NAPSNet Daily Report 8 September, 2010
Contents in this Issue:
1. US on DPRK Nuclear Program
Agence France Presse (“US WATCHES ‘LEADERSHIP PROCESS’ IN NORTH KOREA”, 2010/09/08) reported that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday the United States is watching the “leadership process” in the DPRK but hoped whoever is in power in Pyongyang will scrap nuclear weapons. Speaking before US envoys tour Asia to discuss the DPRK, Clinton said Washington is making clear to the DPRK what they must do and what they would gain if they “seriously discuss denuclearization that is irreversible.” “We are in intense discussions about this with all the other six-party members, and we’re watching the leadership process and don’t have any idea yet how it’s going to turn out,” Clinton said at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But the most important issue for us is trying to get our six-party friends, led by China, to work with us to try to convince who’s ever in leadership in North Korea that their future would be far better served by denuclearizing,” she said.
2. Inter-Korean Relations
Chosun Ilbo (“MOST S.KOREANS SKEPTICAL ABOUT CHEONAN FINDINGS, SURVEY SHOWS”, 2010/09/08) reported that only three out of 10 South Koreans trust the findings of an international inquiry into the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan that blamed a DPRK torpedo attack. According to a survey conducted by Seoul National University’s Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, 32.5 percent of respondents were more or less convinced, saying they “completely trust” (6.4 percent) or “tend to trust” (26.1 percent) the findings of the inquiry. But 35.7 percent of respondents were not convinced, with 10.7 percent saying they “completely distrust” and 25 percent they “tend to distrust” the findings. The remainder said they did not know.
3. Sino-Japan Relations
New York Times (“CHINA AND JAPAN BRISTLE OVER ISLAND DISPUTE”, 2010/09/08) reported that on Wednesday morning, the PRC Foreign Ministry summoned Japan’s ambassador for the second time in 24 hours to protest Japan’s response to a PRC fishing boat that had entered disputed waters. On Tuesday, two Japanese naval vessels tried to intercept the PRC boat, but the three collided. On Wednesday, the boat’s captain was taken to the Japanese island of Okinawa for questioning. “We demand Japanese patrol boats refrain from so-called law enforcement activities in waters off the Diaoyu islands,” the spokeswoman for the PRC’s Foreign Ministry, Jiang Yu, said at a weekly news conference, according to the state-run official Xinhua news agency. “We will closely follow the situation and reserve our right to take further actions.”
4. Japan-Kuwait Nuclear Cooperation
Kyodo News (“JAPAN, KUWAIT SIGN ACCORD TO COOPERATE IN CIVIL NUCLEAR POWER”, 2010/09/08) reported that Japan and Kuwait signed an agreement Wednesday aimed at boosting cooperation in the field of civil nuclear power, Japan’s Natural Resources and Energy Agency said. Under the memorandum, the areas in which the two countries would cooperate include the preparation, planning and promotion of nuclear power development, as well as personnel training in related technology, the agency said in a press release. The accord with Kuwait is valid for five years and can be extended by agreement.
5. Sino-US Military Relations
Washington Post (“SIGNS U.S.-CHINA MILITARY EXCHANGES MAY RESUME”, 2010/09/08) reported that Senior U.S. officials concluded a three-day visit to Beijing on Wednesday with both sides declaring that the talks have helped to steady the recently rocky U.S.-PRC relationship. Among the most tangible outcomes of this week’s talks are signs that exchanges between the two countries’ militaries may resume in coming months. Xu Caihou, vice chairman of the PRC’s Central Military Commission, met with deputy national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon on Wednesday and said that the PRC values its military relations with the United States and that he hopes to keep dialogue open and improve exchanges with the U.S. military. On the U.S. side, National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a statement, “The United States seeks to expand cooperation in the many areas where our countries’ interests coincide while we will speak frankly and with respect when we disagree.” Quoting an unidentified PRC diplomat, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said that officials on both sides have finalized an agreement to work toward restoring military exchanges ahead of Hu’s planned visit to Washington in January.