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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; September 1, 2009

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SEOUL 001399

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; September 1, 2009

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

Chosun Ilbo, Dong-a Ilbo
Blue House to Have "Double-Headed System"
Led by Presidential Chief of Staff and
Newly Created Post of Chief of Policy

JoongAng Ilbo
"Japanese Version of People Power" Ends Ruling Conservatives' Long
Grip on Power

Hankook Ilbo, Segye Ilbo, Seoul Shinmun
Blue House Secretariat Reshuffle is Aimed at Enhancing Policy
Coordination, Publicity and Relations with Political Parties

Hankyoreh Shinmun
Japanese Public Sentiment Hoping for New History, Change and
Coexistence Brings About Historic Change of Government


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

Yesterday, President Lee Myung-bak telephoned Yukio Hatoyama, the
leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, to congratulate him on his
party's sweeping victory in Sunday's general election. (All)

During the 20-minute conversation, President Lee expressed hope for
a new era in ROK-Japan relations. The two leaders agreed to
cooperate closely to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. (All)

According to the Unification Ministry, starting today, restrictions
on ROK citizens' cross-border land trips to North Korea will be
lifted, following the North's offer last month to ease its rules for
border crossings. (Hankyoreh, Segye, Seoul, KBS, YTN)

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

-Japan's Elections
------------------
Japan's August 30 general election continued to capture the
attention of the ROK media.

All ROK media reported on yesterday's 20-minute telephone
conversation between President Lee Myung-bak and Yukio Hatoyama, the
leader of the Democratic Party of Japan that is set to take power
from the Liberal Democratic Party after a landslide victory in
Sunday's general election. According to media reports, President
Lee expressed hope for a new era in ROK-Japan relations, and the two
leaders agreed to cooperate closely to resolve the North Korean
nuclear issue.

Conservative Chosun Ilbo carried an inside-page article entitled
"New Japan's Choice." The article raised the possibility that the
Democratic Party of Japan may seek a Japanese version of
"dismantling the Cold War" by redirecting the focus of Japan's
foreign policy away from the U.S. toward Asia. The article also
speculated that the Democratic Party may seek direct talks with
North Korea.

Left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized: "In order to create an
'East Asian community,' a framework for 'stable economic cooperation
and security' that the Democratic Party of Japan desires, the
resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and improvement in
Japan-North Korea relations should be given precedence. In a
situation where North Korea remains a threat to regional security,
we cannot realize regional peace and security. It is time for Japan
to make more proactive efforts to improve relations with North
Korea. Improved relations between the two countries will also help

SEOUL 00001399 002 OF 002


resolve Japan's history issues."

Newspapers carried the following front-and inside-page headlines:
"'Japanese Version of People Power' Ends Ruling Conservatives' Long
Grip on Power" (right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo); "New Japan Likely to
End Dependence on U.S. and Seek Dialogue with N. Korea... It Will
Likely Opt for 'Prudent Change' In Consideration of Reality"
(conservative Dong-a Ilbo); "'New Honeymoon Period' Expected between
ROK and Japan, which will Provide Less Conflict over History...
There is Also Possibility of Dialogue between Japan and N. Korea"
(moderate Hankook Ilbo); and "Japanese Public Sentiment Hoping for
New History, Change and Coexistence Brings About Historic Change of
Government" (left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun.)


TOKOLA

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