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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06LILONGWE47
2006-01-18 14:35:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Lilongwe
Cable title:  

GOM UNIMPRESSED WITH NORTH KOREANS

Tags:   PGOV  MI  KN 
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VZCZCXRO4754
RR RUEHMR
DE RUEHLG #0047 0181435
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 181435Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2239
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0055
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0106
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0219
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0522
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L LILONGWE 000047 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S GABRIELLE MALLORY
STATE FOR INR/AA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/18/2011
TAGS: PGOV MI KN
SUBJECT: GOM UNIMPRESSED WITH NORTH KOREANS

REF: LILONGWE 32

Classified By: Political Officer Tyler Sparks for reasons 1.4 b and d.



1. (C) Summary: The North Korean delegation discussed in
reftel left the GOM unimpressed, and future serious
collaboration looks doubtful. While their aim was allegedly
to explore funding development projects, in the end the North
Koreans could offer nothing tangible to the GOM. This led
GOM officials to believe that the true purpose of the visit
was to elicit Malawian support at the United Nations. End
Summary.



2. (C) In a follow up to last week's news that a North Korean
delegation had made a surprise visit to Malawi (reftel),
PolOff met with Director of International Cooperation Joseph
Chiteyeye. Chiteyeye had organized the North Korean visit
for the GOM, and gave PolOff a summary of the various
meetings.



3. (C) According to Chiteyeye, the North Korean Embassy in
Pretoria had communicated their desire to visit Malawi to
discuss development projects. The GOM was told that North
Korea was particularly interested in water and energy
projects, and was open to funding a large water development
project in southern Malawi. As reported (reftel), the GOM
asked the North Koreans to delay their visit for a number of
months, and were thus surprised when they "showed up at the
airport."



4. (C) Once they had arrived, the GOM made the decision to
refuse requests to meet with high level GOM officials.
Instead, the North Korean delegation (consisting of two
Embassy Pretoria officials) met with GOM officials at the
director level and below in the Ministries of Water and
Irrigation, Defense, Health and the Department of Energy. It
quickly became apparent to the GOM that North Korea could not
fund development projects, and in general had "little to
offer," according to Chiteyeye. Instead of large scale
infrastructure projects, North Korea offered to send doctors
and engineers to Malawi, but only if Malawi paid for travel,
housing, and a $1,200 monthly salary. They also offered to
organize "study tours" for Malawians to travel to North
Korea--but again on Malawi's dime.



5. (C) Chiteyeye said that the delegation's true purpose
became clear to him at a final dinner, on Wednesday January
18th. After "a few glasses of wine" and boasts about their
nuclear program, among other things, the North Koreans asked
Chiteyeye for Malawi's support at the United Nations. The
North Koreans had apparently interpreted Malawi's failure to
vote on a non-proliferation issue in the recent United
Nations General Assembly as a sign of potential support.
Apologizing for their lack of resources (i.e. development
dollars), the North Koreans said that this was just their
first meeting, and hoped more would follow. They also asked
Chiteyeye to extend an invitation to the Minister of Foreign
affairs to visit North Korea in April. Chiteyeye said he's
highly doubtful the Minister would take them up on their
offer.



6. (C) Comment: In all, the GOM seemed unimpressed with the
North Koreans. Chiteyeye commented that the GOM had deemed
it "not worth the risks" to work with them, especially when
they had "nothing to offer." He said they would maintain
their diplomatic relations, but that he doubted anything else
would come out of the visit. In addition to the failure to
vote against non-proliferation at the U.N., Malawi's firm
support for Taiwan could have made it stand out as a
potential ally for the North Koreans. However, due in part
to Malawi's heavy reliance on international aid from the
West, at this point there seems to be little motivation to
form any significant relationship with North Korea. End
Comment


EASTHAM