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North Korean tourism official cancels Taiwan visit
Central News Agency
2013-12-12 12:33 PM
Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) A high-ranking tourism official from North Korea has canceled a planned visit to Taiwan amid an ongoing power struggle in his country. Deputy Tourism Minister Jo Sung-gyu had originally been scheduled to arrive in Taiwan Dec. 9 with two other officials to attend the 2013 Asian Cities Tourism Summit in the southern city of Kaohsiung. Jo, however, notified the event's organizer recently of his decision to cancel the trip, citing "inappropriate timing," according to Pepor Huang, president of the Kaohsiung Tourism Industry Association. The development is believed to be linked to a purge launched recently by North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jung-un against his powerful uncle, Jang Song-thaek. Because Jo is a relative of Jang, his planned visit to Taiwan had drawn wide attention from Japanese and South Korean media, Huang said. The summit, being held Dec. 11-15, has brought together representatives of 18 cities from 10 Asian countries -- Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines and China -- in addition to host Taiwan. (By Chang Che-fon and Y.F. Low)
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