Clinton, N. Korea's Pak to attend meeting

May 18, 2009 at 10:44 PM
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BANGKOK, May 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her North Korean counterpart will attend an Asian regional forum in Thailand, a Thai official said Tuesday.

The meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Regional Forum is set for July with Thailand, the group's rotating chair this year, playing the host. Other ASEAN members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

"North Korea recently confirmed that its Foreign Minister (Pak Ui-chun) will attend the ARF slated for July 17-23. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also plans to attend it," Arthayudh Srisamoot at the Thai foreign ministry, told visiting South Korean journalists, Yonhap news agency reported.

If Clinton and Pak decide to hold a bilateral meeting, the report said it would be their first such which could help break the impasse in the six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament.

North Korea, however, has said it does not plan to talk to the United States, accusing the Obama administration of flowing a policy similar to that of the previous Bush government.

Besides North Korea, other nations involved in its nuclear disarmament are the United States, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

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