U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Malaysia to attend a regional security forum, as Asian foreign ministers grow increasingly concerned about the crisis in the Middle East and North Korea's nuclear weapons programs.
Secretary Rice is expected to spend much of her time at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' Regional Forum focusing on North Korea's nuclear programs and recent missile tests.
She has indicated she thinks it unlikely that North Korea will agree to informal nuclear talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN gathering.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda is among the diplomats gathered in Kuala Lumpur who hope North Korea will at least meet with some of its negotiating partners.
"If only in Kuala Lumpur, there would be a meeting, at least multiple bilaterals, that can help develop communication, it's already positive," he said.
Rice also is expected to brief Asian foreign ministers about the Middle East crisis, following Wednesday's meeting in Rome where delegates called for a ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon.