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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; December 23, 2009

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UNCLAS SEOUL 001994

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; December 23, 2009

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

Chosun Ilbo
"If Companies Do Well, Labor Unions Also Gain;" Unionists Who Have
Disaffiliated Themselves from the Militant Korean Confederation of
Trade Unions are Now on the Frontline of
Sales for Companies

JoongAng Ilbo, Hankook Ilbo, Hankyoreh Shinmun, All TVs
Former Vice Minister for Commerce: "Main Opposition Democratic Party
Chairman-Then-Minister of Commerce-Ordered Me to Help Former CEO of
Korea Express Secure Top Post at State-run Korea Coal Corp."

Dong-a Ilbo, Segye Ilbo
Education Ministry to Raise Listening Portion of Annual College
Entrance English Exam to 50 Percent

Seoul Shinmun
Teacher Evaluations to Start in March


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

A senior ROKG official said yesterday that Seoul will consult with
relevant countries to resume the stalled Six-Party Talks on North
Korea's nuclear issue in early February at the latest. (JoongAng)

The ROKG's aid to North Korea is gathering speed following U.S.
Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth's
visit to the country from Dec. 8-10. Seoul has decided to resume aid
for North Korean infants and children and to assist the North in
fighting drug-resistant tuberculosis. (Dong-a)

According to the Unification Ministry, seven North Koreans who were
recently found drifting south of the Northern Limit Line will return
home today as they expressed their wish to do so. (All)


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

-N. Korea
----------
Right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo carried an inside-page report quoting
a senior ROKG official as saying yesterday that Seoul will consult
with relevant countries to resume the stalled Six-Party Talks on
North Korea's nuclear issue in early February at the latest. He was
further quoted: "(We) expect China, chair of the Six-Party Talks, to
play a proactive role in this effort."

Conservative Dong-a Ilbo featured an article noting that the ROKG is
stepping up efforts to aid North Korea following Special
Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Bosworth's Dec. 8-10
visit to the country. The article cited Seoul's recent decisions to
resume aid for North Korean infants and children through UN agencies
and to assist the North in fighting drug-resistant tuberculosis.
The article surmised that the ROKG may be aiming to take the
initiative in inter-Korean relations in the event that the North
returns to the Six-Party Talks.


STEPHENS

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