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US-DPRK interaction unlikely at ARF: S. Korean FM
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South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said a working-level meeting between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) seems unlikely during this year's session of the ASEAN Regional Forum ( ARF).

Before leaving for Phuket, Thailand, where the ARF is scheduled, the foreign minister said an interaction, or a working-level meeting, between the two countries does not seem possible as for the moment, adding that Pyongyang's foreign minister will not be able to make it to Phuket.

Instead, Pak Keun-gwang, on behalf of the foreign minister, is known to attend the ARF, the minister said.

Yu also said the possibility of holding the five-party talks, which would involve China, Japan, Russia, the United States, and South Korea, excluding the DPRK, on the sidelines of the ARF does not seem probable.

"The main issues to be discussed in detail will be the denuclearization of the DPRK, as well as the human rights in Myanmar," the minister said.

During the ARF, the Seoul government is also deliberating on how to raise the issue of a South Korean worker detained in the DPRK for more than three months charged for "publicly denouncing" its regime.

The minister said he will make reference to the issue at the ARF, adding that his government is considering how to raise the issue at the forum, depending on the situation there.

The South Korean minister also plans to hold a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Indonesia, the US, China, Russia, Japan, and Australia during his stay.

(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2009)

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