North Korea’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs – Sin Hong Chol – met with Algerian officials in the North African country between April 24 and 26 as part of a delegation to the region, two state media reports announced on Friday.
The first report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) heralded an inaugural “political consultative” meeting between the two country’s ministries of foreign affairs.
“After briefing on the achievements made by the army and people of the DPRK in building a socialist power under the wise guidance of respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, the vice-minister stressed the need to expand and develop the bilateral relations unaffected by the change of the situation,” the report reads.
It added that the Secretary General of Algeria’s Foreign Ministry – Hassane Rabehi – pledged his support “to the line of the DPRK on reunifying the country peacefully by the efforts of the nation free from outsiders’ interference.”
Sin also met with Ramtane Lamamra, Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The second of the two KCNA reports on the delegation says that Sin also met with the Algerian secretary generals from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Mines, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Veterans.
According to KCNA, the secretary generals “expressed the intention to positively develop the bilateral ties through the mutual visits and exchange of experience in concert with the fine political relations between the two countries.”
Sin also “underlined the need to expand and develop the economic cooperation with Algeria in various fields.”
According to state media, the last high-level North Korean delegation to visit Algeria was led by then Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong, who attended a conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in mid-2014.
But since then North Korea and Algeria have stepped up bilateral cooperation. In November 2016 the two countries signed a cultural exchange agreement and an agreement on friendly relations between North Korea’s Kim Il Sung University and Algeria’s University of El-Djezair No. 1.
The cultural exchange agreement is set to run from 2017 to 2019.
Friday’s state media coverage of the bilateral meetings provides the first information regarding Sin’s delegation, which was first announced on April 21.
The announcement, however, was short on details and said only that the delegation would “visit some Arabian countries”.
No further details have yet been issued on state media to indicate which other countries the DPRK delegation will visit on its trip.
North Korean relations with Algeria date back to 1958: Algeria was the first non-communist country to recognize the DPRK.
Trade between the two nations is ongoing but limited, with primary North Korea exports consisting of machinery and electrical imports according to the NK Pro trade map.
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Featured Image: Blida, Algeria by filtran on 2006-11-18 19:50:39