Mongolian president to visit North Korea next week

TOKYO, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj will visit Pyongyang next week for talks with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, a news report said, as the two nations are endeavoring to deepen their strategic ties.
Elbegdorj, who plans to arrive there on Monday, will become the first foreign head of state to meet the North's young leader since he formally took the helm of the reclusive communist nation last year, according to Japan's Kyodo News Service, which cited an unnamed Mongolian government source.
His reported travel plan comes as the two countries mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
North Korea, stuck in drawn-out diplomatic isolation, has stepped up efforts to reach out to ex-communist Mongolia.
Earlier this year, Pyongyang asked Ulan Bator to provide food aid.
Mongolia has also tapped business opportunities in the North and sought to use the bilateral relationship to enhance its role in regional security.
In November, Japan and North Korea had senior-level talks in the Mongolian capital about the issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals.
Kyodo said the Mongolian leader may raise the issue in his meeting with the North's leader.
Japan has urged North Korea to fully account for Japanese nationals it abducted decades ago.

Source:South Korean News Agency Yonhap
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