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Roh, Bush to Hold Summit on Sidelines of APEC

Roh, Bush to Hold Summit on Sidelines of APEC

President Roh Moo-hyun is to hold a separate, bilateral meeting with United States President George W. Bush at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit slated for Oct. 20-21 in Bangkok, government officials said on Sunday (Sept. 14).

According to a senior government official, the two leaders have scheduled their second summit meeting to tackle oustanding issues such as North Korea's nuclear programs and U.S. request for ROK combat troops to Iraq.

They are also expected to fine-tune their North Korea strategies prior to the second six-party talks, which experts assume will take place between after the APEC meeting.

President Bush is to visit Japan prior to the APEC summit, but a visit to South Korea has not been scheduled, officials said, disputing a media report.

``He will meet with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, so no separate meeting is planned with Koizumi at the APEC summit,'' said the government official.

The Dong-a Ilbo yesterday reported South Korea asked President Bush for a stopover on Oct. 18, to conduct final discussion on strategies for the second six-way talks.

It said Seoul has hopes to induce a softer North Korea policy from Washington by showing firm support for Washington's Iraq initiative with the dispatch of additional, and possibly combat, troops.

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