SEOUL – A North Korean delegation headed by the vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea left for Cuba on Tuesday, according to official North Korean media.
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA reported the visit of the delegation very briefly without details.
The visit is assumed to be aimed at strengthening ties between the regime led by Kim Jong-un and Havana after Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected as new president of Cuba in late April.
Shortly after Diaz-Canel’s election as president, Kim sent him a congratulatory message and received a reply from the Cuban president expressing his desire to strengthen bilateral relations, Pyongyang media reported.
The top North Korean official heading the delegation, Ri Su-yong, is considered to be a close aide of Kim since he was the ambassador to Switzerland when Kim went to alpine country to study.
In November, a delegation led by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho traveled to Havana amid mounting international pressure on the isolated Asian country in the wake of its repeated weapons tests.
North Korea and Cuba have maintained close ties since they established diplomatic relations for the first time in 1960.