NAPSNet Daily Report 20 August, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. Sino-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA BLAMES MECHANICAL FAILURE FOR N.KOREAN JET CRASH”, Beijing, 2010/08/20) reported that the PRC on Thursday said a DPRK MiG-21 fighter jet crashed in Liaoning on Tuesday due to mechanical failure. Xinhua news agency said the plane, which crashed in Lagu Township in Fushun County, went off course due to a technical defect and strayed into PRC territory. Xinhua said the PRC and DPRK “reached consensus” on dealing with the aftermath and the DPRK apologized.
2. Sino-DPRK Economic Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINESE CITY LAUNCHES TRADE PROGRAM WITH NORTH KOREA”, beijing, 2010/08/20) reported that Dandong in northeastern PRC has launched a trial program, allowing exporters to use the yuan to settle transactions with the DPRK, local authorities said. The scheme in will “reduce exchange rate risks and the costs of doing business” and allow registered exporters to claim tax rebates, the city government said in a statement on its Web site Wednesday. Beijing said in June that it would expand a trial program for cross-border yuan trade settlements to 20 provinces, including Liaoning, where Dandong is located. The program covers all foreign countries, the statement said. The move appears intended to encourage legal trade and curb smuggling between the two countries.
3. DPRK-Japan Relations
Yonhap (Yoo Jee-ho, “N. KOREA RENEWS DEMAND FOR COLONIAL COMPENSATION FROM JAPAN”, Seoul, 2010/08/20) reported that the DPRK on Friday called for Japan’s apology and compensation for all victims of Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule. An unidentified spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement which said, “Had the present Japanese regime had nothing to do with the past militarist regime and had it not had any dream of reviving it, it might have repented and apologized to all victims for the past without any precondition and discrimination. It should make immediate apology and reparation for the hideous crimes committed against the Korean people after usurping their national sovereignty through the fabrication of invalid ‘treaties.’ If it fails to do so, it can never be upright in the international community.”
4. ROK on USFJ Base Relocation
Chosun Ilbo (“KOREA OFFERED U.S. ALTERNATIVE TO OKINAWA BASE, REPORT CLAIMS”, Seoul, 2010/08/20) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak told U.S. President Barack Obama at the G20 Summit in Canada in June that his government could offer an alternative site if Japan throws the U.S. Marines out of their base in Okinawa, the monthly Bungeishunju reported. The magazine said Lee voiced concern over tensions between Washington and Tokyo when then-Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama sought to relocate the base from the island. It said Lee pledged to offer a military facility in the ROK “in the worst-case scenario.” But Cheong Wa Dae dismissed the report.
5. PRC on US-Japan Military Exercises
China Daily (Li Xiaokun , “US TO HOLD DRILL NEAR DISPUTED ISLANDS”, Beijing, 2010/08/20) reported that a joint Japan-US exercise in southwestern Japanese waters late this year near islands disputed with the PRC is not necessarily targeting Beijing, Chinese scholars have said. Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Thursday that Tokyo and Washington are planning a naval drill in Oita prefecture, near Okinawa and other southern islands, in December. “We have not been notified by the United States that it has changed its stance” on the handling of the Diaoyu Islands, said Japanese foreign ministry press secretary Kazuo Kodama. The Yomiuri Shimbun report said, without citing sources, that the exercise will be based on a scenario involving Japan recapturing an unnamed remote southwestern island from an enemy. But Shen Shishun, from the China Institute of International Studies, said based on current information it is too early to decide whether the drill targets the PRC. “Both China and the ROK have territorial disputes with Japan in that region,” he said. “We should not read too much into it so as to avoid misunderstanding.”