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North Korea officially joins ARF

Posted July. 27, 2000 07:55,   


North Korea has successfully become the 23rd official member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF). With its entrance into the club of nations through the adoption of the chairman`s statement which included a reference to the North`s ballistic missile development program, North Korea has also acknowledged its role in fostering the international community`s anxiety in the region.

The chairman`s statement reportedly hoped for a continued deferment of the North`s missile test-launch and for the renewed adherence to the `94 U.S. - North Korea Geneva nuclear agreement which included the creation of Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO).

While the North had maintained an opposition to the chairman`s statement in reference to the missile program and had insisted that the problems surrounding KEDO was the responsibility of the U.S., they have agreed to adopt the chairman`s statement with "reasonable reference" at the request of Thailand and South Korea.

The chairman`s statement also praised the June 15th Joint Declaration resulting from the inter-Korean Summit and wished that the inter-Korean diplomatic interchange could pave the way for stabilization and peaceful reunification in the peninsula.

Meanwhile, North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-Sun held rounds of talks with the Japanese counterpart on the 26th and 27th to work out the details of the treaty of amity. Minister Paek also held a meeting with his Canadian counterpart resulting in an official recognition of North Korea as a sovereign state by Canada. Minister Paek rounded out his schedule for the day by meeting with the Chinese minister.