August 9, 2012
President Choummaly Sayasone welcomed the visiting Supreme People’s Assembly President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and held talks on bilateral ties in Vientiane yesterday.
Mr Kim Yong-Nam, the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK and his delegation arrived in Vientiane on Tuesday for a three-day official goodwill visit to Laos at the invitation of President Choummaly Sayasone.
An official welcoming ceremony was held yesterday at the Presidential Palace in Vientiane. The Lao president and high-ranking officials welcomed Mr Kim and his delegates.
In the bilateral talks, held shortly after the wel-coming ceremony, president Choummaly told Mr Kim that it was a great honor for the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), government and people of Laos to receive him and his delegation.
The two leaders highly value and are gratified by the friendly relations and sound cooperation between the two countries, a press release from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Leaders of the two nations have maintained close contact through exchanges of visits. President Choummaly paid an official goodwill visit to the DPRK in September, 2011.
President Choummaly and Mr Kim also exchanged views over the bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest. They briefed each other on the socio-economic development situation of their respective countries.
President Choummaly reaffirmed Laos’ consistent stance of a peacefully unified Korea without external interference, in order to create a Korean peninsula of peace, stability, development and a nuclear-free zone.
The Lao leader briefed the guests about Laos’ preparations to host the 7th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting in October, and the 9th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in November.
Through Mr Kim Yong-Nam, President Choummaly congratulated Mr Kim Jong Un for being elected as successor and taking the top post in the DPRK’s Workers’ Party and the Korean People’s Army.
For his part, Mr Kim thanked the leaders of the Lao Party and government, as well as the Lao people for the warm welcome extended to him and his delegates, the press relea se said. He also expressed heartfelt thanks to the Party and government of Laos for their consistent support for the unity of Korea through peaceful means.
The Korean People’s Assembly supreme pr esident expressed his pleasure at working with Laos to further enhance their friendly bilateral relations and cooperation.
He congratulated the Lao people for the achievements made in the socio-economic development sector under the leadership of the LPRP, and wished Laos success in hosting the 9th ASEM.
After the bilateral talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of four cooperation documents between the two countries. The documents are: a Cultural Exchange Cooperation Plan for 2012-2015, an Information and Technology Cooperation Agreement, a memorandum of understanding on education cooperation and a cooperation agreement between the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the DPRK’s Industry Chamber.
Friendly relations between Laos and the DPRK were established by the late Lao President Kaysone Phomvihane and his Korean counterpart Kim Il Sung, and have been enhanced further by their successors.
On the same day, Mr Kim Yong-Nam met with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong.
Both sides reached a consensus to increase the exchange of visits in an effort to share lessons learnt, strengthen cooperation, and support one another in regional and international arenas, as well as exploring ways to expand cooperation in the economic and commercial fields for mutual benefit.
Later, Mr Kim Yong-Nam received a courtesy visit from Vice President of the National Assembly Somphanh Phengkhammy, and Vice President of the Lao Front for National Construction Tongyerthor.
In the evening, President Choummaly hosted a banquet dinner to honor Mr Kim Yong-Nam and his delegates.
Mr Kim Yong-Nam is scheduled to visit Luang Prabang province today, before leaving Laos on Friday.