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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q North Korea - Tokyo

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PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #5772 2770306
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040306Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7059
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8300
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1664
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4404
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1269
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0526
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2125
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005772

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 NORTH KOREA - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Most Wednesday morning papers front-paged
the DPRK's statement Tuesday that it will conduct a
nuclear test in the future.

1. "North Korean Nuclear Threat Enters New Stage" The top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (10/4):
"North Korea's announcement that it will conduct a
nuclear test in the future suggests that Pyongyang is
further escalating its desperate brinkmanship as the
international community's net around it tightens....
Should the DPRK go forward with a test, it would provide
the first clear proof that Pyongyang has nuclear weapons,
which would mean that its nuclear weapons program has
entered a new stage.

2. "This would pose an extremely grave threat to peace
and security in the region. The international community
can hardly overlook such a situation. As Prime Minister
Abe said, the international community has no choice but
to adopt an even firmer stance toward North Korea than it
did after Pyongyang launched missiles in July.... What is
the point of a nuclear test? Pyongyang's main aim is
likely to push the US into changing its stance on
sanctions and draw the US into direct bilateral talks."

3. "Playing the Nuclear Card Will Only Invite Isolation"
An editorial in the business-oriented Nihon Keizai wrote
(10/4): "The North Korean Foreign Ministry released a
statement Tuesday indicating that it will conduct a
nuclear test in the future. The ministry did not clarify
the exact timing of a test, however. The DPRK is likely
trying to ratchet up tensions out of a sense of crisis
over US and Japanese financial sanctions.

4. "Though it is clear that Pyongyang hopes to draw the
US into direct talks, there is no sign that the Bush
administration will compromise and begin a dialogue with
North Korea so long as it is engaging in nuclear
brinkmanship. It is certain that a nuclear test would
only serve to further isolate North Korea. It is hard to
fathom why they do not grasp this point.... There is only
one path available to North Korea. It must give up its
nuclear adventurism, return to the six-party talks, and
declare an end to its nuclear program."

DONOVAN

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