US embassy cable - 93TOKYO9361

CHOSEN SOREN ACTIVITIES IN JAPAN FOLLOWING U.S.-DPRK NUCLEAR TALKS

Identifier: 93TOKYO9361
Wikileaks: View 93TOKYO9361 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tokyo
Created: 1993-06-21 03:18:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PINR PINS PROP MNUC KN KS JA
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 210318Z JUN 93
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5701
INFO AMEMBASSY SEOUL
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USMISSION USVIENNA
USMISSION GENEVA
AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 09361 
 
 
GENEVA FOR CD DEL 
 
USVIENNA FOR UNVIE 
 
E.O.12356:  DECL:OADR 
TAGS:  PINR, PINS, PROP, MNUC, KN, KS, JA 
SUBJECT:  CHOSEN SOREN ACTIVITIES IN JAPAN FOLLOWING 
U.S.-DPRK NUCLEAR TALKS 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL -- ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  SUMMARY:  NORTH KOREA HAS INSTRUCTED KOREANS WHO 
RESIDE IN JAPAN BUT ARE VISITING NORTH KOREA TO RETURN 
TO JAPAN AND MAY NOT LET THEM VISIT NORTH KOREA UNTIL 
THE END OF JULY.  KOREANS LIVING ABROAD HAVE BEEN 
INSTRUCTED TO INCREASE THE LEVEL OF IDEOLOGICAL 
INDOCTRINATION.  CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS IN JAPAN BELIEVE 
THAT THE DPRK THINKS INCREASED INDOCTRINATION IS 
NECESSARY IN ORDER TO COUNTER POSSIBLE CORRUPTING 
EFFECTS OF CONTACTS WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD, WHICH 
NORTH KOREA ALSO SEEMS TO BE SUPPORTING.  INCREASED 
INDOCTRINATION MAY ALSO BE NECESSARY IF, AS SOME DPRK 
BUREAUCRATS ADVISE, NORTH KOREA ADOPTS CERTAIN WESTERN 
BUSINESS PRACTICES.  CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS BELIEVE THAT 
THE U.S.-DPRK TALKS DID NOT SOLVE IMPORTANT ISSUES 
(IAEA INSPECTIONS).  THEY WORRY THAT THE NORTH MAY 
BLOCK FURTHER COMPROMISE BY INSISTING ON "EQUAL" 
TREATMENT (SUCH AS THE RIGHT TO INSPECT U.S. BASES). 
NORTH KOREA IS ALSO USING A DIFFERENT TRANSLATION OF 
THE POST-MEETING STATEMENT IN ORDER, APPARENTLY, TO 
CONVINCE ITS PUBLIC THAT THE U.S. HAS AGREED TO 
RESPECT THE KIM IL SUNG SYSTEM AND NOT JUST DPRK 
SOVEREIGNTY.  PYONGYANG HAS ALSO ASKED CHOSEN SOREN TO 
STUDY WAYS OF ACQUIRING INFORMATION ABOUT THE PEACEFUL 
USE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY.  SOME CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS 
BELIEVE THAT THIS MAY INDICATE NORTH KOREA'S INTENTION 
TO FOREGO THE MILITARY ASPECT OF ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM. 
END SUMMARY 
 
3.  HAJIME IZUMI (PROTECT STRICTLY), ASSOCIATE 
PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SHIZUOKA, ON JUNE 18 
DISCUSSED CHOSEN SOREN'S RECENT ACTIVITIES.  (IZUMI IS 
A LONG-TIME EMBASSY CONTACT WITH GOOD ACCESS TO THE 
CHOSEN SOREN ORGANIZATION.) 
 
KOREANS RESIDING IN JAPAN TOLD TO RETURN 
---------------------------------------- 
4.  IZUMI MET WITH CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS ON JUNE 14. 
THEY TOLD HIM THAT THE DPRK ORDERED KOREANS WHO WERE 
IN NORTH KOREA AT THE TIME BUT WHO PERMANENTLY RESIDE 
IN JAPAN, TO RETURN TO JAPAN, BEGINNING ON JUNE 15. 
KOREANS IN JAPAN WERE INFORMED THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE 
ABLE TO TRAVEL TO NORTH KOREA UNTIL THE END OF JULY. 
SOME HIGH-RANKING CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS, HOWEVER, WERE 
ALLOWED TO REMAIN IN NORTH KOREA. 
 
5.  SOME KOREAN RESIDENTS OF JAPAN RETURNED TO JAPAN 
ON JUNE 10 ON A SHIP THAT ARRIVED IN NIIGATA.  SOME OF 
THEM, ALONG WITH CHOSEN SOREN'S SENIOR LEADERSHIP, 
ATTENDED A SPECIAL CHOSEN SOREN MEETING IN TOKYO ON 
JUNE 11.  IZUMI SAID THAT THE MEETING WAS PRIVATE AND 
CLOSED.  THOSE RETURNING FROM NORTH KOREA SAID THAT 
THE DPRK HAD INSTRUCTED CHOSEN SOREN TO INCREASE 
IDEOLOGICAL INDOCTRINATION WITHIN THE KOREAN COMMUNITY 
IN JAPAN. 
 
6.  THIS INSTRUCTION, CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS NOTED, WAS 
IN LINE WITH A STATEMENT KIM JONG IL MADE ON APRIL 27 
IN A PRIVATE SPEECH TO SENIOR CADRES IN WHICH HE SAID 
THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO STRENGTHEN IDEOLOGICAL 
TEACHING IN ORDER TO RAISE THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF 
"ORDINARY" KOREANS AND OF KOREANS LIVING OVERSEAS. 
 
7.  CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS FOUND THAT THE NEW DIRECTIVE 
AND THE APRIL 27 KIM JONG IL STATEMENT SEEMED TO 
CONTRADICT A KJI STATEMENT OF MARCH 1991, IN WHICH HE 
SAID THAT KOREANS LIVING ABROAD FACE DIFFERENT 
EXPERIENCES AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE ALLOWED SOME 
FLEXIBILITY IN ADJUSTING TO THEIR OWN CIRCUMSTANCES. 
THEY ALSO RECALLED AN AUGUST 15, 1992 STATEMENT BY KIM 
IL SUNG (ANOTHER PRIVATE SPEECH) IN WHICH THE GREAT 
LEADER SAID THAT NORTH KOREA WOULD ADOPT A MORE OPEN 
POLICY TOWARD THE OUTSIDE WORLD, SUPPOSEDLY USING THE 
KOREAN EXPRESSION "KAEBANG," WHICH MEANS "OPEN DOOR." 
(IZUMI COMMENTED THAT THIS MAY BE THE ONLY TIME KIM IL 
SUNG HAS USED THIS EXPRESSION IN SUCH A CONTEXT.) 
 
8.  CHOSEN SOREN, IZUMI RELATED, MANAGED TO RECONCILE 
THE NEW DIRECTIVE ON INCREASED IDEOLOGICAL 
INDOCTRINATION WITH THE PREVIOUS APPARENT POLICY OF 
ENCOURAGING SOME OPENNESS TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, 
PARTICULARLY IN THE CASE OF OVERSEAS KOREANS.  CHOSEN 
SOREN CONCLUDED THAT THE DPRK LEADERSHIP STILL FAVORED 
OPENNESS BUT THAT, IN ORDER TO WARD OFF THE CORRUPTING 
EFFECTS OF CONTACT WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD, IDEOLOGICAL 
INDOCTRINATION WOULD ALSO HAVE TO INCREASE. 
 
9.  IN IZUMI'S VIEW, THE DPRK CONSIDERS INCREASED 
INDOCTRINATION AS A WAY TO STRENGTHEN LOYALTY TO AND 
BELIEF IN THE DPRK SYSTEM AND ALSO AS A MEANS OF 
"PROTECTING" INDIVIDUALS EXPOSED TO CORRUPTING OUTSIDE 
INFLUENCES. 
 
IN PYONGYANG . . . 
------------------ 
10.  IZUMI SAID THAT ANOTHER REASON FOR THE INCREASED 
EMPHASIS ON IDEOLOGICAL TRAINING IS THAT, IN NORTH 
KOREA, SOME BUREAUCRATS REPORTEDLY SUPPORT NORTH 
KOREA'S ADOPTING WESTERN BUSINESS PRACTICES IN ORDER 
TO MAKE NORTH KOREA MORE ATTRACTIVE TO POTENTIAL 
INVESTORS.  IZUMI SAID THAT, IN PARTICULAR, SOME 
BUREAUCRATS ARE PUSHING FOR NORTH KOREA TO ACCEPT 
WESTERN NOTIONS OF CONTRACT LAW.  HOWEVER, IDEOLOGUES 
ARGUE THAT ACCEPTING SUCH PRACTICES WOULD THREATEN THE 
PURITY OF NORTH KOREA'S SYSTEM.  THEY THEREFORE OPPOSE 
THE BUREAUCRATS' SUGGESTION.  CHOSEN SOREN BELIEVES 
THAT ONE WAY TO REFORM BUSINESS PRACTICES AND ALSO 
MAINTAIN PURITY IS TO INCREASE INDOCTRINATION SO THAT 
THE POSSIBILITY OF CORRUPTION CAN BE MINIMIZED.  (OR 
SO THE THINKING GOES.) 
 
NORTH KOREANS IN JAPAN 
---------------------- 
11.  IZUMI SAID THAT THE SYSTEM OF PRIVATE SCHOOLS RUN 
BY CHOSEN SOREN IS RELATIVELY WELL-ORGANIZED.  THERE 
ARE ABOUT 20 SUCH PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN JAPAN AS WELL AS 
ONE PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN THE TOKYO AREA CATERING TO 
NORTH KOREANS.  IZUMI SAID THAT CHOSEN SOREN MAINTAINS 
A MUCH STRONGER PRIVATE SCHOOL SYSTEM THAN DO KOREANS 
SYMPATHETIC TO SOUTH KOREA.  THUS, CHILDREN OF CHOSEN 
SOREN MEMBERS PROBABLY RECEIVE MUCH STRONGER 
IDEOLOGICAL INDOCTRINATION THAN DO CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS 
ORIENTED TOWARDS THE ROK. 
 
U.S.-DPRK NUCLEAR TALKS 
----------------------- 
12.  IZUMI SAID THAT NORTH KOREA USES A TRANSLATION OF 
THE STATEMENT ISSUED AFTER THE RECENT NEW YORK TALKS 
THAT DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE 
VERSION.  (IZUMI WAS AWARE THAT THE LATTER IS 
CONSIDERED THE "OFFICIAL" VERSION.)  CHOSEN SOREN, 
EXPOSED TO THE ENGLISH AND JAPANESE VERSIONS, AS WELL 
AS THE DPRK VERSION, DOES NOT CONSIDER THE TALKS TO 
HAVE BEEN A SUCCESS FOR THE NORTH.  CHOSEN SOREN 
MEMBERS REALIZE THAT THE IAEA INSPECTION ISSUE IS 
UNRESOLVED.  THEY BELIEVE IT HIGHLY POSSIBLE THAT 
NORTH KOREA WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE TO SUBMIT TO IAEA 
INSPECTIONS. 
 
13.  CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS THINK THAT NORTH KOREA WILL 
REFER TO THOSE TERMS, IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE 
STATEMENT, THAT CALL FOR "UNPREJUDICED, IMPARTIAL, AND 
EQUAL" TREATMENT.  THEY WORRY THAT THE DPRK WILL REFER 
TO THESE TERMS AND DEMAND "EQUAL" TREATMENT (E.G., THE 
RIGHT TO INSPECT U.S. BASES) AND THEREBY MAKE 
COMPROMISE DIFFICULT.  IZUMI SAID THAT CHOSEN SOREN 
SEEMS TO WANT TO RESOLVE REMAINING NUCLEAR ISSUES 
SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. 
 
14.  IZUMI SAID THAT THE NORTH KOREAN VERSION OF THE 
STATEMENT DOES NOT CORRECTLY TRANSLATE "SOVEREIGNTY" 
("SHUKEN" IN THE JAPANESE PRONUNCIATION OF THE SAME 
CHINESE CHARACTERS USED ALSO IN KOREAN).  INSTEAD, THE 
DPRK VERSION USES THE EXPRESSION "JISHUKEN," WHICH HAS 
A MEANING CLOSER TO THE ENGLISH WORD "INDEPENDENCE." 
IZUMI SAID THAT, IN KOREAN, "JISHUKEN" CAN ALSO MEAN 
"NATIONAL SYSTEM" OR "INDEPENDENT NATIONAL SYSTEM." 
THE USE OF THIS TERM, IZUMI SAID, INDICATES THAT NORTH 
KOREA IS TRYING TO TELL ITS PEOPLE THAT THE U.S. HAS 
AGREED TO RESPECT THE DPRK'S "INDEPENDENT NATIONAL 
SYSTEM" (I.E., THE KIM IL SUNG REGIME) RATHER THAN 
SIMPLY ITS SOVEREIGNTY. 
 
15.  IZUMI ALSO NOTED THAT AT THE POST-MEETING PRESS 
CONFERENCE, THE DPRK REP REFERRED TO "SHUKEN," 
"JISHUKEN," AND EACH COUNTRY'S "DIFFERENT POLITICAL 
SYSTEMS" AS MATTERS ON WHICH THE U.S. AND DPRK REACHED 
AGREEMENT.  IZUMI SAID THAT THIS ALSO SHOWED THAT 
NORTH KOREA WAS TRYING TO USE THE MEETING TO SHOW THE 
NORTH KOREAN PUBLIC THAT THE U.S. HAS AGREED TO 
RESPECT THE KIM IL SUNG SYSTEM. 
 
NON-MILITARY NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY 
------------------------------- 
16.  IZUMI SAID THAT PYONGYANG ALSO INSTRUCTED CHOSEN 
SOREN TO STUDY WAYS OF COLLECTING MATERIAL (OF 
WHATEVER ORIGIN) CONCERNING THE PEACEFUL USE OF 
NUCLEAR ENERGY.  PYONGYANG DID NOT, HOWEVER, EXPLAIN 
THE REASON FOR THIS INSTRUCTION.  IZUMI SAID THAT SOME 
CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS BELIEVE THAT NORTH KOREA MAY WANT 
TO GIVE UP THE MILITARY ASPECT OF ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM 
AND CONVERT TO PURELY CIVILIAN APPLICATIONS.  (IZUMI 
SAID THAT CHOSEN SOREN SUPPORTED THIS IDEA, IF THIS IS 
A CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF THE DPRK'S INTENTIONS.) 
CHOSEN SOREN MEMBERS RECALLED THAT, FOLLOWING THE 
FIRST IAEA INSPECTIONS IN JUNE 1992, THE DPRK'S REP IN 
GENEVA SAID THAT, IF THE WEST WERE TO HELP NORTH KOREA 
DEVELOP A LIGHT WATER REACTOR SYSTEM, THE NORTH MIGHT 
STOP ITS REPROCESSING PROGRAM. 
 
 
ARMACOST 

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