Oct 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/05/09MANILA1112.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA1112
2009-05-26 08:13
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO2492
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1112 1460813
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 260813Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4198
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 6548
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 2936
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 3716
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0035
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 001112

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR ISN
DEPT FOR EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/25/2019
TAGS: KN KS PARM PGOV PREL PTER RP
SUBJECT: STRONG PHILIPPINE REACTION TO DPRK NUCLEAR TEST

REF: MANILA 739

Classified By: Acting DCM Tom Gibbons, Reasons 1.4 (b) & (d)

¶1. (SBU) Summary: Echoing President Obama’s condemnation of
North Korea’s latest nuclear test as a reckless threat to the
world’s peace and security, the Philippine government reacted
strongly in the wake of a May 25 nuclear test by the
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), pressing the
DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program and to abide by
earlier agreements it had made in accordance with the
Six-Party Talks. In a May 25 discussion with the Ambassador,
Secretary of National Defense Teodoro called the DPRK’s
nuclear test “provocative” and a great cause for concern.
President Arroyo plans to go ahead with a visit to South
Korea May 30-June 2. End summary.

¶2. (SBU) The Philippine government’s May 25 statement said,
“The Philippine government supports the UN Security Council
Resolutions on the matter and urges the DPRK to abandon its
nuclear weapons program and honor its commitments to the
Six-Party Talks.” Malacanang Palace Deputy Presidential
Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo added that the Philippines has a
“working relationship with the DPRK despite our differences”
and remains “committed to global nuclear nonproliferation and
disarmament efforts.”

GREAT CAUSE FOR CONCERN
———————–

¶3. (C) In a private May 25 conversation with the Ambassador,
Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro
characterized the DPRK underground nuclear test as a “great
cause for concern” because of the threat that it posed to
regional security. Teodoro remarked on the difficulty of
discerning North Korea’s motives in undertaking such a test,
saying that it was “hard to grasp what they stood to gain
from such a provocative act.” The Defense Secretary added
that he was looking forward to discussing the matter further
with colleagues from all over Asia at upcoming meetings of
the Shangri-La Dialogue later this week.

PRESSING ON WITH ROK VISIT
————————–

¶4. (SBU) Tensions in the Korean peninsula will apparently
not deter Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from a
previously scheduled four-day visit to Seoul later this week.
Malacanang Palace’s Lorelei Fajardo outlined that “the
President will proceed with her South Korean visit to promote
our bilateral interests and participate in the ASEAN-Republic
of Korea Commemorative Summit.” During her May 30 – June 2
visit, President Arroyo is scheduled to meet with President
Lee Myung-Bak and, in the words of the Palace spokesperson,
“chart a new direction” in Philippine-South Korean relations.
(This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment
of diplomatic ties between the two nations.)

¶5. (SBU) The leading dailies Philippine Star and Philippine
Daily Inquirer featured front-page coverage of the North
Korean nuclear test. A half-page Star article included a
large photo of South Korean protesters, while the Inquirer
highlighted concerns expressed by President Obama, British
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and South Korean President Lee
Myung-Bak. The DPRK’s April 5 launch of a multistage,
long-range Taepodong-2 missile drew similar high-level media
attention, and was likewise condemned by the Philippine
government as dangerous and destabilizing to the region’s
security.
KENNEY

   

 

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