OREANDA-NEWS. October 15, 2008. Question: How do you assess the state of, and prospects for cooperation between Russia and the DPRK?

Answer: Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea traditionally maintain close good-neighborly relations. The Treaty on Friendship, Good-Neighborliness and Cooperation of 2000 as well as the accords reached at the highest level remain a reliable basis for these relations. Between Russia and the DPRK a regular political dialogue is maintained, inter-parliamentary ties are being developed, and cooperation at the regional level is picking up speed.

This year – the 12th of October – marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the DPRK. Timed for this important date is the official visit to our country of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, Pak Ui Chun, on October 14-17, and in November Choe Thae Bok, Chairman of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, will visit Russia.

Question: What results do you expect from the visit to Moscow of the North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs?

Answer: During the upcoming visit of the DPRK Minister of Foreign Affairs, a thorough exchange of views will be held on the entire spectrum of Russian-North Korean relations, including exchanges at the political level, humanitarian cooperation, and cross-regional ties. Special attention will be paid to the development of bilateral trade.

We note with satisfaction the cooperation of our countries on the international agenda, on the main issues being discussed in the UN and other international organizations. At the talks in Moscow the sides will discuss the state of affairs in the Asia-Pacific region, paying special attention to the situation in Northeast Asia, in particular, to progress in the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear problem, as well as to the elaboration of a mechanism for ensuring peace and security in NEA within the working group led by the Russian Federation on this issue.

Question: On October 4, the ceremony of the start of the work to realize the pilot project for the reconstruction of the Hasan-Rajin Railway and construction of a container terminal at the Port of Rajin took place at North Korea’s Tumangan railway station. What is the importance of this project?

Answer: The pilot project for the reconstruction of the railway section between Tumangan and Rajin has significance not only for the development of Russian-North Korean bilateral relations, but is also a starting point for cooperation with other countries. Its successful realization will constitute the first step in the implementation of the larger project of connecting the Trans-Korean Railway with the Trans-Siberian Railway, which undoubtedly will have an enormous political and economic significance for the entire region of Northeast Asia, since in the long run the talk may be about creating a transcontinental transport corridor – the shortest route linking the Korean Peninsula and the European continent.