NK boosts exchanges with Laos

North Korea has signed four agreements with Laos to boost economic and cultural exchange, Pyongyang’s state media said Thursday as the Stalinist country continues its outreach across Southeast Asia.

The agreements were reached a day earlier during a visit by Kim Yong-nam, president of the North’s Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, to the Laotian capital Vientiane where he met President Choummaly Sayasone.

The agreements bolstered ties in information, technology, tourism, culture, education, sports and commerce.

“Agreements between the governments of the DPRK and Laos were signed with due ceremonies at the Presidency on Wednesday,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, using the acronym for the North’s official name.

“Developing the traditional friendship with Laos is our government’s unmovable stance,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying in the meeting. Kim arrived at Laos on Tuesday following their three-day visit to Vietnam.

The agreements come amid a spate of diplomacy by Pyongyang with Southeast Asian countries as the Kim Jong-un regime attempts to revive a struggling broken economy.

Kim Yong-nam in recent months has visited Singapore and Indonesia in a bid to drum up foreign direct investment.
Vietnam on Monday pledged to give 5,000 tons of rice to North Korea, which has been slammed by floods again this summer.

Heavy rains have triggered flooding and landslides resulting in dozens of deaths of scores of people and tens of thousands of homeless, according to the North. The United Nations has called for immediate food assistance to the country.

Pyongyang’s propaganda has been prioritizing economic development and new leader Kim Jong-un recently told a visiting Chinese delegation that he was focused on “improving people’s livelihoods.” <The Korea Times/Kim Young-jin>


Search in Site