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N. Korea main topic of debate at 2-day Asan Plenum 2013 Updated: 2013-05-01 10:30:15 KST

 N. Korea main topic of debate at 2-day Asan Plenum 2013
"New World Disorder" is the main theme of Asan Plenum 2013 forum, where North Korea was in the front of everyone's mind.
And the impasse at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, being the most recent issue at hand, was the subject of conversation.
Kurt Campbell, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, preached patience at Tuesday's forum.

"I think it's important in the current environment not to rush to judgments. It's very difficult to make sweeping conclusions about what this means for the way ahead for the interaction between South Korea and North Korea and what's important is a certain steadiness."

Campbell, who is widely credited for devising the so-called U.S. pivot to Asia, defended it at the forum.

"I do think the U.S. has been a clear stabilizing force in Asia for decades and we want to continue to play that role."

China's perspective of the U.S. pivot to Asia was also addressed.

"A lot of the pivot is diplomatic, a lot of the pivot is economic, only some of it has to do with the military and defense posture. When American officials talk about the pivot or rebalance, they never ever talk about it as something directed against China."

Krasner said that although China may feel threatened it would opt for more engagement and dialogue.
But China doesn't even enter the conversation for Krasner when speaking about the greatest threats over the next 10 years.

"I think the greatest threats come from weak states, or what I call malign states like North Korea and Iran and the availability of weapons of mass destruction."

The professor said the domestic concerns that certain countries are facing, like Japan's economic woes, pose greater challenges than international ones right now which Krasner said are more manageable.


"The Asan Plenum continues until Wednesday, when the discussions will address the conflicts over history in East Asia, the relationship between China and ASEAN and the question of how North Korea's neighbors might deal with a collapse of the regime.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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