NAPSNet Daily Report 3 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK-US Relations
- 2. Japan on DPRK Missile Program
- 3. ROK on DPRK Missile Program
- 4. Inter-Korean Relations
- 5. US on Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. ROK Military
- 7. ROK-Myanmar Nuclear Copperation
- 8. ROK-Japan Relations
- 9. ROK, PRC, Japan Cultural Cooperation
- 10. Japan Politics
- 11. Japan-US Military Relations
- 12. Japan-US Relations
- 13. Sino-Japan Relations
- 14. Sino-US Relations
- 15. Cross-Strait Relations
- 16. US and Cross Strait Relations
- 17. Sino-Burmese Border Tensions
- 18. PRC Missiles
- 19. PRC Civil Unrest
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK-US Relations
Associated Press (“US ENVOY FOR NKOREA TO TRAVEL TO ASIA”, Washington, 2009/09/02) reported that the U.S. special envoy for the DPRK will travel to Asia this week but will not go to the DPRK. A State Department spokesman said that envoy Stephen Bosworth will leave Wednesday for the region “to explore how best to convince the DPRK that it must live up to its obligations” and abandon its nuclear programs.
Yonhap News (Kim Hyun, “U.S. HAS NO INTENTION TO BUILD CLOSE TIES WITH N. KOREA: EX-OFFICIAL “, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that the DPRK is seeking a “strategic partnership” with the United States but the idea will never be accepted by Washington as such close ties would undermine its regional interests, a former U.S. official said. David Straub, who accompanied U.S. ex-President Bill Clinton on his trip to Pyongyang last month, said the DPRK holds too little economic or political value for the U.S. to risk its relations with the PRC or alliances with the ROK and Japan.
2. Japan on DPRK Missile Program
Yomiuri Shimbun (“TRANSFER OF POWER / DPJ TO SUBMIT N. KOREA CARGO INSPECTIONS BILL”, 2009/09/02) reported that as one of its first legislative actions after taking power, the Democratic Party of Japan plans to present a bill in an extraordinary Diet session in autumn to permit inspections of DPRK ship and aircraft cargoes in line with a U.N. Security Council sanction resolution against Pyongyang, a senior party official said. The DPJ considers it imperative for a new administration led by the party to take an overtly stern stance against the DPRK over its nuclear programs, according to the official.
3. ROK on DPRK Missile Program
Yonhap News (Lee Chi-dong, ” S. KOREA EYES GREATER REGIONAL COOPERATION ON N. KOREAN NUKES “, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that ROK Vice Foreign Minister Kwon Jong-rak called Wednesday for regional powers to resume six-way talks on the DPRK’s nuclear program and to “substantially” improve bilateral relations between one another. Delivering a speech at the opening of the 7th East Asia Forum, he stressed that a resolution to the nuclear crisis through the multilateral negotiations is essential to greater cooperation in the creation of an East Asian community.
4. Inter-Korean Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“2 KOREAS EXCHANGE NAMES OF CANDIDATES FOR REUNIONS”, 2009/09/02) reported that the Red Cross agencies of the two Koreas exchanged lists of 200 candidates from each side for family reunions on Chuseok. In a meeting between liaison officers at the truce village of Panmunjom, the two sides exchanged the lists to determine whether the proposed participants are living or dead. The final lists of 100 participants from each side will be exchanged on Sept. 17.
Korea Times (Na Jeong-ju, Lee Tae-hoon, “LEE REMAINS FIRM ON NORTH KOREA POLICY”, 2009/09/02) reported that Cheong Wa Dae denied media reports Wednesday that President Lee Myung-bak discussed the release of detained ROK fishermen when he met with DPRK delegates at Cheong Wa Dae Aug. 24. During the meeting with Lee, the delegates said the DPRK was willing to release the fishermen any time and asked Lee to set the date for their release. Lee answered that the DPRK should not behave as if it was doing a favor to the ROK, asking it to handle the matter in accordance with international laws.“I’m ready to help the DPRK rebuild the economy if it abandons its nuclear program, but won’t provide unconditional aid as my liberal predecessors did for a decade,” Lee was quoted as saying. “I won’t resort to confrontational measures unconditionally, either.” The presidential office rebuffed the reports as being untrue, saying the fishermen’s release was not discussed.
5. US on Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap News (Tony Chang, “FUTURE OF DMZ SHOULD BE DECIDED BY TWO KOREAS: U.S. CONGRESSMAN “, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that the future of Korea’s demilitarized zone (DMZ) should be decided by the two Koreas, a U.S. legislator said Wednesday. “Frankly speaking, it is up to the DPRK and ROK to remake the heap of stones that it inherited from the Cold War partners that never foresaw the unintended consequences of this artificial barrier we now call the DMZ,” said Rep. Eni Faleomavaega. The congressman was in Seoul to attend a forum on the DMZ, “What troubles me most about then and now is how willingly the two Koreas have accepted what non-Koreans have defined for them. I fully believe only Korea can map Korea,” Faleomavaega said.
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young , “US CONGRESSMAN CALLS FOR FLEXIBILITY ON N. KOREAN ISSUES”, 2009/09/02) reported that a U.S. Congress leader offered a positive assessment of the Sunshine Policy put forth by the late former President Kim Dae-jung, Wednesday, saying the engagement policy paved the way to improve inter-Korean relations. During the 2009 Korea DMZ Peace Forum in Seoul Eni Faleomavaega also suggested that the ROK should have flexibility when dealing with the DPRK nuclear issue and other matters.
6. ROK Military
Yonhap News (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA TO HOLD LARGE-SCALE WEAPONS EXHIBITION NEXT MONTH: AIR FORCE “, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that the ROK will host one of Asia’s largest arms exhibitions next month, drawing officials from 26 nations and an audience of 300,000, the Air Force said Wednesday. The Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2009, featuring a joint air show by the ROK and U.S. demonstration squads, will take place from Oct. 20-25 at an airfield south of Seoul, the Air Force said in a release.
7. ROK-Myanmar Nuclear Copperation
Xinhua (“S KOREA TO TRAIN MYANMAR TECHNICIANS ON NUCLEAR ENERGY “, 2009/09/02) reported that ROK will provide training on nuclear energy to officials and technicians from Myanmar along with other member countries of the ASEAN, the Myanmar Times reported. The East Asian country agreed to the provision of technical know-how on nuclear power stations in order to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and to help protect the environment. Under a three-year training program which lasts from 2009 to 2011, the ROK will train a total of 150 technicians and senior government officials from ASEAN countries including Myanmar, the report added.
8. ROK-Japan Relations
Dong A Ilbo (“KOREAN POLITICIANS MIXED OVER JAPAN’S POWER SHIFT “, 2009/09/01) reported that while the ruling Grand National Party in the ROK forecast improvement in Korea-Japan relations, its opposition rival Democratic Party of Korea stressed the meaning of the power transition itself. In a congratulatory message to Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama, President Lee Myung-bak said, “I’m convinced that Japan will not only continue its development but also make a greater contribution to peace and co-prosperity of the international community. I hope both nations can closely cooperate to develop bilateral relations into a mature partnership.” Ruling party spokesman Yoon Sang-hyun said in a commentary, “I hope the two countries can dispel mistrust and develop bilateral relations into a mature and forward-looking partnership based on solid trust.”
9. ROK, PRC, Japan Cultural Cooperation
Yonhap News (“KOREA, JAPAN, CHINA TO STRENGTHEN CULTURAL INDUSTRY COOPERATION “, Seoul, 2009/09/02) reported that top culture officials from the ROK, Japan and the PRC agreed Wednesday to strengthen cooperation in developing new cultural contents and creative industries of the three countries. The three neighboring nations will consider setting up a taskforce to launch joint research and exchange information on the development of cultural contents, ROK Vice Culture Minister Shin Jae-min and his counterparts Toshiyuki Takei and Ou yang Jian agreed during a joint forum held in Busan.
10. Japan Politics
Associated Press (Eric Talmadge, “JAPAN’S INCOMING GOVERNMENT FACES WEAK MANDATE”, Tokyo, 2009/09/02) reported that Japan’s new government will have a shaky mandate when it takes office later this month, a poll indicated Wednesday, as party leaders acknowledged they must get to work immediately to deal with the country’s severe economic problems. The poll found most voters remain skeptical about whether the victorious Democratic Party of Japan can make good on its promises to bring the world’s second-largest economy out of its worst slowdown since World War II, rein in the powerful bureaucracy and restore Japan’s international credibility after a succession of three prime ministers in three years.
Kyodo News (“DPJ MOVING CLOSER TO ASSUMING POWER AS COALITION TALKS PROCEED “, Tokyo, 2009/09/02) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan launched talks Wednesday with its two smaller allies over forming a tripartite coalition, moving a step closer to assuming power. In a meeting held in parliament, DPJ policy chief Masayuki Naoshima handed to his counterparts from the Social Democratic Party and the People’s New Party a draft policy agreement that added foreign and security policy elements to a common campaign platform compiled before the election.The elements include policies to lead efforts toward nuclear disarmament, work toward the creation of an East Asian community, and forge close and equal Japan-U.S. relations, opposition officials said.
11. Japan-US Military Relations
Associated Press (“US NOT EXPECTING BIG CHANGE IN ALLIANCE WITH JAPAN”, Wellington, 2009/09/02) reported that the United States’ top military officer in the Pacific said Wednesday he doesn’t expect major changes to his country’s defense relationship with Japan despite the election of a new government that has vowed to reevaluate its ties with Washington. Admiral Timothy Keating said ” I don’t think there will be any significant reworking” of the defense partnership with Japan. He said he was “very confident” that U.S. force levels in Japan would remain near their current numbers. “We will enjoy free and unfettered access to Japanese ports — we have a large battle group stationed close to Japan, including a nuclear powered aircraft carrier,” Keating said.
Asahi Shimbun (“SHIFT ON NUCLEAR SECRET DEAL”, Tokyo, 2009/09/02) reported that the Foreign Ministry will tailor its approach toward a secret Japan-U.S. nuclear deal and the realignment of U.S. forces in line with policy guidelines formulated by a new administration to be led by the Democratic Party of Japan, says a top ministry bureaucrat. Referring to the secret pact, Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka told a news conference, “We understand that the ministry needs to take steps under the new administration’s instructions.” Despite the DPJ’s call for another investigation into the deal, Yabunaka dismissed the idea in June, saying the secret agreement did not exist.
12. Japan-US Relations
Reuters (Chisa Fujioka and Tetsushi Kajimoto , “JAPAN’S INCOMING GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO REASSURE U.S.”, Tokyo, 2009/09/02) reported that Japan’s incoming government sought to reassure Washington on Wednesday that no upheaval was in store for U.S.-Japan relations, as the country groped toward a rare handover of power. Managing ties with the United States is high on the agenda after the party said it wanted to chart a course more independent of Washington. “We have repeatedly said Japan-U.S. relations are most important as a basic principle in diplomacy and stressed the importance of continuity in diplomacy,” Kohei Otsuka said in an interview with Reuters.
Associated Press (“REPORT: HATOYAMA, OBAMA SPEAK BY TELEPHONE”, Tokyo, 2009/09/02) reported that Japan’s incoming leader Yukio Hatoyama and President Barack Obama held telephone talks Thursday amid concerns Tokyo may pursue a more independent foreign policy under its new government. The phone conversation took place early Thursday in Japan, Kyodo News agency reported. The two leaders discussed their nations’ bilateral security relationship and Hatoyama said he wanted to build “constructive future-oriented” relations with the United States, Kyodo said.
13. Sino-Japan Relations
Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPJ TO STRESS IMPORTANCE OF RELATIONS WITH CHINA”, 2009/09/03) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Katsuya Okada said Wednesday that the DPJ would seek to deepen ties between Japan and the PRC after it takes power. “It’s pointless to debate which should take precedence [in Japanese diplomacy], the United States or Asia, or for that matter, the United States or the PRC,” he said in an address at a symposium in Tokyo marking the 60th anniversary of postwar PRC’s foundation. “The DPJ has already been emphasizing the importance of relations with the PRC. Even when we’ve taken over the government, we’d basically like to deepen this stance,” Okada said.
14. Sino-US Relations
Associated Press (Charles Hutzler, “NEW US AMBASSADOR: GLOBAL ISSUES TEST CHINA TIES”, Beijing, 2009/09/02) reported that wrangling over the troubled global economy, climate change and security hotspots will test sometimes unsteady U.S.-PRC relations the rest of this year, the new U.S. ambassador to Beijing said Wednesday. A week and a half into his post, Ambassador Jon Hunstman said global, “big-picture issues” were coming to define relations between Washington and Beijing. At the top of President Barack Obama’s instructions to him, he said, are shoring up the world economy, dealing with regional security troubles like Iran and Pakistan and securing an agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to pave the way for a new worldwide global warming treaty.
15. Cross-Strait Relations
Agence France Presse (Amber Wang , “DALAI LAMA TO TAIWAN CAPITAL, CHINA CONCERNS MOUNT”, Kaohsiung, Taiwan , 2009/09/02) reported that the Dalai Lama headed Wednesday for Taiwan’s capital where concerns were mounting about the reaction from China. Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader left the south Taiwan city of Kaohsiung, after two days focused on the plight of communities affected by last month’s typhoon, while the government worried publicly about China ties. “The coming few days will be extremely crucial,” said Wu Poh-hsiung, chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, according to the Taipei-based China Times newspaper.
Reuters (Ralph Jennings , “TAIWAN ASKED BY CHINA TO CANCEL DALAI LAMA EVENTS: MP”, Kaohsiung, Taiwan , 2009/09/02) reported that Taiwan officials have asked the Dalai Lama to cancel public speeches and media events on the island under pressure from an angry PRC, which fears he will talk politics, a Tibetan legislator said on Wednesday. The visiting Tibetan spiritual leader was asked to cancel a news conference, a public speech for 10,000 people, interview requests and abandon any hopes of meeting Taiwan’s top leaders, said Khedroob Thondup, a Taipei-based parliamentarian in-exile close to the Dalai Lama.
16. US and Cross Strait Relations
The Associated Press (“RAYTHEON TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO TAIWAN”, 2009/09/02) reported that $26.9 million to provide technical assistance to Taiwan’s missile defense system. The award from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command represents a modification to a technical assistance contract granted in 2008. Raytheon will provide field engineers to refurbish Taiwan’s Patriot equipment and will extend the services of current advisers assisting with training, operational planning and sustainment of Patriot systems.
17. Sino-Burmese Border Tensions
New York Times (Michael Wines, “BEIJING LIMITS INFORMATION ON BURMESE REFUGEES REMAINING IN CHINA “, Beijing, 2009/09/01) reported that PRC officials imposed an information blackout on the situation along its border with Myanmar and began taking down tents that had sheltered an estimated 30,000 refugees who fled into the PRC to escape recent fighting between Myanmar’s military and ethnic rebels. PRC authorities withheld comment on the border situation aside from saying, in a Foreign Ministry briefing, that “necessary humanitarian assistance” was being provided. And they began ordering foreign journalists to leave the area around Nansan and Genma, PRC towns on the mountainous border where the refugees have been housed in seven separate camps.
18. PRC Missiles
Agence France Presse (“CHINA SET TO UNVEIL NEW MISSILES: STATE MEDIA”, Beijing, 2009/09/02) reported that the PRC will unveil a range of previously unknown missiles during its October 1 National Day parade, including intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles, state media said Wednesday. The new hardware on display also will include conventional cruise missiles and both short- and medium-range missiles, the Global Times newspaper reported, citing an unnamed People’s Liberation Army source. “These missiles are domestically designed and manufactured and have never been officially reported before,” the source, who is with the PLA’s strategic missile defence unit, was quoted as saying.
19. PRC Civil Unrest
Radio Free Asia (“CLASHES OVER XIAN METRO”, Hong Kong, 2009/09/02) reported that villagers in the ancient Chinese city of Xian have called for an investigation into the death of an elderly man following clashes between police and local residents angry at the way their land was requisitioned for the city’s new subway system. Chang’an district resident Zeng Chengmin, 63, was declared dead in a Xian hospital on Aug. 28 after scores of security guards visited his home and attacked family members there, relatives said. “The police are currently investigating the case, but only one person [Li Jianqiang] has been detained out of a couple of dozen attackers,” His nephew, Zeng Weitao, said.
British Broadcasting System (Michael Bristow , “CHINA DISSIDENT GIVEN JAIL TERM “, Beijing, 2009/09/02) reported that a PRC dissident active in the underground China Democracy Party has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for subversion. Xie Changfa was arrested after trying to organise the party’s first national congress in the city of Changsha, Hunan Province. The 57-year-old’s lawyer, Ma Gangquan, said his client intended to appeal against the verdict. “This is one of the most severe sentences of a dissident in several years,” said a statement from the group Human Rights in the PRC.
II. PRC Report
20. PRC Environment
China Environment News (“ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MOVIES GO TO WEIHAI COMMUNITIES”, 2009/09/02) reported that Weihai Bureau of Environmental Protection opened “Environmental Protection Movie in Community” activity recently. The Bureau will show over 20 environmental protection movies for 100 times in 8 communities of Weihai city, Shandong province, to strengthen people’s environmental protection awareness.
21. PRC Civil Society and Cross Strait Relations
China News Net (“TZU CHI FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES PERMANENT HOUSE PLAN FOR DISASTER AREA”, 2009/09/02) reported that Tzu Chi Foundation, a Taiwan charity organization, announced their post-disaster reconstruction plan, that they will choose suitable land to build permanent house for disaster victims of Taiwan. The permanent house can resist typhoon and earthquake over 7 magnitude.
22. PRC Energy
World Energy and Finance Net (“THE 12TH FIVE-YEAR ENERGY PLAN LAUNCHED”, 2009/09/01) reported that according to national energy bureau, the research of 12 th Five-Year Energy Plan has been totally launched, and will openly invite bid from all social science research units.