NAPSNet Daily Report 6 November, 2007
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 3. Comfort Women Issue
- 4. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
- 5. Japanese Politics
- II. Republic of Korea
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Associated Press (Jae-soon Chang, “US: NKOREA COOPERATING TO DISABLE NUKES”, Incheon, 2007/11/06) reported that Sung Kim, head of the US State Department’s Korea Desk, said Tuesday that the disablement of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons-making facilities has started smoothly and the process should be completed by the end of the year. “Our North Korean colleagues have actually done considerable preparatory work on all three facilities. So we were able to start at least some of the disablement activities this week,” he said.
2. Inter-Korean Economic
Joongang Ilbo (“PRIVATE GROUP PUSHES FOR INTER-KOREAN TRADE”, 2007/11/06) reported that a business body for inter-Korean economic cooperation in the private sector convened on Monday. Co-hosted by four ROK business leaders, including the chief of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sohn Kyung-shik, the body is expected to connect Seoul-based private companies that are looking for investment opportunities in the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
3. Comfort Women Issue
Chosun Ilbo (“‘COMFORT WOMEN’ TO TESTIFY BEFORE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT”, 2007/11/06) reported that three women drafted as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II will testify about their suffering before the European Parliament and urge the EU to adopt a resolution against Japan’s wartime enslavement of women from neighboring Asian countries. The event is part of Amnesty International’s campaign Stop Violence Against Women.
4. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
Kyodo (“DPJ EYES BACKING INDIAN OCEAN REFUELING MISSION IF AUTHORIZED BY U.N.”, Tokyo, 2007/11/06) reported that the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan on Tuesday drafted a 12-point basic outline of assistance for Afghanistan featuring the possibility of support for Japan’s participation in antiterrorism operations in the Indian Ocean, including a refueling mission, if they are authorized by U.N. resolutions. The outline was presented to a session of the party’s foreign affairs and defense panel the same day.
5. Japanese Politics
Kyodo (“OZAWA RETRACTS RESIGNATION OFFER, TO REMAIN AS DPJ HEAD”, Tokyo, 2007/11/06) reported that Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa expressed his intention Tuesday to retract his offer to step down and instead remain in his post as head of the largest opposition party, DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama said. The DPJ is scheduled to hold a joint plenary meeting of its lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors on Wednesday afternoon concerning the situation, DPJ sources said.
II. Republic of Korea
6. ROK-DPRK Relations
Yonhap News (“PYONGYANG, A MONTH AFTER THE SUMMT”, Seoul, 2007/11/05) reported that some DPRK officials asked ROK reporters about the atmosphere and related controversy in the ROK after the summit when they visited the DPRK for the ceremony for the completion of medical institution. Lee Choong-bok, the vice president of the Association of National Peace of the DPRK, told reporters that many institutions are investigating the issues dealt with in the summit, and expressed that he is expecting to see more corporations interacting more actively with them. The officials were very curious about the affairs in the ROK such as the presidential election and NLL issues. The officials were known to be working under tight schedule due to the highly-activated mood of inter-Korean interchange after the summit.
7. Six-Party Talks
Donga Ilbo (Lim Min-hyuk, “SIX-PARTY TALKS, FOCUSING ON DENUCLEARIZATION”, Seoul, 2007/11/05) reported that ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs Song Min-soon remarked on November 4 that what the six nations focus currently is to implement of the denuclearization of the DPRK smoothly within this year. This seems quite alien from where the Blue House put much effort, namely holding peace talks within this year, and the declaration of the end of the war. Song reasserted to the reporters before he left for the U.S. that his visit to the U.S. is not to discuss the peace talk matter, but to elaborate more on the denuclearization of the DPRK.
8. Inter-Korean Economic
Donga Ilbo (Cho Yong-woo, “DPRK REQUIRED BRIBES FOR NONGOVERNMENTAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION”, Seoul, 2007/11/06) reported that ROK Chamber of Commerce founded an inter-Korean non-governmental economic cooperation association on November 5, which will function as a facilitator of inter-Korean economic exchange. However, one of the officials who participated in the meeting said that the DPRK insisted that each corporation of the association pay five million won, which is approximately five thousand U.S. dollars. Such requirement reflects that previous governmental economic cooperation with the DPRK which was corrupted now even affects nongovernmental cooperation. One of the officials pointed out that some minor enterprises are hesitating whether to join the cooperation due to the DPRK ‘ s requirement for bribes.
9. Inter-Korean Peace Talks
Yonhap News (“ROK NIS, ‘PEACE TALKS START WITH DENUCLEARIZATION'”, Seoul, 2007/11/06 19:00:00 GMT+0) reported that the ROK National Intelligence Service said on November 5 h that the government pursues peace talks in pace with the denuclearization issue of the DPRK as well as the support of people of ROK and neighboring countries. The spokesperson also added that inter-minister talks that will be held from November 14-16 will ensure the implementation of each point of the joint treaty.