Can't check at the moment but try to your PS2 to fullscreen in the options menu and try again to boot your import. The PAL bars should be gone after that.
If not i can't tell why your PS2 is behaving like this since the PAL/NTSC mode is hardcoded into the game.
The PSXlauncher elf is simply doing the same like uLE. It's just simpler coded for just reading the TOC of the original than stop the cd now waits for the user to swap disc and pressing X to make a call to the PS2 bios that will start the PS1 mode.
PS2 SCPH-70004 V12 PAL + HDCOMBO + 160 GB Samsung HDD + OPL 0.9.1
PS2 SCPH-70004a V13 PAL Satin Silver
2 x Official Sony 8mb card +FMCB 1.8c + uLE 4.42b
Datel Max Memory 32mb card +FMCB 1.8b + uLE 4.42
Memor32 + Memento FW 1.2e