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Viewing cable 09MONTREAL80, ICAO COUNCIL CAUTIONS DPRK ON CIVAIR SAFETY AND SECURITY,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MONTREAL80 2009-03-09 23:11 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Consulate Montreal
VZCZCXRO4595
PP RUEHMT
DE RUEHMT #0080/01 0682355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 092355Z MAR 09
FM AMCONSUL MONTREAL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0194
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/TSA HQ WASHINGTON DC
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0002
INFO RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0011
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0016
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0006
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0013
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0010
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE PRIORITY 0007
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0005
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 0016
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 0010
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0010
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0015
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 0010
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHMT/AMCONSUL MONTREAL 0314
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MONTREAL 000080 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR D, EAP, IO, EEB, AND L/EB 
DOT FOR OST, FAA FOR API-1 AND USPACCOM FOR CMDR 
EMBASSIES FOR CIVAIR OFFICERS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAIR KS KN IC ICAO
SUBJECT: ICAO COUNCIL CAUTIONS DPRK ON CIVAIR SAFETY AND SECURITY, 
MARCH 9, 2009 
 
REF: SEOUL 357 (NOTAL) 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary.   On March 9, 2009 the International Civil 
Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council, which is the governing 
body constituted of 36 representatives of ICAO Contracting 
States from all regions of the world, discussed the DPRK 
announcement that North Korea cannot guarantee the safety of 
South Korean flights transiting No Korean - controlled airspace 
and other DPRK actions that pose a threat to global aviation 
security.  The ROKG's newly arrived Council Representative, 
Ambassador Chong Hoon KIM raised several points with the Council 
and the Council President at the 9 March 2009 Council meeting, 
noting  that the authorities of the DPRK, the Committee for the 
Peaceful Reunification of Korea, had declared that quote safety 
could not be guaranteed for the Republic of Korea's civilian 
airplanes flying through the airspace of the DPRK and its 
vicinity - end DPRK quote.   Ambassador Kim said this 
announcement constitutes an unacceptable threat to the safety 
and security of international civil aviation. He added that the 
Republic of Korea expresses its deep concern on the DPRK's 
announcement and requests the DPRK to withdraw the declaration. 
Kim said the DPRK, as a Contracting State of ICAO, should act 
strictly in accordance with the Chicago Convention, its Annexes 
and its procedures.  Ambassador Kim noted that DPRK actions 
violate the terms of a Memo of Understanding signed between the 
two Koreas and the President of ICAO Council in October 1997 
which permits the use by any State of air routes between 
DPRK-controlled airspace and ROKG-controlled airspace.  That MOU 
had enabled 5260 flights to pass through DPRK's territorial 
airspace last year and in period January-February 2009, 1020 
flights have used the airspace, of which 463 were flights from 
the ROKG and 557 from other States. The DPRK's recent actions 
had obliged carriers from many ICAO Contracting States to 
re-route flights.  Finally, as these events have caused serious 
concern for the international aviation community, the Republic 
of Korea requested  the ICAO Council to direct the President of 
Council to convey the grave concern of the Council to the DPRK. 
 The US, Japan, and 26 other Council members all spoke in 
support of the ROKG request.    Discussion was held in open 
Council session.  The Council took a Decision relating to North 
Korea and calling upon the DPRK to meet its commitment to the 
safety and security of civil aircraft and other principles of 
the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).   End 
summary. 
 
 
 
2.   (SBU) The Acting US Rep stated in Council that:  The U.S. 
agrees that the DPRK announcement that North Korea cannot 
guarantee the safety of South Korean flights transiting North 
Korean-controlled airspace constitutes a clear threat to the 
safety and security of international civil aviation and global 
commerce. 
 
--The DPRK actions are posing risk to the commercial carriers of 
numerous States, many of which have been forced to re-route 
flights. 
 
--The DPRK statements have generated serious concern in the 
international civil aviation community and call into question 
North Korea's commitment to the safety and security of civil 
aircraft and other principles of the International Civil 
Aviation Organization. 
 
 
 
3.  (SBU)  Other Council members expressed support for the ROKG 
statement and for Ambassador Kim's request the Council 
President, Roberto Kobeh, to convey the grave concern of the 
ICAO Council as soon as possible to senior officials of the 
ROKG.  The 28 States supporting ROKG were US, Japan, Australia, 
 
MONTREAL 00000080  002 OF 002 
 
 
Cameroon, Ecuador, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, 
Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, France, Germany, Italy, 
Uganda, Russia, China, Namibia, Ghana, Mexico, Brazil, Malaysia, 
Nigeria, El Salvador, Iceland, Switzerland and Egypt.  Due to 
the lateness of the day  (the Korea topic was the last item of 
session),  President Kobeh cut off debate.   Only Egypt made a 
nuanced  statement of support by noting with emphasis that it is 
an obligation of ALL, repeat all,  ICAO Contracting States to 
respect the obligations of the Chicago Convention (ICAO's 
founding treaty).  Egypt's nuanced comment  is effectively an 
unspoken reference to Israel.  There were no Council members who 
spoke differently or expressed any reservations to the strong 
consensus of the ICAO Council. 
 
 
 
4.  (SBU) The text of the Council decision (to be formalized in 
all six ICAO languages in a few days) will be available as soon 
as President Kobeh circulates a draft decision. Kobeh  will 
refine the DRAFT overnight.  The Council Decision will be drawn 
from the comments of Ambassador Kim, the Acting U.S. 
Representative and the Japan Representative. USICAO will 
distribute the Council decision as soon as it is received. 
President Kobeh, assisted by  the ICAO staff from the air 
navigation and legal bureaus, is also completing the drafting of 
correspondence to the DPRK.   (The ICAO Council President's 
correspondence is not disseminated to Council members. ) 
 
 
 
5.    (SBU) On Friday, March 5,  ICAO Council  President Kobeh 
and ICAO's Legal Director,  together with Acting US Rep  and 
the Japan Rep, had advised and assisted the  new Korean 
Ambassador  with the drafting of statements and the Council 
Decision and the lobbying of other Council members to support 
the ROKG. 
 
 
 
6.   Comments and feedback to US Mission to ICAO should be 
addressed to  AmConsul Montreal with a slug to pass USICAO.  We 
encourage messages be sent at SBU level to the extent possible- 
because classified material is not accessible in the ICAO 
building where US Mission is located. 
FAUX-GABLE MCCLENNY