Cablegate: Media Reaction: North Korea
DE RUEHIN #1208 2800909
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 070909Z OCT 09
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2457
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9425
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0839
UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001208
DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/P, EAP/PD - THOMAS HAMM
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: NORTH KOREA
1. Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies focused news
coverage October 7 on the 2009 Nobel Physics Prize winners, among
whom one holds an honorary position at Taiwan's Academia Sinica; on
the upcoming NBA preseason game in Taipei; and on the year-end city
mayors' and country magistrates' elections. The pro-independence
"Liberty Times" ran an exclusive news story on page five with its
banner headline reading "The First One in Ten Years -- U.S.
Cabinet-level Official to Visit Taiwan Next Year."
2. In terms of editorials and commentaries, a column in the
mass-circulation "Apple Daily" discussed North Korea and the
Six-Party talks. The article said the Obama administration has
adopted a new approach and is letting Beijing put pressure on
Pyongyang regarding the Six-Party talks. A column in the
KMT-leaning "China Times" said Pyongyang will by no means return to
the Six-Party talks before it holds bilateral talks with Washington.
A) "Mao Anying [i.e. Mao Zedong's son who was killed in the Korean
War in 1950 and buried in Pyongyang] Died with Everlasting Regret"
Columnist Antonio Chiang wrote in the mass-circulation "Apple Daily"
[circulation: 520,000] (10/7):
"... The Bush administration adopted a tough and unyielding approach
toward North Korea, which, in return, acted in a polite but
perfunctory manner, giving the United States a real hard time. Now
the Obama administration has altered its approach by adopting a
three-no policy -- namely, showing no concern, giving no response,
and assuming no responsibility [in negotiation matters]. Washington
shoved the already messy and difficult situation to Beijing and
asked the latter to put pressure on Pyongyang. [Chinese Premier]
Wen Jiabao has brought with him a big gift [for Pyongyang], and Kim
Jong Il should at least offer something in return to save Beijing's
face. But North Korea is already in possession of nuclear power,
and now it is already too late to ask it to renounce nuclear
weapons. It is time China begins to taste the responsibility and
helplessness of being a great power."
B) "What Kim Jong Il Means by 'Multilateral Talks'"
The "International Lookout" column in the KMT-leaning "China Times"
[circulation: 120,000] wrote (10/7):
"... Kim Jong Il, to the greatest extent, has satisfied China in
terms of the latter's persuasions. But Kim has a principle:
Namely, by no means will Pyongyang resume the Six-Party Talks.
Instead, North Korea will conduct 'multilateral talks' depending on
the results of its talks with the United States. ... In fact, such
a principle is akin to groping one's way -- one step at a time:
First, [Pyongyang] will seek to find out the U.S. intent through the
bilateral talks. If Washington is willing to compromise, then
Pyongyang will drag China in ... to hold a three-sided meeting.
Should the chances be high to modify and turn the cease-fire
agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang into a peace treaty, then it
can drag South Korea in and turn the meeting into a four-sided talk.
Once such a situation is realized, and [the parties involved]
decide to discuss the security mechanism in Northeast Asia, then why
not include Japan and Russia to return to the Six-Party talks? ...
One thing is for sure: there is no way that the United States can
expect that Pyongyang will return to the Six-Party talks before the
two hold bilateral talks."