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Terrorism, North Korea, Burma's Crackdown To Dominate Asian Security Meeting - 2003-06-18


North Korea's nuclear crisis, international terrorism, and a political crackdown in Burma are expected to top the agenda at Southeast Asia's largest security forum.

The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meet Wednesday in Cambodia with 13 partner nations including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Russia. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is in Phnom Penh for the meeting.

Mr. Powell says he will make a case for Asia to increase its pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. U.S., Japanese, and South Korean officials have just signed a joint statement pledging to crack down on Pyongyang's alleged drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

The Philippines is expected to present a plan that would grant North Korea more economic aid in exchange for giving up its nuclear ambitions.

Participants also are expected to discuss ways of boosting cooperation to fight terror, following recent arrests of suspected terrorists in Southeast Asia.

Mr. Powell has said he will push for a tough stance against Burma's military government, which has held pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest since late last month.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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