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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; December 24, 2009

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RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 9544
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC//DDI/OEA//
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RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 1632
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 5454
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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2853

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SEOUL 001999

SIPDIS

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

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

Chosun Ilbo, All TVs
President Lee Vows to Eradicate Corruption
in Local Governments

JoongAng Ilbo
Universities to be Banned from Taking into Account Records of
Applicants' English Tests, such as TOEFL and TOEIC, and Prizes They
Received in Various Academic Contests
in Admission Process

Dong-a Ilbo
Main Opposition Democratic Party Chairman Embroiled
in Graft Scandal

Hankook Ilbo
ROKG's Tax Reform Measures Approved
by National Assembly "in Tatters"

Hankyoreh Shinmun
Economic Activity Brisk in N. Korea-China Border Region; Signs
Abound that N. Korea will Announce
Economic Reform Measures Early Next Year

Segye Ilbo
ROKG Rolls Up Sleeves to Eradicate Abortion

Seoul Shinmun
ROKG's Policy on Homeless People Adrift


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

President Barack Obama, via a State Department official, recently
sent a letter to an ROK singer who is helping North Korean
defectors, saying that the U.S. is deeply concerned about North
Korea's human rights situation. The letter was sent in reply to one
that the singer had sent to the U.S. President in mid-June regarding
North Korean human rights. (JoongAng)


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

According to the Voice of America (VOA), North Korea sold about
3,400 tons of weapons to the Democratic Republic of Congo in
January, where fierce fighting continues between the government and
insurgents. (Chosun)

According to the Kyodo News Agency, 12 North Koreans defected to the
ROK from Russia in September with the help of the Office of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The 12
included North Koreans who worked at a timber company in Russia's
Amur Province. (Dong-a, Seoul)


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

-N. Korea
---------
Conservative Chosun Ilbo replayed a Dec. 23 report by the Voice of
America (VOA) that North Korea sold about 3,400 tons of weapons to
the Democratic Republic of the Congo in January, where fierce
fighting continues between the government and insurgents. According
to the VOA report quoting a UN official investigating the DRC, a
considerable amount of the weapons went to Congolese insurgents or
nearby countries.

Conservative Segye Ilbo noted a Dec. 23 report by China's official

SEOUL 00001999 002 OF 002


Xinhua News Agency quoting Russia's Chief Delegate to the Six-Party
Talks Alexei Borodavkin as telling reporters yesterday that the
stalled Six-Party Talks will resume early next year.


STEPHENS

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