Search

 

Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; November 6, 2009

VZCZCXRO0679
OO RUEHGH
DE RUEHUL #1775/01 3100458
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 060458Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6160
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 9370
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC//DDI/OEA//
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI//FPA//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DB-Z//
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0477
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6890
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 6954
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 1459
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 5267
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 4213
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 7425
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1701
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3007
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2086
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2693

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SEOUL 001775

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; November 6, 2009

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

Chosun Ilbo
"Free Economic Zones" Face Overhaul

JoongAng Ilbo
U.S. 8th Army Command to Remain Stationed in ROK

Dong-a Ilbo
Lawmakers Who Used Violence Going Unpunished

Hankook Ilbo
ROKG Considers Building Second Campus of
Seoul National University in Sejong City

Hankyoreh Shinmun
President Lee Pushes to Revise Sejong City Plan, Judging that Public
Opinion in Seoul Metropolitan Area Favors Changes
to the Plan

Segye Ilbo
Science Business Belt May Replace Sejong City

Seoul Shinmun
Prime Minister: "Sejong City's Self-Sufficiency Rate
Should Reach 20 Percent"


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

According to a high-ranking military source, the U.S. Eighth Army
headquarters, the commanding unit of all U.S. Army forces stationed
in the ROK, has reversed its plan to move to Hawaii and will stay
put in the ROK. Furthermore, a new Korea Command unit (KORCOM) will
be set up next June to replace the ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command
in 2012. (JoongAng)

The KORUS FTA will likely be high on the agenda for the upcoming
ROK-U.S. summit in Seoul, because President Lee is expected to urge
President Obama to get the bilateral trade deal ratified promptly.
(Dong-a)

Seoul will consider either freezing or cutting its greenhouse gas
emissions by 4 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels. A source at the
Blue House said that the 4 percent cut plan will likely be adopted,
despite the business community's opposition. The ROKG will make a
final decision on Nov. 17. (All)


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

Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told reporters yesterday that
U.S.-North Korea talks are certain to be held at the end of this
year or early next year. (Chosun, Hankook, Hankyoreh, Segye, Seoul,
all TVs)


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

-N. Korea
----------
Most ROK media covered yesterday's press remarks by Foreign Minister
Yu Myung-hwan, in which he said: "It will be difficult (for
U.S.-North Korea talks to be held) before President Barack Obama
visits Seoul from Nov. 18 -19. They will take place either at the
en of this year or early next year."

Conservative Chosun Ilbo ran an inside-page report from Washington
quoting Thomas C. Hubbard, chairman of the Korea Society, as saying

SEOUL 00001775 002 OF 003


in a Nov. 5 interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA) that North Korean
officials, during a recent meeting in New York, expressed a
willingness to return to the Six-Party Talks if talks with the U.S.
are successful.

-USFK
------
Right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo front-paged a report citing a
high-ranking military source as saying that the U.S. Eighth Army
headquarters, the commanding unit of all U.S. Army forces stationed
in the ROK, has reversed its plan to move to Hawaii and will stay
put in the ROK. The report went on to say that a new Korea Command
unit (KORCOM) will be set up next June to replace the ROK-U.S.
Combined Forces Command in 2012 and that the KORCOM will be tasked
with defending the Korean Peninsula along with the ROK Joint Chiefs
of Staff.

In an accompanying inside-page report, JoongAng observed that this
U.S. about-face on its plan to move the Eighth Army headquarters to
Hawaii reflects the strategic importance of the Korean Peninsula to
the U.S. and that setting up the Korea Command would also attest to
the strategic place the ROK occupies in U.S. military planning.


FEATURES
---------

U.S. 8TH ARMY COMMAND TO REMAIN STATIONED IN KOREA
(JoongAng Ilbo, November 6, 2009, Pages 1, 4-5)

By Military Affairs Reporter Kim Min-seok

Plan to move to Hawaii put on ice as strategy changes

The U.S. Eighth Army headquarters, the commanding unit of all U.S.
Army forces stationed in the ROK, has reversed its plan to move to
Hawaii and will stay put in the ROK, the JoongAng Ilbo has learned.

Also, documents show the U.S. military will establish a new command
in South Korea to replace the current U.S.-South Korea combined
forces command after the wartime operational control is transferred
to South Korea in 2012.

According to a high-ranking military source, the headquarters will
not move to Hawaii as previously announced. Also, documents
obtained by the JoongAng Ilbo show that a new Korea Command Unit
(KORCOM) will be set up next June to replace the ROK-U.S. Combined
Forces Command in 2012.

A four-star general will be at the helm of the Korea Command, which
is expected to join six other unified combat commands for U.S.
forces, the documents show.

Currently the U.S. operates military commands, composed of forces
from at least two services, covering Africa, Europe, the Middle
East, Asia Pacific, Central America and North America. The Korea
Command will be responsible for Northeast Asia.

Once Americans' wartime operational control of South Korean troops
is transferred to Seoul, the Korea Command Unit will be tasked with
defending the Korean Peninsula along with the ROK Joint Chiefs of
Staff. The capabilities of the Korea Command will be tested in
drills in 2011 and 2012.

The documents said that in emergencies, the Korea Command will
control operations of U.S. forces in Korea, U.S. reinforcements and
some United Nations troops.

In carrying out operations, the Korea Command will follow strategic
guidelines determined by heads of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the
ROK and the U.S.

According to the documents, the U.S. Department of Defense plans to
reorganize the Eighth Army headquarters, which currently provide

SEOUL 00001775 003 OF 003


administrative support only, and turn it into a combat commanding
unit. The U.S. Army will add about 200 troops to the current Eighth
Army headquarters.

Another military source said the U.S. Army has set up a new
operational command post earlier this year near the front line. The
source explained that the move "was designed to ensure more
efficiency in ground operations on the Korean Peninsula."

The post will include more than 1,000 officers and soldiers and will
be evaluated in early 2010 and then in early 2011.

The size of the U.S. forces stationed in the ROK will be kept at
around 28,500. Once the new U.S. forces base is completed in
Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, in 2015, the current Eighth Army headquarters
and the second infantry division in Yongsan, central Seoul, will be
relocated there. The Pyeongtaek base is expected to host up to
71,000 U.S. troops and their families by 2020.

The U.S. about-face on its plan to move the Eighth Army headquarters
to Hawaii reflects the strategic importance of the Korean Peninsula
to the U.S. Setting up the Korea Command would also attest to the
strategic place the ROK occupies in U.S. military planning.


STEPHENS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: Vaccine Inequity Triggers ‘Huge Disconnect’ Between Countries

Although COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline globally for a second consecutive week, the UN health agency chief said on Monday that “a huge disconnect” is mounting between some highly vaccinated countries, which see the pandemic as largely resolved, ... More>>

Save The Children: Almost 60 Children Killed In Gaza In The Last Week Alone

Save the Children is calling for an immediate ceasefire by all parties, as 58 children[i] in Gaza and two children in southern Israel have been killed in the last week. More than a thousand people in Gaza, including 366 children[ii], have also been injured. ... More>>


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

ILO Voices: A Future With Hope, Free From Bonded Labour

By Padma Kumari Tamata Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata is now a farmer, and grows and sells her own vegetables in the Kanchanpur district of Nepal. My name is Padma and I come from Vashi, a small hamlet in Nepal’s far-west Kanchanpur district. ... More>>

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>