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North Korean Envoy Wraps up Visit to Burma


North Korea's vice foreign minister has wrapped up a four-day trip to Burma that culminated in the two countries re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Speaking today in Rangoon before returning to Pyongyang, Vice Foreign Minister, Kim Yong Il, says he was satisfied with his trip.

During talks Thursday between Burma's deputy foreign minister, Kyaw Thu, and Mr. Kim, the two countries decided to re-established diplomatic relations.

South Korea welcomed the decision, saying it could promote regional peace. In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the move will not affect U.S. foreign policy.

Human rights groups have raised concerns, saying they fear Burma's military will purchase weapons and possibly nuclear technology from North Korea.

The two reclusive governments severed diplomatic relations in 1983 following a bomb attack on South Korean government officials who were visiting Rangoon.

The attack was believed to be aimed at former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan. Chun survived the blast, but more than 20 people were killed.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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