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Cablegate: Media Reaction - North-South Korea Confidence

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P 180541Z MAY 07
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UNCLAS TOKYO 002244

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 - NORTH-SOUTH KOREA CONFIDENCE
BUILDING MEASURES - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Most Friday morning papers gave top play to
the hostage-taking incident in Aichi Prefecture, central
Japan, in which a gunman shot two police officers and two
of his children. One of the policemen has died and a
woman is still being held hostage.

1. "Connection of Two Koreas by Rail: Reconciliation
Alone Cannot Lead to North's Denuclearization" The top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (5/18):
"North and South Korea ran a train across the heavily
militarized border Thursday for the first time in nearly
50 years. The ROK had strongly been promoting the
reconnection of the two Koreas by rail as one of the
projects to symbolize inter-Korea reconciliation since
the ROK-DPRK summit in 2000. This trial run, however,
does not mean that the reality of the military
confrontation and mutual distrust between the two Koreas
has ended. It remains unclear whether Seoul's proposal
for a regular rail connection will be realized. It should
be noted that the South is trying to resume economic
support to the North, which was suspended following
Pyongyang's test launches of ballistic missiles in July
2006.... Even though the April deadline has come and
gone, North Korea has yet to implement the 'initial
steps' for denuclearization on the grounds that its funds
in a Macau bank, frozen under US sanctions, have not been
returned.... The DPRK's failure to implement the initial
steps also makes it uncertain whether it will carry out
the 'next steps' agreed to at the six-party talks. Given
the situation, there are concerns that financial aid from
Seoul could further delay the North's denuclearization."

SCHIEFFER

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