NAPSNet Daily Report 8 July, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- Russia on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- Russia-PRC-DPRK Relations
- Japan on DPRK Sanctions
- DPRK-Japan Relations
- DPRK Leadership
- Aid to the DPRK
- ROK on DPRK Defectors
- Russia on DPRK Refugees
- ROK-India Nuclear Collaboration
- ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
- ROK-Japan Relations
- US-Japan Nuclear Pact
- Japan on Nuclear Non-Proliferation
- Japan Politics
- Sino-Pakistani Relations
- Cross Strait Relations
1. I. NAPSNet
2. DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREA WARNS AGAINST UN CENSURE”, 2010/07/07) reported that the DPRK warned of a “do-or-die” battle if the UN Security Council adopts statement condemning it for a deadly attack on a ROK warship earlier this year. If the council adopts a document “pulling up (North Korea) even a bit through sordid collusion and nexus,” the DPRK will regard this as “an intolerable and grave infringement” on its dignity, a state committee said. The DPRK’s army and people “will not rule out a just, do-or-die battle to protect the sovereignty of the country,” the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland said in a statement carried by state media.
3. Russia on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Chosun Ilbo (“RUSSIA CLAMS UP OVER CHEONAN SINKING”, 2010/07/07) reported that Russia will not announce an official position on the sinking of the ROK Navy corvette Cheonan. A Foreign Ministry official said the Russian experts will eventually finish drawing up a report and submit it to the Russian government, but it seems Moscow “has no plan to make any announcement about it.” There is speculation that Russia decided to delay the announcement while the US and the PRC are at odds over the sinking at the UN Security Council.
4. Russia-PRC-DPRK Relations
People’s Daily online (“CHINA, RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA TOURIST ROUTE TO OPERATE”, 2010/07/07) reported that a cross-border tourist route between the PRC, Russia and DPRK will be put into operation before China’s National Day on Oct. 1, according to the Hunchun Municipal Tourism Bureau. The route has currently taken shape and stretches from Hunchun, Jilin province, Vladivostok and Khasansky in Russia, to Tumangang and Rason in the DPRK. It is said that the tourist route will be jointly operated by Hunchun Sanjiang International Travel Agency, a travel service from Russia’s Primorskiy Krai, and a travel service from the DPRK’s Rason.
Bernama (“CHINA TO RECYCLE WASTE FROM RUSSIA, NORTH KOREA “, 2010/07/07) reported that the PRC will build a huge centre to recycle wastes from Russia and the DPRK, in a city that borders the two countries, local authorities said. The centre is expected to recycle nearly three million tonnes of scrap machines, cables, appliances, vehicles, mobile phones, batteries, plastics and other wastes each year, Xinhua reported. Northeast China’s Jilin Province has approved the recycling centre in Hunchun City. The project is expected to create nearly 10,000 jobs, and its annual output value will reach 15 billion yuan (US$2.21 billion) after it becomes operational, said the spokesman.
6. Japan on DPRK Sanctions
KBS News (“KYODO: JAPAN TO IMPLEMENT SHIP INSPECTIONS FOR NK GOODS WRITE”, 2010/07/07) reported that Japan is reportedly planning to implement its special law on cargo inspections of ships with suspected illicit ties to the DPRK. Kyodo News reported that the law allows inspections of cargo if there are suspicions that nuclear weapons or missile-related goods are being transported by ships that visit the DPRK. Consent from the country to which the vessel belongs will be required for inspections of ships from a third nation.
7. DPRK-Japan Relations
Kyodo News (“‘NOTHING WILL CHANGE’ IF DPJ WINS MAJORITY IN UPPER HOUSE: N. KOREA”, 2010/07/07) reported that the DPRK’s official media said Wednesday that even if the ruling Democratic Party of Japan secures a majority in the House of Councillors in Sunday’s election, “nothing will change” in Japan’s domestic and foreign policies. “At elections, (political parties) attract people with campaign pledges that sound nice to their ears. But after achieving the purpose (of winning an election), it will be the same for the DPJ or the (former ruling) Liberal Democratic Party to throw away such pledges,” said the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.
8. DPRK Leadership
Chosun Ilbo (“KIM JONG-IL’S DECISIONS GET MORE ERRATIC”, 2010/07/07) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has ordered the demolition and rebuilding of a theater that was in perfect condition, adding to suspicions that his judgment is becoming severely impaired as a result of a stroke in 2008. Radio Free Asia reported on that a national theater in Pyongyang was demolished in May and is being reconstructed. “It’s strange enough to watch the same play twice in less than two weeks, but it’s even more absurd to order the reconstruction of a building that was renovated just seven years ago,” said a ROK intelligence official. “It appears that the aftereffects of Kim Jong-il’s stroke are more serious than we thought.”
Yonhap News (“KIM LEANING ON RELATIVES DURING TRANSITION PERIOD”, 2010/07/07) reported that close scrutiny of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il’s public outings this year reveals he is increasingly relying on relatives, a possible further signal that Kim is planning an unprecedented third-generation power transfer to his youngest son. The ROK’s Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said Monday that Kim made 77 field trips to military and industrial complexes from January to June this year, and on 56 of them he was accompanied by younger sister Kim Kyong-hui, his most constant recent companion.“Kim has been relying more on Kyong-hui since he collapsed with a stroke in the summer of 2008,” said Kim Yun-soo, professor of national security at the Korea National Defense University. “My view is that Kim, in this delicate process of power transfer to his third son Jong-un, was convinced that his family is the only thing he can truly trust.”
10. Aid to the DPRK
KBS News (“WFP TO SPEND $2.8 MLN ON NK FOOD AID “, 2010/07/07) reported that the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) has decided to spend nearly two-point-eight million U.S. dollars on food aid for the DPRK. The funding for the aid was provided by the Swedish government. Radio Free Asia quoted WFP global media coordinator Greg Barrow said that the DPRK will require even more donations from countries around the world, given that the current amount of food aid for the impoverished nation is expected to run out by September.
KBS News (“RED CROSS TO HELP NK PREPARE FOR MONSOON SEASON “, 2010/07/07) reported that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reportedly plans to allocate around nine million dollars this year for projects to support the DPRK ahead of the monsoon season. Radio Free Asia said that the Red Cross plans to select 31 towns that are considered to be the most vulnerable to natural disasters and will provide them with up to nine-and-a-half million dollars for preparedness training and to build dams and reservoirs.
12. ROK on DPRK Defectors
Korea Herald (“S. KOREA FAR FROM PREPARED FOR N.K. DEFECTORS”, 2010/07/07) reported that the ROK, boasting a population of almost 50 million, could hardly call itself crowded by the 20,000 or so defectors from the DPRK. But then again, 20,000 is enough to form a small town — a “gun”– here. While Seoul no doubt has sought to take care of the defectors and give them a new life, its resources are too scant to adequately deal with the growing number of North Koreans choosing to skip south. Almost 3,000 North Koreans fled south last year, up from the 2,800 in 2008. As of this month, there were 19,300 defectors, according to figures from the Unification Ministry. The tally is likely to exceed 20,000 by October, officials said.
13. Russia on DPRK Refugees
KBS News (“‘RUSSIA CONDUCTS NK REFUGEE DRILL’ “, 2010/07/07) reported that Japan’s Kyodo News says Russia has conducted an exercise in preparation for a mass inflow of refugees around the Russian border area with the DPRK in Siberia. Kyodo says that although Russia didn’t specifically state that it was conducting the exercise over concerns about potential refugees from the DPRK, the news outlet assumed the drill was held based on recent developments in the situation on the Korean Peninsula. As part of the reported exercise, makeshift tents were erected and emergency health check procedures were reviewed.
14. ROK-India Nuclear Collaboration
Mainichi Shimbun (“S. KOREA, INDIA NUCLEAR ENERGY TALKS UNDER WAY”, 2010/07/07) reported that Indian and ROK officials held the first round of talks in Mumbai on Tuesday aimed at forging a bilateral deal on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy that would enable Seoul to break into the fast expanding civil nuclear energy market in India. The ROK hopes to carve out a piece of the Indian civil nuclear energy market by capitalizing on low nuclear plant construction costs.
15. ROK Afghanistan Dispatch
Xinhua News (“S. KOREAN FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN UP SECURITY ALERT AFTER ROCKET ATTACK”, 2010/07/07) reported that the ROK’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it would beef up its surveillance against possible attacks on ROK civilian aid workers based in Afghanistan following a rocket attack last week, local media reported. Starting tomorrow, the ROK troops will work with U.S. forces there to conduct daily aerial reconnaissance, JCS spokesman Col. Lee Bung-woo said, according to Yonhap News Agency.
16. ROK-Japan Relations
Xinhua News (“S.KOREA’S EFFORTS TO RETRIEVE PROPERTIES OF PRO-JAPANESE COLLABORATORS COMPLETE “, 2010/07/07) reported that a presidential investigative commission declared an end to its four-year investigation into those who collaborated with Japan when the Korean peninsula was under Japanese colonial rule. The commission has retrieved properties of the descendants of 168 pro-Japanese collaborators. The land that has been seized by the state is estimated to be worth 237.3 billion won (193.4 million U.S. dollars), it said in a statement released Wednesday. The proceeds from the confiscated assets will be used to compensate pro-independence activists and their offspring and to support projects commemorating the Korean independence movement, the commission said.
17. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
Kyodo News (“MINISTRY VIEWED NUKES ENTRY INTO JAPAN AS EFFECTIVE DETERRENT IN 1960S”, 2010/07/07) reported that the Foreign Ministry created an internal document in the 1960s positing that allowing the US to bring nuclear weapons into Japan would be ”effective” in deterring nuclear attacks on Japan despite Tokyo’s nonnuclear principles, according to diplomatic records declassified Wednesday. The document, created by the ministry’s intelligence analysis section in 1968, said there was ”zero guarantee that Japan would remain free from a nuclear attack by adhering to its three nonnuclear principles” of not possessing, producing or allowing nuclear weapons on its territory. It also indicates that there were calls within the ministry for accepting the introduction of US nuclear weapons into Okinawa.
18. Japan on Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Japan Today (“FOREIGN MINISTRY TO LAUNCH ADVISORY PANEL ON NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION “, 2010/07/07) reported that the Foreign Ministry will set up an advisory panel consisting of academics and experts on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation to help formulate Japan’s diplomatic policy in its endeavor to realize a nuclear-free world, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said. Okada told a press conference he expects the panel will provide the government with recommendations with regard to Japan’s long-term nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation policy that would cover Tokyo’s call for reducing the role of nuclear weapons and engaging non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
19. Japan Politics
Reuters (“JAPAN PM’S PARTY MAY FALL FAR SHORT OF POLL TARGET”, 2010/07/07) reported that Japan’s Democratic Party could fall far short of Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s target in this weekend’s upper house poll, media said, putting his job at risk and foiling efforts to curb a huge public debt. Kan has set a modest target of winning at least 54 seats, the same number that the DPJ has up for grabs in the election but fewer than the 60 it needs for an outright majority in the 242-seat chamber. Half the seats are being contested. But a July 4-6 survey by Kyodo news agency published on Wednesday showed the DPJ might win fewer than 50 seats, and the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper forecast a similar result.
20. Sino-Pakistani Relations
Agence France-Presse (“CHINA, PAKISTAN VOW TO STEP UP FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM”, 2010/07/07) reported that the PRC and Pakistan pledged to step up joint efforts against terrorism Wednesday as the presidents of the two neighboring nations vowed to expand trade and economic cooperation, state media said. “China and Pakistan are both victims of terrorism,” China Central Television quoted Hu as telling Zardari. “To strengthen Sino-Pakistani anti-terrorism cooperation and strike at terrorism, separatism and religious extremism is in the fundamental interests of the people’s of both nations.”
21. Cross Strait Relations
Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN TO LIFT BAN ON INDIVIDUAL CHINESE TOURISTS”, 2010/07/07) reported that Taiwan is likely to lift a ban on visits by individual PRC tourists, Premier Wu Den-yih said Wednesday in yet another sign of Taipei’s fast-warming ties with Beijing. So far Chinese have only been allowed to travel to the island in groups as Taiwan’s authorities are concerned they might otherwise over-stay their visas and work illegally. “Individual Chinese tourists may be allowed to come early next year if preparatory measures have been completed by the two sides,” the Taiwanese premier said at a conference in Taipei, according to state-run Central News Agency.