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S. Korean FM to hold bilateral talks with U.S., China in NY

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign minister will hold bilateral talks with his U.S. and Chinese counterparts next week in New York, with the key topic of discussion believed to be the North Korean nuclear issue, sources said Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will fly to New York on Sunday for his address at the United Nations General Assembly, slated for Sept. 27.

During Yun's visit there, he will hold two separate talks respectively with Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is also scheduled to deliver a speech at the U.N. meeting, according to the sources.

"Now, the parties are arranging schedules," one source said.

The North Korean nuclear issue is expected to dominate the two bilateral talks as China is trying hard to induce the U.S. and South Korea to help resume the long-stalled six-party talks for denuclearizing North Korea.

The South and the U.S. have shown reservations about China accelerating efforts to secure a quick resumption of the multilateral disarmament talks. They believe reopening the dialogue process would be not fruitful without a serious commitment from North Korea on denuclearization.

The North, however, has not expressed its commitment to denuclearization, with recent satellite imagery showing that it may have restarted its 5-megawatt plutonium reactor in its Yongbyon nuclear complex.

Experts said that in the bilateral meeting, Yun and Kerry may discuss ways to induce an attitude change from North Korea.

South Korea's top nuclear envoy to the six-party talks, Cho Tai-young is to accompany Yun to the U.N. visit.

The six-way dialogue, involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, has been stalled since late 2008, as the North continued to develop and test missiles and nuclear arms.

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