Russian region signs trade deal with N. Korea

Deal first result of three-day visit by high-ranking Russian delegation to Pyongyang
April 29th, 2014

The regional government of Amur, Russia signed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation with North Korea on Monday, Pyongyang’s Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Tuesday.

The signing of the deal took place on the first day of a three-day visit to Pyongyang by Russian Vice-Premier Yury Trutnev and the governors of three of Russia’s far-eastern federal subjects.

A document outlining cooperation on railroad and transportation projects was also signed between the North Korean side and Russian engineering and construction company Mostovik.

The Russian delegation, headed by Trutnev – Russian president Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to the Far East – is the highest-ranking in a series of recent visits to North Korea by Russian officials.

 During a visit in early April, the two countries signed an economic development protocol with the aim of increasing annual bilateral trade to $1 billion by 2020.

In late March, the president of the autonomous Russian republic Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov visited Pyongyang for talks about joint exploration and development of petroleum gas fields in North Korea. Last week, Russia formally wrote off 90 percent of the North’s debt. 

During the signing of the deal on Monday, Trutnev and the governors of the Amur, Primorsky and Khabarovsk subjects were accompanied by Vice-Premier of the DPRK Cabinet Ro Tu Chol, Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam, Vice-Minister of foreign affairs Kung Sok Ung and Im Chon Il, DPRK consul general in Nakhodka, Russia, according to the KCNA.

Picture: NK News

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About the Author

Ole Jakob Skåtun

Ole Jakob Skåtun is a freelance journalist. In addition to reporting on Korean affairs for newspapers in his native Norway, his previous work also includes freelance work from Russia. His Twitter handle is @OleJakobS