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Trading House Kim Jong-un

EastRussia has studied the agenda of the next negotiations between Russia and the DPRK

Three weeks later, the ninth meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade, economic and scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and North Korea will take place in Moscow. If earlier it was quite widely believed that such meetings, as well as the upcoming ones, were mostly routine, and needed to demonstrate that dialogue with Pyongyang, as such, generally takes place, now there is a somewhat different atmosphere.

Trading House Kim Jong-un
Photo: Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Already, it is quite possible to get an idea of ​​the possible results of the upcoming meeting of the IGC: the agenda is known - the Trade House of Goods from the DPRK and the border bridge across the Tumannaya River. There are other projects, for example, Hassan-Rajin, as well as the idea of ​​the Trans-Korean Railroad, which has long been discussed and promoted by Moscow. On the one hand, the situation is clear: everyone would be happy to join these projects, but in Seoul, with all their interest in participating, they are somewhat restrained, since they take into account the position of Washington.

At the same time, Donald Trump has long been talking about his interest in a new meeting with Kim Jong-un, and the other day there was information that the summit would take place in two weeks in Hanoi.

South Korean President Moon Jae Ying called the agreement to hold the summit a significant breakthrough to peace on the peninsula. What exactly can happen? A logical and expected step would be the decision of the United States to reduce the scale of the traditional joint American-South Korean military exercises, and move them a little further away from the border with North Korea. (The goal of these maneuvers was not hidden - to work out actions to eliminate the North Korean leadership, which quite naturally caused irritation in Pyongyang).

This already creates a very positive background setting on the peninsula. In North Korea, they are now thinking more about solving economic problems, and it so happened that a very favorable time has come to discuss them with a view to developing trade relations, to the extent possible under the current sanctions imposed on the DPRK within the framework of previously adopted UN Security Council resolutions.

The Russian co-chairman of the IPC, the head of the Ministry of Eastern and Eastern Development Alexander Kozlov, has already said that the activities of the intergovernmental commission are “strictly taking into account the position of the UN Security Council”.

“One of the key issues on the agenda of the IPC meeting, which will be held on 6 in March, will be the construction of a bridge over the Tumannaya River. We exchanged materials for the preparation of the feasibility study, agreed that the meeting should agree on the basic parameters of the facility and develop a scheme for its implementation, ”said Alexander Krutikov, the deputy head of the Ministry of Eastern and Eastern Development.

Another issue on the IPC agenda will be the Trade House of Commodities from the DPRK. "At the meeting, the parties will consider and approve a plan of his work," - noted in the ministry.  

Moscow’s attention to the rather difficult economic situation in North Korea can be judged at least on the basis that the Russian authorities are considering the DPRK’s appeal for gratuitous wheat supplies to repair the damage caused by natural disasters last year.

“Now, as I was informed, the Russian authorities are working on the appeal of the Korean side about the gratuitous supply of 50 thousand tons of wheat to repair the damage caused by natural disasters last year. We hope that a solution will be found, ”said Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs, at a meeting with the North Korean ambassador to Moscow, Kim Hyun Chung.

In addition, judging by the incoming information, Mark Lambert, the US Special Representative for the DPRK, is already in Moscow. In the Russian capital, Mr. Lambert holds meetings with senior Russian officials and experts on North Korea.

Obviously, Moscow and Washington have different assessments of the situation, but it is clear that the fact of the meetings is already changing the atmosphere around economic cooperation with the DPRK. Successful holding of the American-North Korean summit "can positively influence the development of economic ties between Russia and North Korea," said Kim Yong Un, senior research fellow at the Center for Korean Studies at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

It is indicative that the North Korean ambassador in Moscow has already confirmed that the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission in Moscow on 6 in March, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Economic Affairs Kim Yong, from the DPRK, is held in Moscow.

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