good about it.”
19. PRC Tibet Issue
New York Times (Andrew Jacobs, “CHINA IS TRYING A TIBETAN FILMMAKER FOR SUBVERSION”, Chongqing, 2009/10/30) reported that Dhondup Wangchen , a self-taught filmmaker who spent five months interviewing Tibetans about their hopes and frustrations living under PRC rule, is facing charges of state subversion after the footage was smuggled abroad and distributed on the Internet and at film festivals around the world. He managed to sneak a letter out of jail last month saying that his trial had begun. “There is no good news I can share with you,” he wrote in the letter, which was provided by a cousin in Switzerland. “It is unclear what the sentence will be.”
Associated Press (Eric Talmadge, “DALAI LAMA SAYS CHINA OVERPOLITICIZING HIS TRAVELS”, Tokyo, 2009/10/31) reported that the Dalai Lama said Saturday that the PRC was overpoliticizing his travels. “The Chinese government considers me a troublemaker, so it is my duty to create more trouble,” he quipped. “The Chinese government politicizes too much wherever I go. Where I go is not political.” He encouraged people to visit Tibet and decide whether Tibetans under the PRC government rule are happy and thriving. “Go see for yourself,” he said. “If we are wrong, we will quit all of our activities.”
20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
New York Times (Edward Wong, “CHINA: COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCES STEMMING FROM RIOTS”, Beijing, 2009/10/30) reported that an appeals court in the PRC on Friday upheld the sentences of 21 people convicted of murder and other criminal acts during the Xinjiang riot on July 5, according to Xinhua. Nine of the sentences were death penalties. Except for one man with an ethnic Han name, the convicts all have Uighur names.
21. PRC-Africa Relations
Reuters (Ben Blanchard, “CHINA’S AFRICA GOALS MORE THAN JUST NATURAL RESOURCES”, Beijing, 2009/11/02) reported that the PRC gets far more from its relationship with Africa than raw resources. Africa offers the PRC two important things — a chance to earn the global respect it believes it deserves in recognition of its growing economic clout, and friends who do not judge it, or who at least have little reason to directly fear its rise. “You could argue that the contemporary driver is economic, but they’ve always had a political interest in Africa, from the mid-1950s onward,” said Chris Alden , an Africa expert at the London School of Economics . “As China becomes a more active player in multilateral affairs, it recognizes it needs partners, and Africa in many ways is a very suitable partner.”
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “CHINA TO MAP OUT AFRICA STRATEGY AT FORUM IN EGYPT”, Beijing, 2009/11/01) reported that the PRC will set the future direction of its ties with Africa at a multinational forum in Egypt this month, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was quoted as saying on Sunday. Premier Wen Jiabao plans to attend the November 8-9 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Sharm el-Sheikh , Yang said in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency .
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society and Education
Xinhua Net (“HOPE PROJECT CELEBRATES ITS 20TH BIRTHDAY”, 2009/10/30) reported that Hope Project, China’s largest public welfare project which aids children who are unable to go to school due to poverty, is celebrating its 20 th birthday in Beijing today. The Project is organized by China Youth Development Foundation, and has help 3.46 million poor children continue their studies in twenty years.
23. PRC Public Health
Public Welfare Times (“MINISTRY OF HEALTH TO CANCEL HEPATITIS B TEST IN ENROLLMENT AND EMPLOYMENT PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS”, 2009/10/30) reported that China is to cancel the serologicalest of hepatitis B in physical examinations, currently a requirement for students to enter schools or for employees to join new companies, an official Ministry of Health said. Though the hepatitis B test was to be canceled, the physical examination of liver functions would remain.
24. PRC Civil Society
Tencent (“TAIYANGYU PUBLIC CHARITY FUND LAUNCHED IN BEIJING”, 2009/10/30) reported that Taiyangyu Public Charity Fund which is under China Social Work Association was launched in Beijing on 28 October. The Fund is formally registered in Ministry of Civil Affairs, can receive social donation, and aims at helping venture. The initial fund is 2 million RMB.