2007/07/16

North Korean top official visits UB

Kim Yong Nam, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), will visit Ulaanbaatar at the invitation of the President of Mongolia N.Enkhbayar on July 20-23, according to a press release by MFA.

This is the first high profile state visit by North Korea after 19 years. Last time, "Eternal President" of the North Korea Kim Il Sung visited Mongolia in 1988. Kim Yong Nam, who represents North Korea on all state visits and summits and receives visiting heads of state, will meet with the President N.Enkhbayar, Speaker of Parliament D.Lundeejantsan, and Prime Minister M.Enkhbold.

Pyongyang-based Korean Central News Agency reported on July 12:
Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, will soon pay an official good-will visit to Mongolia at the invitation of its President Nambariin Enkhbayar. He will also make similar visits to Algeria and Ethiopia.

Janchivdorjyn Lomvo, Mongolian ambassador to the DPRK, hosted a reception on July 11 on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the victory of the Mongolian people's revolution [Naadam holiday].

Present there on invitation were Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, Kim Wan Su, director of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland who is chairman of the DPRK-Mongolia Friendship Parliamentary Group, Mun Jae Chol, acting chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, and others. Speeches were made there.
I think I'm going to cover this visit. Earlier, during Naadam holiday, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) Lim Chae-jung visited Mongolia and met with the President Enkhbayar, talked about Northeast Asian regional security including the North Korean nuclear issues.

Just two months ago, Enkhbayar visited South Korea in May and met with Lim Chae-jung in Seoul. They talked about inter-Korean railroad relinking project across the Korean peninsula.

Seoul-based Yonhap News reported on June 1:
"Particularly if the railroad relinking project moves forward, it is expected to pass through Mongolia. That will make great contributions to the development of bilateral economies," Enkhbayar said. Lim expressed gratitude for Mongolia's support of South Korea's policy on the North.
I wonder how this railroad pass through Mongolia. Mongolia is the only country in the world that maintains friendly relations with both North and South Korea.

North Korea shut down its embassy in Ulaanbaatar in August 1999 and reopened it after five years because of what Pyongyang termed financial reasons. It believed that North Korea closed the embassy after ex-President N.Bagabandi voiced support for then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's "sunshine" policy toward the North during Kim's visit to Mongolia in May that year.

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