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N. Korea's defense minister heads to Moscow for international conference

All Headlines 17:38 April 22, 2019

SEOUL, April 22 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's defense minister headed to Moscow on Monday to take part in an international security forum, state media said, in a possible sign that he will not accompany leader Kim Jong-un during his expected summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A delegation headed by No Kwang-chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces, left Pyongyang to take part in the 8th Moscow Conference on International Security, the Korean Central News Agency said.

Hosted by Russia's defense ministry, the annual event is slated to be held from Tuesday to Thursday.

The announcement came as North Korea and Russia have been preparing to hold the first summit between their leaders.

Kim and Putin are widely expected to meet in Vladivostok this week, though the two countries did not unveil the date or venue of the summit.

No accompanied Kim during his visits to Singapore and Hanoi for summits with U.S. President Donald Trump, but the defense chief will likely be absent from the upcoming Kim-Putin meeting considering his schedule in Moscow.

This undated file photo provided by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency shows No Kwang-chol, minister of the North's People's Armed Forces. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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