NAPSNet Daily Report 20 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US, ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 4. US-ROK Security Alliance
- 5. DPRK on US-ROK Security Alliance
- 6. US Food Aid to the DPRK
- 7. DPRK Foreign Investment
- 8. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 9. DPRK Human Rights
- 10. ROK Nuclear Power Technology Exports
- 11. US-ROK FTA
- 12. USFJ Base Relocation
- 13. Japan SDF
- 14. Japan Nuclear Safety
- 15. Japan Whaling Issue
- 16. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 17. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
- 18. Sino-US Relations
- 19. Sino-US Environmental Cooperation
- 20. PRC Cyberattacks
- 21. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Bloomberg News (“NORTH KOREA ARMS TRADE FUNDS NUCLEAR-BOMB WORK, UN PANEL SAYS”, 2009/11/19) reported that the DPRK is running a global arms smuggling enterprise to finance its nuclear weapons program, a United Nations panel said in a report on sanctions imposed on the regime. “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has established a highly sophisticated international network for the acquisition, marketing and sale of arms and military equipment,” said the report. The report said arms sales banned by the UN “have increasingly become one of the country’s principal sources for obtaining foreign exchange.”
2. US, ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
The Los Angeles Times (John M. Glionna and Peter Nicholas , “A ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ FOR NORTH KOREA”, 2009/11/18) reported that President Obama met today with the ROK President Lee Myung-bak, calling for the DPRK to take “serious steps” to give up its nuclear weapons. In a nationally televised joint news conference, Lee said the two presidents agreed to offer the DPRK a “grand bargain” designed to provide the DPRK with security guarantees and economic assistance in exchange for dismantling its core nuclear programs.
3. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Xinhua News (“CHINA WELCOMES U.S. ENVOY’S UPCOMING VISIT TO PYONGYANG”, 2009/11/19) reported that the PRC welcomes and supports the dialogues and contacts between Washington and Pyongyang, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang. “We hope their dialogues and contacts will help resume the six-party talks at an early date, facilitate the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula, and safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula and in the region,” Qin said. He expressed belief that the efforts were made within the framework of the six-party talks and formed part of the talks process.
4. US-ROK Security Alliance
Yonhap News (“OBAMA SAYS U.S. COMMITMENT TO S. KOREA WILL NEVER WAVER”, 2009/11/19) reported that US President Barack Obama pledged that America’s commitment to peace and stability in the ROK “will never waver,” lauding his country’s armed forces for contributing to the ROK’s ascent to a global leadership position. “America’s commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea will never waver and our alliance has never been stronger,” Obama said while addressing some 1,500 U.S. military servicemembers in the ROK. Obama said that he was told by Lee that the American people should understand how “grateful” South Koreans are for U.S. deterrence against DPRK threats.
5. DPRK on US-ROK Security Alliance
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA CRITICIZES U.S. MILITARY IN SOUTH KOREA DURING OBAMA TRIP”, 2009/11/19) reported that the DPRK accused US military forces in the ROK of attempting to launch a nuclear war against it, a routine claim that surfaced again as US President Barack Obama visited Seoul. The DPRK otherwise quietly observed Obama’s two-day trip here. Rodong Sinmun, the DPRK’s major newspaper published by the Workers’ Party, said the DPRK has made “sincere” efforts to resolve tension on the peninsula, but its peace efforts have been trampled by the presence of the US military in ROK.
6. US Food Aid to the DPRK
Washington Post (“THIS TIME, PROMISES ALONE MAY NOT FEED NORTH KOREA”, 2009/11/19) reported that the Obama administration is not planning to win concessions from Kim Jong Il’s government by sending food, even though a food crisis is again developing in the DPRK. “Food aid will not be a part of the package,” said a senior administration official traveling with the president. “This is about North Korea’s obligations with regard to its nuclear program and the six-party talks.”
7. DPRK Foreign Investment
JoongAng Ilbo (“NORTH OFFERS OTHER NATIONS BETTER BUSINESS DEALS”, 2009/11/19) reported that the DPRK is offering incentives for foreign companies to invest in Pyongyang while ROK companies in the Kaesong Industrial Complex are being asked to pay more in corporate income taxes and land use fees, the JoongAng Ilbo has learned. At the Northeast Asia Investment and Trade Expo in Changchun, PRC, in September, DPRK officials offered to lower the corporate income tax rate from 25 percent to 10 percent in high-tech fields. Also in June, the North demanded the South pay $500 million for 330 hectares (815.4 acres) of land in Kaesong. In comparison, foreign companies are required to pay between $52 and $90 per square meter in Pyongyang, and as little as $11 per square meter in other places.
8. Sino-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“SENIOR DPRK OFFICIAL MEETS CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY DELEGATION”, 2009/11/19) reported that a shared experience provided the background when senior cadres from the DPRK and PRC met Thursday. Choe Thae Bok, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of the DPRK met a delegation of cadres from the Communist Party of China led by Wang Wei, vice-minister of Supervision of the PRC. Choe said the traditional friendship created by revolutionaries of the elder generation of the two countries was a “common treasure” to the two peoples. It was the DPRK government’s unswerving stand to keep improving the DPRK-PRC relationship and he believed this would be the case.
Agence France-Presse (“CHINESE DEFENCE CHIEF TO VISIT N.KOREA: MEDIA”, Beijing, 2009/11/20) reported that PRC Defence Minister Liang Guanglie will visit the DPRK soon,the China News Service said on Friday. Liang ‘s trip, which also will take him to Japan and Thailand, will begin on Sunday and run through December 5, the report said, without giving a specific itinerary.
9. DPRK Human Rights
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “U.N. URGES N. KOREA TO RESPECT ALL HUMAN RIGHTS”, Seoul, 2009/11/20) reported that the United Nations adopted a resolution Thursday (New York time), condemning the DPRK for its “systemic, widespread, and grave violations” of human rights. The resolution, co-sponsored by 53 nations and approved by a special committee of the U.N. General Assembly, also strongly urges Pyongyang to “respect fully all human rights and fundamental freedoms.” The General Assembly “expresses its very serious concern at the persistence of continuing reports of systemic, widespread, and grave violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” according to the text of the resolution released Friday by the ROK foreign ministry.
10. ROK Nuclear Power Technology Exports
The Wall Street Journal (David Gauthier-Villars, Margaret Coker and Evan Ramstad , “KOREA GAINS AS NUCLEAR-PLANT BIDDER”, 2009/11/19) reported that the ROK is emerging as an unexpected contender in the global race to build nuclear-power plants, turning up as a finalist for one of the industry’s most-coveted projects. The ROK bid has surprised more-established competitors—including industry leader Areva SA of France—as well as officials in the United Arab Emirates, who are examining bids for a contract that could be worth as much as $40 billion to build and run the Arab world’s first nuclear-power plants. As part its energy plan, the ROK aims to build 10 more domestic nuclear reactors through 2030, on top of the eight now on the drawing board, six of which are under construction.
11. US-ROK FTA
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “CHEONG WA DAE RULES OUT RENEGOTIATION OF FTA WITH U.S.”, Seoul, 2009/11/20) reported that the ROK presidential office Cheong Wa Dae again ruled out the possibility of any changes to the ROK-U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) on Friday. “If we do ever have to discuss the issue in the auto industry with the U.S., we will make sure there are discussions about the agricultural sector where we have our own complaints,” a Cheong Wa Dae official said. ROK trade minister Kim Jong-hoon on Thursday said President Lee Myung-bak’s remarks “just means if they say there are problems, we are willing to listen,” Kim told reporters. “But I believe most of the problems they (the U.S.) prepare and bring to us, if they do, will be those that can be addressed by simple explanations,” Kim said.
12. USFJ Base Relocation
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN COALITION PARTY WANTS US BASE MOVED TO GUAM OR ISLET”, Tokyo, 2009/11/19) reported that a US- Japan row became more complicated Thursday when a junior partner in Japan’s coalition government said an American airbase should be moved off southern Okinawa to a more remote islet or to Guam. “The Social Democrats today decided that we demand the government study the possibility of relocating the Futenma airbase to Guam or to Iwo To,” a party official told AFP.
Kyodo News (“DEFENSE MINISTRY TO PROPOSE DRILL TRANSFER FOR U.S. BASE RELOCATION”, 2009/11/19) reported that the Japanese Defense Ministry is preparing to propose to the US transferring some U.S. F-15 fighter drills as a condition for implementing a 2006 accord with Washington to relocate a US military airfield within Okinawa Prefecture, government sources said. The ministry also plans to suggest negotiations on the addition of an environment preservation clause to the bilateral Status of Forces Agreement, as another condition for Tokyo to execute the bilateral pact on U.S. forces realignment. The ministry is scheduled to submit the ideas to the next session of a high-level working group set up by the two countries to find a solution to the base relocation issue, which may be held next week.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“PLAN TO SHIFT MARINES TO GUAM ADRIFT / U.S. SENATE BILL CUTS 70% OF FUNDING”, 2009/11/19) reported that in an apparent swipe at the Japanese government over its dithering on the issue of relocating a U.S. military airfield in Okinawa Prefecture, the U.S. Senate voted to slash funding for a plan to transfer 8,000 U.S. marines in the prefecture to Guam. A plenary session of the Senate passed a fiscal 2010 budget bill related to the construction of military installations that cut 211 million dollars, or about 70 percent, from the 300 million dollars sought by the administration of President Barack Obama to fund the planned transfer of the marines to the U.S. territory. The Senate’s action is believed to represent its displeasure with the fact that the Japanese government has repeatedly changed course on the issue of Futenma’s relocation, and that there has been no resolution of the issue.
13. Japan SDF
Kyodo News (“SDF DISPATCH TO IRAQ WAS CONSTITUTIONAL: HIRANO”, Tokyo , 2009/11/17) reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said Thursday that Japan’s dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq was constitutional, reversing the previous stance of the Democratic Party of Japan that it was against the pacifist Constitution. “As the current government, we do not consider it unconstitutional,” he told the Cabinet Committee of the House of Councillors. “As an opposition party, we could not determine if the area where they were sent was a noncombat zone. But as we recognize it is a noncombat zone now, we have judged that the SDF activities there were constitutional.”
14. Japan Nuclear Safety
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN NUKE PLANT SMOKE, NO RADIATION SAYS OPERATOR”, Tokyo , 2009/11/19) reported that smoke rose Thursday from the world’s largest nuclear power plant in Japan , which was hit by a deadly earthquake two years ago, but the operator said no-one was injured and there was no radiation leak. “A worker at our company spotted smoke emerging from the brake of the hoisting function of a crane in a turbine room,” the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said in a statement. “There were no injuries nor any radiation leak” resulting from the incident in the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, in Niigata prefecture , 200 kilometres (125 miles) north of Tokyo , it said.
15. Japan Whaling Issue
Bloomberg News (“JAPAN’S WHALERS SET SAIL FOR ANTARCTICA AS GREEN GROUPS PROTEST “, 2009/11/19) reported that Japan’s whaling fleet set sail to hunt as many as 985 minke and fin whales in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, an annual expedition opposed by countries like New Zealand and Australia, environmental group Greenpeace said. The fleet, including the 8,044 metric ton factory boat Nisshin Maru, departed from Innoshima Port in southwestern Japan today, Greenpeace said in an e-mailed statement. Shigeki Takaya, assistant director of the Far Seas division of Japan’s Fisheries Agency, declined to confirm the fleet’s departure, citing security concerns.
Agence France-Presse (“AUSTRALIA ‘DISAPPOINTED’ AT JAPAN WHALING MISSION”, Sydney, 2009/11/20) reported that Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett urged Japan to “swap harpoons for science” and study whales by other means than hunting them. “We are deeply disappointed that the Japanese Government has again embarked on its annual hunt to the Southern Ocean ,” Garrett said in a statement late on Thursday. “The Australian government has said repeatedly that we do not have to kill whales to study them.”
16. Sino-Japanese Relations
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN, CHINA AGREE TO IMPROVE MILITARY, POLITICAL EXCHANGES”, 2009/11/19) reported that the foreign ministers of Japan and the PRC agreed to advance political and military exchanges in a bid to foster mutual trust, a Japanese diplomat said. Japan’s Katsuya Okada and his PRC counterpart Yang Jiechi also reiterated their shared resolve to press the DPRK to stop its nuclear programmes, to tackle climate change and to boost economic cooperation, he said. “In particular, Foreign Minister Okada pointed out that exchanges in the security field were necessary,” said the diplomat, who attended the talks.
17. Sino-Russian Energy Cooperation
Bloomberg News (“RUSSIA AND CHINA MULL PETROCHEMICALS JOINT VENTURE”, 2009/11/19) reported that Russian oil and petrochemicals company OAO Rosneft is considering partnering the PRC’s state oil corporation Sinopec Group in a project to build a 5 million tpa petrochemicals plant in Russia’s Far East. The two groups are reported to be discussing linking up to establish a jointly funded refining and petrochemicals complex in the Primorsky Region of eastern Russia. The complex, expected to be completed in two stages by 2014, would be capable of processing 20 million tpa of crude oil, Bloomberg News agency quoted Sinopec as saying.
18. Sino-US Relations
The Associated Press (“US ADVISORY PANEL WARNS OF RAMPANT CHINESE SPYING”, 2009/11/19) reported that a U.S. congressional advisory panel said that PRC spies are aggressively stealing American secrets to use in building Beijing ‘s military and economic strength. The US- China Economic and Security Review Commission also said in its annual report to lawmakers that Beijing is building a navy that could block the US military from getting to the region if fighting should break out between the PRC and Taiwan . The commission, set up by Congress in 2000 to advise, investigate and report on US-PRC affairs, said US officials believe PRC spying is “growing in scale, intensity and sophistication.”
19. Sino-US Environmental Cooperation
Washington Post (“U.S. AND CHINA REACH ACCORD ON DATA COLLECTION”, 2009/11/19) reported that the US and PRC have agreed to cooperate on developing an inventory of the PRC’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday, an initiative that appears be a response to criticism of Beijing’s data collection. The memorandum of cooperation between the PRC’s National Development and Reform Commission and the EPA calls on the two countries to collaborate in several areas, including “capacity building for developing greenhouse gas inventories.” The two nations have already worked together on monitoring other industrial emissions, such as sulfur dioxide.
20. PRC Cyberattacks
Reuters (“CHINA’S MILITARY SAYS WEBSITE HAD 2.3 MILLION ATTACKS”, 2009/11/17) reported that a website set up by the PRC’s Defense Ministry said it was hit by 2.3 million hacker attacks in its first month of operation, but none of them were successful. Website editor Ji Guilin was quoted as saying the site ( www.mod.gov.cn ) had been popular with less malign visitors as well, drawing 1.25 billion visits in the three months since its August 20 launch. Earlier, the official English-language China Daily put the number of hacker attacks at 230 million. That figure appeared wrong because it would equate to more than 5,000 attacks per minute.
21. PRC Environment
The New York Times (“GOING GREEN IN CHINA, CASE BY CASE”, Ordos Region, 2009/11/19) reported that this region of Inner Mongolia, home to one of the biggest deserts in the PRC, is being transformed into the site of a pine forest that will stretch across its low hills as far as the eye can see. The local government’s tree-planting program is part of a plan to “assume our green responsibilities and build a civilized way of life,” Du Zi, the local Communist Party secretary, told energy executives at a conference last month in Beijing. Also on tap: the world’s biggest plant to convert sunlight to electricity. “This shows what local leadership can do in China these days,” said Kenneth Lieberthal, head of the Brookings Institution’s China Center in Washington.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
China News Agency (“CHINESE CIVIL SOCIETY ON CLIMATE CHANGE”, 2009/11/19) reported that seven social organizations jointly issued Chinese Civil Society on Climate Change (2009) on November 17 in Beijing. They call on governments to take positive action to mitigate climate change and to help poor countries and vulnerable regions adapt.
23. PRC Civil Society
Jinghua Times (“FORBES PUBLISHES CHINA CHARITY LIST”, 2009/11/19) reported that the Chinese version of Forbes published 2009 China Charity List yesterday in Shanghai. This is the first list about charity foundation in China. China Red Cross Foundation ranks the first among national public-raising foundations and Zhongyuan Charity Foundation respectively ranks the first among non-public-raising foundations.