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Expert: Russian, North Korean leaders’ summit to develop humanitarian ties

On April 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un will meet for talks in the Russian city of Vladivostok

MOSCOW, April 24. /TASS/. The summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un will help to develop cooperation in the field of education, strengthen humanitarian ties and arrange cultural exchanges between the countries, Vice President for International Relations at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), where the summit is expected to take place, Viktoria Panova told TASS.

"We [at FEFU] have 49 North Korean students studying a wide range of subjects, such as international relations, economics, management and sciences, while a number of attendees are taking Russian courses to enroll in a Russian university later. <…> We have three main university partners in North Korea, namely Kim Chaek University of Technology, Kim Il-sung University, the main university of the country, and Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies. I would like to expect that the summit will intensify the humanitarian and educational cooperation, we will hold more joint conferences and, possibly, mutual culture and language exchanges," she said.

Moreover, Panova said that FEFU has repeatedly offered its offices to fashion consolidated stances of the academic circles representatives from all the countries in Asia-Pacific, including the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, on the inter-Korean settlement, development of political and economic cooperation and strengthening of peace and security in the region.

"From the university’s point of view, we are especially interested in expanding the cooperation with our academic colleagues from North Korea in the educational, cultural and humanitarian spheres," she emphasized.

According to a TASS source in the university, security measures were tightened at the campus on Wednesday. In the university’s bloc S, where Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs the Eastern Economic Forum’s plenary meetings, two halls are prepared, one for the negotiations, the other for the informal meeting.

Joint projects

The Russian Sakhalin Region and North Korea are striving to enhance cultural cooperation, as the Russian islands are considered historical motherland for many Koreans, both North and South. North Korea holds the national Russian language Olympiad for school students, and its winners travel to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to improve their command of Russian. The Sakhalin Region prepares extensive entertainment and education programs for the North Korean children.

Apart from that, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk organizes open exhibitions of the drawings made by North Korean kids, as well as artworks of artists and photographers. This year Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is planning to hold a ssireum (traditional Korean wrestling) competition with the participation of athletes from both North and South Koreas.

This year, the Sakhalin Regional Art Museum introduced a series of educational events about the religious legacy of the nations living in Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, dubbed "Days of national cultures". Its integral part is a children’s painting exhibition called "Culture of my nation". The exhibition also features the works from the 2014 international painting exhibition drawn by Japanese, North and South Korean school children held in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

The Primorsky Region where the leaders are set to hold the summit annually holds North Korean applied arts exhibitions under the auspices of the national consulate general. An international taekwondo competitions, as well as judo, freestyle wrestling, weightlifting and rhythmic gymnastics joint trainings and competitions with North Korean athletes’ participation are planned for 2019.

Putin — Kim summit

On April 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un will meet for talks in the Russian city of Vladivostok. The main topics on the agenda are the peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and ensuring security in Northeast Asia as a whole. The leaders are also going to discuss the state of the bilateral relations, including political, economic, cultural and humanitarian topics. The summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un will be their first personal meeting. Moreover, Russia is the first foreign country that Chairman Kim has visited after the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly reelected Kim Jong-un the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission in early April.