NAPSNet Daily Report 4 November, 2009

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 4 November, 2009", NAPSNet Daily Report, November 04, 2009,

NAPSNet Daily Report 4 November, 2009

Contents in this Issue:

Preceding NAPSNet Report



1. DPRK Nuclear Program

Yonhap (Kim Hyun, “N. KOREA SAYS IT COMPLETED REPROCESSING SPENT FUEL RODS”, Seoul, 2009/11/03) reported that DPRK said Tuesday it has completed reprocessing spent fuel rods and made “noticeable successes” in weaponizing plutonium extracted from them in an apparent call for the United States to quickly start bilateral talks. The announcement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, came a day after DPRK warned it would “go its own way” if the U.S. remains unresponsive. DPRK “successfully completed the reprocessing of 8,000 spent fuel rods by the end of August as part of the measure taken to restore the nuclear facilities in Nyongbyon (Yongbyon) to their original state,” the report said.

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2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program

The Associate Press (“US: NKOREA PLUTONIUM MOVES VIOLATE COMMITMENTS”, Washington, 2009/11/03) reported that the United States says DPRK’s use of more nuclear fuel for weapons violates DPRK’s past commitments at international disarmament talks. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Tuesday that the Obama administration is focused on getting back to stalled six-nation nuclear talks. He says that “reprocessing plutonium is contrary to DPRK’s own commitments” at those negotiations and violates United Nations resolutions.

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3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program

Xinhua News (“S. KOREA REGRETS OVER DPRK’S REPROCESSING OF SPENT NUCLEAR RODS”, Seoul, 2009/11/03) reported that ROK on Tuesday expressed its deep regret over DPRK’s earlier announcement on its completion of spent nuclear rods. The ROK government deeply regretted the DPRK’s activities which violated the U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, and defied the international community’s concerted demand, the ROK foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-yong said in a press release. Moon said Seoul will closely cooperate with other related countries in efforts to persuade Pyongyang to return to the six-party talks at an early date and fulfill its obligations on denuclearization, and will keep a close eye to Pyongyang’s activities.

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4. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Program

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA WON’T PRESSURE NORTH KOREA: THINK-TANK”, 2009/11/03) reported that the DPRK’s military provocations this year angered its ally PRC but Beijing remains reluctant to tighten the screws on Pyongyang, an influential think-tank said. The PRC is more concerned about its neighbour’s stability than its nuclear programme and views the nuclear issue as mainly the responsibility of the United States, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report. “China prioritises stability over denuclearisation due to a vastly different perception than the US and its allies of the threat posed by a nuclear North Korea,” the report said.

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5. France on DPRK Nuclear Program

The Associate Press (Angela Charlton, “FRANCE WADES INTO BOG OF NORTH KOREAN DIPLOMACY”, Paris, 2009/11/03) reported that by sending a special mission to Pyongyang next week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, wants to bring new ideas to a stale standoff. Among them, Sarkozy’s envoy Jack Lang said in an interview, is possible European aid to DPRK in exchange for nuclear guarantees. “No questions are forbidden,” Lang told The Associated Press of his upcoming meetings with senior DPRK officials. The official goal of the visit is to sound out the possibility of establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries and Lang will hold talks with all six governments involved in DPRK disarmament talks.

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6. US on DPRK Talks

Yonhap (Tony Chang, “U.S. WILLING TO ENGAGE N. KOREA BILATERALLY IN MULTILATERAL CONTEXT: ENVOY”, Seoul, 2009/11/03) reported that the United States is open to bilateral contact with DPRK, but only within a larger multilateral context aimed at irreversible denuclearization of the communist country, Washington’s ambassador to ROK said Tuesday. “The U.S. remains willing to engage DPRK bilaterally within the framework of the six-party process,” Amb. Kathleen Stephens said at a function held at the National Assembly in Seoul. After months of provocations, the communist regime has invited Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special representative for DPRK policy, to visit Pyongyang.

Yonhap (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. STILL MULLING BOSWORTH’S PYONGYANG TRIP: STATE DEPT.”, 2009/11/02) reported that the United States is still considering sending a key diplomat to DPRK for a breakthrough in the stalled six-party talks on ending DPRK’s nuclear weapons programs, the State Department said Monday. Media reports said Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for DPRK policy, will visit Pyongyang late this month to discuss resumption of the nuclear negotiations.

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7. Sino-DPRK Trade Relations

Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA HIDES NORTH KOREA TRADE IN STATISTICS”, 2009/11/03) reported that the PRC has stopped publicly issuing trade data about the DPRK, veiling the potentially sensitive numbers about its wary neighbour under another category while the two countries seek improved ties. Destination and origin statistics on the PRC’s imports and exports for September issued on Monday gave no separate numbers for second straight month for the DPRK as they have long appeared in the tables. The trade tables for coal, crude oil, oil products and cereals issued by the PRC’s General Administration of Customs instead used another category, “other Asia not elsewhere specified”, which for those commodities at least appeared to cover exclusively trade flows between the PRC and the DPRK.

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8. Sino-DPRK Relations

Yonhap (“N. KOREAN AIR FORCE DELEGATION IN BEIJING”, Beijing, 2009/11/03) reported that DPRK’s second-highest ranking Air Force officer arrived in Beijing on Tuesday to attend an event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the PRC Air Force. Maj. Gen. Kim Kwang-su and his entourage plan to attend a forum on air force-related developments to be held on Friday and meet senior PRC military officials for talks on bilateral exchanges, diplomatic sources here said. ROK’s Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Lee Kye-hoon is also scheduled to take part in the conference, which brings together top Air Force officials from 34 countries.

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9. Inter-Korean Relations

The Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “DEFECTORS SHOULD SERVE AS ENVOYS BETWEEN KOREAS”, 2009/11/03) reported that ROK should consider DPRK defectors “ambassadors” and educate them as part of efforts to prepare for the post-unification era, Bernhard Johannes Seliger, a German scholar and representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation said Tuesday. During a seminar in Seoul, he said the ROK government has to “make defectors ambassadors of change for DPRK” and “prepare massive investment in education.”

Time Magazine (“SOAP-OPERA DIPLOMACY: NORTH KOREANS CRAVE BANNED VIDEOS”, 2009/11/03) reported that in recent years, bootlegged ROK dramas have been flooding into the northern neighbor ?€” part of a recent explosion across Asia in the popularity of South Korean TV shows and music known as the Korean Wave. The nation’s films and dramas have become so widespread across the DPRK that the regime launched a crackdown this fall on DPRK university students, the movies’ biggest audience, and smugglers at the PRC border, charging some with promoting the ideology of the enemy state. “The government is terrified of the ideas North Koreans are getting about the outside world,” Myung says. “The people are starting to ask, ‘Why are we poor?’ And they point to South Korea.”

The Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “SEOUL WARY OF H1N1 TRANSMISSION TO N. KOREA”, 2009/11/04) reported that with the H1N1 flu fast spreading across the nation, the ROK government is on close watch for possible transmission of the virus across the border to DPRK. Fears are rising over further contraction of inter-Korean exchange should people from ROK traveling to the joint industrial park in Gaeseong carry the flu virus with them to DPRK. “We have not heard of H1N1 infection in Gaeseong so far,” a Seoul official said. “We will cooperate with the ROK authorities if necessary to prevent its spread.”

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10. ROK Aid to the DPRK

Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA STILL SILENT ON SKOREA’S FOOD AID OFFER”, 2009/11/03) reported that the DPRK has still not responded to the South’s offer of 10,000 tonnes of corn, Seoul said. “As of Tuesday morning , there has been no official response from Pyongyang,” unification ministry spokesman Chun Hae-Sung told journalists, eight days after the aid was announced. Hong Sang-Young, director of civilian aid group the Korean Sharing Movement, said Pyongyang would find the South’s latest offer too small compared with past shipments. “It must be in agony over whether to accept it or not. It may find the 10,000 tonnes of corn too tiny to start with under the current government,” Hong told AFP. “At the same time, it may see it awkward to turn it down outright as it is on the receiving end of humanitarian aid .”

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11. DPRK Military

The Washington Post (Blaine Harden, “IN NORTH KOREA, THE MILITARY NOW ISSUES ECONOMIC ORDERS”, 2009/11/03) reported that the DPRK military, whose nuclear program vexes the Obama administration, has grabbed nearly complete command of the nation’s state-run economy and staked out a lucrative new trade in mineral sales to the PRC to make money for its supreme commander, Kim Jong Il. As it deepens its dominance over nearly every aspect of daily life, the Korean People’s Army is also deploying soldiers to take first dibs on all food harvested in the isolated, chronically hungry country, according to the latest assessments of analysts. Kim is increasingly creaming off a significant slice of PRC mineral revenue to fund his nuclear program and to buy the loyalty of elites.

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12. US-ROK Security Alliance

Yonhap (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA TO UPGRADE ARMS DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION WITH U.S.: OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2009/11/03) reported to ROK and the United States will sign a preliminary agreement this week authorizing the allies to step up their cooperation in arms development, Seoul’s defense acquisition agency said Tuesday. The two sides have been limited to theoretical studies in their efforts to jointly create weapons systems, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

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13. ROK Cyber Attacks

United Press International (“S. KOREA SEEKS HELP ON CYBERATTACKS”, 2009/11/03) reported that ROK is set to seek help from PRC to trace the origins of high-profile cyberattacks that crippled Web sites in the country and the United States last July. “We are seeking help from PRC authorities to launch a joint investigation,” Defense Talk cited an anonymous police official as saying. Seoul’s decision comes nearly a week after Woo Sei-Hoon, chief of ROK’s main spy agency, blamed DPRK’s Telecommunications Ministry for the attacks.

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14. ROK POW Issue

Yonhap (“BEIJING URGED TO COOPERATE TO REPATRIATE POW TO S. KOREA”, Beijing, 2009/11/03) reported that the secretary general of ROK’s ruling Grand National Party (GNP) on Monday asked PRC to cooperate to repatriate a ROK prisoner of war who has been detained in PRC since he escaped DPRK in August. Rep. Chang Kwang-keun (GNP) made the call during his hour-long meeting with Wang Jiarui, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s international liaison department, ROK officials who attended the meeting in Beijing said.

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15. Japan Afghanistan Aid

Kyodo News (“JAPAN EYES $4 BIL. IN CIVILIAN AID TO AFGHANISTAN OVER 5 YRS”, Tokyo, 2009/11/03) reported that Japan would give Afghanistan roughly $4 billion in civilian aid over five years from 2010 in a program expected to replace the Self-Defense Force’s antiterrorism refueling mission, an outline of the aid package showed Tuesday. The package would include assistance for paid vocational training for former Taliban fighters, development of farmland in the war-ravaged country, and a project to construct a new city north of Kabul.

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16. US on PRC Space Advancements

Associated Press (LOLITA C. BALDOR, “US EYES CHINA’S RAPID ADVANCEMENTS IN SPACE”, Washington, 2009/11/03) reported that wary of PRC ‘s rapid advancements in space programs over the last decade, military commanders said Tuesday that the U.S. needs to improve its satellite presence in the Southern Hemisphere to better track launches from Asia, even as officials work to improve relations with Beijing . Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, head of U.S. Strategic Command , said the U.S. wants to better understand where PRC is heading as it improves its space and satellite capabilities.

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17. Sino-Burmese Energy Cooperation

Voice of America (“CHINA STARTS WORK ON BURMA’S PIPELINE “, 2009/11/03) reported that the PRC ‘s state-owned National Petroleum Corporation said it has begun construction of a pipeline in Burma for transfer of Middle East oil. Officials say construction work started Monday on Burma’s Maday Island in the Indian Ocean. The oil and gas pipeline will run through central Burma to the PRC’s southwestern Yunnan province. It will transfer oil from the Middle East and Africa as well as natural gas from Burma’s Shwe fields. PRC officials did not say when the oil pipeline would be ready for use. But they said it will be capable of carrying 84 million barrels of oil per year.

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18. PRC-Indian Relations

Reuters (Chris Buckley, “CHINA ATTACKS DALAI LAMA FOR HURTING SINO-INDIA TIES”, Beijing, 2009/11/03) reported that the PRC on Tuesday accused the Dalai Lama of seeking to undermine Beijing’s relationship with Delhi through a visit scheduled for next week to Arunachal Pradesh, a disputed border region which parts of which PRC claims as its own. The PRC government has condemned the trip several times and asked Delhi to stop it going ahead. “The Dalai Lama often lies and often engages in acts to sabotage PRC’s relations with other countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said told a regular news briefing, when asked about the trip.

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19. PRC-ROK Relations

Xinhua News (“CHINA TO ADVANCE RELATIONS WITH ROK, OFFICIAL”, Beijing, 2009/11/03) reported that Senior CPC official Li Changchun on Tuesday pledged to work with ROK to further advance the existing high-level cooperation between the two nations. “We attach great importance to the relationship with the ROK”, Li told Chang Kwang-keun, secretary-general of the Grand National Party (GNP), the ruling party of the ROK. “We will work with the ROK to enhance strategic communication, strengthen win-win cooperation, expand common interests, and safeguard regional peace and stability,” he noted. Chang is here on a visit from Nov. 2 to 6 at the invitation of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee. During the visit, the CPC and the GNP signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation.

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20. ROK-PRC Environmental Cooperation

Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL TO PLANT FORESTS IN INNER MONGOLIAN DESERT “, 2009/11/03) reported that the Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to plant 72,000 trees in the Kubuqi Desert of Inner Mongolia, which is the source of severe sandstorms that sweep across Asia. The aim is to prevent the so-called “yellow dust” by creating wooded areas in the desert. The city will hold a signing ceremony on Tuesday with a group called Future Forest to pursue the tree-planting project. Seoul will invest W50 million (US$1=W1,183) in the project in conjunction with Future Forest and the All China Youth Federation to plant 72,000 poplar and desert willow trees and create a green ecosystem in the desert by the end of this year.

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21. Cross Strait Relations

Xinhua News (“MAINLAND, TAIWAN TO CO-OPERATE IN PROTECTING FISHING PERSONNEL”, 2009/11/03) reported that the PRC’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) agreed Tuesday to cooperate on protecting the interests of both employers and employees engaged in offshore and ocean fishing. During a meeting in Taipei, Zheng Lizhong, standing vice president of the ARATS, also agreed with Kao Kung-lian, vice chairman and secretary general of the SEF, to work together on solving inspection and quarantine problems in farm produce trade. They also decided to step up cooperation on standardizing measurements and authentications and consumer goods safety, as well as on building a mechanism to resolve issues concerning double taxation.

Xinhua News (“CHINESE MAINLAND VOWS CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR TAIWAN IN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN “, 2009/11/03) reported that the mainland would spare no effort in its continued support for Taiwan to ward off the impact of the global economic downturn, a senior leader of the CPC said Tuesday. Jia Qinglin, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks in a meeting with trade union representatives from Taiwan. Challenged by the global financial crisis, the mainland and Taiwan had strengthened economic cooperation and provided mutual support, which had yielded positive results..

Central News Agency (“FORMER VP FORCED TO CANCEL EGYPT TRIP ON CHINESE PRESSURE: DPP”, Taipei, 2009/11/03) reported that the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Tuesday that former Vice President Annette Lu was forced to cancel her trip to Egypt last week due to intervention from the PRC. Lu was scheduled to attend the 56th congress of Liberal International in Cairo, Egypt on Oct. 30 and 31. The DPP said this move proved that Beijing would never stop squeezing Taiwan’s international space.

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22. PRC Internet Control

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA POLICE CHIEF URGES HARSHER INTERNET CONTROLS”, 2009/11/03) reported that the PRC’s police chief has called for a reinforced nationwide Internet security system , in the nation’s latest effort to oversee the activities of the world’s largest online population. “The Internet is developing quickly, there are many loopholes in social management, and maintaining social stability faces unprecedented new challenges,” public security minister Meng Jianzhu said. “One must… actively establish… a comprehensive prevention and control social security system that covers the Internet and the real world,” he said in a speech published on the ministry website.

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II. PRC Report

23. PRC Environment

Xinhua News (“CHINA HAS STOPPED ESCALATION OF WATER POLLUTION”, 2009/11/03) reported that the PRC has stopped the trend of worsening water pollution, and water quality of all kinds have improved a bit, said Zhou Xiansheng, Minister of Environmental Protection at the 13 th World Lake Conference in Wuhan yesterday.

China News Agency (“CHINA SUFFERS SERIOUS INVASION OF EXOTIC SPECIES”, 2009/11/03) reported that there are already over 400 kinds of exotic species invading in the PRC, among which about 100 kinds have come up at a large area and brought about serious harm. The invasion will pose a huge threat to the development of agriculture and forestry of the PRC.

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24. PRC Energy

Xinhua news (“HU RUN ISSUES LOW-CARBON RICH LIST”, 2009/11/03) reported that Rupert Hoogewerf (Hu Run as Chinese), founder of Hurun China Rich List, has issued a Low-Carbon Rich List for the first time yesterday. Most of these magnates are engaging in solar energy, rechargeable battery and waste treatment. They are leading the development of China low-carbon industry.