Sunday, May 19, 2024

High-profile North Korean delegation makes rare public visit to Iran

North Korean officials are making a rare visit to Iran, the state-run KCNA news agency has reported. The last time officials from Pyongyang made a publicly announced trip to Tehran was in 2019.

A delegation headed by North Korea’s minister for external economic relations, Yun Jong Ho, departed for Iran by plane on Tuesday, according to the agency. KCNA did not reveal further details about the visit.

In February, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory message to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Kim expressed confidence that “the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between our two countries forged on the road of joint struggle against imperialism will expand and develop in various fields”.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said last Tuesday that Washington is “incredibly concerned” about alleged cooperation between Tehran and Pyongyang in nuclear and ballistic missile development.

The two countries remain under harsh international sanctions over their weapons programs.

North Korea and Iran have been accused by the US and its allies of respectively providing artillery shells and drones to Russia amid the conflict with Ukraine. Pyongyang and Tehran have denied the claims, while Russia has insisted it relies on domestically produced weapons for its military operation.

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