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Cablegate: Seoul - Media Reaction

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R 140701Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1515
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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2515

UNCLAS SEOUL 001464


SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KMDR KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - MEDIA REACTION

EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC: DPRK
---------------------------

"Resumption of U.S.-North Korea Dialogue"

Right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo editorialized (09/14): "Some people
believe that U.S.-North Korea dialogue is inevitable in order to
resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff. The issue is the format
and pace of the dialogue. ... Above all, we hope that the Obama
Administration will not follow in the footsteps of the previous Bush
Administration, which took an inconsistent approach toward North
Korea by adopting an ultra hard-line stance in its early days and
turning excessively conciliatory in its final days. ... There is an
(important) point that the USG should not forget under any
circumstance; it is the principle that North Korea must get rid of
its nuclear weapons. The U.S. should not forget this point even for
a moment."


"North Korea-U.S. Bilateral Talks"

Conservative Dong-a Ilbo editorialized (09/14): "Washington should
exercise caution to ensure that the U.S.-North Korea bilateral talks
do not replace the Six-Party Talks or that the U.S. will not be used
by North Korea to exclude the ROK from discussion of issues
surrounding the Korean Peninsula. Furthermore, the bilateral talks
should not result in derailing the Six-Party Framework. ... Caution
is also needed to temper optimism that the North's return to the
negotiating table will end its nuclear threat. ... The international
community should remember that mere dialogue without sanctions for
North Korea's behavior is not enough to get the communist state
moving. Sanctions must remain until it has been confirmed that the
communist state has abandoned its nuclear program."


"U.S.-North Korea Dialogue Should Lead to Denuclearization
Negotiations"

Moderate Hankook Ilbo editorialized (09/14): "What matters is that
U.S.-North Korea talks should provide momentum for North Korea to
return to the Six-Party Talks and engage in denuclearization
negotiations. ... However, the prospect of holding the Six Party
Talks seems uncertain because North Korea is highly likely to insist
on being recognized as a nuclear state."


"U.S.-North Korea Dialogue Should Lead to Denuclearization
Negotiations"

Left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (09/14): "Although the
U.S. is limiting the character of these talks to an attempt to bring
North Korea back to the Six-Party Talks, the significance of these
talks should not be taken lightly in that they will represent the
first real dialogue between the two countries during U.S. President
Barack Obama's Administration. ... Peace on the Korean Peninsula,
the only region in the world still caught up in a 20th century-style
Cold War, is impossible without a simultaneous resolution regarding
North Korea's nuclear program and its concerns about the stability
of its system. In that sense, both North Korea and the U.S. need
to approach these talks as an opportunity to lay the groundwork for
peace on the peninsula and to bring back the Six-Party Talks, which
made considerable headway towards resolving these issues."


TOKOLA

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