North Korea and Russia establish joint business council

Reuters / Denis Balibouse
Relations between Russia and North Korea have taken a step forward following Moscow’s setting up of a Business Council for Cooperation with North Korea. This will help Russia and North Korea reach their $1 billion trade goal.

The new council will help pair Russian companies with business partners in North Korea to work on trade and investment.

"This is undoubtedly a new stage of business cooperation between Russia and North Korea, which will significantly strengthen trade and economic relations between the two countries," Russian Commerce and Industry Chamber Vice President Vladimir Strashko said, TASS reported.

The new council should make business transactions between the two neighbors smoother, according to Strashko.

Annual trade between Moscow and Pyongyang is slated to increase to $1 billion by 2020. Russia and North Korea plan to carry out future trade in rubles.

READ MORE: Russia and N. Korea switching to trade in rubles

This last year has been a milestone for increased Russia-North Korea relations. In June, Russia announced it was extending its Trans-Siberia railway to North Korea.

Russia is also considering investing in North Korea’s Kaesong Industrial Park, a special economic zone in the country where more than 50,000 North Korean workers are employed by South Korean companies.In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will forgive 90 percent of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt.

Kim Jong-un said he will make a state visit to Moscow in May to join Russia’s celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.