PYONGYANG, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has said it wants to continue to maintain close ties with South Africa and Kenya, two African nations Pyongyang has enjoyed good relations with.
DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Thursday sent a congratulatory message to Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu upon her appointment as minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, said the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
"The message wished Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu big success in her efforts for the development of the external relations of the country, expressing the belief that the traditional bilateral ties of friendship and cooperation would further expand and develop this year, which falls on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries," said the KCNA.
The DPRK and South Africa established diplomatic relations after the latter was freed from its apartheid regime in the late 1990s.
Former DPRK leader Kim Il Sung had good personal relations with late South African leader Nelson Mandela and Pyongyang supported the country's struggle against white supremacist rule.
Ri on Thursday also sent a congratulatory message to Monica Juma upon her appointment as minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Kenya. The message wished the Kenyan foreign minister success in her work for developing the country's foreign relations, said the KCNA.
The DPRK backed Africa's independence movement in the 1960s and was a stout supporter of the non-aligned movement.
In a commentary Friday, the official Rodong Sinmun said only when non-aligned and developing countries build their own strength and intensify South-South cooperation, can they defend political independence and achieve self-sustenance in economy.
"The DPRK has closely cooperated with non-aligned and developing countries in the struggle for independence, peace and international justice against imperialism," it said.