US embassy cable - 03ROME1734

DPRK/SARS: ODDS AND ENDS FROM THE GOI

Identifier: 03ROME1734
Wikileaks: View 03ROME1734 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2003-04-24 08:45:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PREL PARM KNNP KN IT EUN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T ROME 001734 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/22/2013 
TAGS: PREL, PARM, KNNP, KN, IT, EUN 
SUBJECT: DPRK/SARS: ODDS AND ENDS FROM THE GOI 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: A/DCM TOM COUNTRYMAN. REASON:1.5 (B)(D 
 
1.  (S) DURING A CATCH-UP SESSION, THE MFA DEPUTY OFFICE 
DIRECTOR FOR EAST ASIA, PAOLA MUNZI (STRICTLY PROTECT), 
    REVEALED TO POLOFF SOME INTERESTING TIDBITS ABOUT THE DPRK, 
SARS, AND THE GOI, AS WELL AS HER FUTURE POSTING. 
 
2.  (S) ACCORDING TO MUNZI, THE DPRK HAS MADE A SERIES OF ODD 
REQUESTS OVER THE PAST THREE WEEKS TO THE GOI.  THE FIRST, 
FAXED TO HER OFFICE, WAS FOR A SPECIFIC BOLOGNA-BASED TEAM OF 
POTATO EXPERTS TO COME TO NORTH KOREA FOR CONSULTATIONS.  NOT 
SEEING ANY HARM, THE GOI APPROVED THE VISIT.  THE SECOND 
REQUEST WAS FOR A COPY OF A 1933 NON-AGGRESSION TREATY 
BETWEEN ITALY AND VARIOUS CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES.  WHEN 
PRESSED A BIT ON THIS SHE WAS UNABLE TO ANSWER IF IT HAD BEEN 
GIVEN TO THEM JUST YET, OR WHICH COUNTRIES EXACTLY IT APPLIED 
TO, ALTHOUGH SHE SAID ARCHIVISTS WERE RESEARCHING THE 
REQUEST.  THE GOI IS WILLING TO HELP THE NORTH KOREANS LOCATE 
A COPY OF THE TREATY, VIEWING IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE 
THE REGIME, ALTHOUGH THEY REALIZE IT IS PECULIAR AND ARE NOT 
SURE HOW THE DPRK INTENDS TO BENEFIT FROM POSSESSING A COPY. 
(COMMENT: AN EIGHTY-YEAR OLD, MUSSOLINI-ERA TREATY MIGHT NOT 
BE THE BEST OPTION IF THE DPRK IS ATTEMPTING TO CRAFT A 
MODERN NON-AGGRESSION PACT.  END COMMENT) 
 
3.  (S) MUNZI WELCOMED THE RECENT U.S.-DPRK TALKS, ALTHOUGH 
SHE MENTIONED THERE WAS SOME DISAPPOINTMENT AMONG EU MEMBERS 
THAT THEY WERE NOT YET PLAYING A ROLE.  HOWEVER, SHE STATED 
THE GOI WAS PLEASED WITH THE "MULTILATERAL" NATURE OF THE 
TALKS AND THE WILLINGNESS OF BOTH SIDES TO BEND SLIGHTLY. 
 
4.  (S)  SHE NOTED THAT SARS WAS SIGNIFICANTLY DISRUPTING 
HIGH-LEVEL GOI TRIPS TO ASIA.  ACCORDING TO MUNZI, PRESIDENT 
CIAMPI'S APRIL VISIT TO BEIJING, SUPPOSEDLY CANCELED DUE TO 
THE IRAQ WAR, WAS IN REALITY SHELVED DUE TO FEARS OF THE SARS 
    VIRUS.  THIS APPLIED AS WELL TO A PLANNED VISIT BY MARGHERITA 
BONIVER, UNDER-SECRETARY FOR ASIA AND HUMAN RIGHTS, AS WELL 
AS A WIDE-VARIETY OF OTHER TRIPS NOW LANGUISHING. 
 
5.  (C) IN THE COURSE OF THE CONVERSATION MS. MUNZI MENTIONED 
SHE HAD RECENTLY MARRIED A TIBETAN NATIONAL (KNOWN TO POLOFF) 
AND WAS LIKELY TO LEAVE ROME IN LATE SUMMER FOR THE NUMBER 
TWO POSITION IN ITALY'S NEW YORK CONSULATE, ALTHOUGH THAT HAD 
NOT YET BEEN CONFIRMED.  HER HUSBAND, RECIPIENT OF A FORD 
FOUNDATION GRANT, EXPECTS TO BEGIN HIS MASTER'S DEGREE AT SIT 
IN VERMONT, ASSUMING HE RECEIVES A STUDENT VISA. 
 
6.  (U) PRIOR TO HER CURRENT POSITION, MUNZI WAS ON THE MFA 
WORKING GROUP FOR ANTARCTICA IN 2001-2002, IN THE MFA 
DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION BUREAU, OFFICE FOR EAST/WEST AFRICA 
IN 1999-2001, WAS FIRST SECRETARY AND COUNSELOR FOR 
COMMERCIAL AFFAIRS IN HARARE 1994-1999, AND SERVED AS FIRST 
VICE-CONSUL AND CONSUL IN BARCELONA 1991-1994.  SHE WAS BORN 
MAY 26, 1963 IN ROME, AND GRADUATED WITH A DEGREE IN 
POLITICAL SCIENCE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ROME IN JULY OF 
1985.  SHE JOINED THE FOREIGN SERVICE IN 1987 AND SERVED HER 
INITIAL TOUR FROM 1987-1991 IN THE MFA OFFICE FOR EAST-WEST 
RELATIONS, THE FORMER USSR, CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE. 
SEMBLER 
 
NNNN 
 2003ROME01734 - Classification: SECRET 


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