NAPSNet Daily Report 22 June, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. US on PRC-DPRK Relations
- 2. US on DPRK Missile Program
- 3. US Interdiction of DPRK Ships
- 4. DPRK-US Relations
- 5. DPRK on Sanctions
- 6. DPRK Leadership
- 7. DPRK Sports
- 8. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
- 9. Inter-Korean Relations
- 10. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 11. ROK Participation in PSI
- 12. ROK Military
- 13. ROK Refugee Policy
- 14. ROK Nuclear Energy
- 15. Sino-ROK Relations
- 16. ROK Atomic Bomb Victims
- 17. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes
- 18. Japanese Anti-Piracy Operations
- 19. Japanese Energy
- 20. PRC-Singapore Military Relations
- 21. Sino-Indian Relations
- 22. PRC Unrest
- 23. PRC Censorship
- 24. PRC Environment
- 25. US-Russian Arms Control
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. US on PRC-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. HOPING TO GET CHINA ON SIDE OVER N.KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that the United States is trying to get the PRC to enforce sanctions under the latest UN Security Council resolution against the DPRK. Washington is contemplating sending former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger or someone of similar caliber. “The U.S. wants to show that international cooperation can enforce strong sanctions against North Korea even for the purpose of bringing the North back to the negotiation table later,” a U.S. official said Sunday.
2. US on DPRK Missile Program
BBC (“OBAMA ‘PREPARED’ FOR N KOREA TEST”, Washington, 2009/06/21) reported that US President Barack Obama says the US is “fully prepared” for a possible missile test by the DPRK. Asked if Washington was warning of a military response, Obama said no. He added: “I don’t want to speculate on hypotheticals. But I do want to give assurances to the American people that the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.”
3. US Interdiction of DPRK Ships
New York Times (Choe Sang-hun, “TEST LOOMS AS U.S. TRACKS NORTH KOREAN SHIP”, Seoul, 2009/06/21) reported that the United States has been tracking a DPRK ship, the 2,000-ton freighter Kang Nam, since it left Nampo on Wednesday. Pentagon officials have said they suspect the ship is carrying prohibited materials, but they have declined to say where it may be headed. The ROK cable news network YTN on Sunday quoted an unidentified intelligence source as saying that Myanmar was the destination of the freighter, which may be carrying missile components.
4. DPRK-US Relations
Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA SAYS TO HIT BACK AT US IF ATTACKED”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that the DPRK’s Rodong Shinmun accused Washington of building up its regional firepower and denounced “reckless remarks” that US warships would stop and search its cargo vessels. It is “nonsense” to claim that the DPRK threatens the United States, the paper said, but reiterated recent vows not to surrender nuclear weapons. “As long as the DPRK has become a proud nuclear power, the US should take a correct look at who it is dealing with,” Rodong said. “It is a great mistake for the US to think it will not be hurt if it ignores this and ignites the fuse of war on the Korean peninsula .”
5. DPRK on Sanctions
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA ‘UNPERTURBED’ BY SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that Rodong Sinmun on Saturday dismissed UN sanctions. In an editorial, the paper said, “It is silly and ridiculous for the hostile forces to call for sanctions and a blockade against us.” It added DPRK citizens have not tightened their belts or built “matchless defense capabilities” for the sake of “meager assurances or insignificant concessions.” “We will teach them a lesson by countering rifles with cannons, cannons with missiles, sanctions with retaliation, and nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons.”
6. DPRK Leadership
Chosun Ilbo (“KIM JONG-UN ‘ACTING AS PROXY FOR KIM JONG-IL'”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that the Mainichi Shimbun said Saturday that Kim Jong-un works as acting chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission to support Kim Jong-il. The paper quoted an official close to the DPRK leadership as saying this means the younger Kim would immediately assume the commission chairmanship if his father dies, although he has a position neither in the Workers Party nor at the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces. Early this year, the General Political Department of the People’s Army distributed an internal document saying Jong-un had been chosen as the heir apparent. The Ministry of People’s Armed Forces and the Ministry of Public Security then led the efforts to establish the succession, and a new term “under the system of Kim Jong-un’s leadership” is currently in use, the daily added.
7. DPRK Sports
Associated Press (Nicolai Hartvig and Kwang-tae Kim, “HEROE’S WELCOME FOR NKOREAN SOCCER TEAM”, Seoul, 2009/06/20) reported that the DPRK soccer team returned home Saturday to a rousing heroes’ welcome, complete with a brass band and bouquets, after securing a spot in the World Cup for the first time in more than 40 years. As a young man, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il “personally managed a soccer team for about three years, visiting stadiums and taking good care of his players,” Moon Ki-nam, who defected to the ROK in 2004, said from Ulsan .
8. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Washington Post (Blaine Harden, “ECONOMIC EXPERIMENT OF THE TWO KOREAS IS FIGHTING FOR ITS SURVIVAL”, Seoul, 2009/06/19) reported that soon after the DPRK tested its first nuclear bomb in October 2006, a three-star general from Pyongyang showed up at the Kaesong Industrial Complex. “The general told us not to worry,” said Song Ki-suk, chairman of Korea Micro Filter, an RIJ auto parts company that invested $5 million in Kaesong. “He told us the bomb was just politics. He said, ‘We fully support you.'” “Something much more important than money must be going on inside North Korea,” Song said. “Businessmen at Kaesong are in a panic situation.”
Yonhap (“INTER-KOREAN TRADE ON THE DECLINE: CUSTOMS OFFICE”, Seoul, 2009/06/21) reported that trade between the two Koreas has fallen for the ninth straight month year-on-year, the ROK customs office said Sunday. The volume of trade between the Koreas reached US$106.5 million in May, a fall of 38 percent from $171.9 million in the same month of last year.
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “‘INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS, GAESONG ISSUES SEPARATE””, Seoul, 2009/06/21) reported that independent lawmaker Chung Dong-young, a former unification minister, said Sunday that the government has to deal with inter-Korean relations and the Kaesong joint industrial complex separately. “The Gaeseong complex should not be a victim of political, military confrontation,” Chung said. “If it is shut down, the Korean Peninsula could return to the dark Cold War era.” “Technical problems such as wages and rent fees can be solved if they would be willing to do so,” said Chung.
9. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap (“DP READY TO SEND SPECIAL ENVOY TO N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that Chung Sye-kyun, chairman of the ROK’s main opposition Democratic Party (DP), said Monday he is willing to send a special envoy to the DPRK to help resume dialogue. Chung urged Kim Jong-il to give up nuclear weapons and military adventurism and to return to dialogue with the ROK and the international community. He also pressed for the release of an ROK worker and two U.S. journalists. Chung called on U.S. President Barack Obama to resume government-level dialogue with Pyongyang and pursue a comprehensive package deal.
10. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Hankyoreh (“DISPATCHING S. KOREAN TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN MADE IT ON SOUTH KOREA-U.S. SUMMIT’S AGENDA”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that according to Park Sun-young, the spokesperson of opposition Liberty Forward Party (LFP), ROK President Lee Myung-bak reported to LFP Chairperson Lee Hoi-chang and ruling Grand National Party Chairperson Park Hee-tae that US President Barack Obama requested that ROK voluntarily send troops to Afghanistan. Park said that Lee had responded by saying he would consider sending troops as part of a peacekeeping force. An official in Cheong Wa Dae denied the exchange and said, “Obama had said given South Korea’s current political situation, it was not appropriate to ask South Korea to send troops, although it would be nice if South Korea decided to send troops on its own accord.”
11. ROK Participation in PSI
Yonhap (“S. KOREA BEGINS ACTIVITY AS PSI MEMBER”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that “The government has sent Lee Jang-geun, director of the foreign ministry’s disarmament and nonproliferation department, to the PSI’s European Regional Operational Experts Group meeting in Sopot, Poland, from June 22-24,” the ministry’s deputy spokesman Choe Jong-hyun said Monday. This marks the ROK’s first official act since becoming a full-fledged member of PSI.
12. ROK Military
Yonhap (“S. KOREA BUILDS GUIDED MISSILE TIPPED WITH TORPEDO”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that the ROK Agency for Defense Development (ADD) said Monday it has completed the development of a guided missile that is first launched into the air before submerging underwater to release a torpedo. The “Korean Anti-Submarine Missile,” or KASM, will be deployed on the country’s most advanced destroyers starting next year after mass production.
Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO STREAMLINE ARMY, BEEF UP ARTILLERY”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that the ROK plans to streamline its army by cutting the number of divisions while increasing its artillery over the next decade or so, an official said Monday. About 10 trillion won (US$7.8 billion) will be spent on introducing 1,000 K-9 self-propelled guns, while the number of army divisions will likely be reduced by half or more, the official said. The number of troops will stay above 500,000, the official noted.
13. ROK Refugee Policy
Korea Times (Park Si-soo, “NEW REFUGEE LAW PLANNED”, Seoul, 2009/06/19) reported that the ROK is seeking to enact a law within the year that meets international guidelines for refugee protection and welfare. Rep. Hwang Woo-yea of the ruling Grand National Party and 23 other lawmakers submitted the draft bill to the National Assembly. “The country is emerging as a popular destination for asylum seekers. But the immigration authorities spend too much time before deciding whether or not to grant each applicant refugee status,” Hwang said. “Also, overall refugee-protection policies and systems have been neither transparent nor fair. This bill is to tackle all these problematic things.”
14. ROK Nuclear Energy
Arirang News (“KOREA LEADING THE WAY IN NUCLEAR ENERGY TECHNOLOGY”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that an ROK research team has developed a system that examines the pulse conditions of a nuclear reactor, identifying any abnormalities before things get out of hand. Using a combination of four separate surveillance systems, the device makes it possible to observe and diagnose the reactor simultaneously. The device has already been installed in a nuclear power plant, Young-gwang 3, and has been acknowledged as providing better performance and reliability than other monitoring systems.
Yonhap (Dubai, “S. KOREA, UAE SIGN NUCLEAR ENERGY COOPERATION ACCORD”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that ROK Prime Minister Han Seung-soo signed a deal with his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Monday to cooperate in the field of nuclear energy. The UAE government plans to build the nation’s first atomic power plant by 2017.
15. Sino-ROK Relations
Joongang Ilbo (“13 PCT. OF CHINESE STUDENTS STAYING ILLEGALLY”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that thirteen percent of the estimated 60,444 PRC students in the ROK are in the country illegally, the ROK Justice Ministry said Sunday. As of April 30, PRC students accounted for 77.7 percent of the estimated 77,743 foreign students in the ROK from 130 countries. Mongolia was a distance second with 3,152 students, Vietnam third with 2,096, Japan fourth with 1,827, and the United States fifth with 1,101.
Yonhap (“CHINESE OFFICIALS TO HELP MONITOR ILLEGAL FISHING IN NLL”, Seoul, 2009/06/22) reported that the ROK will invite PRC inspectors to monitor illegal fishing by Chinese boats along the inter-Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea. The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Monday the three Chinese officials will board a 500-ton cutter operated by the West Sea Fisheries Supervision Office and will cruise waters near Baeknyeong, Yeonpyeong and Daecheong islands.
16. ROK Atomic Bomb Victims
Yomiuri Shimbun (“COURT: A-bomb survivor claims filed abroad OK”, Osaka, 2009/06/19) reported that the Osaka District Court on Thursday ordered the Osaka prefectural government to nullify its decision to reject six ROK atomic bombing survivors’ applications for health books and health care allowances on the grounds the applications were submitted from overseas. Presiding Judge Toru Yoshida said in the ruling, “In cases in which it can be confirmed without directly speaking with the applicant that they have survived an atomic bombing, the application can be filed from abroad and to reject such an application is illegal.”
17. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes
Yonhap (“KOREAN GROUP SEEKS INJUNCTION AGAINST JAPAN’S CONTROVERSIAL “, Seoul, 2009/06/21) reported that the Seoul-based Coalition for Asia Peace and History Education said Saturday it plans to file for an injunction with a Japanese court to stop the Japanese prefecture of Ehime from adopting two controversial history textbooks. The group said the two textbooks, including the Fusosha textbook for middle-school students, distort history by whitewashing Japan’s World War II atrocities. The group will invite plaintiffs from the ROK to file the legal action by the end of this year, it said.
18. Japanese Anti-Piracy Operations
Asahi Shimbun (“DIET PASSES ANTI-PIRACY, OTHER BILLS”, Tokyo, 2009/06/20) reported that anti-piracy legislation was passed by the Diet on Friday–after being voted down by the Upper House. The bill secured the required two-thirds majority in the Lower House second vote that the ruling coalition commands in the chamber. The anti-piracy law offers legal grounds for dispatching Self-Defense Forces personnel to protect Japanese and foreign ships in waters off Somalia.
19. Japanese Energy
Yomiuri Shimbun (“JAPAN TO JOIN INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY BODY”, Tokyo, 2009/06/22) reported that Japan will shortly become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which was established this year. The government did not originally plan to join the organization, which was established at the initiative of European nations, out of a concern that technical standards related to renewable energy might be established that favor European members. However, following the U.S. government’s shift in policy and decision to join, Japan has decided that it could find itself at a disadvantage when competing with the United States and Europe on the drawing up of international technical standards if it stayed out.
20. PRC-Singapore Military Relations
BBC (“SINGAPORE TROOPS JOIN CHINA DRILL”, 2009/06/19) reported that the PRC and Singapore are conducting a joint anti-terrorism exercise in Guangxi province. The week-long drill is the People’s Liberation Army’s first anti-terrorism exercise with foreign forces, said Xinhua news agency. About 60 soldiers from each country are practicing reactions to attacks from enemies using radioactive contaminants and chemical and biological weapons.
21. Sino-Indian Relations
The Times of India (Saibal Dasgupta, “INDIA BEGINS POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROJECT IN CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/06/21) reported that th e first-ever India funded poverty alleviation project in the PRC was inaugurated by Nirupama Rao, Indian ambassador in the PRC, and Wang Zhengwei, chairman of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, in Liangtian township on Saturday. The NHAR is jointly funding the project with the Indian government.
22. PRC Unrest
Associated Press (Gillian Wong, “POLICE DISPERSE PROTESTERS AFTER CLASHES IN CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/06/21) reported that hndreds of baton-wielding police dispersed protesters and cordoned off a hotel in Hubei province’s Shishou city Sunday after 24-year old Tu Yuangao’s body was found Wednesday evening in front of the hotel. About 1,000 people had gathered in since Friday, Xinhua News Agency said. Xinhua said Tu worked as a chef at the hotel and some residents believed he was killed by gangsters or by the hotel’s boss, who is related to the city mayor. More than 200 people were injured in the clashes between police and residents outside the hotel, according to a Hong Kong-based rights group, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy .
23. PRC Censorship
Reuters (“CHINESE TV EMPLOYEES SUSPENDED FOR TIANANMEN BROADCAST”, Hong Kong, 2009/06/19) reported that several staff at a PRC television station were suspended from their jobs after footage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests slipped past censors and was broadcast to the public, a human rights group said on Friday. A local journalist who watched the broadcast said the image of a lone man blocking a line of tanks just off Tiananmen Square in 1989 was shown, as well as footage of 150,000 people at a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on the evening of June 4 this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the crackdown. “They weren’t able to cut it in time that day,” he said.
Financial Times (Richard Waters, Joseph Menn, Daniel Dombey, and Kathrin Hille, “US LODGES CHINA CENSORSHIP COMPLAINT”, San Francisco, Washington, and Beijing, 2009/06/21) reported that the US has complained officially to China over its new Internet censorship rules. “We view with concern any attempt to restrict the free flow of information,” said Ian Kelly, a State department spokesman. “Efforts to filter internet content are incompatible with China’s aspirations to build a modern, information-based economy and society.” The US embassy in Beijing said representatives had met officials at the ministry of industry and information technology and the ministry of commerce on Friday. “We are concerned about Green Dam both in terms of its potential impact on trade and the serious technical issues raised by the use of the software,” Kelly said.
24. PRC Environment
Associated Press (Tini Tran, “STUDY: BEIJING’S AIR WORSE THAN AT PAST OLYMPICS”, Beijing, 2009/06/20) reported that a study published Friday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology said that Beijing ‘s air was cleaner during last summer’s Olympic games . However, athletes in Beijing faced pollution levels that were up to 3.5 times higher than those in recent Olympic cities like Athens, Atlanta and Sydney. The pollution often exceeded what the World Health Organization considers safe.
25. US-Russian Arms Control
Voice of America (“RUSSIA WANTS DEEPER CUTS IN NUMBERS OF NUCLEAR WARHEADS”, Amsterdam, 2009/06/22) reported that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says that Russia is willing to cut its nuclear arsenal if the United States will ease Moscow’s concerns about the proposed United States missile defense system in Europe. Medvedev says that Moscow would go lower than the nuclear warheads limits being envisaged in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty Russia is now re-negotiating with the United States.
II. PRC Report
26. PRC Industrial Associations
Dalian Bureau of Civil Affairs (“FIRST INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION WITHOUT OPERATION GOVERNING BODY ESTABLISHED IN DALIAN”, 2009/06/19) reported that Dalian Sea Cucumber Chamber of Commerce was established on 6 June. As a pilot industrial association unhooking with administrative departments, it became the first industrial association without operation governing body in Dalian city of China’s northeast Liaoning province.
27. PRC Employment
Xinhua Net (Yang Liguang, “THOUSAND HOUSEKEEPING PERSONNEL GO TO BEIJING FOR JOB”, 2009/06/18) reported that All-China Federation of Trade Unions has organized one thousand housekeeping personnel from Hubei, Anhui, Henan, and other provinces to gather in Beijing for training. It is understood that trade unions of all levels will take efforts to train 200,000 housekeeping personnel in this year and achieve an employment rate of 90%.
28. PRC Public Health
Xinhua Net (“CHINA LAUNCHES FREE HEALTH PROGRAMS FOR POOR, RURAL POPULATION”, 2009/06/19) reported that China has started health and construction programs to improve rural residents’ health, a health official said Thursday. The programs, part of the country’s 850-billion-yuan health care reform plan, ranged from vaccination drives to improved cooking and sanitary facilities in rural areas.
III. ROK Report
29. Inter-Korea Relations
Kukmin Ilbo (“UNREASONABLE COSTS FOR SECURITY IN KAESONG”, 2009/06/22) reported that there is a little possibility that the restriction of traffic between North and South, which started since the end of last year, might be cancelled, and the date for the next meeting has also been settled. This shows DPRK’s will to preserve Kaesong Industrial Complex. However, the problem with Kaesong Industrial Complex is that DPRK must safely escort Mr. Yoo in humanitarian way and concentrate on activating more than before through introducing foreign industrial complex to inspect. Moreover, it would be beneficial to learn about the model of economic development based on market economy principles through Kaesong.
30. ROK and U.S Relations
Hankyoreh (“REVEALING THE TRUTH ABOUT ROK-US SUMMIT TALKS REGARDING AFGHANISTAN”, 2009/06/22) reported that it has been revealed the Cheong Wa Dae’s announcement that it did not discuss the issue of sending troops to Afghanistan during the June 16 ROK-US summit was not true. If the government continues to make public denials, but pushes troop support for Afghanistan, we will have a problem. Despite a US offensive that has lasted nearly eight years, the Taliban have encroached into Pakistan. Accordingly, rather than getting bogged down with the US by sending more troops, what we need to do to support the alliance by helping the US find a political solution.