NAPSNet Daily Report 9 December, 2009
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 3. US on DPRK Nuclear Issue
- 4. Iran-DPRK Arms Trade
- 5. DPRK Communication Technology
- 6. DPRK Economy
- 7. DPRK Influenza
- 8. Inter-Korean Naval Clashes
- 9. US-Japan Joint Exercise
- 10. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
- 11. US-Japan Security Alliance
- 12. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 13. Sino-Japanese Maritime Dispute
- 14. Japan and Cross Strait Relations
- 15. Sino-Indian Relations
- 16. PRC on Climate Change
- II. PRC Report
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
ITAR-TASS (“US, S KOREA, JAPAN DRAFTING N KOREA NUKE LIQUIDATION PLAN – ASAHI”, 2009/12/08) reported that t he United States, ROK and Japan have started the development of a new phased plan of action for the liquidation of the DPRK’s nuclear potential in exchange for the provision of economic aid and political guarantees to Pyongyang. It is reported that the roadmap will consist of three parts – dismantling of nuclear facilities, liquidation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials and guarantees of denuclearisation. This plan also envisages measures aimed at the provision of economic aid to Pyongyang, normalisation of its relations with the United States and Japan, guarantees of the preservation of the current system in the DPRK.
2. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Xinhua News (“CHINA EXPECTS U.S.-DPRK DIALOGUE TO RESTART STALLED KOREAN NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2009/12/08) reported that a PRC Foreign Ministry official said the government hoped dialogue between the US and the DPRK will revive the stalled Korean nuclear talks. “We back the U.S.-DPRK engagement and dialogue. We expect the dialogue to help restart the six-party talks,” spokeswoman Jiang Yu told the regular briefing on Tuesday. “We hope the dialogue between Bosworth and DPRK officials will help increase mutual understanding and address their own concerns,” Jiang said.
3. US on DPRK Nuclear Issue
Reuters (“U.S. SAYS NO NEW INCENTIVES FOR NORTH KOREA TALKS”, 2009/12/08) reported that the United States believes the DPRK may be ready to resume talks on its nuclear program but will not offer any new inducements to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table, a senior U.S. official said. The senior official said Bosworth hopes to assess whether DPRK is truly ready to resume the talks and reaffirm commitments made under a 2005 agreement in which it pledged to give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid and security guarantees. “Given the fact that there was some indication that they may be prepared to do this, we thought it was important … that we go and determine for ourselves what their real intentions are,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Associated Press (Jae-Soon Chang, “US ASSURES NKOREA OF ‘ROBUST’ DIRECT TALKS CHANNEL”, Seoul, 2009/12/09) reported that U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that it “would not surprise us” if the DPRK raised other issues than a return to the six-party talks. “We will make clear to them that should they return to the six-party process and should they reaffirm their commitments” under a 2005 disarmament pact, “then there is available to them a robust channel for bilateral dialogue,” he said. But if Pyongyang agrees, the U.S. can promise “a robust channel for bilateral dialogue with which we could discuss a wide range of issues,” Crowley said.
4. Iran-DPRK Arms Trade
Xinhua News (“IRAN DELAYS MISSILE TEST DUE TO ROW WITH N. KOREA OVER PARTS DELIVERY”, 2009/12/08) reported that Iran has decided to postpone the test launch of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile apparently due to problems with the delivery of components ordered from the DPRK, a Western diplomatic source said. Tehran has told Pyongyang that electronic parts for improving the missile’s accuracy have yet to arrive from the DPRK and the problem has become a source of friction between the two countries, the source said. The DPRK claims it shipped the components in 10 Iran-bound containers that were seized in the United Arab Emirates in July from an Australian cargo ship. Iran suspects the components were not actually in the containers, according to the source.
5. DPRK Communication Technology
Agence France-Presse (“MOBILE PHONES SPREADING IN N. KOREA: MEDIA”, 2009/12/08) reported that mobile phone subscriptions are spreading fast and due to reach 120,000 early next year in the DPRK , where an Egyptian provider started a service a year ago, a press report said. “It is a bigger-than-expected success,” the marketing manager of the telecom joint venture was quoted as telling a visiting Japanese researcher on East Asian affairs . The company manager, whose name was not given, was quoted as saying that cell phone use was not only spreading among the political and business elite but also citizens in the showcase capital of Pyongyang. “Scenes of citizens actually using mobile phones in the streets have served as a big advertisement,” the manager was quoted as saying.
6. DPRK Economy
Chosun Ilbo (“‘WOMEN POWER’ GATHERS AGAINST N.KOREAN CURRENCY SHOCK”, 2009/12/07) reported that the DPRK ‘s women are emerging as a formidable force in the face of controversial currency reforms, sources said. Most of the market traders in the the DPRK are women in their 40s and 50s trying to earn enough to feed their children. And now they are openly expressing their anger as the draconian reforms. “The women are tough and defiant,” a source said, “and now they are angry. Markets are turning into places of protest against North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.”
7. DPRK Influenza
Yonhap (Kim Hyun, “N. KOREA CONFIRMS H1N1 OUTBREAK, S. KOREA MOVES TO OFFER AID “, Seoul, 2009/12/09) reported that a report by the Korean Central News Agency said nine people in the DPRK have contracted the H1N1 virus. The flu virus cases were confirmed in Sinuiju and Pyongyang, the report said, citing the Ministry of Public Health. “The relevant organ is further perfecting the quarantine system against the spread of this flu virus while properly carrying on the prevention and medical treatment,” the report said. Seoul officials said they have relayed a message to the DPRK offering aid to help fight the new flu. “We relayed the message to North Korea yesterday (Tuesday) through various indirect channels of communication and now it’s North Korea’s turn to make a response,” the Cheong Wa Dae official said.
8. Inter-Korean Naval Clashes
Yonhap (Sam Kim, “S. KOREA AWARDS TOP HONORS TO OFFICERS WHO BATTLED N. KOREAN NAVAL BOAT”, Seoul, 2009/12/09) reported that the ROK awarded one of its highest military medals of honor Wednesday to a naval officer who led a gunbattle against a DPRK patrol boat last month. Five other officers received medals one or two notches lower, the Defense Ministry said. “The sailors kept alive the victorious spirit of the Navy amid the tension in the Yellow Sea,” it said.
9. US-Japan Joint Exercise
Stars and Stripes (“NEW CONTINGENCY COMMAND TESTED AT ANNUAL U.S.-JAPANESE EXERCISE”, 2009/12/08) reported that from a DPRK missile attack to a natural disaster, American and Japanese forces are preparing for the worst this week during their annual exercise in northern Japan dubbed Yama Sakura, or Mountain Cherry Blossom. The longstanding exercise in Hokkaido, which wraps up Monday, brings together about 1,500 U.S. and 3,500 Japanese troops. It will be the first test of the U.S. Army’s newest contingency command in the Far East, I Corps Forward, based at Camp Zama. Among the war-game scenarios that will play out this week is a DPRK missile attack, which would trigger the U.S.-Japan missile defense shield.
10. US-Japan Nuclear Pact
Kyodo News (“SECRET PACT ON NUCLEAR ARMS NO LONGER IN EFFECT”, 2009/12/08) reported that the Foreign Ministry is preparing to admit that while there is a secret agreement between the United States and Japan under which Tokyo would allow stopovers by US military vessels carrying nuclear weapons, it is no longer in effect as such stopovers are no longer made, ministry sources said Tuesday. The announcement will be made as early as January following an in-house investigation by the ministry into alleged four-decade-old bilateral secret pacts on nuclear arms and other issues.
11. US-Japan Security Alliance
Washington Post (“REPORT: JAPAN SUSPENDS TALKS ON FUTURE OF U.S. BASE ON OKINAWA”, 2009/12/08) reported that a rift between the US and Japan over the future of a military air station on Okinawa widened Tuesday, as Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told Japanese media that talks on relocating the base have been suspended. The report offers additional evidence that the newly elected government of Japan is uncomfortable with the military footprint of the United States. Japan may ask the United States to mitigate the military’s impact on the daily life of Okinawans before reaching a conclusion on what to do about the disputed air station, chief cabinet secretary Hirofumi Hirano said Tuesday. “The biggest priority for the Japanese side is to reduce burdens on the people of Okinawa,” he said at a news conference.
12. Sino-Japanese Relations
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“POLL: JAPANESE BECOMING MORE POSITIVE ABOUT CHINA”, 2009/12/08) reported that while a new poll shows Japanese to be more critical of the Japan-PRC relationship than people in the PRC, the same poll also indicates that the number of Japanese who view the relationship positively has increased since last year. According to the survey conducted jointly by The Yomiuri Shimbun and a weekly magazine published by the official Xinhua News Agency, 45 percent of Japanese say the bilateral ties are good compared with 50 percent saying so in the PRC. Meanwhile, 47 percent of the Japanese respondents and 43 percent of the PRC said the relationship was bad, according to the survey.
13. Sino-Japanese Maritime Dispute
Xinhua News (“CHINA INVESTIGATES JAPAN’S DETENTION OF FISHING BOAT”, 2009/12/08) reported that the PRC’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Japanese authorities have detained a PRC fishing boat for alleged illegal fishing. Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu gave no details of the vessel or its crew, but she urged Japanese authorities to ensure the crew members’ legal rights. Jiang told a regular press conference that the Japanese fisheries department had informed China’s Consulate-General in Osaka that the boat was detained for “fishing across the border.”
14. Japan and Cross Strait Relations
Xinhua News (“CHINA OPPOSES JAPAN VISIT BY TAIWAN OPPOSITION PARTY CHAIRPERSON”, 2009/12/08) reported that the PRC opposes the planned visit to Japan by Tsai Ing-wen, chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the opposition party in Taiwan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. Reports said Tsai would visit Japan from December 13 to 16. “China has consistently and firmly opposed ‘Taiwan independence’ elements like Tsai Ing-wen visiting countries that have diplomatic relations with China,” said Jiang in response to a question.
15. Sino-Indian Relations
Press Trust of India (“INDIA, CHINA TO EXPAND CULTURAL TIES”, 2009/12/08) reported that aiming to augment people-to-people relations, India and the PRC will showcase their culture in each other’s land, holding major cultural festivals next year devoted to traditional and contemporary arts. The year 2010 will see the two countries engage in a major cultural exchange programme, with India hosting PRC artists and the PRC reciprocating by doing the same for Indians. While details of the programme are yet to be finalised, officials here are planning to hold a months-long extravaganza in the PRC, to showcase Indian dances, art and films among other things.
16. PRC on Climate Change
Dow Jones (“CHINA: US CO2 CUT PLEDGE NOT ENOUGH; RICH NATIONS MUST DO MORE”, 2009/12/08) reported that the US pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 17% by 2020 isn’t ambitious enough, the PRC’s lead negotiator at the climate change talks in Copenhagen said Tuesday, raising the pressure on rich nations to do more in reduction efforts and financial contribution to developing countries. Su Wei also said developed countries must provide money and technology for developing countries, as they seek to limit their greenhouse gas emissions and face the challenges of climate change. “They have the responsibility to provide financial support and technology transfer,” he said.
II. PRC Report
17. PRC Energy Supply
Xinhua Net (“CHINA STRESSES GREEN ECONOMIES AT UNIDO CONFERENCE”, 2009/12/08) reported that PRC Vice Minister of Commerce Yi Xiaozhun, the PRC’s representative to the 13th session of the UNIDO General Conference, said in Vienna on Monday that the PRC considers green industry the direction of economic development in the future. He pointed out that “low-carbon economy, green industries, energy saving and new energy are where future economic growth will come from.”
18. PRC Civil Society
People’s Daily online (“CIVIL AFFAIRS MINISTRY, UNICEF JOIN HANDS IN CHILDREN SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH”, 2009/12/08) reported that PRC Children Social Work Research Center was established on Tuesday by the Civil Affairs Ministry and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “Establishment of the Center was of great significance in training professional social workers, developing native theories and practices, and improving China’s capability of supporting children”, said Li Liguo, vice minister of civil affairs.