NAPSNet Daily Report 8 September, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. US, Japan on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 3. ROK, Russia on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 4. Japan-DPRK Relations
- 5. DPRK on Dam Discharge
- 6. DPRK Economy
- 7. DPRK Food Supply
- 8. ROK Environment
- 9. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
- 10. Japan Politics
- 11. Sino-Indian Relations
- 12. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
- 13. Sino-Burmese Energy Trade
- 14. Cross Strait Relations
- 15. PRC Mineral Exports
- 16. PRC Nuclear Power
- 17. PRC Energy Supply
- 18. PRC Civil Society and Public Education
- II. PRC Report
- III. Announcement
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
JoongAng Ilbo (“BOSWORTH RESTATES NEED FOR SIX-PARTY FRAMEWORK”, 2009/09/07) reported that the special US representative to the DPRK believes Pyongyang hasn’t fundamentally changed, despite its recent conciliatory moves, and that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula remains a goal for Washington and its dialogue partners at the six-party table. Bosworth, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, added the United States and its partners “remain committed to the six-party process.” “As we’ve indicated in the past, we’re prepared to engage bilaterally as well with the North Koreans, but only in the context of the six-party process,” Bosworth added.
Agence France-Presse (“US SAYS OPEN TO NKOREA TALKS WITHIN KEY FRAMEWORK”, Tokyo, 2009/09/08) reported that US special envoy Stephen Bosworth reiterated Tuesday that Washington was ready for bilateral talks with Pyongyang, but only as part of wider six-party denuclearisation talks. “The United States is willing to engage with North Korea on a bilateral basis. We do not consider in any way that bilateral engagement is a substitute for a multilateral engagement,” Bosworth said.
2. US, Japan on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Bloomberg News (“U.S. VOWS TO KEEP N. KOREA TALKS IN SIX-PARTY FORUM, JAPAN SAYS “, 2009/09/07) reported that Japan and the U.S. agreed that nuclear disarmament talks with the DPRK must take place within the six-nation framework that the communist country has rejected, Japan’s envoy to the negotiations said. “The U.S. stance is that they are not the contact point,” Akitaka Saiki, Japan’s chief DPRK negotiator told reporters after meeting with U.S. special envoy Stephen Bosworth in Tokyo. “Any important talks will be within the six-party framework.”
3. ROK, Russia on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Yonhap (“S. KOREA, RUSSIA DISCUSS N.K. DENUCLEARIZATION”, Seoul, 2009/09/08) reported that Grigory Logvinov, deputy head of Russia’s delegation to the six-party talks, met with his ROK counterpart Hwang Joon-kook on Tuesday. “It is very important … to find solutions acceptable for all parties that will enable (us to) restart negotiations (on the) denuclearization of the peninsula,” Logvinov said. “The negotiation process doesn’t mean that we (all six parties) have to day by day sit at the table,” the Russian envoy said, adding that the nations were communicating with each other on a near day-to-day basis, either bilaterally or multilaterally.
4. Japan-DPRK Relations
Agence France Press (“NKOREA’S MOVES ‘UNTRUSTWORTHY’: JAPAN ENVOY”, Tokyo, 2009/09/07) reported that Japan’s top negotiator on the DPRK said that Pyongyang’s recent diplomatic overtures were “untrustworthy” in light of its ongoing nuclear weapons development. The DPRK has shown “small displays of diplomacy and moves to build peace,” Akitaka Saiki told reporters. But its refusal to commit to the denuclearisation process “makes its diplomatic efforts untrustworthy”, he added.
5. DPRK on Dam Discharge
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA SAYS MASSIVE DAM DISCHARGE WAS UNINTENTIONAL “, 2009/09/07) reported that the DPRK said Monday a sudden surge in water prompted a massive discharge by one of its dams on Sunday, as it responded unusually quickly to Seoul’s protest that six South Koreans downriver were killed or went missing over the weekend. In a message sent through an inter-Korean hotline, the DPRK also promised it will give “prior notices to the South” if dam water is released in the future, the Unification Ministry said in a statement.
Reuters (“SOUTH KOREA DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM NORTH FOR RIVER SURGE”, Seoul, 2009/09/08) reported that the ROK on Tuesday rejected the DPRK’s explanation for the sudden dam discharge that killed six people. “This is not an acceptable message and the government finds it very regrettable that there is no mention whatsoever of the grave human casualty on our side,” ROK Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said in an official government response. “The government demands a full explanation and an apology by a responsible member of the North’s government about the unannounced release of water that resulted in human casualty.”
6. DPRK Economy
Yonhap News (“N. KOREA BOOSTS INCENTIVES FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS”, 2009/09/07) reported that the DPRK has taken steps to attract more overseas investors by scrapping extra land use fees and introducing selective import rules that can help foreign-owned companies maintain a market share, a PRC newspaper said. According to the Jilin Newspaper, the official daily of the PRC’s Jilin Province, a DPRK official promoted the new foreign-investor friendly measures during a recent trade exposition held in the city of Changchun. The DPRK also introduced “state support measures,” such as banning imports of goods that are already produced in adequate quantities within the DPRK by foreign companies to ensure investors’ profits, Yun was quoted as saying.
IFES NK Brief (“DPRK BANKS’ ROLE STRENGTHENED TO INCREASE SECURITY OF PERSONAL HOLDINGS”, 2009/09/07) reported that the latest issue of the Kim Il Sung University newspaper acknowledged the international society’s sanctions against the DPRK, and in a bid to encourage a self-determinant resolution to the country’s economic problems, the paper called for “the utmost circulation of dormant cash,” emphasizing the role of the bank. In the article encouraging currency circulation, it was stated that “the oppressive isolation policy of the imperialists grows worse every day,” but that by maximizing capital circulation, domestic economic problems could be resolved and the DPRK could complete its bid to create an economically strong nation even more quickly.
7. DPRK Food Supply
Agence France-Presse (“ONE THIRD OF NKOREAN WOMEN, CHILDREN MALNOURISHED: WFP”, Seoul, 2009/09/07) reported that a third of DPRK women and young children are malnourished and the country will run short of almost 1.8 million tonnes of food this year, according to a UN relief agency report. According to the latest UN assessment, the country will need close to this amount from imports or assistance “even to meet the most basic food needs of the 24 million North Korean population,” the World Food Programme (WFP) office in the country said. “Nutritional surveys conducted by the UN show that 37 percent of children under five are malnourished and one third of women are malnourished and anaemic,” the WFP said.
8. ROK Environment
Korea Times (“SEOUL PLANS 8 ECOLOGICAL PARKS BY 2014”, 2009/09/07) reported that Seoul City announced Monday that it will build eight “eco-parks” by 2014, with three, including the Ichon Ecological Park in Yongsan, to open by 2011. The other two will be located in Jamsil, southern Seoul, and Yanghwa, western Seoul. “Making ecological parks is part of the Han River Renaissance project,” Chang Jung-woo, assistant mayor in charge of the project, said during a press conference. “We will provide more opportunities for citizens to enjoy an environment-friendly Seoul.”
9. ROK-Japan Territorial Dispute
Korea Times (“‘DOKDO BUS’ DEBUTS IN NEW YORK”, 2009/09/07) reported that amid ROK civic groups’ vigorous campaign to promote the international awareness of Dokdo and of the ROK’s sovereignty over the islets, which is challenged by Japan, a tour bus in New York has begun to run a Dokdo-promoting advertisement, joining the same crusade in a novel way. The full five-meter LED (light-emitting diode) ad, attached to a double-decker that tours around Manhattan, flashes to pedestrians that the proper name of the international sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan is “East Sea” and Dokdo, a set of islets there also belongs to the ROK.
10. Japan Politics
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“DPJ TO MOVE ON LAUNCH OF NATIONAL STRATEGY BUREAU”, 2009/09/07) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan likely will set up an office to lay the groundwork for the launch of what it calls a national strategy bureau, envisioned as a key organ of its incoming government, party sources said. The DPJ also will establish a panel comprised of 10 or so experts in various fields so the preparatory office, comprising about 10 DPJ members, can obtain specialist advice. No bureaucrats will be appointed as preparatory office members, while the DPJ plans to have certain officials of government ministries and agencies serve as liaisons between the office and each government body.
Agence France-Presse (Kyoko Hasegawa, “DISPUTE SLOWS JAPAN COALITION TALKS”, Tokyo, 2009/09/08) reported that Japan’s incoming prime minister Yukio Hatoyama said Tuesday he was confident coalition talks on forming a new government would be complete within the day. The Social Democratic Party has demanded that Japan bring home two naval destroyers taking part in a multinational anti-piracy mission in waters off Somalia, switching them for coast guard vessels instead. It has also demanded that the coalition formally commit itself to an apology for Japan’s World War II militarism.
11. Sino-Indian Relations
The New York Times (“CHINA AND INDIA DISPUTE ENCLAVE ON EDGE OF TIBET “, Tawang, 2009/09/07) reported that p erched above 10,000 feet in the icy reaches of the eastern Himalayas, the town of Tawang is not only home to one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most sacred monasteries, but is also the site of a huge Indian military buildup. Convoys of army trucks haul howitzers along rutted mountain roads. Soldiers drill in muddy fields. Military bases appear every half-mile in the countryside, with watchtowers rising behind concertina wire. “The Chinese Army has a big deployment at the border, at Bumla,” said Madan Singh, a junior commissioned officer who sat with a half-dozen soldiers one afternoon sipping tea beside a fog-cloaked road. “That’s why we’re here.”
12. Sino-Indian Territorial Dispute
Press Trust of India (“CHINA TROOPS ENTER INDIA, ‘MARK’ TERRITORY”, 2009/09/07) reported that PRC troops entered the international border in Ladakh and painted “China” on boulders and rocks in Indian territory, Indian border patrol reportedly found on July 3. Chinese troops entered nearly 1.5 km into Indian territory near Mount Gya, which is recognised as international border by both countries, PTI said while quoting unnamed defence sources. An Army spokesperson declined to comment on the alleged incursions, but the Government probably wants to downplay the issue as three Generals are currently visiting Beijing and Lhasa under an exchange programme.
13. Sino-Burmese Energy Trade
Bloomberg News (“MYANMAR FIGHTING MAY HARM CHINA OIL PLANS, EXILES SAY”, 2009/09/07) reported that the PRC’s plans to pipe oil and gas across Myanmar may be threatened by renewed fighting between the ruling junta and ethnic minorities along the proposed route, an exile group said. “The companies, governments and investors involved in these projects are vulnerable to financial losses from re- ignition of fighting along the pipeline route, public relations disasters and costly litigation,” the Shwe Gas Movement , an alliance of exiled activist groups based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, said in a report today. The group urged the immediate suspension of the project.
14. Cross Strait Relations
Reuters (“TAIWAN DROPS ANNUAL U.N. BID AS CHINA RELATIONS WARM”, 2009/09/07) reported that Taiwan will drop for the first time in 17 years its annual bid to join the United Nations, the foreign ministry said. “We’re not making a proposal this year,” said Taiwan foreign ministry spokesman James Chang. “That decision is based on our taking a look at the overall situation.” “[Taiwan President] Ma [Ying-jeou] wants to keep relations going (with China), and U.N. applications are not good for those relations,” said Alex Chiang, international politics associate professor at National Chengchi University in Taipei.
15. PRC Mineral Exports
The New York Times (“BACKPEDALING, CHINA EASES PROPOSAL TO BAN EXPORTS OF SOME VITAL MINERALS”, 2009/09/07) reported that PRC officials said that they would not entirely ban exports of two minerals vital to manufacturing hybrid cars, cellphones, large wind turbines, missiles and computer monitors, although they would tightly regulate production. A bureaucratic reshuffling in Beijing this year prompted a review of PRC policy, and regulations were drafted that would ban the export of these minerals. That incited anger and dismay from Western governments and multinational companies that depend on PRC supplies.
16. PRC Nuclear Power
Bloomberg News (“CHINA TO BUILD MORE NUCLEAR PLANTS, JAPAN STEEL SAYS”, 2009/09/07) reported that Japan Steel Works Ltd., a maker of atomic reactor parts for Areva SA and Toshiba Corp., more than doubled its forecast for the PRC’s nuclear plant construction because of stimulus spending and environmental pressures. The country may build about 22 reactors in the five years ending 2010 and 132 units thereafter, compared with a company estimate last year for a total 60 reactors, President Ikuo Sato said in an interview. Japan Steel Works has the only plant that makes the central part of a large-size nuclear reactor’s containment vessel in a single piece, reducing radiation risk.
17. PRC Energy Supply
The New York Times (“CHINA OIL DEAL IS NEW SOURCE OF STRIFE AMONG IRAQIS”, 2009/09/07) reported that the China National Petroleum Corporation has struck oil at the Ahdab field in Wasit Province, southeast of Baghdad. And while the relationship between the company and the Iraqi government has gone smoothly, the presence of a foreign company with vast resources drilling for oil in this poor, rural corner of Iraq has awakened a wave of discontent here. “We get nothing directly from the Chinese company, and we are suffering,” said Mahmoud Abdul Ridha, head of the Wasit provincial council, whose budget has been cut in half by Baghdad in the past year because of lower international oil prices. “There is an unemployment crisis. We need roads, schools, water treatment plants. We need everything.”
18. PRC Civil Society and Public Education
Xinhua News (“CHINA’S TOP JUICE MAKER JOINS CHARITY EFFORTS IN EDUCATION “, 2009/09/07) reported that the PRC’s top juice maker, Beijing Huiyuan Beverage & Food Group Co. Ltd., has signed a strategic agreement with the One Foundation, a charity project operating under the Red Cross Society of China, for a long-term philanthropic partnership, China Daily reported Monday. According to the agreement, Huiyuan donated 1 million yuan (142,857 U.S. dollars) in one lump sum to the One Foundation.
II. PRC Report
19. PRC Civil Society and the Disabled
Beijing Times (“SPECIAL CHARITY ASSOCIATION FOUND FOR DISABLED PERSONS”, 2009/09/07) reported that Beijing Disable Persons’ Welfare Foundation was formally founded yesterday in Beijing. This is the first charity agency that specially provides services to disabled persons. If disabled persons have needs on rehabilitation, education, employment, and so on, they can submit an application for help.
20. PRC Civil Society and Public Health
Jingxi Daily (“JIANGXI BLOOD DONATION VOLUNTEERS’ ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHED”, 2009/09/07) reported that in order to regulate the management of blood donation volunteers, by approval of Jiangxi Department of Health, Jiangxi Provincial Red Cross Society, and Jiangxi Department of Civil Affairs, Jiangxi Red Cross Blood Donation Volunteers’ Association was formally established recently.
21. PRC Environment
Xinhua Net (“CHINA INVESTS ONE TRILLION ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN PAST TEN YEARS”, 2009/09/07) reported that in the past ten years, the PRC has gradually increased investment on ecological building and environmental protection, and the total investment has reached one trillion RMB, said Du Ying, Vice Director of National Reform and Development Committee Du Ying at an international seminar on September 6 th .
22. Rome workshop on “Energy, Environment and the Future of Security in Central Asia”?
(“”, ) A DOE-sponsored workshop on “Energy, Environment and the Future of Security in Central Asia” will be held in Rome, Italy on 15-16 October, 2009. The workshop will explore the security implications of critical energy and environmental issues in Central Asia and will seek to generate strategic insights that will be useful for government and private-sector policy-makers around the world and in Central Asia itself. Participation will be limited to 35-40 experts. For further information and inquiries regarding participation please contact Prof. Sergio Germani at email@example.com or go to the website: