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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Inter-Korean Summit

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P 090328Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 003643

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: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - INTER-KOREAN SUMMIT


LEAD STORIES: Most Thursday morning papers front-paged
Ambassador Schieffer's meeting Wednesday afternoon with
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa at the
DPJ headquarters in Tokyo.

1. "Can Roh-Kim Summit Help Denuclearization?" The top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (8/9): "The
main focus of the just-announced inter-Korean summit
will be whether the talks can give momentum to the six-
party talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear
weapons program. South Korean President Roh will visit
Pyongyang on August 28 for a three-day meeting with
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the first inter-Korean
summit in seven years. The six-party talks are set to
begin discussing 'next-phase actions' now that the
'initial steps' stipulated in the February six-party
agreement, including a halt to operations at the
Yongbyon nuclear complex, have mostly been
implemented,. Given that some progress has been
achieved, the upcoming inter-Korean summit needs to
spur further headway in the six-party framework...."

2. "Excessive Concessions to North Korea Unacceptable"
An editorial in the business-oriented Nihon Keizai
commented (8/9): "...The creation of a framework for
peace on the Korean Peninsula is likely to be a main
subject of discussion at the meeting in Pyongyang
between South Korean President Roh and North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il. We hope that the summit will open
the way toward North Korea's full denuclearization and
a resolution of the abduction issue.... It is expected
that North Korea, which was isolated from the
international community after launching ballistic
missiles and conducting a nuclear test last year, will
try to create an atmosphere of inter-Korean
reconciliation at the summit and to use the occasion as
a lever for improving relations with the US.... South
Korea's Roh government has so far taken a soft line
toward the DPRK. If Roh shows an excessively
conciliatory stance at the summit, resolutions of the
nuclear and abduction issues will become more
distant...."

3. "President Roh Must Represent World" The liberal
Asahi editorialized (8/9): "...A direct dialogue
between the leaders of a divided country is desirable
both for the country in question and the entire region.
Tensions surrounding North Korea's nuclear program will
ease and stability will take root. We strongly hope
that the upcoming summit will ensure a shift from
tension to stability and open the way for the
international community to entertain hopes for the
future. Nonetheless, there is no sense of euphoria is
Seoul along the lines of the atmosphere at the time of
the first inter-Korean summit in 2000.... We hope that
President Roh will coordinate views with leaders from
the US, Japan, China, and Russia beforehand and meet
with North Korean leader Kim as a representative of the
entire international community."

SCHIEFFER

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