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N. Korean Officials, Academics to Visit Indonesia in June

FILE - North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Ri Kil Song leaves after a meeting with Indonesian officials at the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta, February 13, 2015.

A number of North Korean officials and professors in the economics sector will visit Indonesia this month.

The University of British Columbia’s Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program announced last week that it would accompany a group of North Koreans to Indonesia June 13-20. There are 14 people in this group, including a professor with the Canadian university.

The North Koreans include the president of the Chosun Economic Development Association, as well as professors at the North’s top higher education institutions, Kim Il Sung University and People’s Economy College. Officials with the North’s Ministries of Finance, Economy and Foreign Affairs also will take part.

The association is allegedly a nongovernmental organization aimed at helping Pyongyang’s efforts in developing Special Economic Zones. North Korea is a communist country, where orders are structured upon common ownership.

The group is scheduled to visit sites of Indonesia’s economic, trade and financial developments and learn from the Southeast Asian country’s strategies and experience. The North Koreans also will get a chance to exchange opinions on a wide range of issues with their local counterparts.

The June visit is sponsored by the Indonesian Embassy in Pyongyang.

The Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program noted in its press release to the VOA Korean service that it hoped the tour would allow the North’s participants to connect their theoretical knowledge with real-life experience.

Each year since 2011, the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program has invited six North Korean experts for six months of training related to market economies. Such topics as international management practices, economics, finance and trade are covered.

During the last two years, the University of British Columbia’s program co-hosted an international academic conference on Special Economic Zone development in Pyongyang, and it organized a tour for foreign experts of the North’s existing SEZs.

Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report.