Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hanoi ‘Willing to Share’ Experience with DPRK
By Xie Wenting and Bai Yunyi
Global Times
2019/2/25 21:08:39

Vietnam path can be learned by Pyongyang: former official

A woman checks out a T-shirts with images of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump at a store in Hanoi, Vietnam on Monday. Photo: VCG

North Korea has the capability to follow the "Vietnam development path," and the country even has a better base and conditions in some respects than Vietnam when it launched "Doi Moi" economic reform, Nguyen Vinh Quang, a former official responsible for China and Northeast Asia affairs at the international department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, told the Global Times.

As Hanoi is preparing for the second summit between US president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday and Thursday, many people are gauging on the possibility that whether Pyongyang will emulate Vietnam's model of development as the two countries share many similarities.

Quang told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that Vietnam is willing to provide its own innovation experiences in economic reform, inner-party democratic construction as well as improvement of foreign relations with North Korea.

He noted that today's North Korea shares lots of similarities with Vietnam of the past. Both countries have experienced separation between the north and the south, such as development plight caused by outdated economic model and pressure from international society.

Once the nuclear issue gets resolved and international sanctions are relieved and the future of the regime of North Korea is guaranteed, the Vietnam path can be learned by North Korea in the long run, Quang said.

In terms of the Vietnam-US relations that have changed from "foes to friends," the former official noted that it can serve as an "example" from which North Korea can learn. "Based on the current information, I think North Korea-US relations are nearing this path," he said.

While North Korea once had doubts about Vietnam's "Doi Moi" reform, this view is gradually changing and their attitudes toward Vietnam's economic reform is becoming more positive. "When I communicated with North Koreans, I found that they were paying close attention to the governance and development experiences of Vietnam and China," Quang said.

Relations between North Korea and Vietnam have experienced ups and downs over the past half century. Bilateral relations didn't warm until the beginning of this century. Despite the changes in international society, Quang said that bilateral relations between the two countries have maintained favorable development.

Compared with China-Vietnam relations that inevitably face twists due to complicated historical reasons, the problems between Vietnam and North Korea aren't very serious and are comparatively easy to resolve, he added.

But problems still remain. As North Korea still faces UN sanctions, Vietnam needs to carry out the UN resolutions, thus leading to difficulties in accomplishing practical cooperation, he pointed out.

Quang looks forward to the settlement of the nuclear crisis in the Korean Peninsula and the national development policy that North Korea will launch. "At that time, Vietnam-North Korea relations as well as China-North Korea relations can realize better development. I'm optimistic of it," he said. 

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