NAPSNet Daily Report 21 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on Nuclear Program
- 2. US on DPRK Threat
- 3. US on Sino-DPRK Relations
- 4. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 5. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Relations
- 7. DPRK Economy
- 8. DPRK Forest Fires
- 9. US-ROK Security Alliance
- 10. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 11. ROK Nuclear Energy Program
- 12. Japan SDF Afghanistan Role
- 13. Comfort Women Issue
- 14. Japan Environment
- 15. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 16. Sino-Indian Relations
- 17. Sino-Burmese Relations
- 18. Cross Strait Relations
- 19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 20. PRC Energy
- 21. PRC Piracy Incident
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK on Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (“KIM KYE-GWAN PURSUES SUCCESSFUL NUCLEAR TALKS: REPORT”, 2009/10/20) reported that the DPRK’s chief nuclear envoy says he wants to successfully conclude nuclear talks with the U.S. and improve ties with the world’s superpower. “We are committing our own efforts for the good result and for the good future of relations between our two nations and for successful talks with the United States and to defend the peace, which is the common goal of our two nations, the Americans and the people of the DPRK, to live as friends,” Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said.
2. US on DPRK Threat
Reuters (Phil Stewart and Jack Kim, “GATES SAYS NORTH KOREA’S MILITARY ‘MORE LETHAL'”, Seoul, 2009/10/21) reported that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday that the DPRK had become a more deadly threat to the region. “America’s long-term military commitment here recognizes that the peril posed by the North Korean regime remains, and in many ways has become even more lethal and destabilizing,” Gates told U.S. and ROK troops in Seoul . “There should be no mistaking that we do not today, nor will we ever, accept a North Korea with nuclear weapons ,” said Gates.
3. US on Sino-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA COMMITTED TO NKOREA SANCTIONS: US ENVOY”, Beijing, 2009/10/20) reported that a top US diplomat said that the PRC had expressed its commitment to implementing UN sanctions on the DPRK aimed at getting the isolated nation to return to six-nation denuclearisation talks. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, the US envoy charged with DPRK sanctions, told reporters he discussed the measures with Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei during talks in Beijing . “There is a commitment to implementing the sanctions with the overall goal of returning to the denuclearisation discussions,” Goldberg said following the talks.
4. Sino-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK SENIOR MILITARY OFFICIAL MEETS PLA DELEGATION “, 2009/10/20) reported that a visiting delegation from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the PRC has met senior DPRK defense leadership during its visit here. Pak Jae-gyong, vice minister of People’s Armed Forces of the DPRK met the delegation, led by Gao Wusheng, deputy political commissar of Nanjing Military Region. The visit provided a good opportunity to strengthen the exchange between the two armies, said Pak.
5. Japan-DPRK Relations
Kyodo News (“OKADA WANTS TO FAST-TRACK BILL FOR NORTH KOREA CARGO INSPECTIONS”, 2009/10/20) reported that Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said he wants a bill submitted to the Diet that would allow Japan to carry out strict inspections of DPRK cargo, despite Pyongyang’s recent conciliatory moves. Okada’s remarks came after Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano had earlier indicated his reluctance to give the bill fast-track treatment. Hirano later told reporters the government is in “final considerations” about what to do with the bill. Okada said he told an informal ministerial session, “It’s wrong to put off submission of the bill on grounds that North Korea is now taking a conciliatory approach.”
6. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Times (“‘PRESIDENT’S BROTHER MEETS NK OFFICIAL'”, 2009/10/20) reported that a top DPRK official and a ROK politician may have met in Jakarta, Indonesia, to test the waters for a possible inter-Korean summit, local broadcaster MBC reported. Citing an unidentified diplomatic source in Beijing, MBC reported that Kim Yang-gon, the DPRK’s point man on the ROK, and Lee Sang-deuk, a governing Grand National Party lawmaker and brother to President Lee Myung-bak, may have met in the Southeast Asian capital, to prepare for the possible meeting.
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SKOREA TO HELP NKOREA MODERNIZE HOT LINES”, Seoul, 2009/10/21) reported that the ROK is providing the DPRK with optical cables and other equipment to help modernize military hot lines between the two nations. The hot lines were restored in September, according to Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo. Pyongyang recently asked Seoul to help modernize the hot lines, Lee said. The ROK will provide Pyongyang with $1.7 million in equipment and materials next week, she said.
7. DPRK Economy
Xinhua News (“DPRK TOP LEADER CALLS FOR MARINE FISH PROPAGATION “, 2009/10/20) reported that Kim Jong Il, top leader of the DPRK, has called for conserving and propagating marine resources in a bid to develop the national economy and improve people’s life, the official Rodong sinmun daily said. The DPRK has favorable conditions for salmon breeding as it has many rivers and lakes and is surrounded by seas, said Kim during a recent visit to a salmon breeding institute, the newspaper said, without giving the date and venue of the visit. Kim proposed building more salmon breeding farms and putting its breeding on an industrial, scientific and organized basis.
8. DPRK Forest Fires
NKeconWatch (“DPRK OCTOBER FOREST FIRES VIA NASA”, 2009/10/20) reported that multiple fires burned in the DPRK in mid-October 2009, sending a plume of smoke over the Sea of Japan. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured images of the fires on October 15. The smoke plumes blow uniformly eastward, some of the individual plumes coalescing into a single large plume over the sea.
9. US-ROK Security Alliance
Korea Times (Oh Young-jin, Bae Ji-sook, “SOLUTION FOR US BASE CLEANUPS IN SIGHT”, 2009/10/20) reported that a thorny issue over who will pay for the environmental cleanup of U.S. military bases being vacated is finding an amicable solution, the ROK’s top environment policymaker said. “A survey initially underestimated the costs of cleaning up Camp Hialeah in Busan by 25 percent but U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) will take care of it before returning it,” said Environment Minister Lee Maan-ee. Lee said he was the first environment minister to meet with the USFK commander, now Gen. Walter Sharp, adding that their agreement came during their meeting.
10. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Yonhap (“S. KOREA MULLING MORE CONTRIBUTION TO AFGHANISTAN: OFFICIAL”, 2009/10/20) reported that the ROK is seeking ways to do more in Afghanistan beyond its ongoing medical and job-training assistance, a senior government official said. The official did not elaborate on whether future contributions could include military support, saying that it is a matter to be decided by politicians. “What we have done there so far is not all. We will have to do something more,” he told reporters.
11. ROK Nuclear Energy Program
Xinhua News (“S KOREA, U.S. TO MEET TO COORDINATE POSITIONS ON SEOUL’S BROADER COMMERCIAL NUCLEAR PROGRAM “, 2009/10/20) reported that officials from the ROK and the United States are expected to meet next month to coordinate positions on Seoul’s plan to expand its “peaceful and commercial” use of nuclear energy, local media reported. The meeting is aimed to narrow differences ahead of higher-level negotiations on the issue between the two nations, the ROK’s Yonhap News Agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.
12. Japan SDF Afghanistan Role
Kyodo News (“DEFENSE CHIEF TO STUDY SDF REDEPLOYMENT TO SUPPORT AFGHANISTAN”, 2009/10/20) reported that Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said he will look at plans to redeploy the Self-Defense Forces to help reconstruct Afghanistan after Japan’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean ends in January. Kitazawa’s remarks add a new dimension to Japan’s alternative support plan for the conflict-ravaged country, since the government has been focusing on civilian-based aid such as vocational training and farming assistance. The minister said he will try to explore Afghan aid plans involving SDF troops by weighing various suggestions.
13. Comfort Women Issue
Chosun Ilbo (“MORE JAPANESE FEEL NEED TO SAY SORRY TO ‘COMFORT WOMEN'”, 2009/10/20) reported that Japanese who believe that Tokyo should apologize for drafting thousands of Asian woman as sex slaves for the Imperial Army in World War II outnumber those who think otherwise for the first time, a straw poll suggests. The Northeast Asian History foundation commissioned Gallup Korea to poll 527 Seoul citizens, and 500 citizens each in Beijing and Tokyo from Aug. 1 to 9. In the poll released Monday, 48.9 percent of respondents in Tokyo said Japan should apologize to the “comfort women,” while 30.3 percent said it does not need to.
14. Japan Environment
Japan for Sustainability (“GEOLOGICAL SURVEY TO START FOR DEMONSTRATION OF CO2 SEQUESTRATION, OFF HOKKAIDO”, 2009/10/20) reported that Japan CCS Co., a company specializing in carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) investigation, announced on July 3, 2009, that it will conduct a geological survey using a three-dimensional (3-D) seismic imaging off the coast of Tomakomai City, Hokkaido. The survey area, located approximately 2 kilometers offshore of Tomakomai, measures about 2 kilometers east to west and 3 kilometers north to south. The expertise acquired in this survey will also be used in surveying other candidate sites.
15. Sino-Japanese Relations
The Associated Press (“CHINA OBJECTS TO JAPAN ALLOWING UIGHUR ACTIVIST IN”, Beijing, 2009/10/20) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said Beijing has expressed “strong dissatisfaction” to Japan over the visit of U.S.-based Rebiya Kadeer, who arrives in Japan on Tuesday on a private visit. “Some forces in Japan plan to facilitate Rebiya Kadeer’s visit to Japan and despite China’s great concern, Japan is allowing her to enter,” Ma said at a regular briefing.
16. Sino-Indian Relations
Christian Science Monitor (“RIVALS CHINA, INDIA IN ESCALATING WAR OF WORDS”, 2009/10/20) reported that the PRC and India have taken a vituperative war of words and diplomatic barbs to an unusual level of tension in recent days, prompting fears that the traditional rivalry between the two Asian giants could spin out of control. “The most urgent present job for both sides is crisis management,” says Han Hua, an expert on South Asia at Peking University . “I don’t think either government wants the situation to go further downhill.” But deeper resentments lie behind the spat, says Shen Dingli, deputy head of the PRC ‘s South Asia Research Institute . “The structural problem is leadership,” he argues. “The question is who leads in Asia ?”
17. Sino-Burmese Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINA, MYANMAR PLEDGE TO DEEPEN COOPERATION, SAFEGUARD BORDER STABILITY “, 2009/10/20) reported that the PRC and Myanmar Monday vowed to deepen mutual cooperation in various aspects and safeguard stability on the border areas. The consensus was reached during a meeting between PRC Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Myanmar’s State Peace and Development Council First Secretary Tin Aung Myint Oo on Monday in Nanning, capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
18. Cross Strait Relations
Reuters (“U.S. OFFICIAL INVITED TO VISIT TAIWAN”, 2009/10/20) reported that U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has been invited to Taiwan in what would be Washington’s first high-level visit to the island since 2000, officials said Tuesday. “Because the Taiwan veterans system has studied the U.S. system, we hope he can give us some suggestions,” Song said. Shinseki has not decided whether to accept the invitation, a spokesman for the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei said.
19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Agence France-Presse (“DOZENS ‘DISAPPEARED’ IN CHINA’S XINJIANG: GROUP”, New York, 2009/10/21) reported that dozens of Uighurs including children remain unaccounted for more than three months after security forces rounded them up amid ethnic clashes, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. The group said it has documented the disappearances of 43 men and boys in Xinjiang, but that the real number was likely much higher. Quoting residents, Human Rights Watch said security forces sealed off entire neighborhoods of the regional capital Urumqi and hauled away male residents who either had wounds or were not at home during street protests .
20. PRC Energy
Bloomberg News (“CHINA PLANS EMERGENCY OIL-STORAGE TANKS IN NORTHEAST”, 2009/10/20) reported that the PRC, the world’s second-largest energy consumer, is planning to build emergency oil-storage tanks in the country’s northeast to help bolster fuel-supply security, potentially helping to spur future imports. The tanks are part of phase two of the PRC’s oil reserves, Zhang Guobao, the head of the National Energy Administration, told reporters in Beijing today, without elaborating. The country is building its oil stockpiles in three stages. “If there’s one more region for strategic stockpiling, it’ll definitely increase China’s crude imports,” Wang Aochao, head of China energy research at UOB-Kay Hian Ltd., said by phone in Shanghai. “Imports may grow 10 to 12 percent a year.”
21. PRC Piracy Incident
The Associated Press (“EFFORTS UNDER WAY TO RESCUE HIJACKED CHINESE SHIP: REPORT”, 2009/10/20) reported that the PRC’s Ministry of Transport said relevant government agencies were making efforts to rescue a hijacked PRC bulk carrier in the Indian Ocean, state media reported late Monday. The ship, named “De Xin Hai” and carrying coal, according to Xinhua news agency, was hijacked earlier Monday, northeast of the Seychelles.
Xinhua News (“CHINA HOPES TO IMPROVE INT’L ENERGY CO-OP, SAYS STATE COUNCILOR”, Beijing, 2009/10/20) reported that the PRC hopes to improve international cooperation for the clean, safe and sustainable use of energy, State Councilor Ma Kai said. Ma made the remarks when meeting with representatives attending an international energy forum in Beijing. “China hopes to improve cooperation with other countries in these areas through policy exchanges, technology development and investment, ” he said.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society
Yanzhao Evening News (“SHIJIAZHUANG REQUIRES DISCLOSURE OF DONATION INFORMATION TO DONORS”, 2009/10/20) reported that Shijiazhuang Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs has issued an notice yesterday to further enhance the management of social organizations, requirng that all donations should be used in accordance with contracts and related information should be available to donors.
23. PRC Environment
Chongqing Daily (“CHONGQING TO BUILD A NATIONAL FOREST CITY,”, 2009/10/20) reported that the opening ceremony to build a national forest city in Chongqing was formally launched in Zhaomushan Forest Park in Chongqing city yesterday. This activity aims at making the main nine districts of Chongqing into a national park and the other 31 districts and counties increase tree-planting.
Xinhua News (“INNER MONGOLIA GETS NATIONAL SUPPORT IN RURAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE”, 2009/10/20) reported that according to the Inner Mongolia Bureau of Environment Protection, this year, Inner Mongolia has added another 32 rural environmental governance projects supported by the central government, with a total fund of 28.6 million RMB. Now there are totally 46 rural environmental governance projects in Inner Mongolia which will give a big push to the development of local environmental protection.