"..the U.S. should come with sincerity and honest minds to resolve this issue...the current U.S. proposal that we [North Korea] dismantle our nuclear program, after which they will give assurances is not fair - the two gestures should occur simultaneously.."
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
SUBJECT: IMO SECGEN REPORTS ON HIS TRIP TO THE KOREAN PENINSULAR
In pyongyang - messages for the u.s.
4. (C) Flying to the North via Beijing, Mitropoulos met with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and the "President of the Presidium" who told him that attempts to improve
relations with the South had been repeatedly frustrated by "outside forces" (i.e., the U.S.). He said the North's attempts to pursue a policy of "consultation, cooperation,
and reconciliation" had been frustrated by the U.S. and its stand on nuclear issues. As an example, he asserted that the South had pledged to send the North 500K tons of fertilizer, but ended up only sending 200K tons due the U.S. intervention. The North, he said, wants to phase out its nuclear program, but through dialogue, since the U.S. is directly threatening the North with nuclear weapons. xxxxx The U.S. should show sincerity, he said, by entering into bilateral talks with the North. Vice President Cheney's remarks were slanderous, he added, and make it clear and the U.S. has no interest in resolving the talks peacefully. "If you meet our American friends, he said, "please pass this message to them - that the U.S. should come with sincerity and honest minds to resolve this issue." He stated, the current U.S. proposal that we dismantle or nuclear program, after which they will give assurances is not fair - the two
gestures should occur simultaneously "in trust." Mitropoulos countered that he understood the U.S. position somewhat differently. Further, he said that if the North does not trust the U.S., it seemed to him that it would be better off working within the six party framework, rather than in a bilateral discussion. That way if any party did not live up to its end of the bargain, all of the North's neighbors would be at the table, not just the U.S.
¶5. (C) Mitropoulos said he had few expectations for the North, but was surprised further by what he found, beginning with the flight from Beijing on a dilapidated Russia-made passenger jet. He the flight was about 80% full, with over half the passengers Iranian. He noted, "How do they expect the West to believe their nuclear program is not a threat when flights to the country are full of Iranians?" He was housed in a huge eight bedroom guesthouse with no other guests, and enjoyed a modern TV which included 114 channel, only one of which worked - the government's channel. When he got off the plane, he was greeted by a party including officials bearing flowers that he "might want to dedicate" to the Great Leader. Feeling he had no choice without creating an incident upon arrival, Mitropoulos laid a wreath at a statue of Kim Il Sung while TV cameras whirred. He was then asked if he had brought any gifts for the Great Leader, even though his staff had made it clear that he would not be bringing gifts on the trip. When he visited port facilities, he felt that there had been no special preparation for his visit, and the Port Security Manager was unavailable to escort him on the tour of the Port's security system.