NAPSNet Daily Report 8 August, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. Inter-Korean Relations
- 2. Inter-Korean Exchanges
- 3. US on DPRK Human Rights
- 4. DPRK Refugees
- 5. DPRK Food Situation
- 6. US Policy Toward ROK
- 7. ROK-PRC Territorial Dispute
- 8. ROK Energy Diplomacy
- 9. US Military in Japan
- 10. Japan on US-India Nuclear Deal
- 11. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 12. US-PRC Relations
- 13. Beijing Olympics
- 14. PRC Olympic Security
- 15. PRC Terrorist Attacks
- 16. PRC Cyber Hacking
- II. PRC Report
- 17. PRC Civil Society and the 512 Earthquake
- 18. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
- 19. PRC Civil Society and AIDS Issue
- III. ROK Report
1. Inter-Korean Relations
Associated Press (Stephen Wilson, “NO JOINT MARCH BY KOREAS IN BEIJING”, Beijing, 2008/08/07) reported that the two Koreas would not march together in Friday’s opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. IOC President Jacques Rogge said Thursday that negotiations for a joint march failed, calling it a “setback for peace” and reunification efforts on the divided peninsula.He said there had been a “great willingness” among the two national Olympic committees for a joint march. “Unfortunately the political powers — both on the South and the North — did not agree,” he said.
Korea Times (Sunny Lee, “N. KOREA BLAMES SOUTH FOR MARCH DEBACLE”, Beijing, 2008/08/07) reported that while the DPRK blamed the ROK for failure to enter discussions for a possible joint march during the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. “Neither did we meet, nor did we discuss the matter,” Koh Chul-ho, a DPRK Olympic liaison official in Beijing, said. “The key is not on whether the two Koreas can march together during the opening ceremony, but whether we can unite our hearts together,” an official at the DPRK Embassy in Beijing said in a telephone interview. “The pacts such as the June 15 agreement or the Oct. 4 agreement were signed by both Koreas. It was not a unilateral decision by North Korea. But the South broke all these agreements unilaterally and now says that we should hold our hands together at the Olympics.”
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “PRESIDENT LEE ENCOUNTERS N. KOREA’S NO. 2 LEADER”, Beijing, 2008/08/08) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak encountered Friday the DPRK’s No. 2 leader Kim Yong-nam at a welcoming lunch hosted by PRC President Hu Jintao in Beijing. Whether President Lee spoke to Kim remains unclear. An aide to President Lee told reporters that the two figures sat diagonally across from each other at the lunch.
2. Inter-Korean Exchanges
Yonhap (Shim Sun-ah, “SEOUL TURNS DOWN BID BY TEACHERS TO VISIT N. KOREA”, Seoul, 2008/08/08) reported that the ROK has rejected a request by unionized teachers to visit the DPRK, the Unification Ministry said Friday. The Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union sought Seoul’s approval last month to send 69 members on a four-day trip to Pyongyang and Mount Paektu early next week. “The government turned down the request in consideration of current inter-Korean relations,” ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyoun told reporters. The group was advised to “push for the trip again when an appropriate time comes,” he said.
3. US on DPRK Human Rights
Joongang Ilbo (“BUSH HAMMERS THE NORTH AGAIN ON HUMAN RIGHTS”, Seoul, 2008/08/08) reported that A diplomat in Washington said the U.S. administration’s emphasis on DPRK human rights is in line with the latest development in the six-party talks. “In preparation for the next step of the denuclearization process, which is linked to normalization between the United States and North Korea, Washington has begun sending a message to the North that without an improving rights situation, there will be no diplomatic tie,” said an official at the ROK Embassy in Washington. The diplomat also said the U.S. stance had already been made public when “Christopher Hill told the Congress that Jay Lefkowitz, U.S. special envoy on North Korean human rights, will be invited to participate in future talks with Pyongyang.”
4. DPRK Refugees
Joongang Ilbo (“NORTH KOREAN REFUGEE STAGES LONE CHINA PROTEST”, Washington, 2008/08/08) reported that Cho Jin-hae, a DPRK defector recently admitted to the United States, has been staging a hunger strike in front of the PRC Embassy in protest of the PRC’s repatriation of DPRK defectors. “I personally talked to President Bush on the North Korean defectors issue, but I thought the president, who is attending the opening ceremony of the Olympics, will be able to better remember and focus on the North Korean defectors issue if I stage a hunger strike,” Cho said. “We stand with Cho Jin-hae, who witnessed several of her family members starve to death in North Korea,” Bush said. “She herself was tortured by the communist authorities.
5. DPRK Food Situation
IFES NK Brief (“DPRK FOOD PRODUCTION SEEN AS A POLITICAL ISSUE”, Seoul, 2008/08/08) reported that in an interview published in the latest issue (July 24) of the DPRK Cabinet publication, “Democratic Chosun”, Choi Hyun-soo, vice director of the DPRK Department of Agriculture, recognized the impact of natural disasters on the DPRK’s food production, but he also blamed the “villainous isolation and oppression machinations of the imperialists.” He also pointed out that the sudden jump in rice, corn, wheat and other grain prices around the world has been cause for concern, and “these days, there are no countries offering food or in a position to provide it.” He went on to state, “If countermeasures to prevent damage during the monsoon season cannot be implemented, farmland and crops could be severely damaged.”
6. US Policy Toward ROK
Korea Herald (“WHITE HOUSE AIDE ASSUMES TOP POST ON KOREAN AFFAIRS AT STATE DEPT. “, Seoul, 2008/08/08) reported that Kurt Tong, a National Security Council director, replaced Sung Kim as the head of the Korea Desk at the State Department, a department official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency. A career diplomat, Tong once served as an economic affairs counselor at the U.S. embassy in Seoul.
7. ROK-PRC Territorial Dispute
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “S. KOREA TO ASK CHINA TO RECTIFY CLAIM OVER IEODO”, Seoul, 2008/08/08) reported that the ROK government will ask the PRC government to rectify the description of Ieodo Islet as Chinese on a Web site of a state agency, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Friday. The Web site states that the islet is the PRC’s, arguing it lies within the PRC’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The site also referred to the islet as “Suyan Rock” in Chinese. “South Korea and China agreed in 2006 that the Ieodo Islet is a submerged rock, not an island, so that it would not be subject to a territorial dispute,” the official told reporters, asking not to be named. “Ieodo is located 81 nautical miles southwest of our island of Marado, and 147 nautical miles northeast of China. There is no doubt that Ieodo is in our EEZ,” the official added.
8. ROK Energy Diplomacy
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “LEE TO HOLD SUMMITS AT OLYMPICS”, Seoul, 2008/08/07) reported that ROK President Lee Myung-bak left for the PRC Thursday to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics, a Cheong Wa Dae official said. During his two-day stay, Lee will hold a series of summits with foreign heads of state on energy diplomacy, the presidential office said. Lee is scheduled to meet with the leaders of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Algeria on the sidelines of the ceremony to discuss closer cooperation in natural resources development, a Cheong Wa Dae official said.
9. US Military in Japan
Associated Press (Mari Yamaguchi, “US NUCLEAR SUBMARINE LEAKED RADIATION OVER 2 YEARS”, Tokyo, 2008/08/07) reported that a US nuclear-powered submarine leaked radiation for more than two years, releasing the bulk of the material in its home port of Guam and at Pearl Harbor, Japanese and U.S. officials said Thursday. The U.S. Navy released a detailed chronology of the leaks over the past two years, showing that the cumulative radioactivity released was less than 9.3 micro curies — with 8 micro curies released in Guam alone. “If we add all radiation leaked at every Japanese port, it would be still smaller than the amount of naturally occurring radioactivity found inside home smoke detectors,” the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement accompanying its release of the U.S. report. “Japan also has found no abnormality in its monitoring results during Houston’s port calls since June 2006.”
10. Japan on US-India Nuclear Deal
Bloomberg (Bibhudatta Pradhan, “JAPAN NONCOMMITTAL ON SUPPORT TO INDIA-U.S. NUCLEAR ACCORD”, New Delhi , 2008/08/05) reported that Japan is non-committal about supporting a nuclear energy accord for India that was endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week. “Japan has been continuously requesting India to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,” Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura said today in New Delhi after talks with Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee. “This is something we will not change our position on and continue to ask India.” “We need to confirm that the nuclear cooperation is satisfactory, in the sense that it will further strengthen international disarmament and not undermine nuclear disarmament,” Koumura said. “We intend to join discussions which will be held in future.”
Kyodo (“BOUCHER URGES JAPAN, OTHERS TO SUPPORT U.S.-INDIA NUKE DEAL”, Tokyo, 2008/08/08) reported that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher urged Japan and other participants of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group on Friday to agree to terms for enabling a U.S.-India civilian nuclear cooperation deal to enter into force, saying the accord will be a ”practical way” of engaging India on nonproliferation. ”The question we’re dealing with now is what’s the best way to get more convergence between what we do within the nonproliferation treaty and what India does outside,” he said.
11. Sino-Japanese Relations
Kyodo (“FUKUDA ARRIVES IN CHINA TO ATTEND OLYMPIC CEREMONY”, Beijing, 2008/08/08) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda arrived in Beijing Friday for a trip that will include attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and talks with PRC leaders. Fukuda will meet separately with PRC President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao for talks expected to range from bilateral ties to the DPRK nuclear issue.
Asahi Shimbun (“GOVERNMENT WITHHELD INFORMATION ON TAINTED DUMPLINGS ‘AT CHINA’S REQUEST'”, Tokyo, 2008/08/08) reported that at Beijing’s request, the Fukuda administration did not inform the public about a poisoning outbreak in the PRC involving frozen “gyoza” dumplings, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said. The PRC Foreign Ministry informed the Japanese Embassy in Beijing in early July that several Chinese people fell ill in June after ingesting a pesticide in gyoza made by Tianyang Food, according to Komura. The products had been recalled after Japanese consumers became sick from eating imported Tianyang Food gyoza products last December and in January. Beijing asked Tokyo not to disclose the matter on grounds an investigation was under way and that revealing the information would hinder it.
12. US-PRC Relations
Associated Press (Paul Alexander, “BUSH DEDICATES NEW MASSIVE US EMBASSY IN BEIJING”, Beijing, 2008/08/08) reported that US President George W. Bush criticized the PRC’s human rights record Friday at the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He prodded the PRC to lessen repression and “let people say what they think.” “We strongly believe societies which allow the free expression of ideas tend to be the most prosperous and the most peaceful,” Bush said. “Candor is most effective where nations have built a relationship of respect and trust,” Bush said. “I’ve worked hard to build that respect and trust. I appreciate the Chinese leadership that have worked hard to build that respect and trust.”
Associated Press (“TEXT OF CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY’S STATEMENT”, Beijing, 2008/08/07) reported that PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang in response to President Bush’s speech stated, “Facts prove again that although there are divergences between China and the U.S., there is a wide range of common interests, and a basis for cooperation.” He added, “As for the divergence on human rights and religions, we always advocate that both sides talk from a basis of mutual respect and equality, to enhance understanding and diminish divergence, and enlarge mutual consensus.”
13. Beijing Olympics
Los Angeles Times (Mark Magnier and Randy Harvey, “GAMES PUT CHINA UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT”, Beijing, 2008/08/07) reported that in promising a perfect Olympics and pledging to keep protesters, and even the weather, under control, the PRC has set itself up for disappointment and created a challenge for protesters. “There’s been a drastic change in outlook by the political leadership from ‘coming-out show’ to ‘Let’s let the Olympics pass without a crisis,’ ” said Cheng Li, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington. “They’ve really lowered expectations.” International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge acknowledged this week that the Chinese face “some challenges.” But he said, “I think history will view the Games as a significant milestone in China’s remarkable transformation.”
14. PRC Olympic Security
Associated Press (Dikky Sinn, “PROTESTS FOR OLYMPICS, BUT NOT IN BEIJING”, Beijing, 2008/08/08) reported that PRC authorities were on their highest alert Friday in the final hours before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. The tight controls have so far ensured the handful of protests in the host city have been small, and relatively quiet. In the Nepalese capital of Katmandu, hundreds of Tibetan exiles demonstrated outside the PRC embassy Friday demanding an end to what they say is Beijing’s brutal rule in the Himalayan territory. Activists were planning big demonstrations later Friday in foreign capitals including London, Paris and Berlin. Rallies were held in Australia and planned in the Philippines and India.
15. PRC Terrorist Attacks
New York Times (Edward Wong, “GROUP SAYS VIDEO WARNS OF OLYMPIC ATTACK”, Beijing, 2008/08/07) reported that a terrorist group seeking an independent Muslim state in western China has released a video threatening an attack on the Olympic Games, according to an American organization that tracks terrorist Internet posts. According to IntelCenter’s description, a man holding an assault rifle, who identifies himself as Abdullah Mansour, says in the Uighur language: “We, members of the Turkestan Islamic Party, have declared war against China. We oppose China’s occupation of our homeland of East Turkestan, which is a part of the Islamic world.”
16. PRC Cyber Hacking
Los Angeles Times (Mark Magnier, “HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS CRITICAL OF CHINA ARE ATTACKED ON WEB”, Beijing, 2008/08/07) reported that the bane of many human rights groups these days is a growing number of computer viruses, data-stealing Trojan horses and other malicious software being routed from the PRC. Although activists said they couldn’t prove the PRC government was behind the assaults, their sophistication suggests an adept attacker with extensive resources. In some cases, the attackers use viruses rarely seen before, suggesting they’re tailor-made, said Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong-based researcher with Human Rights Watch.
II. PRC Report
17. PRC Civil Society and the 512 Earthquake
China Siyuan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, http://www.sygoc.org.cn/ (“OUR FOUNDATION HOLDS EDUCATIONAL DONATION CEREMONY IN GUANGYUAN CITY”, 2008/08/07) reported that on the afternoon of Aug. 1, the donation ceremony of China Siyuan Foundation for Poverty Alleviation helping Guangyuan city of Sichuan province in post-disaster educational reconstruction was held in Jiangzhi Middle School of Guangyuan city. Since the 512 earthquake, the Foundation has carried out the “return to school project” and “Siyuan-AOC Rainbow Project”, and helped build 6 Siyuan disaster relief schools, 6462 sq.m. of mobile homes, as well as donating 13831 books and 12 TVs, which is worth a total of 3.1 million yuan. In the following 3-5 years, they will continuously help in educational and cultural reconstruction for the disaster areas. The fund planned for these is about 10 million yuan.
18. PRC Civil Society and the Environment
China Environmental Protection Foundation, http://www.cepf.org.cn/ (“MEETING OF SOIL ENVIRONMENT SAFETY EDUCATION PROJECT HELD IN SHANDONG”, 2008/08/08) reported that from July 30-31, directors of Publicity and Education Centers in Beijing, Guangdong, and 19 other provinces, cities and autonomous regions were organized by the China Environmental Protection Foundation for the meeting of Soil Environment Safety Education Project in Tai’an city, Shangdong province. The background and the progress of the project were introduced at the meeting, and the directors communicated positively with each other about the project experience. The meeting promotes the relations and communication between the Foundation and Publicity and Education Centers of various regions, and is good for the implementation of the following work.
19. PRC Civil Society and AIDS Issue
Tencent, http://gongyi.QQ.com (“SUMMER CAMP FOR HIV-AFFECTED CHILDREN TO START IN BEIJING”, 2008/08/06) reported that the fifth summer camp for National Care of HIV-affected Children will be held from Aug. 8-14 in Beijing. 100 HIV-affected children from 10 provinces will visit public entertainment places, hold small sports games, communicate with Olympic champions and experience the modernization of Beijing. They will be companied by 200 junior friends and many movie stars are invited as Love Ambassadors for the summer camp. According to the UN Children’s Foundation, as at 2005, 140,000 children lost their parent or parents because of AIDS in China, and about 500,000 children live with their parents who has been infected by HIV. Most of them are excluded by schools or their schoolmates. This summer camp will help them reconstruct confidence and feel the love of the society, which is helpful for their growth.
III. ROK Report
20. DPRK Internal Situation
Goodfriends (“FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF CHUNGJIN CITY”, 2008/08/08) wrote that it is encouraging to hear that Chungjin city distributed corn and clothes to the aid center. It is respectable that the city voluntarily distributed provisions to the aid center before other people. We hope the DPRK government will not disregard the international request to distribute food aid to the poorest people first, and become a nation state that follows the general rules.
21. ROK Policy toward DPRK
Ohmynews (Jung Uk Sik Peace Network, “WOULD OLYMPIC BE SOLUTION FOR VERIFICATION OF DPRK NUCLEAR? “, 2008/08/07) wrote that the U.S. and DPRK continue to fail to make agreement on verification protocol and it seems August 11 will be the peak crisis for the Korean Peninsula denuclearization and peace process. Considering the general situation, the Korean Peninsula after August 11 seems to be clouded. The difference between U.S. and DPRK opinions regarding verification protocol seems hardly be settled, and the Bush administration will not officially remove the DPRK from the list of state Sponsors of Terrorism. The ROK’s role will be revitalized if President Lee Myung-bak shows the will to fulfill 6.15 joint declaration and 10.4 declaration.