N.K. notifies U.N. its FM will attend General Assembly in Sept.: source

SEOUL-- North Korea has notified the United Nations that its Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho will attend this year's session of the General Assembly slated to take place in New York next month, a diplomatic source here said Thursday.

His possible trip to New York raised the prospects of bilateral talks with his U.S. counterpart, Mike Pompeo, as Washington is seeking to restart working-level nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang.

"The North has informed the U.N. that Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho will deliver a keynote address during a high-level session of the U.N. General Assembly slated to open from Sept. 17," the source said on condition of anonymity.

"At this point in time, Foreign Minister Ri appears likely to attend the Assembly session," the source added.

North Korea's top diplomat has attended the U.N. General Assembly almost every year. As Pompeo is expected to attend the gathering, speculation has arisen that the two could meet bilaterally.

Pompeo and Ri were expected to meet on the sidelines of a regional security forum in Thailand earlier this month. But Ri abruptly canceled his plan to attend the forum for an unspecified reason.

Hopes have been growing that the U.S. and the North may resume their nuclear talks in the near future, as the South Korea-U.S. military exercise, which Pyongyang berated as an invasion rehearsal, concluded this week.

But Pyongyang's recent tough rhetoric against Seoul and Washington has also cast doubts over the prospects for the resumption of dialogue with the regime.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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