North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Pak Ui Chun to Attend ASEAN Regional Forum

Pak Ui Chun (Pak U'i-ch'un)

DPRK Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pak Ui Chun (Pak U’i-ch’un) will attend ASEAN’s Regional Form in Bali, Indonesia, which will be held from 21 to 23 July.  Pak attended last year’s meetings in Hanoi.  Several DPRK allies will attend ARF and it is likely Pak will meet with representatives from those countries.  On the sidelines of ARF in Bali, a tripartite meeting between the US, Japan and ROK will also be convened.  Yonhap reports:

“It has been understood that about 10 North Korean officials, led by Pak, plan to attend the forum,” the source said on the condition of anonymity.

However, Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s vice foreign minister who played a leading role in discussing the North’s nuclear issue at last year’s ARF, is expected to skip this year’s forum, according to the source.

Late last month, South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan told reporters that he was willing to meet with his North Korean counterpart on the sidelines of the forum.

“If the North’s Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun wants to talk with me, there is no reason for me to refuse,” Kim said. “Whether it be me who proposes a meeting first or Minister Pak, I am willing to sit with him through any channel available.”

Since 2000, when inter-Korean relations warmed, foreign ministers from the two Koreas had occasionally met during the annual forum.

However, no such meetings have taken place since 2008, as tensions have grown over the North’s long-range missile launch, nuclear defiance and Seoul’s get-tough policy toward Pyongyang.

The 27 ARF members are Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, East Timor, the U.S., Vietnam and the European Union.

As Pak arrives in Bali, the city is dealing with a change in its own leadership.  According to Bali Times :

Bali’s police chief has been replaced as part of a nationwide reshuffle in the upper echelons of the Indonesian Police.

Hadiatmoko has been replaced by Inspector-General Totoy Herawan Indra.

The reshuffle was ordered by national police chief General Timur Pradopo. As well as the change in Bali, the heads of East Java, Central Java and South Sumatra provinces will also be replaced.

Hadiatmoko, who announced a controversial “shoot on sight policy” earlier this year, in which he instructed officers to shoot fleeing criminals who had targeted foreigners, will move to East Java, where he will replace Untung Suharsono, who has been appointed head of Jakarta Police.

New top officer in Bali Totoy Herawan Indra was formerly assistant to National Police Operations in Jakarta.

The new appointments were officially made at National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday. As part of their swearing in, the incoming chiefs had to recite a new oath promising to avoid corruption and dishonesty.

“There is a new procedure in today’s ceremony, which is an oath for new officers who are exposed to the influences of corruption. This procedure will be undertaken at all ceremonies to inaugurate both high and low-ranking officers,” said Pradopo, who devised the pledge.

For all the nitty gritty of the ARF in Bali, the Japanese media has formed a consortium which will offer coverage of the proceedings.  Mainichi reports:

The Japan Times, The Mainichi Daily News, NHK WORLD, NIKKEI and Kyodo News said July 15 they will jointly launch an English portal website on July 16 to provide news reports, transcripts, official documents and other information on a series of ASEAN-related meetings later this month in Bali, Indonesia, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

The five major Japanese news organizations will also provide their respective top stories about Japan, along with information related to the ASEAN meetings, on the Japan Press Pool Service site through July 24.

It will be the first time for the five news organizations to team up and offer such a service.

Items available on the website will include news alerts and reports on the ASEAN meetings and related events; news photos and videos; provisional transcripts of press conferences, comments by Japan’s foreign minister and Japanese press briefings; and top stories about Japan from each news organization.

Official transcripts and documents released by the Japanese government will also be available.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, forms the ARF together with Australia, Canada, China, Japan, India, North Korea, South Korea, Russia, the United States, the European Union and other countries, to discuss regional security issues.

The site’s URL is http://www.47news.jp/international/mediapool/

 

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