NAPSNet Daily Report 24 August, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. US on DPRK Sanctions
- 2. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 3. Inter-Korea Relations
- 4. Korean Separated Families
- 5. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 6. DPRK Refugees in PRC
- 7. Death of Former ROK President
- 8. US Military in ROK
- 9. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
- 10. ROK Influenza Outbreak
- 11. Japanese Missile Defense
- 12. Japanese Nuclear Policy
- 13. Japanese Politics
- 14. Japanese Role in Afghanistan
- 15. Japanese Influenza Response
- 16. Taiwan Typhoon
- 17. Sino-US Relations
- 18. PRC-Kazakhstan Relations
- 19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 20. PRC Environment
- 21. PRC Public Health
- 22. PRC Civil Rights
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Sanctions
Associated Press (Jae-soon Chang, “US ENVOY SEEKS SEOUL’S SUPPORT FOR NKOREA SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2009/08/24) reported that US envoy Philip Goldberg sought the ROK’s support Monday to enforce U.N. sanctions against the DPRK. Goldberg met in Seoul with the the ROK’s chief nuclear negotiator and said a complete, verifiable denuclearization of the DPRK is “certainly our goal” and that the U.N. sanctions resolution “very much lays that out.”
2. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Yonhap (“INTER-KOREAN PROJECTS NOT AFFECTED BY U.N.”, Seoul, 2009/08/24) reported that inter-Korean tourism projects, if restarted, will not impede the international community’s efforts to impose sanctions on the DPRK for its nuclear and missile programs, Philip Goldberg, US coordinator for the implementation of U.N. sanctions, said Monday. “My assessment is that at the moment these are issues outside of that resolution. And there are economic and humanitarian developments that are taken into account in the resolution as well,” Goldberg said.
3. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap (“SEOUL DENIES NK LEADER’S SUMMIT PROPOSAL”, Seoul, 2009/08/24) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has not proposed an inter-Korean summit in a verbal message he delivered to ROK President Lee Myung-bak through his deputies Sunday, Cheong Wa Dae announced Monday. “There were only general discussions on the development of South-North relations at President Lee’s meeting with the North Korean delegation, and no issues related to an inter-Korean summit, as reported by some news outlets, were discussed,” the presidential office was quoted as saying.
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “NK LEADER SEEKS TO IMPROVE INTER-KOREAN TIES”, Seoul, 2009/08/23) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak met with DPRK delegates visiting Seoul to pay respects to the late former President Kim Dae-jung Sunday. The delegation, led by Kim Ki-nam, secretary of the Workers’ Party Central Committee, delivered an oral message from their leader Kim Jong-il about advancing bilateral cooperation between the two Koreas. Lee told the delegates to convey the “consistent and firm” principles of his DPRK policy to Defense Commission Chairman Kim, presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan told reporters, without elaborating on what was discussed at the half-hour meeting.
Chosun Ilbo (“INTER-KOREAN TALKS HINT AT ‘PARADIGM SHIFT’ IN TIES”, Seoul, 2009/08/24) reported that a senior ROK official on Sunday spoke of a “paradigm shift” in inter-Korean relations after President Lee Myung-bak met a senior DPRK delegation. “The previous administrations put priority on the exceptional nature of the inter-Korean relations and put the rules of normal international relations aside,” he said. “They already grateful when North Korea just responded to requests for dialogue. That will no longer happen.”
Yonhap (“SEOUL URGED TO RELEASE DETAINED FISHERMEN”, Seoul, 2009/08/21) reported that the ROK on Friday stepped up its demand for the release of four fisherman detained in the DPRK. “We again demand that North Korea send back the fishermen and the ship on humanitarian grounds,” Chun Hae-sung said, adding that Seoul plans to deliver an official request through a military communication line.
4. Korean Separated Families
Chosun Ilbo (“RED CROSS SEEKS TALKS ON INTER-KOREAN FAMILY REUNIONS”, Seoul, 2009/08/21) reported that the ROK Red Cross proposed talks to the DPRK Red Cross on Thursday about resuming the reunions of families separated by the Korean War. The DPRK has offered to resume the reunions on Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving on Oct. 3. The ROK is expected to propose that 100 family members from the ROK go to Mt. Kumgang to be reunited with around 250 of their relatives from the DPRK over a period of three days.
5. Sino-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (“CHINA URGED TO DO MORE TO PRESSURE N. KOREA: CFR PRESIDENT”, 2009/08/23) reported that Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, urged the PRC on Friday to do more to persuade the DPRK to return to the six-party talks. “Where I’d like to see China do a different policy is North Korea,” Haas said. “I would love them to use their leverage there in ways they’ve not used it.” “Two-thirds of North Korea’s trade transits China,” he said. “If the Chinese want to turn the screws on the North Koreans, they can. They have much more influence than we do.”
Joongang Ilbo (“PRESSURE PUT ON PYONGYANG TO REJOIN 6-PARTY TALKS”, 2009/08/22) reported that PRC Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who had arrived in the DPRK capital on Monday, left Friday after a series of meetings with top officials, Xinhua news agency and Korean Central News Agency reported. Wu met with his DPRK counterpart Kim Gye-gwan as well as Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun on the “regional situation,” the agencies reported.
6. DPRK Refugees in PRC
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA ‘USED U.S. REPORTERS’ FILM TO CRACK DOWN ON N.KOREANS'”, 2009/08/21) reported that video footage shot by two TV journalists who were detained in the DPRK was used by the PRC to round up on DPRK refugees. The PRC also deported one ROK human rights activist who is seen in the footage and closed five orphanages that had protected DPRK children. The claims were made Thursday by Lee Chan-woo, a pastor with the Durihana Mission, who was caught and deported by PRC police for helping the two reporters.
Los Angeles Times (John M. Glionna, “NORTH KOREAN DEFECTORS NETWORK FEARS CRACKDOWN”, Seoul, 2009/08/23) reported that a clandestine network that helps DPRK refugees escape through the PRC has gone deeper underground because of fears over what authorities in both countries have learned from the capture of two U.S. journalists. “Their arrest reverberated through the aid network,” said Tim Peters, a missionary in Seoul who oversees aid work in northeast China. “It has made an already difficult situation 10 times more difficult. We now have to be more prudent in every phase of our operation.”
7. Death of Former ROK President
Korea Times (Do Je-hae, “KOREA BIDS SOLEMN FAREWELL TO KIM DAE-JUNG”, Seoul, 2009/08/23) reported that tens of thousands of mourners gathered Sunday for the funeral of the late former President Kim Dae-jung. After a six-day mourning period, the first-ever state funeral for a former head of state began at 2 p.m. at the National Assembly’s main grounds as national flags flew at half-mast nationwide.
8. US Military in ROK
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “USFK TO GET NEWER APACHE HELICOPTERS”, Seoul, 2009/08/21) reported that the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) will replace its only Apache fleet with newer models by the year’s end, according to Stars and Stripes Friday. The older Apaches will be exchanged for the newest model, Block 2, Version 11, the newspaper said. “By the end of the year, all of our aircraft will be traded in,” Chief Warrant Officer 4 Craig D. Yerdon, at the Apache battalion’s standardization instructor pilot, was quoted as saying.
9. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
Korea Herald (“NEW KOREAN ANTI-PIRACY UNIT STARTS OPERATIONS IN SOMALI WATERS”, Seoul, 2009/08/24) reported that a fresh contingent of 300 ROK troops has begun operating off the Somali coast, replacing an anti-piracy unit that had been deployed there since April, officials said Monday. The Dae Jo Yeong destroyer took over on Saturday from the 4,500-ton Munmu the Great, which has escorted a total of 300 boats and is due to return to the ROK by mid-October, Joint Chiefs of Staff officials said.
10. ROK Influenza Outbreak
Korea Times (“FEARS OF NEW FLU SPREAD IN S. KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/08/24) reported that as the number of people infected with Influenza A has surpassed 3,000 in the ROK, more schools have decided to close for the time being. “After receiving a report that the new flu could rapidly spread in October or November, the president said the government must make its utmost effort to secure a sufficient supply of treatment drugs, including Tamiflu,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Lee Dong-kwan was quoted as telling a press briefing after a meeting of secretaries. Seoul currently has enough Tamiflu to inoculate some 5.31 million people, about 10 percent of the country’s total population. Health officials reported Monday the country will need to secure enough for 20 percent of the population.
Joongang Ilbo (“SPREAD OF VIRUS COULD NULLIFY TAMIFLU PATENT”, Seoul, 2009/08/22) reported that Health Minister Jeon Jae-hee said Friday that the ROK government could exercise its authority to nullify the patent of Roche’s Tamiflu so that local pharmaceutical firms will be able to produce the antiviral drug. Jeon said the ministry is discussing with PRC authorities importing flu vaccines to the ROK. “Until local infections broke out, the government had focused on quarantines and preventing the spread of disease,” Jeon said. “But now as local virus spread accounts for 40 percent of the infections, the government will focus on preventing people from dying and suffering serious illness from the flu.”
11. Japanese Missile Defense
Yomiuri Shimbun (“PAC-3 MISSILES TO BE DEPLOYED AT 3 NEW LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE”, Tokyo, 2009/08/24) reported that the Japanese Defense Ministry likely will deploy Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles at three air defense missile-launch facilities to complement the functions of three similar PAC-3 installations in a bid to better defend the nation against ballistic missiles launched from the DPRK, ministry sources said. The three locations include the 6th Air Defense Missile Group in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. The ministry plans to include expenses for the deployment in its budget request for fiscal 2010.
12. Japanese Nuclear Policy
Asahi Shimbun (“HATOYAMA VOWS TO KEEP U.S. NUKES OUT”, Tokyo, 2009/08/24) reported that Yukio Hatoyama, president of the Democratic Party of Japan, said Sunday he would negotiate with the United States to keep nuclear weapons from being brought into Japanese territory if his party won the Aug. 30 Lower House election. Hatoyama said if he was named prime minister, he would attend a summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, expected as early as September, “with a firm determination” to raise the issue. Hatoyama said he felt the Obama administration had shown it was prepared to respect Japan’s three non-nuclear principles.
13. Japanese Politics
Kyodo (“43% OF UNAFFILIATED VOTERS APT TO VOTE FOR DPJ: KYODO POLL”, Tokyo, 2009/08/24) reported that forty-three percent of unaffiliated voters surveyed are apt to vote for the Democratic Party of Japan in the proportional representation section of the election, nearly triple the 15.8 percent who plan to vote for the Liberal Democratic Party, according to a Kyodo News poll. Another 32.0 percent said they usually support the LDP, down 2.7 percentage points from 2005, and 17.1 percent said they support the DPJ, up 4.4 points. But 24.8 percent of the LDP supporters said they will vote for the DPJ this time.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPJ-LED GOVERNMENT MOST FAVORED CHOICE AMONG VOTERS”, Tokyo, 2009/08/22) reported that the latest Yomiuri Shimbun survey showed 27 percent of respondents favored a DPJ-led government, up from 24 percent in the previous poll. Twenty-four percent said they hoped for a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the DPJ, down three percentage points, while support for an LDP-led government rose to 16 percent from 11 percent.
Associated Press (“JAPAN PM SAYS FORECAST OF ELECTION LOSS PREMATURE”, Tokyo, 2009/08/23) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso tried Sunday to downplay recent polls predicting heavy losses for his party in parliamentary elections. Support levels for the Liberal Democrats are “trending upward,” he told public broadcaster NHK. “The situation can totally change in a day or two. We will keep reaching out to voters with our policies.”
Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPJ NOT OVERCONFIDENT DESPITE WIN PREDICTIONS”, Tokyo, 2009/08/22) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan is warning its members against overconfidence and shying away from issues of substance in its House of Representatives election campaign. “The number [of seats in the Yomiuri survey] differs widely from what we actually feel. The real race is yet to come. Only candidates who do what they must [in the campaign] can win in the end,” DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada said during a press conference Friday morning in Kyoto.
14. Japanese Role in Afghanistan
Asahi Shimbun (“TOKYO TO HOST TALK ON PEACE-BUILDING IN AFGHANISTAN”, Tokyo, 2009/08/24) reported that a group of lawmakers is planning to host an international conference in Tokyo in late November to discuss ways to build peace in Afghanistan, sources said. The organizers, from a range of parties, are keen to demonstrate Japan’s continued support for Afghanistan by making diplomatic efforts to establish peace in the war-torn country, the sources said. The international conference will be jointly sponsored by the Japanese committees for the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) and for the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP).
15. Japanese Influenza Response
Yomiuri Shimbun (“NEW-FLU VACCINE IMPORTS MAY BE TOO LATE”, Tokyo, 2009/08/23) reported that the Japanese government might not be able to import vaccine to combat the new type of influenza before autumn, when an epidemic of the disease is feared to intensify, sources familiar with the matter said. According to the sources, the three Western pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccine have submitted terms of contract, among which the government is asked to exempt them from liability in the case the vaccine causes side effects. Additionally, the firms indicated they would prioritize shipments to other countries unless the contract is signed by the end of this month.
Yomiuri Shimbun (Masaru Fujita, Kosho Yamazaki and Masae Honma, “EXPERTS URGE ANTIFLU STEPS WHILE THERE’S TIME”, Tokyo, 2009/08/23) reported that experts are urging authorities to do more to prevent the spread of the new H1N1 strain of influenza Type A. “The number of patients in the nation has been growing only slowly since last week, so the worst is yet to come,” said Tatsuhito Tonooka, the former head of the Otaru municipal public health center in Hokkaido. “Considering the pandemic in the southern hemisphere now, the number of patients in Japan could be four to six times higher than the average yearly figure of about 10 million [seasonal flu infections],” he warned.
16. Taiwan Typhoon
Associated Press (“TAIWAN SAYS TYPHOON MORAKOT HAS CLAIMED 650 LIVES”, Taipei, 2009/08/23) reported that the death toll from Typhoon Morakot was raised to at least 650 Sunday. Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said 160 were confirmed killed, with another 490 listed as missing and presumed dead.
17. Sino-US Relations
VOA News (“NEW U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA PUSHES IMPROVED TIES”, 2009/08/24) reported that the newly-arrived U.S. ambassador to the PRC, Jon Huntsman, says his top priority is to take the U.S.-China relationship to “new heights.” “Sometimes, when we had difficulties and challenges, the relationship has come to a stop,” he said. “And the work hasn’t been able to get done. And that’s not only unfortunate for people in the U.S. and China, but it’s unfortunate for the people throughout the rest of Asia, all of whom depend on a good U.S.-China relationship.” “Specifically, when you look at energy and climate change, regional security and global economy, if we’re going to tackle all of those successfully, by definition, we would have risen to new heights,” said Huntsman.
18. PRC-Kazakhstan Relations
The Hindu (Ananth Krishnan, “CHINA STRENGTHENS PRESENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN”, Beijing, 2009/08/22) reported that in recent weeks, the PRC has significantly expanded its economic presence in the energy-rich Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan. On Thursday, the Xinjiang-based Guanghui Industry company received approval from the PRC’s National Development and Reform Commission to acquire a 49 per cent stake worth $40.5 million in a Kazakh oil company. This deal follows the recent completion of the extension of an oil pipeline to the Caspian Sea’s oil fields with a 10 million ton-a-year capacity, which both countries have already agreed to double.
19. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “REPORT: 200 T0 GO ON TRIAL AFTER XINJIANG RIOTS”, Beijing, 2009/08/24) reported that more than 200 people are expected to go on trial this week for their involvement in riots in Xinjiang. The trials will take place in Urumqi , the China Daily reported.
New York Times (Edward Wong, “WORKERS RETURN TO RESTIVE CHINA REGION”, Beijing, 2009/08/21) reported that the first wave of workers has arrived in the annual migration to Xinjiang this year to pick cotton, according to a report on Friday by Xinhua news agency. The workers are mostly ethnic Han.
20. PRC Environment
Agence France-Presse (“NEARLY FIVE MILLION SHORT OF WATER IN CHINA DROUGHT”, Beijing, 2009/08/23) reported that a total of 4.6 million people and 4.1 million head of livestock face difficulty accessing drinking water in the PRC’s north, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. The figure is up from 3.9 million people affected a week ago, according to earlier state media reports.
21. PRC Public Health
Associated Press (Chi-Chi Zhang, “LEAD POISONING INVESTIGATION BEGINS IN CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/08/24) reported that health and environmental officials have been sent to central PRC to investigate who is responsible for pollution from a manganese processing plant that caused more than 1,300 children to become sickened with lead poisoning, a local government official said Monday. ” Central government officials arrived over the weekend to work with local authorities to begin the investigation of the incident,” said a spokesman surnamed Xiao, for the Wugang city government office .
22. PRC Civil Rights
Reuters (“CHINA RIGHTS LAWYER RELEASED FROM DETENTION”, Beijing, 2009/08/23) reported that Chinese legal rights advocate Xu Zhiyong, co-founder of the Open Constitution Initiative, who had been detained for more than three weeks and accused of tax evasion, was released on Sunday but might still face prosecution, he and his lawyers said. Zhou Ze, one of Xu’s attorneys, said the investigation might continue. “In legal procedure, all it means is that Xu Zhiyong has been judged not to be a threat to society, and we don’t know what will become of the case.”
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Civil Society
China Radio Net (“HONG KONG SOCIAL SERVICE SPENDS HALF OF GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE”, 2009/08/21) reported that at present, large financial support of non-governmental organizations in Hong Kong are from government, including education, social security, medical care, public housing, etc. These have accounted for half of Hong Kong government expenditure, and about 20% -30% citizens are expected to accept these services.
24. Cross Strait Relations
China Taiwan Net (“SIX MAINLAND TV STATIONS JOINTLY HOLD DISASTER RELIEF PARTY FOR TAIWAN”, 2009/08/21) reported that as Taiwan was seriously hit by typhoon “Morak” recently, six major TV television stations jointly held “Love Across the Strait – Party of Aiding Taiwan Compatriots in Disaster-affected Areas” yesterday evening. At the site of the party, 100 love hotlines were open for donation, and all the donation will be used in disaster relief and reconstruction of Taiwan.
25. PRC Employment
Naihai Net (“HAINAN FIRST DISABLED PERSONS’ JOB FAIR GETS POPULAR”, 2009/08/21) reported that Hainan province’s first job fair of disabled persons was held yesterday morning. According to statistics, 61 units provided 450 positions for disabled persons, and over 500 disabled persons came to the site for employment. Finally 224 persons were successfully recruited.