NAPSNet Daily Report 28 September, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK Leadership
Washington Post Foriegn Service (“NORTH KOREAN LEADER PROMOTES SON, SISTER IN ADVANCE OF PARTY CONFERENCE”, 2010/09/28) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong Il promoted his son and his sister to top military positions in the hours before the country’s largest political conference in 30 years, demonstrating anew his reliance on family bloodlines to protect his reclusive regime. The elevation of Kim’s son Kim Jong Eun to the rank of general verified his status as the Stalinist dictator’s heir apparent. But according to experts, it was the tapping of sister Kim Kyong Hui to a similar position that offered a glimpse into Kim Jong Il’s strategy for protecting power as his health declines and his untested son emerges. Experts on Tuesday noted that Kim Kyong Hui’s new job reinforces the bloodline-over-party priority. She has no military experience, but she was made a four-star general. “It seems to me not an accident that the day before they make party appointments, they make the bloodline appointments,” said Ken Gause, an Alexandria-based analyst specializing in North Korean leadership. “That is a clear signal to what’s happening here: The Kim family is still in control.”
2. ROK on Six-Party Talks
Ghana News Agency (“VICE FM URGES CHINA TO PRESS N. KOREA TO GIVE UP NUCLEAR PROGRAMME”, 2010/09/28) reported that a top ROK diplomat urged the PRC Tuesday to exercise pressure on the DPRK to give up its atomic weapons programs, saying international nuclear talks cannot move forward unless Beijing uses its influence over Pyongyang. “As long as China takes a laid-back attitude about North Korea’s denuclearization, it will be difficult to expect progress even if the six-party talks resume,” Seoul’s Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-woo said in a speech at a security forum involving Korean and Chinese experts. “If China firms up its position to put denuclearization ahead of stability in the North and actively takes part in pressuring the North, there still remains the possibility of denuclearization,” said Chun, a top non-proliferation expert who once served as Seoul’s chief nuclear envoy. Chun stressed, however, that if Beijing puts more importance on keeping stability in the DPRK, it will not only make denuclearization efforts more difficult, but it will also do harm to the survival of the regime in Pyongyang.
3. DPRK Defector Issue
Arirang News (“N. KOREA & CHINA TEAM UP TO HUNT DOWN N. KOREAN DEFECTORS”, 2010/09/28) reported that the DPRK’s secret police and the PRC’s law enforcement authorities are reportedly on a hunt to track down DPRK defectors throughout much of the PRC. Citing various sources on both sides of the border, the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun reports that since June, some 100 DPRK agents have teamed up with hundreds of Beijing’s Armed Police to ferret out those in hiding after fleeing the secretive regime. The paper went on to say that so far dozens are believed to have been arrested and deported to their home country. The rare joint effort between the two long-time allies concerning defectors from the reclusive country is considered a type of disciplinary measure by the the DPRK, in preparation for this week’s meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party.
4. Sino-US Military Relations
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA, U.S. MILITARIES WILL HAVE DIALOGUE, CONDUCT EXCHANGE: CHINESE NATIONAL DEFENSE MINISTRY OFFICIAL”, 2010/09/28) reported that an official with the PRC Ministry of National Defense said Tuesday the PRC and U.S. militaries would conduct dialogue and exchange at an unspecified time in the future, including an annual meeting on maritime military safety and consultations on defense. Qian Lihua, director of the Foreign Affairs Office with the National Defense Ministry, made the remarks during talks with Michael Schiffer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia. Qian expressed hope the two militaries will, in a spirit of respect, mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit, effectively communicate during the exchanges, to jointly promote the healthy and stable development of military relations. The U.S. military hopes to work with the PRC to establish a stable and reliable framework for bilateral relations, Schiffer said, adding that uninterrupted dialogue and exchange helps avoid misunderstandings.