NAPSNet Daily Report 2 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Issue
- 2. Inter Korean Relations
- 3. US-DPRK Relations
- 4. DPRK Detention of Journalists
- 5. ROK on DPRK Defectors
- 6. ROK on DPRK Military
- 7. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 8. DPRK Propaganda
- 9. Russo-ROK Military Exercise
- 10. Japan Environment
- 11. Japan Nuclear Plant
- 12. Japan Politics
- 13. Japan Space Project
- 14. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
- 15. US-Japan Relations
- 16. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 17. Sino-Russian Military Exercise
- 18. Sino-Indian Relations
- 19. Cross Strait Relations
- 20. PRC Unrest
- 21. PRC Climate Change
- 22. PRC Influenza Response
- II. PRC Report
1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Issue
JoongAng Ilbo (“LEE RAISED AID-FOR-NUKES WITH THE NORTH AT FUNERAL”, 2009/09/01) reported that President Lee Myung-bak recently told DPRK officials that his DPRK policy differs from that of his predecessors and that he is prepared to aid the DPRK economy if it gives up its nuclear weapons, a source told the JoongAng Ilbo. According to a high-ranking government source, on Aug. 23 Lee emphasized the differences to the DPRK delegation dispatched to the funeral of the late ROK President Kim Dae-jung last month.
2. Inter Korean Relations
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “SEOUL SEES NKOREA’S OVERTURES AS TACTICAL CHANGES”, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that the DPRK’s recent conciliatory gestures do not represent any fundamental changes, Unification Minister Hyun In-taek said Wednesday. Hyun told ruling party lawmakers that the DPRK’s recent overtures are “just tactical changes because the North has neither declared its return to the six-nation talks nor changed its position” on its nuclear program.
Yonhap (Kim Hyun, “KOREAS NORMALIZE MILITARY HOTLINE”, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that the two Koreas reopened Wednesday their military hotline in a western district that was disconnected by Pyongyang more than a year ago due to technical problems. The direct communication channel, operated by the military authorities of the two sides, “began normal operations today after a test yesterday,” ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said.
3. US-DPRK Relations
The New York Times (“N. KOREA REOPENS BORDER WITH SOUTH”, Seoul, 2009/09/01) reported that the DPRK leader, Kim Jong-il reiterated his government’s call for a peace treaty with the United States. “We can ease tensions and remove the danger of war on the peninsula when the United States abandons its hostile policy and signs a peace treaty with us,” Kim said in a commentary carried on Pyongyang Radio, which broadcasts DPRK government statements abroad.
4. DPRK Detention of Journalists
Reuters (Jon Herskovitz, “U.S. JOURNALISTS SAY ENTERED NORTH KOREA, ARRESTED IN CHINA”, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that Laura Ling and Euna Lee of Current TV admitted they crossed into the DPRK, but said DPRK guards arrested them on the PRC side of the border and dragged them back into the country. They said that when they set out onto the frozen river marking the border between the two countries they had no intention of leaving the PRC. “But when our guide beckoned for us to follow him beyond the middle of the river, we did, eventually arriving at the riverbank on the North Korean side,” they said. “We were firmly back inside China when the soldiers apprehended us,” they said.
5. ROK on DPRK Defectors
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA IN BRUTAL CRACKDOWN ON DEFECTORS”, 2009/09/01) reported that amid signs of mass defections as the international community began putting pressure on the DPRK in the wake of its latest nuclear test, the regime in early May gave orders that no resident was to be allowed to flee the country, followed by a massive crackdown. The National Defense Commission gave village-to-village indoctrination lectures on a massive scale, apparently prompted by fears that the times when the order alone was enough were gone. Anybody who crossed the Apnok (Yalu) or the Duman (Tumen) River without permission would be considered a traitor, villagers were told.
6. ROK on DPRK Military
JoongAng Ilbo (“MILITARY SOURCE WARNS OF NORTH’S EMP BOMB”, 2009/09/01) reported that the DPRK is developing a bomb that emits an electromagnetic field upon explosion and damages nearby electronic devices, a ROK military source has revealed to the JoongAng Ilbo. The source said the DPRK has been working on the electromagnetic pulse bomb, or EMP bomb, since the mid-1990s, with help from Russian scientists, adding that the weapon may be near completion.
7. Sino-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“SENIOR NORTH KOREAN OFFICIAL VISITING CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/09/01) reported that the DPRK’s vice foreign minister has arrived in the PRC for a visit amid international efforts to persuade Pyongyang to rejoin six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, officials here said Tuesday. Kim Yong-Il was scheduled to meet PRC foreign ministry officials as part of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.
8. DPRK Propaganda
Korea Herald (“N. KOREA SETS UP ‘FILM DIVISION'”, 2009/09/01) reported that the DPRK’s ruling Workers’ Party has created a “film division” dedicated to making and distributing propaganda movies that strengthen national unity, according to sources familiar with DPRK affairs. The party established the division in February on a special order from the country’s leader Kim Jong-il, multiple sources said, requesting anonymity. Media reports out of Pyongyang had said that Kim was seeking to fuel a “renaissance” in the country’s propaganda film industry.
9. Russo-ROK Military Exercise
Sakhalin Times (“RUSSIA AND SOUTH KOREA CONDUCT JOINT NAVAL EXERCISES OFF SAKHALIN’S COAST”, 2009/09/01) reported that Russia and the ROK carried out joint naval exercises in Aniva Bay. Aircraft, helicopters and ships from both sides, including a Russian AN-72 airplane and a ROK 3007 patrol ship, took part in a series of mock rescue operations. The exercises focused on “suppressing criminal activities at sea and providing assistance to distressed vessels,” particularly those attacked by pirates.
10. Japan Environment
Bloomberg News (“JAPAN POWER SHIFT MAY HELP BREAK UN CLIMATE DEADLOCK, EU SAY”, 2009/09/01) reported that Japan’s new government could help break an international deadlock over climate change by making good on a pledge to reduce Japanese emissions by a quarter over 30 years, the European Union said. The Democratic Party of Japan, which swept to power two days ago under leader Yukio Hatoyama, promised during the election campaign a 25 percent cut in Japanese air pollution blamed for global warming by 2020 compared with 1990.
11. Japan Nuclear Plant
Bloomberg News (“TOKYO ELECTRIC TO HALT KASHIWAZAKI NO. 7 REACTOR”, 2009/09/01) reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co., which restarted the world’s biggest nuclear plant in May after an earthquake forced a two-year shutdown, will halt a reactor at the plant to fix minor radiation leaks. The 1,356 megawatts Kashiwazaki Kariwa No. 7 unit, the first reactor at the plant to pass safety checks and resume output, will be shut at the end of September to replace at least one fuel rod, the company said in a faxed statement today. The unit is likely to remain shut for between six weeks and two months, spokesman Naoki Tsunoda said by phone from Tokyo today.
12. Japan Politics
CNN (“CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR JAPAN’S NEW RULING PARTY”, 2009/09/01) reported that now comes the hard part. Handed a sweeping mandate for change, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) begins the formidable task of delivering on a laundry list of promises intended to lift the country after its worst recession since World War II. Voters — skeptical, pessimistic and impatient — are unlikely to give the party, which has never held office, much time to make good. Japan is witnessing historic highs in unemployment and experiencing ramifications like homelessness for the first time.
Kyodo News (“LDP MEMBERS UNHAPPY WITH HAVING TO VOTE FOR ASO AS NEW PRIME MINISTER”, 2009/09/01) reported that a decision by the Liberal Democratic Party leadership to hold a presidential election on Sept. 28 to replace incumbent chief Taro Aso has met with a backlash from some party members who do not want to vote for Aso in a special Diet session to be held earlier in the month to designate Japan’s new prime minister. The proposed schedule will compel LDP members to write in the name of Aso, who led the long-ruling party to a historic defeat in Sunday’s general election, in the special session that the LDP and the Democratic Party of Japan agreed Tuesday to convene on Sept. 16.
13. Japan Space Project
Bloomberg News (“MITSUBISHI, IHI TO JOIN $21 BLN SPACE SOLAR PROJECT”, 2009/09/01) reported that Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and IHI Corp. will join a 2 trillion yen ($21 billion) Japanese project intending to build a giant solar-power generator in space within three decades and beam electricity to earth. A research group representing 16 companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., will spend four years developing technology to send electricity without cables in the form of microwaves, according to a statement on the trade ministry’s Web site today.
14. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
Kyodo News (“EX-GOV’T OFFICIAL SAYS JAPAN-U.S. SECRET NUKE PACT STILL VALID”, Tokyo, 2009/09/01) reported that a purported secret pact between the United States and Japan that allowed U.S. military vessels carrying nuclear weapons to enter Japanese territory is still valid as long as Japan is protected under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, a former high-ranking government official told Kyodo News on Tuesday.
15. US-Japan Relations
Agence France-Presse (“US SAYS WON’T RENEGOTIATE JAPAN TROOP DEAL”, Washington, 2009/09/01) reported that the United States ruled out renegotiating a deal on US military bases with Japan ‘s new left-leaning government, which has pledged a fresh look at US forces in its territory. Japan’s incoming prime minister Yukio Hatoyama in the past called for the United States to remove the Futenma Marine base — long a sore point as it lies in a crowded urban area on the southern island of Okinawa .
The Wall Street Journal (“U.S. POISED FOR CHANGE AS TOKYO LEADERSHIP SHIFTS “, 2009/09/01) reported that U.S. officials, increasingly frustrated in recent years with what they saw as the paralyzed leadership of Japan’s ruling party, are looking to the new regime to bring more-effective handling of shared goals. The Democratic Party of Japan, victorious in Sunday’s election, has vowed greater independence from Washington as a centerpiece of its foreign policy. But people involved in relations between the two countries play down the notion of a serious break, noting that cooperation has been tepid from the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party on a range of overlapping interests, from promoting global free trade to containing North Korea’s nuclear program.
16. Sino-Japanese Relations
Reuters (“CHINA TELLS JAPAN TO HANDLE HISTORIC TIES RESPONSIBLY”, 2009/09/01) reported that the PRC’s foreign ministry said it was willing to work with Japan for closer ties, but warned Japan to handle historical issues “responsibly” after the Democratic Party won power this weekend. “We are willing to work with the Japanese side to enhance bilateral cooperation, maintain the good momentum of high-level exchange, and push forward bilateral relations as well as peace and development in Asia,” spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Tuesday. “We think responsibly handling the historical issues is in line with Japan’s interests, and is also good for Japan to improve and develop its relations with neighbouring countries in Asia.”
17. Sino-Russian Military Exercise
Xinhua News (“FIRST SINO-RUSSIAN PORT EMERGENCY DRILL HELD IN N CHINA”, 2009/09/01) reported that PRC soldiers tried to climb up a “suspected” ship at a bilateral port emergency situation handling drill with Russia on waters of the Heilongjiang River that divides Heihe, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, and Russia’s Blagoveshchensk, Aug. 31, 2009. Fourteen boats and 240 soldiers attend the first time ever drill between the two countries to promote cooperation in dealing with cross border crimes.
18. Sino-Indian Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINA REBUTS REPORT OF VIOLATING INDIA AIRSPACE”, 2009/09/01) reported that the PRC does not encroach on other countries’ airspace, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu at a press conference. Reporters had asked Jiang to comment on Indian reports that a PRC helicopter has crossed the border with India. Indian reports which said there had been military friction between the PRC and India along their mutual borderline recently were groundless, she said.
19. Cross Strait Relations
The Chosun Ilbo (“DALAI LAMA VISITS TAIWAN TYPHOON VICTIMS”, 2009/09/02) reported that the Dalai Lama is visiting typhoon-devastated villages in southern Taiwan, offering his prayers for villagers killed by mudslides. The Tibetan religious leader also says Taiwan should build closer relations with China, while enjoying its democracy and prosperity. Kneeling in the baking sun in what was the village of Hsiao Lin, the Dalai Lama prayed for the villagers killed by mudslides that followed Typhoon Morakot earlier this month. The village is now an empty stretch of mud, and many of the storm’s estimated 500 victims sill lie buried there.
20. PRC Unrest
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA VILLAGERS RIOT OVER POLLUTING PLANT: RESIDENTS”, Beijing, 2009/09/01) reported that villagers in southeastern PRC attacked police and took local officials hostage in protests over a wastewater treatment plant they accuse of pollution, residents and state media said Tuesday. Police had to intervene in a bid to rescue two officials taken captive in the unrest in the city of Quanzhou in coastal Fujian province , residents told AFP. They said anger over a foul smell emitted by the plant and suspicions that it was polluting the local environment had been building for years.
Associated Press (Gillian Wong, “CHINA DETAINS 15 PARENTS FOR LEAD POISONING UNREST”, Beijing, 2009/09/02) reported that police in Hunan province’s Wenping township detained 15 parents for blocking roads and damaging government offices in a protest over factory pollution that left hundreds of local children with lead poisoning, villagers said Wednesday. Police accused the parents involved in the Aug. 8 unrest of being either members of the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong , or influenced by such members.
21. PRC Climate Change
The Financial Times (“CHINA’S HIGH PRICE FOR EMISSION CUTS”, 2009/09/01) reported that the cost of reducing the PRC’s total greenhouse gas emissions is likely to reach $438bn a year within 20 years, and developed economies will have to bear much of that cost, according to a group of Beijing’s leading climate economists. Zou Ji, head of the department of environmental economics and management at the People’s University in Beijing, which conducted the study, told the Financial Times China could be expected to pay for measures to slow the growth of emissions. But the cost of doing more than that should be shared by the international community because it was aimed at the “global public good” of saving the planet, he said.
22. PRC Influenza Response
Associated Press (Gillian Wong, “CHINA SET TO APPROVE 1-DOSE SWINE FLUE VACCINES”, Beijing, 2009/09/02) reported that the PRC will soon approve domestically developed swine flu vaccines that manufacturers say can protect people against the virus with only one dose. “Everybody is desperately hoping that one will do because then that’s much easier to administer,” said Jodie McVernon, a vaccine expert at the University of Melbourne .
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Civil Society
Sina.com (“HUIYUAN GROUP COOPERATES WITH ONE FOUNDATION”, 2009/09/01) reported that domestic first juice brand – Huiyuan Group, jointly with international public organization – One Foundation, held “100% Health, 100% Care – Huiyuan One Foundation Strategic Cooperation” in Beijing on August 27 th . Huiyuan Group will donate 1 million RMB to One Foundation at one time. Afterthat, each consumer buys one bottle of Huiyuan juice, there will be one yuan donated to One Foundation by Huiyuan Group.
24. PRC Civil Society and Poverty Alleviation
Sichuan Daily (“SICHUAN ENSURES POOR UNIVERSITY STUDENT 100% EMPLOYMENT”, 2009/09/01) reported that an employment training class, organized by Sichuan Provincial Labor Union, Sichuan Provincial Youth League and Sichuan Women’s Federation, was open in Chengdu of Sichuan province. The Class aims at training university students in poor families and ensuring them 100% employment of those students.
25. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
People’s Daily (“QINGHAI ESTABLISHES TIBETAN MASTIFF ASSOCIATION”, 2009/09/01) reported that Qinghai Tibetan Mastiff Association was formally established in Qinghai province recently. After the establishment of the Association, it will promote origin protection of Tibetan mastiff, fine breeding, regulation of the market and so on.