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Gov`t, NGOs meet on ASEM

Posted October. 17, 2000 20:09,   


Korea, the chair of the Third Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and some of the European nations participating in the summit will meet with the People's Forum for ASEM 2000 at the COEX Inter-Continental Hotel on Wednesday afternoon, related officials of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said Tuesday. The forum is composed of 220 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from 33 countries.

At the projected meeting, to be attended by the Korean and European officials in an individual capacity, the two sides will exchange views on the question of organizing a social forum eligible for officially attending the ASEM conference.

Meanwhile, the related working-level officials drafting the Seoul Declaration on Peace on the Korean peninsula is facing difficulty in the process of their negotiations regarding the use of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as some nations raised opinions against the wording, noting that the word could be viewed as targeting North Korea.

The Seoul government did not use the terminology but it was inserted in the draft declaration following a request from some European nations, saying that the ASEM should exert efforts to stave off the threat of WMD, it was learned.

The ministry officials said the Korean government will try to coordinate different views and reach a consensus among the nations, considering that the wording will not matter much with the Seoul declaration for inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation for securing peace on the peninsula.

Boo Hyung-Kwon bookum90@donga.com