South Korea’s Deputy Nuclear Envoy Seeks Thailand’s Support on North Korean Nuclear Issue

SEOUL – In a pivotal series of meetings earlier this week, South Korea's deputy nuclear envoy, Lee Joon-il, engaged with Thai officials to garner support for addressing the escalating North Korean nuclear issue. The South Korean Foreign Ministry disclosed these developments on Wednesday, highlighting the importance of the discussions.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Lee's meetings on Tuesday with key Thai figures, including Bolbongse Vangphaen, Deputy Director-General of ASEAN Affairs at Thailand's Foreign Ministry, and Luejit Tinpanga, Director of International Security at the National Security Council, were critical in explaining the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. Lee detailed the recent provocative actions by North Korea, notably its designation of South Korea as a "principal enemy," and emphasized the need for concerted international efforts to counter Pyongyang's advancing nuclear and missile programs.

Lee specifically urged Thailand and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to actively participate in these efforts, pointing out the significance of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as the sole regional multilateral security forum attended by North Korea. This engagement is seen as vital in the broader context of regional security dynamics.

Furthermore, the talks between South Korea and Thailand also focused on enhancing cooperation against cyber threats emanating from North Korea. The two sides concurred on the necessity to impede illegal North Korean workers in the information technology sector, who are known to contribute to Pyongyang's weapons program through revenue generation.

The significance of these meetings is underscored by ASEAN's membership, which includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, all pivotal players in the Asia-Pacific region's security landscape.

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