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DPRK leader wraps up official friendship visit to Vietnam

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-un boarded a train back to Pyongyang from Dong Dang station in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son on March 2 afternoon, concluding his five-day stay in Vietnam for the second DPRK-USA Hanoi Summit and the official friendship visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

This is the first official friendship visit to Vietnam made by Kim, Chairman of the Workers’ Party and the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, since he became the country’s leader in 2011. He is also the first DPRK leader who has visited Vietnam after 55 years. Earlier, the founder of the DPRK Kim Il-sung visited Vietnam in 1958 and 1964.

Bidding farewell to the DPRK Chairman at Dong Dang station were Vo Van Thuong, Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee (CPVCC) and head of its Commission for Education and Information; Mai Tien Dung, member of the CPVCC and Minister-Chairman of the Government Office; Pham Thanh Ha, Vice Chairperson of the President Office; and Le Hoai Trung, member of the CPVCC and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, among others.

Within the framework of his visit, Kim held talks with General Secretary of the CPVCC and President Nguyen Phu Trong, and had meetings with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

At the talks and meetings, both sides agreed to facilitate high-level visits and contacts; as well as to expand the exchange of all-level delegations via the Party, State and mass organisation channels to increase mutual understanding in fields of common demand.

They will effectively maintain regular dialogue and cooperation mechanisms, including the deputy ministerial-level political consultation and the Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic, Scientific-Technological Cooperation; explore the possibility of mutually-beneficial collaboration in fields suitable to each side; expand cultural, arts, sports, and people-to-people exchanges; and hold activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2020.

On regional and global issues, they pledged to work closely together at the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the ASEAN Regional Forum, and to intensify the exchange of ideas on issues regarding peace and stability maintenance in the region and the world.

On this occasion, Chairman Kim and the DPRK’s high-ranking delegation paid tribute to late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and laid a wreath at the Monument to Heroic Martyrs.

The delegation also visited several economic models of Vietnam and the UNESCO-recognised world natural heritage Ha Long Bay in northern province of Quang Ninh.