NAPSNet Daily Report 29 June, 2009

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 29 June, 2009", NAPSNet Daily Report, June 29, 2009,

NAPSNet Daily Report 29 June, 2009

Contents in this Issue:

Preceding NAPSNet Report


I. Napsnet

1. DPRK Uranium Enrichment

Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “URANIUM GIVES NKOREA SECOND WAY TO MAKE BOMBS”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that a senior ROK official said he suspects the DPRK has already embarked on uranium enrichment with the ultimate purpose of building bombs. “I don’t believe they have a commercial-scale plant up and running, and it will take them some time,” Dan Pinkston of the International Crisis Group said. “However, they could cooperate with Iran and reduce the time required to build and operate a large-scale facility since Iran has made significant progress and is already operating a large facility.”

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2. US on DPRK Sanctions

New York Times (Mark Landler, “ENVOY TO COORDINATE NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS”, Washington, 2009/06/26) reported that the Obama administration has named Philip S. Goldberg to lead a task force coordinating Washington’s political, military and financial measures against the DPRK. Goldberg will travel soon to the PRC and other countries to drum up support for the sanctions, administration officials said Friday. “Now we have some very powerful tools, and the challenge is to make effective use of them,” said one official. But he acknowledged, “It’s going to take time to actually have a bite.”

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3. ROK, Japan on DPRK Sanctions

BBC News (“TOKYO AND SEOUL IN SANCTIONS CALL”, Tokyo, 2009/06/28) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and ROK President Lee Myung-bak called for greater rigour on applying sanctions on the DPRK when they met in Tokyo. “North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments are serious security threats and absolutely cannot be accepted,” Aso said. Lee said the implementation of UN Resolution 1874 would show the DPRK would “gain nothing by obtaining nuclear weapons”. “During the talks, we confirmed that we will never tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea,” he said. The two men added that they were united in supporting a return to the six-party talks.

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4. Sino-DPRK Trade

Washington Post (Blaine Harden, “TRADE WITH CHINA AIDS N. KOREA’S MILITARY, MAY OFFSET SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2009/06/27) reported that DPRK trade with the PRC rose 41 percent last year, while the PRC’s share of the DPRK’s foreign trade mushroomed to 73 percent. “To the extent that these transactions are increasingly controlled by government entities, particularly the military, North Korea’s response to sanctions and diplomatic concerns are almost surely diminished,” said Marcus Noland, a DPRK expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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5. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program

Yonhap (“PEACE, STABILITY ONLY POSSIBLE AFTER DENUCLEARIZATION: PM”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that peace and stability can only be fostered after the DPRK completely dismantles its nuclear weapons programs, ROK prime minister Han Seung-soo said Monday during a ceremony commemorating a 2002 naval clash. “We can never tolerate North Korea’s nuclear development,” Han said.

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6. DPRK on US Missile Defense

Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “NKOREA CRITICIZES US MISSILE DEFENSE FOR HAWAII”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that the DPRK criticized the U.S. on Monday for positioning missile defense systems around Hawaii. “Through the U.S. forces’ clamorous movements, it has been brought to light that the U.S. attempt to launch a pre-emptive strike on our republic has become a brutal fact,” the Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary. The paper also accused the U.S. of deploying nuclear-powered aircraft and atomic-armed submarines in waters near the Korean peninsula , saying the moves prove “the U.S. pre-emptive nuclear war ” on the DPRK is imminent.

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7. Japan on DPRK Ship Inspections

Yomiuri Shimbun (“BILL WOULD PUNBISH SHIPS FOR REFUSING INSPECTIONS”, Tokyo, 2009/06/27) reported that a draft bill on ship cargo inspections prepared by the Japanese government and ruling parties would punish ship captains who reject such checks, government sources said. The bill would assign the Japan Coast Guard as the main body to conduct ship inspections, while tasking Maritime Self-Defense Force staff mainly with collecting related information and checking cargo items while accompanying JCG officers, according to the sources. On Friday, the government and ruling coalition approved the bill under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874. The government plans to submit the bill to the Diet by early next month after the bill is finalized by the Cabinet.

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8. DPRK on Japanese Surveillance

Associated Press (Kwang-tae Kim, “NKOREA THREATENS TO SHOOT DOWN JAPANESE SPY PLANES”, Seoul, 2009/06/27) reported that the DPRK threatened Saturday to shoot down any Japanese planes that enter its airspace. The DPRK air force said Japan ‘s E-767 surveillance aircraft conducted aerial espionage near the Musdan-ri missile site Wednesday and Thursday. The military “will not tolerate even a bit the aerial espionage by the warmongers of the Japanese aggression forces but mercilessly shoot down any plane intruding into the territorial air of the (North) even 0.001 mm,” the air force said in a statement carried by the country Korean Central News Agency .

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9. Inter-Korean Naval Clashes

Korea Herald (“NAVY CRUSHED N.K. IN 2002: FORMER JCS OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that General Kwon Young-dal, former head of a military information division of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday the ROK was the victor of a naval clash with the DPRK that claimed the lives of six naval officers in 2002. Kwon claimed the DPRK suffered 38 casualties including 13 deaths. “I hope that the public will remember now that our Navy was not overwhelmed by the North Koreans, as some believe.”

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10. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

Yonhap (“S. KOREAN OFFICIAL SAYS FATE OF GAESEONG DEPENDS ON PROFITABILITY”, Seoul, 2009/06/28) reported that Vice Unification Minister Hong Yang-ho said Saturday that the fate of the Kaesong joint industrial park will largely depend on whether it is economically sound and profitable for ROK businesses and their DPRK employees there. “It is important the current issues related to the Kaesong industrial complex are resolved based on economic principles,” Hong said. “The industrial complex must be maintained and developed in a way that both the South and the North can benefit from it and can help each other through the project,” Hong added.

Yonhap (Kim Hyun, “S. KOREA TO REPEAT ‘NO’ TO N. KOREA’S DEMANDS OVER BUSINESS PARK”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that will maintain its position that the DPRK’s “unreasonable” demands over a joint business park cannot be accepted, unification minister Hyun In-taek said Monday. “We will continue to pursue the stable development of the Kaesong industrial park. But we will do so with principles. We have been emphasizing that unreasonable demands cannot be accepted,” Hyun stated. “We will try to explain to North Korea sufficiently that the businesses should make profits” if the business park is to continue.

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11. Inter Korean Relations

Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “CAN RELIGIOUS GROUPS CHANGE N. KOREA?”, Seoul, 2009/06/28) reported that Rev. Park One-ho, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Lord located in Jamsil, Seoul, received a note from a high-ranking DPRK health ministry official two weeks ago. Park said the official appreciated his church for sending tuberculosis vaccines worth 10 million won (about $7,800) every year through international group Zero Tuberculosis (Zero TB) and asked him in a polite manner to commit more to saving countless DPRK children dying of the disease. “I was very surprised after receiving the letter. People I know in the Presbyterian church community here said it might be the first time that a South Korean pastor has received that kind of official note from a North Korean official since the Korean War,” Park said.

Yonhap (“N.K. CLAIMS SOUTH IS SCHEMING TO ABSORB COMMUNIST STATE”, Seoul, 2009/06/28) reported that the DPRK on Sunday accused the ROK of trying to absorb it. Such remarks are aimed at “breaking down the North’s ideology and system to achieve ‘reunification through absorption,’ and it is appalling that they came out of the mouth of Lee Myung-bak,” the paper said. It also blasted Lee’s DPRK policy as the “basis and destination” of the “absorption” scheme. “What we can obviously learn here is that South Korea’s confrontational policy toward its fellow men will never change as long as Lee Myung-bak is in power,” the paper said.

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12. DPRK Defectors

Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO HOST PRESS TOUR OF RESETTLEMENT CENTER FOR N.K. DEFECTORS “, Seoul, 2009/06/28) reported that the ROK plans to host a press tour of its Hanawon resettlement center for DPRK defectors on July 8 to mark the 10th anniversary of the facility, Unification Ministry officials said Sunday. The ceremony will be attended by Unification Minister Hyun In-taek and lawmakers, they said.

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13. DPRK Economy

NORTH KOREAN ECONOMY SEES GROWTH (“NORTH KOREAN ECONOMY SEES GROWTH”, Seoul, 2009/06/28) reported that the Bank of Korea said Sunday that last year the DPRK economy grew 3.7% compared to a year earlier, after shrinking by 2.3% in 2007 and by 1.1% in 2006. The central bank said “temporary” factors, such as good weather, had helped boost agricultural production. Agricultural production rose nearly 11% in 2008 compared with 2007. And coal, iron ore and other mineral production grew 2.3% for the year.

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14. DPRK Leadership

Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “‘POWER STRUGGLE IN NK UNLIKELY'”, Seoul, 2009/06/28) reported that a DPRK watcher here claimed Sunday that the chances of a power struggle after a sudden change there are slim. “If no one was designated to replace Kim Jong-il as leader of the North before a sudden change, then a power struggle would be inevitable. But this will not be the case for North Korea because its current leader reportedly designated his youngest son Jong-un as his successor,” said Cheong Seong-chang, director of the inter-Korean relations program at the Sejong Institute.

Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “CHINA DENIES N. KOREA HEIR’S VISIT TO BEIJING”, Seoul, 2009/06/30) reported that the Financial Times reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s 26-year-old son Jong-un “joined a delegation of senior military officials for a top-secret week long visit to China in mid-June despite Beijing’s claims that no such trip occurred.” An ROK official stated, “I have been working with the Chinese government for a long time and have learned that some things can be true even if Beijing says ‘we are not aware of that’ or ‘no comment’. It means they’re leaving themselves a way out, just in case.” “From my experience with the Chinese government, this really means ‘No, Jong-un has not visited Beijing.'” The official also said, based on his sources, he is fairly confident the 26-year-old did not meet with PRC president Hu Jintao or vice president Xi Jinping.

Yonhap (“SEOUL SAYS NO INFORMATION ON KIM’S HEALTH”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that the ROK has no information on whether DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s health is failing, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said Monday. “As we have said before, we maintain our position on being cautious about Chairman Kim Jong-il’s health and his physical condition,” Chun said. “We can just say his public, official activities have been reported last week as well.”

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15. DPRK Threats

Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “NORTH KOREAN PROVOCATIONS UNLIKELY”, Seoul, 2009/06/30) reported that former DPRK diplomat Hyun Seong-il said Sunday that the recent DPRK nuclear and missile tests were a show of “defensive bravado” and Pyongyang is unlikely to attempt a military provocation that may develop into a full-scale war. “As long as Kim Jong-il, the central force buttressing the regime, continues to be in poor health, North Korea will continue to stick to the hard line posture in its overall domestic and foreign policy so as to ward off any possible impact to the regime’s security,” Hyun said. The DPRK power elite must be extremely wary of Kim Jong-il’s weakening control being seen as a golden opportunity for a regime collapse to Washington or Seoul, Hyun said.

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16. DPRK Counterfeiting

Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun , “U.S. MAY ACT AGAINST N.K. COUNTERFEITING”, 2009/06/29) reported that Dick Nanto, CRS specialist in foreign affairs, was quoted as saying by Voice of America that the DPRK’s counterfeiting of U.S. dollars was a highly specific crime and was therefore something Washington could act on. “It could be a good excuse for financial sanctions against North Korea,” he said. Nanto, who in 2006 wrote a report titled “North Korean counterfeiting of U.S. currency,” said Washington could impose its own national financial sanctions aside from those imposed by the United Nations or other countries.

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17. US-ROK Alliance

Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “S. KOREA, U.S. HOLD SECURITY TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/06/27) reported that U.S. Defense Undersecretary of Policy Michele Flournoy on Friday discussed with ROK officials pressing security issues, including the latest crisis imposed by the DPRK. She met with Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee, Vice Defense Minister Chang Soo-man and Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Yong-joon during her one-day stay in Seoul.

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18. ROK Military

Korea Herald (“SEOUL TO ACQUIRE NEW MISSILES FOR DESTROYER”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that the ROK Navy plans to acquire 40 new surface-to-air missiles for its Aegis destroyer by the end of 2010 at the earliest, the Defense Ministry said Sunday. The missiles-SM-2s-are to be loaded onto the 7,600-ton Kim Sejong the Great, which is the ROK’s first Navy destroyer equipped with the Aegis combat technology. “The missiles will be phased in between 2010 and 2011,” said Colonel Kim Boong-woo of the Defense Ministry.

Chosun Ilbo (“DEFENSE PLAN CALLS FOR GREATER FIREPOWER BUT LESS TROOPS”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that the military will reduce its troop size but equip itself with far greater firepower, according to the Defense Ministry’s revised version of the Defense Reform 2020 plan announced Friday. It will add to its arsenal an early warning radar to detect imminent ballistic missile attacks and adopt a surface-to-air guided missile defense system as well as buying ship-to-air interceptor missiles. The plan is to cost close to W600 trillion over the next 10 years. But the military force is to be scaled down to 510,000 soldiers from the current 680,000.

Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “CYBER COMMAND TO BE CREATED BY 2012”, Seoul, 2009/06/27) reported that the ROK Defense Ministry said it planned to establish a cyber command by 2012 to more effectively cope with the increasing threats against its defense database and networks. Officials said the command also would help fend off possible hacking from the DPRK. 

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19. ROK Civil Unrest

Donga Ilbo (“GOV’T TO PUNISH TEACHERS WHO SIGNED ANTI-GOV’T DECLARATION”, Seoul, 2009/06/27) reported that the government Friday said it will punish 17,189 teachers belonging to the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union for issuing a declaration critical of the Lee Myung-bak administration. Eighty-eight of the teachers who took the initiative in issuing the declaration or proactively participated will face suspension or dismissal and possibly legal action.

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20. ROK Influenza Outbreak

Yonhap (“KOREA’S REPORTED H1N1 FLU CASES TOP 200”, Seoul, 2009/06/29) reported that six more people in the ROK were found to have been infected with the new H1N1 flu on Sunday, raising the nation’s total number of reported cases to over 200. Four South Koreans were among the group, including a four-year old who had traveled to the U.S. and a 19-year old woman returning from the Philippines.

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21. ROK Residents in Japan

Yonhap (“LEE MEETS JAPANESE PARTY LEADER OVER KOREAN RESIDENTS IN JAPAN”, Tokyo, 2009/06/28) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak sought Tokyo’s continued attention and support in improving the status of Korean residents in Japan in talks Sunday with New Komeito Party president Akihiro Ota. Lee specifically asked for Komeito’s support in giving ethnic Koreans a right to vote in Japan’s local elections, Cheong Wa Dae said.

Yonhap (“KOREAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR BETTER TREATMENT OF KOREANS IN JAPAN”, Tokyo, 2009/06/28) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak pledged on Sunday to provide more support to ROK residents in Japan. “The (Seoul) government will continue to work to eliminate discrimination and the various inconveniences faced by Korean residents in Japan,” the president was quoted as saying in a meeting with leaders of the Korean Residents Union in Japan, also known as Mindan.

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22. Japanese Military Procurements

Asahi Shimbun (“DEFENSE PROCUREMENT PROGRAM RAPPED AGAIN”, Tokyo, 2009/06/29) reported that theU.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program allows the Japanese Defense Ministry to buy military ordnance directly from the United States. Under the program, the two countries sign documents that specify the price Japan must pay upfront. The final price is calculated only after the equipment is delivered. However, delays in delivery of the hardware and other factors have led to a huge amount of transactions in which no final accounting has been made. The accumulated amount of transactions that remain outstanding reached 362.6 billion yen in fiscal 2007, sources said.

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23. Japanese Nuclear Policy

Kyodo (“DEPUTIES HAD ‘SECRET DUTY’ TO TELL BOSS OF COVERT U.S.-JAPAN NUKE PACT”, Tokyo, 2009/06/29) reported that former vice foreign minister Ryohei Murata said Monday it was a ”secret duty” of vice ministers to inform foreign ministers of a secret accord between Japan and the United States that has outlined the handling of nuclear weapons since 1960. Murata is one of the four former vice ministers cited in a May 31 Kyodo report that the accord has been controlled by top Foreign Ministry officials and only a handful of prime ministers and foreign ministers were informed of it.  Under the deal, Tokyo would give tacit approval on the stopover of U.S. military aircraft or vessels carrying nuclear weapons, although the mutual defense treaty stipulates the need for Washington to hold a prior consultation with Tokyo to bring nuclear weapons into Japan.

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24. Japanese Overseas Assistance

Yomiuri Shimbun (“GOVT TO EXTEND ODA TO ASSIST DEVELOPING NATIONS’ POOR”, Tokyo, 2009/06/28) reported that the Japanese  government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will extend emergency yen credits to assist the poor in developing countries hit hard by the global financial crisis, government officials said Saturday. In the first payment under the plan, JICA and Mongolia will sign a contract Tuesday for a yen credit of 2.89 billion yen, the officials said.

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25. PRC Censorship

Washington Post (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “CHINA, CUBA, OTHER AUTHORITARIAN REGIMES CENSOR NEWS FROM IRAN”, Beijing, 2009/06/27) reported that the PRC government has been selectively censoring the news this month of Iranian crowds protesting the elections. Political commentators tinted their blogs and Twitters green to show their support for Iranians. A joke about how Iranians are luckier than Chinese because sham elections are better than no elections made the rounds on the country’s Internet bulletin boards. “The Iranian people face the same problems as us: news censorship and no freedom to have their own voices,” 28-year-old blogger Zhou Shuguang said.

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26. PRC Internet Censorship

Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA FILTER SOFTWARE FACES TOUGH SELL IN DIGITAL BAZAAR”, Beijing, 2009/06/29) reported that starting from Wednesday, the government has ordered that personal computers sold in the PRC must leave manufacturers with Green Dam filter software. For all the domestic and international uproar about Green Dam, many retailers here who will be selling computers packaged with it were either oblivious or dismissive. Wu Baobao, a woman in her 20s who was selling Dell laptops in the raucous Hailong electronics mall, said, “When you buy a computer after July 1 it will come with the software. But don’t worry … we can take it out easily.”

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27. PRC Ethnic Unrest

Reuters (“ETHNIC TENSIONS SPARK BRAWL AT CHINA FACTORY-REPORT”, Hong Kong, 2009/06/26) reported that ethnic clashes between Han Chinese and Uighur workers at a toy factory in Guangdong province killed two people and injured 118, Hong Kong’s Ming Pao reported on Saturday. The violence lasted until the early hours of Friday morning and at least 16 were seriously injured, the newspaper reported.

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II. PRC Report

28. PRC Public Health

Xinhua Net (“CHINA HAS 1.13 MILLION DRUG TAKERS”, 2009/06/28) reported that today is the 22 nd “International Anti-Drug Day”, Li Xianhui, director of Drug Control Division of Police Department said to Xinhua reporter that currently there are 1126700 drug takers in China according to an online statistic, at least 27 billion RMB consumed per year.

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29. PRC Energy Supply

People’s Daily online (“4 CHINESE ENTERPRISES BID FOR IRAQ’S OIL FIELDS”, 2009/06/28) reported that according to Iraq official website yesterday, six service contacts of developed oil and gas fields are under auction, and four Chinese enterprises are on the bidding list. Iraq hopes this round of openness can increase the daily oil production from 2.4 million barrels now to 4 million barrels by 2013.

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30. PRC Civil Society

China Brand Net (“RENHE GROUP DONATES FOR “QINGMIAO LOVE PROJECT””, 2009/06/28) reported that “Qingmiao Love Project” ,which aims at aiding serious illness aid for children in poor families, was launched in Nanchang on June 1. On the opening ceremony, Renhe Group and other 18 units have donated 10.75 million yuan to the project. Xiong Shengwen, Vice president of Jiangxi province, issued donation certificates to the donating units.