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March 26, 1984

Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minster Visit to China (Foreign Ministers’ Discussion – The State of the Korean Peninsula)'

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Number R037955

Primary: Asia and China

Sent: China 16:40 Year Month 26

Received: MOFA 17:49 1984 March 26


To: The Foreign Minister From: Ambassador Katori


Prime Minister Visit to China (Foreign Ministers’ Discussion - The state of the Korean Peninsula) 


Number 1370 Top Secret Top Urgent Q36A

In regards to wire1339


The following is a more detailed proceeding of the foreign ministerial dialogue on the state of the Korean peninsula from the above Separate Wire 4. Furthermore, the Cabinet Minister raised the current topic before discussing Japan-U.S. relations, Japan-Soviet relations. Foreign Minister Wu raised Sino-U.S. relations Sino-Soviet relations, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and, finally, bilateral relations.


1. Following the statement guidelines, Cabinet Minister Abe conveyed that the resolution to the Korean peninsula issue should be based on the right to self-determination, and should begin with dialogue between the North and the South. The deepening of a trustful relationship is important. If both North and South approves other relevant countries can participate in the dialogue. Furthermore, the North insists on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in South Korea; however the U.S. forces in Korea is based on the U.S.-Korea mutual defense treaty, and it is something that South Korea would not allow to be meddled with. Such claims by North Korea cannot be recognized by South Korea.


(1) North Korea claims that South Korea lacks ultimate authority. If such claims are maintained, South Korea will never join in dialogue. South Korea takes issue with the Burma Incident. It is understandable that South Korea demands from North Korea to show some sincerity regarding the trilateral talks, given that so many cabinet ministers were killed in the terrorist bombing, not to mention that [South Korean President] Chun Doo-hwan was also targeted. The Burmese government has announced that North Korea was responsible for the incident. It is a matter of fact that South Korea would demand that North Korea show some sign of sincerity.


(2) It is one thing for the North Koreans to seek the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea. However, neither the U.S. nor South Korea will join the talks if North Korea asserts that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea as a pre-condition. It is important for North Korea to show some sort of sincerity regarding the Rangoon Incident.  


(3) We are putting in effort and are hopeful for the relaxing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Although we share a tight relationship with South Korea, we also have cultural and economic exchange with North Korea. We pray for the stability of the Korean Peninsula. There are talks of trilateral or quadrilateral dialogues. Japan would also like to put in effort in this regard.


Foreign Minister Wu responded that he would like to supplement the principal standpoints discussed during the summit meeting.


(4) We believe that the U.S. changed its attitude regarding the trilateral talks due to the Rangoon Incident. Regarding the Incident, both Burma and North Korea are friendly nations of China’s, so the same announcements were made in the media. China did not comment on the incident, but China’s stance in opposition to terrorism remains unchanged.


(5) There is a proposal from North Korea regarding trilateral talks. We believe it is better to engage in dialogue than not engage in dialogue. However, regarding the question of whether or not a resolution can be actually reached: we believe that there are too many complex factors and that it will take time. (End)


A more detailed overview of Wu Xueqian and Abe Shintaro's exchanges on the Korean Peninsula in the aftermath of the Rangoon Bombing.

Document Information


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.


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