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(LEAD) S. Korea to hold bilateral talks with China at regional security meeting

All News 18:32 July 24, 2016

By Koh Byung-joon
(ATTN: ADDS more remarks from 3rd para)

VIENTIANE, July 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign minister said Sunday that he will hold bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of a regional security meeting where they will likely discuss North Korea's nuclear and other issues of mutual concerns.

The meeting will be held later in the day in the Laotian capital of Vientiane between Yun Byung-se and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Both are here to attend a series of meetings led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

"It hasn't been long since we met, but we plan to have in-depth talks on recent developments on North Korea's missile and nuclear issues and other areas of mutual concern," Yun told reporters.

Asked if both will discuss the recent move by Seoul and Washington to deploy an advanced missile defense system on the peninsula, Yun didn't offer a direct answer, only to say that they will exchange views on issues concerning the two countries.

The meeting will be held amid somewhat cooled ties between Seoul and Washington after the decision was announced to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system on South Korean soil despite strong opposition from China and Russia. Beijing has objected to its deployment, saying that it could hurt its strategic security interests.

The talks come ahead of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the largest regional security meeting that will take place on Tuesday, the last day of this annual event. The forum is a rare international gathering attended by all member countries of the long-halted six-party talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear program.


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