NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, May 09, 2006

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"NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, May 09, 2006", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 09, 2006,

NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, May 09, 2006

NAPSNet Daily Report Tuesday, May 09, 2006


II. CanKor

Preceding NAPSNet Report


1. Six Party Talks

Yonhap (“U.S. URGED TO GIVE PYONGYANG AN INCENTIVE TO REJOIN NUKE TALKS”, 2006-05-09) reported that the US has yet to offer a “positive incentive” for the DPRK to rejoin the multilateral talks on its nuclear weapons program, a US expert said Tuesday. Robert J. Einhorn, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said a pressure-only policy is not enough to lure Pyongyang to the six-party talks. He said the best positive reason would be “some assurance that Washington will be prepared to co-exist peacefully with it and eventually have normal diplomatic relations with it.”

(return to top) Kyodo News (“CHINA CONFIRMS TANG’S N. KOREA VISIT, MUM ON CONTENT”, 2006-05-09) reported that PRC State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan visited the DPRK recently, a PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed Tuesday, but he declined to discuss the outcome of the trip. Diplomatic sources have said Tang visited Pyongyang on April 27-28 and met with DPRK leader Kim Jong Il. According to the sources, Kim rejected Tang’s call for the DPRK to return to the six-party talks on the DPRK’s nuclear programs, insisting the US first lift sanctions it imposed on a Macao-based bank suspected of involvement in laundering money and counterfeiting for the DPRK. (return to top)

2. Kim Dae-jung’s DPRK Visit

Yonhap (“ROH PINS HOPES ON FORMER PRESIDENT’S TRIP TO PYONGYANG”, 2006-05-09) reported that ROK President Roh Moo-hyun on Tuesday expressed hope that an upcoming trip by his predecessor to the DPRK will lead to another breakthrough in inter-Korean relations. Speaking to a group of ethnic Koreans here, Roh also said that his government is willing to grant a lot of concessions to the DPRK. “I hope that former President Kim Dae-jung will be able to have a flexible dialogue (with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il),” Roh said during the meeting at a restaurant in the Mongolian capital.

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3. Inter-Korean Student Cooperation

Dong-a Ilbo (“STUDENTS DRAFT INTER-KOREAN RESOLUTION”, 2006-05-09) reported that at the Hyundai Cultural Hall in Mt. Geumgang, college student representatives from the two Koreas are going to have a conference for the first time for two days starting this Wednesday. A total of 370 students from the ROK, including those belonging to the Korean Federation of University Student Councils (KFUSC), and 120 students from the DPRK are scheduled to attend this conference. Participants have agreed to adopt a joint resolution after discussions on political trends in the Korean peninsula through three thematic sections, such as peace, independence, and national united spirit.

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4. DPRK Abduction Issue

Kyodo News (“N. KOREA JAMS JAPAN SHORTWAVE BROADCASTS ON NORTH KOREAN ABDUCTION”, 2006-05-09) reported that shortwave radio broadcasts by a Japanese group investigating missing Japanese believed to have been abducted by the DPRK have been jammed by the DPRK since Friday, Japan’s top government spokesman said Tuesday. “Unknown transmission emitted from within North Korea has been confirmed and is believed to have been jamming the shortwave radio broadcasts,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe told a news conference and described such interference as “deplorable.” The group, known as the Investigative Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea, broadcasts the program “Shiokaze” twice a day on shortwave radio through a British company.

(return to top) Kyodo News (“TOP JAPANESE COPS TO VISIT S. KOREA FROM WED. OVER ABDUCTION ISSUE”, 2006-05-09) reported that a group of senior Japanese police officers will visit the ROK from Wednesday to boost bilateral cooperation in investigating the DPRK’s abductions of Japanese and ROK nationals, the National Police Agency said Tuesday. Shiro Hirohata, chief of the NPA’s Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Department, Kenichiro Yoshioka, head of the agency’s office in charge of abduction issues, and two others will stay in the ROK for several days to exchange information with the ROK’s security authorities, the agency said. (return to top)

5. US-DPRK Shipping Ban

Korea Times (“US BAN ON NK-FLAGGED SHIPS TAKES EFFECT”, 2006-05-09) reported that ships flying the DPRK flag are off limits to US citizens as of Monday, when a US Treasury ban took effect. Under the ban, “U.S. persons” cannot own, lease, insure or operate DPRK-flagged vessels. US persons refers to US citizens and permanent residents, US entities, including their foreign branches, and any person in the US. The ban is an amendment to the Foreign Assets Control Regulations (FACR), announced on April 6.

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6. DPRK-Cambodia Relations

Mainichi Daily News (“NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG IL MEETS RETIRED CAMBODIAN KING”, 2006-05-09) reported that the DPRK’s leader Kim Jong Il met with former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk in the DPRK capital where the retired monarch has been staying since early this year for medical treatment, reports said Tuesday. Kim had a “warm and friendly conversation” with Sihanouk during the meeting Monday, the KCNA reported, without elaborating. Sihanouk was accompanied by his wife, Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the agency said.

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7. Iran Nuclear Program

The International Herald Tribune (“IRAN LAUDS ‘REALISM’ OF CHINA AND RUSSIA”, 2006-05-09) reported that the top Iranian nuclear negotiator praised Russia and the PRC for taking a “realistic” approach after talks among major powers failed to resolve differences over the Tehran nuclear program.

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8. ASEAN Security Committee

Agence France Presse (“ASEAN DEFENCE MINISTERS AIM FOR SECURITY COMMUNITY: OFFICIALS”, 2006-05-09) reported that Southeast Asian defence ministers pledged to establish an ASEAN Security Community by 2020 at their inaugural talks, which took place without Myanmar which declined to attend.

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9. Japan Environment Initiatives

The Yomiuri Shimbun (“KOIZUMI TO PUSH ECO-DRIVE AT G-8 SUMMIT”, 2006-05-09) reported that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will call on other members of the Group of Eight nations at their summit meeting in July to adopt Japan’s “top-runner system”–under which the most energy-efficient products become the benchmark for their industries–to help conserve energy.

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10. Japan-NATO Relations

Crisscross News (“JAPAN, NATO LOOK TO BOOST TIES”, 2006-05-09) reported that Japan and NATO discussed strengthening political and military ties. NATO is looking to boost its relations with non-member countries. De Hoop Scheffer said Japan and NATO face the same threats and are engaged in many of the same areas, including Afghanistan and Iraq, “We have far too much in common to allow our geographical separation to prevent us from working closely together.”

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11. PRC-Japan Relations

Xinhua (“JAPANESE MONK EXPRESSES SORROW FOR CHINESE WAR VICTIMS”, 2006-05-09) reported that Iwata Ryuzo, a monk from Japan, traveled to Jilin Province to pray at Fengman Labour Memorial to express his sorrow for the Chinese victims of atrocities committed by Japanese armies during WWII. The memorial is on a site where more than 10,000 laborers were killed and buried by Japanese invaders.

(return to top) Xinhua (“CHINA, JAPAN TO RESUME EAST CHINA SEA TALKS IN MID MAY”, 2006-05-09) reported that the PRC and Japan agreed to hold their fifth round of talks on the East China Sea issues in May. The agreement was reached at the three-day fifth round of PRC-Japan strategic dialogue. PRC Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi headed the two delegations. (return to top) The International Herald Tribune (“JAPAN AND CHINA AGREE TO SET MINISTERIAL TALKS”, 2006-05-09) reported that Japan and the PRC have agreed to work toward possible talks between their foreign ministers as the two countries struggle to reverse a sharp deterioration in relations. (return to top)

12. PRC-ROK Relations

Xinhua (“CHINA TO LAUNCH LARGE-SCALE CULTURAL EXCHANGE ACTIVITY IN ROK”, 2006-05-09) reported that the PRC will stage a large-scale cultural exchange activity in Seoul. The event, carrying the title of “Feel China: ROK Trip”, consists of an exhibition of pictures on friendly exchanges, a high-level forum on economic, trade and cultural ties, singing and dancing and Shaolin monk martial arts performances.

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13. PRC-US Relations

The International Herald Tribune (“U.S. ADMIRAL VISITS CHINA TO REPAIR TIES”, 2006-05-09) reported that Admiral William Fallon the commander of US forces in the Pacific arrived for a visit aimed at rebuilding contacts between the two countries’ armed forces. The Admiral has a meeting with top PRC Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry officials before touring military installations.

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14. PRC Media Censorship

The New York Times (“AS CHINESE STUDENTS GO ONLINE, LITTLE SISTER IS WATCHING”, 2006-05-09) reported that an effort named “Let the Winds of a Civilized Internet Blow,” part of a broader “socialist morality” campaign, known as the Eight Honors and Disgraces, asks service providers and other companies to purge voluntarily their servers of offensive content, which ranges from pornography to anything that smacks of overt political criticism or dissent. More than two million supposedly “unhealthy” images have already been deleted under this campaign, and more than 600 supposedly “unhealthy” Internet forums shut down.

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15. Cross Strait Relations

The China Post (“FSC MAY SUGGEST LIFTING BAN CURBING CHINA INVESTMENTS”, 2006-05-09) reported that the Cabinet-level Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) plans to suggest lifting a ban prohibiting publicly traded companies from investing more than 40% of their net worth in the PRC. But the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) showed only apathy to the news cheered by the business community.

(return to top) Xinhua (“MAINLAND, TAIWAN TRADE VOLUME SEES DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH IN 1ST TWO MONTHS”, 2006-05-09) reported that the trade volume between the PRC and Taiwan reached $12.38 billion US dollars in the first two months of this year, with a year-on-year increase of 18.8%. (return to top) The China Post (“CHEN MEETS LATIN AMERICAN HEADS OF STATE IN COSTA RICA”, 2006-05-09) reported that President Chen Shui-bian met with several Latin American heads of state in Costa Rica and held talks on signing free trade agreements and made efforts to stop the PRC from poaching Taiwan’s ally Panama. (return to top)

16. US-Taiwan Relations

The International Herald Tribune (“TAIWAN SPURNS U.S. OFFER OF A STOPOVER”, 2006-05-09) reported that the Taiwanese foreign minister said that President Chen Shui-bian will forgo the offer of a US transit stop on his return from Latin America, prolonging a spat with Washington.

(return to top) The China Post (“ARMS DEAL WILL NOT BE SCRAPPED IN RETALIATION FOR U.S. SNUB: GOV’T”, 2006-05-09) reported that Taiwan will not scrap long-term plans to purchase US weaponry worth billions of dollars in retaliation for the US offer of two transit stops in Alaska for President Chen Shui-bian, widely perceived here as a diplomatic snub. (return to top)

II. CanKor

17. Report #247

CanKor (“FOCUS”, 2006-05-08) The campaign to grant asylum to North Korean refugees and defectors who wish to relocate to the USA is gathering steam. This week’s CanKor is a full-edition FOCUS that assembles the latest stories on the plight of refugee-defectors who seek entry into the American dream. The Los Angeles Immigration Court grants political asylum status to a DPR Korean who entered the USA via Mexico, after having already legally settled in South Korea. A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the case is not relevant to the 2004 North Korea Human Rights Act, since the Act deals only to those who have not already legally settled in a third country. US Senator Sam Brownback announces that asylum has been granted to six additional refugee-defectors who arrived in the USA from an unnamed Southeast Asian nation. These are the first to be given official refugee status under the North Korean Human Rights Act, which Brownback had initiated. The fate of refugee-defector Ma Young-ae remains unclear. Ma, who defected to the ROK from the DPRK in 2000, has filed for political asylum in the United States, claiming political repression by the South Korean government. 20 other North Koreans have filed a similar petition. Family members of a DPR Korean who had been forcibly returned to the DPRK from China report that he has been condemned to execution for treason. With the help of a pre-paid mobile phone, the sister conveyed the information to a younger brother who lives in Seoul. Although the reports are impossible to verify, this marks the first instance where news of a planned execution has made it to the outside world beforehand. US President Bush issues a statement after meeting DPR Korean refugee-defectors in the Oval Room of the White House.

(return to top) CanKor (“OPINION”, 2006-05-08) This week’s OPINION was originally published in “Jahrbuch Menschenrechte” (Yearbook Human Rights, Germany, November 2005). The article “Human Rights in Korea” by Hyon Dok CHOE and Lutz Drescher deals with both North and South Korea. A translation of the part dealing with the DPRK is included here. Author Lutz Drescher worked as an ecumenical co-worker in RO Korea between 1987 and 1995, and is currently East Asia Liaison Secretary for the Association of Churches and Missions in South West Germany. (return to top)