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Sep 11, 2016 10:56 PM

North Korea's foreign minister departs for UN meeting

The Associated Press

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho departed Pyongyang on Monday for a pair of international meetings, including the U.N. General Assembly in New York, just days after North Korea's latest nuclear test.

Ri plans to attend the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela and then go on to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

It will be Ri's first time to attend the General Assembly as foreign minister. He was named to the post at a major ruling party congress held in May.

Previous North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong went twice, in 2014 and 2015. That marked a change after many years when North Korea did not send its foreign minister to the New York gathering.

North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test last Friday, resulting in another round of international condemnation.

The U.N. Security Council is working on a response to Friday's test that may include "further significant measures" following sanctions against North Korea that were strengthened earlier this year, after Pyongyang's January nuclear test and February satellite launch.

North Korea says its tests are intended to build a nuclear deterrent to defend the country against the United States. North Korea and the U.S. are technically still in a state of war, since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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