NAPSNet Daily Report 8 June, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US, ROK on Naval Ship Sinking
- 3. DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
- 4. UN on DPRK Sanctions
- 5. Sino-DPRK Relations
- 6. DPRK Economy
- 7. Hijacking of DPRK Vessel
- 8. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
- 9. DPRK Espionage
- 10. US Missile Defense System
- 11. ROK Missile Defense
- 12. ROK Space Program
- 13. US-Japan Relations
- 14. Japan SDF Anti-Piracy Operations
- 15. Japan Space Program
- 16. Japanese Politics
- 17. Cross-Strait Relations
- 18. PRC Environment
- 19. PRC Civil Society
- 20. PRC Internet Control
- II. PRC Report
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (“U.S. URGES N. KOREA TO STOP PROVOCATIONS, ABIDE BY DENUCLEARIZATION PLEDGE: STATE DEPT.”, 2010/06/07) reported that the United States urged the DPRK to stop provocations and take steps to fulfill its pledge for nuclear dismantlement. “We don’t have any particular comment on the internal political machinations in North Korea,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said. “We certainly hope that the North Korean leadership will understand the situation it has placed itself in, and that it needs to take irreversible steps to fulfill its denuclearization commitments, comply with international law and to stop provocative behavior.”
2. US, ROK on Naval Ship Sinking
Chosun Ilbo (“S.KOREA, U.S. SCALE DOWN RESPONSE TO CHEONAN SINKING”, 2010/06/07) reported that the ROK and the US are treading carefully in taking steps against the DPRK over the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan. The two allies reportedly agreed to put on hold any measures that could upset the PRC and are giving top priority to persuading the UN Security Council to adopt a strong resolution against the DPRK. Some officials within the U.S. administration are already reportedly in favor of a strongly worded UNSC chairman’s statement rather than a watered-down resolution.
Agence France-Presse (“S.KOREA SAYS NOT SEEKING SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH”, Seoul, 2010/06/08) reported that there would be “no practical benefits” to any new Security Council sanctions since such measures were already in place, ROK Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung-Woo told Yonhap before departing for Beijing. “But the council is the primary organisation responsible for maintaining international peace and stability,” Chun said. “In the context of such responsibility, it needs to take measures over the Cheonan incident.”
3. DPRK on ROK Naval Ship Sinking
Agence France-Presse (“N.KOREA LASHES OUT AT UN DRIVE OVER WARSHIP”, 2010/06/07) reported that the DPRK lashed out over the DPRK’s diplomatic drive at the UN Security Council against Pyongyang over the sinking of. Minju Joson, an official DPRK mouthpiece, said ROK President Lee Myung-Bak was engaged in a “conspiracy with US and Japanese masters” against his fellow . “The Lee group’s hectic diplomacy over the ship sinking is absolutely intolerable as it is a treacherous crime aimed at internationalising the case and (to) hurt and stifle fellow countrymen,” Minju Joson said.
4. UN on DPRK Sanctions
Xinhua News (“UN EXTENDS MANDATE OF EXPERT TEAM ON DPRK SANCTIONS”, 2010/06/07) reported that the UN Security Council voted unanimously to extend for another year the mandate of the expert body dealing with UN sanctions on the DPRK. The Council urged all states, relevant UN bodies and other interested parties to furnish the relevant committee with “any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures imposed by resolution 1718 (2006) and resolution 1874 (2009).”
5. Sino-DPRK Relations
Defense News (“CHINESE DELEGATES AT SHANGRI-LA EXPRESS FRUSTRATION WITH N. KOREA”, 2010/06/06) reported that members of a PRC delegation attending the 9th Asia Security Summit earlier this month indicated Beijing officials are flustered by DPRK hijinks. Also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue the summit, held annually in Singapore, is run by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). A PRC government official at Shangri-La said he “was puzzled by his government’s support for North Korea” in light of the sinking of a DPRK naval vessel. “There is no open debate on the North Korean issue in China,” he said.
6. DPRK Economy
IFES NK Brief (“NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN TRADE DOWN 10.5% IN 2009”, 2010/06/07) reported that in 2009, the DPRK’s foreign trade (not including inter-Korean trade) amounted to 3.41 billion dollars, 10.5 percent less than 2008, which saw the largest amount of DPRK overseas commerce since 1991. Exports were down 5.97 percent (1.06 billion USD), while imports were down 12.45 percent (2.35 billion USD), recording a 1.29 billion USD trade deficit. DPRK-PRC trade amounted to 2.68 billion USD last year, 78.5 percent of all the DPRK’s foreign trade.
7. Hijacking of DPRK Vessel
Marine Log (“CREW RETAKES HIJACKED SHIP”, 2010/06/07) reported that the crew of the DPRK flagged general cargo ship RIM have regained control of the ship. It had been hijacked on February 3 and was being held at Garacad, off Somalia’s northern coastline. Yesterday, at 1010 local time, the RIM reported that the crew had successfully retaken control of the ship and that it was headed south. One crew member was seriously injured.
8. Inter-Korean Economic Relations
Korea Herald (“FIRMS ASKED TO PUT OFF PAYMENTS TO NK WRITE”, 2010/06/07) reported that the Unification Ministry has asked ROK companies that trade with the DPRK to put off paying for goods manufactured in the DPRK. Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters Monday that the ministry made the request in consideration of sanctions and the suspension of inter-Korean trade following the DPRK’s sinking of the “Cheonan” naval ship.
9. DPRK Espionage
Korea Herald (“INVESTIGATORS LOOKING INTO POSSIBLE WAR SCENARIO LEAKAGE”, 2010/06/07) reported that military intelligence officials and prosecutors are investigating whether an Army major general, recently booked on espionage charges, had leaked the ROK-US combined war scenario “Operational Plan 5027.” The Defense Security Command has been questioning the two-star general, identified only by the surname Kim, over whether he handed over the core content of the OPLAN 5027 to a spy for the DPRK. “We are not yet at a stage to conclude that OPLAN 5027 has been handed over to the North. We are conducting our investigation over the possible leak of the military secrets in a variety of directions,” said a DSC official on condition of anonymity.
10. US Missile Defense System
Santa Marina Times (“NEW TWO-STAGE BOOSTER LAUNCHES”, 2010/06/07) reported that the U.S. missile-defense program’s new two-stage booster showed off its capabilities Sunday afternoon, climbing straight up into clear blue skies as it departed from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The $95 million test was part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Segment, designed to defend against a limited long-range missile attack from rogue nations. The test had two key objectives: demonstrating the two-stage booster’s performance and gathering data about the exoatmospheric kill vehicle, information that officials say could be used for future upgrades, according to Richard Lehner, MDA spokesman.
11. ROK Missile Defense
Global Security Newswire (“SOUTH KOREA CONSIDERS FIELDING PATRIOT MISSILES”, 2010/06/07) reported that the ROK is looking at fielding Patriot missile batteries, a move that would likely be formally aimed at the DPRK but could aggravate the PRC as well, the South China Morning Post reported. Seoul could move ahead with the plan following the completion later in 2010 of defense policy and spending assessments, officials said. Beijing has advised the ROK against the Patriot plan, which could tie Seoul more closely to US antimissile efforts in the region.
12. ROK Space Program
Xinhua News (“S.KOREA TO UNDERTAKE FINAL LAUNCH REHEARSAL FOR SPACE ROCKET “, 2010/06/07) reported that the ROK will undertake a final launch rehearsal for its domestically assembled satellite-carrying rocket on Tuesday, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said in a press release. The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), also called Naro-1, is scheduled to blast off on Wednesday if weather conditions are ideal. The rocket was moved from the rocket assembly building at the Naro Space Center to the launch pad earlier Monday in preparation for Wednesday’s launch.
Yonhap (“S. KOREA DECIDES TO GO FORWARD WITH SPACE ROCKET LAUNCH”, Seoul, 2010/06/08) reported that the ROK decided Tuesday to go forward with the scheduled launch of its locally assembled space rocket after engineers corrected a problem in the electrical system, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said. “South Korean and Russian engineers repeatedly examined and tested the electrical system overnight and concurred that the problem has been fixed,” a KARI official said. The final approval for the blastoff is expected to be made at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
13. US-Japan Relations
Agence France-Presse (“WHITE HOUSE SEES SMOOTHER TIMES WITH NEW JAPAN PM”, 2010/06/07) reported that a top aide to President Barack Obama predicted a smoother relationship with Japan as Naoto Kan takes over as prime minister, admitting the United States had concerns about his predecessor. Jeffrey Bader, the National Security Council’s director for Asian affairs, vigorously defended Obama’s treatment of outgoing prime ministerafter widespread worries about the half-century old alliance between the two countries. “I have every reason to expect that Mr. Kan will pick up where the cabinet has left off in the last two months and that we won’t find ourselves back in some of the difficult times we had last September and October,” Bader said.
14. Japan SDF Anti-Piracy Operations
United Press International (“JAPAN TO BUILD NAVY BASE IN GULF OF ADEN”, 2010/06/07) reported that Japan plans to establish a $40 million strategic naval base in the Horn of Africa state of Djibouti, where U.S. and French forces are deployed to combat al-Qaida jihadists. The facility, intended to boost the fight against Somali pirates preying on vital shipping lanes, will be Japan’s first foreign military base since World War II. “This will be the only Japanese base outside our country and the first in Africa,” said Japanese navy Capt. Keizo Kitagawa, commander of the Japanese flotilla deployed with the international anti-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden. He will oversee establishment of the base.
15. Japan Space Program
BBC News (“HAYABUSA JAPANESE ASTEROID PROBE AIMED TOWARD EARTH”, 2010/06/07) reported that the Japanese space probe Hayabusa, which was designed to return samples from an asteroid, has been placed on course for a landing in Australia. The spacecraft is returning home from its 2005 visit to the asteroid Itokawa. It remains doubtful whether the probe managed to grab any material from Itokawa; scientists will have to open the capsule to find out.
16. Japanese Politics
Agence France-Presse (Frank Zeller, “JAPAN’S NEW PM UNVEILS CABINET”, Tokyo, 2010/06/08) reported that Japan’s new Prime Minister Naoto Kan unveiled his cabinet Tuesday. In a show of continuity from the previous administration, Kan kept 11 of 17 ministers in their posts, including Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshima Kitazawa, and Transport Minister Seiji Maehara. Kan, the former finance minister, chose his deputy, fiscal hawk Yoshihiko Noda, to succeed him.
17. Cross-Strait Relations
Reuters (“TAIWANESE SHOW GUARDED ACCEPTANCE OF CHINA PACT”, 2010/06/07) reported that t he low turnout at a demonstration in Taiwan on Saturday against a trade pact with the PRC pointed to broad but guarded acceptance of the deal by the Taiwanese public. The 10,000 who attended Saturday’s demonstration in the southern city of Kaohsiung, an opposition stronghold, fell far short of the 50,000 to 100,000 who rallied in previous years against overtures to Beijing by the PRC-friendly . Political analysts said the size of the protest, a month after a sit-in in Taipei attracted only a few hundred, was an indication that Taiwan’s public accepted the deal, wanted to know more details or believed the government was deaf to protests.
18. PRC Environment
Xinhua News (“CHINESE VICE PREMIER STRESSES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION”, 2010/06/07) reported that PRC Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for better protection of the environment in order to boost the transformation of the country’s economic growth and to promote sustainable economic and social development. Li made the remarks when meeting with environmental advocates in Beijing prior to the World Environment Day on June 5. Environmental protection not only concerned the country’s economic development, but was also crucial to improve people’s living standards, the vice premier said.
19. PRC Civil Society
BBC News (“CHINESE AIDS GROUP FEELS GOVERNMENT PRESSURE”, 2010/06/07) reported that every afternoon in Beijing’s Dongdan park, just east of Tiananmen Square, volunteers gather to hand out free condoms. They work for the Beijing Aizhixing Institute, an independent organisation that aims to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids. Along with other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Aizhixing says it has recently come under increasing pressure from the government. Its workers complain of arbitrary police searches, new bureaucratic hurdles and general official interference. Aizhixing’s founder, Aids activist Wan Yanhai, was so worried about his own safety that he fled to the United States with his wife and four-year-old daughter.
20. PRC Internet Control
Associated Press (Scott McDonald, “CHINA SAYS WILL KEEP BLOCKING ONLINE CONTENT”, Beijing, 2010/06/08) reported that the PRC vowed Tuesday to keep a tight grip on the Internet, saying in a white paper it would continue to block anything considered subversive or threatening to “national unity.” The report said there were 384 million Internet users in China at the end of 2009, equal to about 29 percent of the total population. The government aims to boost that to 45 percent in the next five years by pushing into rural areas where the white paper said there was a “digital gap.”
II. PRC Report
21. PRC Social Welfare
Information News (“TOMORROW PLAN HELPS DISABLED ORPHANS”, 2010/06/07) reported that deputy minister of civil affairs Dou Yupei visited orphans treated in Beijing Dongzhimen Hospital on Friday morning last week. The orphans are sponsored by Tomorrow Plan, which is launched in May 2004, and has spent over 800 million RMN to help 47,000 disabled orphans have operations.
22. PRC Environment
Solar Energy Alliance Net (“SOLAR ENERGY SERVICE CENTER ESTABLISHED IN RIZHAO”, 2010/06/07) reported that the first Solar Energy Service Center was established in Rizhao city of Shandong province. All citizens living in the city, if the solar facility needs repairs the citizens can call the Service Center and get free repair.
23. PRC Civil Society and Gender Equity
Sina.com (“WOMEN BUSINESS PROMOTION ACTION LAUNCHED IN BEIJING”, 2010/06/07) reported that an action that supports ten thousand women creating their own business was launched in the People’s Great Hall in Beijing Monday. The Action is sponsored by China Women’s Federation, China Women’s News and Lincang government of Yunnan province. The women will be provide free store and direct store delivery, to help them operate chain store of Yun nan tea.