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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Release of Dprk Funds at Bda -

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UNCLAS TOKYO 001579

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION Q RELEASE OF DPRK FUNDS AT BDA -
TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: All Wednesday morning papers gave top play
to an announcement Tuesday by Macau authorities that they
have unblocked all DPRK-related accounts frozen at Banco
Delta Asia (BDA).

1. "Release of BDA Funds: Panicked America Capitulates to
DPRK" Washington correspondent Takashi Sakamoto of the
top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote (4/11): "The US
Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it would
countenance the withdrawal by North Korea of all its
funds frozen at BDA under financial sanctions. This
represents a complete capitulation on the part of
Washington to North Korea's intransigent position of
refusing to implement any action leading to nuclear
disablement until the funds are returned. Although the
return of the funds may lend some momentum to Pyongyang's
implementation of 'initial steps' toward nuclear
disablement, including the suspension and sealing of the
nuclear complex in Yongbyon and the acceptance of IAEA
inspectors, it will be extremely difficult to implement
these steps by the end of this week, the original
deadline."

2. "US Gives Top Priority to Progress on Nuclear
Disablement" The economic daily Nikkei's Washington
correspondent Hiroshi Marutani wrote (4/11): "The reason
the Bush administration approved the release of all DPRK-
related accounts frozen at BDA is that it is putting top
priority on achieving progress on the North Korean
nuclear issue. With the deadline for the North's
implementation of initial steps approaching, the US
compromised on the BDA issue to the greatest extent
possible with the aim of resuming the six-party talks.
However, a stance of making continual concessions to
Pyongyang will invite an unavoidable backlash from
conservatives and hardliners in the US."

DONOVAN

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