Laos and North Korea agree on closer ties

December 7, 2010

Vientiane, Laos – The communist governments of Laos and North Korea have signed a cooperation agreement to enhance relations between their ruling parties, an official press report said Tuesday.

North Korea concluded the agreement with Laos Monday, the state-run Vientiane Times newspaper reported at a time when North Korea has seen its diplomatic isolation rise after an artillery attack last month of a South Korean island and the March sinking of a South Korean warship.

The agreement was made as a high-level delegation from North Korea led by Kim Yong Il, secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the External Relations Committee of the ruling Korean Workers Party, was visiting Vientiane.

Signing the agreement on behalf of Laos was Thongloun Sisoulith, a Politburo member and head of foreign relations of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.

The signing followed bilateral talks in which the two countries agreed to increase exchange visits and enhance ‘growing friendly relations and traditional cooperation between the two countries.’

The North Korean delegation also paid a courtesy call on Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Choummaly Sayasone Monday.

Laos and North Korea established diplomatic ties in 1974, but bilateral relations and exchanges of visits were stepped up in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union and the dwindling number of communist governments.

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