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(LEAD) N. Korea to skip annual regional security forum again this year

All Headlines 17:34 June 02, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more info in last para)

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea decided not to attend this year's meeting of a regional security forum that has served as a venue for dialogue among the members of the six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programs, an official said.

The North notified organizers of the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD) that it will not attend this year's meeting to be held in Hong Kong on June 12-13, according to Keith Luse, executive director of the National Committee on North Korea.

Luse, who spoke to reporters during a meeting in Washington on May 29, said that the North appears to be reassessing relations with the United States in the wake of February's no-deal summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The NEACD is a "Track 1.5" annual security forum that brings together government officials and civilian experts of the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia. The North last attended the meeting in 2016, represented by Choe Son-hui, now the first vice foreign minister.

Separately, the North is also known to have decided not to take part in an international conference on security issues in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, this week.
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