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Deputy negotiators for next year's nuclear summit hold meeting in Seoul

SEOUL, June 27 — About 120 deputy negotiators from 47 nations and four international organizations started a two-day meeting in Seoul on Monday to develop the agenda topics and other matters for next year's South Korea-hosted global summit on nuclear security, officials said Monday.

South Korea was chosen in April last year as the host for the next Nuclear Security Summit in March, which is a symbolic occasion for a country where North Korea's nuclear defiance has been the pressing crisis.

During the closed-door gathering, the deputy negotiators called "sous-sherpas" plan to discuss key goals at next year's summit and what topics should be included in a so-called "Seoul Communique" that will be announced at the end of the March summit, officials at Seoul's Foreign Ministry said.

Besides nuclear security, next year's summit is also likely to focus on nuclear safety, following Japan's nuclear crisis triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster, officials said.

"Although the summit's basic agenda is nuclear security, the accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant would have quite a bit of an implication to nuclear security," said Han Choong-hee, South Korea's deputy negotiator for the summit.

"Next year's Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul could be a venue where global leaders would discuss more practical visions and targets than the first summit in Washington," Han told Yonhap News Agency.

Other agenda items would be securing all vulnerable atomic materials worldwide, preventing terrorists from obtaining nuclear materials as well as detecting and intercepting illegal trade of nuclear goods, officials here said.

The results of this week's meeting will be presented at a meeting of chief negotiators or "sherpas" in October in Helsinki to further figure out the agenda topics, officials said. (PNA/Yonhap)


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