Syria’s embattled government – routinely condemned for its human rights abuses – does not have many international allies. In fact, its diplomatic relations with the West are basically non-existent.
Although the country is currently embroiled in a civil war and doesn’t have much of a support from other parts of the world, it looks like President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime is only interested in strengthening its friendly ties with one country in particular: the pariah state of North Korea.
In the war-torn region, where a quarter of a million people have been killed while more than 12 million have been displaced in the ongoing conflict, the Syrian government has constructed a new park in capital city of Damascus and dedicated it to North Korea’s late founder Kim Il-sung.
Syrian government officials on Monday held a ceremony to officially name a street monument and city park after Kim Jong-un’s grandfather in a “show of friendship” between the two nations. The event also commemorated the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s liberation from Japan's colonial rule, according to state media agency SANA.
The bizarre ceremony took place in downtown Damascus and officials from the ruling Baath Party, the North Korean Embassy and the Syrian-Korean Friendship Association were present to witness the historic moment.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Moqtad vowed to maintain good relations with North Korea, emphasizing on the history of friendly ties between the two countries. He also praised Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s grandpa Kim Il-sung, referring to him as “a historic ruler and leader, famous for his struggle to liberate and build his country.”
Meanwhile, Pyongyang's ambassador to Damascus Jang Myong Ho called Syria's civil war a result of “conspiracies fostered by the United States and its puppets.” He also expressed his "confidence that the Syrian Arab Army will emerge victorious.”
The event also featured women wearing traditional Korean garb and a band of musicians playing trumpets, flutes and other brass instruments.