NAPSNet Daily Report 5 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US-DPRK Bilateral Talks
- 2. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 4. Japan Envoy to Talks
- 5. DPRK Human Rights Issue
- 6. DPRK Economy
- 7. Inter-Korean Relations
- 8. ROK Aid to the DPRK
- 9. ROK Military
- 10. ROK-Malaysia Military Cooperation
- 11. ROK International Aid
- 12. ROK Climate Change
- 13. Japan Self-Defense Force
- 14. Japan-US Military Relations
- 15. US-Japan Relations
- 16. Cross-Strait Relations
- 17. US and Cross Strait Relations
- 18. Sino-US Trade Relations
- 19. Sino-Japanese Climate Cooperation
- 20. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
- 21. Sino-India Relations
- 22. PRC Climate Change
- II. PRC Report
1. US-DPRK Bilateral Talks
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA, U.S. ‘TO HOLD 2 ROUNDS OF TALKS'”, 2009/11/04) reported that the DPRK and the US have agreed to hold two official meetings before the DPRK returns to multilateral talks. The agreement came in a meeting between Sung Kim, the U.S. special envoy to the six party talks, and Ri Gun, director general of the North American affairs bureau of the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry.
Yonhap News (Hwang Doo-hyong, “U.S. REITERATES INTENTIONS TO HAVE BILATERAL NUKE TALKS WITH N. KOREA: STATE DEPT. “, Washington, 2009/11/05) reported that the United States said Wednesday it is ready to talk to the DPRK bilaterally but has not decided whether to send its point man on the DPRK to Pyongyang to press for a resumption of the stalled multilateral nuclear negotiations. “We are committed to the six-party process,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said. “We are willing to have bilateral talks with the North Koreans if these talks are conducted in the context of the six-party talks and if they lead to the resumption of the six-party talks.”
2. Japan on DPRK Nuclear Program
Kyodo News (“JAPAN RAPS N. KOREA’S LATEST NUCLEAR MOVE”, 2009/11/05) reported that Tokyo is not pleased the DPRK has finished reprocessing about 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said Wednesday. “If that is a fact, I cannot help but say that is extremely regrettable because that violates U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Hirano told a news conference. “We cannot tolerate North Korea possessing nuclear (arms),” he said, stressing the government is still analyzing the information. Hirano urged the DPRK to quickly return to the six-party talks aimed at denuclearizing the country.
3. Japan-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“JAPANESE PREMIER ‘MORE FLEXIBLE’ ON N.KOREA”, 2009/11/04) reported that normalization of ties between DPRK and Japan does not necessarily have to wait till the abduction issue is fully resolved, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has said. Choi Sang-yong, a former ROK ambassador to Japan, met with Hatoyama in Tokyo on Oct. 31. ??He said contentious issues like the repatriation of Japanese citizens abducted by the DPRK in the 1970s and 80s and other matters can be tackled separately. “Our position is that it is possible to tackle one by one in the process of normalization,” Choi quoted Hatoyama as saying.
4. Japan Envoy to Talks
Korea Herald (” JAPAN TO REPLACE TOP NUCLEAR ENVOY”, 2009/11/04) reported that Japan is expected to replace its chief delegate to the now-stalled six-way DPRK denuclearization talks in a shake-up of senior diplomats under the new administration of Yukio Hatoyama, a diplomatic source said Wednesday. Saiki, who took the post in January 2008, will “be promoted to the post overseeing the Japanese foreign ministry’s policy coordination,” the source said, asking to remain anonymous.. He would not say whether Tokyo has already picked his successor.
5. DPRK Human Rights Issue
The Guardian (Mark Tran, “NORTH KOREAN DEFECTORS TELL OF TORTURE AND BEATINGS”, 2009/11/04) reported that in the nine months after his arrest on espionage charges, Guang-il Jung was beaten by DPRK security guards with a thick wooden club. Jung recounted the harrowing tale of his detention, before he escaped to South Korea in 2003, during a tour of European capitals this week to shine a personal light on what a UN report recently described as North Korea’s “abysmal” human rights record. The appearance of Jung and another defector, a 54-year-old woman named only as L, before MPs and European officials in Britain was timed to bring maximum public pressure on the DPRK government before its human rights record is scrutinised for the first time by the UN human rights council in Geneva. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says that there is a prima facie case that Kim Jong-il’s regime has committed crimes against humanity and possibly acts of genocide against religious groups, specifically Christians.
6. DPRK Economy
Institute for Far Eastern Studies (“DPRK STRESSES ECONOMIC ‘INFORMATIONALIZATION’”, 2009/11/04) reported that the DPRK monthly publication “Chollima” stressed in a recent (September, 2009) edition the need to improve efficiency in production and administrative activities, emphasizing that if the DPRK is to succeed at becoming an “economic power,” then economic management and administrative activities need to become “informationalized.”
7. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Times (Kang Hyun-kyung, “‘UNIFIED KOREA KEY TO PEACE IN EAST ASIA'”, 2009/11/04) reported that ??conservative scholars Wednesday called on the government to convince PRC and U.S. policymakers to believe that a unified Korea would not pose a threat to them, but would instead create an opportunity. ??Nations would benefit from “a Korea that will be whole, free and at peace” as it is the key to peaceful Northeast Asia, they said in papers prepared for a seminar to be held today, organized by the conservative think tank Hansun Foundation for Freedom & Happiness.
Yonhap News (“LEE SAYS NUCLEAR DISPUTE LIMITS INTER-KOREAN COOPERATION “, Seoul, 2009/11/04) reported that President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday progress in the DPRK’s denuclearization is a key condition for inter-Korean cooperation, reaffirming Seoul’s position of withholding meaningful economic aid from its nuclear-driven neighbor. “As long as the North Korean nuclear issue remains unresolved, there would naturally be a limit to inter-Korean cooperation,” Lee said in a keynote speech to a forum of the Economic Intelligence Unit.
8. ROK Aid to the DPRK
Yonhap News (” MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY DEMANDS RICE, FERTILIZER AID TO N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2009/11/04) reported that the ROK’s main opposition Democratic Party (DP) on Wednesday urged the Lee Myung-bak government to entirely change its DPRK policy and resume rice and fertilizer assistance. DP floor leader Lee Kang-rae said in his parliamentary speech that massive rice shipments to the communist DPRK are inevitable in order to address the problem of falling rice prices in the ROK. But the DP leader also called on the DPRK to return to the six-party talks and give up its nuclear program in return for food shipments from the ROK.
Donga Ilbo (Lee Chi-dong, “N. KOREA ASKS S. KOREAN CIVIC GROUPS FOR FOOD AID”, Seoul, 2009/11/05) reported that the DPRK has asked ROK civic organizations for urgent food aid, but it has not answered Seoul’s proposal to provide 10,000 tons of corn made Oct. 26. A civic organization official said yesterday, “The Inter-Korean Reconciliation Council under the (North Korean) Workers’ Party recently spoke to ROK civic organizations in the PRC, and asked them to provide food aid. It even asked them to send food even if just 50 to 100 tons.”
Xinhua News Agency (” S KOREA’S RED CROSS SEEKS MEDICAL DONATIONS FOR DPRK AID”, Seoul, ) reported that the ROK’s Red Cross said Wednesday it will meet with local pharmaceutical companies to ask for medical donations which will be used for humanitarian aid to the DPRK. “The North side the DPRK has yet to reply, but it’d be difficult to get the preparations done after receiving an answer,” Song Soon-hwa, a Red Cross spokeswoman, said. Although the DPRK has not given a response to the offer, the ROK claims that they have reached a consensus, saying Pyongyang has requested aid from Seoul during inter-Korean Red Cross talks in earlier October.
9. ROK Military
Korea Times (“FLU FORCES SEOUL TO HALT MILITARY TRAINING”, 2009/11/04) reported that the ROK Defense ministry Wednesday ordered a halt to the training of military reservists in an effort to curb influenza A (H1N1).?? Drills will be suspended from Thursday to the end of this month to prevent the swine flu virus from spreading, the ministry said, adding that regular troops were also ordered to refrain from taking leave.??
Chosun Ilbo (“MILITARY ADMITS N.KOREAN HACKER ATTACK “, 2009/11/04) reported that the DPRK military hacked into the ROK Army command in March and a password for the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) website leaked out, Lt. Gen. Kim Jong-tae, commander of the Defense Security Commend (DSC), admitted to a parliamentary audit. ??Lawmakers quoted Kim as saying the target of the hackers was the computer of the director of the chemicals division, and his ID and password were leaked through a hacking program when he logged on to the alumni website of the Korea Military Academy.
10. ROK-Malaysia Military Cooperation
Bernama (“SOUTH KOREA WANTS TO SELL TANKS TO MALAYSIA”, Bangkok, 2009/11/04) reported that the ROK is keen to sell its Next Infantry Fight Vehicle K21 and Black Fox armoured vehicle to the Malaysian Armed Forces. Doosan DST, which produces the tanks, is currently making offers to the Malaysian government?? He said the company had sold 111 Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicles (KIFV) to Malaysia between 1993 and 1995.
11. ROK International Aid
Yonhap News (Tony Chang, “) S. KOREA TO EXPAND ROLE IN INT’L DEVELOPMENT AID: VICE MINISTER”, Seoul, 2009/11/04) reported that the ROK is committed to increasing its contribution to international efforts to provide development resources and know-how to developing countries, a senior government official said Wednesday. “The Korean government will assume an active role in this new international development environment as a responsible member of the international society,” Vice Foreign Minister Shin Kak-soo told an international conference on official development assistance (ODA) in Seoul.
12. ROK Climate Change
Yonhap (Kim Boram, “SEOUL EXPECTED TO AIM FOR 4 PCT GREENHOUSE GAS CUT BY 2020”, Seoul, 2009/11/05) reported that the ROK will likely set its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target at 4 percent below the 2005 level, government officials said Thursday. presidential committee has been reviewing three options on the amount of the reduction and narrowed it down to two, including returning to the 2005 level. The other option of an 8-percent increase from the 2005 level was dropped, officials said.
13. Japan Self-Defense Force
Kyodo News (“HATOYAMA NEGATIVE ABOUT U.S. SENDING MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN”, Tokyo, 2009/11/04) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday it will be ”extremely difficult to bring peace to Afghanistan by enhancing the military means,” expressing a negative view about the United States sending more troops to the war-torn country. ‘‘I don’t mean to deny all military methods,’’ Hatoyama said, but added that the United States ‘‘has failed in Iraq, and that’s what Mr Obama admits.’‘
Kyodo News (“JAPAN MULLS SENDING SDF LIAISON OFFICERS TO AFGHAN SECURITY MISSION”, Tokyo, 2009/11/04) reported that Tokyo is considering sending Self-Defense Forces personnel to the headquarters of the international security mission in Afghanistan to aid the war-torn country, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Wednesday. “The possibility is not zero, but (the SDF dispatch) is not at all decided yet,” Kitazawa said about the plan to send SDF liaison officers to join the International Security Assistance Force. “The Defense Ministry has floated the idea as Japan’s possible contribution.” Kitazawa said.
14. Japan-US Military Relations
Reuters (Isabel Reynolds, ” JAPAN GRAPPLES WITH U.S. BASE PLAN BEFORE OBAMA VISIT”, Tokyo, 2009/11/04) reported that Japan struggled with the touchy issue of reorganizing U.S. military bases on the southern island of Okinawa on Wednesday, just a week ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada canceled a last-minute trip to Washington meant to smooth ties ruffled by a feud over bases, blaming his busy schedule, while Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama came under fire in parliament for his handling of the relationship. Okada spelled out the dilemma facing the new government. “We think that it is necessary to move things forward while accepting the feelings of the people in Okinawa,” he said in response to a question in parliament. “But, while we will respect the feelings of the people of Okinawa, this issue is also about the Japan-U.S. security alliance, which is relevant to the entire country. This gap is what always becomes the big problem,” he added.
Kyodo News (“U.S. SEES OBAMA’S JAPAN VISIT AS NO DEADLINE FOR BASE ROW DECISION”, Washington, 2009/11/04) reported that the United States does not see President Barack Obama’s planned trip to Japan next week as a deadline for resolving a row over where a U.S. military airfield in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture should be relocated, the State Department said Wednesday.
Associated Press (Eric Talmadge, “JAPAN TO SPEED DECISION ON RELOCATION OF US BASE”, Tokyo, 2009/11/05) reported that Japan will speed up its review of a deal to move the Fetenma Air Base. US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell was in Tokyo on Thursday to meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada to discuss the leaders’ agenda. “We are making our best efforts to find the most appropriate solutions to the base allocation issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yasuhisa Kawamura said. “We are accelerating the review process.”
15. US-Japan Relations
Kyodo (“CAMPBELL STRESSES SMOOTH PREPARATION AHEAD OF OBAMA’S VISIT TO JAPAN”, Tokyo, 2009/11/05) reported that Kurt Campbell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, stressed Thursday that the United States and Japan are ”working very well together” ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan. ”The president is very much looking forward to his visit to Japan next week…I think we are extraordinarily pleased with the preparations,” Campbell told reporters after meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in Tokyo. ”We are fully committed to this (U.S.-Japan) alliance. We think that we are working very well together,” he added.
16. Cross-Strait Relations
Agence France Presse (” TAIWAN SAYS CHINA STARTS BUILDING FIRST AIRCRAFT CARRIER”, Taipei, 2009/11/04) reported that Taiwan said Wednesday that its giant neighbour the PRC has started building its first aircraft carrier, a move analysts have said could raise military tensions in the region. The head of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau told parliament construction of the carrier had begun, Lin Yu-fang, a legislator of the ruling Kuomintang party, told AFP. However, the security chief, Tsai Teh-sheng said the carrier’s construction “has not been smooth” and that the PRC navy may struggle to put it into service by 2012 unless it makes a manufacturing breakthrough soon.
Agence France Presse (“CHINA ENVOY IN TALKS IN TAIWAN: OFFICIAL”, Taipei, 2009/11/04) reported that a high-ranking envoy from the PRC met his Taiwanese counterpart ahead of a fresh round of negotiations between the once bitter rivals, officials said. Zheng Lizhong, the PRC’s second-ranking envoy to Taiwan, held a closed-door meeting with Kao Koong-liang, deputy chief of Taiwan’s quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, a foundation official said. The Taipei-based Economic Daily News said Zheng, who arrived in Taiwan late Monday, would touch upon a comprehensive trade agreement between the two sides. The foundation denied the report.
17. US and Cross Strait Relations
Kyodo News (“TAIWAN ‘FRUSTRATED’ WITH U.S. OVER KEY RADAR, OTHER ARMS DEALS”, Taipei, 2009/11/04) reported that the U.S. military has required Taiwan to bear the costs of a major, unexpected security upgrade to a key U.S.-made radar on the island, a move signaling Washington’s growing distrust of Taipei’s ability to safeguard against security breaches as the island woos the PRC, a local government official said. ”The Taiwanese military is really frustrated with the U.S. (over radar issues),” the official told Kyodo News, adding that the price tag for the unscheduled security measures was nearly NT$2 billion (US$61 million).
18. Sino-US Trade Relations
Dow Jones Newswires (Henry J. Pulizzi, “US REQUESTS WTO DISPUTE SETTLEMENT PANEL OVER CHINA EXPORT RESTRAINTS”, Washington, 2009/11/04) reported that the Obama administration asked the World Trade Organization Wednesday to create a dispute settlement panel over the PRC’s export restraints on a host of raw materials, including bauxite, magnesium and zinc, the latest in a series of trade spats between Washington and Beijing. “We are going to the WTO today to enforce America’s rights, so we can provide our country’s manufacturers with a fair competitive environment,” Debbie Mesloh, spokeswoman at the U.S. Trade Representative, said in a statement.
Financial Times (Edward Luce and Geoff Dyer , “CLINTON SET TO SMOOTH OBAMA’S VISIT TO CHINA”, Beijing, 2009/11/04) reported that Hillary Clinton is on course to raise the $61m in private money needed to build a US pavilion for a trade fair in Shanghai next year, clearing one of the main foreign policy obstacles ahead of Barack Obama’s state visit to the PRC next week. The US was the only country other than Andorra that had failed to confirm its attendance at the Shanghai Expo.
19. Sino-Japanese Climate Cooperation
Xinhua News Agency (“CHINA AND JAPAN SEE EXPANDING CO-OP ON ENERGY CONSERVATION: OFFICIAL”, Beijing, 2009/11/04) reported that the PRC and Japan are witnessing expanding cooperation on energy conservation and environmental protection, a PRC official said Wednesday, days before the opening of the fourth China-Japan energy conservation forum. The PRC and Japan are going to sign cooperation agreements on more than 40 energy-saving and environmental protection projects at the forum, slated for Nov. 8 in Beijing, said Xie Ji, deputy head of the energy conservation and environment protection department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
20. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
New York Times (Edward Wong, “GROUPS PRESS U.S. AND CHINA ON CARBON”, Beijing, 2009/11/04) reported that three prominent American research organizations that are pushing for greater cooperation between the Obama administration and the PRC on the issue of climate change say the two governments should make a priority of supporting the use of carbon capture technology and the creation of a market for carbon. The organizations, the Asia Society, the Center for American Progress and the Natural Resources Defense Council, or N.R.D.C., are putting out two separate reports this month that urge the two governments to put more money into projects in the PRC that can better develop the technology of carbon capture and sequestration, commonly called C.C.S.
21. Sino-India Relations
Thaindian News (“INDIA NOT DETERRED BY CHINA’S ACTIVITIES IN SOUTH ASIA: RAO”, Delhi, 2009/11/04) reported that India, taking note of the PRC’s expanding influence in its neighbourhood, Wednesday said such developments should not “deter or dilute” India’s efforts to seek closer ties with its South Asian neighbours.?“China’s relations with our South Asian neighbours are also growing in many areas with increased trade and economic activity, political level interaction, and cultural and educational exchanges, apart from transportation links and connectivity,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said at a conference on South Asia here.
22. PRC Climate Change
Agence France Presse (“CHINA SEEKS LAWS TO PROTECT POLLUTED LAKES: STATE MEDIA”, Beijing, 2009/11/04) reported that officials in the PRC have called for special laws to halt pollution of the nation’s thousands of lakes, which are drying up at a rate of about 20 per year, state media reported. Chen Zhili, one of the PRC’s top legislators, urged the establishment of special lake protection regulations and stricter supervision of industrial, agricultural and household waste, the official Xinhua news agency said. Speaking at the 13th World Lake Conference in the central city of Wuhan she also called for the eradication of outdated production methods that led to massive waste, Xinhua reported.
II. PRC Report
23. PRC Civil Society
Legal Daily (Qie Jianrong, “300 NGOS PROPOSE TO MAKE SOCIETY ACT”, 2009/11/04) reported that 300 NGOs proposed at the 4th Annual Environmental Protection NGO Meeting on November 1 that the PRC should make society act environmentally responsible through an association of laws as soon as possible. They hope what is required to be done by society, will be done by the government first.
24. PRC Climate Change
Xinhau Net (Sun Bing , “FIVE DEPARTMENTS JOINTLY PUBLISH FORESTRY REVITALIZATION PLAN”, 2009/11/04) reported that National Bureau of Forestry, National Development and Reform Committee, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Business, and State Administration of Taxation have jointly published “Forestry Revitalization Plan 2010-2012” recently. According to the Plan, the country will mainly support 100 national-level forestry enterprises and 10 characteristic industrial clusters, to ensure the annual growth rate of forestry output value around 12%.