Korea, Japan, China meet held over regional cooperation; Red Cross officials of both the Koreas fail to reach a deal on reunions between families separated by the Korean War; Russia urges for denuclearization of Korean Peninsula; South Korea,
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  • Reports noted that officials from South Korea, Japan and China have met in Seoul to discuss setting up a permanent secretariat for closer trilateral cooperation. Earlier, in May this year, President Lee Myung-bak, then Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had agreed during their summit to establish the cooperation secretariat in Korea next year to boost the three-way partnership over the next decade.1 Meanwhile, Red Cross officials from North and South Korea met on September 24 in the North Korean border town of Kaesong but failed to reach an agreement about restarting reunions between families separated by the Korean War.2

    Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for more efforts to contribute to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He said that the topic was high on the agenda of talks between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. The two leaders praised Pyongyang’ push for putting the stalled six-round talks on the North Korean nuclear problem back on track.3

    South Korea and the United States launched joint anti-submarine military exercises on September 27, drawing heavy criticism from North Korea. Condemning the exercises North Korean state-run Korean Central News Agency said, "The warmongers blustered that they would conduct intensive training of the strategy, technique and procedures for countering someone's submarine infiltration, openly disclosing that the joint naval military exercises are targeted against the DPRK,".4

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son, Kim Jong-un, became his second in command at the ruling Workers' Party's powerful Central Military Commission on Wednesday. Kim Jong-un, believed to have been born in 1983 or 1984 and given his first public title as an army general. He has also been made a Central Committee member at the first party conference in 30 years, state news agency KCNA said.5