Cablegate: Proliferation Security Initiative Workshop In


DE RUEHUL #1306/01 2260627
P 140627Z AUG 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 64064

1. (U) This cable is sensitive, but unclassified. Please
protect accordingly.

2. (U) This is cable is an action request. See para 19.

3. (U) Summary. The Government of the Republic of Korea
(ROKG) on July 21-22 hosted a USG delegation at a workshop in
Seoul to discuss the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).
Twenty-four representatives from nine ROK agencies attended
the workshop, the purpose of which was to acquaint the ROK
representatives with how PSI works, provide advice for
building the capacity and interagency process for active PSI
participation, and address ROK misperceptions that PSI
focuses primarily on maritime interdictions and shipboarding.
Twenty representatives from eight USG agencies attended the
workshop. From USG presentations, the ROK representatives
learned that maritime interdictions were one tool among many
to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
(WMD). The U.S. representatives stressed that an effective
interagency process is key to handling actions related to
stopping transfers of WMD-related items and materials. The
ROKG made numerous requests during the course of the
workshop, of which the most significant were to join PSI's
Operational Experts Group (OEG) and to receive additional
training in maritime interdiction, cargo risk assessment, and
proliferation-related equipment identification. End summary.

Case Studies

4. (SBU) Director General (DG) Shin Dong-ik opened the
workshop by saying that the ROK's participation in PSI was a
symbol of an upgraded ROK-U.S. alliance on global issues and
that the ROKG viewed PSI and UNSCR 1874 as closely linked.
Shin continued by stating that the ROKG envisioned the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), Ministry of
National Defense (MND), and the Korean Maritime Police, (the
equivalent of the Coast Guard), as the primary implementers
of PSI. MOFAT would have the lead coordinating role. Shin
expected the ROKG to finalize its PSI implementation
mechanisms in August 2009. In addition, Director Lee
Jangkeun said, and it was reaffirmed throughout the workshop,
that the ROKG saw itself primarily as a receiver of
information. This was questioned, however, by Acting Deputy
Assistant Secretary (A/DAS) Foley who challenged the ROKG to
find ways that they could generate information. The ROKG
inquired how sensitive information was transmitted and
handled, and the degree to which the information is required
to meet the legal standards of evidence. Director Lee
repeated throughout the workshop that significant portions of
the ROKG misunderstood PSI as being primarily concerned with
interdiction on the high seas, a misunderstanding that he
hoped the workshop would correct.

5. (U) Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary (A/DAS) Tony Foley
opened the workshop by making two points. First, PSI
attempted to counter the proliferation of WMD using a variety
of tools, of which maritime operations (e.g. hail and query,
boarding) were just a small part. Second, while the
Department of State was the lead coordinating agency for
diplomatic activity, PSI decision making relied on a
national, coordinated interagency process; and that in the
U.S, the process involves the National Security Council
staff; the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security,
Treasury, and Commerce; and the intelligence community.

6. (U) The USG delegation presented and discussed two
illustrative case studies, a maritime and an air shipment
scenario, in order to illustrate how PSI might work. The
point of the illustrative case studies was to show that PSI
was most successful when it leveraged multiple tools of
national power: diplomatic, information, law enforcement, and
military capabilities. The ROKG delegation asked for an
actual PSI operation to be presented. The USG delegation
explained that given the highly classified nature of the
information shared, specific cases are not routinely
discussed or made available in unclassified settings.
However, as an example of a successful interdiction, the USG
delegation pointed to the January 2009 incident in which the
Cyprus Government recalled an Iranian-owned, Cyrus-flagged
vessel after a U.S. military boarding team found arms related
material in violation of UNSCR 1747 during an inspection on
board the ship. During this discussion, the ROKG delegation
noted that UNSCR 1874 included seizure and disposition
authority for prohibited items, including North Korean arms,

a provision that PSI does not allow. The U.S. side corrected
this misperception by emphasizing that PSI does not obligate
participating states to any particular course of action, make
law, or authorize actions inconsistent with international law
and national authorities.

Legal Issues

7. (U) Chip Wedan (Office of the General Counsel,
Department of Defense) gave a presentation on the legal
aspects of PSI. Wedan's presentation made three main points:
PSI does not violate international law; PSI does not infringe
on a nation's sovereignty; and maritime interdiction on the
high seas under PSI is permitted by principles of customary
international law (e.g., master's consent, flag state
consent, and Article 110 of the UN Law of the Sea
Convention). Wedan emphasized PSI's call for enhanced and
consistent enforcement of domestic laws as the best method
for stopping WMD proliferation.

8. (U) Kim Byung-dae, (Director, Economic Cooperation
Division, Ministry of Unification), gave a presentation on
the Inter-Korean Agreement on Maritime Transportation of
2002, as supplemented by the Annex of 2003. The point of the
presentation was to explain the Inter-Korean Maritime
Agreement to the USG delegation. The Agreement applies to
vessels owned or rented by the DPRK and ROK shipping
companies, (except for fishing boats, military ships, and
non-commercial government vessels), and to ships transiting
between ports designated by the DPRK and the ROK, between two
DPRK ports, and between DPRK and ROK ports via a third
country. The Agreement establishes inter-Korean sea routes
in international waters (and the Jeju Channel) and entry and
exit routes into selected ports in each country. The
Agreement permits the maritime authorities to stop, board,
and search a vessel if it is suspected of violating any of
the banned activities under the Agreement, including:
refusing to respond to radio enquiries, deviating from the
established routes without authorization, and flight after a
violation. In practice, however, the ROK authorities simply
issue warnings, requested course corrections, or escort
violating vessels out of its controlled waters.

PSI Implementation

9. (U) The USG delegation opened the discussion on
implementing PSI by explaining the opportunities for capacity
building under PSI, specifically: the Operational Experts
Group (OEG) meetings, live and table top exercises, bilateral
engagements, and workshops. In addition, the USG delegation
explained how the ROK could meet its PSI commitments through
participation in related initiatives and capacity-building
opportunities such as the UNSCR 1540 Committee Donor
Assistance, the U.S. Department of Energy's Commodity
Identification Training program and its WMD and Missile
Commodity Reference Manual, or through participation in the
Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program.
The USG delegation concluded with a discussion of the
upcoming regional PSI workshop in Sydney on September 15-17
and the DEEP SABRE II regional exercise on October 27-30,
hosted by Singapore. The ROK asked how it could participate
in DEEP SABRE II, to which the USG urged the ROKG to contact
Singapore, the exercise's host, and attend the upcoming
planning meeting. In addition, the United States would
assist in ensuring that the ROK received an invitation to

10. (SBU) Multiple members of the ROK delegation said at
various times throughout the workshop that unique
circumstances on the Korean Peninsula (specifically, tensions
with North Korea) would strongly influence what contributions
the ROK could make to the PSI. Still, a ROK representative
said it was expected that the ROK's "geo-political
environment and economic power could contribute to the
enhancement of PSI activities," and that its participation
would strengthen the existing non-proliferation network. The
ROKG expected its participation to focus on information
sharing, export/transshipment control, exercise
participation, and eventual OEG participation. The ROKG
expected that PSI would upgrade its own domestic counter
proliferation mechanisms. DG Shin also suggested that the
ROK could contribute to PSI by reaching out to other Asian
nations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

11. (SBU) Steve Schleien (Global Strategic Affairs, Office
of the Secretary of Defense) updated the ROKG delegation on
PSI's Operational Expert Groups (OEG), which met regularly to
develop operational concepts of interdiction, develop a
shared understanding of relevant domestic and international
law, and share best practices of interdiction. DG Shin asked
how the ROK could join the OEG. Schleien and A/DAS Foley
said that granting membership in the OEG was a consultative
process and that they would communicate the request within
USG channels in Washington and to the other OEG member

12. (U) Sabina Kook, (Office of Terrorist Financing and
Financial Crimes (TFFC), Department of the Treasury), gave a
presentation on how Treasury combats proliferation finance by
targeting the proliferation support network (financiers,
logistical support, front companies, and suppliers) and not
just the WMD proliferators (individual or organization).
Kook explained how UNSCRs (1737, 1747, and 1803 for Iran; and
1718 and 1874 for North Korea) provided the international
framework and authorities to protect the international
financial system from illicit activities, including the
proliferation of WMDs. The Financial Action Task Force
(FATF) is an international standard-setting body that has
been recognized by the UNSC for its guidance on preventing
the financing of proliferation activities. The FATF is
currently in the middle of a project on examining
proliferation finance and the viable policy options available
to address this threat. Also explained was the recent
Treasury advisory issued to financial institutions warning
them of the illicit finance risk posed by North Korea.

13. (U) Scott Renda explained that the Office of Foreign
Assets Control (OFAC), within the Treasury Department,
administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based
on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. In the
WMD context, the primary tool at the disposal of the USG is
Executive Order 13382, an authority aimed at freezing the
assets of WMD proliferators and their supporters. A
designation under this authority has the practical effect of
prohibiting transactions between the designees and any U.S.
person and freezes the property and interests in property the
designees may have within the United States or within the
possession of U.S. persons. This includes those listed in
the Order,s Annex; any foreign person determined to have
engaged or attempted to engage in activities that materially
contribute to or pose a risk of materially contributing to
the proliferation of WMD; any person determined to have
provided or attempted to provide support for or goods or
services in support of those designated under E.O. 13382; and
any person determined to be owned or controlled by, or acting
or purporting to act for or on behalf of, any blocked party.
Renda clarified the difference between the Order, the Annex,
and primary (State) and derivative (Treasury) designations.
Renda concluded by noting that E.O. 13382 was the legal
mechanism by which the U.S. implements its obligations
related to the asset freezing, financial services, and
vigilance provisions in UNSCRs 1718 and 1874. In response to
a ROKG question on asset forfeiture, Kook explained that
Treasury used E.O. 13382 to freeze assets, but that a
criminal case was necessary for forfeiture.

14. (SBU) Lawrence Lee, (Director, Foreign Exchange Policy
Division, Ministry of Strategy and Finance), asked for USG
help with obtaining ROK membership on FATF. In addition, he
asked for a FATF document that described what actions FATF
members has taken against Iran in response to the FATF
statement calling for counter-measures. Lee also asked for
specific cases on proliferation finance and Kook referred him
to the FATF Typology Report which includes case studies.

15. (SBU) Although the ROKG supports multilateral, counter
proliferation efforts against Iran as embodied in the UNSCRs
and in multilateral export control regimes, Director Lee
explained that dealing with Iran was a delicate issue for the
ROKG because Iran was the fourth largest petroleum supplier
to the ROK, and because Iran was the ROK's largest export
market in the Middle East. Since Iranian oil accounted for
roughly ten percent of the ROK oil supply, relations with
Iran were a matter of energy security. Director Lee Jangkeun
said that the ROK did not have legal mechanisms (domestic or
otherwise) to implement unilateral sanction regimes.

16. (U) Ms. Lou Green (Customs and Border Protection (CBP),
Department of Homeland Security) gave a presentation on the
customs-related aspects of PSI, specifically, CBP's strong
role in the detention and/or seizure of export/import goods.
The ROKG asked many questions about the legality of detention
(in which the owner retains title to the property) and
seizure (a legal process through which the CBP attempts to
acquire title to the property, which implies a pending
criminal investigation). Green explained that CBP had legal
authority to detain all goods transiting across the national
border, even goods destined for transit to another country
via the U.S. Furthermore, CBP may request departed vessels
to off-load suspicious cargo at another port or order the
redelivery of the suspicious goods back to the U.S.

Korean Maritime Police (Coast Guard)

17. (SBU) The USG delegation visited the Korean Maritime
Police (Coast Guard) located in Inchon, a port city 24 miles
west of Seoul. Superintendent General (SG) Kim Suk-kyoon
greeted the delegation and was the main presenter and guide
for the visit. Kim's presentation confirmed Director Kim
Jangkeun's statement that the Korean Coast Guard did not see
itself as a security agency, but rather as an economic
agency. For SG Kim, "trade and cooperation between the two
Koreas were a domestic matter." SG Kim said that the
maritime police were responsible for surveillance of DPRK
vessels, and in fact, had monitored the Kang Nam I for two
days. (Note: The Kang Nam I was a DPRK vessel suspected of
carrying weapons contraband in violation of UNSCR 1874. The
vessel ultimately turned around mid-voyage and returned to
North Korea. End note.) SG Kim said that although the
Inter-Korean Agreement on Maritime Transportation gave the
ROKG the right to board North Korean merchant ships, the
maritime police had yet to do so because the ROKG believed
that not only would such a move raise tensions between the
two Koreas, but also because the crews on DPRK vessels were
likely to be armed with light weapons. SG Kim said that the
maritime police would carry out any interdictions on the high
seas jointly with the Navy.

Courtesy Call on Deputy Minister Oh Joon

18. (SBU) A/DAS Foley on July 22 had a courtesy call
meeting with Deputy Minister Oh Joon, Deputy Minister for
Multilateral, Global, and Legal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Trade. DM Oh said that he was glad to hear that
the PSI workshop went well, especially considering that PSI
and the interagency cooperation it entailed were new for the
ROKG. DM Oh asked if the ROKG should approach any other
countries regarding their models for PSI coordination, to
which A/DAS Foley suggested that New Zealand, Australia,
Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada all
had effective models of PSI interagency coordination. Oh
said that MOFAT was the central point (or "channel") for PSI
activity because most other ministries lacked foreign
experience and therefore looked to MOFAT for guidance. In
addition, Oh said that the "negative attitudes" about PSI
were based on misperceptions that MOFAT tried to correct by
publishing a small booklet about PSI. Regarding PSI and the
media, Oh agreed with Foley that much of the information used
in PSI interdictions would be difficult to declassify;
instead, Oh continued, he thought that what the public should
know about PSI was that it followed and used domestic laws to
accomplish its aims. Like DG Shin, Oh also said that perhaps
the ROKG could contribute to PSI by reaching out to other
Asian nations, specifically, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam,
and Thailand. Oh concluded the meeting by stating that the
ROKG would like to be in the OEG, to which Foley responded
that Steve Schleien would look into the matter. Foley
reminded Oh that membership in the OEG required consultation
with other OEG members and would require a commitment of ROK

Action Items

19. (SBU) Below is a summary of ROK inquiries:

--Membership in the OEG

--Sharing of information

--Participation in DEEP SABRE II exercise in Singapore

--Practical interdiction training for the maritime police and
navy (which can be done in the U.S.)

--CBP training in customs operations/interdiction

--CBP training in synchronizing cargo risk management with
the Secure Freight Initiative's (SFI) 100% screening mandate

--National Nuclear Security Administration (Department of
Energy) training in material identification

--Bilateral consultations/workshops in Seoul or Washington

--Membership in FATF

--Receipt of the FATF Topology Report

--Summary of major "take-away" points of the workshop

Workshop Participants

20. (U) USG Delegation (20 persons):
Tony Foley (A/DAS Counterproliferation - State)
Joseph Yun (A/DCM - Embassy Seoul)
Steve Schleien (Global Strategic Affairs - OSD)
Beth Flores (Global Strategic Affairs - OSD)
LTC Steve Park (Asian & Pacific Affairs - OSD)
Chip Wedan (Office of the General Counsel - DOD)
CDR Tony Crego (Joint Staff J5 - DOD)
Lou Green (Customs and Border Protection - DHS)
Bennett Courey (Customs and Border Protection Legal - DHS)
John Kroft (National Counterproliferation Center - DNI)
Lance Stubblefield (National Nuclear Security Administration
- DOE)
Sabina Kook Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial
Crimes - Treasury)
Scott Renda (Office of Foreign Assets Control - Treasury)
Markus Garlauskas (USFK)
David Jeffrey (Embassy Seoul)
Tyler Carson (Embassy Seoul)
LCDR Patricia Springer (U.S. Coast Guard - Embassy Seoul)
John Yu (FBI - Embassy Seoul)
Erik Hunt (Foreign Commercial Service - Embassy Seoul)

21. (U) ROK Delegation (24 persons)
Shin Dong-ik (Director General, International Organization
Bureau - MOFAT)
Lee Jang-keun (Director, Disarmament and Nonproliferation -
Koo Hyun-mo (Director designate, Disarmament and
Nonproliferation - MOFAT)
Kim Jae-woo (Disarmament and Nonproliferation - MOFAT)
Koh Young-kul (Disarmament and Nonproliferation - MOFAT)
Park Eun-jin (Disarmament and Nonproliferation - MOFAT)
Jin Gi-hoon (Director, Inter-Korean Policy - MOFAT)
Kang Myong-il (International Legal Affairs - MOFAT)
Song Si-jin (North American Division I - MOFAT)
Hong Jee-pio (ROK Embassy Washington)
Lim Sang-beom (Office of Secretary to the President for
National Security Strategy - Blue House)
Col Kim Mu-kyum (Director, WMD Policy Division - Ministry of
National Defense)
LtCol Kang Kyu-tai (WMD Policy Division - Ministry of
National Defense)
Kim Byung-dae (Director, Economic Cooperation Division -
Ministry of Unification)
Lee Lawrence (Director, Foreign Exchange Policy - Ministry of
Strategy and Finance)
Park Chan-ho (Foreign Exchange Policy - Ministry of Strategy
and Finance)
Kim Myung-hoon (Port Management - Ministry of Land, Transport
and Maritime Affairs)
Kweon Si-hong (International Air Transport - Ministry of
Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs)
Park Joon-soo (Air Traffic Management - Ministry of Land,
Transport and Maritime Affairs)
Kim Suk-kyoon (Superintendent General - Korean Maritime
Kim Un-ho (Superintendent - Korean Maritime Police)
Seo Sang-wook (Korean Maritime Police)
Im Joong-cheol (Director, Surveillance Division - Korean
Customs Service)
Han Yoo-lim (Senior Researcher - Institute of Foreign Affairs
and National Security)

22. (U) This cable has been cleared by ISN A/DAS Tony Foley
and the USG delegation.

© Scoop Media

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