Top diplomats of the two Koreas met on the sidelines of a regional forum in Manila, the South's Yonhap news agency reported today, citing an official from Seoul's foreign ministry. The South's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha had a brief encounter with her Northern counterpart Ri Yong-Ho ahead of an ASEAN Regional Forum dinner yesterday, Yonhap said. Kang urged Ri to accept Seoul's offers of military talks to lower tensions on the divided peninsula, and for discussions on a new round of reunions for divided families. But Ri retorted: "Given the current situation in which the South collaborates with the US to heap pressure on the North, such proposals lacked sincerity," the unnamed official was quoted as saying. The encounter came a day after the UN Security Council passed sweeping sanctions on the North over its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which sparked global alarm. The growing threat from the nuclear-armed North dominated the annual forum, which came days after the North's second ICBM test.
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