NAPSNet Daily Report 5 August, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Terror List Status
- 2. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. DPRK Mass Games
- 4. DPRK Food Supply
- 5. Inter-Korean Relations
- 6. ROK-Australia Trade Relations
- 7. ROK-Mongolia Security Relations
- 8. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
- 9. Japan Politics
- 10. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Refueling Mission
- 11. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 12. PRC Environment
- 13. PRC Internet Censorship
- 14. PRC Earthquake
- 15. Sino-US Relations
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Terror List Status
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. LIKELY TO KEEP N.KOREA ON TERROR LIST”, 2008/08/04) reported that experts anticipate that the US will put off striking the DPRK from the list of state sponsors of terrorism which was expected to take place around Aug. 11 since the six-nations in talks on the DPRK’s nuclear program have failed to agree on a way of verifying the stockpiles and programs the DPRK has declared. The general feeling is that unless the US and DPRK reach consensus in another round of bilateral talks slated for this week, it seems likely the US will keep the DPRK on the terror list indefinitely.
2. DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence-France-Presse (P. Parameswaran , “‘INTEL SPIN’ BY US HARDLINERS SPARKED NKOREAN CRISIS: BOOK “, Washington, 2008/08/04) reported that hardliners in US President George W. Bush’s administration spun intelligence and triggered a nuclear crisis with the DPRK, says a new book to be released this week. Intelligence on a DPRK effort to acquire components for uranium enrichment was politicized to depict the DPRK running a full-fledged production facility capable of developing a nuclear bomb, said the book by former senior CNN journalist Mike Chinoy. The book showed that US intelligence did discover in 2002-2003 a DPRK effort to acquire components that could be used for uranium enrichment but that it was only a procurement effort.
3. DPRK Mass Games
Agence-France-Presse (“NKOREA TO LAUNCH MASS FESTIVAL DESPITE FOOD CRISIS “, Seoul, 2008/08/04) reported that the DPRK was scheduled to launch a mass propaganda gymnastics show, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper reported, despite battling a food shortage which has hit millions of its people. This year’s Arirang Festival will include a new show entitled “May the Country Prosper” to mark the 60th anniversary on September 9 of the founding of the DPRK. Arirang is due to be staged from Monday evening until September 30, according to the Choson Sinbo.
4. DPRK Food Supply
The Associated Press (“HEAVY RAINS HIT NORTH KOREA”, Seoul, 2008/08/05) reported that heavy rains that battered the DPRK in recent weeks have heavily damaged crops, state media said, dealing a further blow to the impoverished country as it struggles to avert a food crisis. Strong downpours pounded many parts of the DPRK between Friday and Sunday, including Kangwon province, which received 12.7 inches of rain. The weather “inflicted heavy losses to various sectors of the national economy including agriculture and to the people’s living,” KCNA reported, without elaborating.
5. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Herald (Lee Joo-hee, “TWO KOREAS SHOULD NOT BUTT HEADS OVERSEAS: YU”, 2008/08/04) reported that the two Koreas must not give the impression of locking horns with each other while participating in international conferences, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said. “It is the (Seoul) government’s fundamental position that, instead of heading towards confrontation with the North, we will review (the previous accords) and cultivate win-win, mutually prosperous relations,” Yu said. His comments came as there is growing international pressure on Seoul to implement the accords.
6. ROK-Australia Trade Relations
Korea Herald (Hwang Jang-jin , “KOREAN, AUSTRALIAN LEADERS TO DISCUSS FTA”, 2008/08/04) reported that President Lee Myung-bak and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will hold a summit Monday to discuss a proposed bilateral free trade agreement as well as security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, Cheong Wa Dae said. Rudd will visit Seoul Sunday for a two-day visit. “The summit will deal with wide-ranging issues in economy, trade, diplomacy and security,” the Blue House said.
7. ROK-Mongolia Security Relations
Xinhua (“S KOREA, MONGOLIA TO HOLD FIRST-EVER DEFENSE POLICY TALKS”, Seoul, 2008/08/04) reported that the ROK and Mongolia will hold their first-ever defense policy talks on Tuesday, the ROK Defense Ministry said. The talks, which will be held in the Mongolian capital city of Ulan Bator, will last for one day, the ministry said. The two sides will discuss ways to regularize working-level defense talks and increasing military cooperation between the two countries, according to the ministry.
8. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
Joongang Ilbo (Kim Dong-ho, “REPORT: JAPAN WILL PRESS DOKDO ISSUE AFTER VISIT”, Tokyo, 2008/08/04) reported that the Japanese government will ask the US to undo its decision to call Dokdo ROK territory, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, quoting a senior Japanese government official. “The Japanese government is now acting calmly because the Korea-U.S. summit will be held, but after President George W. Bush visits Korea, it plans to demand that the U.S. change it back to undesignated sovereignty,” the official was quoted as saying.
9. Japan Politics
Kyodo News (“FUKUDA CABINET’S SUPPORT RATE UP TO 38%: NIKKEI “, Tokyo, 2008/08/04) reported that the rate of support for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s Cabinet rose to 38 percent apparently in response to a Cabinet shuffle, up 12 percentage points from late June, the Nikkei business daily reported. The disapproval rate was 49 percent, down 14 points, according to the telephone survey conducted jointly by the Nikkei and TV Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday, the newspaper said.
10. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Refueling Mission
Kyodo News (“NEW DEFENSE CHIEF POSITIVE ON SUBMITTING BILL TO EXTEND REFUELING”, Tokyo, 2008/08/04) reported that new Japanese Defense Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi struck a positive note on submitting a bill to extend the country’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean beyond January to the extraordinary Diet session, expected to convene by next month. But in a Yomiuri Telecasting Corp. program, Hayashi showed a negative stance on sending the Self-Defense Forces to Afghanistan to help in the reconstruction of the war-torn country.
11. Sino-Japanese Relations
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“ONLY 36% SAY CHINA RELATIONS GOOD / BUT 67% OF CHINESE JUDGE LINKS AS POSITIVE”, 2008/08/04) reported that only about one-third of Japanese think the relationship between Japan and the PRC is good in contrast to nearly 70 percent of PRC who view the relationship positively, according to a survey. The Japanese are increasingly wary of the PRC due to the country’s growing military power and the poisoning incidents involving PRC-made gyoza dumplings, while the PRC are apparently influenced by their government’s change of policy to a “future-oriented” relationship with Japan in the buildup to the Beijing Olympic Games.
12. PRC Environment
The Associated Press (“CHINA WILL START TO MONITOR NEW POLLUTANTS “, Beijing, 2008/08/04) reported that the PRC will begin monitoring additional air pollutants after the Olympic Games, a state news agency reported. The two pollutants, ozone and small particulate matter known as PM2.5, are not included in current air quality reports. “We should be able to start regular monitoring of ozone and PM2.5 next year, which would lead to measures to deal with them,” Fan Yuansheng, director general of the department of pollution control at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, was quoted as saying.
13. PRC Internet Censorship
The New York Times (Andrew Jacobs, “CHINA EASES INTERNET RESTRICTIONS FOR JOURNALISTS “, Beijing, 2008/08/04) reported that the PRC authorities, bowing to criticism from Olympic officials, foreign journalists and Western political leaders, have lifted some of the restrictions that blocked Web sites at the main press center for the Games, although other politically sensitive sites remained inaccessible Friday. The government made no announcement about the partial lifting of its firewall, and it was unclear if the change would be temporary.
14. PRC Earthquake
The Financial Times (Jamil Anderlini , “NEW CITIZEN ACTIVISM UNSETTLES BEIJING”, Beijing, 2008/08/04) reported that Six weeks after the PRC’s devastating earthquake in May, a group of volunteer social workers arrived in the rubble of Fuxin Number Two Primary School and started meeting parents of children killed when the school collapsed in the tremor. But some parents quickly decided something was wrong with this latest group of “volunteers”. “They were definitely sent by the government to keep an eye on us and identify the troublemakers,” said one parent, who also asked not to be named.
15. Sino-US Relations
The Associated Press (Tini Tran, “HUGE NEW US EMBASSY REFLECTS GROWING US-CHINA TIES “, 2008/08/04) reported that a massive new US Embassy, the second-largest in the world after the heavily fortified compound in Baghdad, formally opens in the PRC capital this week, a testament to the depth and breadth of the ties binding the trading partners and sometimes rivals. President Bush, who will be attending the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies Friday, is to preside over the ribbon-cutting at the $434 million, 500,000-square-foot compound that same day. “The scale and size of this embassy — set on 10 acres in a new diplomatic zone — symbolizes the future of the relationship as it expands in scope and breadth,” said Victor Cha, director of Asian studies at Georgetown University.
II. PRC Report
16. PRC Environment
People’s Daily online (“BEIJING PROMISES STABLE POWER, WATER SUPPLY FOR OLYMPICS”, Beijing, 2008/08/04) reported that Beijing’s power and water supply capacity will adequately meet the demand during the upcoming Olympics, an official said here Monday. The capacity of Beijing’s transformer substations is 50.12 million kva, and is fully capable of dealing with the estimated maximum electricity consumption of 14.6 million kw in summer. It is estimated that the Games will consume 340,000 cubic meters of water every day in addition to the 2.4 million cubic meters of the city’s regular daily consumption. Beijing’s tap water plants provides 2.95 million cubic meters of water each day, which is enough for the total water demand during the sports event. In addition, coal, oil and gas stocks are also abundant.
17. PRC Economy
Xinhua News Agency (Du Yan, Lai Hailong, “BEIJING OFFICIAL: OLYMPICS PROMOTES EMPLOYMENT”, Beijing, 2008/08/04) reported that a great number of people have been employed in Beijing over the past seven years as job opportunities kept emerging amid the city’s preparation for the Olympics, a local official said here Saturday. The employed population increased to 9.427 million as of 2007 from the 6.289 million in 2001, when Beijing won the bid to host the Games, with an average annual growth of 448,000 new job positions, Lu Yingchuan, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission, told a press conference at the 2008 Beijing International Media Center.
III. ROK Report
18. Inter-Korean Relations
PRESSian (“10.4 DECLARATIONS, AND DIPLOMATIC ISOLATION”, 2008/08/05) carried an article by a researcher at Saejong Institute’s Department of Inter-Korean Relations, who wrote that the ROK government’s attitude toward inter-Korean relations became a diplomatic topic on the global stage after the last ASEAN Regional Forum. The Lee administration should hold a minister-level dialogue as soon as possible, if it sincerely respects the 10/4 declarations. If the Lee administration continues to take a negative stance toward the development of inter-Korean dialogue based on the 10/4 declarations, nations which agreed to the resolution will view the ROK as a rogue state. The DPRK position will become more persuasive.
19. ROK-U.S. Alliance
Tongil News (“WILL KOREA-U.S. SUMMIT CONVERSATION ENLARGE ‘STRATEGICAL ELASTICITY’? “, 2008/08/05) wrote that US President George W. Bush is visiting the ROK on August 5. This summit conversation’s subject is highly likely to focus on military and security issues. Changing the status of U.S. armed forces in the ROK will be a core subject of ROK-U.S. military area. As the U.S. forces become mobile troops within Asia-Pacific, the ROK-U.S alliance will become a regional security alliance and role of troops in the ROK would consequently change. This was raised as a core requirement after the appearance of the Bush administration, but it faced resistance in 2006, due to increased possibility of ROK being involved in case of Northeast Asia conflict.
20. Nuclear Nonproliferation
Hankyoreh (“FIRST FOREIGN EXECUTIVE OF HIROSHIMA PEACE CULTURE FOUNDATION, STEVEN LLOYD LEEPER;’HOPE WE COOPERATE TO DENUCLEARIZE SUPER POWERS’”, 2008/08/05) reported that the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, which mainly works for anti-nuclear peace movement, assigned its first ever foreign executive, Steven Lloyd Leeper. He argues that if no movement appears toward reducing the number of nuclear weapons by the NPT evaluation conference in 2010, the treaty is highly likely to be nullified. Leeper says that preventing the U.S and Israel from nuclear attacking Iran until then is most important, and the ROK and Japan are the countries that can spread the denuclearization message most effectively. He said the DPRK will never dispose the nuclear as long Japan and the ROK show hostility toward them, and that dialogue is the solution for the DPRK nuclear issue.