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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Six-Party Talks

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UNCLAS TOKYO 003366

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

1. LEAD STORIES: Front-page stories on Thursday morning
included the Nobel Prize award ceremony in Oslo and the
six-party talks in Beijing.'

2. "Chinese Arbitration Facing Crucial Moment" A
correspondent for the top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri
wrote from Beijing (12/11): "In view of the continued
stalemate in the six-party head-of-delegation meeting,
the Chinese are actively leading negotiations by
presenting a draft accord in an attempt to forge a
consensus on the most important issue of codifying
verification procedures. It reflects Beijing's desire
to find a solution to the trouble that Washington and
Pyongyang are having, as well as its desire to disrupt
the pattern of the U.S. and DPRK jointly taking the
lead in negotiations."

3. "U.S. Failed to Coordinate Until Final Moments" A
writer for the liberal Tokyo Shimbun reported from
Beijing (12/11): "The gap between the U.S. and North
Korea over their interpretations of the October
bilateral accord on verification remained throughout
the Beijing talks, given that the 'verbal commitment'
in the bilateral agreement on the issue of nuclear
sampling and other verification modalities has
apparently led North Korea to react strongly to demands
for concessions by the other parties. Prior to the
start of the Beijing round, the U.S., Japan, and South
Korea agreed on the need to establish a clear and
stringent verification regime that would not allow any
misunderstanding. Russia, which had been a bystander to
that point, has also demanded strict verification
measures.... The fact that all the members aside from
the DPRK are united is the only positive development in
the latest round."

4. "ROK Attempt to Improve Ties with Pyongyang Suffers
Setback" A correspondent for the liberal Tokyo Shimbun
said in a Beijing dispatch (12/11): "The growing
likelihood of the six-party talks going into recess
will deal a blow to South Korea, which had hoped to use
any progress on the nuclear front to improve its
cooling relations with North Korea. Additionally, a new
rift has emerged between the North and South during the
Beijing talks over the timeframe for the completion of
multinational energy assistance for Pyongyang."

SCHIEFFER

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