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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - North Korea and U.S.-

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2038 2060206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240206Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4517
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2434
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0507
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0901
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002038

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 - NORTH KOREA AND U.S.-
INDIA NUCLEAR COOPERATION

1. LEAD STORIES: All Thursday morning papers gave top
play to the strong earthquake that hit the Tohoku area
just after midnight.

2. "First Priority Must Be Given to Strict Verification
of Nuclear Declaration" On the informal six-party
foreign ministerial held in Singapore on Wednesday, the
business-oriented Nikkei editorialized (7/24):
"...Convening a foreign ministerial just for the
purpose of demonstrating progress in the six-party
talks will only benefit North Korea.... A security
mechanism in Northeast Asia was one of the items on the
agenda for discussion. The U.S. hopes to convert the
six-party framework into a standing institution for
regional peace and stability in the hope of building a
peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. The U.S.
initiative has some merits.... Still, such an
initiative must be premised upon the denuclearization
of North Korea. It is unimaginable that North Korea,
which has tried to portray itself as a nuclear power,
would easily abandon its nuclear programs. The U.S. for
now must concentrate on the most pressing task."

3. "Priority Given to Holding Ministerial" The liberal
Asahi wrote from Singapore (7/24): "Despite Wednesday's
six-party foreign ministerial, a stalemate apparently
remains over verification protocols concerning North
Korea's nuclear declaration. As issues involved in the
verification are so complex, assembling the six
ministers alone was not enough to find a breakthrough.
The session ended up as a mere 'political show.'"

4. "A Political Show" The liberal Mainichi's
correspondents reported from Singapore (7/24): "The
informal six-party ministerial ended up as a political
show without accomplishing anything meaningful.... For
North Korea, the meeting was effective in calling
international attention to progress in the six-party
talks and in preparing an atmosphere in which it can be
delisted as a state sponsor of terrorism. As the U.S.,
Japan, and South Korea were not able to unite due to a
row over beef trade between Seoul and Washington and a
territorial dispute between Tokyo and Seoul, they
failed to corner the DPRK."

5. "U.S.-India Deal to Render Nuclear Nonproliferation
Regime Meaningless" The liberal Asahi asserted in an
editorial (7/24): "The NPT regime's basic premise is
that member states will refrain from extending support
for the peaceful use of nuclear power to nations that
are not signatories. Up until now, the U.S. had abided
by this principle.... Creating a big loophole in the
already-shaky NPT regime is unacceptable. Making India
an exception will inevitably prompt Pakistan to ask for
similar treatment. North Korea went ahead with a
nuclear test after stating that it had withdrawn from
the NPT. Iran is proceeding with uranium enrichment in
defiance of UN sanctions. Making India and Pakistan
exceptions would be tantamount to throwing cold water
on the international community's desperate efforts to
prevent North Korea and Iran from becoming nuclear
powers."

ZUMWALT

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