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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - North Korea and Afghanistan

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DE RUEHKO #2094 2530338
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P 100338Z SEP 09
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UNCLAS TOKYO 002094

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: All Thursday morning papers gave top play to
yesterday's agreement among the DPJ, the SDP, and the PNP to
establish a coalition government.


2. "U.S. Considering Dialogue with North Korea while Maintaining
Sanctions" Claiming that U.S. Special Representative for North Korea
Policy Bosworth explained to Japan, China, and South Korea that the
U.S. might hold bilateral talks with North Korea on the condition
that they are aimed at jumpstarting the Six-Party Talks, the
top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote (8/10): "Washington is
showing a positive stance toward bilateral dialogue even though the
DPRK has not yet made clear its intent to return to the Six-Party
Talks. This is because the U.S. is confident that it can persuade
North Korea to come back to the negotiating table, given that it is
being economically squeezed by UN sanctions. The purpose of the
envisaged dialogue for the U.S. is to demand denuclearization while
maintaining sanctions, and to directly relay to North Korea that the
Six-Party members will extend assistance to it when the prospect of
denuclearization is in sight."

3. "Don't Make It Obama's War" The liberal Tokyo Shimbun
editorialized (9/10): "Just as the Iraq war has been labeled 'Bush's
war,' the war in Afghanistan presents President Obama with a test
for demonstrating his exit strategy and new counterterrorism
measures.... The key to the exit strategy lies in marginalizing
extremists and terrorists and helping the Afghan government
reconstruct the country on its own initiative. Cooperation from the
international community is imperative in order to prevent the
situation from turning into another 'Vietnam War.'"


ROOS

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