NAPSNet Daily Report 30 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on Nuclear Program
- 2. DPRK Missile Program
- 3. US-DPRK Relations
- 4. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 5. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 6. Inter-Korean Relations
- 7. ROK Aid to the DPRK
- 8. ROK Allegations of DPRK Espionage
- 9. DPRK Economy
- 10. DPRK Leadership
- 11. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 12. USFJ Base Relocation
- 13. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 14. Yasukuni Shrine Issue
- 15. US-PRC Climate Change Collaboration
- 16. Sino-Indian Relations
- 17. Cross Strait Relations
- 18. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
- 19. PRC Internet Use
- 20. PRC Public Health
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK on Nuclear Program
Xinhua News (“DPRK HOLDS DISARMAMENT SEMINAR”, Pyongyang, 2009/10/29) reported that the DPRK held a disarmament seminar on the occasion of “U.N. Disarmament Week (Oct. 24-30).” The meeting was attended by researchers and scientists from the International Affairs Institute and the Disarmament and Peace Institute of the DPRK. They believed that the world’s biggest nuclear weapons states should take the lead in materializing nuclear disarmament. They underlined the need to make the “hostile forces roll back their policies of antagonizing the DPRK” as well as pressurize the U.S. forces to pull back from the ROK and its vicinity, and stop all forms of war exercises there.
2. DPRK Missile Program
Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA’S LATEST MISSILE TESTS FAILED: REPORT”, Seoul, 2009/10/29) reported that the DPRK ‘s short-range missile tests earlier this month were a failure with none of the five projectiles reaching its target, a report said. The DPRK test-fired five KN-02 missiles with a range of 120 kilometres (75 miles) from mobile launchers off its east coast on October 12. Radio Free Asia, quoting an intelligence source, said four of the five missed the mark and one did not even launch properly. “Two fell into the sea right after launch, another two missed the targets and the last one failed to launch,” the source said.
3. US-DPRK Relations
Korea Herald (“BOSWORTH COULD VISIT N.K. IN NOV”, 2009/10/29) reported that Stephen Bosworth may visit the reclusive regime late next month amid escalating speculation that Washington and Pyongyang will soon meet for a bilateral dialogue. The timing of Bosworth’s visit was hammered out between Ri Gun, the DPRK’s deputy nuclear negotiator and Sung Kim, Washington’s chief nuclear negotiator, when they met on Oct. 24 in New York on the sidelines of an international seminar, the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported. Bosworth, according to those reports, would be in the DPRK shortly following President Barack Obama’s Asian swing that will also bring him to Seoul to meet President Lee Myung-bak.
4. Sino-DPRK Relations
Reuters (“CHINA’S HU INVITES NORTH KOREA’S KIM TO VISIT: REPORT”, 2009/10/29) reported that PRC President Hu Jintao has invited reclusive DPRK leader Kim Jong-il for a visit as Pyongyang has reached out to its foes and signaled it could return to dormant nuclear talks hosted by Beijing. The invitation, made to a visiting official of the DPRK’s ruling Workers’ Party, Choe Thae-bok, came in a meeting where the two countries pledged to strengthen ties as they celebrate 60 years of alliance. “At the meeting, comrade Hu Jintao asked Choe Thae-bok to convey his invitation to General Secretary Kim Jong-il to visit China at a time convenient to him,” the DPRK’s official KCNA news agency said.
5. Japan-DPRK Relations
Kyodo (“BILL TO BE SUBMITTED TO DIET ON N. KOREAN CARGO INSPECTION “, Tokyo, 2009/10/30) reported that the Japanese government submitted a bill to the Diet on Friday to enable the Japan Coast Guard to inspect ships suspected of carrying banned cargo to and from the DPRK. The bill will not give any role to the Self-Defense Forces out of consideration for the Social Democratic Party, which opposes SDF involvement in such inspections. The DPJ ”must submit (the bill) on the premise that we will have it enacted without fail,” said Azuma Koshiishi, who heads the party caucus in the House of Councillors, expressing his resolve to see the bill pass by the end of the current session of parliament through November 30.
6. Inter-Korean Relations
Xinhua News (“DPRK NEWSPAPERS CALL FOR IMPROVING INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS”, Pyongyang, 2009/10/29) reported that two main newspapers in the DPRK called on all Koreans to strengthen an atmosphere of reconciliation so as to improve the inter-Korean relations. To enhance the inter-Korean relations was an “urgent task” which “brooked not a moment’s delay, ” said the official Rodong Sinmun. Both sides should clear up misunderstandings and bridge differences, respect and trust each other, as well as seek common ground while accepting difference so as to realize unity of the nation, the newspaper said.
7. ROK Aid to the DPRK
Agence France-Presse (“SEOUL’S AID OFFER ONE-TENTH OF NKOREA’S REQUEST: REPORT”, 2009/10/29) reported that the ROK’s offer of 10,000 tons of corn in food aid to the DPRK is just one-tenth what the DPRK asked for, a report said. Seoul also demanded that its aid be sent to a specific famine-hit area, Dong-A Ilbo newspaper quoted an unidentified government official as saying. The official said, “The North was very perplexed by the South’s offer to ship 10,000 tons of corn in response to the North’s request for 100,000 tons of rice in aid at the working-level talks.” Unification ministry spokesman Chun Hae-Sung denied the report, saying neither side mentioned specific amounts of food.
8. ROK Allegations of DPRK Espionage
Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREA ANNOUNCES ARREST OF N.KOREAN SPY”, 2009/10/29) reported that the ROK security authorities announced the arrest of a college lecturer on charges of spying for the DPRK , saying he was recruited by Pyongyang’s agents in India . The man, identified only as Lee, is accused of passing information on ROK military operations and facilities to the DPRK, state prosecutors and the National Intelligence Service said in a joint statement. He allegedly stole classified information using his status as a member of the National Unification Advisory Council, a state organisation promoting unification of the peninsula.
9. DPRK Economy
DongA Ilbo (“NK DEFECTORS SENDING MONEY TO RELATIVES IN N. KOREA”, 2009/10/29) reported that many DPRK defectors send part of what they earn in ROK to their relatives in the DPRK, the results of a survey conducted by The Dong-A Ilbo said yesterday. Forty-one defectors (20.5 percent) said they send money to the DPRK either to bring their families to the ROK or cover their living expenses in the DPRK. Given the number of defectors unwilling to give answers, the figure is seen as higher. Among some 17,000 defectors living in the ROK, if 5,000 are assumed to send two million won (1,675 dollars) per year to their relatives in the DPRK, 10 billion won (8.38 million dollars) of such funds are sent every year.
10. DPRK Leadership
Yonhap News (“JANG LIKELY TO ASSUME TEMPORARY POWER UNTIL HEREDITARY TRANSITION IN N.K.: DEFECTOR”, Washington, 2009/10/29) reported that influential DPRK figure Jang Song-thaek will likely play the role of regent in helping to smooth the way for a third-generation power transition to one of leader Kim Jong-il’s sons, a DPRK defector said. “With likely candidates dubbed too young to effectively govern, Kim Jong-il’s worsening health and the fear of a sudden power vacuum might justify resorting to such a transitional system,” said Kim Kwang-jin, former manager of the DPRK’s Northeast Asia Bank in Singapore, who defected to the ROK in 2003.
11. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Associated Press (Jae-Soon Chang, “SKOREA PLANNING TROOP DEPLOYMENT TO AFGHANISTAN”, Seoul, 2009/10/30) reported that the ROK intends to expand a reconstruction team now helping to rebuild Afghanistan and will dispatch police and troops to protect them, Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said Friday. “Our security troops will not take part in any battle other than” defending aid workers, he said. The spokesman did not say how many troops will be sent or when, or how many more aid workers would be added to the current team of 25.
12. USFJ Base Relocation
Kyodo News (“TOP U.S. MILITARY COMMANDER IN JAPAN SAYS KADENA OPTION DIFFICULT”, 2009/10/29) reported that the top commander of U.S. forces in Japan told Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada it would be difficult to realize Okada’s suggested plan of transferring the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture to the nearby U.S. Kadena Air Base, Japanese government sources said. U.S. Forces Japan Commander Lt. Gen. Edward Rice cited difficulties with the plan from the viewpoint of military operations during talks with Okada and Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.
13. US-Japan Security Alliance
Kyodo News (“HATOYAMA EYES CUTBACK ON U.S. MILITARY-RELATED EXPENSES”, 2009/10/29) reported that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama indicated he intends to curb annual state expenses for US military forces in Japan, but was cautious about making a huge cutback citing a possible impact on the economy in areas hosting the US forces. Hatoyama’s government is “currently discussing how far it can curtail (such expenses) in cooperation with the United States,” the Japanese leader told reporters in the evening, adding the amount of such budgetary allocations have already been declining in recent years.
14. Yasukuni Shrine Issue
Kyodo News (“COURT REJECTS CLAIM BY KOREANS OVER COLLECTIVE ENSHRINEMENT”, 2009/10/29) reported that t he Tokyo High Court on Thursday dismissed a suit filed by a group of South Koreans who argued that the Japanese government unconstitutionally enshrined their deceased relatives, who worked for the Imperial Japanese Army during the war, at the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, upholding a lower court decision. Presiding Judge Hiroaki Ohashi said, “There is no religious significance in the fact that the state collected information about the war dead and provided it” to the Shinto shrine, rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that the enshrinement based upon information from the state represents an infringement of the human rights of the Koreans.
15. US-PRC Climate Change Collaboration
The Financial Times (Geoff Dyer and Bill Savadove, “US ENVOY RULES OUT CLIMATE DEAL WITH BEIJING”, 2009/10/29) reported that the PRC and the US will not sign a landmark agreement on climate change policies when Barack Obama visits Beijing next month, the US president’s climate change envoy said, in spite of high hopes this year among US officials. Todd Stern said the two governments would seek “a common understanding” on climate change issues ahead of the crucial meeting in Copenhagen in December and would deepen co-operation on clean energy, but would not reach an accord on carbon emissions targets. “I do not think that we are expecting a broad agreement, per se,” Mr Stern said. “It’s not an issue of trying to cut some separate deal, but there absolutely is an issue of trying to get us and China as aligned as possible so that we have a chance to get an agreement in Copenhagen.”
16. Sino-Indian Relations
Calcutta News (“INDIA-CHINA STANDOFF DISRUPTS SUPPLY OF CHINESE GOODS IN KASHMIR”, 2009/10/29) reported that Moti market, a famous market for pearl and PRC goods in Leh, is now witnessing a downfall in PRC goods due to the palpable tension between India and the PRC. The few PRC goods, which are available in the shops, are sold at higher rates. Traders have not been allowed to go beyond a certain point at the border since tension erupted between India and the PRC.
17. Cross Strait Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINA FIRMLY OPPOSES ARMS SALES TO TAIWAN BY ANY COUNTRY: CHINESE FM SPOKESMAN”, 2009/10/29) reported that the PRC is firmly opposed to arms sales to Taiwan by the United States and any other country, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said. According to media reports, the Taiwan authorities said that the US government suspended its sales of F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan because of pressure from the PRC side. In reply to a question on those reports, Ma said the stance of the PRC government on arms sales to Taiwan is clear and consistent, and remains unchanged. The PRC is firmly opposed to arms sales to Taiwan by the United States and any other country.
18. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
Xinhua News (“MA JUN: THE CALL OF RIVERS”, 2009/10/29) reported that named as one of 100 Most Influential Persons of 2006 by Time magazine, Ma Jun has spared no efforts to raise public participation in environmental protection. Backing him up is a brand-new information platform linking government, businesses and ordinary people. He set up an NGO, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) and launched the China Water Pollution Map followed by the China Air Pollution Map. Ma believes the PRC’s NGOs should build credibility on reason and hard evidence. “When they (NGOs) were born in the early 1990s, they made great contributions by letting their environmental voice heard, regardless of being emotional or not. But when we are entitled to the right to speak with the advancement of China’s civil society, we must get down to solid science.”
19. PRC Internet Use
The New York Times (“SALUTE ALL CARS, KIDS. IT’S A RULE IN CHINA”, Huangping, 2009/10/29) reported that all the students at Luolang Elementary School, a yellow-and-orange concrete structure off a winding mountain road in southern PRC, know the key rules: Do not run in the halls. Take your seat before the bell rings. Raise your hand to ask a question. And oh, yes: Salute every passing car on your way to and from school. But in China, where many local officials are less than well trained and only the party can eject them from office, local governments’ dubious edicts are common enough that skewering them has become a favorite pastime of the PRC’s Web users. Even the state-run media join in, although they rarely report who was behind the rules or suggest that they indicate a lack of competence to govern.
20. PRC Public Health
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA WARNS OF ‘GRIM’ SWINE FLU BATTLE, 4TH DEATH REPORTED”, 2009/10/29) reported that the PRC has warned the country’s battle against swine flu is “extremely grim” after infection levels spiked in some areas and a Beijing university student became the fourth person here to die of the virus. “In the coming period, the epidemic will continue to develop, and the prevention and control situation is extremely grim,” the State Council, headed by Premier Wen Jiabao , said in the statement posted on a government website. The warning came after a student at Beijing’s Beihang University, the nation’s top aeronautics and astronautics institution, died on Tuesday of the A(H1N1) virus, state media said.
II. PRC Report
21. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
First Finance Daily (“ZHUJIANG RIVER HEAVILY POLLUTED”, 2009/10/29) reported that according to an report by one environmental protection organization, Zhujiang River, the PRC’s third largest river, was heavily polluted by five enterprises. They discharged harmful substances including manganese, copper and other toxic organic chemicals into the river, which impacts the drinking water of 47 million people.
22. PRC Environment
People’s Daily online (“2ND CHINA GREEN DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL FORUM TO BE HELD”, 2009/10/29) reported that the 2 nd China Green Development High-end International Forum is to be held in Beijing from 12-13 November. The Forum is mainly supported by United Nations Environment Program. It will issue a report and award excellent people and enterprises for their great contributions to the PRC’s green development.
23. PRC Labor Regulations
People’s Daily online (“QINGDAO ISSUED NEW REGULATIONS FOR PUBLIC JOBS”, 2009/10/29) reported that Qingdao Labor and Social Securities Bureau has issued a new regulation, to further enhance the management of development, cognizance, and administration of public jobs. The public job has already become an important channel to stabilize employment of those people who have difficulties finding jobs.