Friday, 24 May 2019
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North Korea wants to upgrade ties with Vietnam, Kim Jong Un says

Updated at Monday, 04 Mar 2019, 16:18
The Hanoitimes - Kim noted that the two countries and two parties would develop the relationship through the legacy built up by the countries’ founding leaders.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong early this month expressed that the two countries would boost multifaceted cooperation and upgrade the relations to a new height. 
 
Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong welcomes DPRK's leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi on March 1. Photo: AP
Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong welcomes the DPRK's leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi on March 1. Photo: AP
The state-run KCNA quoted Kim Jong Un as saying the two parties and countries should “actively make regular cooperation and exchanges in the economy, science and technology, national defense, cultural areas such as sports and the arts, publishing, and all areas, developing at a new high level.”

Kim noted that the two countries and two parties would develop the relationship through the legacy built up by the countries’ founding leaders. 

Kim’s official visit began on March 1 at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi for an official reception, complete with a military band playing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) national anthem. Kim shared a handshake with Trong followed by an embrace, after which he greeted children waving Vietnamese and North Korean flags with a smile at a welcome ceremony.

He also hopes “to step up experience sharing with the Southeast Asian country,” the agency added.

 
North Korean delegation visits Vinfast on February 27. Photo: Thanh Nien
North Korean delegation visits Vinfast during the visit to Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Nien
During the time of the summit, a delegation led by vice chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee Ri Su Yong on February 27 toured VinFast – a brand new high-tech automobile manufacturing factory of Vingroup, one of Vietnam’s leading private conglomerate. In the same day, they also toured other Vingroup-owned facilities, including VinEco high-tech agricultural production zone and Vinpearl Hotel Zone.
 
A delegation led by Vice Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee Ri Su Yong visits Viettel Group on February 28. Photo: Viettel
A delegation led by Vice Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee Ri Su Yong visits Viettel Group on February 28. Photo: Viettel
On February 28, as Kim and Trump held talks in Hanoi, Ri and his delegation toured military-run telecommunications group Viettel, a plastic bag factory, and the national Agriculture Science Institute, among other sites.

Kim also thanked the Vietnamese leadership for hosting the second US-DPRK summit in the days prior to the visit.

According to foreign media, photos of the reception and events throughout the day, including meeting the three top Vietnamese officials and attending a dinner banquet and arts performance, dominated the North Korean ruling party-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun, covering the first five pages in the special eight-page edition on Saturday [March 2].

 
Kids at Viet-Trieu (Vietnam-DPRK) kindergarten which was built in 1978 by Pyongyang. Photo: Vietnammoi
Kids at Viet-Trieu (Vietnam-DPRK) kindergarten which was built in 1978 with the support of Pyongyang. Photo: Vietnammoi
Kim is the first North Korean leader to visit Vietnam after 55 years since his grandfather, Kim Il Sung’s visit in 1964. The two countries’ ties run deep with Pyongyang having provided support during the Vietnam War by sending fighter pilots to Vietnam. Hanoi has supported Pyongyang in rice relief and appears to have shouldered the cost of Kim’s visit this week, according to Nikkei Asia Review.
 
During the talks, the Vietnamese president characterized Vietnam as “a reliable friend, trusted partner and responsible member of the international community,” and said the official visit was a “very important milestone” in Hanoi-Pyongyang relations.

More official exchanges are expected in the coming year as the two countries plan to hold celebrations over the 70th anniversary of establishing relations, according to the reports from both state media outlets.
Linh Pham
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