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N. Korea's No. 2 man to visit Iran for inauguration ceremony

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's head of parliament will visit Iran next month to attend the inauguration of President-elect Hassan Rowhani, Pyongyang's official news agency reported Friday.

Kim Yong-nam, the president of the North's Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, will attend the inauguration slated for Aug. 4, 2013, at the Iranian government's invitation, the North's Korean Central News Agency said in a report, without providing further details.

Kim, Pyongyang's ceremonial head of state, is considered second in line behind North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea and Iran are known to have developed strong ties through their staunchly anti-American policies and reported exchanges of nuclear weapons technology.

Parliamentary leader Kim last visited Teheran in August 2012 to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit and sat down for talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the summit.

In June, Rowhani, a moderate cleric, won the presidential election in a landslide victory against conservative hardliners. While ruling out any halt to Iran's nuclear activities that have drawn U.N. sanctions, Rowhani vowed "interaction" with the international community to ease tensions.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130725/n-koreas-no-2-man-visit-iran-inauguration-ceremony