NAPSNet Daily Report 23 August, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. Six-Party Talks
Agence France-Presse (“N. KOREA SET FOR NEW NUCLEAR TALKS: REPORTS”, Tokyo, 2010/08/22) reported that Wu Dawei, PRC special envoy on Korean affairs, said the DPRK was committed to a step-by-step process towards returning to full disarmament talks, the daily Yomiuri Shimbun said. The DPRK was aiming to return to the talks after holding bilateral consultations with the United States and an informal preparatory meeting with dialogue partners, Wu was quoted as saying. But Wu described as “a little bit questionable” a report by the Korean Central News Agency that he and the DPRK “reached a full consensus of views on all the matters discussed” during his recent visit, according to the Yomiuri. Wu said he wanted to visit Japan, the United States and the ROK to brief them about his discussions in the DPRK, the Yomiuri said.
2. Inter-Korea Economic Cooperation
Yonhap (“INTER-KOREAN TRADE RECOVERS IN JULY”, Seoul, 2010/08/23) reported that inter-Korean trade increased last month after falling over the previous two months in the wake of the sinking of the Cheonan, government data showed yesterday. The monthly volume of goods and services exchanged between the ROK and the DPRK bounced back to $161.93 million in July, up 32 percent from the previous month. The growth, however, seemed to be a one-off instance, as it comes from the Unification Ministry’s temporary policy to clear a backlog of pre-ordered raw materials that did not reach the DPRK due to its trade restrictions issued in late May.
3. US on Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation
The Asian Age (Ramesh Ramachandran , “US NUKE BUSINESS WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR JAPAN”, New Delhi, 2010/08/23) reported that American companies will not be able to enter the multi-billion-dollar Indian nuclear energy market even if Parliament hurriedly passes the nuclear liability bill because two major US firms in the business, General Electric and Westinghouse, are either partly or wholly owned by Japanese companies. So the US-Japanese consortium of GE-Hitachi or the Toshiba-owned Westinghouse will need to wait for Tokyo to conclude a bilateral nuclear pact with New Delhi before they can begin supplying equipment or technology for reactors in India.
4. Japan Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Kyodo (“MOX FUEL LOADED INTO TOKYO ELECTRIC’S OLD FUKUSHIMA REACTOR”, Fukushima, 2010/08/21) reported that Tokyo Electric Power Company loaded plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel Saturday into a reactor at its nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture in preparation for the largest Japanese utility’s first plutonium-thermal power generation. The No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 plant would be the third in Japan to be used for the so-called pluthermal generation, but the only one among the three to have been subjected to antiaging treatment with 34 years since its launch.
5. Sino-US Relations
Kyodo (“U.S. SEEKING STRATEGIC AND NUCLEAR DIALOGUE WITH CHINA”, Washington, 2010/08/20) reported that the U.S. government is pursuing bilateral dialogue with the PRC on strategic issues like nuclear forces and deterrent policy to create ”strategic stability” between the two big powers, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said in a recent interview with Kyodo News. But it is uncertain when the dialogue will start because ”the interruption in military-to-military dialogue has gone on longer” than the United States expected, according to the official. The official said, ”We can imagine many important topics that we would like to cover, over a decade of dialogue with China.” ”We would like to explain our concepts of strategic stability and express our concerns about the things China is doing that are troubling from our perspective.” The official, who declined to be named, also said, ”We do not understand the type of nuclear force that will result from the current buildup in China, and we find China’s lack of transparency troubling.”