NAPSNet Daily Report 3 June, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Leadership
- 2. DPRK Missile Launch
- 3. US on DPRK Missile Launch
- 4. Japan on UNSC Resolution
- 5. PRC, Russia on UNSC Resolution
- 6. PRC on UNSC Resolution
- 7. Inter-Korean Relations
- 8. ROK Military
- 9. US Military Deployment
- 10. Japan SDF
- 11. US Journalists Detained in the DPRK
- 12. DPRK Counterfeiting Operations
- 13. ROK Human Rights
- 14. ROK Space Program
- 15. Japan Constitutional Revision
- 16. Japan Politics
- 17. Japan Nuclear Power
- 18. Sino-Japanese Economic Relations
- 19. Sino-US Economic Relations
- 20. Sino-Indian Relations
- 21. Sino-Russian Environmental Cooperation
- 22. Cross Strait Relations
- 23. PRC Media Control
- 24. PRC Energy Supply
- 25. PRC Poverty
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Leadership
Yonhap (“SPY AGENCY CONFIRMS N.K. LEADER’S THIRD SON AS SUCCESSOR: LAWMAKERS”, Seoul, 2009/06/02) reported that the ROK ‘s intelligence agency has told lawmakers that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il appears to have chosen his third and youngest son, Jong-un, as his successor, informed legislators said. The information, reportedly given by the National Intelligence Service to members of the National Assembly information and intelligence committee, is the first to come out of the government about the future of the DPRK’s leadership. “I was told over the telephone yesterday that Jong-un has been tapped as successor,” Song Young-gil of the main opposition Democratic Party and a member of the intelligence committee told Yonhap News Agency.
The Financial Times (Christian Oliver, “KIM’S HEIR EMBODIES MYSTERY OF N KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/06/02) reported that given the geopolitical significance of the DPRK the knowledge the world has about Kim Jong-woon, the third son of dictator Kim Jong-il and the likely next ruler, is embarrassingly sparse. The man who may have to cope with a starving population of 24m people is thought to have attended a private Swiss boarding school and, in a society where seniority is everything, is reported to be in his mid-20s. Curiously for a short boy Jong-woon’s real passion was basketball. He was said to be highly competitive when playing the game and would boss the other players around as if he were their coach.
2. DPRK Missile Launch
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA GEARING UP TO TEST-FIRE MISSILES ON BOTH COASTS”, Seoul, 2009/06/02) reported that the DPRK appears to be preparing on both coasts to test-fire some of its most sophisticated ballistic missiles, stoking regional tensions already running high after its second nuclear test last week, ROK sources said. The DPRK has apparently moved an intercontinental ballistic missile to a launch site on its west coast, a ROK lawmaker said, quoting defense officials who briefed him hours earlier. A ROK government source said that at lest three medium-range missiles were being prepared at the Kittaeryong missile base on the southeast coast.
Kyodo News (“N. KOREA TO MASS-PRODUCE SYRIA-PROVIDED MISSILE”, Seoul, 2009/06/02) reported that the DPRK has apparently agreed to mass-produce a small, Russian-designed missile that it recently obtained from Syria, according to a Western diplomatic source. The missile in question is the Kornet anti-tank guided missile developed by KBP Instrument Design Bureau, a Russian government-backed defense contractor based in Tula, Russia, said the source, who closely monitors Syrian-DPRK affairs.
3. US on DPRK Missile Launch
Xinhua News (“U.S. URGES DPRK NOT TO TEST LONG-RANGE MISSILE “, Washington, 2009/06/02) reported that the US warned the DPRK not to test a long-range missile, saying it would violate UN Security Council resolutions. “The North, frankly, just needs to end this provocative type of behavior. It’s only inflaming tensions in the region,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood said. “We want to see the North live up to its international obligations,” the spokesman said, adding that “We want to send a very strong, unified message to North Korea that its actions have consequences.”
4. Japan on UNSC Resolution
Kyodo News (“JAPAN EYES COMPROMISE PLAN OVER U.N. RESOLUTION OVER N. KOREA”, New York, 2009/06/02) reported that Japan is considering presenting a compromise plan over a resolution the UN Security Council plans to adopt in response to the DPRK’s second nuclear test, UN diplomatic sources said. The resolution says all UN members are ”called upon” to take ”cooperative action including thorough inspection of cargo to and from” the DPRK. The US, along with Japan, has called for the new resolution to include a phrase making cargo inspection on the part of UN members ”compulsory” rather than ”calling upon” them to cooperate. The latest compromise plan by Japan would soften the language on UN members’ cargo inspection of the DPRK ships, relax some financial sanctions on Pyongyang and limit the scope of weapons subject to trade embargo, said the sources.
5. PRC, Russia on UNSC Resolution
Reuters (“RUSSIA AND CHINA BACK “CONVINCING RESPONSE” TO N.KOREA”, Moscow, 2009/06/02) reported that Russia and the PRC want a “convincing response” to the DPRK’s nuclear test from the United Nations Security Council, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said. “Sergei Lavrov and Yang Jiechi expressed their common opinion on the necessity of a convincing response from the Security Council on the inadmissibility of ignoring the UN Security Council’s resolution and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” the ministry said. “At the same time, it was stressed that the solution of the problem is possible only via political and diplomatic means, including by resuming six-party talks as the most important tool to solve the Korean peninsula’s nuclear problem and assuage North Korea’s justified security concerns,” the ministry said.
6. PRC on UNSC Resolution
Agence France Press (“CHINA URGES “BALANCED” APPROACH TO N KOREA, JAPAN SAYS”, Tokyo, 2009/06/02) reported that the PRC’s foreign minister, in talks with his Japanese counterpart Tuesday, called for a “balanced approach” toward the DPRK, the Japanese government said. The PRC’s Yang Jiechi also expressed the view that “a U.N. resolution and sanctions alone would not solve the problem,” Japan’s foreign ministry said, paraphrasing Yang’s comments. Yang expressed the view that “it is necessary to raise pressure while bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table,” the ministry said after his talks with Japan’s Hirofumi Nakasone.
7. Inter-Korean Relations
Xinhua News (“S KOREA DISPATCHES MISSILE-EQUIPPED VESSEL TO W SEA BORDER “, Seoul, 2009/06/02) reported that the ROK Navy dispatched its guided-missile vessel to the country’s western sea border on Tuesday in a bid to bolster its defense against the DPRK, the navy said. The Yun Young Ha, the dispatched 440-ton vessel, is equipped missiles which can fly as far away as 140 km, and loaded with guns that fire up to 600 bullets per minute, the navy said in a statement. “The ship is symbolic of the spirit of our six fallen soldiers in the second Yeonpyeong battle,” Navy Chief of Staff Jung Ok-keun was quoted as saying.
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA STOPS COMMUNICATION ON DETAINED S. KOREAN WORKER: OFFICIAL”, Seoul, ) reported that the DPRK is evading Seoul’s questions about a detained ROK worker and refusing to let in daily necessities for him, a government official said Tuesday, amid speculation he may have been moved to Pyongyang to stand trial. Yu’s reported transfer to Pyongyang added to growing concerns over his safety.
8. ROK Military
Korea Herald (“S. KOREA TO INTRODUCE ‘BUNKER BUSTERS’ BY 2016”, 2009/06/02) reported that the ROK plans to acquire a collection of guided air-to-surface bombs, including “bunker busters,” by 2016 that could be used to neutralize covert DPRK facilities, a source told Yonhap News. The plan to purchase a total of 30 GBU-28s, GBU-24s, JDAMS and JASSMS is subject to presidential approval.
Korea Herald (“S. KOREA, U.S. TO LOCATE N.K. ARTILLERY IN ‘SPLIT SECOND'”, 2009/06/02) reported that the ROK and the US would be able to pinpoint the location of the DPRK artillery outposts in a “split second” if the communist state launched an attack by firing shells off its west coast, a senior ROK defense official said, according to Yonhap News. “We have radars that can detect the location of artillery guns as soon as shells fired from them travel 10 meters,” the official said. “But there is still a risk of misreading targets and hitting facilities in nearby areas, which could escalate the conflict.”
9. US Military Deployment
Armed Forces News Service (“AIRMEN, F-22S SUPPORT PACIFIC PRESENCE MISSION”, 2009/06/02) reported that approximately 280 Langley Air Force Base Airmen and 12 F-22 Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron depart this week for an air and space expeditionary force deployment to demonstrate the continued US commitment to fulfill its security responsibilities throughout the Western Pacific. The 94th FS Airmen, along with members of the Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing, are deploying to Kadena Air Base, Japan, as part of a theater security package. “This deployment is an excellent avenue to ensure that all facets of our unique brand of air power are able to perform at a moment’s notice,” said Lt. Col. Adrian Spain, the 94th FS commander.
10. Japan SDF
Reuters (“U.S. LAWMAKERS SAID EXPLORING F-22 VERSION FOR JAPAN”, Washington, 2009/06/02) reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee is considering requiring the U.S. Air Force to study the viability of creating an export version of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-22 fighter jet, a source closely following the issue told Reuters. “There may be language inserted into the fiscal 2010 appropriations bill that would at least look at the possibility,” said the source, who asked not to be identified since the legislative language is still being finalized.
11. US Journalists Detained in the DPRK
CNN (“FAMILIES PLEAD FOR REPORTERS HELD IN N. KOREA”, 2009/06/02) reported that the families of two US journalists detained in the DPRK made public pleas for their release as their trial and the threat of years in labor camps loom. The women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, are to go on trial Thursday on spying charges. “Our families have been quiet because the situation is very sensitive and we’ve been really trying to allow diplomacy to take its course,” Lisa Ling, Laura’s sister, said. “We just felt like it was time for us to talk publicly and try and encourage our two governments to try to communicate, to try and bring our situation to a resolution on humanitarian grounds — to separate the issues,” said Ling.
12. DPRK Counterfeiting Operations
The Washington Times (“N. KOREA GENERAL TIED TO FORGED $100 BILLS”, 2009/06/02) reported that a DPRK general who is a confidant of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-il, has been identified by US and foreign intelligence agencies as a key figure in the covert production and distribution of high-quality counterfeit $100 bills called supernotes, according to documents and interviews with intelligence officials. DPRK Gen. O Kuk-ryol, who was recently promoted to the country’s powerful National Defense Commission, and several of his family members are said to be in charge of producing the fake $100 bills.
13. ROK Human Rights
Korea Times (“AMNESTY SEES S. KOREA’S HUMAN RIGHTS BACKPEDALING”, 2009/06/02) reported that the ROK has been backpedaling on human rights regarding expression of opinion, assembly and association under the Lee Myung-bak administration, Amnesty International said. The world’s largest human rights watchdog urged the government to remove all measures restricting such rights to maintain Seoul’s leadership in human rights protection in the Asia-Pacific region. It expressed grave concern over the increasing use of force by police in cracking down on demonstrators.
14. ROK Space Program
Korea Herald (“LAUNCH OF KOREA’S FIRST SPACE ROCKET APPROVED”, 2009/06/02) reported that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology yesterday approved the launch of Korea’s first space rocket, slated to carry a ROK-made satellite into orbit in late July. The ministry held the national committee on space to endorse the application by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute for the launch of Naro, also known as Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1. Korea has been striving to become the ninth country in the world to launch an indigenously built satellite from its own soil.
15. Japan Constitutional Revision
Kyodo News (“PRO-CONSTITUTION SUPPORTERS RALLY TO PUSH FOR PROTECTION OF ARTICLE 9”, Tokyo , ) reported that more than 2,200 people gathered in Tokyo to mourn the late critic Shuichi Kato and reassert their determination to pursue his desire to maintain the war-renouncing Constitution. Kato, who died last December at the age of 89, was one of the nine co-founders of the Article 9 Association. Okudaira, a leading constitutional scholar, told the gathering that while an increasing number of people seek to authorize Japan’s use of the right to collective self-defense and to justify its past colonial rule of neighboring countries, “Mr. Kato was not disappointed with people in Japan. We must continue making efforts (to maintain Article 9) so as not to disappoint him.”
16. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“OPPOSITION GEARING UP FOR LOWER HOUSE, TOKYO ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS “, 2009/06/02) reported that amid mounting speculation that a general election may be called by the summer, opposition parties reiterated their resolve Tuesday to unite and wrest power from the ruling coalition. Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, told a Tokyo meeting of a labor union, ”We must win this contest,” accusing the ruling bloc of dominating national politics during the past three administrations without seeking a public mandate.
The Asahi Shimbun (“ASO, OTA AGREE TO EXTEND DIET UNTIL JULY 28”, 2009/06/02) reported that the ruling coalition decided Monday to extend the current Diet session by 55 days until July 28, leaving the date wide open for a Lower House election. The extension, which is at least five days shorter than initially planned, is intended to ensure Diet passage of key bills. The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito settled for a shorter extension because Prime Minister Taro Aso did not want to give the impression he was delaying a decision on dissolving the Lower House for a snap election, sources said. The election must be called by Sept. 10, when the term of the chamber’s members expires.
17. Japan Nuclear Power
The Asahi Shimbun (“2 REACTORS TO BE DISMANTLED BY FY 2036”, Nagoya, 2009/06/02) reported that Chubu Electric Power Co. on Monday applied for government approval to decommission two aging nuclear power reactors, the first closure in Japan of large reactors. The company told the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry it plans to demolish the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture, by fiscal 2036. The estimated cost to dismantle the reactors and dispose of about 480,000 tons of waste, including 17,000 tons of low-level nuclear waste, will be about 84 billion yen.
18. Sino-Japanese Economic Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA, JAPAN ‘TO COOPERATE OVER CRISIS'”, Beijing , 2009/06/02) reported that the PRC and Japan will seek ways to jointly tackle the global economic slowdown when top officials the countries meet in Tokyo later this week, PRC Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Tuesday. A delegation from Beijing led by Vice Premier Wang Qishan, the top economics official, will meet with the Japanese side headed by Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone . “China is willing to work with Japan to tackle the economic downturn by making use of each other’s market resources,” Chen was quoted saying.
19. Sino-US Economic Relations
The Associated Press (“CHINA, US TO RESUME HIGH-LEVEL, ANNUAL DISCUSSIONS”, 2009/06/02) reported that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner concluded his reassurance tour of the PRC. The two nations announced that they would launch revamped high level talks the week of July 27, discussions that will not only cover efforts to strengthen economic ties in the midst of a severe global financial crisis but also foreign policy concerns . The first round of what are scheduled to be annual meetings will take place in Washington with the US delegation led by Geithner and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton .
20. Sino-Indian Relations
IANS (“AFTER TEZPUR, SUKHOI WAR PLANES AT CHABUA NEAR INDIA-CHINA BORDER”, 2009/06/02) reported that a fter stationing the Sukhoi Su-30MIK war jets in Tezpur in Assam, the Indian Air Force will post another squadron of its frontline jets at the Chabua air base under its military policy to boost security along the border with the PRC in the northeast. On June 15, four Su-30MKIs will land in Tezpur for a symbolic induction, making the airbase the third in the country to house the combat jets. The basing of the squadron in Assam is in line with the IAF’s policy of capacity-building near the India-PRC border.
21. Sino-Russian Environmental Cooperation
Agence France Press (“RUSSIA TO RAISE CROSS-BORDER POLLUTION WITH CHINA”, Moscow, 2009/06/02) reported that Russian Minister for Natural Resources and Ecology Yury Trutnev will hold talks on cross-border pollution with PRC officials in Beijing starting on Wednesday, his ministry said. The Russian delegation, including officials from the far-eastern Khabarovsk region that borders the PRC , will discuss “prevention and removal of pollution in the Songhua River ” and other environmental issues, the ministry said in a statement.
22. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN, CHINA SET TO START REGULAR FLIGHTS IN JULY”, Taipei, 2009/06/02) reported that Taiwan and the PRC are expected to begin scheduled flights as early as July amid closer economic ties, officials here said. Five Taiwanese airlines are set to operate 135 regular flights weekly connecting four local cities with 19 PRC destinations, said an official at Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration. A total of nine PRC carriers will share among them 135 round-trip flights a week to the island, the official said. The arrangements, pending final approval of the authorities on both sides, are expected to take effect as early as July, she said.
23. PRC Media Control
The Times (“CHINESE CENSORS CUT OFF TWITTER, HOTMAIL AND FLICKR”, 2009/06/02) reported that two days before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the PRC’s censors moved today to limit the access of the country’s increasingly tech-savvy population to vast swathes of the internet. The first victims were the rising population of tweeters, who use the micro-blogging service Twitter as a platform for humour — often scatological — and political comment. Then the popular photo-posting service Flickr disappeared, as did the Hotmail e-mail service and Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing. The blocks did not stop there, however: MSN Spaces also disappeared.
24. PRC Energy Supply
Bloomberg News (“CHINA TO INVEST $14.6 BILLION IN WIND POWER BY 2010”, 2009/06/02) reported that the PRC , the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, will invest about 100 billion yuan ($14.6 billion) to more than double its wind power capacity by 2010 from last year, a government official said. The country’s wind power capacity will rise to 30,000 megawatts from 12,000 megawatts, Shi Lishan, deputy director of renewable energy at the National Energy Administration, said in Rudong city in the eastern province of Jiangsu today. Investment in alternative energy may exceed 2 trillion yuan by 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission said in 2007.
25. PRC Poverty
Caijing Magazine (“CHINA AIMS TO PROVIDE 7 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS AFFORDABLE RENT”, 2009/06/02) reported that the PRC has planned to build another 5.18 million affordable residential units for low income families to rent, in the next three years, according a government policy paper. In the fourth quarter of 2008, construction for 380,000 affordable residential units kicked off. An additional 1.91 million families will receive housing subsidies. An affordable apartment is no larger than 50 square meters, according to the plan.
II. PRC Report
26. PRC Civil Code
Sina.com (Yang Tingting, “AIR CHINA DONATES 600,000 RMB TO CHINA CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS’ FUND”, 2009/06/02) reported that on the occasion of International Children’s Day, Air China has donated fund of 600,000 yuan to China Children and Teenagers’ Fund. This fund will be used on establishing critical illness public insurance cards for 250,000 children in Wei county of Hebei province.
27. PRC Internet Use
Internet Association (“ACTIVITIES FOR PUBLIC INTERNET DAY HELD IN BEIJING”, 2009/06/02) reported that Internet Association has organized an orienteering competition for celebrating the Public Internet Day in Yingshan Forest Park in Beijing recently. The registration fee of the participating enterprises will be donated to help construction internet classrooms in remote mountain areas.
28. PRC Earthquake
Xinhua Net (Xu Zuhua, “SHANXI LAUNCHES JUNE 1ST CHARITY ACTION”, 2009/06/02) reported that 100 children from earthquake disaster areas of Hanzhong, Baoji and other poor areas gathered in Houzaimen Primary School in Xian city, Shanxi province on June 1 st . They came there to participate in the activity of “Urban-Rural Children Hand in Hand”. They have communicated with children in Houzaimen Primary School and exchanged presents.
III. ROK Report
29. Inter-Korea Relations
Goodfriends (“NOT EVEN A SUGGESTION OF WAR WILL BE ALLOWED”, 2009/06/03) reported that the DPRK has prioritized survival of their regime over survival of their people. The DPRK doesn’t seem to be interested in the pains their people are under due to the 150-day battle this time. On the other hand, ROK citizens probably realized how severely bad this government is at reading the public consensus from last year’s candlelight rallies and this year’s closed city hall square during commemorative week for the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun. The leaders of both the DPRK and ROK must certainly reflect on their current administrative condition.
PRESSian (Kim Yeoncheol, “PEACE ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA, ‘AGAIN 2002’”, 2009/06/03) reported that the current situation was caused as ROK gave up its role to manage the situation while the Obama administration prepares its DPRK policy, and as China took an awkward position. The DPRK had stopped at the doorstep of becoming a nuclear power, but is trying to quickly step over due to unclear negotiations. In the end, we are faced with three choices that have been repeatedly discussed for the past 20 years. The ROK will be left out once trilateral talks between the DPRK, US, and China succeed, and if the current situation continues, we will be responsible for pushing the DPRK to develop into a nuclear power.
30. ROK Nuclear Program
Seoul Shinmun (“NO REASON TO STRESS NUCLEAR SOVEREIGNTY”, 2009/06/03) reported that there are three reasons why we must stop the argument over nuclear sovereignty. First, the ROK, as a leading member state of international nuclear nonproliferation system, needs to fulfill its legal and political responsibilities. Second, the ROK is special in that it’s part of a divided state and a commercial state, and has limits to claim nuclear sovereignty. Third, the argument over nuclear sovereignty could harm the right for peaceful use of nuclear power guaranteed by NPT article 4. In summary, claiming nuclear sovereignty does not help the ROK to strengthen security, nor does it help in the spread of peaceful use of nuclear power. We need to come to the DPRK issue with strict regulations against nuclear proliferation, restraint on the DPRK from neighboring countries and international society, the alliance between the ROK and US, and the US nuclear umbrella. Development of ROK-US nuclear cooperation and spread of peaceful use of nuclear power, one of the most important and urgent energy issues, must be discussed at a different place, situation, and time from claiming nuclear sovereignty.
31. DPRK Internal Situation
Hankyoreh (“3RD HEREDITARY SUCCESSION OF POWER OF DPRK”, 2009/06/03) wrote that despite consideration of special conditions of the DPRK regime, a 3 rd hereditary succession of power is certainly an act of underdevelopment. Showing military authorities, the core power of DPRK, moving in strict order against outside threats is an efficient way for inner unity. Even if certain sanctions on the DPRK’s nuclear experiment are inevitable, the windows for communication shouldn’t be closed. Especially the theory on DPRK’s fall, which comes out to surface every time the DPRK is faced with problems, will only intensify mistrust between each other and worsen the situation. Our government should first urgently review the current DPRK policy.
Chosun Ilbo (“KIM ILSUNG, KIM JUNGIL, KIM JUNGWOON”, 2009/06/03) reported that in the short term, there is a great possibility the DPRK will be provocative externally for unification internally. In the medium term, the current government needs to review its DPRK policy. It’s becoming clearer that “denuclearization, opening, 3000” which means that ROK will fully support only if DPRK gives up its nuclear program and opens up, is not realistic. In the long term, we must prepare for insecurity within the DPRK, which might come after Kim Jungwoon’s succession.