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North Korea, Vietnam reach 'agreement' after discussing reform

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho (R) attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the mausoleum of Vietnamese late President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Saturday. Photo by Luong Thai Linh/Pool
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho (R) attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the mausoleum of Vietnamese late President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Saturday. Photo by Luong Thai Linh/Pool

Dec. 3 (UPI) -- North Korea media reported Monday a consensus was reached on "mutual interests" between Hanoi and Pyongyang, a day after North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho concluded meetings with top Vietnamese officials.

KCNA and Rodong Sinmun reported Ri was in Vietnam from Thursday to Sunday. He met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and exchanged views with Pham Binh Minh, Vietnam's foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

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Pyongyang's state-controlled media did not elaborate on the points of agreement between Ri and North Korean officials.

"The two sides exchanged in-depth opinions on developing and expanding the friendly ties between the two nations that have been the legacy of Comrade Kim Il Sung and President Ho Chi Minh, and reached a consensus," KCNA said.

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North Korea media reported Ri and the North Korean delegation visited the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Halong Bay -- a popular travel destination.

VietnamPlus reported the two sides exchanged views on Vietnam's model of economic development, the "Doi Moi" reforms launched in 1986.

Voice of America reported Pham said Vietnam is "ready to share" its know-how on reform and nation building.

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Vietnam could offer a constructive example to North Korea on economic growth under authoritarian conditions, an analyst said.

"The Kim regime expresses interest in Vietnam's development experience because the country managed to realize reform and rapid economic growth while maintaining one-party rule," said Leif-Eric Easley, international studies professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

Ri's next stop is Syria, and he is expected board a plane leaving from Thailand to reach the Middle East, according to Yonhap.

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