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Cablegate: Seoul - Press Bulletin; January 26, 2010

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 SEOUL 000094

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - PRESS BULLETIN; JANUARY 26, 2010

TOP HEADLINES
--------------
Chosun Ilbo, All TVs
Three Coordinated Bomb Attacks Hit Hotels in Baghdad

JoongAng Ilbo
Local SAT Centers to Remain Open;
Despite Leak Scandals, Students Can Take Tests as Scheduled

Dong-a Ilbo
ROK to Foster Enterprises Bigger than Small and Mid-sized Companies
but Smaller than Conglomerates

Hankook Ilbo
"Era of NyLon (New York and London)" Waning;
New York and London, Leading Global Financial Centers for Decades,
Now under Strong Financial Regulations

Hankyoreh Shinmun
Police Summon 69 Leaders of Korean Teachers and Education Workers'
Union and National Civil Servants Union for Joining Certain
Political Party

Segye Ilbo, Seoul Shinmun
ROK, India Forge "Strategic Partnership"


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

The Unification Ministry yesterday proposed holding talks on
resuming cross-border tours with North Korea on Feb. 8. Earlier, the
North proposed a meeting from Jan. 26-27 but Seoul reset the date.
(All)


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

According to a senior ROKG official, the ROK and the U.S. are
fine-tuning details of a "comprehensive package deal" for
denuclearizing North Korea on the premise that the North returns to
the Six-Party Talks. The official also said that talks on a peace
treaty (called for by the North) could commence at any time if such
talks would help to denuclearize the North. (Segye)


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

-N. Korea
---------
Conservative Segye Ilbo carried an inside-page report quoting a
senior ROKG official as saying yesterday that the ROK and the U.S.
are fine-tuning details of a "comprehensive package deal" for
denuclearizing North Korea on the premise that the North returns to
the Six-Party Talks. The official was further quoted as stressing
that there is no change in the (ROKG) position that denuclearization
talks should come first but that talks on a peace treaty (called for
by the North), if they would help denuclearize the North, could
commence at any time.

-U.S.-Japan Relations
---------------------
Right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo carried an op-ed entitled "It is Time
for the U.S. to Let Go of Japan's Hand." It said: "Japanese Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama vows to come up with a solution (to the
Futenma relocation issue) by the end of May, but the recent election
of a mayor who campaigned for the relocation (of U.S. Marine Corps
Air Station Futenma) to a site outside Okinawa is likely to make his
search for an alternative relocation site more difficult. ... The
U.S. needs to seriously consider letting go of Japan's hand. The
time has come for the U.S. to allow Japan a 'free hand' so that the

SEOUL 00000094 002 OF 003


country can have more room to maneuver as a 'normal state,' while
maintaining its alliance -in whatever form - with Japan. ... It is
also time for the U.S. to consider changing its role from a
protector of Japan to its partner."


OPINIONS/EDITORIALS

IT IS TIME FOR THE U.S. TO LET GO OF JAPAN'S HAND
(JoongAng Ilbo, January 26, Page 33; Excerpts)

By Editorial writer Bae Myung-bok

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama vows to come up with a
solution (to the Futenma relocation issue) by the end of May, but
the recent election of a mayor who campaigned for the relocation (of
U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma) to a site outside Okinawa is
likely to make his search for an alternative relocation site more
difficult.

Opinions are divided in the U.S. on conflicts over the relocation of
the Futenma base. Conservatives see this as an issue which the U.S.
should not capitulate on. Victor Cha, a professor at Georgetown
University said that Prime Minister Hatoyama should not repeat the
same mistake made by former ROK President Roh Moo-hyun, who
challenged key U.S. interests with a negative attitude toward the
U.S. However, Joseph Nye, a professor at Harvard University
believes that the U.S. should not ruin the five-decade-old
U.S.-Japan alliance just because of the Futenma issue.

..... The U.S. needs to seriously consider letting go of Japan's
hand. The time has come for the U.S. to allow Japan a 'free hand'
so that the country can have more room to maneuver as a 'normal
state,' while maintaining its alliance -in whatever form - with
Japan. China and Japan cannot become allies due to differences in
(national) identity and values. ..... It is also time for the U.S.
to consider changing its role from a protector of Japan to its
partner.


Features

ROK, U.S. FINE-TUNING DETAILS OF COMPREHENSIVE PACKAGE DEAL FOR
NORTH KOREA
(Segye Ilbo, January 26, 2010, Page 2)

By Reporter Lee Woo-seung

An ROKG high-ranking official: "(The ROK and the U.S.) are also
considering discussing a peace treaty in parallel"

The ROK and the U.S. are fine-tuning the details of a "comprehensive
package deal" for denuclearizing North Korea on the premise that the
North returns to the Six-Party Talks. In particular, believing that
the discussion of a peace treaty is essential to resolving the North
Korean nuclear issue, they consider discussing a peace treaty in
parallel with progress on the discussion of denuclearization.

An ROKG high-ranking official said on January 25, "The ROK and the
U.S. have been discussing an idea for the Six-Party Talks for
several months," adding, "It was meant to coordinate the terms of
the grand bargain, and the ROK already had deep discussions with the
U.S., Japan, and Russia, and it will also continue to have talks
with China (on this matter)." In this regard, Wi Sung-lac, Special
Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs,
visited Washington on January 20 and had discussions with key U.S.
officials, including State Department officials, before returning
home on January 24.

The ROKG official said that there is no change in the (ROKG)
position that denuclearization talks should come before any
discussions on a peace treaty, but he stressed that talks on a peace
treaty (called for by the North), if they would help denuclearize
the North, could commence at any time.

SEOUL 00000094 003 OF 003

It was reported that, in developing the comprehensive package, the
ROKG and the USG are discussing how, when, and what to negotiate
with North Korea so as to resolve issues such as the
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the signing of a peace
treaty, and economic aid to North Korea all at once.

In this regard, the ROK and the U.S. reportedly understand that
North Korea's recent tough gestures are designed to demand the
lifting of sanctions and the discussion of a peace treaty as
preconditions for Pyongyang's return to the Six-Party Talks, and
both nations see eye-to-eye on how to respond to (North Korea's
actions). The official emphasized, "There will be no easing of
sanctions for the North's return to the Six-Party Talks."


STEPHENS

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