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Top diplomats of N. Korea, Syria stress cooperation in face of U.S. sanctions

North Korea 21:40 June 25, 2019

SEOUL, June 25 (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of North Korea and Syria have stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in confronting "economic terrorism and sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies" during their talks this week, according to Syria's foreign ministry.

In a Facebook post, the ministry said that North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Moallem, held a meeting in Pyongyang on Monday over cooperation in economic and cultural areas and other sectors.

"During the talks, the two sides discussed enhancing bilateral relations in all fields, particularly the economy, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and coordination to face all challenges, mainly the economic terrorism and sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies," the ministry said.

"They stressed the need to activate commercial, economic and cultural cooperation agreements and to continue exchanging visits on various levels," it added.

The Syrian minister expressed his government's support for the North in confronting "hostile" U.S. policies and its calls to lift the economic embargo, the ministry said.

Ri was quoted as saying that Pyongyang wishes to enhance strategic relations with Russia, while noting that bilateral cooperation and self-reliance will help the two countries confront sanctions and embargoes.

Led by the foreign minister, the Syrian delegation has been visiting the North since Friday.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday that the delegation had met Choe Ryong-hae, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, and Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party.

The delegation also handed over a gift to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho (4th from R) holds talks with Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Moallem (4th from L) during their meeting at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on June 24, 2019, in this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency on June 25. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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