NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, October 27, 2005

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"NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, October 27, 2005", NAPSNet Daily Report, October 27, 2005,

NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, October 27, 2005

NAPSNet Daily Report Thursday, October 27, 2005

I. NAPSnet

Preceding NAPSNet Report

I. NAPSnet

1. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Program

Xinhua (“S. KOREAN FM COMMENTS ON UPCOMING NUCLEAR TALKS “, 2005-10-27) reported that the ROK Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon says that the DPRK should provide details about all aspects of its nuclear programs. At a regular press briefing, Ban Ki-Moon said that the crucial point of the upcoming six party talks is to carry out a Joint Statement. “If the nuclear talks can start earlier in November, our most important goal is to discuss an action plan for the implementation of the joint statement,” he said.

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2. Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation

The Korea Times (“HYUNDAI EXEC QUITS TO PLACATE NK “, 2005-10-27) reported that the Hyundai Group on Thursday let go of an executive in charge of an audit that led to the departure of former Hyundai Asan vice chairman Kim Yoon-kyu. Choi Yong-mook, who worked as president of Hyundai Group’s strategic management team, tendered his resignation to chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun. Choi said the information leakage has triggered social disbelief over the group’s inter-Korean business. “As the chief in charge of internal audits, I would quit to take responsibility for neglecting to keep the management information confidential,” Choi told the group chairwoman. A Hyundai Group spokesman said the group is considering revamping structures involving affiliates in the wake of Choi’s resignation and abolition of the strategic management team.

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3. Inter-Korean Cooperation

Voice of America (“SOUTH KOREA OPENS PERMANENT OFFICE IN COMMUNIST NORTH “, 2005-10-26) reported that for the first time, the ROK is opening a permanent government office in the DPRK. Many ROK officials view the opening as the latest success in Seoul’s policy of engagement and cooperation with Pyongyang. About 10 DPRK officials are expected to work at the Kaesong office. Vice Unification Minister Rhee says the new office will help ensure the two countries keep talking to each other regularly. He says meetings between DPRK and ROK officials at the Kaesong office will take place about once a week.

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4. Inter-Korean Athletic Cooperation

Yonhap News (“TWO KOREAS TO BEGIN TALKS FOR UNIFIED TEAM FOR ASIAN GAMES “, 2005-10-27) reported that after a 12-year hiatus in sports exchanges, officials from the DPRK and the ROK will resume talks on Friday aimed at fielding unified teams in key future events like the Asian Games. “In principle, the two sides have already agreed to hold talks on unified teams, and we hope they bring about good results,” said Park Pil-soon, director of the international affairs department of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC).

(return to top) USA Today (“U.S., NORTH KOREA SEE A BIT OF A THAW “, 2005-10-27) reported that the US and the DPRK are making goodwill gestures two weeks before a new round of talks on the DPRK’s nuclear program. The Bush administration has given permission to a DPR Korean diplomat to give a rare speech Thursday on Capitol Hill. Han Song Ryol, the DPRK’s deputy ambassador to the U.N., will speak today on the “road to peace in the Korean Peninsula,” says Sang Joo Kim, executive vice president of the Institute for Corean-American Studies, a group that sponsors forums on US-Asian affairs. (return to top) Reuters (“NORTH KOREA LINKS U.S. TROOP REMOVAL TO NUCLEAR TALKS “, 2005-10-27) reported that the DPRK said on Thursday the US military presence in the ROK was a cancer, adding the withdrawal of US troops was needed to secure a deal at six party talks aimed at curbing Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. In a report in its official media on Thursday, the DPRK said removing US troops from the Korean peninsula was fundamental for progress at the next round, saying the troops were part of Washington’s plans to take the DPRK by force. (return to top) Reuters (“US TO DISCUSS N.KOREA ILLICIT FINANCING WITH CHINA “, 2005-10-26) reported that the US is to discuss with the PRC officials its concerns about illicit DPR Korean financing for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey said on Wednesday. “There’s a financial network underlying proliferation just as there is for terrorism,” Levey, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, told a news conference in Hong Kong. “This is something the world needs to look at.” Last week the US Treasury Department designated eight DPRK companies as supporting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ordered their US assets frozen. “This is a situation where we have illicit conduct and it has real resonance for us because the conduct actually implicates the national security of the United States,” Levey told the news conference. “We’re very concerned with how it’s being responded to in the (Asian) region.” (return to top)

5. DPRK Human Rights

Chosun Ilbo (“SEOUL TO ABSTAIN ON N.KOREA HUMAN RIGHTS RESOLUTION “, 2005-10-27) reported that the ROK will abstain from voting on a resolution on the DPRK’s human rights violations which the EU is to submit to the UN General Assembly early next month. It will be the first time the General Assembly is being asked to vote on the DPRK’s human rights abuses. A government official said Thursday while the vote had not been officially discussed, Seoul felt no need to change its existing position.

(return to top) Yonhap News (“NORTH KOREAN DEFECTORS’ PERSONAL DATA LEAKED, DEFECTOR CLAIMS “, 2005-10-27) reported that a DPRK defector, Han Chang-kwon, a former logger who defected to the South in 1994 and now living in the ROK filed a petition with the country’s state human rights body on Thursday, claiming that the personal data of thousands of defectors were leaked. The alleged release of the data, including defectors’ names, birth dates and former jobs in the DPRK, if true, may lead to damage to their family members who remain in the DPRK, he insisted. “Several defectors’ groups here have the list,” he claimed. “If the North Korean authorities obtained the list, it would be easier to punish defectors’ families.” Police were investigating whether such a list was leaked, either by mistake or on purpose. (return to top)

6. DPRK Refugees

Chosun Ilbo (“13 N. KOREANS SEEK HELP AT KOREAN SCHOOL IN CHINA “, 2005-10-27) reported that thirteen DPRK sought refuge in a Korean school in Qingdao, China on Thursday and are asking the ROK for asylum. A Foreign Ministry official said 13 defectors (nine women and four men) entered the Qingdao Ewha International School at around 11:30 a.m. saying they wanted to go to the ROK. The official said Seoul was negotiating with Beijing to move them to the consulate and then on to the ROK.

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7. Japanese Abductees in DPRK

The Asahai Shimbun (“CITIZENS GROUP TO BROADCAST MESSAGES TO ADBDUCTEES IN NORTH KOREA “, 2005-10-27) reported that a civil group, the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea said Wednesday it will broadcast a shortwave radio program called “Shiokaze (sea breeze)” and will air at 11:30 p.m. every day in Japanese starting on Sunday. Messages from family members of abduction victims will be broadcast from as early as late November, according to the group. A British broadcasting distribution company has signed a contract with the civil group to air the program from a country close to the DPRK.

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8. DPRK Food Rations

Chosun Ilbo (“RICE GONE FROM MARKETS AS N.KOREA BOOSTS RATIONS “, 2005-10-27) reported that according to The People’s Korea, the DPRK has normalized food rations nationwide since the beginning of the month. Quoting a DPRK official, the daily said “The normalization of food supply means the people receive the entire rations to which they are entitled.” “Now the government is able to provide as much food as the people need, the general markets have stopped selling rice,” he added.

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9. DPRK-Italian Relations

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia (“NORTH KOREA: NUCLEAR ISSUE AT FINI-KUNG MEETING”, 2005-10-27) reported that the nuclear issue and the reconciliation process in the peninsular have been at the centre of meetings between Foreign Minister, Gianfranco Fini, and the DPRK Deputy Foreign Minister, Kung Sok Ung. In the course of the meeting discussion included the reinforcement of the Italian presence in Pyongyang as part of an increase in bilateral relations, in particular in growth and cultural exchange cooperation, but only after the solution of the nuclear dossier.

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10. DPRK-Norwegian Relations

Yonhap News (“NORWEGIAN ENVOY CITED FOR NK TREE PLANTING “, 2005-10-27) reported that Norway has been planting trees in the DPRK to foster mutual trust and wants to expand its engagement efforts to the medical sector next year, its envoy here said. Norway started the tree-planting project in 2002, providing seeds and agricultural equipment like tractors. Seeds are planted on tree farms, and when they grow strong enough to stand independently they are transplanted to mountains and other bare areas. The trees are intended to serve as fuel in the winter and protect rice fields from flood damage in the summer monsoon season, he said. Arild Braastad, Norwegian ambassador to Seoul, was to receive a decoration from South Korea’s Red Cross on Thursday for his efforts to make the DPRK greener and healthier. “I think the important element is to have people trust you,” Braastad said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency in his office on Wednesday.

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11. Cross-Strait Relations

The China Post (“‘PAN-BLUE’ CAMP LASHES GOV’T OVER SENEGAL SWITCH”, 2005-10-27) reported that Senegal caught Taiwan off guard on Tuesday by abruptly informing the government it had already switched recognition to the PRC after a ten-year friendship with the island of Taiwan. The switch took place Tuesday morning, but Taiwan only received the official notice from Senegal later that afternoon.

(return to top) Japan Today (“CHINA’S TOURISM HEAD EXPECTED IN TAIWAN ON FRIDAY”, 2005-10-27) reported that Taiwan confirmed Wednesday that the head of the PRC National Tourism Administration will visit Taipei in a private capacity Friday, a move likely to pave the way for the opening of Taiwan to tourism from the mainland that has been banned since the political split in 1949. (return to top)

12. Avian Flu

The China Post (“HEALTH OFFICIALS PROTEST BRITISH BIRD FLU CLAIM”, 2005-10-27) reported that health officials yesterday indicated that Taiwan is not affected by avian flu and indicated their plan to lodge a protest against Britain’s allegation that the island had exported birds infected with the bird flu virus.

(return to top) The China Post (“FRESH BIRD FLU OUTBREAK IN CHINA; INDIA ON ALERT”, 2005-10-27) reported that the PRC reported another outbreak of avian flu in poultry among farm geese in the eastern province of Anhui, although there are no human cases,” Xinhua news agency quoted Health Minister Gao Qiang as saying. (return to top) The China Post (“ASIA DISASTER TEAMS TO DISCUSS BIRD FLU”, 2005-10-27) reported that disaster management officials from the 21 member nations of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group are due in Brisbane on Monday to discuss the availability of anti-viral medication for a bird flu summit. (return to top)

13. PRC Bird Flu

The China Post (“CHINA MEDIA SILENT ON BIRD FLU OUTBREAKS”, 2005-10-27) reported that while the PRC has been praised for prompt reporting to international agriculture and health organizations, its media has been mostly silent, showing limits to its transparency that could affect efforts to curb the disease.

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14. PRC Domestic

The Times of India (“NOW, ONLY SC CAN GIVE DEATH IN CHINA”, 2005-10-26) reported that the PRC’s Supreme Court has decided to regulate the process of judicial executions. It has stripped the country’s provincial courts of the power to put the final stamp on death sentences.

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15. PRC Vietnam Relations

The Times of India (“CHINESE PRESIDENT TO VISIT VIETNAM”, 2005-10-27) reported that the PRC President Hu Jintao will visit Vietnam next week to boost trade and economic relations between the two communist countries, the Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.

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16. PRC Corruption & The UN

Xinhua (“CHINA RATIFIES UN CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION”, 2005-10-27) reported that to curb out-flowing of corruption officials who abscond with public funds abroad for evasion of punishment, the PRC’s top legislature Thursday ratified the United Nation’s Convention Against Corruption in a unanimous vote.

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17. PRC Air Combat Drill

Xinhua (“PLA FIELD ARMY’S AIR CORPS LAUNCHES ACTUAL COMBAT DRILL”, 2005-10-27) reported that the Air Corps of the PRC People’s Liberation (PLA) Army launched an actual-combat drill aimed at examining fighting abilities under all-weather conditions at an undisclosed location in north China in the last few days.

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18. PRC Air Defenses

Xinhua (“CITIES AWARDED FOR GOOD AIR DEFENSE FACILITIES”, 2005-10-27) reported that the PRC government awarded 45 cities, 143 institutions and 33 individuals for their exemplary efforts in building air-defense facilities at the fifth national conference on people’s air defense Thursday.

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19. PRC Coastal Defense Exercise

Xinhua (“COAST GUARDS HOLD LARGE-SCALE EXERCISE IN YELLOW SEA”, 2005-10-27) reported that the PRC coast guards launched a large-scale exercise in the Yellow Sea Thursday, according to Senior Colonel Zhou Fuxiang, of the Border Administration of the Ministry of Public Security. Maritime police forces under the public security bureaus of Liaoning, Shandong and Hebei provinces and Tianjin Municipality joined in the offshore maneuver in the northern part of the Yellow Sea.

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20. PRC Economy

Japan Today (“CHINA OIL FIRM COMPLETES TAKEOVER OF PETROKAZAKHSTAN”, 2005-10-27) reported that the PRC’s largest oil producer China National Petroleum Corp said Thursday it has completed the takeover of Canada-based PetroKazakhstan Inc, the biggest overseas acquisition ever made by a PRC company.

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21. US Forces Japan Base Realignment

The Japan Times (“JAPAN, U.S. AGREE ON NEW FUTENMA SITE”, 2005-10-27) reported that Japan and the US agreed Wednesday to move the US Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to Camp Schwab, possibly resolving a dispute that has lasted nine years.

(return to top) The Asahi Shimbun (“LDP LAWMAKERS FROM OKINAWA CRITICIZE AGREEMENT ON FUTENMA RELOCATION”, 2005-10-27) that ruling party lawmakers from Okinawa Prefecture on Thursday criticized the Futenma relocation plan, saying the dangers of US military accidents will simply be transferred to another area in the prefecture. (return to top) Kyodo News (“OKINAWA GOVERNOR EXPRESSES REGRET OVER FUTEMMA RELOCATION PLAN”, 2005-10-27) reported that Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine expressed regret Thursday over the central government’s plan to relocate the US Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture within Okinawa. (return to top) The Yomiuri Shimbun (“DRAFT DETAILS REALIGNMENT OF U.S. FORCES”, 2005-10-27) reported that a draft Japan-US agreement on the realignment of US forces in Japan calls for cutting the number of US marines stationed in Okinawa Prefecture by 4,000 to 5,000. (return to top)

22. Japan Monarchy

The New York Times (“PANEL BACKS WOMEN ON JAPANESE THRONE”, 2005-10-25) reported that an advisory panel on Japan’s monarchy will propose allowing women to ascend the throne in a boost to a measure that has broad support in Japan and could relieve pressure on the imperial family to produce a male heir.

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