Senior North Korean Officials Make Rare Public Visit to Iran

A North Korean delegation led by Minister of External Economic Relations Yun Jong Ho departed for Iran by plane on Tuesday, according to the state-run KCNA news agency. KCNA did not provide further details about the visit.

The last publicly announced visit by North Korean officials to Iran was in 2019. In February, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory message to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the 45th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, expressing confidence that “the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between our two countries forged on the road of joint struggle against imperialism will expand and develop in various fields.”

Last week, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said it is monitoring whether North Korean technology was included in ballistic missiles Iran launched against Israel in April, given past missile cooperation between North Korea and Iran. On April 13, Tehran fired several hundred missiles and drones at military targets inside Israel in response to an earlier strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria.

North Korea and Iran have also been accused by the US and its allies of respectively providing artillery shells and drones to Russia amid the conflict with Ukraine. Pyongyang and Tehran have denied the claims, while Russia has insisted it relies on domestically produced weapons for its military operation.