NAPSNet Daily Report 20 June, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US-DPRK Relations
- 4. Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group
- 5. US on DPRK Terror List Status
- 6. DPRK Alledged Bird Flu Outbreak
- 7. US-ROK Relations
- 8. US-ROK Trade Relations
- 9. ROK Politics
- 10. Japan Comfort Women Issue
- 11. Japan-Taiwan Territorial Dispute
- 12. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 13. Sino-Indian Relations
- 14. Sino-Mongolian Relations
- 15. Cross Strait Relations
- 16. PRC Human Rights
- 17. PRC Earthquake
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
The Associated Press (Barry Schweid, “RICE STRESSES INSPECTIONS IN NORTH KOREA”, Washington, 2008/06/19) reported that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she expected the DPRK to soon provide a delayed account of its nuclear weapons activities. But Rice, in a speech, placed far more emphasis on a demand that the United States and its five negotiating partners have access to DPRK facilities. “Obviously, we are not going to take the word of the North Koreans based on what they put on a piece of paper,” Rice said. The first priority for the time that remains, she said, is dealing with the DPRK’s nuclear programs.
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA ‘READY TO DEMOLISH REACTOR COOLING TOWER’ “, 2008/06/19) reported that the DPRK is apparently ready to blow up the cooling tower of its plutonium-production reactor at Yongbyon in tandem with the US removing it from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. According to an influential source in Washington, the DPRK has removed most inside facilities from the cooling tower of Yongbyon’s 5MW reactor to blow it up. The DPRK has apparently agreed to blow up the cooling tower within 24 hours after it is removed from the terrorism list. The demolition of the cooling tower will be handled by American technicians and will be aired by a U.S. TV network.
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “N. KOREA LIKELY TO SUBMIT NUCLEAR DECLARATION NEXT THURSDAY”, Seoul, 2008/06/20) reported that is expected to turn in a list detailing its nuclear stockpile around next Thursday, sources said Friday. The DPRK is also calling on the U.S. and other related nations to shoulder the financial burden for its planned demolition of a cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear complex Pyongyang, a government official said. “As far as I know, North Korea and the U.S. reached a compromise that North Korea submits the declaration around June 26 to China and the U.S. will soon take steps to remove it from the list of terrorism-sponsoring nations,” said a diplomatic source privy to the nuclear talks.
2. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
Kyodo (“KOMURA HINTS 6-WAY TALKS MAY MOVE FORWARD BEFORE FULL N. KOREA ACCOUNT”, Tokyo, 2008/06/20) reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura indicated Japan’s willingness Friday to accept moving forward stalled six-party talks before the DPRK produces an account of its nuclear activities. However, Komura said he will reiterate Japan’s position when he meets with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice next week in Japan that the DPRK should not be taken off of the U.S. list of terror sponsors until it makes progress on resolving the past abductions of Japanese nationals. ”The issue here is how much we can utilize this (the sponsor list) as a bargaining chip,” Komura told a news conference. ”From Japan’s viewpoint, we can play this card further on the nuclear issue, as well at the Japan-North Korea talks, especially on the abduction issue.”
3. US-DPRK Relations
Korea Herald (“RICE INVITED TO VISIT N. KOREA: JAPANESE MEDIA”, 2008/06/19) reported that the DPRK has invited U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit Pyongyang, Yonhap News Agency reported citing a Japanese newspaper. The DPRK’s top nuclear envoy Kim Kye-gwan delivered the invitation in a meeting with his American counterpart Christopher Hill in Beijing last month, according to the Mainichi Shimbun. Hill gave no immediate answer, it added.
4. Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group
Yonhap News (“DIPLOMACY ON N. KOREAN NUKE GAINS PACE “, Seoul/Tokyo, 2008/06/19) reported that the chief nuclear negotiators of the ROK, the US and Japan concurred on the need to expand cooperation in six-way talks to end the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions, following meetings in Japan. The ROK’s main nuclear negotiator Kim Sook said after the meeting that all parties were in agreement that the six-way talks were at an important crossroad. Saiki reportedly asked Hill that moves to strike North Korea from the Washington’s list of countries that support terrorism not be pushed forward too quickly, since the issue of the DPRK’s kidnapping of Japanese citizens has yet to be fully resolved. Meanwhile, ROK officials at the talks said just before flying to the Japanese capital that they will seek ways to advance the protracted denuclearization process.
5. US on DPRK Terror List Status
Kyodo News (“U.S. ASSURES JAPAN ABDUCTIONS STILL ON ITS MIND IN N. KOREA DELISTING “, Tokyo, 2008/06/19) reported that Japan and the US agreed to continue close coordination on Washington’s plan to delist the DPRK as a nation sponsoring terrorism when it produces a nuclear declaration, with the top US nuclear envoy reassuring Tokyo that Japan’s concerns on unresolved abductions remain of interest to the US government. ”Obviously the question of abductions is not just a question that is of interest to the Japanese government, it’s also of interest to the US government as well,” Hill said. ”We have followed the progress very closely of these new discussions that have taken place between Japan and the DPRK, and I think as we go forward we will stay in close contact with each other,” Hill told a news conference.
Washington Post (Glenn Kessler, “N. KOREA’S ABDUCTION OF U.S. PERMANENT RESIDENT FADES FROM OFFICIAL VIEW”, 2008/06/19) reported that Kim Dong-shik, a US permanent resident and Christian missionary with family living in Illinois, was abducted in 2000 by DPRK agents in northeastern PRC and taken to the DPRK for interrogation and imprisonment, according to testimony in ROK courts. Kim, whose wife and two children are U.S. citizens, had raised the ire of the DPRK government by helping its citizens flee the repressive regime and by attempting to convert DPRK athletes who attended the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. But the case of the only DPRK abductee with US connections has been largely forgotten as the Bush administration has pressed ahead on a diplomatic deal to end the DPRK’s nuclear program.
6. DPRK Alledged Bird Flu Outbreak
Xinhua (“DPRK DENIES BIRD FLU OUTBREAK “, Pyongyang, 2008/06/18) reported that the DPRK denied allegations of a bird flu outbreak in the country. Official news agency KCNA rebuffed an Associated Press (AP) report that various types of fowl and a boy had died of bird flu, accusing AP of fabricating the epidemic situation to ruin the country’s international image. The DPRK has set up a state emergency anti-epizootic committee as a national command to combat bird flu, while maintaining close contact with several international organizations including the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) and the World Organization for Animal Health, KCNA said.
7. US-ROK Relations
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “‘ALLIANCE WITH US PREREQUISITE TO PEACE IN NORTHEAST ASIA'”, 2008/06/19) reported that the ROK will maintain a strong alliance with the US and strengthen cooperation with other countries to get the DPRK to halt its nuclear weapons program, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan said. He said inter-Korean relations would improve gradually if the DPRK shows sincerity in dismantling its nuclear programs under the framework of multilateral negotiations. “The strong Seoul-Washington alliance is crucial in maintaining peace and security in Northeast Asia,” Yu said in a speech at a meeting of the Korean-American Association, a non-profit, Seoul-based organization dedicated to promoting friendship between the two allies.
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “BUSH LIKELY TO VISIT S. KOREA NEXT MONTH AS SCHEDULED”, Seoul, 2008/06/20) reported that U.S. President George W. Bush will visit the ROK early next month as scheduled, with anti-government protests here showing signs of abating, a senior Foreign Ministry official handling North American affairs said Friday. “Of course, we ought to await the results of the additional talks in Washington,” he said.
8. US-ROK Trade Relations
Korea Herald (“KOREA, U.S. REACH TENTATIVE BEEF DEAL”, Seoul, 2008/06/20) reported that the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Friday that it had reached an agreement with the United States on the resumption of U.S. beef imports. The Agriculture Ministry said that the ROK government planned to announce the details of the agreement Saturday after Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon reports to President Lee Myung-bak and consults with related ministries.
Korea Herald (“BEEF IMPORTERS TO VOLUNTARILY BLOCK OLDER BEEF”, Seoul, 2008/06/20) the Korea Meat Import Association said Friday that they would voluntarily hold off on imports of U.S. beef from older cattle. “Meat importers, on industrial level, will voluntarily import U.S. beef from cattle younger than 30 months and will not have beef from older cattle traded in the local distribution lines,” the group said in a statement. “We need some form of U.S. government guarantees to make sure that beef exporters will not export American meat from cattle older than 30 months old,” it said.
9. ROK Politics
Associated Press (“SKOREAN LEADER REPLACES AIDES AMID US BEEF DISPUTE”, Seoul, 2008/06/20) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak’s office said in a statement Friday that he would replace his chief of staff and seven senior secretaries. The announcement came as U.S. and ROK officials said they were close to reaching an agreement expected to restrict imports to beef from younger cattle.
10. Japan Comfort Women Issue
Kyodo News (“JAPANESE NAVY EMPLOYED ‘COMFORT WOMEN’ AS ‘NURSES’ AFTER WWII “, Tokyo, 2008/06/19) reported that the Imperial Japanese Navy employed wartime sex slaves, known as ”comfort women” in Japan, as ”auxiliary nurses” immediately after Japan’s defeat in World War II, according to an official British document recently obtained by a Japanese historian. The document supports arguments that Japanese military forces were deeply involved in the management of the sex slaves, researchers said. The document is a Japanese naval instruction which the allied forces deciphered.
11. Japan-Taiwan Territorial Dispute
Yomiuri Shimbun (Toshinao Ishii, “JAPANESE FLAGS BURNED IN TAIWAN SHIP PROTEST”, 2008/06/20) reported that Hong Kong-based anti-Japanese group and pro-PRC activists burned Japanese flags in front of the office of the International Association of Japan (IAJ) in Taipei on Wednesday in protest over the sinking of a Taiwan sport-fishing boat after its collision with a Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel. The protesters burned Japanese flags, and shouted, “Get out of Diaoyu, Japanese!”
12. Sino-Japanese Relations
The Associated Press (Mari Yamaguchi, “JAPANESE WARSHIP ON FIRST POSTWAR CHINA VISIT”, Tokyo, 2008/06/19) reported that a destroyer sailed out to make a Japanese warship’s first port call in the PRC since World War II as part of a two-way military exchange aimed at improving long-strained ties, Japan’s defense ministry said. The navy vessel with 240 crew members was carrying blankets, medical supplies and other relief goods for survivors of the PRC’s deadly May 12 earthquake, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said. “Our China visit will not only help us build trust between Japan and China, but also peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Rear Adm. Shinichi Tokumaru said in a televised departure ceremony at the destroyer’s home port of Kure in southern Japan.
13. Sino-Indian Relations
PTI (“INDIA TO RAISE SIKKIM INCURSIONS WITH CHINA”, 2008/06/19) reported that India has said it will take up with the PRC at the “appropriate highest level” the issue of recent incursions by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into its territory along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). “The issue of incursions will be raised at the next flag meeting (between Indian Army and PLA) and also discussed at appropriate highest level. As two responsible neighbours, we will sort it out,” Union Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said here.
14. Sino-Mongolian Relations
Xinhua (“CHINESE VICE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR INCREASED COOPERATION WITH MONGOLIA “, Ulan Bataar, 2008/06/19) reported that visiting PRC Vice President Xi Jinping put forward a number of suggestions on advancing the all-round cooperation with Mongolia at a meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Sanj Bayar. During talks with Bayar, Xi said the two countries should maintain high-level contact by increasing exchanges between the countries’ parties, parliaments and governments. He suggested the two nations jointly hold activities next year to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and the 15th anniversary of the signing of the PRC-Mongolia friendship and cooperation treaty.
15. Cross Strait Relations
The New York Times (“TAIWAN’S LEADER OUTLINES HIS POLICY TOWARD CHINA”, Taipei , 2008/06/19) reported that President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan called on Wednesday for a rapid expansion of economic relations between Taiwan and the PRC over the next year or two that would go far beyond the weekend charter flights and increased tourism announced last Friday. Mr. Ma said he wanted broad access to the mainland market for Taiwanese financial services businesses, an end to double taxation by government agencies in Taipei and Beijing and the removal of investment restrictions. He also called for direct sea and air cargo links across the Taiwan Strait, regularly scheduled passenger flights, the drafting of common technical standards and the creation of a system to resolve commercial disagreements.
16. PRC Human Rights
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA TIGHTENS SCREWS AGAINST DISSIDENTS AHEAD OF OLYMPICS “, Geneva, 2008/06/19) reported that PRC authorities have stepped up efforts to censor dissenting voices in the run-up to the Olympic Games, a report by two human rights groups charged. “The context related to the run-up to the Olympic Games in August 2008 has continuously strengthened an environment already hostile to human rights and their defenders,” said the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in its annual report. It cited four people who were arrested after making protests in relation to the Olympic Games. Among them was Hu Jia, who was taken into custody last December 27 after publicly criticising the PRC government’s failure to keep its promise to promote and protect human rights, a promise that was make when it was awarded the Games.
17. PRC Earthquake
The Associated Press (Cara Anna, “CHINA EARTHQUAKE REGION BRACES FOR RAINSTORMS “, Chengdu, 2008/06/19) reported that earthquake-ravaged sections of the PRC’s devastated Sichuan province braced for heavy rainstorms that could trigger new landslides, one day after officials reportedly finished evacuating 110,000 people from the area. Rain began falling in the evening and thunderstorms were forecast for Friday through Sunday, according to the provincial weather bureau. This month marks the start of the annual rainy season, which routinely leads to flooding in rivers in provinces downstream. Landslides are a particular concern because the May 12 earthquake caused steep hillsides to shear away and crash into river valleys below. Many slopes remain unstable and are at high risk of being washed away.
II. PRC Report
18. PRC Environment
Greenpeace website (“GREENPEACE INTERCEPTED TOXIC E-WASTE”, 2008/06/19) reported that on June 14 (last Saturday), members of Greenpeace directly intercepted toxic e-waste, including containers of discarded circuit boards, and forced the Hong Kong Government to promise to make further checks of the containers. However, the Hong Kong Government claimed that they did not find “restricted waste” or “hazardous e-waste” in the containers, and released the toxic e-waste containers quickly. Greenpeace criticized this practice and reported the Hong Kong EPD’s decision to the State Environmental Protection Department, urging relevant departments to follow up the incident. According to the “Basel Convention”, the waste is hazardous waste circuit boards, which need to be controlled, and the PRC Government has also expressly prohibited imports of discarded circuit boards, only Hong Kong’s legislation does not put controls on related waste.
III. ROK Report
19. DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhapnews (“DPRK ABOUT TO REPORT ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM”, 2008/06/19) wrote that the DPRK government is about to report its nuclear program and the DPRK nuclear six party talks seems to be activated. The United States warned that the DPRK will still be considered as a state sponsor of terrorism if the DPRK does not actively cooperate with nuclear inspections. Six party talks will be held on later this month, or early July at the latest, and will focus on nuclear inspection issue.
20. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Institute for future Strategies (Kim Kun-sik, “MUTUALISM CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT TRUST”, ) carried an article from a professor of of Kyungnam University, who wrote that both Koreas show great difference in understanding the 6.15 joint declarations. The Lee Myung-bak administration mistakenly understands the term ‘mutualism’, and is actually requiring unilateral concessions from the DPRK. Mutualism is suggesting acceptable requirements and requires mutual trust. The Lee administration should work on principle of tolerance and cooperation to build sound mutualism between the two Koreas.