N. Korea's No. 2 leader departs for Vietnam, Laos.
North Korea's second-ranking leader Kim Yong Nam left Pyongyang on Saturday for official goodwill visits to Vietnam and Laos, the North's Korean Central News Agency reported.
Kim is accompanied by Foreign Trade Minister Ri Ryong Nam, Mining Industry Minister Kang Min Chol and Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung, KCNA said, signaling North Korea's eagerness to boost economic ties with the two countries.
Kim, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, the North's parliament, visited Singapore and Indonesia in May as part of Pyongyang's efforts to increase exchanges with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.