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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Dprk Nuclear Program

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P 100500Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8409
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3639
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UNCLAS TOKYO 004734

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 - DPRK NUCLEAR PROGRAM


LEAD STORIES: On Wednesday morning several Japanese
dailies front-paged Diet remarks by Prime Minister
Fukuda on Tuesday, in which he expressed a cautious
view about Japan's exercise of its right to collective
defense.

1. "Prime Minister Should Swiftly Firm up Strategy" The
liberal Asahi editorialized (10/10): "The GOJ decided
yesterday on a half-year extension of sanctions on
North Korea. Such measures as a ban on the entry of the
DPRK passenger-freighter Man Gyong Bong will continue
for the time being.... It is true that no progress has
been made on the abduction issue. However, North Korea
has halted the operation of and sealed nuclear reactors
and other related facilities in line with agreements at
the six-party talks. Furthermore, it has agreed to
disable three major plants by year's end. While these
steps do not go so far as to ensure that operation of
those facilities cannot be resumed, this is still a
positive development that Japan could have acknowledged
by partially lifting sanctions.... A flexible approach
tied to progress would enable Japan to send a message
to the DPRK.... Extending the sanctions under these
circumstances was too simplistic."

2. "No Change in North Korean Nuclear Threat" The top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri commented (10/10):
"Tuesday marked the first anniversary of North Korea's
nuclear test, which was carried out in the face of
warnings from the international community. After a long
stalemate, the six-party talks have finally entered a
stage where agreed-upon procedures toward
denuclearization will be implemented. However, North
Korea has yet to give up any plutonium or nuclear
weapons. The size of Pyongyang's stockpiles and their
locations are unknown. The reality is that the North
Korean nuclear threat has not diminished one iota....
Following North Korea's nuclear test, the US altered
its approach toward the DPRK and began direct talks....
In addition to extending heavy fuel oil, the US has
told the North Koreans that it will lift economic
sanctions and delist it as a state sponsor of terrorism
in order to prompt Pyongyang to implement the 'next
steps.'... Japan has been pressing the DPRK to come
clean on the abduction issue. Without specific action
from Pyongyang to do so, the US should not delist it."

DONOVAN

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