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ASEM leaders to condemn March attack on S. Korean warship

All Headlines 18:29 October 05, 2010

By Lee Chi-dong

BRUSSELS, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- Asian and European leaders are expected to express "deep concern" over the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March apparently caused by North Korea's torpedo attack and demand that similar attacks be prevented, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.

In a statement that will summarize the results of the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the leaders also plan to urge North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program in a "complete, verifiable, irreversible" way, said the source familiar with the meeting's progress.

North Korea's has not been invited to the 8th ASEM summit in Brussels but its closet communist ally China is a member of the forum which also involves South Korea and about two dozen other Asian and European nations.

The document also reads that ASEM leaders recognize South Korea's efforts to provide the flood-hit North with rice and other humanitarian aid, while noting an inter-Korean agreement to resume the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, the source said, requesting anonymity.

"The leaders will express hope that such steps will lead to sincere dialogue and cooperation between the two Koreas," it said.

On the issue of the sunken South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, the leaders are to "express their deep concern" over the incident and
"stress the importance of preventing further such attacks," the source said, adding North Korea will not be directly mentioned, however, like a similar statement issued by the U.N. Security Council in July.

"But the ASEM member countries are still fine-tuning concrete wordings," the source said.


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