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S. Korean FM flags bigger say for Middle East issues
SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan has said his government would make its stance clear about Middle East issues after it is elected a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, signaling a bigger say in regional matters.

   South Korea was elected last month as one of the non-permanent members of the Security Council for the 2013-14 term, regaining ground to step up its involvement in handling the North Korea issue and other global security challenges.

   "As we become a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, it is time for us to pay careful attention to Middle East issues and decide our stance about the issues," Kim wrote in a post on his Twitter account.

   Kim did not elaborate further but wrote the remarks on Saturday, when on a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend an annual forum on peace and security in the Middle East.

   Kim was on a three-day visit to the UAE at the invitation of its Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and joined the Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi.

   Kim posted the remarks as military conflicts between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules Gaza, were intensifying.