NAPSNet Daily Report 24 February, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Arms Interdiction
- 2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 5. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 6. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 7. ROK Aid for DPRK
- 8. UN on DPRK Food Aid
- 9. DPRK Leadership
- 10. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
- 11. Japan-US Relations
- 12. USFJ Base Relocation
- 13. Japan-Kuwait Nuclear Cooperation
- 14. Japan Environment
- 15. Japanese Whaling
- 16. PRC Internet Control
- 17. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Arms Interdiction
Reuters (“SOUTH AFRICA SAYS INTERCEPTED NORTH KOREA ARMS SHIPMENT”, 2010/02/23) reported that South Africa has told a U.N. Security Council committee it intercepted a DPRK weapons shipment bound for Central Africa , which diplomats said was a violation of a UN ban on arms sales by Pyongyang. The seizure took place in November, when South African authorities received information that a ship headed for Congo Republic was carrying containers with suspicious cargo, according to a letter sent by South Africa to the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee. The letter, parts of which were seen by Reuters on Monday, said a DPRK company was the shipping agent and the cargo was first loaded onto a ship in the PRC, then transferred to a vessel owned by French shipping firm CMA CGM in Malaysia.
2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (“LEE MARKS 3RD YEAR IN OFFICE WITH FOCUS ON N. KOREAN NUCLEAR ISSUE”, 2010/02/24) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak will mark the second anniversary of his administration with a policy that has steadfastly linked large-scale assistance for the DPRK with progress in its denuclearization. Kim Tae-hyo, a top national security advisor to Lee, said Tuesday that making the DPRK recognize the ROK as a serious partner in the nuclear talks is the foremost condition for the earnest improvement of relations between the countries. “Full-fledged economic cooperation depends on how North and South Korea together open a breakthrough in the nuclear issue,” he told a forum.
3. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Yonhap News (“U.S. CALLS ON N. KOREA TO RETURN TO 6-WAY TALKS BEFORE DISCUSSING OTHER ISSUES: STATE DEPT.”, 2010/02/24) reported that t he United States called on the DPRK to return to the six-party talks on its denuclearization to discuss the lifting of sanctions and related issues. “We are willing to engage in broad discussions with North Korea inside the context of the six-party process on a full range of issues, as is every member of the six-party process,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. “The key to getting to that point is for North Korea to come back to the six-party process, which they are struggling to do… the decision remains theirs and the ball remains in their court.”
4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA ENCOURAGES US, N.KOREA TO MEET”, 2010/02/23) reported that the PRC urged the US and the DPRK to step up efforts to restart stalled nuclear disarmament talks, as diplomats criss-crossed the region to try to get Pyongyang back to the table. “We encourage multilateral and bilateral meetings and dialogue… on this issue, China adopts a supportive and positive attitude,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters. Such contact between the US and the DPRK “will be conducive to the early resumption of the six-party talks and ensure the peace and stability of northeast Asia and the Korean peninsula,” he said.
The Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “CHINA SHUNNING N.K. CONTINGENCIES”, 2010/02/24) reports that the PRC, as a “traditional friend” to the DPRK, is loathe to discuss contingency plans to prepare for possible political unrest in the reclusive regime, a PRC scholar said yesterday. The reason is partially because the Chinese do not believe the internal political system in the DPRK is subject to imminent collapse, and also because the DPRK has its rights as a United Nations member and sovereign country. “Beijing would look at a possible political implosion in the DPRK in the most negative terms and would never try to destabilize that country or join others to do so,” said Wang Ji-si, dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University.
5. Sino-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“SENIOR N.KOREA OFFICIAL ARRIVES IN CHINA: YONHAP”, 2010/02/23) reported that a senior official of the DPRK’s ruling communist party arrived in the PRC and may deliver a letter from leader Kim Jong-Il to President Hu Jintao, the ROK’s Yonhap news agency said. The visit by Kim Yong-Il, director of the party’s international department, follows a visit by his PRC counterpart Wang Jiarui to Pyongyang earlier this month. Wang delivered a letter from Hu inviting leader Kim to visit the PRC. Yonhap, reporting from Beijing, said any letter from Kim would likely touch on this topic.
Associated Press (“HU VOWS TO STRENGTHEN CHINA’S TIES WITH N. KOREA”, Beijing, 2010/02/23) reports that the PRC President Hu Jintao on Tuesday vowed to strengthen ties with the DPRK, saying Beijing will try to upgrade relations “to a new stage,” state media reported. “Under the current complicated international situation, further strengthening friendly communication and enlarging concrete cooperation will benefit people of both countries, and will benefit peace and stable development of the region and the world,” Hu was quoted as saying by The China National Radio. Hu made the remarks during talks with Kim Yong Il, director of the International Department of the DPRK’s Workers’ Party of Korea.
6. Japan-DPRK Relations
LA Times (Ju-min Park , “NORTH KOREA-FUNDED SCHOOLS IN JAPAN HAVE AN IMAGE PROBLEM”, Tokyo, 2010/02/23) reports that the portraits of the DPRK leader Kim Jong Il have been taken down from the classrooms in the run-down Tokyo Chosen No. 2 Elementary School. But a quick look into the teachers lounge reveals the Dear Leader in all his glory. The school for ethnic Koreans in Japan, one of about 60 in the country that are funded by the DPRK, faces a delicate balancing act as money from the reclusive regime has decreased amid economic turmoil there. Since the 1950s, the schools have been run by the General Assn. of Korean Residents in Japan, or Chosen Soren, whose Tokyo headquarters acts as the DPRK’s unofficial embassy.
7. ROK Aid for DPRK
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA SENDS ANTI-FLU AID TO N. KOREA; NORTH EXPRESSES THANKS”, Seoul, 2010/02/23) reports that the ROK delivered anti-flu aid to the DPRK by sending truckloads of sanitizer Tuesday, the Unification Ministry said. The DPRK thanked the ROK authorities Tuesday for the earlier delivered Tamiflu medication, the ministry said in a statement after the 20 ROK trucks returned from Kaesong, where they had unloaded 200,000 liters of hand sanitizer.
8. UN on DPRK Food Aid
CNN (“U.N. OFFICIAL: NORTH KOREA SHOULD GET FOOD AID”, 2010/02/23) reported that three days after the DPRK declared it will not abandon its nuclear weapons program, a senior United Nations official who has just visited Pyongyang strongly defended international food aid to the so-called Hermit Kingdom. “These are human beings that need the food. It’s not the political system. This shouldn’t be argued in a political way,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “Our problem is we don’t have enough money coming in now to sustain some of those programs. … But the truth of the matter is, we need to do more because these are people.”
9. DPRK Leadership
Chosun Ilbo (“KIM JONG-IL ‘COULD BE INDICTED AT INT’L CRIMINAL COURT'”, 2010/02/23) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il could be hauled before the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity if the ROK and Japan can prove that the DPRK abducted their citizens during a bizarre campaign in the 1970s and 80s to find trainers for spies. Kwon O-gon, the vice president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, made the remarks at the first human rights and environment convention under the sponsorship of the Korean Bar Association in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.
10. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
The Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL CALLS ON JAPAN TO STOP DOKDO FEST”, 2010/02/23) reports that the Korean government expressed regret over Japan’s celebration of “Takeshima Day”. The Foreign Ministry called on Tokyo to abolish the ordinance and put an end to the unjustified territorial claim over the islets.
11. Japan-US Relations
Kyodo News (“OKADA WANTS MORE TALKS WITH U.S. AS NUKE DISARMAMENT PROCEEDS”, Tokyo, 2010/02/23) reports that Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Tuesday that Japan hopes to engage more in talks with the United States on its nuclear strategy when discussions on nuclear disarmament proceed beyond the reduction of strategic nuclear arms. ”Japan may have not been deeply involved, or may necessarily have not had to be involved, in discussions on strategic nuclear arms between the United States and Russia. But when the discussion goes to the next step, Japan should become more involved in nuclear disarmament or nuclear policies,” Okada told a press conference.
12. USFJ Base Relocation
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, U.S. TO EFFECTIVELY BEGIN FUTEMMA TALKS IN EARLY MARCH: SOURCES”, 2010/02/23) reported that Japan and the United States will begin examining the feasibility of relocation sites for the US Marines’ Futemma base in Okinawa Prefecture possibly in early March after Japan ‘s three ruling parties present to a government panel their respective ideas on where to relocate the facility, Japanese government sources said. US forces are expected to join the Japanese Defense Ministry’s assessment to figure out if each of the selected relocation sites for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in the Okinawa city of Ginowan can actually operate as a base, the sources said.
Kyodo (“SDP CHIEF URGES GOV’T NOT TO RUSH TO CONCLUSIONS ON FUTEMMA”, 2010/02/23) reported that Social Democratic Party chief Mizuho Fukushima urged the government not to rush to conclusions on where to relocate the U.S. Marines’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa, seeking its relocation outside the prefecture or abroad. The Cabinet should give serious thought to SDP calls for moving the base outside of the prefecture or abroad, said Fukushima, who is also consumer affairs minister. “Let’s do our best, not (settle for) better.”
13. Japan-Kuwait Nuclear Cooperation
Kyodo News (“KUWAIT SEEKS JAPAN’S COOPERATION ON NUCLEAR POWER”, 2010/02/23) reported that Kuwait has expressed hopes that Japan will cooperate with the Middle Eastern country in nuclear power generation, said Teruhiko Mashiko, senior vice minister of economy, trade and industry, Monday after his visit to the country’s capital. Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait, said his country “needs Japan’s environmental technology and know-how including its expertise on renewable energy,” Mashiko said in Saudi Arabia in an interview with Kyodo News.
14. Japan Environment
Japan for Sustainability (“KYOTO CITY TO REVISE GLOBAL WARMING COUNTERMEASURE ORDINANCE”, 2010/02/23) reported that having enacted Japan’s first local Global Warming Countermeasure Ordinance in December 2004, Kyoto City established a committee for promoting the curb global warming and has been reviewing three mandatory provisions in the current ordinance since August 2009. The first provision is the requirement for businesses that emit a large amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to prepare and submit an emissions reduction plan. The second is the requirement to prepare and submit a GHG reduction plan prior to constructing buildings above a certain size. The third issue under review is the energy conservation labeling system for air conditioners, refrigerators and televisions.
15. Japanese Whaling
Kyodo News (“IWC PROPOSES JAPAN SHELVE ‘RESEARCH WHALING,’ HUNT UNDER IWC CONTROL”, London, 2010/02/23) reports that the chairman of the International Whaling Commission proposed Monday to allow Japan to hunt whales in the Southern Hemisphere and Japanese coastal waters by substantially reducing the number of catches under the control of the IWC, in exchange for suspending its “research whaling” for 10 years. The proposal presented by Cristian Maquieira could be taken as effective acceptance of Japan’s return to commercial whaling. Currently, the IWC has no control over the number of whales that can be hunted through the so-called “research whaling,” which some countries criticize as a cover for commercial whaling.
16. PRC Internet Control
The Associated Press (“CHINA LAUNCHES STRICT NEW INTERNET CONTROLS”, 2010/02/23) reported that the PRC’s technology ministry moved to tighten controls on Internet use, saying individuals who want to operate Web sites must first meet in person with regulators. The state-sanctioned group that registers domain names in the PRC froze registrations for new individual Web sites in December. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that ban was being lifted, but would-be operators would now have submit their identity cards and photos of themselves as well as meet in person with regulators and representatives of service providers before their sites could be registered.
17. PRC Environment
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA TO RELEASE POLLUTION-FIGHTING FISH IN LAKE”, 2010/02/23) reported that a uthorities in eastern PRC have said they will release 20 million algae-eating fish into one of the nation’s most scenic lakes that has been ravaged by pollution. Taihu Lake, which straddles Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces , has been severely polluted by sewage as well as industrial and agricultural waste , triggering a blue-green algae plague. Over the next few days, around 20 million more algae-eating fish will be released into the water, the Taihu Lake Fisheries Management Committee said in a statement.
Global Times (“WATER PROJECT LEADS TO MASS RELOCATION”, 2010/02/23) reported that the mass relocation of residents affected by the PRC’s giant South-to-North Water Diversion (SNWD) project will accelerate this year after years of waiting. According to the Xinhua News Agency, at least 440,000 residents will be relocated to make way for the first stage of the project’s eastern and central routes, with 330,000 of them living in Henan and Hubei provinces and around the Danjiangkou Dam reservoir. The water level of the reservoir will be raised by 10 meters in order to create an incline to transport water to Beijing via the central route.
II. PRC Report
18. PRC Civil Society
China News Net (“MCA ASKS FOR COMMENTS ABOUT FOUNDATION MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS REVISION”, 2010/02/23) reported that Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) held a meeting for asking for comments about Foundation Management Regulations revision in Beijing from February 3 to 4, according to the website of MCA today. Government officials, experts, and representatives of foundations have participated the meeting and gave their advises which were of great reference value.
19. PRC Environment
China Environment News (“SHANGHAI HAS NEW MOVES FOR PROMOTING GREEN TRAVELING”, 2010/02/23) reported that Xuhui District of Shanghai city has launch a new activity for promoting green traveling recently. It paired environment-friendly youth ambassadors and communities, and extended environment protection manuals to community residents.
Xinmin Evening News (“ZHEJIANG REJECTS 1490 NON-GREEN PROJECTS”, 2010/02/23) reported that Zhejiang province has taken efforts in conserving resources and protecting environment last year. It has rejected 1490 non-green projects and implemented 264 energy-saving renovation projects in last year.