NAPSNet Daily Report 6 November, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. US-DPRK Talks
- 3. DPRK-US Relations
- 4. Inter-Korean Relations
- 5. DPRK Government
- 6. ROK Space Program
- 7. US-ROK Military Alliance
- 8. ROK Aid to Afghanistan
- 9. ROK-India Trade Relations
- 10. Japan Export Controls
- 11. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 12. Japan Nuclear Energy
- 13. Sino-India Relations
- 14. Sino-ROK Military Cooperation
- 15. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
- 16. PRC on Climate Talks
- 17. PRC on Militarization of Space
- 18. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
- 19. PRC Civil Unrest
- II. PRC Report
1. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
RIA Novosti (“CHINA WELCOMES FUTURE U.S.-N.KOREA NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2009/11/04) reported that the PRC is hoping that bilateral negotiations between the United States and DPRK will help revive six-party talks on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said. “We welcome contacts between North Korea and the U.S. and hope that they would contribute to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, stability in the region and the resumption of six-party talks,” Ma Zhaoxu said.
2. US-DPRK Talks
Yonhap (Hwang Doo-hyong, “BOSWORTH SAYS HE WILL VISIT PYONGYANG BY YEAR-END”, Washington, 2009/11/05) reported that Stephen Bosworth, US special representative for North Korea policy, said Thursday he will visit Pyongyang before the end of the year. “Nothing will happen before President Obama’s Asian trip,” Bosworth said. He added that the U.S. government would make a decision “soon,” suggesting that he could visit Pyongyang “within a few weeks.”
3. DPRK-US Relations
Yonhap News (“N. KOREAN OFFICIAL RETURNS HOME AFTER IN U.S. “, Beijing, 2009/11/05) reported that a senior DPRK diplomat returned home Thursday after a high-profile visit to the United States, where he held rare one-on-one meetings with a U.S. negotiator over the country’s nuclear program. Ri Gun, director general of the North American affairs bureau at the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry, is expected to brief Pyongyang’s leadership on the results of his 11-day U.S. visit. Ri held closed-door bilateral talks with Sung Kim, the U.S. special envoy to the six-party nuclear talks, over ways to resume negotiations on the sidelines of seminars in New York and San Diego.
4. Inter-Korean Relations
Yonhap (“LEE RULES OUT ‘UNPRINCIPLED’ INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT”, Seoul, 2009/11/06) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak said Friday that he has no intention of pushing for an “unprincipled” summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong-il. “I won’t seek a (summit) meeting for the meeting’s sake. That’s my consistent thought,” Lee was quoted as saying. Regarding his DPRK denuclearization plan, Lee stated, “I explained the concept as a package deal, and the U.S. side favorably responded, asking whether the concept means a grand bargain. We have presented a broad principle and it is desirable that its details should be made concrete through consultations among member countries of the six-party talks.”
5. DPRK Government
Yonhap News (Kim Hyun, “N. KOREA REPLACES LAND MINISTER “, Seoul, 2009/11/05) reported that the DPRK has recently replaced its land minister, who was retained in April’s major shakeup, with obscure figure Kim Chang-ryong, according to state media monitored here. The ousted official, Pak Song-nam, had been in the post since 2006.
6. ROK Space Program
Bernama (“NOSE FAIRING MALFUNCTION CAUSED SOUTH KOREA’S FIRST ROCKET LAUNCH MISHAP: EXPERTS”, Seoul, 2009/11/05) reported that the partial failure of the ROK’s first rocket launch earlier this year, was caused by problems in the nose fairing assembly, an independent panel of experts said Thursday. The seven-person civilian panel said it had reviewed all data collected during the launch of the 140-ton Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) on Aug 25 and confirmed that other systems on the rocket functioned normally.
7. US-ROK Military Alliance
JoongAng Ilbo (“U.S. 8TH ARMY COMMAND TO REMAIN STATIONED IN KOREA”, 2009/11/05) reported that t he U.S. Eighth Army headquarters, the commanding unit of all U.S. Army forces stationed here. According to a high-ranking military source, the headquarters will not move to Hawaii as previously announced. Also, documents obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo show that a new Korea Command unit will be set up next June to replace the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command in 2012.
New Tang Dynasty Televison (“U.S. AND SOUTH KOREAN MARINES HOLD MILITARY DRILL”, 2009/11/05) reported that on a shore southeast of Seoul, 2,600 ROK marines and 600 U.S. marines participate in a landing operation. They are aiming at bringing military forces to shore from ships. [Lieut. Col. Lee Chang-ryong, S. Korean Marine Corps]: “This landing operation will give momentum to strengthen the Marine Corps’ value while maximizing the capacity of U.S. and South Korea’s combined landing operations. Therefore we will have confidence in fulfilling our tasks 100 percent under any circumstances.”
8. ROK Aid to Afghanistan
Yonhap News (“SEOUL TO DELAY FACT-FINDING MISSION TO AFGHANISTAN “, Seoul, 2009/11/05) reported that ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Thursday that the planned dispatch of a fact-finding team to Afghanistan will be delayed due to the war-torn country’s internal political situation. The ROK’s government had hinted at an Afghan visit by its fact-finding team during November, following its recent announcement of a decision to increase its reconstruction workers.
Yonhap (Tony Chang, “S. KOREA OBLIGED TO PLAY A BIGGER ROLE IN AFGHANISTAN: MINISTER”, Seoul, 2009/11/06) reported that the ROK’s recent decision to send military troops to Afghanistan was made as part of the country’s obligations as a responsible member of the international community, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Friday. “The decision to expand aid for Afghanistan is in line with our country’s diplomatic policy. We’re now required to play an important role in international society, particularly in consideration of our status as one of the world’s 10 largest economies and a key member of the Group of 20 Summit,” Yu said. Yu also said that the ROK “should prepare for sacrifices” when asked by a lawmaker about the potential threats South Korean troops may face.
9. ROK-India Trade Relations
Korea Times (“NATIONAL ASSEMBLY TO RATIFY FTA WITH INDIA”, 2009/11/05) reported that the ROK governing and opposition parties have agreed to ratify a trade agreement with India at a plenary National Assembly session today, a parliamentary leader said Thursday. Ahn Sang-soo, floor leader of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP), said he and Lee Kang-rae, his counterpart in the main opposition Democratic Party (DP), made the agreement at a closed-door meeting Wednesday night.
10. Japan Export Controls
Kyodo News (“MAN SENTENCED OVER NUCLEAR ARMS-CONVERTIBLE EXPORTS TO MYANMAR”, 2009/11/05) reported that the Yokohama District Court sentenced a company president to two years in prison, suspended for four years, for exporting devices to Myanmar that can be converted for use in making nuclear weapons. While giving the suspended sentence for violating the foreign trade law to Keiko Ri, 41, the court slapped 6 million yen in fines on his Tokyo-based trading house Toko Boeki. The devices can be used to develop centrifuges that could be used to enrich uranium, a process used for nuclear weapons.
11. US-Japan Security Alliance
Reuters (“U.S. “FULLY COMMITTED” TO JAPAN AS FEUD SIMMERS”, 2009/11/05) reported that a US diplomat said that Washington was “fully committed” to its alliance with Japan, as the two governments prepared for a visit by President Barack Obama that has been clouded by a feud over a U.S. Marine base. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in Washington on Wednesday that the United States “had not set any kind of deadline,” and a day later Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell sounded a positive note on the alliance. “We are fully committed to this alliance. We think that we’re working very well together,” Campbell told reporters.
Yomiuri Shimbun (“GOVERNMENT TO TELL OBAMA FUTENMA DECISION SHELVED”, 2009/11/05) reported that the Japanese government will tell U.S. President Barack Obama that it has put off deciding how to deal with the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station during the president’s first visit to Japan. According to sources, the government has shelved the decision on the base because it is still examining why and how the current plan to relocate the base in Ginowan to an area off the coast of the Henoko area in the city of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, near the marine corps’ Camp Schwab, was established.
Reuters (Isabel Reynolds , “JAPAN, U.S. TO AVOID BASES FEUD FOR OBAMA VISIT”, Ginowan, 2009/11/06) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama repeated on Friday that he had no plan to decide on US base relocation by the time of Obama’s trip. “U.S.-Japan relations are not just about the Futenma issue,” Hatoyama told a parliamentary panel. “There are many issues that President Obama is concerned about and issues that Japan is concerned about, so we would like to discuss each theme,” he said. “I am convinced it will be a meaningful trip.”
12. Japan Nuclear Energy
Associated Press (“JAPAN USES CONTROVERISAL NUKE FUEL”, 2009/11/05) reported that Japan used weapons-grade plutonium to fuel a nuclear power plant Thursday for the first time as part of efforts to boost its atomic energy program. Kyushu Electric Power Co. said workers fired up the No. 3 reactor at its Genkai plant in the southern prefecture of Saga using MOX fuel – a mixture of plutonium oxide and uranium oxide.
Reuters (Osamu Tsukimori, “JAPAN’S KANSAI TO USE NUCLEAR UNIT FOR OVER 40 YRS”, Tokyo, 2009/11/05) reported that Japan’s second-biggest utility Kansai Electric Power Co said on Thursday it aims to continue operations at its 340-megawatt Mihama No.1 reactor, which went online in 1970, beyond November 2010. If the move is approved, the unit would mark the second reactor in Japan to operate for more than four decades.
13. Sino-India Relations
Associated Press (“INDIA RESTRICTS COVERAGE OF DALAI LAMA’S VISIT “, New Delhi, 2009/11/05) reported that India effectively barred foreign journalists Thursday from covering a rare visit by the Dalai Lama to a Buddhist monastery close to Tibet in an apparent effort to ease PRC anger by reducing news coverage of the trip.Most foreign journalists did not receive permission to cover the Dalai Lama’s visit. On Thursday, four journalists who had been given permits had them revoked A fax shown to the journalists said the state government was canceling the permits at the request of the foreign ministry.
14. Sino-ROK Military Cooperation
Yonhap News (“AIR FORCE CHIEFS OF S. KOREA, CHINA AGREE ON CLOSER COOPERATION “, Beijing, 2009/11/05) reported that air force chiefs of the ROK and the PRC agreed to strengthen bilateral exchanges and cooperation during their talks in Beijing Thursday, according to officials of both sides. ROK Air Force Chief of Staff Lee Kye-hoon and his PRC counterpart, Xu Qiliang, also agreed to closely cooperate for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia, said the officials
15. Sino-US Climate Change Cooperation
(Mark Leon Goldberg , “A SPECIAL ENVOY FOR U.S-CHINA SUSTAINABLE GROWTH? “, 2009/11/05) reported that at yesterday’s House Committee on Foreign Affairs, UN Foundation head Sen. Tim Wirth proposed creating a new high-level position in the State Department “to manage U.S.-China bilateral cooperation on a new model of sustainable growth based on increasing the use of clean energy.” The U.S. needs to prioritize its pragmatic cooperation on clean energy and environmental with the PRC, he said.
16. PRC on Climate Talks
Voices of America News (Stephanie Ho , “CHINA REJECTS US PRESSURE TO AGREE TO CARBON EMISSIONS CUTS “, Beijing, 2009/11/05) reported that the PRC says it opposes the United States’ position that developing nations should also commit to binding emissions cuts at the Copenhagen climate talks. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu emphasized this position, Thursday. Ma says the PRC believes that developed countries have what he called “the historical responsibility on climate change.” Therefore, developed countries should, in his words, “take the lead in the reduction of emissions” and help developing countries by providing capital and technology and building capacity.
17. PRC on Militarization of Space
Agence France Presse (“CHINA DISAVOWS GENERAL’S COMMENTS ON SPACE MILITARISATION”, Beijing, 2009/11/05) reported that the PRC on Thursday denied it would ever participate in a space arms race, disavowing comments by a top general who said PRC armed forces should prepare for the militarisation of outer space. “I want to point out China has all along upheld the peaceful use of outer space. We oppose the weaponisation of outer space or a space arms race,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters.
18. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
The Wall Street Journal (“BLOGGERS PUT CHINA’S POLLUTION ON THE MAP”, 2009/11/05) reported that a PRC blogger said his effort to produce a big online China pollution map is attracting public enthusiasm, although the sensitive nature of the issue makes its fate uncertain. The chart (developed on Google Maps) allows viewers to mark spots associated with high levels of pollution or incidents of contamination, based on publicly available information. Since it was open for public participation last week, the number of views has more than doubled to about 5,000 compared to a week earlier, when it was first displayed online. “My goal is to get as many people working on the map as possible so that everybody can help to expose the pollution problem,” said Guo Baofeng, the Fujian-based blogger and founder of the program.
19. PRC Civil Unrest
Associated Press (Alexa Olesen, “CHINA ACTIVIST RISKS JAIL WITH LETTER TO OBAMA”, Beijing, 2009/11/05) reported that a PRC dissident recently freed after eight years in jail said Thursday he is seeking President Barack Obama’s help in gaining medical parole for two friends jailed with him for forming a political study group. The appeal, made in an open letter, could result in the re-arrest of Yang Zili because the terms of his parole ban him from political activities. But Yang said he felt an obligation to help his friends, who are ill, and Obama may be able to raise their cases with PRC leaders during his trip to Beijing next month.
II. PRC Report
20. PRC Environment
Xinhua Net (“GANSU ESTABLISHES THE SECOND GIANT SALAMANDER NATURE RESERVE”, 2009/11/05) reported that according to Gamsu Provincial Department of Agriculture, the Gansu government has approved to establish Gansu Kang County Giant Salamander Province-Level Nature Reserve, which is the second giant salamander reserve in Gansu.
21. PRC Food Security
China News Net (“CHINA TO INCREASE FOOD PRODUCTION BY 50 BILLION KILOS”, 2009/11/04) reported that according to the General Office of The State Council, by 2020, China’s food production will reach 550 billion kilos, increasing 50 billion from current levels. It is quite possible to complete this goal in 12 years, said the National Development and Reform Committee.
22. PRC Civil Society
Chongqing Daily (“30% SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS ARE COVERED BY COMMUNIST PARTY”, 2009/11/04) reported that at present, there are 1318 social organizations in Chongqing city, among which 31% have been covered by the communist party. The study and practice of the scientific concept of development are successfully carried out in these organizations.