29 November – 1 December 2018 l PYONGYANG, DPRK – UCLG ASPAC President Tri Rismaharini and Secretary General Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi concluded their official visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), marking a first successful step towards closer dialogue and collaboration at city-level with the country.

The mission was an initiative adopted during UCLG World Executive Bureau meeting in Strasbourg in order to support the reconciliatory momentum created by a landmark Inter-Korean Summit in April 2018, where DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and President of the Republic of Korea jointly announced the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula”.

The mission was led by UCLG Co-President Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg (France), and supported by UCLG ASPAC President Tri Rismaharini, Mayor of Surabaya (Indonesia), and Secretary General Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi.

Highlights of the 3-day mission included the delegates’ visit to public service places in Pyongyang and their meeting with Deputy President of Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Yong Nam. The delegates also embarked upon field trips to Pyongsong (approximately 32 kilometers in the north of Pyongyang) and Kaesong (located close to border with South Korea), where they had productive discussions with Mayors of both cities. In addition to their field visits, the delegates gained insights from the presentation on development projects in Wonson, a city with historical significance located on the east side of the Korean peninsula.

Main focus of the discussions throughout the mission was on local economy development and sustainable urban planning, with an aim of ensuring decent housing, availability of public services as well as safe and easy-access public transportation. The emphasis was also made on the need to preserve environment and cultural heritage in urban development.

This visit to foster peace and promote local dialogue with DPRK marked Mayor Tri Rismaharini’s first official mission as UCLG ASPAC President upon taking up her position in September 2018. Mayor Rismaharini observed areas that could be further enhanced to improve people’s quality of life and living standard, while supporting DPRK’s efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Promoting access to electricity, water supply, telecommunications and better road infrastructure are among the areas identified for possible city-to-city exchanges and collaboration in the future