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High-level officials to meet next month for nuke summit: source

High-level representatives from South Korea, the US and 41 other nations will gather in the Netherlands next month to hold a preliminary meeting for the landmark Nuclear Security Summit to open in Washington in April, an informed source said on.

world Updated: Jan 20, 2010 17:33 IST

High-level representatives from South Korea, the US and 41 other nations will gather in the Netherlands next month to hold a preliminary meeting for the landmark Nuclear Security Summit to open in Washington in April, an informed source said on .

"The preparatory meeting will take place in the Hague on Feb. 9," the source said, requesting anonymity. "It is largely aimed at drafting a joint statement to be issued at the end of the Nuclear Security Summit."

The US administration of President Barack Obama has said it will convene the summit this spring to discuss ways to combat nuclear terrorism. The US has not announced an exact schedule yet but the source said it will be held from April 12-13 in Washington.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his counterparts from 42 countries are expected to attend the summit.

Those nations had the first preparatory meeting of high-ranking officials in Tokyo in December and another round is likely to be held in Washington in March to fine-tune the wording of the joint statement.

South Korea plans to dispatch Cho Hyun. Deputy foreign minister for international organizations, global issues and treaties, to the session in the Hague and the U.S. Will be represented by Gary Samore, the National Security Council coordinator for arms control and non-proliferation, according to the source.

"The Nuclear Security Summit is designed in principle to discuss the nuclear terror threat. So the North Korean nuclear issue is not on the list of formal agenda items. But participants are expected to touch on the issue, as it is a serious setback to global security," the source said.