NAPSNet Daily Report 22 October, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. Energy Aid to the DPRK
- 4. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 5. Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. DPRK Foreign Affairs
- 7. ROK-Japan Relations
- 8. Japan-Australia Non-Proliferation Efforts
- 9. Japan, PRC, ROK Summit
- 10. Cross Strait Relations
- 11. PRC on Climate Change
- 12. PRC Land Reform
- 13. PRC Economy
- 14. PRC Development
- 15. PRC Security
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“DELISTING CONCERNS U.S. OFFICIALS”, 2008/10/21) reported that dissatisfaction is prevalent within the US administration over the agreement reached between the United States and the DPRK on the verification of the DPRK’s declaration of its nuclear programs. A US government official dismissed the accord as a “fictitious agreement” because it will be impossible to carry out thorough verification measures as it stands. According to sources close to the US administration officials of the State Department’s Verification, Compliance and Implementation Bureau (VCI) strongly objected to the agreement, insisting that such verification procedures were unacceptable.
2. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
Chosun Ilbo (“JAPAN ‘TO PAY CASH FOR N.KOREA’S DENUCLEARIZATION’”, 2008/10/21) reported that the Japanese government could pay money for the DPRK’s nuclear dismantlement and technical assistance rather than taking part in the supply of heavy fuel oil that the ROK, the U.S., the PRC, Japan and Russia have agreed to share, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported on Tuesday. The daily reported the Japanese government is considering providing about 16 billion yen (about W200 billion, US$1=W1,320), the equivalent amount of its share of 200,000 tons of heavy oil.
3. Energy Aid to the DPRK
Agence-France-Presse (“US OPTIMISTIC ABOUT SOLUTION ON FUEL OIL TO DPRK”, Washington, 2008/10/21) reported that the five nations negotiating DPRK’s nuclear disarmament have a “high degree of confidence” they will meet their obligations to supply fuel oil to DPRK, the United States said. The US, PRC, ROK, Russia and Japan agreed to share the aid evenly, but Japan refuses to contribute until the DPRK accounts fully for Japanese abductees. US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack appeared to indicate there was time to resolve the problem when he said Russia was next in line to deliver the fuel oil. “I think there’s a high degree of confidence among the five that we will meet our obligations,” McCormack added during the daily press briefing in Washington.
4. Japan-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK OFFICIAL DAILY CALLS FOR REMOVAL OF JAPAN FROM SIX-PARTY TALKS”, Pyongyang, 2008/10/21) reported that Japan should be removed from the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, a commentary in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) official daily Minju Joson said Tuesday. The commentary accused Japan of attempting to impede the denuclearization process and use it as a pretext to bolster its military power and expansionist aims.
5. Inter-Korean Relations
Agence-France-Presse (“DPRK WARNS OF MILITARY CLASH OVER PROPAGANDA LEAFLETS”, Seoul, 2008/10/21) reported that DPRK accused ROK Tuesday of waging “psychological warfare” and said the launch of propaganda leaflets across their heavily fortified border could spark a military clash. The documents criticize DPRK leader Kim Jong Il, describing him as a murderous dictator and calling for an end to his rule.The official government newspaper Minju Joson said the Seoul government is condoning the spreading by ROK activists of the leaflets despite Pyongyang’s repeated protests.
Yonhap News (Shim Sun-ah, “SEOUL WILL WORK TO IMPROVE TIES WITH N. KOREA DESPITE THREATS: MINISTER”, Seoul, 2008/10/21) reported that Seoul’s top official on the DPRK said his government will continue to engage Pyongyang despite repeated threats by the DPRK. “We will not directly respond to North Korea’s negative actions, but stay calm and firm while continuing to push for dialogue and cooperation between the two Koreas,” Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong said in a keynote address to a Seoul forum.
Korea Herald ( Kim Ji-hyun, “ARMY MUST BRACE FOR N.K. MELTDOWN”, 2008/10/21) reported that the ROK Army should better prepare for a DPRK collapse, as the situation would carry huge regional security risks, the biggest being China’s intervention, a leading U.S. scholar said. If reunification has not been achieved by 2020, the ROK Army’s deadline for massive reform, it may be pressed to consider a preemptive invasion to prevent or respond to PRC intervention, Bruce Bennett of the United States-based RAND Corp. said at a seminar on future ROK Army tasks.
6. DPRK Foreign Affairs
Yonhap News (“FOREIGN DELEGATIONS VISIT N. KOREA FOLLOWING REPORTS OF ENTRY BAN”, Seoul, 2008/10/21) reported that the DPRK’s state media have recently reported the arrival of two foreign delegations in Pyongyang following a Japanese news report that foreigners would be banned from entering the country ahead of an “important announcement” by Pyongyang. Despite reports of a travel ban on foreigners, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency reported on Monday that a delegation from Myanmar’s Ministry of Sports led by Minister Aye Myint arrived in Pyongyang. The news agency also reported on the same day that a government delegation from Namibia led by Foreign Minister Marco Hausiku arrived in Pyongyang and met with the North’s Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun.
7. ROK-Japan Relations
JoongAng Daily (Ser Myo-ja , “ROK-JAPAN SUMMIT TO OCCUR AT THE ASEM”, 2008/10/22) reported that ROK and Japan will have a bilateral summit on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Beijing, the Blue House said yesterday. According to the presidential office, President Lee Myung-bak will meet with his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Taro Aso, on Friday. The two leaders are expected to discuss cooperative measures to address the global financial crisis and the DPRK nuclear issue, a senior Blue House official said. They will also talk about ways to improve ties, which have grown strained over Japan’s territorial claims to the ROK-controlled Dokdo islets, which Japan calls Takeshima.
8. Japan-Australia Non-Proliferation Efforts
The Associated Press (“AUSTRALIA, JAPAN HOST NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION TALKS “, Sydney, 2008/10/21) reported that the world has not paid enough attention to the spread of nuclear weapons since the Cold War and could face devastation dwarfing the 9/11 attacks if the threat is not quickly curbed, the co-chair of a nuclear commission said. Former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans said that while nuclear proliferation took a back seat to climate change and financial crises, countries such as India and Pakistan tested nuclear missiles, leaving the world vulnerable to an “avalanche” of new weapons.
9. Japan, PRC, ROK Summit
Agence-France-Presse (“JAPAN WANTS 1ST SUMMIT WITH CHINA AND SOUTH KOREA TO BE HELD IN 2008”, 2008/10/22) reported that Japan said yesterday it wanted to hold an inaugural three-way summit with PRC and ROK by the end of the year in southern Japan. Japan has been working to mend ties strained by memories of Tokyo’s past aggression against its two neighbors. The three-way summit would likely focus in part on efforts to end DPRK’s nuclear drive. He said no date was confirmed, although Kyodo News and the Tokyo Broadcasting System network said Japan was looking to hold the summit on December 6 or 7.
10. Cross Strait Relations
Reuters (“TAIWAN LEADER MA VOWS NO WAR WITH PRC DURING HIS TERM”, Taipei, 2008/10/21) reported that Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou vowed on Tuesday that no war would break out with long-time political rival PRC, which considers the self-ruled island as part of its territory, during his term in office. “The president resolutely said that in the coming four years there would be no war between the two sides,” Ma’s office said in a statement after his speech to top military personnel.
11. PRC on Climate Change
Xinhua News (“SURVEY: 69 PCT OF CHINESE TO SHIFT LIFESTYLE TO HELP SLOW DOWN CLIMATE CHANGE”, Beijing, 2008/10/21) reported that up to 69 percent of PRC consumers surveyed are willing to change their lifestyles so as to help with global efforts to slow down the climate change, according to a latest survey. Findings of the survey, which was conducted on 1,000 consumers in 16 major PRC cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, were released earlier this week by Beijing consumer association and Beijing climate center. According to the survey, climate change ranked fourth among global concerns. The top three were economy, social turmoil and natural disaster.
12. PRC Land Reform
LA Times (“PRC OUTLINES LAND REFORM PLAN”, Beijing, 2008/10/21) reported that after a string of mixed signals, PRC announced a broad land reform plan Sunday that in theory will allow farmers to transfer or lease their land, removing one of the last major planks of Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s collective revolution.Economists and rural experts say the long-discussed overhaul could provide legal authority to secure loans, invest in irrigation, expand plot sizes and otherwise boost agricultural productivity. The announced changes, which face huge implementation challenges, could also reduce the social tension and riots resulting from a system that has tolerated massive land grabs by corrupt local officials in league with developers.
13. PRC Economy
The Associated Press (“PRC URGES GLOBAL COOPERATION ON FINANCIAL CRISIS”, Beijing, 2008/10/21) reported that PRC urged greater international cooperation on the global financial crisis, saying Tuesday the topic would be discussed during a meeting of Asian and European leaders in Beijing later this week. Its economy expanded by just 9 percent in the third quarter, its most sluggish pace in five years, due to slowing demand for its goods as consumers in the U.S. and Europe cut back on spending.”PRC maintains that the international community should strengthen cooperation and jointly handle the current financial crisis on the basis of equal consultation,” Qin said.
14. PRC Development
Xinhua News (“CHINA VOWS TO STRIVE FOR BALANCED RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT”, Beijing, 2008/10/21) reported that the PRC will take multiple measures to support rural economic and social development to realize a balanced growth between its rural and urban areas, according to a Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee decision. Comprehensive planning will be conducted in fields including industrial development, infrastructure construction and public service, as well as employment, with the needs of both rural and urban areas taken into account. The rights and interests of migrant workers were given priority in the decision. The committee promised to take effective measures to ensure they had equal access to social welfare as their fellow citizens regarding wages, education, public health care and housing.
15. PRC Security
The Associated Press (“CHINA RELEASES TERROR BLACKLIST IN OLYMPIC PLOT”, 2008/10/21) reported that police called Tuesday for the extradition of eight alleged separatists accused of plotting a campaign of terror to coincide with the Beijing Olympics — a scheme that reportedly included bomb attacks within the PRC and in unspecified countries in the Middle East and South Asia. A Public Security Ministry spokesman said the eight men, all PRC citizens, were believed to have financed, incited and organized attacks during and around the Aug. 8-24 games as part of an ongoing insurgency against PRC rule in the traditionally Muslim west.
II. PRC Report
16. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
China Communication Broadcast Network (“QINGHAI SANJIANGYUAN ECOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ASSOCIATION FOUND IN XINING CITY”, 2008/10/20) reported that Sanjiangyuan Ecological and Environmental Protection Association was founded recently in Xining city of Qinghai province, and was the first provincial environmental civil organizations of Qinghai province. Some environmental protection organizations have done some work before, such as establishing green rural community network, protecting endangered wild animals and so on. The Sanjiangyuan Ecological and Environmental Protection Association was founded on the base of those local environmental organizations and will continue their work.
17. PRC AIDS Issue
Nanning Evening Paper (Lan Binbin, “GUANGXI’S NEW AIDS PREVENTION SITES COMMENDED BY GLOBAL FUND TO FIGHT AIDS”, 2008/10/20) reported that according to the Health Bureau of Guangxi autonomous region, the project supervising team of Global Fund to Fight AIDS came to Nanning, Beihai, Liuzhou, three pilot cities of Guanxi Autonomous Region, to evaluate the implementation of the project. For the AIDS orphans, childless elderly and seriously ill patients, Guangxi has explored some care and relief activities in the three cities and this method got approval by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.