N.K. to send delegation to ASEAN regional forum

Korea Herald
5/22/2007

North Korea will send two diplomats to a Southeast Asian regional forum opening later this week in Manila, where a senior U.S. official will also be present, according to press reports Monday.

A Filipino official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying that North Korea is expected to send Jong Song-il and Ri Tong-il from the foreign ministry to the senior officials’ meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum opening in Manila on Friday.

The session is a prelude to the ARF conference in August. Christopher Hill, top U.S. envoy to six-nation denuclearization talks, is also scheduled to participate in the meetings, raising the possibility of contact between Pyongyang and Washington amid a stalemate in the talks.

Jong was a member of North Korea-U.S. bilateral nuclear negotiations in 1993 and 1994 but has not been a part of the six-party talks, which involve South and North Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan. He participated in ARF in 2004 and 2006, according to Yonhap News Agency.

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