Riyad Al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority's minister of foreign and diaspora affairs, visited North Korea recently to attend its 70th anniversary celebrations and met with North Korean officials, including Leader Kim Jong-un, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Kim Yong-dae, Vice President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. According to the Palestinian news agency WAFA, during his visit Al-Maliki delivered a letter and a gift from Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas to North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un.
During their meeting, Al-Maliki and Kim Yong-dae both stressed that the Palestinian and North Korean people are in a similar situation, withstanding pressure by the U.S. Kim Yong-dae stated that the U.S. is the enemy of peace and cannot serve as mediator in the peace process.
It should be noted that PA and North Korean officials exchange letters and greetings occasionally. In the recent years, 'Abbas has sent Kim Jong-un greetings on North Korea's Liberation Day, and the latter recently conveyed a letter to 'Abbas via the Palestinian embassy in Egypt in which he commended him and the Palestinian people for "their just struggle to restore all their legitimate rights to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital." The President of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium, Kim Yong-nam, sent 'Abbas a letter congratulating him on the anniversary of the Palestinian declaration of independence.
It should be noted that, in June 2018, MEMRI published a translation of an article penned by 'Atef Abu Saif, a Fatah spokesman living in Gaza, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's June 12 summit with Kim Jong-un. In the article, Abu Saif praised North Korea and Iran as two countries that have retained their honor in the face of American and international pressures and stuck to their goals despite sanctions and boycotts, forcing the world to heed their position. He lamented that the Arabs do not learn the lesson of history and follow the example of Iran and North Korea.
This report presents details on Al-Maliki's visit to North Korea as reported by the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
PA Foreign Minister Riyadh Al-Maliki with this North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho (Palsawa.com, September 8, 2018).
Al-Maliki: North Korea And Palestine Have Deep Historical Ties
On September 8, 2018, WAFA reported: "Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki met with Kim Yong-dae, Vice President of the Presidium [of the Supreme People's Assembly], at the assembly headquarters in Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Al-Maliki conveyed the well-wishes of President Mahmoud 'Abbas and expressed how happy he was to be in North Korea as the personal representative of President Mahmoud 'Abbas to the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Al-Maliki noted the deep historical ties between the two countries and their shared history in terms of liberation, stressing the desire of the Palestinian leadership to stand alongside the North Korean people in this important event...
"Kim [Yong-dea] noted that Kim Jong-un is particularly interested in developing the cooperation between the two countries and in [extending] absolute support to the Palestinian people, stressing that North Korea's position is steadfast and unwavering and that it continues to support Palestine in light of the Israeli and American pressure it is facing.
"He clarified that the racist U.S. position of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving its embassy there proves that the U.S. is the enemy of peace and cannot serve as mediator in the peace process."
Letter Of Solidarity From Mahmoud 'Abbas To Kim Jong-un
The WAFA report stated further that Al-Maliki "delivered a letter from President Mahmoud 'Abbas to his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, as well as a token gift reflecting Palestinian heritage and the role of the Palestinian woman in the struggle and in the building of society. Al-Maliki said that the president's letter was an expression of solidarity with the North Korean people, which is being subjected to international pressure by the U.S., just like the Palestinian people. He conveyed that Palestine was willing to share with its ally, North Korea, its knowledge and experience in every domain, including agriculture, medicine, law and diplomacy..."
Another WAFA report added that the letter "detailed the dangerous steps of the U.S. administration, the last of which was stopping the funding for UNRWA and the financial aid for Palestinian hospitals in Jerusalem – steps that are aimed at eliminating the Palestinian problem and turning it into a solely humanitarian issue."
'Abbas Conveys Wishes Of Prosperity, Progress, Peace And Security To North Korea Under Kim Jong-un
Wafa reported further that Al-Maliki met with North Korea Leader Kim Jong-un at the palace in Pyongyang, and conveyed "greetings on behalf of Mahmoud 'Abbas, as well as wishes of prosperity, progress, peace and security for the Democratic Republic of North Korea under the wise leadership of Kim Jong-un." Leader Kim, on his part, conveyed greetings to 'Abbas and thanked him for dispatching a special delegation to the 70th anniversary celebrations.
According to the report, Al-Maliki was invited to watch the celebrations, including the military parade, from the Leader's platform.
Report on Al-Maliki's visit on the PA Foreign Ministry website (mofa.pna.ps, September 9, 2-18)
 The content of 'Abbas's letter was reported by the North Korean news agency (kcna.kp, September 9, 2018).
 Maannews.net, August 30, 2018; raya.ps, August 31, 2018; wafa.ps, August 15, 2018.
 Wafa.ps, November 14, 2017.
 Al-Ayyam (PA), June 11, 2018. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7541, Fatah Spokesman On Trump-Kim Summit: North Korea, Iran Have Proven That The Language Of Force Pays Off; Arabs Should Learn From This, June 28, 2018.
 Wafa.ps, September 8, 2018.
 Wafa.ps, September 8, 2018.
 Wafa.ps, September 9, 2018.
 Wafa.ps, September 9, 2018.