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Burma Re-establishes Diplomatic Ties with North Korea

  • Thein Oo

Burma and North Korea, two of Asia's most repressive regimes, signed an agreement on Thursday to resume diplomatic ties during a visit to Burma by the North Korean Vice Foreign Minister, an official said.

Burmese deputy foreign minister, Kyaw Thu, told reporters that the agreement to resume ties was signed on Thursday morning on the second day of the visit by Kim Young Il, whose trip had been cloaked in secrecy.

Burma severed diplomatic relations with North Korea in 1983, following a fatal bombing blamed on North Korean commandos during former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan's visit to Yangon.

The two countries have been quietly working to normalise relations for the past few years.

The two governments routinely meet at regional meetings and Burma has reportedly bought weapons from North Korea.

Chan Tun, a former Burmese Ambassador to North Korea during 1975-76, told the Voice of America's Burmese service recently the common position of unhealthy relations with the West and the United States has brought the two countries closer together.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice listed Myanmar and North Korea as among the six countries that were ``outposts of tyranny.''

In the 1983 bombing in Yangon, the South Korean president was unhurt, but 21 people were killed, including four South Korean Cabinet ministers.

Information for this report is provided by APTN.

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