North Korea’s Minister of the People’s Armed Forces departed Pyongyang on Monday to take part in the 8th Moscow Conference on International Security, state media reported, in a visit likely to overlap with an expected DPRK-Russia summit in the country’s Far East this week.
No Kwang Chol — who most recently appeared alongside North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a test of new “tactical guided weapon” last Wednesday — is accompanied by a delegation of officials, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The Ministry of Defense-sponsored Moscow Conference on International Security, set to last until Thursday and be held at Moscow’s Hotel Ukraina, is expected to see delegates from across the world discuss “the problems of utmost significance in terms of shaping views on the international security,” according to the event’s website.
It is unclear how long defense minister No will spend at the conference, however: his attendance comes the same week as an expected first summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
While no official date or location has been confirmed, it is now widely expected to take place on Russky Island off the coast of Vladivostok, on or around the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).
North Korea is yet to confirm a list of attendants at the summit, and questions remain over whether it will take place on Wednesday or Thursday.
A brochure for this week’s Moscow Conference on International Security reveals the event will formally begin on Tuesday, kicking-off with a roundtable event on “Military dangers and threats in the Modern World” followed by a cocktail party hosted by Russia’s deputy defense minister Alexander Fomin.
Several roundtable discussions and keynote speeches will then take place on Wednesday and Thursday, including one on new “Hybrid Warfare” and the use of “new technologies for internal political destabilization” and another on “multilateral military cooperation.”
It is sponsored by some of the key players in the Russian military-industrial complex, including KBP, a state-owned weapons designer sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury for its role in the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia.
North Korea’s participation in the conference was first confirmed earlier in the month, during a visit to Pyongyang by Russian interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev.
That event also saw the Russian side confirm that DPRK officials will participate in the 10th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues to be held in the city of Ufa in June and the 5th Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September.
Featured image: Flickr user Aleksei
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