N. Korean delegate to attend talks in Hawaii

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N. Korean delegate to attend talks in Hawaii

Ri Gun, the director general of the North American affairs bureau of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, will likely lead the North Korean delegation at the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue to be held in Hawaii on Oct. 26-27, according to Seoul’s diplomatic sources yesterday.

The 1.5 Track Dialogue, which provides an informal, multilateral forum for high-profile politicians and government officials to exchange candid views over security issues of the Korean Peninsula, has been organized by an institute of the University of California, San Diego, since 1993. Like the six-party talks, the dialogue includes the two Koreas, the United States, Japan, China and Russia.

Kim Hong-kyun, director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s peace regime for the Korean Peninsula, is scheduled to attend the dialogue on the South’s behalf.

The latest dialogue meeting is scheduled as the U.S. is considering holding a second Washington-Pyongyang denuclearization talk reportedly as early as late this month.

Both meetings are thought to help uncover what preconditions the North is willing to meet ahead of the resumption of the six-party talks on the North’s denuclearization.

Seoul and Washington are calling for the North to suspend its uranium enrichment program, implement a moratorium on the testing of missiles and nuclear weapons, and return international inspectors to nuclear sites as evidence of its seriousness toward the six-party talks.

Meanwhile, an academic forum that will bring together officials and scholars from the two Koreas will also be held today at the University of Georgia.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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