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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - North Korea and Russia

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DE RUEHKO #2371 2420416
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 290416Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 002371

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 RUSSIA

1. LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Friday morning included
the formation of a new political party by five
parliamentarians.

2. "Do Not Make Concessions on Verification" The
liberal Tokyo Shimbun editorialized (8/29): "A closer
look at North Korea's statement (on its halt to nuclear
disablement) reveals that Pyongyang's short-term goal
is heading off rigorous verification (of its nuclear
declaration), rather than being delisted as a state
sponsor of terrorism. No compromise is warranted on the
issue of verification.... Verification of the
declaration holds the key to denuclearization. Half-
measures on verification would run the risk of enabling
North Korea to continue its nuclear programs and hold
on to nuclear weapons."

3. "Unity Between China and Russia Shaken" On the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit held on
Thursday in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the liberal Asahi
wrote (8/29): "...As the post-summit SCO declaration
did not mention the issue of recognizing the
independence of South Ossetia, something Russia has
called for, it was clear that there were pronounced
differences among the members in what they expect from
the organization. The SCO, which was formed with a view
to checking U.S. unipolar domination, appears to be at
a crossroads in view of the emergence of a 'new Cold
War' between Russia and the West."

4. "Do Not Be Duped by Russia" The conservative
Sankei's senior writer Takahata argued in a front-page
essay (8/29): "...President Bush may now be regretting
that he has trusted Russian Prime Minister Putin....
Personal trust between the leaders of superpowers is
important, and that cannot be denied. However, easily
trusting someone with different values and ideas can
boomerang. This is also a historical lesson."

5. "Power Vacuum Would Unleash Further Crises" Senior
writer Sunohara of the business-oriented Nikkei wrote
in a front-page commentary (8/29): "The ongoing crisis
in Georgia has reminded the international community not
just of America's waning clout but also of what could
happen if a 'power vacuum' caused by this decline were
to trigger a series of crises across the world. Indeed,
North Korea has declared that it has halted nuclear
disablement. A possible crisis in nuclear-hungry Iran,
politically unstable Pakistan, or Afghanistan cannot be
ruled out."

ZUMWALT

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