Monday, May 12, 2014

Seoul eyes conferences to promote Northeast Asia peace initiative

May 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is seeking to hold two international conferences in October as part of efforts to implement President Park Geun-hye's policy for promoting peace in Northeast Asia, sources said Monday.

Seoul is pushing to hold a two-day meeting to be participated by government and private experts, tentatively dubbed Seoul Forum, to exchange views on such soft issues as the environment, energy and disaster relief, they said.

Another conference, tentatively named Northeast Asia Peace-Promoting Cooperative Meeting, will be opened following the forum with the participation of government officials.

The meetings will be held in an effort to implement Park's "Northeast Asia peace and cooperation initiative," according to the sources.

The vision calls for countries in the region to build trust through nonpolitical cooperation such as in environmental issues before coping with political and security matters.

Main participants are expected to come from the U.S., China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia, and those from Southeast Asian countries and the European Union are likely to join the meetings as observers, the sources said.

The government will seek to hold foreign-ministerial-level meetings next year if this year's conferences help to set the stage for opening higher-level meetings, they said.

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