NAPSNet Daily Report 5 August, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. ROK Military Exercises
Agence France-Presse (Park Chan-Kyong, “S.KOREA KICKS OFF MILITARY DRILL DESPITE THREATS”, Seoul, 2010/08/05) reported that the ROK on Thursday launched its largest-ever anti-submarine exercise including live-fire training near the disputed sea border with the DPRK. “This is the largest anti-submarine exercise in our military history, involving the army, navy, air force, and marines,” a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) spokesman told AFP. On Thursday Pyongyang termed the drill a deliberate provocation and threatened “the most powerful” retaliation if the ROK triggers a conflict.
2. Sino-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“N. KOREA TAKES CHINESE DIPLOMATS ON MT. KUMGANG TOUR”, Seoul, 2010/08/05) reported that the DPRK apparently offered a tour to the Mt. Kumgang resort to some 20 PRC embassy staff last month but did not tell Hyundai Asan. An ROK Unification Ministry official said this was “a clear violation” of Hyundai’s operating rights. “When our tourism operations ran smoothly, North Korea always informed us when they were bringing guests into Mt. Kumgang,” a Hyundai Asan staffer said. “It’s objectionable that they offered the tour without notifying us.”
3. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes
Kyodo (“KAN STATEMENT EYED ON CENTENARY OF JAPAN’S ANNEXATION OF S. KOREA”, Tokyo, 2010/08/05) reported that the Japanese government is eyeing issuing a statement by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, endorsed by the Cabinet, apologizing to the ROK for its colonial rule on this month’s centenary of Japan’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula, government sources said Thursday. The government plans to include in the statement a phrase expressing remorse and an apology for Japan’s colonial rule and wartime aggression, similar to a statement released in August 1995 by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, the sources said.
4. ROK-Japan Energy Cooperation
Yonhap (“S. KOREA, JAPAN TO EXPAND COOPERATION IN NUCLEAR FUSION ENERGY”, Seoul, 2010/08/05) reported that the ROK and Japan plan to expand research and development cooperation in nuclear fusion energy. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said the two countries will hold talks on Friday to discuss ways to build components for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project underway in France. In addition, the 30 experts and government officials at the meeting will draw up plans for future joint research centered on fusion energy generation and ways to educate and train qualified engineers in this field.
5. ROK Nuclear Safeguards
Yonhap (“KEPCO TEAM PICKED AS NON-PROLIFERATION COMPLIANCE PROGRAM PARTNER”, Seoul, 2010/08/05) reported that the ROK government on Thursday designated a Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) team as a partner in ensuring safe, proper use of ROK components used to build nuclear power facilities. An official at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said it took three months to review and revise safety rules maintained by KEPCO and to establish guidelines to make certain that key materials shipped to the United Arab Emirates are not used by unauthorized third parties. He stressed that while there is no real concern of problems occurring in the UAE, the ROK must follow set international procedures on such matters if it wants to become an exporter of nuclear reactors.