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(2nd LD) N. Korean FM to visit New York next week for signing of U.N. climate deal

All News 07:47 April 12, 2016

(ATTN: CHANGES dateline, headline; UPDATES with U.N. confirmation)

NEW YORK, April 11 (Yonhap) -- North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong plans to visit New York next week to attend the signing of a landmark U.N. climate agreement, a U.N. official said Monday.

The U.N. plans to hold a high-level signing ceremony on April 22 for the so-called Paris Agreement adopted in December to replace the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, and the North's Ri is scheduled to attend the ceremony, an official of the U.N. spokesman's office said.

Ri attended the Paris conference and delivered a speech there.

His visit to New York would mark his first since tensions spiked following the North's fourth nuclear test in January, its long-range rocket launch in February and the adoption of a new U.N. sanctions resolution.

He could also meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but the spokesman's office said that no such meeting has been fixed.

Ri last visited New York in September for the U.N. General Assembly.

The trip could provide opportunities for Ri to hold talks with U.S. officials, though such chances are low considering the international community's ongoing efforts to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

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