NAPSNet Daily Report 3 December, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. ROK on Korean Peninsula Peace Treaty
- 5. ROK Missile Defense
- 6. Inter-Korea Relations
- 7. DPRK Currency Reform
- 8. DPRK Human Rights
- 9. DMZ Environment
- 10. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
- 11. ROK-Singapore Defense Cooperation
- 12. ROK Climate Change
- 13. US Bases in Japan
- 14. Japan Afghanistan Aid
- 15. Japan Leadership
- 16. Japan on Climate Talks
- 17. Sino-India Relations
- 18. Sino-Russian Relations
- 19. Sino-Thailand Military Cooperation
- 20. PRC Leadership
- 21. PRC Military
- 22. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 23. PRC Food Security
- 24. PRC Climate Change
- 25. PRC Public Health
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Talks
China Daily (“PYONGYANG MAY SET DATE OF RETURN TO NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2009/12/02) reported that the DPRK will announce a timetable to return to the Six-Party Talks during US envoy Stephen Bosworth’s visit to the country next week, a Japanese newspaper reported. Pyongyang is likely to announce the date of its resumption of negotiations as a “gift” during the US official’s visit, according to Sankei Shimbun, who cited an anonymous Japanese foreign ministry official. “It’s very likely the DPRK will announce the timetable,” said Shen Shishun, a senior researcher at China Institute of International Studies.
2. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Talks
RIA Novosti (“N.KOREA NOT READY TO RESUME NUCLEAR TALKS – RUSSIAN SENATOR”, 2009/12/02) reported that the DPRK leadership is not yet ready resume six-party talks on its nuclear program, the speaker of the upper house of Russia’s parliament said after his visit to the country. “No, they are not yet ready [to resume talks],” Sergei Mironov said, commenting on his visit to the country last week. He said that at the meetings, DPRK officials “adopted quite a harsh negotiating tone.” During his visit, Mironov met with Prime Minister Kim Yong Il, Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) Choe Thae Bok and President of SPA Presidium Kim Yong Nam.
3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA: NORTH SEEKING TO BUY TIME TO MAKE NUKES”, Seoul, 2009/12/02) reported that the ROK Wednesday questioned the DPRK’s calls for a peace treaty with the United States, declaring its real aim is to buy time to make more nuclear weapons. “North Korea’s talk of a peace pact is aimed at buying time and continuing developing nuclear weapons so that it may be recognised as a nuclear state,” Yu told a forum.
4. ROK on Korean Peninsula Peace Treaty
JoongAng Ilbo (Yoo Jee-ho, “SEOUL NOT TO ACCEPT SEPARATE PEACE DEAL”, 2009/12/03) reported that Seoul would not accept the peace treaty that the DPRK is seeking solely with the United States, the top ROK diplomat said yesterday. Speaking at the Northeast Asia Future Forum, hosted by the JoongAng Ilbo, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan stressed that any discussion on a peace deal to replace the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953 must involve the ROK and the PRC.
5. ROK Missile Defense
PR Newswire (“RAYTHEON AWARDED $17 MILLION TO UPGRADE SOUTH KOREA’S PATRIOT SYSTEMS”, 2009/12/02) reported that Raytheon Company has been awarded a $17.2 million Foreign Military Sales contract modification to deliver capability upgrades for the ROK’s Patriot Air and Missile Defense System. With emphasis on upgrading the global Patriot fleet, Raytheon will deliver prime-power equipment as an alternative power source for Patriot system operations and will deliver communications equipment to enhance Patriot interoperability with air defense command centers.
6. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA ACCUSES SOUTH OF ATTEMPTING WAR “, Seoul, 2009/12/02) reported that the DPRK accused the ROK on Wednesday of staging military drills near the inter-Korean border, calling them “war maneuvers” targeted against the northern neighbor. Citing a military source, the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency gave a detailed account of what it claims were the ROK’s latest military exercises just south of the heavily fortified border.
7. DPRK Currency Reform
Yonhap (Kim Hyun, “S. KOREA WON’T CONFIRM N. KOREAN CURRENCY REFORM UNTIL OFFICIAL REPORT”, Seoul, 2009/12/03) reported that the ROK said Thursday it will not confirm whether the DPRK carried out a massive currency reform until an official announcement comes. “It is an important reform measure for North Korea,” Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo said. “We think this is the kind of issue about which the North Korean authorities will confirm and make an announcement. But so far, there has been no official North Korean report yet.
8. DPRK Human Rights
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “DEFECTORS WANT PROBE OF NORTH KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES”, Seoul, 2009/12/03) reported that about 150 defectors from the DPRK signed a petition urging the International Criminal Court to investigate the DPRK for alleged rights violations. A group of defectors will travel to The Hague, Netherlands , next week to file the petition with the court, they said. Activist Ha Tae-keung said if Sudan President Omar al-Bashir could be charged in March with war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities in the Darfur region, Kim Jong Il should be prosecuted, too.
9. DMZ Environment
JoongAng Ilbo (“GOV’T PLANNING TO CREATE ECO-PEACE AREA IN THE DMZ”, 2009/12/02) reported that t he ROK government is planning to change the demilitarized zone, the military buffer that divides DPRK and ROK, into an eco-peace belt. Minister of Public Administration and Security Lee Dal-gon disclosed the outline of a plan to renovate the DMZ during the third meeting of the Presidential Committee on Regional Development which took place at the North Gyeongsang provincial office yesterday. According to the plan, the government will designate the entire DMZ area as a biosphere preservation region in order to use the rare ecological resources and cultural heritage found in the zone as international common property.
10. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
Xinhua News Agency (“S.KOREA PLANS TO SEND ABOUT 350 TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN NEXT YEAR “, Seoul, 2009/12/02) reported that the ROK is planning to dispatch near 350 soldiers to Afghanistan in mid 2010 to serve a two-and-a-half year mission, local media reported Wednesday. The government and the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) agreed at a policy coordination meeting to present a motion to the National Assembly about the dispatch of 340-350 troops next July for a two-and-a-half years, the Yonhap News Agency quoted officials as saying.
11. ROK-Singapore Defense Cooperation
Xinhua News Agency (“SINGAPORE, S KOREA SIGN MOU ON DEFENSE CO-OP “, Singapore, 2009/12/02) reported that Singapore and the ROK on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defense cooperation. According to a statement by Singapore’s Ministry of Defense, the MoU seeks to strengthen bilateral defense relations between Singapore and the ROK by formalizing existing defense interactions such as policy dialogues, exchanges of visits by defense officials and cross-attendance of courses and seminars between the defense establishments of both countries.
12. ROK Climate Change
Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA IN DILEMMA OVER GAS EMISSIONS CUT: MINISTER”, Seoul, 2009/12/02) reported that the ROK is caught in a dilemma between its promise to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions and mounting concerns that the move will only benefit business rival China, a minister said. Knowledge Economy Minister Choi Kyung-Hwan also said there were fears that energy-intensive local companies such as steel firms and automakers would relocate overseas to avoid tougher curbs on emissions. “The path is not an easy one. Many in the business community still continue to express serious concern that we may lose our competitive edge. Some say the burden would deal a fatal blow to our growth potential,” Choi told journalists.
JoongAng Ilbo (“GOV’T PLANNING TO CREATE ECO-PEACE AREA IN THE DMZ”, 2009/12/03) reported that the ROK government is planning to change the demilitarized zone into an eco-peace belt. Minister of Public Administration and Security Lee Dal-gon disclosed the outline of a plan to renovate the DMZ during the third meeting of the Presidential Committee on Regional Development. According to the plan, the government will designate the entire DMZ area as a biosphere preservation region in order to use the rare ecological resources and cultural heritage found in the zone as international common property.
13. US Bases in Japan
Kyodo (“SDP’S FUKUSHIMA HINTS AT DEFECTION IN FUTEMMA MOVED WITHIN OKINAWA”, Tokyo, 2009/12/03) reported that Mizuho Fukushima, leader of Japan’s Social Democratic Party in the ruling coalition, hinted Thursday that her party may defect from the coalition if the government decides to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma air station within Okinawa Prefecture. ”If this Cabinet decides to build a sea-based base in the coastal area of Henoko, the SDP as well as I myself would have to make a grave decision,” she said. ”It is extremely important to prevent the construction of a sea-based base in Henoko. It concerns the basis of the SDP,” said Fukushima. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama stated, ”I have to take (her remarks) seriously. I fully understand that our Cabinet is tripartite. We would like to care about what the SDP, as well as the People’s New Party, pursue.”
14. Japan Afghanistan Aid
Kyodo News (“JAPAN WELCOMES NEW U.S. POLICY ON AFGHANISTAN, BUT RULES OUT MORE AID “, Tokyo, 2009/12/02) reported that Japan’s top government spokesman said Wednesday that the country welcomes the new U.S. strategy on Afghanistan announced by President Barack Obama but added that Tokyo has no intention of increasing aid despite a growing view that Washington may demand that it do more.
15. Japan Leadership
New York Times (Martin Fackler, “JAPAN’S NEW LEADER TO FACE INQUIRY “, Tokyo, 2009/12/02) reported that Tokyo prosecutors will ask Japan’s prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, for a written explanation of his role in millions of dollars of improperly reported political donations, major Japanese newspapers reported on Wednesday, expanding a scandal that has dogged his fledgling government. But the reported decision to ask for a written account, instead of summoning the prime minister for direct questioning, also suggests that the investigation may be nearing its close without significantly damaging Mr. Hatoyama’s popularity, political commentators said.
16. Japan on Climate Talks
Agence France Presse (“JAPAN ENVOY SAYS FINAL ACCORD UNLIKELY AT CLIMATE TALKS”, Tokyo, 2009/12/02) reported that Japan’s envoy to climate change talks expressed doubt Wednesday that a final agreement would be reached at the UN summit on tackling global warming that starts next week in Copenhagen. However, he expressed hope that a non-binding political agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be signed by 192 nations there that would pave the way for a final text.
Bloomberg News (“JAPAN TO ASK CHINA FOR DEEPER EMISSION CUT TARGETS, NIKKEI SAYS”, 2009/12/02) reported that Japan will urge the PRC to make deeper cuts in carbon dioxide emissions at climate change talks next week in Copenhagen, Nikkei English News reported, without saying where it got the information. The PRC said last month that it intends to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product in 2020 by 40 percent to 45 percent from 2005 levels. Japan has set for itself a goal of a 25 percent reduction in its own emissions from 1990 levels by 2020, Nikkei said.
17. Sino-India Relations
Reuters (“EYEING CHINA PUSH INTO INDIAN OCEAN, INDIA BOOSTS NAVY”, New Delhi, 2009/12/02) reported that India plans to strengthen its naval presence in the waters off its southern shores, the country’s navy chief said on Wednesday, in a move aimed at countering the PRC’s push into the Indian Ocean region. Vice Admiral Nirmal Verma said the navy was working on a blueprint to protect its maritime interest in the Indian Ocean and inducting dozens of new ships and fighter aircraft to counter other naval powers.
18. Sino-Russian Relations
Xinhua News (“RUSSIAN STATE DUMA SPEAKER HAILS CO-OP WITH CHINA”, 2009/12/02) reported that Boris Gryzlov, chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, said Tuesday that Russia and the PRC have carried out fruitful cooperation between their parliaments and parties in recent years. The State Duma will continue to enhance friendly exchanges with the PRC’s NPC so as to advance the Russia-China strategic partnership, Gryzlov said. The activities held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Russia-PRC diplomatic ties, together with the success of the Russian Language Year in the PRC this year, embody the close partnership between the two countries, Gryzlov said.
19. Sino-Thailand Military Cooperation
Kyodo News (“THAILAND, CHINA AGREE TO EXPAND JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES”, Bangkok, 2009/12/02) reported tha t Thailand and the PRC agreed Wednesday to expand their joint military exercises, which are currently held only between their armies’ special forces, a Thai defense official Permanent Secretary for Defense General Apichart Penkitti told reporters the agreement came in talks between visiting PRC National Defense Minister and his Thai counterpart Prawit Wongsuwon. Thailand and China both favor holding joint exercises between their navies and between their air forces , he said.
20. PRC Leadership
Global Times (“RESHUFFLE HINTS AT FUTURE LEADERSHIP “, 2009/12/02) reported that Younger officials’ accession to provincial-level Party secretaries, especially the emergence of the two youngest Party chiefs in history, could be the initial move for future senior leadership selections, and some nominees could rise to the country’s top positions, analysts said, following a major official reshuffle. The reshuffle came three years ahead of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Congress, when incumbent Party leader Hu Jintao, 67, finishes his second five-year term in 2012. “The reshuffle could be seen as a preparation for the rejuvenation of the party’s leadership in the run-up to the 18th Party Congress in 2012,”Zhang Liangui, professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times Tuesday.
21. PRC Military
Washington Post (Andrew Higgins, “GROWING ROLE IN U.N. PEACEKEEPING SIGNALS DESIRE TO PROJECT IMAGE OF BENIGN POWER”, Changping, 2009/12/02) reported that after bulking up its armed forces with new missiles and other advanced weaponry, the PRC invited U.S. and other foreign military officials to inspect a less bellicose side of the People’s Liberation Army: a fleet of bulldozers. The PLA engineering brigade showed off its earthmovers, mine-clearing gear and other nonlethal hardware at a base north of Beijing. The engineering unit that staged the show is spearheading the PRC’s growing involvement in international peacekeeping.
22. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Reuters (“CHINA ANNOUNCES MORE DEATH SENTENCES FOR XINJIAN RIOT”, Beijing, 2009/12/03) reported that a PRC court on Thursday handed down a further five death sentences to people convicted of murder and other crimes during ethnic rioting in Xinjiang in July. The Xinhua news agency reported that a court in Urumqi also jailed two defendants for life. Judging by their names, the five people given the death penalty all appeared to be Uighurs.
23. PRC Food Security
Bloomberg (“CHINA GRAIN OUTPUT MAY DROP 37% ON CLIMATE CHANGE, AGENCY SAYS “, 2009/12/02) reported that the PRC’s output of grains could decline as much as 37 percent in the second half of this century if measures to counter the effects of climate change aren’t actively implemented, Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, said in a statement on the agency’s Web site. The crops affected would include wheat, corn and rice, he said.
24. PRC Climate Change
Associated Press (Christopher Bodeen, “EU LEADERS WANT DETAILS ON CHINA EMISSIONS PLAN”, Beijing, 2009/12/02) reported that European leaders called on the PRC to provide details on how it plans to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, saying that Beijing’s status as the world’s largest polluter gives it a special responsibility to combat global warming.
Bloomberg (“UN STOPS APPROVING CHINA WIND PROJECTS, OFFICIAL SAYS “, 2009/12/02) reported that the United Nations stopped approving aid for PRC wind-power projects until it determines whether they qualify unfairly, a PRC official said. Certification was halted because of UN concern that low power rates set by the state help projects meet requirements to get carbon credits. There’s suspicions in the UN about whether some projects need carbon credits,” said Liam Salter, business development director at carbon consultancy RESET. “Projects have to prove they need to have carbon credits to make them viable, and this is where they run into problems because there are already such favorable policies towards wind power in China.”
25. PRC Public Health
Agence France Presse (“CHINA SWINE FLU DEATH TOLL TRIPLES IN TWO WEEKS”, Beijing, 2009/12/02) reported that the PRC’s official swine flu death toll has tripled in the past two weeks after the government ordered more accurate reporting of fatalities amid suspicions of a cover-up. A statement posted on the health ministry’s website said the number of people reported killed by the influenza A(H1N1) virus had jumped to 178 at the weekend, up from a previously reported nationwide tally of 53.
II. PRC Report
26. PRC Business Associations
Xinhua News (“JIANGSU ESTABLISHES SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISE ASSOCIATION”, 2009/12/02) reported that Jinagsu Small and Medium Enterprise Association was established in Nanjing city, Jiangsu province. There are 1 million small and medium enterprises in Jiangsu province, and they create over 60% of the province’s aggregate economy.
27. PRC Environment
Xinhua News (“CHINA SETS UP WETLAND RESEARCH INSTITUTE”, 2009/12/02) reported that Institute of Wetland Research was set up in Beijing Monday. It is under the PRC Academy of Forestry, will focus on research about wetland protection, wetland function study and wetland evaluation, according to the State Forestry Administration.