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Cablegate: Media Reaction in Seoul

R 100736Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2277
USDOC WASHDC 7753
DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
CIA WASHINGTON DC
SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SEOUL 002191


STATE FOR EAP/PD FOR SWALKER, EAP/P, EAP/K
STATE PASS USDA ELECTRONICALLY FOR FAX/ITP SCHEIKH
STATE PASS USTR FOR RCASSIDY
USDOC FOR 4430/IEP/OPB/EAP/JDONIUS
TREASURY FOR OASIA/MGREWE
CINCPAC FOR J-74

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KMDR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION IN SEOUL

Subject: Media Reaction; Seoul

U.S. presidential election

"Cooperation and Trust"

Right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo editorialized (11/08): "The ROK-U.S.
alliance may have more room to grow and be improved upon during
Obama's tenure, as he has long advocated multilateral diplomacy,
emphasizing cooperation and joint efforts with the international
community."


Free Trade Agreement

"Prepare for Renegotiation of ROK-U.S. FTA"

Choi Tae-wook, professor of the Graduate School of International
Studies at Hallym University observed in left-leaning Hankyoreh
Shinmun (11/10): "The most unsettling aspect of the ROK-U.S. FTA is
that it could reduce the government's authority over the market. A
good example of that is the investor-state dispute settlement (ISD),
under which foreign investors can file a suit with an international
arbitration organization against the countries in which they have
invested.. Under this mechanism, it would be difficult for our
central or local governments to map out and implement regulations or
public policies out of concerns about the possibility of lawsuit...
The recent U.S.-sparked financial crisis clearly tells us the
dangers of non-regulation and deregulation. Any proper government
would now realize a need for regulation and try to strengthen the
role of the government in the market. The ROK's ruling Democratic
Party and Democratic Labor Party should use any possible call by
Washington for renegotiation of the ROK-U.S. FTA as an opportunity
to demand that the ISD be deleted from the FTA and to remove or
reduce the neo-liberalistic nature of the agreement."


"We Should Not Shake up the ROK-U.S. FTA"

Lee Joon-kyu, head of the Americas Bureau at the Korea Institute for
International Economic Policy, observed in right-of-center JoongAng
Ilbo (11/10): "When the Obama administration is inaugurated, it will
likely call for renegotiation on the automobile sector of the
ROK-U.S. FTA. However, we should persuade the Obama administration
(not to demand renegotiation), saying that renegotiation will break
a balance in the economic interests of both nations and damage the
ROK-U.S. alliance. The ROK's National Assembly should also show its
policy consistency by promptly approving the free trade pact."


"Will the ROKG Intend to Continue With Its Failed Foreign and North
Korea Policy?"

Left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (11/08): "The ROKG and
the ruling party have reaffirmed their determination to ratify the
ROK-U.S. FTA at an early date and have decided to send a delegation
to the U.S. This behavior is unreasonable. Besides controversy
over the contents of the FTA, it is irresponsible to seek market
integration with the U.S. at a time when the U.S. economy is in
chaos. Rather than adhering to the free trade pact, the ROK would
do well to focus its efforts to overcome the economic crisis, while
remembering the consequences of its decision to resume U.S. beef
imports."


DPRK, nuclear program, Six-Party Talks

"Relations between the Obama Administration and North Korea Is up to
Pyongyang,"

Conservative Chosun Ilbo editorialized (11/10): "North Korea should
take note that president-elect Obama is not, like his predecessor,
obliged to achieve something before his term expires. The U.S. now
has a time to review its North Korea policy again from first
principles. And they are complete abolition of the nuclear program
and prevention of nuclear proliferation. The difference between
Obama and Bush is merely in methodology in achieving that end."

"North Korea Policy; Obama's Change and Our Response"

Yoon Young-kwan, professor of International Politics at Seoul
National University, observed in right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo
(11/10): "While the U.S. Republican government simply regarded North
Korea's nuclear development as a security matter and took little
interest in its root cause, the Obama administration is expected to
admit that North Korea's nuclear ambitions stemmed from its security
anxiety and diplomatic isolation, and to help the North resolve
these concerns. In addition, while the Bush administration dangled
the establishment of diplomatic ties with Pyongyang in front of the
North as a reward for its nuclear abandonment, the Obama
administration is likely to use diplomatic relations as an incentive
for the North to fulfill its promise to denuclearize."

"Expectations and Fantasies about Obama's Diplomacy"

Editorial writer Kwon Soon-taek observed in conservative Dong-a Ilbo
(11/10): "Obama is highly likely to engage in aggressive diplomacy
with North Korea in a give-and-take manner. However, he did not
forget to warn that, if North Korea does not implement its
agreement, it will have to pay the price. If Pyongyang only intends
to gain benefits without a complete nuclear development, its direct
talks with the Obama administration will fall far short of its
expectations."


Stephens

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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