×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russia and North Korea Discuss Visa-Free Regime

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiling as he meets athletes who won gold medals at the 17th Asian Games.

Russia and North Korea have discussed establishing a bilateral visa-free regime, Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka said, news agency Interfax reported on Tuesday.

The issue of "transitioning to a visa-free regime between Russia and North Korea" was discussed during a recent trip to North Korea, Galushka was quoted as saying.

Russia under President Vladimir Putin has sporadically courted North Korea, which was heavily backed by the Soviet Union. Russia hopes to gain direct access to South Korean markets via a railway and natural gas pipeline, while simultaneously ensuring Russia's diplomatic relevance in the region by positioning itself as a rational voice in Pyongyang's ear.

These efforts have been accelerated as Moscow's relations with the West crumble amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and sanctions intended to punish Russia for its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The topic of easing visa restrictions for Russian businesspeople seeking to do business in North Korea was broached by Galushka and North Korean officials as part of a meeting of an intergovernmental commission in June in Vladivostok. The two countries hope to raise the level of interstate trade to $1 billion annually by 2020.

Galushka on Tuesday could not specify a timeframe for how long the decision on a visa-free regime might take, but warned that the abolishment of visa restrictions between Russia and North Korea "will not happen instantaneously," the Vedomosti newspaper reported. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more