NAPSNet Daily Report 25 June, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- ROK on Naval Ship Sinking
- Possible DPRK Missile Test
- US on DPRK Military
- DPRK on DPRK-US Relations
- DPRK Development Aid
- ROK Aid to the DPRK
- DPRK-US Relations
- US on DPRK Terror List Status
- Sino-DPRK Relations
- DPRK Leadership
- DPRK Economy
- US-ROK Security Alliance
- ROK Space Program
- USFJ Base Relocation
- Japan Politics
- Sino-Japanese Relations
- Sino-Russian Relations
- Cross-Strait Relations
- PRC Military Aid
- PRC Tibet Issue
- PRC Security
- PRC Internet Control
- PRC Civil Society
- II. PRC Report
- PRC Earthquake Reconstruction
- PRC Civil Society and the Environment
- PRC Civil Society
1. I. NAPSNet
2. ROK on Naval Ship Sinking
The Asahi Shimbun (“SEOUL ASKS UNSC TO CONDEMN N. KOREA”, 2010/06/24) reported that Seoul is asking the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution that recognizes the DPRK’s responsibility for the sinking of a ROK naval ship and condemns the reclusive country, sources said. The South Korean government is also calling on the UNSC to press Pyongyang to apologize for the sinking and take measures to prevent a recurrence, the sources said. On these requests, which Seoul regards as minimum conditions, a ROK government source said, “Making compromises is unthinkable.”
Chosun Ilbo (“YOUNG PEOPLE LESS INCLINED TO BLAME N.KOREA FOR SHIPWRECK”, 2010/06/24) reported that although 70 percent of the ROK public believe the DPRK was behind the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan, the proportion is only 60 percent among people between the ages of 20 and 40, a survey suggests. Marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security conducted a poll of 1,000 middle and high school students as well as adults about their attitudes to national security. The poll shows that younger Koreans, especially those in their 20s, are suspicious of accusations against the DPRK. When asked which country they did think attacked the ship, only 64 percent of them said it was the DPRK. Some 5.6 percent said the U.S. and some even pointed to Japan (3.3 percent) and PRC (1.9 percent). Twenty-five percent said they didn’t know.
4. Possible DPRK Missile Test
Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH CALLS FOR NO-SAIL ZONE IN WEST, MAY LOB MISSILE “, 2010/06/25) reported that the DPRK appears to be preparing a missile shoot along the west coast, a military source said, a move that could further raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The source told the JoongAng Ilbo that Pyongyang called for a ban on sailing in the area off the west coast near the border with the ROK. “North Korea has designated four of the northwestern areas in the Yellow Sea as a no-sail zone between June 19 and June 27,” said the source. “That appears to be a step prior to the firing of a short-range missile.” The source said the DPRK previously designated the same areas as a no-sail zone before it launched a missile.
5. US on DPRK Military
Chosun Ilbo (“S. KOREA, U.S. PREPARED FOR FURTHER DPRK PROVOCATIONS: U.S. COMMANDER”, 2010/06/24) reported that the top US commander said the ROK and the US will fight back future military provocations of the DPRK, as tensions mounted on the peninsula over Pyongyang’s alleged sinking of a ROK warship, local media reported. “Through realistic training and exercises, we will be able to decisively engage across the entire range of military conflicts from cyberterrorism to provocations by North Korea (DPRK)’s asymmetric attacks and even a general war in the peninsula,” Army Gen. Walter Sharp was quoted as saying. “Together, we exercise constant vigilance on the land, sea and in the air to deter and defeat any future provocations and aggressions by North Korea,” he reportedly said.
6. DPRK on DPRK-US Relations
Agence France-Presse (“N KOREA SEEKS $75 TRILLION IN COMPENSATION”, 2010/06/24) reported that cash-strapped the DPRK has demanded the US pay almost $US65 trillion in compensation for six decades of hostility. The official DPRK news agency, KCNA, says the cost of the damage done by the US since the peninsula was divided in 1945 is estimated at $US64.96 trillion. The agency said the DPRK has “the justifiable right” to receive the compensation for their blood. It said the committee’s calculation did not include the damage the DPRK had suffered from sanctions after its first nuclear test in 2006.
7. DPRK Development Aid
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA ‘TO GET $32.3 BILLION AFTER KIM JONG-IL DIES'”, 2010/06/24) reported that the international community could spend US$32.3 billion over 10 years to aid the DPRK after the death of Kim Jong-il, researchers claim. According to a paper by Cho Young-key, a professor of DPRK studies at Korea University, for the Korea International Trade Association, international financial bodies and related countries are expected to provide the DPRK with financial support of up to $18.8 billion if the DPRK stays more or less the same following Kim’s death. However, if Pyongyang improves relations with the international community, the amount is expected to rise to $38 billion.
8. ROK Aid to the DPRK
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA ALLOWS MORE HUMANITARIAN AID TO N. KOREA AMID TENSION”, 2010/06/24) reported that the ROK has approved a new shipment of humanitarian aid to the DPRK, an official said, amid persisting tension over the sinking of a ROK warship in March. Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters that his government will allow a civilian relief group to send 400 million won (US$337,000) worth of anti-malaria aid to the DPRK. Chun said the latest batch of aid has been granted because any spread of malaria in the DPRK has the potential to affect ROK residents south of the border.
9. DPRK-US Relations
The Associated Press (“NORTH KOREA THREATENS MORE PUNISHMENT FOR AMERICAN”, 2010/06/24) reported that the DPRK threatened to increase punishment for an American who was sentenced to hard labor for illegally entering the country, citing what it called a hostile US policy toward it., from Boston, was sentenced in April to eight years of hard labor and fined $700,000 for entering the country illegally and for an unspecified “hostile act.” The DPRK is examining what harsher measures to take against Gomes under a wartime law, and would be compelled to consider applying the law if the US persists in its “hostile approach,” the official reported. An expert on DPRK legal affairs said the threat could be a tactic to head off US sanctions over the ship sinking.
Yonhap News (“U.S. URGES N. KOREA TO FREE AMERICAN CITIZEN HELD FOR ILLEGAL ENTRY: STATE DEPT.”, 2010/06/24) reported that the US called on the DPRK to release an American citizen held for illegal entry, demanding the case proceed untarnished by any controversy over the sinking of a ROK warship. “We urge the North Korean government to release Mr. Gomes on humanitarian grounds,” said Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the State Department. “While he remains detained in North Korea, we expect the North Korean authorities to treat him in a humane manner consistent with the international human rights law. And finally we urge the North Korean government to separate its political rhetoric from this matter concerning a private American citizen.”
11. US on DPRK Terror List Status
Yomiuri Shimbun (“U.S. SPARES N. KOREA ‘TERROR SPONSOR’ STATUS”, 2010/06/24) reported that US President Barack Obama’s administration has decided not to relist the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism, US sources said. US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley also admitted government officials were considering putting the DPRK back on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism. But the administration refrained from doing so, as given the current circumstances, it was judged difficult to meet the conditions needed for relisting, the sources said. The administration also wants to avoid provoking Pyongyang to the extent it conducts a third nuclear test.
12. Sino-DPRK Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA LOOKING INTO REPORT TWO NATIONALS KILLED IN N.KOREA “, 2010/06/24) reported that the PRC said it was looking into a report that two of its nationals were beaten to death in North Korea while being investigated on espionage charges. According to the ROK’s Yonhap new agency, which quoted unnamed sources in Beijing, the two traders from the northeastern province of Jilin were allegedly killed during a trip to the DPRK’s border city of Manpo. “We have noted the report. We are seeking to confirm it,” PRC foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters without further comment.
13. DPRK Leadership
Agence France-Presse (“SKOREA: NKOREA RELEASING SONGS, POEMS PRAISING KIM JONG IL’S SON IN SUCCESSION CAMPAIGN”, 2010/06/24) reported that the DPRK is releasingand poems praising leader Kim Jong Il’s youngest son as part of efforts to groom him as his father’s successor, the ROK’s spy chief was quoted as saying. ROK intelligence chief Won Sei-hoon told a closed-door parliamentary committee that the DPRK has launched a propaganda campaign aimed at making its 24 million people adore the junior Kim, according to aides of two lawmakers who attended the session. Won said the DPRK has been publicizing songs and poems praising Kim Jong Un and holding poem-reciting contests, said Lee Kyung-jik, an aide to Hwang Jin-ha, one of the lawmakers.
14. DPRK Economy
The Associated Press (“BANK OF KOREA: NKOREAN ECONOMY SHRANK IN 2009”, 2010/06/24) reported that the DPRK’s state-controlled economy, already just a fraction of its southern rival, shrank last year as a severe winter decimated crops and shortages of raw materials and electricity hindered manufacturing. The ROK’s central bank in a report estimated that the DPRK’s economy contracted 0.9 percent — the third time in the past four years the impoverished economy has gotten smaller. It grew 3.1 percent in 2008. The size of the DPRK’s economy was estimated at 28.6 trillion ROK won ($24.2 billion), or just 2.7 percent that of the ROK’s.
15. US-ROK Security Alliance
Xinhua News (“S. KOREA, U.S. RECONSIDER WARTIME COMMAND TRANSFER”, 2010/06/24) reported that the ROK and the US are having second thoughts about their plan to transfer Seoul’s wartime operational control from the US back to the ROK in 2012 after the DPRK conducted its nuclear test last year, Seoul’s top diplomat said. The two allies have been rethinking the scheduled transfer since U.S. President Barak Obama took office and Pyongyang conducted its second nuclear test, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said.
16. ROK Space Program
Korea Times (“LAUNCH OF 1ST WEATHER SATELLITE RESCHEDULED”, 2010/06/24) reported that a second launch attempt of the nation’s first weather satellite is expected to take place early today, following yesterday’s delay due to mechanical glitches, the state weather and aerospace agencies said Thursday. “Pressure-related problems” were detected in the 780-ton rocket that will carry the satellite, “Chollian,” into orbit the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said, and the countdown was stopped 47 minutes before liftoff from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou. The satellite, which also has communication functions, is set to be launched at 6:41 a.m. (KST), today.
Yonhap (“LAUNCH OF S. KOREA’S FIRST WEATHER SATELLITE POSTPONED”, Seoul, 2010/06/25) reported that the launch of the ROK’s first geostationary ocean weather satellite was postponed for the second time in two days Friday due to mechanical problems. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said that a “launch vehicle pressurization anomaly” alarm repeatedly went off during the final countdown sequence of the Ariane-5ECA rocket. France’s Arianespace SA, which built the rocket, said the pressurization anomaly in the first stage rocket exceeded launch safety parameters forcing the blastoff to be suspended.
18. USFJ Base Relocation
The Asahi Shimbun (“KAN APOLOGIZES TO OKINAWANS FOR BASE BURDEN”, 2010/06/24) reported that in a rare political gesture, Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized to the people of Okinawa for continuing to have the prefecture shoulder the burden of hosting US military bases. “I want to apologize on behalf of all the people in Japan,” Kan said at a ceremony to mourn the victims of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. “We continue to have Okinawa shoulder the heavy burden of U.S. bases,” he said. “On the other hand, we are thankful that the burden borne by Okinawa has contributed to peace in the Asia-Pacific region.”
19. Japan Politics
The Associated Press (“JAPAN PM KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN SEASON”, 2010/06/24) reported that Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan, three weeks after taking office, Thursday kicked off a campaign for upper house polls next month in which he will seek a clear mandate for his leadership. The centre-left premier, addressing voters in shirtsleeves in the western city of Osaka, promised both fiscal austerity to clean up Japan’s battered public finances and better social welfare measures to ease the pain. Outlining his vision, he promised jobs for “regular people such as salaried workers” as well as higher tax on the rich, pointing at the recently-revealed 9.8 million dollar annual salary of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.
20. Sino-Japanese Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINA CONCERNS WITH JAPANESE PM’S “DETERRENT” REMARKS: FM”, 2010/06/24) reported that the PRC voiced concern Thursday over Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s reported remarks that the military presence of the United States in Japan is an important deterrent to the PRC. Kan made the remarks during a debate session with leaders of other parties, when responding to questions on the Japan-US alliance. PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing that the Tokyo-Washington alliance, as a bilateral arrangement, should not exceed its bilateral scope and should not target any third country. “China is a country that sticks to the path of peaceful development. It does not pose a threat to any other nation, and accepts no ‘deterrent’ from other countries,” Qin said.
21. Sino-Russian Relations
Xinhua News (“RUSSIA GIVES GO-AHEAD TO EIGHT JOINT PROJECTS WITH CHINA”, 2010/06/24) reported that eight Russian-PRC joint projects have been approved by the Russian Ministry for Regional Development, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported. Russia will spend 376.6 billion rubles (about 12 billion U.S. dollars) on the projects. The eight projects include a coal deposit in sub-polar Chukotka peninsula; an industrial zone in Trans-Baikal territory; a wood-working plant in Sakhalin region; drinking water factory in Irkutsk; two recreational zones – one in Buryat Republic and the other on the Amur River (Heilongjiang River) Island near Khabarovsk; a railway bridge over the Amur River (Heilongjiang River); and a thermal power plant in Amur region.
22. Cross-Strait Relations
Reuters (“CHINA, TAIWAN TO INK DEAL”, 2010/06/24) reported that Taiwan and the PRC will sign a landmark trade deal on June 29, cutting import tariffs on hundreds of items and giving a major boost to around $100 billion in annual two-way trade, negotiators said on Thursday. The agreement will be the most significant between the former political foes in 60 years. Senior officials from both sides began talks in Taipei on Thursday to finalise the details of a controversial trade agreement which the two sides expect to sign next week.
23. PRC Military Aid
The Associated Press (“CHINA GIVES 257 MILITARY TRUCKS TO CAMBODIA”, 2010/06/24) reported that the PRC stepped in to provide Cambodia with more than 250 military vehicles after the US earlier suspended a similar shipment when the Cambodian government deported 20. Washington announced in April that it had suspended a military aid program that included the supply of 200 vehicles in response to Cambodia’s deportation of 20 Uighurs who had fled ethnic violence last year in the PRC’s far west. The 257 PRC vehicles, including 200 transport trucks, were presented to the Cambodian military in a ceremony on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
24. PRC Tibet Issue
The New York Times (“TIBETANS FEAR A BROADER CRACKDOWN”, 2010/06/24) reported that since rioting two years ago convulsed Tibetan areas of the PRC, rights groups say scores of artists, intellectuals, students and businesspeople have been detained and sentenced to prison on charges of subverting state power or seeking to “split” Tibet from the PRC. They include Tashi Dhondup, a young folk singer who was sent to a labor camp for a song titled “Torture Without a Trace,” and Kunchok Tsephel, a government-employed environmentalist who was given a 15-year term for “disclosing state secrets” after he wrote about the riots on his Web site. Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet said the recent arrests of about 50 poets, bloggers and songwriters represented the most concerted attack on the educated and artistic elite since the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976.
25. PRC Security
The Associated Press (“CHINA SAYS TERROR BUST UNDERSCORES ENDURING THREAT”, 2010/06/24) reported that the PRC said its uncovering of a “terrorist” cell linked to a banned separatist movement in the country’s far west underscored the enduring threat of attacks, a year after deadlyrocked the traditionally Muslim Xinjiang region. The gang had gathered pipe bombs, molotov cocktails, knives and other weapons to carry out attacks in southern Xinjiang cities between July and October 2009, Public Security Wu Heping told a media briefing. After the plot was revealed, gang members scattered to different parts of the PRC and overseas, and authorities have arrested 10 suspects, he said.
26. PRC Internet Control
China Daily (“18 DOMESTIC FIRMS GET NOD FOR NET MAPPING”, 2010/06/24) reported that authorities have approved 18 domestic companies to provide Internet mapping services in the country, with a number of applications from foreign vendors still being considered. The move is expected to pose challenges for the operation of foreign Internet companies such as Google in the PRC. “According to China’s Surveying and Mapping Law, foreign firms are not allowed to provide surveying and mapping services. Their activities in China must be under joint ventures or in partnership with domestic firms,” the SBSM said. The regulator said it has received a few applications from eligible foreign firms and is “still examining” them.
27. PRC Civil Society
The Wall Street Journal (“CHINESE PHILANTHROPY GETS OFFICIAL”, 2010/06/24) reported that Wang Zhenyao, the head of the PRC’s first philanthropic research institute, is calling on all PRC billionaires to donate a million yuan a year to charity. Wang says multimillionaires should give a hundred thousand yuan annually. For the past two decades, Wang has worked in the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Now he has left the ministry to head the new Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute full-time.
28. II. PRC Report
29. PRC Earthquake Reconstruction
Economic Times (“5.8 BILN POST RECONSTRUCTION FUND USED ILLEGALLY”, 2010/06/24) reported that according to the audit report published by National Auditing Administration Monday, as at the end of 2009, there is 5.819 billion RMB fund of post reconstruction been used on projects, daily expenses, loan repayment and other issues out of plan. Some places over-apply fund of 241 million RMB by repetitive application and repetitive people counting.
30. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Sina.com (“FRIENDS OF NATURE CALL FOR PEOPLE PARTICIPATING INTO POLICY MAKING”, 2010/06/24) reported that “Suggestions On Enhancing House Refuse Treatment and Comprehensive Pollution Control”, issued by Ministry of Environment Protection is now collecting opinions from the public. Friends of Nature (a well-known environmental organization) thinks that to resolve problem of refuse needs a broad participation of the whole society, including joining in related discussion and policy-making, and it hopes the public could actively participate into this open opinion collecting.
31. PRC Civil Society
People’s Daily online (“MEDIA’S PHILANTHROPY AND PHILANTHROPIC MEDIA SALON HELD IN BEIJING”, 2010/06/24) reported that the 15th China Welfare Salon with a theme of media’s Philanthropy and philanthropic media was held recently in Beijing. The Salon is sponsored by Wohua Media Net, Philanthropic Net, Yougou Agency and aims to discuss the road of China media’s philanthropy and the development of philanthropic media.