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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; August 27, 2009

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 SEOUL 001377

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; August 27, 2009

TOP HEADLINES
-------------

Chosun Ilbo
Survey: 79 Percent of Lawmakers Polled Favor
Reorganizing Administrative Districts

JoongAng Ilbo
High-level Officials Meet on Mortgage Issue;
They May Have Discussed Changing Real Estate Policy

Dong-a Ilbo
Recall Vote Against Jeju Governor Nullified
Due to Low Voter Turnout

Hankook Ilbo
Blue House, Defense Ministry at Odds over Budget Plan

Hankyoreh Shinmun
ROK's Jobless Beneficiaries Top One Million;
It is Time to Change Employment Policy

Segye Ilbo, All TVs
Faulty Shield Eyed as Cause of Failure to Orbit a Satellite

Seoul Shinmun
100 Elders to be Selected for Inter-Korean Family Reunion


DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
---------------------

Red Cross officials from the two Koreas discussed possible dates for
family reunions during yesterday's meeting at the Mt. Kumgang resort
in North Korea. The ROK delegation proposed having 100 ROK people
meet their families in the North between Sept. 27-29 and 100 North
Koreans meet families in the ROK between Oct. 6-8. (All)

According to an August 24 opinion survey of 1,011 adults across the
ROK, 62 percent of those polled favored a summit between President
Lee Myung-bak and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, irrespective of
the North's nuclear issue. Furthermore, 61 percent favored the
resumption of tours to Mt. Kumgang only after the North apologizes
for the shooting death of an ROK tourist by a North Korean soldier.
(JoongAng)

According to Hyundai Group, Hyundai Asan, operator of tours to Mt.
Kumgang and Kaesong in North Korea, is seeking to resume tours to
the ancient city of Kaesong, located just north of the
heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone, around Sept. 14. (Dong-a)


INTERNATIONAL NEWS
------------------

State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said during an August 25
regular briefing: "We are fully aware that the North Koreans would
like to have bilateral talks. But they are also fully aware of our
position on this - that we will not have bilateral talks until they
agree to return to the Six-Party Talks. We have no plans -
Ambassador Bosworth has no plans, Ambassador Sung Kim has no plans -
to go to North Korea." (All)

Chosun Ilbo carried an analysis that said that the Obama
Administration rejected North Korea's overtures for dialogue because
it believes that international sanctions against North Korea - led
by Philip Goldberg, U.S. Coordinator for the Implementation of UN
Security Council Resolution 1874 - are working.


MEDIA ANALYSIS
--------------


SEOUL 00001377 002 OF 004


-N. Korea
---------
All ROK media gave front-and inside-page attention to August 25
press remarks by State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly, in which he
said: "We are fully aware that the North Koreans would like to have
bilateral talks. But they are also fully aware of our position on
this - that we will not have bilateral talks until they agree to
return to the Six-Party Talks. We have no plans - Ambassador
Bosworth has no plans, Ambassador Sung Kim has no plans - to go to
North Korea. "

Conservative Chosun Ilbo described this as a U.S. rejection of North
Korea's recent request for a visit to Pyongyang by Stephen Bosworth,
the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy.

Chosun also carried an analysis from Washington entitled "U.S.
Cutting Off N. Korea's Sources of Money in China and Southeast
Asia." It said that the Obama Administration rejected North Korea's
overtures for dialogue because it believes that international
sanctions against North Korea - led by Philip Goldberg, U.S.
Coordinator for the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution
1874 - are working. The analysis further observed: "By disclosing
that Ambassador Bosworth has no plans (to go to North Korea) while
stressing Mr. Goldberg's role, the U.S. State Department sent a
message to both the ROK and North Korea: For the North, it stressed
that the only way to have a dialogue is to return to the
denuclearization process, and for the ROK, it expressed the Obama
Administration's negative position on unconditionally resuming
inter-Korean dialogue."

Right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo carried an August 24 opinion survey of
1,011 adults across the ROK, in which 62 percent of those polled
favored a summit between President Lee Myung-bak and North Korean
leader Kim Jong-il, irrespective of the North's nuclear issue.
Furthermore, according to the survey result, 61 percent favored the
resumption of tours to Mt. Kumgang only after the North apologizes
for the shooting death of an ROK tourist by a North Korean soldier.


FEATURES
--------

"U.S. WILL NOT HAVE BILATERAL TALKS UNTIL NORTH KOREA AGREES TO
RETURN TO SIX-PARTY TALKS"
(Chosun Ilbo, August 27, 2009, page 1)

By Correspondent Lee Ha-won

On August 25, the U.S. administration rejected North Korea's request
for a visit to Pyongyang by Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. Special
Representative for North Korea Policy. North Korea has been making
conciliatory gestures since early this month.

State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said during an August 25
regular briefing, "We have no plans - Ambassador Bosworth has no
plans, Ambassador (Sung) Kim has no plans - to go to North Korea."


When questioned whether the U.S. would not have bilateral talks
unless North Korea agrees to restart the Six-Party Talks, Kelly
said, "Right," hinting that Ambassador Bosworth's visit to Pyongyang
will be made only after North Korea agrees to return to the
Six-Party Talks.

U.S. CUTTING OFF N. KOREA'S SOURCES OF MONEY IN CHINA AND SOUTHEAST
ASIA
(Chosun Ilbo, August 27, 2009, page 4)

By Correspondent Lee Ha-won

The U.S. State Department said officially on August 25, "We have no
plans - Ambassador Bosworth has no plans, Ambassador (Sung) Kim has
no plans - to go to North Korea," stressing North Korea's need to
agree to the basic principle of returning to the Six-Party Talks and

SEOUL 00001377 003 OF 004


achieving denuclearization.

Previously, North Korea issued an invitation to Stephen Bosworth,
the U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy to visit
Pyongyang and extended a request for talks (with the U.S.) through
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

The Obama Administration rejected North Korea's overtures for
dialogue because it believes that international sanctions against
North Korea - led by Philip Goldberg, U.S. Coordinator for the
Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874 - are working.


Goldberg is in charge of coordinating the implementation of UNSC
Resolution 1874 and has focused on choking off North Korea's
financial transactions. A diplomatic source in Washington D.C. says
Goldberg -- like Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Envoy to
Afghanistan and Pakistan -- knows how to "twist the other's wrist"
to attain his goal. Goldberg has repeatedly said that the U.S. will
cut off North Korea's suspicious financial dealings with the outside
world.

Goldberg has met with high-ranking officials and key figures from
the financial sectors to emphasize the illegality and danger
involving financial transactions with North Korea. The U.S.
thoroughly verified information on the foreign banks suspected of
dealing with North Korea in 2005 when the U.S. froze North
Korean-related accounts - 25 million dollars - held in the Banco
Delta Asia (BDA). In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo, William
Newcomb, who had been involved in the BDA case, said that there were
several other suspected banks in addition to BDA (at that time.)

Goldberg targets companies and financial institutions that serve as
a financial "window" for North Korea and seeks cooperation from
relevant countries if there are signs of any suspicious dealings.
In 2005 when the BDA was designated as a "primary money-laundering
concern" for North Korea, the world's financial institutions were
reluctant to have financial dealings with the BDA. Banks in
Southeast Asia and China, which engage in financial dealings with
North Korea, are on high alert due to their concern that if they
ignore Goldberg's request for cooperation, it will invite isolation
from the international financial arena.

Goldberg also reportedly focuses on searching for borrowed-name bank
accounts through which North Koran leader Kim Jong-il has bought
luxury goods.

Observers say that this will undermine North Korea's financial
activities in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the North's three
(financial) strongholds in Southeast Asia.

During an August 26 visit to Tokyo, Goldberg said, "We are not just
going back to the talks. That's not what the stated goal is. Our
goal is a process leading to denuclearization." This indicates his
intention to keep sanctions in place until North Korea pursues the
denuclearization it had promised in the Joint Statement of September
19, 2005.

By disclosing that Ambassador Bosworth has no plans (to go to North
Korea) while stressing Mr. Goldberg's role, the U.S. State
Department sent a message to both the ROK and North Korea: For the
North, it stressed that the only way to have a dialogue is to return
to the denuclearization process, and for the ROK, it expressed the
Obama Administration's negative position on unconditionally resuming
inter-Korean dialogue.

62%: "ROK AND NORTH KOREAN LEADERS SHOULD MEET IRRESPECTIVE OF THE
NORTH'S NUCLEAR ISSUE; 61%: "TOURS TO MT. KUMGANG SHOULD RESUME ONLY
AFTER THE NORTH'S APOLOGY"
(JoongAng Ilbo, August 27, 2009, Page 3)

By Reporter Shin Chang-woon

The JoongAng Ilbo's research team conducted a nationwide telephone

SEOUL 00001377 004 OF 004


survey of 1,011 adults over the age of 19 on August 24. The
respondents were selected using "quota sampling" based on the
demographic variables of gender, age, and region. The poll's margin
of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a 95 percent
confidence level in the results. The response rate was 15.3%.

Q. When should an inter-Korean summit take place?

The two leaders should meet unconditionally to ease the strained
inter-Korean relations. 61.9%
The two leaders should meet after seeing some progress on the North
Korean nuclear issue.36.5%
Don't know/No response 1.6%


Q. When should tours to Mt. Kumgang resume?

They should resume after North Korea apologizes over the shooting
death of an ROK tourist by a North Korean solider and promises to
prevent the recurrence of a similar incident.60.8%
They should resume (before North Korea apologizes) in order to
facilitate private-level exchanges. 37.5%
Don't know/No response1.7%


Q. How will the death of former President Kim Dae-jung affect
inter-Korean relations?

The relations will remain unchanged.45.1%
The relations will improve. 45.0%


Q. How will the death of former President Kim Dae-jung affect the
Democratic Party?

The Democratic Party will be united. 34.2%
The Democratic Party will remain unchanged. 34.1%


TOKOLA

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