NAPSNet Daily Report 28 May, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK on Nuclear Test
- 3. Inter-Korean Relations
- 4. UNSC on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 5. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 6. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 7. Russo-DPRK Relations
- 8. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Test
- 9. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 10. DPRK Economy
- 11. US-ROK Security Alliance
- 12. ROK on Whaling Issue
- 13. ROK Swine Flu Outbreak
- 14. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 15. Japan Politics
- 16. Cross Strait Relations
- 17. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
- 18. Sino-Russian Environmental Cooperation
- 19. Sino-US Environmental Cooperation
- 20. PRC Military
- 21. PRC on Climate Change
- 22. PRC Human Rights
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Xinhua News (“DPRK SEEMINGLY HAVE RESTARTED NUCLEAR FACILITY: YONHAP”, 2009/05/27) reported that the DPRK seems to have restarted its nuclear reprocessing facility at Yongbyon, the ROK’s Yonhap News Agency said Wednesday. “The Yongbyon nuclear facility was spotted to have opened several times the plutonium fuel rods in mid-April, in addition to smoke rising from the steam facility later in the month,” the source was quoted as saying by Yonhap. “As a result, it is the belief of our intelligence office that it is highly likely the North restarted its nuclear facility,” the source was quoted as saying.
2. DPRK on Nuclear Test
Xinhua News (“DPRK OFFICIALS GATHER FOR CELEBRATION ON NUCLEAR TEST”, Pyongyang, 2009/05/27) reported that senior government officials of the DPRK gathered for a mass celebration of its second nuclear test, the official Rodong Sinmun daily reported. “The nuclear test was a grand undertaking to protect the supreme interests of the DPRK and defend the dignity and sovereignty of the country and nation,” Choe Thae Bok, secretary of the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, said in a speech delivered at the event.
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Washington Post (“NORTH KOREA ISSUES HEATED WARNING TO SOUTH”, 2009/05/27) reported that the DPRK announced that it is no longer bound by the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War. The DPRK also warned that it would respond “with a powerful military strike” should its ships be stopped by international forces trying to stop the export of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
Xinhua News (“S KOREAN PRESIDENT URGES CALM REACTION TO DPRK’S THREATS”, Seoul, 2009/05/27) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said on Wednesday that related ministries should take “calm reactions” towards the DPRK’s recent military threats. “President Lee ordered the related ministries to remain calm in taking countermeasures to the North (DPRK)’s military threats after he was notified of the reports,” said Lee Dong-kwan, spokesman for the presidential office.
4. UNSC on DPRK Nuclear Test
Bloomberg News (“U.S., CHINA, RUSSIA AGREE UN ACTION NEEDED OVER NORTH KOREA “, 2009/05/27) reported that t he US, PRC, Japan and Russia have agreed that the United Nations Security Council should adopt a strong resolution censuring the DPRK for its nuclear test and missile launches, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said his government would support a “strong” resolution, while saying that a draft text hasn’t yet been introduced. The PRC’s Ambassador Zhang Yesui also expressed support for Security Council action.
5. Sino-DPRK Relations
The Los Angeles Times (Barbara Demick , “CHINA DEBATES ITS BOND WITH NORTH KOREA”, 2009/05/27) reported that the DPRK’s latest nuclear test raises the question of just how long the bonds forged between old communist allies will endure. Within the PRC intelligentsia there is a deep divide over how to handle the DPRK. The Global Times, a newspaper with close party ties, Tuesday published a survey of 20 of the country’s top foreign policy experts. It found them split down the middle — 10 arguing for tough sanctions against the DPRK, 10 opposed. “Traditionally, China has been very friendly to North Korea, but now there is a feeling that the North Koreans are causing us too much trouble,” Zhang said.
6. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Test
RIA Novosti (“RUSSIA OPPOSES PUNISHMENT ‘FOR ITS OWN SAKE’ AGAINST N.KOREA”, Moscow, 2009/05/27) reported that Russia’s foreign minister said that the United Nations Security Council must take action to prevent the DPRK from further nuclear activities, but should seek dialogue and avoid futile punishments. “We must not rush to punish North Korea, just for the sake of punishment. We must uphold the nonproliferation regime, but at the same time not forget that the problem can only be regulated through the route of dialogue,” Sergei Lavrov said.
7. Russo-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“RUSSIA ADOPTS PREVENTIVE MEASURES OVER POSSIBLE CONFLICT ON KOREAN PENINSULA”, Moscow, 2009/03/27) reported that Russia has stepped up preventive measures in case the situation on the Korean Peninsula gets out of control, the Interfax news agency reported, citing a source within Russia’s security services. “The escalation of the situation in the region as a result of recent decisions and actions of Pyongyang may impact the security of the population of our Far East regions,” thus it is needed “to take appropriate preventive measures,” the source said. The source also stressed that “the issue is not about the concentration of military effort,” but rather a possible conflict on the peninsula involving “the use of nuclear weapons.”
8. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Test
Mainichi Shimbun (“JAPAN TO CRACK DOWN ON N. KOREAN MONEY LAUNDERING AS PART OF NEW SANCTIONS”, 2009/05/27) reported that the government is considering stepping up a crackdown on terrorist funds and money laundering involving the DPRK as part of further sanctions against the secluded state, officials said. Tokyo is poised to impose the additional sanctions against Pyongyang in response to its recent underground nuclear test.
Kyodo News (“UPPER HOUSE ADOPTS RESOLUTION CONDEMNING NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR TEST”, Tokyo, 2009/05/27) reported that Japan’s House of Councillors unanimously approved a resolution at a plenary session Wednesday condemning the DPRK’s nuclear test, following the adoption of a similar resolution by the House of Representatives on the day of the test. The upper chamber’s resolution states that ”repeated nuclear tests are a grave challenge to the international nonproliferation regime” and ”buck the increasing momentum toward the eradication of nuclear arms,” and urges Pyongyang to make efforts toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
9. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“N-WARHEADS MAY COME NEXT”, 2009/05/27) reported that Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada on Tuesday said the DPRK might manage to develop nuclear warheads in the near future. “North Korea is believed to be making efforts to mount a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile,” Hamada said during a House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting in the morning. “We can’t rule out the possibility of [North Korea] downsizing its nuclear weapons and developing nuclear warheads in a relatively short period of time,” he said.
10. DPRK Economy
The Associated Press (“ROUBINI RECOMMENDS CHINESE MODEL FOR NORTH KOREA”, 2009/05/27) reported that impoverished DPRK can liberalize its economy while maintaining its political system if it follows the path taken by the PRC and Vietnam, prominent economist Nouriel Roubini said Wednesday. “I think the lesson is that progressive economic opening and liberalization even in a formerly centrally controlled economy can lead to beneficial changes,” Roubini told reporters on the sidelines of a technology forum.
11. US-ROK Security Alliance
Korea Herald (“GNP DEMANDS WARTIME CONTROL BE RECONSIDERED”, 2009/05/27) reported that the ruling Grand National Party yesterday requested that the government reexamine the 2012 transfer of wartime operational control following the DPRK’s “successful” second nuclear test. In a meeting with Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and other government officials, GNP Chairman Park Hee-tae insisted the government may have to reconsider Washington’s handover of wartime control to the ROK by the target year as the DPRK poses a serious security threat.
12. ROK on Whaling Issue
Yonhap News (“GOV’T TO TIGHTEN MONITORING TO PREVENT ILLEGAL WHALING “, Seoul, 2009/05/27) reported that the ROK will tighten monitoring to ferret out illegal whaling operations that have drawn criticism from abroad, the government said. The measures that go into effect next year will require all whales that were caught accidentally in fishing nets or washed ashore to receive official certification before being sold on the market, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said. “There has been a steady increase in the whale population in waters near the Korean Peninsula, which has raised the chance of fishermen intentionally hunting these animals for easy profit,” a official said.
13. ROK Swine Flu Outbreak
Korea Times (Kwon Mee-yoo, “2 MORE INFLUENZA CASES CONFIRMED”, 2009/05/27) reported that t wo more cases of H1N1 influenza A were confirmed Wednesday and the total number of infected people here rose to 29. According to the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, one is a 30-year-old South African male from the same language institute at which a total of 19 flu-infected English teachers work. The other is a Korean woman, 22, who returned from the United States.
14. US-Japan Security Alliance
Kyodo News (“EX-AUSTRALIAN MINISTER DOUBTS JAPAN DEPENDENCE ON U.S. NUKE DETERRENCE”, 2009/05/27) reported that former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans called on the Japanese government to have second thoughts about depending on the deterrent force of U.S. nuclear weapons over non-nuclear threats. At a press conference in Tokyo, Evans posed the question of whether it is really necessary for Japan to remain under the nuclear umbrella of the United States to seek shelter from conventional weapons, such as biological and chemical weapons.
15. Japan Politics
Agence France Press (“JAPAN PM, OPPOSITION RIVAL FACE OFF IN FIRST DEBATE”, Tokyo , 2009/05/27) reported that Japan’s conservative Prime Minister Taro Aso and opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama squared off Wednesday in their first face-to-face parliamentary debate ahead of elections later this year. Coming out fighting on the Diet lower house floor, the head of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, or DPJ, lashed out at Aso’s “government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats.” “People have deep concerns about what the DPJ would do about social security and national security issues” at a time when Japan faces its worst postwar recession and the nuclear threat from the DPRK, Aso said.
16. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINESE TRADE MISSIONS HEAD TO TAIWAN WITH BILLIONS IN ORDERS”, Beijing, 2009/05/27) reported that the PRC will send buying missions to Taiwan with orders worth billions of dollars to boost the island’s struggling economy, the mainland government said Wednesday, in a fresh sign of warming bilateral ties. Seven to nine PRC business delegations are expected to visit Taiwan in the period until September, according to Yang Yi, spokesman of the Cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office.
17. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
DefenceIndia (“INDIA UPS VIGIL ON CHINA BORDER”, 2009/05/27) reported that clearly concerned about being encircled India is to send another 40,000 troops to the India-PRC border. After downplaying the PRC threat for years, the government is now decided to raise additional fighting formations to meet any eventuality and to improve the infrastructure in the areas bordering the PRC. Deploying more troops is being seen as an assertion by India that Arunachal Pradesh is not a part of the PRC as Beijing claims.
18. Sino-Russian Environmental Cooperation
Itar-Tass (“RUSSIA, CHINA COMPLETE MONITORING OF CROSS-BORDER RIVERS”, Vladivostok, 2009/05/27) reported that Russian and PRC hydrologists have completed the monitoring of the quality of water in cross-border rivers, the press service of the Primorye Meteorological Office told Itar-Tass. In the past week, the PRC and Russia sampled water and carried out hydrological measurements on the river Razdolnaya at the border-crossing point, and Lake Khanka, which is riverhead of the Sungacha, director of the Primorye Center for Environmental Pollution Monitoring Galina Semykina said. According to Russian-PRC monitoring, the Razdolnaya river was listed as “dirty” in 2008, while the Sungacha river was named “very dirty.” Specialists found in them critical pollutants including nitrogen compounds, phenols and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane.
19. Sino-US Environmental Cooperation
Agence France Press (“CHINA PM SAYS READY TO COOPERATE WITH US ON CLIMATE CHANGE”, Beijing, 2009/05/27) reported that the PRC is ready to strengthen its cooperation with the US to combat climate change, Premier Wen Jiabao told U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “China will cement policy dialogue with the United States, take the joint tackling of climate change as an important aspect of cooperation and push for positive results in the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference,” Xinhua news agency quoted Wen as saying.
20. PRC Military
United Press International (“CHINA SAID EXPANDING ITS NUKES, ICBMS”, London, 2009/05/27) reported that is developing and expanding its arsenals of nuclear warheads and strategic missiles, military experts say. Satellite imagery acquired by Jane’s Intelligence Review indicates Beijing is now deploying or developing up to five nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles, the British publication said. “Estimates gathered by Jane’s Intelligence Review show that within 10 years China may have a much larger total missile force, although not as large as Russia or the U.S., and it will utilize a range of modern to ensure the effective retaliatory purpose of China’s long-range nuclear missile forces,” Jane’s editor Christian Le Miere said.
21. PRC on Climate Change
Bloomberg News (“CHINA BELIEVES CLIMATE RISK TOPS CREDIT CRISIS, HU AIDE SAYS “, 2009/05/27) reported that the PRC, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, views global warming as more serious than the world financial crisis, President Hu Jintao’s special representative on climate change wrote in an editorial. Xie Zhenhua, also vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the PRC is working on provincial climate change programs this year, and that the stimulus plan contains energy conservation and pollution components, according to the article in the South China Morning Post today.
22. PRC Human Rights
The New York Times (“CHINA SAID TO THREATEN LICENSES OF HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS “, 2009/05/27) reported that in a marked departure from past practices, Beijing legal authorities have threatened to complicate or deny applications to renew the legal licenses of at least 18 of the city’s best-known civil-rights lawyers, two human-rights advocacy groups have charged. Many of the lawyers have taken on cases, involving such issues as Tibetan political activism and police brutality, that gained national and even international attention. The advocacy groups, Human Rights Watch and Chinese Human Rights Defenders, called the actions by the legal authorities part of an effort to intimidate the lawyers and their law firms into avoiding sensitive cases.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Energy Supply
Guangzhou Evening News (Zhou Lerui, “GUANGZHOU TO PRIORITIZE 7 NEW ENERGY PROJECTS”, 2009/05/27) reported that Guangzhou city will prioritize 7 new energy projects such as solar energy, heat pump technology, hydropower and wind power, bioenergy, etc.. By 2020, the annual production of new energy industry will reach 400 billion RMB, sources with Guangzhou New Energy and Renewable Energy Development Plan approved principally by the executive session of the municipal government yesterday afternoon.
24. Sino-ROK Environmental Cooperation
Xinhua Net (Lei Min, “CHINA SOUTH KOREA SIGN GREEN ECONOMIC MEMORANDUM”, 2009/05/27) reported that China Association of Trade Promotion and the ROK Chamber of Commerce and Industry have signed a memorandum of understanding on green economic cooperation in Beijing 26 th . The PRC’s per capital holds of energy resources is at a low level in the world, and has made a great environmental consumption during economic development. The ROK has a technical superiority in environmental protection and other related fields, so the prospect of cooperation between the two sides is broad.
25. PRC Social Welfare
China News Net (Li Yingming, “DONGGUAN TO ESTABLISH NEW SOCIAL WORKER SYSTEM”, 2009/05/27) reported that Dongguan will establish social worker system on the model of Hong Kong. By 2014, the number of social workers in Dongguan will reach over 2500. Currently there are only 96 professional social workers in Dongguan city, Guangzhou province, and are too little compared with the social need. The city also plans to establish 5 grades of social workers. Social workers of different level will have different salary.
III. ROK Report
26. ROK Nuclear Development
Hankook Ilbo (“‘NUCLEAR TO NUCLEAR’: ROK SHOULD ARM ITSELF”, Seoul, 2009/05/28) wrote that some conservatives assert that the ROK should arm itself with nuclear weapons after the DPRK’s second nuclear test. Hong Hyun-ik, senior researcher of Sejong Research Institute, said that the ROK should complete the nuclear cycle by constructing reprocessing facilities for peaceful nuclear activities in the future. However, conflict with the US is inevitable, he added. He also asserted that they should not insist to arm themselves with nuclear power, but should start from guaranteeing Japan’s right of nuclear activities instead. The nuke treaty signed between the ROK and the US should be renegotiated by 2012 the latest, since it will expire in 2014. The ROK’s right to construct a nuclear reprocessing facility will make have economic and environmental benefits, and that is why the peaceful nuclear activities should be guaranteed. Meanwhile, some experts analyze that ROK acquisition of nuclear arms might provoke the PRC and make them take active actions for resolving the DPRK’s nuclear issue. Though not implemented in reality, it will possibly create an incredible effect only by stating the intention.
Dongnip Shinmun (Kim Sung-man, “FORMER ROK NAVY STRATEGIC COMMANDER: ‘ROK SHOULD DEVELOP NUKES'”, Seoul, ) said in a column that concerning the DPRK’s WMD ability, the development of nuclear weapons has become an urgent security task now. The ROK should withdraw from the NPT if they are to develop nuclear weapons. Park Kun, former UN ambassador, said that the ROK can withdraw from NPT. The tenth article of NPT says that nations that encounter contingency are able to withdraw from this treaty, and should notify the member nations and UNSC three months ahead of the withdrawl. Park Keung-shik, former Science and Technology Minister and Lim Suk-soon, former IAEA nuclear inspector, said during the international diplomacy and security forum held on February 12 that the ROK has the potential ability to develop nuclear weapons. The ROK should be arm themselves with nuclear weapons to protect themselves as soon as possible.
Chosun Ilbo (“‘NUCLEAR TO NUCLEAR’ STRATEGY”, Seoul, 2009/05/27) reported that Bruce Klingner, senior researcher of the Heritage Foundation, said during a seminar held by the Peace Foundation on May 12 that the DPRK ultimately would not abandon nuclear weapons. He added that solving the matter through negotiations with the DPRK might be impossible. The DPRK linked nuclear development with the regime’s destiny. The DPRK’s past actions reflect that they are never going to abandon the nuclear weapons. The DPRK’s nuclear weapons will necessarily stimulate Japan’s nuclear armament. As Lee Sang-hee, the ROK National Defense Minister said, the basic strategy to deal with nuclear weapons is to react with nuclear weapons Now is the time for the ROK to shift their national security strategy.
Kyunghang Shinmun (“DPRK NUCLEAR EXPERIMENT NEEDS RATIONAL REACTION”, Seoul, 2009/05/29) said in a column that some ROK conservatives assert that the ROK should arm themselves with nuclear weapons. Moreover, Japan’s ruling party agreed to state they will possess ability to attack an enemy’s bases through their defense white paper which will be published by the year end. Though expected, it still causes deep concern. The remark about nuclear development as self defense made by the spokesperson of the Liberty Forward Party is irresponsible. They never thought about what will be the result. The ROK should react rationally to solve the DPRK nuclear issue peacefully. The DPRK should stop taking additional actions that will worsen the situation and start the conversation to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula.
27. DPRK Nuclear Program
Naeil Shinmun (Cui Yingjiu, “TWO WAYS TO PREVENT DPRK’S NUCLEAR ARMAMENT”, Seoul, 2009/05/28) carried an op-ed by a Beijing University professor who wrote that it seemed that the DPRK’s new strategy had been set up already. They are saying they not only need nuclear weapons, but also ballistic missiles. That is why they are to continue both the nuclear experiment and missile firing. They are also going to reinforce the relationships with the PRC and Russia. The action to take is to shift the US’s Northeast Asia policy. The ROK-US-Japan alliance should shift from the ‘cold-war’ atmosphere. Once more, the DPRK should determine to join the ROK-US-Japan alliance. The ROK and Japan’s DPRK policy shift is the only way to accomplish this.