NORTH KOREA has declared a three-day mourning period in tribute to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro who passed away on Friday at age 90.
According to Yonhap News citing the Rodong Sinmun, the Workers’ Party of Korea’s official newspaper as saying the ruling party’s central committee, the presidium of the Supreme Assembly and the Cabinet made the decision on Sunday.
Flags will be hoisted at half-mast at major organisations and designated places for the Cuban revolutionary leader who Supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, regarded as a close comrade of the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.
Reuters says Kim Jong-un penned a condolence letter to President Raul Castro.
“Though he (Castro) passed away, the precious feats he performed will remain forever in the hearts of the peoples of our two countries and the hearts of progressive mankind,” Kim said in the letter.
Meanwhile, Yonhap claims experts believe that North Korea’s declaration is aimed at showing off its close ties with Cuba.
The South Korean news agency alleges the relationship between the two countries may not be as good as it used to be.
North Korea and Cuba have had diplomatic relations since 1960 and Cuba have been one of North Korea’s most consistent allies in their common cause of socialism. Both countries maintain embassies in each other’s capitals.
World Leaders pay respects
World leaders have paid tribute to the Cuban revolutionary leader and offered condolences to Castro’s family including US President Barack Obama who said: “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
US president-elect Donald Trump also weighed in on the passing calling Castro “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people fro nearly six decades,”
Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, joined in the tribute in a letter to the Cuban people where he said “…the Communists and the people of Vietnam again reaffirm the solidarity and steadfast fighting spirit with the Communists and the Cuban brothers.”
China President Xi Jinping echoed the sentiment, saying in a message read on China’s nightly news on the country’s main TV channel, “The Chinese people have lost a close comrade and a sincere friend”.
Additional reporting from Reuters.