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Ruling party head leaves for U.S. to discuss N. Korea

The leader of South Korea's ruling party headed Saturday to Washington D.C. mainly for discussions on North Korea.

"It's very important to deal with North Korea's nuclear program," Rep. Kim Moo-sung, who chairs the Saenuri Party told reporters at Incheon International Airport.

During his stay in the U.S. capital, Kim said, he will have discussions on the North Korea issue and establish a "close cooperation system" on it.

He plans to hold a series of meetings with senior members of Congress including Rep. Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking member of the House Democratic Leadership, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is Hoyer's Republican counterpart, and Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as researchers at major think tanks.

Kim will also travel to New York and Los Angeles in the nine-day tour of the U.S., his first there since assuming the post last year.

Media here are paying keen attention to whether Kim will meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.

Despite repeatedly saying that he is not interested in local politics, Ban is considered a possible presidential candidate in his homeland South Korea in the 2017 polls. (Yonhap)

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