NAPSNet Daily Report 22 February, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. Inter-Korean Relations
- 3. Inter-Korean Relations
- 4. DPRK Defectors
- 5. ROK Defense
- 6. US-ROK Military Alliance
- 7. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 8. US-Japan Extended Deterrence
- 9. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
- 10. USFJ Base Relocation
- 11. Japanese Whaling
- 12. Japanese Politics
- 13. Taiwan Defense
- 14. PRC Cyber Hacking
1. DPRK Nuclear Talks
Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “ENVOYS FOR SIX-PARTY TALKS MAY MEET IN BEIJING “, Seoul, 2010/02/22) reported that U.S. special representative for DPRK policy Stephen Bosworth is reportedly considering visiting the PRC next month with Sung Kim, U.S. chief envoy to the six-party talks. Top nuclear negotiators of the ROK and Japan are also likely to fly to Beijing around that time. “It is highly possible for Washington to send Bosworth or Kim to Beijing to be debriefed on the latest China-North Korea consultation and discuss ways to resume the six-party talks,” a diplomatic source here said. “I believe discussions between the United States and China are underway.”
Yonhap (“US DISMISSES REPORTS OF NK NUCLEAR ENVOY’S VISIT”, 2010/02/20) reported that the United States doesn’t plan to invite a DPRK official to New York, nor is there a schedule for U.S. officials to meet with DPRK officials anytime soon, the U.S. State Department said Friday. “There are no plans right now for North Korean officials to come to the United States, nor for U.S. officials to meet with North Koreans,” U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.
2. Inter-Korean Relations
Reuters (“NORTH KOREA SEEKS MILITARY TALKS WITH RIVAL SOUTH”, Seoul, 2010/02/22) reported that the DPRK has proposed holding military talks with the ROK next week. The ROK Defense Ministry said it received a request from the DPRK on Monday for talks on March 2 related to the passage of people and material to a joint factory park located in Kaesong. The ROK has yet to respond.
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“MOST S.KOREANS FEEL THREATENED BY THE NORTH”, Seoul, 2010/02/22) reported that some 56 percent of ROK citizens have a negative view of the DPRK and 70 percent feel threatened by the DPRK’s nuclear arms, a poll by the Korea Institute for National Unification suggests. But 87 percent support another inter-Korean summit. Of the 56.4 percent who had a negative view of the DPRK, 43.8 percent saw it as dangerous and 12.6 percent as an enemy. Of the 38.3 percent of respondents who saw the DPRK positively, 22.5 percent said the ROK should cooperate with it and 15.8 percent said it deserves support. It was the first time since 1998 that a majority had a negative view of the DPRK.
4. DPRK Defectors
Yonhap (Kim Eun-jung, “HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES OF NK DEFECTOR WOMEN ABOUND: REPORT”, Seoul, 2010/02/22) reported that female DPRK defectors are often exposed to serious human rights violations including sexual violence and human trafficking while stateless, the ROK National Human Rights Commission said in a report Monday. The report is based on interviews and a survey of 274 of defectors from April-December last year. “Border areas are where the most of human rights infringements against women take place,” Lee Im-ha, a professor at Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University, told a press conference. “Some of the violence or sexual abuse can throw them into an even worse condition than in their home country, which is the worst case.”
5. ROK Defense
Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREA TO DEPLOY MORE PATROL PLANES AGAINST NORTH”, Seoul, 2010/02/22) reported that the ROK navy will deploy eight more advanced maritime patrol aircraft this year to guard against any military threats from the DPRK or elsewhere, the navy said Monday. The first of eight refurbished P-3CK aircraft from the United States will be delivered to a naval unit on Tuesday, a navy statement said. The navy said the more advanced P-3CKs would carry better surveillance equipment and weaponry, like Harpoon Block II air-to-ground missiles, to hit “the enemy’s coastal artillery units or missile launchers.”
6. US-ROK Military Alliance
Yonhap (“USFK REDEPLOYMENT TALKS WILL CONCLUDE THIS YEAR”, Seoul, 2010/02/22) reported that the ROK and the United States plan to conclude bilateral talks this year on the method and procedures for possible overseas redeployment of American troops, sources said. “Talks are being held between the two sides to conclude the details and procedures of strategic flexibility of the U.S. Forces Korea,” a source said. “The countries are holding the talks under a condition that the number of U.S. forces here will be maintained at 28,500 at all times,” another source in Seoul said, adding that the United States hopes to exercise troop flexibility beginning in 2016.
7. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, Yoo Jee-ho, “KOREAN TROOPS ONE STEP CLOSER TO AFGHANISTAN”, Seoul, 2010/02/20) reported that the Defense Committee at the ROK National Assembly on Friday approved the government’s plan to send troops to Afghanistan, moving the bill forward to the main session. The government-drafted bill allows deployment for two and a half years, beginning on July 1. Democratic Party members on the committee participated in the bill’s review, but walked out in protest just before voting.
Yonhap (“ALLEGED TALIBAN MEMBER ENTERED KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/02/19) reported that a Pakistani man who claims to be a member of the Taliban has been arrested for passing through the ROK 17 times on a fake passport, police said Friday. “He entered Korea with his own passport in 2001 and stayed through June 2003. He confessed that he was asked by Taliban leaders to collect information about the U.S. military bases in Korea,” an office with the Seoul police said. Police are currently investigating whether the man succeeded in passing on information to the Taliban.
8. US-Japan Extended Deterrence
Yomiuri Shimbun (Satoshi Ogawa, “JAPAN, U.S. DISCUSS N-DETERRENCE”, Washington, 2010/02/21) reported that senior Japanese defense and foreign ministerial officials met with Bradley Roberts, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, in Washington on Thursday, in the first bilateral consultative talks on nuclear deterrence strategy. The Japanese side apparently sought explanations from the United States on what substitute deterrent measures would be taken if Washington abolishes weapons that have served as Japan’s nuclear umbrella. The two sides also were believed to have discussed the work done to verify whether there were secret agreements between the two countries on the entry into Japan of nuclear weapons and how to deal with the issue in the future.
Kyodo (“U.S. TO RETIRE NUCLEAR TOMAHAWK MISSILES, JAPAN TOLD”, Tokyo, 2010/02/22) reported that the United States has informally told Japan that it will retire its sea-based Tomahawk cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads, Japanese government sources said Monday. Washington said the move would not affect its ”nuclear umbrella,” the sources said.
9. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
Asahi Shimbun (“PROBE CANNOT FIND ORIGINAL NUKE PACT”, Tokyo, 2010/02/22) reported that a Foreign Ministry investigation into undisclosed pacts between the Japanese and U.S. governments has failed to find the originals of two deals believed to have been signed in 1960, sources said. Investigators have only uncovered drafts of the two pacts and a document stating that an agreement to allow U.S. warplanes or vessels carrying nuclear weapons to pass through Japanese territory without prior consultation had been signed.
10. USFJ Base Relocation
Asahi Shimbun (“CAMP SCHWAG FLOATED IN FUTENMA PLAN”, Tokyo, 2010/02/20) reported that the Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama administration suggested an alternative plan to Washington on relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture to an inland site at the Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab in Nago. Under the plan, a 500-meter tentative runway would be built, which would be too short for the many fixed-wing aircraft currently at the Futenma station. Because the facilities at Camp Schwab will be insufficient, the Marines’ training functions would be moved to the islands of Tokunoshima, Tanegashima and Mageshima in Kagoshima Prefecture, north of Okinawa Prefecture. The plan was discussed during talks Thursday between Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa in an attempt to break the deadlock over the relocation issue.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“RELOCATION OF FUTENMA AT IMPASSE”, Tokyo, 2010/02/22) reported that the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office has reached an impasse following Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano’s second visit to Okinawa Prefecture in a bid to settle the relocation of a key U.S. base by the end of May. Hirano on Saturday discussed the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, but Hirano only repeated comments and explanations he has given before. Hirano also stressed that a remark he made saying “the result [of the Nago mayoral election] was not being taken into consideration” had been misunderstood.
11. Japanese Whaling
Asahi Shimbun (Junko Takahashi, “AUSTRALIA WANTS WHALING PHASED OUT”, Perth, 2010/02/22) reported that Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said his government would seek the elimination of Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Ocean. Speaking at a joint news conference, Smith said Australia would propose to the International Whaling Commission that Japan phase out its research whaling activities. He added that if an agreement cannot be reached in that framework, his country would consider seeking arbitration at the International Court of Justice. Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada called Smith’s statement “regrettable” and added that if the matter does go to court, Tokyo would “steadfastly maintain the legitimacy” of its whaling activities. Okada said it was important “not to allow the issue to damage Japanese-Australian relations.”
12. Japanese Politics
Reuters (Chisa Fujioka, “JAPAN GOV’T SUPPORT DROPS FURTHER IN BLOW TO PM”, Tokyo, 2010/02/22) reported that support for the Japanese government has fallen to 37 percent from 41 percent earlier this month, a poll of more than 2,000 voters by the Asahi Shimbun daily showed. Disapproval was at 46 percent. The poll follows another blow for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama Sunday, when a candidate backed by his party lost an election for governor in southern Japan.
Kyodo (“HATOYAMA SAYS SCANDALS AFFECTED NAGASAKI GUBERNATROIAL ELECTION “, Tokyo, 2010/02/22) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Monday the ”question of politics and money” influenced the Nagasaki gubernatorial election the previous day, in which a candidate backed by his Democratic Party of Japan was defeated. ”We need to take it with sincerity,” he said.
13. Taiwan Defense
Associated Press (Peter Enav, “PENTAGON PAINTS GRIM PICTURE OF TAIWAN AIR DEFENSE”, Taipei, 2010/02/22) reported that a U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report obtained Monday says while Taiwan has almost 400 combat aircraft, “far fewer of these are operationally capable.” The DIA report, dated January 21, says Taiwan’s 60 U.S.-made F-5 fighters have reached the end of their operational service, and its 126 locally produced Indigenous Defense Fighter Aircraft lack “the capability for sustained sorties.” Taiwan’s 56 French-made Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets , the report says, “are technologically advanced, but they require frequent, expensive maintenance that adversely affects their operational readiness rate.” The report notes some of Taiwan’s 146 F-16 A/Bs may receive improvements focusing on avionics and combat effectiveness, but “the extent of the upgrades, and timing and quantity of affected aircraft is currently unknown.”
14. PRC Cyber Hacking
New York Times (David Barboza, “HACKING INQUIRY PUTS CHINA’S ELITE IN NEW LIGHT”, Shanghai, 2010/02/21) reported that investigators looking into Web attacks on Google and other American companies last year have traced the intrusions to computers at Jiaotong University as well as an obscure vocational school in eastern China, according to people briefed on the case. Security experts caution that it is hard to trace online attacks and that the digital footprints may be a “false flag”. But those with knowledge of the investigation say there are reliable clues that suggest the highly sophisticated attacks may have originated at Jiaotong and Lanxiang Vocational School in Shandong Province, an institution with ties to the PRC military.
Associated Press (“SCHOOLS IN CHINA SAY THEY WEREN’T BEHIND HACKING”, Shanghai, 2010/02/20) reported that Xinhua News Agency cited an unnamed spokesperson from Shanghai Jiaotong University Saturday as saying the allegation against it is baseless. Li Zixiang, a Communist party official in the Lanxiang school in the eastern Shandong province, said students there are currently on their winter break. He also disputed the New Yrok Times report that some evidence linked attacks to one computer science class taught by a Ukrainian. “We have never employed any foreign staff,” Xinhua quoted Li as saying.