Saturday, June 3, 2023

Tehran, Pyongyang Ready for Closer Ties amid US Sanctions

On an official visit to Tehran, North Korea’s foreign minister highlights his country’s cordial and old-age relations with Iran, expressing satisfaction with growing bilateral relations amid US economic pressure on both states.

In a meeting with Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in Tehran on Thursday, Ri Yong-ho said that Iran and North Korea have long enjoyed friendly ties.

He also praised growing Tehran-Pyongyang relations while both countries are facing similar problems caused by US sanctions.

The top North Korean diplomat further thanked the Islamic Republic for standing by his country in difficult times.

Ri also referred to North Korea’s latest negotiations with the US, saying Pyongyang supports the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula, but will not surrender its nuclear technology as Washington may not set aside its enmity towards the country.

During Thursday’s meeting, Larijani, for his part, underlined the need for boosting bilateral cooperation with North Korea.

He also warned against Washington’s lack of commitment to its international agreements.

“The Americans speak very well during negotiations and promise a bright future, but in practice, they do not meet any of their obligations,” Larijani said.

North Korea has been the target of American and international sanctions over its military program.

Back in May, US President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite objections from the other parties to the accord.

Under the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s nuclear-related sanctions were lifted in exchange for Tehran limiting certain aspects of its nuclear program. However, Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA entails the re-imposition of anti-Iran sanctions on Iran, the first round of which returned on Monday.

Ri arrived in Tehran Tuesday for an official visit at his own request and has already sat down with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani.

This is the first time a senior North Korean official visits Iran since June 12, when US President Donald Trump held a historic summit with the Asian country’s leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

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