NAPSNet Daily Report 5 October, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 2. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 4. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 5. Sanctions Against DPRK
- 6. Aid for DPRK
- 7. US on DPRK Human Rights
- 8. Interdiction of DPRK Vessels
- 9. Inter-Korea Relations
- 10. DPRK Defectors
- 11. ROK-Russia Nuclear Cooperation
- 12. DMZ Environment
- 13. ROK Space Program
- 14. ROK Energy
- 15. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
- 16. ROK-Japan Relations
- 17. Japanese Nuclear Energy
- 18. Japanese Role in Nonproliferation
- 19. US Military in Japan
- 20. PRC Tibet Issue
- 21. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 22. Sino-Pakistan Relations
1. Sino-DPRK Relations
New York Times (Choe Sang-hun, “MENDING FENCES FOR 2 ASIAN LEADERS”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il held talks with the visiting prime minister of the PRC, Wen Jiabao, on Sunday. Kim made an appearance at the airport to give Wen a hug and mobilized crowds waving flowers and shouting slogans along the road that Wen?€™s motorcade traveled through Pyongyang. The two held talks later on Sunday, reported Xinhua, without giving details.
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA’S WEN SET FOR MORE NUCLEAR TALKS WITH NKOREA”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao met Sunday with DPRK Premier Kim Yong-Il and other senior officials. The DPRK again expressed willingness to achieve denuclearisation through “bilateral and multilateral dialogues”, Pyongyang’s state media reported early Monday. The DPRK, however, also blamed the United States for the standoff and linked denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula to the pace of global atomic disarmament efforts.
Korea Herald (Kim Ji-hyun, “CHINA SEEKS CLOSER TIES WITH N. KOREA: WEN”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that PRC Prime Minister Wen Jiabao Monday ‘said he would join hands with his DPRK comrades to promote and develop exchange and cooperation in all areas,” the Korean Central News Agency said. Wen also emphasized that there would be no changes to the “friendly” relations that the PRC and the DPRK have towards each other.
2. DPRK Nuclear Program
Arirang News (“N.KOREA ‘PROPOSED TURNING REACTOR INTO RESEARCH CENTER'”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that last year the DPRK reportedly proposed converting its Yongbyon nuclear complex into a research facility, according to Joel Wit, a former senior U.S. State Department strategist with the Clinton administration. Wit said DPRK scientists mentioned the possibility of transforming Yongbyon into a plant that would produce isotopes for medical applications.
3. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Korea Times (“SEOUL SUSPECTS 100 SITES OVER NK NUKE PROGRAM”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that the ROK has identified about 100 DPRK sites linked to its nuclear program and has the capacity to strike them if necessary, ROK Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said Monday. “We have sufficient information as to the locations where items related to the nuclear program are stored and the delivery means are placed,” the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.
4. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap (“SEOUL TO FINE-TUNE ‘GRAND BARGAIN’ PLAN”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that Seoul will fine-tune details of President Lee Myung-bak’s “grand bargain” for tackling the DPRK nuclear stalemate based on a consensus among parties involved in denuclearization talks, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Monday. “The government will do its best to realize the complete denuclearization through the six-party talks under the principle that the North’s nuclear development will not be tolerated,” the minister said.
5. Sanctions Against DPRK
Yonhap (“U.S. DELEGATION IN MIDDLE EAST ON N.K. SANCTIONS”, Seoul, 2009/10/04) reported that a U.S. delegation is traveling to the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to discuss implementation of U.N. sanctions on the DPRK, the State Department said Friday. “Ambassador Phil Goldberg, our coordinator for implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, is leading an interagency delegation which includes Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Danny Glaser,” spokesman Ian Kelly said. “We’ve long been concerned about North Korea’s proliferation activities in the Middle East, so this is part of that, and this is part of his overall effort to ensure that the — that this U.N. Security Council resolution and other relevant resolutions are implemented,” the spokesman said.
6. Aid for DPRK
Yonhap (“N.K. GIVEN $2.3 BIL. THROUGH PAST NUKE ACCORDS”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that the DPRK has received some 2.7 trillion won (US$2.29 billion) from international partners since 1994 in return for promises to scrap its nuclear program, Rep. Kwon Young-se of the ruling Grand National Party said Monday. For the Geneva Framework Agreement reached in 1994, the DPRK received $1.98 billion worth of support from the ROK, the U.S., Japan and the European Union, which was mostly used in building light-water reactors. The lawmaker also pointed out that members of the six-party talks delivered some 745,000 tons of heavy oil, worth some $310 million, to the DPRK under denuclearization agreements reached on February 13, 2007 and a follow-up agreement reached in October that year.
7. US on DPRK Human Rights
Yonhap (“NK HUMAN RIGHTS ENVOY TO WORK WITH US NUKE TEAM”, Seoul, 2009/10/03) reported that Robert King, the nominee for the U.S. special envoy for DPRK human rights, is expected to also work as a member of Washington’s team working on the six-party talks. “King is expected to work as a member of Stephen Bosworth’s team, with Washington also considering including King in the expected bilateral talks between the U.S. and North Korea,” an ROK official privy on the matter said. “Whether King would actually take part in the actual negotiations remains unclear,” the Seoul official said, noting that the special envoy’s participation could invite opposition from the DPRK.
8. Interdiction of DPRK Vessels
Agence France-Presse (“SKOREA SEIZES NKOREAN SHIPPING CONTAINERS: REPORT”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that the ROK seized and searched containers shipped by the DPRK on a Panama -registered freighter last month but found no suspicious cargo, reports said Monday. Security authorities on September 22 launched a joint inspection of the ship, which was docked in Busan after arriving from the PRC. The inspection was led by the National Intelligence Service which received tips that four containers were suspected of containing hazardous material . “Nothing particular was discovered from the search, but I’m aware that the government is still in the process of confirming the results,” an unidentified port official in Busan was quoted as saying.
Associated Press (“REPORT: SEIZED NKOREAN SHIP ALLOWED TO LEAVE INDIA”, New Delhi, 2009/10/04) reported that India’s navy said Sunday that a Pakistan -bound DPRK ship would be allowed to leave Indian waters after a search of the vessel yielded “nothing incriminatory,” news reports said. The ship had been detained near Calicut port in southwestern India two days ago after it dropped anchor in Indian waters without permission, Press Trust of India said. The crew members said the ship had developed an internal leak in its tank.
9. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap (“N.K. CALLS FOR INCREASED EXCHANGES, COOPERATION WITH THE SOUTH”, Seoul, 2009/10/04) reported that the Rodong Sinmun called Saturday for increased inter-Korean exchanges and cooperative projects with the ROK, according to Uriminzokkiri, the official Web site of the DPRK. Regardless of the nuclear deadlock and international sanctions, the DPRK demands that Seoul follow through with the accords of 2000 and 2007, the editorial said.
10. DPRK Defectors
Associated Press (“SKOREA REFUSES NORTH’S DEMAND TO RETURN DEFECTORS”, Seoul, 2009/10/04) reported that the DPRK demanded the ROK repatriate a group of 11 DPRK citizens who defected by sea last week, the Unification Ministry said Sunday. The 11 crossed into southern waters off the east coast aboard a small barge early Thursday evening. The ROK responded that all of the defectors have expressed their desire to resettle in the ROK. Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said the response meant that the ROK has no intention to return them.
11. ROK-Russia Nuclear Cooperation
Yonhap (“S. KOREA CONDUCTS CASE STUDY OF N.K.”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that an ROK military officer went to Russia in May to observe the dismantling of a nuclear-powered submarine, an official said Monday. The officer, an Army major, observed the dismantlement of a nuclear reactor inside a submarine at a base in Vladivostok from May 7-10. “If one day North Korea agrees to have its nuclear arms programs disassembled, South Korea needs to play a role in the technical aspect of it, too,” the official said. “We hope to expand this type of cooperation with Russia.”
Yonhap (“S. KOREA, RUSSIA AGREE ON CLOSER COOPERATION ON N.K.’S NUCLEAR”, Seoul, 2009/10/04) reported that the ROK said Saturday it has agreed with Russia to closely cooperate to try to persuade the DPRK to end its nuclear weapons program at a meeting on Tuesday in Moscow between ROK Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Yong-joon and Aleksei Borodavkin, Russia’s top negotiator on the six-party talks. “The two sides have agreed to strengthen a high-level consultation channel,” a ministry official said.
12. DMZ Environment
Joongang Ilbo (Kang Chan-soo, Lee Min-yong, “MID-DMZ TEEMS WITH WILDLIFE”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that Scientists from the ROK National Institute of Environmental Research identified some 450 species of animals and plants around large areas of wetland in Cheorwon County, Gangwon, in the middle-section of the demilitarized zone. The number of species found in last year?€™s survey in the western part of the demilitarized zone was 348. The Environment Ministry is planning to research the eastern parts of the
demilitarized zone by the end of 2011.
13. ROK Space Program
Arirang News (“BUDGET FOR SPACE TECHNOLOGY R&D TO INCREASE”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that the ROK government will invest just over W100 billion in space technology development next year. According to the Finance Ministry, the 2010 budget is a 40 percent increase from last year and the first time the government has allocated such a large sum for R&D in this sector.
14. ROK Energy
Yonhap (“GOV’T TO SET UP SMART ELECTRICITY METER NETWORK”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that the ROK will set up a nationwide smart electricity meter network by 2020 to help businesses and homes cut back on power use, the government said Monday. The 1.47 trillion won ($1.25 billion) effort is part of the country’s effort to establish the world’s first nationwide smart grid system, which aims to reduce electricity use by 5 percent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur the development of new eco-friendly industries, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.
15. ROK Peacekeeping Operations
Yonhap (“KOREA TO LAUNCH 3,000-STRONG PEACEKEEPING UNIT IN 2010”, Seoul, 2009/10/04) reported that the ROK plans to launch a 3,000-strong military unit next year that can be readily deployed overseas for peacekeeping operations, a defense official said Sunday. The unit will consist of a dedicated 1,000-strong special forces unit from the country’s Special Warfare Command, along with additional troops who can be deployed as back-ups. The defense ministry is seeking a law revision to enable the prompt global deployment of ROK soldiers for peacekeeping purposes at the request of the United Nations.
16. ROK-Japan Relations
Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “VICTIMS PIN HOPES ON HATOYAMA”, Seoul, 2009/10/05) reported that last week, at the 885th gathering of former comfort women outside the Japanese Embassy, the grandmothers hobbled across the road hand in hand to deliver a letter to the security booth of the embassy, as no one from the embassy would come out and take it. The two-page letter was addressed to Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. “We are hoping Hatoyama would be more proactive compared to the LDP about solving problems from the past,” said Kang Joo-hye, a senior member of the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. “We will continue to demand an official apology through a resolution of the Japanese Diet, not an individual’s statement, and legal compensation for the crimes they committed.”
17. Japanese Nuclear Energy
Asahi Shimbun (Keisuke Katori and Ayako Suzuki, “ATOMIC POWER SAFETY QUESTIONS STILL UNANSWERED”, Tokyo, 2009/10/05) reported that ten years after a nuclear accident killed two nuclear power plant workers, Japan still has much work to do in improving responses to cases of radiation exposure. Experts and officials say the number of doctors and facilities that can provide emergency care is still insufficient, while more has to be done to prevent and respond to radiation emergencies.
18. Japanese Role in Nonproliferation
Yomiuri Shimbun (“INCOMING IAEA CHIEF AMANO READY FOR CHALLENGES AHEAD”, Kyoto, 2009/10/03) reported that International Atomic Energy Agency chief designate Yukiya Amano is well aware of the challenges that await him, but insists that the nuclear watchdog has a crucial role to play, he said Friday. He also stressed the importance of nuclear security, telling the 300 students and citizens in the audience, “Japanese people should be more aware of the risk we would face if terrorists obtained nuclear materials.”
19. US Military in Japan
Asahi Shimbun (“REVIEW OF U.S. BASE MOVE TO GO AHEAD”, Naha, 2009/10/05) reported that Seiji Maehara, the state minister for Okinawan affairs, said Sunday the government was trying to find an alternative site for the planned relocation of heliport functions from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture. After inspecting the base, Maehara said he was still discussing with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa whether the site should be in Okinawa or elsewhere.
20. PRC Tibet Issue
Washington Post (John Pomfret, “OBAMA’S MEETING WITH THE DALAI LAMA IS DELAYED”, Washington, 2009/10/05) reported that the United States pressured Tibetan representatives to postpone a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Obama until after Obama’s summit with his PRC counterpart, Hu Jintao, scheduled for next month, according to diplomats, government officials and other sources familiar with the talks. In explaining their reluctance to meet the Dalai Lama now, U.S. officials told Tibetan representatives that they wanted to work with the PRC on critical issues, including nuclear weapons proliferation in the DPRK and Iran, said an Asian diplomat with direct knowledge of the talks. Administration officials also hinted that they were considering selling a new tranche of weapons to Taiwan.
21. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Xinhua (“CHINA ISSUES WHITE PAPER STRESSING HARMONY, EQUALITY AMONG ALL ETHNIC GROUPS”, Beijing, 2009/09/27) reported that the PRC government Sunday published a white paper on its ethnic policy, stressing harmony and equality among all ethnic groups. The paper, released by the State Council Information Office, reviewed the country’s basic situation of ethnic issues, the government policies over the past six decades and the economic, social and cultural progress in ethnic minority regions. An official with the State Ethnic Affairs Commission stated, “Through this white paper that summed up our ethnic policy and practice, we hope the international society could have a better understanding about the reality our policy is based, about what the policy is, and the impact it has on solving ethnic issues and promoting the development of ethnic minorities in China,”
22. Sino-Pakistan Relations
Times of India (Saibal Dasgupta, “PAK COIN TO MARK CHINA’S 60TH ANNIVERSARY”, Beijing, 2009/10/03) reported that Pakistan is issuing a 10-rupee commemorative coin to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. PRC ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaohui said the 60-year old friendship between the two countries will continue in the next 600 years and for ever and future generations will benefit from this mutual cooperation, Xinhua reported from Islamabad. Pakistan also established a think-tank on the PRC on Thursday. The Pakistan China Institute will “work in key sectors of Pakistani state and society including political parties, civil society, educational institutions, opinion leaders, media and business community,” its chairman Mushahid Hussain was quoted as saying.