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Cuba restores diplomatic relations with South Korea

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The Republic of Cuba has restored diplomatic relations with South Korea that had broken in 1959 mainly due to the historical, political, and ideological alliance between the government in Havana and North Korea.

According to a press release by the Cuban Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, the relations were reestablished “through an exchange of diplomatic notes between the Permanent Missions of both countries to the United Nations in New York.”

“The establishment of official relations between the two countries was carried out following the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law, and in conformity with the spirit and norms established in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961,” the ministry 

The reestablishment of the relations is seen as a big blow to North Korea which has been a very close ally of Havana.

Cuba has had a history of covert arms cooperation with North Korea, most notably in 2011 when it was caught in Panama moving missiles disguised as sugar shipments.

The South Korean government now plans to rapidly strengthen economic cooperation and cultural cooperation with Cuba, including South Korea Popular culture.

North Korea closed its embassy in Uganda at the end of last year, and according to sources the closure has implications for Uganda’s diplomatic orientation towards the Korean Peninsula.

The diplomatic relationship represents a milestone in the history of our diplomacy. Since the Roh Tae-woo administration aggressively pushed for diplomacy with the Eastern Bloc from 1989 starting with Hungary, South Korea has finished establishing diplomatic relationships with all Socialist states except North Korea.

Cuba’s addition in the list carries great significance in terms of international politics. Cuba was a close ally to North Korea during the Cold War to the extent that former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il called the Cuban leader a “comrade” when he visited Pyongyang in 2018.

Cuba took an extremely careful approach to the diplomatic relationship in consideration of North Korea. As a result, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol approved it in a Cabinet meeting behind closed doors. Cuba’s decision to establish a diplomatic relationship should be praised.

After taking power after the Castro brothers’ long reign, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel launched practical reforms following the Constitutional amendment in 2019. In 2015, Cuba established diplomatic relations with the United States, too.

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