Philippines: N. Korea's top diplomat to join security summit

Philippine officials say North Korea's top diplomat will be attending an annual Asian security conference next week in Manila where concern over the North's nuclear weapons program is expected to be high on the agenda.

According to officials, a North Korean delegation led by its vice foreign minister flew to Manila Wednesday to discuss with their Filipino counterparts the participation of Pyongyang's top diplomat, Ri Su-yong, in the ASEAN Regional Forum.

The 27-member ARF's annual meetings are also attended by the foreign ministers of South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan, countries involved in the so-called six-party talks aimed at taming the North's nuclear ambition. The talks were last held in April 2009, when the North pulled out to protest international condemnations over its long-range rocket launch.