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Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj praised freedom during his official trip to North Korea late last month, telling scholars and students in Pyongyang, "No tyranny lasts forever," according to the president's office.
"Freedom is an asset bestowed upon every single man and woman. Freedom enables every human to discover and realize his or her opportunities and chances for development," Elbegdorj said in his lecture at Kim Il Sung University on Oct. 31. "It is the desire of the people to live free that is the eternal power."
The president also quoted a Mongolian saying that it is "better to live by your own choice however bitter it is than to live by other's choice, however sweet," according to the transcript the office has released by Friday.
Elbegdorj, who ended his four-day trip to North Korea on Oct. 31, was the first foreign head of state to visit the country since Kim Jong Un took power after the death of his father and longtime ruler Kim Jong Il in December 2011.
During his stay there, he also met North Korea's No. 2 leader Kim Yong Nam, considered the country's de facto head of state, and other senior officials but could not meet Kim Jong Un.
The topic of the lecture at the university was proposed by North Korea, but Elbegdorj was requested not to use the words "democracy and market economy," the presidential office said.
During the lecture, where no questions were raised, Elbegdorj explained Mongolia's rapid economic growth in recent years and told the attendees that it is a country also respecting human rights, rule of law and open policies.
He also told them that Mongolia has "fully stopped capital punishment" and has maintained a nuclear-weapon-free status recognized by the UN Security Council.
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