N. Korea to boost Laos links: state media

SEOUL - North Korea has signed four agreements with Laos to increase cooperation between the two socialist nations, Pyongyang's state media reported Thursday.

The agreements were signed "with due ceremonies" Wednesday during a visit by the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-Nam, the official news agency reported.

"It is the steadfast stand of the DPRK (North Korean) government to develop the traditional relations of friendship with Laos," Kim was quoted as telling Laotian President Choummaly Sayasone in Vientiane.

The agreements cover information technology, cultural exchanges, education and commerce, the agency said.

A North Korean delegation headed by Kim arrived in Laos after a three-day trip to Vietnam, following a visit by a Laotian government group to Pyongyang in July.

Vietnam announced Monday it would give 5,000 tons of rice to North Korea, which has been hit by floods this summer.

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