The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had established diplomatic relations on October 30, 1948. Relations had been very close during the time of Josip Broz Tito and Kim Il-sung. Both leaders had taken a neutral stance during the Sino-Soviet split and maintained friendly relations with both the Soviet Union and China. Both Serbia and North Korea are members of the Non-Aligned Movement. Yugoslavia, of which Serbia was a part, was one of the movement's founding members. Both countries closed their embassies in each other's capitals in October and November 2001, respectively, for financial reasons. Nevertheless, they continue to enjoy a close relations. The Serbian Embassy to North Korea is accredited from Beijing, China, and the North Korean embassy to Serbia is accredited from Sofia, Bulgaria.
Under President Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia had a very close relationship with North Korea. It was rumoured that North Korean students came to study in Belgrade. Yet trade between Yugoslavia and North Korea was very limited, worth roughly 1.37 million Euros.