New Delhi/Tehran (Iran), Aug.22: Will Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meet North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un on the sidelines of the XVIth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit to be held in Iran capital Tehran next week.
Indications are that he may have an opportunity to do so after a NAM spokesman told an Iranian news website on Wednesday that Kim would be attending the summit, his first visit abroad as the leader of his country.
Prime Minister Singh is scheduled to visit Tehran from August 29 to 31, and is likely to be accompanied by a 150-strong delegation, reports have said.
The Sixteenth Summit of the NAM member states will be held from August 26 through August 31 in Tehran under the chairmanship of the Iranian government.
NAM has 120 members and its objective is to promote and accelerate development in developing countries so they become equal partners in international relations.
During the XVIth NAM Summit, Iran will assume the rotating presidency of the movement for three years.
The spokesman for the organizing committee of the summit, Mohammad Reza Forqani, has said that heads of 35 NAM member states will attend the summit. He added that around 100 countries have so far announced that their representatives will be present in the meeting.
The Tabnak news web site and BNO News quoted Forqani, as saying: “North Korea will participate in the summit meeting and the North Korean leader will travel to Tehran.”
He further said: “There has always been an excellent level of relations between Iran and North Korea. (Kim Jong-un’s) presence in Tehran shows the two countries’ willingness to strengthen their bilateral relations and cooperation.”
NAM officials were not immediately available for comment and North Korea’s state-run media has not yet reported on the visit.
Kim Jong-un was promoted to Supreme Leader in December 2011 to lead the impoverished and secretive country.
It came days after his father, Kim Jong-il, died on December 17 after suffering an ‘advanced, acute myocardial infarction, complicated with a heart shock,’ while on a train for a ‘field guidance tour’.
Little is known about Kim Jong-un, who was educated in Switzerland, and is believed to be in his late 20s, making him the youngest head of state in the world.
He reportedly resembles his father the most and has always been the favorite among his three sons. (ANI)