Syria opens a park to honour North Korean founder

Syria gives North Korean leader’s name to a park as a symbol of their strong ties

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Kim II-Sung former President of North Korea (Archive)

Syrian and North Korean officials gathered on Monday in the Syrian capital of Damascus to hold a ceremony dedicating a park and a street to North Korea's founding father Kim Il-Sung.

The ceremony took place in the 9,000-square-metre park (about 2.2 acres) located in the southwestern Damascus district of Kafr Sousa to commemorate the foundation of the 70th anniversary of Worker’s Party Of Korea.

Although Kim Il-sung was put into words by international community as brutal dictator, deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Moqtad chose to defend him saying that "whoever criticises [Kim] is absurd and stupid."

He continued his words, adding that he is  "a historic ruler and leader, famous for his struggle to liberate and build his country."

"For this reason, he deserves to be honoured in Syria."

Moqdad also honoured North Korea for "standing with Syria against terrorism" in his speech.

Current Syrian government prefer to use “terrorists” description for a wide range of  its opponents, from non-violent activists to fighters.

Following Moqdad’s words, North Korea’s ambassador to Syria, Jang Myong Ho said that the park represents  "an expression of the respect and love that Syria, as a party, a government, and a people have for the great leader Kim Il-sung."

According to him, the current conflict in Syria is "the result of the conspiracies and plans of the US ... to bring down the legitimate and independent government, and to exert a monopoly over the Middle East."

The four year conflict which has left more than 240,000 people dead so far, started with peaceful demonstrations and evolved into a deadly civil war. Syrian regime have been accused for using chemical weapons, barrel bombs and committing many atrocities against civilians.

North Korea is an important ally of the regime. Two countries have had friendly ties for several years. Last year, North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un sent Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong to Syria to increase cooperation between Damascus and Pyongyang.

North Korea has maintained military ties with Syria's autocratic regime for several years, helping it build a nuclear facility that was destroyed by an Israeli raid in 2007.

Furthermore, a Syrian Observatory for Human Rights official, Rami Abdul Rahman, told South Korea's Chosun Ilbo in 2013 that North Korean officers were "deployed in a number of areas, including defence factories southeast of Aleppo and at regular forces' positions in the city." He also claimed that they "supervise artillery bombardments of the regular army."


TRTWorld and agencies