North Korea reported the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Russia Friday, despite its absence there.
In a series of reports from Sochi, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Kim Yong-nam, the North's titular head of state, held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his attendance in the opening ceremony for the 22nd Winter Olympic Games.
Kim, president of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, or parliament, also met with the presidents of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Armenia, as well as the South Korean secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, according to the report.
The report said Kim attended the opening ceremony as a special guest. North Korea is officially absent from the winter games as none of its athletes qualified for the event. It is the first time in 12 years for the communist state to be absent from winter Olympic games.
Despite its absence, the North is expected to receive substantial television coverage of the event as the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, a non-profit organization for cooperation among broadcasting firms in the region, earlier said the country will be one of 15 countries to receive free or special coverage under deals with the union. (Yonhap)