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N. Korea reserves hotel in Laos for its ARF delegation: source

All News 14:15 July 18, 2016

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea was confirmed to have made a reservation at a hotel in Laos where its delegation will stay to attend an upcoming regional security forum, a government source said Monday.

Regional powers and a group of Southeast Asian nations are to gather in Vientiane from later this week to hold a series of meetings during the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), a rare international event to which the reclusive North sends a delegation.

"We know the North has made a reservation at a local hotel where its ARF delegation is to stay," the source close to the matter told a group of reporters on condition of anonymity.

This year's ARF is drawing keen attention as North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho will likely make his debut on the international stage after being tapped as the country's top diplomat in May.

The forum will kick off on Saturday and last until Tuesday, providing a chance for participants to discuss regional pending issues including the North's defiant pursuit of missile and nuclear weapons.

The source did not elaborate on other details such as the name of the hotel. Nor did he confirm whether Ri is to attend the forum.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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