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S. Korea reviewing Kosovo issue

All Headlines 10:41 March 21, 2008

SEOUL, March 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has yet to decide whether to recognize Kosovo, a Foreign Ministry official said Friday, with the sensitive issue viewed as a litmus test for the new Lee Myung-bak government's diplomatic policy.

"The issue is still under review," said Lee Eun-yong, director of the ministry's Central Europe division. "It requires a prudent decision." He refused to predict when a decision will be made.

A total of 33 countries including the U.S. and some European nations, announced their decision to recognize Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, with more nations expected to follow suit despite opposition from Russia, China and Serbia.

South Korea's new government, whose foreign affairs policy mantra is "pragmatism," is taking a careful approach toward the matter. Diplomatic watchers say the Kosovo issue provides the new administration with a major diplomatic test.

"We need to consider various factors including the move of other nations," Lee said.

If a decision is made through consultations with the presidential office, it will be brought to the Cabinet meeting for endorsement, he added.


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