The flag of Vietnam (L) and the flag of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea fly high during a welcome ceremony for DPRK Chairman Kim Jong Un in the President Palace in Hanoi on March 1, 2019
Vietnam and the DPRK have fostered their time-honored friendship and achieved major cooperative results.
The two countries established diplomatic ties in 1950. President Ho Chi Minh visited the DPRK in 1957 and Prime Minister Kim Il Sung visited Vietnam one year later.
From 1964 to 1969, when Vietnam was in a fierce struggle against the US, the DPRK provided military assistance and sent pilots to Vietnam for both training and combat. In 1964, Mr. Kim returned to Vietnam in an unofficial visit. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the DPRK helped train hundreds of Vietnamese students and officials. Truong Van Nguyen, a Vietnamese alumnus, said: “I began to study in the DPRK in 1965 and returned home in 1972. At that time, the Korean people treated us very well. Chairman Kim Il Sung paid a lot of attention to Vietnamese students. During my stay there, the Chairman visited the dormitory of the Vietnamese students 3 times and had frank and friendly talks with us as if he was our relative. The Korean people were fond of us and we were given a warm welcome wherever we went. The world has changed, but the friendship between Vietnam and the DPRK remains unchanged.”
Toward broader cooperation
After coming to power in late 2011, Chairman Kim Jong Un initiated a new development strategy focused on growing the economy and strengthening DPRK’s nuclear capability. At the 7th National Congress of the Korean Workers’ Party in May, 2016, the DPRK announced an all-out effort and a 5-year national development strategy to turn the country into an economic powerhouse based on self-reliance, science, and technology. Pyongyang’s foreign policy pursues friendship with countries which respect the sovereignty of and are friendly to the DPRK. The DPRK wants to maintain good relations with Vietnam and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in areas that meet the needs and development level of each country. DPRK Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Myong-gil said: “The DPRK respects and does it utmost to consolidate and further the cooperative ties with Vietnam built and nurtured by Chairman Kim Il Sung and President Ho Chi Minh. This is our unwavering stance.”
During a visit to the DPRK last month, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said Vietnam will work with the DPRK to boost exchanges and cooperation in areas matching each country’s potential and interests. Vietnam is ready to share with the DPRK its experience in national construction, socio-economic development, and international integration.