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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Six-Party Talks

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UNCLAS TOKYO 004329

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: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - SIX-PARTY TALKS


LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Tuesday morning include
stump speeches in two cities by the two LDP
presidential candidates, former Chief Cabinet Secretary
Fukuda and party Secretary General Aso, as well as an
informal decision by the ruling coalition that the Diet
will elect a new prime minister on September 25.

"DPRK Trying to Win Concessions?" On the postponement
of the six-party talks, Seoul correspondent Hirano of
the top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote (9/18):
"There is a growing view in South Korea that the DPRK
is attempting to take control of the six-party talks
concerning the 'next steps' of denuclearization, which
involve the declaration and disablement of North Korean
nuclear facilities. By highlighting the possibility of
putting off the implementation of these steps,
Pyongyang appears to be trying to obtain further
concessions from the US.... Pyongyang's real objective
in postponing the talks is, likely, to seize the
initiative. Following North Korea's pledge in the
recent US-DPRK normalization talks that it will provide
a declaration and implement disablement within this
year, nuclear experts from the US, China, and Russia
surveyed the North Korean facilities targeted for
disablement. It was to be expected that Pyongyang would
attempt to slow things down and win further concessions
from the US. A diplomatic source said that it is
unlikely that the DPRK refused to attend the six-party
talks over a delay in the provision of energy
assistance and that Pyongyang may be hoping for a more
favorable negotiating environment after the
inter-Korean summit planned for early October."

SCHIEFFER

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