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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Inter-Korean Relations

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1948 2360534
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 240534Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5660
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6036
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8367
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3450
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6549
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9844
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0578
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2992
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7241
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6867
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001948

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 RELATIONS

1. LEAD STORIES: All Monday morning papers gave extensive front- and
inside-page coverage to yesterday's meeting between South Korean
President Lee and a North Korean delegation that visited Seoul to
convey condolences over the death of former ROK President Kim
Dae-jung.

2. "North Korea Uses South Korea to Get Out of Predicament" The
conservative Sankei noted (8/24): "North Korea is trying to gain
'practical benefits' such as the resumption of [economic] assistance
and cooperation by softening South Korean public opinion through
displaying gestures of condolence and dialogue, and prompting the
Lee administration to change its hard line toward North Korea....
North Korea has probably concluded that a resumption of North-South
dialogue or an improvement in inter-Korean relations would be
beneficial to realize its foremost goal of holding talks and
improving ties with the U.S."

3. "Differences in Enthusiasm for Dialogue between North and South"
The business-oriented Nikkei stated from Seoul (8/24): "North
Korea's 'dialogue offensive' became more pronounced when DPRK leader
Kim Jong Il relayed to ROK President Lee his message for improved
inter-Korean ties. This move reflected Pyongyang's desire to acquire
'practical benefits,' such as North-South joint cooperation
projects. However, it remains to be seen whether the latest
development will lead to progress on nuclear issues, including a
resumption of the Six-Party Talks, given that suspicion remains
strong within the ROK government that Pyongyang is trying to stage
an atmosphere of improved inter-Korean relations in order to promote
dialogue with the U.S."

ROOS

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