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North Korea Seeks to Rent Russian Farmland

North Korea wants to rent and farm 10,000 hectares of agricultural land in Russia's far-eastern Khabarovsk region, news agency RIA Novosti quoted a North Korean agricultural official as saying.

The reclusive communist country would use its own workers and machinery to produce grain and vegetables on the rented land, the report said, adding that in October, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong announced that his state planned to invest $600 million in developing Russian agricultural projects.

Russia welcomes collaboration with North Korea, particularly in the construction of greenhouses and livestock farms, RIA quoted Khabarovsk Agriculture Ministry head Alexander Yats as saying.

North Korea, a Stalinist-style state whose nuclear ambitions have made it the target of stringent international sanctions, has long sent its workers to labor camps in Russia to earn much-needed hard currency. 

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