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Unification minister to attend denuclearization forum in Kazakhstan

All Headlines 16:10 August 27, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo, Seoul's point man on Pyongyang, left for Kazakhstan on Saturday to join a forum on denuclearization, his ministry said.

The two-day conference, titled "Building a Nuclear Weapon-Free World," will open in the capital city of Astana on Sunday for discussions on ways toward nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.

It is to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk test site, which was the primary nuclear test venue for the Soviet Union, in northeast Kazakhstan. The United Nations also marks Aug. 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

Attending the event at the invitation of the Kazakh government, Hong plans to deliver a keynote speech urging North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

He is also scheduled to meet with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan, and CTBTO Executive-Secretary Lassina Zerbo for consultations on the North Korean nuclear issue.

The minister will then head to Almaty to brief ethnic Koreans there on the government's reunification policy.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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