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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ROME1734
2003-04-24 08:45:00
SECRET
Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

DPRK/SARS: ODDS AND ENDS FROM THE GOI

Tags:   PREL  PARM  KNNP  KN  IT  EUN 
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						S E C R E T ROME 001734 

SIPDIS


E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/22/2013
TAGS: PREL PARM KNNP KN IT EUN
SUBJECT: DPRK/SARS: ODDS AND ENDS FROM THE GOI


CLASSIFIED BY: A/DCM TOM COUNTRYMAN. REASON:1.5 (B)(D



1. (S) DURING A CATCH-UP SESSION, THE MFA DEPUTY OFFICE
DIRECTOR FOR EAST ASIA, PAOLA MUNZI (STRICTLY PROTECT),
REVEALED TO POLOFF SOME INTERESTING TIDBITS ABOUT THE DPRK,
SARS, AND THE GOI, AS WELL AS HER FUTURE POSTING.



2. (S) ACCORDING TO MUNZI, THE DPRK HAS MADE A SERIES OF ODD
REQUESTS OVER THE PAST THREE WEEKS TO THE GOI. THE FIRST,
FAXED TO HER OFFICE, WAS FOR A SPECIFIC BOLOGNA-BASED TEAM OF
POTATO EXPERTS TO COME TO NORTH KOREA FOR CONSULTATIONS. NOT
SEEING ANY HARM, THE GOI APPROVED THE VISIT. THE SECOND
REQUEST WAS FOR A COPY OF A 1933 NON-AGGRESSION TREATY
BETWEEN ITALY AND VARIOUS CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. WHEN
PRESSED A BIT ON THIS SHE WAS UNABLE TO ANSWER IF IT HAD BEEN
GIVEN TO THEM JUST YET, OR WHICH COUNTRIES EXACTLY IT APPLIED
TO, ALTHOUGH SHE SAID ARCHIVISTS WERE RESEARCHING THE
REQUEST. THE GOI IS WILLING TO HELP THE NORTH KOREANS LOCATE
A COPY OF THE TREATY, VIEWING IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE
THE REGIME, ALTHOUGH THEY REALIZE IT IS PECULIAR AND ARE NOT
SURE HOW THE DPRK INTENDS TO BENEFIT FROM POSSESSING A COPY.
(COMMENT: AN EIGHTY-YEAR OLD, MUSSOLINI-ERA TREATY MIGHT NOT
BE THE BEST OPTION IF THE DPRK IS ATTEMPTING TO CRAFT A
MODERN NON-AGGRESSION PACT. END COMMENT)



3. (S) MUNZI WELCOMED THE RECENT U.S.-DPRK TALKS, ALTHOUGH
SHE MENTIONED THERE WAS SOME DISAPPOINTMENT AMONG EU MEMBERS
THAT THEY WERE NOT YET PLAYING A ROLE. HOWEVER, SHE STATED
THE GOI WAS PLEASED WITH THE "MULTILATERAL" NATURE OF THE
TALKS AND THE WILLINGNESS OF BOTH SIDES TO BEND SLIGHTLY.



4. (S) SHE NOTED THAT SARS WAS SIGNIFICANTLY DISRUPTING
HIGH-LEVEL GOI TRIPS TO ASIA. ACCORDING TO MUNZI, PRESIDENT
CIAMPI'S APRIL VISIT TO BEIJING, SUPPOSEDLY CANCELED DUE TO
THE IRAQ WAR, WAS IN REALITY SHELVED DUE TO FEARS OF THE SARS
VIRUS. THIS APPLIED AS WELL TO A PLANNED VISIT BY MARGHERITA
BONIVER, UNDER-SECRETARY FOR ASIA AND HUMAN RIGHTS, AS WELL
AS A WIDE-VARIETY OF OTHER TRIPS NOW LANGUISHING.



5. (C) IN THE COURSE OF THE CONVERSATION MS. MUNZI MENTIONED
SHE HAD RECENTLY MARRIED A TIBETAN NATIONAL (KNOWN TO POLOFF)
AND WAS LIKELY TO LEAVE ROME IN LATE SUMMER FOR THE NUMBER
TWO POSITION IN ITALY'S NEW YORK CONSULATE, ALTHOUGH THAT HAD
NOT YET BEEN CONFIRMED. HER HUSBAND, RECIPIENT OF A FORD
FOUNDATION GRANT, EXPECTS TO BEGIN HIS MASTER'S DEGREE AT SIT
IN VERMONT, ASSUMING HE RECEIVES A STUDENT VISA.



6. (U) PRIOR TO HER CURRENT POSITION, MUNZI WAS ON THE MFA
WORKING GROUP FOR ANTARCTICA IN 2001-2002, IN THE MFA
DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION BUREAU, OFFICE FOR EAST/WEST AFRICA
IN 1999-2001, WAS FIRST SECRETARY AND COUNSELOR FOR
COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS IN HARARE 1994-1999, AND SERVED AS FIRST
VICE-CONSUL AND CONSUL IN BARCELONA 1991-1994. SHE WAS BORN
MAY 26, 1963 IN ROME, AND GRADUATED WITH A DEGREE IN
POLITICAL SCIENCE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ROME IN JULY OF


1985. SHE JOINED THE FOREIGN SERVICE IN 1987 AND SERVED HER
INITIAL TOUR FROM 1987-1991 IN THE MFA OFFICE FOR EAST-WEST
RELATIONS, THE FORMER USSR, CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE.
SEMBLER

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2003ROME01734 - Classification: SECRET