Viewing cable 02VATICAN3637
Title: AID AND ADVOCACY FOR NORTH KOREA - VATICAN AGENCY

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
02VATICAN36372002-07-23 15:01:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Vatican
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 003637 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT. EUR/WE (MENNUTI); EAP/K, DRL/IRF 
DEPT. PLEASE PASS USAID ANE AND BHR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID KN KS PREL EAID KN KS VT VTPGOV
SUBJECT: AID AND ADVOCACY FOR NORTH KOREA - VATICAN AGENCY 
SEEKS MORE DONORS, INCREASED CONTACTS 
 
REF: VATICAN 0290 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  03637  01 OF 02  250608Z 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1.   (SBU) CATHOLIC CHURCH AID AGENCY CONFEDERATION CARITAS 
INTERNATIONALIS (CI) REPORTS NORTH KOREA'S HUMANITARIAN 
CRISIS CONTINUES WITH MORE THAN SIX MILLION PEOPLE FACING 
ACUTE SHORTAGES OF FOOD, MEDICINES, AND DRINKING WATER 
(REFTEL).  CI IS SEEKING WAYS TO ATTRACT MORE DONORS AS 
PLEDGES FROM MEMBER AGENCIES HAVE DECREASED BECAUSE OF 
COMPETING DISASTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.  CI WILL FOCUS ON 
APPROPRIATE ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES TO KEEP NORTH KOREA IN THE 
PUBLIC EYE AND TO HELP AVOID THE MARGINALIZATION OF THE 
COUNTRY WITHIN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.  CI WILL NOT BE 
LOBBYING THE USG DIRECTLY FOR AN INCREASE IN FOOD AID FOR 
NORTH KOREA.  CARITAS' NORTH KOREA COUNTRY GROUP MET IN 
CLOSED SESSION LATE JUNE AT ITS VATICAN CITY HEADQUARTERS, 
AND PROVIDED EMBASSY WITH AN INTERNAL DOCUMENT OF THE 
MEETING MINUTES.  END SUMMARY. 
 
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AID FOR NORTH KOREA 
------------------- 
 
¶2.   (SBU) CARITAS REPRESENTATIVE RESPONSIBLE FOR NORTH 
KOREA, KATHI ZELLWEGER, REPORTED THAT THE HUMANITARIAN 
CRISIS IN THE COUNTRY IS NOT OVER.  PEOPLE ARE CHRONICALLY 
HUNGRY AND LACK BASIC NECESSITIES.  TO HELP REDUCE HUMAN 
SUFFERING IN NORTH KOREA, ZELLWEGER SUGGESTED THAT CARITAS 
INTENDS TO FOCUS ON UNDERSTANDING THE ENVIRONMENT, WORKING 
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LOCAL PEOPLE, BUILDING LONG-TERM 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  03637  01 OF 02  250608Z 
RELATIONSHIPS, AND PROVIDING TRAINING AND TECHNOLOGY 
TRANSFERS. 
 
¶3.   (SBU) ACCORDING TO ZELLWEGER, HUMAN RIGHTS AND 
INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS AND REFUGEES ALONG THE CHINESE 
BORDER ARE ISSUES TO BE TAKEN UP IN THE FUTURE BY CARITAS. 
ALTHOUGH EXACT FIGURES ARE UNKNOWN, SHE BELIEVES THERE ARE 
SOME 50,000 REFUGEES LIVING IN THE BORDER ZONE WITH CHINA. 
ZELLWEGER SAYS IT IS IMPORTANT TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THOSE 
CROSSING THE BORDER TO ACCESS FOOD AND MEDICINES WITH THE 
INTENTION OF RETURNING AND THOSE WHO REALLY WANT TO LEAVE 
NORTH KOREA.  SHE SAID THERE IS LITTLE INFORMATION ON HUMAN 
RIGHTS ABUSES. 
 
-------------------------------- 
ADVOCACY - THE WAY OF THE FUTURE 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶4.   (SBU) CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS BELIEVES ADVOCACY WORK ON 
NORTH KOREA COULD HELP BRING THE COUNTRY FURTHER INTO THE 
INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT - TO "OPEN UP THE DOOR" - BY RAISING 
PUBLIC AWARENESS AND ENSURING HUMANITARIAN AID CONTINUES. 
VATICAN MFA REPRESENTATIVES ATTENDING THE CI NORTH KOREA 
COUNTRY GROUP MEETING SPOKE OF THE NEED TO CONVINCE DONORS 
AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO WORK 
WITH NORTH KOREAN AUTHORITIES AND THAT HUMANITARIAN AID 
REACHES THOSE IN NEED. TWO PROPOSALS EMERGED FROM THE 
MEETING: 
 
-- TO CARRY OUT ADVOCACY WORK FOR NORTH KOREA, APPEALING TO 
THE U.S., SOUTH KOREA, JAPAN, THE EUROPEAN UNION AND 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        VATICA  03637  01 OF 02  250608Z 
AUSTRALIA TO INCREASE FOOD AID SO CARITAS CAN CONCENTRATE 
ITS RESOURCES ON HEALTH AND SOCIAL WELFARE PROJECTS. 
APPEALS WOULD COME FROM CARITAS' NORTH KOREA COUNTRY GROUP 
MEMBERS OR ITS RECENTLY ENGAGED REPRESENTATIVE AT THE UN IN 
NEW YORK. (COMMENT: THERE IS INTERNAL OPPOSITION TO CARITAS 
INTERNATIONALIS APPEALING DIRECTLY TO GOVERNMENTS FOR FOOD 
AID BECAUSE OF DISAGREEMENT AMONG CONFEDERATION MEMBERS OVER 
THE URGENCY OF THE NORTH KOREA APPEAL.  END COMMENT). 
 
-- TO PROVIDE THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS WITH A HISTORY OF 
CARITAS INVOLVEMENT IN NORTH KOREA -- HIGHLIGHTING ITS 
ABILITY TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNMENT -- AS WELL AS STRESSING 
CONCERN FOR THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION THERE. 
 
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HOLY SEE'S RELATIONS WITH NORTH KOREA 
------------------------------------- 
 
¶5.   (SBU) VATICAN DFM CELESTINO MIGLIORE TOLD THE MEETING 
THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN NORTH KOREA IS "COMPLETELY 
UNDERGROUND."  THE VATICAN HAS NO CONTACT WITH ITS MEMBERS, 
HE SAID, BUT IT DOES EXIST.  MIGLIORE SAID THAT THE NUMBER 
OF CATHOLICS AND CHRISTIANS CAN ONLY BE ESTIMATED, BUT THE 
CHURCH SURVIVES, ALBEIT WITHOUT THE LEADERSHIP OF PRIESTS 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTQ4240 
 
PAGE 01        VATICA  03637  02 OF 02  231503Z 
ACTION EUR-00 
 
INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CA-01    CIAE-00 
      C-00     DODE-00  DOEE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    EAP-00   FBIE-00 
      UTED-00  VC-00    H-01     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01 
      L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OCS-03   OES-01 
      OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PER-00   PM-00    PRS-00 
      ACE-00   P-00     SCT-00   SP-00    IRM-00   SSO-00   SS-00 
      TEST-00  TRSE-00  T-00     USIE-00  R-00     PMB-00   DSCC-00 
      DRL-02   G-00     SAS-00     /014W 
                  ------------------CF17DB  231507Z /38 
R 231501Z JUL 02 
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN 
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 
INFO AMEMBASSY SEOUL 
AMCONSUL HONG KONG 
 
UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 VATICAN 003637 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
DEPT. EUR/WE (MENNUTI); EAP/K, DRL/IRF 
DEPT. PLEASE PASS USAID ANE AND BHR 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID KN KS PREL EAID KN KS VT VTPGOV
SUBJECT: AID AND ADVOCACY FOR NORTH KOREA - VATICAN AGENCY 
SEEKS MORE DONORS, INCREASED CONTACTS 
 
AND BISHOPS.  WHILE THE NORTH KOREAN CONSTITUTION ALLOWS FOR 
FREEDOM OF RELIGION, MIGLIORE STATED THAT THERE IS NO REAL 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        VATICA  03637  02 OF 02  231503Z 
FREEDOM OF WORSHIP.  THERE IS AN OFFICIAL "CATHOLIC 
ASSOCIATION", BUT MIGLIORE SAID THIS SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED 
WITH THE "TRUE CHURCH" (I.E., LOYAL TO ROME) AND NEITHER THE 
VATICAN NOR CARITAS CONSIDER ITS ADHERENTS AS INTERLOCUTORS. 
 
¶6.   (SBU) THE HOLY SEE RESPONDED TO THE FIRST HUMANITARIAN 
APPEAL FOR AID TO NORTH KOREAN IN 1996 WITH A DIRECT 
DONATION TO THE CARITAS FUND.  IN 1997, CARITAS PROVIDED 
FOOD AND CLOTHING AS A WAY FOR THE HOLY SEE TO "KEEP A FOOT 
IN THE DOOR."  MIGLIORE SAID THAT, LIKE CARITAS, THE VATICAN 
NEEDS MORE CONTACT WITH THE NORTH KOREANS IN ORDER TO 
IMPROVE RELATIONS.  THE NEW NORTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO ITALY 
AND TO THE UN'S FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION IN ROME 
HAD BEEN CHARGED WITH MAKING CONTACT WITH THE HOLY SEE. 
MIGLIORE NOTED THAT BOTH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND SOUTH KOREA 
NEEDED TO WORK OUT WAYS TO ENGAGE NORTH KOREA AND EMPHASIZED 
THAT PROPER SUPPORT MUST BE GIVEN TO SOUTH KOREA FOR THIS 
WORK.  THE VATICAN'S MISSIONARY AGENCY HEAD, CARDINAL 
CRESCENZIO SEPE, SAID DURING A JULY 4 VISIT TO SOUTH KOREA 
THAT THE HOLY SEE WILL CONTINUE TO ENGAGE NORTH KOREA AT THE 
"NON DIPLOMATIC" LEVEL.  SEPE SPOKE OF MISSIONARY EFFORTS 
FOR NORTH KOREA TO ENHANCE ITS MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL 
GROWTH AND TASKED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE SOUTH WITH THIS 
WORK. 
 
-------------------------- 
SOUTH KOREA AS GO BETWEEN? 
-------------------------- 
 
¶7.   (SBU) CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS OFFICIALS ALSO REVIEWED 
THE ROLE OF ITS SOUTH KOREA MEMBER ORGANIZATION IN PROVIDING 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        VATICA  03637  02 OF 02  231503Z 
AID TO THE NORTH.  AT PRESENT CARITAS SOUTH KOREA SENDS AID 
TO NORTH KOREA VIA THE CARITAS CONFEDERATION HEADQUARTERS IN 
VATICAN CITY.  OTHERWISE THE MAIN CHANNEL FOR AID FROM THE 
CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SOUTH KOREA IS THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR 
RECONCILIATION OF THE KOREAN PEOPLE.  IN THE PAST, CI HAS 
ASKED CARITAS SOUTH KOREA TO TAKE ON THE AID LIAISON ROLE 
FOR NORTH KOREA - A POSITION CURRENTLY HELD BY CARITAS HONG 
KONG.  CARITAS SOUTH KOREA CITES POLITICAL REASONS FOR NOT 
BEING IN A POSITION TO ACCEPT THE CHARGE.  IT WANTS THE 
CURRENT STRUCTURE MAINTAINED, WITH CARITAS HONG KONG GIVEN A 
THREE TO FIVE YEAR MANDATE -- IN EXPECTATION OF A GRADUALLY 
SUNNIER POLITICAL SITUATION BETWEEN SOUTH AND NORTH KOREA. 
 
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COMMENT 
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¶8.   (SBU) POST EXPECTS CARITAS AND THE HOLY SEE TO CONTINUE 
TO SEEK AS CLOSE CONTACT WITH NORTH KOREA AS FEASIBLE. 
HOWEVER, WHILE CARITAS WILL PURSUE THE MOST EFFECTIVE 
RESPONSE TO AN ON-GOING HUMANITARIAN CRISIS, THE HOLY SEE 
WILL SIMULTANEOUSLY WORK TO SHORE UP ITS INTERESTS IN THE 
COMMUNIST STATE, IN PARTICULAR ITS DESIRE TO RE-ESTABLISH 
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH A FORMAL LEADERSHIP OF PRIESTS AND 
BISHOPS.  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SOUTH KOREA WILL BE THE 
LIKELY SOURCE OF NEW PERSONNEL.  REGULAR MEETINGS IN VATICAN 
CITY OF CARITAS' NORTH KOREA COUNTRY GROUP WILL PROVIDE 
EMBASSY WITH A CONTINUING SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON THE 
HUMANITARIAN, POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS SITUATION IN THE DPRK. 
NICHOLSON 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
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                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
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 2002VATICA03637 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED