NAPSNet Daily Report 4 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK on Nuclear Programs
- 2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. US, PRC on DPRK Nuclear Issue
- 4. Inter-Korean Relations
- 5. ROK Policy Toward the DPRK
- 6. PRC on Detained Journalists
- 7. DPRK Leadership
- 8. DPRK Economy
- 9. DPRK Environment
- 10. US Missile Defense and the DPRK
- 11. US Military
- 12. ROK Politics
- 13. ROK-PRC-Japan Relations
- 14. Japan Politics
- 15. US-Japan Relations
- 16. Japan Climate Change
- 17. Japan Economy
- 18. Sino-Australian Military Exercises
- 19. Sino-US Relations
- 20. Cross Strait Relations
- 21. PRC Civil Unrest
- 22. PRC Exports
- 23. PRC Anti-Corruption Drive
- 24. PRC Environment
- 25. PRC Energy Supply
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK on Nuclear Programs
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA SAYS IT HAS REACHED THE FINAL PHASE OF URANIUM ENRICHMENT “, Seoul, 2009/09/03) reported that the DPRK said Friday that it has entered a final phase of uranium enrichment, and is also building more nuclear weapons with spent fuel rods extracted from its only operating plutonium-producing reactor.
Kyodo (Ko Hirano, “U.S. CONCERNED BY N. KOREAN URANIUM ENRICHMENT CLAIM, ENVOY SAYS”, Beijing, 2009/09/04) reported that Stephen Bosworth, U.S. special representative for DPRK policy, expressed concern Friday about Pyongyang’s claim that its uranium enrichment program has moved to a final phase. ”Obviously, anything that the North is doing in the area of nuclear development is of concern to us,” Bosworth said. ”I have been reiterating our commitment to dialogue, our willingness to engage in dialogue with DPRK. And that remains very central to our policy.”
2. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. CALLS ON N. KOREA TO TAKE IRREVERSIBLE STEPS FOR DENUCLEARIZATION”, 2009/09/03) reported that the United States reiterated its call on the DPRK to return to the six-party talks and take irreversible steps toward its denuclearization, warning that the impoverished state will otherwise continue to suffer sanctions. “We are committed to the six-party framework … we must see a commitment, and a clear and firm commitment, from North Korea, backed up by irreversible steps, that commitment to a nuclear-free North Korea,” Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “And we have other issues that we’re going to want to discuss associated with proliferation and the like.”
3. US, PRC on DPRK Nuclear Issue
Agence France-Presse (“US ENVOY IN CHINA FOR NKOREA NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2009/09/03) reported that the US point man on the DPRK arrived in the PRC at the start of an Asian tour aimed at bringing Pyongyang back to multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, officials said. Stephen Bosworth arrived in Beijing where he was due to meet with his PRC counterpart Wu Dawei and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi , ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters. “The two sides will exchange views on the DPRK (North Korea) nuclear issue, the six-party talks and other issues of common interest,” Jiang said.
4. Inter-Korean Relations
Xinhua News (“S. KOREA WANTS TO DEVELOP SOUND INTER-KOREAN TIES: UNIFICATION MINISTER”, 2009/09/03) reported that ROK Unification Minister Hyun In-taek on said his country wants to develop a new relationship of co-prosperity with the DPRK. While addressing a ceremony marking the 11th anniversary of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, the minister said the government is willing to talk with the DPRK on a variety of issues based on its firm principles. “We will meet with the North (DPRK) at any time, any place and over any subject to exchange views and narrow differences between the two sides, so as to achieve further improvements on inter-Korean ties and bring peace to the Korean Peninsula,” Hyun said.
5. ROK Policy Toward the DPRK
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA’S DEFENSE CHIEF NOMINEE REPUTED AS HARD-LINER ON N. KOREA”, 2009/09/03) reported that Gen. Kim Tae-young, nominated as the ROK’s new defense minister, is a hard-liner who came under the spotlight last year when he said he would order an attack on the DPRK should it deploy tactical nuclear weapons. Included in a sweeping government reshuffle, Kim, 60, is slated to replace Lee Sang-hee, one of the longest-serving Cabinet members under the president, after undergoing parliamentary confirmation hearing. Kim and the outgoing defense minister have long worked together to refine an operational plan in the event that the DPRK regime collapses.
6. PRC on Detained Journalists
The Associated Press (“BEIJING DENIES N. KOREA SEIZED U.S. REPORTERS IN CHINA”, 2009/09/03) reported that the PRC rejected claims by two US journalists that the DPRK guards had crossed into PRC territory to grab and drag them back into the DPRK. PRC Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the two were not grabbed in the PRC. “As we understand from competent authorities, we did not find the situation as you described it,” Jiang told a regular news conference.
7. DPRK Leadership
Xinhua News (“N. KOREAN LEADER VISITS REMOTE NORTHERN PROVINCE”, 2009/09/03) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has traveled to the country’s northernmost province to give “field guidance” to workers in a sanatorium and other industrial facilities there, state media said. Kim’s visit to North Hamgyong Province was his 100th public tour this year. “The world-startling miracles and signal achievements are now being reported from every place of the country,” Kim was quoted as saying by the report. Those signs are “the precious fruition of the inexhaustible mental power and noble patriotism which inspired the Korean people to display the ‘do-or-die’ spirit to build a great prosperous and powerful nation,” he said.
8. DPRK Economy
Yonhap News (“N. KOREAN LEADER PRODS OFFICIALS IN ECONOMIC REVIVAL EFFORT”, Seoul, 2009/09/03) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il called on high-ranking officials to put forth their best efforts in turning the country into a thriving nation by 2012, saying they are running out of time, the DPRK’s state-run broadcaster said on Aug. 28. In the statement, Kim Jong-il urged the officials to do whatever is necessary to complete the task at hand, emphasizing that less than three years remain until the target date for becoming a Kangsong Taeguk, or a great, prosperous and powerful nation, KCBS said.
9. DPRK Environment
Yonhap News (“NORTH KOREA SAYS NO FLOOD DAMAGE YET THIS SUMMER”, 2009/09/03) reported that the DPRK did not suffer any major flood damage from summer’s torrential downpours, a Pyongyang official said, suggesting the fall harvest could be good this year. DPRK media have since July sporadically reported heavy rains that also hit lower parts of the ROK, but there has been no mention of damage or flood-related deaths. “We asked the North if there was any flood damage (in the monsoon season), and they said there wasn’t,” Kim Young-chel, secretary general of ROK Red Cross Society.
10. US Missile Defense and the DPRK
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE 86% SUCCESSFUL”, 2009/09/03) reported that the success rate of a test of the missile defense system which the U.S. is building against so-called rogue states including the DPRK stands at 86 percent. U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, in an interview said 39 of the last 45 tries at stopping a test missile were successful. “In the past few years, all hit their mark, except one that had a manufacturing problem. It was fixed, and three weeks ago successfully hit its target in a test,” he claimed.
11. US Military
Reuters (“U.S. EYES 12 GIANT “BUNKER BUSTER” BOMBS”, Washington, 2009/09/03) reported that the US military wants to speed production of 10 to 12 huge “bunker buster” bombs, the Air Force said, amid concerns over suspected underground nuclear sites in Iran and the DPRK. “These are purchases beyond just those needed to test the capability,” said Lieutenant General Mark Shackelford. “In other words, (the military is seeking to) build a small inventory … of, I believe, 10 to 12.”
12. ROK Politics
International Heard Tribune (“S. KOREAN PRESIDENT SHAKES UP CABINET”, 2009/09/03) reported that President Lee Myung-bak of the ROK replaced his prime minister in a cabinet reshuffle that also removed the country’s defense minister, who had clashed with Mr. Lee over military spending. Mr. Lee appointed Chung Un-chan, 61, a American-educated economist and a former president of Seoul National University, to replace Prime Minister Han Seung-soo. Choi Kyoung-hwan and Yim Tae-hee, both legislators affiliated with the ruling party, were named as knowledge and economy minister and labor minister, respectively. Joo Ho-young, another ruling party legislator and close political ally of the president, was picked as minister without portfolio. He will carry out assignments from the president and the cabinet. Lee Kwi-nam, former vice justice minister, was promoted to justice minister. Paik Hee-young, a professor at Seoul National University, will become minister of gender equality.
13. ROK-PRC-Japan Relations
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “CHINA PUSHES FOR EARLY FM TALKS WITH S. KOREA, JAPAN”, Seoul, 2009/09/04) reported that the PRC proposed holding its annual foreign ministerial meeting with the ROK and Japan next weekend, but Japan is unlikely to accept the offer since it has yet to form a new government, a diplomatic source here said Friday. “China is in active consultations with South Korea and the transition team (of Japan) to set a date,” the source added.
14. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“OZAWA TO BECOME DPJ SECRETARY GENERAL WITH EYE ON NEXT ELECTION “, 2009/09/03) reported that Ichiro Ozawa, the main architect of the Democratic Party of Japan’s recent landslide election victory, agreed Thursday to take up the party’s No. 2 post of secretary general in response to a request from the DPJ’s president and prime minister in waiting, Yukio Hatoyama, who said the nomination is aimed at ensuring another election victory next year. Current Secretary General Katsuya Okada will likely serve in ”a key post in the Cabinet” to be formed shortly after Hatoyama is voted in as next prime minister on Sept. 16, the party leader indicated Thursday midnight.
15. US-Japan Relations
Reuters (“JAPAN’S HATOYAMA TELLS OBAMA U.S.-JAPAN TIES KEY”, 2009/09/03) reported that Japan’s next leader, Yukio Hatoyama, told US President Barack Obama in a telephone call that close relations with the United States would remain a fundamental part of Japanese policy. “I told him that we think the US-Japan alliance is the foundation (of Japanese diplomacy) and that I would like to build US-Japan relations with eyes on the future,” Hatoyama told reporters. “I said that President Obama has been exercising leadership in issues such as climate change, the abolition of nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation, and disarmament. I told him that our Democratic Party shares the same thinking and it is a party that wants to take a stronger leadership in climate change, disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons.”
16. Japan Climate Change
Bloomberg News (“DPJ’S EMISSION GOALS SEEN LEADING TO CARBON TAX”, 2009/09/03) reported that the new government’s pledge to accelerate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions may lead to higher subsidies for makers of solar cells, including Sharp Corp. and Kyocera Corp., while forcing utilities to pay premiums for solar power generated by consumers. The Democratic Party of Japan’s proposal to double the emissions cuts outlined by the ousted Liberal Democratic Party could lead to a carbon tax that has a severe impact on automakers, oil refiners and power producers, analysts and industry groups say.
17. Japan Economy
Agence France-Presse (“TENSIONS BREWING BETWEEN JAPAN INC. AND NEW GOVT”, 2009/09/03) reported that fresh from a landslide election win, Japan ‘s next government faces signs of an emerging rift with big business, which fears some of its policies could hinder a recovery in the recession-hit economy. Premier-in-waiting Yukio Hatoyama has vowed to put the interests of people before those of corporate Japan. In a recent essay he criticised “unrestrained market fundamentalism and financial capitalism that are void of morals.” Another bone of contention is the DPJ’s proposal to curb the use of temporary workers, who have borne the brunt of jobs cuts by companies struggling to cope with the worst recession in decades.
18. Sino-Australian Military Exercises
Agence-France-Presse (“AUSTRALIA OPEN TO MILITARY EXERCISES WITH CHINA: PM”, 2009/09/03) reported that Australia said it was open to holding joint military exercises with the PRC and the United States , amid growing concern about Beijing ‘s military build-up. “I am long on the record that our respective militaries across the region should be acting much more closely together when it comes in particular to search and rescue operations (and) counter natural disaster operations,” said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd . His foreign minister , Stephen Smith agreed there was no reason Australia’s defence cooperation and contact with a range of other countries “can’t be contemplated with China “.
19. Sino-US Relations
Xinhua News (“TOP POLITICAL ADVISOR CALLS FOR HIGHER LEVEL OF SINO-U.S. TIES”, 2009/09/03) reported that the PRC is ready to work with the United States to lift bilateral cooperation to a higher level, the PRC’s top political advisor Jia Qinglin said. Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the PRC’s political advisory body, met with a delegation from the US think-tank Center for American Progress headed by President and CEO John Podesta. Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff. Jia said during the meeting that the PRC and the United States shoulder important and common responsibilities on major and pressing issues concerning peace and development.
20. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (Amber Wang, “DALAI LAMA LEAVES TAIWAN AFTER FIVE DAY TRIP”, Taipei, 2009/09/04) reported that the Dalai Lama left Taiwan Friday, seen off by more than 100 supporters and monks shouting “Long Live Dalai Lama”. “China overreacted to his visit, which made the Taiwanese people very uncomfortable,” the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, which invited the Dalai Lama, said Friday in a statement.
21. PRC Civil Unrest
Xinhua News (“15 SEIZED OVER SYRINGE ATTACKS IN XINJIANG”, Urumqi, 2009/09/03) reported that police have seized 15 people for stabbing members of the public with hypodermic syringe needles in northwest PRC’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a senior local official said. Of the 15, four were officially arrested and prosecuted, said Zhu Hailun, head of the political and legal affairs commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) committee in Xinjiang. Members of nine ethnic groups including Han Chinese, Uygur, Hui, Kazak and Mongolian had reported stabbing incidents to the police, said Zhu.
The Financial Times (Kathrin Hille, “PROTESTERS DEMAND THAT XINJIANG CHIEF RESIGNS”, 2009/09/03) reported that more than 1,000 residents of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, took to the streets demanding the resignation of the PRC region’s Communist party chief. The demonstrations were a rare open challenge of one of PRC’s most senior strongmen and a stark reminder that the tensions which led to the country’s worst ethnic unrest in decades in July continue to simmer barely beneath the surface. “Today there were many more protesters than yesterday, at least 10,000 to 20,000 people,” said a witness. The protesters shouted “Down with Wang Lequan! Wang Lequan, get lost!” he added. Mr Wang, a member of the Han majority, as are most party chiefs controlling the autonomous regions where PTV’s larger ethnic minorities live, is deeply unpopular in Xinjiang even among many Han residents.
Reuters (“HAN CHINESE PROTESTS FLARE IN FAR-WEST CITY”, Urumqui, 2009/09/04) reported that security forces in Urumqi used tear gas to break up fresh protests on Friday, as thousands of Han Chinese demanded better security after a scare over claimed attacks with syringes. Earlier, police vans patrolled the streets with loudspeakers, telling people to go home and maintain order. Schools were shut on Friday after students helped spearhead Thursday’s protest.
22. PRC Exports
The Associated Press (“CHINA TRIES TO CALM UNEASE OVER RARE EARTHS CURBS”, 2009/09/03) reported that a PRC official tried to calm unease about curbs on exports of rare earths used in clean energy products and superconductors, saying Thursday that sales will continue but must be limited to reduce damage to the PRC’s environment. Beijing will encourage sales of finished rare earths products but will limit exports of semi-finished goods, said Wang Caifeng, deputy director-general of the materials department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Exports of raw ores already is banned, and said that will continue, Wang said at an industry conference.
23. PRC Anti-Corruption Drive
The New York Times (David Barboza, “POLITICS PERMEATES ANTI-CORRUPTION DRIVE IN CHINA”, 2009/09/03) reported that the PRC authorities say that arrests are part of the Communist Party’s latest anti-corruption campaign — and they include the arrest last month of four employees of the British-Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto, on bribery charges. But analysts say that prominent corruption cases in the PRC are often the outgrowth of power struggles within the Communist Party, with competing factions using the “war on corruption” as a tool to eliminate or weaken rivals and their corporate supporters.
24. PRC Environment
Reuters (“CHINA CALLS FOR ACTION TO STOP LEAD POISONING”, Dazhai, 2009/09/03) reported that the PRC’s environmental protection minister has demanded urgent measures to tackle heavy metal poisoning, state media said, as anger grows amongst parents with children poisoned by lead. “The prevention of heavy metal pollution should be put in a more urgent and more important position,” Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian told a national pollution prevention meeting, said the People’s Daily.
25. PRC Energy Supply
Xinhua News (“CHINA, KAZAKHSTAN VOW TO DEEPEN ENERGY, RESOURCES CO-OP”, 2009/09/03) reported that the PRC Vice Premier Wang Qishan met Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy and Mines Resources Sauat Mynbayev, and they see eye to eye on advancing bilateral cooperation. Wang said the two governments should deepen bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, energy, resources and finance, and work together to cope with the global financial crisis. Mynbayev said Kazakhstan was ready to strengthen the partnership, and promote trade, energy, and resources cooperation with the PRC to realize mutual benefit.
II. PRC Report
26. PRC Environment
Beijing Times (“GARBAGE CLASSIFICATION BINS ENTER INTO BEIJING RESIDENTS’ HOUSES”, 2009/09/03) reported that garbage classification bins will be set in houses of residents in 600 Beijing communities as pilot sites, and will be then promoted to the whole city, sources with Beijing Municipal Administration Committee on September 1 st .
27. PRC Industrial Associations
Shanxi Daily (“SHANXI AVIATION INDUSTRY ESTABLISHED”, 2009/09/03) reported that Shanxi Aviation Industry Association was established yesterday in Xi’an city of Shanxi province. The Association will positively assist government sector in managing aviation industry, putting forward related policy suggestions, reflecting the member’s aspirations and safeguarding member’s rights.
28. PRC Civil Society and the Disabled
China Youth News (“DISABLED PERSONS’ FOUNDATION LAUNCHES “AID STUDENTS IN WEST””, 2009/09/03) reported that China Foundation for Disabled Persons launched “Aid Students in West” activity in Beijing recently. The Foundation will donate modern teaching equipment worth of 10.8 million RMB to 67 special education schools in west provinces, to help them build multimedia classrooms.