North Korea institutes 'project commissioners' to help Russians cope with red-tape

Russia and North Korea have started to implement an agreement on the institution of so-called 'project commissioners' in North Korea, the press service of the Russian Far East Development Ministry reported after a meeting of Russian part of the bilateral Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Science and Technology Commission.

Russia and North Korea have started to implement an agreement on the institution of so-called 'project commissioners' in North Korea, the press service of the Russian Far East Development Ministry reported after a meeting of Russian part of the bilateral Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Science and Technology Commission.

"It is expected that they [project commissioners] will perform a 'one contact' function for the Russian side increasing the speed and efficiency of interaction with North Korean authorities. The first project commissioner in a position of Deputy North Korean Foreign Economic Relations Minister was appointed for the Pobeda project," the press service said in a statement.

The Russian part of the intergovernmental commission also addressed a number of economic issues. In particular, Russian Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka, who heads the Russian part of the intergovernmental commission, noted at the meeting that "the volume of financial operations in Russian rubles has reached 3.5 billion and has continued to grow."

Other economic issues include increasing the volume of cargo transported via the Khasan-Rajin rail link, the press service said. "Cargo turnover has already reached 360,000 tonnes, and Russian Railways plans to reach 1.5 million tonnes of cargo by the year's end," it said.

The Russian side is also interested in the implementation of trilateral projects involving South Korea as well, the statement reads. "South Korea is going to again buy and ship Russian coal along the Khasan-Rajin-South Korean port route in order to hold another test of this transport arm. It is expected that the test batch will be shipped in April and will be twice as large as the previous November batch, which is around 80,000 tonnes," it reads.

Another promising Russian-N.Korean economic project is the construction of an energy bridge in North Korea, the press service said. "The issue is about the supplies of electricity from Russia to North Korea\'s Rason Special Economic Zone," it said.

The aforementioned economic issues will be on the agenda of the seventh meeting of the bilateral Intergovernmental Commission for Trade, Economic, Science and Technology Commission that will take place in Pyongyang on April 27.

The meeting of the Russian part of the bilateral intergovernmental commission took place on the eve of the opening of the Year of Russia-North Korea friendship which is expected to take place on Tuesday.

It is expected that a number of high-level visits will take place in Russia-North Korea relations in 2015. In particular, a North Korean governmental delegation led by North Korean Deputy Prime Minister Ro Tu Chol is on a brief visit to Moscow. Later this year Choe Thae Bok will come to Moscow. It is possible that Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko will go to Pyongyang this year.

"These events will add an additional impetus to the development of the whole complex of bilateral interaction, as well as the implementation of trilateral projects Russia - North Korea - South Korea," Galushka is quoted as saying in the statement.

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