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U.S. citizen delegation visits North Korea

Sept. 5, 2012 at 9:58 AM

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The North Korean government met with a group of U.S. civilians so they could get a better understanding of the Pyongyang regime, an official said.

A 23-member delegation from the Pacific Council on International Policy, which has headquarters in California, toured North Korea last week at the invitation of Pyongyang.

"The delegation aimed to learn firsthand about the current atmosphere in North Korea, subject to the restrictions placed by the North Korea government on foreign groups and individuals traveling to the country," an official at the council told Yonhap News Agency.

The delegation visited Pyongyang, an industrial complex and the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.

The PCIP said it was there at the invitation of the North Korean government and didn't collaborate with the U.S. State Department on the visit.

A diplomatic official in Washington told the news agency that the visit was "deemed meaningful in that North Korea invited a large delegation of U.S. civilians including businessmen."

Kim Jong Un took control of North Korea after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in December.

Yonhap reports that a September session of North Korea's legislative assembly may trigger economic reforms in North Korea.

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