NAPSNet Daily Report 6 July, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. DPRK Missile Launch
- 2. US on DPRK Missile Launch
- 3. Japan on DPRK Missile Launch
- 4. UN on DPRK Missile Launch
- 5. US Interdiction of DPRK Ships
- 6. Alleged DPRK Arms Shipments
- 7. ROK, Japan on DPRK Sanctions
- 8. US-DPRK Relations
- 9. Inter-Korea Relations
- 10. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 11. DPRK Economy
- 12. DPRK Demographics
- 13. ROK Defense Procurements
- 14. ROK Internet Censorship
- 15. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
- 16. ROK Nuclear Policy
- 17. ROK Influenza Outbreak
- 18. ROK-Japan Military Relations
- 19. Japanese SDF Refueling Mission
- 20. Japanese Anti-Piracy Measures
- 21. Japanese Nuclear Policy
- 22. Japanese Politics
- 23. PRC Ethnic Unrest
- 24. Cross Strait Relations
- 25. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Missile Launch
BBC News (“CALM URGED AFTER N KOREA MISSILES”, 2009/07/04) reported that the DPRK fired seven Scud-type ballistic missiles with a range of about 500km (312 miles) in an apparent act of defiance against the US, on 4 July. Both the ROK and Japan called the launches an “act of provocation”. Russia and the PRC called on all parties to show restraint and avoid actions which could further destabilise the situation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “‘NK FIRES MISSILES TO IMPROVE ACCURACY'”, Seoul, 2009/07/05) reported that some analysts say the missile launches Saturday appear to have been aimed at improving the missiles’ accuracy. “Five of seven missiles North Korea fired landed within the same area in the East Sea. This means the accuracy of North Korean missiles is improving,” a government official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.
Chosun Ilbo (“N.KOREA’S MISSILE TESTS ‘AIMLESS'”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that an ROK government source said, “We assume that the missiles North Korea fired are two Scud-C missiles with a range of 500 km and two Rodong missiles with a range of 1,300 km — two types that were known already — plus three Scud extended-range missiles, no details of which were known here.” The new Scud-ER with a range of 1,000 km is considered a particular threat to Japan because it is an improved version of the conventional Scuds with longer range and greater accuracy. But the missile launch appeared “aimless and without a clear message,” compared with previous provocations, a ROK security official speculated. If it was trying to attract U.S. attention, the DPRK would have fired a long-range missile that could reach the U.S. mainland, but the only missiles fired were short- and medium-range.
2. US on DPRK Missile Launch
Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA ENGAGED IN ‘ATTENTION-SEEKING’: BIDEN”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden on Sunday dismissed North Korea’s latest series of missile launches. “Look, this has almost become predictable behavior,” Biden told ABC television. “Some of it seems like almost attention-seeking behavior.” Biden said he did not want to give these tests undue attention. “I think our policy has been absolutely correct so far,” the vice president stated. “We have succeeded in uniting the most important and critical countries to North Korea on a common path of further isolating North Korea.”
Joongang Ilbo (Yoo Jee-ho, “OBAMA HINTS AT MORE SANCTIONS”, 2009/07/04) reported that the United States said it was not surprised by the DPRK’s short-range missile launches from late Thursday. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said launches of this kind “are nothing new” and urged Pyongyang to stop taking “dangerous” actions. “The international community has spoken loudly. And North Korea, as I say, knows exactly what it has to do,” Kelly said. “It has to cut out these kinds of provocative actions and return to denuclearization talks.” U.S. president Barack Obama said the implementation of the United Nations sanctions, “the most robust … we’ve ever seen with respect to North Korea,” is going very well. “In international diplomacy, people tend to want to go in stages,” Obama said. “There potentially is room for more later.” Obama added the United States is trying to “keep a door open” for Pyongyang “to start acting in a responsible way” and to return to the table for denuclearization talks.
3. Japan on DPRK Missile Launch
Asahi Shimbun (“JAPAN PROTESTS N. KOREAN MISSILE”, Tokyo, 2009/07/06) reported that the Japanese government lodged a protest with the DPRK for launching seven ballistic missiles on Saturday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Pyongyang’s launches were a “serious act of provocation against the security of neighboring countries” and violated U.N. Security Council resolutions.
4. UN on DPRK Missile Launch
Agence France-Presse (“U.N. ‘DEEPLY CONCERNED’ AT N.K. CUTTING OFF DIALOGUE”, 2009/07/06) reported that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday he was “deeply concerned” that the DPRK had cut off channels of communication and dialogue during its recent escalation in missile launches. Ban underlined that the missile launches were a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and were “totally unhelpful” for fostering renewed talks on its nuclear programme. “This is deeply regrettable and I am concerned about all that the DPRK is doing,” Ban said.
5. US Interdiction of DPRK Ships
Agence France-Presse (“SUSPECTED WEAPONS SHIP TO RETURN TO NKOREA: OFFICIAL”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that the DPRK ship that was tracked by the US Navy on suspicion of carrying banned weapons is expected to return home later Monday after aborting its voyage, the ROK defense ministry said. “It has not yet entered North Korea. (The journey) will likely end within the day,” spokesman Won Tae-Jae told a briefing. The chief of US naval operations said the Kang Nam 1 turned back because countries in the region had refused to accept its port calls. “What we are seeing is the effect of the UN Security Council resolution that was put into effect,” Admiral Gary Roughead told local media Saturday during a visit to Japan .
6. Alleged DPRK Arms Shipments
Yonhap (“‘KANG NAM LIKELY CARRYING RIFLES, LAUNCHERS'”, Seoul, 2009/07/05) reported that the DPRK freighter that changed course after being tracked by the U.S. Navy appears to be carrying conventional small arms, a source said Saturday. “Most of its consignments are believed to be small-scale military supplies such as AK-47 rifles and RPG-7 anti-tank rocket launchers,” the source said. AK-47s and RPG-7s are two of the most widely-traded Soviet-era weapon types that the DPRK is capable of producing on its own, the source said.
Yonhap (“N.K. USING MALAYSIAN BANK TO DEAL WEAPONS WITH MYANMAR”, Seoul, 2009/07/04) reported that the DPRK sought payment through a bank in Malaysia for its suspected shipment of weapons to Myanmar that is being carried on a freighter tracked by the U.S. Navy, a source said Saturday. The visit by Philip Goldberg, the U.S. coordinator for the implementation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, to Malaysia, was to focus on ways to cut off the payment transaction for the cargo from the bank in Malaysia. “Kim will have a hard time collecting his money,” the high-level source said.
Associated Press (“MALAYSIA TO WORK WITH U.S. ON SUSPECTED N. KOREA FUNDS”, Kuala Lumpur, 2009/07/06) reported that Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman pledged Monday to work with the United States to block the DPRK from using Malaysian banks to fund any weapons deals. “If America has any information that is available to them, then I think they should give it to us so that we can act upon it,” Anifah told reporters. “If they have evidence, we’ll be most willing to work together to solve this problem.”
7. ROK, Japan on DPRK Sanctions
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “S. KOREA, JAPAN DISCUSS SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that chief nuclear negotiators from the ROK and Japan held “in-depth” discussions here on ways to deal with the DPRK’s continued provocations, officials here said Monday. Seoul’s envoy Wi Sung-lac also compared notes with his counterpart Akitaka Saiki on their assessment of the DPRK’s firing of seven ballistic missiles over the weekend, they added. “They had in-depth discussions on the North Korean nuclear issue including the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution and the next step,” foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said.
8. US-DPRK Relations
Korea Times (Kim Se-jeong, “IS NK THE BIGGEST THREAT TO AMERICA?”, Seoul, 2009/07/03) reported that a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Thursday said that Americans now consider the DPRK its biggest threat. Director of the polling Keating Holland was quoted as saying, “Fifty-two percent say that North Korea is a very serious threat, higher than the 43 percent who feel that way about Iran and much higher than the 20 percent who feel that way about China or the 11 percent who think Russia threatens the U.S.”
9. Inter-Korea Relations
Yonhap (“S. KOREA NOT MULLING HIGHER LEVEL TALKS WITH NORTH: MINISTRY”, Seoul, 2009/07/03) reported that the ROK has no plan yet to push for higher-level meetings with the DPRK, the Unification Ministry said Friday. The ministry was responding to growing doubts about the efficacy of talks between director-general-level officials from the two Koreas, whose latest round was held on Thursday but produced no agreement.
10. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Chosun Ilbo (“HYUNDAI VOWS TO KEEP N.KOREA BUSINESS”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that Hyundai will not give up on business projects in the DPRK, company chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun said Saturday. Hyun stated, “July 11 marks a year since a South Korean tourist was shot to death in North Korea’s Mt. Kumgang resort. Tours to Mt. Kumgang and Kaesong served as a bridge connecting the two Koreas, but now that they have been suspended, people are gradually forgetting them, and not only Hyundai Asan but its parent company Hyundai are struggling with financial woes. Nevertheless, we should not give up our North Korean projects.”
11. DPRK Economy
Los Angeles Times (Barbara Demick, “NORTH KOREA MOVES TO RESTRICT ECONOMY”, Yanji, 2009/07/06) reported that DPRK citizens interviewed in the PRC in recent weeks say that the regime has made a concerted effort to roll back reforms that had over the last decade liberalized the economy. The Korean Workers’ Party has banned the sale and swapping of apartments, practices that were widespread for more than a decade. The open-air markets where people do most of their buying and selling are now open only from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The only people permitted to sell at the markets are women older than 50; everybody else is required to spend their days at their official jobs at government-run businesses. So many Chinese goods are now taboo that markets stock only about 35% of the merchandise previously available, some say.
12. DPRK Demographics
Chosun Ilbo (“NEW WEBSITE OFFERS VITAL N.KOREAN DATA”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that the life expectancy of a baby born in the DPRK in 2010 will be 68.2 years, but 79.6 years if he or she is born in the ROK, according to a new website opened by the National Statistical Office on Sunday. The DPRK statistics portal ( www.//bukhan.kosis.kr ) compiles figures from 76 domestic organizations including the Unification Ministry and the National Intelligence Service, and 33 foreign institutions such as the UN. Based on 2008 populations, there are 224,000 more men than women in the ROK, but in the DPRK women outnumber men by 332,000.
13. ROK Defense Procurements
Korea Herald (“SEOUL TO ENHANCE DEFENSE AGAINST NUCLEAR ATTACKS”, Seoul, 2009/07/04) reported that the ROK plans to improve defenses by 2014 against nuclear electromagnetic pulse attacks that could devastate power grids and electronic systems. The Defense Ministry also said Friday it would purchase U.S. high-altitude unmanned spy aircraft called “Global Hawk” in 2015. U.S. bunker-busting bombs capable of destroying underground enemy targets will be introduced next year, officials said. The ministry announced a 178 trillion won ($141 billion) mid-term defense plan for 2010-14, aimed to bolster response to DPRK nuclear and missile threats.
14. ROK Internet Censorship
Yonhap (“‘KCNA TWITTER HOAX INTENDED FOR S. KOREANS'”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that an account with the address http://twitter.com/kcna_dprk began sending out English news headlines by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 24 and has since gained over 4,300 “followers” who subscribe to receive the news feeds. Over 600 updates have been posted since the account was launched. In an e-mail interview, the owner said no one behind the account was affiliated with the KCNA, but are with Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), and writers for the satirical German-language Web site “Stupedia.org.” “We are unofficial activists from RSF and we were told that in South Korea, there is no possibility to read North Korean news,” the owner of the account said. “In our opinion, everyone should have the chance to form (their) own opinion. So we created a KCNA Twitter account,” the person said.
15. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
Yonhap (“NAVY TROOPS CONDUCT ANTI-PIRACY DRILL”, Seoul, 2009/07/03) reported that the next batch of 300 ROK troops to be deployed to Somali waters conducted an anti-piracy drill off the southern coast of the ROK on Friday, the Navy said. “The troops practiced chasing pirate ships away and rescuing hostages from them, using a mock high-speed pirate boat,” said Oh Se-seong, a Navy major. The unit, which will depart for the Gulf of Aden on July 16, also practiced maneuvering a helicopter out of danger in case pirates obtained and fired portable surface-to-air missiles, Oh said.
16. ROK Nuclear Policy
Yonhap (“S. KOREA TO FORM TASK FORCE ON NUCLEAR ACCORD WITH U.S.”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that the ROK plans to form an interagency task force to handle its planned talks with the United States on the scope of Seoul’s peaceful nuclear activity, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Monday. Yu said his ministry will be in charge of the negotiations in persuading the U.S. to allow the ROK to pursue a broader commercial nuclear program including the “recycling” of spent fuel. “We will make preparations for the start of related consultations (with the U.S.) as early as in the latter half of this year,” the minister said.
17. ROK Influenza Outbreak
Yonhap (“KOREA’S REPORTED H1NI FLU CASES COME TO 286”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that ROK health authorities said Sunday they have confirmed 27 additional cases of type-A flu, raising the number infections here to 286. Among the 27 were two men in their 20s employed at the quarantine office of the Incheon International Airport, and who tested positive for the H1N1 virus after showing flu-like symptoms, the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said in a statement.
Yonhap (“KOREA TO SPEND NEARLY W200B TO SECURE FLU VACCINES”, Seoul, 2009/07/03) reported that the ROK government said Friday that it will spend nearly 200 billion won ($157 million) to secure vaccines for the new H1N1 flu virus. “We will push to secure enough vaccines to treat 13 million people or 27 percent of the nation’s total population in a bid to brace for a fast spread of the disease during the upcoming fall season,” the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs said in a statement. “To stockpile the vaccines, we will spend 193 billion won.”
18. ROK-Japan Military Relations
Arirang News (“JAPANESE NAVY BOATS TO DOCK IN KOREA’S EAST SEA HARBOR”, Seoul, 2009/07/06) reported that two Japanese Navy vessels are to dock at the ROK’s East Sea Harbor on the coast of Gangwon Province for the first time ever. According to the Korean Navy, this will take place next Wednesday after the two sides hold joint search and rescue exercises for two days from Monday.
19. Japanese SDF Refueling Mission
Asahi Shimbun (“MSDF REFUELING MISSION EXTENDED”, Tokyo, 2009/07/06) reported that the Japanese Cabinet on Friday extended the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean to Jan. 15, 2010. The six-month extension was made under the special measures law that allows Japanese vessels to refuel ships of countries involved in anti-terrorism efforts.
20. Japanese Anti-Piracy Measures
Yomiuri Shimbun (“2 MORE MSDF DESTROYERS TO LEAVE FOR SOMALIA”, Tokyo, 2009/07/06) reported that Japanese Marine Self-Defense Force destroyers Harusame and Amagiri were to depart for seas off Somalia on Monday in their capacity as the second unit of the MSDF’s antipiracy mission. The destroyers were to leave ports in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, respectively, and arrive in the Gulf of Aden around July 24–the day the Antipiracy Law takes effect.
21. Japanese Nuclear Policy
Yomiuri Shimbun (“GOVT N-POLICY TO INCLUDE GLOBAL STRATEGY”, Tokyo, 2009/07/06) reported that the Japanese Cabinet Office’s Atomic Energy Commission has decided to include international strategy in the nation’s Nuclear Energy Policy when it is revised in the future so the government can contribute nuclear power generation technology and know-how to the international community. The move is aimed at gaining more global trust and encouraging domestic industries to expand overseas by offering broad support to countries with little experience in nuclear energy use as a developed nation in the field. Support would include the areas of technology and safety, as well as cultivating relevant legal frameworks.
22. Japanese Politics
Asahi Shimbun (“MINSHUTO-BACKED CANDIDATE WINS SHIZUOKA GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION”, Tokyo, 2009/07/06) reported that a candidate backed by the opposition camp won Sunday’s Shizuoka gubernatorial election. Heita Kawakatsu, 60, former president of the Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, garnered 728,706 votes, edging Yukiko Sakamoto, 60, a ruling coalition-backed former LDP Upper House member who gathered 713,654 votes. Kawakatsu, who ran as an independent, was supported by Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the Social Democratic Party and the People’s New Party.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“SURVEY: DPJ NETS 29% SUPPORT AHEAD OF TOKYO ELECTION, LDP 17%”, Tokyo, 2009/07/06) reported that according to a Yomiuri Shimbun opinion poll conducted over the weekend, the percentage of those who said they planned to vote for a Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) candidate in next Sunday’s Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election was 29.4 percent, compared with 16.9 percent who would pick an LDP candidate. Even adding the 5.1 percent who responded they would vote for a New Komeito candidate, only 22 percent said they would vote for a candidate in the “Ishihara ruling bloc” of Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“POLL: VOTERS’ VIEW OF LDP DIPS SHARPLY”, Tokyo, 2009/07/05) reported that the percentage of Japanese people who think the Liberal Democratic Party have the capability to govern dropped from 69 percent in April to 56 percent in June, according to the latest in a series of joint surveys by The Yomiuri Shimbun and Waseda University. Meanwhile, those who said the Democratic Party of Japan has the capability to run the country edged up from 49 percent in April’s survey to 51 percent.
23. PRC Ethnic Unrest
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA BLAMES MUSLIM UIGHURS FOR DEADLY PROTESTS”, Beijing, 2009/07/06) reported that the PRC blamed Muslim Uighurs armed with knives and batons for riots in the capital of Xinjiang. Three “ordinary” Han Chinese people died in the violence, an initial Xinhua report said, while a later dispatch said a “number of civilians and one armed police officer ” were killed, without clarifying the death toll. Authorities said heavy security had been rolled out across Urumqi , and a police spokesman there said that the situation on Monday was calm. A Han Chinese bar owner in the city center where the riots took place said there were around 3,000 Uighur protesters, some of whom were armed with wooden batons and knives. She said the rioters broke cars, smashed windows and tried to set some buses on fire.
BBC News (“SCORES KILLED IN CHINA PROTESTS”, 2009/07/06) reported that riots in Xinjiang have left at least 140 people dead and more than 800 people injured, state media say. Several hundred people have also been arrested after the violence erupted in the city of Urumqi on Sunday. “An initial investigation showed the violence was masterminded by the separatist World Uighur Congress led by Rebiya Kadeer,” the government said in a statement, according to Xinhua. It said the violence had been “instigated and directed from abroad”.
24. Cross Strait Relations
Associated Press (Annie Huang, “TAIWAN ISLANDS BLOSSOM AS CHINA TENSIONS EBB”, Matsu, 2009/07/06) reported that Taiwan has cut back its annual military exercises on the islands of Matsu to give the birds some peace during their breeding season. Since 2001, islanders and their immediate PRC neighbors have been able to take the 90-minute boat ride between the PRC port of Mawei and the Matsu town of Nankan, allowing people with the same ancestry to reunite after generations of estrangement. Now any Chinese or Taiwanese can make the trip.
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN BENEFITS FROM CHINA’S ECONOMIC STIMULUS”, Taipei, 2009/07/05) reported that Taiwan exported 4.65 billion US dollars worth of goods to the PRC in April, down 33.8 percent from a year ago, the Taiwan Board of Foreign Trade said. The figure indicated, however, that the sharp decline of the island’s export had slowed since January, when Taiwan’s PRC-bound shipments plummeted 56.8 percent year-on-year, it said. “This should have been the result of measures launched by the Chinese authorities to boost its domestic market, spurring its electronics and petrochemical import from Taiwan,” it said. In April, China absorbed 31.3 percent of Taiwan’s exports, a 19-month high after an all-time high of 32.5 percent recorded in September 2007.
25. PRC Environment
CNN (Elizabeth Yuan, “‘GREEN’ REVOLUTION UNDER WAY IN RURAL CHINA”, Lijiang, 2009/07/05) reported that in the northwest of the PRC’s Yunnan province, among the world’s most biodiverse areas, a green revolution is under way among rural residents. In Meiquan Village near Lashi Lake, Zhang Chengui says he has been able to maximize profits by spending more time growing crops since installing a biogas digester-greenhouse, solar water heater, energy-efficient stove and rain-collecting cistern. He installed them with loans from the bank and grants from The Nature Conservancy, becoming in 2003 the first in his village to adopt alternative energy.
II. PRC Report
26. PRC Civil Society
China Social Organization Net (“FIRST CHINA FIRST NON-PUBLIC-RAISING FOUNDATION FORUM HELD IN BEIJING”, 2009/07/02) reported that the first China Non-public-raising Foundation Forum was held in Beijing Thursday. The Forum was guided by NGO Administration Bureau of Ministry of Civil Affairs, and co-launched by Narada Foundation, Youcheng Enterpreneurs Poverty Alleviation Foundation and other well-known non-public-raising foundations. 2008 China Non-public-raising Foundation Development Report was also issued on the Forum.
27. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
China Environment News (“OVER 70% ENGO HAVE NO SOURCE OF FUND”, 2009/07/02) reported that according to 2008 China Environmental Protection NGO Development Report issued by China Environmental Protection Federation, over 70% ENGO don’t have fixed source of fund. Those ENGO who has fixed source of fund are mostly found by government or with government background.
28. PRC Civil Society and the Economy
Zhongjin Online (“CHINA BANK DONATES 10 MILL RMB TO CHINA YOUTH BUSINESS FOUNDATION”, 2009/07/03) reported that as a sponsor of China Youth Business Foundation, China Bank has donated 10 million RMB for one time, as another step for China Bank to positively fulfill corporate social responsibility and build harmonious society.