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VLADIVOSTOK, October 14. /TASS/. North Korea (DPRK) and Russia will consider creating an Asian trading house to make the first test transactions before the end of 2015; the mechanism provides for synchronization of the two countries’ trading floors and support of transactions in national currencies through partner banks, the press service of Russia’s Far East Development Ministry reported on Wednesday.
"In the view of the Russian side, one of the ways to optimize bilateral trade relations could be the establishment of an Asian trading house. This mechanism involves the synchronisation of Russian and Korean trading facilities, as well transaction support through the partner banks authorised to carry out trade in the national currencies of the two countries. The parties have agreed to consider creating a trading house to ensure the first test transactions before the end of this year," the press service said.
Issues of economic cooperation between the two countries were discussed at a meeting between Russian Minister for Far East Development Alexander Galushka, who is on a working visit to DPRK, and DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong Nam in Pyongyang. The sides reached the understanding on the need to optimize the foreign trade operations between Russian and Korean companies. So, the two countries have the possibility to carry out mutual settlements in rubles, and the opening of accounts in Russian banks by North Korean companies will allow the sides to conduct calculations more efficiently and reliably, without the participation of third countries in these transactions.
Economic cooperation between Russia and North Korea should comply with the level of the two countries’ political relations, Ri Ryong Nam said on Tuesday. "We should double our efforts to make economic cooperation between the two states comply with political relations level," the minister said at Pyongyang’s closing ceremony of Russia-North Korea friendship year marking the 70th anniversary of the World War Two Victory and Korean liberation.
Galushka said on Tuesday that the trading house would be concurrently registered in Russia and in DPRK and the corresponding agreement should be implemented by the end of this year. The trading house "will be an important factor promoting the trade turnover between our countries," Galushka said. "An organization commercially interested in the growth of the goods turnover will be established," the minister added.
In particular, Russian goods account for up to one-third of China’s exports to DPRK (up to $900 million). Minimizing the mediation of third countries in the supply of goods from Russia to North Korea, in the view of Alexander Galushka, would bring down prices and improve control over the quality of goods.
"The Russian side has requested the DPRK Foreign Trade Ministry to instruct the North Korean Customs Service to analyze and assess the volume and range of North Korea’s imports coming from Russia via third countries," the statement says.