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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - North Korea and Afghanistan

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UNCLAS TOKYO 001958

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 - NORTH KOREA AND AFGHANISTAN

1. LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Tuesday morning included the growing
H1N1 influenza epidemic in Japan.

2. "Change in North Korea's Approach" The liberal Mainichi
editorialized (8/25): "Despite the fact that North Korea employs
such tactics often, it was surprising how quickly the nation changed
[its approach]. A funeral delegation from North Korea, which visited
South Korea following the death of former President Kim Dae-jung,
conveyed a message from North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to President
Lee Myung-bak advocating the improvement of North-South relations.
North Korea's current predicament must be the cause of this sudden
change in policy course.... North Korea's purpose is clear.... North
Korea probably intends to gain economic benefits and connect its
moves to direct talks with the U.S.... Needless to say, we cannot
rule out the possibility that North Korea would use foreign currency
to develop nuclear arms and missiles. We need to exercise caution in
negotiations [with Pyongyang]. The unified goal of the international
community, which is imposing sanctions on North Korea, is the
'elimination of nuclear arms.' We hope that the ROK government will
always be aware of this goal and make persistent efforts that will
lead to achieving it."

3. "Do Not Relax Vigilance over North Korea" The business-oriented
Nikkei stated in an editorial (8/25): "We must not let down our
guard even though North Korea, which has criticized the Lee
government [of South Korea] repeatedly, appears to have shifted its
approach to dialogue.... North Korea's intention to break free of
the international net of sanctions against its nuclear development
by swaying the Lee government is the reason behind its sudden policy
change. The global community, including South Korea, should
strengthen its vigilance further... DOS Coordinator for
Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874 Goldberg is
currently on a tour of four Asian nations, including Japan and South
Korea. North Korea appears to be impatient about the development of
an international net of sanctions. It is important for the
international community to continue to put pressure on North Korea
in unity through [cooperation] among the U.S., Japan, and South
Korea."

4. "Progress on 'Nuclear Abolition' Is Prerequisite for Assistance"
The liberal Tokyo Shimbun wrote in an editorial (8/25): "North
Korea's 'change' [in its approach] appears to be the result of the
UN Security Council resolution against its nuclear test.... If South
Korea expands its economic assistance [to North Korea], the UNSC
sanctions could become flawed... We hope the Lee government will
hold dialogue with Pyongyang while maintaining the principle that
'progress on the nuclear issue is a prerequisite for assistance.'...
Since the North Korean nuclear problem is directly connected to the
security of Northeast Asia, the issue should be discussed at the
Six-Party Talks, in which relevant nations take part. We hope that
South Korea will closely coordinate with the U.S., Japan, and China
before holding inter-Korean talks."


ROOS

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