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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03SANAA1454
2003-06-24 07:02:00
SECRET
Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

U/S BOLTON'S VISIT TO YEMEN: PRESIDENT SALEH ON

Tags:   PARM  PREL  MARR  MNUC  MASS  IZ  KN  YM  MARITIME  SECURITY 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 001454 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/24/2013
TAGS: PARM PREL MARR MNUC MASS IZ KN YM MARITIME SECURITY
SUBJECT: U/S BOLTON'S VISIT TO YEMEN: PRESIDENT SALEH ON
THE DPRK

Classified By: Charge Alan G. Misenheimer for Reasons 1.5 (B) and (D)

-------
Summary
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1. (S/NF) Begin summary: On June 17, Under Secretary of
State for Non-Proliferation and International Security John


R. Bolton joined Yemeni President Abdullah Saleh for an
hour-long discussion. U/S Bolton briefed Saleh on U.S.
efforts to stop North Korea,s nuclear program, as well as
ongoing U.S. negotiations to reach Article 98 agreements with
countries around the world. President Saleh maintained that
ROYG has no new SCUDS contracts with the DPRK, and has been
very open about outstanding contracts for spare parts and
maintenance. He also noted that ROYG would suspend ongoing
Yemen-DPRK negotiations on the construction of a naval base
near Hodeidah if presented with a viable option. End summary.



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Unscheduled Meeting


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2. (C) After receiving a last-minute invitation for an
immediate meeting with ROYG President Saleh, U/S Bolton began
their talks by congratulating President Saleh on Yemen,s
successful April 27 parliamentary elections. Salah said he
was already beginning to work on his candidacy for the 2006
presidential elections. At the President,s request, Bolton
described the nature of his mission to the region, and Yemen
in particular, highlighting two issues: North Korea,s
nuclear proliferation and Article 98 (septel).



--------------------------


Ending DPRK Proliferation


--------------------------





3. (S/NF) U/S Bolton told Saleh that President Bush has
personally directed U.S. officials to find a peaceful way to
dismantle North Korea,s nuclear program. The DPRK finances
its nuclear program through the sale of weapons, narcotics,
and illegal gambling. If these sales were terminated, the
international community could impede the progress of, if not
stop completely, the DPRK,s nuclear program.



4. (S/NF) Bolton noted that historically many of DPRK,s
sales have been to the Middle East region, so he was visiting
four friendly nations -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the
UAE -- to seek an agreement on this issue. Yemen was the
most important stop on his trip. The U.S. did not want to
infringe upon Yemen,s legitimate defense needs, but wanted
to work with Yemen to counter the immediate threat posed by
North Korea.



5. (S/NF) President Saleh noted that contacts with North
Korea began in 1994 during Yemen's civil war, when the
Socialist Party - then in control of southern Yemen -
purchased 17 or 18 SCUDS from the DPRK. When the war ended
the ROYG was left with the contract. Saleh stressed that all
of the ROYG,s transactions with the DPRK were open; even the

financing went through a bank or banks in the U.S.



--------------------------


Saleh - We Kept Our Word


--------------------------





6. (S/NF) Referring to his December 2002 telcon with
Secretary Powell, Saleh said he had kept his promise that

SIPDIS
there would be no new contracts with the DPRK, thus proving
that ROYG is credible and wants to have good relations with
the U.S. Saleh noted that he had told the Secretary, and
later the U.S. Ambassador, that Yemen had an existing
contract for spare parts, a SCUD maintenance team, and
coastal defense artillery with the DPRK. In addition, he
said there were ongoing negotiations with the North Koreans,
who work quite cheaply, to build a naval facility near the
port of Hodeidah. The ROYG had asked for a loan for the
naval facilities from the Japanese. (Note: The Japanese
Embassy has informed Post of this request and their
subsequent refusal -- septel.) Saleh said that ROYG had been
planning to buy medium range missiles from the DPRK, but
stopped when they learned of USG objections.



--------------------------

--
Naval Construction Project and Coastal Defenses


--------------------------

--


7. (S/NF) Noting his readiness to break off negotiations
with North Korea, Saleh suggested the U.S. approach other
nations to ask them to aid the ROYG with the naval
construction projects because it is important to regional
security. Among potential donors the U.S. might lobby on
Yemen's behalf, Saleh listed Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE,
Holland, and Japan. U/S Bolton noted that he would convey
Saleh,s message to Washington and remain in contact with
ROYG on this issue.



8. (S/NF) After placing a call to his staff to confirm the
information, Saleh added that a team of North Koreans has
been in Yemen for over a year working at a munitions factory
in Abyan. He said they have been making munitions for
Kalashnikovs.



--------------------------


Iraq and US - Yemen Cooperation


--------------------------





9. (C) Saleh changed topics with a "special" message to the
U.S. Administration on Iraq. Noting that the situation in
Iraq is difficult and unstable, Saleh joked that the U.S.
might unite Iraq and Kuwait and install a Kuwaiti ruler.



10. (C) Saleh did not question or crticize Operation Iraqi
Freedon, but said that he believed the U.S. had been
surprised by the quick victory. The ROYG has no confidence
in the Iraqi opposition that is returning from abroad, said
Saleh, and believes it has no support inside Iraq.



11. (C) Saleh also noted the importance of cooperation
between the U.S, and Yemen "as full partners in the war on
terrorism." Last, but not least, he made a plea for
continued U.S. assistance to Yemen, but also for U.S.
advocacy on behalf of Yemen with the World Bank, the European
Union, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. "Development is
critical to Yemen's hopes of combating poverty."



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





12. (C) President Saleh was animated and voluble during his
unscheduled meeting with U/S Bolton: joking about the
Islamist opposition; stopping discussion to ask if he had met
U/S Bolton's assistant, Mark Groombridge before (he had not);
and offering facetious "advice" on Iraq. However, he was
evidently well briefed on U/S Bolton,s agenda regarding the
DPRK, providing clarification of past discussions, as well as
new information -- including the presence of North Koreans at
the munitions factory in Abyan. His concluding remarks on
Yemen's immense development needs reflect grim reality.

MISENHEIMER