U.N. General Assembly opens in New York

NEW YORK, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- A U.N. General Assembly session opened in New York Tuesday with Syria, disarmament and human rights high on the agenda.

The 68th regular session will last through September 2014, covering a total of 174 agenda items.

The general debate will run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, excluding the weekend, drawing leaders from about 150 U.N. member states.

South Korea plans to send Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se as its chief delegate. He is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech on Friday.

Yun plans to stress the need for continued efforts to denuclearize North Korea and raise Japan's wartime sexual slavery issue, according to ministry officials.

North Korea will likely be represented by Vice Foreign Minister Pak Gil-yon, whose speech date has not been fixed.

The U.N. session comes as global powers struggle to deal with a civil war in Syria.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he will press for international cooperation on the Syria issue.

"I will make a strong appeal to world leaders in next week's U.N. General Assembly for action" in Syria, he said at a news conference.

North Korea's nuclear weapons drive is also expected to be discussed in the U.N. session when member states touch on disarmament and nonproliferation.

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