NAPSNet Daily Report 3 February, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Arms Shipments
- 2. US on DPRK Missile Program
- 3. US Missile Defense System
- 4. US-DPRK Relations
- 5. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 6. ROK on DPRK Military Artillery
- 7. ROK on Aid to DPRK
- 8. Inter-Korean Summit
- 9. ROK Abductee Issue
- 10. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 11. US-Japan-ROK Trilateral Military Exercise
- 12. Japan Politics
- 13. USFJ Base Relocation
- 14. Japan Whaling Issue
- 15. Japan Climate Change
- 16. Sino-US Relations
- 17. PRC Tibet Issue
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Arms Shipments
Associated Press (“IRAN DENIES ANY LINKS TO NORTH KOREAN WEAPONS SEIZED IN THAILAND”, Tehran, 2010/02/02) reports that Iran denied on Tuesday claims by Thailand that a planeload of the DPRK weapons seized there in December was headed to Iran. “There is no link between the aircraft and our country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters. He said Iran had no need to import such arms due to its own weapons industry, which includes rockets, tanks, jet fighters, light submarines and missiles.
2. US on DPRK Missile Program
JoongAng Daily (Kim Jung-wook, Lee Min-yong, “U.S. ASSESSES NORTH MISSILE AS THREAT TO ITS LAND IN DECADE”, 2010/02/03) reports that a new United States report called the “Ballistic Missile Defense Review” says that even though the test launches of the DPRK’s Taepodong-2 missile in 2006 and 2009 were deemed unsuccessful, the US must assume that the DPRK will eventually successfully test long-range missiles. If there are no changes in the DPRK’s strategy, the DPRK will be able to mate a nuclear warhead to a proven delivery system, threatening the US mainland within a decade, said the report. “The U.S. effort on developing missile defense is targeted at deterring possible missile provocations from Iran and the DPRK,” said Michele Flournoy, the under secretary of defense for policy. “The instability of states that are armed with weapons of mass destruction or their collapse is our most concerned subject.”
3. US Missile Defense System
Agence France-Presse (“US PROBES PACIFIC MISSILE TEST FAILURE: PENTAGON”, Washington, 2010/02/02) reported that the US military failed to shoot down a ballistic missile in a test resembling an Iranian or DPRK strike after a radar malfunctioned, a spokesman said. The test was carried out on Sunday at a US Army site at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands but the target missile was not intercepted as planned, said Rick Lehner, spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency . The target missile in the test represents “the type of technology that a country such as North Korea or Iran might be able to develop in the future that would threaten the United States,” he said.
4. US-DPRK Relations
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “CAMPBELL SAYS U.S. WILL NOT IMPROVE TIES WITH N. KOREA BEFORE 6-WAY TALKS”, Seoul, 2010/02/03) reported that US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell on Wednesday said his country will not improve ties with the DPRK or work to remove U.N.-imposed sanctions until the DPRK returns to the six-party talks. “What’s most important right now, at the top of the list, no distractions, (is) the resumption of the six-party talks and return of North Korea to that framework,” Campbell said. “We think an improvement of relations between the North and the South can be a critical component of that and we welcome efforts by the South Korean president to reach across the divide to North Korea,” he added.
5. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Agence France-Presse (“SOUTH KOREA SAYS NORTH IS STALLING ON NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2010/02/02) reported that t he DPRK “has, again, put a great stumbling block in its path towards denuclearisation,” said the ROK ‘s Unification Minister Hyun In-Taek. “By making such claims that defy the expectations of the international community, it seems to be stepping further away from the denuclearisation talks. “As North Korea continues to remain unclear about whether it will return to the six-party talks , we cannot stop raising a fundamental question on its commitment to denuclearise itself,” said Hyun.
6. ROK on DPRK Military Artillery
Yonhap News (Tony Chang, “RULING PARTY CHIEF URGES N. KOREA TO GIVE UP MILITARY ADVENTURISM”, Seoul, 2010/02/02) reports that the head of the ruling party on Tuesday warned that the DPRK would gain nothing from its “military adventurism,” referring to days of artillery fire by the communist state along the western sea border last week. “We must make the DPRK realize that it cannot win anything from its military adventurism, such as firing artillery shells towards the Northern Limit Line (NLL),” Chung Mong-joon, head of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP), said in an address to the parliament’s plenary session.
7. ROK on Aid to DPRK
Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL MAY RESUME FERTILIZER AID TO N.KOREA”, 2010/02/02) reports that the government is ready to provide the DPRK with fertilizer even before an inter-Korean summit is held. “Food aid is difficult because there is a high chance it will be diverted to the military, but fertilizer isn’t much of a problem,” a security official said Monday. The South offered 10,000 tons of corn to the North in October “because corn is less likely to be diverted to the military than rice,” a Cheong Wa Dae official said. Pyongyang accepted the offer only recently because Seoul notified it that other aid including fertilizer would be not be given unless it accepted the corn, according to a DPRK source.
JoongAng Daily (Yoo Jee-ho, “PRESIDENT SAYS AID WILL NOT PAVE WAY TO A SUMMIT”, 2010/02/03) reports that the ROK President Lee Myung-bak insisted yesterday he will stick to his guns and not give aid to the DPRK simply to facilitate an inter-Korean summit. “I will never make any concession on that principle,” Lee was quoted as saying by his spokesman Park Sun-kyoo. “The summit between the ROK and the DPRK may only be pursued under firm principles. It won’t be realized unless these principles are satisfied.” Lee made his statements before a cabinet meeting.
8. Inter-Korean Summit
Chosun Ilbo (“JUNE, AUGUST SLATED AS LIKELY DATES FOR INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT”, 2010/02/02) reports that officials are saying an inter-Korean summit could take place on June 25, the anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, or on Aug. 15, the anniversary of national liberation. The speculation follows remarks by President Lee Myung-bak that a summit should take place “without preconditions.” A government source said if the summit takes place much sooner, the administration could be accused of trying to gain an advantage for ruling-party candidates in local elections scheduled for June 2, but if it is held too late, it could get in the way of preparations for the G20 summit in November.
Yonhap News (“UNIFICATION MINISTER LINKS INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT TO DENUCLEARIZATION”, Seoul, 2010/02/02) reports that the ROK’s point man on the DPRK said Tuesday that he is opposed to an inter-Korean summit unless it helps accelerate the denuclearization of the DPRK. “An inter-Korean summit, if realized, should help make concrete progress in the denuclearization of the DPRK. Otherwise, the mere mentioning of the nuclear issue at a summit would be meaningless,” said Unification Minister Hyun In-taek in a meeting with foreign correspondents in Seoul. “A desirable summit meeting is one that contributes to the resolution of the nuclear and humanitarian problems involving the DPRK, as well as the issue of the ROK abductees and prisoners of war in the North,” said the minister, known as an architect of President Lee Myung-bak’s DPRK policy.
Yonhap (“FM SAYS SUMMIT WITH PYONGYANG MUST HELP DENUCLEARIZE N. KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/02/03) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan on Wednesday said denuclearization has to be an important topic of any future inter-Korean summit. “The government’s basic position is that we can hold a South-North summit at any time as long as it is in line with our principles and will help solve the North Korean nuclear issue,” the minister said.
9. ROK Abductee Issue
Chosun Ilbo (“ABDUCTION VICTIMS’ FAMILIES IRATE OVER INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT “, 2010/02/02) reports that a group of ROK citizens whose family members were abducted by the DPRK on Monday called on the government not to sweep the issue under the carpet again for the sake of an inter-Korean summit. Choi Sung-yong, the head of Family Assembly Abducted to the DPRK, complained in a telephone interview with the Chosun Ilbo that President Lee Myung-bak, who in a town-hall meeting in November promised not to hold a summit unless the question of the ROK prisoners of war and abduction victims is on the agenda, seems to have changed his mind.
10. Sino-DPRK Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK TO CONTINUE ENHANCING COOPERATION WITH CHINA”, 2010/02/02) reported that the DPRK would continue to strengthen cooperation in various fields with the PRC, the DPRK premier said. Premier Kim Yong Il told outgoing PRC Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at their meeting here the fact that the two countries marked the DPRK-PRC Friendship Year and their premiers exchanged visits in 2009 demonstrated the vitality of two countries’ friendship and deepened understanding between the two peoples.
11. US-Japan-ROK Trilateral Military Exercise
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. HOPES TO ORGANIZE TRILATERAL ANTI-DISASTER MILITARY EXERCISES”, Washington, 2010/02/02) reports that the United States wants to organize trilateral military exercises with the ROK and Japan to better deal with disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, a U.S. military commander said Tuesday. “There’s been a lot of exchanges of information and so forth, but a specific exercise of a trilateral nature would be something new,” Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of U.S. Army, Pacific, said in a teleconference from Bangkok. “There’s been interest shown concerning that, and so we’re awaiting some ideas and information from both of the armies, and we intend to move forward on that as soon as we can.”
12. Japan Politics
Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPJ IN TUG-OF-WAR OVER OZAWA’S FATE / PARTY QUIBBLING OVER POLITICAL KINGPIN’S FUTURE, POSSIBLE SUCCESSOR”, 2010/02/03) reports that a tug-of-war has begun between Democratic Party of Japan members who support Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa and those who distance themselves from him, over whether he should step down in connection with alleged accounting irregularities involving his funds management body. Many DPJ members believe Ozawa’s decision on whether to quit will be affected by the action prosecutors take Thursday against DPJ lawmaker Tomohiro Ishikawa and two other arrested figures, when the period of their legal detention expires. Prosecutors will decide on the day whether to indict them.
Kyodo (“HATOYAMA SAYS HE BELIEVES OZAWA’S CLAIM OF INNOCENCE OVER SCANDAL “, Tokyo, 2010/02/03) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday he naturally believes Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa’s claim that he is innocent of accounting irregularities involving his fund management body. ”You ask on what grounds do I believe Ozawa, but isn’t it natural for me to believe first the words ‘I’m innocent’ expressed by a DPJ comrade who achieved a change of power?” said Hatoyama. ”It is my thinking that the investigation will reveal whether there are facts that back up his (alleged) violation of the law as reported.”
13. USFJ Base Relocation
Kyodo News (“GOV’T EYES NARROWING DOWN BASE RELOCATION SITES BY END OF MARCH”, Tokyo, 2010/02/02) reports that the government intends to narrow down possible relocation sites for the U.S. Marines’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa and select a candidate site by the end of next month, government sources said Tuesday. A government committee on the issue decided at a meeting the same day to send a fact-finding mission to Guam for two days from Feb. 10 given that the Social Democratic Party, one of the junior coalition partners in the government, has floated the Pacific island as an alternative to a current plan. With Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama committed to resolving the relocation issue by the end of May, the government thinks it necessary to come up with a specific site by the end of March as it needs time to consult with the United States and obtain acceptance from local governments in the area to be selected as the relocation site, the sources said.
Agence France-Presse (“US READY TO TALK OVER JAPAN BASE ROW: PENTAGON”, Tokyo, 2010/02/02) reported that the United States is ready to negotiate with Japan in a months-old row over a US military base, a Pentagon official said. US Assistant Secretary of Defense Wallace Gregson said the administration would not seek an “American-imposed” solution to the dispute. “Our plan is based on our alliance relationships, and if we have to go back to negotiating, we’ll go back to negotiating,” he said in a Tokyo speech.
14. Japan Whaling Issue
Kyodo News (“JAPAN STUDYING NEW PROPOSAL TO CONTINUE WHALING: FARM MINISTER”, 2010/02/02) reported that Japan is studying a new proposal to seek an international endorsement for its continuation of whaling operations, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu said. The proposal will be presented to the International Whaling Commission’s annual meeting in June in Morocco, Akamatsu told reporters. The new proposal may include a steeper cut in the number of whales it will catch, analysts said.
15. Japan Climate Change
Bloomberg News (Bill Koenig, “JAPAN AIMS TO GET BULK OF EMISSIONS CUTS IN JAPAN, NIKKEI SAYS”, 2010/02/02) reported that Japan wants to achieve 60 percent or more of its target for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions through efforts within the country, Nikkei English News reported, without saying how it obtained the information. Emissions trading and other actions overseas would cover the remainder, Nikkei said. Japan wants to cut its emissions in 2020 by 25 percent from 1990 levels, Nikkei said.
16. Sino-US Relations
Agence France-Presse (Bernice Han, “US FIRMS EYE ASIAN MARKET AS CHINA THREATENS SANCTIONS”, Singapore, 2010/02/02) reports that US firms remained bullish on the Asian market as an international aerospace trade show opened Tuesday under the shadow of a US-PRC spat over Washington’s arms sales to Taiwan. More than 100 firms led by Boeing and Lockheed Martin — which are at the heart of the weapons controversy and expected to be hit if Beijing imposes sanctions — are part of the largest contingent at the Singapore Airshow. “We see growth in Asia-Pacific as being the kind of stimulus really for the world economy and for American producers,” Marion Blakey, chief executive of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), told journalists.
Associated Press (“CHINA’S THREAT TO SANCTION U.S. FIRMS IN ARMS SALE COULD BACKFIRE”, Shanghai, 2010/02/02) reports that the PRC’s threats to punish U.S. companies involved in a major arms sale to Taiwan are raising questions over whether Beijing could pull it off without undermining its own aviation industries. The PRC has not said what sanctions it might impose to penalize the companies involved in building the arms for democratic-ruled Taiwan. But the roster of potential targets is an A-list of U.S. defense contractors, including Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Co.
17. PRC Tibet Issue
New York Times (Edward Wong, “CHINA WARNS US ON MEETING WITH DALAI LAMA”, Beijing, 2010/02/02) reports that a senior PRC official strongly warned President Obama against meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetans, saying it would damage relations between the PRC and the US. The official, Zhu Weiqun, said any country would suffer consequences if its leaders met with the Dalai Lama, whom the PRC considers to be a dangerous separatist. Mr. Zhu did not elaborate on what actions the PRC could take. White House officials have said that Mr. Obama plans to meet with the Dalai Lama early this year.
Reuters (Chris Buckley and Ben Blanchard, “CHINA WARNS AGAINST OBAMA-DALAI LAMA MEETING”, Reuters, 2010/02/03) reported that the PRC warned President Barack Obama on Wednesday that a meeting between him and the Dalai Lama would further erode ties between the two powers. Ma Zhaoxu, a PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman, said his government “resolutely opposes the leader of the United States having contact with the Dalai under any pretext or in any form.” “We urge the U.S. to fully grasp the high sensitivity of the Tibetan issues, to prudently and appropriately deal with related matters, and avoid bringing further damage to China-U.S. relations,” said Ma.
II. PRC Report
18. PRC Environment
Xinhua Net (“LOW-CARBON AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT FUND ESTABLISHED”, 2010/02/02) reported that Nanchang city of Jiangxi province will cooperate with China Development to establish the PRC’s first Low-Carbon and Urban Development Fund, to promote low-carbon economy and new-style urbanization, and construction of Boyanghu Lake eco-economic zone, sources from news conference held by Nanchang government
Beijing Daily (“BEIJING CITIZENS GET COMPENSATION FOR PROTECTING WILD ANIMAL”, 2010/02/02) reported that Beijing citizens have got compensation of 1.46 million RMB for protection wild animals in 2009, among which 1.43 million is for crop loss and 30,000 for poultry and livestock loss, according to Beijing Municipal Bureau of Gardening and Greening recently.
19. PRC Civil Society
First Finance Net (“SOCIAL INNOVATION CARNIVAL TO BE HELD DURING WORLD EXPO”, 2010/02/02) reported that general director of China Enterpreneur Foundation announced this morning that during the World Exposition 2010 in Shanghai, a Social Innovation Carnival will be held. This activity will build a communicating platform for strategies, ideas, institutions, and human resources of social innovation.