North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Choe Tae Bok Meets with Mongolian President and Speaker of the State Great Hural (revised)

SPA Chairman and KWP Secretary Choe Tae Bok (L) shakes hands with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj (R) in Ulan Bator on 19 November 2012 (Photo: Office of the President of Mongolia)

DPRK state media and the Mongolian Government reported that Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman and Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary Choe Tae Bok (Choe T’ae-pok) met with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj and the head of Mongolia’s parliament, Zandaakhuu Enkhbold, Speaker of the State Great Hural [Khural].  Choe and delegation were accompanied by Deputy Speaker of the State Great Hural and co-chair of the DPRK-Mongolia Parliamentary Group Sangajav Bayartsogt, Mongolian Ambassador to the DPRK Manibadrakh Ganbold and DPRK Ambassador to Mongolia Ri Chol Gwang.

Choe and his delegation were received by President Elbegdorj at the Ger Palace.  President Elbegdorj told Choe that the DPRK delegation’s visit “will strengthen the partnership between our two countries and expressed his pleasure to welcome the delegation.”  Choe told President Elbegdorj, “First of all, I would like to deliver the greetings from our leadership. Consequently, the supreme leaders of our country made visits to Mongolia two times that were the base of long lasting friendly relations. Even the current leader Kim Jong-un pays an attention to the friendly relationship between the nations. Nowadays, the cooperation is boosting in many sectors. We believe that you the President would support to develop the partnership. Our supreme leader is working under two main goals. First, to establish high powered nation and the second is to improve the livelihood of own civilians.”

SPA Chairman and KWP Secretary Choe Tae Bok (L) talks with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj (R) in Ulan Bator on 19 November 2012

During their meeting President Elberdorj and Choe Tae Bok discussed additional visits by senior Mongolian and DPRK officials to their respective countries, including a cordial invitation for Kim Jong Un to visit Mongolia.  They also discussed food assistance (following up a conversation in Tehran during the Non-aligned Movement [NAM] summit between Elbegdorj and SPA Presidium President Kim Yong Nam), as well as “economic partnership, co-operate on exploiting the natural resources and build infrastructure for this, moreover to produce end-products from mutually sourced row materials. Also, to boost commercial trade, exchange workforces, be involved in sea transport business actively and many more possibilities are open to collaborate such as tourism, science and technology.”

Toward the end of the meeting President Elbegdorj told Choe that Mongolia was willing to host the Six Party (denuclearization) Talks ” for the purpose of fostering peace in Asia as well as expanding cooperation within countries in the East Asian region.”  KCNA also reported that Elbergdorj “president wished the dear respected Kim Jong Un greater success in the building of a thriving nation.”

Choe Tae Bok inscribes a message in the Book of Honor during a visit in Ulan Bator on on 19 November 2012 (Photo: Mongolian Government)

SPA Chairman and KWP Secretary Choe Tae Bok (2nd L) greets State Great Hural (Khural) Speaker Zandaakhuu Enkhbold (2nd R) in Ulan Bator on 19 November 2012 (Photo: State Great Hural/Mongolian Government )

Choe and the DPRK delegation also met with Zandaakhuu Enkhbold, Speaker of the State Great Hural, Mongolia’s parliament.  Enkhbold also hosted a reception for Choe and the delegation.  Prior to visiting the State Great Hural for their meeting Choe delivered flowers to the statue of Mongolian freedom fighter and national hero Damdiny Sukhbaatar, paid tribute to a statue of Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan) and signed a memorial book.  During their meeting Speaker Enkhbold conveyed Mongolia’s interest in leasing one of the DPRK’s port facilities (presumably in North Hamgyo’ng Province). KCNA reported that Enkbold presented a gift for Choe to take to Kim Jong Un.  Enkhbold told Choe:

We are grateful for your formal visit to Mongolia Honorable Sir Choe Thae-bok, our two countries have established the diplomatic relations in 1948 and now over 60 years passed since we have been sharing the traditional friendship. Your visit would contribute greatly to develop the legislative bodies of DPRK and Mongolia into a new level. Mongolia’s state policy is based on continuity system thereby we are expressing our readiness to cooperate with new Supreme Leader of the DPRK. We are interested in exporting goods and products to your country; cooperate in trade, information technology, and exchange of workforce and lease an ocean port as Mongolia is a landlocked country. Moreover, Government of Mongolia currently is making efforts to promote economic development and raise the international competitiveness of Mongolia’s economy and is implementing big projects such as constructing industrial and processing parks.

Choe invited Enkhbold to visit the DPRK.  Choe also said, “Our two countries are closely working together at international levels, especially under the UN framework. This relationship is contributing to friendly and stable development of Northeast Asia. DPRK is interested in working with Mongolia in regional economic development, as well as ocean port, coal and mining sectors, hence we believe the State Great Khural of Mongolia would assist with cordial legal environment.”

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