NAPSNet Daily Report 26 October, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. Inter-Korean Relations
IFES (“3.6% OF SOUTH-NORTH COOPERATION FUND SPENT IN 2010”, 2010/10/26 10:00:00 GMT+0) reported that there has been a sharp drop in inter-Korean exchanges resulting from the chill in relations on the peninsula. This has led to a mere 3.6 percent of the inter-Korean cooperation fund being tapped as of the end of September. In 2009, 8.6 percent of the allocated funds were spent, but this year, even at the end of the third quarter, not even half that much has been allocated.
2. Sino-DPRK Relations
China Daily (Bao Daozu, “CHINA, NORTH KOREA ENHANCE TIES”, 2010/10/26) reported that PRC military officials have expressed their firm resolve to continue advancing their longtime friendship with Pyongyang in commemoration of PRC soldiers who gave their lives during the Korean War. Guo Boxiong, vice-chairman of the PRC’s Central Military Commission, led the military delegation on Sunday to lay a wreath at the martyrs cemetery of Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) 100 km east of Pyongyang. “To review the past is to focus on the future. China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) should join hands to further develop the long-lasting friendship and contribute to the prosperity of both countries and the world,” Guo said.
3. Sino-US Relations
Associated Press (“TAKING HARDER STANCE TOWARD CHINA, OBAMA LINES UP ALLIES”, 2010/10/26 17:00:00 GMT+0) reported that the Obama administration, facing a confrontational relationship with the PRC on exchange rates, trade and security issues, is stiffening its approach toward Beijing, seeking allies to confront a newly assertive power that officials now say has little intention of working with the United States. In a shift from its assiduous one-on-one courtship of Beijing, the administration is trying to line up coalitions — among the PRC’s next-door neighbors and far-flung trading partners — to present PRC leaders with a unified front on thorny issues like the currency and their country’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
4. Sino-Japanese Relations
Associated Press (“JAPAN, WORRIED BY CHINA, MAY BOOST SUBMARINE FLEET”, Tokyo, 2010/10/26) reported that Japan may increase the size of its submarine fleet, officials said, as concerns rise that the expansion of the the PRC navy is tipping the regional balance of power. The Defense Ministry said a bigger submarine fleet is under consideration, with a firm proposal likely to come as early as December. Officials who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday refused to give further details because the plan has not yet been formally tabled. According to Japanese media reports, the number of submarines would be increased from 16 to 22 over the next four years, a substantial rise that could generate concern from neighboring the PRC.
5. ROK Nuclear Energy
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “S. KOREA, U.S. AGREE TO BEGIN JOINT STUDY OF PYROPROCESSING SPENT NUKE FUEL”, Washington, D.C., 2010/10/26) reported that the ROK and the United States agreed Monday to conduct a joint study on pyroprocessing and other ways of handling spent nuclear fuel, a senior ROK official said. The agreement was made at the first formal talks here on rewriting a bilateral nuclear pact that expires in 2014, Cho Hyun, deputy foreign minister for multilateral and global affairs, told reporters. “We’ve concurred that we will soon convene a meeting of technical experts to determine the scope and schedules for the joint study,” Cho said after the one-day talks with the U.S. delegation headed by Robert Einhorn, the State Department’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control.