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05BANGKOK7184 EXCELLENT THAI-DPRK RELATIONS NOT SO USEFUL IN ABDUCTION CASE

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“45498”,”11/18/2005 4:21″,”05BANGKOK7184″,”Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,”05BANGKOK5627″,”This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 007184

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/18/2015

TAGS: PGOV, PREL, TH, North Korea (DPRK)

SUBJECT: EXCELLENT THAI-DPRK RELATIONS NOT SO USEFUL IN

ABDUCTION CASE

 

REF: BANGKOK 005627

 

Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR SUSAN M. SUTTON FOR REASON 1.4 (B,D)

 

1. (C) Summary. Allegations in a new book that North Korean

abducted a Thai woman working in Macao in 1978 have grabbed

local headlines and prompted Foreign Minister Kantathi to

pledge government efforts to return her to Thailand. Thai

officials, however, are finding their North Korean

counterparts less than helpful on the case, but this issue is

unlikely to derail Prime Minister Thaksin\’s planned visit to

Pyongyang next year. End Summary.

 

ALLEGED DPRK ABDUCTION OF THAI IN 1978

————————————–

 

2. (SBU) U.S. Army deserter and former North Korean resident

Charles Robert Jenkins\’ Japanese language book \”Kokuhaku\”

(\”To Tell the Truth\”) alleges that he knew a Thai woman who

had been abducted by DPRK authorities in the 1970\’s and

forced to marry a fellow U.S. Army deserter. This revelation

has grabbed local headlines (Note, the Nation newspaper has

run almost daily stories. End Note) and prompted pressure on

the RTG to make good on its broad pledge to protect Thai

citizens abroad.

 

3. (SBU) Based on Thai Embassy Tokyo\’s meetings with Jenkins

and a review of missing persons cases from the 1970\’s, Thai

officials believe that the woman in question is Anocha

Panjoy, a Thai national who went missing in 1978 shortly

after arriving in Macao to work. Her brother has been in

close contact with Thai authorities and Japanese NGO\’s

involved in the abduction issue.

 

SURPRISE! DPRK NOT SO HELPFUL

—————————–

 

4. (C) MFA officials told Poloff on 17 November that they

have met with North Korean diplomats to discuss this case,

but that the DPRK Embassy here denies having any knowledge of

Anocha. RTG officials are assiduously avoiding any

discussion of the \”abduction,\” and in their dealing with the

North Koreans, refer to the issue as a \”missing persons case\”

so as not to offend their interlocutors. That said, Thai

officials are hoping that their repeated requests for further

information checks–in the form of daily phone calls to the

DPRK mission here–may yet produce some results. Given the

heavy press play, both the Foreign Minister and the Prime

Minister are personally interested in this case. When asked

if this issue could impede PM Thaksin\’s planned trip to

Pyongyang next year (ref) MFA officials said \”not really.\”

 

COMMENT

——-

 

5. (C) RTG officials make much of their \”excellent relations\”

with Pyongyang, often in an attempt to involve themselves in

such issues as the six-party talks. This case may highlight

how unhelpful the DPRK can be, even with \”friends,\” but it

appears that this will not affect Thaksin\’s North Korea

policy.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

June 21, 2011 at 3:14 am

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