Send to

Russian cultural delegation visits N. Korea amid deepening ties

March 19, 2024 - 10:45 By Yonhap
A Russian cultural delegation led by Moscow's Vice Culture Minister Andrei Maluishev arrives in Pyongyang on Monday. (KCNA)

A Russian delegation led by Moscow's vice culture minister has arrived in Pyongyang, state media said Tuesday, as the two nations have been strengthening their ties following a rare summit of their leaders in September.

The delegation led by Russia's Vice Culture Minister Andrei Maluishev arrived in the North the previous day on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of a bilateral agreement on economic and cultural cooperation, the North's Korean Central News Agency said.

The delegation included members of an art troupe for the Primorsky branch of the Mariinsky Theatre in Vladivostok.

Russian media outlets earlier reported that the visiting troupe will put on ballet performances of the "Sleeping Beauty" and "Firebird" at the Mansudae Art Theater in Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watched a ballet, "Sleeping Beauty," at a theater in Vladivostok in September following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny spaceport in Russia's Far East.

Separately, the KCNA said a delegation led by Oleg Kozhemyako, the governor of Russia's far eastern region of Primorsky Krai that borders North Korea, arrived in Pyongyang the previous day.

It marked Kozhemyako's second visit to Pyongyang since December when he met with North Korean Premier Kim Tok-hun amid speculation that North Korea was seeking to send workers to Russia to earn much-needed hard currency.

On Feb. 5, around 300 people presumed to be North Korean workers arrived at a train station near Vladivostok, Cho Han-bum, a senior research fellow at the state-funded Korea Institute for National Unification, has said, citing an unidentified source in Russia.

The overseas dispatch of North Korean workers is banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions imposed due to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

All member states of the UN were required to repatriate any North Koreans earning income in their jurisdiction by the end of 2019.

North Korea and Russia have been deepening cooperation in a wide range of areas following the summit between Kim and Putin in September.

An official at Seoul's unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs said that while bilateral exchanges are taking place in an array of areas, it is unlikely that such a level of cooperation will be sustained.

"There is a high possibility that the vibrant relationship between North Korea and Russia may be a temporary one, stemming from the war in Ukraine," the official told reporters. (Yonhap)