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North Korean Officials Visit Iran in A Rare Public Trip

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A North Korean delegation led by the cabinet minister for international trade is visiting Iran, the North’s official media said on Wednesday in a rare public report of an exchange between the two countries believed to have secret military ties.

The minister for external economic relations, Yun Jong Ho, left Pyongyang on Tuesday by air leading a ministry delegation to visit Iran, the North’s KCNA news agency said. It gave no other detail.

Iranian government media have not reported on the visit on Tuesday.

North Korea and Iran have long been suspected of cooperating on ballistic missile programs, possibly exchanging technical expertise and components that went into their manufacture.

Iran has provided a large number of ballistic missiles to Russia for use in its war with Ukraine, Reuters reported in February.

North Korea is also suspected of supplying Russia with missiles and artillery, although both countries have denied the allegation. Observers often mention a Russia, China, Iran and North Korea axis.

Yun has previously worked on the country’s ties with Syria, according to South Korean government database.

Yun has been active in the country’s increasing exchanges with Russia, earlier this month leading a delegation to visit Moscow, according to KCNA.