NAPSNet Daily Report 22 January, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK-US Relations
- 2. ROK on Six-Party Talks
- 3. DPRK Human Rights
- 4. ROK Aid to the DPRK
- 5. Inter-Korea Relations
- 6. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
- 7. ROK Peacekeeping Operation
- 8. ROK Military
- 9. US-ROK Economic Cooperation
- 10. Japan Asian Nuclear Security Meeting
- 11. Japan Politics
- 12. Japan Abductee Issue
- 13. Sino-Austria Military Cooperation
- 14. US on PRC Internet
- 15. PRC Internet Security
- 16. PRC Civil Unrest
- 17. Cross-Strait Trade
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK-US Relations
The Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. SEEKS ACCESS TO EVANGELICAL ACTIVIST IN N.KOREA”, 2010/01/21) reported that the U.S. government is pushing for access to an ethnic Korean evangelical activist who has been detained in DPRK since he walked across the border in a daredevil stunt to draw attention to human rights abuses there. The U.S. is hoping to make contact through the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, Radio Free Asia reported Tuesday. A senior State Department official told RFA that Washington has “demanded the consular access through them [Swedish Embassy] but DPRK has not granted it yet.”
2. ROK on Six-Party Talks
Reuters (“SOUTH WANTS NORTH KOREA BACK AT NUCLEAR TALKS MID-FEBRUARY”, Seoul, 2010/01/22) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said on Friday he wants to see the six-party talks resume in February without the DPRK attaching conditions to its return. “I expect that the six-party talks would resume around the time of Lunar New Year ,” Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told a news briefing. “I’m talking from the context that there is consensus between South Korea and China and between South Korea and Japan and with Russia. North Korea can probably feel it,” Yu said.
3. DPRK Human Rights
The Dong-A Ilbo (“GOV`T PANEL REJECTS 3 REQUESTS ON NK HUMAN RIGHTS”, 2010/01/21) reported that the National Human Rights Commission of ROK has turned down three appeals to improve DPRK human rights for the first time since the appointment of the body’s chairman, Hyun Byung-chul, and ignored investigation requests for and recommendations on human rights in the communist country. In response, the commission said, “We rejected the cases in consideration of legal and actual limitations, including (an impossible) probe of the DPRK government,” adding, “We will, however, positively consider in the future requests for the commission to actively express its opinion about human rights issues in DPRK.”
4. ROK Aid to the DPRK
The Chosun Ilbo (“FOOD AID TO N.KOREA CLEARED FOR SHIPMENT”, 2010/01/21) reported that the government completed the necessary administrative work Tuesday for the shipment of 10,000 tons of corn to DPRK, the Unification Ministry said Wednesday. The government plans to purchase Chinese corn with some W4 billion (US$1=W1,138) out of the inter-Korean development fund. The delivery is expected to take about a month. Seoul offered the corn aid in October last year, and Pyongyang accepted last Friday.
5. Inter-Korea Relations
Daily NK (Yang Jung A, “SOUTH KOREA MUST PAY FOR OVERTHROW PLAN”, 2010/01/21) reported that in an article titled, “ROK will pay a high price,” which was released by DPRK website “Uriminzokkiri” (being amongst our nation) on January 20, DPRK argues, “The ROK authorities’ scheme to overthrow the system of our Republic has entered an explicit stage. The evidence for this fact is that the ROK authorities have released an overtly provocative scenario for overthrowing our Republic’s system in the form of ‘Contingency Plan-Revival.” It continues, “If the ROK authorities retreat from the desire of the people for unification, they will have to pay a high price, and they should also understand that they will be defeated. The people of DPRK, ROK, and foreign countries need to firmly crush such anti-national behavior by the ruling ROK conservative party.”
The Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA ‘WANTS A SUMMIT BY HOOK OR BY CROOK'”, 2010/01/21) reported that DPRK’s mixed messages in recent day are geared to bullying and wheedling ROK into a summit, according to Hwang Jang-yop, an exiled former secretary of the DPRK Workers’ Party. According to Daily North Korea, Hwang told students in a lecture in Seoul that the reason DPRK wants a summit so badly is that it hopes “to induce ROK into cooperating with its policies, get South Koreans to relax and encourage the Left” as it did in the days of the Kim Dae-jung administration.
6. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Yonhap (“S. KOREA DELAYS RESPONSE TO N. KOREA’S TOUR TALKS PROPOSAL”, Seoul, 2010/01/22) reported that the ROK said Friday it has yet to decide whether it will accept last week’s proposal by the DPRK for talks later this month on ways to resume cross-border tours. “We’re carefully examining the North Korean proposal in consideration of recent changes in inter-Korean relations,” Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said in a briefing.
7. ROK Peacekeeping Operation
Yonhap (“SEOUL TO SEND 200 PKO FORCES TO HAITI”, Seoul, 2010/01/21) reported that ROK will send 200 troops to Haiti as part of a U.N. peacekeeping operation in the Caribbean country devastated by recent earthquakes, the foreign ministry said Thursday. The Seoul government will dispatch a group of officials next week to study conditions for its PKO troops in Haiti, a ministry official earlier told reporters.
8. ROK Military
The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “SEOUL SEEKS TO MAKE OWN JETS, CHOPPERS”, 2010/01/22) reported that the ROK government yesterday said it had finalized plans to start exploratory development of home-grown fighter jets and light attack helicopters next year. The decision marks ROK’s aspirations to indigenously develop such aircraft, instead of mostly relying on imports as it has done so far. The plans were announced following a meeting of related ministries including the Defense Ministry, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration yesterday.
9. US-ROK Economic Cooperation
Yonhap (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. TO WORK CLOSELY WITH KOREA FOR FTA’S RATIFICATION: STATE DEPT.”, Washington, 2010/01/22) reported that the Obama administration will work closely with ROK toward congressional approval of a pending free trade deal that could help revive the U.S. economy, struggling through the worst recession in decades, a senior U.S. official said Thursday. “Continued integration of the economies of this region will create new business opportunities, benefitting workers, consumers, and businesses and creating jobs back here in the United States,” Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told a hearing before a Senate foreign relations subcommittee.
10. Japan Asian Nuclear Security Meeting
Kyodo News (“ASIAN NUCLEAR SECURITY MEETING STARTS IN TOKYO”, Tokyo, 2010/01/21) reported that a two-day meeting to discuss ways to counter nuclear terrorism and protect nuclear facilities started Thursday in Tokyo, with government officials from 17 Asian countries and nuclear security experts from the United States and Australia attending.
11. Japan Politics
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“HATOYAMA TO QUIT IF FACTS, EXPLANATION ON FUNDS DIFFER”, 2010/01/22) reported that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said in a Diet session Thursday he would resign from the Diet if the facts contradicted his past explanations about his handling of his political funds. Hatoyama said he did not know his mother had provided a huge amount of money to support his political activities and added, “If different facts emerge, then I have no right to keep wearing my [Diet member’s] badge.”
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“PROSECUTORS TO QUESTION OZAWA OVER LAND DEAL SATURDAY”, 2010/01/22) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa will voluntarily submit to questioning by prosecutors Saturday about a suspected violation of the Political Funds Control Law by Rikuzan-kai, his political fund management organization, sources close to the issue said Thursday. The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office will probably ask Ozawa to explain how Rikuzan-kai procured the 400 million yen it used to purchase a piece of land in 2004, a transaction that the prosecutors are investigating, and whether he knew about the false recording of the land deal and money flow in the organization’s political funds reports.
12. Japan Abductee Issue
Kyodo News (“OKADA, U.N. RAPPORTEUR REAFFIRM COOPERATION ON ABDUCTION CASES”, Tokyo, 2010/01/21) reported that an independent U.N. investigator on human rights in DPRK reaffirmed Thursday that he will continue to cooperate with Japan to resolve the issue of Pyongyang’s past abductions of Japanese nationals in his talks with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
13. Sino-Austria Military Cooperation
Xinhua (“CHINA, AUSTRIA PLEDGE TO FURTHER MILITARY TIES”, Beijing, 2010/01/21) reported that PRC Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met Thursday with visiting Austrian counterpart Norbert Darabos and Chief of Defense Staff of the Austrian armed forces Edmund Entacher, vowing to bolster bilateral military ties. PRC was satisfied with the Sino-Austrian military cooperation of friendship, and would make efforts with Austria to push forward pragmatic military cooperation, said Liang. The two Austrian officials, who were accompanying Austrian President Heinz Fischer on a 4-day visit to PRC, expressed willingness to enhance cooperation with PRC’s armed forces.
14. US on PRC Internet
Reuters (“CLINTON SEEKS THOROUGH CHINA PROBE ON GOOGLE ISSUE”, Washington, 2010/01/21) reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said she expected PRC to make a thorough and transparent investigation of cyber attacks that led Google to consider pulling out of the country. “Countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of Internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century,” Clinton said in a speech. “The United States and PRC have different views on this issue. And we intend to address those differences candidly and consistently.”
Agence France-Presse (“CLINTON INTERNET CRITICISM HARMS SINO-US TIES: CHINA”, Beijing, 2010/01/22) reported that the PRC on Friday said US calls for Internet freedom were “harmful” to bilateral ties. “We firmly oppose such words and deeds which go against the facts and are harmful to China-US relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement posted on his ministry’s website.
15. PRC Internet Security
China Daily (“HACKERS HARASS GOVERNMENT SITES”, Shanghai, 2010/01/21) reported that government websites have seen a dramatic spike in hacking attacks, a report by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shows. At least 178 government websites had their content modified by hackers between Jan 4 and Jan 10, five times more than the previous week, the ministry said on its website. The number of other domestic websites having content altered by hackers rose 30 percent during the same period. The report was compiled by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team, which warned of the “serious situation”.
16. PRC Civil Unrest
Agence France-Presse (“POLICE, RIOTERS CLASH IN CHINA OVER LAND: REPORTS”, Beijing, 2010/01/21) reported that villagers tossed petrol bombs in a clash with police in the southern PRC that left up to 10 injured, the latest in a rash of violent incidents linked to land disputes, state press reports said. Up to 40 rioters in Guangdong province, fearing eviction, clashed with more than 100 police officers who responded with non-lethal “riot guns” and tear gas , said the Qingyuan Daily, a Guangdong newspaper. Tensions were high as the local Yangshan county government had sought for years to evict 108 families from their homes to make way for a “public project”, but locals have refused, complaining of insufficient compensation, the Global Times said.
17. Cross-Strait Trade
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN SAYS CHINA TRADE TALKS TO START THIS MONTH”, Taipei, 2010/01/22) reported that Taiwan’s economic affairs minister confirmed on Thursday the first round of talks on a major trade pact between the island and PRC would start late this month. Shih Yen-shiang said the Taiwanese delegation would be led by Huang Chih-peng, head of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, the state Central News Agency reported. Shih said the talks aimed at signing a trade pact known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement would be held before the month’s end but was not specific on where they would take place, it said. The PRC side would be led by Tang Wei, director of the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs under the Ministry of Commerce.
II. PRC Report
18. PRC Public Health
Xinhua Net (“CHINA TB CONTROL PROGRAM HELPS REDUCE 770,000 DEATH CASE IN 8 YEARS”, 2010/01/21) reported that China Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program is expected to reduce 770,000 TB death cases in the next eight years, help 20 million people avoid infection, and retrieve economic loss of at least 400, 000 yuan every year, according to official of China Ministry of Public Health yesterday in Beijing. The program is co-designed and co-implemented by China Ministry of Public Health and UK International Development Department.
Guangming Daily (“SEVEN CITIES TO LAUNCH SMOKE-FREE PROGRAM”, 2010/01/21) reported that seven cities are campaigning to start a tobacco-free program to prevent spreading threats of passive smoking, especially to pregnant women and children, health officials and experts said Monday. Experts and representatives of cities of Shanghai, Wuxi, Ningbo, Changsha, Luoyang, Tangshan and Qingdao, gathered in Beijing Monday for a three-day workshop to present their plans for the program.
19. PRC Haiti Relief
Sina.com (“CHINA RED CROSS SOCIETY RECEIVES 5 MILLION DONATION TO HAITI”, 2010/01/21) reported that after Haiti earthquake occurred, China Red Cross Society received calls from lots of people expressing their willingness to donate to Haiti. At present, the Red Cross has received donations of 5 million RMB from all sectors of the community, of which 2 million RMB were donated by the Alibaba group, and the maximum individual donation has been 500,000 yuan.