Top North Korean official to attend Rio Olympics opening ceremony
Pyongyang July 30 (IANS) North Korean Workers' Party vice chairman Choe Ryong Hae, who is believed to be a close aide of leader Kim Jong-un, will represent the country at the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games on August 5.
Choe departed from Pyongyang airport on Saturday to fly to Beijing, from where he will fly to Brazil for the inaugural ceremony of the prestigious games, reports Efe.
The vice chairman will stay one week in Brazil, a country with which Pyongyang has diplomatic ties, according to North Korean diplomatic sources, as cited by Japanese media.
Choe's attendance will be one of the rare occasions when a member of the secretive Kim Jong-un regime embarks on a foreign visit.
His trip comes amid tough UN sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear and missile tests.
Around 30 North Korean athletes are set to participate in the Rio Games, competing in sports categories such as judo, table tennis and marathon.