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Yonhap News to host int'l conference on security in Northeast Asia
SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- Yonhap News Agency and the Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) of Stanford University will next month host an international conference on how to tackle pending security issues in Northeast Asia, organizers said Wednesday.

   The conference, set for Feb. 4-5 in Seoul, will also look at security prospects in the region about three weeks before South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye is sworn into office amid near-simultaneous leadership changes in China and Japan.

   The two-day forum, entitled "Yonhap-Stanford APARC International Symposium," will bring together a number of former and current government officials from the allies under the theme of "Northeast Asia under New Leadership."

   In addition to North Korea's nuclear standoff, the conference aims to discuss bilateral issues between South Korea and the U.S., as this year marks the 60th anniversary of signing a mutual defense treaty between the two countries. The conference will also touch on Sino-U.S. relations under the leadership of Beijing's president-in-waiting Xi Jinping, organizers said.

   Former U.S. secretary of defense William Perry is scheduled to make a keynote speech, while Shin Gi-wook, head of APARC, will open the conference with his speech on policy recommendations for South Korea's new government.

   U.S. participants include Michael Armacost, former U.S. ambassador to Japan and deputy secretary of state; Thomas Fingar, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council; and scientist Siegfried Hecker, who was shown North Korea's modern uranium enrichment facility during a visit to the country in 2011.

   South Korean participants include Rep. Shim Yoon-joe of the ruling Saenuri Party and two former foreign ministers, Yu Myung-hwan and Yoon Young-kwan.

   Major sessions of the conference will be aired by "news Y," an all-news cable TV channel run by Yonhap News Agency.

   The APARC is a Stanford University institution focused on the interdisciplinary study of contemporary Asia.

   To register for the conference as an attendee, please visit its Web site at (