NAPSNet Daily Report 5 November, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK-US Relations
Yonhap News Agency (Hwang Doo-hyong, “OBAMA NOT TO CHANGE N. KOREA POLICY DESPITE REPUBLICAN CONTROL OF HOUSE: WHITE HOUSE”, Washington, 2010/11/03) reported that the Obama administration sees no reason to change its policy of pursuing DPRK’s denuclearization through six-party talks even after the Republicans take control of the House in January, a senior White House official said Wednesday. “There is a long history of bipartisan consensus on North Korea policy,” the official told reporters, asking for anonymity. “I don’t see a reason why change in the leadership in the House of Representatives will lead to an alteration of America’s basic commitment, which has been consistent through both our Republican and Democratic administrations, that North Korea needs to completely and verifiably denuclearize, end its belligerent and provocative behavior, especially towards South Korea.”
2. DPRK Trade
The Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA PURSUES DREAM OF INT’L BUSINESS HUB”, 2010/11/05) reported that DPRK is pushing the implausible dream of turning the city of Rajin-Sonbong in North Hamgyong Province into an international freight brokerage, export processing and finance hub. A 3D video elaborating on a blueprint for the development of the city was made right after leader Kim Jong-il visited the PRC in May. The video, obtained by the Chosun Ilbo from a DPRK source in the PRC, says the DPRK worked out a plan in June to develop the city by giving distinctive roles to each of its six districts. “The video was made as material for reporting to Kim Jong-il,” the source said. “Discussion on the blueprint started right after Kim’s visit to the city in December last year and it was then hastily completed when people were talking about possible Chinese aid to the North after Kim’s visit to China in May.”
3. Sino-Japan Territorial Dispute
Breitbart (“CHINA’S TANG, JAPAN’S SENGOKU AGREE TO WORK FOR BETTER TIES”, Tokyo, 2010/11/04) reported that Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshito Sengoku and visiting former PRC State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan agreed Thursday to make efforts to improve bilateral ties strained over September’s maritime collisions near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. During their 30-minute talks around noon, Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku and Tang agreed on the importance of trying to promote a strategic and mutually beneficial relationship from a broad perspective, Japanese officials said. Tang, in Japan since last Friday as the PRC chairman of the new Japan-PRC friendship committee for the 21st century, also met with ruling Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Katsuya Okada, opposition Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki and Japan Business Federation Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura among others during the day.
4. Sino-US Military Relations
Associated Press (“RETIRED CHINESE, AMERICAN GENERALS HOLD TALKS”, 2010/11/05) reported that retired high-ranking generals from the PRC and the United States held informal talks last month as part of efforts to build greater trust and communication following recent tensions. The discussions touched on stabilizing Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Korean Peninsula, security in the South China Sea, and nuclear issues relating to the DPRK and Iran, according to a statement issued late Thursday by the American side. The sides also stated their concerns about Taiwan. No outcome to that discussion was announced. “Regardless of each side’s point of view, both agree there have been misperceptions between the two countries and that both governments should take concrete actions to eliminate misunderstandings through confidence-building measures and dialogue to encourage trust,” the statement said.
5. Sino-France Nuclear Deal
Global Security Newswire (“CHINA, FRANCE PLAN MOX FACILITY”, 2010/11/05) reported that the PRC and France plan to collaborate on construction of a plant that would convert weapon-usable nuclear material into mixed-oxide fuel to power atomic energy facilities, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. The plant would reduce both proliferation threats and nuclear-waste stocks, according to the office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The two nations are also planning additional atomic cooperation, including construction by French nuclear firm Areva for construction of a uranium treatment site in the PRC.