NAPSNet Daily Report 22 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. Israel on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. DPRK Economy
- 4. Inter-Korean Relations
- 5. ROK-US Military
- 6. ROK Climate Change
- 7. US-Japan Relations
- 8. Taiwan-Japan Relations
- 9. PRC on Nuclear Disarmament
- 10. PRC Military
- 11. PRC Climate Change
- 12. PRC Politics
- 13. PRC Peacekeeping Mission
- 14. PRC Human Rights
- 15. PRC Social Unrest
- 16. PRC Security
- 17. PRC Public Health
- 18. Cross Strait Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
The Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “LEE PROPOSES ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ ON NK NUKES”, 2009/09/22) reported that President Lee Myung-bak proposed Monday what he called a “grand bargain” between DPRK and the five other countries engaged in the six-party talks on DPRK’s nuclear program. The bargain would be based on a set of action plans aimed at encouraging the reclusive nation to give up its nuclear ambitions. It would establish a “one-shot” deal, under which the five countries offer economic incentives while DPRK scraps its nuclear program at the same time under a strict give-and-take approach, Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said.
Dong A Ilbo (“S. KOREA KNOWS POTENTIAL LOCATIONS OF NK NUKE WEAPONS”, 2009/09/20) reported that Defense Minister-designate Kim Tae-young said that the military knows where the DPRK is potentially storing nuclear weapons. He responded “Yes” when asked by ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Yoo Seong-min in Kim’s confirmation hearing at the National Assembly’s defense committee. Kim told a parliamentary confirmation hearing, “the most important thing is to confirm the possible storage location of nuclear weapons and (preemptively) strike.”
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS ‘AIMED AT S.KOREA'”, 2009/09/21) reported that ROK’s Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said a DPRK atomic bomb is likely aimed directly at the ROK. While speaking in front of business leaders at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday, Minister Yu said it would be naive to think that the DPRK nuclear issue is solely a U.S. problem, adding that the communist regime’s nuclear bombs are intended to target the ROK. The minister also noted that Pyongyang’s real goal has long been to unify the two Koreas by force. He went on to say that the reason DPRK wants to have direct talks with the U.S. is to be recognized as a nuclear power in order to proceed with arms reduction talks.
2. Israel on DPRK Nuclear Program
New York Times (“ISRAEL’S BARAK SAYS IRAN EYEING N. KOREA NUCLEAR STANDOFF”, Washington, 2009/09/21) reported that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in remarks published on Monday that the United States should halt the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, as that would greatly influence Iran. “A coherent move toward blocking nuclear proliferation should start with North Korea. It would have very positive ramifications for blocking Iran,” Barak said in a telephone interview with the New York Times. He said that the DPRK was developing long-range missiles but “nothing happens to them”. “When the Iranian leadership asks themselves, ‘Should we be worried or just go through the ritual of defying and cheating?’, the answer depends on what happens to North Korea,” Barak said.
3. DPRK Economy
Yonhap (“N. KOREA VOWS TO EXPAND TRADE “, Seoul, 2009/09/21) reported that DPRK said Monday it hopes to expand trade with the international community as a trade fair opened in its capital with businesses from 15 countries. “The DPRK would as ever develop on a wider scale the economic and commercial dealings with all countries which are friendly towards it on the principles of complete equality and reciprocity,” Kim Mun-jong, director of the Korean International Exhibition Corporation, a DPRK organization hosting the trade fair, said at an opening speech.
Associated Press (Ae-Soon Chang, “NORTH KOREA SHUTS DOWN BIGGEST WHOLESALE MARKET”, Seoul, 2009/09/21) reported that the DPRK has shut down its largest wholesale market because of its apparent concern that big markets spread capitalist influence, a ROK monitoring group said Monday. Authorities closed the Pyongsong market on the outskirts of the capital of Pyongyang in mid-June and set up two smaller markets in nearby districts, the Seoul-based Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights said in a newsletter provided Monday. The move is believed to be an attempt by the totalitarian regime to “control an excessive spread of markets” while still allowing hungry people to seek food on their own at small markets, said Kim Yoon-tae, secretary-general of the group.
4. Inter-Korean Relations
JoongAng Daily (Moon Gwang-lip, “REUNIFICATION NOT ALL BAD”, 2009/09/22 17:00:00 GMT+0) reported that the reunification of the Korean Peninsula after more than six decades of division has gone from an unqualified dream to a potentially troubling possibility. Kwon Goo-hoon, a Korea economist at Goldman Sachs, announced a new report on DPRK yesterday, focusing on the potential benefits of integrating the DPRK economy into ROK, including human capital and natural resources. A reunified Korea, the leading investment bank projected, would become the world’s eighth-largest economy in 2050 and be ahead of Germany, France and even Japan.
Agence France Presse (“SKOREA ARMY CHIEF WARNS OF “SERIOUS” NKOREA THREAT”, Seoul, 2009/09/21) reported that the ROK’s new army chief vowed Monday to stay on guard against a “serious” security threat from the DPRK, saying Pyongyang was adopting a twin-track strategy to lower international suspicions. “North Korea is wielding double tactics of provocation and appeasement,” General Han Min-Gu told a ceremony marking his inauguration as Army Chief of Staff. He urged the army to maintain caution and readiness against a “direct and serious” threat from the communist state’s military.
5. ROK-US Military
Yonhap News (Sam Kim, “INTELLIGENCE EXPERT SWORN IN AS DEPUTY S. KOREA-US MILITARY COMMANDER “, Seoul, 2009/09/21) reported that a four-star ROK intelligence officer took over Monday as the deputy chief of the combined U.S.-South Korean military command, vowing to sharpen joint operational plans against the DPRK. “I will put forward my best efforts to further develop operational plans and a combined exercise system,” Gen. Hwang Eui-don said in a speech at the Combined Forces Command (CFC) in Seoul.
Yonhap News (“U.S. MILITARY DEPLOYS LATEST APACHE HELICOPTERS IN S. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/09/20) reported that the United States has started deploying its latest Apache attack helicopters in the ROK to strengthen its deterrent capabilities, military sources here said. The U.S. Department of Defense said earlier in the year that it will replace all of its 24 AH-64D Block I Apaches in the ROK with more advanced types by year’s end. Under the plan, 5 to 6 new helicopters are to replace the older models at a time every month.
6. ROK Climate Change
Yonhap News (Byun Duk-kun, “S. KOREAN PRESIDENT CALLS ON ALL NATIONS TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE “, Seoul, 2009/09/20) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak will urge world leaders to take prompt action to fight climate change during his trip to the United Nations, an issue he believes cannot be resolved by only a handful of countries, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said. “Climate change is one of the most serious challenges of our time. Yet, beneath this challenge lies a great opportunity — an opportunity to dramatically transform our lives for the better,” Lee said in a special speech to the United Nations, according to excerpts released in advance by Cheong Wa Dae.
7. US-Japan Relations
AFP (“US WANTS ‘GOOD START’ WITH NEW JAPAN GOVERNMENT”, New York, 2009/09/21) reported that the United States wants to get off to a “good start” with the Japanese government, a State Department official said Monday ahead of Secretary of Sate Hillary Clinton ‘s talks with Japan’s foreign minister . The United States wants “to underscore how important it is for us to get off to a good start in the US-Japanese relationship,” said Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs.
8. Taiwan-Japan Relations
The China Post (Sofia Wu, “PRESIDENT CALLS FOR STRENGTHENING OF TAIWAN-JAPAN TRUST”, Taipei, 2009/09/21) reported that President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday he looks forward to seeing continued strengthening of mutual trust between the leadership of Taiwan and Japan. Ma made the statement during a meeting with a delegation of Japanese academics.Touching on the recent historic change of power in Japan, Ma said Taiwan is very concerned about the possible impact of the new Japanese government’s foreign policy on Northeast Asia.
9. PRC on Nuclear Disarmament
People’s Daily (“CHINA’S PEACE ASSOCIATION VOWS TO FACILITATE INT’L NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT”, 2009/09/21) reported that PRCh has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, Han Qide, president of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD), said Monday. Han was speaking at a forum marking the annual International Day of Peace. PRC committed itself not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, and not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones, he said.
10. PRC Military
USA Today (“CHINA SAYS MILITARY ARSENAL COMPARABLE WITH WEST”, Beijing, 2009/09/21) reported that PRC’s military now possesses most of the sophisticated weapon systems found in the arsenals of developed Western nations, the country’s defense minister said in comments published Monday. Many of PRC’s systems, including the J-10 fighter jet, latest-generation tanks, navy destroyers, and cruise and intercontinental ballistic missiles, match or are close to matching the capabilities of those in the West, Liang Guanglie said in a rare interview posted on the ministry’s website.
11. PRC Climate Change
Financial Times (Fiona Harvey, “CHINA ‘TO LEAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE CURBS’ BY 2020”, 2009/09/20) reported that the PRC will be at the forefront of combating climate change by 2020 if it meets government targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency suggests. Fatih Birol, IEA chief economist, said: “If China reaches its targets – and in the past, it has reached most of its targets of this kind – its emissions [growth] will have declined so much by 2020 that it will be the country that has achieved the largest emission reductions. China will be at the forefront of combating climate change.”
Reuters (Emma Graham-Harrison, “CARBON INTENSITY IN FOCUS AS CHINA’S HU HEADS TO UN”, Beijing, 2009/09/21) reported that PRC’s President Hu Jintao may lay down a “carbon intensity” target for his country at a top level United Nations summit on Tuesday, experts said, as he seeks to show Beijing’s commitment to fighting climate change. A pledge from the world’s biggest emitter to cut the amount of greenhouse gasses produced for each dollar of national income would counter critics of Beijing who says it is taking too little action. It could also pressure other major emitters to kickstart stalled talks on a new framework to tackle global warming, and give the PRC negotiating team a strong bottom line going into the key negotiations in Copenhagen this December.
12. PRC Politics
People’s Daily (“CPC VOWS TO RESOLUTELY FIGHT CORRUPTION”, 2009/09/21) reported that the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee vowed Friday to resolutely fight corruption and “fully explore the arduous and complicated nature of the combat against corruption”. It said anti-corruption work and the upholding of integrity must be strengthened and efforts must be made to “address both the symptoms and root causes of corruption.” The prevention of corruption should be strengthened by reinforcing education, supervision, reform and institutional innovation in the field, the communique said.
13. PRC Peacekeeping Mission
People’s Daily (“CHINA’S EIGHTH PEACEKEEPING SQUAD LEAVES FOR SUDAN”, 2009/09/21) reported that PRC’s eighth peacekeeping squad, an 11-strong team, left Beijing Sunday to take part in the United Nations mission in Sudan. The team has been selected from police forces in Beijing and the provinces of Heilongjiang, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Yunnan, Guangdong and Hainan, the Ministry of Public Security said Monday.
14. PRC Human Rights
Los Angeles Times (Barbara Demick , “CHINESE BABIES STOLEN BY OFFICIALS FOR FOREIGN ADOPTION”, 2009/09/20) reported that since the early 1990s, more than 80,000 Chinese children have been adopted abroad, the majority to the United States. The conventional wisdom is that the babies, mostly girls, were abandoned by their parents because of the traditional preference for boys and the PRC’s restrictions on family size. But some parents are beginning to come forward to tell harrowing stories of babies who were taken away by coercion, fraud or kidnapping — sometimes by government officials who covered their tracks by pretending that the babies had been abandoned. Parents who say their children were taken complain that officials were motivated by the $3,000 per child that adoptive parents pay orphanages.
15. PRC Social Unrest
Xinhua (“CHINA PUBLISHES WHITE PAPER ON XINJIANG, SAYING NATIONAL UNITY, STABILITY ARE “LIFEBLOOD” FOR DEVELOPMENT”, Beijing, 2009/09/21) reported that the PRC government Monday published a white paper on the development and progress in northwest PRC’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, stressing national unification, ethnic unity, social stability are the “lifeblood” for the region’s development and progress. The paper, released by the State Council Information Office, reviewed the profound changes that have taken place in the past 60 years in Xinjiang, which accounts for about one sixth of the country’s land territory. It also slammed the “East Turkistan” forces for seriously disrupting Xinjiang’s development and progress by trumpeting separatism and plotting and organizing a number of bloody incidents of terror and violence.
New York Times (Andrew Jacobs, “BEIJING STUDENTS PRESSED TO STOP PROTESTING LECTURER’S DETENTION “, Beijing, 2009/09/21) reported that after at least 100 students this weekend protested the detention of a popular lecturer and self-help guru, a number of them said Monday that they had been visited by officials from their respective universities and persuaded to sign statements promising not to make any more trouble. The students had gathered outside a local police station to demand the release of Ding Xiaoping, who has developed a following at universities across the country.
Agence France Presse (“HU SAYS CHINA DEVELOPMENT FACES ‘NEW PROBLEMS'”, Beijing, 2009/09/21) reported that President Hu Jintao said that the PRC’s rapid development faced “a series of new problems” including social stability in a speech 10 days ahead of the sensitive National Day. He said the ruling Communist Party faced “an arduous task in safeguarding and improving people’s livelihood and maintaining social stability”. You “must… assist the party and the government in doing its ethnic and religious work well, promote national unity, religious harmony and social stability,” he said, according to the transcript.
16. PRC Security
CNN (“CHINA CLAMPS DOWN AHEAD OF NATIONAL DAY”, Beijing, 2009/09/21) reported that China is undertaking a massive security clampdown for a celebration next month to mark the founding of the Communist state. As part of its security measures, the government is building a security “moat” around Beijing, state media reported. The government will deploy 220,000 security guards and 300,000 community volunteers for the ceremony, the Xinhua news agency said. Adjoining provinces and municipalities will conduct security checks on roads leading to PRC’s capital city to ward off potential threats.
British Broadcasting System (“PIRACY ‘SPIKE’ IN SOUTH CHINA SEA “, 2009/09/21) reported that piracy in the South China Sea has hit a five-year high, an international monitoring agency has said. According to the ReCAAP monitoring centre, there have been 10 reports of sea attacks so far this year, compared to the previous high of nine in 2005.
17. PRC Public Health
Agence France Presse (Edith Lederer, “CHINA BEGINS SWINE FLU VACCINATIONS”, Beijing, 2009/09/21) reported that the PRC kicked off its swine flu vaccination programme Monday in Beijing by immunising students due to take part in next week’s National Day celebrations, city health authorities announced. The health ministry has said it plans to vaccinate 65 million people, or five percent of the country’s total population of 1.3 billion, before year’s end. “On September 21, Beijing took the lead in China in starting A(H1N1) flu vaccinations,” the capital’s municipal health bureau said in a statement on its website.
18. Cross Strait Relations
People’s Daily (“ONLY MAINSTREAM OPINION WELCOME ON CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS: OFFICIAL”, 2009/09/21) reported that the mainland’s Taiwan affairs chief Wang Yi said Monday any move counter to mainstream opinion on further improvement of mainland-Taiwan relations would be unwelcome on both sides. “Improving and developing cross-Strait relations is the common hope of mainland and Taiwan people. Any attempt to disturb or sabotage the mainstream view will get no support,” Wang said.
Agence France Presse (“TAIWAN CITY SNUBS CHINA OVER KADEER FILM WARNING”, Taipei, 2009/09/21) reported that Taiwan’s second-largest city Monday dismissed a warning from the PRC against showing a biopic about exiled Uighur Muslim leader Rebiya Kadeer, in a move expected to further anger Beijing. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu shrugged off the PRC’s criticism of the city’s decision to show the film later this week, saying she would not submit to censorship from the mainland. “It would harm Kaohsiung’s position as a progressive city and a city of human rights if we blocked the film just because Beijing is against it,” she said in reply to a query raised at the city council.
II. PRC Report
19. PRC Civil Society
Guangming Daily (“BEIJING FILM ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED”, 2009/09/21) reported that Beijing Film Association, made up by 128 movie makers and scholars, was formally established in Beijing on September 19th. The Association will primarily enhance the intellectual property protection of film.
20. PRC Civil Society
Shenzhen Special Zone News (Yang Liping, “HAPPY TRAIN PLAN TO BE LAUNCHED”, 2009/09/21) reported that China Social Aid Foundation will launch the Happy Train Plan, to help migrant workers reunite with their family during traditional holidays. Each migrant worker will get 800-1000 RMB to buy a train ticket.
21. PRC Education
South Urban Daily (“FIRST GUANGDONG SOONG CHINGLING SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED”, 2009/09/21) reported that 591 high school students have become the first winners of Guangdong Soong Chingling Scholarship recently. Each student got 3000 RMB, and the prize was awarded by Guangdong Provincial Secretary Wangyang.