NAPSNet Daily Report 25 May, 2009

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 25 May, 2009", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 25, 2009,

NAPSNet Daily Report 25 May, 2009

Contents in this Issue:

Preceding NAPSNet Report


I. Napsnet

1. DPRK Nuclear Test

Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA CONFIRMS ‘POWERFUL’ NUCLEAR TEST”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that the DPRK said it staged a “successful” underground nuclear weapons test . The DPRK “successfully conducted one more underground nuclear test on May 25 as part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defense in every way as requested by its scientists and technicians,” the Korean Central News Agency said. “The current nuclear test was safely conducted on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology of its control,” it said. The results resolved “scientific and technological problems arising in further increasing the power of nuclear weapons and steadily developing nuclear technology .”

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2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Test

Yonhap (“N. KOREA’S 2ND NUKE TEST OCCURED A FEW KILOMETERS FROM PREVIOUS TEST SITE: WEATHER AGENCY”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that the ROK’s Korea Meteorological Administration said it detected seismic waves from the DPRK’s nuclear test 10 to 15 km away from the 2006 test site around the town of Kilju, North Hamgyong Province. The agency also said the artificial earthquake was detected at 9:54 a.m. with a 4.5 magnitude. In the previous test, the detected magnitude was 3.6, it said.

Yonhap (Sam Kim, “S.KOREA CONVENES ‘CRISIS-MANAGEMENT TEAM’ OF GENERAL-LEVEL OFFICERS”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that the ROK defense ministry said it launched a “crisis management” team of general-level officers Monday. “The team will come up with measures to respond to the test,” said Lee Bung-woo, a spokesman at the Ministry of National Defense, adding the military has yet to put its troops on heightened alert. A three-star officer heads the team, which could be upgraded to an emergency meeting overseen by Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee, the official said. President Lee Myung-bak called a meeting of top security and diplomatic officials at his office, Cheong Wa Dae, at 1:00 p.m., according to his aide.

Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “S. KOREA CONDEMNS N.KOREAN NUCLEAR TEST AS UNPARDONABLE PROVOCATION”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that the ROK government on Monday issued a statement strongly denouncing the DPRK’s latest nuclear test. “The nuclear test is a serious threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia and a serious challenge to the international regime on nuclear non-proliferation,” said the statement. “The government will work closely with other members of six-party talks, such as the United States, Japan, China and Russia, and the international community to make sure the United Nations Security Council takes proper measures,” the statement said.

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3. ROK, Japan on DPRK Nuclear Test

Yonhap (“S. KOREA, JAPAN AGREE ON UN LEVEL PUNISHMENT”, Hanoi, 2009/05/25) reported that the DPRK and Japan agreed Monday to seek U.N.-level punishment against the DPRK’s second nuclear test, officials said. The agreement came at a meeting between Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and his Japanese counterpart Hirofumi Nakasone on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). The ministers said they “call for the U.N. Security Council to convene an emergency meeting on the issue as early as possible,” a senior ROK official was quoted as saying. Yu plans to have more discussions with foreign ministers from other nations, including the PRC and Russia, which are also attending the ASEM forum, he added.

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4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program

Yonhap (“CHINA NOTIFIED OF N. KOREA’S NUKE TEST IN ADVANCE: SOURCE”, Beijing, 2009/05/25) reported that the DPRK gave advance notice to the PRC that it was preparing to conduct a second nuclear test, a diplomatic source said Monday. “North Korea appears to have informed China of its second nuclear test,” the source said. “But there is no information on the timing and other details.” PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, in a meeting with his ROK counterpart Yu Myung-hwan in Hanoi, called for the international community to cope with the latest development in a calm and cool-headed manner, according to Yu’s aides.

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5. US on DPRK Nuclear Test

Washington Post (“PELOSI STATEMENT ON N. KOREA’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUCCESSFUL NUCLEAR TESTS”, Shanghai, 2009/05/25) reported that US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is leading a congressional delegation to the PRC, issued the following statement. “If today’s announcement is true, these tests would be a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which requires that North Korea not conduct any further nuclear tests. Such action by North Korea is unacceptable and cause for great alarm. These reported tests underscore the message our congressional delegation planned to deliver to top Chinese government leaders during our meetings later this week: the Chinese must use their influence to help bring North Korea to the table for the Six-Party talks. Today’s announcement makes that need all the more urgent.”

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6. CTBTO on DPRK Nuclear Test

(Tibor Toth, “STATEMENT BY TIBOR TOTH, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE PREPRATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE TEST BAN TREATY (CTBTO), ON THE ANNOUNCED NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR TEST”, Vienna, 2009/05/25) said in a press release, “Today’s claim by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that it has conducted a nuclear test constitutes a threat to international peace and security and to the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. I am gravely concerned by this action. In particular, it is a serious violation of the norm established by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and as such deserves universal condemnation. Today’s event underlines the urgency of the entry into force of the CTBT and the necessity of putting an end to all nuclear explosions for all time.  It is therefore my hope that the current situation will increase political momentum towards the CTBT’s entry into force and speed up the ratification process.”

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7. DPRK Missile Test

Yonhap (“N. KOREA FIRES SHORT-RANGE MISSILE”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that the DPRK appears to have test-fired a short-range missile Monday on its east coast after it conducted its second nuclear test, an ROK source said. The missile, with an estimated range of 130 kilometers, was fired from the site where the DPRK launched its long-range rocket on April 5, the source said. “The U.S. and South Korean authorities are working together to assess the missile launch,” the source was quoted as saying.

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8. Suicide of Former ROK President

Agence France-Presse (“THOUSANDS MOURN FORMER SKOREAN LEADER”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that tens of thousands of ROK citizens expressed grief at the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun, who committed suicide after being questioned in a graft scandal. The government ordered a week of mourning and a public funeral for the Roh, as thousands of riot police went on guard to quell any backlash against the current  administration. Roh jumped to his death early Saturday from a mountain near his home after going hiking with a bodyguard. He left a suicide note for his family on his home computer. “I caused so much trouble to many people,” it read, according to the text released by police. “Please don’t have sorrowful feelings. Aren’t life and death all part of nature?”

Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “LEE EXPRESSES DEEP CONDOLENCE”, Seoul, 2009/05/24) reported that President Lee Myung-bak has expressed a desire to visit the home of the late President Roh Moo-hyun in Bongha, South Gyeonsang Province, before his memorial service slated for Friday, Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday. “Lee wants to take a trip to the memorial altar set up in Bongha to bid farewell to Roh, but is reluctant to go due to the unfavorable situation there,” a Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson said. “He may visit a memorial altar set up in Seoul or choose to go to church instead to express his sorrow at Roh’s death.” Sources from the presidential office said some of Lee’s secretaries opposed his trip due to worries about a possible clash with angry residents and Roh followers.

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9. DPRK on Former President’s Suicide

Associated Press (“NKOREA’S KIM EXPRESSES CONDOLENCE OVER ROH’S DEATH”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has expressed condolences to the family of ex-ROK President Roh Moo-hyun . The Korean Central News Agency said Monday in a brief dispatch that Kim expressed “profound condolences” for Roh’s wife Kwon Yang-sook and other family members, upon hearing the news of his death.

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10. Inter-Korea Relations

Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “LAWMAKERS URGE N.K. TO RELEASE S.KOREAN DETAINEE”, 2009/05/22) reported that legislators of the governing and opposition parties urged the DPRK Friday to set free an ROK worker it has detained. Rep. Chung Mong-joon of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) proposed that the unification ministry seek cooperation with European embassies based in Pyongyang to ensure the safe return of the worker. Rep. Song Min-soon of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) said the detainee issue is an inter-Korean one and therefore should be settled between the two sides, not involving foreign governments.

Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, “INSURANCE POLICIES CHANGED FOR PROJECTS IN NORTH”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that the ROK Lee Myung-bak administration has modified its state-run insurance policy for ROK companies that have invested in the DPRK. The Unification Ministry said a company which does business with the DPRK used to be entitled to up to 5 billion won ($4 million) of insurance payouts, but the amount has been increased to up to 7 billion won for possible disturbance in their business.

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11. DPRK Internal Situation

Korea Times (Sunny Lee, “NK SPURS DRIVE TO UPROOT ‘CAPITALISTIC ELEMENTS'”, Seoul, 2009/05/23) reported that the DPRK National Defense Commission sent out an order to “root out the capitalistic elements that have infiltrated into the entire society,” said Chosun Ilbo Saturday. According to DPRK sources, the “topple the rich campaign” is being nationally carried out by a combined force of the police and security apparatus with a ranking official from the National Defense Commission directly in charge. It said the move started when a DPRK official, identified as Hong, was caught hiding $2 million in his home during an inspection in the northeastern city of Cheongjin, the newspaper said citing a recent defector.

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12. Japanese-Korean Historical Disputes

Yonhap (“TWO KOREAS’ BUDDHISTS URGE JAPAN TO RETURN HISTORICAL RELICS”, Seoul, 2009/05/23) reported that Buddhists leaders from the ROK and the DPRK jointly called on Japan on Friday to return historic relics that were taken away during the Japanese colonial occupation of the peninsula. The Buddhists adopted a joint statement at a religious service in Pyongyang’s Kwangbop Temple, in which they “strongly urged Japan to … unconditionally return Korean historic relics it had looted away,” the Korean Central News Agency said. ROK Buddhists from the Jogye Order, led by the Venerable Hyemun, are visiting Pyongyang as part of their regular trips to discuss ways to locate and bring back historic relics taken away during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation.

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13. ROK-EU Trade Relations

Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “KOREA, EU AGREE TO CONCLUDE FTA EARLY”, Seoul, 2009/05/24) reported that the leaders of the ROK and the European Union (EU) agreed Saturday to work together for an early conclusion of the Korea-EU free trade talks. The agreement was made at a summit of President Lee Myung-bak, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency at Cheong Wa Dae. They also agreed to work with the international community to peacefully resolve the DPRK nuclear issue.

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14. ROK Military Procurements

Arirang News (“U.S. TO SELL GLOBAL HAWK DRONE TO KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that the U.S. Department of Defense says it plans to sell the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle to the ROK. U.S. officials add the transaction will strengthen bilateral trust. Military authorities here, however, have said they would like to postpone their purchase to 2015 or 2016 citing a lack of funds.

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15. ROK Demographics

Korea Times (Kim Rahn, “SOUTH KOREA’S BIRTHRATE WORLD’S LOWEST”, Seoul, 2009/05/22) reported that the ROK birthrate was the world’s lowest for the second consecutive year, according to the World Health Organization Thursday. An ROK woman gives birth to 1.2 babies on average, based on statistics of 2007. The figure was the same as a year before, and has fallen from the 1990’s rate of 1.6 and 2000’s 1.4.

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16. ROK Influenza Outbreak

Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA SAYS AMERICAN HAS SWINE FLU”, Seoul, 2009/05/23) reported that Authorities in the ROK say tests have confirmed that an American citizen in the country has swine flu. The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday that the 23-year-old woman, who came to the country earlier this month to work as an English language instructor , was quarantined in a hospital. The case marks the country’s fifth confirmed case of the disease. Three ROK citizens have recovered and a Vietnamese will be released from a hospital in a few days, the KCDC said.

Yonhap (“SEOUL CONFIRMS 22ND INFLUENZA A CASE”, Seoul, 2009/05/25) reported that health authorities said Monday they have confirmed an additional case of influenza A, bringing the total number of people infected with the new flu virus to 22. The most recently infected is a 24-year-old U.S. citizen who was teaching English at a private language institute that reported 14 other people who tested positive for the virus, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said. A ministry official said, “Because the male teacher had shared the same house with a co-worker who had already been diagnosed as having contracted the flu, he has been isolated since Saturday as a precautionary measure.”

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17. Japan Influenza Outbreak

Kyodo (“SCHOOLS IN FLU-HIT OSAKA, HYOGO REOPEN AFTER 1-WEEK CLOSURE”, Kobe, 2009/05/25) reported that schools in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures resumed classes Monday after closing for about a week, in line with Japan’s new policy of relaxing restrictions in areas hit hard by a new strain of influenza. Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto said he ”will make the hardest efforts to regain functions” of the prefecture while trying to curb the epidemic at the same time.

Yomiuri Shimbun (“30% OF NEW-FLU CASES INITIALLY TESTED NEGATIVE”, Tokyo, 2009/05/25) reported that about 30 percent of people infected with the new strain of influenza initially tested negative in a commonly used screening procedure for the new flu, according to a survey by Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases. The error reportedly is due to variances in the amount of virus in a person’s body after symptoms first appear. The test almost always proved accurate when conducted the day after symptoms first appeared. But in cases where the test was performed on the day symptoms first manifested, or two days later, about 40 percent of people infected with the virus were judged not to be infected.

Yomiuri Shimbun (“CONFIRMED SWINE FLU CASES DECREASE”, Tokyo, 2009/05/25) reported that the number of confirmed cases of new swine flu reported daily appears to be declining. Local governments reported more than 70 new infections on May 17, 18 and 20. However, between May 21 and 23, the number of confirmed cases reported daily has been under 30. Health ministry officials are not relaxing their monitoring of swine flu because cases in other nations have shown that serious symptoms may develop among pregnant women and people with other illnesses, such as diabetes.

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18. Japanese Nuclear Power

Kyodo (“JAPAN MAY ENTRUST URANIUM ENRICHMENT TO RUSSIA WITHOUT IAEA CHECKS”, Moscow, 2009/05/24) reported that Japan is mulling entrusting uranium enrichment to a Russian nuclear plant which may not be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, sources familiar with Japan-Russia relations said Sunday. A bilateral deal signed on May 12 stipulates Moscow must accept IAEA checks at the plant concerned ahead of time. Under the deal, Japan plans to ship spent nuclear fuel for uranium enrichment to a plant in Seversk, a Siberian city which is currently closed due to its military status. A special clause of the deal says Moscow can proceed with enrichment work at a nuclear plant without receiving actual inspections if it designate the plant as a qualified civil-use nuclear facility and reports to the IAEA that it is ready to receive international inspectors there.

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19. Japan Climate Change

Yomiuri Shimbun (“PUBLIC FAVORS 7% GREENHOUSE GAS CUT”, Tokyo , 2009/05/25) reported that of the six options presented by the government for the nation’s midterm goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the majority of the public favors a decrease of 7 percent, according to a government survey. The government has presented six options for the post-Kyoto era, ranging from a 4 percent increase to a 25 percent reduction from 1990 levels. The government will refer to the results of the poll, released Saturday, as it finalizes a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target to succeed the 6 percent goal from 1990 levels for the 2008-12 period under the Kyoto Protocol.

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20. Japanese Diplomacy

Asahi Shimbun (“PACIFIC LEADERS MEET IN HOKKAIDO”, Shimukappu, 2009/05/23) reported that the fifth Pacific Islands Leaders’ Meeting started here Friday, with representatives from Japan and 16 South Pacific countries and territories taking part. They discussed environmental issues in a general meeting and also held individual meetings with Prime Minister Taro Aso. They were expected to agree on a package of programs, including the creation of a “Pacific environment community” to tackle global warming. Japan is set to offer 50 billion yen in aid for those programs over the next three years.

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21. Sino-Japanese Relations

Yomiuri Shimbun (“NANKING FILM SCREENED FOR JAPANESE IN CHINA”, Shanghai, 2009/05/25) reported that a special screening for Japanese of the Chinese film “City of Life and Death,” also known as “Nanking! Nanking!,” which depicts the rampage in Nanking in 1937 by the Imperial Japanese Army, was held on Saturday in Shanghai. About 250 Japanese watched the antiwar film. The film’s director, Lu Chuan, appeared at the screening and said “I wanted to depict the tragedy of war when people could choose either to fight or to die.”

Los Angeles Times (John M. Glionna, “IN CHINESE CITY, WWII ENEMIES ARE NOW PARTNERS”, Dalian, 2009/05/24) reported that seeking to establish a regional high-tech hub, Dalian officials are courting Japanese investors, offering tax breaks and talking up the city’s weather, infrastructure, friendliness and proximity to Japan. Dalian, a Japanese military hub in the colonial years that still bears the stamp of the past, features direct flights to Japan and hotels catering to the Japanese. Many road signs are in Chinese and Japanese. At a business zone called the Dalian Software Park, Japanese firms make up a quarter of the 450 tenants.

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22. Sino-US Relations

Washington Post (Ariana Eunjung Cha and Glenn Kessler, “PELOSI, LIKE CLINTON, PLAYS DOWN HUMAN RIGHTS BEFORE CHINA TRIP”, Beijing, 2009/05/24) reported that US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Beijing Sunday. At a briefing in Washington before leaving, Pelosi declined to say whether she planned to discuss human rights with her hosts. Instead, she said only that she would focus on securing support for a global pact on reducing carbon emissions. “We have to . . . learn from each other as we go forward. So that is the subject,” she said.

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23. US on Sino-Pakistan Relations

Los Angeles Times (Paul Richter , “U.S. APPEALS TO CHINA TO HELP STABILIZE PAKISTAN”, Washington, 2009/05/24) reported that the Barack Obama administration has appealed to the PRC to provide training and even military equipment to help Pakistan counter a growing militant threat, U.S. officials said. Richard C. Holbrooke, the administration’s special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, has visited the PRC and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks as part of the effort. A senior U.S. official acknowledged that the PRC was hesitant to get more involved, but said, “You can see that they’re thinking about it.”

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24. PRC on Nuclear Disarmament

Reuters (“CHINA CALLS ON US, RUSSIA TO CUT THEIR NUCLEAR ARSENALS”, Beijing, 2009/05/24) reported that the PRC wants the US and Russia to begin curtailing their nuclear arsenals before it negotiates over its much smaller nuclear force, former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans said Saturday. “China’s basic position is that it’s up to others to make the first move in this respect, in particular the United States and Russia,” Evans said  after a meeting of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament in Beijing. “There was some reluctance on the Chinese side to go much further at this stage,” he told a news conference.

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25. PRC Ethnic Unrest

Radio Free Asia (“UYGHUR CHILDREN’S ‘IDENTIES CHANGED'”, Hong Kong, 2009/05/22) reported that children belonging to the ethnic Uyghur minority at an orphanage in northwestern PRC routinely undergo changes of identity in which they assume Chinese names, according to current and former employees. “When I started working in this institution in 1998, there were about 30 Uyghur children,” Amangul, a former teacher at the Urumchi Welfare Institution for Abandoned Children, said. “At least 10 of their names and file details were all changed to Chinese,” she added.

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26. PRC Censorship

The Guardian (Li Datong, “A MODERN END TO MEDIA SUPPRESSION”, 2009/05/19) wrote that as a result of the authority’s strict control over state media, the internet has played a greater role in the PRC than in any other country in communicating facts and moulding public opinions. The government poses one criterion on information control, that is, whether it undermines its rule. But the government also understands that it’s not sufficient to rely simply on sources inside the party and the government to keep them informed of what’s happening below provincial level.

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II. PRC Report

27. PRC Environment

China Daily online (Wang Yu, Ling Xiang, “TINAJIN CITY TO ENHANCE WATER GOVERNANCE IN NEXT THREE YEARS”, 2009/05/24) reported that Tianjin city plans to raise 5.25 billion yuan from various channels for water environment governance, sources with a news conference held by Tianjian government yesterday. The specific plan is to build and upgrade 60 sewage treatment plants in three years.

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28. PRC Civil Society

Luoyang News Net (Meng Qingguo, “LUOYANG: CIVIL SERVANTS IN OFFICE SHOULD NOT TAKE PART TIME JOB IN INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS”, 2009/05/23) reported that all the government-operated social organizations should gradually be separated from the government in function, institution, staff, finance and so on, sources with the Luo Yang municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs. From now on, civil servants in office should not take part job in industrial associations.

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29. PRC Civil Society and Poverty

Tinashan Net (Wang Sichen, “MULTIMEDIA DONATION MACHINE USED IN XINJIANG”, 2009/05/23) reported that China Poverty Alleviation Foundation and Zhongci Sunshine Poverty Alleviation Foundation co-launched “National Multimedia Donation Machine” project. The sponsors set up multimedia donation machines in public places, to make the public know charity cause, enhance charity awareness and participate in charity activity. All the raised fund will be used to help dropouts and on the construction of sunshine playground.

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III. ROK Report

30. Late President’s DPRK Policy

Yonhap News (“WHAT ROH’S DEATH LEFT IN NORTH-SOUTH RELATION”, 2009/05/25) recorded that former president Roh Moo-Hyun tried to reflect the ROK’s voice in discussions on various issues of the Korean peninsula while holding onto the relation with the DPRK. Professor Koh Yuhwan at Dongguk University said that “the Roh administration succeeded to conclude the 6.15 Declaration as part of efforts to systemize relations with the DPRK; however, things didn’t work out smoothly,” and added that “he tried to put stepping stones to systemize relations with the DPRK through summit meeting in October, 2007, but it failed due to regime change.” Professor Koh continued that “Roh pushed forward with consistent foreign policies and unification policies under a ‘grand design,’ a plan to solve DPRK’s nuclear weapons issue through the six-party framework and then to create a multinational cooperative security system in Northeast Asia in the long run.” 

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31. ROK-U.S. FTA

Chosun Ilbo (“US MUST OFFER A SOLUTION TO SAVE KOREA-US FTA”, 2009/05/25) recorded that regarding the Korea-US FTA, ROK Trade Minister Kim Jonghoon said on Friday that “the US must offer a solution first, and it should be something that we could accept and that does not damage the existing balance of benefits.” He added that “There would be no rewriting of the already settled agreement. It is upto the US government, which raised the issue, to deal with what needs to be decided outside of the agreement.” Ron Kirk, the US Trade Representative, recently stated that “in order for the US and world economy to be quickly recovered, expanded trade through existing and new FTA is necessary.” It is now time for the US to put those words into action and practice the principles of free trade.