NAPSNet Daily Report 23 September, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK Leadership
Washington Post (“N. KOREAN LEADERSHIP CHANGES POINT TO SHIFT IN NUCLEAR DEALINGS”, 2010/09/23) reported that the DPRK on Thursday revealed the promotion of three senior officials who have been involved previously with the United States in nuclear negotiations. The changes, coming days before the DPRK begins its largest political convention in 30 years, led experts to suggest that the country’s leaders are seeking to stabilize foreign relations and encourage diplomacy. The latest reshuffle elevates diplomats who previously helped to engineer some of the short-lived bright spots in the denuclearization talks. According to the DPRK’s state news agency, Kang Sok Ju has been named the new vice premier of the cabinet, overseeing foreign policy. Kang was involved in 1994 negotiations that led to the Agreed Framework, in which the DPRK promised to freeze nuclear development in exchange for light water reactors. Kang’s previous job, as first vice foreign minister, will be filled by Kim Kye Gwan, who led the DPRK in six-party talks in 2005, when a denuclearization pact was reached. The new vice foreign minister is Ri Yong Ho, Kim’s deputy on the nuclear negotiating team.
2. Japan, ROK on Six-Party Talks
Japan Broadcasting Corporation (“JAPAN, S KOREA DISCUSS 6-PARTY TALKS”, 2010/09/23) reported that Japan’s Foreign Minister and the ROK’s Vice Foreign Minister have agreed to assess the DPRK’s attitude before seeking an early resumption of the six-party talks on the DPRK’s nuclear program. Seiji Maehara met Shin Kak Soo in New York on Wednesday to discuss the six-party talks. Maehara said that while the DPRK appears ready to discuss its nuclear program with other countries, Japan will not agree to a resumption of the talks without coordinating views with the ROK and the United States. Maehara added that the DPRK needs to take concrete action toward nuclear disarmament. Shin responded that it will be necessary to confirm that the DPRK is sincere about this goal before the talks can resume, but that this has yet to happen. Shin said Japan, the United States and the ROK need to continue to coordinate and closely monitor the DPRK.
3. Japan on Nuclear Disarmament
Indian Express (” TEN NATIONS FORM NEW GROUP TO PROMOTE N-DISARMAMENT”, 2010/09/23) reported that Japan, along with nine other non-nuclear nations have launched a group to promote global nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Foreign ministers and other representatives from the 10 countries expressed their resolve in a joint statement to “work together on concrete and practical measures for a world of decreased nuclear risk as a milestone on our path toward realizing a world without nuclear weapons.” The meeting of the new group, co-hosted by Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and his Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd, drew participants from Canada, Chile, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, Kyodo news agency reported. The gathering was held on the sidelines of UN General Assembly meetings. Maehara told a joint press conference following the inaugural meeting that the 10 members will appeal to nuclear states to further reduce their nuclear arsenals. “Through such efforts, we can maintain the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime, which has been weakened. We will tenaciously work toward our ultimate goal” of abolishing nuclear weapons, he said. The Australian minister said he believes the group, with its wide representation, can use its “common voice” to put pressure on countries such as the DPRK and Iran, which have been under fire for their nuclear programmes.
4. US on Sino-Pakistan Nuclear Cooperation
Global Security Newswire (“NUCLEAR EXPORTERS SHOULD TAKE UP CHINA-PAKISTAN REACTOR DEAL, U.S. URGES”, 2010/09/23) reported that a high-ranking U.S. official yesterday said a multinational nuclear export control group should consider a plan by the PRC to build another two atomic energy reactors in nuclear-armed Pakistan, Reuters reported. “We look to engage with China on these particular issues… my focus is to use the framework of the mechanisms that we have in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.” National Nuclear Security Administration chief Thomas D’Agostino said while attending the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna, Austria. “We are going to use the Nuclear Suppliers Group to the best of our abilities and use all of the tools that we have in that forum to address specific nuclear arrangements that are made, whether it is with China, Pakistan or a variety of other countries.””I believe in the end that all reactors involved in civil uses should be under IAEA safeguards,” D’Agostino said. Pakistani Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Ansar Parvez said yesterday IAEA officials should not pick and choose which member states receive agency help in the building of atomic power capabilities.