North Korea, Belarus deputy foreign ministers agree to strengthen ties

By Thomson Reuters Apr 18, 2024 | 5:36 PM

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean officials met with a visiting Belarusian delegation and vowed deeper cooperation, as Pyongyang criticized the U.S. for trying to increase “lawless” sanctions pressure.

Belarus’ Deputy Foreign Minister Evgeny Shestakov and his North Korean counterpart Lim Chun Il discussed bilateral cooperation in the sectors of economy and culture as well as mutual support on the global stage during talks on Thursday, North Korean state media KCNA reported on Friday.

The visit is the latest in a series of diplomatic exchanges after Pyongyang lifted COVID-19 restrictions.

In a statement carried by another KCNA report, Kim Son Gyong, vice minister for International Organizations of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, criticized Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, for her recent trip to South Korea and Japan, calling the U.N. sanctions against the country as “lawless.”

Russia has rejected the annual renewal of the multinational panel of experts that has over the past 15 years monitored the implementation of U.N. sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Shestakov arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday, KCNA reported earlier this week without elaborating.

North Korean delegations since last month have visited countries including China and Vietnam while delegations from Russia and China have visited Pyongyang.

(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)