Cablegate: U.S. Coast Guard Discusses Cooperation with Asian
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SEOUL 001668
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TAGS: PBTS PREL PHSA EWWT MCAP XB
SUBJECT: U.S. COAST GUARD DISCUSSES COOPERATION WITH ASIAN
1. (U) This message is from the American Presence Post (APP) in
Busan, Republic of Korea.
2. (U) SUMMARY: The Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard met
with his counterparts from Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, and
Russia at the annual North Pacific Coast Guard Forum. Through these
meetings, the USCG discussed opportunities to increase exchanges and
cooperation throughout the region. Combating piracy and organized
crime were also important topics discussed, as well as cooperating
to strengthen Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau's capacity
to patrol their own maritime boundaries. END SUMMARY.
3. (U) Vice Admiral D.P. Pekoske, Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast
Guard, and Vice Admiral Jody Breckenridge, Pacific Area Commander,
headed the U.S. delegation to the annual North Pacific Coast Guard
Forum (NPCGF), held this year in Busan, Korea, September 7-10.
During the forum, the Admirals held bilateral meetings with their
counterparts from Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, and Russia.
CANADA -- NO TO LORAN-C, YES TO ICE BREAKERS
4. (SBU) With Commissioner George Da Pont of the Canadian Coast
Guard (CCG), VADM Pekoske discussed various issues of close
cooperation. Recognizing its limitations and maintenance
difficulties, Commissioner Da Pont expressed his interest in having
the CCG move away from the LORAN-C network, a system run in
cooperation with Canada and Russia that provides radionavigation
service through U.S. and Canadian coastal waters, as well as the
Bering Sea. Commissioner Da Pont stated that Canada will follow the
USCG in this respect. The CCG Commissioner also shared his desire
that the CCG acquire two to three new heavy ice breakers, to be used
in conjunction with the Canadian Navy. Additionally, he hoped that
the USCG would consider "going in" with the CCG on one of the new
icebreakers in order to reduce costs. As it reads now, it sounds
like the USCG would be working with the Canadian Navy.
JAPAN -- COMBATING PIRACY IN AFRICA AND SE ASIA
5. (SBU) Meeting shortly after the August 30 historical, Japanese
election, Admiral Suzuki Hisayasu of the Japanese Coast Guard (JCG)
stated that he believes the new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is in
favor of and will support the JCG. Admiral Suzuki and VADM Pekoske
also discussed Japan's involvement in combating piracy. Admiral
Suzuki explained that the JCG sent eight of its members on two
Maritime Defense Force Vessels to the Horn of Africa, where they
assisted in escorting 121 ships safely. He further shared that the
JCG has the primary mandate to fight piracy, but that Africa is far
enough that the JCG is required to cooperate with the Japan
Self-Defense Force. However, the JCG plans on dispatching its own
vessels to combat piracy in Southeast Asia.
6. (SBU) The two admirals discussed additional avenues of
cooperation. One, Admiral Suzuki and VADM Pekoske agreed on the
benefits of cooperating with the work of the Sasakawa Peace
Foundation in the Pacific states of Micronesia, the Marshall
Islands, and Palau, conceptually agreeing to increase the Pacific
islands' capacity to better patrol their own waters. Two, they also
suggested formalizing professional exchanges between the two
services over the coming year.
CHINA -- INCREASING EXCHANGES
7. (SBU) Senior Colonel Wang Zhengping of the China Coast Guard
(CCG) and VADM Pekoske discussed the fruitful nature of exchanges
and visits currently ongoing between the USCG and the CCG. Among
these is the commitment by USCG Commandant Admiral Thad Allen to
send a Coast Guard Cutter to Shanghai during World Expo 2010.
However, due to the complexity of security issues, Senior Colonel
Wang suggested that this port call might need to be relocated at
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8. (U) Other visits and exchanges that took place in 2009 include
both ADM Allen and VADM Pekoske's visits to Beijing and port cities
in China. The Border Control Department sent four cadets and two
officers for a limited exchange to operational units in Seattle, WA,
and the USCG Academy in New London, CT, during the summer of 2009.
The USCG intends to send a USCG cadet to the Maritime Police Academy
in Ningbo, China, for a reciprocal visit in the near future.
KOREA -- MORE EXCHANGES AND VISITS, PLEASE
9. (SBU) Commissioner General Lee Gil-bum of the Korean Coast Guard
(KCG) emphasized his desire for a strong exchange program with the
USCG. Likewise, Commissioner General Lee would like to send a
delegation to USCG training facilities to observe its anti-pollution
systems. The KCG plans to open a comprehensive training center in
2013 and would like to develop similar anti-pollution systems.
Commissioner General Lee and VADM Pekoske agreed to have their staff
develop the necessary mechanisms for such exchanges.
RUSSIA - CONCERN WITH MARITIME ORGANIZED CRIME
10. (SBU) Colonel General Victor Trufanov's greatest concern was
with Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishery operations.
Specifically Colonel General Trufanov emphasized his belief that IUU
fishing is tied to the trafficking of arms, drugs, or persons. As
such, Colonel General Trufanov suggested greater cooperation and
intelligence sharing among the countries involved in the NPCGF.
11. (SBU) Through the NPCGF, the USCG has been able to deepen
relations and cooperation with their Northeast Asian counterparts
and develop positive synergy on key Coast Guard missions, including
search and rescue and combating trafficking, illegal maritime
operations, and piracy. For example, exchange of personnel and
expertise was a consistent theme in each bilateral meeting, with all
participants hoping to increase the quality and quantity of exchange
programs. Such participation serves as an additional tool through
which the United States can improve relations within the region.