Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, returned to North Korea after attending an annual meeting of communists in Vietnam. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun
SEOUL, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- A top North Korean official who recently attended the 18th annual International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties in Vietnam may have canceled a planned trip to Indonesia.
Ri Su Yong, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, returned to Pyongyang on Tuesday, according to North Korea state media.
Ri, who previously served as North Korea's foreign minister, is a trusted confidant of Kim Jong Un.
Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported on Wednesday that Ri had attended the meeting of world communist party members and had returned on Tuesday, but left out any reference to his Indonesia trip cancellation.
On Oct. 25, North Korean news agency KCNA reported Ri had left Pyongyang on Oct. 24 on a trip to Vietnam and Indonesia.
A source in Indonesia had said the trip is being made to reciprocate a visit by former President Megawati Soekarnoputri in 2011, when she went to Pyongyang in her capacity as the leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.
North Korea founder Kim Il Sung also maintained a strong friendship with Indonesia's President Sukarno during his period of rule.
Last week in Vietnam, Ri delivered a strongly worded speech at the meeting of international communists, calling on his audience to "struggle against the U.S. imperial policy of divisiveness," according to a KCNA report issued Monday.
Ri said North Korea is working "vigorously toward the final victory of the socialist cause," and that Pyongyang is working for the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula in the face of "U.S. nuclear threats."
North Korea's claims to pursuing a socialist planning system may not hold true for ordinary North Koreans.
The regime is increasingly the target of common complaints in the country, according to new analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Beyond Parallel website.
The study found 35 of 36 North Koreans discreetly interviewed in the country complain or make jokes about the government in private.
Criticism of the government is a serious crime, punishable by imprisonment or even death in North Korea, the study says.