NAPSNet Daily Report Wednesday, September 26, 2007

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"NAPSNet Daily Report Wednesday, September 26, 2007", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 26, 2007,

NAPSNet Daily Report Wednesday, September 26, 2007

NAPSNet Daily Report Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Preceding NAPSNet Report


1. Six Party Talks

Yonhap (“SIX-WAY TALKS TO REOPEN FOR DISCUSSION OF POST-DISABLEMENT STEPS”, 2007-09-26) reported that a new round of six-party talks that opens in Beijing is likely to become a watershed in more than four years of off-and-on international efforts to end the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program, ROK officials say. “Basically, the countries will discuss what disablement is and how the nuclear facilities will be disabled, but a joint statement (if issued) could also include fundamental discussions on the dismantlement phase that should follow the disablement of the Yongbyon facilities,” a ROK Foreign Ministry official said. The ROK official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said this week’s discussions will most likely be based on a report by a team of US, Russian and PRC nuclear experts who visited Yongbyon last week to discuss how to disable bomb-making facilities there.

(return to top) The Asahi Shimbun (“HILL: BLOCKING ‘KEY’ NUKE WORK ENOUGH”, 2007-09-26) reported that to move on to the next stage in talks over the DPRK’s nuclear programs, Pyongyang needs only to disable its “key programs” for plutonium production, not its entire roster of nuclear projects, visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said. In an interview at the US Embassy in Tokyo, Hill said the US wants the DPRK to disable three key facilities–a reprocessing plant, a reactor and a fuel fabrication facility. The flexible stance is aimed at moving the talks to the next stage, he said. “You don’t have to disable everything to make (the North’s nuclear) program not work. But we can get disablement of their key programs, and prevent any chance that they can restart them anytime soon,” Hill said. (return to top) Agence France-Presse (“NKOREA PROMISES ‘RESULT’ AT NUCLEAR TALKS”, 2007-09-26) reported that the DPRK’s chief nuclear negotiator promised a breakthrough at a fresh round of disarmament talks although his US counterpart was more cautious. Kim Kye-Gwan said he and US envoy Christopher Hill had agreed to “produce a result” at the six-nation talks after meeting over dinner in Beijing late Wednesday. Hill, the US assistant secretary of state, was more cautious after his meeting with Kim, saying they were “on the same wavelength” and would follow up with detailed discussions on Thursday. (return to top)

2. US on DPRK Terror List Status

Agence France-Presse (“NO US DECISION ON NKOREA, TERROR LIST”, 2007-09-26) reported that the chief US nuclear negotiator pressed the DPRK to do more to be removed from a list of nations supporting terrorism as he arrived for a fresh round of disarmament talks. “We are dealing with those issues but there has been no decision made,” Hill said of removing the DPRK from the blacklist. “Obviously, this is something the DPRK very much wants but we’ve made it very clear it depends on further denuclearisation,” Hill said.

(return to top) Korea Herald (“U.S. BILL WOULD SET CONDITIONS ON N. KOREA TERROR LIST ISSUE”, 2007-09-26) reported that a US lawmaker has introduced a bill that would prevent the DPRK’s removal from a US list of state sponsors of terrorism until it stops what the lawmaker described as nuclear and missile exports to rogue regimes. Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said that the DPRK should also halt training and financing of terror groups, stop counterfeiting U.S. currency and release abducted Japanese citizens before the United States lifts economic and political sanctions. (return to top)

3. US Sanctions on the DPRK

Yonhap (“U.S. TO ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREAN ENTITIES”, 2007-09-26) reported that the US State Department is expected to announce additional sanctions on DPRK entities connected to missile proliferation. Some of the entities are believed to be linked to the Korea Mining Development Corporation (KOMID), which was designated in June 2005 in an executive order for supporting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction proliferation. Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman, said the new sanctions are related to missile technology transfers and downplayed possible negative repercussions on this week’s talks.

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4. ROK on PRC-DPRK Relations

The Korea Times (“PYONGYANG DEPENDS TOO MUCH ON CHINA: KIM”, 2007-09-26) reported that former president Kim Dae-jung said that the ROK, the US and international organizations need to invest in the DPRK to attain a balance against the PRC. Kim emphasized that once the DPRK completes its denuclearization, the international community must step up and start investing in the DPRK’s faltering economy. “I believe we should expedite our entry into North Korea so as to attain balance against China,” he said. “China is extensively involved in the North Korean economy.”

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5. Inter-Korean Relations

Joongang Ilbo (“ROH WANTS DMZ GUARD POSTS WITHDRAWN”, 2007-09-26) reported that during the Oct. 2 to 4 inter-Korean summit, President Roh Moo-hyun will propose the complete withdrawal of armed forces from inside the demilitarized zone that has separated the two Koreas for more than a half century, a high-ranking administration official told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday. “President Roh will propose to Kim Jong-il, the North Korean National Defense Commission chairman, to completely pull out 100 South Korean GPs [guard posts] and 280 North Korean GPs from the DMZ,” the source said, referring to the military posts located inside the 4 kilometer-wide strip of land along the 243-kilometer long border. “Removing the GPs means the withdrawal of soldiers and arms located inside the zone.”

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6. Japan Government

Agence France-Presse (“FUKUDA TAKES OVER JAPAN WITH STRONG SUPPORT”, 2007-09-26) reported that Japan’s new Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda vowed to tackle income inequality and keep improving ties with Asian neighbours as a poll showed his government enjoyed robust support. He started to welcome news, with a Kyodo News poll showing 57.8 percent of voters supported his government, double the rate for his predecessor Shinzo Abe in the last poll before he resigned on September 12.

(return to top) The Financial Times (“FUKUDA WARNS HIS OWN PARTY”, 2007-09-26) reported that Yasuo Fukuda, the Liberal Democratic party leader who took over as premier this week, said of his own party: “We have our backs against the wall. If this cabinet fails, the LDP will be extinguished.” The new prime minister has all but abandoned any attempt to extend a special law that allows Japan to refuel allied ships in the Indian Ocean. His party may now put forward an alternative bill that satisfies the DPJ’s demand for any international deployment to be conducted under a United Nations mandate. That would probably involve abandoning refuelling operations and instead training a civil police force and participating in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) activities in Afghanistan. (return to top)

7. PRC Party Congress

Bloomberg (“CHINA’S COMMUNISTS TO SET NEW TAIWAN POLICY AT PARTY CONGRESS”, 2007-09-26) reported that delegates to the 17th Congress of the Communist Party of China will come up with a new policy to prevent Taiwan from declaring independence, a senior party official said. “The congress will set a new direction for Taiwan affairs,” Li Weiyi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the PRC’s State Council, said today in a briefing in Beijing. “It will be critical to determining cross-strait relations going forward.” Li gave no further specifics.

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8. PRC Environment

China Daily (“CLIMATE CHANGE HITS CHINA’S POOR HARDEST”, 2007-09-26) reported that the Sichuan Basin in Southwest China has been called a “cold center” by the Ministry of Science and Technology, even though the Earth’s surface temperature has increased about 0.6 degree in the past century. But that doesn’t mean Sichuan Province and neighboring Chongqing Municipality, where more than 110 million people live, are climate-change-free zones. Instead, extreme weather events, a scorching drought last year and devastating flash floods this summer have made climate change a life-or-death matter for residents, especially for millions of poor people and local farmers. Kerry Brown, an associate fellow with the London-based think tank Chatham House, says the PRC’s poor are the least able to protect themselves against the impact of environmental degradation and climate change.

(return to top) Agence France-Presse (“CHINESE EXPERTS WARN OF THREE GORGES DAM ‘CATASTROPHE'”, 2007-09-26) reported that the PRC’s giant Three Gorges Dam project could lead to an ecological “catastrophe”, PRC experts warned in comments published Wednesday. Environmental problems triggered by the dam began to emerge at the world’s largest hydropower project after it started operations last year, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The huge weight of the water behind the dam had started to erode the Yangtze’s banks in many places, which, together with frequent fluctuations in water levels, had triggered a series of landslides, they said. (return to top)

9. PRC Petitioners’ Village

The Associated Press (“BEIJING KNOCKS DOWN PETITIONERS’ HOUSES”, 2007-09-26) reported that PRC authorities knocked down part of a rundown neighborhood in Beijing where people live, sometimes for months, while petitioning the central government for help fighting grievances in their hometowns. Authorities sprayed several buildings with water and then crushed them with a bulldozer. The small compound lies next to a massive new train station being built in the southern part of the capital. The move comes ahead of a major Communist Party meeting next month during which the number of petitioners in the area had been expected to swell.

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10. PRC Space Program

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA AIMS FOR LUNAR BASE AFTER 2020”, 2007-09-26) reported that the PRC plans to set up a lunar base after 2020, capping a series of preparatory robotic missions and a human landing on the moon, a PRC space official said. The PRC’s first lunar mission would be followed by robotic missions in subsequent years that would be broadened to landing on the lunar surface and returning to Earth, then a brief human visit. The final stage, after 2020, will be to “stay and live longer term” on the moon and utilise its resources.

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