NAPSNet Daily Report 22 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK Human Rights
- 3. Inter-Korean Relations
- 4. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 5. ROK-US Military Relations
- 6. ROK Nuclear Program
- 7. ROK-Vietnam Climate Cooperation
- 8. ROK Military
- 9. ROK Aid to Afghanistan
- 10. ROK Regional Defense Cooperation
- 11. ROK Human Rights
- 12. ROK Freedom of Press
- 13. ROK Public Health
- 14. Japan SDF in UN Peacekeeping
- 15. Japan-US Military Relations
- 16. Japan Missile Defense Program
- 17. Japan Climate Change
- 18. Sino-Japan Relations
- 19. Sino-US Relations
- 20. Sino-US Military Relations
- 21. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
- 22. Sino-India Climate Cooperation
- 23. Cross-Strait Relations
- 24. PRC Military
- 25. PRC Anti-Piracy Mission
- 26. Sino-Burmese Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Bloomberg (Janine Zacharia, “CLINTON SAYS ATOMIC AGENCY NEED POWERS TO FIND SITES”, 2009/10/21) reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said United Nations inspectors should get broader powers to detect secret nuclear facilities. “The International Atomic Energy Agency doesn’t have the tools or authority to carry out its mission effectively,” Clinton said in a speech today to the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington. Clinton coupled her call for a stronger IAEA with warnings to the DPRK to scrap its nuclear weapons program if it wants a normalized relationship with the U.S.
Chosun Ilbo (“NEW U.S. PACIFIC COMMANDER CONCERNED ABOUT N.KOREA, CHINA”, 2009/10/21) reported that the new commander of U.S. forces in Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans says the DPRK must be watched very closely. Admiral Willard says the United States and other nations must continue to deal with the DPRK’s “unpredictability,” and work through military deterrence and diplomatic pressure to convince the country’s leaders to abandon their nuclear program. “A nuclear-armed North Korea and a North Korea that chooses to provoke and a North Korea that may be on the brink of succession, all those things make North Korea certainly worthy of our attention now,” he said.
2. DPRK Human Rights
Wall Street Journal (“NORTH KOREA FACES SCRUTINY OVER HUMAN RIGHTS “, 2009/10/21) reported that the DPRK’s abusive treatment of its citizens, which has long been a secondary concern in diplomatic circles to the pursuit of nuclear weapons, will undergo increasing scrutiny in coming weeks as a high-profile review at the United Nations approaches. Diplomats in several countries and prominent human-rights organizations are revising data on atrocities in the DPRK and preparing questions for its officials, who will go before the U.N. Human Rights Council on Dec. 7. “No matter what goes on with the nuclear issue, this review is going to happen and more attention will be paid,” said Richard Cowin, a British diplomat.
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (Tony Chang, “SEOUL TO EXPAND RESETTLEMENT FACILITIES FOR N. KOREAN DEFECTORS “, Seoul, 2009/10/21) reported that Seoul plans to spend 9.3 billion won (US$7.9 million) next year to build new readjustment and education facilities for defectors from the DPRK, according to a government report Wednesday. According to the Unification Ministry’s 2010 budget proposal report submitted to the National Assembly, the government aims to use 5.1 billion won to build the country’s second resettlement education center for defectors.
Reuters (“NORTH KOREANS QUIT DANISH EMBASSY IN HANOI FOR SOUTH KOREA”, Copenhagen, 2009/10/20) reported that nine DPRK citizens who took refuge in Denmark’s embassy in Hanoi nearly four weeks ago have left the mission and are on their way to the ROK, a Danish consular official said. “We can confirm that the nine North Koreans left the Danish embassy in Hanoi and have left Vietnam, and they are on the way to South Korea,” Charlotte Slente, head of the department for consular services at Denmark’s Foreign Ministry, told Reuters.
4. Sino-DPRK Relations
JoongAng Ilbo (“POLL SAYS CHINESE SEE NORTH AS CLOSEST ALLY “, 2009/10/22) reported that the DPRK is the PRC’s closest ally, according to a survey conducted by a Grand National Party lawmaker. Gu Sang-chan said yesterday that interviews he carried out earlier this month showed that 28.2 percent of the 1,953 PRC citizens polled picked the DPRK when asked about the PRC’s relations with other countries. The lawmaker said the survey was significant because it hinted at the way future generations of PRC citizens were thinking. In addition, 57 percent of respondents opposed the DPRK’s nuclear ambition, 12.4 percent advocated the nuclear weapons program and 25.4 percent said they didn’t care.
5. ROK-US Military Relations
Bloomberg (Viola Gienger , “GATES URGES SOUTH KOREA TO SPEND MORE ON DEFENSE AGAINST NORTH”, 2009/10/21) reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged the ROK’s leaders to increase military spending to counter threats from the DPRK and provide a greater ability to assist with global security. He encouraged the ROK to “make an investment in defense appropriate to Korea’s emerging role as a contributor to global security and commensurate with the threat you face on the peninsula.”
6. ROK Nuclear Program
United Press International (“CALLS FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN SOUTH KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/10/21) reported that with the U.S. defense chief in Seoul for security talks, a group of scholars and retired military officials have called for a redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons in the ROK to counter the DPRK’s nuclear drive.They also urged the U.S.to delay the planned transfer of wartime control of ROK troops to Seoul beyond 2012, citing lingering threats from the DPRK.
7. ROK-Vietnam Climate Cooperation
Yonhap News (Byun Duk-kun, “LEE CALLS FOR GREEN PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN S. KOREA, VIETNAM “, Hanoi, 2009/10/21) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak proposed on Wednesday a “green partnership” with Vietnam for joint efforts against global warming and an economic alliance that would bolster the two countries’ bilateral ties. Lee emphasized the green partnership will provide “unlimited” new opportunities for both while improving their competitiveness in the international market by combining their strengths.
8. ROK Military
Stars and Stripes (Jon Rabiroff, “SOUTH KOREA TO REVAMP DMZ TOWERS “, Demilitarized Zone, 2009/10/22) reported that work is under way on the ROK side of the Demilitarized Zone to renovate three guard posts and two checkpoint buildings into bigger, more modern structures. Lt. Col. John Rhodes, commander of the United Nations Command Security Battalion — Joint Security Area, said the renovated buildings on the south side of the Military Demarcation Line will have new safety and convenience features like blast-resistant glass, thicker walls and running water.
Dong A Ilbo (“MILITARY SEEKS TO PROCURE 4 SPY SATELLITES BY 2012”, 2009/10/21) reported that the Defense Ministry will forge technological cooperation with countries including Germany to secure at least four spy satellites by 2012. The ministry yesterday said multipurpose satellites either in use or set for launch are unfit for military activities. The ROK military will spend 600 billion to 700 billion won (514 million to 600 million U.S. dollars) by 2020 to purchase four spy satellites.
9. ROK Aid to Afghanistan
JoongAng Ilbo (Yeh Young-june, “CONSENSUS SPREADS FOR FINANCIAL AID TO AFGHANISTAN”, 2009/10/21) reported that ROK government officials expressed support yesterday for the need to provide additional assistance to U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan. The announcement came in response to a statement from Geoffrey Morrell, U.S. Defense Department press secretary, that the ROK could make more financial contributions to the war-torn country. According to a senior government official government officials share the same view that terrorism should be eradicated. The official said the Lee Myung-bak administration is strengthening the ROK’s position in the world through reinforcing contributions to the international community.The official said, “We believe that current scope of Korea’s financial support to Afghanistan is so small that it does not match its national power and global status.”
10. ROK Regional Defense Cooperation
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “PACIFIC RIM ARMS ACQUISITION NETWORK PLANNED”, 2009/10/21) reported that the chief of the ROK’s weapons procurement agency pledged pan-government efforts to help boost the nation’s defense exports and turn the local industry into a national growth engine. In an interview, Byun Moo-keun, commissioner of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), said the ROK will play a pivotal role in establishing an extensive network of cooperation on arms procurement and development, as well as overhauls of weapons procurement methods, among Pacific Rim nations.
11. ROK Human Rights
Agence France Presse (“MIGRANT WORKERS FACE ABUSE IN SKOREA: AMNESTY”, Seoul, 2009/10/21) reported that many migrant workers in the ROK are abused, trafficked for sexual exploitation or denied wages despite the introduction of rules for their protection, Amnesty International said Wednesday. The ROK became one of the first Asian countries to recognise the rights of migrant workers when it implemented the Employment Permit System (EPS) in August 2004. “Now, five years into the EPS work scheme, migrant workers in South Korea continue to be at risk of human rights abuses and many of the exploitative practices…. still persist,” the rights group said in a report. “What is lacking is the implementation,” Norma Kang Muico, Amnesty’s East Asia researcher, said . “There is not enough monitoring on workplaces… when abuses do take place, nothing is done to rectify them.”
12. ROK Freedom of Press
Hankyoreh (“SOUTH KOREA FALLS 30 PLACES IN WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX “, 2009/10/21) reported that it has been confirmed that since inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak, the freedom of press in the ROK has greatly declined. According to RSF’s Press Freedom Index 2009, the ROK’s ranking fell 22 places to 69th place from 47th place in 2008. In comparison to its rankings in 2007 (39th place) and 2006 (31th place) during the late President Roh Moo-hyun’s administration, it can be interpreted that under current Lee administration, infringements on freedom of press have increased drastically.
13. ROK Public Health
Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA APPROVES SWINE FLU VACCINE”, Seoul, 2009/10/21) reported that the ROK has approved the country’s first locally developed vaccine for swine flu. The Korea Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that the “Green Flu-S” vaccine developed by the local pharmaceutical firm Green Cross Corp. has been found to be safe and effective in eight weeks of clinical tests on 474 adults. The Health Ministry said the government plans to use the product to vaccinate about 17 million people or 35 percent of the 49 million population against swine flu until February next year.
14. Japan SDF in UN Peacekeeping
Kyodo News (“OKADA HINTS AT REVIEWING STRICT RULES FOR PEACEKEEPING PARTICIPATION”, Tokyo, 2009/10/21) reported that foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Wednesday that he has ordered his ministry to study how Japan can more actively participate in U.N. peacekeeping operations, possibly with a view to relaxing requirements under the current law. Japan maintains five strict principles under the law for the deployment of Self-Defense Forces and other personnel for U.N. peacekeeping activities, such as requiring a cease-fire accord among the parties to a conflict. “We have legal restrictions for Japan’s participation in U.N. peacekeeping forces. Of course, it should be based on the current framework of the (war-renouncing) Constitution, but I’m wondering if we should review them a little bit more,” Okada said during a lecture in Tokyo.
15. Japan-US Military Relations
Washington Post Foreign Service (Blaine Harden, “IN JAPAN, GATES TALKS TOUGH ON BASE RELOCATION”, Tokyo, 2009/10/21) reported that playing hardball with its closest ally in Asia, the Obama administration warned Japan on Wednesday of serious consequences if it backs out of a commitment to allow the relocation of a U.S. airbase on Okinawa. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said that if Japan stops the base relocation, the United States would halt the withdrawal of 8,000 Marines from Okinawa and would not, as planned, return several parcels of land. Gates’s words, during a two-day visit here, were a blunt challenge to efforts by Japan’s month-old government to carve out a more “equal” relationship with Washington.
16. Japan Missile Defense Program
Reuters (Isabel Reynolds, “JAPAN-U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE FACES BUDGET LIMITS”, Tokyo, 2009/10/21) reported that Tokyo may not have the money to complete its joint missile defense plans with the United States, aimed at protecting it from regional threats such as the DPRK, Japan’s defense minister said on Wednesday. “The first half of the missile defense plan is complete, but we are considering what to do about the remaining half,” a Japanese official quoted Toshimi Kitazawa as telling U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “I understand how important missile defense is, but the financial authorities are taking a harsh view. However, I want to overcome this somehow,” the official quoted him as saying. The official did not give details of which parts of the plan might be delayed or canceled.
17. Japan Climate Change
Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun Sato and Koichi Yasuda , “JAPAN MUST TAKE LEAD IN SAVING ECOSYSTEMS / ANNOUNCEMENT MADE AFTER GOVT ADOPTS NEW REFORM POLICY”, 2009/10/21) reported that Japan has drafted new goals for conserving ecosystems in preparation for an international biodiversity conference in Nagoya next October. Announced by the Environment Ministry at the Kobe Biodiversity Dialogue in 2009, the draft sets medium- to long-term targets for the years through 2050 to “halt the loss of biodiversity and improve its state from the current level, as well as to substantially increase the benefits of ecosystem services.”
Mainichi (“JAPAN’S CO2 EMISSIONS COMPARED TO POWER PRODUCTION WORSE THAN OECD AVERAGE”, 2009/10/21) reported that Japan’s carbon dioxide emissions per kilowatt of power produced were worse than the average for members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the first time in 2007, an International Energy Agency (IEA) report has shown. Of the 30 member countries, Japan is ranked 20th on the list of the lowest carbon dioxide emitters compared to power produced. A decline in the operation of low-carbon nuclear power plants and delays in introducing forms of renewable energy such as solar and wind power have contributed to Japan’s increased carbon dioxide output.
18. Sino-Japan Relations
Agence France Presse (Kyoko Hasegawa , “UIGHUR LEADER URGES JAPAN TO PRESS CHINA ON RIGHTS”, Tokyo, 2009/10/21) reported that exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, alleging that the PRC has “destroyed” her Muslim people, is urging Japan’s new government not to ignore their plight as it presses to bolster ties with Beijing. Kadeer arrived Tuesday for a 10-day visit, her second to Japan this year, triggering an immediate protest from the PRC against Japan for allowing her entry. “I hope Japan will talk with the Chinese government about the problem, Japan plays a very important role in Asia. So it’s a responsibility of Japan to talk about the Uighurs’ problems.”
19. Sino-US Relations
Agence France Presse (“US WANTS HEADWAY IN HIGH LEVEL TRADE TALKS WITH CHINA”, Washington, 2009/10/21) reported that US President Barack Obama’s administration wants progress in next week’s ministerial talks with the PRC on issues as intellectual property rights and clean energy, officials said Wednesday. The first meeting of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) under the Obama administration “provides an important opportunity to engage China on trade concerns impacting American companies,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “It is critical that we make progress on several priority issues, including intellectual property rights protection and enforcement, clean energy, medical devices and pharmaceuticals,” Locke said ahead of talks to be held in the eastern PRC city of Hangzhou on October 28-29.
20. Sino-US Military Relations
Stars and Stripes (Kevin Baron, “NEW PACOM COMMANDER SEEKS BETTER RELATIONS “, Seoul, 2009/10/23) reported that the U.S. admiral who took command of American forces across the Pacific region this week said that his biggest concern over the PRC is “the uncertainty with regard to the military power that they’ve developed over the past year,” which he said has been developed “at an unprecedented rate.” “I would contend that in the past decade or so China has exceeded most of our intelligence estimates of their military capability and capacity every year,” he said Wednesday. As a result, Willard is directing PACOM to spearhead U.S. attempts to reopen military-to-military relations with the PRC’s uniformed servicemembers and America’s regional allies. “The more that we can engage collectively as a region with China and understand their intentions and develop relationships with them, I think, the better,” he said, later adding, “China is not our enemy.”
21. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
Agence France Presse (“CHINA’S HU, OBAMA DISCUSS CLIMATE TALKS”, Beijing, 2009/10/21) reported that US President Barack Obama spoke by phone with his PRC counterpart Hu Jintao on Wednesday with the leaders voicing hope for progress at December climate change talks, the PRC’s Xinhua news agency said . However, Hu also hinted at widespread expectations that progress could be elusive during the talks in Copenhagen. “China and the United States face common challenges in the climate change area and hold common interests,” Xinhua news agency quoted Hu as telling Obama. “Although negotiations are currently fraught with all kinds of problems that need to be resolved, as long as all sides extend their hands and make efforts there is hope the Copenhagen meeting can make positive progress.”
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “GORE: CHINA, US MUST COOPERATE ON CLIMATE CHANGE”, Beijing, 2009/10/21) reported that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said Wednesday that cooperation between the PRC and the U.S., the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, is crucial to tackling the climate change crisis. “The strategic partnership between the United States and China, as it is beginning to emerge, is a fateful one, an important one, a crucial one, if the world is going to be successful in addressing this crisis,” Gore said in a speech to a clean energy forum in Beijing.
22. Sino-India Climate Cooperation
Agence France Presse (“INDIA, CHINA SIGN CLIMATE CHANGE PACT”, New Delhi, 2009/10/21) reported that India and the PRC put aside a diplomatic spat to sign a five-year agreement Wednesday to cooperate on climate change leading up to crucial talks in Copenhagen. The pact establishes a working group to exchange information on climate change ahead of the high-stakes summit in the Danish capital. “We regard India as a sincere, devoted friend and the MoU (memorandum of understanding) on climate change will take our cooperation on the issue to a new high,” Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman and minister of the PRC’s National Development and Reforms Commission said at the signing in New Delhi.
23. Cross-Strait Relations
Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN GROUP SAYS CHINA TRIP CANCELLED OVER KADEER FILM”, Taipei, 2009/10/21) reported that a Taiwanese tourism delegation said Wednesday the PRC had told it to cancel a promotional trip, amid continued anger over the screening on the island of a biopic of exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer. About 60 tourism operators from three southern Taiwan cities, including Kaohsiung where the film has been showing, called off a planned visit this week to the eastern PRC cities of Hangzhou and Ningbo, they said. “We have to postpone the trip because the other side informed us it’s inconvenient for them. We have to wait until the political atmosphere improves,” said Tseng Fu-hsing, head of the Kaohsiung Tourism Association.
Agence France Presse (“‘47,000 TAIWANESE WILL LOSE JOBS” WITHOUT CHINA PACT”, Taipei, 2009/10/21) reported that around 47,000 Taiwanese workers will lose their jobs if the island fails to ink a proposed trade pact with the PRC, according to a government estimate released on Wednesday. The workers would be made redundant because the island’s economy is forecast to see its international competitiveness weaken without the agreement, said the report from the Labour Affairs Council. Indeed, the council said that up to 125,000 new jobs would be created if the trade deal were to be realised.
24. PRC Military
Reuters (Lucy Hornby, “CHINA’S ARMY TO RECRUIT 130,000 COLLEGE GRADS”, Beijing, 2009/10/21) reported that the PRC’s army will recruit 130,000 graduates from PRC universities and colleges this winter to raise the quality of the armed forces and help solve the job crisis facing graduates. PRC sources last month told Reuters of a plan to cut the 2.3 million-strong People’s Liberation Army by 700,000, mainly lower-skilled foot soldiers, while adding better-educated recruits able to serve in a technologically sophisticated force.
25. PRC Anti-Piracy Mission
New York Times (Andrew Jacobs, “CHINA WARNS PIRATES WHO COMMANDEERED SHIP”, Beijing, 2009/10/21) reported that the PRC has vowed to rescue the crew of a coal-laden cargo ship seized by pirates far off the coast of Somalia, but a negotiated settlement is more likely, maritime experts said Wednesday. European naval officials said that the 25 Chinese crew members of the seized ship, the De Xin Hai, were uninjured but that the captors were moving the vessel toward the Somali coast, where the hostages were expected to join 120 other hostages from other countries who are also awaiting their freedom.
26. Sino-Burmese Relations
Associated Press (Grant Peck, “REPORT: MYANMAR TIMBER STILL SMUGGLED TO CHINA”, Bangkok, 2009/10/21) reported that there has been a sharp decline in timber illegally imported into the PRC from Myanmar, but smugglers are still supplying PRC companies that export the wood to Europe, America and throughout the world, an environmental watchdog agency said Wednesday. The British-based group Global Witness, in a report issued Wednesday, called on PRC and Myanmar authorities to step up efforts to stop illegal logging in northern Myanmar and crack down on illicit cross-border trade.
II. PRC Report
27. PRC Governance
People’s Daily online (“THREE CITIES SIGN MEMORANDUM OF CIVIL AFFAIRS COOPERATION”, 2009/10/21) reported that Bureaus of Civil Affairs of Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou have signed a memorandum of civil affairs cooperation in Shenzhen yesterday afternoon. The three cities will establish conference contact system for their social organizations and explore the mutual recognition system of social organizations and chambers of commerce in the three cities.
28. PRC Civil Society
International online (“NGOS IN CHINA AND U.S.A CO-HOST WORKSHOP IN CHONGQING”, 2009/10/21) reported that an international workshop, co-sponsored by the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament and American Friends Service Committee, was held in Chongqing on October 20th. The theme of the workshop was “Addressing Financial Crisis and Promoting Social Harmony”.
29. PRC Civil Society and Education
Jinghua Net (“XINHUADU CHARITY FUND ESTABLISHED IN BEIJING”, 2009/10/21) reported that the Xinhuadu Charity Fund was formally established yesterday. Chairman of the Board of the Xinhuadu Group, Chen Fashu has donated marketable securities worth of 8.3 billion RMB as the initial capital of the Fund. The first three charity projects will provide scholarships to 100,000 poor university students.