NAPSNet Daily Report 5 October, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. DPRK Military Exercise
The New York Times (Mark McDonald, “KIM AND SON APPEAR AT N. KOREAN MILITARY EXERCISE”, 2010/10/05) reported that DPRK leader, Kim Jong-il, appeared at a live-fire military exercise with his youngest son and heir apparent in what appeared to be the first public sighting of Kim Jong-un since he was given the rank of four-star general at a landmark Workers’ Party conclave last week. The DPRK’s official Korean Central News Agency reported that the two Kims were joined by other members of their family and senior officials. But it was significant, according to analysts in Seoul, that the first public appearance of the younger Mr. Kim came at a military event, as the government tries to create the image of him as a capable military man. The event also was likely to reinforce his father’s guiding philosophy of songun, or military first.
2. Inter-Koren Relations
Xinhua News (“S. KOREA NOT TO LINK HUMANITARIAN ISSUES TO POLITICAL ONES OVER DPRK: MINISTER “, 2010/10/05) reported that the ROK will not link humanitarian issues to political ones in dealing with the DPRK, Seoul’s unification minister told parliament. “Humanitarian matters will not be associated with political ones,” minister Hyun In-taek said during the parliamentary audit of the ministry, referring to outstanding humanitarian issues between Seoul and Pyongyang. “We will continuously urge North Korea (DPRK) to fundamentally resolve humanitarian issues, including regularizing the reunions.”
3. US-Japan Joint Defense Exercise
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, U.S. COOKING UP ISLAND DEFENSE WAR GAMES”, 2010/10/05) reported that Japan and the United States are preparing to hold a joint exercise in December that will focus on defending islands in remote waters, sources involved in bilateral relations said. The scenario for the exercise is likely to involve an invasion of remote Japanese islands by an armed force, which will give the Self-Defense Forces and the US military a chance to use joint tactics to deal with the situation, the sources said. There is also an exercise planned off the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan to deal with a hypothetical missile attack from the DPRK, they said.
4. Japan Nuclear Program
Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN TO PROBE CLAIMS IT SOUGHT NUCLEAR ARMS IN 1960S”, Tokyo, 2010/10/04) reported that Japan is to investigate a report that it considered arming itself with nuclear weapons in the late 1960s despite its pacifist vow to shun them, a senior government official said. Public broadcaster NHK reported that Japan secretly considered going nuclear and sought advice from what was then West Germany in meetings with foreign ministry officials in February 1969 in the Japanese resort of Hakone. The report cited confidential West German foreign ministry documents. In the secret talks, the Japanese side said it had sufficient technology to produce nuclear weapons to guard itself against the nuclearisation of the region after China conducted a nuclear test in 1964, NHK reported.
5. Japanese Nuclear Technology Exports
Denki Shimbun (“TALKS FOR VIETNAMESE NUCLEAR CONTRACTS COMING TO A CROSSROADS”, 2010/10/05) reported that the negotiations conducted by a private-public Japanese partnership for contracts for construction of nuclear power stations in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam are approaching a major crossroads. The International Nuclear Energy Development of Japan, a new firm to be established with outlays by the public and private sectors to serve as the seat of activities for proposals to win contracts, is going to be inaugurated in late October. The concerned parties are engaged in coordination with a view to launching the firm as early as October 20. The prime ministers of Japan and Vietnam are anticipated to talk with each other during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit Conference to be held in Hanoi, Vietnam toward the end of the month. The Japanese policy is to move the nuclear contract negotiations forward by a lobbying effort uniting the public and private sectors.