Venezuela finally opens embassy in North Korea after 45 years as Russian debt reduces

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PYONGYANG – On Wednesday, Venezuela opened its embassy in North Korea in Pyongyang, according to the Central Telegraph Agency of Korea.

Although the event has just happened now, the two countries have had diplomatic relations since 1974.

According to information from the North Korean Agency, the opening ceremony of the embassy was attended by North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Pak Myong-guk, Venezuelan Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia, the Middle East and Oceania, Rubén Darío Molina, and Venezuelan interim business manager Mauricio Andrés Bardinet Tatá.

In 2015, the North Korean embassy was inaugurated in Caracas.

In November last year, then-president of the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly (APS) Presidium, Kim Yong-nam, the formal head of state of North Korea, visited Venezuela and allegedly discussed the inauguration of the Venezuelan embassy in Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, the state-owned company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) reduced its debt to Russian firm Rosneft from $1.8 billion to $1.1 billion in the second quarter of 2019, Rosneft report.

According to data from the Russian company, from January 2019 until June this year PDVSA paid $1.2 billion.

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PDVSA’s debt at the end of 2018 amounted to $2.3 billion.

At the end of September 2018, the debt was $3.1 billion, at the end of June 2018, at $3.6 billion, at the end of March 2018, at $4.0 billion and at the close of 2017 $4.6 billion.

Rosneft has awarded Venezuelan oil company PDVSA 6.5 billion in future oil and oil product supplies .

PDVSA-Rosneft Cooperation

Last February, the first vice president of Russian company Rosneft, Pavel Fyodorov, said that Venezuelan oil company PDVSA is meeting its obligations to the Russian company according to the debt repayment schedule.

The full cancellation of debt through deliveries of oil and oil products, is expected to end 2020.

Russian oil company Rosneft has contracts to purchase PDVSA oil and oil products and also to supply oil products to Venezuela. Russia has played a significant role in ensuring the Venezuelan state does not collapse under US pressures.

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