The 29th ASEAN Regional Forum kicks off in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Friday, bringing together top diplomats from the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN), South Korea, the U.S., China and Japan.
Participants are set to discuss challenges related to North Korea, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sovereignty over the South China Sea.
A statement by North Korea’s representative to the forum about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile provocations is of particular interest.
South Korean foreign minister Park Jin briefly met with North Korea’s Ambassador to Indonesia An Kwang-il, who concurrently serves as ambassador to ASEAN, at a welcoming banquet on Thursday evening.
According to the foreign ministry, Park said he has heard An is an ASEAN expert and a reasonable person and asked An to convey his congratulations to North Korean foreign minister Choe Son-hui, who was appointed in June.
North Korea, which sends a representative to the ARF almost every year, dispatched An this year instead of Choe.
It was the first public encounter between South and North Korean diplomats since the launch of the Yoon Suk Yeol administration.