Vietnam aims to cooperate with North Korea and is willing to share its socio-economic development model with Pyongyang, local media reported on Friday.
Hanoi’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh made the statement during talks with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho who is visiting Vietnam from November 29 to December 2.
“The Party, Government and people of Viet Nam attach importance to the traditional ties with the DPRK,” Minh said in comments carried by Viet Nam News.
“(We) are willing to work with the country to promote exchanges and cooperation in all fields in conformity with each country’s potential and interests, international law and responsibility, for the sake of maintaining peace and development in the region.”
The Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister added that Hanoi was ready to help with ongoing denuclearization talks if needed.
“Viet Nam is ready to make practical contributions to the dialogue process between the DPRK and the sides concerned,” Minh added.
Ri’s visit to Vietnam triggered speculation that the Pyongyang will use the trip as an opportunity to discuss economic reform, and the potential lessons it can learn from Vietnam’s “doi moi” program of liberalization in the 1980s.
Following his four-day stay, Ri will head to Syria, a diplomatic source with knowledge of the plans told NK News on Wednesday – the first visit by a DPRK foreign minister to Damascus in over four years.
Ri isn’t the only high-level DPRK official currently conducting official visits, with ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam also engaged on a tour of several Latin American countries.
Kim recently wrapped up a visit to Venezuela and on Thursday arrived in Cuba where he will remain for two days before heading to Mexico.
Upon his arrival in Havana, Kim met with Cuban President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez and the two sides “reviewed the excellent state of bilateral relations and their development prospects,” the Cuban Foreign Ministry said.
On Friday, North Korean media also issued a statement on Kim’s earlier meeting with Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.
“Opinions on the issues of developing the bilateral friendly and cooperative relations and the non-aligned movement and other issues of mutual concern were exchanged at the talks,” an article from the Korean Central News Agency reads.