Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Minister of the People’s Armed Forces Gen. Pak Yong Sik and a delegation of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] met with Vietnam’s President Trương Tấn Sang on November 27 (Friday). Also attending the meeting were DPRK Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Myong Gil, senior Vietnamese government officials and senior officers of the Vietnam People’s Army [VPA]. The KPA delegation’s visit is also marking the 65th anniversary of DPRK-Vietnam relations.
According to KCNA, President Sang said that “friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries established by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) are now steadily growing stronger under the deep care of the top leaders of the two countries” and he noted “it is the consistent stand of the Vietnamese leadership to attach importance to the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and steadily boost them.” President Trương Tấn Sang also noted that the “the Vietnamese party, government and people are pleased with the achievements made by the army and people of the DPRK in their efforts for carrying out the cause of socialist construction” and he expressed his “conviction that victory belongs to the DPRK under the wise leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).” According to the Vietnamese government, Gen. Pak Yong Sik remarked that he and the KPA delegation were “very impressed with the economic development, social security and national defense of Vietnam, particularly its emphasis in party building and development of the military.” Gen Pak thanked Vietnam for its support of the DPRK during the years and he “affirmed his personal support to contribute greatly to building relations between the DPRK and Vietnam.”
Earlier during the day, Gen. Pak and the KPA delegation met with Gen. Phùng Quang Thanh, Minister of Defense, the Vice Chief of the VPA General Staff and other senior VPA officers. According to KCNA, “both sides exchanged views on the issue of boosting exchange and cooperation between the armies of the two countries and reached a consensus of views on the matters discussed.” Gen. Phùng, according to the MOD, said that “Vietnam attaches great importance to the traditional relations, nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kim Il Sung” and Gen. Pak “expressed with the pleasure that this was his first visit to Vietnam and see the country’s socio-economic development.”
Pak Yong Sik emphasized that DPRK-Vietnam relations were one of traditional friendship, “nurtured by elder generations which should be maintained and actively promoted.” According to the Vietnamese government, the KPA and VPA discussed “issues of common concern” and “reviewed the results of cooperation between the KPA and VPA which actively contribute to strengthening of relations between the two countries.” Gen. Pak and Gen. Phùng “agreed to continue to maintain traditional relations through enhanced exchanges, visits, student exchange, cultural and sports cooperation.”
Gen. Pak Yong Sik participated in a VPA welcome ceremony. Gen. Pak and the KPA delegation also attended a reception hosted the Ministry of Defense and they also conducted several tours of VPA locales.