N.Korea foreign minister, Clinton to attend meet in Bali

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jul 14, 2011 6:09 AM
N.Korea foreign minister, Clinton to attend meet in Bali

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Reclusive North Korea will make a rare appearance on the international stage next week as Foreign Minister Pak Ui-Chun attends a regional security conference along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.

Indonesian officials said on Thursday that foreign ministers from all 27 members of the ASEAN Regional Forum, except for Thailand, would attend.

Thailand's new government is yet to appoint a foreign minister.

The Korean peninsula will be high on the agenda at the forum's July 23 meeting, but there will no resumption of the six-party talks there although the other participants -- South Korea, Japan, China and Russia -- will also attend, an Indonesian foreign ministry official told Reuters.

"To avoid any misunderstanding, there is no plan for a six- party talks meeting in Bali. Everyone will be there, but they are not going to meet in Bali," Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters.

The United States, South Korea and Japan have urged the two Koreas to first resolve their differences bilaterally before a resumption of the regional aid-for-denuclearization talks.

Tension increased on the peninsula last year after two attacks killed 50 South Koreans, and the North revealed a uranium enrichment program giving it a second route to developing a nuclear bomb.

ASEAN, or the Association of South East Asian Nations, comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The ASEAN Regional Forum members also include the United States, China, Japan, the two Koreas, India, Australia, Russia and others.

(Reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)