Vietnam welcomed a visiting North Korean politician on Monday. File Photo by Kham/EPA-EFE/Pool
Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The head of a North Korean women's union visited Vietnam and signaled interest in the country's economic reforms, according to Vietnamese state media.
Jang Chun Sil, who was appointed to head the Socialist Women's Union of Korea in February 2017, met with Communist Party of Vietnam External Relations Chairman Hoang Binh on Monday, Vietnam's communist party news services reported.
Jang, who may be visiting Vietnam for the first time in her official capacity, discussed Vietnam's "Doi Moi" economic reforms and showed "great interest" in the Vietnamese model of development, according to local Vietnamese media.
Jang left Pyongyang on Nov. 1, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
"We congratulate Vietnam on its great and important achievements so far," Jang reportedly said. "We believe the people of Vietnam under the leadership of the Communist Party, will achieve greater results."
The North Korean official also said her organization and women's alliances in Vietnam will "work closely" to develop bilateral relations.
Hoang Binh said Vietnam "supports peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula."
"We believe the North Korean government, party and people will continue their efforts to promote peace in the region," the Vietnamese official said, adding North Korea is Vietnam's "brother country."
The Socialist Women's Union of Korea in the North was established as the North Korea Democratic Women's League in November 1945. It was renamed in 2016.
There is little information on the union's activities in contemporary North Korea, where, according to women defectors, sexual violence is common and crimes go unpunished.
Voice of America reported Tuesday North Korean women resettled in the United States said they confirm the abuses chronicled in a recent Human Rights Watch report.
Women who used pseudonyms while speaking to VOA said North Korean officials single out attractive women who are assaulted while they "carry out errands."
Women cannot refuse their advances in a society that is biased against women victims, one defector identified as "Deborah" said.