Factbox-North Korea and Russia trade record number of delegations

By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea and Russia have ramped up diplomatic and economic exchanges in recent months, culminating in this week's visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to North Korea for the first time in 24 years.

The two countries have exchanged more than two dozen high-level government, parliamentary and other delegations since July 2023 - including 18 this year - which marks the highest-ever number of such visits, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry handling inter-Korean affairs.

Following is a chronology of high-level exchanges between North Korea and Russia since July 2023.

July 2023

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pyongyang and accompanied North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a defence expo and military parade that featured the isolated country's banned ballistic missiles.

September 2023

- Kim travelled to Russia's Far East and toured the Vostochny Cosmodrome space launch centre, where Putin promised to help him build satellites.

- North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Im Chon Il visited Moscow for talks with Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko.

- North Korea's external economic relations minister Yun Jong Ho met Russia's natural resources minister Alexander Kozlov in Moscow.

October 2023

- A North Korean delegation headed by sports minister Kim Il Guk attended a forum in the Russian city of Perm.

- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Pyongyang and met Kim Jong Un.

November 2023

- Kozlov visited Pyongyang.

- A delegation led by North Korea's culture minister attended an event in St. Petersburg.

December 2023

- Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of the Russian far eastern region of Primorsky, travelled to Pyongyang.

January 2024

- North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui met Lavrov and held rare talks in the Kremlin with Putin.

February 2024

- North Korean agriculture officials visited Russia.

- Kim Su Gil, a senior official of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party and chief secretary of the capital Pyongyang, met Dmitry Medvedev, head of Russia's ruling party.

- North Korea's fisheries, sports, IT industry, youth delegations respectively went to Russia.

March 2024

- Kozhemyako visited Pyongyang, his second trip in three months.

- A Russian culture delegation visited North Korea.

- Putin's foreign intelligence chief, Sergei Naryshkin, held talks in Pyongyang with North Korean Minister of State Security Ri Chang Dae.

- North Korea's external economic relations minister Yun visited Russia again.

April 2024

- North Korea's education, health, agriculture, youth delegations respectively visited Russia.

- A delegation from the Moscow zoo visited Pyongyang and promised to donate more than 40 animals including eagles, fruit bats, parrots, and pythons.

May 2024

- Ri Chung Gil, chair of North Korea's state commission of science and technology, visited Russia.

- Nam Chol Gwang, head of North Korea's state emergency disaster committee, attended an international security exhibition in Moscow.

June 2024

- A group of North Korean security authorities led by Vice Public Security Minister Ri Song Chol visited Russia.

- Putin visits Pyongyang for first time since 2000.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin. Editing by Gerry Doyle)