A North Korean delegation will participate Vladivostok’s Eastern Economic Forum in early September, according to a recent press release from Russia’s Ministry of Far East Development.
The DPRK delegation will discuss ongoing trade and cooperation between North Korea and the Russian Far East. North Korea’s Economic Minister Ri Ryong Nam will lead the delegation.
Numerous meetings on the Forum’s side lines are also planned.
“(A) bilateral meeting is scheduled between Ri Ryong Nam and Minister of the Russian Federation on the development of the Far East Alexander Galushka,” the ministry’s press release reads.
A further meeting between the North Korean delegation and “stakeholders from Russia and the Republic of Korea to discuss a draft technical cooperation on the Korean Peninsula is also planned,” it adds.
The press release also details further progress on numerous cooperation projects involving Russia, the DPRK and South Korea.
In addition to outlining the expanding Rhasan-Rason coal project, North Korea and Russia have also laid the groundwork to cooperate on coal and iron barter initiatives and a joint concerning the DPRK’s zinc industry.
“The Russian side … has offered modernization options for the Kim Chul metallurgical association. Coal is also being supplied to meet the needs of North Korea’s industry. Russia exchanges its coal for North Korean iron. The total annual value of this exchange is estimated at $25million,” the press release adds.
According to the release, the two countries have also worked on deals to exchange Russian wheat for North Korea iron, and begun work on a corrugated iron roof production line valued at $15 million.
Despite the apparent progress however, some experts remain cool on the developments.
“South Korean are still reluctant to enter Khasan-Rajin project and the final outcome would depend on the state of Inter-Korean relations … Strictly commercial-based projects (supply of energy to Rajin, roofing materials production) might be more realistic and interesting to both sides- provided North Korea will have the money to pay,” Georgy Toloraya, Executive Director of the National Committee on BRICS Research for Russia told NK News.
The news of proposed cooperation between North and South Korea caps off a period of high tensions on the Peninsula. Moscow is hopeful a recent agreement between the two Koreas will help increase stability in the region.
“We are convinced that the strict implementation (of the agreements) by both sides will help lower the degree of military confrontation and will help strengthen stability in the region,” the Russian ministry said in a commentary on Tuesday, as reported by Interfax News Agency.
Additional reporting: Dmitry Petrounin
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 429 words of this article.