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North Korea's No. 2 man visiting Cuba: report

All Headlines 10:58 August 17, 2018

MEXICO CITY, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- Choe Ryong-hae, known as North Korea's second most powerful man, is visiting Cuba to discuss ways to improve the countries' bilateral relationship, a wire report said Friday.

According to Cuba's official news agency Prensa Latina, Choe, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the North's Workers' Party, arrived in Havana, the capital of Cuba, on Thursday, leading a North Korean delegation.

"Choe is on a working visit to the island and was received yesterday by the first vice president, Salvador Valdes, with whom he reviewed the ties between both countries," the report said.

A photo captured from the Prensa Latina News Agency on Aug. 17, 2018, shows North Korea's Choe Ryong-hae (L) visiting Cuba. (Yonhap)

Choe also met with Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez, and they discussed international issues as well as bilateral matters. The news agency quoted the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying, "The meeting took place in a fraternal context, where the visitor and Rodriguez agreed to highlight the bonds of brotherhood and fraternity that unite peoples, parties and governments."

Cuba and North Korea have maintained relations since 1960 and currently have agreements for cooperation in various sectors, including education and agriculture, it added.

Choe's visit came about a month after Ri Su-yong, director of the Workers' Party International Affairs Department, visited Havana for meetings with top Cuban leaders, including President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Raul Castro, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Ri also paid a visit to Iran later.

The successive visits to Cuba by top North Korean officials are seen as part of Pyongyang's efforts to cement relationships with its socialist allies amid the world's rapidly changing diplomatic environment, watchers say.

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