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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - South Korean

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5619 3540237
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200237Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0462
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 5081
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RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8746
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0746
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2021
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6803
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7512
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005619

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - SOUTH KOREAN
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


LEAD STORIES: All Thursday morning papers gave top
coverage to the landslide victory of opposition
candidate Lee Myung Bak in Wednesday's South Korean
presidential election.

1. "Good Opportunity for Improving Regional
Coordination" The liberal Asahi editorialized (12/20):
"ROK President-elect Lee has not yet clarified his
diplomatic stance. Judging from his previous comments,
Lee apparently plans to uphold the basic tone of his
predecessor's soft line toward North Korea while
vigorously demanding that Pyongyang provide an accurate
nuclear declaration in return. This position is in line
with the six-party talks and should be welcomed as
practical.... South Korea's ties with the U.S. have
been strained under President Roh, and rebuilding this
relationship will be one of tasks awaiting the new
president. Lee is expected to jumpstart and deepen
trilateral coordination among the U.S., Japan, and
South Korea. He is also expected to be active in
pursuing enhanced cooperation among China, Japan, and
his country. Closer bonds among the nations of
Northeast Asia will not only benefit South Korea but
also contribute to stability and prosperity in Asia as
a whole."

2. "Change in Policy Toward DPRK?" The top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri wrote in an editorial (12/20): "At a
time when the six-party talks are at a crossroads,
South Korea will have a conservative government for the
first time in 10 years.... In his policy platform for
the campaign, Lee proposed the idea of South Korea
offering, together with the international community,
massive economic aid to North Korea in return for
Pyongyang's surrender of its nuclear program. However,
he failed to offer specifics on how to press Pyongyang
to give up its nuclear option. In reality, the
six-party talks are the only way to promote North
Korea's denuclearization. Seoul's provision of massive
economic assistance outside of the six-party framework
would only delay a resolution of the nuclear issue.
From this perspective, Seoul should reconsider its
approach toward its neighbor, including reviewing the
massive aid package President Roh promised Pyongyang
during the October inter-Korean summit."

3. "Voters Choose Realism" The liberal Mainichi's
editorial argued (12/20): "The six-party process is at
a critical stage. At this juncture, the South Korean
people selected a leader with a realistic North Korea
policy over a government that has called for
reunification. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il should
firmly accept this reality. President-elect Lee
promised to offer aid to North Korea in order to help
it achieve a per-capita GDP of $3,000 in exchange for
abandoning its nuclear program. This approach does not
run counter to the six-party framework. It is hoped
that Pyongyang will not try to take advantage of the
change in government in South Korea to delay
denuclearization steps."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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