NAPSNet Daily Report 20 March, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Missile Program
- 2. Japan on DPRK Missile Program
- 3. PRC on Six Party Talks
- 4. Inter-Korean Military Relations
- 5. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 6. ROK on PSI Role
- 7. ROK on DPRK Human Rights
- 8. DPRK Leadership
- 9. DPRK Economy
- 10. Russo-Japanese Nuclear Cooperation
- 11. Japan-Vietnam Energy Cooperation
- 12. Sino-US Naval Relations
- 13. Sino-US Relations
- 14. Sino-Indian Trade Relations
- 15. Cross Strait Relations
- 16. PRC on Climate Change
- 17. PRC Economy
- 18. PRC Security
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Missile Program
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA ‘DEPLOYING NEW MID-RANGE MISSILES'”, 2009/03/19) reported that the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea says the DPRK has been deploying new intermediate-range missiles. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, Gen. Walter Sharp said the new missiles are capable of striking targets in Okinawa, Guam and Alaska. He said Pyongyang is continuing to develop missile systems with an intercontinental range capability stressing North Korea is maintaining hundreds of missiles in active force and is producing more for external sales to countries like Syria.
Xinhua News (“U.S. MILITARY ACCUSES DPRK OF MAKING THREAT BY PLANNED ROCKET LAUNCH”, Washington, 2009/03/19) reported that the US military said that the DPRK’s planned rocket launch will be a threat to U.S. security, vowing it is “fully prepared to respond” to “this provocation.” The United States is watching closely the DPRK’s orientation. There is a “high probability” that the U.S. military could knock down any missile launched by the DPRK, U.S. commander in the Pacific, Adm. Timothy Keating, told senators.
2. Japan on DPRK Missile Program
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“GOVT TO TELL SDF TO ‘DESTROY’ DPRK MISSILES”, 2009/03/18) reported that the government has decided to order the Self-Defense Forces to “destroy” missiles predicted to strike Japanese territory, in preparation for the DPRK’s scheduled launch of what it claims to be a satellite but is believed to be a ballistic missile, government sources said. The order may be issued by the end of this month, according to the sources. The action will be taken in line with Article 82 of the Self-Defense Forces Law to enable the SDF to intercept missiles using its missile defense system.
3. PRC on Six Party Talks
The Associated Press (“CHINA URGES RESUMPTION OF NKOREA NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2009/03/18) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao urged the DPRK ‘s visiting premier to cooperate with efforts to resume stalled international talks on dismantling the DPRK’s nuclear programs, state media said. Hu told Kim Yong Il that the PRC is willing to work with other parties to restart the six-nation talks and overcome difficulties, the official Xinhua News Agency said. “We hope that relevant parties can consider the whole situation, appropriately resolve their differences and promote the progress of the six-party talks ,” Xinhua quoted Hu as saying.
4. Inter-Korean Military Relations
Kyodo News (“N. KOREA TO REOPEN MILITARY COMMUNICATION LINES WITH S. KOREA SAT.”, Seoul, 2009/03/19) reported that the DPRK has notified the ROK of its intention to reopen inter-Korean military communication lines on Saturday, one day after U.S.-S. Korea joint military exercises are due to end, the South’s Unification Ministry said. The communication lines that the DPRK had shut down in protest against the ongoing routine military exercises will be operative as of 8 a.m., the DPRKsaid in a telephone message sent earlier Friday.
5. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA DELAYS APPROVAL FOR SOUTH KOREAN VISITS TO KAESONG COMPLEX “, 2009/03/18) reported that the DPRK was withholding approval for the ROK trying to enter a joint industrial park, Seoul officials said, again holding up businesses there even after a military exercise ended. The arbitrary closures have sparked fears about the future of ROK investment in the joint industrial complex in the DPRK border town of Kaesong. Only three days after normalizing border crossing on Tuesday, the DPRK again blocked crossings Friday morning, forcing hundreds of people to cancel their trips.
6. ROK on PSI Role
Yonhap News (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA MAY JOIN ANTI-PROLIFERATION CAMPAIGN TO PROTEST N. KOREAN WEAPONS”, 2009/03/19) reported that the ROK may fully join a US-led anti-proliferation campaign to protest the DPRK’s development of missile and nuclear weapons technology, its defense spokesman said. “It could be a form of protest that can pressure North Korea,” Won Tae-jae said, speaking to reporters at the Ministry of National Defense. “Under these circumstances, in which North Korea is developing long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, it is time for South Korea to reconsider its participation in the PSI,” he said at a parliamentary hearing.
7. ROK on DPRK Human Rights
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA CO-SPONSORS U.N. RESOLUTION ON N. KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS”, Seoul, 2009/03/19) reported that the ROK has co-sponsored a U.N. resolution condemning the DPRK’s human rights abuses that is expected to be put to a vote next week, officials here said. “We co-sponsored the European Union-drafted resolution submitted to the 10th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council underway in Geneva,” a foreign ministry official said, asking not to be named. “Since North Korea’s human rights condition is not a matter that improves or worsens today or tomorrow, the contents of this year’s resolution is similar to that of last year,” he added.
8. DPRK Leadership
Yonhap News (Kim Hyun, “N. KOREAN ASSEMBLY TO CONVENE ON APRIL 9, SHORTLY AFTER ROCKET LAUNCH “, 2009/03/19) reported that the DPRK will convene its new assembly a day after a period set for the country’s rocket launch in early April, Pyongyang’s media said, in an arrangement that appeared aimed at maximizing the launch’s political effect. Seoul analysts say the DPRK has carefully timed its assembly schedule to amplify the political effects of the rocket at home and abroad. The launch will be a “fanfare” for Kim’s new administration while raising his leverage in future negotiations with the Barack Obama government over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, said Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korean studies professor at Dongguk University in Seoul.
9. DPRK Economy
IFES NK Brief (“DPRK BANS GOODS FROM MARKETS “, 2009/03/20) reported that according to the North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity group (www.nkis.kr), DPRK authorities released a list of goods banned from markets across the country on March 15. The ban goes into effect on April 1. The official list is said to include almost all wares currently being sold in the the DPRK’s markets, effectively banning market operations and practically outlawing private trade. It was also reported that notices posted in the Hyesan and Wei Yan markets, in Yanggang Province, included not only a list of over 200 goods banned from sale, but also dictated the price at which allowable goods were to be sold.
10. Russo-Japanese Nuclear Cooperation
Mainichi Shimbun (“TOSHIBA, RUSSIAN NUCLEAR GROUP IN COOPERATION DEAL”, Moscow, 2009/03/19) reported that Russian state-owned nuclear company Atomenergoprom said it has signed a deal with Japan’s Toshiba Corp. to possibly create joint uranium enrichment plants in Japan and other countries. Atomenergoprom and Toshiba have agreed to conduct “detailed studies of potential joint construction” of uranium enrichment plants, the statement said. It said they would also consider a joint venture delivering nuclear fuel.
11. Japan-Vietnam Energy Cooperation
Forbes (“JAPAN, VIETNAM WARMING TO NUCLEAR POWER DEAL”, 2009/03/18) reported that Japan and Vietnam are likely to sign a nuclear pact in Hanoi next week. The bilateral agreement will pave the way for Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to win a contract to build Vietnam’s first nuclear plant. Officials of the two countries will meet in Hanoi next Wednesday to negotiate the terms of an accord on nuclear cooperation in 2010. A nuclear cooperation pact between Japan and Vietnam would simplify customs procedures and facilitate Japanese companies’ exporting nuclear plant parts or fuel to Vietnam.
12. Sino-US Naval Relations
The Associated Press (“CHINA NOT BOOSTING SOUTH CHINA SEA NAVAL PRESENCE”, 2009/03/19) reported that the PRC has no plans to beef up its naval presence in the South China Sea following a confrontation earlier this month between PRC boats and a U.S. Navy ship, an official newspaper reported Friday. The brief comment in the China Daily adds to apparent efforts by Beijing to tamp down the controversy surrounding the March 7 incident in which the USNS Impeccable was surrounded and harassed by PRC boats. “Top commanders do not have plans to increase the military presence in the South China Sea following a confrontation earlier this month between a U.S. spy ship and five Chinese vessels,” the paper said, citing unidentified naval sources.
Reuters (“U.S. COMMANDER SEES AGGRESSIVE CHINA IN NAVAL CLASH”, Washington, 2009/03/19) reported that a brief confrontation between a US naval ship and PRC military vessels this month showed the PRC was behaving aggressively on the South China Sea , the top US commander for Asia and the Pacific said. “The Impeccable incident is certainly a troubling indicator that China, particularly in the South China Sea, is behaving in an aggressive, troublesome manner and they’re not willing to abide by acceptable standards of behavior,” Navy Admiral Timothy Keating , US Pacific Commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee .
13. Sino-US Relations
The Associated Press (“US-CHINA POLICY GROUP CALLS FOR MUTUAL RESPECT”, Washington , 2009/03/19) reported that to relieve tensions, ease up on mistrust and develop more respect. That’s a leading policy think tank’s prescription for the leaders of the US and PRC . The two countries could make the world a better place by working in harmony, the Center for Strategic and International Studies says in a new report. The commission recommended that Washington and Beijing expand the number of diplomats and young professionals in each other’s countries. It also recommended the creation of a joint public-private task force to promote technology exchanges, and initiate energy and climate projects.
14. Sino-Indian Trade Relations
RTT News (“INDIA-CHINA PANEL TO SORT OUT TRADE IRRITANTS”, 2009/03/19) reported that India urged the PRC to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations to combat the global economic crisis and asked Beijing to explore the possibility of more diversified exports from New Delhi, media reports say. Speaking at the India-PRC bilateral meeting in the capital New Delhi, with the visiting PRC Vice-Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan, Commerce Secretary, Gopal K. Pillai said given the immense potential the two countries possess in terms of both production and consumption capabilities, they need to work more closely to remove all the minor irritants in their economic and trade relations.
15. Cross Strait Relations
Dow Jones (“TAIWAN CABINET REVIEWS DRAFT PLAN TO ALLOW CHINA INVESTMENT”, Taipei, 2009/03/19) reported that Taiwan may allow investment by the PRC under a plan being reviewed by the Cabinet, a Taiwan government official said Thursday, as the island seeks closer economic ties with the PRC amid its first recession since 2001. Under the draft plan, a company with PRC ownership below a certain level would be allowed to invest in Taiwan like any other foreign investor, said Fan Liang-Tung, executive secretary at the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
16. PRC on Climate Change
Reuters (“CHINA MINISTER REJECTS U.S. POLLUTION DUTY IDEA”, Washington, 2009/03/18) reported that the PRC’s top climate change official rejected as protectionist on a U.S. idea to put tariffs on some imports from countries that do not place a price on carbon, chiding the United States to do more to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday told a congressional panel that once Washington develops a system limiting carbon emissions, if other countries do not impose a cost on carbon emissions the United States will be at a disadvantage. But Xie Zhenhua, head of the PRC’s Climate Change and Coordinating Committee said, “Climate change and charging carbon taxes in imports … are two issues in two areas” and should be tackled in separate negotiating forums.
17. PRC Economy
The Associated Press (William Foreman , “CHINA’S FACTORIES GET DESPERATE AS ORDERS DROP”, Guangzhou, 2009/03/18) reported that PRC companies are already complaining that orders are sharply down. Industry experts say thousands of factories are idle or haven’t even bothered to open since the Lunar New Year holiday ended in late January — which usually marks the start of the busy season. Millions of migrant workers are jobless, especially here in southern Guangdong province — one of the world’s biggest manufacturing hubs and the source of one-third of the PRC’s exports. “Peak season is May to September. That’s when this place is booming. I don’t think it will be booming this year,” said Rick Goodwin, the American chairman of Concept Holdings, a company that links up foreign buyers with PRC suppliers.
18. PRC Security
Agence France-Presse (“GARRISON GUARD SHOT DEAD IN CHINA: STATE MEDIA”, 2009/03/18) reported that a sentry on duty outside an army garrison in southwest PRC ‘s Chongqing city has been shot dead and an unknown number of attackers remain at large, according to state media. The attack was carried out by an unidentified assailant or assailants, who fled with the 18-year-old guard’s submachine gun after the shooting late Thursday. The military facility was a People’s Liberation Army garrison located in a downtown area of Chongqing , one of the PRC ‘s largest cities, it said.
II. PRC Report
19. PRC Civil Society
Tom.com (“ONE FOUNDATION TALKS WITH NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER ABOUT MICROFINANCE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY”, 2009/03/19) reported that director of One Foundation and Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, also the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, have a talk on “Status and Future of Microfinance and Socially Responsible Investing” recently. Microfinance service has made great achievements and many enterprises and people have benefited from it. How to cooperate with Bangladesh on fields of microfinance and poverty alleviation became the focus of the talk.
20. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Shanghai Government website (“LEHE HOUSEWIVES GREEN CAMPAIGN HELD IN XUHUI DISTRICT”, 2009/03/18) reported that recently, Environmental Protection Bureau of Xuhui District, Beijing Earth Village Environmental Education Center, and Kangmingsi Investment Co.,Ltd. jointly held a “Lehe Housewives Green Campaign” in Xuhui District of Shanghai city. The Campaign calls for the housewives to boycott plastic bags and save water and energy consciously, to reduce the pollution to the environment. The Campaign was held in many communities of Xuhui District and was supported by a lot of housewives.
People’s Daily online (“‘WATER AND FUTURE’ FORUM HELD IN BEIJING”, 2009/03/19) reported that “Water and Future” Forum, held by American Pepperdine University and China Association for NGO Cooperation was launched in Beijing on March 16 th . The theme of this forum is “Share Experience, Explore the Future of Water”. More than one hundred representatives from the government, enterprises, universities, and NGOs have participated in it, discussing on many topics from global water cycle system to the daily protection of the current water crisis.