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Diplomatic Cable from Seoul Embassy, Heated DPRK Rhetoric Gets Cool ROK Reaction, February 2009

Published February 5, 2009

The U.S. embassy in Seoul sent this cable to the State Department on February 5, 2009, regarding attitudes and responses in South Korea to North Korean statements against past agreements.

From the cable summary, released by Wikileaks and organized by the National Security Archive:

"Recent DPRK statements "nullifying" past inter - Korean agreements appear aimed at ratcheting up tensions , but the ROKG is not tense, based on our soundings of Blue House, Foreign Affairs, Defense and Unification officials. Those officials, as well as several academics, regarded increasingly shrill DPRK rhetoric as a desperate, but ineffective, attempt t o persuade the Lee Myung - bak Administration to change course on South - North relations, as well as a plea for attention from the new U.S. Administration. Defense contacts report that ROK forces remain vigilant in the West Sea and elsewhere, but have se en no unusual DPRK movements. The ROK public, focused on the economic crisis, has reacted neither to DPRK rhetoric nor rumors of an "imminent" Taepodong 2 missile launch."

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