Viewing cable 06OSAKAKOBE238
Title: CHOSEN SOREN'S 5-YEAR PLAN: FROM BAD TO WORSE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06OSAKAKOBE2382006-05-02 08:12:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Consulate Osaka Kobe
VZCZCXRO6670
RR RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHOK #0238 1220812
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 020812Z MAY 06
FM AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0198
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0385
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1073
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 7594
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0110
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0094
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0129
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0122
RUESLE/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0002
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 0036
C O N F I D E N T I A L OSAKA KOBE 000238 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y - CLASSIFIED BY LINE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
TOKYO PLEASE PASS TO NAGOYA 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/26/2016 
TAGS: EFIN PGOV PINR PREL JA KN
SUBJECT: CHOSEN SOREN'S 5-YEAR PLAN: FROM BAD TO WORSE 
 
Classified by Consul General Danny Russel for reasons 1.4 
B and D. 
 
¶1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  The  surprise raid in March by Japanese 
National Police on the Osaka office of the North Korean 
Association Chosen Soren stunned its members.  The raid and 
its aftermath highlights the gradual decline in ideological, 
financial and operational relevance of the organization in 
the Kansai.  Because North Korean permanent residents in 
Osaka see little upside and much downside to active 
membership, foreign currency remittances to the DPRK have 
fallen by half since 2001.  Observers point to the 2001 
public admission by Kim Jong Il that DPRK agents had indeed 
abducted Japanese citizens as a catalyst for the decline in 
Osaka. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (C) On the ideological front, there has been a clear 
generational shift as younger North Korean residents are more 
fully assimilated into Japanese society and are uninterested 
or repelled by Kim Jong-Il,s regime.  In addition, many 
became disillusioned with the DPRK particularly as the 
kidnapping issue has taken center stage.  Materially, Korean 
permanent residents see little personal benefit in belonging 
to an organization that has little direct relevance to their 
lives, and which is coming under increasingly close scrutiny 
by a host of Japanese authorities.  Any tangible benefits 
they accrued in the past by belonging to Chosen Soren have 
all but disappeared; the Japanese National Tax Agency (NTA) 
has begun to target all its members.  Many Korean permanent 
residents fear any additional hardening of the DPRK's foreign 
policy positions vis-a-vis Japan will lead to more punitive 
measures against them. 
 
¶3.  (C) Chosen Soren's Kansai office has weakened 
financially;  remittances to the DPRK have fallen to less 
than half of that in 2001.  Chogin, the DPRK-affiliated 
credit cooperative, has been emasculated as a source of 
foreign currency funds for the DPRK.  Financial flows from 
Kansai to the DPRK now generally take the form of direct 
contributions to Chosen Soren headquarters in Tokyo, or 
hand-carrying of cash into the DPRK by visitors.  The NTA has 
aggressively targeted businessmen involved in Japan-DPRK 
trade, and is expanding its scope to include small-scale 
businessmen. Chosen Soren's staff salaries in Osaka have been 
reduced to 150,000 yen per month (USD 1,200 at 115/1), paid 
sporadically.  Teachers at the North Korean school receive 
only 100,000 yen per month(USD 850 at 115/1).  Teachers and 
staff have been reduced to selling crabs imported from the 
DPRK to supplement their meager incomes. 
 
¶4.  (C) Operationally, Chosen Soren's Osaka office has 
suffered the effects of decreasing ideological relevance, 
decreased funding, and increased attention by local and 
national law enforcement authorities.  Chosen Soren 
headquarters in Tokyo no longer has direct control over 
branch offices, which now are forced to operate more or less 
autonomously.  The recent March raid on Chosen Soren's Osaka 
office, which took place in Osaka but was conducted 
noticeably by the National Police Agency, surfaced little or 
no new information on the abduction issue, but served to 
paralyze the organization,s operations, in the view of law 
enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the operation. 
 
¶5. (C) Comment:  Capping the gradual decline in Chosen 
Soren's finances and its relevance to the 30,000 North Korean 
permanent residents living in Kansai and its environs, the 
March raid on its Osaka office shows just how far it has 
fallen in the last five years.  Suffering from increased 
pressure by law enforcement and tax officials, dwindling 
finances, and now a siege mentality among its staff, it 
appears unlikely that Chosen Soren's Osaka office will 
recover. 
 
RUSSEL