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Cablegate: Burma and North Korea Re-Establish Diplomatic

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DE RUEHGO #0397 1161045
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O 261045Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5993
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0270
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 4530
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3832
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7365
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RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1123
RUDKIA/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI TH 0959
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3114
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0755

UNCLAS RANGOON 000397

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS; PACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL BM
SUBJECT: BURMA AND NORTH KOREA RE-ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC
RELATIONS

1. (U) Visiting North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim
Yong-Il and Burmese Deputy FM Khaw Thu signed a protocol
formally re-establishing diplomatic relations at Rangoon's
Nikko Hotel on April 26. The ceremony was low-key with only
one government media photographer present. When the two
deputy FMs left the hotel, foreign media stringers, who had
been tipped off to the ceremony, surged forward to ask
questions. Kyaw Thu waived aside security personnel and
answered questions for about two minutes. In response to the
journalists' questions, Kyaw Thu confirmed that the two
countries had just signed a document re-establishing
diplomatic relations and that North Korea was the
thirty-fourth country to have diplomatic relations with
Burma. He said North Korea would soon establish a mission in
Burma, but he did not say if this mission would be located in
the new administrative capital Nay Pyi Taw, or if Burma had
plans to establish a mission in Pyongyang.

2. (SBU) AFP's reporter asked whether the Chinese ambassador
played a role as a mediator. Kyaw Thu gave an emphatic no.
Kyaw Thu also said there was no plan for Deputy FM Kim
Yong-Il to visit Nay Pyi Taw. Reporters learned that the
Deputy FM would travel today to the seaside resort of Ngwe
Saung in Ayeyarwady Division, a favorite vacation spot of
Senior General Than Shwe. Reporters are uncertain who Kim
Yong-Il may meet in Ngwe Saung, but they speculate he may
meet either Secretary-1 Thein Sein or SPDC number three
General Thura Shwe Mann.

3. (SBU) Reporters from Japanese news agencies told us they
recognized five Japanese diplomats present at Nikko Hotel.
They were not sure whether the Japanese attended the signing
ceremony or if they were there for a separate meeting with
the North Korean delegation. A South Korean man joined the
group of journalists, whom the journalists did not recognize
as a local journalist or a diplomat, and asked Kim Yong-Il in
Korean how he liked Myanmar. The startled North Korean
diplomat shook his head and refused to respond. All members
of the North Korean delegation wore badges bearing the image
of their leader Kim Jong Il.
VILLAROSA

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