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First inter-Korean ministerial meeting

Posted July. 21, 2000 21:17,   


Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung-Binn and his North Korean counterpart, Park Nam-Sun, will hold talks for the first time in Bangkok, Thailand on July 26.

Foreign ministry officials said July 21 that the South and North Korean ministers will hold discussions in the afternoon of July 26, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) scheduled to be held July 26-27 in the Thai capital.

As the foreign ministers of the two Koreas will meet for the first time, they are expected to exchange views on bilateral and international relations as well as means to promote mutual cooperation in the international community to follow up on the mid-June inter-Korean summit, the officials said.

The South and North Korean foreign ministers met informally at the United Nations Headquarters in September, 1991, when the two Koreas were simultaneously admitted to the world forum, but this will be their first-ever round of official talks.

The two foreign ministers are likely to comprehensively discuss matters of mutual concern, including Pyongyang`s participation in international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). They are also expected to address Seoul`s assistance for the North`s efforts to improve its relations with the United States and Japan.

The Bangkok ministerial meeting, in tandem with the inter-Korean government authorities¡¯ talks to be held in Seoul from July 27, is expected to accelerate rapprochement between the two Koreas.