Burma's FM Makes First Visit to North Korea in 25 years
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Burma's FM Makes First Visit to North Korea in 25 years

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Monday, October 27, 2008


RANGOON — Burma's foreign minister visited North Korea on Monday, an official said, more than a year after two of the world's most repressive governments resumed diplomatic ties.

It was the first official visit by a foreign minister from military-ruled Burma to North Korea in 25 years.

Foreign Minister Nyan Win traveled to Pyongyang after attending the Asia-Europe Meeting—known as ASEM—in Beijing, the Burmese official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Burma severed relations with North Korea in 1983 following a bombing in Burma's largest city, Rangoon, by North Korean secret agents targeting South Korea's then President Chun Doo-hwan. He was unhurt, but 21 people were killed, including four South Korean Cabinet ministers.

The two countries have been quietly working to normalize relations for the past few years, and agreed to resume diplomatic ties in April 2007.

Burma, which faces an arms embargo by the United States and European Union countries, has also reportedly bought weapons from North Korea.

Officials from the two countries have made some diplomatic visits since ties were restored. Burma's sports minister, Brig-Gen Thura Aye Myint, recently traveled to North Korea. A military delegation led by senior military officers also visited the North earlier this year.

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