Well, isn’t Kim Jong Un being quite the diplomatic little dictator lately? In addition to meeting South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone between their countries, with President Xi Jiping in China, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week and planning a meeting with Trump in June, Kim will also meet with Syrian President, Bashar Assad.
North Korea's state-run news agency says Syria's President Bashar Assad is interested in visiting North Korea and meeting leader Kim Jong Un. https://t.co/iawuLtfCFb
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 3, 2018
No meeting date or location has yet been released, but it begs the question, What is up with Kim Jong Un?? Why the sudden acts of diplomacy? Is diplomacy the new dictator?
For Syria, the link is fairly clear. Both countries have a history of sending each other messages of solidarity and support. Even after the suspected Syrian chemical attack on civilians, Kim sent Assad a message congratulating him on he anniversary of Syria’s ruling party. According to the North Korean state new agency the message said, “The Syrian government and people are reliably defending the independence and security of the country, resolutely smashing the acts of aggression of all the hostile forces and meeting their challenges under your correct leadership.”
That statement definitely sounds like despotism. Not even close to being slightly diplomatic.
In addition to their verbal support of one another, North Korea and Syria have strong military ties. North Korea has helped with weapons and technological support for the Syrian army.
The other similarity between the two countries is that they rely heavily on other countries for support. For North Korea, it depends on China for more than 80% of it’s international trade and Syria depends on Russia for weapons and direct military support.
Both are being targeted by Trump and his administration. Efforts, which include trying to persuade Moscow and Beijing to abandon Syria and North Korea, are being undertaken along with leading international efforts to isolate these regimes through sanctions, and threatening the use of military action.
So, what is up with this meeting? Is it more of the apparently new goodwill that Kim is showing to his neighbours or is it something more insidious? Will Trump be jealous or is this all part of the plan. And who’s plan is it anyway?