North, South Korea agree to meet

July 23, 2011 at 12:05 PM
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BALI, Indonesia, July 23 (UPI) -- The foreign ministers of North and South Korea have met for the first time since 2008, agreeing to work to restart talks over the North's nuclear program.

The informal meeting between South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and his North Korean counterpart, Pak Ui-chun, took place Saturday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Yonhap News Agency reported.

It is the first time top diplomats from the two Koreas have met since an ASEAN forum in July 2008 in Singapore. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in Indonesia for the conference, said the meeting is a good sign.

"We are encouraged by the recent North-South meeting that took place on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum," Clinton said. "But we remain firm that in order for six-party talks to resume, North Korea must take steps to improve North-South relations."

Clinton said she is "encouraged" by the surprise talks between the two ministers, but she urged the North to show its commitment to denuclearization before the resumption of six-party talks.

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