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In recent regional news, China has announced plans to help its major firms invest in North Korea, according to Reuters.
"We will support big Chinese companies who are willing to invest in North Korea to broaden the economic and trade cooperation with that country, to push the two sides to upgrade two-way trade and investment structures, and study the feasibility of cooperation on big projects," China’s Deputy Commerce Minister Chen Jian said in an official statement.
The priority would be given to two economic zones -- in Rason on North Korea's east coast, and the Hwanggumphyo and Wihwa islands on the border with China, set up over a year ago.
In international news, A Catholic charity from Rome has delivered 25 tons of food aid to the DPRK, in a rare move as North Korea has no formal ties to the Vatican or to the Catholic Church.
The group, the Community of Sant’Egidio, has been involved for decades in international aid and cooperation initiatives. Sant’Egidio representative Mauro Garofalo visited North Korea May 24-30 to oversee the distribution of rice, beans, sugar and oil to two institutions for elderly people and one orphanage in a district about 100 km south of Pyongyang.
In inter-Korean news, The Korea Times reported that an elite university in North Korea funded by outside groups hopes South Korean professors will be allowed to join its staff despite thorny cross-border ties.
Park Chan-mo, the Korean-American chancellor of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), said the North would welcome the professors, as they would help the school overcome a staffing shortage.
“North Korea is eager to have well-trained professors even though they may be of South
Korean nationality,” Park told The Korea Times during a visit to Seoul. “Once (restrictions) are relaxed we will have no staffing problems because I know many South Korean professors want to teach at PUST,” he added.
On the domestic front, a trade fair staged at the exhibition hall in the Rajin-Sonbong economic development zone in North Korea's far northeast offered foreign investors and visitors from China, Britain, Russia and elsewhere, as well as journalists from The Associated Press, a glimpse at the efforts to turn a long-neglected, remote region into a manufacturing, tourism and transportation hub.
To read further about these topics, and much more, please download the complimentary DPRK Business Monthly PDF.
DPRK Business Monthly is produced by North Korea expert Paul White.