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N.K. has no plans for press conference after ARF, decision remains up to Ri: N.K. official

All News 16:18 July 26, 2016

VIENTIANE, July 26 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean official said Tuesday that the North has no plans at the moment to hold an official press conference on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific countries' meetings underway in Laos, but it could have a chance to let its position be known before the end of the gathering.

Asked if there is a press conference, the official accompanying North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told a group of reporters, "We don't have enough time for it, but the decision is up to the minister."

"I don't know since the final decision is up to the minister," said the official, whose exact identity has not been revealed. He is known to be part of the North's delegation.

Last year, North Korea held a press conference at the end of the ASEAN meetings held in Malaysia, elaborating on its position on nuclear development and other issues.

Ri, who came to Laos on Sunday to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) this year, has been mum on media questions seeking his remarks on the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons and what he would say during the largest regional security gathering.

The forum is a rare international event attended by the North and all the other member countries of the six-party talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development.

At a gala held Monday night, a North Korean official known to be the North's spokesman told Yonhap News Agency that it hasn't decided on whether to hold a press conference. He added, "Just wait until it comes."

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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