RUSSIA AND DPRK
Bilateral relations of Russia and DPRK
The former USSR was the first state to establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK on October 12, 1948.
On July 6, 1961, in Moscow the two Sides signed Treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between the USSR and the DPRK. The Treaty proclaimed that the USSR and the DPRK proceeding from principles of equality, mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and noninterference in internal affairs, agreed to contribute to the strengthening peace and comprehensive security and to carry out cooperation in the areas of economy and culture.
On February 9, 2000 in Pyongyang both sides concluded a new Treaty on friendship, good-neighborship and cooperation between the Russian Federation and the DPRK that specifies active efforts by both Parties toward arms reduction and maintaining durable peace and security in the whole world, development of cooperation in trade and economy, science and technology, deepening ties in education, culture and public health.
In June, 2000, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin made an official visit to the DPRK where the Parties signed Pyongyang declaration. In July-August, 2001, Chairman of the National Defense Committee (NDC) of the DPRK Kim Jong Il made a trip to Russia. Summit talks with Russian President as well as Moscow declaration that was signed upon their completion reflected determination of both States to further develop the relations in various areas.
In August 2002, Chairman of NDC Kim Jong Il has visited Russian Far-East and stopped at such cities as Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk, and Vladivostok where on August 23 he had a meeting with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.
A number of cities established sistership relations; they include those between Moscow and Pyongyang, Nakhodka and Rason, Saint-Petersburg and Nampo, Vladivostok and Wonsan, Khabarovsk and Chongjin as well as between the Amur Region and South Pyongan province. On April 24, 2009, Pyongyang Institute of Foreign Languages has held the opening ceremony of Russian Language Center under the aegis of the “Russian World” foundation. In August 2006, the first Orthodox Church of the Saint Trinity in the DPRK built at the personal instruction of Kim Jong Il held its consecration ceremony.
2011 became the year of more active Russian-Korean relations. The main event that gave a new impetus to the bilateral development was meeting between President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev and Chairman of the NDC Kim Jong Il in Ulan-Ude on August 24, 2011.
In 2011 DPRK’s Minister of Trade Lee Ryon Nam and Minister of Oil Industry Kim Hee Yon visited Russia from February 19 to 24 and from September 13 to 20 respectively.
A number of Russian officials also visited the DPRK on that year. Among them – the Head of the Federal Agency on Fishery of the Russian Federation A. Krainy (from April 26 to 28), Minister of Regional Development of the Russian Federation and Chairman of Russian side at the Intergovernmental Committee on cooperation in trade, economy, science and technology between Russia and the DPRK V.Basargin (from August 25 to 27), Governor of Amur Region O.Kozhemyako (from October 17 to 21), Head of the Federal Agency on Air Transport of Russia A.Neradko (from December 12 to 15).
Cooperation between Russia and the DPRK in the sphere of foreign policy especially within the framework of international organizations was also successful. Both sides were active in seeking for the way of settlement of nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula and the resumption of the Six-party talks. Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the DPRK had a meeting on Bali (Indonesia) during the ASEAN Regional Forum.
In 2012 bilateral ties kept on developing. It was particularly confirmed by the exchange of messages on the highest level. President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev sent congratulatory message to the Supreme Leader of the DPRK Kim Jong Eun on occasion of 70th birthday of the NDC’s Chairman Kim Jong Il (in February), centennial of the DPRK’s President Kim Il Sung (in April) and on occasion of the appointment of Kim Jong Eun the First Chairman of the NDC (in April). In March First Chairman of the DPRK’s NDC Kim Jong Eun and Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Yong Nam have congratulated Vladimir Putin on occasion of his election as the President of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin sent a telegram in response).
Delegation exchange also was going on. In January, 2012, DPRK’s Minister of Fishery Pak Tae Won had visited Russia to sign an Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the DPRK on Cooperation in Prevention of Illegal, Unapprised and Uncontrolled Fishing. In June during the visit of Russian interagency delegation led by deputy Finance Minister S.Storchak to Pyongyang an Intergovernmental Agreement on settlement of the DPRK’s debt to the Russian Federation on loans issued by the USSR was initiated (signed in Moscow on September 17, 2012).
Cultural ties gained further development. Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation A.Avdeev and Head of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations A.Torkunov visited the DPRK. Artists and performers of P.I.Tchaikovsky’s Moscow State Conservatory, State Dance Ensemble “Cossacks of Russia”, State Academic Folk Ensemble “Russia” n.a. L.G.Zykina and Russian State Circus participated in the 28th International Art Festival “April spring” in Pyongyang.
Legal basis of the relations is updating. On June 27, 2012, during the visit of the Deputy Foreign Minister of the DPRK Kung Seok Ung to Moscow, Foreign Ministries of both countries have signed an inter-ministerial plan of exchanges on 2013-2014. On June 5, 2012, the two sides concluded a Boundary Treaty between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the DPRK.
On April 16, 2012, the Far-Eastern Federal University and the Kim Il Sung University signed an Agreement on cooperation and the former also signed an MOU with Pyongyang Institute of Foreign Languages.