Senior N.Korean Apparatchik Meets Xi, Putin in Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with North Koreas titular head of state Kim Yong-nam at an Olympic reception in Sochi, Russia on Friday. /AP-Newsis Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with North Korea's titular head of state Kim Yong-nam at an Olympic reception in Sochi, Russia on Friday. /AP-Newsis

Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's titular head of state, met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi last Friday.

As a guest of honor at the ceremony, Kim also met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the North's official KCNA news agency reported on Saturday.

Kim conveyed leader Kim Jong-un's greetings to Xi and discussed with Putin ways to promote relations between the two countries, it added.

No North Korean athlete has earned a ticket for the Winter Olympics, but a government delegation led by Kim Yong-nam, who is over 90, was dispatched in an apparent attempt to improve relations with China and Russia in times of growing international isolation.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 10, 2014 10:12 KST