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Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad is planning to meet Kim Jong-Un, the leader of North Korea, in the hopes of furthering the diplomatic relations of both nations, which have long been allied with both common foes as well as common interests regarding weapons development. Syria, still in a state of war trying to rid itself of the Islamic State, has been seeking North Korea for help with regards to funding weaponry, as well as other resources needed to help Syria win the war. Both nations have been sanctioned heavily by other international organizations, as well as other states, for they executed numerous humanitarian crimes on their soil.
It’s important to note that both leaders have a similar approach when it comes to leadership. Both Assad and Kim Jong-Un have been blunt critics of the Western style of government: democracy. Both have ruthlessly held on to power and have little checks and balances in place to halt them from doing so. A single glance at both these countries is enough to tell that both are washed with needless state propaganda. Kim and Assad have also been notorious for stifling their opposition. The dictatorial nature of both these leaders only cements their affable relationship further.
If both leaders were to meet in Pyongyang, it would be the first time North Korea has ever formally invited another world leader to its rather isolated country.
Syria and North Korea have had a very friendly relationship, dating back to the predecessors of both the heads of states. Assad’s father, Hafez Al-Assad, and Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, had a very strong relationship. In hopes of honouring this relationship, Syria named one of its parks after the older Kim. The Syrian government had always viewed North Korea in a positive light, claiming that it was a state struggling to “liberate and build” itself.
According to the Guardian, Assad claimed that he has high regards for leader Kim and had recently stated “The world welcomes the remarkable events in the Korean peninsula brought about recently by the outstanding political caliber and wise leadership of HE (his excellency) Kim Jong-Un. I am sure that he will achieve the final victory and realize the reunification of Korea without fail.” Assad is referring to the two summits that recently took place between North and South Korea. Discussions have been going on and both parties have expressed an interest in the reunification of the Korean peninsula.
At this time, Singapore, a relatively neutral state, plans on hosting a summit between North Korea and the United States to discuss further denuclearization of North Korea. North Korea abruptly stated that they would not attend two weeks ago due to America’s hostility and inability to listen. A catalyst to this decision was that both South Korea and the United States were conducting military drills on the border of both the countries, scaring off North Korea. Despite President Donald Trump formally cancelling his appearance as well, the United States still prepares itself for a possible summit in Singapore on June 12th.