NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, December 01, 2005

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"NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, December 01, 2005", NAPSNet Daily Report, December 01, 2005,

NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, December 01, 2005

NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, December 01, 2005


Preceding NAPSNet Report


1. Expert on US Strategy for DPRK

Joongang Ilbo (“SCHOLAR BRANDS POLICY TO NORTH UNCOORDINATED “, 2005-12-01) reported that according to Jack Pritchard, a former US envoy for DPRK affairs, prospects for the nuclear talks were “unclear.” “There is a two-track policy employed by Washington which is uncoordinated and may have a negative effect,” Mr. Pritchard told the Joongang Daily. He said Washington’s short-term goal of coming to terms with Pyongyang’s nuclear threat, while taking into account the concerns of other nations, and the Bush administration’s aim to simultaneously crack down on the DPRK’s illegal activities, such as money laundering, would have to be well balanced. ” I don’t think the administration thought through everything when they did this. How they [Washington] resolve this issue is important.”

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2. ROK, PRC on Six Party Talks (“SOUTH KOREAN NEGOTIATOR TO VISIT BEIJING TO DISCUSS NORTH KOREAN NUKES”, 2005-11-30) reported that Song Min-soon, ROK’s chief delegate to the six party talks, will visit Beijing on Dec. 2 to prepare for the next round of talks. “Song will have a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei to discuss the status of the six-party process and discuss ways to move it forward,” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon told reporters.

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3. Informal Six Party Talks

Retuers (“SOUTH KOREA OFFERS TO HOST INFORMAL TALKS ON NORTH”, 2005-12-01) reported that, according to a ROK official, the ROK has offered to host an informal gathering on its resort island of Cheju of six countries in discussions aimed at ending the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programs. ROK’s deputy chief delegate to the six party talks, Cho Tae-yong, said the offer was made at the end of a formal round of the discussions in September and still stands. “We proposed that an unofficial gathering, not an official round, be held on Cheju island, if that would help with the progress of the talks,” Cho said by telephone. He said the five other countries involved in the talks – the DPRK, US, Japan, Russia and PRC — have yet to accept it.

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4. US on DPRK Nuclear Program

Reuters (“NEW US ENVOY TO SEOUL NOT ENCOURGAED BY N.KOREA TACTICS “, 2005-11-30) reported that the new US ambassador to the ROK, said he was not encouraged by the way the DPRK was approaching an agreement to dismantle its nuclear programs. “It remains to be seen whether North Korea is truly prepared to eliminate its nuclear programs, and to do so in a prompt and verifiable manner,” Vershbow said. Vershbow has said if the DPRK was ready to move forward on ending its nuclear ambitions, the US would respond by looking at items such as striking a peace treaty to replace the armistice that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War.

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5. KEDO Project

Joongang Ilbo (“NATIONS DIFFER ON PAYING FOR KEDO DEMISE”, 2005-12-01) reported that according to ROK officials, the ROK is struggling with Japan and the US over how to settle issues associated with the planned termination of the light-water reactor construction project in the DPRK, and it is a money matter. According to participants in the talks, the ROK wants to set up a termination framework to specifically address financial and legal issues. The US and Japan, however, contend that the project’s termination should be announced first and follow-up procedures discussed later. The three countries are mainly struggling over how to share the termination expense. Of the $4.6 billion required to build two reactors in the DPRK, the consortium decided in 1998 that the ROK would pay 70 percent and Japan provide 22 percent. The US agreed to provide heavy fuel aid to the DPRK until the reactors were completed and to initiate fundraising for the remaining 8 percent. Seoul officials claim that the ROK made an offer to provide electricity to the DPRK in return for ending the reactor project, thus it should not become the main financier of the termination.

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6. DPRK-Japanese Bilateral Talks

The Japan Times (“TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA EXPECTED SOON”, 2005-12-01) reported that, according to Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi, Japan and the DPRK are highly likely to meet before the expected January resumption of the six party talks. “There is a high possibility the talks will happen before the six-party talks,” Yachi said in a news conference.

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7. DPRK-PRC Economic Cooperation

Donga Ilbo (“NORTH KOREA, CHINA TO DEVELOP ECONOMIC ZONE”, 2005-12-01) reported that the DPRK may develop an economic special zone in PRC’s Cheolsan County, North Pyeongan Province, instead of the Shinuiju special zone. An official of the Beijing-based North-China Economic and Cultural Exchange Center (NCECEC) said yesterday, “China and the North exchanged their opinions on the development of the Cheolsan special zone, and China is conducting a draft work for the special zone’s economic and political system at the request of the North.”

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8. DPRK-US Relations

Agence France Presse (“US REPORTEDLY LAUNCHES 210 SPY MISSIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA “, 2005-12-01) reported that, according to the Korea Central News Agency, the US has launched 210 spy missions against the DPRK in November using high-altitude reconnaissance planes. “This is an all-time high in the monthly average number of cases of espionage this year, a clear indication that the US imperialists are frantically escalating their moves to stifle the DPRK (North Korea) by force of arms behind the scene of dialogue,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

(return to top) Washington Post (“SEMANTIC DISPUTE CANCELS N. KOREA, TREASURY MEETING”, 2005-12-01) reported that in the latest diplomatic kerfuffle between the US and the DPRK a planned meeting between the DPRK and Treasury officials was scrubbed this week over a dispute about the meaning of the word “bilateral.” The issue may seem arcane, but it has achieved outsize importance among DPRK watchers as a sign that the Bush administration has begun to limit its diplomatic flexibility in dealing with DPRK since a tentative agreement was reached in September for the DPRK to give up its nuclear programs. The trouble started when Kim declared after the talks that Hill had agreed to have “bilateral contacts” to “settle the issue of financial sanctions.” Some US officials thought that sounded too much like normalization of relations before a deal on the DPRK’s weapons was even settled, sources said, even though the planned briefing would have been given by only low-level technical experts from Treasury and the Secret Service. (return to top)

9. DPRK Food Production Development

Joongang Ilbo (“POTATO FUND FOR NORTH BEARS FRUIT”, 2005-11-30) reported that the Joongang Ilbo and World Vision fund-raising campaign to provide help in resolving the DPRK’s food crisis ended yesterday, having raised almost 515 million won ($496,960) over three months. The campaign was designed to enable the country to improve its food supply by increasing potato production.

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Mainichi Daily News (“NORTH KOREA SAYS ITS PEOPLE LIVE HAPPILY FREE OF AIDS”, 2005-12-01) reported that the DPRK marked World AIDS Day by saying that its people are living free of the deadly disease because of the country’s public health system. “Preventive measures against AIDS have been taken so thoroughly that people are leading a happy life free from its damage thanks to the public health policy of the government in (North Korea), where man is valued most and everything serves the people,” said a report carried by the Korean Central News Agency. The DPRK claims there are no AIDS cases among its citizens, but that some foreigners have tested positive for HIV and were sent home at their request.

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11. PRC Bird Flu

Japan Today (“CHINA CONFIRMS 1 MORE BIRD FLU OUTBREAK IN XINJIANG”, 2005-12-01) reported that the PRC Ministry of Agriculture said Wednesday it has confirmed another bird flu outbreak in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

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12. ROK-Japanese Relations

The Asahi Shimbun (“SEOUL SEEKS PREWAR CONSCRIPTION DATA OF ASO COMPANY”, 2005-11-30) reported that ROK officials demanded data on at least 10,000 RO Koreans forced to work in a prewar mining company that was operated by the family of current Foreign Minister Taro Aso, sources said Tuesday. The request, made during bilateral talks, concerns finding and repatriating the remains of RO Korean workers who died in Japan. Monday’s demand is seen as a sign of ROK’s frustration with the slow progress of investigations, the sources said.

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13. Asia Multilateral Relations

Xinhua (“PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT TO ATTEND ASEAN SUMMIT IN KUALA LUMPUR”, 2005-12-01) reported that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will lead the Philippine delegation to the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Heads of states from the 10 ASEAN countries and dialogue partners from the PRC, Japan, the ROK, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia will attend the summit where the a Declaration on the Establishment of an ASEAN Charter is expected to be issued at the summit.

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14. PRC-Russia Economic Cooperation

Itar-Tass (“RUSSIA TO BOOST OIL EXPORT TO CHINA ALSO THANKS TO KAZAKH PIPELINE”, 2005-12-01) reported that Russia will boost considerably its oil exports to the PRC in 2006 thanks to a start in deliveries along the Kazakh pipeline Atasu-Alashankou as well as thanks to a rise in traffic capacities of Russian railways.

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15. Japan & the UN

Japan Today (“ANNAN HOPES JAPAN WON’T LINK SECURITY COUNCIL SEAT TO FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION”, 2005-12-01) reported that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who will visit Japan from Dec 9-12, suggested Wednesday that Japan should not link its financial contribution to its efforts to secure a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

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16. Japan & Iraq

Japan Today (“IRAQI PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT JAPAN”, 2005-12-01) reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari plans to make a two-day visit to Japan in his first visit to the country.

(return to top) Japan Today (“JAPAN TO EXTEND IRAQ MISSION BY ONE YEAR”, 2005-12-01) reported that the government plans to extend the mission of Japanese troops engaged in reconstruction work in Iraq for another year, sources at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Wednesday. It plans to make a formal decision on the extension on Dec 8, according to a senior LDP member. (return to top)

17. Japan & Yasukuni

The China Post (“JAPAN PM WARNS NEIGHBORS OVER WAR SHRINE USE”, 2005-12-01) reported that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi warned neighboring countries Wednesday not to use his visits to Yasukunia as a “diplomatic card” as the PRC and ROK signaled they might to snub him at an upcoming Asian summit.

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18. PRC-Japanese Relations

Xinhua (“SINO-JAPANESE LEADERS’ MEETING IMPOSSIBLE”, 2005-11-30) reported that an official from the PRC’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it is “impossible” for PRC and Japanese leaders to hold bilateral meeting in the December summits in Kuala Lumpur due to current chilled relations.

(return to top) Japan Today (“CHINA’S MILITARY NOT A THREAT TO ANYONE: CHINESE ENVOY”, 2005-12-01) reported that the PRC Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi said Tuesday that the PRC’s military is “defensive” and “not a threat to any country,” playing down recent criticism of Beijing’s rising military strength. (return to top)

19. PRC-Europe Relations

Xinhua (“CHINA TO FURTHER IMPROVE SINO-GERMAN TIES WITH GERMANY’S NEW CABINET”, 2005-12-01) reported that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao via a phone conversation with Germany’s new Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the PRC will make joint efforts with Germany to further boost relations between the two countries.

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20. PRC & Tibet

The China Post (“CHINESE AUTHORITIES ARREST 5 TIBETAN MONKS”, 2005-12-01) reported that PRC authorities have arrested five Tibetan monks, and sealed off the Drepung Monastery, Tibet’s largest, for two days when the 300 monks there staged a silent protest, in a widening crackdown on followers of the exiled Dalai Lama, the US broadcaster Radio Free Asia said Wednesday.

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21. PRC-Mongolia Relations

BBC News (“MONGOLIA IN COAL DEAL WITH CHINA “, 2005-11-30) reported that Mongolia has agreed to develop its coal fields for the PRC.

(return to top) Japan Today (“CHINA, MONGOLIA FINALIZE 4,677-KILOMETER BORDER”, 2005-12-01) reported that Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar said Wednesday that the PRC and Mongolia have reached a final agreement on the exact demarcation of their 4,677-kilometer border. (return to top)

22. PRC & Hong Kong Democracy

The China Post (“HK LAWMAKER BRINGS PRO-DEMOCRACY MESSAGE TO STATE DEPT.”, 2005-12-01) reported that Martin Lee, Hong Kong’s best-known pro-democracy lawmaker, delivered an urgent message to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that “democracy is limping” in the PRC territory.

(return to top) The China Post (“BEIJING INVITES HONG KONG DEMOCRATS TO TALK”, 2005-12-01) reported that Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers Wednesday accepted an invitation by Beijing to attend a meeting with senior PRC officials ahead of a major democracy protest. (return to top)

23. PRC Democracy

The Los Angeles Times (“SHIFT SEEN IN CHINA’S ATTITUDE ON TORTURE”, 2005-12-01) reported that recent convictions of police and a decision to allow a UN inspection, show an effort to make the nation’s legal system more accountable.

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24. PRC Environment

Xinhua (“CHINESE VICE PREMIER URGES ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY DEVELOPMENT OF HYDROPOWER”, 2005-12-01) reported that PRC Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan while at a signing ceremony for developing hydropower projects in the Jinshajiang River in south PRC’s Yunnan Province, called for better protection of environment in the development of hydropower.

(return to top) Japan Today (“HALF OF CHINA’S GROUNDWATER POLLUTED”, 2005-12-01) reported that groundwater in half of the PRC’s 600 cities is polluted, seriously in some cases, and 400 cities have insufficient supplies, local media reported Thursday. (return to top)

25. PRC Chemical Spill

Itar-Tass (“CHINA TO MINIMIZE DAMAGE TO RUSSIA FROM RIVER CONTAMINATION”, 2005-11-30) reported that the PRC has exerted every effort to minimize the ecological damage of from the chemical contamination of the Songhua River to Russia’s Far East, Xie Zhenhua, the head of the State Environmental Protection Agency of the People’s Republic of China, said in Beijing on Wednesday and noted that the PRC is responsible to Russia for the incident.

(return to top) Xinhua (“SONGHUA RIVER POLLUTION STRETCH MOVES SLOWER, RIPARIAN GOVERNMENTS READY TO GUARANTEE WATER SAFETY”, 2005-12-01) reported that although subfreezing temperatures have slowed down the speed of the pollution stretch on northeast China’s Songhua River, the pollutant density still remains high, said the Environmental Protection Bureau of Heilongjiang Province. (return to top) The Vladivostok News (“KHABAROVSK READIES TO FILTER POISONOUS WATER”, 2005-11-29) reported that over 20 tons of activated charcoal was airlifted from the city of Perm to Khabarovsk to treat benzene, which seeped into the Songhua River after an explosion at a petrochemical plant in the PRC Province of Jilin on November 13. Polluted waters from the Songhua River are expected to enter the Amur River next week. (return to top)

26. PRC Health

The China Post (“CHINA PLEDGES TO KEEP NUMBER OF HIV-INFECTED PEOPLE UNDER 1.5 MILLION”, 2005-12-01) reported that the PRC must keep its numbers of HIV-infected people under 1.5 million in the next five years or risk social instability and a possible economic downturn, the country’s top health official said Wednesday.

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