North Korea’s foreign minister will make a four—day trip to Myanmar as part of his current four—nation tour.
A member of the diplomatic community in Myanmar said on Thursday that Pak Ui Chun will make his visit from July 29 to August 1, on the third leg of a tour that also includes Vietnam, Laos and Indonesia. The diplomat asked for anonymity because the news has not yet been officially announced.
Myanmar and North Korea are two of Asia’s most authoritarian regimes, and both face sanctions by the West. They have had increasingly close ties in recent years, especially in military affairs, and there are fears that Pyongyang is supplying the army—led Southeast Asian regime with nuclear technology.
The diplomat said Mr. Pak is scheduled to meet his counterpart Nyan Win during his stay.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Myanmar’s military rulers on Thursday against any cooperation with North Korea at regional security talks in Vietnam with senior officials from around Southeast Asia.
Ms. Clinton said the U.S. was concerned about reports that North Korea has delivered military equipment to Myanmar, also known as Burma.
“We continue to be concerned by the reports that Burma may be seeking assistance from North Korea with regard to a nuclear programme,” she added. “We will be discussing further ways in which we can cooperate to alter the actions of the government in Burma and encourage the leaders there to commit to reform and change and the betterment of their own people.”
Mr. Pak’s visit will be the first by a North Korean foreign minister since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties in April 2007.
Myanmar severed diplomatic relations with North Korea in 1983, following a fatal bombing attack during a visit by South Korea’s then—President Chun Doo—hwan that killed 21 people, including four South Korean Cabinet ministers.
Three North Korean commandos involved in the bombing were detained, one blew himself up during his arrest, a second was hanged and a third died in prison in 2008.