NAPSNet Daily Report 7 October, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
IFES NK Brief (“INTER-KOREAN TRADE UP 51.3% IN FIRST HALF OF 2010”, 2010/10/08) reported that trade between the two Koreas in the first half of 2010 totaled 980 million USD, 51.3 percent more than the 650 million dollars-worth of trade last year. The DPRK’s trade with the PRC was also up, by 16.4 percent, to 1.28 billion USD. The DPRK’s import of ROK goods increased by 63 percent to 430 million USD, while the DPRK’s PRC imports rose a mere 25 percent, but still totaled 930 million USD. In comparison, PRC imports from the DPRK shrunk one percent to 340 million USD.
2. Sino-US Military Relations
The Wall Street Journal (Jeremy Page, “BEIJING AFFIRMS DEFENSE TIES TO U.S.”, Beijing, 2010/10/07) reported that the PRC said its defense minister will meet with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Vietnam next week, in the clearest signal yet that military relations are returning to normal after Beijing suspended them in January. But the meeting, on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Hanoi, could be overshadowed by an escalating territorial dispute between the PRC and Vietnam, which has drawn increasingly close to the US in recent months. As well as fueling local concerns about the PRC’s military power, it also could lead to fresh tensions between the PRC and the US, which angered Beijing this year by asserting its own interests in the South China Sea and by shoring up ties with Southeast Asia.
3. PRC Missile Test
The Washington Times (Bill Gertz, “CHINESE MISSILE TEST”, 2010/10/07) reported that the PRC recently conducted a long-range missile flight test that remains shrouded in secrecy. The Sept. 25 test highlights what PRC military specialists say is the growing threat posed by Beijing’s development of long- and short-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and its new missile defense interceptors. A US official confirmed that the PRC’s military fired a missile from the Taiyuan missile center, about 320 miles southwest of Beijing, to Korla, a city in western PRC some 1,800 miles away. PRC watchers in Asia and the United States were alerted to the test by a Sept. 23 “notice to airmen” issued by the PRC government. The notice warned aircraft to stay clear of a corridor of airspace stretching from Taiyuan to Korla until Sept. 25. One theory is that the test included the launch of a target missile from Taiyuan and an interceptor missile from Korla, which is known for past work on PRC anti-missile defenses.
4. Japanese Nuclear Technology Exports
The Nikkei (“TURKISH MINISTER: JAPAN OFFERS TO BUILD NUCLEAR PLANT”, Istanbul, 2010/10/08) reported that Japan has offered to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Thursday, the Ihlas News Agency, or IHA, reported. “Japan has submitted an offer through Toshiba about building nuclear plants,” Yildiz told reporters after meeting with Toshiba officials in Ankara. “We said that we can’t give a net answer now before the studies with South Korea on this subject end,” Yildiz said. “We don’t have a study on building a third nuclear plant,” Yildiz added.
5. ROK Nuclear Technology Exports
Bloomberg News (Ayesha Daya, “SOUTH KOREA PLANS TO LEND $10 BILLION FOR U.A.E. NUCLEAR PLANTS”, 2010/10/08) reported that the ROK expects to lend about $10 billion for the United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear plants, more than doubling pledges it has already made this year to finance construction projects in the Middle East. The Export-Import Bank of Korea expects to lend most of the money that Korea Electric Power Corp. and contractors will need to borrow to build four 1,400-megawatt atomic power stations in the U.A.E., said the bank’s chief representative in Dubai. The state-owned bank, known also as Kexim, provides credit for Korean companies overseas and has already committed this year to lend $9.4 billion for energy projects and other infrastructure work in the Middle East. Loans for the construction in Saudi Arabia of the Yanbu oil refinery and two power plants may be among its next big deals.