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Cablegate: February 27 Mfa Press Briefing: Kim Kye-Gwan To

VZCZCXRO8762
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1267/01 0581107
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271107Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5036
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001267

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CH NK JP CE BM
SUBJECT: FEBRUARY 27 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: KIM KYE-GWAN TO
US, US-DPRK FINANCIAL TALKS, DPRK BORDER-CROSSING, IRAN,
MILITARY BUILDUP, BURMA, REMOVAL OF AMBASSADOR TO ROK, SRI
LANKA ATTACK


1. Key points made at the February 27 MFA press conference
were:

-- Kim Kye-gwan has no plans for meetings with Chinese
officials en route to the United States and China hopes that
the United States and the DPRK can realize full diplomatic
relations.

-- Qin called China's military buildup natural in relation to
its long borders while criticizing Japan's new militarism and
calling for greater transparency.

-- Responding to VP Cheney's criticisms, Qin emphasized
China's assistance with the DPRK and called for greater
dialogue.

-- The MFA confirmed Ambassador to ROK Li Bin has been
dismissed, but did not respond to speculation on charges of
divulging state secrets.

-- Qin gave no comment on the house arrest of a pro-democracy
leader in Burma, adding that such issues are the internal
affairs of Burma.

-- Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte will visit China
March 3-5.

Kim to United States, Macau Financial Talks
-------------------------------------------

2. MFA Spokesperson Qin Gang said at the February 27 regular
press briefing that DPRK diplomat Kim Kye-gwan was in Beijing
en route to visit the United State, but had no plans to meet
with Chinese officials. Qin added that meetings between the
United States and the DPRK aimed at the normalization of
relations will be an important step toward the
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. China hopes the
two sides can resolve outstanding issues and move toward the
full normalization of relations.

3. The spokesman referred all questions regarding meetings of
United States officials in Macau addressing the freezing of
North Korean assets to the Macau SAR government.
Additionally, he had "no exact information" with respect to
the timetables of the five working groups to be established
under the agreement reached in the Six-Party Talks.

4. Qin had not seen an Amnesty International report that two
North Korean soldiers were to be executed for assisting
refugees escape into China, but maintained that China has
always addressed the issue of "illegal border-crossers"
according to domestic and international law.

Sanctions on Iran not the Goal
------------------------------

5. Questioned about China's recent participation in the
London talks regarding the Iran nuclear situation and China's
position on further sanctions against Iran, Qin confirmed
that China participated in the meeting and reiterated
whatever UN Security Council actions taken should be
conducive to a peaceful solution through diplomatic means.

China Defensive Military Build-up "Natural"
-------------------------------------------

6. Qin ardently defended China's rising military spending in
the face of recent criticisms by Japan Liberal Democratic
Party leader Nakagawa and United States Vice President
Cheney. Qin said with China's lengthy borders, large size
and population it is "natural" that the country should have
adequate defensive power and reiterated China's commitment to
peaceful development. He pointed to Japan's huge military
expenditures and linked demands for China to increase
transparency with calls for Japan to follow suit while
questioning the motives behind Japan's military buildup.

7. In response to Cheney's comments, Qin emphasized China's
role in working to solve the Korean Peninsula issue,
opposition to the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction and commitment to the peaceful use of outer
space. He noted that the international community praises
China's peaceful development and called for strengthening
dialogue while forging constructive cooperative relationships.

Dismissed Ambassador to ROK Leaked State Secrets?
--------------------------------------------- ----

8. Asked repeatedly for more information regarding the
investigation of ex-Chinese envoy to Korea Li Bin for leaking

BEIJING 00001267 002 OF 002


state secrets, Qin would only say that Li has been moved from
his post.

China Not to Interfere in Internal Issues of Burma
--------------------------------------------- ------

9. State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan has completed a three-day
visit to Burma, in which the two sides exchanged views on the
bilateral relationship. Asked for comment on the house
arrest of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Qin replied
that such internal issues are for the people of Burma to
solve, as Burma is a sovereign country.

U.S. Ambassador Victim of Attack in Sri Lanka
---------------------------------------------

10. Asked for comment on today's Tamil rebel attack which
wounded foreign diplomats including the United States
ambassador to Sri Lanka, Qin had not heard reports of the
attack, but affirmed China's support for the Sri Lankan
government in its road topeace and development. TheSri
Lankan president is currently paying a state visit to China.

Deputy Secretary Negroponte's Visit
-----------------------------------

11. Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte will visit China
March 3-5 to exchange views on bilateral relations and
important national and regional issues of common interest,
Qin said.
RANDT

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