North threat on summit agenda

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North threat on summit agenda

A special session devoted to addressing the North Korean military threat will be held for the first time at the Asia Security Summit in Singapore next month, a Ministry of National Defense official said.

According to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the special session, titled “Deterring the North Korean Threat,” will be held on the second day of the meeting of defense ministers from 35 Asian and Pacific nations. The defense officials’ meeting, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, will run from June 3 to June 5.

“This is the first time that the Shangri-La Dialogue will have its attendants discuss the issue of North Korean provocations in a special session,” the official said. Initiated in 2002 with the purpose of fostering cooperation and confidence among defense ministers and officials from the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, the 15th gathering this year will include defense ministers and officials from 35 nations, including South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo.

The official added that Minister Han will give an address titled “Defense Policy in a Time of Uncertainty.” It will be the first address given by a South Korean minister since 2011.

“In his speech, Han will emphasize how important it is for the international community to follow through on UN Security Council Resolution 2270,” the official said, “in order to make North Korea abandon its nuclear program.”

While the head of the South Korean military is expected to call for global cooperation in executing tightened sanctions on the Communist state for its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range missile test the following month, both in violation of UN resolutions, Pyongyang continued its charm offensive on Wednesday for the sixth day in a row, demanding that Seoul come to the negotiation table.

South Korea has turned down all of the North’s proposals for talks, citing a lack of positions stipulated in the proposals relevant to its nuclear program and calling such gestures “insincere” and “fake.”

BY JEONG YONG-SOO, KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]

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