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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09SEOUL647 2009-04-21 07:04:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Seoul
Cable title:  

ROK NSA AND 6PT ENVOY DISCUSS NEXT STEPS WITH

Tags:   PGOV PREL PARM KNNP OREP EWWT KS KN 
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4093
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 5738
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 9605
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 5830
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG PRIORITY 4267
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SEOUL 000647 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/10/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL PARM KNNP OREP EWWT KS KN
SUBJECT: ROK NSA AND 6PT ENVOY DISCUSS NEXT STEPS WITH
STAFFDEL JANNUZI

Classified By: POL M/C Joseph Yun. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).



1. (C) Summary: National Security Advisor (NSA) Kim
Sung-hwan and Six-Party Talks Envoy Wi Sung-lac separately
told Staffdel Jannuzi on April 17 that the timing of
reengaging North Korea would be important and Seoul and
Washington should not appear "anxious." Wi suggested a
dialogue should be offered after condemning North Korea for
threatening to resume plutonium production. Kim and Wi
separately agreed that the North's true intention was to
engage the United States bilaterally and another nuclear test
was "within Pyongyang's imagination." Kim linked the
postponement of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
announcement to a South Korean detainee at Kaesong Industrial
Complex (KIC), depicting it as a "no-win" situation. Wi said
the PSI had a symbolic importance for the North and predicted
repeal or partial restriction of the Inter-Korean Maritime
Agreement as a possible North Korean reaction -- a response
damaging to South Korea. End Summary.



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


Not In a Hurry to Reengage DPRK


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





2. (C) During an April 17 meeting with Senior East Asia
Advisor for the Democratic Staff of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee Frank Jannuzi, NSA Kim Sung-hwan said
that finding the right timing to restart dialogue would be
important. The ROKG would continue to try to persuade China
to apply more pressure on Pyongyang. The ROK itself had
taken steps to further reduce trade with the North; its
Ministry of Unification had banned the 5-year importation of
sand for construction on April 4, 2009.



3. (C) In a separate meeting, ROK Six-Party Envoy Wi
Sung-lac told Jannuzi that the ROKG would attempt to reengage
the North right after condemning its actions for threatening
to resume production of plutonium at Yongbyon -- a negative
response followed by an offer of a dialogue -) and through
NGOs, academics and other non-government channels to
diversify opportunities. While reengaging the North at the
right time would be important, Wi cautioned that Seoul,
Washington, and Tokyo should not be seen by Pyongyang as
"anxious" for a meeting. "We should not sell ourselves
cheap," Wi said.



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

--
DPRK's Real Intention: U.S.-DPRK Bilateral Talks


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

---



4. (C) Positing that North Korea continued to ratchet up
tensions for both domestic reasons and to gain the attention
of the United States, Kim said North Korean officials were
guided by their perceptions of past experience "winning"
dialogue from the United States by taking strong measures.
Kim acknowledged, however, that recent measures such as the
April 5 rocket launch were also intended for a domestic North
Korean audience.



5. (C) Like Kim, Wi underscored that the preferred modality
of negotiation for North Korea was bilateral talks with the
United States and Pyongyang was preparing for this
opportunity. Wi explained that by enhancing its missile
capability and demonstrating its will to "act," North Korea
was attempting to strengthen its position at the next
negotiation. Wi predicted more hostile statements and
actions from the DPRK in the coming months and noted that
another nuclear test is "within Pyongyang's imagination."



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


PSI, KIC


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





6. (C) Of immediate concern was the impact the pending
announcement of ROK participation in the PSI might have on
the treatment of the detained South Korean Hyundai Asan
employee in Kaesong. If North Korean authorities decided to
try him for espionage, he might be taken to Pyongyang, Kim
said. The ROKG had attempted to contact North Korea about
the detainee both directly and through Beijing, but had
received no response.



7. (C) Seoul had postponed its announcement on PSI until
April 19 because of intelligence that suggested the detainee

might be released on Kim Il-sung's birthday, April 15. Kim
fretted that he was in a no-win situation as he would be
criticized heavily if he put off the PSI announcement again,
but would also be in the hot seat in the event the ROKG went
ahead with the PSI announcement regardless of the
consequences for the detainee. If the United States
succeeded in securing the release of the two American
journalists detained by North Korea, this would make it even
more difficult for the Lee Administration as there would be
even more public pressure to get the South Korean detainee
released, too. (Note: On April 18, the ROKG announced that
it had received a fax message from North Korea requesting to
meet on April 21. The ROKG accepted the proposal to meet and
a 10-member team headed by Ministry of Unification Director
General for Kaesong Industrial Complex Project Bureau Kim
Yong-tak is scheduled to attend the KIC meeting. End Note.)



8. (C) 6PT Envoy Wi stated that the PSI had a symbolic
importance for the North and predicted a strong reaction by
North Korea if the ROKG joined. Wi suspected, however, that
the North Korean reaction would be limited to inter-Korean
agreements and would "not spill over to denuclearization
issues." According to Wi, possible North Korean reaction
could include:

-- Repeal or partial restriction of the Inter-Korean Maritime
Agreement, of which South Korea is a "bigger beneficiary":
(NOTE: Signed in June 2004, the inter-Korean Maritime
Agreement provides the legal framework for safe and direct
maritime transportation between the two Koreas and eliminates
the need for the third-party ships. The Agreement states: 1.
Sea routes between the South and the North are internal
domestic routes; 2. The two Koreas shall open sea routes
between seven new ports; and 3. The two Koreas shall treat
each other's ships on the same footing within their harbors
and cooperate with each other in case of maritime accident.
End Note.)

-- Partial or complete shutdown of the KIC

-- Complete Expulsion of South Korean personnel from Mt.
Kumgang Resort: This would affect the Hyundai Asan
maintenance crew of approximately fifty persons remaining at
the resort since the shooting of a South Korean tourist in
July 2008. While the eviction of the maintenance crew would
not have any political weight, Wi reminded that it would have
a symbolic effect for North Korea.
STEPHENS