NAPSNet Daily Report 25 June, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US Interdiction of DPRK Vessels
- 4. Japan on DPRK Interdiction
- 5. Japan on DPRK Sanctions
- 6. US Sanctions on DPRK
- 7. US, ROK Relations with DPRK
- 8. DPRK-US Relations
- 9. Inter-Korean Relations
- 10. ROK Aid to the DPRK
- 11. DPRK Counterfeiting Operations
- 12. DPRK Military
- 13. ROK Military
- 14. US Missile Defense System
- 15. Japan Energy Supply
- 16. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 17. US on PRC Human Rights
- 18. US and Cross Strait Relations
- 19. Cross Strait Relations
- 20. PRC-Arab Energy Cooperation
- 21. PRC Security
- 22. PRC Internet Censorship
- 23. PRC Economy
- 24. PRC Energy Supply
- II. PRC Report
1. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Xinhua News (“RUSSIA CALLS ON DPRK TO RETURN TO SIX-PARTY TALKS “, 2009/06/24) reported that Russia hopes that the DPRK will return to the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin said on Wednesday. Russia is not against holding a five-party consultation session without the participation of the DPRK, but there are no concrete plans for such a meeting so far, the envoy said. “We are not rejecting any format of a conversation on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue,” he said, adding that the five countries should focus their efforts on persuading the DPRK to return to the negotiating table.
2. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
Reuters (“CHINA SAYS NORTH KOREA A “SERIOUS CONCERN””, Beijing, 2009/01/24) reported that the DPRK ‘s nuclear ambitions area “serious concern” for Beijing and should be addressed through further dialogue, a senior PRC military officer said. Lieutenant-General Ma Xiaotian, speaking at a news conference after two days of talks with U.S. officials led by Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, said , “we hope for and encourage positive steps and more stabilizing measures” regarding the DPRK.
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “CHINA’S ROLE VITAL IN ARRANGING FIVE-WAY MEETING: OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2009/06/25) reporte that if the five nations agree to hold a separate meeting, the PRC must take the initiative in deciding details such as timing and venue, Wi Sung-lac said. “As China is the chair country of the six-party talks, its position is important,” Wi said. Asked about China’s position, Wi said, “Various consultations are under way. So I would like to ask you to wait.”
3. US Interdiction of DPRK Vessels
Reuters (“U.S. SEES MULTINATIONAL APPROACH TO NORTH KOREA SHIP”, Washington , 2009/06/24) reported that t he United States will likely agree with other countries about whether to contact a DPRK ship being monitored by the U.S. Navy , the Pentagon said. Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said there has been no decision yet to hail the Kang Nam . “That is a decision I think we will likely take collectively with our allies and partners out there and make a determination about whether we choose to hail and query this particular ship. And if we make that decision, when and where to do so,” Morrell told reporters at a Pentagon briefing. “That is not a decision that’s been made yet and I don’t get the sense that it is imminent.”
4. Japan on DPRK Interdiction
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“MSDF, JCG TO INSPECT NORTH KOREA-LINKED CARGO”, 2009/06/24) reported that a ruling coalition project team decided Tuesday to assign both the Japan Coast Guard and the Maritime Self-Defense Force to inspect vessels sailing to and from the DPRK under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, which imposes sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test. The roles of the JCG and the MSDF will not be clearly defined so that each can flexibly respond to possible incidents during their missions, sources said. Under the envisaged ship inspection operations law, the MSDF will be allowed to act without prior approval from the Diet.
5. Japan on DPRK Sanctions
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN TO PRESS G8 TO ENFORCE N KOREA SANCTIONS”, Tokyo , 2009/06/24) reported that Japan’s Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone will this week press his G8 counterparts to enforce U.N. sanctions to punish the DPRK for its recent nuclear and missile tests, an official said. Nakasone, at the Group of Eight ministerial meeting in Trieste, Italy, will seek to “reconfirm the G8 commitment to implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 1874” which the council unanimously passed on June 12.
6. US Sanctions on DPRK
Yonhap (Hwang Doo-hyong, “OBAMA EXTENDS U.S. SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA”, Washing, 2009/06/24) reported that U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday extended sanctions on commerce with the DPRK for another year under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading With the Enemy Act. “Because the existence and risk of the proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, the national emergency declared on June 26, 2008, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond June 26, 2009,” Obama said in a notice to Congress.
7. US, ROK Relations with DPRK
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA, U.S., N. KOREA SUMMON MEMORIES OF KOREAN WAR, RENEW ANIMOSITY “, Seoul, 2009/06/24) reported that e voking memories of the Korean War that broke out on June 25 some six decades ago, top ROK and US defense officials on Wednesday praised soldiers who died in the conflict while fighting against the “tyranny” of the DPRK. “A North Korean victory in the Korean War would have brought the nightmare of tyranny to this great land, thrusting the citizens of the Republic of Korea into a darkness that their northern counterparts have yet to emerge from,” U.S. Gen. Walter Sharp said in a speech.
8. DPRK-US Relations
United Press International (“N. KOREA: U.S. RESPONSIBLE FOR CRISIS”, Pyongyang, 2009/01/24) reported that the United States, not the DPRK, is responsible for provoking a crisis on the Korean peninsula by wielding a “nuclear stick,” Pyongyang says. In a commentary published in the main DPRK daily Rodong Sinmun and carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, officials said the DPRK is being forced to respond to those who “brandish a nuclear stick with (a) powerful nuclear deterrent.” The DPRK would be “choked off” by the United States if had no nuclear weapons, the commentary said.
Associated Press (Jae-soon Chang, “NKOREA WARNS OF ‘FIRE SHOWER OF NUCLEAR’ ATTACK”, Seoul, 2009/06/25) reported that the DPRK vowed Thursday to enlarge its atomic arsenal. The DPRK “will never give up its nuclear deterrent … and will further strengthen it” as long as Washington remains hostile, Rodong Shinmun said. In a separate commentary, the Rodong blasted a recent U.S. pledge to defend the ROK with its nuclear weapons , saying that amounted to “asking for the calamitous situation of having a fire shower of nuclear retaliation all over South Korea.” The Minju Joson said the U.S. should withdraw its troops from the ROK and drop its “hostile” policy toward the DPRK, saying those were “key to resolving the Korean peninsula issue.”
9. Inter-Korean Relations
The New York Times (“IN CLASH BETWEEN KOREAS, FISHERMEN FEEL FIRST BITE “, 2009/06/24) reported that Yeonpyeong Island sits just two miles from the so-called northern limit line, a watery extension of the demilitarized zone dividing the Koreas. It was the scene of two deadly sea battles in the past decade. The ROK has since dispatched the first of its newest class of “patrol killer” guided-missile ships, designed especially for the close-range naval skirmishes that have taken place in these waters. Many of the island’s 1,600 civilian residents, mostly graying fishermen, said they felt caught in the middle. But they also say they are accustomed to the periodic escalations in tensions, which they describe as just another part of life on this disputed island.
10. ROK Aid to the DPRK
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA’S AID TO N. KOREA PLUNGES 60 PERCENT THIS YEAR “, 2009/06/24) reported that the ROK ‘s government and private assistance for the DPRK has plummeted 60 percent this year amid the rising cross-border tension stemming from the DPRK’s nuclear and missile threats, officials said. State and private support to the DPRK during the January-May period stood at US$15.18 million, down 60 percent on-year from $26.33 million, according to the Unification Ministry. Last month’s provision of aid from the ROK to the DPRK tumbled 85.1 percent on-year, from $8.36 million down to $1.24 million, according to the ministry.
11. DPRK Counterfeiting Operations
Chosun Ilbo (“FAKE U.S. BONDS ‘MANUFACTURED IN N.KOREA'”, 2009/06/24) reported that it appears the DPRK is printing counterfeit U.S. bonds. An Italian newspaper reports a recent mysterious case involving US$134.5 billion worth of counterfeit bonds has a DPRK connection. Earlier this month two Japanese nationals were caught in Italy allegedly trying to smuggle the bonds into Switzerland. Il Messaggero says the fake bonds may have been manufactured in the DPRK since the two men are DPRK agents and are believed to have been seeking to purchase weapons.
12. DPRK Military
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“FRANCE ‘ALLOWED RIFLE SALES TO DPRK'”, 2009/06/24) reported that the French government allowed a French company to export rifles and other firearms worth a total of 218,000 dollars to the DPRK last year, it was learned Tuesday. The revelation came after Glyn Ford, a European Parliament lawmaker and member of Britain’s Labour Party, submitted a questionnaire seeking confirmation to the European Commission on Tuesday. According to 2008 foreign trade data submitted to the United Nations Statistics Division by the French government, it issued permission to export rifles worth 188,815 dollars for sports, hunting and athletics use, as well as associated items such as ammunition.
13. ROK Military
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA SHOULD MODERNIZE FORCE TO TACKLE N. KOREA’S ‘ROBUST’ AIR DEFENSE: US GENERAL”, 2009/06/24) reported that the DPRK has a “robust integrated air defense” that requires the ROK to bolster efforts to modernize its air force training, a U.S. commander said. “We need an electronic warfare training range to prepare our pilots for North Korea’s robust integrated air defense capability,” Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Remington said. “Effective training now will mean a minimized threat of death and destruction in the greater Seoul metropolitan area later,” Remington said during a ROK Air Force conference.
Chosun Ilbo (“S.KOREA BEEFS UP DEFENSE AGAINST N.KOREAN NUKES”, 2009/06/24) reported that ROK military authorities plan to introduce a defense system against an electromagnetic pulse wave unleashed by a nuclear explosion into major strategic facilities next year in case of a nuclear attack from the DPRK. Military authorities will further beef up capabilities to respond to nuclear attack by reinforcing equipment for reconnaissance aircraft earlier than scheduled. The military will also introduce long-range, high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as the U.S.-made Global Hawk ahead of schedule next year to strengthen monitoring of DPRK moves to launch a nuclear provocation.
14. US Missile Defense System
DongA Ilbo (“US CONDUCTS SUCCESSFUL MISSILE INTERCEPTION TEST “, 2009/06/24) reported that the U.S. military has conducted a successful test of its missile interception capability using the airborne laser amid signs that the DPRK is preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said on its Internet homepage Monday that the airborne laser system downed enemy missiles early after their launch over the Pacific Ocean June 6 and 13. The laser is part of the first interception stage of the U.S. missile defense system. A high-powered laser beam is fired from an aircraft at a distance when enemy ballistic missiles reach 30 or 40 kilometers above ground after launch.
15. Japan Energy Supply
Kyodo News (“UKRAINIAN MINISTER SEEKS JAPAN’S HELP IN EXPLORING NATURAL GAS, OIL”, 2009/06/24) reported that Ukrainian Economics Minister Bohdan Danylyshyn has called on Japan to provide aid in the exploration of his country’s natural gas and oil resources, saying it will offer Japan stable supplies of fuel tapped as a result of such cooperation. Danylyshyn said in an interview with Kyodo News on Tuesday that the Ukrainian government would begin searching for offshore oil and gas in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea immediately if Japan provided relevant assistance. Developing energy fields in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea — two areas believed to have huge energy reserves — is “important” for Ukrainian resources development, he said.
16. Sino-Japanese Relations
Kyodo News (“CHINESE, JAPANESE OFFICIALS MEET TO BOOST COOPERATIVE TIES “, 2009/06/24) reported that PRC State Councilor Dai Bingguo met with visiting Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka. Both sides highlighted the strategic meaning of bilateral relations and agreed to deepen cooperation in all fields. The PRC and Japan signed their fourth diplomatic document when President Hu Jintao visited Japan last May, which took bilateral relations to a new historic point, Dai said at the beginning of their meeting. He suggested that both support each other’s development, push forward the process of Asian integration and cooperate to tackle the international financial crisis.
17. US on PRC Human Rights
Agence France-Presse (“US HOUSE SPEAKER SLAMS CHINA ARREST OF DEMOCRACY ADVOCATE”, 2009/06/24) reported that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged worldwide condemnation of the PRC’s decision to arrest prominent pro-democracy dissident Liu Xiaobo . “The decision by the Chinese government to formally arrest Liu Xiaobo deserves the full condemnation from the international community,” said Pelosi. “Liu’s arrest for peacefully criticizing his government and advocating for human rights violates provisions in China’s constitution as well as international human rights standards,” Pelosi said in a statement.
18. US and Cross Strait Relations
Agence France Press (“CHINA URGES US TO SCRAP TAIWAN ARMS SALE”, Beijing, 2009/01/24) reported that the PRC said it urged the US in defence talks here to cancel an arms sale to Taiwan and stay away from waters where the two powers were recently involved in high-seas standoffs. The PRC also urged all sides to exercise restraint over the DPRK ‘s recent nuclear sabre-rattling, Lieutenant General Ma Xiaotian of the People’s Liberation Army told reporters. But he reiterated China’s call for a planned 6.5-billion-dollar US arms sale to Taiwan to be scrapped, calling such deals “the greatest obstacle to Sino-American relations .”
19. Cross Strait Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINESE MAINLAND WELCOMES TAIWAN OPPOSITION TO CROSS-STRAITS FORUM”, 2009/06/24) reported that a mainland official Wednesday said the mainland would welcome politicians of Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to take part in the Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Culture Forum. The Kuomintang (KMT), the island’s ruling party, will send a delegation headed by chairman Wu Poh-hsiung to the forum on July 11 and 12 in Changsha, capital of the central Hunan Province, said Fan Liqing, spokesperson of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, at a regular press conference. The forum will focus on cooperation in culture and education across the Taiwan Strait, she said.
20. PRC-Arab Energy Cooperation
Xinhua News (“CHINA, ARAB NATIONS AGREE TO ESTABLISH ENERGY COOPERATIVE MECHANISM”, 2009/06/24) reported that the PRC and 22 Arab nations agreed to establish a cooperative mechanism on energy resources, according to an outcome document approved by the sixth senior officials’ meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. The document said the two sides agreed that cooperative mechanisms for energy resources, including renewables such as solar and wind, should be established among the governments, state-owned and private enterprises. The two sides also agreed that both had the right to use nuclear energy peacefully and that investment in oil and natural gas exploration, refining, transportation and sale should be encouraged.
21. PRC Security
The Associated Press (“CHINA TO BEEF UP SECURITY AHEAD OF NATIONAL DAY”, 2009/06/24) reported that the PRC has launched a massive security campaign rivaling preparations for last year’s Olympics involving hundreds of thousands of volunteers, police and guards throughout the capital as part of the run-up to the country’s 60th anniversary, state media reported Wednesday. The heightened security campaign in Beijing started Wednesday with standards as stringent as those during the Olympic Games last year, the official Xinhua News Agency and state-run China Daily reported.
22. PRC Internet Censorship
Associated Press (Tini Tran, “CHINA ACCUSES GOOGLE OF SPREADING PORNOGRAPHY”, Beijing, 2009/06/25) reported that the PRC government accused Google Inc . on Thursday of spreading pornography after Chinese Internet users were temporarily unable to gain access to the U.S. search giant’s main Web site or China -based service. “We have found that the English version of google.com has spread lots of pornographic, lewd and vulgar content, which is in serious violation of Chinese laws and regulations ,” said foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang. He said authorities “summoned representatives of Google.com in China and urged them to remove the content immediately.”
Reuters (Chris Buckley and Doug Palmer, “U.S. URGES CHINA TO SCRAP INTERNET FILTER PLAN”, Beijing, 2009/06/25) reported that US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Trade Representative Ron Kirk voiced their concerns over the “Green Dam” software in a joint letter to their PRC counterparts. “China is putting companies in an untenable position by requiring them, with virtually no public notice, to pre-install software that appears to have broad-based censorship implications and network security issues ,” Locke said in a statement. “Protecting children from inappropriate content is a legitimate objective, but this is an inappropriate means and is likely to have a broader scope,” Kirk said.
23. PRC Economy
The New York Times (“DESPITE LAW, JOB CONDITIONS WORSEN IN CHINA “, Dongguan, 2009/06/24) reported that a year and a half after a landmark labor law took effect in the PRC, experts say conditions have actually deteriorated in southern PRC’s export-oriented factories, which produce many of America’s less expensive retail goods. With the PRC’s exports reeling and unemployment rising because of the global slowdown, there is growing evidence that factories are ignoring or evading the new law, and that the government is reluctant to enforce it. Government critics say authorities fear that a crackdown on violators could lead to mass layoffs and even social unrest.
24. PRC Energy Supply
China Daily (“CHINA COMMITS TO OFFSHORE RENEWABLE ENERGY”, 2009/06/24) reported that the PRC is planning to construct a number of 10 GW wind power bases in the coming years, in a bid to further boost the development of the country’s renewable energy industry, the country’s top energy official said recently. Zhang Guobao, administrator of the National Energy Administration, said: “We have worked out the strategy of building large (wind power) bases and integrating them into the mainstream power grid in order to speed up the pace of wind power development in the country”.
II. PRC Report
25. PRC Civil Society and AIDS
Gansu Provincial Health Department (“GANSU CARRIES OUT ACTIVITY FOR CARING AIDS PATIENTS”, 2009/06/24) reported that China Global Fund AIDS Program Gansu Office has carried a caring activity for AIDS patients from June 5-6 in Lanzhou city of Gansu province. 28 patients from all across the province have participated into the activity. They have received free physical examination and have a party.
26. PRC Industrial Associations
People’s Daily online (“NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION EVALUATION CONFERENCE HELD IN BEIJING”, 2009/06/24) reported that Ministry of Civil Affairs has held the first “National Industrial Association Evaluation Conference” today in Beijing. 84 units have been awarded with 3A level and above. The highest level is 5A, and 13 units have got this evaluation.
27. PRC Environment
Xinhua Net (“JIANGXI CONSTRUCTS 8000 RURAL RENEWABLE WASTE RECYCLING STATIONS”, 2009/06/24) reported that in order to promote the rural environmental governance, Jiangxi province will construct 8000 renewable waste recycling stations in new rural pilot areas. The construction will be implemented by Jiangxi Provincial Supply and Marketing Cooperative.