NAPSNet Daily Report 8 October, 2007
Contents in this Issue:
- 1. Korean Peninsula Peace Accord
- 2. ROK-DPRK Military Posture
- 3. Northern Limit Line
- 4. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 5. Japan Military Deployments
- 6. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
- 7. DPRK-Japan Relations
- 8. ROK Seizure of PRC Fishing Boats
- 9. DPRK Internet Development
- 10. ROK Presidential Election
- 11. Japanese Textbook Controversy
- II. ROK Report
1. Korean Peninsula Peace Accord
Korea Herald (“PEACE ACCORD FACES SCRUTINY OF PARLIAMENT”, Seoul, 2007/10/06) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-hyun on Friday ordered his Cabinet to map out a concrete action plan to ensure the peace agreement with the DPRK is implemented smoothly after the end of his tenure. Roh said the agreement should be accompanied by a clear roadmap so that it will not be watered down or scrapped by his successor, and also told officials to thoroughly examine how much the agreement will cost.
2. ROK-DPRK Military Posture
Joongang Ilbo (Lee Chul-hee, “ROH WAS REBUFFED BY KIM ON MILITARY PULLOUT PLAN”, Seoul, 2007/10/06) reported that Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo said Friday that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il declined a proposal by ROK President Roh Moo-hyun during the summit meeting to withdraw all military forces from inside the Demilitarized Zone. “The issue was off the table as Chairman Kim Jong-il said that it was too early to discuss it,” Kim stated. He added that the two sides disagreed on the value of a continued US military presence in the ROK.
3. Northern Limit Line
Korea Herald (“SEA BORDER REMAINS INTACT: DEFENSE CHIEF”, Seoul, 2007/10/06) reported that Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo said Friday that the Northern Limit Line will not be affected by the agreement to create a maritime peace zone in the West Sea. “It is a main achievement of the summit that we have successfully defended the Northern Limit Line,” Kim stated.
4. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Korea Herald (“ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF S-N PROJECTS PUT AT $150B”, Seoul, 2007/10/06) reported that the Hyundai Research Institute in a report issued on Friday estimated that inter-Korean business deals will generate up to $150 billion in long-term economic benefits. “The new joint economic projects will deliver North Korea a significant boost to its economy, while reducing the capital cost of unification for the South,” the report stated. The report also said the DPRK can expect up to $138 billion worth of long-term economic benefits from the development of special economic districts and other necessary infrastructure investments.
5. Japan Military Deployments
Asahi Shimbun (“OZAWA IN POWER WOULD SEND SDF TO U.N. FORCE IN AFGHANISTAN”, Tokyo, 2007/10/06) reported that, in an article in the latest issue of the magazine Sekai, which is due out on Tuesday, main opposition Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa writes that Japanese troops would join a U.N. peacekeeping force in Afghanistan if his party takes control of the government. “Active participation in U.N. activities, even if it were to result in the use of force, would rather meet the ideals of the Constitution,” Ozawa wrote.
6. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
Kyodo (“U.S. DENIES ALLEGED DIVERSION OF JAPAN-PROVIDED FUEL: SOURCES”, Washington, 2007/10/06) reported that Japanese and U.S. sources said Friday that the U.S. has told Japan none of its warships taking part in the Iraq war has received fuel from Japanese vessels. An anonymous U.S. official stated, ”We’re getting the fuel in the OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) mission area and we’re using it for OEF missions. It hasn’t been diverted. It’s all been used for OEF.” He added, ”Japanese fuel accounts for about 10 percent of the fuel that has been used there overall.”
7. DPRK-Japan Relations
Asahi Shimbun (Yoshihiro Makino, “KIM TO FUKUDA: THE NEXT MOVE IS UP TO YOU”, Seoul, 2007/10/06) reported that ROK sources said Friday that leader Kim Jong Il intends to see what stand Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda takes toward the DPRK before deciding on whether to adopt a more conciliatory approach. ROK President Roh Moo-hyun had suggested that Kim make the first move, given that Fukuda has said he plans to improve regional ties.
8. ROK Seizure of PRC Fishing Boats
Yonhap (“S. KOREAN MARITIME POLICE SEIZE THREE CHINESE FISHING BOATS”, Mokpo, 2007/10/06) reported that the ROK coast guard said Saturday it had seized three PRC fishing boats found illegally fishing in waters 64 kilometers southwest of Gageo-do, an island off Shinan in South Jeolla Province, around 11:10 a.m.
9. DPRK Internet Development
Agence France-Presse (“KIM JONG-IL SAYS HE IS ‘INTERNET EXPERT'”, Seoul, 2007/10/06) reported that Yonhap said that DPRK leader Kim Jong-il turned down an ROK proposal during the inter-Korean summit meeting that the Gaesong Industrial Park be connected to the Internet. “I am an Internet expert. Many problems would arise if the Internet is connected to other parts of the North,” Kim was quoted as saying.
10. ROK Presidential Election
Yonhap (“POLICE SCUFFLE WITH CHUNG’S SUPPORTERS IN BOTCHED RAID”, Seoul, 2007/10/06) reported that more than 30 police investigators tried to enter the office of presidential candidate Chung Dong-young but were blocked by his supporters Saturday. The failed raid was part of an investigation into alleged identity theft by the campaign, which has also been accused of illegally mobilizing voters.
11. Japanese Textbook Controversy
New York Times (Norimitsu Onishi, “OKINAWANS PROTEST JAPAN’S PLAN TO REVISE BITTER CHAPTER OF WORLD WAR II”, Ginowan, 2007/10/07) reported that Rev. Shigeaki Kinjo, a survivor of the U.S. invasion of Okinawa in 1945, says that he beat to death his mother and younger siblings in response to Japanese Imperial Army propaganda. Kinjo stated, “If Japanese soldiers had not been there, the mass suicides would have never occurred.” He added that he decided not to kill himself after he saw that Japanese soldiers were not committing suicide. The Japanese Education Ministry has said that it “is not clear that the Japanese Army coerced or ordered the mass suicides.”
II. ROK Report
12. Poll on Inter-Korean Summit
Hankook Ilbo (“THE SUMMIT HAS RESULTS”, Seoul, 2007/10/07 18:25:00 GMT+0) reported that media research, a polling firm, found that 74 percent of ROK citizens had a positive view of the summit, compared with only 21 percent of Koreans who said it had a negative or no result. Also, presidential candidate, Lee Myung-bak’s approval rating was over 50%, which means the summit has had little impact on presidential election. 62.5 percent of people thought that the summit had a more concrete outcome than that of the first summit, which raised ROK’s president, Roh, Moo-hyun’s approval rating up to 43.4 percent from 10 percent in August. 24 percent said the summit’s biggest result was the expansion of inter-Korean economic cooperation, and 16 percent picked the agreement to end the armistice and build a permanent peace regime.
13. Results of Summit
Chosun Ilbo (Kim Dae-joong, “IT’S ‘THEIR’ FESTIVAL”, Seoul, 2007/10/07 20:15:00 GMT+0) wrote in a commentary that during ROK President Roh Moo-hyun’s visit to the DPRK last week there were a summit meeting, supper, a performance and inspection, but those were a little too far from DPRK people’s miserable lives. Roh tried only to please Kim Jong-il, following Kim’s script. Roh had to show a definite, shrewd, and considerable attitude, which he could not do. The most annoying point is the cunning plan of the joint statement. This statement is made up of vague and concealing words which reflect only the DPRK’s one-way demands. The inter-Korean summit should have dealt with national concerns and respect, as the two Korea’s relationship has to be able to link the two Korean people.
14. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Hankyoreh (“AWKWARD COUNTING”, Seoul, 2007/10/07 17:50:00 GMT+0) noted that the costs that would be derived from the agreement on economic cooperation has become a controversial issue. A member of the National Assembly, Chung Hyung-gun, stated that it will lay a burden on the ROK people of about US$33 billion for economic cooperation. However, as no concrete ideas have yet been proposed, this number is hard to believe. This kind of statement only means to raise criticism to interrupt the progress of the relationship between the two Koreas. It is necessary to make it clear that government expenditure is to create favorable business situations that can bring not only economic benefits but also considerable decrease on the costs of unification later. Thus not considering those results in these calculations is silly.