A possible trip to Europe by a seasoned North Korean diplomat is drawing further attention to Pyongyang's recent diplomatic overture.
Kang Sok-ju, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, will reportedly visit Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy starting late this week.
Experts say that, given Kang's status in North Korea, his trip may serve a specific purpose.
This, as Pyongyang is accelerating its diplomacy with Washington.
Senior U.S. officials reportedly visited North Korea last week on a military aircraft to discuss the issue of three American citizens detained in the North.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong will be in New York City for the UN General Assembly that begins on September 24th.
Speculation is ripe the two countries may revive their dormant communication channels.
Europe has been the site of secret meetings between North Korea and the U.S. in the past.
Kang may also lead high-level talks with Japan during his stay in Switzerland.
His visit coincides with a seminar on the Japanese abduction issue slated for September 10th in Geneva, which senior Japanese officials are expected to attend.
As Pyongyang takes strides to reengage with Washington and Tokyo, some say Seoul could ultimately be the one left out of the diplomatic circle.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.