KCNA: N. Korea to send figurehead to summit, not leader

August 23, 2012 05:42

SEOUL - North Korea's figurehead head of state, not supreme leader Kim Jong-un, will attend a summit of non-aligned developing nations in Iran next week, Pyonyang's official KCNA news agency reported on Thursday.

There had been rumors Kim, who succeeded his father Kim Jong-il in December, would visit Tehran to mark his first trip abroad as leader of the isolated and impoverished state.

However, KCNA said figurehead leader Kim Yong-nam would represent the North at the summit for developing nations not tied to any major political alliances.

"Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, will attend the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement to be held in Tehran and will make an official goodwill visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran at the invitation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," KCNA said, referring to the North's official name of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

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