TRENDS IN COMMUNIST MEDIA - SOVIET LEADERSHIP; MOSCOW WARNING ON MIDDLE EAST; P

Created: 11/9/1983

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

TRENDS

9)S

Contents

USSR

Andropov Absent From Red Square, Leading Role1

Cbernenko Elaborates on Tasks of June Ideological5

New First Secretary Caps Leadership Changes in7

USSR-Middle East

Moscow. on Lebanon. Avoids9

Korea

DPRX Expresses Regret at Break With Burma, Reiteratesaught Between Conflicting Loyalties, Moscow

USSR-West Germany

Moscow Applauds "Greens" on INF, Wary on Other

Vietnam-USSR

Moscow Reassures Hanoi on China Issue, Signs New Aid

China-India

PRC Lauds Progress in Talks on Border, Bilateral

Brief

China-USSR: Chinese Observances of Soviet

Korea

Pyongyang has expressed surprise and regret at Rangoon's decision to break relations over North Koreas alleged pan In the bombing attack on visiting ROK President Chon Tu-hwen last month. Pyongyang's cautious reaction suggests thai II hopes eventually lo restore Its once close relationship with Rangoon, in denying com-plidty in the bombing. Pyongyang has further elaborated its longstanding public posture againsi acis of international terrorism.

Rangoon's decision has caught Beijingilemma of conflicting loyalties to lis Northeast Asian ally andts oldest friend in Southeast Asia. Beijing has been forced to moderate lis initially open support for Pyongyang in the affair. Moscow has onlyand almost imperceptibly risen to Pyongyang's defense.

DPRK Expresses Regret at Break With Burma, Reiterates Denials

Throughout the period when the Burmese were investigating the bombing incident, Pyongyang seemed concerned to limit the damage the incident might cause to its relationship with Rangoon Even after Rangoonovember, North Korea seemed to continue to hold out hope that the damage was reversible, hope which was re! Ice ted in an authoritative Foreign Ministry statementovember expressing regret anuover Rangoon's decision. The statement, which asserted that Pyongyang would "invariably develop friendly relations with the Burmeseailed to direcUy blame the Burmese for the break in relations and focused criticism instead on (he United States, Japan, and the ROK for pressuring Rangoon on the issue. That cautious approach contrasted with the one Pyongyang had followed in treating previous instances of breaks in diplomaticas wiih Argentina and Mauritanian those occasions, Pyongyang portrayed (he other side as directly responsible for the action.

Slightly harsher, more direct criticism or Burmese authorities did appear, however, in lower level DPRK media treatment. Forovember Xodong Sinmun commentary claimed that the* given in to external pressure and could be Considered an "accomplice" of tbe United States, Japan, and South Korea and that the Burmese authorities were "bereft of self-respect andhe commentary went on to charge that the Burmese action aids only the "imperialist! and theirho want toedge" between newly emerging and nonaligoedtheme the Korcani had alio used following Mauritania's severing of ties. Criticism was also voicedovember KCNA report which,orth Korean educator, said that the Burmese action "gives us misgivings that the Burmese authorities might have sought to get something from. and Japanese ruling quarters and the South Koreao puppets by getting involved in their intrigues."

Overall, however. Pyongyang media have continued to shield Burmese authorities from direct criticism and slowly have begun to address the question of DPRK-Burmesc ties.ovember Pyongyang radio reported the remarksorth Korean worker regretting the Burmese decision because of "the friendly relations between our people and the Burmesend on Ihe 7th, KCNAow-level North Korean official claiming that by "forcing" Burma to sever relations with the North, the United States is pursuing the "heinous political aim of estranging the peoples of the two countries from each other."

the period afterctober bombing but before

ovember severing of relations, DPRK media had treated Pyongyang's relationship with Rangoon with some5 October KCNA report of an Atahi St.lmbun article noted that "relations between the North and Burma have become verynd another KCNA report onh cited an Indian newspaper in arguing that tbe North would not have involved itself in the bombing for fear oi damaging its "friendly relations" with Burma.

Desiring to limit the damage and possibly even expecting that the Burmese would not take severe action. Pyongyang made no hint of criticism of tbeor of their handling of the investigation of the bombing. In fact, as late asWodong Sinmun commentary claimed that the Burmese Government had warned the South Korean Government that the inresttgaltoo was continuing and that it should not acthe commentary even

y

COKjSMNTIAL

ovember mi

acts of terrorism, reaffirming its unchanged public position on that issue of at least the past decade. In line with previous comment, the Foreign Ministry statement argued: "We, by nature, have never resorted to individual terrorism andhing is alien to us."

A KCNA authorized statement onctober had made the same point,odong Sinmun Commentator article onh pegged to the Rangoon incident had claimed that terrorism and assassination are means "exclusively used by the South Korean puppets and have nothing to do with us atovember Nodong Sinmun commentary went even further. Echoing comment from the North in denying charges of North Korean involvement in an assassination plot against President Chon in Canadat stated: "By nature, weo connection with terrorism against individuals, and we do not even want such terrorism tofter the bombing Pyongyang also called attention to its stand on terrorism by reporting foreign comment critical of such acts.

In rehearsing traditional disclaimers against involvement in acts of terrorism, the recent North Korean statements have elaborated Pyongyang's rationale that communist states "by nature" are averse to such acts. The Foreign Ministry statement claimed lhat South Korean rulers were only VS. "stooges" and that replacing one with another made no difference as long as the United Stales remained in South Korea. Similarly, in an interview giveneruvian delegation early this summer and publicized by North Korean media at the end of October. Kim Il-song claimed that Americans "dismiss and appoint" ihe South Korean president and thai if Ihe man who holds Ihe presidency "is nol to their liking,. imperialists kill him, to be replaced byhishift in line from that enunciated by Kim Il-song in4 when, addressing charges that the North bad tried to assassinate ROK President Pak Chon?-hui the previous month, Kim claimed lhatommunist, by nature, opposes terrorism against an individual" but went on to explain lhat removing an individual ruler made no senie without changing the "fascist system itself."

FBIS3

In keeping with its public posture on terrorism. Pyongyang has been pariicu-larly careful not to be seen condoning the attack on Chon in Rangoon. During the first week after the bombing inwl-.sn Pyongyang media were still portraying the episode as directed against rather than carried out byappeared to take special care in transmissions intended for international audiences. The closest that KCNA came to stating lhat the bombing was justified was4 October report thatorth Korean worker as saying thatad dog is fated to be flogged everywhere it goes."

By contrast. Pyongyangat the domesticcloser to justifying the incident but stopped short of openly endorsing it. Onh, for example, the radioorth Korean professor as claiming that Chon was "attacked with bombs even outside the country because of his crimes, which incur the wrath of heaven andnly the clandestine Voice of the Revolutionary Party for Reunification radio, beamed from North to South Korea and typically allowed more latitude to comment on such sensitive issues, boldly stated that the bombing was "due punishment" for2 Oct jber RPR spokesman's statement said theas "deserved" and that "dictators will not goanguageom the KCNAon the statement,ouo)

Beijing Caught Between Conflicting Loyalties, Moscow Mute

Beijing has avoided direct comment on the Rangoon bombing of President Chon's party and its aftermath, but has given th* developments considerable reportorial treatment in its domestic and international media. The attack was reported promptly and straightforwardly by Xinhuaispatch from Rangoon on the 9th, as was Burma's formationommission of inquiry the following day

In the days immediately following the attack, the Chinese replayed DPRK versions of the incident, lending implicit support to Pyongyang's initial denial of culpability and to its countercharge that Seoul was responsible. Xinhua onhengthy reportCNA statement issued that day which Xinhua said "refuted South Korean allegations" of Pyongyang's involvement. Xinhua's account of the KCNA statement included its description of the South's charges as an "absurd pretext" aimed at heightening tensions on the peninsula and its admonition that the United States and Seoul should be held

CONF

responsible for any consequences. Onh. Xinhua gave only (lightly less attentionfodong Sinmun Commentator article that described the explosion as "the work of Chon Tu-hwan" andevidence cited by Seoul to Implicate the North.

After the Burmese Government had issued its Findings laying blame for the explosion on (be North and announced the breaking of diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, however, Beijing disengaged and went to some lengths to show outward neutrality. Chinese media oo the Sth reported ibe Burmese Government's announcement that it had "firmly established" DPRKas well as Pyongyang's denial and description of the Burmese action asandeports of precisely equal length on the two statements were transmitted sequentially by Xinhua and by Beijing's central domestic radio on the Sth. and the two reports were printed side by side onf the party daily Renmln Ribao the following day.

Despite (his outward show of scrupulous neu(rality. Chinese treat meat of (he opposing statements from its two "fraternal neighbors" suggests greater concern for Nor lb Korean sensibilities than for those of the Burmese. Theof the two statements meant holding the Burmese statement, publicizedours before the DPRK response, until (hat response was in hand. And while Beijing has not reported the Burmese findings in its broadcasts beamed lo Korea, Pyongyang's denial was reported promptly in China's broadcasts in Burmese.

from initial reports onctober explosion,

Soviet media have virtually ignored (he Rangoon bombing. Although Sovie( accounts claimed on several occasions that Seoul was using the bombingretext to "intensify luppression" and "whip up tension" on (he peninsula, Moscow has done little else to show support for Pyongyang's position on the issue. ForASS repori in Krasnaya Xvvonctober reported the KCNA authorized statement ofh, the North's first authoritative response to the bombing, but cited neilher the North's explicit denial that it was involved in (he incident nor its disclaimer that Pyongyang engages in terrorism.

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A brief TASS report,ovember from Pyongyang and appearing in the first edition of Pravda onh, acknowledged the DPRK denial of responsibility Tor the incident for the first time ani noieo the North's claim that tbe incident was actually planned by Chon Tu-hwan. Moscow's Korean-language serviceovember beamed toerse report on the statement but included neither of these twou/fouo)

1 Before that, KCNA bad clairaod tbat TASS on the 5tb hid reported the DPRK Foreign Ministry statement leapooding to Banna's decision to sever relations with Pyongyang, but neither TASS English nor TASS Russian traramission* are known to have carried *uch aAlthoughnusual, it ii not unprecedented for North Korean media lo cite TASSthat have not been carried on TASS tranimirawns monitored by FBIS.

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