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09USUNNEWYORK197 2009-02-27 23:56:00 CONFIDENTIAL USUN New York
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1. (C) In separate meetings with Ambassador Wolff, Russian
Deputy Perm Rep Dolgov and Japanese Perm Rep Takasu offered
different approaches to responding to a possible Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) missile launch. Dolgov
said that Moscow had sought to discourage the DPRK from this
destabilizing action, but believed that the launch of a DPRK
"space satellite" would not be a direct violation of UNSCR

1718. Russia's approach in the Council, he said, would
therefore depend on a technical analysis of any launch.
Wolff said the United States would consider any launch to be
a violation of UNSCR 1718 and require a Council response.
According to Japanese Perm Rep Takasu, Japan also believed
that any launch would be a violation of 1718. Japan, he
said, believed the Council should respond with a resolution
(not a Presidential Statement) that would enhance existing
sanctions against DPRK. Takasu urgently sought a U.S.
response to this idea, as it would allow the Japanese foreign
minister to better calibrate his message during an upcoming
trip to Beijing. In the event of a missile launch, Wolff
emphasized to Takasu the need for prior consultation to avoid
demonstrating disunity. A Presidential Statement, Wolff
added, might be a better first step. END SUMMARY.



1. (C) On February 27, Russian Deputy Perm Rep Dolgov told
Ambassador Wolff that Moscow had been discouraging the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from a possible
missile launch. Reading from instructions, Dolgov said that
Moscow had warned DPRK not to pursue even a "space
experiment," as this might be "evaluated under certain
circumstances" as a violation of UNSCR 1718. He said,
however, that Russia's reaction in the Security Council would
depend on the technical details of what precisely DPRK had
launched. Strictly speaking, he said, a launch that placed a
satellite in orbit would not be a direct violation of UNSCR
1718, even if it might be seen as a violation of the "spirit"
of that resolution.

2. (C) Dolgov conveyed Russia's wish that no parties state
publicly in advance whether such a launch would violate UNSCR
1718, adding that UNSCR 1718 did not touch upon the peaceful
exploration of space. If there were to be a launch, he urged
close coordination with the United States to analyze the
missile trajectory and other technical parameters required to
make an assessment of what actually had been launched. He
noted that this could take some time and therefore the
Council should refrain from meeting until this analysis was

3. (C) Wolff responded that even if DPRK claims the missile
is a space launch vehicle, this act would constitute a
violation of not just the spirit, but also the letter of
UNSCR 1718. Adding that a launch would also be highly
provocative, Wolff said the Council would have to respond.
He added that the United States shares the view that there
should be prior consultations before any Council meeting,
particularly so as to avoid highlighting any divisions among
participants in the Six Party process. He emphasized,
though, that for political reasons -- including the need to
manage the reactions of South Korea and Japan -- a Council
meeting could not wait long after a launch. Indeed, he
observed, it could be better to channel the reactions of
Japan and South Korea through Council action.




6. (C) Also on February 27, Japanese Perm Rep Takasu
urgently requested a meeting to convey Tokyo's considered
position following his conversation with Ambassador Rice the
previous day and the Japanese foreign minister's discussion
with the Secretary regarding Council action in response to a
DPRK missile launch. Takasu said Japan concluded that a
missile launch would indeed be a violation of UNSCR 1718 and
his foreign minister intended to state this publicly during
his visit to Beijing the coming weekend.

7. (C) Citing the seriousness of the threat to Japan's
security and the lack of progress on the DPRK-Japan bilateral
relationship, Takasu said Japan would pursue a Security
Council resolution in response to a launch. A Council
Presidential Statement (PRST), he argued, would not be strong
enough. He said Japan would not seek new sanctions, but
rather the enhancement of existing sanctions measures found
in UNSCR 1718, such as directing the Security Council's DPRK
Sanctions Committee ("1718 Committee") to designate new
individuals and entities responsible for the launch. Takasu

explained that if the United States were adamantly opposed to
a resolution in response to a launch, then Japan would seek
to calibrate its message to Beijing accordingly.

8. (C) Wolff said that the United States shares Japan's
assessment that any missile launch would be a violation, both
in spirit and letter, of UNSCR 1718 and would require a
response from the Council. He emphasized the need to consult
closely in advance of a possible Council meeting so as to not
demonstrate disunity. Wolff observed that if DPRK
successfully launched a satellite in orbit, then Russia and
China would likely argue that no violation had occurred and
would therefore be unlikely to support a resolution. A PRST
might be a better first step, he suggested. Takasu said he
understood and urged us to respond to their proposed approach
urgently to help shape the Japanese foreign minister's
presentation in Beijing.