NAPSNet Daily Report 8 April, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on Six Party Talks
- 2. ROK on Six-Party Talks
- 3. DPRK-US Relations
- 4. DPRK Military
- 5. ROK on US Nuclear Posture
- 6. ROK-US Defense Relations
- 7. ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- 8. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
- 9. Japan on US Nuclear Posture
- 10. Japan on PRC Nuclear Program
- 11. USFJ Base Relocation
- 12. Japan Politics
- 13. Japan Abductee Issue
- 14. Japan Climate Change
- 15. PRC on Iranian Nuclear Program
- 16. Sino-India Relations
- 17. Sino-US Relations
- 18. Sino-US Trade Relations
- 19. PRC Climate Change
- 20. PRC Internet
- II. PRC Report
1. US on Six Party Talks
Yonhap News (“N.K. TO RETURN TO NUCLEAR TALKS BUT PROGRESS UNLIKELY: FORMER U.S. ENVOY”, 2010/04/07) reported that the DPRK is likely to return to the six-party nuclear talks out of its economic need, but that is no guarantee of progress in the negotiations, a former senior U.S. diplomat said Wednesday. The DPRK “is looking for ways to get back into the six-party talks to get tangible economic assistance in exchange for promises of nuclear disarmament,” John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said here. “Economic conditions in North Korea have deteriorated, so they need to seek to alleviate the situation through talks to relieve economic pressure,” he said.
2. ROK on Six-Party Talks
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “FM SAYS N.KOREA WILL RETURN TO 6-WAY TALKS IN ‘NOT SO DISTANT FUTURE'”, Seoul, 2010/04/08) reported that the DPRK is expected to return to six-nation talks in the near future, ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said Thursday. “I believe North Korea will return to the six-party talks in not so distant future,” Yu said. “I cannot predict the exact timing of the resumption of the six-party talks, but related countries are making active diplomatic contacts as it is also in North Korea’s interests to return to the six-party talks.”
3. DPRK-US Relations
Korea Times (“‘US TO MAINTAIN TOUGH STANCE IN DEALING WITH NK'”, 2010/04/07) reported that the United States will continue to take a tough line on the DPRK at a time when the latter is a “broken state,” John Hamre, former U.S. deputy secretary of defense and now leader of a Washington-based think tank, said Wednesday. “The posture (of the United States) is we’re happy to negotiate with North Korea if North Korea agrees that its current strategy is wrong,” said Hamre, president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), at a forum in Seoul. “It continues to rely on nuclear intimidation and that’s not a solution, it’s not a strategy and we will not accept it.”
Christian Science Monitor (“AMERICAN GETS 8 YEARS LABOR, COULD BECOME NORTH KOREA PAWN IN NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2010/04/07) reported that Washington and Pyongyang are likely headed for serious diplomatic talks after the DPRK sentenced a US citizen to 8 years of hard labor and fined him $700,000 for illegally entering the country. According to past precedent, Aijalon Mahli Gomes will likely serve only a fraction of his prison term, but not before becoming a tool for talks on the contentious nuclear program or other issues. The Guardian reports that the central court decision is final, adding: But Yoo Ho-yeol, a DPRK expert at Seoul’s Korea university, said Gomes would eventually be released as the DPRK appears to want to use his case as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the US on its nuclear programme.
4. DPRK Military
Chosun Ilbo (“SOURCES EXPLAIN ONGOING DEVELOPMENTS IN N.KOREAN SUBMERSIBLE TECHNOLOGY”, 2010/04/07) reported that the DPRK has stealth submersibles equipped with heavy attack torpedoes, intelligence sources speaking on condition of anonymity claimed Tuesday. The anonymous sources said the DPRK’s Shark-class submersibles and Yugo-class midget submarines are covered with “special tiles” that can evade sonar and some models of the Yugo-class subs are armed with 533 mm torpedoes.
5. ROK on US Nuclear Posture
Agence France Presse (“S.KOREA WELCOMES U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY “, 2010/04/07) reported that the ROK Wednesday welcomed the United States’ new nuclear policy, saying it warns the DPRK of the dangers in pursuing atomic weapons while reaffirming a security commitment to Seoul. The foreign ministry said it welcomes and supports the U.S. announcement “that it will maintain and strengthen its security commitment to its allies while seeking to realize a nuclear-free world”. The ministry said in a statement Washington had reaffirmed through its policy that it would continue to provide nuclear deterrence to the ROK.
6. ROK-US Defense Relations
Arirang News (“CSIS CHIEF:”US TROOPS SHOULD REMAIN IN S.KOREA””, 2010/04/07) reported that John Hamre head of the US Center for Strategic and International Studies stressed the need for American troops to remain in the ROK. During the a forum in Seoul on Wednesday Hamre emphasized that the presence of US troops is critical in ensuring democracy in the ROK and added that it is “strongly in America’s interest” to have its military stationed on the divided peninsula.
Voices of America News (“U.S. GENERAL: COMMAND TRANSFER IN S.KOREA WILL PROCEED DESPITE ANXIETIES”, 2010/04/07) reported that the commander of American forces stationed in the ROK says a major shift in command structure on the peninsula will proceed as scheduled. He says the alliance between the two countries will be just as effective as in the past six decades. Gen. Walter Sharp told a gathering of business leaders in Seoul, Tuesday, the United States and ROK do not intend to alter plans for a command shift scheduled to take place in two years. Some have argued that timetable is too hasty, and that the ROK may not be ready. Sharp disagrees. He says the ROK’s forces have evolved into an “outstanding military,” and that the United States is now willing to play a supporting role.
7. ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Hankyoreh (“NIS SAYS N.KOREAN ATTACK ON CHEONAN IMPOSSIBLE SANS KIM JONG-IL APPROVAL “, 2010/04/07) reported that National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director Won Sei-hoon, speaking Tuesday in reference to the sinking of the Patrol Combat Corvette (PCC) Cheonan, said, “A project of this scale could not be carried out by a single unit commander without the approval of National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-il.” Won also said, “In considering North Korea’s internal situation at the time, including the resolution of the successor to Chairman Kim, preparations for his visit to China and the chaos in the wake of the currency reform, it is difficult to believe that he gave approval.”
Yonhap News (“S. KOREA SEEKS U.N. COOPERATION IN PROBE INTO SUNKEN SHIP”, 2010/04/07) reported that President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday that his government will seek U.N. member nations’ help in investigating the cause of a ROK warship’s sinking last month in a bid to enhance the transparency of a probe that is being closely watched by the international community. “If the investigation into the cause of the sinking is loosely carried out, those who committed offenses may refuse to acknowledge (their wrongdoing),” Lee said during a meeting with leaders of the Korean Senior Citizens Association. “South Korea will investigate thoroughly in cooperation with experts from advanced nations and the U.N. so that nobody can take issue with the results.”
Chosun Ilbo (“U.S. WON’T STAND FOR LEAKS OF CLASSIFIED DATA, NIS CHIEF WARNS “, 2010/04/07) reported that any leak of classified information during the investigation into the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan could raise concerns over the credibility of the ROK government and prompt the U.S. to refuse to share sensitive information, National Intelligence Service Chief Won Sei-hoon warned Tuesday. Lawmakers quoted Won as telling a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, “We exchanged information with the CIA and there have been no irregular activities by North Korea since the sinking of the Cheonan. We notified Cheong Wa Dae of those findings.”
8. ROK Anti-Piracy Activities
Associated Press (Hyung-jin Kim, “SOMALI PIRATES WARN SKOREAN DESTROYER TO STAY AWAY”, Seoul, 2010/04/08) reported that Somali pirates warned an ROK destroyer chasing a hijacked supertanker with 24 sailors on board not to get any closer or else risk endangering the crew, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday. All crew members of the ROK-operated, Marshall Island-flagged Samho Dream are safe, the pirates said by phone Wednesday through the tanker’s captain in the first contact since the hijacking Sunday in the Indian Ocean . However, “the safety of the sailors will be in jeopardy” if the destroyer sails any closer, the pirates warned, a ministry official said.
9. Japan on US Nuclear Posture
Kyodo News (“JAPAN WELCOMES NEW U.S. NUKE STRATEGY; CALLS ON OTHERS TO FOLLOW”, 2010/04/07) reported that Japan on Wednesday welcomed a new U.S. commitment not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and called on other nuclear powers to take the same stance as Washington. ‘‘I welcome the U.S. announcement as a step toward a world without nuclear weapons,’’ Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told reporters, while Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada separately said that Tokyo is assured that its security would not be endangered in light of the new nuclear strategy announced by the United States on Tuesday. ‘‘Other nuclear powers should take the same stance and (such commitments) should be guaranteed in such forms as Security Council resolutions or treaties, so that they would be reinforced,’’ Okada said.
10. Japan on PRC Nuclear Program
Kyodo News (“OKADA SEES NEED TO HOLD DIALOGUE WITH CHINA OVER NUCLEAR ISSUES”, 2010/04/07) reported that Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Wednesday that Japan needs to hold dialogue with the PRC over its nuclear policy, indicating his eagerness to encourage Beijing to make efforts toward nuclear disarmament. “I think there is need for dialogue between Japan and China over China’s nuclear policy…Such a thing would eventually lead to China’s nuclear disarmament moves,” Okada said in an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo. “There are frequent occasions for foreign ministers from Japan and China to meet with each other…I would like to add (the nuclear issue) as one of the topics” for discussion, Okada said.
11. USFJ Base Relocation
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, U.S. TO LAUNCH WORKING-LEVEL TALKS ON FUTEMMA POSSIBLY NEXT WEEK”, 2010/04/07) reported that Japan and the United States are likely to launch working- level negotiations next week to figure out where a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa Prefecture should be relocated, Japanese government sources said Wednesday. In a meeting held at his official residence Tuesday night, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama urged officials from the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and Cabinet Secretariat to step up the talks with the United States, the sources said.
Kyodo News (“OZAWA CANCELS PLANS TO VISIT U.S. DURING HOLIDAYS: DPJ LAWMAKERS”, 2010/04/07) reported that Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa has given up on a plan to visit the United States during Japan’s Golden Week holidays from late April, several DPJ lawmakers said Wednesday. Ozawa apparently decided to drop the plan out of fear that such a visit could trigger criticism that he may be trying to negotiate with Washington on the issue of a U.S. military base behind the scenes, which would go against his advocacy of concentrating policymaking power within the Cabinet.
12. Japan Politics
Financial Times (“JAPAN PM WARNED ON FUTENMA BASE”, 2010/04/07) reported that Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s prime minister, will have to resign if he fails to resolve a military-base dispute with the US by his self-declared May deadline, a senior member of his ruling Democratic party of Japan warned on Wednesday. The warning from Kozo Watanabe, an outspoken DPJ veteran, underscores growing speculation in Japanese political circles that disagreement over how to deal with the Futenma marine air base on southern Okinawa island could break Mr Hatoyama’s six-month-old coalition administration. Mr Watanabe said he believed “from the bottom of my heart” that Mr Hatoyama could still live up to his promise to resolve the issue by the end of May. “But if he cannot, then I think he should take responsibility, and that will mean a new administration,” he said, adding that a likely successor to Mr Hatoyama was Naoto Kan, finance minister.
Kyodo News (“NEW POLITICAL PARTY TO BE NAMED ‘TACHIAGARE NIPPON’: HIRANUMA “, 2010/04/07) reported that a new political party to be launched Saturday will be named ”Tachiagare Nippon” (Stand Up, Japan), former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma, an independent House of Representatives member who will head the party, said Wednesday. The same day, Yoshio Nakagawa, a House of Councillors member of the Liberal Democratic Party, tendered a letter of resignation to the main opposition party to join the new party, which will be launched by Hiranuma, former Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano and other like-minded lawmakers. ‘We have decided to leave the LDP and form a new party, ‘Tachiagare Nippon’,” Yosano and Sonoda wrote, adding that the party aims to ”topple the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration, which is leading Japan on a path to its downfall.”
13. Japan Abductee Issue
Kyodo News (“NAKAI SAYS N. KOREAN DEFECTOR’S VISIT TO JAPAN ‘SIGNIFICANT'”, 2010/04/07) reported that Japan’s minister in charge of the abduction issue Hiroshi Nakai said Wednesday that inviting a former high-ranking DPRK official to Japan was meaningful in terms of helping to formulate Japan’s policies against the DPRK. Asked whether Hwang’s visit would have a negative impact on resumption of the stalled six-nation talks on the DPRK ‘s nuclear programs, Nakai responded, “Inviting Mr. Hwang (to Japan ) had a significant meaning in (terms of) researching and formulating policies for North Korea. ”
14. Japan Climate Change
Financial Times (“TOKYO INTRODUCES CAP-AND-TRADE SCHEME”, 2010/04/07) reported that Tokyo has stolen a march on the national Japanese government by introducing the country’s first mandatory carbon trading scheme as part of new environmental regulations that will force thousands of businesses to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Under Mr Ishihara’s plan, the capital’s most energy-hungry office buildings, factories and universities must cut emissions by between 6 and 8 per cent over the next five years.
15. PRC on Iranian Nuclear Program
Agence France Presse (” CHINA AGREES TO MEET WORLD POWERS ON IRAN SANCTIONS: FRANCE”, 2010/04/07) reported that the PRC , which has opposed new UN sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, has agreed to meet world powers Thursday in New York to discuss punitive measures, France said. “The Chinese have agreed to speak tomorrow in New York among the six,” Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said, referring to the negotiating group comprising Britain , the PRC, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Speaking before the French parliament’s foreign relations committee, Kouchner described the PRC stance as “a positive factor” and “good news”, and said they would take place at an ambassadorial level.
16. Sino-India Relations
Reuters (“CHINA, INDIA LEADERS TO SET UP HOTLINE”, 2010/04/07) reported that the PRC and India agreed to set up a top level hotline on Wednesday, sealing a “cordial” Beijing visit by India’s foreign minister that consolidated an improvement in ties between the sometimes fractious neighbors. Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters the trip had gone well, and both sides were pleased with the new mechanism connecting the PRC and Indian Prime Ministers, which could help prevent dangerous flare-ups in future. “The agreement to establish a hotline is an important confidence building measure and it opens up a direct channel of communication between the two leaders.”
17. Sino-US Relations
Voice of America (“US-CHINA RELATIONS SAID TO HAVE ‘NEW CONSENSUS’ “, 2010/04/07) reported that a senior PRC diplomat says the PRC and the United States have reached a new consensus, following several months of strained ties. Ahead of President Hu Jintao’s trip next week to Washington – senior PRC diplomats were keen Wednesday to promote what they describe as a new understanding between Beijing and Washington, following a period of tense relations. Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai says what he calls the “fresh and considerate approach to differing views over key issues” including Tibet and Taiwan will be further demonstrated during President Hu’s talks with President Obama on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.
18. Sino-US Trade Relations
Reuters (Aileen Wang and Chris Buckley, “CHINA HINTS AT READINESS TO LET YUAN RISE”, 2010/04/07) reported that the PRC will keep the yuan basically stable while alerting exporters to potential risks to minimize their losses, a powerful central planning agency said in a statement reported on Wednesday. The National Development and Reform Commission did not elaborate on what such risks might entail, but the wording hinted at the PRC’s readiness to resume appreciation after locking the yuan in place since mid-2008 to cushion exporters from the global economic downturn.
19. PRC Climate Change
EarthTimes (“HONG KONG SIGNS PACT WITH CHINA TO REDUCE POLLUTION”, 2010/04/07) reported that Hong Kong leaders on Wednesday signed a pact with their counterparts in southern PRC to step up efforts to reduce pollution and improve air quality. The pact envisions the former British colony further cooperating with Guangdong province to develop the electric car industry and set a timetable for cutting pollution in the region over the next 10 years.
20. PRC Internet
Agence France Presse (“CHINA TIGHTENS RULES ON INTERNET CAFES”, 2010/04/07) reported that cybercafes in the PRC that admit three or more underage patrons will have their licences revoked under the government’s latest effort to tighten controls on web access in the world’s largest online market. The measure will also be applied to establishments that give rise to “major malignant cases” through admitting any number of underage customers — those under 18 — according to the rules posted on the culture ministry’s website. The new regulations, posted on Tuesday, did not specify what would constitute a “major malignant case.”
II. PRC Report
21. PRC Civil Society
Public Times (“(20% INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS MAY BE ELIMINATED”, 2010/04/07) reported that those national industrial associations who have lots of problems and can not play roles, should be eliminated as soon as possible. Seeing from the evaluated 150 national industrial associations, about 30 should be eliminated, said Sun Weilin, director of Bureau of NGO administration of Ministry of Civil Affairs recently.
22. PRC Environment
People’s Daily Online (“RESOURCE RECYCLING SETS IN SHENYANG”, 2010/04/07) reported that Shenyang Inshore Northeast Asia Resource Recycling Science City was set up in Shenyang city of Liaoning province. The Science City covers 2000 mu of land and has an investment of 1.75 billion RMB, and is the PRC’s first platform for R&D technology of dismantling and processing of waste products.
23. PRC Public Heath
Shanxi Evening News (“AHF HELP AIDS PATIENTS IN SHANXI”, 2010/04/07) reported that the second round of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Shanxi Project was launched in Linfen Infectious Diseases Hospital. The projects will help provide medical services to AIDs patients with limited ability of payment.