North Korea’s ambassador to Syria said the DPRK would be willing to help the country with rebuilding and reconstruction, during a meeting with Syria’s Minister of Social Affairs and Labor earlier in the week.
According to the state-run Syria Arab News Agency, DPRK Ambassador Jang Myong Ho told the Syrian minister that North Korea viewed the possibility of helping with reconstruction as a way to improve bilateral relations.
“Minister al-Qadiri said that the Syrian people highly appreciate the stances of DPRK’s people in supporting Syria, mainly during the reconstruction stage, highlighting the importance of benefiting from the highly specialized expertise of the Korean side,” the report reads.
“In turn, the Ambassador expressed his country’s readiness to contribute to the reconstruction of Syria with its expertise and companies specialized in decor and construction.”
But the Syrian authorities will have to proceed with caution if they want to hire North Korea to help with construction projects, or they might fall afoul of recent UN rulings on the DPRK’s practice of exporting its laborers.
The international body has recently attempted to limit countries from hiring North Korean laborers, due to concerns over their treatment and to limit the North Korean government’s revenue from the practice.
The UN Security Council sanctioned the Mansudae Overseas Project Group – the DPRK’s primary entity for overseas construction work – in August this year “for the exportation of workers from the DPRK to other nations for construction-related activities.”
The following month, a second UN resolution added that member states could no longer issue work permits for North Korean laborers unless first approved by the UN’s 1718 Committee, though the measures do not apply to existing contracts.
Syria and North Korea also said they would improve bilateral relations in August when Syrian media claimed the two countries were looking to improve economic ties.
During a meeting between Syria’s Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer al-Khalil and DPRK Vice Minister of External Economic Affairs Ri Myong San discussed “economic relations and means to boost them.”
The North Korean minister lead a delegation to the country and attended the Damascus International Fair, a yearly trade exhibition.
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Featured Image: Damascus from Above by upyernoz on 2005-09-27 11:36:01