NAPSNet Daily Report 26 September, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 5. DPRK-US Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Relations
- 7. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 8. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 9. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 10. DPRK Leadership
- 11. ROK and DPRK Leadership
- 12. US-ROK Security Alliance
- 13. US-ROK Relations
- 14. ROK Military
- 15. ROK-PRC Relations
- 16. ROK-Russian Relations
- 17. ROK Economy
- 18. Japan Politics
- 19. Japan SDF Afghanistan Mission
- 20. Japanese Military Doctrine
- 21. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 22. Cross Strait Relations
- 23. PRC Earthquake
- 24. PRC Space Program
- 25. Sino-Indian Nuclear Cooperation
- 26. PRC Internet
- 27. PRC Public Health
- 28. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
The Christian Science Monitor (Donald Kirk , “NORTH KOREA TAKES STEPS TO RESTART NUKE PLANT”, Panmunjom, 2008/09/25) reported that the DPRK’s frustration towards the Bush administration for not taking the country off from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism and DPRK’s possibility of restarting it nuclear program. “As requested by North Korea, it had removed the seals and surveillance cameras that have stopped nuclear development at the nuclear complex at Pyongyang, 60 miles north of Pyongyang. North Korea then barred UN nuclear inspectors from the facility and said it plans to reactivate the plant within a week,” announced on Wednesday by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency.
2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Korea Herald (Jin Dae-woong , “SEOUL TO REFRAIN FROM N. KOREA RETALIATION”, 2008/09/25) reported that the ROK will restrain itself from immediate retaliatory measures against the DPRK’s escalating moves to reverse their pledged disablement of nuclear facilities, Seoul’s top diplomat said. “At the current stage, we will take time to analyze the situation quietly and continue diplomatic efforts to avoid further aggravation. I see no need for an urgent response,” ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said in a news conference in Washington. “We are sending messages in various ways to North Korea to urge them not to let the situation deteriorate,” Yu said.
Korea Times (Michael Ha, “‘NK DENUCLEARIZATION BACK TO SQUARE ONE'”, Seoul, 2008/09/26) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan on Friday said that the DPRK denuclearization process has regressed back to square one. “For the foreseeable future, our most important diplomatic challenge will be attempting to address the North Korean nuclear issue,” Yu remarked. “The North’s denuclearization has returned to the starting point, back to square one. We are facing a difficult situation and we need to devote more diplomatic effort and resources into resolving this problem.” “Pyongyang officials may be thinking strategically, that they should wait out the upcoming U.S. presidential election,” Yu said. But, he added, “It’s hard to speculate which U.S. presidential candidate will claim the White House. Still, regardless of who wins the election, there won’t be any major adjustments in the way Washington approaches the North Korean nuclear issue.”
3. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (Kim Boram, “N.K. STRATEGIZING FOR MORE CONCESSIONS FROM NEXT U.S. PRESIDENT: ADVISER “, Seoul, 2008/09/25) reported that the DPRK’s latest reversal on its denuclearization is a highly calculated move begun in summer to extract more concessions from the next US administration, a foreign policy adviser to U.S. presidential candidate said. “We are very unlikely to make more progress in the six-party talks before the new president is elected in January,” said Michael Green, Asia policy adviser to Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, at a parliamentary forum on Asian culture and economy. “Probably we are going to see things going backward with the DPRK’s reprocessing.”
4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Xinhua (“NUCLEAR TALKS ON KOREAN PENINSULA ISSUE FACING CRUCIAL OPPORTUNITY”, Beijing, 2008/09/25) reported that the stalled six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is facing a crucial opportunity to make a breakthrough, said PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao. “The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula has achieved key progress through constant efforts by those involved recently…meanwhile, there are still difficulties lying in front of us,” Liu told reporters at a regular briefing. “We hope all parties involved will show flexibility, settle the verification of the nuclear declaration at an early date, and push forward the six-party process into a new phase,” Liu said.
5. DPRK-US Relations
Xinhua (“U.S. PREPARING FOR SURPRISE ATTACK, ALLEGES DPRK”, Pyongyang, 2008/09/25) reported that a surprise preemptive U.S. attack on the DPRK is imminent, the DPRK’s official KCNA news agency quoted a military source as saying. “The U.S. imperialists are now massively beefing up their naval and air forces and rapid task forces in South Korea and around the Korean Peninsula to stifle the DPRK by force of arms,” the source said.
6. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (Shim Sun-ah, “N.K. BRINKMANSHIP LIKELY TO AGGRAVATE SOUTH-NORTH TIES DESPITE SEOUL’S OVERTURES”, Seoul, 2008/09/25) reported that the DPRK is unlikely to turn its nuclear threats into action, but if it does, the current chill in inter-Korean relations will be protracted despite Seoul’s recent softening of its stance toward Pyongyang, analysts said. “The Seoul government should create an amicable atmosphere to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue with Pyongyang,” said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of DPRK Studies in Seoul. “Inter-Korean relations will obviously be strained further if Seoul tries to put more pressure on Pyongyang to help resolve the nuclear issue.” Kim Yong-hyun, a DPRK expert at Seoul’s Dongguk University, also said he does not think the DPRK wants to break up the six-party nuclear disarmament process but further deterioration of inter-Korean ties is inevitable if Pyongyang restarts the Yongbyon facility this year.
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “PYONGYANG PROPOSES WORKING-LEVEL MILITARY TALKS TO SEOUL”, Seoul, 2008/09/26) reported that Pyongyang proposed to Seoul holding working-level military talks next Tuesday, a source from the ROK Ministry of National Defense said Friday. The source said that the government ministries are now looking into the background of the DPRK’s proposal and will decide whether or not ROK officials sit down with their DPRK counterparts after reviewing the offer.
7. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Korea Herald (Jin Dae-woong , “‘INTER-KOREA PROJECTS DEPEND ON N.K. ATTITUDE'”, Seoul, 2008/09/26) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Friday that Seoul will not expand inter-Korean economic cooperation if the DPRK reneges on its pledge to disable its nuclear facilities. “We have a plan to actively run inter-Korean cooperation projects when the six-party talks enter the third phase,” Yu said at a Seoul National University alumni lecture.
8. Japan-DPRK Relations
Kyodo News (“NAKAYAMA TO BE REAPPOINTED SPECIAL GOV’T ADVISER ON ABDUCTION ISSUE”, Tokyo, 2008/09/25) reported that Kyoko Nakayama will support Prime Minister Taro Aso on the issue of the DPRK’s abduction of Japanese nationals by returning to the post of special adviser after briefly serving as minister in charge of the issue under his predecessor Yasuo Fukuda, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said. The announcement came after the removal of Nakayama from the ministerial post under Aso’s just-launched administration disappointed families of the abductees who have confidence in her for her unswerving approach, and stirred concerns that the abduction issue may not be given high priority.
9. Sino-DPRK Relations
Xinhua (“DPRK, CHINA OFFICIALS PLEDGE TO FURTHER PROMOTE FRIENDSHIP”, Pyongyang, 2008/09/25) reported that Officials of the DPRK and PRC pledged to boost bilateral friendship and contribute to peace and stability in Northeast Asia. The people of the DPRK will cooperate with their PRC counterparts to enhance bilateral relations, said Choe Chang Sik, chairman of the Central Committee of the DPRK-PRC Friendship Association, at a meeting marking the 50th anniversary of the association’s founding.
10. DPRK Leadership
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA COMPLAINS ABOUT KIM JONG-IL HEALTH RUMORS”, 2008/09/25) reported that the DPRK slammed ROK speculation about leader Kim Jong-il’s health. “South Korean agencies have recently gone out of bounds by spreading rumors through the press,” said Ahn Kyong-ho, the secretary general of the DPRK’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, the agency in charge of ROK affairs. Lee quoted Ahn as saying the ROK “has gone so far as to set forth ‘Operation Plan 5029,’ a plan for contingencies. That shows no respect for the spirit of the June 15 Joint Declaration. It’s a provocative act. We’re very displeased.”
11. ROK and DPRK Leadership
Yonhap News (Shin Hae-in, “SEOUL’S TUMULT OVER N.K. LEADER’S HEALTH UNWISE: FORMER N.K. OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2008/09/25) reported that it is rude and unwise for the ROK to make a noisy issue out of the DPRK leader’s health, Hwang Jang-yop, the highest-ranking DPRK official ever to defect to the ROK, said in a policy meeting in Seoul. “I cannot understand the hurly-burly here over the North Korean leader’s health,” said Hwang, a former secretary of Pyongyang’s ruling Workers’ Party. “It makes South Korea look weak and rash to get all rattled by reports that Kim simply suffered an illness… We express condolences even if an enemy’s leader is sick or dead. North Korea is not even our enemy. It’s our brother.”
12. US-ROK Security Alliance
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “S.KOREAN MILITARY TAKES OVER PILOT RESCUE MISSION FROM USFK”, 2008/09/25) reported that the ROK Air Force will take over search-and-rescue missions from the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) next week, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Thursday. The search-and-rescue of pilots who eject from the aircraft or isolated in enemy territory is the last of the 10 major security missions to be transferred from the USFK under a 2003 deal.
13. US-ROK Relations
Joongang Ilbo (“U.S. VISA WAIVER WILL START IN JANUARY”, Seoul, 2008/09/26) reported that Seoul has wrapped up negotiations with Washington aimed at allowing ROK citizens to travel to the United States without a visa. Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Thursday in Washington, “We practically completed all steps to join the U.S. visa waiver program by the end of this year.”
14. ROK Military
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SKOREA URGES STRONGER MILITARY AS TENSIONS GROW”, 2008/09/26) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak called for a stronger military Friday. “We should become a strong military because we must unconditionally defeat any provocation,” Lee said after watching a military firepower demonstration at an army training site north of Seoul, according to ROK media pool reports.
15. ROK-PRC Relations
Korea Times (Kang Shin-who, “COAST GUARD FOUND DEAD AFTER INSPECTING CHINESE BOAT”, Seoul, 2008/09/26) reported that a coastguard official was found dead Friday afternoon after a crash occurred while he was inspecting a PRC boat for illegal fishing in the western sea, the national maritime police agency said. The Chinese fishermen were reported to have strongly resisted when Park and his two other colleagues stopped them, wielding metal pipes, shovels and clubs. The 50-ton fishing boats were caught at around 10:30 a.m. Friday. Eleven Chinese fishermen on board are now under investigation, the officials said.
16. ROK-Russian Relations
Korea Herald (“LEE VOWS TO SEEK CLOSER TIES WITH RUSSIA”, Seoul, 2008/09/26) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said in an interview with Russian media published Friday that the ROK government will further widen its relationship with Russia in all economic, diplomatic and cultural fields on the occasion of his upcoming trip to Moscow, Yonhap News Agency reported. Lee wants Russia to play a bigger role in promoting peace in Northeast Asia, as well as in salvaging the six-nation talks, according to Itar-Tass.
17. ROK Economy
The Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin , “SEOUL SET TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLIGAL IMMIGRATION”, 2008/09/25) reported that ROK government escalates on the plan to crack down the number of illegal foreigners in half by 2012. President Lee Myung-bak expresses his concern for illegal foreign workers creating social problems that affect the ROK’s industrial competitiveness as the nation lacks the effective means to regulate the illegal immigrants. Lee views that by having legitimate law and order as the key, it will boost the economy to sustain the influx of foreign investment; “Foreign investments in Korea are now centered on stocks, bonds and other short-term commodities, rather than on sustainable business projects. We have to create a social and legal atmosphere in which foreign enterprises actively make investments in long-term projects,” Lee stated.
18. Japan Politics
Reuters (Linda Sieg, “JAPAN PM RATINGS BOUNCE PUTS SNAP ELECTION IN DOUBT”, Tokyo, 2008/09/25) reported that Japan’s new prime minister, Taro Aso, has debuted in the job with voter support of just under 50 percent, a survey showed on Thursday, clouding the outlook for an early general election. Aso’s cabinet won support from 48.6 percent of voters polled by Kyodo news agency, about double the rating of his predecessor, Yasuo Fukuda, before he quit this month but well under the nearly 60 percent Fukuda enjoyed when he took office.
AFP (Hiroshi Hiyama , “JAPAN’S KOIZUMI TO RETIRE FROM POLITICS”, Tokyo, 2008/09/25) reported that Junichiro Koizumi, one of the most popular and most radical Prime Minister of Japan in modern times, announced his retirement from politics on Thursday. Koizumi reported in his hometown of Yokosuka where also a home to a large US naval base that he would not run the next election. Koizumi, still a popular public icon of modern Japanese politics would be missed not only from the public, but also his close allies in LDP.
19. Japan SDF Afghanistan Mission
Kyodo News (“U.S. PRESSURED JAPAN TO SEND SDF TO AFGHANISTAN”, 2008/09/25) reported that the United States urged Japan in July to reconsider its decision not to dispatch Self-Defense Forces troops to Afghanistan, according to sources close to Japan-U.S. relations. During a visit to Tokyo late that month, special U.S. presidential envoy Bobby Wilkes, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Central Asia, met with top officials of the Foreign and Defense ministries and urged Japan to go beyond its Maritime Self-Defense Force refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, the sources said. Wilkes pointed out that among major powers, Japan is the only country apart from Russia not to send troops to Afghanistan and indicated that the MSDF refueling activities in support of U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in and around Afghanistan were not enough, according to the sources.
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“ASO TO TOUT ANTITERRORISM POLICIES IN U.N. SPEECH”, 2008/09/25) reported that new Prime Minister Taro Aso plans to deliver a speech to the U.N. General Assembly explaining the nation’s policies on antiterrorism efforts, global warming and U.N. reforms, according to sources. Aso will say the nation plans to continue contributing to U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in and around Afghanistan. He will refrain from promising the continuation of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Indian Ocean refueling mission to support those efforts, because it is uncertain whether the government can pass a bill to revise the Antiterrorism Law authorizing the MSDF undertaking.
20. Japanese Military Doctrine
Kyodo (“ASO HINTS AT ALLOWING USE OF COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE”, New York, 2008/09/26) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso showed a positive view Thursday on considering changing the government’s interpretation of the Constitution to allow its forces to exercise the right to collective self-defense. ”I have reiterated that basically the interpretation should be changed…I think the matter of the right to collective self-defense is important,” Aso told reporters in New York after attending the U.N. General Assembly session. Aso said Japan’s ongoing refueling mission in support of U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in and near Afghanistan does not violate the Constitution, and so the government is not ”immediately required to change the interpretation of the right of collective self-defense” for the sake of the mission.
21. US-Japan Security Alliance
Reuters (Hiroyuki Muramoto, “U.S. NUCLEAR WARSHIP ARRIVES IN JAPAN AMID PROTESTS”, Yokosuka, 2008/09/25) reported that hundreds of people protested the arrival of a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier at its new home port in Japan, demanding greater safety measures. The United States has been trying to allay fears over the stationing of the USS George Washington carrier in Japan, the only country to have suffered nuclear attacks. “I hope that a safe operating system of the aircraft carrier would be established, and that the emergency drills will be reinforced,” Shigefumi Matsuzawa, governor of Kanagawa prefecture was quoted by Kyodo News Agency as saying.
22. Cross Strait Relations
The Associated Press (Gillian Wong, “CHINA APOLOGIZES TO TAIWAN FOR MILK SCANDAL “, Beijing, 2008/09/25) reported that the PRC pledged strong action in dealing with the widening scandal over tainted milk and issued an apology to consumers in Taiwan as an increasing number of countries boosted testing of PRC food imports. Fears overseas were growing that compromised ingredients may have contaminated other PRC-made products such as cookies and chocolate bars. Adulterated baby milk powder has sickened about 54,000 PRC babies and has been blamed for the deaths of four infants.
23. PRC Earthquake
Reuters (“RAIN CUTS OFF 20,000 CHINA QUAKE VICTIMS, 14 DIE “, Beijing, 2008/09/25) reported that torrential rain isolated more than 20,000 people in an area of southwest PRC still recovering from a devastating earthquake in May, state media said on Thursday, with 14 people killed and dozens missing. Heavy rain caused flash floods, cave-ins and landslides in mountainous Sichuan province near the epicenter of the quake, where survivors are still living in tents and pre-fabricated houses. Thirty-eight people are missing and roads and telephone lines have been cut in the storms, Xinhua news agency said.
24. PRC Space Program
Washington Post (“SPACE INSPIRES PASSION AND PRACTICALITY IN CHINA”, 2008/09/25) reported that at a casual glance, the PRC’s space program seems a tad retro. There’s talk of a rover that, within the next decade, could land on the moon, take surface samples and return to Earth. But the “been there, done that” appearance masks the deeper significance of the PRC’s multipronged space program. It has developed sophisticated launchers and satellites, which it builds by the dozens and sends skyward for friends and paying clients, conservatively aiming to capture 15 percent of the global market for such services. The PRC is building partnerships to support its manned space program, with hopes of creating its own space station and potentially exploiting the resources of the moon, various asteroids and perhaps even Mars to meet energy and other needs here on Earth.
25. Sino-Indian Nuclear Cooperation
India Express (“INDIA, CHINA AGREE ON EXPANDING N-COOPERATION”, New York, 2008/09/25) reported that putting behind the unease in their relations over Beijing’s role over the NSG waiver issue, India and the PRC agreed to expand peaceful cooperation in civilian nuclear energy and voiced satisfaction over the progress in resolving the vexed boundary issue. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his PRC counterpart Wen Jiabao touched upon atomic cooperation at their meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Session during which the progress in boundary talks was also reviewed.
26. PRC Internet
Wall St. Journal (“WEB USERS FAULT CHINA’S BAIDU”, Hong Kong, 2008/09/28) reported that PRC Internet-search company Baidu.com Inc. has been defending itself against claims in the media and Internet chat forums that it allegedly censored online information about the growing scandal over tainted milk powder. The company, which runs the PRC’s largest search engine by market share, has faced criticism from users of popular sites such as online community Tianya.com and forum host Mop.com. The users accuse the company of working on behalf of milk producers to bury online links to news stories about the contamination that has killed several infants and sickened thousands of children.
27. PRC Public Health
The New York Times (Elisabeth Rosenthal, “CHINA’S MILK SCANDAL NOW SEEN AS RISK IN EUROPE”, 2008/09/25) reported that milk products contaminated with melamine that have put more than 50,000 children at risk in the recent weeks in PRC may well be circulating in Europe putting children in Europe also at risk. The danger of contained milk products is not only a global threat on the human health, but also it could deeply affect PRC’s economy as safety measures are already being taken for PRC dairy products in supermarkets thoughout Asia. This week, a number of countries and companies that had previously pulled PRC dairy products off supermarket shelves, have started removing snack foods containing milk powder as well.
Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA TOXIC MILK VICTIMS SEEN TO RISE BY 10,000”, Beijing, 2008/09/26) reported that provinces have reported nearly 10,000 additional cases of children who have developed kidney illnesses after drinking toxic milk formula in recent days, local media reported on Friday. The problem was confirmed to have spread to neighboring Japan on Friday, when Marudai Food Co. said melamine had been found in some of its recalled products made with Chinese milk, including “Cream Panda” buns, which appeal to children.
Associated Press (Anita Chang, “CHINA TAINTED FOOD SCANDAL EXPANDS”, Beijing, 2008/09/26) reported that the Hong Kong government says it has found traces of melamine in baby cereals and crackers made in the PRC. In the PRC, authorities said Friday that a Taiwanese mother and three young children with kidney stones may have been poisoned by Chinese milk products tainted with melamine.
28. PRC Environment
People’s Daily (“CHINA TAKES CONCRETE MEASURES TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AND AIR POLLUTION”, 2008/09/25) reported that the PRC has been taking concrete measures to deal with climate change, air pollution and energy efficiency issues, says Chen Changhong, professor and director of Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences and Atmospheric Environment Institute in an interview with People’s Daily Online reporter in Stockholm recently. “Also due to the fast economic development, as a developing country and as a ‘world factory’, China is producing products for the whole world, but keeping pollution to its own land. Thus China shoulders the pollution and emission for the whole world in a large extent”, said professor Chen.
II. PRC Report
29. PRC Space Program
Xinhua News Agency (Xu Zhuangzhi, Li Xuanliang, “CHINA TO LAUNCH SHENZHOU-7 SPACECRAFT ON SEPT.25,”, 2008/09/24) reported that the PRC will launch its third manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province in the northwest on Sept.25, a spokesperson with the PRC’s manned space program said on Wednesday. The spacecraft, carrying taikonauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng, was to blast off between 9:07 p.m. to 10:27 p.m. (Beijing Time). One of the major tasks of the mission would be extravehicular activity (EVA), also known as space walk, the first of its kind attempted by PRC astronauts, Wang said.
30. PRC Landslide
Xinhua Net (“COUNTY OFFICIALS DETAINED FOR FATAL LANDSLIDE IN N CHINA”, 2008/09/25) reported that three county officials of Xiangfen county in north PRC’s Shanxi Province, where 267 people were killed in a massive landslide, were detained for power abuse and dereliction, confirmed local authorities on Wednesday. The officials are Kang Haiyin, former Party secretary of Xiangfen county, Li Xuejun, the county chief, and Han Baoquan, the vice chief. The trio, who had conducted an on-the-spot investigation after the fatal accident, were suspected of mis-reporting the cause at the knowledge that there was no rain on the day at all. They were also suspected of under-reporting the death toll.
31. PRC Tibet Issue
Xinhua Net (“CHINA TO ISSUE WHITE PAPER ON PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF TIBETAN CULTURE”, 2008/09/24) reported that the Information Office of the PRC’s State Council is to issue a white paper titled “Protection and Development of Tibetan Culture” on Thursday. The white paper, the seventh of its kind on Tibet, cited ample facts and statistics to introduce that the PRC government has attached great importance to the protection and development of Tibetan culture over the past half century, especially since the adoption of the reform and opening-up policies in 1978.
III. ROK Report
32. DPRK Nuclear Program & Six-Party Talks
Kyunghyang Shinmun (“DPRK SHOULD KEEP ‘NUKE RED LINE’”, 2008/09/26) wrote that the resumption of reprocessing is sort of ‘red line’ of the DPRK nuclear problem. However, it was wrong for the DPRK to make such a decision. It is highly likely for the UN Security Council’s to re-adopt sanctions on the DPRK that were suspended temporarily as the six-party talks break off. In order not to lose the six-party talks’ driving force and not to let the DPRK cross over the boundary of ‘red line’, it is appropriate to continue implementing what is being done currently.
33. DPRK Nuclear Program
Hankyure (“DPRK SHOULD BE PATIENT, U.S. DECISIVE”, 2008/09/26) wrote that it was wrong for the DPRK to pursue a bluffing strategy, which might lead the six-party talks into crisis. One practical solution for the U.S. is to continue the inspection at Yongbyeon nuclear facilities while reserving it in other areas. The negotiation would not show any progress unless both parties become more flexible. The DPRK should keep themselves from taking actions that can worsen the situation. The U.S. too, should become more decisive about the matter regardless of their current domestic political concerns.
TongilNews (“SIX-PARTY TALKS AT CROSSROADS, WILL VERIFICATION PROTOCOL BE COMPROMISED?”, 2008/09/26) wrote that the six-party talks are going through a radical change due to the DPRK’s notification that they will resume the reprocessing facilities. Whether the DPRK and the U.S. are able to compromise in dealing with the verification protocol is the key. It is known that not only the DPRK, but also the PRC, is balking at the idea that the verification should “follow the international standard.” Different from cases of Iran and Syria, the standard should be stick to six parties’ agreed standard, they said. If the U.S. becomes more flexible by changing this expression, it seems there is still room for compromise.
34. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap News (“ROK NEEDS CONTINGENCY PLAN”, 2008/09/26) reported that Hong Joon-hyung, professor of Seoul National University, said that due to the radical change in DPRK politics, the ROK should start preparing for new laws to deal with Kim Jong-il’s sudden death properly. Je Sung-ho, human rights ambassador and professor of Choongang University, proposed that the government should seek ways tor apply an ‘Asian version of the Helsinki Process’ with the U.S., Japan, and EU, and to establish a DPRK Development Bank, which will support the DPRK’s opening and reform.
Yonhap News (“INTER-KOREAN RELATIONSHIP, TWO PARTIES TO COLLABORATE”, 2008/09/26) reported that as President Lee Myung-bak and Jung Se-kyun, the head of Democratic Party, agreed to collaborate across party lines for the development of inter-Korean relationship and peace on the peninsula, the government’s further moves to deal with the DPRK nuclear issue became remarkable. Yang Moo-jin, a professor of the Graduate school for DPRK studies, said that since large-scale exchange-cooperation projects will be difficult to be activated if the situation concerning the nuclear issue is worsened, the government should put more importance on the collaboration with the U.S. while preserving the fundamentals of the inter-Korean relationship.