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Seoul to host biggest forum on the Arctic next year

All Headlines 12:28 October 13, 2017

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- Seoul will host the biggest international forum on the Arctic next year to seek ways to promote arctic countries' interest in the East Asian region, the foreign ministry here said Friday.

South Korea announced the hosting of the conference, tentatively named Arctic Circle Seoul Forum, in December 2018 at the Arctic Circle Assembly which kicked off its three-day meeting earlier in the day in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Arctic Circle is an international organization intended to facilitate multilateral dialogue on issues facing the Arctic. The organization's biannual forum is the biggest of all international conferences on the North Pole, bringing together around 2,000 government officials and experts from around the world.

This undated file photo provided by the Korea Polar Research Institute shows South Korean research icebreaker Araon in the Arctic Ocean. (Yonhap)

It marks the first Arctic Circle forum to be held in the East Asian region since the organization and its international forum were launched in 2013 in Iceland.

"The decision is expected to encourage arctic countries' interest in the East Asian region which would play a core role in developing and utilizing the Arctic in the future," the ministry said. "This is also expected to pave the way for South Korean companies' entrance into the Arctic and enhance the country's diplomacy on arctic issues."

"The South Korean government plans to step up cooperation with the arctic region and relevant institutions in order to proactively address ecological challenges stemming from climate change in the North Pole and support South Korean companies' inroads into the region," according to the ministry.

In line with that, the foreign ministry also plans to host a seminar with the Arctic Economic Council on Dec. 11 in Seoul to promote cooperation between them, it added.


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