NAPSNet Daily Report 27 May, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Test
- 2. DPRK on US-DPRK Relations
- 3. US on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 4. US, Japan on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 5. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 6. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 7. Russo-DPRK Relations
- 8. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 9. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 10. ROK on PSI Role
- 11. ROK Defense Industry
- 12. ROK Lebanon Dispatch
- 13. Sino-ROK Military Relations
- 14. Japan Climate Change
- 15. Japan Nuclear Power
- 16. Japan Energy Supply
- 17. Cross Strait Relations
- 18. Climate Change and Sino-US Relations
- 19. PRC Protest
- 20. PRC Civil Society
- 21. SCO Disaster Relief Drill
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Test
The Washington Times (“NUCLEAR TESTS HINT NORTH KOREA SUCCESSION LOOMS”, 2009/05/27) reported that the DPRK’s second test of an atomic bomb Monday morning prompted speculation by analysts and US military experts that an ailing Kim Jong-il is relying on hard-line generals to prepare for succession – reportedly to one of three sons. But Monday’s actions may have moved the DPRK’s belligerence to a new level, said Michael Breen, a Seoul-based analyst and author of a biography of Kim Jong-il. “This appears to be more than the usual North Korean antics and suggests all may not be well in Pyongyang,” Mr. Breen said.
2. DPRK on US-DPRK Relations
Reuters (“NORTH KOREA SAYS U.S. HOSTILE, READIES MORE ROCKETS”, Seoul, 2009/05/27) reported that the DPRK accused the United States of hostile intent. “The U.S. would be well advised to halt at once its dangerous military moves against the DPRK if it wants to escape the lot of a tiger moth, bearing deep in mind that any attempt to make a pre-emptive attack on the DPRK is little short of inviting a disaster itself.”
Yonhap News (“PRO-N. KOREA NEWSPAPER URGES U.S. TO OPEN TWO-WAY TALKS”, 2009/05/27) reported that the DPRK will continue to raise the stakes no matter how seriously it is punished by the international community unless the US takes direct action to resolve the nuclear crisis, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper said. The Choson Sinbo, which conveys the DPRK’s perspective to foreign readers, said in the article that the only way to stop the DPRK’s accelerating arms buildup is for the US to discard its hostile policy and seek bilateral talks.
3. US on DPRK Nuclear Test
Reuters (“NORTH KOREA MAY PAY PRICE BUT DOOR OPEN TO TALKS: U.S.”, 2009/05/27) reported that the DPRK will pay a price for its latest nuclear test if it does not reverse course but the door remains open to talks on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear programs, the U.S. State Department said. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is working to make sure that “the international community conveys a strong message to North Korea that North Korea will pay a price for the path they are on if they don’t reverse that particular course,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters. Kelly also said Washington was open to resuming six-party talks .
4. US, Japan on DPRK Nuclear Test
Itar-Tass (“US AND JAPAN LEADERS FAVOUR NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA AT THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL”, 2009/05/27) reported that US President Barack Obama and Japanese Premier Taro Aso have declared in favour of adoption of new sanctions against the DPRK at the UN Security Council. The two leaders held urgent consultations by telephone Tuesday in view of the nuclear test conducted in the Korean Peninsula’s north-east on Monday. During the telephone talk, the leaders of the US and Japan declared, in particular, in favour of coordinating actions with Russia and the PRC in the elaboration of new measures with regard to Pyongyang.
5. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Test
Xinhua News (“CHINA SAYS UN ACTIONS SHOULD WORK FOR PEACE ON KOREAN PENINSULA”, 2009/05/27) reported that the PRC said it hoped the UN Security Council’s actions should be conducive to peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. After closed-door consultations of the Council, the Rotating President of the Council for May, Vitaly Churkin, made a statement about Monday’s nuclear test by the DPRK, voicing strong opposition to and condemnation of the test. “China strongly demands that the DPRK live up to its commitment to non-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, stop any activity that might worsen the situation and return to the track of the six-party talks,” Ma stressed.
6. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Test
Xinhua News (“RUSSIA SAYS NEW UN RESOLUTION SHOULD NOT IMPOSE ISOLATION ON DPRK”, Moscow, 2009/05/27) reported that Russia believes that a new UN resolution on the DPRK should not impose an international isolation or blockade on the country, the Itar-Tass news agency reported Tuesday, citing a source with the Russian Foreign Ministry. “In any case it is counterproductive to raise the question of the DPRK’s international isolation. The path to dialogue should not be disrupted, and the problem can be solved only in political and diplomatic ways,” an unidentified official was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass.
7. Russo-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“RUSSIA TO INDEFINITELY POSTPONE CO-OP MEETING WITH DPRK”, 2009/05/27) reported that R ussia will indefinitely postpone an intergovernmental meeting in the spheres of economy, trade and technological cooperation between Moscow and Pyongyang, the Itar-Tass news agency quoted an official from Russia’s Regional Development Ministry as saying on Tuesday. The meeting was originally slated for May 28-29 in Pyongyang. The report said the date for the delayed meeting remains undetermined. The ministry did not specify the reasons for the meeting’s suspension.
8. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Test
Kyodo News (“JAPAN TO IMPOSE OUTRIGHT EXPORTS BAN ON N. KOREA FOLLOWING NUKE TEST”, Tokyo, 2009/05/27) reported that Japan has decided to impose an outright ban on exports to the DPRK as part of its efforts to toughen sanctions on Pyongyang following Monday’s nuclear test by the country, government sources said. But the proposed ban is expected to have only a limited impact on the DPRK, as the total value of exports is relatively small. By strengthening sanctions of its own, nonetheless, Japan is apparently aiming to highlight its stance of ”sternly” dealing with the DPRK’s nuclear threat as Prime Minister Taro Aso has emphasized.
9. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Test
The Christian Science Monitor (“EMBOLDENED NORTH KOREA PUSHES NEIGHBORS TO SEEK SELF-DEFENSE”, 2009/05/26) reported that as the DPRK further ratcheted up tensions in Asia Tuesday its neighbors cast around for ways of reining in Pyongyang that might put a halt to its nuclear ambitions. Mostly, they came up only with words. But some of those words were unusually belligerent, raising fears of a regional arms race as countries such as Japan and ROK ponder how to reduce their vulnerability. In Seoul, the ROK’s largest daily, Chosun Ilbo, urged the government to go nuclear so as to match Pyongyang’s strength. “It may be premature to talk like this,” says Han Suk-hee, a professor of international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul. “But the political mood is already swinging that way.”
Korea Herald (“LEE URGES OBAMA NOT TO REWARD N. KOREA “, 2009/05/27) reported that President Lee Myung-bak asked US President Barack Obama not to reward the DPRK’s saber-rattling during a telephone conversation. The leaders discussed their response to Pyongyang’s second nuclear test internationally condemned as a threat to world peace and a violation of a U.N. resolution. In a 20-minute conversation, Lee reminded Obama of Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006 “through which North Korea got rewards including the resumption of dialogue with the international community,” presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan told reporters.
10. ROK on PSI Role
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA PLAYS PSI CARD TO COUNTER N. KOREA’S BRINKMANSHIP”, Seoul, 2009/05/27) reported that the ROK ‘s decision to fully participate in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) highlights its own resolve to stand its ground against the DPRK’s continued provocations and play a bigger role in global security. “(Participation in the PSI) is a natural obligation for a mature country,” Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told a parliamentary meeting to discuss the impact of the latest nuclear test. “It will help control North Korea’s development of dangerous material.”
11. ROK Defense Industry
JoongAng Ilbo (“SHORT BOOM FOR DEFENSE AFTER NUKE, MISSILE TESTS”, 2009/05/27) reported that s hare prices of the ROK’s military suppliers and other producers of defense equipment exploded after the DPRK conducted a second nuclear test and missile tests over the last two days. Many ROK military supply makers skyrocketed again by the daily limit of 15 percent yesterday, when Seoul announced a plan to join the Proliferation Security Initiative.
12. ROK Lebanon Dispatch
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “EXTENSION OF TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN LEBANON APPROVED”, 2009/05/27) reported that the Cabinet has approved a plan to extend the deployment of peacekeeping forces to Lebanon by 18 months through December next year, government officials said Tuesday. The plan needs approval from the National Assembly before being implemented. Under a 2008 motion, the Dongmyeong Unit stationed in the southern region of Lebanon as part of the U.N. Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is to end its mission this July.
13. Sino-ROK Military Relations
Xinhua News (“DEFENSE CHIEFS OF CHINA, ROK MEET, DISCUSS MILITARY-TO-MILITARY RELATIONS PROMOTION”, Beijing , 2009/05/27) reported that the defense chiefs of the PRC and ROK met in Beijing and the two sides expressed their wishes to deepen military-to-military relations. PRC Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told his ROK counterpart Lee Sang Hee during their talks that the PRC was willing to work with the ROK side to strengthen pragmatic exchanges and cooperation, and to deepen military ties in an all-round way in the light of the principles of political mutual trust, economically mutual benefit, and maintaining the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
14. Japan Climate Change
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN SHOULD CUT EMISSIONS 15 PCT BY 2020: MINISTER”, 2009/05/27) reported that Japan’s environment minister said the world’s second largest economy should cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. Tetsuo Saito said Japan could meet the target through greater solar power development, cleaner cars and ecologically friendly homes. He said Japan could aim for a 25 percent cut if it factored in carbon trading , forest absorption of carbon dioxide and its contributions to developing countries .
15. Japan Nuclear Power
United Press International (“MOX FUEL OFFLOADED AT JAPAN REACTOR”, Tokyo, 2009/05/27) reported that a second shipment of controversial mixed uranium-plutonium oxide nuclear fuel has arrived in Japan amid tight security, officials say. The MOX shipment arrived early Saturday at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai No. 3 reactor in northern Saga Prefecture on a ship escorted by a small flotilla of Japan Coast Guard vessels, The Japan Times reported. An earlier shipment had delivered MOX to another nuclear power plant, Chubu Electric’s Hamaoka No. 4 reactor in Shizuoka Prefecture, the Times said.
16. Japan Energy Supply
Bloomberg News (Shigeru Sato and Yuji Okada, “COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT REJECTED BY JAPANESE MINISTER”, 2009/05/27) reported that Japan’s environment minister recommended rejecting a proposal for a new coal-burning power plant in the north, calling it an obstacle for the nation in meeting its pledges to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. “It’s hard to approve the project,” Tetsuo Saito said in a faxed statement today. “This may hamper Japan’s efforts to achieve the target agreed under the Kyoto Protocol.”
17. Cross Strait Relations
DPA (“CHINA’S HU VOWS TO BUILD TRUST WITH TAIWAN RULING PARTY”, 2009/05/27) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao hailed recent improvements in cross-strait relations as he met the head of Taiwan’s ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Wu Poh-hsiung, in Beijing. The warming of ties between Taiwan and the PRC over the past year was “welcomed and supported widely by international society,” state media quoted Hu as saying. In a joint statement following the meeting, the two sides said they had achieved “important progress” on cross-strait issues and vowed to “intensify mutual trust.”
Reuters (“TAIWAN ARRESTS CHINA TOURIST FOR MILITARY PHOTOS”, Taipei, 2009/05/27) reported that a PRC tourist has been arrested in Taiwan accused of taking illegal photos at a military compound, officials said. The arrest of the man is the first of its kind since Taiwan began allowing PRC tourists to visit en masse since July, a measure to stimulate the economy. Military officials have sent the tourist’s case to prosecutors but would not give details on the man’s background or say what photos he took.
18. Climate Change and Sino-US Relations
Reuters (“CLIMATE CHANGE A ‘GAME CHANGER’ IN US-CHINA RELATIONS”, Beijing, 2009/05/27) reported that US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that the fight against climate change was a “game changer” in PRC-US relations. “It is an opportunity that we cannot miss,” she said at a clean energy forum in Beijing. Delivering a speech at the meeting, which aims to find ways for the United States and the PRC to cooperate on clean energy, Pelosi linked the issue of human rights to environmental justice . “We see the thread of workers’ rights, human rights, people’s rights, and environmental justice — a principle that must be upheld as we go forward,” she said.
19. PRC Protest
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA TEA FARMERS ATTACK POLICE STATION”, Beijing, 2009/05/27) reported that hundreds of angry tea farmers attacked a police station in southern PRC after rumours spread that one man had been killed in custody for fighting for farmers’ rights, state media said. The attackers damaged the station in Guangdong province with stones and bricks and set police vehicles on fire in Saturday’s incident, the China Daily said of the latest in a string of attacks on PRC police stations . Tea farmers in the city of Yingde have complained for years that authorities have not provided them with required medical insurance, social pensions and unemployment compensation , the paper said.
20. PRC Civil Society
Xinhua News (Erdong Chen, “NGOS IN CHINA: THE RISE OF CIVIL AWARENESS”, 2009/05/27) reported that a s the PRC is right on its way to establish a harmonious society emphasizing democratic governance and citizens’ livelihood, the development and prosperity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in this rising superpower is by no means ignorable. Generally speaking, PRC NGOs operate in numerous fields including environmental protection, labor rights, as well as women’s rights. They have to accommodate the demand of higher-ranking decision-makers at times to maintain their existence and development. However, the hidden advantage of this mechanism is that the visible governmental hand in the PRC’s NGOs has actually added the credibility so that they are more likely to convince the public because people tend to believe the role of the government in regulating and supervising the operations.
21. SCO Disaster Relief Drill
CCTV (“SCO JOINS DISASTER RELIEF EXERCISE”, 2009/05/28) reported that rescue teams from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries have held their first joint disaster relief exercise in the Russian city of Noginsk. The exercise simulated a response to a 9-magnitude earthquake in Russia. The teams dealt with collapsed buildings and various casualties, as well as explosions and dangerous chemical leaks. The total exercise lasted 45 minutes. Russia deployed over 50 aircraft and more than 80 vehicles. The tasks included rescue on water and from debris, as well as traffic and air crash rescue. Emergency medical aid was also practiced.
II. PRC Report
22. PRC Civil Society and Public Health
Xinhua Net (“STUDENTS’ NUTRITION AND HEALTH EDUCATION PROJECT LAUNCHED IN GANSU”, 2009/05/26) reported that with the coming International Children’s Day, China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, the National Youth and Teenager Food Security Action Office and Nestle Company have co-launched Students’ Nutrition and Health Education Project in Gansu recently. The Project will be a good example for enhancing quality education both in education and nutrition, said an insider.
23. PRC Development
China Youth Daily (“83% CITIZENS IN SHENZHEN BELIEVE TO BE HAPPIER AFTER FIVE YEARS”, 2009/05/26) reported that 64.5% citizens in Shenzhen city believe that the development of Shenzhen is related to their individual happiness; 83% citizens think they will be happier after five years, sources with 2009 Shenzhen Society Blue Book published on May 24 th , written by Shenzhen Municipal Social Science Academy.
24. PRC Environment
China News Net (“INTERNATIONAL WATER RESOURCE WORKSHOP HELD IN BEIJING”, 2009/05/27) reported that government officials, experts and scholars from China and other dozens of countries gather together today to participate the International Workshop “Water Resource Security: China and the World”. The Workshop aims at enhancing mutual understanding among experts of different countries and maintaining water resource security, said the sponsors.
III. ROK Report
25. ROK Participation in PSI
PSPD (“FULL PARTICIPATION IN PSI, GOV’T REACHING THE POINT OF NO RETURN?”, Seoul, 2009/05/26) reported that the decision to fully participate in the Proliferation Security Initiative was a symbolic act to declare pressure and blockade the DPRK. Its effects go beyond the PSI, as the DPRK has claimed the participation is a de facto declaration of war. This situation could lead to another confrontation as there were many times in the past, but the current government has no means to communicate or find a solution when there is a problem. The lack of communication and trust between north and south could easily be intensified to a security crisis.
PRESSian (“THE HARD-LINE WELCOMES GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN PSI”, Seoul, 2009/05/27) wrote that the government’s decision to fully participate in the PSI seems like a result of viewing DPRK’s recent actions as “for survival” or “for strengthening inner rule” rather than “for negotiations.” Also, the announcement of full-scale participation in the PSI is, on the one hand, to disperse the public passions stirred by former President Roh’s death, and on the other, to strengthen support for the administration by sticking to DPRK principles recently suggested by conservative media. It seems that the DPRK will detain the Hyundai Asan employee longer.
26. US-DPRK Relations
PRESSian (Ahn Byungjin, “FOR A SOLUTION TO DPRK ISSUE, MORE BOLDNESS NEEDED”, Seoul, 2009/05/27) wrote that although Richard Nixon is gone, fortunately, his partner Henry Kissinger is still alive. What is more fortunate is that Jimmy Carter, who had wisely warned Bill Clinton about his former misunderstandings on the DPRK, and Clinton, who later came to understand the DPRK, is still there. Although sending Kissinger as a special envoy is an important task, Obama needs to first review this matter from the beginning with their help with this question in mind: “From where did it start going wrong?” Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, who turned into a hard-line realist long before her husband did, needs to learn to differentiate what needs to be said officially and unofficially.
27. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA WILL BENEFIT IN THE LONGRUN FROM PARTICIPATING IN SANCTIONS ON DPRK”, Seoul, 2009/05/27) wrote that the US alone will not be able to make DPRK give up nuclear development. Without China’s help, international society will never be able to succeed in sanctions against the DPRK, and all UN Security Council resolutions will be meaningless. Leaving the DPRK to develop nuclear and missiles technology is only a minus for China’s political and diplomatic benefits, as well. Japan, which has been sensitive to China’s omnidirectional strengthening of national defense, has always used the DPRK’s provocative actions as an excuse to strengthen Japanese national defense. Restraining the DPRK’s actions from stimulating arms race in the whole northeast Asia is a benefit to China’s national security.