NAPSNet Daily Report 7 August, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 3. US-DPRK Relations
- 4. US, ROK on DPRK Human Rights
- 5. DPRK on Human Rights Envoy
- 6. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 7. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
- 8. ROK Role in Afghanistan
- 9. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
- 10. Hiroshima Anniversary
- 11. PRC Security
- 12. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
- III. ROK Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Yomiuri Shimbun (Takeo Miyazaki , “N-PROBE ALSO EYES DPRK’S HELP TO OTHERS / INSPECTION DISPUTE MAY DELAY DELISTING”, Washington, 2008/08/06) reported that a draft list of procedures devised by the US for verifying the DPRK’s declaration concerning its nuclear weapons programs includes a probe into the reclusive state’s alleged cooperation in promoting similar projects by other nations, it was learned. Items subject to inspection, according to the four-page draft, a copy of which has been obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun, include the DPRK’s nuclear arms and its suspected production of highly enriched uranium, neither of which were covered in its declaration.
2. Japan-DPRK Relations
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, N. KOREA TO HOLD TALKS IN CHINA ON AUG. 11-12:”, Tokyo, 2008/08/06) reported that the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Japan and the DPRK will hold two-day working-level consultations in the PRC city of Shenyang from Monday. The talks are expected to cover the DPRK’s promise — made in the previous round of talks in June — to reinvestigate the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by its agents as well as its cooperation in handing over Japanese radicals who hijacked a plane to the DPRK decades ago.
3. US-DPRK Relations
Reuters (Jeremy Pelofsky , “BUSH SAYS NORTH KOREA STILL “AXIS OF EVIL” MEMBER “, Seoul, 2008/08/06) reported that President George W. Bush said that the DPRK remained — for now — part of what he once branded an “axis of evil,” but hoped the list would some day be empty. “In order to get off the list, the ‘axis of evil’ list, then the North Korean leader is going to have to make certain decisions,” he said. “My hope is that the ‘axis of evil’ list no longer exists,” Bush said.
4. US, ROK on DPRK Human Rights
Joongang Ilbo (Ser Myo-ja, “LEADERS STAND TOUGH ON NORTH KOREAN RIGHTS”, 2008/08/06) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak and U.S. President George W. Bush jointly pressed the DPRK regime yesterday to improve its citizens’ human rights. “It was the first time that the North Korea human rights issue was officially included in a joint statement,” said Lee Dong-kwan, the Blue House spokesman. “The two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to improving the human rights situation in North Korea and shared the view that in the process of normalizing relations, meaningful progress should be made on improving North Korea’s human rights record,” the joint statement said.
5. DPRK on Human Rights Envoy
Associated Press (“NKOREA DISALLOWS US ENVOY TO VISIT INDUSTRIAL PARK”, Seoul, 2008/08/07) reported that the DPRK refused to allow Jay Lefkowitz, the U.S. presidential envoy on DPRK human rights, to inspect the Kaesong Industrial Complex during a visit to the ROK next week, said Kim Ho-nyeon, a spokesman at the ROK Unification Ministry. Kim said his ministry conveyed Lefkowitz’s proposal to the DPRK last week but the country declined it, saying the trip was “not appropriate.”
6. Sino-DPRK Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“RIGHTS BODY URGES PROTECTION OF N.KOREANS IN CHINA”, 2008/08/06) reported that the National Human Rights Commission has advised the government to make greater diplomatic efforts to protect the human rights of DPRK refugees in the PRC. A plenary meeting of the commission on Tuesday urged the foreign minister to make “multifaceted diplomatic efforts” to ensure the PRC government stops indiscriminately repatriating DPRK refugees and instead protects their rights under international law, including the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and humanitarian considerations.
7. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
Korea Herald (“KOREA TO BUILD SOLAR POWER PLANT ON DISPUTED ISLANDS”, 2008/08/06) reported that the ROK said it will build a solar power plant on remote islands claimed by Japan, as part of moves to reassert its sovereignty, reported AFP. The knowledge economy ministry said the 50-kilowatt solar power system would supply electricity to a small ROK police contingent based on the islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The ministry said work would start in September and be completed in November.
8. ROK Role in Afghanistan
Korea Herald (“SEOUL NOT CONSIDERING TROOPS FOR AFGHANISTAN: OFFICIAL”, 2008/08/06) reported that the government is not considering sending troops to Afghanistan, a senior Defense Ministry official said ahead of a summit meeting between leaders of ROK and the US, reported Yonhap News Agency. “Resending troops to Afghanistan is not a matter of consideration under the present situation, as it has not been long since troops were withdrawn by the request of the parliament,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
9. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
Agence-France-Presse (“RUSSIA CRITICISES JAPAN OVER KURIL ISLANDS: REPORT “, Moscow, 2008/08/06) reported that Japan is using its ongoing territorial dispute with Russia over the Kuril Islands to turn its people against Moscow, said junior foreign minister Alexei Borodavkin in an interview published Wednesday. “We would like Japan to stop its efforts to turn public opinion, in a artificial and unfriendly way, against Russia, by using the so-called ‘northern territories’ problem,” he told the Russian daily Vremya Novosti.
10. Hiroshima Anniversary
The Associated Press (“HIROSHIMA MAYOR ASKS US TO BACK NUCLEAR BAN “, Hiroshima, 2008/08/06) reported that Hiroshima’s mayor urged the next US president to support a proposed ban on nuclear weapons, as Japan marked the 63rd anniversary of the atomic blast that obliterated this city and killed 140,000 people. In a ceremony, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba also announced the launch of a two-year study to gauge the psychological toll of the Aug. 6, 1945, attack in the closing days of World War II. Japan submitted a resolution in the U.N. last year calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
11. PRC Security
Washington Post (Jill Drew, “CHINA’S UIGHURS WARY, WORRIED AFTER ATTACK”, Kashgar, 2008/08/06) reported that fear and caution pervaded the warren of mud-brick homes and shops of this northwestern city’s ethnic Uighur neighborhood Tuesday, a day after an attack on a paramilitary police unit that killed 16 officers. Exile groups say hundreds of Uighurs have been detained in recent months while thousands of paramilitary forces have been dispatched to the Xinjiang region in response to what local officials have said are terrorist threats from extremist Uighurs who want to form an independent state. Some foreign experts say the PRC has exaggerated the threat to justify its crackdown on Uighur dissent.
Donga Ilbo (“‘CHINESE MILITARY SHIFTS FOCUS TO ETHNIC MINORITIES’ “, 2008/08/06) reported that the priority of the PRC People’s Liberation Army has changed from deterring Taiwan’s independence to preventing separatist movements by ethnic minorities and fighting terrorism. The Hong Kong daily Ming Pao said yesterday that the change was prompted by growing terrorist activities in the autonomous region of Xinjiang and improving ties between Beijing and Taipei.
12. PRC Environment
Reuters (Lucy Hornby, “CHINA’S CHANGSHA CITY PLANS LOCAL EMISSIONS TRADING”, Beijing, 2008/08/06) reported that the city of Changsha, the capital of Hunan province in south-central PRC, is preparing to launch an emissions trading scheme, its mayor said. Changsha’s plan is a local version of a tentative outline drawn up by the central bank, for a domestic emissions trading scheme that could cover everything from greenhouse gases to water pollutants, and speed the PRC’s push for greener growth. Changsha would assign its local districts quotas for dust, carbon dioxide and chemical oxygen demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, Zhang Jianfei told a news conference.
II. PRC Report
13. PRC Food Supply
Farmer’s Daily (Wang Dezheng, “NETWORK MANAGEMENT EFFECTIVE IN PINGYUAN FOOD ASSOCIATION”, ) reported that Pingyuan county of Shandong province is a national food and cotton production base. In recent years, in order to raise the famers’ enthusiasm for food production, the Food Industry Association has played an important role in organizing and taking lead. The Association set up its branch in the county, then the branch sends its central associator to the village. The central associator takes charge in managing the famers (members). The Association, the branch, the central associator and the famer form a network management structure. Since the establishment of the Association, the problem of food production deviating from the market has been solved successfully, and the farmers come out of the weak position and know more about the market.
14. PRC Energy
China News online (Jiang Geng, Chai Yanfei, “RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPING RAPIDLY IN ZHEJIANG”, 2008/08/06) report that last year, the coal production in Zhejiang province was continuously declining and the coal being imported and transferred into energy was rising 15%. The quantity of oil and nature gas which were being imported and transferred into energy was also rising last year. This means the dependence on external energy of Zhejiang is stronger. In order to increase the self-production of energy, Zhejiang is gradually optimizing its energy structure, and focusing on the development of nuclear and water, wind and other renewable resources. It has set up the Sanmen Nuclear Power Station and Jiangxia Tide Power Station. Wind power is also encouraged by the government and is developing rapidly.
III. ROK Report
15. Inter-Korean Relations
Pressian (Jung Chang-hyun, “FULLFILLMENT OF 10.4 DECLARATION, SOLUTION FOR MT.KUMGANG INCIDENT”, 2008/08/07) carried an article by a professor at Kookmin University and representative of Minjok21, who wrote that President Lee Myung-bak unexpectedly mentioned the 10.4 declaration, but it seems only nominal without any actual follow-up. Hyundai-Asan and the Chosun Asia-Pacific Peace Committee should be the agents to solve the Mt. Kumgang incident. However, the Lee administration should suggest the specific negotiation guideline. Once they find a negotiation point, follow-up measures will naturally come up to prevent recurrence, and that will revitalize inter-Korean dialogue.
Ohmynews (“DPRK REFUSES TO SHARE TABLE IN BEJING OLYMPICS’ LUNCHEON MEETING”, 2008/08/07) wrote that according to reports, PRC president Hu Jintao tried to make the two Koreas’ representatives share a table, however the DPRK refused to do so. The mention of the DPRK human rights issue through the ROK-U.S. summit meeting made the situation even worse. It seems even the U.S will avoid mentioning the Mt. Kumgang mountain when meeting with the Kim Jong-il. Contries most concerned with the six-party talks, the DPRK and U.S., are not treating the ROK as important and there seems no place for President Lee Myung-bak.