June 06, 2023

The colorful history of North Korea-Vietnam relations

From submarines to kindergartens, the two states used to share it all but have since grown apart

SEOUL – An elite kindergarten in Hanoi is the most prominent remainder of the once-thriving ties between Vietnam and North Korea, and even it may be North Korean in name only.

Sharing aspects of the same ideology, the two states have a history of military cooperation, particularly during the Vietnam War. A number of bilateral agreements have also been signed, as early as the 1950s and as late as the early part of last decade. Ties officially continue and visits between high-level officials are a regularity, but economic ties have halted, with the vast majority of bilateral agreements expiring and common perceptions of the North among the Vietnamese growing more and more negative.