Cablegate: Canada On North Korean and Iranian Nuclear Programs

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T OTTAWA 000703



E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2013

REF: (A) STATE 61830 (B) STATE 65141

Classified By: Acting Political Counselor Mary Witt,
Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d).

1. (S) Canada shares our strong concerns about the North
Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, and believes that Iran
will be emboldened if North Korea abandons the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We discussed reftel messages
with Marc Vidricaire, Director of the Nuclear and Chemical
Disarmament Implementation Agency (IDN); Ron Stansfield, IDN
Senior Policy Advisor; and Joanne Khouryati, North Korea Desk
Officer. In the case of North Korea, Foreign Minister Graham
issued a statement in January deploring the DPRK's intention
to withdraw from the NPT, and reaffirming the central
importance of the NPT. Canada has expressed its concerns to
North Korea privately through its missions in Beijing and at
the UN, but has little leverage on its own. Aside from
continued humanitarian food aid, Canada-North Korea relations
are at a standstill. North Korean officials were searching
for an Embassy site in Ottawa, but the GoC asked them not to
return when they left in December.

2. (S) Canada prefers to try to pressure North Korea through
multilateral institutions, but is not encouraged with how
that is proceeding. Vidricaire commented that if the UN
Security Council is not prepared to take credible action -
and he expects Russia and China to oppose such action - then
the DPRK will get the wrong message. The DPRK will still be
a major focus of the NPT PrepCom in April, but inaction by
the UNSC will confuse the issue. Given the importance of
turning the DPRK around, Vidricaire urged us to consider some
compromise formula whereby the U.S. and North Korea would
meet bilaterally on the margins of a multilateral meeting.
(NOTE: Canada's Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia-Pacific,
David Mulroney, will be in Washington on March 20 and has
requested a meeting with EAP A/S Kelly. END NOTE.)

3. (S) On Iran, Canada plans to express concern in its
statement to the IAEA Board of Governors meeting next week,
and to follow that up with a demarche on IAEA DG El-Baradei.
Vidricaire cautioned that El-Baradei has limited personal
influence on how the IAEA proceeds, as he is beholden to the
wishes of member states.

4. (S) Now that Iran is being closely watched, Vidricaire was
concerned that it might choose to follow the letter of the
law in development of a full-blown civil nuclear program, and
then be able to convert it to a weapons program on short
notice at a later date. Like North Korea, Iran might choose
a time of crisis, when the U.S. and the international
community are distracted, to leave the NPT. Unlike North
Korea, Iran would then have a large-scale nuclear program,
and would present a much greater threat. Vidricaire said the
IAEA would find it difficult to curb the Iranian program if
it proceeded in this manner. He felt that Iran also saw
India and Pakistan as role models - defying the NPT, bearing
up under international censure for a number of years, and
emerging at the other end with nuclear weapons.

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