North Korea vowed to strengthen ties with Iran during a high-level meeting between North Korean ceremonial head of state Kim Young-nam and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, AFP reports.

Kim stresed Pyongyang’s “firm stand” to boost bilateral exchanges in economic and diplomatic channels with Tehran, North Korean state media KCNA reported. Pyongyang also expressed its support for Iran’s pursuit of “peaceful nuclear energy”. Iranian authorities deemed the bilateral relation as “beneficial” and praised North Korea’s “steadfast anti-imperialist, anti-US stand”.

The two countries have signed a cooperation agreement on science, technology and education. Both sides have put forward a “common front against imperialism and hegemony” during a visit by an Iranian delegation in July, KCNA reported. The US have imposed sanctions on North Korea and Iran over their nuclear programmes.