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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; January 27, 2010

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RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2936

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SEOUL 000101

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; JANUARY 27, 2010

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

Chosun Ilbo
ROK North Korean Rights Groups to File Petition with International
Criminal Court against the North's Alleged Human Rights Violations

JoongAng Ilbo, Seoul Shinmun, All TVs
N. Korea Declares "No-Sail" Zones in Yellow Sea

Dong-a Ilbo
Head of Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union Participated in
Minor Opposition Democratic Labor Party's Policy Decisions as Member
of the Party

Hankook Ilbo, Segye Ilbo
Beginning This Year, Foreign Language and International High Schools
to Select Students Based on Middle School English Grades and
Interviews

Hankyoreh Shinmun
ROKG's Plan to Build History Museum Faces Opposition
for Alleged History Distortion


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

According to an ROK military official, North Korea has declared two
areas in the waters south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the
Yellow Sea, the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas, to
be "no-sail" zones from Jan. 25 until March 29. (All)

ROK military authorities have activated close surveillance to see if
the North's declaration is part of its winter military training or a
preparation to test-fire short-range missiles. (All)

According to the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry, an employee at
the North Korean Embassy in Ethiopia defected to the ROK last
October seeking asylum. (All)

The Foreign Ministry will form a task force in the first half of
this year to help North Korean defectors staying in foreign
countries enter the ROK. (Seoul)

According to Defense Ministry officials, the ROK will dispatch
hundreds of troops to quake-hit Haiti next month as part of UN
peacekeeping operations. (KBS, Yonhap)


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

-N. Korea
---------
All ROK media covered North Korea's Jan. 25 declaration of two areas
in the waters south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow
Sea, the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas, to be
"no-sail" zones from Jan. 25 until March 29.

Most media noted that it is the first time that North Korea included
the ROK waters in the no-sail zones, and interpreted this as a
possible indication that Pyongyang is attempting to challenge the
disputed naval border using a new tactic.

According to media reports, ROK military authorities have activated
close surveillance to see if the North's declaration is part of its
winter military training or a preparation to test-fire short-range
missiles.

-Afghanistan
------------
Right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo, in an inside-page article entitled

SEOUL 00000101 002 OF 002


"U.S., U.K. Make Conciliatory Gestures toward Taliban," reported
that U.S. and U.K. military leaders indicated the possibility of
peace talks with the Taliban. The report quoted Gen. David
Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, as telling The Times:
"The concept of reconciliation, of talks between senior Afghan
officials and senior Taliban or other insurgent leaders, perhaps
involving some Pakistani officials as well, is another possibility."
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in
Afghanistan, was also quoted as saying when asked whether he would
be content to see Taliban leaders in a future Afghan government: "I
think any Afghans can play a role if they focus on the future, and
not the past."

Left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun filed a similar report, writing in
the headline: "'Sticks and Carrots' to Taliban... U.S. Sets in
Motion Afghanistan Exit Strategy."


STEPHENS

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