NAPSNet Daily Report 29 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Missile Program
- 2. US on DPRK Terror List Status
- 3. US-DPRK Relations
- 4. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 5. DPRK Leadership
- 6. DPRK Economy
- 7. Inter-Korea Relations
- 8. ROK Military
- 9. ROK Aid to Afghanistan
- 10. ROK Climate Change
- 11. ROK International Aid
- 12. Japan-US Military Relations
- 13. Japan Missile Defense
- 14. Japan Self-Defense Force
- 15. Japan Comfort Women Issue
- 16. Sino-India Relations
- 17. Sino-US Military Relations
- 18. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
- 19. Sino-US Trade Relations
- 20. US-Taiwan Relations
- 21. PRC Tibet Issue
- 22. PRC Public Security
- 23. PRC Public Health
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Missile Program
Kyodo News (“N. KOREA BOOSTS NUKE DETERRENCE IN NAT’L CAMPAIGN: SCHOLAR”, Pyongyang, 2009/10/28) reported that the DPRK strengthened its nuclear deterrence and military power and solidified unity among the military and the people during a recent national campaign to rebuild the economy, a DPRK scholar said Wednesday. “We successfully conducted a second nuclear test on May 25 and raised nuclear technology to a high level,” Ri Gi Song, a professor at the Economic Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences, said in an interview in Pyongyang. “Given our strengthened military power and firm stance, the United States and neighboring nations had no choice but to seek negotiations with us,” he said.
2. US on DPRK Terror List Status
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “OBAMA SIGNS BILL REQUIRING SUBMISSION OF REPORT ON N. KOREA’S TERRORISM”, Washington, 2009/10/28) reported that U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday signed a defense authorization bill that calls for the administration to submit a report to Congress on whether to relist the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism. The bill, authorizing implementation of US$680 billion in next year’s defense budget, stipulates that within 30 days of the Act’s enactment the Obama administration “shall submit to Congress a detailed report examining the conduct of the Government of North Korea since June 26, 2008, based on all available information to determine whether North Korea meets the statutory criteria for listing as a state sponsor of terrorism.” The State Department said it was reviewing whether to relist the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism in connection with alleged proliferation of missile and nuclear technology.
3. US-DPRK Relations
Bloomberg (Alan Ohnsman and Janine Zacharia, “U.S., NORTH KOREA HOLD UNOFFICIAL TALKS IN CALIFORNIA “, 2009/10/28) reported that U.S. and DPRK diplomats involved in negotiations over the DPRK’s nuclear program met at a conference in California for unofficial talks. Susan Shirk, director of the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, which sponsored the conference, told reporters today that U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim and DPRK’s Ri Gun held a “frank, but friendly” meeting. The talks in La Jolla, California, were unofficial “track two” discussions aimed at improving dialogue between Northeast Asian nations, Shirk said without elaborating.
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “INFORMAL TALKS MADE NO PROGRESS TO RESUME 6-WAY TALKS: STATE DEPT.”, Washington, 2009/10/28) reported that the United States and the DPRK failed to make progress toward the resumption of the six-party talks on ending the DPRK’s nuclear ambitions during informal talks on the margins of an academic seminar in San Diego, the State Department said Wednesday. Sung Kim, U.S. special envoy for the six-party talks, met with Ri Gun, director general of the North American affairs bureau of the DPRK’s foreign ministry, on the sidelines of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Dialogue (NEACD) Monday and Tuesday at the University of California, San Diego, a State Department official said. “I think it was a good dialogue and they were able to air a lot of issues, but I am not prepared to say there was progress towards resuming the six-party talks,” the official said.
Kyodo News (“U.S., N. KOREA OFFICIALS MAY NOT MEET AGAIN IN N.Y”, Washington, 2009/10/28) reported that Senior U.S. and DPRK officials may not meet again in New York as little progress was made at their last contact in resuming the stalled multilateral talks on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear programs, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. “There are no plans to have another kind of formal sit-down,” the official said of a meeting between Sung Kim, U.S. special envoy to the six-party talks, and Ri Gun, director general of the North American affairs bureau of the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry.
4. Sino-DPRK Relations
Reuters (Chris Buckley , “CHINA’S HU LAUDS NORTH KOREA, SIDESTEPS NUCLEAR DISPUTE “, Beijing, 2009/10/28) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao told a senior DPRK official on Wednesday that ties between the two nations have reached a new level of goodwill, avoiding direct mention of the DPRK’s nuclear dispute in his public praise. Hu lauded relations between the two communist neighbors while meeting Choe Thae-bok, a visiting senior official in the DPRK’s ruling Workers’ Party, the China News Service said.
5. DPRK Leadership
Reuters (Paul Eckert, “NORTH KOREA HEREDITARY SUCCESSION WON’T WORK: DEFECTOR “, Washington, 2009/10/28) reported that DPRK efforts to install one of ailing leader Kim Jong-il’s sons as a hereditary successor are likely to fail, a senior defector from the communist country said. Kim Kwang-jin, a former state insurance executive, said Kim’s relative recovery from an apparent 2008 stroke does not alter the fact that the era of Kim rule is fading. “Fragile, worsening health, long drawn-out economic collapse and growing political instability in North Korea indicate that the Kim Jong-il regime is drawing to an end,” Kim told a panel at a Washington thinktank.
6. DPRK Economy
Newsweek (Jerry Guo, ” NORTH KOREA’S UNTAPPED MINERAL WEALTH”, 2009/10/28) reported that the DPRK is a regime battling two major deficits: a near-total lack of economic competence and of natural resources. Or so the half-true story goes. A recent Goldman Sachs report found that Pyongyang sits on mineral deposits worth some $3.7 trillion; the ROK puts the figure higher, at $6 trillion or more. The DPRK’s economy has traditionally been powered by a plentiful supply of coal (the report estimates its reserves at about $505 billion). But the country’s deposits of magnesite, limestone, and uranium ore in fact outrank coal as potential earners, and billions of dollars of gold, zinc, manganese, iron, and copper are also waiting to be tapped.
7. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap News (Kim Hyun, “SOUTH KOREA TO MAKE NORTH’S DENUCLEARIZATION TOP PRIORITY IN INTER-KOREAN TALKS”, Seoul, 2009/10/28) reported that the ROK will put the DPRK’s denuclearization first in any inter-Korean dialogue and try to persuade Pyongyang that giving up nuclear weapons is imperative to rebuilding its economy, Seoul’s unification minister said Wednesday.”The goal of inter-Korean dialogue is to pave the way for inter-Korean coexistence, co-prosperity and peace on the Korean Peninsula, and eventually reunification,” Hyun In-taek said in a speech to a lawmakers’ forum. “In this respect, the North Korean nuclear issue must be the foremost agenda of inter-Korean dialogue.”
JoongAng Ilbo (Yoo Jee-ho , “SEOUL SENDS CABLE NORTH TO BOOST COMMUNICATION”, Seoul, 2009/10/29) reported that in its latest package of assistance to the DPRK, the ROK Wednesday sent optical cables and other communication equipment north of the border to improve communication channels between the two Koreas. The Unification Ministry announced the cables and conduit lines are aimed at helping upgrade the DPRK’s military communication lines, which are primarily used to issue authorization for ROK citizens taking cross-border trips.
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “TRUST FUND FOR NK PROPOSED”, 2009/10/28) reported that an economist called on policymakers to work on a strategy to help the DPRK achieve a self-reliant economy to prepare for a nuclear-free era on the peninsula, Wednesday. Prof. Zang Hyoung-soo of Hanyang University in Seoul proposed a ROK-led international trust fund for the DPRK to help its smooth transition to a market economy. “The financial resources that South Korea can use for this purpose are limited. So we should work together with stakeholder nations in a global initiative,” the economist said during a seminar to discuss ways of helping the DPRK become self-reliant.
8. ROK Military
United Press International (“SOUTH KOREA EYEING FOUR SPY SATELLITES”, Seoul, 2009/10/28) reported that the ROK is eyeing the purchase of at least four spy satellites to monitor the DPRK. Local reports citing an unnamed Defense Ministry official said the purchase would extend over a 10-year period. The ROK official said Seoul was considering the option but no official decision had been taken.
9. ROK Aid to Afghanistan
Yonhap News (“SEOUL TO ANNOUNCE TROOP DISPATCH TO AFGHANISTAN FRIDAY”, Seoul, 2009/10/28) reported that the ROK’s government is planning to announce its additional support package for war-torn Afghanistan, including a troop dispatch, later this week, ranking government officials in Seoul said Wednesday. The new package, to be announced Friday, will include Seoul’s decision to increase the number of its provincial reconstruction team (PRT) personnel in Afghanistan to 130 and deploy military or police troops to the war-torn country to protect the ROK civilian aid workers, said the officials. “The government will also send a fact-finding team to Afghanistan next month. On the basis of the team’s survey, the government will finalize its decision on the makeup and number of the PRT guard troops,” an official said.
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA MAY HAVE TO FIGHT TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN”, Seoul, 2009/10/29 17:00:00 GMT+0) reported that ROK Defense Minister Kim Tae-young on Thursday challenged the assumption that his country’s troops will only play a “non-combat” role if they are deployed to Afghanistan. “The (wording) has arisen from a lack of understanding about the military,” Kim told a parliamentary hearing. “Essentially, non-combat troops are not different from combat troops. It’s possible that they will be dragged into a battle and sustain damages,” Kim said.
10. ROK Climate Change
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, “KOREA SEEKS 4% CUT IN CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2020”, 2009/10/28) reported that the ROK administration is seeking to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent by 2020 from 2005 by promoting the use of bio and nuclear energy, and energy-efficient technologies, officials said Wednesday. The plan is expected to draw a fierce backlash from industries, which have already called the goal too ambitious, and from most small-sized firms, which say it is unrealistic.
11. ROK International Aid
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, ” KOREA TO TRIPLE OVERSEAS AID BY 2015″, 2009/10/28) reported that the ROK government will increase assistance to developing countries three-fold by 2015, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan said Wednesday. Yu said the ROK will join the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) next month, the principal body through which the Organization of Economic Development (OECD) co-operates with developing countries – meaning an elevation to developed world status for the ROK.
12. Japan-US Military Relations
Agence France Presse (“JAPAN’S NEW GOVT MAY ‘FRACTURE’ US ALLIANCE: OPPOSITION”, Tokyo, 2009/10/28) reported that Japan’s conservative opposition leader warned on Wednesday that a six-week-old centre left government had harmed the traditional US alliance over a lingering dispute centred on a US military base. The row over an airbase on southern Okinawa island “may fracture the Japan-US relations of trust and lead to a standstill in the nation’s security policy”, opposition leader Sadakazu Tanigaki said.
Kyodo (“JAPAN TO COMPREHENSIVELY REVIEW ALLIANCE WITH U.S.: HATOYAMA”, Tokyo, 2009/10/29 17:00:00 GMT+0) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reiterated Thursday his government will ”comprehensively review” the Japan-U.S. alliance. ”As I have repeatedly said, the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s foreign policy,” Hatoyama said. ”Through the review and in a medium- to long-term perspective, we will deepen the ties in a multilayered way,” he said.
13. Japan Missile Defense
Associated Press (Audrey Mcavoy, “JAPAN INTERCEPTS BALLISTIC MISSILE IN HAWAII TEST”, Honolulu, 2009/10/28) reported that a Japanese navy ship intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile in a test off Hawaii, the U.S. and Japanese militaries said. The U.S. fired the test’s target from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, and the JS Myoko destroyer detected the target, tracked it, then fired an SM-3 interceptor missile from its deck. The interceptor hit the target in space about 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean, the militaries said in a joint news release.
14. Japan Self-Defense Force
Yomiuri Shimbun (“PM NOT PLANNING TO SEND MSDF SHIPS TO SOMALIA”, 2009/10/29) reported that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he is not currently considering sending Maritime Self-Defense Force ships to support antipiracy operations off Somalia, using MSDF ships now engaged in refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. Previously Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said at a press conference he was considering the idea of transferring the vessels to support antipiracy operations off Somalia after their current mission ends in January. Such a plan would be difficult to realize quickly, however, as it would require a revision of the Antipiracy Law.
15. Japan Comfort Women Issue
Associated Press (“FORMER SEX SLAVES URGE JAPAN PM TO RESOLVE ISSUE”, Tokyo, 2009/10/28) reported that Japan’s new prime minister should keep his word and give official apology and compensation to women across Asia who were forced into sex slavery during World War II, a ROK victim said Wednesday, representing dozens of others. The women gathered in Tokyo to pressure Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who as opposition leader in 2002 told lawmakers the Japanese government should “offer compensation to the victims and restore their honor.”
16. Sino-India Relations
The Hindu (“CHINA WANTS GOOD TIES WITH INDIA: KRISHNA”, Bangalore, 2009/10/28) reported that External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Wednesday acknowledged that the PRC had never allowed its territory to be used by forces hostile to India. “China wants to have good ties and I have often said India would like to have very friendly relations with China. Our effort is to take this relationship to the level of partnership. Hence there is goodwill on both sides and it augurs well,” he said.
17. Sino-US Military Relations
British Broadcast Corporation (“US URGES CHINA MILITARY DIALOGUE”, 2009/10/28) reported that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has called for a lasting dialogue with the PRC’s military after meeting a top PRC general at the Pentagon. A Pentagon spokesman said Mr Gates told the PRC’s Gen Xu Caihou the two sides should “break the on-again, off-again cycle” in their military relationship. The talks marked the highest bilateral military contact since 2006.
18. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
Bloomberg (“U.S. COMPANIES CAN HELP CHINA IN CLEAN ENERGY, GARY LOCKE SAYS”, 2009/10/28) reported that U.S. companies can help the PRC in the country’s effort to shift to cleaner fuel, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said during a meeting with PRC government officials. “I am committed to doing whatever it takes to make it easier for American companies to operate here,” Locke said. “An absolutely essential component of clean energy innovation is know-how, and China must do more to strengthen its intellectual property protections.”
19. Sino-US Trade Relations
Agence France Presse (D’arcy Doran , “US, CHINA OPEN HIGH-LEVEL TRADE TALKS”, Hangzhou, 2009/10/28) reported that Ministers from the United States and the PRC opened key trade talks Wednesday, with Washington looking to make progress on several disputes ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama. US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launched two days of talks with a team led by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, US officials said.
20. US-Taiwan Relations
Associated Press (“TAIWAN’S MA SEEKS TO CALM UPROAR OVER US BEEF”, Taipei, 2009/10/29) reported that Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou moved Thursday to ease a political storm over the government’s decision to lift a ban on certain U.S. beef imports, saying adequate safeguards are in place to guard against mad cow disease. Ma made the comments after more than 100 people protested outside the Cabinet building against last week’s decision to remove the six-year-old ban on bone-in beef, minced beef and offal. “The government does not import nor promote the (U.S.) beef products,” Ma said. “Our importers are imposing controls and you can rest assured of the product safety. There’s no need to renegotiate the issue with the U.S.”
21. PRC Tibet Issue
Agence France Presse (“CHINA URGES PUSH FOR TIBET STABILITY: STATE MEDIA “, Beijing, 2009/10/28) reported that the PRC’s top Communist Party leader in Tibet has said the fight against separatism remains “very serious” more than a year after deadly unrest hit the Himalayan region, state media reported. In a speech in the regional capital Lhasa, Zhang Qingli urged all levels of government, as well as the military, to step up efforts to ensure public order in the Himalayan region hit by deadly unrest in 2008, the Tibet Daily reported.
22. PRC Public Security
Associated Press (“CHINA STRUGGLES TO IDENTIFY RESCUED KIDNAP VICTIMS”, Beijing, 2009/10/28) reported that Police in the PRC have created a Web site with photos of 60 rescued kidnap victims, mostly boys and many of them infants, in a bid to track down their families. The Ministry of Public Security’s “Babies Looking for Home” Web site is part of a nationwide crackdown on widespread trafficking of women and children. State media have reported hundreds of rescues and arrests since the campaign began in April, but the new site shows that at least 60 children have yet to be reunited with their families.
23. PRC Public Health
Xinhua News Agency (” CHINA FACES “SEVERE CHALLENGES” IN COMBATING A/H1N1 FLU: STATE COUNCIL”, Beijing, 2009/10/28) reported that the PRC’s State Council said Wednesday the country faces “severe challenges” in the prevention and control of A/H1N1 flu after some areas reported a sharp increase in the number of patients infected by the epidemic. The State Council ordered government departments at all levels to beef up measures to prevent large-scale outbreak of the disease and vaccine producers to speedup their production.
II. PRC Report
24. PRC Climate Change
China Radio Net (Shao Lili, “INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION EXHIBITION TO BE HELD IN HONGKONG”, 2009/10/27) reported that International Environmental Protection Exhibition will be held in Hong Kong 28-30 October. 200 Enterprises from 19 countries and areas will show their environment-friendly products and technologies on the Exhibition.
25. Cross-Strait Relations
China Business and Commerce News (“TAITRA INVITES MAINLAND ENTERPRISES TO PURCHASE IN TAIWAN”, 2009/10/28) reported that in order to help Taiwan businessmen seek opportunities in mainland, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) invited 35 Sichuan enterprises and a Guangzhou trade organization with 185 people to Taiwan for procurement. This will help Taiwan get a business opportunity of ten billion dollars.