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Deputy FM to visit Laos for ASEAN meetings

South Korea's deputy foreign minister will visit Laos this week to prepare for a series of upcoming regional conferences and summits, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Kim Hyoung-zhin is scheduled to fly to Luang Prabang, an ancient city situated in northern Laos, on Saturday to attend a series of senior officials meetings involving member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their regional partners, the ministry said in a press release.

Laos holds the chairmanship of the 10-member ASEAN this year.

The meetings come ahead of a foreign ministerial meeting in July and a summit in September.

South Korea is a member of the ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and Friends of Lower Mekong.

During his two-day trip, Kim plans to attend the SOMs of all four forums to discuss cooperation in a wide range of issues, including finance, health, education and security.

The ARF has served as a key regional security forum dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue and the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

The forum is one of few international gatherings the North regularly attends. (Yonhap)