Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he plans to visit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korean state media reported on Sunday. This would be the first meeting between Kim and another head of state in Pyongyang.
"I am going to visit the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and meet Kim Jong Un," Assad said on May 30, according to North Korea state media.
The Syrian presidential office made no comment on Assad’s potential visit.
While both countries continue to face Western criticism, North Korea's Kim has taken unprecedented steps to open up diplomatic ties with his neighbors China and South Korea and is scheduled to hold a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.
Since taking power in 2011 Kim has not publicly met with another head of state in North Korea.
"The world welcomes the remarkable events in the Korean peninsula brought about recently by the outstanding political caliber and wise leadership of HE Kim Jong Un," Assad said, according to Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). "I am sure that he will achieve the final victory and realize the reunification of Korea without fail," continues Assad via KCNA.
North Korea established diplomatic relations with Syria in 1966, opening its embassy in Damascus. Syria opened its mission in Pyongyang in 1969.
"The Syrian government will as ever fully support all policies and measures of the DPRK leadership and invariably strengthen and develop the friendly ties with the DPRK," Assad said, as quoted by KCNA Korean media.