NAPSNet Daily Report 9 November, 2007
Contents in this Issue:
- I. NAPSNet
- 1. DPRK Nuclear Program
- 2. US-DPRK Relations
- 3. DPRK Economy
- 4. US on Asian Security
- 5. US-Japan Military Relations
- 6. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
- II. Republic of Korea
1. DPRK Nuclear Program
Yonhap (Byun Duk-kun, “SEOUL EXPECTS N. KOREA TO DECLARE ALL NUCLEAR PROGRAMS WITHIN WEEKS”, Seoul, 2007/11/08) reported that an ROK official said on Thursday that the DPRK is expected to submit a list of its nuclear programs within a week or two. “It is important the list is submitted at the earliest date possible, but what is more important is how complete the declaration is,” the official told reporters.
Chosun Ilbo (“N. KOREAN NUCLEAR DISABLEMENT PROCEEDING SMOOTHLY”, 2007/11/09) reported that chief U.S. nuclear negotiator Christopher Hill said that the DPRK is disabling its nuclear facilities according to schedule, completing the first of 11 agreed steps by this weekend. A senior ROK government official on Thursday said, “The process is going smoothly because North Korea is very cooperative.” U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Wednesday said, “This is ground-breaking territory. The world has not been to this point vis-a-vis the North Korean nuclear program before.”
Yonhap (“S. KOREA, US DISCUSS N.K. DISMANTLEMENT PHASE NEXT YEAR”, Washington, 2007/11/08) reported that Foreign Minister Song Min-soon said Thursday he discussed with his U.S. counterpart the incentives and actions for next year in implementing the DPRK’s denuclearization. Song reaffirmed his remarks a day earlier that the two countries would consider having leaders of relevant countries show their commitment to Korea’s denuclearization in a formal manner.
2. US-DPRK Relations
Reuters (“NORTH KOREA OFFERS RARE THANK TO U.S. FOR HELP”, Seoul, 2007/11/08) reported that the DPRK’s official KCNA news agency in a report late on Thursday offered thanks for the US help in saving a DPRK ship from Somali pirates. “We feel grateful to the United States for its assistance given to our crewmen,” the report said. “This case serves as a symbol of the DPRK-U.S. cooperation in the struggle against terrorism,” it added.
3. DPRK Economy
Chosun Ilbo (“THREATENED N.KOREA CRACKS DOWN FEMALE MERCHANTS”, 2007/11/09) reported that according to Good Friends, a Seoul-based civic relief organization for the DPRK, DPRK authorities on Oct. 1 banned women in their 40s or younger from participating in street food market businesses in Pyongyang, and expanded the measure nationwide this month. Authorities are also confiscating all wire telephones that have been installed at private houses for business purposes, except those for official use. The organization said that arguments and scuffles have broken out between women and police in major DPRK cities.
4. US on Asian Security
Agence France-Press (“US DEFENCE SECRETARY URGES ASIA TO WORK ON COMMON THREATS”, Tokyo, 2007/11/09) reported that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates called on Asian nations Friday to work more closely together to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other common threats. Gates said bilateral alliances that the United States have been cornerstones of security in the region. “But we would like to see more engagement and cooperation among our allies and security partners — more multilateral ties rather than hubs and spokes,” he said.
5. US-Japan Military Relations
Agence France-Press (Jim Mannion , “US DEFENSE CHIEF TO PRESS JAPAN ON MILITARY ROLE”, Tokyo, 2007/11/08) reported that US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was expected Thursday to press Japan to take on a larger role in international security in line with its size and global importance to the world economy. “We think it’s important that all the countries that benefit and depend on the international system… take responsibility for helping defend ourselves in this war on terror,” a senior US defense official told reporters.
6. Japan SDF Indian Ocean Mission
Asahi Shimbun (“GATES CALLS FOR MSDF TO RESUME MISSION”, Tokyo, 2007/11/09) reported that Japanese Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday that Japan will make every effort to resume the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s refueling mission in the war against terrorism. “The longer the interruption, the greater the possibility that Japan will be seen as having a passive attitude toward the fight against terrorism, and that would not be good,” Ishiba said at a joint news conference with Gates after their meeting.
II. Republic of Korea
7. Inter-Korean Relations
Pressian (Chung Chang-hyun, “KIM YOUNG-NAM’S VISIT TO SEOUL THIS YEAR?”, Seoul, 2007/11/08) reported that the DPRK has recently shown a favorable attitude toward the ROK since the second summit. In the meantime, whether DPRK Prime Minister Kim Young-nam visits Seoul this year draws people ‘ s attention. DPRK leader Kim Jong-il proposed his visit to Seoul first. This is because Kim Young-nam is the official DPRK leader. Accordingly, Kim Jong-il will visit to Seoul after Kim Young-nam visits.
8. US-ROK FTA
Pressian (“CYBER EXHIBITIONS FOR OPPOSING THE ROK-US FTA”, Seoul, 2007/11/08) reported that lots of artists are holding cyber exhibitions to oppose the ROK-US FTA. They are curious about why members of the ROK National Assembly never mentioned the FTA and have hesitated to rectify the agreement. Artists guess that they are worried about the criticism from future descendants on the irrational agreement. Artists are expected to continue their plans to protest the FTA.