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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Six-Party Talks

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P 010211Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 004574

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 - SIX-PARTY TALKS


LEAD STORIES: All Monday morning Japanese dailies gave
front-page coverage to a provisional six-party accord
on North Korea's disablement of three nuclear
facilities within this year, as well as UN Special
Emissary to Burma Gambari's meeting with opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon on Sunday.

1. "Vague Accord Will Create Problems for Future" The
conservative Sankei editorialized (10/1): "There is a
high possibility that the provisional six-party deal
will create problems for the future, given that the
definition of disablement, as well as its scope and
procedures, remains vague and limited. Although
disablement is supposedly to take place by year's end,
it is unclear whether this means that it will start or
be completed by then. Regrettably, the situation as it
stands will allow North Korea to buy time.... The
September 2005 six-party joint statement saying that
'the DPRK committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons
and existing nuclear programs' must not be forgotten.
The Bush administration's initial goal of realizing
complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization
appears to have disappeared. Just prior to the latest
round of the six-party talks, allegations surfaced that
North Korea had transferred nuclear technology to
Syria. This demonstrates serious flaws in Washington's
soft line toward the DPRK. While Assistant Secretary of
State Hill has stated that the ultimate goal is
complete denuclearization, there is no guarantee that
this goal will be achieved."

2. "Has Roadmap for Disablement Been Completed?" An
editorial in the top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri
commented (10/1): "It is important to create a firm
roadmap for the implementation of the 'next steps.'
Leaving the agreement open to interpretation is
unacceptable, as North Korea will stall or look for
loopholes in the denuclearization process.... Nuclear
disablement does not mean nuclear dismantlement.
Disablement is aimed at laying the foundation for the
third stage in the denuclearization process by creating
a situation in which North Korea cannot easily resume
its nuclear programs. Negotiations in the third stage
will be the most difficult, as they are intended to
have North Korea surrender its nuclear weapons and
plutonium. This is something that directly affects
Japan's security. Despite the recent deal, there are no
grounds for optimism that it will serve as a stepping
stone toward the next stage."

3. "Dialogue and Pressure Still Needed" The business-
oriented Nikkei editorialized (10/1): "The provisional
six-party accord is insufficient, as it specifies only
three facilities subject to disablement. A combination
of dialogue and pressure is essential for North Korea's
complete denuclearization and a resolution of the
abduction issue.... Prime Minister Fukuda has referred
to the necessity for dialogue, but pressure is
sometimes necessary to get the DPRK to take actions. In
this regard, it was appropriate for the GOJ to decide
on a six-month extension of its economic sanctions on
the DPRK."

DONOVAN

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