About the Author
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
Russian and North Korean representatives have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of railway transport and have discussed the ongoing Rajin-Khasan logistics project, the Russian Embassy in the DPRK and Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday.
During the Russian delegation’s visit to Pyongyang from January 27 to 30, Russian and North Korean officials signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a program to train North Korean students in the field of railway transport at Russian universities.
Deputy head of the Russian Federal Agency for Railway Transport Igor Mitsuk, led the delegation, and Chancellor of the Far Eastern State Transport University (FESTU) Yuri Davydov was also included in the visitors.
TASS said Mitsuk and an official at the DPRK’s Ministry of Railways signed a memorandum in which the Russian government pledged to continue to train North Korean students – a program funded by the Kremlin.
The Rajin-Khasan logistics project was also discussed at the meetings, according to TASS’s interview with Mitsuk.
Mitsuk said that the Rajin-Khasan joint partnership between the North and Russia was an “important” infrastructure project which could create a corridor that would connect the Trans-Korean railway with the Trans-Siberian railway.
Renovation of the railway station in Khasan, Russia, which is linked to the port of Rajin in the DPRK, was carried out from 2008 to 2014, TASS said, with total investment amounting to 10.6 billion rubles ($176.39 million).
A Russian-funded transshipment terminal in the northeastern port of Rajin was opened in July 2014.
Mitsuk said the 24 North Korean students at Russia’s railway-related universities could make a “big contribution to developing cooperation of railway systems between Russia and the DPRK,” TASS reported.
Russia’s Ambassador to Pyongyang, Alexander Matsegora, and Ri Yong Chol, Chancellor of the Pyongyang University of Railways, were seen participating in the ceremony in photos published by the Russian Embassy.
During the visit, representatives of FESTU and the Pyongyang University of Railways also shared views on extending cooperation between two universities.
“North Korean students have always demonstrated remarkable ability and dedication,” the embassy quoted Davydov as saying. “Due to their wonderful talents, [our North] Korean colleagues earned major respect from teachers and classmates.”
Russian transport minister Maxim Sokolov signed a certificate of merit to mark the North Korean students’ successful completion of their studies.
Featured Image: Russian Embassy to the DPRK