NAPSNet Daily Report 24 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Japan, UN on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. Inter-Korea Relations
- 5. ROK Regional Cooperation
- 6. ROK-PRC Relations
- 7. ROK Military
- 8. ROK Missile Force
- 9. ROK-US Military Relations
- 10. ROK Labor Unrest
- 11. Japan-Russia Relations
- 12. Japan-US Military Relations
- 13. Japan-US Relations
- 14. Sino-Japan Relations
- 15. PRC Military
- 16. PRC on Global Economy
- 17. PRC Civil Unrest
- 18. PRC Space Program
- 19. Cross-Strait Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. Japan, UN on DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence France Presse (“JAPAN’S NEW PM, UN CHIEF STAND FIRM ON NKOREA”, 2009/09/23) reported that Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and UN chief Ban Ki-Moon agreed to stand firm against the DPRK’s nuclear weapon and missile programs, an official said. “Our prime minister said that while Japan will do whatever it can do, he hopes the United Nations will also take the lead in resolving the issues of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles,” a Japanese official said. “Secretary-General Ban replied that he will spare no effort to resolve the issues surrounding North Korea,” the official said.
2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Associated Press (“OBAMA: NORTH KOREA MUST SHOW ARMS RESPONSIBILITY”, 2009/09/23) reported that President Barack Obama has told a gathering of world leaders that Iran and the DPRK “must be held accountable” if they continue to put their pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of international security. He also said Wednesday “the world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise and that treaties will be enforced.”
Bloomberg (Bill Varner and Janine Zacharia, ” OBAMA’S UN NUCLEAR SUMMIT SIDESTEPS IRAN, NORTH KOREA DISPUTES”, 2009/09/23) reported that President Obama will have PRC and Russian support at the UN tomorrow for his bid to put the world body on record against the spread of nuclear weapons. Obama will call for a vote on a draft resolution to curb the proliferation and testing of nuclear arms and to safeguard fissile materials. On those goals, he likely will have the unanimous backing of leaders gathered in New York, according to interviews with Security Council diplomats. The resolution nonetheless avoids mentioning Iran and the DPRK by name, reflecting disagreement among the U.S., the PRC and Russia over how to deal with countries that are shirking their nuclear obligations.
3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (Byun Duk-kun, “LEE URGES N. KOREA TO UNCONDITIONALLY RETURN TO 6-PARTY TALKS “, New York, 2009/09/23) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak called on the DPRK Wednesday to immediately return to international dialogue on ending its nuclear programs, building on his earlier call for the communist nation to grab what may be its last chance to win concessions for its denuclearization. “We urge the DPRK to respond to the international community’s efforts and return to the six-party talks without any condition and without further delay,” Lee said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “N.KOREAN NUCLEAR BASES POSE GREATEST THREAT: S.KOREAN COMMANDER”, Seoul, 2009/09/24) reported that potential DPRK nuclear bases pose the greatest security threat to the ROK and will come under “swift and precise attacks” in the event of war between the two countries, Lee Sang-eui, picked as the next chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers Thursday. The DPRK is believed to have up to 40kg of plutonium, enough to produce at least six nuclear bombs, according to Lee.
4. Inter-Korea Relations
Hankyoreh (“S. KOREA STICKS TO HARD-LINE POSITION REGARDING AID AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION WITH N. KOREA”, 2009/09/23) reported that the Korea NGO Council for Cooperation with North Korea (KNCCK), a group of 56 groups providing aid to the DPRK, formed an emergency committee to confront the government’s restriction of aid to the DPRK. They are calling on the government to immediately stop the use of aid, on which the lives of DPRK citizens depend, as a political tool to pressure the regime. According to information gathered by the KNCCK, the ROK government has approved only 12 of 46 applications for humanitarian assistance-related visits to the DPRK since it put measures in place to restrict visits following the DPRK’s launch of a long-range rocket on April 5.
Yonhap News (“TWO OFFICIALS ARRESTED IN N. KOREAN DAM INCIDENT “, Seoul, 2009/09/23) reported that a local court issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for two government employees accused of negligence leading to the deaths of six ROK campers following a Sept. 6 flash flood in a border river caused by the DPRK’s sudden dam discharge. The Uijongbu District Court accused the two of negligent supervision of water levels of the Imjin River, which runs through the western section of the inter-Korean border, on the day of the flood caused by the DPRK.
5. ROK Regional Cooperation
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “KOREA TO COOPERATE WITH CHINA, JAPAN OVER N. KOREAN NUKES, GREEN GROWTH”, 2009/09/23) reported that President Lee Myung-bak agreed with the leaders of the PRC and Japan Wednesday to make joint efforts to peacefully resolve the DPRK nuclear issue and strengthen economic cooperation. The leaders also shared the vision of “green growth”. Lee and Hatoyama agreed to strengthen the ROK-Japan alliance in dealing with the DPRK and make joint efforts to promote green growth, a Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.
6. ROK-PRC Relations
Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin and Kim Ji-hyun , “LEE SEEKS SUPPORT FOR ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ “, 2009/09/23) reported that President Lee Myung-bak sought the PRC’s support for his new “grand bargain” proposal over the DPRK nuclear conundrum during a summit with PRC President Hu Jintao, Cheong Wa Dae said. The meeting came as Lee’s proposal on Monday for a “one-shot” barter between Pyongyang’s irreversible denuclearization and the international community’s security guarantee and economic aid met with less than enthusiastic responses from U.S. officials.
7. ROK Military
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “JEJU TO OPEN ECO-FRIENDLY NAVAL BASE IN 2014”, 2009/09/23) reported that after years of mudslinging, a project to build a strategic naval base on the southern resort island of Jeju is set to begin later this year. A coalition of local residents and progressive civic groups are still opposed to the plan, which they argue would cause environmental hazards and harm the image of the “peace island.” Government and Navy officials rebutted the claim, pledging to build a modern naval base that would also be used as a luxury commercial dock as well as an environmentally friendly tourist spot.
Agence France Presse (“ISRAEL TO SUPPLY RADAR SYSTEMS TO SOUTH KOREA”, Jerusalem, 2009/09/23) reported that Israel Aerospace Industries announced on Wednesday it has been awarded two contracts to sell radar systems worth 280 million dollars to the ROK. Under the terms of one contract, IAI subsidiary ELTA Systems will develop and supply an advanced radar system specifically for the FA/TA jets the ROK is developing.
8. ROK Missile Force
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA SHOULD SEEK BETTER MISSILES TO MATCH N. KOREAN THREAT: COMMANDER”, Seoul, 2009/09/24) reported that ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff designate Lee Sang-eui said Thursday the ROK needs to step up its efforts to compete with the DPRK in the development of missile capabilities. “North Korea is threatening us with missiles” of various ranges, Lee said. “We, too, need to possess further improved missile capabilities,” he said, expressing willingness to look into “long-term measures to reinforce” them.
9. ROK-US Military Relations
Agence France Presse (“SKOREA TO SELL 100,000 OLD RIFLES BACK TO US”, Seoul, 2009/09/23) reported that the ROK’s defence ministry said Wednesday it plans to raise tens of millions of dollars by selling more than 100,000 ageing US-supplied rifles to gun enthusiasts in the United States. Washington has approved the ROK’s plan to sell about 86,000 M1 and 22,000 carbines together valued at 130 billion won (108 million dollars), the ministry said.
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “SOUTH KOREA NEGATIVE ON JOINING US MISSILE SHIELD”, 2009/09/22) reported that the ROK has no plan to participate in the U.S.-led global ballistic missile defense (BMD) network, an official at the Ministry of National Defense said. The remark came in a response to a local news report that the U.S. may ask the ROK to join the missile shield initiative. The news report cited a report written by the Missile Defense Agency affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense, describing the ROK as one of the nations to potentially join the BMD effort. “There has been no change in our position not to participate in the U.S. BMD network since the previous Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations,” the official said.
10. ROK Labor Unrest
Reuters (Jon Herskovitz, “SOUTH KOREA SHAKEN BY CIVIL SERVANTS’ LABOUR MOVE”, Seoul, 2009/09/23) reported that the ROK government said on Wednesday that three civil servant groups on Tuesday voted to join the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU). “We will review whether the united government workers’ unions can be an appropriate dialogue partner now that it has become a part of the KCTU, with its lack of political neutrality,” the Public Administration and Security Ministry said in a statement.
11. Japan-Russia Relations
Kyodo News (“HATOYAMA, MEDVEDEV AGREE TO AIM AT SOLVING SOLVE TERRITORIAL ROW”, New York, 2009/09/23) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed Wednesday that their nations will aim to solve the decades-old dispute over ownership of four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido and sign a peace treaty during the lifetime of the present generation, Japanese government officials said. Hatoyama and Medvedev also agreed to hold foreign ministers’ meetings on a regular basis .
12. Japan-US Military Relations
Agence France Presse (Shingo Ito , “NEW JAPAN PM OFFERS OBAMA HELP ON AFGHANISTAN”, New York, 2009/09/23) reported that Japan’s new Prime Minister Hatoyama on Wednesday told President Obama he would look for ways to support Afghanistan, holding out an olive branch in their first meeting. Japan “will seriously consider what we can do for the sake of Afghanistan as well as Japan and the United States” as a possible alternative to the refueling mission, Hatoyama said. “Japan wants to make a positive contribution in the field of our specialty … such as agricultural support or job training, which the Afghan people would be pleased to see,” Hatoyama said.
13. Japan-US Relations
Dow Jones Newswires (“JAPAN PM: TOLD OBAMA ALLIANCE WITH US KEY FOR JAPAN SECURITY”, New York, 2009/09/23) reported that in his first official bilateral meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday, Japan’s new prime minister said his country’s ties with the U.S. remain key to ensuring Japan’s security, and touched upon issues such as climate change, Afghanistan and the DPRK. Describing the meeting as having a “warm atmosphere overall,” Yukio Hatoyama said he thought the talk helped build a trusting relationship between the two leaders. However, Hatoyama said he and Obama didn’t talk specifically about lingering diplomatic issues between the two countries, such as what to do about U.S. military bases in Japan and whether Japan would extend its agreement to refuel U.S. ships bound for Afghanistan.
14. Sino-Japan Relations
Yomiuri Shimbun (Satoshi Saeki , “DPJ AT THE HELM / CHINA UNLIKELY TO GIVE GROUND ON KEY ISSUES”, Beijing, 2009/09/23) reported that during his first meeting with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in New York, PRC President Hu Jintao stressed specific global issues, such as climate change, environmental protection and energy, as ones on which PRC and Japan should cooperate. The issues were included in five proposals Hu made at the meeting Monday evening on ways to boost the Sino-Japanese relationship. But there is a quid pro quo at work: Those fields are the same ones in which the PRC hopes to obtain Japan’s advanced technology to sustain its economic development.
15. PRC Military
Reuters (Lucy Hornby , “CHINA ARMY PARADE MAY GIVE CLUE TO NEW MISSILES”, Beijing, 2009/09/23) reported that when the National Day parade rolls down Beijing’s streets next week, foreign observers will look beyond the goose-stepping soldiers for signs that the PRC is developing a new missile able to threaten U.S. aircraft carriers. If the PRC is able to mount systems that support an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM), it could force the U.S. carrier fleet to keep a greater distance, American defense analysts said, changing U.S. strategy for defending Taiwan should war break out.
Agence France Presse (“CHINA PROMISES SHOW OF FORCE IN OCT 1 PARADE”, Beijing, 2009/09/23) reported that the PRC on Wednesday promised military watchers a real show in the National Day parade on October 1, with a host of new equipment to be rolled out, most of which has never before been seen in public. “The equipment we will unveil is 100 percent China-made and close to 90 percent will be paraded for the first time,” Gao Jianguo, spokesman for the office of the National Day Military Parade Joint Command, told reporters. Gao said new equipment unveiled to the public would include nuclear, conventional and cruise missiles, as well as fighter jets, radar systems and surface-to-air missiles.
16. PRC on Global Economy
Associated Press (“CHINA SUGGESTS MULTINATIONAL SOVEREIGN FUND”, Beijing, 2009/09/23) reported that a deputy governor of the PRC’s central bank proposed the creation of a multinational sovereign wealth fund to help developing countries. “Considerations can be (given) to setting up a ‘supra-sovereign wealth investment fund’ to help channel capital inflow into developing world so that these countries can serve as new engines in global recovery,” said the official, Hu Xiaolian, in a paper on the G-20’s Web site.
17. PRC Civil Unrest
Associated Press (“11 INDICTED IN CHINA BRAWL THAT LED TO RIOTS”, Beijing, 2009/09/23) reported that PRC prosecutors have indicted 11 people in a factory brawl that led days later to deadly rioting in the Muslim far west. Suspects in the factory clash were indicted on charges of either causing intentional injury or group brawling, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Only two of the suspects, both Han, were identified by name.
18. PRC Space Program
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA TO CONSTRUCT MANNED SPACE STATION”, 2009/09/23) reported that the PRC aims to build a manned space station with its own technology by 2020, the next step toward becoming a space power and a feat only the U.S. and Russia have accomplished so far. Chinese media reported that Wang Yongzhi, the project’s chief designer and a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, announced the plan at a conference on 60 years of Chinese space technology. Once the station is finished it will accommodate two to three astronauts for long-term stays as they carry out scientific experiments and measure the Earth, he said.
19. Cross-Strait Relations
Agence France Presse (“CHINA PREPARES TO SHIP MUSEUM TREASURES TO TAIWAN”, Beijing, 2009/09/23) reported that Beijing’s National Palace Museum is preparing to ship 37 prized cultural artefacts to its rival institution in Taiwan in the first exchange between the competing museums, state press said Wednesday. The items will be part of a joint exhibition with Taipei’s National Palace Museum focusing on the Qing dynasty emperor Yong Zheng, who ruled China for 13 years until 1735, the Beijing News said. The exchange will be the first since China’s civil war ended in 1949.
II. PRC Report
20. PRC Climate Change
China Youth Daily (Liu Shixin, “BEIJING LAUNCHES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACTIVITY FOR NATIONAL CELEBRATION”, 2009/09/23) reported that North China Supervision Center of Ministry of Environment Protection will cooperate with environment protection sectors of five provinces in north China, to check up enterprises with pollution risks related with arsenic, lead, chromium, cadmium, and so on.
21. PRC Civil Society
Ningbo Daily (“NINGBO CITY RECRUIT CHARITY VOLUNTEERS TO THE PUBLIC”, 2009/09/23) reported that according to Ningbo Charity Federation, it will recruit charity volunteers to the public. All citizens over 18 years old can enter their names according to their strengths and preferences; people under 18 years old can also participate in the company of their guardian.
22. PRC Public Welfare
Shenzhen Evening News (“SHENZHEN CHARITY FEDERATION DONATES 130,000 SHOES TO SICHUAN DISASTER AREA”, 2009/09/23) reported that according to Shenzhen Charity Federation, the Federation and Shenzhen Television Station have organized a large public welfare activity recently, and donated 130,000 new shoes to students in Sichuan earthquake disaster area.