A top North Korean politician recently left Pyongyang for a 10-day trip to Iran, a country that may still be cooperating militarily with the Kim Jong Un regime.
Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Tuesday chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Assembly of North Korea Kim Yong Nam left Pyongyang on Monday to attend the inauguration ceremony for President Hassan Rouhani.
The North Korean newspaper stated the inauguration ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 5, but Kurdish media network Rudaw reported the inauguration of Rouhani is to take place in two stages on Aug. 4 and 6.
Members of North Korea’s army, navy and air force, as well as reserve forces, took part in a farewell ceremony for Kim at the main international airport in Pyongyang, as did top official Ri Kil Song and Iran’s ambassador to North Korea, according to the Rodong.
Kim is expected to travel to Iran after refueling in Russia.
The North Korean official is expected to stay in Iran for about 10 days, South Korean news service Newsis reported.
The two sides are expected to discuss issues of joint concern, including stronger U.S. sanctions against both countries in the wake of recent tensions.
Analysts have previously said North Korea and Iran may be cooperating on weapons, after the Iranian military conducted a missile test from a submarine similar to a North Korean Yono-class submersible craft.
Israeli defense analyst Tal Inbar has said Iran purchased North Korea’s technical know-how on ballistic missile production, upgraded North Korean missiles’ forward section, and distributed the new advances back to North Korea.
By Elizabeth Shim