NAPSNet Daily Report 23 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US on DPRK Human Rights
- 3. US-DPRK Relations
- 4. Russia-DPRK Relations
- 5. Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. DPRK Influenza
- 7. DPRK Leadership
- 8. DPRK Illicit Activities
- 9. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 10. Sino-ROK Relations
- 11. US-ROK Relations
- 12. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 13. ROK Foreign Aid
- 14. ROK Emissions Trading
- 15. ROK Human Rights
- 16. ROK Historical Disputes
- 17. US Military Bases in Japan
- 18. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
- 19. Japan Role in Afghanistan
- 20. Japanese SDF Procurements
- 21. PRC Cyber Espionage
- 22. PRC Tibet Issue
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap (“CLINTON CALLS FOR NORTH TO TAKE PLUNGE”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday called on the DPRK to come back to the six-party talks. “We are going to go with a very clear message that there are significant benefits to North Korea if they recommit to the verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Clinton said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. Clinton said the U.S. “would explore some of the issues which they have raised continually with us over the years; namely, normalization of relations, a peace treaty instead of an armistice, economic development assistance.” “All of that would be open for discussion,” she said. “But the North Koreans have to commit to denuclearization. And we also think it’s important to do so within the context of the six-party talks.”
Yonhap (“N.K. SAYS NAVAL SKIRMISH DEMONSTRATES NEED FOR PEACE TREATY WITH U.S.”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that the DPRK urged the United States on Monday to replace their armistice agreement with a peace treaty. “In order to secure permanent peace and stability and end confrontation and clashes on the Korean Peninsula, the armistice between North Korea and the U.S. should be ended and a peace regime implemented,” the Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary. “The recent armed clash highlights the pressing need (for a peace treaty),” the paper said.
2. US on DPRK Human Rights
Chosun Ilbo (“NEW U.S. ENVOY FOR N.KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS CONFIRMED “, 2009/11/23) reported that the U.S. Senate on Friday unanimously approved Robert King as special envoy for DPRK human rights. King will start his official duties as a member of the State Department’s DPRK policy team under Stephen Bosworth.
3. US-DPRK Relations
Arirang News (“U.S. EXPERTS VISIT N.KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that Korea Economic Institute President Jack Pritchard, director of KEI research and academic affairs Nicole Finneman, and Scott Snyder, director of the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy at the Asia Foundation, arrived in Pyongyang on Saturday and will stay until Tuesday. Experts say the trip will set the stage for the visit of the U.S. point man on DPRK Stephen Bosworth early next month.
4. Russia-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (“RUSSIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER TO VISIT N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/11/22) reported that the Korea Central News Agency said Sergei Mironov, chairman of the Federation Council of Russia, will “soon visit” the DPRK at the invitation of the Supreme People’s Assembly. The report did not specify when Mironov will make the trip or who he was set to meet during his stay.
5. Inter-Korean Relations
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “BUDDHISTS FROM 2 KOREAS HOLD JOINT CEREMONY”, Seoul, 2009/11/21) reported that Buddhist monks from the two Koreas held a joint ceremony at a temple in Kaesong Saturday. “This shows that inter-Korean exchange and cooperation proceeds in a normal manner,” ROK Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said. Eight ROK monks from the Cheontae Order and four DPRK monks marked the 908th anniversary of the death of the order’s founder, a monk named Jawoon.
Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH SUGGESTING NEW TALKS ON MT. KUMGANG TOURS”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that citing an anonymous source, Yonhap News reported Sunday that Ri Jong-hyuk, vice chairman of the DPRK’s Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, told Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun last Wednesday at Mount Kumgang that the DPRK was “willing to listen to and discuss whatever demands the South may have” pertaining to resuming the tour program to the Mount Kumgang resort. According to the report, the DPRK also suggested having an on-site investigation into the fatal shooting of an ROK tourist there last year. ROK Unification Ministry said spokesman Chun Hae-sung said he hadn’t been aware of Ri’s comments before he read media reports and that the ministry had not been briefed by Hyundai. “There may have been some discussions at a working-level regarding the inter-Korean talks, but we can’t acknowledge such exchanges as being official,” Chun said.
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA GETS IMPATIENT ABOUT PACKAGE TOURS”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that Rodong Shinmun on Saturday criticized ROK Unification Minister Hyun In-taek for hindering efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. The pasper said in an editorial that Hyun and his ministry are “viciously opposing inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation under the excuse of the nuclear issue and continuously blocking the resumption of group tours to Mt. Kumgang, citing the absurd three conditions.” On the same day the state-run website Uriminzokkiri said, “Progress in inter-Korean ties is unthinkable so long as confrontational groups such as Hyun In-taek and the Unification Ministry exist.”
6. DPRK Influenza
Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO GIVE TAMIFLU TO N.K. WORKERS AT JOINT PARK “, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that the ROK will provide the anti-viral drug Tamiflu to DPRK workers at the Kaesong industrial park, officials said Monday. “Our government is going to take several preventive measures against the outbreak of the new flu inside the Kaesong industrial park,” Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said at a press briefing. The ministry will provide the park with 1,000 doses of Tamiflu and lease two detection cameras, he said. “When there is a request from the North, we are going to provide the drug through an appropriate process,” Chun said.
7. DPRK Leadership
Joongang Ilbo (“KIM JONG-IL’S MISTRESS MAY HAVE NEW LOVER”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that a former partner of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il may have married another man and left her job as Kim’s secretary, ROK intelligence sources said. “We’re analyzing intelligence that Kim Ok, who had been Kim Jong-il’s personal secretary, has tied the knot with a Workers’ Party member,” a source said. “We believe Kim Ok has quit her job in the secretariat.” “With Kim Ok out of the picture, we’re instead focusing on the increased activities for Kim Kyong-hui, Kim Jong-il’s younger sister and a director at the Workers’ Party,” a government source said. “It’s possible that the intelligence on Kim Ok’s marriage is related to Kim Kyong-hui’s emergence into the spotlight.”
8. DPRK Illicit Activities
Korea Times (“NK DIPLOMATS ARRESTED IN SWEDEN FOR SMUGGLING”, Seoul, 2009/11/21) reported that two DPRK diplomats were arrested in Sweden for smuggling 230,000 packs of Russian cigarettes, Newsis reported Saturday, citing British and Japanese new outlets. They have diplomatic status in Russia. Sweden’s Foreign Ministry said the matter was a criminal case and was being handled by the police. “If you come to Sweden and commit a crime, you’re just like any other foreign national,” a Swedish official was quoted as saying.
9. Sino-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA, N.KOREA PLEDGE TO STRENGTHEN ALLIANCE”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that PRC Defence Minister Liang Guanglie arrived in the DPRK for talks Sunday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. Liang told a reception by Pyongyang’s defence chief Kim Yong-chun that the bilateral relationship was “sealed in blood”. “No force on earth can break the unity of the armies and peoples of the two countries and it will last forever,” Liang said, according to KCNA. “It is the fixed stand of the Korean armyand people to invariably consolidate and develop the DPRK -China friendship, which has stood all trials of history,” Kim responded. The defence chiefs then had “comradely and friendly” talks, according to the report.
10. Sino-ROK Relations
Donga Ibo (“KOREA, CHINA EYE VISA-FREE TRAVEL FROM NEXT YEAR”, Seoul, 2009/11/21) reported that the PRC and the ROK could adopt a visa-free policy for tourists as early as next year. The ROK ministries of culture, justice and foreign affairs said they will devise a measure by year’s end to allow PRC tourists deemed to have little chance of an illegal stay in Korea to enter the country without a visa for up to 30 days.
11. US-ROK Relations
Joongang Ilbo (“REGULAR U.S., KOREA TALKS BY MINISTERS BEING SOUGHT”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that the ROK government will try to hold regular ROK-U.S. meetings of the foreign ministers and defense ministers after the first such conference takes place next year, government sources said Friday. The source said, “We will suggest to the U.S. camp that our ministers gather regularly if the first meeting goes well and yields significant outcomes.”
12. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Yonhap (“KOREAN TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN LIKELY TO BE IN HUNDREDS “, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that ROK Vice Defense Minister Chang Soo-man said Monday the number of troops his country sends to Afghanistan will likely be in the “several hundreds.” Speaking at a parliamentary hearing, Chang said the troop size has yet to be finalized but is unlikely to reach a thousand.
Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “KOREAN MILITARY PLANS TO SEND ON-SITE TEAM TO AFGHANISTAN “, Seoul, 2009/11/20) reported that the ROK military plans to send a due diligence team to Afghanistan to survey the area in attempts to decide the number of troops to send and also the equipment and weapons they would carry, Defense Ministry officials said. “Exactly when the due diligence would be dispatched has yet to be decided,” said Won Tae-jae, the Defense Ministry spokesman.
13. ROK Foreign Aid
Yonhap (“KOREA, UNDP TO BOLSTER COOPERATION IN TACKLING GLOBAL CHALLENGES “, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark were to sign pacts Monday on establishing a “Seoul Policy Center for Global Development Partnership” and bolstering cooperation in efforts to achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDG), officials said. “It is a sort of a knowledge center tasked with helping craft policies for assisting underdeveloped countries in the Asia-Pacific region on the basis of South Korea’s experience in having become a benefactor from a recipient, ” a foreign ministry official said.
Yonhap (“LEE PROMISES TO DOUBLE AFRICA AID IN SENEGAL SUMMIT”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak promised Monday to more than double Seoul’s official development aid (ODA) to Africa over the next three years in his summit talks with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade. “President Wade expressed gratitude for our government’s ODA and asked President Lee to continue expanding the development aid,” Cheong Wa Dae said of the summit. “(Wade) also expressed hope for a chance to learn Korea’s development experience while asking for our government’s support to help increase the investment by Korean companies to his country.”
Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “KOREA, U.S. TO JOINTLY OFFER DEVELOPMENT AID “, Seoul, 2009/11/21) reported that Park Young-joon, ROK vice minister for government policy, received positive responses to his suggestion of a joint ODA model during his meetings with Robert Hormats, U.S. under secretary of state for economic affairs, and Jim Michael, deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, earlier this week. The two countries agreed to form a discussion channel to promote the joint ODA, the ROK Prime Minister’s office said. The move comes as the ROK prepares to emerge as a donor in the international community by becoming the 23rd member of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD.
14. ROK Emissions Trading
Arirang News (“KOREA INVESTS IN ADB’S CARBON FUND”, Seoul, 2009/11/20) reported that the ROK government will commit a total of US$20 million to the Asia Development Bank’s Future Carbon Fund, making it the first Asia country to do so. The Finance Ministry says it will use capital from the Economic Cooperation Development Fund to provide $5 million annually through 2013 starting next year. The financing will give Korea carbon credits post-2012.
15. ROK Human Rights
Hankyoreh (“AI’S HEAD IRENE KHAN VISITS S. KOREA’S YONGSAN TRAGEDY SITE”, Seoul, 2009/11/23) reported that Irene Khan, secretary general of the international human rights group Amnesty International, met family members of people killed in last January’s police raid on a building in Yongsan. Khan asked the ROK government to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
16. ROK Historical Disputes
Dong-A Ilbo (“BUDGET CUT FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION “, Seoul, 2009/11/21) reported that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has had its budget for next year significantly cut by the Strategy and Finance Ministry and the National Assembly. Under a basic law on finding the truth behind past history, the commission’s investigation period ends April 24. The law does not specify the date of termination, and just stipulates that if the period expires, the terms of commission members shall end six months after activities end. The ministry approved a budget of 14.78 billion won (12.8 million U.S. dollars). The National Assembly cut the budget another 650 million won (560,345 U.S. dollars) equal to two months of salaries for commission staff. A National Assembly source said the amount was cut based on the calculation that the salaries can be paid through October 24.
17. US Military Bases in Japan
Yomiuri Shimbun (“LDP CHAPTER WAVERS “, Naha, 2009/11/22) reported that the Liberal Democratic Party’s Okinawa prefectural chapter is discussing whether to drop its support for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station within the prefecture. The plan to transfer the base out of the prefecture won overwhelming support at a meeting of LDP Okinawa prefectural assembly members Friday. The prefectural chapter plans to make a final decision on its position before a prefectural assembly meeting Thursday.
Yomiuri Shimbun (Satoshi Ogawa, “KEY MARINE FORCE TO LEAVE OKINAWA PREFECTURE”, Washington, 2009/11/22) reported that about 1,100 marines from the U.S. Navy 3rd Marine Division specializing in amphibious and ground combat missions are among the troops to be relocated from Okinawa Prefecture to Guam as part of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. The transfer will increase the number of marines to be moved to Guam to 8,552 from an originally planned 8,000. The relocation was referred to in an environmental impact assessment report the U.S. Navy released Friday in connection with its planned construction of a naval base on Guam for the relocation.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“SYMPATHY BUDGET ON THE LINE”, Tokyo, 2009/11/23) reported that Japan’s Government Revitalization Unit, chaired by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, begins work Tuesday on the latter half of the screening of initial budget requests for fiscal 2010. The sessions will examine the Defense Ministry’s budgetary request for Japan’s share of the costs needed to keep U.S. forces stationed in the nation–known as the sympathy budget. The screening team will examine labor costs for workers in U.S. bases, who are said to be on salaries equivalent to national public servants. Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa stated, “It’s unreasonable for the unit to suddenly intervene and cut the amounts.” Yukio Edano, former chairman of the Democratic Party of Japan’s Policy Research Committee who coordinates the screenings, said, “We’ve no intention of intervening in matters that must be decided by the [Japanese and U.S.] governments.”
18. US-Japan Nuclear Agreement
Asahi Shimbun (Nanae Kurashige and Masahiro Tsuruoka, “DOCUMENT PROVES NUKE PACT NEGOTIATIONS”, Tokyo, 2009/11/23) reported that a document that refers to records of meetings leading up to a secret nuclear pact between Japan and the United States has been found among government files, it was learned over the weekend. Sources said the document, which details the 1960 agreement allowing U.S. warplanes or vessels carrying nuclear weapons to pass through or make port calls in Japanese territory without prior consultation, also confirms the existence of transcripts of earlier meetings. It was found during in-house investigations conducted under orders from Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada.
19. Japan Role in Afghanistan
Kyodo (“INT’L MEETING TO PROMOTE PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN OPENS IN TOKYO”, Tokyo, 2009/11/23) reported that a three-day international meeting on the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan began Monday in Tokyo under the sponsorship of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, an international alliance of religious groups, and with the cooperation of the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Discussions are expected to center on how to bring about dialogue and peace negotiations with the Taliban militants, diplomatic sources said. If the participants reach an agreement through the discussions, they will bring forward a proposal to Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, and issue a statement at a press conference on the final day of the meeting, the sources said.
20. Japanese SDF Procurements
Asahi Shimbun (Takateru Doi, “NEW HELICOPTER DESTROYER TO WIDEN MSDF RANGE”, Tokyo, 2009/11/23) reported that Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force plans to build a helicopter destroyer to counter the PRC’s naval buildup and improve responses for contingencies. The planned helicopter destroyer will have a length of 248 meters, a displacement of 19,500 tons and a capability to transport up to 14 helicopters, 4,000 people and 50 trucks. It would also be able to refuel other ships. “Helicopters are needed to seek out and keep an eye on submarines as well as to patrol surface ships from as far away as possible outside the range of enemy missiles,” a Defense Ministry official said. “For those reasons, a large destroyer that can carry many helicopters is necessary.”
Kyodo (“JAPAN MULLS SELECTING F-35 AS NATION’S NEXT MAIN FIGHTER JET”, Tokyo, 2009/11/23) reported that the Japanese Defense Ministry is making arrangements to select the F-35 as Japan’s next-generation mainstay fighter jet, sources at the ministry and the Self-Defense Forces said Sunday. The ministry is considering purchasing a total of about 40 F-35 jets, which feature stealth capabilities for evading radar detection. An F-35 is estimated to cost about 9 billion yen.
21. PRC Cyber Espionage
BBC (“CHINA ‘STEPS UP US CYBER-SPYING'”, 2009/11/20) reported that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said that PRC spies are aggressively stealing secrets to build up the PRC’s military and economic power. Its urged the US Congress to ensure the country was adequately protected against PRC spying. A PRC embassy spokesman in Washington dismissed the allegations as baseless and irresponsible.
22. PRC Tibet Issue
Associated Press (“DALAI LAMA SAYS OBAMA NOT SOFT ON CHINA”, New Delhi, 2009/11/22) reported that the Dalai Lama defended US President Barack from criticism that he has been too soft on the PRC Sunday. “Obama is not soft on China; just has a different style,” he said in an interview aired on Indian television . “I am not disappointed that Obama has not met me yet,” the Dalai Lama said. He said he believed Obama would discuss Tibet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when the two meet Tuesday in Washington.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Business Associations
Uanzhao Urban News (“POLICEWOMEN ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED IN SHIJIAZHUANG”, 2009/11/20) reported that Shijiazhuang Policewomen Association was formally established in Shijiazhuang city of Hebei province yesterday. The Association aims at uniting with all female police and social forces, promoting the strict, impartial and civilized enforcement of law by policewomen, and protecting their personal rights.
24. PRC Energy Supply
China News Net (“CHINA CITIES FACE SHORTAGE OF NATURAL GAS”, 2009/11/20) reported that many cities in southern PRC faced serious shortage of natural gas shortage because the supplies were diverted to the northern cities hit by snowstorm recently. The wholesale price of natural gas per ton has risen 500-700 yuan.