NAPSNet Daily Report 28 January, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Detention of Americans
- 2. DPRK-US Military Relations
- 3. Inter-Korean Naval Clashes
- 4. US on Inter-Korean Naval Clash
- 5. Inter-Korea Relations
- 6. DPRK Military
- 7. DPRK Economy
- 8. DPRK Plane Interdiction
- 9. DPRK Human Rights Issue
- 10. DPRK Defector Radio
- 11. ROK Cyber Security
- 12. ROK-UAE Nuclear Energy Cooperation
- 13. Japan Aid to Afghanistan
- 14. Japan Non-Nuclear Principles
- 15. USFJ Base Relocation
- 16. Japan Whaling Issue
- 17. PRC Civil Unrest
- 18. US on PRC Internet
- 19. Hong Kong Government
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Detention of Americans
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “NKOREA SAYS AMERICAN MAN DETAINED AT CHINA BORDER”, Seoul, 2010/01/28) reported that the DPRK said Thursday it has detained an American man for illegally entering the country from the PRC. The man was detained Monday and is under investigation, the Korean Central News Agency said in a brief dispatch. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said it had no information while the embassy in Seoul had no comment.
2. DPRK-US Military Relations
Daily NK (Chris Green, “NORTH KOREA TO ALLOW MIA HUNT TO RESUME “, 2010/01/27) reported that the DPRK appears willing to allow the search for the remains of missing American service members on its soil to resume, according to Admiral Robert Willard, the serving Commander of U.S. Pacific Command. “We’re going to enter into discussions with the DPRK. That is what we know right now. They are willing to talk about it and we’re willing to address the particulars with them,” Admiral Willard told reporters at Camp H.M. Smith, the headquarters of U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. “It’s a complex problem,” Admiral Willard said, “We’ve been in (The DPRK for recovery missions) before, and it appears that we’re being invited to consider going back again. It’s something that we’ll take seriously and we’ll enter into dialogue with them and find out where it will lead.”
3. Inter-Korean Naval Clashes
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA VOWS TO CONTINUE ARTILLERY DRILLS ALONG YELLOW SEA BORDER “, 2010/01/27) reported that t he DPRK vowed to continue artillery drills along the Yellow Sea border after sharply raising tension by firing dozens of shells there Wednesday, reiterating that the de-facto inter-Korean border should be redrawn. The General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) confirmed its artillery firing, saying it was part of an “annual” drill. “No one can argue about the premeditated exercises staged by KPA units in waters of the north side,” the KPA General Staff said in a statement carried by the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency. “Such firing drill by the units of the KPA will go on in the same waters in the future, too.”
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “NORTH KOREA RESUMES FIRING ARTILLERY AMID TENSION”, Seoul, 2010/01/28) reported that the DPRK fired several artillery shells early Thursday that are believed to have landed in its waters, an official at the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The official said the ROK did not respond but was closely watching the DPRK’s maneuvers.
4. US on Inter-Korean Naval Clash
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. DENOUNCES N. KOREA FOR RAISING REGIONAL TENSIONS WITH CANNON FIRING: STATE DEPT. “, Washington, 2010/01/27) reported that the United States Wednesday denounced the DPRK for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula by firing artillery shells along the disputed western sea border. “The declaration by The DPRK of a no-sail zone and the live firing of artillery are provocative actions and as such are not helpful,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said.
5. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA MUST STOP RAISING TENSION ‘IMMEDIATELY’: MINISTER “, Seoul, 2010/01/27) reported that t he ROK called on the DPRK Wednesday to “immediately stop raising tension,” as the communist state continued to pour artillery fire into waters off the west coast of their divided peninsula. The ROK’s Unification Minister Hyun In-taek, however, said that inter-Korean talks concerning a joint business park in the DPRK, slated for Monday, would go ahead as planned between the sides. The communist country fired another barrage of shells in the afternoon just as Hyun made the speech calling for improved ties between the divided countries. The move “reflects a very disappointing attitude on the part of the DPRK,” Hyun said at a forum in Seoul. “The DPRK has recently shown conflicting attitudes, seeking both confrontation and dialogue in inter-Korean relations. But the North must pursue the direction of dialogue and cooperation,” he said.
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA PROPOSES INTER-KOREAN EVENT FOR JUNE 15 DECLARATION “, Seoul, 2010/01/27) reported that the DPRK proposed a joint event to mark the 10th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration this year, the DPRK’s official media reported. The ROK and the DPRK adopted the declaration for reconciliation and cooperation at the inter-Korean summit talks in 2000.
6. DPRK Military
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA DEMONSTRATES ITS GUNS CAN THREATEN S. KOREAN BASES “, 2010/01/27) reported that the artillery guns the DPRK fired Wednesday near the inter-Korean western sea border are believed to be capable of reaching the ROK islands that are home to frontline naval and marine bases, defense officials said. The ROK defense officials believe the guns the communist neighbor used to fire 30 shells into its waters Wednesday are estimated to have ranges of between 12 to 27 kilometers.
7. DPRK Economy
Donga Ilbo (“NK REELING FROM HYPERINFLATION, REDUCED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY”, 2010/01/27) reported that the DPRK is suffering from hyperinflation and rapid weakening of economic activities in the wake of its currency revaluation in November last year, a ROK civic organization said yesterday. Good Friends, a group fighting for human rights in the DPRK, said, “The price of rice is reaching a new high every day,” adding, “Chongjin in North Hamkyong Province saw the biggest rise in rice prices. The price of a kilogram of rice there based on the (North’s) new currency tripled to 650 won Jan. 22 from 240 won a week before, and rose again to 1,100 won Sunday in the city’s Sunam Market.”
8. DPRK Plane Interdiction
Chosun Ilbo (“FIRMS IN 5 COUNTRIES CAMOUFLAGED N.KOREAN ARMS DEAL”, 2010/01/27) reported that five companies in five countries were involved in a complex process of cargo laundering for a shipment of the DPRK arms that was confiscated at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport last month, according to media reports. Efforts to track the cargo were complicated by the involvement of a Kazakh arms dealer and his wife who handled the arms through a ghost company, AP said.
9. DPRK Human Rights Issue
Chosun Ilbo (“ACTIVISTS RELEASE LIST OF INMATES AT N.KOREAN CAMP “, 2010/01/27) reported that two ROK activist groups on Tuesday released a list of 254 inmates at the DPRK’s notorious Yoduk prison camp. In a press conference at the Korea Press Center in Seoul, Democracy Network Against North Korean Gulag and the Antihuman Crime Investigation Committee said that of the inmates on the list, 133 were confirmed recently and the other 121 around 2004. The groups compiled the new list based on testimony of four defectors who escaped from Yoduk camp between 2003 and 2005. The two groups plan to bring charges at the International Criminal Court and the UN against the human rights abuses the DPRK has committed at political concentration camps.
Korea Times (“LAWMAKERS URGE NK TO APOLOGIZE FOR KIDNAPPINGS”, 2010/01/27) reported that lawmakers concerned with human rights in the DPRK and faith-based groups condemned the DPRK Wednesday for offering no apology for its kidnapping of ROK citizens in the past. They called on the government to stand firm on the matter and take measures to better protect its citizens. Lawmakers condemned Pyongyang for its denial of the kidnapping of ROK citizens, saying the DPRK applied a double standard to the matter. “During a summit with Japan in 2002, North Korea apologized for its kidnapping of Japanese citizens. But it showed few signs of taking a similar measure with the South,” said a statement issued by the lawmakers.
10. DPRK Defector Radio
Korea Times (“DEFECTORS TO BROADCAST HARD LIFE IN NORTH KOREA”, 2010/01/27) reported tha t a radio station run by DPRK defectors in the ROK plans to broadcast real-life stories narrated by DPRK citizens currently living in the secretive state. Kim Seong-min, a representative of the Seoul-based Free North Korean Radio and also a defector, said Wednesday that the station will air the program, titled “Voice of People,” twice a day between Friday and Saturday. The seven-minute insert will contain six people’s descriptions on the recent currency revaluation, a crackdown on marketeering and other complaints, he said. “This will be the first program recorded by North Koreans who are currently residing in the North,” he said. “In order to deliver the lively voices of North Koeran people, we will continue to broadcast this kind program once a week.”
11. ROK Cyber Security
Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA HEIGHTENS ALERT AGAINST CYBERATTACKS”, Seoul, 2010/01/27) reported that the ROK’s spy agency said Wednesday it had issued an alert against cyberattacks aimed at stealing data from government networks. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) did not say whether the DPRK was responsible. Open Radio for North Korea, a Seoul -based group specialising in the DPRK, said the latest attack was led by Pyongyang. The NIS said its alert was heightened “from normal to concern” after a massive inflow of overseas hacking attacks. The attacks were aimed at stealing data from government and other state networks, it said in a statement on its website.
12. ROK-UAE Nuclear Energy Cooperation
The National (Chris Stanton, “UAE LOOKS TO FOLLOW SOUTH KOREA’S EXAMPLE FOR NUCLEAR FUTURE”, 2010/01/27) reported that Chae Wan Hee, a vice president for Korean Hydro and Nuclear Power at the site, said the company’s safe operating history comes down to rigorously training workers in the nuclear plants “to prevent human-incurred accidents in operation and maintenance”. The uniform and highly disciplined approach to nuclear plant construction is the key to why the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) awarded a US$20 billion (Dh73.46bn) contract last month to Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to build a fleet of reactors in the UAE. ENEC has a long-term plan modelled on the Korean system of uniform design and economy of scale: it intends to build all four reactors at the one site it eventually chooses, and also has signalled that it would prefer to stick with the same design as reactors are added.
13. Japan Aid to Afghanistan
Washington Times (Karen DeYoung, “BRITAIN, JAPAN TO HELP REINTEGRATE TALIBAN FOOT SOLDIERS”, 2010/01/27) reported that Britain and Japan have agreed to head an international fund, expected to total up to $500 million over the next five years, as part of a broad plan to help lure Taliban fighters away from the insurgency with the promise of jobs, protection against retaliation, and the removal of their names from lists of U.S. and NATO targets. The fund will help support a proposal by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to begin the reintegration of low-level fighters. Japan is expected to provide the largest contribution to the new fund, out of a $5 billion aid commitment made in November.
14. Japan Non-Nuclear Principles
Kyodo News (“JAPAN TO STICK TO NON-NUCLEAR WEAPONS PRINCIPLES: HATOYAMA”, Tokyo, 2010/01/27) reported that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Wednesday expressed his government’s intention to remain committed to the nation’s three non-nuclear principles, including the one of not allowing the introduction of nuclear weapons into the country. The effectiveness of this last principle has been called into question as Japan and the United States purportedly forged a secret pact to allow stopovers by U.S. military vessels carrying nuclear weapons without prior consultations. ”We will continue to make sure that (government agencies) are kept informed about (the principles), including not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons,” he said at a meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee. ”In other words, we will observe them.”
15. USFJ Base Relocation
Honolulu Star (“OKINAWA BASE STILL A GO, ADMIRAL SAYS”, 2010/01/27) reported that the election of an Okinawa mayor who opposes relocation of a U.S. Marine air base to his city will not affect a 1996 deal to realign U.S. forces in Japan, says the top U.S. commander in the Pacific. Susumu Inamine opposes the plan negotiated by the administration of former President Bill Clinton that set aside Schwab as the replacement for Futenma. “I don’t think this should be regarded as a setback,” said Adm. Robert Willard, who leads all U.S. military forces in Pacific.
Kyodo News (“GOV’T HAS NO INTENTION OF GOING OVER LOCAL HEADS ON U.S. BASE”, 2010/01/27) reported that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday that the government has no intention of making a decision on where to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa by going over the heads of those in the locality to which the base would be moved. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano sought the same day to clarify his earlier indication that the government could take legal action to settle the issue if it could not secure consent from a local government. Hirano told a news conference, “Seeking understanding (from a local government) is absolutely necessary, and I have never meant to deny that.”
16. Japan Whaling Issue
Associated Press (“AUSSIE, NZ SCIENTISTS PREP FOR WHALE RESEARCH TREK”, Sydney, 2010/01/27) reported that scientists from Australia and New Zealand are to set out on a whale research expedition to the Antarctic on Monday in an effort to disprove Japan’s argument that whales must be killed to be studied. The results of the six-week expedition are central to the whaling debate. Still, no matter what the outcome, both sides acknowledge it will likely do little to change Japan’s support for whaling.
17. PRC Civil Unrest
Agence France Presse (“FALUNGONG SAYS CHINA BLOCKED HONG KONG DANCE SHOWS”, Tokyo, 2010/01/27) reported that the Falungong religious group, which is banned in the PRC , Wednesday accused Beijing of forcing a dance troupe linked to the sect to cancel a Hong Kong performance tour by denying visas to key members. The rejection of entry visas for seven production crew of the Shen Yun Performing Arts troupe “is absolutely part of the persecution of Falungong by the Chinese Communist Party ,” said Japanese Falungong member Kanae Yamakawa. “We protest against the Hong Kong authorities over their arbitrary decision of a visa denial … There is nothing wrong with the Shen Yun Performing Arts group in their visa application process,” she told reporters in Tokyo .
18. US on PRC Internet
Reuters (“CLINTON TO PRESS CHINA FM ON INTERNET ISSUE”, London, 2010/01/27) reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will press the PRC’s foreign minister on the issue of Internet freedom, a growing irritant in ties between the two powers, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. “I think it is likely that they will end up discussing, maybe not the specific Google situation but the broader issue,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
19. Hong Kong Government
Earthtimes (John M. Glionna , “PRO-CHINA POLITICIANS STAGE WALKOUT OVER ‘DEMOCRACY REFERENDUM’ “, Hong Kong, 2010/01/27) reported that five pro-democracy politicians who stood down to force what they said would be a referendum on democracy in Hong Kong were denied the right Wednesday to make resignation speeches. In an escalating row, pro-PRC politicians walked out of the city’s Legislative Council as the five resigning democrats were about to give speeches explaining their decision to step down.Speaking before the walkout, which forced the meeting to be adjourned, chairman of the pro-PRC Democratic Alliance Tam Yiu-chung accused the five of “hijacking” the Legislative Council. The five would now have to give up their chance to address the legislature or suspend their resignations until next Wednesday and speak at the reconvened meeting.
II. PRC Report
20. PRC Environment
China Environment News (“ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FORUM HELD IN YUNNAN”, 2010/01/27) reported that Colorful Yunnan Environmental Protection Amway Forum was held in Kunming of Yunnan province recently. Over one hundred representatives from government, enterprise, NGO, media, school and communities participated in this forum. The theme of the forum is “Public’s Participation in Environmental Protection, and is financially supported by Amway company.
21. PRC Civil Society
Xinhua Net (“NOKIA DONATES 6.7 MILLION RMB FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR SEMINAR”, 2010/01/27) reported that Nokia China decided to donate another 6.7 million RMB to support the second session of “Nokia Young Entrepreneur Seminar” recently. This activity aims at helping young students become successful entrepreneurs and achieve bright futures.
22. PRC Earthquake Reconstruction
China Net (“230 MILLION RMB FUND OF DISASTER RECONSTRUCTION ILLEGAL USED”, 2010/01/27) reported that according to audit of national and local Audit Institutions from June to November 2009, 230 million RMB fund for Sichuan earthquake reconstruction has been illegally used, and 14 reconstruction projects are illegally subcontracted.