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S Korea PM Calls For New Cooperation Framework In NE Asia

Friday, May 22, 2009

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan, China and South Korea need a new framework for expanding cooperation and resolving pending issues at a time when their economic interdependence is deepening, South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo said at an international forum here Friday.

Speaking at the annual Future of Asia conference, Han said the number of problems these Northeast Asian countries need to solve together has sharply increased but that the current framework for regional cooperation is not adequate for the task.

The premier noted that Northeast Asia has yet to create a free trade zone needed to form the basis for subsequent integration of the regional economies.

He gave high marks to the summit of leaders from Japan, China and South Korea in Fukuoka in December, calling it an unprecedented event with historic significance.

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.