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N. Korea's key party official meets with Laotian leader

All News 12:28 June 08, 2016

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's key ruling party official, Choe Thae-bok, met with Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachith in Vientiane earlier in the week, to further expand bilateral ties, the North's state-run media said Wednesday.

According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) picked up in Seoul, Choe led the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) delegation and held talks with key Laotian officials on Tuesday.

The media outlet said Choe, who is WPK vice chairman, met Bounnhang Vorachith, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and the Southeast Asian country's president.

The North Korea delegation arrived in Vientiane on Monday after visiting Vietnam for talks with its communist party's officials.

During the meeting in the capital, Choe congratulated Bounnhang upon his election as the president of Laos, wishing the party and people success in their struggle to implement recent decisions made at the Laotian communist party congress.

He expressed the unchanging WPK stance to invariably strengthen the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation with the Lao party and people, the KCNA said.

The report added that the Laotian president extended warm congratulations to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un upon his election as chairman of the WPK at the recent 7th party congress.

The latest trip is seen as part of North Korea's diplomatic overture to break up tougher international sanctions imposed on it as punishment for its January nuclear test and long-range rocket launch in the following month.

Ri Su-yong, a vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party, made a rare visit to China last week in an apparent bid to improve strained ties with Beijing following Pyongyang's nuclear tests.

North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, also visited Equatorial Guinea last month to attend the inauguration ceremony of the president of the African country.

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