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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Launching of North Korean

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 003755

SIPDIS

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: MEDIA REACTION Q LAUNCHING OF NORTH KOREAN
MISSILES - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: All six Thursday morning papers gave top
play to North Korea's launch of its seventh missile on
Wednesday at around 5:22 p.m. (Japan time), as well as to
Japan's UN Security Council (UNSC) proposal of a
resolution censuring Pyongyang for the launches.

1. These six papers carried editorials strongly
protesting North Korea's Wednesday launches into the Sea
of Japan.

2. "Protest Against North Korea's Reckless Act" The
liberal Asahi editorialized (7/6): "North Korea launched
six missiles Wednesday morning and another later in the
evening, breaching the Pyongyang Declaration reached with
Japan in 2002 and in defiance of international calls for
halting missile launches. We strongly protest the North's
reckless and irresponsible act.... All seven missiles
fell into the Sea of Japan near the Russian Far East. The
North Korean missile launches were apparently aimed at
intimidating neighboring countries by making a show of
all the missiles the DPRK has capable of attacking
foreign nations.

2. "The North fired the missiles, well aware that the
launches would draw strong protests from the
international community. The launches revealed a
stalemate in its diplomacy. North Korea used its
'missile' card to bring the US to direct talks at a time
when Washington is tightening its financial sanctions and
faulting the North's human rights abuses. Also, Japan is
currently applying pressure on the North over the
abduction issue. The North timed the launch to coincide
with the Fourth of July in the US and shortly after the
Bush-Koizumi summit and days before the G-8 summit in
Russia. It is clear that the North fired the missiles as
an act of provocation."

3. "'Fireworks Display' by a Poverty-Stricken Nation" An
editorial in the conservative Sankei commented (7/6):
"Did North Korea fire missiles in despair? Or were the
launches a calculated act? It appears that the North
fired successive missiles in defiance of international
calls for a suspension of launches.... It is said the
test-firing of a Taepodong long-range ballistic missile
capable of reaching Alaska failed. At a time when most
North Koreans are starving, the firing of these high-
priced missiles is like a fireworks display by a poverty-
stricken nation....

4. "PM Koizumi had previously said that Japan would take
strict measures if the North were to launch missiles. The
GOJ should take one effective punitive measure after
another.... Japan's missile defense is not yet
functional. The ASDF plans to deploy a PAC-3 system at
the end of this year, while the MSDF is expected to
install SM-3 systems on board Aegis ships starting the
end of next year. Until then, Japan cannot help but
depend on US deterrents for Japan's peace and security.
It is reassuring that the White House has announced that
the US will take all measures necessary to protect its
territories and allies."

5. "A Serious Challenge to the International Community"
The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized
(7/6): "North Korea's launching of missiles posed a
serious challenge to Japan's security, as well as to
international peace.... The North fired the missiles at a

TOKYO 00003755 002 OF 002


time when it continues to reject calls to return to the
six-party talks and also when it is reportedly developing
nuclear weapons. Should the North Koreans successfully
miniaturize nuclear weapons and load them onto ballistic
missiles, it would pose an extremely serious threat to
the international community.... It is only natural that
Japan impose as many effective retaliatory measures as
possible on the North.

6. "The North most probably launched the missiles as part
of its brinkmanship to bring the US to bilateral talks.
However, the US is not likely to comply with such a
threatening tactic. The US is adamant on its refusal to
have direct dialogue with North Korea, further tightening
its hard-line stance toward Pyongyang.... Members of the
international community can no longer neglect Pyongyang's
reckless missile launches. Members of the world community
should join hands to prevent the North from developing
and proliferating weapons of mass destruction, including
nuclear weapons and missiles.... We hope that South
Korea, which is reconciliatory toward the North, will
join Japan and the US in tightening an iron ring around
the North."

7. "Threatening Will Only Deepen Isolation" An editorial
in the liberal Tokyo Shimbun commented (7/6): "North
Korea's firing of missiles were an extremely provocative
act. The successive missile launches were totally
unacceptable as they posed a serious threat to world
peace and security.... Japan announced a ban on the visit
of the North Korean passenger-cargo ferry Man Gyong Bong-
92 to Japanese ports for six months and other restrictive
measures. The US and other UN members started discussing
the referral of North Korea to the UNSC....

8. "Pyongyang should realize that it brought these
retaliatory measures upon itself.... The UNSC will
shortly discuss the North Korean missile launch issue,
and it will also be taken up at the G-8 summit, which
will begin on July 15 in Russia. North Korea lacks
international common sense. Patient diplomatic efforts
will be necessary to recreate a new order of peace and
stability in Northeast Asia."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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