NAPSNet Daily Report 9 July, 2008
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 2. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
- 3. Inter-Korean Relations
- 4. ROK Aid to the DPRK
- 5. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
- 6. DPRK on Non-Aligned Movement
- 7. Japan on Nuclear Weapons
- 8. Japan-ROK Territorial Dispute
- 9. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
- 10. Sino-Japanese Relations
- 11. PRC Earthquake
- 12. PRC Environment
- II. PRC Report
- 13. PRC Civil Society
- 14. PRC Civil Society and the 512 Earthquake
- 15. PRC Civil Society and Poverty Alleviation
- III. ROK Report
1. PRC on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Agence France-Presse (Marianne Barriaux , “CHINA UPBEAT AHEAD OF FRESH NKOREAN DISARMAMENT TALKS”, Beijing, 2008/07/08) reported that the PRC expressed confidence that the drive to end the DPRK’s nuclear programmes would pick up momentum, as it announced disarmament talks would resume on Thursday. “We are looking forward to the positive achievements of this meeting of the heads of delegations, so as to promote the ushering of a new stage of the six-party talks process,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. Qin said that working-level meetings on denuclearisation of the DPRK, as well as economic and energy aid, would also be held during the talks.
2. US on DPRK Nuclear Talks
Agence France-Presse (“HILL SAYS NKOREA NUKE TALKS TO FOCUS ON CHECKING DECLARATION”, Beijing, 2008/07/08) reported that US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill said this week’s DPRK nuclear disarmament talks would focus on ways to verify a recent declaration of its atomic activities. “The verification is the most important thing. We want to speed up the rate of disablement (of its nuclear activities),” Hill said. “Verification will probably take longer than just a few days, it will be weeks, and maybe months,” he told reporters. He also said: “Verification consists of documents, the site visits, the interviews. Obviously details have to be worked out.”
3. Inter-Korean Relations
Korea Herald (“N.K. CALLS ON SEOUL TO CLARIFY STANCE ON SUMMIT ACCORDS”, 2008/07/08) reported that in an unusually quick reaction to a comment by ROK President Lee Myung-bak that he is willing to meet DPRK’s leader, the DPRK called on Lee to clarify his position on two inter-Korean summit accords before talking about such a meeting. “Lee Myung-bak totally negated and ignored the summit meetings and declarations which were unanimously hailed and supported by the whole nation and the world,” a spokesman for the DPRK’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland told the country’s official Korea Central News Agency. “It is preposterous, therefore, for him to talk about the summit talks,” said the spokesman.
4. ROK Aid to the DPRK
Yonhap (Kim Boram, “S. KOREAN GROUP CALLS FOR MORE AID TO N. KOREA “, Seoul, 2008/07/08) reported that a leading relief group here said that ROK food aid remains crucial in saving an enormous number of DPRK lives, despite the resumption of major assistance to the DPRK by the US. The warning by the Jungto Society, a Buddhist group, is the latest effort by local aid organizations and international outfits to increase food aid to the DPRK. “Without emergency food aid, more than 500,000 people would die of starvation by September,” Pomnyun, a Buddhist monk leading the group, told a press meeting in Seoul.
5. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation
Joongang Ilbo (“30,000 FROM NORTH WORK AT KAESONG”, 2008/07/08) reported that the number of North Koreans working at the ROK-funded joint industrial complex in the communist state surpassed 30,000 last weekend despite ongoing political tension between the two Koreas. Seventy-two ROK firms were operating in Kaesong and employing 30,084 DPRK workers as of July 4, the ROK’s civilian body overseeing the complex said.
6. DPRK on Non-Aligned Movement
Xinhua (“DPRK CALLS FOR ENHANCED INFORMATION COOPERATION AMONG NON-ALIGNED COUNTRIES”, Pyongyang, 2008/07/08) reported that the DPRK urged developing countries to enhance cooperation to establish a new international information and communication order, the official KCNA news agency reported. The developing countries should exchange technology and experience on the principle of collective self-reliance, meet each other’s needs and cooperate with each other, said the head of the DPRK delegation to the seventh meeting of information ministers of the non-aligned countries held on July 3.
7. Japan on Nuclear Weapons
The Financial Times (Stephen Fidler, “PROLIFERATION: FAST SPREAD OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS ERODES STABILITY”, 2008/07/08) reported that Japan’s decision to place the spread of nuclear weapons technologies on the agenda of the Group of Eight summit reflects, in significant part, Tokyo’s long- standing disquiet about developments in nearby DPRK. Tokyo has also been worried by the PRC’s military modernisation and the fact that its neighbour is the only established nuclear power expanding its nuclear arsenal. This combination of factors has resulted in the erosion of a long-standing taboo against domestic discussion of the possibility that Japan should leave the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and develop its own independent nuclear deterrent.
8. Japan-ROK Territorial Dispute
Kyodo News (“MINISTRY REVIEWING PLAN TO STATE TAKESHIMA ‘INTEGRAL PART OF JAPAN'”, Tokyo, 2008/07/08) reported that Japan’s education ministry is reconsidering its plan to state in an educational document that a pair of ROK-controlled rocky islets in the Sea of Japan, called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in the ROK, are an ”integral part of Japan,” government sources said. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology could possibly give up on the plan, which many Japanese government officials have said could lead to deterioration in bilateral ties between Japan and the ROK, the sources said.
9. Russo-Japanese Territorial Dispute
The Yomiuri Shimbun (“FUKUDA, MEDVEDEV TO EXPAND DIALOGUE”, Toyakocho, 2008/07/08) reported that Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to expand bilateral political dialogue with a view to realizing an early resolution of a territorial dispute, Japanese officials said. In their about one-hour meeting held on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit meeting, the two leaders agreed to enhance political exchanges at all levels. Fukuda called for a decision to be made at the highest levels to solve the issue of the northern territories, which are occupied by Russia and claimed by Japan.
10. Sino-Japanese Relations
Reuters (Lucy Hornby, “CHINA PRESIDENT HU THANKS JAPANESE QUAKE RESCUERS”, Sapporo, 2008/07/08) reported that PRC president Hu Jintao thanked Japanese rescue teams that had searched for survivors of a devastating earthquake in May, soothing ties after a mix-up that saw the Japanese rescue no one. “Friends, Chinese people will always remember you,” Hu told Japanese rescuers who met him on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, where the PRC president is to attend G8 meetings. “I hope to build on Sino-Japanese cooperation in this disaster and further deepen relations between the two countries.”
11. PRC Earthquake
The Associated Press (William Foreman, “CHINA SHUSHES PARENT PROTESTERS ABOUT EARTHQUAKE “, Wufu, 2008/07/08) reported that angry parents whose children were crushed to death in schools that collapsed in the PRC’s mighty earthquake are no longer being allowed to march, wave banners and vent their rage in public. Officials are now using a variety of tactics — threats, money, promises of justice, police muscle — to intimidate, appease or hush up the grieving mothers and fathers who believe that nearly 7,000 classrooms crumbled so easily because corrupt and incompetent officials didn’t build them properly.
12. PRC Environment
BBC News (James Reynolds, “BEIJING ‘FAILING POLLUTION TEST’ “, 2008/07/08) reported that just a month before the start of the Beijing Olympics, the city is still failing to meet international air quality standards, the BBC has found. The BBC put this to the test using a hand-held detector to test for airborne particles known as PM10. We found that the city’s air failed to meet the WHO’s air quality guidelines for PM10 on six days out of seven. On one of these days, the pollution reading was seven times over the WHO’s air quality guideline.
II. PRC Report
13. PRC Civil Society
Press Digest (Yu Keping, “CHINA CIVIL SOCIETY IS OBVIOUS WITH “CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS””, 2008/07/08) reported that in an interview published in “Theory View”, Deputy Director of the Compilation and Translation Bureau Yu Keping pointed out that since reform and opening, a relatively independent civil society is rapidly rising in the PRC. At present, the number of civil organizations which are officially registered is about 400,000, while according to the survey of several major research institutions, the country’s various civil organizations are more than 3 million. The most important feature of PRC civil society is “government-led”. This is very similar to the PRC’s market economy system, which is also a kind of “government-led market economy.” Compared to the civil society in Western developed countries, there are some other features of PRC civil society, such as special system environment, obvious transitivity, relatively weak role, highly uneven development, and so on.
14. PRC Civil Society and the 512 Earthquake
Henan Daily (Li Xubing, “LOVE FUND ESTABLISHED IN ZHENGZHOU”, Zhengzhou, 2008/07/08) reported that on July 2, the Love Fund of Henan Provincial Charity Federation was officially established. The initial fund is 500,000 yuan, mainly for the establishment of “caring houses” in Sichuan disaster areas. There are some facilities and equipments in the “caring house” for earthquake victims to rest, relax, and communicate. It can be used both as psychological counseling places for people in disaster areas, and also as the activity places for party members, volunteers, and the community.
15. PRC Civil Society and Poverty Alleviation
China News Website (Liang Yingrui, “FIRST CULTURE CHARITABLE SUPERMARKET OPEN IN SHAOXING”, 2008/07/05) reported that the first Culture Charitable Supermarket open in Shaoxing, Zhejiang on July 4. This is specially created for the provision of learning, culture and sporting goods to poor students. There are nearly 300 kinds of goods there, such as bags, pencil boxes, tool books, English tapes, basketballs, and so on. As long as they have a free “love coupon”, children can buy whatever they like. The local children in poor families will receive free “love coupons” worth 100-300 yuan each term. A local official said that this was a new action of cultural construction, and welcomed the whole society to provide support and help to this Supermarket.
III. ROK Report
16. DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap News (“SIX PARTY SHOULD FOCUS ON VERIFICATION PROCESS”, 2008/07/09) wrote that the DPRK nuclear issue is not the exclusive problem of the U.S and the DPRK. The ROK should take a leading role, in that the nuclear issue is directly related to its national security. However, severance of inter-Korean dialogue and constant DPRK-U.S, DPRK-Japan, U.S-Japan contact might cause relative isolation of the ROK. The ROK government should strengthen mutual cooperation structure with six party countries to prevent such isolation, and use the six party talks to break the deadlock with the DPRK.
Munhwa Ilbo (“DPRK SHOULD PROVE ITS WILL TO DENUCLEARIZE”, 2008/07/09) wrote that the DPRK nuclear issue is facing another challenge. The 3 rd stage is based on DPRK denuclearization, and thus the DPRK should show its will for that in the next forum. Removal from designation of the state sponsor of terrorism list, which is still discussed by the U.S Congress, is just about to come into effect, and the DPRK should show an earnest response. This coming forum should be the 3 rd stage, or green signal, for the DPRK denuclearization.