NAPSNet Daily Report 26 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US-DPRK Relations
- 2. DPRK Missile Program
- 3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. ROK Aid for DPRK
- 5. Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 7. DPRK Defectors
- 8. DPRK Human Rights
- 9. DPRK Economy
- 10. ROK Cyber Security
- 11. US-ROK Military Alliance
- 12. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 13. ROK on NPT
- 14. ROK Nuclear Energy
- 15. ROK Influenza Response
- 16. Sino-Korean Historical Dispute
- 17. Ethnic Koreans in Japan
- 18. East Asian Integration
- 19. Japanese SDF Overseas Deployments
- 20. US-Japan Relations
- 21. US Military in Japan
- 22. Japanese Elections
- 23. Sino-Japanese Historical Disputes
- 24. Sino-Indian Relations
- 25. PRC Espionage
- 26. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 27. PRC Climate Change
- II. PRC Report
1. US-DPRK Relations
Voice of America (“N.KOREAN ENVOY MEETS WITH U.S. OFFICIAL “, 2009/10/25) reported that the US State Department said the U.S. special envoy for disarmament talks, Sung Kim, met with DPRK envoy Ri Gun Saturday. A State Department spokesman said Kim conveyed the U.S. position on denuclearization.
2. DPRK Missile Program
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “N. KOREA COMPLETES CONSTRUCTION OF TOP MISSILE BASE: OFFICIALS”, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that the DPRK has completed the construction of the Dongchang-ri missile base on the west coast, senior ROK officials said Monday. “The construction is as good as finished,” one ROK official said. “The necessary facilities are all there” “It’s a leap in North Korea’s ballistic missile development,” another official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity and adding the construction ended “only recently.” Analysts say the Dongchang-ri base is about three times larger than the Musudan-ri site where the DPRK launched a long-range rocket in April.
3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin, “LEE ENLISTS SUPPORT FOR ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ “, Hua Hin, 2009/10/26) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday explained the core aspects of the “Grand Bargain” deal he plans to offer the DPRK at the Asian Summit Meeting. During a separate meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the ROK president sought Australia’s support for his grand bargain proposal. Rudd, in return, expressed his support and called for the DPRK to immediately re-engage in the six-party talks aimed at its denuclearization.
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “SEOUL FIRM ON NK DENUCLEARIZATION”, Seoul, 2009/10/25) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Sunday that he believes the DPRK remains undecided on denuclearization and has shown few signs of making such a decision. The international community should take concerted efforts to induce Pyongyang to come forward for dialogue while implementing the United Nations resolutions against the DPRK’s provocative steps, including the launch of inter-continental ballistic missiles and nuclear tests, Lee said.
4. ROK Aid for DPRK
Associated Press (Jae-Soon Chang, “SKOREA OFFERS FIRST FOOD AID TO NKOREA IN 2 YEARS”, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that the ROK offered 10,000 tons of corn to the DPRK on Monday. ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung stressed that Monday’s offer is purely humanitarian. “It’s difficult to say 10,000 tons are enough considering the North’s food shortages, but North Korea did not specify the size or items when it asked for humanitarian assistance,” Chun said. “Regarding additional assistance, there is nothing we’re considering.”
5. Inter-Korean Relations
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “SKOREA: SUMMIT SHOULD HELP RESOLVE NUCLEAR DISPUTE”, Seoul, 2009/10/24) reported that Lee Dong-kwan, ROK senior presidential secretary for public relations, said Saturday any summit between the two Koreas “should be helpful to progress in the resolution of North Korea’s nuclear issue.” “Our government’s position remains unchanged that we would not hold a meeting for meeting’s sake,” Lee said in comments posted on the ROK presidential Web site.
Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “SEOUL COMMITTED TO TALKS ON N.K. NUKE STANDOFF”, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Monday, “We have firm belief that the inter-Korean dialogue should involve the North Korean nuclear issue, and our position is that we hope to resolve the nuclear problem by improving inter-Korean relations.” But he refused to confirm whether a summit between the two Korean leaders is imminent. The minister only acknowledged that the meeting should not be a political stunt or ploy.
6. Japan-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (“HWANG REJECTS JAPAN’S INVITATION FOR TOKYO TRIP “, Seoul, 2009/10/23) reported that DPRK defector Hwang Jang-yop has turned down Japan’s invitation to visit Tokyo next week and deliver a speech on the DPRK at Japan’s parliament, an informed diplomatic source here said Friday. Hiroshi Nakai, the Japanese minister in charge of abduction issues, flew into Seoul on Thursday night for a meeting with Hwang. “But Hwang refused to meet the Japanese official,” the source said. “Hwang appears to think that it is still early to visit, concerned about the possibility that it will be used for political purposes.”
7. DPRK Defectors
Chosun Ilbo (“S.Korean POW ‘FACED DEPORTATION TO N.KOREA'”, Seoul, 2009/10/23) reported Choi Sung-yong, the president of activist group Family Assembly Abducted to North Korea, said that an 81-year-old ROK prisoner of war who was arrested by PRC police after fleeing the DPRK in mid-August. “Despite the government’s efforts, he has been in detention for more than two months, and it seems highly likely that he will be sent back to the North,” Choi said. “We hope the government will make more efforts since POWs are without doubt South Korean citizens.”
Donga Ibo (“CHINA URGED NOT TO REPATRIATE S. KOREAN POW FAMILIES”, Seoul, 2009/10/23) reported that the ROK Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry on Thursday said it has urged the PRC not to repatriate two families of ROK prisoners of war who recently escaped from the DPRK. Vice Foreign Minister Shin Kak-soo told the National Assembly that Seoul strongly asked Beijing not to send them back to Pyongyang and confirm their whereabouts.
Donga Ibo (“NK DEFECTORS FAIL TO ASSIMILATE INTO S. KOREAN SOCIETY “, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that Dong-A Ilbo sent questionnaires to 470 DPRK defectors who came to the ROK via Vietnam in July, 2004, among whom 200 answered. Many said they had trouble landing jobs due to discrimination. Sixty-two (31 percent) said they were unemployed. Among the 165 in the economically active ages of 20 to 65, 48 (29 percent) were jobless. The average monthly household income for the defectors was a mere 1.42 million won, less than half of the average 3.3 million won for an ROK household.
8. DPRK Human Rights
BBC (“N KOREA HUMAN RIGHTS ‘ABYSMAL'”, 2009/10/23) reported that UN envoy Vitit Muntarbhorn criticised the rights situation in the DPRK. “The human rights situation in the country remains abysmal owing to the repressive nature of the power base: at once cloistered, controlled and callous,” he said. “While many members of the population are in abject poverty and suffer the prolonged deprivations linked with shortage of food and other necessities, the country itself is endowed with vast mineral resources controlled by the authorities.”
9. DPRK Economy
Yonhap (“N.K. LEADER ENCOURAGES SILK PRODUCTION”, Seoul, 2009/10/25) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has ordered greater production of silk so that all his countrymen can have quality clothing, Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday. Kim made the remarks during a tour to the Huichon Silk Mill and several other industrial and educational facilities in the town of Huichon, Jagang Province. Kim also visited the Youth Electric Complex, which produces various electric goods, and a newly-built library. “The striking changes taking place in Jagang Province are a vivid manifestation of our people’s steadfast will to build a great, prosperous and powerful nation with our efforts and resources in this land at any cost,” Kim said.
Yonhap (“ECONOMIC GAP BETWEEN TWO KOREAS REMAINS WIDE “, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that according to the data provide by the finance ministry and the National Statistical Office, the ROK’s total trade volume amounted to $857.3 billion last year, 225.6 times larger than the DPRK’s $3.8 billion. The ROK gross national income stood at $934.7 billion last year, 37.7 times larger than the DPRK’s GNI of $24.8 billion during the same year. The ROK’s per-capita GNI was 18.1 times larger than the DPRK’s, the data showed.
10. ROK Cyber Security
Donga Ibo (“MILITARY’S INTRANET VULNERABLE TO NK HACKING”, Seoul, 2009/10/24) reported that Representative Lee Jin-sam of the Liberty Forward Party said Friday the ROK military’s intranet is vulnerable to attacks by DPRK hackers. “North Korean hackers attacked our military’s intranet in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian in August after the Defense Security Command warned troops of hacker attacks in advance. As a result, part of major intranets of the Air Force and Navy were frozen for several hours, and important data, including more than 1,000 cases of intelligence and grade 2 classified data, were leaked.”
11. US-ROK Military Alliance
Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “U.S. MAY RELOCATE USFK TO AFGHANISTAN”, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that the United States is considering pulling out part of its troops stationed in the ROK to relocate to Afghanistan. “Certainly, that’s something that we are looking very specifically at. And, in fact, there have been forces that were here that went to Iraq very early. And we’re in discussion. No decisions with respect to that right now,” Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff told U.S. Forces Korea troops here when he was visiting last week for a security issues meeting. “The concern that gets raised with respect to rotating forces out of here when we have this discussion is that it lessens the commitment to the alliance in the Republic of Korea. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Mullen said in his remarks.
12. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Yonhap (“KOREAN TROOPS READY FOR POSSIBLE AFGHAN MISSION”, Seoul, 2009/10/23) reported that ROK Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said Friday that the military is readying for “any request” from the government to provide assistance to Afghanistan. “The government will decide whether to dispatch troops, and the military is reviewing how to carry out any government decision,” Kim said. “The government is considering national interest, public opinion, and international trends,” he said.
13. ROK on NPT
Yonhap (“KOREA VOWS EFFORTS FOR STRONGER NPT REGIME”, Seoul, 2009/10/23) reported that the ROK said Friday it will do its best to help global non-proliferation efforts. “Non-proliferation is a prerequisite for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” Vice Foreign Minister Shin Kak-soo said in his speech at a meeting of the U.N. Association of Republic of Korea. “In a bid to join efforts toward a nuclear-free world, Korea will do its utmost to make next year’s NPT Review Conference a turning point for the future of the NPT regime,” Shin said.
14. ROK Nuclear Energy
Yonhap (“GENERATOR HALTS AT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/10/25) reported that a generator at an ROK nuclear power plant shut down due to a malfunction in the generator control rods, the power plant operator said Saturday. The stoppage of the generator does not pose a safety hazard and has little impact on the outside environment, the company said.
15. ROK Influenza Response
Arirang News (“GOV’T TO LAUNCH A H1N1 FLU MANAGEMENT AGENCY”, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that the ROK Ministry of Public Administration and Security on Sunday said if things worsen with the H1N1 virus the ministry will launch a pan-government disaster and safety management center to help cope with the contagion. Ministry officials said they have finished preparations for establishing the management center and it will become operational as soon as a request is made by the health ministry. The new crisis center will also be in charge of handling overcrowding in hospitals due to patients requesting medical treatment.
16. Sino-Korean Historical Dispute
Arirang News (“CHINA CLOSE TO REGISTERING BALHAE SITE ON UNESCO LIST”, Seoul, 2009/10/23) reported that according to a legislator on the Korean National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee, the PRC is pushing ahead with efforts to gain UNESCO recognition for the ruins of Sangyeong-seong in Balhae within this year. The Balhae Kingdom existed from the seventh to the 10th century.
17. Ethnic Koreans in Japan
Donga Ibo (“JAPAN PM TO SUGGEST BILL ON SUFFRAGE FOR ETHNIC KOREANS”, Seoul, 2009/10/24) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Friday said he will soon suggest a bill on giving voting rights to expats living in Japan, including ethnic Koreans. In a news conference, he said, “The government is not yet ready to suggest the bill. It would be hard to suggest a bill at the next extra session of the Diet,” suggesting that the bill will come at the regular session in January at the earliest.
18. East Asian Integration
Chosun Ilbo (“EAST ASIAN BLOC MOVES TOWARD CLOSER INTEGRATION”, Seoul, 2009/10/26) reported that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations declared they agreed in principle to establish an East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia and decided to form four working groups to examine regulations on country-of-origin labeling, customs duties and customs-related issues, and economic cooperation. The ROK and the PRC are taking the lead in creating the free economic zone among ASEAN, the PRC, Japan and the ROK, while Japan is leading the movement to form an economic community similar to the EU involving a total of 16 countries including Australia, India and New Zealand.
Voice of America (“JAPAN URGES ASEAN TO INCLUDE U.S.”, 2009/10/26) reported that Japanese spokesman Kazuo Kodama said Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that the Japan-U.S. alliance was the fundamental cornerstone of Japan’s diplomatic policy. “At the same time, he said, he now upholds a long-term vision of establishing an East Asia Community in accordance with the open regionalism,” said Kazuo Kodama. “He very much intends to promote intra-regional cooperation in east Asia.” Kazuo said ASEAN had yet to discuss if the U.S. would be invited to join any community and it was not clear if any other leaders attending the meetings supported Japan’s position.
19. Japanese SDF Overseas Deployments
Asahi Shimbun (“KAN WANTS BIGGER ROLE FOR SDF ABROAD”, Tokyo, 2009/10/26) reported that Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Sunday the government expects the Self-Defense Forces to play a more active role overseas during a Maritime Self-Defense Force fleet review in Sagami Bay off Kanagawa Prefecture. “It is our hope that the SDF, under Japan’s initiative and civilian control, can contribute to peace and stability in the international community,” Kan said in an address to SDF personnel.
20. US-Japan Relations
Kyodo (Mariko Yasumoto, “HATOYAMA DELIVERS 1ST DIET SPEECH, PLEDGES TO DEEPEN TIES WITH U.S. “, Tokyo, 2009/10/26) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama underscored his pledge Monday in his first policy address in parliament to seek to deepen ties with the United States. Hatoyama, 62, also renewed his determination to create a world without nuclear weapons, reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, work hard to denuclearize the DPRK and seek an early resolution of the abduction issue via ”every conceivable means.”
21. US Military in Japan
Yomiuri Shimbun (“U.S. FORCES’ RENTAL CAR PASS USAGE ‘AT 30%'”, Tokyo, 2009/10/25) reported that a Japanese Board of Audit survey has found about 30 percent of toll-free passes issued for use on highways by Japan-based U.S. military forces in August last year involved rental cars, strengthening the allegation that many U.S. military personnel have been using the passes for personal leisure activities. The Board of Audit on Friday called on the ministry to ask the headquarters of U.S. forces in Japan to submit records of each pass issued and to take other measures to more appropriately check on the U.S. military’s use of the passes.
22. Japanese Elections
Asahi Shimbun (“DPJ NOTCHES KEY BY-ELECTION VICTORIES”, Tokyo, 2009/10/26) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan secured victories in two Upper House by-elections Sunday to fill vacant seats in Shizuoka and Kanagawa districts. Hirokazu Tsuchida, a 59-year-old doctor and chairman of a nursing home running on the DPJ ticket, defeated Shigeki Iwai, a 41-year-old university lecturer endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Party, and two others. Meanwhile, Yoichi Kaneko, a 47-year-old former university lecturer running on the DPJ ticket, edged former Yokohama city assembly member Hiroko Tsunoda, 42, fielded by the LDP, and two other candidates.
23. Sino-Japanese Historical Disputes
Asahi Shimbun (“COMPANY CHANGES TUNE OVER WAR LABOR”, Tokyo, 2009/06/24) reported that Nishimatsu Construction Co. on Friday agreed to compensate Chinese forced laborers during World War II, despite a Japanese Supreme Court ruling that absolved the company of any redress obligation. The agreement was reached in a settlement between Nishimatsu and five Chinese nationals who were forced to work in Hiroshima Prefecture during World War II. The company will establish a trust fund worth 250 million yen to pay compensation to the former forced laborers and their co-workers. Under the settlement, Nishimatsu admitted that the Chinese suffered and that the forced labor in Japan was based on a Cabinet decision. The company also apologized to them.
24. Sino-Indian Relations
Associated Press (“INDIA TO CHINA: DALAI LAMA AN ‘HONORED GUEST'”, Cha-am, 2009/10/25) reported that the Dalai Lama India and will not be barred from visiting a disputed border area in India despite the PRC’s protests, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after meeting with PRC Premier Web Jiabao at a regional summit in Thailand . “I explained to Premier Wen that the Dalai Lama is our honored guest. He is a religious leader,” Singh told reporters, adding, “We do not allow Tibetan refugees to indulge in political activities.”
25. PRC Espionage
Wall St. Journal (Siobhan Gorman, “CHINA EXPANDS CYBERSPYING IN U.S., REPORT SAYS “, Washington, 2009/10/23) reported that the PRC government is ratcheting up its cyberspying operations against the U.S., according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report to be released Thursday. It cited an example of a carefully orchestrated campaign against one U.S. company that appears to have been sponsored by Beijing. The unnamed company was just one of several successfully penetrated by a campaign of PRC espionage operations that are “straining the U.S. capacity to respond,” the report concludes.
26. PRC Ethnic Unrest
New York Times (Andrew Jacobs, “GROUP SAYS CHINA HAS EXECUTED 4 FOR ROLES IN TIBET RIOTS”, Beijing, 2009/10/23) reported that the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy says that PRC authorities have executed four people convicted for their roles in the riots that convulsed Tibet last year. The executions were not announced by the PRC news media, and a woman who answered the phone at the Lhasa Municipal Intermediate People’s Court hung up when asked to confirm the accounts provided by the exile group.
27. PRC Climate Change
Washington Post (Steven Mufson, “CHINA STEPS UP, SLOWLY BUT SURELY”, Langfang, 2009/10/24) reported that in visible and less visible ways, the PRC has begun to address its emissions problem. The steps are driven in part by the parochial concern that climate change could worsen the flooding that plagues the country’s low-lying coastal regions, including Shanghai, and cause water shortages in western areas as glaciers in the Himalayas melt away. But the PRC has also begun to see energy efficiency and renewable energy as ingredients for the type of modern economy it wants to build, in part because it would make the nation’s energy sources more secure.
TIME (Austin Ramzy, “TOWER OF POWER”, 2009/10/25) reported that the PRC, the world’s leading producer of greenhouse gases, is taking an aggressive path to develop alternative sources of energy. Already the world’s leading generator of hydropower, the PRC now aims to be the front runner in wind- and solar-power generation. In 2007 the government directed that by next year at least 3% of large power companies’ generating capacity should come from renewable sources (excluding hydropower); this target jumps to 8% in 2020.
II. PRC Report
28. Sino-US Energy Cooperation
International Online (“SINO-U.S. CLEAN ENERGY COOPERATION HAS GREAT POTENTIAL”, 2009/10/23) reported that Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said in Beijing on Thursday that China and the United States enjoyed great potential for clean energy cooperation. Li made the remarks at the Strategic Forum for U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation. He called for efforts to further the bilateral clean energy cooperation for continuous and substantial progress and sustainable development.
29. Cross Strait Relations
China News Net (“CROSS-STRAIT TOURISM EXCHANGE OFFICES TO BE SET UP”, 2009/10/23) reported that two tourism exchange offices will be established in Beijing and Taipei before the Spring Festival, according to the Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association on the mainland. The offices will be the first public exchange institutions set up across the Taiwan Strait. As of Oct 20, the total number of tourists to Taiwan from the mainland reached over 500,000 from July 18, 2008 when mainland tourists were permitted to visit the island. Lai said the number may increase to 600,000 by the end of this year.