Russia and North Korea announce plans for an Asian trading house

Luke Graham, special to CNBC

North Korea and Russia are considering strengthening their diplomatic and trade relations by establishing an Asian trading house to facilitate imports and exports, according to TASS press agency.

The trading house would make direct trade between the two countries easier and more efficient, by allowing trades to be carried out in their national currencies or, for instance, enabling North Korean companies to open bank accounts in Russia.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
KCNA | Reuters

Currently, trade between the two often goes through a third party. According to the press release, one-third of Chinese exports (worth $900 million) to North Korea are Russian products.

"(The trading house) will be an important factor promoting the trade turnover between our countries," said Alexander Galushka, Russian minister for Far East development, in a press release. "An organization commercially interested in the growth of the goods turnover will be established."

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The announcement came from Russia's Far East Development Ministry, the day after a closing ceremony in North Korea to mark the 70th anniversary of the ruling Community Party.

According to TASS, North Korea's minister for external economic relations, Ri Ryong Nam, called for economic links between the two countries to be higher and should match the level of their political relationship.

Russia and North Korea have marked 2015 as the "Year of Friendship" between the two states and have held a number of exchanges throughout the year to develop political, economic and cultural links.

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