Relations between Cuba and North Korea has been cordial over decades since the Asian country embraced Fidel Castro, before his death, as a comrade-in-arms. Kim Jong Un has paid his last respect to a loyal and trusted ally by visiting the Cuban Embassy, reports confirm.
Image: Kim Jong Un (R)
North Korea is also observing a three-day mourning period for the 90-year-old Fidel Castro, who is considered a villain in the U.S. but a hero in the DPRK.
North Korea declared the mourning on November 28-30.
The DPRK flags on all official buildings are being flown at half-mast to honor the famous Cuban dictator.
A Japanese news agency reported that Fidel Castro is the only leader to have merited such honor in North Korea since the death of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader who died in 2004.
Reports from Pyongyang confirm that while Kim Jong Un visited the Cuban Embassy to pay his respects, a delegation of senior officials from his cabinet just left the country for Havana to honor Castro’s memorial services.
Local reports say Kim Jong Un also sent a wreath to the Cuban Embassy.
“Although the outstanding leader died, his name will always be kept alive in our memory,” Kim wrote in an official message.
“Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz was the outstanding leader of the Cuban people and a prominent political activist who made distinguished contributions to accomplishing the cause of independence against imperialism, the cause of socialism and justice, as he honorably defended the sovereignty and dignity of the country, established the socialist system where the people became the genuine masters for the first time in the Western Hemisphere,” the North Korean leader said in a statement, according to a report from the Korean Central News Agency.
Diplomatic ties between Cuba and North Korea was established in 1960, shortly after Fidel Castro took over leadership of the country. The Asian country also has an embassy in Havana.
Image: Kim Kong Un
In 2008, the two countries signed agreements for a stronger military and commercial ties.
Media reports confirm that in July 2013, a ship loaded with Cuban weapons was intercepted on its way from Panama to North Korea, forcing the countries’ diplomatic ties to be reviewed.
Castro will be laid to rest on 4 December after a scheduled funeral in Santa Ifigenia, Santiago de Cuba – the country’s second largest city.