Viewing cable 03HANOI2790
Title: VIETNAM TRYING TO CONVINCE PYONGYANG ON

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03HANOI27902003-10-31 06:17:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Hanoi
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS HANOI 002790 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EAP/K AND EAP/BCLTV 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: PREL EAID ECON KN KS VM DPRK
SUBJECT:  VIETNAM TRYING TO CONVINCE PYONGYANG ON 
-            ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 
 
REF:  HANOI 2650 
 
¶1. (U)  Summary:  Vietnam continues to encourage North Korea 
to follow the same path of economic reforms Vietnam has 
successfully implemented but remains mostly circumspect on 
other issues like disarmament or the Six Party Talks.  End 
Summary. 
 
¶2.  (U) Deputy Foreign Minister Le Van Bang, responsible for 
Northeast Asian affairs until October 31, recently led an 
MFA delegation to North Korea.  He emphasized to Ambassador 
on October 31 that his trip was not in any way "unusual," as 
other MFA staffers had described it.  He noted that he had 
also accompanied the Prime Minister on his trip to Seoul in 
mid-September, and said that Vietnam would continue in its 
efforts to promote good relations with both Koreas. 
 
¶3.  (SBU) Bang said that the South Koreans had asked Vietnam 
to "show North Korea your reforms" and were "glad" that Bang 
and others could visit.  Bang expressed a hope that the USG 
would see such efforts by Vietnam as helpful and as part of 
a larger process to encourage the North Koreans to be more 
open and to concentrate on economic development and trade 
instead of military affairs.  He described his North Korean 
interlocutors, who included what he called the "#3" in the 
hierarchy or equivalent of a vice president, as well as the 
Deputy Foreign Minister and a representative of the 
Friendship Society, as "militaristic" and "stiff." 
 
¶4.  (SBU) On his first visit, Bang was impressed by the 
infrastructure, which he called a decade more advanced than 
Vietnam's.  However, he commented that North Korea's economy 
was like Vietnam's "twenty years ago" in its centralization 
and state planning.  He admitted that North Korean heavy 
industry was more advanced than Vietnam's, but cited food as 
a "big problem."  He noted that North Korea had sent two 
delegations to Vietnam (reftel) to study Vietnam's reform 
process, especially the legal framework for foreign 
investment.  Sweden had provided some assistance in this 
effort, and Bang cited the need for additional financial 
support from other countries for Vietnam to be able to 
continue to play this role of example for North Korea would- 
be reformers. 
 
¶5.  (SBU) Bang said that he did not carry any messages about 
the Six Party talks, but that his North Korea hosts had 
discussed it.  They continued to indicate a preference, 
however, for direct talks with and direct assistance from 
the U.S., while claiming their nuclear preparations were in 
response to U.S. "threats."  Bang reiterated Vietnam's hope 
for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and a peaceful 
settlement of current tensions. 
 
¶6.  (SBU) Comment:  It would have been surprising had DFM 
Bang -- or any other senior GVN official -- gone out on a 
limb with the North Korean "traditional friends" by 
recommending specific policy choices or even a favorable 
decision on the Six Party talks.  Vietnam's general stance 
is to stick to general principles and avoid anything 
smacking of interference in internal affairs.  At the same 
time, Vietnam is proud of the success of its "doi moi" 
economic reform policies and happy to serve as a role model, 
while unable to pick up much of the tab. 
BURGHARDT