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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; November 24, 2009

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SEOUL 001846

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; November 24, 2009

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


Chosun Ilbo
Seoul Holds Forum with Delegates from Africa

JoongAng Ilbo
ROKG Vows Not to Alienate Other Special Zones in Developing Sejong
City into Self-Sufficient City of Science,
Business and Education

Dong-a Ilbo
ROK to Join Donors Club Tomorrow; Seoul to Give Top Priority to
Aiding Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

Hankook Ilbo
ROKG Accepts Seoul National University (SNU)'s Demands for Making
SNU Into an Independently Incorporated Institution; Suspicion that
ROKG Gave Special Treatment to SNU
In Return for Second SNU Campus in Sejong City

Hankyoreh Shinmun
Questions Raised about Effectiveness of Sejong City

Segye Ilbo, All TVs
ROKG Considers Designating Sejong City as National Industrial
Complex to Make It Eligible for Government Subsidies for Basic
Infrastructure and Other Benefits

Seoul Shinmun
ROKG Plans to Attract 22 Domestic and Foreign Institutes
to Sejong City


Domestic Developments

A year after the U.S. Visa Waiver Program took effect on Nov. 17,
2008, the number of Koreans who were refused entry into the U.S. has
doubled to 361 this year from 196 last year; most of them concealed
their past record. (Dong-a)


International News

According to a senior ROKG source, U.S. Special Representative for
North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth is expected to visit North Korea
from Dec. 8-10. The source also said that Ambassador Bosworth is
likely to visit Seoul before or after his visit to Pyongyang.
(Dong-a, Hankook, Hankyoreh, Segye, Seoul, all TVs)


Media Analysis

-N. Korea
-----------

Most ROK media carried reports quoting a senior ROKG source as
claiming yesterday that U.S. Special Representative for North Korea
Policy Stephen Bosworth is expected to visit North Korea from Dec.
8-10.

Most media recalled USG officials' previous remarks that Ambassador
Bosworth will stay in Pyongyang for one and a half days, and
conjectured that this one-day extension may suggest the possibility
of his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Moderate Hankook Ilbo headlined its article: "Will Bosworth Meet Kim
Jong-il?" Conservative Segye Ilbo carried an analysis entitled
"U.S. Extends Bosworth's Stay to Two Nights and Three Days. Why?"
It said: "Diplomatic sources say that even a one-day extension could
mean a stark change in bilateral talks. ... The prolonged talks
could involve in-depth negotiations to find a common ground between

SEOUL 00001846 002 OF 002


the two countries on the nuclear issue, despite the Obama
Administration's repeated statement that the talks would be nothing
more than a chance to ascertain the North's intentions to return to
the Six-Party Talks."


FEATURES
--------

NUMBER OF KOREANS WHO WERE REFUSED ENTRY INTO U.S. DOUBLES THIS YEAR

(Dong-a Ilbo, November 24, Page 14)

By Reporter Cho Jong-yop

Attorney Kim Seung-kyo, the co-director of the organization
"Solidarity for Practice of the South-North Joint Declaration"
arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on November 12 under
the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP), but was denied entry and had to
return home. He is on trial at home for violating the National
Security Law in 2008. Even though the Electronic System for Travel
Authorization (ESTA) Web site for VWP travel does not stipulate that
a person who is being tried for violating the National Security Law
cannot enter without a visa, the U.S. has the right to decide
whether to allow entry.

Since the VWP, which allows citizens of certain countries to travel
to the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa, took effect
on November 17, 2008, the number of Koreans who were refused entry
into the U.S. has doubled. According to the Korea Immigration
Service, from January 2008 to October 2008, 677,240 Koreans departed
for the U.S. and 196 were denied entry. However, from January 2009
to October 2009, after the VWP was implemented, 617,047 Koreans left
for the U.S. and 361 did not receive admission.

There are various reasons for being denied entry into the U.S.: the
past record of being refused a visa, the possibility or past record
of illegally staying in the U.S., an uncertain or false purpose of a
visit, and a criminal record. An official at the Korea Immigration
Service said, "They are not allowed to travel under the U.S. Visa
Waiver Program (VWP) and should obtain a visa, as they did before.
However, when requesting entry into the U.S. under the VWP, most of
them conceal their past records at the ESTA Web site and therefore
are denied entry at a U.S. airport." An immigration official has
advised that persons who may be denied entry (under the VWP) should
obtain a visa before departure, which will prevent them from being
turned away at a U.S. airport.

In this regard, Lee Jung-kwan, the Director General of the Foreign
Ministry's Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs Bureau, said,
"Although those who were denied entry to the U.S. increased in
number, the entry refusal rate among VWP travelers stands at 0.2
percent, which is lower than the 4 percent visa refusal rate for
Koreans before the ROK's admission into the VWP."


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