As Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told U.S. lawmakers that evidence shows the government of Syria used sarin nerve gas on its own people, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged pleasantries with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Wednesday the young North Korean leader received a response from Assad thanking him for “sending kind congratulations to the Syrian president on the independence day, the national holiday of the Syrian Arab Republic, wishing him good health and happiness as well as the friendly Korean people greater progress and prosperity.”
In the message, Assad stated he wants “to work hard together with Kim Jong Un to steadily strengthen the friendly and cooperative relations between Syria and the DPRK in the interests of the two peoples.”
The apparently friendly relationship between North Korea and Syria is likely to add more problems to the North Korean threat the United States is already facing. According to the New York Times, North Korean generals said on Thursday their forces were set to launch “intercontinental ballistic missiles and kamikaze-like nuclear attacks at the United States if threatened.” At the same time, President Barack Obama has stated on a number of occasions that the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and could trigger U.S. intervention.