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Seoul mulling inviting N. Korea to forum on peace in Northeast Asia

All Headlines 10:53 October 05, 2014

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering inviting North Korea to its October forum aimed at implementing President Park Geun-hye's policy for promoting peace in Northeast Asia, government sources said Sunday.

Seoul plans to hold a meeting to be attended by government and private experts to exchange views on such issues as the environment, energy and nuclear safety, the main themes to be dealt with under the "Northeast Asia Peace Cooperation Initiative (NAPCI)," between Oct. 28 and 30, they noted.

The vision calls for countries in the region to build trust through nonpolitical cooperation in areas such as the environment, nuclear safety and energy security before coping with political and security matters.

"We are thinking about making an official invitation to North Korea for the forum," said a government official, asking not to be named.

Seoul's government said it is likely to invite officials from the U.S. China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia, adding that it will decide whether to invite Pyongyang soon. Previously, it added that those from Southeast Asian countries and the European Union are likely to join the meeting as observers.

But it is not clear whether the North would accept such an invitation as it has been critical of the initiative.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se has said that Northeast Asia lacks a multilateral cooperative mechanism, adding that the NAPCI could be a "suitable and tailored" approach to promoting cooperation in the region.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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