Tuesday, July 05, 2005

North Korean-Mongolian Relations, Continued

It really seems that North Korea is open to Mongolia in ways that the West can only dream about at this time. B.Enkhtsetseg, a reporter from the UB Post, was recently able to sit down with North Korean Ambassador to Mongolia Pak Jong Do for what was apparently a friendly (if somewhat cold) interview. For reasons beyond me, bloggers and commenters are making a big deal (with tongue in cheek) about the joint NK-Mongolia ostrich farm while ignoring the rest of what is an enlightening article, some of which is reproduced below:
Why did Pyongyang decide to close down its embassy [in Ulaanbaatar]?
Due to the situation of the economy in our country, we had no choice but to close down the embassy in 1999 for a temporary period. Leader Kim Jong Il considered the interests of the people of the two countries and reopened the embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Ulaanbaatar last year.

Mongolia and the DPRK were members of the socialist system. Mongolia has now become a democratic state and a developing free market economy.

How do these changes affect the relationship with the DPRK?
We consider the embassy not just to have reopened, but to have reached a new level of operation. In accordance with the new situation in Mongolia, the relationship between the two countries is developing in the fields of politics, economics, culture, education and health. The [then] President of Mongolia N.Bagabandi paid a state visit to the DPRK in December last year and DPRK government-level representatives for economic affairs made a visit to Mongolia in February this year.

Work has begun in most areas of cooperation that we agreed to develop during these visits. For instance the DPRK Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture visited Ulaanbaatar last month [on May 5-11] and the two sides discussed building a joint farm in Mongolia. They expressed an interest in setting up an ostrich farm in Mongolia. When the then president N.Bagabandi visited Pyongyang in December 2004 he visited an ostrich farm. At his suggestion to our experts, the work of establishing an ostrich farm is expected to start next month in Mongolia. Moreover, U.Barsbold, Mongolian Minister of Nature and Environment, visited the DPRK recently and he expressed a wish to cooperate on the Green Wall Eco-Strip Program, on which we agreed.

Mongolia has been participating regularly and successfully in the [North Korean] Spring Festival held in April every year and this year took many awards from the festival. The DPRK and Mongolia built a joint hospital in Ulaanbaatar last November. The hospital is based on Korean traditional medicine and has Korean doctors working there.

How well developed is the trade relationship between the two countries?
So far, it is as if there is no trade link at all between the two countries. First of all we should study what type of products Mongolians need. To that end a trade exhibition of our country was held in Ulaanbaatar in February.

Mongolian business people are scheduled to go to the DPRK in September to determine possible areas for bilateral cooperation. So I hope the two countries’ trade links will be increased....

How well are the people of North Korea informed about world events and other countries’ lifestyles?
Our people are quite well informed about news and events in Mongolia. The North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun in particular publishes articles about Mongolia quite often. Generally, our two countries have traditionally good relations. Therefore, our press often publishes highlights of the relationship between the two countries....

How do you view the movement of emigrants from the DPRK to South Korea and Japan through Mongolia?
Mongolia officially stated to us that there is no case of our people having emigrated that way. There were some reports in the western media that North Korean refugee camps were going to be built in Mongolia but the government of Mongolia has repeatedly expressed that Mongolia will not receive refugees.

What is your impression of Mongolia? What aspects do you like and dislike?
...I have not seen anything that felt uncomfortable in my heart. I have seen that the people have a friendly attitude that is as warm to our country as it is to their close relatives.
For more on North Korea, a great source is the North Korea Zone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for your nice and useful entry about the long lasting relationship between our two countries. north koreans in my opinion, are very brave and keeps up their belief of building socializm. but north koreans should also pay attention on having good and trusted relations with other countries and help us build nice and safe world to live and work. maybe they can learn from china how they made open market communist country. time passes away we should learn to leave what we think its out dated and got old.
being faithful for the belief is a good thing but it will make no difference continuing will suffer millions of lives.

i wrote this comment not to judge north koreans nor offence them but to encourage them to step up in the new era of free marketing and development.

11/04/2007 10:48 PM  
Blogger samraat said...


4/04/2010 10:44 PM  

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