INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Demarche Request - Republic of Korea Participation

Published: Fri 5 Dec 2008 07:28 AM
VZCZCXRO9126
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHUL #2333 3400728
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050728Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2531
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0121
UNCLAS SEOUL 002333
SIPDIS
STATE FOR NEA DAS RJSCHMIERER AND NEA/I ACBONSU
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID KS IZ
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE REQUEST - REPUBLIC OF KOREA PARTICIPATION
IN ERBIL RRT
REF: SECSTATE 125603
1. On December 4, poloff delivered reftel demarche to
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) Development
Cooperation Division's Jong-ho Kyun. Below are responses to
questions posed in reftel.
-- The ROK is planning to end participation in the RRT
because their RRT members will be unprotected once the Zaytun
Unit departs. The ROK's RRT members will depart on December
15 with the Zaytun Unit.
-- However, according to Kyun, the ROKG does not want to
send the wrong signal to the GOI, so KOICA will stay. Kyun
said that the ROK pledged to the GOI that KOICA would remain
in Iraq until the end of 2011 or 2012, and the ROK plans to
honor that pledge. KOICA staff will have two executive
leaders, 1-2 support staff members, and contractors. Kyun
noted that around 50 ROK citizens are planning to remain in
Erbil, mostly contractors. Kyun confirmed that the annual
budget is roughly $10 million.
-- Because of the number of ROK citizens remaining, MOFAT
will maintain a liason office in Erbil to tend to their
needs. However, the liason office will not become a
consulate, nor does MOFAT plan to establish one. Two
diplomats will staff the liason office.
2. Kyun offered the following additional information.
-- The ROKG really has not thought through how their
personnel in Erbil will be protected. He said that since the
Koreans live in the same areas as the Amercians, they believe
they are safe. Kyun, on the other hand, believed that the
ROK will need to hire private security services to protect
their staff.
-- Kyun frankly noted that he believed the ROK likely will
maintain some presence in Erbil because Korean companies are
interested in investing in oil and construction projects.
STEPHENS
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