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N. Korean tourism official cancels Taiwan visit plans

TAIPEI -- A high-ranking tourism official from North Korea has canceled a planned visit to Taiwan amid an ongoing power struggle.

Deputy Tourism Minister Jo Sung Goyu had originally been scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Dec. 9 with two other officials to attend the 2013 Asian Cities Tourism Summit in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

Jo, however, notified the event's organizer recently of his decision to cancel the trip, citing “inappropriate timing,” according to Pepor Huang, president of the Kaohsiung Tourism Industry Association.

The development is believed to be linked to a purge launched recently by North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jung-un against his powerful uncle, Jang Song Thaek.

Because Jo is a relative of Jang, his planned visit to Taiwan had drawn wide attention from Japanese and South Korean media, Huang said.

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