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Cablegate: Dprk Foreign Minister in Hanoi

VZCZCXRO6027
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #0869 2070918
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 250918Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8194
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4952
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5889
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3343

UNCLAS HANOI 000869

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/K

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM CB KN VM
SUBJECT: DPRK FOREIGN MINISTER IN HANOI

1. (U) After visiting Singapore for the ASEAN Regional Forum, DPRK
Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun will visit Hanoi July 25 - 27 before
travelling on to Iran for a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned
Movement. According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung, on July
26 Minister Pak will meet Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem
to discuss "the implementation of agreements reached at high-ranking
levels to promote traditional relations between the two countries."
This is Minister Pak's first visit to Vietnam since he took office
in May 2007.
2. (SBU) Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura also arrives in
Hanoi on July 25 for a one-day visit. Japanese Embassy contacts
told us, however, that they are unsure if Foreign Minister Komura
will meet DPRK Foreign Minister Pak while the two leaders are in
Hanoi, as the Komura visit had long been in the works and will focus
on several official agreements Hanoi and Tokyo are signing.
3. (SBU) Foreign Minister Pak's visit to Hanoi follows an official
visit to Vietnam last October by DPRK Prime Minister Kim Yong Il,
and a visit to Vietnam by DPRK Security Minister Ju Sang Son in late
June. After the latter visit, sources close to CPV leaders told us
that Son was in Hanoi to study how to preserve "social and political
stability" within the DPRK if it follows Vietnam's "doi moi" example
and opens up the North Korean economy. The recent visits by two
senior DPRK leaders have prompted renewed speculation that North
Korean leader Kim Jong Il will visit Vietnam later this year.

4. (SBU) Comment: In discussions with us, GVN interlocutors contend
that we should be happy to see DPRK visitors in town, as they report
the consistent Vietnamese message to Pyongyang is "do not be afraid
to open up." We do not doubt that there is an element of truth to
this, but are also sure that Hanoi is not trying to force that
message on Pyongyang. While this visit will revive speculation that
a top-level visit is in the works, we have no indication of this
from our official contacts, who today remain close mouthed about the
impending visit.

MICHALAK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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