Political & economic relations with DPRK

The EU supports international efforts to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, in particular through the Six Party Talks process, set up in 2003 to address international concerns over the nuclear activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, commonly known as North Korea).  The EU also conducts regular political dialogues with the DPRK  (since 1998). The European Community established diplomatic relations in May 2001 and the majority of EU member states have diplomatic relations with the DPRK. This provides an opportunity to discuss issues of importance to the EU including non-proliferation and human rights.  The EU has regularly raised the human rights situation in the DPRK bilaterally and through UN bodies, including co-sponsoring country resolutions.

Since 1995, the EU has been involved in various assistance programmes and cooperation activities with the DPRK.  Since then over €366 million in aid has been provided in the form of food aid, medical, water and sanitation assistance and agricultural support.  Current activities are mainly oriented towards support for the agricultural sector and are financed under the Food Security Thematic Programme  of the Development Cooperation Instrument with projects being implemented chiefly through so-called EU Project Support teams composed of experts provided mainly by NGOs from Europe. The annual amount varies, but tends to be around €9-10 million. In addition, there have been occasional small-scale knowledge-sharing events intended to promote dialogue on issues such as modernization of economic policies.