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North Korea and Russia continue to expand cooperation

Thursday, 16 November 2023, 10:05

North Korea and Russia have signed a protocol for expanding cooperation following the bilateral talks on economy, science, and technology in Pyongyang.

Source: Yonhap with reference to North Korea's state-run media statements on Thursday, as reported by European Pravda

Details: The official Korean Central News Agency said the protocol was signed after the two countries held the 10th meeting of the Committee for Cooperation in Trade, Economy, Science and Technology on Wednesday, 15 November.

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The meeting followed the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin in September. On Tuesday, a Russian government delegation led by Russian Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Aleksandr Kozlov arrived in Pyongyang.

The North Korean Central News Agency reported that sides discussed at the meeting steps to "revitalising and expanding the multifaceted bilateral exchange and cooperation in different fields, including trade, economy, science and technology". This follows the agreement established during the Kim-Putin summit.

The North Korea-Russia Joint Committee, a consultative body at the ministerial level focusing on economic cooperation, held nine rounds of meetings between 1996 and 2019.

Seoul's Unification Ministry previously said the committee is likely to discuss various issues at the November meeting, ranging from food aid, economic and logistics cooperation to sending North Korean workers to Russia.

A separate report from the North Korean Central News Agency said sports ministers of North Korea and Russia held talks in Pyongyang and signed an agreement to expand exchanges and cooperation in the sports field for 2024-2026.

Background:

  • North Korea and Russia have recently intensified their interaction. South Korean military intelligence said North Korea provided Russia with over a million rounds of artillery for use in the war against Ukraine.
  • In early November, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during a visit to South Korea, discussed with Seoul shared concerns about Russia providing North Korea with military technology and how to counter it.
  • Earlier, Blinken expressed concern that Russia could transfer nuclear and ballistic technology to North Korea.

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