MAJOR: Venezuela and North Korea consolidate alliance with new agreements

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CARACAS – Venezuela and North Korea have concluded a series of agreements, including military and technological cooperation initiatives, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced on Monday.

“Diosdado [Cabello, president of the Venezuelan National Constituent Assembly] has just informed me about the agreements reached in all areas – technology, industry, military cooperation,” said Maduro.

The Venezuelan leader added that Caracas is also cooperating with Pyongyang in agriculture and the food industry.

Cabello leads a Venezuelan delegation that is currently conducting state visits in Asia. Last week, the delegation was in Pyongyang, where Cabello reportedly gave North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a letter from Maduro.

Venezuelan officials’ visit to North Korea, praised by Maduro on Monday, comes amid further EU and US sanctions against Venezuela.

Last Thursday, Washington imposed sanctions on the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Raúl Castro, and also against members of his family.

The imposition of the new sanctions was released by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo said the sanctions, which restrict entry into the United States, are grounded in Cuba’s support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

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Meanwhile, according to North Korean Foreign Ministry advisor Kim Kye-gwan, a new summit between Kim and Trump would have little chance of happening, local media say.

Also according to the North Korean authority, the improbability of the meeting would be due to the lack of results from previous meetings.

These meetings were historic occasions for the leaders of both countries to express their willingness to end hostility and establish peace and stability in the Korean peninsula, the aide said. The Korean praised the US president saying he is “different from his politically speaking predecessors.”

At the same time, Kim Kye-gwan criticized the fruitlessness of the meetings already held.

“However, nothing has been done to implement the issues agreed in previous talks, which diminishes the possibility of an upcoming summit,” Kye-gwan told North Korean agency KCNA.

The North Korean stressed that his country sincerely repatriated US citizens imprisoned in the country for hostile acts against Pyongyang.

“However, the United States has done nothing to implement the joint statement. Instead, the Americans have resumed their joint military maneuvers [with South Korea], even though the United States president has personally pledged to suspend them and increased sanctions against North Korea for the sole purpose of worsening relations between the two countries,” said Kye-gwan.

For negotiations to continue, Trump must make a “wise and bold decision” to end diplomatic differences between the two nations, just as Washington would have to end its negative approach to North Korea in order to advance the dialogue,” according to the North Korean.

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