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DPRK to attend ASEAN meeting, six-party talks unconfirmed
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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will attend the upcoming ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), but the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue can not be confirmed, a Thai senior official said Wednesday.

The 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting and the 16th ASEAN Regional Forum will be held at Thailand's southern resort island of Phuket on July 20 and July 23 respectively.

The DPRK has informed that they will send an ambassador-at- large from the capital of Pyongyang to join the meeting, Vitavas Srivihok, Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs of Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told a news briefing.

Concerning the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, he said he can not confirm that there will be a six-party talks on the sideline of the meetings. "It depends on many factors, it's not only the level of the representation from DPRK, it depends on the mood of the meeting," he said.

The six-party talks have been stalled since last December due to disputes between the United States and the DPRK over the verification of disabled nuclear facilities. Tensions were aggravated recently by the DPRK's nuclear test and missile launches.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)

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