The official friendly visit to Vietnam by President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Yong Nam, from August 5-7 aims to affirm the wish to promote traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Vietnam and the DPRK.
The visit is being made at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang. This is the second visit of President Kim Yong Nam following his first official visit to Vietnam in July 2011. Earlier, he visited Vietnam in January 1998 as DPRK Cabinet Vice Premier and Foreign Minister.
The DPRK was one of the first countries that established diplomatic ties with Vietnam (January 31, 1950). The two countries have maintained good relations through friendly visits by the two countries’ Party and State leaders, including Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh (October 16-18, 2007), Politburo member and Minister of Public Security Le Hong Anh (April 13-16, 2011), Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh (August 15-20, 2011), member of the Party Central Committee and Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan (October 18-21, 2011), DPRK Cabinet Premier Kim Yong Il (October 2007) and alternative member of the Politburo and Secretary of the Korean Worker’s Party Central Committee Kim Yong II (June 9-13, 2012).
Economic cooperation between Vietnam and the DPRK remains modest with Vietnam ’s export revenues to the DPRK rising slightly from 16.5 million USD in 2009 to 18 million USD in 2011. Vietnam exports mainly consumer goods to the DPRK. In 2008, the two countries signed five memoranda of understanding on mining cooperation and technical exchange. The two countries sent delegations from the oil, gas and agricultural sectors to learn from each other’s experiences. The Vietnamese-DPRK Inter-Governmental Committee for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation also maintain regular activities with the eighth session scheduled to be held in Pyongyang in late August.
Both countries have paid attention to culture and education cooperation since the 1960s and 70s. The DPRK has helped train hundreds of Vietnamese students. The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and Information sends its troupe to the April Spring Friendship Art Festival in Pyongyang each year and Vietnam won four silvers from this year’s festival.
Vietnam and the DPRK signed a sports and physical training cooperation agreement in September 2011 and a cultural cooperation plan for the 2012-2014 period in April.
Last year, the two countries coordinated in organising a photo exhibition of President Ho Chi Minh in the DPRK.
The DPRK Revolutionary Museum and the Ho Chi Minh Museum have jointly hosted a photo exhibition on the DPRK and its people at the Ho Chi Minh Museum on the occasion of the 100 th birth anniversary of President Kim Il Sung.