NAPSNet Daily Report 24 August, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. US-DPRK Relations
Foreign Policy (Josh Rogin , “JIMMY CARTER HEADED TO NORTH KOREA ON RESCUE MISSION”, 2010/08/23) reported that former US President Jimmy Carter is set to travel to the DPRK very soon, according to two sources familiar with the former president’s plans, in what they characterized as a private mission to free U.S. citizen Aijalon Mahli Gomes. A senior administration official would not confirm that Carter has decided to go but told The Cable, “If anyone goes it would be a private humanitarian effort.” Sources report Carter was selected because he is not a serving U.S. official.
2. Inter-Korea Relations
Hankyoreh (Lee Jung-ae, “GNP CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR RESUMPTION OF RICE AID TO N.KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/08/24) reported that ruling Grand National Party (GNP) Chairman Ahn Sang-soo reportedly pressed the Lee Myung-bak administration to consider restarting rice aid to the DPRK, saying in a meeting of nine party and government leaders Sunday afternoon that rice aid could open up dialogue and would be good for local farmers by reducing surpluses. Ahn’s proposal is believed to be in accordance with a judgment that with the flood damage in the DPRK, the aid issue needed to be considered as an exit strategy to improve inter-Korean relations. Liberty Forward Party (LFP) Chairman Lee Hoi-chang also voiced support. Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung stated, “Due to the May 24 measures taken against North Korea following the sinking of the Cheonan, aid programs for North Korea have been suspended in principle, although aid for children and the weakest classes will continue. The government is not currently considering the issue of resuming rice aid.”
3. Sino-ROK Relations
Hankyoreh (Park Min-hee, “TENSIONS HIGH AS S.KOREA-CHINA RELATIONS MARK 18 YEARS”, Beijing, 2010/08/24) reported that Beijing sources familiar with the PRC-ROK relationship have recently been saying there are even indications that senior foreign affairs officials have been dodging meetings with Yu Woo-ik, ROK ambassador to the country. Recently, proper discussions of sensitive issues are reportedly not taking place at all. “Recently, if you meet the Chinese elder statesmen, they all say ‘no comment’ when asked about the two countries’ relations,” said one figure who has developed close friendships with Chinese people over a long period of doing business in the country. “Chinese people sense that South Korea has been pressuring the country through the strength of its ‘Big Brother’ the United States since the Cheonan sinking, and they are angry about it.”
4. Cross Strait Relations
Taipei Times (Ko Shu-ling, “MA WALKING TIGHTROPE IN CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS, ANALYSTS SAY”, Taipei, 2010/08/24) reported that the much-anticipated Pentagon report released last week on the PRC military exacerbated global concerns over the PRC’s military buildup, but analysts said that what really worried them was Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s cross-strait policy, which some described as “walking a tightrope.” Ma has continued to emphasize the importance of resolving cross-strait disputes by peaceful means, saying that is the best solution available and the first priority of his administration. He also urged Washington to “seriously consider” selling Taiwan F-16C/D fighter aircraft, the third time in less than three weeks he made such an appeal to the US government. Ma’s call, however, ran counter to his previous position and that of his party, which blocked an arms procurement package in the legislature more than 50 times over a three-year period when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in power.
5. Taiwan Renewable Energy
Taiwan Economic News (“TAIWAN UNVEILS GOALS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY INSTALLATION CAPACITY”, Taipei, 2010/08/23) reported that the Executive Yuan, Taiwan’s Cabinet, recently unveiled the installation capacity goals for the island`s renewable energies, which are set at 6,388 megawatts for 2020, 8,968 megawatts for 2025 and 10,858 megawatts for 2030. The government also projects renewable energies, namely solar power, offshore wind power and onshore wind power, to account for at least 5% of the total energies used to generate the island`s electric power beginning 2020.