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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea in spotlight as ASEAN Regional Forum convenes virtually

Pyongyang may seek economic relief but US has 'no plans' to engage directly

The annual ASEAN Regional Forum is a rare international platform in which North Korea regularly participates.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE/SEOUL -- A virtual ASEAN Regional Forum ministerial meeting Friday evening is expected to look at issues including Korean Peninsula security and, if North Korea sends a representative, provide an opportunity for the reclusive country to talk with the international community.

The annual forum, led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a rare international platform in which Pyongyang regularly participates. Among the 27 members are China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the U.S. and the European Union.

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