Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) met with Syrian Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party Assistant General-Secretary Abdullah al-Ahmar and other members of a Syrian delegation on 24 July (Wednesday). Attending the meeting with Kim Jong Un were Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department Kim Ki Nam, KWP Secretary and Director of the United Front Kim Yang Gon and 1st Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan. The Syrian delegation arrived in Pyongyang earlier on 24 July and were received at Pyongyang Sunan Airport by KWP Secretary and Director of International Affairs Kim Yong Il, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Hyong Jun and Haissam Saad, interim charge d’ affaires of the Syrian Embassy in the DPRK. The delegation is one of many foreign delegations and groups visiting the DPRK to participate in events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the victory/armistice of the Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War). Kim Jong Un’s last observed appearance was his visit to the construction of a children’s hospital and dental hospital in Pyongyang.
According to KCNA, al-Ahmar “offered warmest congratulations to Marshal Kim Jong Un and the friendly Korean people on behalf of President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian people on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and expressed best wishes for Kim Jong Un’s good health and happiness and for the Korean people’s success in the efforts to build a thriving nation” and he “expressed belief that the relations of friendship and cooperation that exist between the Syrian Arab Republic and the DPRK would continue growing strong in the interests of the two peoples.” Kim Jong Un “warmly welcomed the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic which made a long trip to come to the DPRK for taking part in the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and extended a militant salute to President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian people.” According to KCNA Kim Jong Un said “he was pleased to meet” al-Ahmar who had met with late DPRK founder and President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) on several occasions. Kim Jong Un “noted it is a great encouragement to the Korean people that the party and government of Syria dispatched the delegation to the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the victory in the war.” Kim Jong Un also “exchanged with the guests views on the issue of boosting the bilateral relations and other issues of mutual concern including the regional situation.”
Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Syrians “proceeded in a friendly and amicable atmosphere.” After the DPRK-Syrian interaction, Abdullah al-Ahmar presented a gift to Kim Jong Un, who “expressed deep thanks.”