NAPSNet Daily Report 27 July, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 3. DPRK Detention of Journalists
- 4. DPRK Threats
- 5. DPRK on US-ROK Exercises
- 6. Sanctions Against DPRK
- 7. ROK Aid for DPRK
- 8. Inter-Korean Relations
- 9. DPRK Armistice Violations
- 10. DPRK Defectors
- 11. DPRK Defectors
- 12. DPRK Internal Situation
- 13. DPRK Economy
- 14. US-ROK Alliance
- 15. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
- 16. ROK Influenza Outbreak
- 17. Japanese Elections
- 18. Taiwan Politics
- 19. PRC Social Unrest
- 20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 21. PRC-Australian Relations
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA SUGGESTS DIFFERENT DISARMAMENT TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that the DPRK on Monday suggested a different “form of dialogue” on dismantling its nuclear weapons program. “Any attempt to side with those who claim the resumption of the six-party talks without grasping the essence of the matter will not help ease tension,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by state media. “There is a specific and reserved form of dialogue that can address the current situation.” The spokesman did not elaborate on what form such a dialogue could take.
Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “WASHINGTON UNFAZED BY N.K. DIALOGUE DEMANDS”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that DPRK ambassador to the United Nations Sin Son-ho on Saturday told reporters in New York that Pyongyang was “not against dialogue” with Washington. At the same time, Shin confirmed the DPRK’s refusal to rejoin the six-party dialogue, saying “the six-party talks are gone forever.” “We believe that the six-party talk framework, which had everybody included, is the appropriate way to engage with North Korea,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview with “Meet the Press” on NBC on Sunday. “The standoff will take a long time to resolve, with the North determined not to lose its nuclear leverage, while for Washington, it is either denuclearization or nothing at all,” said one high-ranking ROK Foreign Ministry official.
2. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “S. KOREA ‘NOT OPPOSED’ TO N. KOREA-U.S. DIALOGUE: MINISTRY”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that the ROK said Monday it is not opposed to any form of dialogue between the DPRK and the United States. “We hope that North Korea will return to the six-way talks at an early date,” Seoul’s foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said at a press briefing. Moon added that the U.S. has assured that it will seek talks with the the DPRK, if needed, in close consultation with the ROK.
3. DPRK Detention of Journalists
Korea Herald (“N.K., U.S. IN ‘ACTIVE CONSULTATIONS’ ON DETAINED REPORTERS”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that the DPRK and the United States are in “active consultations” on how to resolve a standoff over two detained American journalists, an informed diplomatic source said Sunday. The ongoing consultations through the DPRK’s diplomatic mission to the U.N. are focused on who the U.S. government should send as a special envoy to Pyongyang to bring back the two female reporters, the source added. “The U.S. has in principle reached a compromise with North Korea on the dispatch of a special envoy for their release,” the source said. “The two sides are continuing related consultations. You may say 70-80 percent of the negotiations are done.”
4. DPRK Threats
Yonhap (“N.KOREA THREATENS ‘DEADLY BLOWS'”, Seoul, 2009/07/26) reported that the DPRK threatened to counter any hostility from the ROK and the United States Sunday. “We will deal unimaginably deadly blows at the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppets if they ignite a war, obsessed with a foolish ambition, and achieve the historic cause of national reunification, the cherished desire of the nation, without fail,” Kim Yong-chun, vice chairman of the DPRK’s National Defense Commission, said. “We will mercilessly and resolutely counter the enemy’s ‘sanctions’ with retaliation, its ‘all-out war’ with all-out war,” he said
5. DPRK on US-ROK Exercises
Yonhap (“N.K. SLAMS PLANNED KOREA-U.S. MILITARY DRILL”, Seoul, 2009/07/26) reported that the DPRK on Sunday lashed out at the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, an annual joint military exercise in which about 56,000 ROK troops and 10,000 U.S. soldiers will participate, from Aug. 17-27. The exercise is “a military plan aimed at invading the North, given its content and size,” the Korean Central News Agency and the Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station said. The military exercise sheds light on “the shady intention harbored behind the South’s banner of peace guarantee and dialogue,” they said.
6. Sanctions Against DPRK
Yonhap (“KOREA TO ENFORCE U.N. FINANCIAL SANCTIONS ON N.K. OFFICIALS”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that the ROK said Monday that it will enforce financial sanctions initiated by the United Nations on DPRK officials and organizations this week. “We will place restrictions on the financial activities of those officials and organizations based on our foreign exchange transaction laws,” the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in an e-mailed statement. “We notified related banks that they should restrict our people, companies and organizations from doing foreign currency transactions with them … The move is part of efforts to fulfill our obligations as a member of the United Nations,” it said.
7. ROK Aid for DPRK
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “SOUTH TO RESUME HUMANITARIAN AID TO NORTH”, Seoul, 2009/07/26) reported that the ROK is likely to resume assistance to the DPRK soon by funding local civic groups through the so-called inter-Korean cooperation fund, according to officials at the Ministry of Unification Sunday. “Government officials will meet this week to make a decision on the distribution of the fund to civic organizations even though its scale will be decreased,” a ministry official said.
8. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “CIVIC GROUP URGES NK TO RELEASE DETAINEE”, Seoul, 2009/07/26) reported that about 1,200 people, including 150 lawmakers, have signed up to urge the DPRK to release a South Korean, who has been held in the DPRK for the past four months, organizers said Sunday. The non-partisan group Citizens Alliance for North Korea Human Rights (CANHR) began the campaign for Yoo on July 16 after the Ministry of Unification called the detention a top priority in inter-Korean talks.
9. DPRK Armistice Violations
Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “N.K. HAS VIOLATED ARMISTICE 425,000 TIMES”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that the DPRK violated the Armistice Agreement in more than 425,000 cases between July 27, 1953, and April 1994, according to the United Nations Command. Most of the violations, 99.9 percent out of 425,271 cases, took place on land. The number of violations by naval and air forces amounted to 104 and 111 cases, respectively. The DPRK claimed that the ROK has committed 835,563 violations in the same period.
10. DPRK Defectors
Korea Herald (“STUDENTS ORGANIZE CAMP FOR PEERS FROM N. KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that students from the DPRK and native speakers of English met to practice the language and share thoughts and friendship at a weeklong camp starting Monday in southeastern Seoul. Two high school students here organized the five-day camp at the Seoul Church in Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, with the help of non-profit organizations of DPRK defectors and native-speaking English teachers.
11. DPRK Defectors
Yonhap (“N. KOREAN ASYLUM SEEKER REJECTED BY S. KOREAN CULTURE CENTER IN BEIJING”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that a DPRK defector repeatedly requested asylum at the ROK cultural center in Beijing earlier this month but the facility rejected her request, a diplomatic source said Monday. Foreign diplomatic missions are able to exercise extraterritoriality for DPRK defectors who enter their facilities but a cultural center has no such rights, the source said.
12. DPRK Internal Situation
Chosun Ilbo (Kang Chol-hwan, “THE N.KOREAN REGIME’S 150-DAY STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that as grain production is essential for national survival in the DPRK now that overseas food aid is on hold, able-bodied adults are driven to farms in the name of a 150-day struggle. Leading DPRK refugees in the ROK regard it as a desperate attempt to maintain the regime’s power.
13. DPRK Economy
Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “REPORT: NKOREA OPENS 1ST FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT”, Seoul, 2009/07/25) reported that the Samtaesong restaurant opened in Pyongyang last month in cooperation with a Singaporean company, according to the Tokyo-based Choson Shinbo. The Singaporean company, which the newspaper did not name, provided training to restaurant staff and supplied equipment. The restaurant offers hamburgers, kimchi, waffles and draft beer. It plans to add croissants and hot dogs to its menu in the coming months but with Korean names , and will open another branch in the capital soon, according to the newspaper.
14. US-ROK Alliance
Korea Times (Kim Se-jeong, “DETAILS OF ‘EXTENDED DETERRENCE’ AGAINST N. KOREA DUE BY 2012″, Seoul, 2009/07/26) reported that the ROK and the United States have agreed to come up with detailed plans of “extended deterrence” against the DPRK’s nuclear and military threats by 2012, officials said Sunday. The allies made the agreement at the Security Policy Initiative (SPI) talks held in Seoul on Thursday as a follow-up to an agreement struck between Presidents Lee Myung-bak and Barack Obama during a summit at the White House last month, they said.
15. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
Yonhap (“ARMY TO SEND 300 TROOPS TO LEBANON”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that the ROK Army said it held a ceremony Monday to mark the planned deployment of nearly 360 soldiers who will replace compatriots serving as U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon in the coming weeks. The replacement, which the Army said will take place in two stages in late July and early August, will mark the fourth deployment of troops to the Middle Eastern country since the ROK sent its first group in July 2007.
16. ROK Influenza Outbreak
Yonhap (“35 ADDITIONAL FLU CASES CONFIRMED”, Seoul, 2009/07/27) reported that ROK health authorities said Monday they have confirmed 35 more cases of influenza A, raising the total number of infections to 1,258. The new patients include one Army and two Air Force soldiers, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said in an e-mailed statement.
17. Japanese Elections
Yomiuri Shimbun (“OPPOSITION PARTIES DPJ, SDP FAR APART ON NATIONAL SECURITY”, 2009/07/27) reported that even if the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) garners a single-party majority in the House of Representatives, the party, in order to take power, still would have to form a coalition with both the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People’s New Party cabinet since the DPJ does not have a majority in the House of Councillors. DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama has said that the Constitution should include a provision that unequivocally states the nation’s right to have a “self-defense military.” Many present at a meeting of SDP executives Thursday prodded the party leadership to call for the DPJ to work together on legislation that would enshrine in law the three nonnuclear principles.
18. Taiwan Politics
BBC News (Cindy Sui, “TAIWAN PRESIDENT WINS PARTY VOTE”, Taipei, 2009/07/26) reported that Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has been elected head of the island’s ruling party, the Kuomintang, in a vote by party members. The move will make it easier for him to pass policies through parliament. As chairman of the ruling party, Ma will now be able to meet PRC President Hu Jintao.
19. PRC Social Unrest
Associated Press (“REPORT: 3,000 VILLAGERS PROTEST IN EASTERN CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/07/26) reported that more than 3,000 villagers in Shipu, Zhejiang province blocked a highway and clashed with police while protesting alleged official corruption in a land compensation deal, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Sunday. Ten residents were injured in the clash with more than 300 riot police Saturday. Another resident said thousands of people had been staging a sit-in on the land for nearly a week.
Associated Press (“REPORT: 30,000 CHINA STEELWORKERS IN DEADLY CLASH”, Beijing, 2009/03/25) reported that some 30,000 Chinese steelworkers clashed with police in a protest over plans to merge their mill with another company and beat the company’s general manager to death, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Saturday. Several hundred people were injured in the clash Friday in the northeastern city of Tonghua, it said. Employees of Tonghua Iron and Steel Group object to plans for Jianlong Steel take control of the company, the center said.
20. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Washington Post (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “CHINA, UIGHUR GROUPS PRESENT CONFLICTING ACCOUNTS OF UNREST”, Beijing, 2009/07/25) reported that three weeks after the riots that left nearly 200 people dead and more than 1,700 injured in the capital of the far western Xinjiang region, the PRC government and Uighur exile groups have been circulating dueling versions of what happened. According to the PRC Foreign Ministry and state media, the ethnic unrest was a terrorist attack by Uighur separatists. Women in black Islamic robes stood at street corners giving orders, and at least one handed out clubs, officials said, before Muslim Uighur gangs in 50 locations throughout the city simultaneously began beating Han Chinese. In the account being circulated by Rebiya Kadeer, a U.S.-based Uighur leader, police and paramilitary and other troops chased peaceful demonstrators, mostly young people protesting a deadly factory brawl elsewhere, into closed-off areas. Then they turned off streetlights and began shooting indiscriminately.
Sydney Morning Herald (John Garnaut, “RALLY AROUND THE FLAG, CHINA TELLS DIASPORA”, Beijing, 2009/07/27) reported that the PRC has called on the Chinese diaspora to unite around the Communist Party on the basis of “blood lineage” and to spread the “truth” about separatism in Xinjiang. Wang Zhaoguo, a Politburo member and a former head of China’s United Front Department, congratulated delegates at the Eighth National Congress of Returned Overseas Chinese and their Relatives for using “blood lineage”, “home-town feeling” and “professional linkages” to achieve “outstanding results in uniting the broad masses of overseas Chinese”. But Mr Wang exhorted them to “do a better job of uniting the force of the circle of overseas Chinese around the party and the Government”, according to the text of his speech posted on the congress website.
21. PRC-Australian Relations
Associated Press (Rod McGuirk, “HACKERS PUT CHINA FLAG ON AUSTRALIAN FILM WEB SITE”, Canberra, 2009/07/27) reported that hackers posted a PRC flag on the Web site of the Melbourne International Film Festival in an escalation of protests against the planned appearance by an exiled Uighur activist, an official said Sunday. Four Chinese films pulled out of the event to protest the screening of a documentary about Rebiya Kadeer.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Jinghua Times (Wen Jiwen, “ENVIRONMENTAL VOLUNTEERS “HEAL THE WORLD”, 2009/07/24) reported that a large public action “Addressing Climate Change” was launched in Beijing Thursday. The action was sponsored by embassies in China of Zimbabwe, Nepal and other developing countries, and environmental protection volunteers. It also announced that China’s first environmental protection organization that cares about poor people living in ecologically vulnerable areas was found.
23. PRC Earthquake Reconstruction
Sichuan Daily (“COLLECTORS DONATES 66 COLLECTIONS FOR WENCHUAN RECONSTRUCTION”, 2009/07/24) reported that a love action named “Dedicate National Treasure to Wenchuan” was held in Beijing on July 21. Over one hundred collectors from all around the country have donated 66 precious collections at site. All the auction money of these collections will be used on post-disaster reconstruction of Wenchuan.
24. PRC Social Welfare
Jinghua Times (“OVER 700,000 DISABLED PERSONS IN BEIJING WITHOUT DISABILITY CERTIFICATE”, 2009/07/24) reported that according to Beijing municipal Federation of Disabled Persons Thursday, tow third of 999,000 disabled persons in Beijing haven’t applied for their disability certificates. Without the certificate, they can not enjoy many welfare policies for disabled persons.