NAPSNet Daily Report 25 August, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. ROK on Six-Party Talks
Yonhap (Yoo Jee-ho, “FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL SAYS CHEONAN SINKING, SIX-PARTY TALKS NOT LINKED”, Seoul, 2010/08/25) reported that an ROK foreign ministry official on Wednesday characterized the resumption of six-party talks and the sinking of the Cheonan as “different” matters. “Strictly speaking, the sinking of the Cheonan and our punitive measures against the North, and the resumption of the six-party talks are different in nature,” the official told reporters on the condition of anonymity. “The talks are related to denuclearization. Post-Cheonan measures are the security steps we took in the face of the grave matter. It’d be a stretch to establish a direct connection between the two.”
2. US-ROK Military Exercises
Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREA MILITARY DRILL ENVISIONS OCCUPYING N.KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/08/24) reported that ROK troops have been practising a war plan during joint military drills with the United States that envisions occupying and stabilising the DPRK, news reports said Tuesday. “Distinctive features of this year’s exercises are the stabilisation operation, which is being led by the unification ministry,” an unidentified military official was quoted as saying by the Dong-A Ilbo. “The unification ministry is practising a programme aimed to turn North Koreans into Republic of Korea citizens, which is the culmination of such a stabilisation operation,” he said.
3. Russo-DPRK Relations
Itar-Tass (“RUSSIAN COMPANIES SCALE DOWN REQUESTS FOR LOW-SKILLED NKOREAN LABOR”, Khabarovsk, 2010/08/24) reported that Russian companies have 956 DPRK personnel working at timber companies of the Amur region, regional authorities said on Tuesday. Deputy chairman of the regional government Nikolai Savelyev said at the Tuesday conference over cooperation with the DPRK in the timber sector that “Amur region companies have been scaling down their requests for labor force from North Korea.” Timber industry experts said the main reasons behind the low demand for DPRK workers are their low skills and insufficient experience. Also, there is a shortage of personnel in much needed specialties. Ze Park, the director of Wondon Rimob, an affiliate of the DPRK’s main department for timber industry, assured that they “will take into account the Russian partners’ recommendations” and that the DPRK henceforth will pay more attention to selecting and training the personnel sent to work in Russia.”
4. Sino-Japanese Energy Cooperation
Xinhua (“CHINESE VICE PREMIER URGES CLOSER CO-OP WITH JAPAN”, Beijing, 2010/08/24) reported that PRC Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called on closer cooperation with Japan in energy efficiency, sustainable economic and high-tech areas. Li made the remarks while meeting with Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Maehara Seiji in Beijing.
5. Japanese Renewable Energy
Nikkei Telecom 21 (“TOYOTA, MISAWA TO JOINTLY DEVELOP ENERGY-INDEPENDENT, UTILITY-FREE HOMES”, Nagoya, 2010/08/25) reported that Toyota Motor Corp. and Misawa Homes Co. will jointly develop homes that rely on photovoltaic and solar-thermal power generation for their entire energy needs, The Nikkei has learned. The partners hope to commercialize as early as 2011 homes that can independently generate their own electricity, as well as power control systems to optimize their energy efficiency. Misawa will develop zero-emission homes that do not generate carbon dioxide during their entire life spans, from construction to eventual demolition. To do so, it will install new solar power systems capable of both photovoltaic and solar-heat energy generation. Insulation will also be improved to the best in the industry, according to the company. Those features will enable the homes to produce enough energy to be self-sufficient.