North Korea's Special (Concerning) Relationship With Cuba

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
From NK News:

Kim Jong Un meets with Cuban envoy

Kim Jong Un meets Cuban delegation for second time in one year

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un met with a special envoy from Cuba, the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Friday.

Salvador Antonio Valdes Mesa, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC) and vice president of the Council of State of Cuba, visited North Korea as a special envoy on behalf of Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz, leading a delegation of Cuban officials. His delegation arrived at Pyongyang on Tuesday.

Kim emphasized the strong relationship between the DPRK and Cuba

“The Cuban party, government and people are always sided with the Workers’ Party of Korea, Korean government, and Korean people,”

Kim also expressed his feelings about Pyongyang and Havana as allies against Pyongyang’s enemies, likely meant to refer to the United States and its allies.

“Cuba and Korea are located far from one another, but are fighting in the same trench of continuing the joint struggle against imperialism,” said Kim Jong Un.

The Cuban envoy in return said the Cuba-Korea relationship – “started between Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, Fidel Castro and Raul Castro“ – is firmly developing under the particular concerns of Kim Jong Un and Raul Castro, also adding that it is the Cuban government’s adamant policy to improve these relations.

This is the second time that Kim Jong Un has met publicly with a delegation from Cuba. In October of last year, Kim met with a similar Cuban delegation, led by Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, first vice president of the Council of State and member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Including the previous Cuban delegation, Kim has only met with a total of three official delegations representing foreign governments or political parties. The other envoy with which Kim met was Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao in July 2013. Otherwise Kim has only met with private citizens such as Dennis Rodman and has publicly snubbed some high-ranking officials visiting Pyongyang, such as Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in 2013.