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Cablegate: Seoul - Media Reaction

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UNCLAS SEOUL 000319


SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR ECON KPAO KMDR KS US
SUBJECT: SEOUL - MEDIA REACTION

Subject: Media Reaction; Seoul
China

Nuclear proliferation: N. Korea, Iran

"POWER OF OBAMA-STYLE SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA"

Deputy Political News Editor Kang Chan-ho observed in
right-of-center JoongAng Ilbo (02/26): "While the greatest military
challenge facing the U.S. is (the war in) Afghanistan, its greatest
diplomatic challenge is to deter Iran from developing nuclear
weapons. Whenever the Obama Administration gives warnings about
Iran, it typically mentions North Korea. As such, if the U.S. shows
any sign of ignoring the North's nuclear development, such an action
will immediately prompt Iran to misjudge that it is okay to continue
its nuclear development. This is why the ROKG is closely watching
developments surrounding the Iranian (nuclear) issue. ... We most
likely have a stronger desire than Ambassador Bosworth to see peace
on the Korean Peninsula by engaging North Korea. However ... a
cool-headed approach is required when dealing with North Korea."

Afghanistan

"UNILATERAL TROOP REDEPLOYMENT DECISION SHOULD BE WITHDRAWN"

Left-leaning Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (02/26): "The
deployment decision is a far cry from the current state of affairs
in the international community. ... Far from rooting out terrorism,
the war and occupation (in Afghanistan) is intensifying resistance
from local militants. Accordingly, the U.S. announced plans to
start withdrawing troops next year. ... Civilian provincial
reconstruction team (PRT) workers have been targets of attack
because militants treat them the same as occupying forces. ... With
this decision (to send troops to Afghanistan), ROK citizens, as well
as the troops deployed, will face a greater danger of being
attacked."


TOKOLA

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