Syrian President Bashar al-Assad plans to visit North Korea for a personal meeting with leader Kim Jong-Un, Pyongyang’s state media reported Sunday.
If the trip comes off – no firm dates have yet been released – he will become the first head of state to meet Kim inside the isolated kingdom.
“I am going to visit the DPRK and meet… Kim Jong Un,” Assad said, as reported by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency.
The announcement comes just days after U.S. President Donald J. Trump welcomed a representative of North Korea to Washington for a continuation of talks ahead of a historic nuclear summit between the two countries in Singapore on June 12.
President Donald Trump confirmed that his scheduled meeting would take place after earlier doubts it would proceed.
“I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn’t have it,” Trump told reporters outside the White House after the meeting. “I think we’re going to have a relationship and it will start on June 12th.”
The Syrian leader is just as hopeful as President Trump about the prospects of his meeting going ahead.
“The world welcomes the remarkable events in the Korean peninsula brought about recently by the outstanding political calibre and wise leadership of… Kim Jong Un,” KCNA cited Assad as saying during a meeting with North Korean Ambassador Mun Jong Nam.
AFP reports the Syrian president’s office refused to comment on the report when contacted.
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