From Pyongyang’s urban landscape to Mt Paektu’s sacred architectures, North Korea’s topographies have been harnessed in support of its politics. While the nation’s coastlines have been by their nature more liminal than its monolithic urban/political terrains, North Korean maritime infrastructures have historically served its politico-developmental narratives, forging new ‘socialist’ landscapes and geo-political connections. These landscapes and histories have been almost entirely human in focus with historically little consideration given to a wider ‘web of life.’ This paper therefore considers North Korean physical and anthropological terrain and interactions with international partners and competitors as an assemblage of participants, including what Jane Bennett has termed ‘vibrant’ or lively matters. Exploring first the institutional and political fishing histories of Pyongyang the chapter traces developments in North Korean interaction with the Soviet Union in the 1970s. Drawing on newly encountered archival material from the Russian State Archive of the Economy and the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Fisheries Archive the paper considers the reality of such encounters. In particular it analyses research exchanges between North Korea and the Soviet Union and the complexities and security paradoxes created by them as well as North Korean and Soviet fishing encounters in the Sea of Okhotsk. Fish, Fisheries Researchers and Fishing Technologies are certainly vibrant, active, lively matters in the landscapes of exchange between these two nations and their complex relationships of socialist fraternity.