NAPSNet Daily Report 21 October, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence-France-Presse (“N.KOREA MAY BE PLANNING THIRD NUCLEAR TEST: REPORT”, Seoul, 2010/10/21) reported that the DPRK appears to be preparing for a third nuclear test, a ROK newspaper reported, just days after Pyongyang declared it was ready to return to nuclear talks. But ROK government officials said there was no concrete evidence that the communist state was readying such a test, saying Seoul and its allies are closely watching developments related to the DPRK’s nuclear facilities. According to ROK’s biggest-selling newspaper Chosun Ilbo, US satellites detected movements of personnel and vehicles at the site where the the DPRK carried out its first two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. “Hectic movements of personnel and vehicles have recently been detected in Punggye-ri,” Chosun quoted an unidentified government source as saying.
2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Reuters (“SOUTH KOREA SAYS OPEN TO CALLS FOR SIX-PARTY TALKS”, 2010/10/20) reported that the ROK is open to calls for resuming international talks aimed at ending the DPRK’s nuclear arms program if Pyongyang pledges to honor a 2005 deal, a senior official was quoted as saying on Wednesday. The unidentified Foreign Ministry official, speaking to domestic media, did not specifically link a resumption of six-party talks to the DPRK conceding it had sunk an ROK navy ship, signaling a possible softening of a hardline demand by Seoul. The ROK has previously said the DPRK must admit responsibility for sinking its ship in March and take “sincere measures” concerning the incident before it returned to the talks that have been stalled for two years.
3. PRC Investment in the DPRK
KBS WORLD (“NK-CHINA TAX-FREE MARKET OPENS IN TUMEN CITY “, 2010/10/20) reported that a Japanese daily says a “free market” operated by DPRK and PRC citizens has opened near the Tumen River, which flows between the PRC and the DPRK. The Asahi Shimbun said Wednesday that the market was established in the city of Tumen in the PRC’s Jilin Province a week ago. The paper said the ten-thousand-square-meter market allows PRC people to buy up to eight-thousand yuan worth of DPRK goods tax-free each day for resell in the PRC.
4. Japan Energy Technology Exports
Bloomberg (Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada, “JAPAN TO FUND FEASIBILITY STUDY ON CARBON OFFSETS FOR OVERSEAS PROJECTS”, 2010/10/20) reported that Japan’s government will fund feasibility studies on overseas projects using nuclear power and carbon capture and storage technologies to offset its emissions. Tokyo Electric Power Co. will study the viability of a nuclear power plant in Vietnam while AOC Holdings Inc.’s Arabian Oil unit will work on a CCS project in Indonesia, Japan’s trade ministry said in a statement today. The government will provide 260 million yen ($3.2 million) for studies on 15 emission- reduction projects. Japan, the world’s fifth-biggest carbon dioxide emitter in 2008, wants to use offsetting to help it cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. International talks in Tianjin, PRC, to reach an agreement to combat climate change ended this month with little progress made.
5. PRC Energy Supply
HydroWorld.com (“CHINA HYDROELECTRIC, CHINA GUANGDONG NUCLEAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY TO JOINTLY DEVELOP AND CONSTRUCT WUYUE PUMPED-STORAGE HYDRO PROJECT”, Beijing, 2010/10/20) reported that China Hydroelectric Corp., an owner, developer and operator of small hydropower projects in the PRC, has signed a framework agreement with China Guangdong Nuclear Energy Development Co. for the equity transfer of a controlling interest of the Wuyue Pumped-Storage Power Generation Co. Ltd. China Hydroelectric currently holds a 79 percent equity interest in Wuyue Company, which owns the right to develop a 1,000-MW pumped-storage hydroelectric power project in Xinyang, Henan Province, China. Recently, the PRC announced it plans to boost its installed hydroelectric power capacity to 300 million kW by 2015 from the current 200 million in an effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions.