Why North Korea forged enduring friendship with Syria, but not neighboring Iraq
Geopolitical realities more than simple loyalty have driven Pyongyang’s ties with the ideologically similar regimes
While its nuclear weapons have made it a pariah on the global stage, North Korea has long had a reliable friend and partner in Syria. The two countries’ leaders regularly exchange letters, and as recently as August, Pyongyang offered reconstruction aid to Syria’s war-torn industry.
But despite supporting the Assad dynasty against both Israel and its domestic opponents for five decades, the DPRK has not enjoyed such warm relations with Syria’s neighbor Iraq, even though both Middle Eastern states were ruled for years by regimes espousing the Arab nationalist ideology of Baathism.
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