NAPSNet Daily Report 5 June, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 2. ROK Food Aid to the DPRK
- 3. DPRK on ROK-US Military Exercise
- 4. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 5. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 6. Sino-US Security Relations
- 7. Cross Strait Relations
- 8. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
- 9. Tibet Unrest
- 10. PRC Earthquake
- 11. PRC Security
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. Sino-DPRK Relations
Yonhap News (“CHINESE VICE PRESIDENT TO VISIT N. KOREA: SOURCES “, Beijing, 2008/06/04) reported that PRC Vice President Xi Jinping plans to visit Pyongyang later this month to meet with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, diplomatic sources said. Xi is reportedly the favorite to become the next PRC leader after President Hu Jintao. “He is expected to make a three-day trip to the North starting around June 16,” a source said. Xi’s upcoming trip to Pyongyang reflects Beijing’s efforts to balance its ties with the DPRK and ROK, according to the source.
Xinhua (“DPRK VOWS TO BOOST ECONOMIC, TRADE CO-OP WITH CHINA”, Pyongyang, 2008/06/04) reported that the DPRK will further strengthen economic and trade cooperation with the PRC, the DPRK’s foreign trade minister said. Ri Ryong Nam said the DPRK people speak highly of the achievements made by the PRC people under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. Liu Xiaoming, PRC ambassador to the DPRK, said the PRC-DPRK economic and trade cooperation not only benefits the peoples of the two countries but also the development and prosperity of the regional economy. On the basis of the principles of mutual benefit, win-win cooperation and common development, the PRC will strengthen cooperation with the DPRK in infrastructure construction, exploration and processing of mineral resources, and frontier trade, he added.
2. ROK Food Aid to the DPRK
Joongang Ilbo (“SEOUL¡¯S FOOD OFFER NOT YET ACCEPTED “, 2008/06/04) reported that a three-week-old ROK offer to supply 50,000 tons of corn to the DPRK has so far been ignored, the government said yesterday. “The government makes it clear that it is willing to discuss and provide the aid,” Unification Minister Kim Ha-Joong said in a press briefing. “I hope North Korea will agree to this.” Kim said the DPRK had requested food aid late last year and the ROK’s previous government agreed to provide 50,000 tons of corn. “The new government has been willing to implement the agreement from a humanitarian perspective,” he added.
3. DPRK on ROK-US Military Exercise
Xinhua (“DPRK BLASTS U.S. MILITARY EXERCISES NEAR MDL “, Pyongyang, 2008/06/03) reported that the military exercises by the US in the area near the Military Demarcation Line was a deliberate and premeditated military provocation to the DPRK, an official DPRK newspaper said. It was aimed at pushing the situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war although there was a sign of positive development, the Rodong Sinmun daily said. According to reports of the paper, the US and the ROK held a joint military exercise recently, using advanced weapons such as F-16 and A-10 fighters, AH-64 helicopters and M-1 tanks.
4. US-Japan Security Alliance
The Asahi Shimbun (“DOCUMENT PROVES SECRET U.S. SECURITY PACT WITH TOKYO”, 2008/06/04) reported that debunking Japanese government denials, an official document from 1960 has been discovered at a US library, showing that the two countries had a secret agreement concerning the use of US military bases in Japan. The full official US document, discovered by a Japanese scholar in late February at the Gerald Ford Library at University of Michigan, shows Japan agreeing to allow the US military to use its bases here for contingencies on the Korean Peninsula without consulting Tokyo. While historians have long believed that the secret pact was made, Tokyo has insisted that was not the case.
5. US-Japan Security Alliance
Reuters (Chisa Fujioka, “U.S. HOPES COMICS SOOTHE JAPAN WORRIES ON WARSHIP “, Tokyo, 2008/06/04) reported that the US navy hopes to tap Japan’s “manga” comic culture to soothe worries over the deployment of a nuclear-powered warship for the first time to the only country to suffer an atomic bombing. The navy will distribute free copies of a 200-page manga in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, where the aircraft carrier USS George Washington will be based, with downloads also available online, U.S. Naval Forces Japan said. The manga features a Japanese-American sailor and includes a scene in which the character quickly snuffs out a small fire on the warship, scheduled to be deployed in August, Kyodo news agency said.
6. Sino-US Security Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA, UNITED STATES IN SECURITY TALKS: OFFICIAL “, Beijing, 2008/06/04) reported that the US and PRC held talks on security and non-proliferation issues here with discussions touching on the weaponisation of space, Iran and the DPRK, a US official said. The talks led by John Rood, US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, and assistant PRC foreign minister He Yafei were the first such discussions between the two sides since 2004, Rood said. The US believed there should be an active dialogue with the PRC on security issues, Rood told journalists.
7. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY IN CHINA “, Taipei , 2008/06/04) reported that Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Wednesday called on rival PRC to give freedom and democracy to its people, on the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. “Since the June 4, 1989 incident, I have expressed my thoughts on the anniversary and attended events organised to remember the victims. What I do care about is whether people in China can enjoy a life of freedom and democracy,” Ma said in a statement. Ma said he hoped a free, democratic and wealthy PRC could “be a foundation for peaceful development in the cross-strait ties and create a win-win situation for Taiwan and the mainland.”
8. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
PTI (“INDIA REJECTS CHINA’S CLAIM OVER SMALL PART OF SIKKIM”, New Delhi, 2008/06/04) reported that on the eve of Foreign Ministerial talks, India today virtually rejected the PRC’s claim over a small part of Sikkim, saying the state’s boundary issue has been settled. Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said the recent PRC claim over ‘finger area’ in Sikkim border will be discussed at the talks between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his PRC counterpart Yang Jiechi in Beijing tomorrow. “I think, we will discuss peace and tranquility along the entire line, including where the boundary is settled. In the Sikkim sector, the boundary is actually settled between the two of us (India and China),” Menon told Times.
9. Tibet Unrest
The New York Times (Jim Yardley, “BEIJING SUSPENDS LICENSES OF 2 LAWYERS WHO OFFERED TO DEFEND TIBETANS IN COURT”, Beijing, 2008/06/04) reported that two prominent human rights lawyers have lost their licenses after volunteering to defend Tibetans charged in the violent anti-PRC protests that erupted in March. The decision comes as PRC authorities are tightening scrutiny over dissidents in advance of the Olympics in August. The two lawyers, Teng Biao and Jiang Tianyong, are known for taking on politically contentious cases, including those alleging official abuses of human rights. Reached on Tuesday night, Mr. Teng said he learned last week that judicial authorities had renewed the license of every lawyer in his firm, except his own.
10. PRC Earthquake
Reuters (Lindsay Beck , “CHINA QUAKE PARENTS UNBOWED IN PRESSING COMPLAINTS “, Yuyuan, ) reported that anguished PRC parents said they will press ahead with complaints against officials they blame for schools that toppled in a devastating earthquake, a day after police sought to silence one protest. The quake centered in southwest China’s Sichuan province killed 69,122 people with 17,991 more missing and likely dead, according to the latest official figures. In Dujiangyan, a small city 50 km (30 miles) from the Sichuan province capital of Chengdu, some parents vowed to keep up their complaints a day after police prevented about 150 of them from trying to lodge a lawsuit over a collapsed middle school.
Caijing Magazine (“QUAKE RELIEF STRAINS YET MOTIVATES NGOS”, 2008/06/04) reported that the PRC’s struggle to rebound from a May 12 earthquake has turned into a major test of mettle for charities, environmental groups and other non-governmental organizations that plunged into the recovery effort. Despite good intentions and plenty of enthusiasm, many NGOs faced unexpected obstacles after reaching the disaster scene. They had to contend with their own inexperience in dealing with emergency situations, poor interagency coordination, and weak relations with government agencies. From humble beginnings, the PRC’s NGOs have been growing in recent years. Jia Xijin, vice director of Tsinghua University’s NGO Research Center, said the deadly disaster has set the stage for further growth among NGOs. “A lot of problems have been discovered within a short period. “The process will certainly be conducive to the maturity of these organizations,” Jia said.
11. PRC Security
The Associated Press (Charles Whelan, “SECURITY TIGHT AS MEMORIALS HELD OVER 1989 CHINA CRACKDOWN “, Beijing, 2008/06/04) reported that the PRC stepped up security in Tiananmen Square on Wednesday — 65 days ahead of the Olympics — as relatives of victims marked the 19th anniversary of the deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests. The Tiananmen Mothers, a group of family members of victims of the crackdown, were able to pay respects in private to their loved ones at memorial services in the capital. In Hong Kong, thousands gathered for a candlelight vigil held annually to mark the massacre, the only such commemoration on PRC soil.
II. PRC Report
12. PRC Civil Society
China NPO website, http://www.chinanpo.gov.cn/ (“MORE NPOS IN CHINA GETS THE CONSULTATIVE STATUS OF UNITED NATIONS”, 2008/06/04) reported that having the Consultative Status awarded by United Nations Economic and Social Council is an important symbol of a NPO to get international recognition. In recent years, the PRC’s non-profit organizations have developed rapidly in economic, social and many other fields, and make a positive contribution. Among these, many NPOs have been taken into account by the United Nations. At present, All-China Women’s Federation, China Disabled Persons Federation, and other about 20 NPOs have got the Consultative Status awarded by ECOSOC.
13. Taiwan Energy
China Energy Net, http://www.nengyuan.net (“TAIWAN WILL ADJUST ENERGY STRUCTURE TO INCREASE THE USE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY”, ) reported that on June 2 according to a Taiwan report, Taiwan authorities would put forward an energy-saving and carbon emission reduction programme to adjust energy structure and increase the use of nuclear energy. On May 29 th , Taiwan authorities invited EPD, Energy Bureau and other units to discuss the ‘Energy-Saving and Carbon Emission Reduction Action Plan’, which would be adopted on June 4 th by Executive House.
14. PRC on Tibet Unrest
China News Agency (Zhen Xueyuan, “TIBET INDEPENDENCE ELEMENTS LIKELY TO MAKE NEW TROUBLES, LHASA ARMED POLICE RETURNE TO THE STREET ON DUTY”, ) reported that on June 3, Vice Executive Chairman of Tibet Autonomous Region said three reasons made armed police return to the street on duty after the ‘314’ issue. One is to ensure the security drill of Torch Relay of Beijing Olympic Games in Lhasa; The other is June 4 is a traditional Sagadawa Festival in Tibet which will continue for a whole month. During the festival, there will be many Tibetan monks pattering on the street. In order to ensure their security, we must strengthen the police force to maintain normal social order; The third is based on some recently published remarks by Dalai Lama outside, the Tibet Independence Elements may make new troubles in Tibet.
III. ROK Report
15. ROK Policy Toward DPRK
Saegaeilbo (Park Heun-Soon, “UTILIZE UN IN HUMANITARIAN AID TO DPRK”, 2008/06/05) carried an article by a professor of international politics at Sunmun University, who wrote that as there hasn’t been a clear meeting point between the ROK and DPRK, it would be appropriate to utilize UN as a roundabout method. Having hopes for Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of UN, is a possibility. That can be a useful measure to solve the food crisis problem while not infringing on the national prestige and principles of two countries.
Tongil News (“THE WORST FAILURE OF CURRENT ADMINISTRATION IS THE RUPTURE OF INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS”, 2008/06/05) wrote that the worst policy failure of the current administration is the deteriorated relations with the DPRK. Once proven as failure, one must apologize about the failed policies and come up with a means to recover from it. The ROK government should renovate its diplomatic policies that place too much value toward the US and are engrossed with the ROK-US alliance, promise the fulfillment of the 6.15 and 10.4 declarations, and show its veracity by offering aid first.
16. ROK Food Policy Toward DPRK
Kukmin Ilbo (“FOOD AID TO DPRK WITH RETURNS IN MIND”, 2008/06/05) wrote that the Ministry of National Unification has publicized that it has proposed contacts for providing fifty thousand tons of corn to DPRK. This is seen as the ROK government’s last resort after hesitating between the principle that aid is to be made once requested, and the claim that aid should take place considering the serious food situation and the fact that even the US has begun aid to the DPRK. However, even if the ROK government sends food to the DPRK, it must be conducted in a proper way. It should not provide aid in a way a beggar begs for food. Of course, there are opinions that the administration must not think of how it is going to perceived or the returns it will get from providing aid.
Maeil Shinmun (“INDIRECT FOOD AID TO DPRK TO BE CHECKED WITH PRIORITY”, 2008/06/05) wrote that the proposal for corn aid might be a desperate countermeasure attempting to alleviate inter-Korean relations which are at deadlock. However, considering that the DPRK might not immediately accept the proposal just because the ROK proposes it, there is a high chance that it will end up being a vain effort. If it is difficult to neglect humanitarian aid and to find the solution for improvement in relations. A roundabout approach, rather than a direct contact, can be a good way.
17. DPRK Food Situation
Goodfrinds (“70-80% OF CHILEREN IN FARMING AREAS OF HWANGHAENAM-DO STOP SCHOOL TO WORK”, 2008/06/05) wrote that the influence of the food crisis in Hwanghaenam-do area is directly reflected in children’s education. Area with the greater shortage of food less kids are going to school. It is believed that 70-80% of children in farming areas overall are either not going to school or getting permission from the school to move to another one. Children are put into mountains and fields to gather grass roots and mountain herbs.
Goodfriends (“RICE PRICE IN HWANGHAENAM-DO SKYROCKETING OVER 4000 WON”, 2008/06/05) reported that rice prices in the DPRK have become highly instable since late May, going up and down around 3000 won and finally are over 4000 won. The rice price in Hwanghaenam-do has all went over 4500 won. In Hwanghaeabuk-do suffering from extreme food shortage, rice price went over 4000 won. The prices of corn in Hwanghaenam-do and Hwanghaebuk-do are not much different. The corn price, in general, are staying in 1950-2000 won region.