Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Chief of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff, met with Cuban President Raúl Castro in Havana on 1 July (Monday). According to Cuban state television, Raúl welcomed Gen. Kim and a KPA delegation’s visit to Cuba and “both leaders talked about the historic ties between their countries, and expressed the common will to continue the relations.” Also in attendance at the meeting were DPRK Ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong Jin and Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces [FAR], Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frías.
On 30 June (Sunday), Kim Kyok Sik held a meeting with Leopoldo Cintra Frías. The meeting was attended by Jon Yong Jin along with the DPRK’s resident defense attache at its Havana embassy and “other officials concerned.” During the meeting, according to Cuban media, Kim “hailed the brotherhood ties between his country and Cuba.” Gen. Kim also said “I have seen how the Cuban people fights for socialism and I am convinced that our friendship relations will continue” and he remarked that during his stay on the island he had “seen the successes of the country in defense of socialism against the aggressions of the United States.” According to KCNA, “both sides informed the situation of their countries and exchanged views on boosting the friendly relations between the two armies and peoples of the two countries” and the meeting “proceeded in a comradely and friendly atmosphere.” Over the weekend, Gen. Kim and the KPA delegation visited FAR military units and military academies.