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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 24, 1984

CABLE FROM AMBASSADOR KATORI TO THE FOREIGN MINISTER, 'PRIME MINISTER VISIT TO CHINA (SUMMIT MEETING – KOREAN PENINSULA AFFAIRS)'

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Nakasone and Zhao Ziyang discuss economic exchanges between South Korea and China, trilateral talks between the two Koreas and the US, and visits between divided Korean families.
    "Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – Korean Peninsula Affairs)'," March 24, 1984, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 2002-113, Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs. Also available at the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Obtained for CWIHP by Yutaka Kanda and translated by Ryo C. Kato. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119549
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Number R037408

Primary: Asia and China

Sent: China 04:30 Year Month 24

Received: MOFA 05:54 1984 March 24

To: The Foreign Minister From: Ambassador Katori

Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – Korean Peninsula Affairs)

Number 1325   Top Secret Top Urgent Q36RA

Wire 1322, Separate Wire 3

Prime Minister Nakasone: I assume we will have another opportunity to discuss international affairs, but I would like to take the time to talk about ROK-China exchange.

Our country is greatly interested in the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, so we believe personal and economic exchange between the ROK and China is very favorable. Additionally, South Korea wants the expansion of exchanges. We believe that China’s reception of the South Korean Davis Cup athlete was groundbreaking, and we believe that China’s participation in the Asia Games or the Olympics would be very meaningful. South Korea wants to convey to China that they hope for such an outcome.

South Korea greatly desires family visits for South Koreans in China, whether the best way is for them to meet in Japan or some other methods. We would like to convey this point to China.

I would like for the specifics of Korean peninsular affairs to be discussed during the foreign ministerial talks; However, I would like to express our belief that direct dialogue between North and South is very important. It would be very meaningful if the North and South agree to having neighboring countries and the signatories of the Armistice Agreement participate in talks.

Premier Zhao: The basic standpoint of China regarding the Korean Peninsula is the easing of tensions and maintenance of stability. More precisely, we oppose any party taking any action through whatever means that may intensify tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

We believe that the trilateral talks with North Korea are proactive and meaningful. The three parties are countries with direct involvement in the Korean Peninsula. Namely, these parties are North and South Korea, and the United States that has troops and supreme military authority in South Korea. Peace and stability on the Peninsula can occur only when these parties meet to talk. We do not believe trilateral talks will hurt South Korea’s self-esteem. The U.S. and South Korea has suggested trilateral talks on several occasions. Last September, North Korea agreed to unconditionally hold discussions, however, the US changed its attitude. This is not constructive for the easing of tensions on the Peninsula. China is also in a difficult position, as we have had to convey messages between North Korea and the US. If these three parties took a sincere approach, the affairs of the Korean Peninsula are not too difficult of an issue. Firstly, it is important that trilateral discussions begin. Once they are started, there will be progress. Furthermore, it is a very welcome thing that North-South relations are improving through talks and exchanges of letters at the Panmunjon. We hope that Prime Minister Nakasone understands our standpoint and suggests to the U.S. and ROK that they engage in trilateral talks.

As for China’s position regarding China-ROK relations, we are currently making some substantial changes. For instance, at the request of an international organization, we have approved the participation of South Korea in international conferences and sports competition held in China. Additionally, a Chinese sports delegation will be going to South Korea to participate in an international sporting completion next April. We hope to consider participating in the 1986 Asia Games, barring any new negative developments. (Note:  Vice Director You Shin A indicated that this information should not be made public. He said that if this point were leaked it would be disadvantageous for Japan, as well. This is not introduced in the press brief.) Regarding the establishment of mutual relations between China and South Korea, we believe that the conditions are not yet ready. We are pursuing such policies because we are concerned with the peace and easing of tensions on the Peninsula. China cannot have a positive impact on stability of the peninsula if China’s treatment of the issues is not adequate. I believe Prime Minister Nakasone and Cabinet Minister Abe understand this point. When the possibility of a peaceful reunification of North and South arises, issues between China and South Korea can be resolved without difficulty.

Regarding South Korean citizens visiting family in China, we will grant permission as soon as requests are made. We do not mind if they meet in Japan or in South Korea. People are actually going to South Korea for family visits, and we have allowed people to re-settle in South Korea. In either case, we do not find any problems with this issue.

(Regarding this, Premier Zhao said, “we also do not find any problems with South Koreans coming to China to search for family.” However, this part was not translated.)

(End)

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