The co-operation agreement between Bulgaria and North Korea approved by the cabinet on February 12 is not new but is “traditional” and renewed every three years, according to Kristian Vigenin, foreign minister in the Bulgarian Socialist Party cabinet.
A cabinet announcement of approval of the agreement, covering co-operation in the fields of arts, culture, media, education, librarianship and sport, excited considerable comment on social networks and in the media and prompted opposition leader and former prime minister Boiko Borissov to say that he was shocked and called on the government to resign.
Speaking on February 13 to Nova Televizia, Vigenin said that he could not understand why Borissov said he was shocked, when Borissov’s own government had, when Nikolai Mladenov was foreign minister, signed the same agreement for the previous three years, from 2010 to 2013.
According to Vigenin, the agreement was a framework one, providing for limited activities. Previously, for example, it had enabled participation in film festivals, Vigenin said.
No one, for example the media, could be obliged to go to exchange experience.
“Our media hardly has much to learn from North Korea, but perhaps they have much to learn from us,” he said.
Vigenin said that the cabinet had “considered carefully” before agreeing to approve the agreement. He said that the decision to renew the agreement had been taken on the day that the two Koreas had begun talks, which Vigenin described as “a positive sign in terms of diplomacy”.