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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; November 25, 2009

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SEOUL 001862

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; November 25, 2009

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

Chosun Ilbo
Examples of Local Government Spending Expose Wasteful Use of
Taxpayers' Money

JoongAng Ilbo, Dong-a Ilbo, Hankook Ilbo, All TVs
President Lee will Apologize for Flip-flop on Sejong City

Hankyoreh Shinmun
Research Institutes: "Relocation to Sejong City will be Difficult
Unless Relevant Government Agencies Move, Too"

Segye Ilbo
Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission Seeks Authority
to Trace Bank Accounts

Seoul Shinmun
Rapid Increase in Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers


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

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) decided yesterday to
oppose the ROKG's plan to redeploy troops to Afghanistan. (Chosun,
Hankook, Hankyoreh)


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

State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said on Nov. 23: "We are
focused on resuming the Six-Party Talks. That's really what all our
energies and all of our attention is devoted to now. That's the
purpose of Ambassador Bosworth's trip (to North Korea)." (Hankook,
Seoul)


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

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

Moderate Hankook Ilbo and Seoul Shinmun noted Nov. 23 press remarks
by State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly, in which he said in
response to the North Korean media's recent call to replace the
armistice with a peace treaty: "We are focused on resuming the
Six-Party Talks. That's really what all our energies and all of our
attention is devoted to now. That's the purpose of Ambassador
Bosworth's trip (to North Korea). We don't anticipate discussing
these kinds of issues within the context of his visit."

-President Obama's Afghan Decision
----------------------------------
Newspapers carried inside-page reports quoting White House Spokesman
Robert Gibbs as saying on Nov. 24: "After completing a rigorous
final meeting, President Obama has the information he wants and
needs to make his decision, and he will announce that decision
within days."

Conservative Chosun Ilbo wrote in the headline: "Obama Likely to
Send Around 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan." Left-leaning
Hankyoreh Shinmun's headline read: "Obama to Announce New
Afghanistan Strategy Dec. 1; He's Likely to Unveil Not Only Afghan
Troop Increases but Also Exit Strategy."


OPINIONS/EDITORIALS
-------------------


SEOUL 00001862 002 OF 002


BIG DEAL NEEDED BETWEEN ROK AND U.S.
(Dong-a Ilbo, November 25, Page 34: Excerpts)

By Kim Hee-sang, Chairman of the Korean Institute for Security
Affairs

Today, we face daunting and complicated challenges, such as North
Korea's nuclear threat, as well as peaceful unification of the
Korean Peninsula. Discussions have been underway to restore the
U.S.-ROK alliance, which has suffered a setback due to (effects
from) a decade of the "Sunshine Policy," and to develop it into a
strategic alliance. However, the ROK and the U.S. are working on
dismantling the ROK-US Combined Forces Command. Many Koreans are
concerned that a transfer of (wartime) operational control to the
ROK will jeopardize security of their country.

We pin high hopes on next year's ROK-U.S. meetings of foreign and
defense ministers. The military alliance is a special relationship
that requires deep understanding and strong friendship from each
other. We should reflect on what we expect from the U.S. and what
contributions the U.S. wants from us.

President Obama confirmed again the strategic value of the ROK-U.S.
alliance during his visit to the ROK. An alliance entails not only
reciprocal benefits but also responsibilities and burdens. The U.S.
thinks highly of its alliance with the ROK for which the country
fought with blood and sweat. In this sense, the ROK may use its
troop deployment to Afghanistan as a strategic opportunity. The ROK
may consider expanding the number of troops (it plans) to send to
Afghanistan.

The ROK needs to make a "big deal" with the U.S. The ROK-U.S.
alliance should be more robust than North Korea-China relations. We
should make sure that the U.S. puts as much importance on its
relations with the ROK as (it does) on its relations with China.
President Obama said during his trip to the ROK that he is committed
to denuclearizing North Korea. At the June Summit, he also shared
his hope for the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula. The
ROK and the U.S. should closely cooperate to achieve a strategic
goal of the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula. This will
pave the way for a bright future for the Korean Peninsula.

STEPHENS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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