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N.K. leader congratulates Cuban president on election as new ruling party chief

All News 09:57 April 20, 2021

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un congratulated Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on his election as the new powerful head of its ruling communist party and vowed to strengthen bilateral ties, state media said Tuesday.

Kim sent the message on Monday expressing his "absolute support" and offered "warm comradely greetings" to Diaz-Canel shortly after he succeeded Raul Castro as first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the Korean Central News Agency said.

"Kim Jong-un in his message reaffirmed his will to further develop the traditional friendship and unity and comradely cooperative ties between the two parties and the two countries along the road of the struggle for carrying out the joint cause under the banner of socialism, as agreed with the respected first secretary during a meeting in Pyongyang in November, 2018," it said.

North Korea and Cuba have maintained close relations since establishing diplomatic ties in 1960. In November 2018, Diaz-Canel visited Pyongyang and met with leader Kim.

Pyongyang has been seeking to maintain closer ties with its traditional allies amid an impasse in nuclear negotiations with Washington. Last month, Kim sent several verbal messages to the leaders of China, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) and his visiting Cuban counterpart Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez hold up their hands as they watch a mass games performance in Pyongyang on Nov. 5, 2018, in this photo captured from the North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper. Kim met Diaz-Canel for the second straight day after the Cuban leader arrived in the North Korean capital the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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