NAPSNet Daily Report 8 February, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. Napsnet
- 1. US on Six Party Talks
- 2. DPRK Detention of Americans
- 3. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 4. UN-DPRK Relations
- 5. Inter Korean Relations
- 6. DPRK Leadership
- 7. US-ROK Military Exercises
- 8. Germany on Korean Reunification
- 9. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes
- 10. Japanese Peacekeeping Operations
- 11. Japanese Politics
- 12. Japanese Whaling
- 13. Cross Strait Relations
- 14. Sino-US Relations
- 15. PRC Cyber Security
- 16. Pacific Naval Balance
- II. PRC Report
1. US on Six Party Talks
Yonhap (“U.S. TO CONTINUE ENGAGING N.K. FOR 6-WAY TALKS: CLINTON”, Washington, 2010/02/08) reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday said the Obama administration will continue engaging the DPRK to convince it to return to the six-party talks. “Engagement has brought us a lot in the last year,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.” “In North Korea, when we said that we were willing to work with North Korea if they were serious about returning to the Six-Party Talks and about denuclearizing in an irreversible way, they basically did not respond in the first instance.” “But because we were willing to engage, we ended up getting a very strong sanctions regime against North Korea that China signed onto and Russia signed onto and right now is being enforced around the world,” Clinton said.
2. DPRK Detention of Americans
Associated Press (“AMERICAN HOME FROM NORTH”, 2010/02/05) reported that US missionary Robert Park was welcomed back to the United States on Saturday evening in an emotional reunion with family members at the Los Angeles International Airport. A thin and pale Park said nothing and kept his eyes downcast while his brother, Paul Park, told reporters that his brother was in good condition.
3. Sino-DPRK Relations
Reuters (Jon Herskovitz, “ENVOYS GO TO NORTH KOREA FOR NUCLEAR TALKS PUSH”, Seoul, 2010/02/08) reported that Chinese Communist Party international affairs chief Wang Jiarui flew to the DPRK at the weekend. Wang met Choe Thae-bok, a high-ranking DPRK ruling party official on Monday, after meeting Prime Minister Kim Yong-il on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.
4. UN-DPRK Relations
Korea Times (Kim Sue-young, “UN, CHINA IN DIPLOMACY TO PERSUADE NORTH KOREA”, Seoul, 2010/02/07) reported that U.N. Special Envoy to the DPRK Lynn Pascoe indicated that his upcoming visit to Pyongyang will include discussions on the resumption of the six-party talks. “We expect to talk about the entire range of issues while we are up there,” Pascoe told reporters. Pascoe is expected to meet with DPRK senior officials including Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun.
5. Inter Korean Relations
Korea Herald (Kim So-hyun, “KOREAS MEET OVER TOUR PROJECTS”, Seoul, 2010/02/08) reported that at talks between the ROK and the DPRK on resuming cross-border tours to s Mount Geumgang resort and Gaeseong on Monday, the ROK reiterated its conditions for resuming the tours, which the DPRK claimed were already met, according to a Unification Ministry official. “Our side then explained our basic position that the North must provide an understandable explanation on [ROK tourist] Park [Wang-ja]’s death, set rules to ensure the safety of tourists and to keep such incidents from recurring,” the ministry official said. “The North insisted that there was no reason to keep the tours under suspension.”
Yonhap (“DOMESTIC POLITICS NOT MAJOR FACTOR IN DECIDING INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT: MINISTER”, Seoul, 2010/02/05) reported that the ROK’s upcoming election calendar and other domestic political elements would not be major points of consideration in the planning and proceedings of another inter-Korean summit if the two countries were to agree to hold one, Hyun In-taek, Seoul’s unification minister, said Friday. “If an inter-Korean summit is ever to be held (again), I don’t believe (domestic) political consideration will be an important variable at all,” Hyun said during an interpellation session at the National Assembly.
6. DPRK Leadership
Joongang Ilbo (Yoo Jee-ho, “KIM JONG-IL’S COFFER MANAGER REPLACED”, Seoul, 2010/02/05) reported that Kim Tong-un is no longer the head of the Office 39 in the DPRK Workers’ Party, which handles political funds and Kim Jong-il’s personal finances, sources said Thursday. They said Kim’s deputy, Jon Il-chun, is now in charge, but it’s not yet clear when the change took place.
7. US-ROK Military Exercises
Korea Times (Jung Sung-ki, “S. KOREA, US MAY HOLD JOINT DRILL FOR NK CONTINGENCY”, Seoul, 2010/02/05) reported that the ROK is considering holding a joint military exercise with the United States to mimic coping with all possible contingencies that could occur in the DPRK, the Chosun Ilbo said Friday. The U.S. government recently proposed the idea to the ROK as DPRK leader Kim Jong-il is reportedly suffering from illnesses and the economic situation is worsening, according to newspaper. But a Ministry of National Defense spokesman stated, “The U.S. hasn’t made any such proposal. Neither have we considered such a military drill.”
8. Germany on Korean Reunification
Yonhap (Lee Chi-dong, “GERMANY ADVISES S. KOREA TO PREPARE FOR EARLY INTER-KOREAN REUNIFICATION”, Seoul, 2010/02/08) reported that visiting German President Horst Kohler advised ROK President Lee Myung-bak Monday to prepare for the possibility of an earlier-than-expected reunification with the DPRK, the ROK presidential office said. Kohler also said his country is ready to share details of its own experience in relation to reunification including the background for policy choices at that time, it added.
9. ROK-Japan Historical Disputes
Yonhap (“SEOUL TO SEEK RETURN OF LOOTED DOCUMENTS FROM JAPAN”, Seoul, 2010/02/08) reported that the ROK government is working to secure the return of hundreds of volumes of royal documents that were looted during Japan’s colonial rule of Korea, an official said Monday, according to Yonhap News. “The government has recently confirmed that (Japan’s) Imperial Household Agency is safekeeping hundreds of volumes of royal documents of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910),” the official said. The official, however, said it was a “far too complicated” issue that cannot be rushed, also noting the government has yet to decide whether or when it will request their return.
Yonhap (“AKIHITO MUST REPENT FOR JAPAN’S PAST WRONGDOING: PM”, Seoul, 2010/02/05) reported that Japanese Emperor Akihito should be willing to repent for his country’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula if he is to visit the ROK, Prime Minister Chung Un-chan said Friday. “Though the government has taken a moderate and practical stance in the field of international diplomacy, principles must be kept” regarding past issues, he said.
10. Japanese Peacekeeping Operations
Asahi Shimbun (“350 GDSF TROOPS TO ASSIST HAITI”, Tokyo, 2010/02/06) reported that the government decided Friday to send about 350 Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to quake-devastated Haiti to help in its reconstruction. The troops will be in Haiti for roughly 10 months, through to the end of November, officials said.
11. Japanese Politics
Yomiuri Shimbun (“74% BELIEVE OZAWA SHOULD RESIGN HIS POST”, Tokyo, 2010/02/07) reported that nearly 75 percent of respondents to the latest Yomiuri Shimbun survey said Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa should resign from his post following the indictment of three current and former aides. The same survey found the disapproval rating for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Cabinet had increased by five percentage points to 47 percent, surpassing the approval rating–44 percent in this poll–for the first time since the Cabinet’s inauguration in September.
12. Japanese Whaling
Associated Press (Rohan Sullivan, “WHALERS, ACTIVISTS CLASH AGAIN OFF ANTARCTICA”, Sydney, 2010/02/06) reported that anti-whaling ship the Bob Barker and a Japanese harpoon boat collided in icy Antarctic waters Saturday. The U.S.-based activist group Sea Shepard accused the Japanese ship of deliberately rammed the Bob Barker. But Japan’s Fisheries Agency said the activist boat caused the collision by suddenly approaching the harpoon vessel No. 3 Yushin Maru to throw bottles containing bad-smelling butyric acid at the Japanese ship.
13. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN ENVOY: CHINA TIES UNAFFECTED BY ARMS SALE”, Taipei, 2010/02/08) reported that Chiang Pin-kung , chairman of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation, played down Monday the possible negative impact US arms sales to Taiwan might have on the island’s ties with the PRC. “Since the arms deal was not new, I believe it won’t threaten the coming negotiations,” he told reporters. “At least for now, it has not caused any negative impact.”
14. Sino-US Relations
The Times of London (CHINA’S HAWKS DEMAND COLD WAR ON THE US, “”, Seoul, 2010/02/06) reported that almost 55% of those questioned for Global Times, a PRC state-run newspaper, agree that “a cold war will break out between the US and China”. An independent survey of Chinese-language media for The Sunday Times has found army and navy officers predicting a military showdown and political leaders calling for the PRC to sell more arms to America’s foes. “We should retaliate with an eye for an eye and sell arms to Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela,” declared Liu Menxiong, a member of the Chinese people’s political consultative conference. He added: “We have nothing to be afraid of. The North Koreans have stood up to America and has anything happened to them? No. Iran stands up to America and does disaster befall it? No.”
Christian Science Monitor (Robert Marquand, “TRANSATLANTIC, MEET PACIFIC: CHINA’S BOLD STANCE AT MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE”, Munich, 2010/02/05) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, speaking in front of 300 leading diplomats in Munich, said the US was violating international law by a proposed arms sale to Taiwan. Yang called it a “violation of the code of conduct among nations” by the US, said China has “every reason to feel indignant about this thing,” and added that Beijing has a “sovereign right to do what is necessary” in response.
15. PRC Cyber Security
Reuters (“CHINA SHUTS DOWN LARGEST HACKER TRAINING WEBSITE”, Shanghai, 2010/02/07) reported that the PRC has closed what it claims to be the largest hacker training website in the country and arrested three of its members, domestic media reported on Monday. The “Black Hawk Safety Net” website taught hacking techniques and provided malicious software downloads for its 12,000 members in exchange for a fee, the Wuhan Evening News newspaper reported this weekend, citing police in Huanggang, just east of Wuhan.
16. Pacific Naval Balance
Chosun Ilbo (“CHINA, S. KOREA FLEX NAVAL MUSCLE AS U.S. WANES”, Seoul, 2010/02/08) reported that the Heritage Foundation in a report last Tuesday said that by 2025 the number of U.S. submarines in the Pacific Ocean will fall from 30 to 27 while the PRC will have 78 submarines and the ROK 26. The report said the military strength of the U.S. and Russia is waning while the PRC and ROK’s capabilities are rising and India and Australia also aspire to bolster their naval capabilities.
II. PRC Report
17. PRC Social Development
Xinhua Net (“CHINA STRESSES PARTY BUILDING IN SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS”, 2010/02/05) reported that PRC Vice President Xi Jinping urged further strengthening Party building in new social organizations by expanding the coverage of Party organizations and their work. Xi also called on various social organizations to further study and practice the Scientific Outlook on Development, which emphasizes the well-being of people and comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development.
18. PRC Civil Society and Disaster Relief
Xinhua Net (“MACAO RED CROSS RECEIVES 3 MILLION PATACAS FOR HAITI VICTIMS”, 2010/02/05) reported that the Macao Red Cross has so far received more than 3 million Macao patacas in donations from local people for earthquake victims in Haiti. The money will be used to assist the quake relief operations in Haiti , and the Macao Red Cross will later discuss with the Red Cross Society of China and the International Committee of the Red Cross on the way the donations will be delivered.