The ASEAN， hosts a series of regional conferences
every summer. Included on that list is the 27－member ASEAN
Regional Forum， one of the few multinational platforms North Korea participates in.
From the regime′s nuclear arms program to historical differences in Northeast Asia，
our Choi You－sun takes us through some of the key issues that will top the agenda.
While North Korea is expected to attend this year′s gathering of foreign ministers at
the ASEAN Regional Forum， observers in South Korea are zooming in on whether the South′s
Foreign Minister Yun Byung－se will meet one－on－one with his North Korean counterpart
Ri Su－yong. Seoul keeps the door open to inter－Korean
dialogue， but the two diplomats may not have a meaningful encounter amid frosty relations.
Pyongyang， meanwhile， will likely seek to mend ties with its traditional ally China，
gone sour under the leadership of Kim Jong－un. In the wake of the international nuclear deal
with Iran， countries participating in multinational efforts to denuclearize the North are hoping
for a similar resolution. On the sidelines of next week′s conference，
Seoul， Washington and Tokyo are expected to reaffirm their shared goal of bringing
Pyongyang back to the stalled six－party talks， while pressuring Beijing to persuade
its ally. South Korea′s top nuclear envoy Hwang Joon－kook
has said the North is at a crossroads between completion of its nuclear arms development
and denuclearization through dialogue. This， however， may be a long shot， since
the North， calling itself a nuclear state， said it was not interested in any re－negotiation
whatsoever over its nuclear weapons program. The South Korean foreign minister is also
expected to meet his Japanese counterpart， to urge Tokyo to responsibly resolve issues
concerning Japan′s atrocities during its colonization of the Korean Peninsula.
It， however， remains to be seen whether Seoul′s diplomatic efforts will result in
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upholding Tokyo′s past apologies for its wartime aggressions
in his expected statement， to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan′s surrender in World
War Two. Choi You－sun， Arirang News.