A delegation of North Korean government officials departed Pyongyang on Saturday to attend an event in Nigeria, the country’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The group, which is led by DPRK vice premier Ri Ryong Nam, is set to take part in celebrations of Nigeria’s “Democracy Day” on June 12, it added.
No further details on the group’s itinerary have been given, though Ri is seen as one of the DPRK’s most high-profile economic officials, with an expertise in foreign trade and investment.
Last September’s inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, for example, saw him hold a meeting with South Korean business leaders, including Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-Yong and Hyundai Group CEO Hyun Jeong-eun.
The trip represents the first to Africa by a high-level North Korean delegation since October last year, when a group of officials, also led by Ri, visited Equatorial Guinea to take part in the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the independence of the country.
The DPRK and Nigeria maintain relatively close ties, having in 2014 signed a cooperation agreement to promote the exchange of knowledge in information technology.
North Korean doctors have also been known to work in Nigeria, and the UN Panel of Experts in March reported that the DPRK’s Korea General Corporation for External Construction (GENCO) continues to operate in the country.
Minister Ri and his colleagues were spotted arriving at Beijing Capital Airport by reporters from South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency on Saturday morning.
They reportedly met with DPRK ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong upon their arrival, as well as other officials from the country’s ruling Communist Party.
Featured image: Flickr user OpenUpEd
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