Foreign Development Cooperation in North Korea

The contractual basis between the two states

  • Agreement on cultural cooperation between the government of the Czechoslovak Republic and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Prague, 23 June 1956)
  • Agreement between the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters (Pyongyang, 11/09/1988)
  • Consular Convention between the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Pyongyang, 11/09/1988)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on Succession to Bilateral Treaties Negotiated by Exchange of Notes (Prague, 11/09/1998)

Contracts of a commercial and economic nature

  • Agreement on the provision of economic and technical assistance by the Czechoslovak Republic to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the years 1954–1960. (Prague, 21 December 1954)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic and the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the mutual provision of credit for salaries of a non-commercial nature and on the method of making such salaries. (Prague, 21 December 1954)
  • Credit agreement between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. (Prague, 21 December 1954)
  • Supplementary protocol between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the Credit Agreement between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dated 21 December 1954 (Prague, 23/06/1956)
  • Supplementary protocol between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the Agreement on the provision of economic and technical assistance by the Czechoslovak Republic to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the years 1954-1960 of 21 December 1954 (Prague, 23/06/1956)
  • II. Supplementary Protocol between the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic and the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the Agreement on the Provision of Economic and Technical Assistance by the Czechoslovak Republic to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1954–1960 (Prague, 27/02/1959)
  • III. Additional Protocol to the Agreement on the Provision of Economic and Technical Assistance by the Czechoslovak Republic to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the years 1954–1960 of 21 December 1954 (Prague, 5 April 1961)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the provision of a liquidation loan (Prague, 20 August 1962)
  • II. Supplementary Protocol to the Credit Agreement between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dated 21 December 1954 as amended by the Supplementary Protocol between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dated 23 June 1956 (Prague, 20/08/1962)
  • Additional Protocol to the Agreement on the Provision of Economic and Technical Assistance by the Czechoslovak Republic to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the years 1954–1960 of 21 December 1954 (Prague, 22 June 1973)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the provision of a loan by the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Prague, 22 June 1973)
  • Addendum to the Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the provision of a loan by the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dated 22 June 1973 (Prague, 7 April 1978)
  • Trade Agreement between the Government of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Prague, 1 November 1990)
  • Protocol between the Government of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the exchange of goods, services and payments for the year 1991 (Prague, 19 March 1991)
  • Addendum to the Trade Agreement between the Government of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of ​​1 November 1990 (Prague, 18/05/1992)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the support and mutual protection of investments (Pyongyang, 27/02/1998)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on air services (Pyongyang, 8 April 2004)
  • Agreement between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion in the field of income and property taxes (Prague, 2 March 2005) – the agreement entered into force on 7 December 2005.

Foreign development cooperation

The Czech Republic does not currently provide (even in accordance with agreements within the EU) any development aid to the DPRK.

The largest provider of humanitarian aid is the UN and the EU, directly through the relevant humanitarian organizations.

In 2000 and 2002, the Czech Republic provided humanitarian aid in the amount of USD 20,000, which was implemented in the form of the supply of fruit tree seedlings and vines. In 2002, humanitarian aid was provided to the DPRK in the form of the supply of surgical instruments worth CZK 250,000. In 2004, in connection with the explosion of the train and the destruction of the city of Ryongchon, humanitarian aid in the amount of 100,000 USD (medicines and equipment for the school) was provided to the DPRK. In 2007, USD 25,000 in humanitarian aid was provided through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to purchase medicine after the August floods. In 2008, relatively massive humanitarian aid worth CZK 3 million was provided in the form of the delivery of 45,000 pieces of apple tree branches to Onchon district (approx. 100 km SW of Pyongyang). In the years 2013–2015, a small local project worth CZK 200,000/year was implemented on this farm. In 2013 and 2014, the Czech Republic provided 200,000 each. CZK to improve the quality of fruit tree production. The project for 2015, also in the amount of CZK 200,000, focused on the production, or repair of concrete support posts used to fix trees and production of concrete bricks for the irrigation system of the fruit farm in Ončchon. In 2016, however, despite the initiative of the CZ side, no project was approved (the Korean side did not provide the necessary documents).

In the years 2001–2010, the Czech Republic provided government scholarships to the DPRK as part of aid to developing countries. However, in 2010, the DPRK rejected the offered government scholarships without proper explanation, and in 2011 and 2012 (for this reason, but also due to the reduction of available funds for this purpose), no scholarship was offered to the DPRK until 2015. For the 2015/2016 academic year, the DPRK was offered a quota of 2 government scholarship places, but the DPRK nominated students for fields that are embargoed. In the end, the scholarships were not used and the poems were no longer offered to the DPRK.

Based on an agreement between the ministries of education of the two countries of the Czech Republic, every year the DPRK offers 4 places at the Summer School of Slavic Studies (LŠSS) and the DPRK offers 4 places for a one-month stay for Czech students and professors at the Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang. Since 2014, no participants have been nominated by the North Korean side for the LŠSS.

Korea (Northern – DPRK): Map of industry opportunities – prospective Czech export items

Due to the existence of the sanctions regime and other barriers to trade, compiling a map of industry opportunities is pointless.

The most promising items for Czech exports, sectors for investment, privatization and development projects

The DPRK usually declares an interest in the supply of older refurbished means of public transport (mainly trams), energy equipment, equipment for the metallurgical industry, handling and packaging equipment, food machinery and equipment, and agricultural equipment. Due to the importance of coal mining for the North Korean economy, mining equipment and especially pumps for pumping out water would find application. ZÚ noticed an attempt to import several pieces of the SOR bus, but due to the intended method of mass assembly (in the case of larger deliveries) it cannot be recommended even here in the DPRK. In the last period, ZÚ registered an interest in the import of a small brewery (already implemented, brewery installed in Rajin) and equipment for bakeries.

With regard to the former nature of supplies from the Czech Republic, it would also be possible to consider the supply of reconditioned subway cars, the renewal of previously supplied equipment for energy, metallurgy, engineering capacities, including equipment for the production of machine tools, etc. (plant in Huichon for machine tools, cement plants in Chonnen, Hwanghae iron works, pipe and non-ferrous metal rolling mills, hydroelectric facilities). The North Korean side is also interested in the import of food (beer) and consumer goods (cosmetics), etc. Overall, the breadth of tradable products is limited by UNSC sanctions, so the scope for trade is minimal.

However, in addition to the political situation, the increase in mutual trade is also hindered by the lack of foreign currency on the North Korean side and poor payment morale. The granting of a loan by the Czech Republic is practically impossible due to the inclusion of the DPRK in group 7 (non-insurable countries) from the point of view of the EGAP classification.

Event calendar

In the capital Pyongyang, spring and autumn international fairs are held every year, where consumer goods are mostly exhibited. The trade fair is mainly attended by Chinese companies from abroad, exceptionally also others (Indonesia in 2019).

Practical telephone numbers in the territory (emergency services, traffic police, firefighters, information lines, etc.)

First aid and medical treatment is provided by Chinson Hospital (Friendship Hospital), located in the diplomatic district of Munsudong. Telephone connection – 382 7688 (due to the specific system of telephone circuits and their mutual impermeability, it is not possible to call the indicated number from any telephone. The three-digit number 382 begins with telephone numbers for local calls to the Korean network, which are available only to diplomatic missions and international organizations).

The telephone numbers of the emergency services, police and fire brigade are on a different telephone circuit which is not accessible by diplomatic missions. If necessary, it is necessary to call the Diplomatic Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK (382 3155), but this is not possible for a Czech visitor without the assistance of our ZÚ. The language barrier is also a problem. The vast majority of the population does not speak any foreign language, so knowledge of Korean is a prerequisite for communicating with doctors, police or firefighters.

 Internet information resources

The DPRK does not allow its citizens access to the Internet, which also applies to employees of the state administration and other important institutions. Public institutions do not operate websites, with the exception of e.g. the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Chamber of Commerce of the DPRK, which have a common central e-mail address: [email protected] Communication with the DPRK and its authorities is usually done by telephone through an interpreter, or by fax.

Basic information for foreigners can be obtained on the website of the national air carrier Air Koryo.

Information about domestic political events in the country can be obtained from the website of the official press agency Korean Central News Agency of DPRK. A better option is the foreign server KCNAWatch, which copies and archives news from the KCNA agency in real time, as well as from other sources related to the DPRK. The South Korean Yonhap News Agency, which runs a section focused exclusively on the DPRK, is also an important source of events in the country.

Of the foreign sources that specialize in events in the DPRK, the best are nknews.org, 38north.org and dailynk.com .

Information regarding economic data related to the local economy cannot be obtained from any DPRK-administered address, there are only incomplete data and estimates on the websites of ROK institutions or international organizations:

  • Bank of Korea www.bok.or.kr
  • Ministry of Unification, Soul www.unikorea.go.kr
  • Food and Agriculture Organization www.fao.org
  • Korea Institute for National Unification www.kinu.or.kr
  • Korea Institute for International Economic Policy www.kiep.go.kr
  • World Food Programme www.wfp.org
  • Korea Economic Institute www.keia.org

Foreign Development Cooperation in North Korea