N Korea, Russia discuss cooperation in economy, trade

Pyongyang [North Korea]: Officials from North Korea and Russia met on Friday and discussed ways to bolster bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, according to North Korean media.

A delegation headed by North Korea’s Minister for External Economic Affairs Kim Yong-jae met his Russian counterpart, Alexander Kozlov, in Pyongyang, Yonhap News Agency reported citing a report carried by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“The talks discussed matters of further revitalising the work of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Cooperation in Trade, Economy, Science and Technology and putting the equally-beneficial economic and trade relations between the two countries on a higher stage,” the KCNA said while referring to North Korea’s official name.

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The meeting comes at a time when the two countries are looking to strengthen cooperation in economy and trade.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had visited Vladivostok for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in April. It was Kim’s first trip to Russia after he assumed power in 2011.

Meanwhile, North Korea has been undertaking various steps to expand its diplomatic outreach with its neighbouring countries, including China and Russia amid the global sanctions imposed on its economy.

The sanctions placed on the reclusive state are expected to remain in place due to little progress in denuclearisation talks with the United States.

Talks between the two countries hit a roadblock after the second summit in Vietnam ended abruptly with no joint statement being released. The two sides reportedly failed to resolve their differences on sanction waivers.
North Korea has since launched multiple projectiles as a sign of their apparent frustration regarding the stalled talks and continuing sanctions.

Pyongyang has repeatedly insisted that the removal of penalties will help spur economic growth, whereas Washington has reaffirmed that sanctions will not be removed till the communist country completely stopped its nuclear weapons programme.

Earlier this week, the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang had said that around 3,900 tons of wheat was sent to North Korea through an international agency as humanitarian aid to help the country to overcome its food shortages aggravated by this year’s drought.


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