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North Korea, Iran Vow Stronger Ties


Kim Yong Nam (third from left), chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, attends a meeting with officials at the Nonaligned Movement summit in Tehran on August 29.

Kim Yong Nam (third from left), chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, attends a meeting with officials at the Nonaligned Movement summit in Tehran on August 29.

North Korea and Iran have taken a vow to strengthen ties and increase science and technological cooperation.

The development comes after Pyongyang's ceremonial head of state, Kim Young Nam, met with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on September 1 on the sidelines of the Nonaligned Movement summit in Tehran.

North Korean state media reported the officials discussed cooperation on "the joint anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. front" and signed an agreement on technology sharing.

The deal, which proposes the creation of joint laboratories and scientist-exchange programs, is likely to raise suspicions in the West.

Both Pyongyang and Tehran have been placed under an international sanctions regime for their nuclear programs, and the United States has accused North Korea of providing Iran with parts for advanced ballistic missiles.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also met with North Korea's Kim on September 1. Khamenei was quoted as saying that the two countries have "common enemies, because the arrogant powers do not accept independent states."

Both countries were named as part of an "axis of evil" by former U.S. President George W. Bush in 2002.



Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and ILNA

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