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Cablegate: Media Reaction: North Korea

VZCZCXYZ0009
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1560 1930839
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 120839Z JUL 07
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5956
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7015
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 8261

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001560

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/TC, EAP/PA, EAP/PD - BROOKE SPELLMAN
DEPARTMENT PASS AIT/WASHINGTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO TW
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: NORTH KOREA


Summary: Taiwan's major Chinese-language dailies continued to focus
news coverage July 12 on the legislators' elections and the
presidential election slated for early 2008. In terms of editorials
and commentaries, a column in the centrist, KMT-leaning "China
Times" discussed the possibility of the "four-party talks" proposed
by the United States, which are aimed at promoting peace on the
Korean peninsula. An editorial in the conservative,
pro-unification, English-language "China Post" also said
negotiations should continue to persuade North Korea to "discontinue
developing nuclear weaponry." End summary.

A) "South Korea Proactively Promotes Peace on the Peninsular"

The "International Outlook" column in the centrist, KMT-leaning
"China Times" [circulation: 400,000] wrote (7/12):

"... The 'four-party talks,' however, seem plausible, because none
of four parties - the United States, China, South and North Korea -
is against such an idea. The objective of the four-party talks is
to turn the truce agreement of the Korean War into a treaty
declaring a formal conclusion of the war, but they are also related
to the normalization of ties between Washington and Pyongyang.
Pyongyang believes that its relations with Washington will naturally
be normalized once the peace treaty is signed or, more likely, the
treaty should be signed after the bilateral ties are normalized.
For the United States, however, it is hard to tell whether it is
ready to do so, even though there have been suggestions about it.

"With regard to the signing of a peace treaty between Seoul and
Pyongyang, it seems like an easy move, but still there is a problem
- namely, it must not be done before Pyongyang completes the
freezing of its nuclear program. The public opinion and political
ambiance in South Korea both believe that the development of
Seoul-Pyongyang relations must be linked with Pyongyang freezing its
nuclear program, or peace can hardly be achieved [on the Korean
peninsula]."

B) "Time to Promote Peace in Northeast Asia"

The conservative, pro-unification, English-language "China Post"
[circulation: 30,000] editorialized (7/12):

"... Negotiations should continue so as to persuade North Korea to
discontinue developing nuclear weaponry. Progress toward this goal
can be achieved if the United States and other countries involved
make sincere efforts to help the isolated, impoverished Communist
country improve the life of its citizens."

YOUNG

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