NAPSNet Daily Report 27 April, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Military
- 2. DPRK Public Health
- 3. DPRK Human Rights
- 4. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 5. DPRK Defector Issue
- 6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
- 7. ROK Military
- 8. ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- 9. US on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- 10. ROK-Turkey Nuclear Cooperation
- 11. USFJ Base Relocation
- 12. Japan-US Secret Nuclear Pact
- 13. Japan Abductee Issue
- 14. Japan Nuclear Energy
- 15. Sino-Japan Relations
- 16. Sino-US Military Relations
- 17. PRC Nuclear Posture
- 18. PRC Military
- 19. PRC Security
- 20. PRC Nuclear Energy
- 21. US on Cross-Strait Relations
- 22. Cross-Strait Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Military
JoongAng Ilbo (“NORTH ADOPTS NEW WAR INVASION STRATEGY: SOURCE”, 2010/04/27) reported that the DPRK military has recently altered its wartime contingency plans against the ROK to concentrate on attacking the Seoul metropolitan region, a military source said yesterday. ROK commanders will meet next month to discuss the change and their response to it. According to the high-ranking source, the DPRK’s military recently decided to do away with the so-called “Five-to-Seven” plans dating from the 1980s to adopt a new plan in which it would occupy only a part of the ROK and start negotiating a cease-fire. “We believe the North made the change to better deal with the upgraded weapons systems of the U.S. and South Korean forces,” the source explained.
Kyodo News (“N. KOREA WARNS U.S., S. KOREA AGAINST USE OF NUCLEAR DETERRENT”, 2010/04/26) the DPRK warned the United States and the ROK it will employ “all means, including the nuclear deterrent” if they intrude into the DPRK’s territory “even 0.001 mm,” the official Korean Central News Agency reported. The DPRK’s armed forces “are fully ready to frustrate any provocation of the aggressors at a single blow,” Ri Yong Ho, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, told a national meeting in Pyongyang. Ri criticized the government of ROK President Lee Myung Bak as “traitors” and “the enemies of national reunification,” KCNA said.
2. DPRK Public Health
Agence France Presse (“WHO CHIEF VISITS N.KOREA: STATE MEDIA”, 2010/04/26) reported that the head of the World Health Organisation began a visit to Pyongyang Monday, along with a delegation from the Red Cross, the DPRK’s official media reported. WHO director-general Margaret Chan and her party arrived in the DPRK capital at the same time as one led by Massimo Barra, chairman of the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported. The agency did not disclose the purpose of Chan and Barra’s visit but an earlier report from PRC’s official Xinhua news agency said Chan would visit hospitals and medical care establishments in the impoverished, secretive state.
3. DPRK Human Rights
Yonhap News (“U.S. CALLS ON N. KOREA TO IMPROVE RIGHTS RECORD BEFORE CLOSER TIES”, 2010/04/26) reported that the United States Monday called on the DPRK to improve its human rights record if it wants closer ties with the U.S. and the international community. Robert King, special envoy for DPRK human rights issues, made the remarks in a statement to mark North Korea Freedom Week, which began Monday in Seoul.
4. Sino-DPRK Relations
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA’S NO. 2 LEADER TO ATTEND SHANGHAI EXPO: SOURCE”, 2010/04/26) reported that the DPRK’s No. 2 leader Kim Yong-nam will likely attend the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo in the PRC this week, which will also be attended by ROK President Lee Myung-bak, informed sources said Monday. As the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim is the DPRK’s titular head of state and frequently attends state and diplomatic functions in the communist state and abroad. “Kim Yong-nam will likely arrive in Shanghai with a North Korean delegation around April 30 to attend the official opening ceremony that will be attended by many heads of state, including President Lee Myung-bak,” a diplomatic source in Beijing told Yonhap News Agency.
5. DPRK Defector Issue
Korea Times (“AFFIRMATIVE ACTION NEEDED FOR NEW SETTLERS”, 2010/04/26) reported that a ruling party lawmaker said Monday that National Assembly members are considering creating a “North Korea Fund” to cope with the possible hunger-driven flight of DPRK defectors fleeing to the ROK. Rep. Chung Ok-nim of the Grand National Party (GNP) shared the view that the rush to freedom from the DPRK has increased the burden on the ROK. “Despite the negative fallout, it will be inevitable that South Korea will keep providing the new settlers with the current level of financial support until they adjust to how a capitalist society works,” she said in an interview. “I am not sure if it will be appropriate for me to call what we, members of the National Assembly Committee on Foreign Affairs and Unification, have in mind, an affirmative action or not,” she said.
6. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
Korea Times (“SEOUL TO ADDRESS N. KOREAN ASSET SEIZURE IN EARLY MAY “, 2010/04/26) reported that Seoul will announce early next month how it will respond to the DPRK’s threatened seizure of ROK-owned facilities located at the Mt. Geumgang resort, Yonhap reported. An unidentified government official told the news agency that Seoul will make its corresponding moves public after the DPRK’s timeframe for the property seizure expires. In addition to the property seizure, Pyongyang said Friday privately-owned ROK assets at the resort will be frozen and ROK citizens working there expelled. The government source said Seoul will respond to such actions as they unfold.
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “N. KOREA BEGINS FREEZING S. KOREAN ASSETS AT TROUBLED MOUNTAIN RESORT”, Seoul, 2010/04/27) reported that the DPRK began freezing privately-owned ROK assets at Mt. Kumgang resort on Tuesday. Stickers were plastered on ROK tourism facilities while officials from related companies watched, Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said. Lee told reporters stickers denoting “confiscation” were also placed on the Seoul government-owned buildings, including a family reunion center, a fire station and a hot spring facility. “We have yet to learn specifically which civilian facilities are being frozen,” she said. Dozens of ROK business executives crossed the border into the DPRK earlier Tuesday to comply with the DPRK order that they be present while their assets are frozen.
7. ROK Military
JoongAng Ilbo (“BLUE HOUSE TASK FORCE WILL EXAMINE NATIONAL SECURITY”, 2010/04/27) reported that as concerns mount about the military’s poor response to the Cheonan crisis, the Blue House has created a task force to improve the country’s security posture, sources at the presidential office said. Led by Senior Political Affairs Secretary Park Heong-joon and Senior Foreign Affairs and National Security Secretary Kim Sung-hwan, the team held its first meeting over the weekend, they said. The team was created on President Lee Myung-bak’s order to cope with the aftermath of the Navy disaster. “Not only the situation related to the Cheonan but also all issues related to national security, including the reform of the military, will be discussed by the task force,” a Blue House official said. “Establishment of the new security regime will be the new national agenda,” another official said.
Yonhap News (“MILITARY ACTION WILL NOT BE AN OPTION FOR S. KOREA: RESEARCHER”, 2010/04/26) reported that the ROK is not likely to take military action even if the DPRK is found to be responsible for last month’s sinking of a warship near the inter-Korean maritime border, a U.S. researcher said Monday. “It poses a real dilemma for South Korea,” said Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the U.S.-China Institute at University of Southern California. “And military action is non-starter.” “South Korea will likely go to the U.N. to seek more sanctions on North Korea. It will try walking a fine line, not to inflate the situation.”
8. ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Korea Times (“NK HEAVY TORPEDOES BLAMED FOR DISASTER”, 2010/04/26) reported that investigators, who believe that a torpedo attack could have sunk the Navy ship Cheonan ? breaking it in two ? are looking into the capabilities of the DPRK’s torpedoes, sources said Monday. Pyongyang is believed to have four to five types of heavy torpedoes built in the PRC and Russia. The Type EO-3G torpedo developed by the PRC is referred to as the probable culprit. Built in the 1980s, the torpedo is a passive homing weapon capable of hitting a ship after tracking the vessel’s screws acoustically. Some experts downplayed the possibility of homing torpedoes, citing the low capability of the DPRK’s Sang-O (Shark) class submarines.
9. US on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Cable News Network (“U.S.: N. KOREAN TORPEDO LIKELY SUNK WARSHIP”, 2010/04/26) reported that a DPRK torpedo attack was the most likely cause for the sinking of a ROK warship last month, according to a US military official. The US believes the ship was sunk by the blast of an underwater explosion, but that the explosive device itself did not come in contact with the hull of the ROK ship, the official said.
Yonhap News (“ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN ACCORDINGLY TO SHIP SINKING PROBE OUTCOME: CAMPBELL”, 2010/04/26) reported that the United States is prepared to take action if the sinking of a ROK warship is linked to the DPRK, a senior U.S. diplomat said Monday. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell did not elaborate, but U.S. officials have expressed support for further United Nations sanctions, as proposed by ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan. The cause of last month’s sinking of a ROK warship will be fully investigated and actions taken accordingly, a senior U.S. diplomat said Monday.
10. ROK-Turkey Nuclear Cooperation
Bernama (“SOUTH KOREA, TURKEY DISCUSS JOINT RESEARCH ON NUCLEAR ENERGY”, 2010/04/26) reported that the ROK Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Kyung-hwan on Monday met with Turkey’s energy vice minister Metin Kilci to discuss joint research on whether to construct nuclear reactors in the Eurasian country, Yonhap news agency reported. According to the economy ministry, the two officials met in Seoul to look into the feasibility of a ROK-designed reactor in the proposed Sinop nuclear plant on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. “The minister sought for joint research and evaluation efforts leading to the actual building of a nuclear power generation plant,” a ministry official was quoted as saying.
11. USFJ Base Relocation
Cable News Network (Kyung Lah, “JAPAN PM HATOYAMA FEELS HEAT IN OKINAWA BASE FEUD”, 2010/04/26) reported that an ongoing feud with the United States over the future of an American military base in Okinawa may end up costing Japan’s prime minister his job, a weekend poll shows. Two out of three Japanese say they disapprove of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, according to a Nikkei newspaper poll. It shows that 68 percent of voters disapprove of the prime minister’s performance and 59 percent say he should resign if he can’t resolve the fight over the future of the Futenma Air Base in Okinawa.
Kyodo News (“HATOYAMA SILENT ON SLIGHTLY MODIFIED BASE RELOCATION WITHIN OKINAWA “, 2010/04/26) reported that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Monday did not deny weekend reports that Japan has proposed to the United States slightly modifying the existing plan for relocating a U.S. Marine base within Okinawa Prefecture, while pledging to reduce burdens on Okinawa in light of Sunday’s massive protest rally there.”I am sorry, but we are seriously studying a government plan right now, so at this stage I cannot say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each idea. Please understand that,” Hatoyama said at his office in the evening as reporters bombarded him with questions.
Kyodo News (“CAMPBELL CALLS JAPAN PROPOSALS ON FUTEMMA RELOCATION ‘ENCOURAGING’ “, 2010/04/26) reported that U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, said Monday that Tokyo’s recent proposals are ”encouraging.” But he declined to elaborate on what is being discussed, saying, ”It’s really for our negotiating team to engage with.” Campbell said there remains ”a lot of hard work” to be done and he looks forward to ”the next very intense period of dialogue between our two countries going forward.”
12. Japan-US Secret Nuclear Pact
Yomiuri Shimbun (“OKADA APOLOGIZES TO MAYOR OVER N-DEAL”, 2010/04/26) reported that Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada apologized to Mayor Norio Tomonaga of Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, over a secret accord with the United States about bringing nuclear weapons into Japan. At a meeting with the mayor, whose city hosts a U.S. naval base, Okada explained the contents of a report compiled by a Foreign Ministry panel of experts about the secret Japan-U.S. deal. The panel categorized the deal as “a broadly defined secret agreement” that gave tacit approval for U.S. warships to bring nuclear weapons into Japan. Okada apologized to the mayor, saying, “The government has handled the issue very dishonestly.”
13. Japan Abductee Issue
Kyodo News (“STUDENTS AT PRO-PYONGYANG KOREAN SCHOOLS BRAINWASHED: NAKAI “, 2010/04/26) reported that Hiroshi Nakai, minister in charge of the issue of abductions by the DPRK, said that students at pro-Pyongyang schools in Japan are brainwashed in classes on ”juche” self-reliance philosophy and military-first ideas. While he did not state the grounds for his argument, Nakai also said at a meeting of the families of the abductees that Japanese public funds will be transferred to DPRK leader Kim Jong Il if these schools are included in a tuition waiver program for high school students.
14. Japan Nuclear Energy
Kyodo News (“GOVERNOR SUGGESTS GIVING GO-AHEAD FOR RELAUNCHING MONJU REACTOR “, 2010/04/26) reported that the governor of Fukui Prefecture suggested Monday he will give the green light to the resumption of operations at Japan’s prototype fast-breeder Monju reactor because the central government has agreed to offer economic incentives and enhance nuclear safety measures for his constituency. The meeting was effectively the final administrative procedure to reactivate the fast-breeder reactor in Tsuruga City, which produces more mixed plutonium-uranium oxide fuel than it consumes.
15. Sino-Japan Relations
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINESE PREMIER CALLS FOR COOPERATION WITH JAPAN TO SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES, TACKLE CHALLENGES”, 2010/04/26) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday called for increased cooperation with Japan to seize opportunities and cope with challenges. Wen made the remarks in a congratulatory letter for a meeting marking the 30th anniversary of the PRC-Japan Forum on Exchange of Economic Knowledge. The premier expressed hope the forum will continue to discuss ways to expand economic and trade cooperation to contribute to the development of mutually beneficial strategic relations.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“CHINESE CHOPPER ‘IGNORED ORDERS'”, 2010/04/26) reported that a PRC Navy helicopter likely was ignoring orders from its own mother ship when it flew within 100 meters of a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer on April 8, according to Japanese Defense Ministry sources. The pilot’s actions suggest that orders may not be rigorously followed within the PRC Navy, and Defense Ministry officials are concerned that such insubordination could increase the possibility of accidents. “If a Chinese helicopter goes out of control and collides with one of our destroyers, anti-Japanese sentiment will flare up in China. We need to establish rules to prevent accidents on the open sea,” the official said.
16. Sino-US Military Relations
Bloomberg (“U.S. SEEKS TO DEEPEN MILITARY TIES WITH CHINA, CAMPBELL SAYS “, 2010/04/26) reported that the U.S. seeks deeper military ties with the PRC and is hopeful of a resolution with Japan on the future of a military base in Okinawa, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, Kurt Campbell, said today in Hong Kong. “It is the desire and opinion of the U.S. that military- to-military contacts need to be resumed and should be regularized,” Campbell said in a press conference. “There is a start-stop quality in the past, and we seek a more steady momentum. This is an essential missing element in high-level dialogue between China and the U.S.”
17. PRC Nuclear Posture
Reuters (Chris Buckley , “CHINA SEEN STAKING “MIDDLE” ROLE AT NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2010/04/26) reported that the PRC is likely to stake out a position between the big nuclear weapons states and the non-nuclear-armed countries at an international conference next month, a prominent Swedish think tank said on Monday. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report that Beijing faces pressure over its nuclear weapons modernization after Washington and Moscow signed a treaty to cut their much bigger arsenals of atomic missiles. “China is unlikely to take part in any unilateral or multilateral (nuclear) disarmament steps in the near- to medium-term,” said the report written by Bates Gill, the director of SIPRI and an expert on PRC security policy.
18. PRC Military
Bernama (“CHINA’S MILITARY MIGHT SHOULD BE VIEWED POSITIVELY, SAYS MUHYIDDIN”, 2010/04/26) reported that the PRC’s growing international military profile and presence should be viewed positively instead of being perceived as a threat to global stability, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today. The Malaysian deputy prime minister said it was imperative to weigh the development in the context of the PRC’s legitimate national concerns such as safe-guarding its trade, commercial and strategic interests. The international community should be objective and even welcome the PRC’s enhanced military capabilities, he said in his luncheon address at a forum on the implications of a strong PRC organised by the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) here. “For a small states like Malaysia, it is reasssuring that China is committed to exercising its power in a measured and non-aggressive manner,” he added.
19. PRC Security
Indian Express (“‘INDIA CANNOT THREATEN CHINA’”, 2010/04/26) reported that making light of military capabilities of India, Japan and Russia, a top PRC military strategist has said that the PRC perceives US as a major threat, fearing that it is the only country capable of threatening the Communist nation’s security interests. “The US is the greatest perceived threat to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” Rear Admiral Yang Yi said. Yang also said that the frictions over the cross-Straits relationship with Taiwan, which the PRC perceives as part of it was the most likely to provoke a Sino-US nuclear war. Japan has no such ability, while Russia has no such motivation and India is more worried about the PRC, Yang said.
20. PRC Nuclear Energy
Bloomberg (“CHINA NATIONAL NUCLEAR STARTS BUILDING PLANT IN HAINAN PROVINCE”, 2010/04/26) reported that the China National Nuclear Corp., the country’s biggest operator of nuclear power plants, started building a 19 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) generator on the southern island province of Hainan. The first of two units will start electricity output by the end of 2014, the company said in a statement posted on its Web site today. The plant, a joint venture with top power producer China Huaneng Group Corp., has a capacity of 1,300 megawatts, China National Nuclear said in August 2008.
21. US on Cross-Strait Relations
Central News Agency (“US URGES CHINA TAKE STEPS TO ENCOURAGE TAIWAN ENGAGING IN DIALOGUES”, 2010/04/26) reported that the United States would like to see the PRC to take steps to make Taiwan comfortable in engaging in cross-Taiwan Strait dialogues, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell told the media Monday. “We believe that overall process of this dialogue is important, ” Campbell said. Campbell acknowledged that there has been a security dimension in the cross-Strait relations and said that the U.S. have urged restraint on both sides.
22. Cross-Strait Relations
Bloomberg (“TAIWANESE’S SUPPORT FOR CHINA TRADE PACT RISES, CHINA TIMES SAYS “, 2010/04/26) reported that Taiwanese’s support for a planned Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, or ECFA, with the PRC increased by seven percentage points to 48 percent from April after Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou had a televised debate on the pact with the opposition leader yesterday, the China Times reported, citing their own poll.
Taiwan News (“LAWMAKERS WAGE NEW BATTLE OVER STUDENTS FROM CHINA”, 2010/04/26) reported that lawmakers scuffled again yesterday for the second time within a week over government proposals to allow students from the PRC to study at universities and colleges in Taiwan. The latest meeting reportedly descended into chaos when the convener announced a change of location while a staff member was still reading the minutes of the previous meeting. At a news conference after the latest round of incidents, the DPP accused the ruling party of playing to the PRC’s tune because there were already 2,000 PRC students waiting to come to Taiwan. The DPP strongly opposes the opening of Taiwan’s higher education to students from the PRC because it says they will take study places and later work away from Taiwanese students while also posing a national security threat.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Civil Society
Xinhua News Agency (“FIRST FOREIGN COMPANY’S NON-PROFIT COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED”, 2010/04/26) reported that Brandy Corporation (a multi-national manufacturer) has established its first overseas non-profit promotion committee recently. It is also the PRC’s first non-profit promotion committee found by foreign company. The committee aims to carry out more sustainable non-profit activities in the PRC.
24. PRC Public Welfare
Beijing Times (“BEIJING’S FIRST MIGRANT CHILDREN’S PARK OPEN”, 2010/04/26) reported that Beijing’s first immigrant children’s park was formally open in Community Service Center of Chaoyangmen Street of Dongcheng District recently. Over 800 children from migrant families in that area have their own fairground. The park will also provide health care, education, sports, psychological guidance and other services.
25. PRC Environment
163.com (“SELECTION OF GREEN CHINA PERSON OF THE YEAR 2009 STARTS”, 2010/04/26) reported that the selection of Green China Person of The Year 2009 was started in Beijing. The activity was sponsored by seven government ministries and co-sponsored by China Environment Culture Association. The activity aims at further arousing the public’s environmental awareness and encouraging more people to participate in the PRC’s environment-focused careers.